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Panama’s government bolsters efforts against the drug trade

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PANAMA CITY, Panama – With the Panama Canal expansion scheduled to open in 2014, authorities are focused on preventing the country from serving as a transit point for illegal merchandise and drug trafficking. A total of 5% of global trade currently passes through the Panama Canal. With the construction of a third set of locks, the canal’s capacity will double, according to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). From January to September 2013, a total of 10,149 vessels have traversed the route through Panama, according to the country’s Comptroller Office. “[The Panamanian government will not allow the canal to be used as a route by] international criminals transporting illegal merchandise,” Panamanian Public Safety Minister José Raúl Mulino said shortly after the July seizure of the North Korean freighter Chong Chon Gang. “Our geographic position, the canal and our lake and sea waters are not a passageway though which international criminals can move with impunity.” The detection of the North Korean ship, which was transporting Cuban weapons to the Asian country – a violation of United Nations resolutions levied against North Korea – was described by analysts as a success because of the speed in which intelligence agencies shared information about a vessel loaded with suspicious cargo. “The canal is a large area that supports global trade and the best way to protect it is through prevention,” said Alberto Alemán Zubieta, the former administrator of the Panama Canal. “Through intelligence work, it was possible to locate the prohibited cargo on board the Chong Chon Gang. The way to prevent terrorism and other illegal acts is through the international community and awareness about the need to prevent situations like these.” The country is taking steps to prevent its territory, including the canal, from being used to smuggle illegal substances. Operation Martillo plays a fundamental role in these efforts, according to the director of the country’s National Aeronaval Service (SENAN), Commander Belsio González Sánchez. “Through Operation Martillo [a multinational military initiative led by the United States that is combating drug trafficking and organized crime in Central America], we’re creating a symbiosis of operations with many different countries, particularly the United States, which has helped to stop incursions by drug traffickers,” González said. From January to Nov. 15, authorities confiscated about 19 tons of drugs, up from the 12 tons seized during all of 2012. The country is implementing a new base in the southern Pearl Islands in the Gulf of Panama to strengthen surveillance in the area, which will enter into operation in January 2014. Panama also has acquired speedboats, helicopters and 19 radars, to conduct coastal surveillance and combat drug trafficking in the Caribbean and the Panamanian Pacific, which are slated to become operational by April 2014. “Any investment made to enhance security is always a good thing,” said Roberto Aparicio, a professor of maritime law at Panama’s Maritime University. Regarding the canal’s operations, González said work is carried out in conjunction with the ACP to protect cargo and ensure that all permits are in order. “We work with [the ACP] on issues related to high value trafficking, because there are ships passing through with hazardous materials over which they are given custody,” González said. “[To combat drug trafficking] we have a joint operation. [The ACP makes sure that] the permits for the vessels are in order, but it does not get involved in intelligence matters.” Former Panamanian Ambassador Ricardo Arias, who directed the United Nations Security Council in 2007, has applauded the steps authorities are taking to protect the country from drug traffickers and organized crime. “Though the shipment of drugs doesn’t affect the functioning of the canal or put it at risk, Panama must introduce mechanisms to prevent the entire country from being used to smuggle illegal substances and drugs,” he said. By Dialogo December 20, 2013 read more

4 reasons to consider comprehensive insurance tracking in 2019

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first_img continue reading » As times change due to lending trends, technology growth, and the state of the economy, lenders need to be more creative when it comes to building a risk strategy that keeps both them and their borrowers protected. Insurance tracking is one data component that plays an important role in developing that comprehensive plan. Today, we’re breaking down four reasons to consider investing in an insurance tracking program as part of a larger risk strategy.But first, what is insurance tracking? Insurance tracking allows lenders to monitor borrowers’ insurance data to ensure their collateral remains protected by understanding the insurance status (or any deficiencies) of a borrower’s policy. An effective tracking system includes gathering information, maintaining and updating information, and interacting with borrowers if necessary.Many lenders are turning to data to determine the best risk strategy approach for their organization. Lenders want a complete set of data that gives insight on how to protect their portfolio, and active tracking provides an important piece of that picture. Successful programs help lenders stay protected from both expected—and unexpected— risks. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

6 ways to reduce friction in the member experience

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first_imgThe introduction of new technology in the world of financial services is both a boon and a bust for the user experience.Digital channels allow members to conduct transactions, research new products and services, and communicate with their financial institution — all on their own schedule. And for credit unions, advancements in technology offers the opportunity to serve members via personalized strategies previously unheard of.But new technology also is creating friction that manifests as long lines at the teller counter, online forms that require accountholders to reenter basic information, automatic holds on check deposits, excessive call hold times and clunky handoffs, limited hours of physical branch operations, incongruent information across channels, and frustrated or unhelpful staff. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Industrial: Tough times ahead

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first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Harder heads reduce rail wear

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first_imgINTRO: Continuous casting of round billets has been combined with a Japanese head-hardening technique to enable the production in Pueblo of premium long-welded rails with a Brinell hardness of 390BYLINE: Mark McLeanManager, Rail ProductsCF&I Steel LPIN MAY this year CF&I Steel LP uprated the specification of its premium head-hardened rail from DHH370 to DHH390, reflecting the achievement of an average surface hardness of 390 Brinell – which makes it the hardest rail available anywhere in the world. DHH390 is 14% harder than the AREA premium rail specification of 341 Brinell, whilst meeting all the metallurgical specifications.The launch of the World Standard DHH390 rails marks the completion of a three-year upgrading of the Pueblo rail plant, following the takeover of CF&I by Oregon Steel Mills in 1993. The US$100m investment programme included conversion of the steel production plant from rectangular ingots to provide continuously-cast rounds for the rail mill, and the introduction of in-line head-hardening equipment using technology developed by Nippon Steel Corp in Japan. Further modifications to the Pueblo mill are now being drawn up to meet demands for tighter dimensional tolerances on finished rails.The entire investment strategy was driven by the increased demand from US railroads for longer-lasting low-maintenance rails capable of handling increased loadings, higher speeds, and ever-changing track dynamics. Above all there is a constant drive for lower costs and improved quality from maintenance-of-way departments. While calling for harder, cleaner rails and tighter dimensional tolerances, and for better performance by premium wear-resistant rails used on heavy-haul corridors and in sharp curves, the railroads also wanted quality assurance from the use of proven manufacturing and processing technologies.Continuous castingThe first major change at Pueblo came in February 1995, with a switch to 100% continuous cast rounds following modifications to the Mannesmann-Demag caster. The use of rounds up to 311mm diameter for rail manufacture offers three main advantages over conventional ingots. The round section offers improved control of cooling on the caster and re-heating in the rail mill furnace, which is particularly critical when producing premium rails. Quality of the rail is improved by the elimination of the corners, which can lead to rail surface defects caused by corner cracking problems when using a square or rectangular cross-section. Similarly, a round section offers improved solidification patterns which reduce the risk of centre segregation and unacceptable macro-etch patterns inherent with square or rectangular castings.At the same time a new twin-station ladle refining furnace and vacuum tank degasser were installed, allowing for adjustments in steel chemistry, precise temperature control and thermal homogeneity. Improved steel cleanliness improves the rail’s fatigue life and reduces shelling and detailed fractures, whilst precise control of the chemical content ensures consistent physical properties for both carbon steel and premium rails.Head hardeningThe Nippon Steel in-line head-hardening unit came on stream in July 1996, replacing an off-line hardening plant with an annual capacity of just 40000 tonnes. The Nippon unit has a theoretical capacity of 400000 tonnes a year. It makes use of the residual heat in the rails following rolling, with computer-controlled quenching for tight thermal management of the newly-rolled rails.The process starts with an Italimpianti re-heat furnace to ensure precise control of bloom temperatures in the rolling mill. The 84-position walking beam furnace is natural gas fired, and computer controlled for maximum fuel efficiency. A closed-loop thermal model provides for self-adjustment to match the operating parameters of the mill. Close control ensures minimum temperature variation along the length of a bloom, or between blooms. Multiple heating and quenching zones ensure a consistent temperature for blooms entering the mill, resulting in better section control. For example, the rear end of each bloom is made slightly hotter than the lead end, to compensate for natural air cooling which takes place as the bloom passes through the mill.Following the rolling process, the rails pass directly to the head-hardening unit, where they are quench-cooled in a controlled manner to achieved the required hardness and metallurgical structure; close monitoring of entry and exit temparatures are critical to the process. Two separate heat-treating units are installed, each capable of handling rails up to 25 m long.Unlike some other hardening techniques, the Nippon process does not require the addition of alloys to the steel. This means that in the event of any problems with the hardening plant, the rolled rails can easily be diverted to standard carbon steel stock – giving flexibility in the production process.To meet a growing demand for long-welded rail strings ready to lay, CF&I has installed an in-line welding plant. This takes 25 m long head-hardened rails direct from the rolling mill and welds them into strings for dispatch directly to the railroads’ relaying sites. Final length is limited only by that of the carrying train, and is typically 490 m, with up to 40 strings per train.Between July 1996 and May 1997, CF&I delivered over 60000 tonnes of DHH370 head-hardened rails to some of North America’s largest railroads: BNSF, UP, SP, NS, Montana Rail Link and several transit authorities. The rails have performed extremely well under a variety of traffic conditions.CF&I’s original strategy was based on developing a premium rail comparable to that offered by Nippon Steel Corp. The system was designed to produce rails with a surface hardness of 370 Brinell and a minimum of 341 Brinell at a depth of 10mm. In practice, quality analysis of the finished head-hardened rails has showed consistently better results, with an average hardness of 390 Brinell almost 5% better than target. Constant attention to quality at all stages of the production process has paid off with the uprating of the rail to DHH390 as a new standard. oCAPTION: CF&I’s plant is now able to produce over 400 000 tonnes of DHH390 rail a yearCAPTION: Microstructure of DHH 390 rails (1, 2) compared with NHH (3, 4) for 5 mm below the rail head surface (1, 3) and 25 mm below (2, 4)last_img read more

Eagles Host Quad Middle School Cross Country Meet

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first_imgThe Jac-Cen-Del junior high cross country teams ran in a four-way meet at home against Milan, St. Lawrence, and Sunman Dearborn on Thursday (8/22). The JCD girls’ team finished third. The JCD boys’ did not have a complete team and finished fourth. Aug22@JCDCourtesy of Eagles Coach Steve Narwold.last_img

AC Milan plot to hijack €50m Osimhen deal

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first_imgRelatedPosts Napoli Coach: Osimhen young lad with old brain Osimhen, Napoli bow to COVID-19 Breaking: Ighalo blocked Osimhen’s Man U move — Brother AC Milan is making an attempt to hijack Napoli’s move for Lille striker Victor Osimhen, according to a report from Italy.It seemed as though the Nigeria international was destined to seal a move to Napoli as he visited their training ground and met both head coach Gennaro Gattuso and president Aurelio De Laurentiis in recent days. However, Milan are now trying to insert themselves into the picture as the player has asked for time to assess his options.The Rossoneri are preparing a bid for the 21-year-old, and the asking price is expected to be at least €50 million, meaning Milan will include some players to lower the cost of the operation.Osimhen netted 13 goals in 27 Ligue 1 games this season, scoring 18 goals in 38 competitive games overall, and a decision is expected by Monday or Tuesday the report claims.Reports also claimed that the player is waiting for offers from the Premier League, with Liverpool having been repeatedly linked too.— Tags: AC MilanAurelio de LaurentiisGennaro GattusoVictor Osimhenlast_img read more

Harry Kane prepared for Arsenal backlash in north London derby

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first_img “We are going to have great away support there, as we always do, and we are looking forward to it. “It is a big game coming up on Sunday and we could not have asked for more from the two games this week. I have never played at the Emirates before so hopefully we can go there and get the win.” Pochettino is hopeful Danny Rose can shake off a knock he picked up against Villa in time for the match while Clinton Njie could also be available after overcoming a minor hamstring strain. Summer signing Son Heung-min came off the bench against Anderlecht after six weeks out with a foot problem but is unlikely to be thrown into the starting line-up while the game will come too soon for Nabil Bentaleb and Nacer Chadli, who are both recovering from ankle injuries. While Spurs have registered two wins in four days against Aston Villa and Anderlecht this week, the Gunners head into the derby on the back of a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich. Arsenal’s Champions League woes, however, have not dampened their domestic form, with Arsene Wenger’s men winning their last five consecutive matches and scoring 16 goals in the process. Press Association The run means Spurs start Sunday’s game five points behind their rivals in the Barclays Premier League table and Kane is expecting Arsenal to feel added motivation after Wednesday’s heavy defeat. “They took a bit of a hiding in midweek and they are going to want to put that right,” Kane said. “We have come off two very good wins so we are going into the game on a high and hopefully we can finish the week off well. “It is going to be a great battle and everyone is looking forward to it. We want to go there, set a high tempo and play well. “It was not a good night for them (against Bayern). A lot has been said about that result and, as fellow players, you know they will come out firing to try and put things right. So we know what to expect.” Kane scored twice, including a dramatic 86th-minute winner, when Tottenham beat Arsenal 2-1 at White Hart Lane in February but last season’s 1-1 draw at the Emirates came before the forward had shot to prominence under Mauricio Pochettino. It was this weekend 12 months ago that Kane made his first Premier League start under the Argentinian head coach and with five goals now in his last three games, the 24-year-old appears to be back in form. “We are going there to win,” Kane said. Tottenham striker Harry Kane is expecting an Arsenal backlash when he visits the Emirates for the first time in his career on Sunday.last_img read more

Pujara, Vijay make strong start in reply to England’s 400

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first_imgBy Sudipto GangulyMUMBAI, India (Reuters) – Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara shared a century stand as India made a strong start in their reply to England’s total of 400 on the second day of the fourth Test at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.Vijay was unbeaten on 70 and Pujara on 47 not out with India on 146 for one at the close, still 254 runs behind.The right-handed pair added 107 runs for the second wicket after Lokesh Rahul had fallen following an opening stand of 39 with Vijay.England captain Alastair Cook introduced spin from both ends after seven overs and there was considerable turn on offer for Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.Rahul hit four crisp boundaries in his 24 before off-spinner Moeen breached his defences to bowl him.Vijay twice mishit Rashid but the ball landed safely beyond the reach of the fielders on both occasions. The opener hit the leg-spinner for six over the long-off boundary.Pujara looked solid and hit some sublime boundaries off the back foot against the England fast bowlers.Earlier, Jos Buttler made 76 to guide the touring side, trailing 2-0 in the five-match series, to a strong total before they were all out 25 minutes after lunch.India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin completed figures of six for 112 for his 23rd five-wicket haul and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took the other four wickets.Resuming on 288 for five, England lost Ben Stokes for 31 in the third over to Ashwin, who had picked up four wickets on Thursday.The umpire turned down the appeal for catch against Stokes but India managed to overturn the decision on review with the batsman leaving the field making his displeasure evident.Jadeja dismissed Chris Woakes and Rashid cheaply to boost India’s chances of keeping England’s total to under 350.But Buttler and number 10 Jake Ball, playing his first match of the series and second overall, frustrated India with a partnership of 54 for the ninth wicket.Ashwin broke the stand when Ball, who was on nought when India captain Virat Kohli dropped a sharp chance at slip off Jadeja, was caught behind.Buttler repeatedly used the reverse sweep against Jadeja and hit six boundaries and a big six off Ashwin before Jadeja bowled him as he attempted another big shot.ENGLAND 1st innings (overnight 288-5)A. Cook stp. P. Patel b Jadeja 46K. Jennings c Pujara b R. Ashwin 112J. Root c Kohli b R. Ashwin 21M. Ali c Nair b R. Ashwin 50J. Bairstow c U. Yadav b R. Ashwin 14B. Stokes c Kohli b R. Ashwin 31J. Buttler b Jadeja 76C. Woakes c P. Patel b Jadeja 11A. Rashid b Jadeja 4J. Ball c P. Patel b R. Ashwin 31J. Anderson not out 0Extras: (b-1, lb-2, nb-1) 4Total: (all out, 130.1 overs) 400Fall of wickets: 1-99, 2-136, 3-230, 4-230, 5-249, 6-297, 7-320, 8-334, 9-388.Bowling: B. Kumar 13-0-49-0, U. Yadav 11-2-38-0, R. Ashwin 44-4-112-6, J. Yadav 25-3-89-0 (nb-1), R. Jadeja 37.1-5-109-4.INDIA 1st inningsL. Rahul b Ali 24M. Vijay not out 70C. Pujara not out 47Extras: (b-1, lb-4) 5Total: (for 1 wickets, 52 overs) 146Fall of wickets: 1-39.Bowling: J. Anderson 8-4-22-0, C. Woakes 5-2-15-0, M. Ali 15-2-44-1, A. Rashid 13-1-49-0, J. Ball 4-2-4-0, B. Stokes 4-2-4-0, J. Root 3-1-3-0.last_img read more

Syracuse to face 3 Frozen Four opponents in 2017-18 slate

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first_img Published on July 25, 2017 at 6:23 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse ice hockey will skate against three Frozen Four teams from last season in their 2017-18 schedule, announced Tuesday afternoon.SU opens its slate on the road with a weekend series against Bemidji State after opening the 2016-17 season at Tennity Ice Pavilion against the Beavers. After a weekend off, the Orange will start a nine-game homestand, kicking it off against 2017 national runner-up, Wisconsin.College Hockey America play will also begin during the homestand when Syracuse welcomes Penn State on Nov. 10 and 11. The Orange will also get its first rematch with Robert Morris — which downed SU, 2-0, in the CHA title game in 2017 — the weekend of Jan. 5.Syracuse will also play defending national champion, Clarkson, twice during the 2017-18 slate. One game at Tennity on Dec. 5 and another game in Potsdam, New York, on Jan. 30.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSix teams on SU’s schedule finished last season ranked — No. 1 Clarkson, No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 3 Boston College, No. 7 Cornell, No. 8 Robert Morris and No. 10 Northeastern.Syracuse’s full schedule (conference games in bold)at Bemidji State, Sept. 29, 8 p.m. at Bemidji State, Sept. 30, 4 p.m.Wisconsin, Oct. 6, 4 p.m.Wisconsin, Oct. 7, 3 p.m.Providence, Oct. 13, 3 p.m.Providence, Oct. 14, 3 p.m.Northeastern, Oct. 20, 7 p.m.Northeastern, Oct. 21, 2 p.m.Boston College, Nov. 4, 3 p.m.Penn State, Nov. 10, 7 p.m.Penn State, Nov. 11, 3 p.m.at Rochester Institute of Technology, Nov. 17, 6 p.m.Rochester Institute of Technology, Nov. 18, 3 p.m.Lindenwood, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.Lindenwood, Dec. 2, 3 p.m.Clarkson, Dec. 5, 7 p.m.at Mercyhurst, Dec. 8, 6 p.m.at Mercyhurst, Dec. 9, 1 p.m.at Robert Morris, Jan. 5, 7 p.m.at Robert Morris, Jan. 6, 3 p.m.Cornell, Jan. 9, 7 p.m.at Colgate, Jan. 16, 12 p.m.at Penn State, Jan. 19, 6 p.m.at Penn State, Jan. 20, 3 p.m.Mercyhurst, Jan. 26, 7 p.m.Mercyhurst, Jan. 27, 3 p.m.at Clarkson, Jan. 30, 7 p.m.at Cornell, Feb. 6, 7 p.m.Rochester Institute of Technology, Feb. 9, 7 p.m.Rochester Institute of Technology, Feb. 10, 1 p.m.at Lindenwood, Feb. 16, TBDat Lindenwood, Feb. 17, TBDRobert Morris, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.Robert Morris, Feb. 24, 3 p.m. Commentslast_img read more