Dominican Republic, Haiti partner to bolster narcotics fight

first_img SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Haitian and Dominican officials agreed to coordinate efforts to fight narco-trafficking on the island the two countries share. The Dominican National Directorate for Drug Control (DNCD) said it would share logistical and technical resources with its Haitian counterparts to track and intercept drug shipments to the island of Hispaniola. Maj. Gen. Rolando Rosado Mateo, who heads the directorate, said President Leonel Fernández instructed the Dominican military to share resources to help Haiti fight drug trafficking. “The president of the republic has expressed a clear desire to organize training as required and share the resources of the defense system of the Dominican Republic to help in this common struggle,” he said as the agreements were announced on April 20. In addition to the DNCD, other specialized arms of the Dominican military, including the air force and naval units that track drug flights and marine shipments, would share information with Haiti, Rosado Mateo said. The island of Hispaniola, the second-largest in the Caribbean, has long been a major transshipment point for drug traffickers moving cocaine and other drugs from South America to markets in the United States and Europe. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2010 world drug report found the share of cocaine transiting the island had dropped steadily from 2000 to 2004 before experiencing an uptick. In 2007, 9% of all cocaine bound for the United States transited the island, according to the report. Analysts worried that narco-trafficking would increase in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake destroyed much of what little institutional capacity the country had to fight the drug trade. The Haitian National Police, the country’s sole domestic security force, lacks the capacity and manpower to cover the country. And the vessels used by the Haitian Coast Guard, a unit of the police, don’t have the range to patrol the 1,500-kilometer (932-mile) coastline. The Haitian government is attempting to bolster the police force, with the assistance of the UN peacekeeping mission. Last year, Haiti seized 74.2 pounds of cocaine and 959 pounds of marijuana, according to government figures. Through the agreement with the Dominican Republic, Haiti looks to close some of its gaps while it trains more police officers. The two countries have long experienced tense relations, marked by distrust and vast cultural differences. However, after the 2010 earthquake, Dominican rescue workers were the first to send assistance to Haiti. Fernández visited the neighboring country just two days after the earthquake to discuss how his country could help. The two countries have experienced warmer relations since Fernández’s visit. Haiti President Michel Martelly visited Santo Domingo in March and received an honorary medal, the highest honor for foreign leaders, and several agreements were struck. “I thank you on behalf of my government for the support offered by the armed forces and DNCD … and all the collaboration you have offered us in this area,” said Fritz Cineas, Haiti’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, at the event announcing the partnership. Cineas said narco-trafficking poses a problem for Haiti and the Dominican Republic, making it in the best interest of both countries to share resources and manpower. Rosado Mateo said the Dominican counter-narcotics units would be available to Haiti “at all times and whenever it is necessary.” By Dialogo May 15, 2012last_img read more

Pandemic an opportunity for reforms in Indonesia: Sri Mulyani

first_imgIndonesia is aiming to capitalize on the coronavirus crisis to roll out sweeping reforms in education, health care and social safety nets, says Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, calling the pandemic a “short-term challenge” to the country’s vision.Sri Mulyani told The Jakarta Post in a live broadcast interview on Wednesday that proper education, health care and social safety systems were required to develop a strong future generation, and that human capital was central to development progress.“For a country to become a great country – [since] there is no great country without great people – is always [a] human-centered [task],” Sri Mulyani said during the Post webinar series Jakpost Up Close: “Reimagining the future of Indonesia’s economy”. After his reelection, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo rolled out the Golden Indonesia 2045 vision, which envisions Indonesia as a developed country with Rp 270 million in annual per-capita income. Then, the pandemic hit, forcing the government to redirect funds into COVID-19 containment measures.“We will use all of our policy instruments to face this short-term challenge without losing sight of what is really important, such as human capital, infrastructure, an efficient bureaucracy and the ease of doing business,” said the finance minister.Read also: Indonesia aims for structural reforms as pandemic poses ‘short-term challenge’ to economyWorld Bank lead economist for Indonesia Frederico Gil Sander said the country would indeed need to invest more in its social protection and healthcare systems to address future shocks. Despite years of progress in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, he went on to say, more investment would also be needed in health care and infrastructure. “Going forward, having a robust social protection system will help Indonesia address a lot of shocks, such as natural disasters or a future pandemic,” Gil Sander said. Millions are at risk of losing jobs and falling into poverty as the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to shave growth to near zero percent, the government has estimated.The government, he added, would need to raise tax revenue to pay for the much-needed investments, otherwise it may hurt the country’s competitiveness.“As the economy recovers, it will be important to have a roadmap of how Indonesia can raise more revenue […] to sustainably pay for these important expenditures,” Gil Sander said.Former finance minister Chatib Basri also said that the government would need to spend stimulus funds for social aid more quickly, adding that that would boost household demand, which was needed to revive the economy.Read also: Indonesian urban consumers more optimistic than global peers: Survey“The only spending that can achieve quite a significant level of absorption is social aid, not tax incentives,” he said during the same webinar, adding that the government should be more “pragmatic by allocating funding in which the government could spend the money”.“The government should focus on cash transfers and extend it to the middle class” rather than maintaining the current tax incentives, he went on to say. “If there is no economic activity and companies are running losses, they don’t pay tax anyway.”The government has only spent Rp 151.25 trillion (US$10.23 billion) of its stimulus budget totaling Rp 695.2 trillion, according to data from the Finance Ministry as of Aug. 6, five months after the outbreak began in Indonesia.President Jokowi has asked to pour out the money through the economy, but “pouring it out isn’t just like flushing it down the toilet. You really have to spend [the money], and somebody is going to audit you,” Sri Mulyani said, referring to the role of the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK).Read also: Indonesia looking at near-zero growth as govt struggles to spend budget, Sri Mulyani saysThe finance minister said a lack of population data and red tape were among the main factors holding up budget fund disbursement, adding that several new ministers were finding it hard to reprioritize and cut their budget allocations amid the ongoing crisis.“The current budget priority is not to increase output but for survival,” said a special advisor to the finance minister, Masyita Cristallin, during the webinar, adding that the government was planning to expand the country’s tax base and undertake structural reforms.“We are looking at different solutions, such as changing the tax rate on some regressive tax, so that tax may become progressive […]. This can stimulate the economy and be good for equality,” she said. “The government is undertaking reforms to develop downstream industries and increase the value [of products]. This may also improve revenue collection.”Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) vice chairwoman Shinta Widjaja Kamdani said structural reforms, including those formulated in the omnibus bill on job creation, would create much-needed jobs in the country.“We can’t create enough jobs at the moment, so this is why the omnibus bill plays a very important role to create jobs by driving investment into the country,” she said, adding that attracting investment would need a government that could cut red tape.For the private sector, the pandemic has shed light on the future of Indonesia’s economy, in which technology will play an important element, said Shinta and other representatives of the private sector in the webinar, Sequoia Capital (India) managing director Abheek Anand, Prudential Indonesia president director Jens Reisch and OVO president director Karaniya Dharmasaputra.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Mixed results for Badgers in back-to-back weekend meets

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s and women’s swim and dive teams took their show on the road this past weekend, facing off against conference rival Northwestern Friday and following up with a meet against a tough Notre Dame squad Saturday.The women’s team took care of business Friday against the Wildcats winning 162-136, while the men’s side had more trouble against their Big Ten opponent, suffering a 135-165 defeat. Saturday proved to be a  difficult day for both, losing by a final combined score of 362.5-234.5.Third-year head coach Whitney Hite remains proud of the way the teams performed, emphasizing his lack of concern about their dual meet record, instead focusing on the valuable experience the Badgers gained from competing against tougher opponents.“We’ve gone out and swam against some of the best teams in the country, “ Hite said. “We’re not afraid of them and we want to make sure that we compete against the best.”Despite taking the loss against Northwestern, the men’s team had multiple moments of strength. Freshman diver Andrew Suchla continued to prove he will be a force in the Big Ten for years to come, picking up an impressive victory in the one-meter dive against Northwestern freshman rival Andrew Cramer by just 5.50 points.Additional notable swims for the Badger men included dominant finishes in the middle-distance events. Junior Drew teDuits was victorious once again in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of one minute and 48.9 seconds, while junior Nick Schafer cruised to a convincing win in the 200-yard breaststroke with a two minute and 2.3 second finish and freshman Brett Pinfold stole the show in the 200-yard freestyle clocking in at one minute and 37.88 seconds.teDuits, the defending NCAA champion in the 200-yard backstroke, gave credit to the training methods executed in practices for his consistency in meets.“Our coaches have the team as a whole practicing race strategies in all of our events,” teDuits said. “I practice my strategy in the 200 back twice per week and make sure I work harder in the last 100 yards where it really hurts.”The women’s team came out of the gates swinging Friday, dominating the 200-yard medley relay by taking the top two spots. This set the tone for the rest of the evening as freshman diver Ashley Peterson followed up the team’s opening relay performance by owning the competition in the three-meter dive, winning the event by almost 30 points with a score of 296.63 over second place Northwestern senior Mary Kate Campbell.Multiple memorable performances in a variety of different races also helped seal the deal for the women’s side, including victories by senior Rebecka Palm in the 200-yard freestyle and sophomore Anna Meinholz in the 100-yard breaststroke. Junior Ivy Martin finished with arguably the most lopsided victory of the night, securing a first-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle by almost two seconds with a time of 49.83 seconds.Martin, a five-time NCAA All-American, credited her training methods as a big factor of her continual success in the sprint races.“It’s been a matter of getting stronger for me this year that has accounted for my improvement.” Martin said, “Going under 50 seconds in the 100 is a goal in every duel meet, and staying consistent in both meets and practice has been important as well.”Martin believed the teams diminished performance Saturday against Notre Dame was the culmination of exhaustion from back-to-back meets and long drives on the road. teDuits echoed Martin’s comments, but the team as a whole sees their road-heavy schedule (just one home meet all year) as good practice for the long and tiring championship weekends on the road at the end of the season.“Going to back-to-back dual meets where you’re swimming four events per day doesn’t even compare to swimming one event per day at the Big Ten’s and feeling rested,” teDuits said.Although the top-place finishes came in fewer numbers Saturday, the loss to the Fighting Irish showcased some strong performances, the most impressive being a pair of two-event finishers for the Badger men and women. teDuits finished atop the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke — with times of 49.88 seconds and one minute and 48.91 seconds respectively — and Martin winning the 50-yard at 22.67 seconds  and 100-yard freestyle races at 50.55 seconds.These consistent performances out of Martin and teDuits are exactly what Hite looks for in his team leaders. He is quick to point out the contributions by his two star swimmers have had an impact on the team far beyond anything that can be read on a results sheet.“I think they’re both growing into their role as leaders since it’s not only about performance, but stepping up and saying the right thing at the right time and holding teammates accountable,” Hite said.Having reliable leaders on a team is especially crucial for a program that has a heavy base of underclassmen looking for an strong example to follow. Martin, teDuits and Hite all agreed the underclassmen have done a great job of stepping up and providing the team with some much needed depth.teDuits recognized the efforts of the underclassmen sprinters in particular for “taking a hold of those freestyle events,” referring to the efforts of freshman Chase Kinney and sophomore Annie Tamblyn on the women’s side, as well as the performances of freshman Ryan Barsanti and sophomore transfer Zach Wagner for the men this season.Hite added this is the most talented team he’s coached so far, and their potential is exciting for him to see.“We definitely have some good pieces in place to have great success this year,” Hite said.Following two weekends off, both Badger teams will travel to Austin, Texas for the three-day Texas Invitational Dec. 5-7.last_img read more

Tipp name team for Sligo clash

first_imgPeter Creedon’s side will be looking to keep the pressure on the top two in Division 3 and maintain the push for promotion.Sunday’s Round 6 game at Semple Stadium throws-in at 3pm.The team is;Evan Comerford (Kilsheelan Kilcash), Alan Campbell (Moyle Rovers), Paddy Codd (Capt.) (Killenaule), Robbie Kiely (Carbery Rangers), Seamus Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials), Peter Acheson (Moyle Rovers), Colin O’Riordan (J K Brackens), George Hannigan (Shannon Rovers), Steven O’Brien (Ballina), Liam Casey (Cahir), Philip Austin (Borrisokane), Ian Fahey (Clonmel Commercials), Jason Lonergan (Clonmel Commercials), Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen ), Ger Mulhaire (Arravale Rovers).​ There are two changes in personnel on the Tipp team to face Sligo in the National Football League from that which defeated Louth last time out.Jason Lonergan of Clonmel Commercials and Arravale Rovers Ger Mulhaire come in at top of the right and left respectively in place of the injured Barry Grogan and Brian Fox.Meanwhile Ballyporeen clubman Conor Sweeney moves to full forward.last_img read more