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Regional Cooperation Essential to Combatting Hezbollah Threat in Latin America

first_imgBy Antoni Belchi / Voice of America / edited by Diálogo staff February 14, 2020 The III Western Hemisphere Counterterrorism Ministerial Summit highlighted the need for countries of the region to work jointly to wipe out terrorist cells, especially those belonging to Lebanese movement Hezbollah and the Colombian guerrilla National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish).The countries signatories to the statement that resulted from the summit, including the United States, Colombia, and Argentina, expressed their “concern over activities that [terrorist] networks still conduct in some areas of the Western Hemisphere.”Addressing Hezbollah in Latin America, Diego Mella, an expert in counterterrorism and military intelligence, told Voice of America that the presence of this group “isn’t anything new” in the area. He warned about the “triangle” along the borders of Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil, where “violence is the law.”Mella, a former captain in the Miami-Dade Police Department in Miami, Florida, who is now a military analyst, believes that a coalition among Colombia, Brazil, and the United States would be the best option to put an end to “guerrillas and narcotraffickers.”Luis Fleischman, a sociology professor at Palm Beach State College, agrees, but warns that this coalition should be of a “defensive or preventive” nature.Fleischman advocates for “an important coalition to prevent an expansion of these groups” which, according to reports, are present in several Latin American countries.Concern over Hezbollah in VenezuelaFleischman, who founded the Palm Beach Center for Democracy and Policy Research, said that the January 20 document signed at the summit in Bogotá, Colombia, highlights the “bastion of terrorist groups” that have been in Venezuela for a long time.As such, he says, it’s essential to conduct an exhaustive follow-up and to carry out joint action to achieve change in the region.A problem since the 1990sHezbollah has been present in Latin America since the 1990s. Militias funded and trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard began to infiltrate through the so-called tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.Their expansion in the region had a second phase a few years later, when Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez took office.Joseph Hage, a political analyst specializing in Middle Eastern studies and terrorism, told VOA that the father of Tareck El Aissami, Venezuela’s current Economy vice president and Industry minister, had “opened a communication line between Hugo Chávez and Syrian President Bashar al Assad,” enabling contact with Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon.“Hezbollah took advantage of the presence of Shiite Lebanese people and had Venezuela’s help with documents, residency permits, and passports, so they could move around Latin America,” he said.Hezbollah’s modus operandi in Latin America tends to follow the same behavioral pattern: “They establish commercial ties in Latin America, and then engage in narcotrafficking, money laundering, weapons supply […], any kind of illicit business.”According to Fleischman, a “change of regime in Venezuela is crucial for these groups to stop proliferating” in the country.last_img read more

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Lawmakers pass workers’ comp legislation

first_imgLawmakers pass workers’ comp legislation June 15, 2003 Daniel Staesser Assistant Editor Regular News Lawmakers pass workers’ comp legislation Assistant EditorAfter regular session and the onslaught of testimony, rewrites, and amendments, and the eventual lack of resolve, special session SB 50-A put an end to the issue of workers’ compensation — for now — when it passed near adjournment on May 27.It is an end, however, reached by a means harmful to both Florida’s workers and their attorneys, despite the projected 12.35 percent reduction in premiums, according to critics of the bill.“I don’t think it was legislation that was well thought through,” said Rafael Gonzalez, immediate past chair of the Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Section.Gonzalez’s concern was shared by Sen. Skip Campbell, D-Tamarac, who recently resigned from the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee, of which he was chair, to protest the bill.The concerns are over the decreases in benefits for Florida’s workers. Injured workers seeking permanent total disability (PTD) benefits now bear a burden of establishing that they are not capable of sedentary employment, which involves the lifting of just a few pounds. The standards by which a PTD is measured makes the burden of proving such an injury even heavier. Unless the carrier or employer finds the employee is physically capable of engaging in sedentary employment within a 50-mile radius of the employee’s residence, the employee must have one of the following injuries:• Spinal cord injury involving severe paralysis of an arm, a leg, or the trunk.• Amputation of an arm, hand, foot, etc. with effective loss of that appendage.• Severe brain or closed head injury.• Second or third degree burns to at least 25 percent of the body.• Total or industrial blindness.The bill allows for one independent medical examination per accident rather than one per medical specialty, requiring the carrier to pay for only one. In addition, preexisting medical conditions or disabilities are excluded as payable injuries.Under the bill, benefits for PTD claims will cease at age 75 unless the employee is not eligible for Social Security benefits. The supplementary cost-of-living benefits, which drop from 5 percent to 3 percent, stop at age 62, excepting the same stipulation.Impairment benefits for permanent partial disability claims, percentages determined by the Florida Impairment Guide, have been reduced to about 25 percent of the worker’s average weekly wage, if that employee is able to earn the same wage or greater after the injury. The duration of the benefit would be changed from the current three weeks for each percent of determined impairment to the following schedule:• Two weeks for each percent of impairment from 1 to 10 percent.• Three weeks for each percent of impairment from 11 to 15 percent.• Four weeks for each percent of impairment from 16 to 20 percent.• Six weeks for each percent of impairment from 21 percent and higher.Not all benefits were cut by the bill, however, with funeral expenses increasing from $5,000 to $7,500 and death benefits for dependants increasing from $100,000 to $150,000.Another thing that the bill did was raise medical fee reimbursements to 110 percent of Medicare and 140 percent of Medicare for surgical procedures.“That’s one good thing that needed to be addressed, and it was,” said Gonzalez. However, he had reservations in other areas of the bill, specifically attorneys’ fees, which, as an alternative to the contingency fee schedule, may be capped, per the determination of a judge of compensation claims, at $1,500 per lifetime of the claim, based on a maximum hourly rate of $150 per hour.“If you are a working injured worker and there are no benefits due to you and someone denies you an MRI, or whatever the medical issue may be, I think that you are going to have a hard time finding an attorney to work 40 or 50 hours for no more than $1,500,” said Gonzalez.Other issues addressed by the bill include compliance and procedural changes in a system riddled with fraud. Employers that fail to pay incur stop-work order penalties, which unless paid makes them ineligible for an exemption from coverage. Carriers are required to provide an annual report regarding losses and recoveries, and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fraud and the Division of Workers’ Compensation are to provide annual reports regarding compliance and enforcement activities.Despite efforts in these areas and the estimated reduction in premiums, Gonzalez has his doubts and remembers the last major changes to workers’ comp legislation in 1993, stemming from the effects of legislation from 1989 and 1990.“It just hadn’t been enough time to see the changes,” said Gonzalez. “It just doesn’t happen that way. It will take a while to sort of cleanse away older claims. I think in a year’s time they might come back and say, ‘Look we’ve been paying the same amount.’“We have yet to hear of any carrier come out and publicly say they are going to reduce premiums,” said Gonzalez. “There is no guarantee that will happen. There is nothing in this bill to say that the carrier must lower premiums.”With no guarantees, justifying considerable reductions in both workers’ benefits and attorneys’ fees becomes a tough task, making it obvious why the issue was so hotly debated during regular session and put on Gov. Jeb Bush’s priority list for special session.“I have been talking to people on the phone who have called and who weren’t practitioners of workers’ comp and could not believe what was going on,” said Gonzalez, who realizes the impact this legislation will have on all Floridians.“I say it out loud, and still just can’t believe it.”last_img read more

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How to learn from your competitors to dominate the market

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr To succeed at e-commerce, you need to learn how to reach the front page of search results, win price comparisons without losing profit, and claim coveted featured spots like the Amazon Buy Button. You could try to reinvent the wheel and explore how to do this on your own, or you could observe the brands that are already crushing it and learn from them.Competitor research is essential to business. In e-commerce, you need to research how much a product will cost to produce, so that you can determine how much you need to sell it for in order to make a profit. Then, you’ll need to research your would-be competitors to find out if the market is willing to buy at that price point.If you don’t know what your competitors are doing, you can’t meet or exceed what they are offering. In sports, for example, opposing teams and players invest hundreds of hours into researching and studying their competition to learn their moves and tactics. Colonel Harland Sanders meticulously researched McDonald’s before launching KFC. Sam Walton regularly visited competing stores to find out what they were doing. Steve Jobs famously quoted Pablo Picasso, saying “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” continue reading »last_img read more

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A debt driven investment market

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

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Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger mocks Manchester United flop Alexis Sanchez

first_imgAnthony Martial has emerged as the Norwegian’s first choice on the left wing and cemented his place for tonight’s game with a goal and an assist during Saturday’s comfortable win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.ADVERTISEMENTCommenting on Sanchez’s alarming fall from grace, Wenger told beIN Sport: ‘He has lost his place and plays in the same position as Martial.‘Today who would dispute that Martial is indispensable for Man United? He plays and that’s competition and that’s fair competition in my opinion.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors Anthony Martial signed a new long-term contract at Man Utd earlier this month (Picture: Getty) Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger mocks Manchester United flop Alexis Sanchez Comment Alexis Sanchez has flopped since his move to Man Utd from Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Arsene Wenger insists Alexis Sanchez can have no arguments at being restricted to a place on Manchester United’s substitutes’ bench for Tuesday’s heavyweight Champions League clash against PSG at Old Trafford.The Chile international swapped the Emirates for Old Trafford last January but has struggled to rediscover the form which saw him regarded as one of the Premier League’s most revered forwards during his time under Wenger’s tutelage.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won 10 of his 11 matches since taking over from Jose Mourinho but, like his predecessor, has found little or no room for Sanchez in his best XI.AdvertisementAdvertisementMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Martial on Solskjaer’s impact ‘He [Solskjaer] is asking me to attack more, that’s my job after all”, Martial said on Monday.‘He’s asking me to be more decisive. I can only say we all hope we can continue to play like this.’ Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 12 Feb 2019 8:09 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.3kShareslast_img read more

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Danish roundup: Industriens, PKA

first_imgDanish labour-market pension fund Industriens Pension has said it will press ahead with its strategy of overweighting equities and underweighting bonds despite suffering a 0.9% loss on domestic shares in the third quarter of this year.Reporting financial results for the nine months between January and September, the fund – which covers workers in the industrial sector – said its overall return on investments in the period was DKK9.4bn (€1.26bn), equating to 8.2% before tax.In the first half of the year, the return was high as a result of rising prices for both shares and bonds, Industriens Pension said, adding that, in September, financial markets had been hit by turbulence.Overall, the investment return in the third quarter was just 1.4%, it said. In the first half of the year, the pension fund’s holdings in Danish shares returned 19.8%, but in the third quarter they made a loss of 0.9%, according to the interim data.Jan Østergaard, investment director at Industriens, said: “But this doesn’t change the fact Danish shares are still the asset class that has developed the most positively this year.”Industriens was one of the country’s biggest investors in Danish businesses, he said.Østergaard said there was still some uncertainty on the financial markets, but that the pension fund expected to see positive development in the global economy for the rest of the year and into 2015.“For this reason, we will continue to invest with an overweight position in equities and an underweight position in government bonds,” he said.Henrik Nøhr Poulsen, head of investments, said the fund had been adding to its equities investments in the first nine months of the year, achieving this by buying into some of the market corrections that had happened – including the dip that occurred in October.“We have also continued building up our alternatives, and that is a two-leg strategy, through funds and private equity,” he told IPE.Pension contributions increased during the reporting period due to the improved job situation for industrial workers in Denmark, the pension fund said, without giving figures.Industriens’ total assets rose to DKK124bn at the end of September from DKK116bn at the end of December 2013.Meanwhile, PKA reported that the alternative investments it has added to the portfolio over the last few years outpaced its overall investment return in the first nine months of this year, generating 13.4%.In interim financial figures released today, PKA – which runs three labour-market pension funds in the social and healthcare sectors – said the overall return was DKK15.4bn, or 8.5%.Returns were positive in all asset classes between January and September, it said, attributing the high level of overall return to falling interest rates in the period.Peter Damgaard Jensen, PKA’s managing director, said: “In the last five years, PKA has had an average annual return of 10% at the same time as having increased the spread of risk.”This is due, not least, to the fund’s alternative investment holdings, which it will continue to focus on in future, he said.“The results show that the shift away from equities to alternatives has succeeded,” Damgaard Jensen said.PKA said it had focused on alternative investments that gave a reasonable, stable return with relatively low risk, which also helped address climate challenges.Bonds and other interest-bearing assets generated a return of 13.8% in the nine-month period, mainly due to falling interest rates and investments in Southern Europe, PKA said.Listed shares and private equity funds returned 7.6% and 12% respectively, it said.last_img read more

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Canada’s Jack Layton takes leave to fight cancer

first_img Share Tweet Sharing is caring! Share HealthLifestylePolitics Canada’s Jack Layton takes leave to fight cancer by: – July 26, 2011center_img Share 12 Views   no discussions Mr Layton formerly served on the Toronto City Council and briefly served as the city’s deputy mayorCanada’s opposition leader Jack Layton is stepping down temporarily to focus on his battle against cancer.The 61-year-old politician was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 but announced on Monday that he had another cancer elsewhere.Mr Layton said that he was determined to return to the political front line.Analysts say his leadership of Canada’s left-leaning New Democratic Party over the past eight years has made it a truly national force.The party won official opposition status for the first time in its 50-year history earlier this year.“On the advice of my doctors, I am going to focus on treatment and recovery. I will therefore be taking a temporary leave of absence as leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada,” said Mr Layton.Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement wishing Mr Layton a speedy and successful recovery.Analysts say Mr Layton is a resilient and effective politician who has continually challenged Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, blaming it for shortfalls in the Canadian economy.BBC Newslast_img read more

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Durant among Brooklyn Nets players diagnosed with COVID-19

first_img Loading… The injured Durant, who has yet to play for the Nets since signing for the club last year, confirmed to The Athletic website he had tested positive for the virus.“Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We’re going to get through this,” Durant was quoted as saying.News that the two-time NBA Finals MVP was among those who had contracted the virus came soon after the Nets confirmed four players had tested positive for COVID-19.“Four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus,” the team said in a statement. “Of the four, one player is exhibiting symptoms while three are asymptomatic.“All four players are presently isolated and under the care of team physicians.”The Nets said they were notifying known contacts of the players including those from teams who played against the Nets shortly before the NBA shut down its season indefinitely on March 12.The last team to play the Nets was the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers, who were stunned 104-102 by Brooklyn on March 10.“All players and members of the Nets travel party are being asked to remain isolated, closely monitor their health and maintain constant communication with team medical staff,” the Nets said.The four cases more than double the known number of cases of COVID-19 among NBA players.Utah Jazz defensive standout Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive – his illness triggering the NBA’s current closure.Teammate Donovan Mitchell and Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons have also tested positive for the virus.Woods was tested after reporting flu-like symptoms to the Pistons medical staff.The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets say four of their players have tested positive for the novel coronavirusRead Also: Pogba makes coronavirus fund-raising pledgeMitchell was tested after Gobert’s positive test, but had not experienced symptoms.“I don’t have any symptoms,” Mitchell said in an interview broadcast by ABC television on Monday. “I could walk down the street (and) if it wasn’t public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn’t know it. I think that’s the scariest part about this virus.“You may seem fine, be fine. And you never know who you may be talking to, who they’re going home to.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Kevin Durant is reportedly among four Brooklyn Nets players who have tested positive for the new coronavirus and are in isolation.Advertisementcenter_img Promoted ContentMind-Bending Technology That Was Predicted Before It AppearedWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?A Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This Day7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimePortuguese Street Artist Creates Hyper-Realistic 3D Graffiti8 Surprising Ways Drones Could Be Used In The Future7 Things That Actually Ruin Your PhoneThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldWhy Go Veg? 7 Reasons To Do ThisWe’re Getting More Game Of Thrones: Enter House Of The Dragon!last_img read more

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‘Boracay tour guide nabbed for marijuana not accredited’

first_imgILOILO City – The Department ofTourism (DOT) Region 6 disclaimed any connection to a tour guide who wasarrested by policemen for marijuana in Barangay Manoc-manoc, Boracay Island onSept. 9. Regional Director Helen Catalbas saidthe suspect, Silvino Sauz Jr. of Barangay Aslum, Ibajay, Aklan, was not aDOT-accredited tour guide and had not undergone DOT tour guiding seminar. “DOT-accredited tour guides undergotrainings. We do not tolerate this kind of act because we want our tourismfrontliners to be role models for tourists to engage only in clean fun, whichmeans no drugs,” Catalbas stressed. This is to ensure that local andforeign tourists can experience quality service while visiting touristdestinations in Western Visayas, she said. * National Bureau of Investigation(NBI) Clearance On the other hand, community-basedtour guides’ requirements include Certificate of Training, police clearance,health certificate and mayor’s permit. Meanwhile, tour guiding training runsfor 30 days for regional tour guides and seven days for community-based tourguides, said Catalbas. DOT accreditation for regional tourguides requires the following: * Certificate of Training from DOT The complete list of DOT-accreditedregional and community-based tour guides is available at www.tourism.gov.ph, or visit the DOT-6 office at the ground floor of Casa Real deIloilo (Old Provincial Capitol), General Luna Street, Iloilo City./PNcenter_img * health certificate Catalbas said DOT-6 encourageseveryone to deal only with accredited tour guides. Sauz, however, denied sellingmarijuana.  * mayor’s permit “Hindi sa akin ang mga droga. Galing ako saisang bar, pauwi na ako sakay ng motorsiklo mga 2 a.m. nang mayhumarang sa akin. Sinabihan ako na sumunod sa kanila,” the suspect saidafter his arrest. Antidrug police operatives of Malay,Aklan arrested Sauz after an undercover cop bought from him marijuana. Every participant in the training willreceive a Certificate of Attendance and those who will pass the examinationwill have another certificate – the Certificate of Training. At the end of the trainingparticipants have to take an examination composed of written, oral reportingand graded mock tour. last_img read more

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12 Iloilo towns log zero COVID-19 cases

first_img“Majority of the cases are LSIs and returning OFWs,” Reyes told Panay News. * 2nd District – Alimodian, Leganes, Santa Barbara, Zarraga, Pavia, and Leon * 47-year-old female (Patient No. 284) These are the towns grouped by district: * 3rd District – Lambunao, Janiuay, Mina, Pototan, and Bingawan * 41-year-old male (Patient No. 28), recovered * 20-year-old female (Patient No. 287) * 33-year-old female (Patient No. 58), recovered * 5th District – San Dionisio, Carles, Balasan, Barotac Viejo, Batad, and Estancia * 70-year-old male (Patient No. 16), died According to Reyes, COVID-1 9 cases in Region 6 spiked, particularly in Iloilo province, when LSIs and OFWs started returning home. * 46-year-old-female (Patient No. 283) * 1st District – Oton, Guimbal, Miag-ao, San Joaquin, Tigbauan, Igbaras, and Tubungan * 23-year-old female (Patient No. 286) * 32-year-old male (Patient No. 183), facility quarantined * 27-year-old female (Patient No. 279) * 28-year-old female (Patient No. 281) According to Dr. Renilyn Reyes, head of DOH-6’s Public Health Program Development, 32 towns have COVID-19 cases mostly involving locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). There were only a few  local transmissions or indigenous cases. * 55-year-old female (Patient No. 282) COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. DOH-6 record also showed Alimodian having the most number of COVID-19 cases at 13, followed by Lambunao with nine cases. ILOILO – Twelve municipalities in this province have not recorded any case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), data from the Department of Health (DOH) Region 6 as of July 3 showed. * 39-year-old female (Patient No. 27), recovered * 40-year-old female (Patient No. 289) * 4th District – Anilao, Dumangas, Passi City, Dingle, Dueñas, Barotac Nuevo, and Banate * 16-year-old female (Patient No. 278) * 22-year-old-male (Patient No. 151), recovered Meanwhile, Lambunao’s nine cases were the following: * 44-year-old female  (Patient No. 25), recovered The temporary halt in the return of LSIs could somehow temper the spike, she said. * 70-year-old female (Patient No. 29), recovered * 45-year-old female (Patient No. 285) * 48-year-old female (Patient No. 30), recovered * 13-year-old female (Patient No. 288) * three-year-old male (Patient No. 280) These were the towns of Cabatuan, Badiangan, Ajuy, Concepcion, Lemery, San Enrique, Sara, Maasin, San Miguel, San Rafael, New Lucena, and Calinog. The 13 Alimodian cases were the following: Reyes again reminded the public to continue observing public health safety protocols – wearing of facemask, physical distancing and washing of hands./PNlast_img read more

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