UAVs Help Ecuador’s Navy Catch Drug Traffickers From the Air

first_imgBy Dialogo October 17, 2011 The pilots at the forefront of drug interdiction in Ecuador fly so low that they never leave the ground. From the control room, officers of the Ecuadorian Navy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Squadron pilot these drones as they identify illegal activities in Ecuador’s waters and guide the Coast Guard on interdiction operations. “For us, these planes are simply a transition. Pilots fly in real time. There’s just a change in their environment,” said Lt. Commander Segundo Izurieta, who leads the squadron. “The pilots are in control of the aircraft, just not in it.” Long-time staples of science fiction movies, UAVs have entered the public lexicon thanks to their prominence in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. One of the best-known is the RQ-1 Predator drone, which like all UAVs are remotely or self-piloted aircraft equipped with cameras, communications tools and sensors for intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance. UAVs have evolved into ever more complex function, including combat missions, and the technology has advanced accordingly. The diversity of operations and equipment requires several hands on deck for each operation. In 2009, Ecuador’s Navy acquired six UAVs, at a cost of $23 million, to support efforts against drug trafficking, piracy, smuggling and organized crime in general. The UAVs — two Herons and four Searchers — will work in coordination with six high-speed boats acquired in 2008 to improve the Coast Guard’s ability to monitor and interdict. Drug trafficking in Ecuador Ecuador’s UAVs are based in the province of Manabí. They are equipped with digital monitoring systems that capture images of the surveillance areas, detect vessels and provide their coordinates. Their quiet engines allow them to approach their targets undetected. Izurieta said Ecuador has been a pioneer in the use of UAVs to fight drug trafficking in South America. Indeed, military delegations from various countries have come to tour the facilities. Due to its geographic location, Ecuador has become increasingly attractive to drug traffickers,. Its location along the Pacific Ocean to the west, and borders with coca-producing countries Colombia and Peru to the north and south, respectively, make Ecuador a target for organized crime. Historically, the country has been vulnerable to the “balloon effect” that follows successful counternarcotics efforts in neighboring countries, and to exploitation by international cartels. In response to heightened controls, “areas of drug production and consumption have been moving throughout the region,” said Fernando Carrión, a professor at Ecuador’s Latin America Social Sciences School (FLACSO). Up to 200 metric tons of cocaine pass through Ecuador each year, with 60 percent of that destined for the United States, and most of the balance going to Europe. Ecuador is also a major transit country for chemical precursors and for U.S. heroin dealers, according to the U.S. State Department’s 2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR). “Around 40 tons are intercepted each year, thanks to the work of the antinarcotics police, which is among the most effective of the forces, and which works in tandem with other in the region,” said Carrión. Ecuador’s northeastern provinces of Orellana and Sucumbíos, and the northwestern province of Esmeralda, near the Colombian border, are main cocaine processing regions, while coastal areas such as the Gulf of Guayaquil and Manta have become key shipping points, said Carrión. “The main advantage of these UAVs is their ability to stay in the area for a very long time,” said Izurieta. “With regular aircraft, you need to refuel every four hours, but the Heron can remain in the air undetected up to 19 hours.” Likewise, the Searcher can stay in the air 12 hours before refueling. This allows drones to follow suspected vessels for a long time until the Coast Guard arrives. The UAVs have a 15-knot crosswind for takeoff and landing, with an operational ceiling of up to 25,000 feet, a reach of 80 miles in simple mode and 140 miles in relay mode per flight. The Searcher carries electro-optical equipment and DR antennae, while the Heron has marine surveillance radars. The Ecuadorian Navy has fully integrated these six aircraft into its fleet, which has translated into significant benefits, among them the ability to conduct anti-narcotics operations on a constant basis. Heron aircraft missions require five people in the control room: the pilot, a radar operator, an operator for the optical equipment, the mission commander, and the station chief. Since the Searcher does not have radar, it requires only four people “in flight.” In a separate cabin are four other people in charge of bringing back the aircraft at the end of the operation. Each operation can be fully recorded because cabins are outfitted accordingly. The electro-optical cabin can record what is captured by radar, while the pilot gets the direct image in real time of what the aircrafts sees. “We have planned four to eight mission hours daily, but if there is an alert at any point, we are able to conduct the identification without difficulty,” said Izurieta. Ordinary aircraft have a reaction time of an hour, but the UAVs require a three-hour window because they need to key in the data and flight plan. “But there is always a plane in alert every day of the year,” he said. Interoperability Between Navy and Coast Guard In 2009, the Ecuadorian Coast Guard enhanced its command-and-control capacity with a main operations center in Guayaquil and a satellite office in the Galapagos Islands. These operation centers coordinate the Coast Guard’s maritime monitoring and control capabilities to confront illicit activity in Ecuadorian waters, said INCSR. The Coast Guard also improved a satellite monitoring system — first implemented in 2008 — for oceangoing vessels 20 tons or larger. Ecuador’s Coast Guard continues to seek improved biometric capabilities in order to quickly identify individuals on suspect vessels boarded in Ecuadorian waters. Each vessel should have a chip that contains its navigation plans. All vessels in Ecuadorian waters must be registered with the Navy, therefore, if one lacks proper registration, the pilot of the UAV automatically alerts the Coast Guard. Likewise, the Coast Guard mission commander has all the information in his laptop. “If he sees a different vessel or a contact that does not coincide with his information in the radar screen, he orders an identification mission,” said Izurieta. Only the Navy has control of UAVs in Ecuador. The Direction of Maritime Spaces orders daily missions for the identification of vessels. That ID process is similar to a traffic stop. Once a vessel has been identified by the aircraft, if there is illegal activity the Coast Guard determines how to proceed. On average, Ecuador identifies 20 to 30 vessels per day, said Izurieta. “If there is some sort of illicit activity, the Coast Guard proceeds with the interdiction,” said Izurieta. “If the Coast Guard is far away, we keep an eye on the vessel until they arrive. Then, we stay close for support and monitoring.” This type of technology is good since it provides the expected results and improves the performance of the missions. Case and point in the region of Waziristan with Al Qaeda. I think it’s a very interesting and very novel system available for these people. You can say they have plenty of money, and everything has a price. This technology is efficient because it allows identifying, locating, tracking and capturing felons by recording them to keep track of their actions to avoid justice, get rid of the bodies and other criminal instruments. I think the help provided by these planes to the authorities in the fight against drugs and contraband is very interesting. It’s a success for the authorities. It’s good.last_img read more

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‘Texting Zones’ Coming to Long Island Expressway

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state’s new initiative to combat texting-while-driving in New Baltimore. (Photo Credit: Governor’s Office)Texting-obsessed New Yorkers with an unquenchable desire to type messages from behind the wheel will soon have a place to safely stop and text—if they choose to actually pull over.State officials unveiled Monday a “texting zones” plan that will create 91 designated texting areas along the New York State Thruway and other state highways. A state official said two of those zones will be on the Long Island Expressway between Exits 51 and 52 at an already existing rest stop for drivers headed both east and west.The signs, which read “It Can Wait” and “Text Stop 5 Miles,” will go up in two to four weeks, the official said.The plan, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, comes nearly one month after New York State police ended a crackdown on distracted drivers, which yielded 21,580 tickets statewide from July 4 to Sept. 2. Overall, tickets for drivers either talking on cell phones or texting shot up 365 percent compared to last year.“New York State is continuing to use every tool at its disposal to combat texting-while-driving,” Cuomo said. “With this new effort, we are sending a clear message to drivers that there is no excuse to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road because your text can wait until the next Texting Zone.”“The accidents that result from the use of hand held devices are completely avoidable,” added State police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico. “Which is why we will continue to target distracted drivers who engage in this dangerous activity.”The governor’s new initiative comes three months after he signed into law a bill that increases texting-while-driving penalties from three to five points.last_img read more

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Pennsylvania Reaches Early Education Milestone Under Gov. Wolf’s Leadership

first_img June 28, 2019 Pennsylvania Reaches Early Education Milestone Under Gov. Wolf’s Leadership Budget News,  Education,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Funding for pre-k to 12 education has increased by $1.2 billion and early education assistance has doubled since Governor Wolf took office. Today, the governor was joined by preschool children and Pre-K for PA to celebrate Pennsylvania’s historic education investments, including this year’s $265 million funding increase for pre-k to 12 education.“Five years ago, schools were struggling with teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, and cuts to educational programs,” said Gov. Wolf. “Our children and their futures are my top priority and this year we will invest $1.2 billion more into classrooms than we did five years ago. That means teachers can focus on educating, students can focus on their learning, and Pennsylvania is on a path that values knowledge, skill, and innovation. There is no better investment Pennsylvania can make than ensuring our children get a quality education as they grow.”Early EducationThe governor secured a $30 million increase for early education in this budget, creating approximately 2,200 new slots in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts and 465 new slots in the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program. The budget also includes an increase of $15 million for preschool Early Intervention servicesSince the governor took office in 2015, funding for high-quality pre-k has increased by $145 million annually, more than doubling, to serve an additional 13,500 children.“Investing in high-quality pre-k for thousands of our youngest children is an investment in Pennsylvania’s future,” said Gov. Wolf. “Early education is proven to help kids prepare for kindergarten, laying the groundwork to succeed in the classroom for years to come.”“Governor Wolf understands the irrefutable value of investing in high quality pre-k and he continues to push for expanded access to children across the Commonwealth,” said Kari King, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, Pre-K for PA Principal Partner. “We all know that there is more work to be done, but today is another milestone as we chip away at the number of children who miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity. Pre-K for PA and our tens of thousands of supporters applaud Governor Wolf and the legislature for maintaining the political will to continue to invest in greater access to high quality pre-k again this year.”“Today’s budget is a historically important milestone for the Commission as it represents a doubling of investment in early childhood education since Governor Wolf took office,” said Dr. Tom Foley, Commissioner, Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission. “These investments will improve life outcomes for children today and strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce and economy both now and in the future.”In addition to early education funding, the budget allocates $15 million in federal funds so nearly 1,000 infants and toddlers on waiting lists can get quality child care.Basic EducationThis year’s budget increases basic education spending by $160 million to improve education opportunities for every student in the state, regardless of zip code. The funding formula the governor signed into law in 2015 will be used to distribute the funding more fairly to school districts that need it most. Special education will increase by $50 million, building on the $90 million increase of the past four years.Higher EducationThe budget increases funding by 2 percent for higher education, including additional investments in Pennsylvania’s community colleges, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and the state-related universities. The Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Lancaster, will also receive an additional $4 million to assist with furthering its goal of providing high-quality, affordable technical education. Over the last five years, funding for higher education has increased by $188 million.Updating the Start, Dropout AgesThe budget includes the governor’s proposal to raise the school dropout age from 17 to 18 and lower the required age to start school from 8 to 6. The state Board of Education had unanimously supported both changes.Pennsylvania was just one of two states that allows children to wait until age 8 to enroll in school. The age requirement was set in 1895 and was badly outdated. Today, students need much more robust education and the state law should change to reflect the times.The previous dropout age was set at 17 in 1949. Over the last 70 years the economy has changed, and the education and skills people need have shifted dramatically. Approximately 4,400 Pennsylvania students drop out of school before turning 18. Today, people increasingly need a high school diploma to go to college or start a job-training program necessary to get good, middle class jobs that provide economic security for themselves, their families and our economy.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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WBC International super-flyweight title: Lasisi, Jimenez draw

first_imgNigerian boxer, Aliu Bamidele Lasisi successfully defended his WBC International super-flyweight title after a split draw with Norbelto Jimenez of Dominican Republic on Friday night in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Sportinglife.ng reports that the keenly contested 10-round bout held at The Rotunda in Caesars Bluewaters, saw judges scored 96-94 for Jimenez, 96-94 for Lasisi, and an even 95-95. Reacting to the draw, Lasisi, who also holds the WBC International super-flyweight silver belt, said: “My opponent was a good fighter who has fought for world titles before but I thought I won the fight. It was an amazing fight and I will keep working hard. Big thanks to Round 10 Boxing, MKT Global, D4G Boxing Promotions, MKT Kazakhstan that make my fight tonight and my sponsors Angelsyrupco and Top8.Advertisement Action from Lasisi versus Jimenez clash before it ended in a draw in Dubai UAE “I want to say thank you to my fans. I don’t even call them fans. I don’t like that. They’re literally just a part of my life; they’re a part of my family. I don’t think of them as on a lower level than me. I don’t think I’m anything but equal to all of them. So yeah, they’re basically all of my siblings. I really appreciate their support tonight,” said Lucky Boy as he is fondly called. Lasisi (14-0-1, 8 KOs) won the WBC International belt last April with a unanimous decision over Nicaraguan veteran Ricardo Blandon. He last fought in December in Kazakhstan, shutting out Hamson Lamandau over eight rounds. Lasisi moved to Dubai in 2014 and found work as a cleaner in a gym before turning pro in August 2015. Read Also Lasisi ready to defend WBC title against Jiminez Jimenez (29-9-4, 16 KOs) began his career 2-8-1, but he rebounded to become a world-class super flyweight. He challenged for the WBA super-flyweight world title twice, dropping a unanimous decision to Kal Yafai in 2019 and fighting to a draw against Kohei Kono in 2014. Promoted ContentBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All Time6 Extreme Facts About HurricanesWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?15 Celebs Who Fell From Grace With Their CareersThis Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s HystericalWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?A Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of ArtBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemA Lot More People Should See Hanna’s Fantastic Bread Masterpieces6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread Art Loading… FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

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Sidney Robert Lunsford, 39, Laurel

first_imgSidney Robert Lunsford, age 39, of Laurel, Indiana died suddenly Monday, February 19, 2018 at his residence in Laurel, Indiana.Born April 8, 1978 in Oxford, Ohio he is the son of Robert L. & Cora M. (Gibbs) Lunsford. He lived most of his life in Franklin County.In his leisure time he enjoyed hunting and fishing and being outdoors.In addition to his parents, survivors include two sons, Drew and Trevor; his sister, Loretta Hentz of Greensburg, Indiana; as well as his maternal grandmother, Vida Harrison of Kentucky.He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Sidney and Ora Lunsford, and his maternal grandfather, William Gibbs.Family & friends may visit from 10:00 till 11:00 A.M. on Friday, February 23, 2018 at Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home, 1025 Franklin Avenue, Brookville.Funeral Services will be conducted at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, February 23, 2018 at Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home in Brookville.Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home is honored to serve the Lunsford family, to sign the online guest book or send personal condolences please visit www.phillipsandmeyers.com .last_img read more

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Laudrup preparing for Michu setback

first_img The Spaniard missed a month of action after hurting his left ankle in the derby defeat at the hands of Cardiff in November, but it is a long-standing problem in his right ankle which has rendered him doubtful for Sunday’s clash with Everton. Laudrup has revealed the 27-year-old will require an operation, but stated it is a problem the player could yet complete his career with. However, Michu’s obvious frustrations at his inability to produce his best form due to the injury could mean an operation comes sooner rather than later. Swansea manager Laudrup says the club are weighing up information from their medical team before making a decision, but revealed in a worst-case scenario he could face three months on the sidelines, depending on the nature of the surgery required. A lay-off of that length would effectively end any lingering hopes the former Rayo Vallecano man has of making Spain’s World Cup squad, having won his first cap in October. Laudrup said: “I’ve had one or two conversations with him, but we haven’t made a decision yet. “We’re taking in all the information. “There are two kinds of operation (keyhole and then more detailed) and we still need some information, but in the worst case it is three months.” But the Dane does not believe the World Cup in Brazil is in Michu’s thinking when it comes to the injury. “He wants to be fit. He’s not thinking about the World Cup,” said Laudrup. Press Association “Even if he is 100 per cent fit, he knows it will be very difficult to get into that squad. “He’s competing with Fernando Torres, Alvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente and David Villa. “He’s just frustrated that he hasn’t been able to perform at his best level because he has played a lot of games at 80 per cent of his physical ability. “He’s angry at himself because of the injury.” Laudrup will wait as long as possible to see if Michu is available to face the in-form Toffees, but admitted his build-up has not been ideal. “I don’t know if he can play in the short term,” said Laudrup. “We will try to get the information as quickly as possible. “He hasn’t trained for two days. “He played at Norwich on Sunday. We were off Monday and Tuesday, he trained on Wednesday, but it hurt on Thursday, even walking. “We will see on Saturday and decide.” Michael Laudrup admits Swansea could be without Michu for as long as three months when the forward eventually has to undergo ankle surgery.last_img read more

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Republic of Ireland U21s stretch winning run

first_img Alan Browne added gloss to the scoreline in the 77th minute as Noel King’s men claimed their third Group Two win at the RSC in Waterford, having beaten Andorra home and away in their opening fixtures. O’Dowda put the home side ahead in the 27th minute with a close-range volley from Josh Cullen’s ball into the area. Press Association The lead was doubled three minutes later when Wilkinson twisted and turned past his marker before his strike from the edge of the area appeared to wrong-foot Lithuania goalkeeper Edvinas Gertmonas. Browne made sure there was no way back for the visitors with a fine flick and finish. The Republic face their first stiff test next week when they take on Italy in Vicenza on Tuesday. center_img Callum O’Dowda and Conor Wilkinson scored in the opening half hour as the Republic of Ireland maintained their 100 per cent record in their European Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign with a 3-0 victory over Lithuania. last_img read more

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VIDEO: Doctors pull entire beach towel out of python’s mouth

first_img*WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT*Veterinarians in Australia pulled out an entire beach towel out of a snake!The owners of the 18-year-old jungle carpet python, Monty, say she ate the towel the night before.Vets were able to find the missing item in Monty’s stomach using an endoscope. Then, they used long forceps to grasp the towel and safely remove it.Monty was able to go back home with her owners, and is back to living her normal life.last_img

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Record happened automatically: Prolific Run-Scorer of Assam Rajesh Borah

first_imgOur sports ReporterGUWAHATI: The year was 1985. Vivian Alexander Richards, the all time great batsman of world cricket, destroyed England’s bowlers to complete a Test century in just 56 balls.Two years later (1987-88), the cricket world witnessed another same innings, but this time it was on the opposite side of the globe. The match was a first class game and the venue was NFRSA Stadium, Maligaon.Prolific run-scorer of Assam, Rajesh Borah, a diehard fan of Vivian Richards, took exactly the same number of balls to score a first class hundred playing for Assam. The opponent was Tripura. The innings, which created a new record in Ranji Trophy (fastest hundred), lasted till 2016, before Delhi-batsman Rishabh Pant wrote it in his name. Rajesh also has the distinction of scoring the second fastest double hundred in domestic cricket.Recalling the record breaking moment on Wednesday afternoon, Rajesh looked a little bit nostalgic. He said: “It was the most satisfactory innings of my career. Everything happened so quickly that I didn’t even comprehend that I had scored a century.”Here is the interaction of Rajesh with The Sentinel.The Sentinel (TS): You would perhaps never forget the moment.Rajesh: Yes. It’s true. Actually the track was fantastic to bat. There was a good curator at the NFRSA Stadium during that time and we called him Tilak mali. On the eve of the match day, he came to me and told – “Rajesh bhai, the pitch is a batting paradise and would suite your batting. Go and score a century.” I knew the pitch would behave exactly the same because pitch-reading capacity of Tilak was fantastic.”TS: Tell us about the early stage of your innings.Rajesh: Possibly I went to bat at number four because generally that was my batting position in the team. When I faced the first ball, the first thing that came to my mind was the tip given by Tilak. It was really a batting paradise and the rest happened quickly. The bowlers of Tripura didn’t have any clue on how to stop me. I took just 56 balls to score a hundred and when I got out, the scoreboard read 156 against my name.TS: When did you feel that the day was yours.Rajesh: Actually I didn’t think too much on that day. Once I played a couple of deliveries and the ball touched the sweetest part of the bat, I decided to attack the opponent bowlers. Runs were flowing from my bat through boundaries and sixes at regular interval. Only thing I can remember was Munna Kakoty, my teammate, shouting from outside the rope, encouraging me to continue my good show. I hit 12 sixes in the innings and narrowly lost the chance to achieve the record of most sixes in an innings.TS: The most memorable shot in the innings.Rajesh: It was a six. The bowler was Aloke Saha and I pulled him straight over the fence. The shot was so sweetly timed that the ball crossed the wall of stadium and dropped on the railway tracks.TS: Your playing style was like Vivian Richards and the legend was also your idol. Have you ever tried to follow his batting style?Rajesh: It would have been the most satisfying thing for me if I could follow his style. Richards is a legend and no one can play like him. I was very much encouraged by his batting style, particularly the way he dominated the bowlers. The interesting thing is that the bat I used to post my record knock was the same brand of bat that was used by Viv Richards. He played with a SS Turbo bat. I was very much eager to collect one SS Turbo bat and one of acquaintance – Soumen Sarma – brought it for me from abroad before the season.TS: Did the innings bring any major changes to your career?Rajesh: The innings gave me an identity. Thereafter, whenever I went to play in other States, cricket lovers and even cricket administrators started giving me special attention. Later, even Indian captain Azharuddin, whenever we met, wanted to know from me how I was performing with my bat.Also Read: Rajesh congratulates Pant for breaking recordAlso Watch: Sellers take advantage of helplessness of panic stricken citizens by overpricing commoditieslast_img read more

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Pollard signed as TKR Marquee Player

first_imgTRINBAGO Knight Riders announced today that they have signed Kieron Pollard as their Marquee Player for the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which will be played from September 4 to October 12, 2019.The Trinidadian all-rounder, who played for Barbados Tridents from 2013 to 2017 and for St Lucia Stars in 2018, will be playing for his home franchise for the first time in his Hero CPL career in 2019.Making the announcement, Venky Mysore, Director of TKR said, “We are delighted to welcome Pollard back home and it’s great to continue our efforts to bring as many Trini boys home as possible. I can’t wait for the reaction of the fans when Pollard takes the field at our opening game on September 4.”Pollard will be hoping to help TKR add to the three championships they have won in the last four tournaments in 2015, 2017 & 2018.Pollard has played in 474 T20 matches so brings a vast amount of experience to the Knight Riders squad, from CPL and from tournaments around the world.The rest of the Trinbago Knight Riders squad will be decided at the Hero CPL Players Draft, which takes place on May 22, 2019.last_img read more

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