Two votes for students

first_imgMany students have been able to cast two votes in Thursday’s national referendum on the Alternative Vote electoral system, having received multiple polling cards. While students received a poll card at their home address, many were also given an additional card, entitling them to vote again in Oxford. While only one vote may be cast in national elections, a student is allowed to vote for local councillors both at home and at university. However, there were no local government elections in Oxford yesterday.If a significant number of students who received two cards voted twice, this could amount to hundreds of fraudulent votes.Some students that Cherwell spoke to, who had already made their choice by postal vote, were able to vote again in Oxford.One first year stated, “I’ve already voted by post at home, though I could easily vote again on Thursday if I wasn’t so scared of getting fined”.Workers manning the poll booths at Wesley Memorial Hall in the city centre, admitted that it was impossible to tell if a student had already voted at home, though they pointed out posters that warned of imprisonment or fines for those caught committing electoral fraud.Jeremy Thomas, Counting Officer for Oxford, stated, “Students are entitled to be registered at both their home address and their place of study. “However, no elector is entitled to vote twice in this referendum. Any elector who does so commits a serious criminal offence.“We have arrangements in place with Thames Valley Police for them to investigate all such allegations and I would encourage anybody who thinks an offence may have been committed to come forward with information.”Nathan Jones, a History and Politics student, commented, “In a referendum on the future of a fairer voting system and how best to select our elected representatives, it is a damaging loophole that allows university students to potentially vote both in their home constituencies as well as in Oxford”.Cherwell exposed a similar story during last year’s General Election when it was reported that many students were able to vote twice. Yet no changes to combat the possibility of fraud seem to have been made.Students also reported that they were able to vote without their poll card or being asked for proof of identity.One commented, “I could have committed identity fraud without anyone knowing. Who knows if it is actually widespread?”Many international students were also able to vote in today’s referendum. The Electoral Commission told Cherwell that, “Voting cards will be sent to anyone appearing on the electoral register.”Those entitled to vote in all elections must be a “UK, Republic of Ireland, or qualifying Commonwealth citizen. Qualifying Commonwealth citizens are those who have leave to enter or remain in the UK, or do not require such leave.” However, some students from the Commonwealth, which includes Malaysia, Pakistan and Kenya, said that they had been unsure about their entitlement to vote.One student commented, “At the polling station I said that I wasn’t a British citizen, and they said that as long as I was registered to vote I could.”last_img read more

Confusion and internal division: Why Brexit won’t feature in today’s three-party debate

first_imgStudents may be surprised to see Brexit overlooked at today’s Three-Party Debate, hosted by the Oxford Forum.The debate will allow each student political part to debate the other two individually, and will focus on the current government, inheritance tax, and the fate of the Liberal Democrats. Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) vetoed Brexit-related motions proposed by Oxford University Liberal Democrats (OULD) including “This House believes a People’s Vote is preferable to any Brexit Labour could offer” and “This House believes a general election is a better resolution to Brexit than a People’s Vote”. OULC told Cherwell they submitted a counter-proposal “THB that Brexit is the most pressing issue facing this country” which OULD rejected, however OULD deny the claims they had vetoed the motion.The Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA) were also reluctant to debate Brexit, believing that students are “just very bored with talking about it”.President of the Oxford University Liberal Democrats, Damayanti Chatterjee, expressed her disappointment that there would not be debate on the “biggest issue in British politics since the Second World War”. Chatterjee told Cherwell: “My committee and I were in strong agreement that the best debate topic for our debate with OULC would be a motion on Brexit and a People’s Vote. “However, I was informed that OULC would not debate any motion about a People’s Vote and then told by OULC Co-Chairs that the society would not debate a motion on Brexit at all. We are disappointed that OULC will not take a stance or defend their party policy and are concerned that they have cited any debate of Brexit between us as unfair. “The Liberal Democrat and Labour policy on Brexit differ just as significantly as the Liberal Democrat and Conservative policy on Brexit, with the former supporting a second referendum wholeheartedly and the latter arguing to rule out no deal and for an incrementally closer union with Europe than May’s deal, delivered through a general election if Labour wins a majority in it. “We still welcome the chance to debate with them at the Three Party Debate and will gladly take their suggestion of an allegedly fairer motion “This House Believes the Liberal Democrats are irrelevant” as an opportunity to do just that and as a better alternative to having no debate at all.” Speaking to Cherwell Winter said: “It is not the case that OULC were reluctant to debate Brexit and although we rejected some Brexit based motions, we also proposed Brexit-related motions which were rejected by the other parties.“The reason a motion on Brexit could not be agreed is that OUCA were reluctant to debate Brexit on the basis that they did not think students were interested in the topic. We offered a motion on ruling out a no-deal Brexit which OUCA rejected, and related motions on immigration which OUCA also rejected.“The motions suggested by OULD, relating to Brexit, were not practical for this debate. They included a motion on the People’s Vote, a policy which is part of Labour’s current plan and supported by many OULC members, which it would not be appropriate to take a collective stance against as a club.” “All in all, the event has been poorly organised, with parties expected to agree motions amongst themselves at the last moment, with little input from the Oxford Forum.”Speaking to Cherwell Tristan Wang said: “There has been a reluctance on the part of the OULC on certain proposed motions relating to Brexit.“As I understand it, the reason is because there is disagreement within Labour on the topic of Brexit.“However, I am unable to understand how it can be claimed that discussion on Brexit was avoided. Anyone with reasonable knowledge of current affairs would know that it would be difficult to debate confidence in the government (OULC vs OUCA: “TH has no confidence in the Government”) or the relevance in the Liberal Democrats (OULC vs OULD: “THB that the Liberal Democrats are irrelevant”) without addressing Brexit. Those who attended the event can vouch that Brexit and the EU featured extensively in argument.”Winter also alleged that the two other parties had rejected topics including fracking, tax, and education. President of OUCA, James Beaumont told Cherwell: “While we were reluctant for a debate on fracking or the public sector pay gap, largely due to internal division on the issues, that is not the case for immigration. We discussed several wordings with OULC, but could not agree on an exact wording for the motion.“We also proposed several others, including a broad debate about capitalism, and another about welfare reform, which were rejected. I believe that we have now agreed on ‘This House has no confidence in the Government’, which will of course cover many of the topics mentioned above.”last_img read more

Nor’easter Floods Streets, Erodes Beaches in Ocean City

first_imgA winter nor’easter flooded streets, closed schools and eroded beaches on Tuesday in Ocean City, but with the rain and wind subsiding before a Tuesday morning high tide, the island escaped major damage.Heavy rain fell overnight and strong northeast winds churned up stormy surf that pounded at Ocean City beaches.The Ocean City School District put out a call early Tuesday canceling classes at all schools. While all three school building remained high and dry through the storm, the district was concerned that bus routes and bus stops would be flooded.The rain began to fade shortly after dawn and stopped long before a 9:41 a.m. high tide on the bay side of Ocean City, when forecasters had predicted the worst tidal flooding.Large stretches of Simpson and Haven avenues were completely underwater, and parts of Bay and West avenues were covered. The north-south thoroughfares closer to the beach were passable, but trips to and from the bay side were possible only on select streets — as is customary in a handful of flooding events each year in Ocean City.In Merion Park, where new pumping stations designed to alleviate nuisance flood are expected to be operational soon, residents had to move cars to higher ground near Roosevelt Boulevard as they often do.The outbound lanes of the Route 52 causeway were closed for a couple hours due to flooding at the foot of the Ninth Street Bridge near Bay Avenue.Beaches across the length of Ocean City took a hit from the storm as the northeast swell pounded at dunes and created small sand cliffs.Posts and sand fencing at the south end of the island were toppling as the waves ate into the protective sand berm near 57th Street on Tuesday morning. The Army Corps of Engineers is expected within the next few days to announce a schedule for a beach replenishment project there.The tide gauge at the Bayside Center on the bay between Fifth and Sixth streets reported a high of 4.52 feet on the NAVD88 scale at 9:48 a.m. Tuesday. By comparison, the tides at the same location were 7.25 feet during Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012, 6.35 feet during the Storm of ’62, and 5.25 feet during a memorable nor’easter in November 2009. “Moderate” flooding is considered to start at 3.73 feet on the same scale, “severe” flooding at 4.73 feet.Read the left column below (NAVD88) for a comparison of Tuesday’s 4.52 feet to historic data.__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebook Download (PDF, 29KB)last_img read more

The future for free-from

first_imgThe free-from bakery sector has undergone a massive transition in recent years, from producing only long-life breads which have to be refreshed, to the launch of the first fresh gluten-free bread on the market this year. Recent data from TNS Worldpanel into free-from bread, ambient cakes and pastries and morning goods (for the 52 w/e 4 October 2009), reveals that the volume and value of bread sales have shot up by nearly 50% (see free-from bakery market tables). Ambient cakes and pastries have seen a steady growth in value, but a slight decline in volume, while morning goods have seen a small decline in both volume and value.Paddy Cronin, sales and marketing director for Finsbury Foods’ free-from division, says the firm has seen significant volume growth for bread. Finsbury’s free-from division is split between two businesses United Central Bakeries (UCB) and Livwell. UCB, based in Edinburgh, produces a range of flatbreads, morning goods, cake products and the Genius loaf, which won this year’s Asda-sponsored Innovation Award at the Baking Industry Awards. Livwell, based in Hull, produces mainly bread and rolls, but also speciality products, such as ciabatta rolls, focaccias, croissants and pains au chocolat.Market set to surgeCronin believes that the gluten-free bread market could be worth as much as £14m by May 2010, almost double its value compared to May 2009, according to figures from Nielsen, which placed it at a current value of around £8m. He believes much of this growth has been stimulated by the Genius brand, a fresh branded loaf, launched in May this year, which was developed in conjunction with chef Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne. “It has a rate of sale, particularly in Tesco, that outperforms some standard bread lines,” he says. “The reason it’s done so well is that standard gluten-free bread has always had to be refreshed or toasted, but this is the first fresh free-from bread on the market that doesn’t.”Cronin says the morning goods category has remained “pretty flat”, although he says there is a lot of work going on in that area. “Morning goods had been showing growth of around 30% year-on-year (YOY), but it has fallen back now as the bar has been extended, with expectations of quality and delivery of products higher than before. Cake has been seeing around 8-10% growth YOY, and that’s mainly down to new products,” he adds.Companies looking to break into the free-from market include Delice de France, which recently started distributing gluten-free sandwich bread and two muffins blueberry and chocolate chip. The products, developed by Fayrefield Foodtec, were launched in response to the increasing number of consumers eating gluten-free products for lifestyle reasons, rather than due to gluten intolerance. Fayrefield Foodtec’s sales and marketing director Steve Timms says the firm has had an increasing number of companies approaching them with an interest in launching gluten-free products. He adds: “The focus on the health angle is still very much there.”According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, coeliac disease is believed to be present in up to one in 100 of the population, although only about 1015% of people with the condition are clinically diagnosed. Cronin agrees that it’s not only people with coeliac disease who choose to eat free-from bakery. He says Finsbury has identified three categories of consumers: the must-dos a group essentially made up of coeliacs; the like-tos consumers who like to buy free-from products from time to time; and the should-dos consumers who are not fully aware of the benefits of avoiding wheat and gluten, for example people with irritable bowel syndrome.”Through market research we have also identified that these three groups account for around 15% of the UK population, whereas around 1% of the population is believed to have coeliac disease,” explains Cronin. “It would be difficult to sustain a whole market on just 1%, but in reality these products appeal to a wider market.”Commenting on where the market is heading, Cronin says it will be focused on creating more fresher products, which are as close to their standard variety as they can be. He has spent a lot of time speaking to coeliacs in England and Scotland, and found that the main issue around free-from bakery is that it doesn’t taste as good. Consumers have complained that the products are all long-life, and that taste is compromised, explains Cronin. Finsbury is also looking at the nutritional value of these products, for example sugar, salt and fat content, he adds.Looking at nutritionNutrition is also an area that Cumbria-based Bells of Lazonby is actively looking at. “Although a lot of work has gone into getting the flavour right, it’s possibly at the expense of good nutrition, explains MD Michael Bell. Producing free-from bakery products under the Village Bakery and OK Foods brands, Bell says he thinks one of the trends free-from producers will have to look at next, just as in the mainstream sector, is how to reduce salt, fat and sugar content in products. “Also one of the challenges in free-from is how to increase the fibre content of products; we need to look for ingredients that will help us achieve that.” He explains that sourcing raw materials is one of the greatest challenges in the free-from sector, as well as conforming to the new gluten-free legislation. Coming into effect on 1 January 2012, new EU regulations will mean food will have to contain less than 20 parts of gluten per million (ppm), in order to be labelled as ’gluten-free’ 10 times less than the previous limit of 200ppm. Businesses will be allowed to label products as ’very low gluten’ if they contain less than 100ppm.”The market is becoming more specialised and free-from buyers are buying more often. Our sales are going through the roof… and innovation and research and development has really helped drive our growth,” says Bell, adding that he predicts the overall value of the market will continue to grow, “albeit at a slower rate in the recession”.”We’ve got a number of new products we’re working on for a launch in January, which we are currently putting through taste-panels. It has always been our goal to create free-from products that are every bit as good as conventional products,” he explains. “Things have come on an awfully long way. However, the market has got to move on a step by producing good quality but also nutritional products.”An area where there is seen to be a gap in the free-from market is in the foodservice industry. Cronin says it’s an area Finsbury is “really working on now”, as it’s a big issue for the ’must-do’ category who find their choice very limited when it comes to purchasing food when they’re out and about.Norma McGough, head of diet and health at registered charity Coeliac UK, says that when it comes to buying a savoury meal or snack on-the-go, coeliacs often have to go without any carbohydrates, as products such as gluten-free sandwiches and wraps are rarely available, so there is a need to bridge this gap. Another issue, she says, is the nutritional composition of products. “There is still no legislation on the fortification of gluten-free flour with, for example, iron and calcium, which there is for wheat flour.” McGough acknowledges that huge developments have been made in the retail sector for free-from and, in particular, with the range of products available at supermarkets. However she says coeliacs are still keen to see more speciality breads and freshly baked goods on the shelves. “For bakers to be able to develop more fresh products is something we would really welcome.”last_img read more

Old Quincy Test Project breaks ground

first_imgAlumni, students, and leaders in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) donned hard hats and plunged shovels into the earth on Wednesday to mark the launch of the Old Quincy House Test Project. The initiative, which is scheduled to run through the 2012-13 academic year, will provide students with a 21st-century residential experience, and inform Harvard’s efforts to renew the entire House system.Addressing a crowd of more than 100 students, faculty, staff, and alumni, Dean Michael D. Smith of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences hailed the groundbreaking as a celebration of Harvard’s residential system and its centrality to undergraduate education.“Dean Smith has been extraordinary in the prototyping and ensuring that the materials used will really satisfy a need and meet the demands and expectations of the undergraduates. If we had done it 10 years ago, we might have ended up with something that wouldn’t endure the 50-year life span that we hope this project will have.” — Gwill York“The House system is the institution at the very heart of the Harvard experience,” Smith said. “The Houses provide a structure that fosters transformative connections to peers, to faculty, to tutors. In turn, these connections further students’ intellectual, social, and moral growth.”Smith, a computer scientist, spoke only hours after Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the launch of edX, a transformational partnership in online education. He said that the type of living and learning experience that Harvard will offer future students will only become more important and relevant in the digital age.“Technology has expanded our social networks,” Smith said, “but the quality of these digital connections will never replace the rich, unexpected, face-to-face experience of a House community. In today’s plugged-in, always-on world, the kind of connection afforded by the House system is a truly precious resource.”Harvard College Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds spoke about the House system’s efforts to live up to the ideal of a diverse and inclusive community since its establishment in 1931. The addition of Dudley House in the 1950s, Hammonds said, brought commuters into the system. The late ’60s saw an increase in African-American students. Women were integrated in 1970 when the Harvard and Radcliffe Houses merged. The result of all these changes, Hammonds said, is a distinctive, lively, and diverse living and learning experience for undergraduates.“Today, the Houses retain much of their historical character, while still hosting a lively spectrum of students, tutors, and faculty members,” she said. “They are centers of cultural, intellectual, and social life in an otherwise decentralized campus. It has been the work of many generations to turn each House into a real home.”Quincy Co-Master Lee Gehrke said that the day’s ceremony was the end of a long road of planning, consultation, and preparation that involved the House community. He singled out architects Steve Kieran and Joanne Aitken, as well as Steve Needham, senior director of project management, Merle Bicknell, assistant dean of FAS physical resources, and Suzy Nelson, dean of the Office of Student Life, for their contributions. Gehrke joked that he and his wife were considering a career change because of the House renewal process.“Deb and I have also acquired practical skills,” he said. “As a result of attending innumerable meetings, we now know more about bathroom tiles, window frames, and shower ventilation than we ever imagined. We may be qualified for post-Harvard careers in building design consulting!”Catherine Katz ’13 and Scott Yim ’13, co-chairs of the Quincy House Committee, said that students had been involved in every part of the renewal planning process. Yim expressed enthusiasm for the effect that the test project is likely to have on residential life.“Old Quincy will look the same on the exterior. But the inside will be improved, not only in a physical sense, but also in the way students are brought together as a community,” Yim said. “We look forward to the example that Quincy will set … in bringing students together through the basement and terrace-level public spaces, as well as the common rooms.”Also participating in the day’s ceremonies were FAS capital campaign co-chair Carl Martignetti ’81, M.B.A. ’85, and Harvard College Fund Executive Committee co-chair Gwill York ’79, M.B.A. ’84. Martignetti said he was excited to think of the type of living and learning experience that Harvard will offer students after the test project is finished.“I think House renewal is as important a priority as any on campus,” he said, “and will do as much as anything else to enhance the undergraduate experience beyond the bricks and mortar. There’s really an opportunity to enhance programming and the overall experience for students. To see the first piece become a reality is an important moment.”Deborah Gehrke, co-master of Quincy House (from left), Catherine Katz ’13, Scott Yim ’13, Dean of Harvard College Evelynn M. Hammonds (podium), and Lee Gehrke, co-master of Quincy House, during the groundbreaking ceremony.York shared Martignetti’s excitement and praised the University for taking advantage of a once-in-a-century opportunity to renew the Houses and enhance the learning experience at the College.“I think the timing for this is exquisite,” she said. “Dean Smith has been extraordinary in the prototyping and ensuring that the materials used will really satisfy a need and meet the demands and expectations of the undergraduates. If we had done it 10 years ago, we might have ended up with something that wouldn’t endure the 50-year life span that we hope this project will have.”last_img read more

Prof. discusses HHS law, conscience

first_imgAmid national controversy over the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contraception mandate, members of the Notre Dame community discussed the development of conscience in the Catholic faith Monday. Led by David Clairmont, assistant professor of moral theology, the talk provided context for understanding the debate over the mandate requiring employers to include contraception in their insurance packages. “The bishops want to have the specific effects of the mandate on Catholic institutions eliminated so Catholic institutions will not be in the situation of providing things that go against Church teaching, even if there are varieties of opinions among Catholics about those preferences,” Clairmont said. Mary Daly, program coordinator for the Office for University Life Initiatives, said the HHS mandate passed under the Affordable Care Act also requires coverage for Plan B, sterilization and education on family planning methods. This goes against the conscience of Catholic employers, including universities, charities and hospitals, she said. “[The mandate] requires individuals to perform immoral acts against their consciences,” Daly said. Daly said the event, which was cosponsored by Campus Ministry, the Center for Ethics and Culture, the Center for Social Concerns, the Gender Relations Center, the Institute for Church Life and the University Life Initiatives office, aims to improve understanding of the key assertions in the debate over the HHS mandate. “People were coming at this from different angles of not understanding what the church was teaching,” she said. “We thought the most helpful thing we could provide for the students was what it means to form your conscience. We thought that would be the best starting point for students for thinking and talking about these issues.” Clairmont referenced one of the most frequently cited descriptions of conscience, the Second Vatican Council, which describes conscience as human beings’ attempts to live in ways that bring them ultimate happiness with God. “Deep within his conscience, man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself, but which he must obey,” Clairmont said. “His voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil.” Clairmont said people must work to improve their consciences by studying witnesses in the Church, like saints, and learning from the Church’s teaching authority. “[Conscience] needs to be developed throughout one’s whole life,” he said. “It’s never fully formed. It’s life-long work … There are always ways we can develop our moral conscience.” Clairmont contrasted this Catholic idea of conscience, rooted in never-ending improvement based in the Catechism, with the modern, secular belief that conscience is entirely individual. “Formation in conscience comes through studying the teachings of the Church on the matters pertaining to human happiness, and by studying the lived examples of other Christians,” he said. “Formation in happiness requires one to be constantly open to having one’s own experiences interrogated.” Addressing the pro-mandate argument that many Catholics do not adhere to the Church’s anti-contraception values and so do not oppose the mandate, Clairmont said conscience can always change and be improved. “It’s not as if conscience wells up in a pure judgment, saying, “This is what I must do,’” he said. “This is a judgment at this time, in light of what I know and the experiences I have already had. Those experiences might change.” Clairmont said he hoped the conversation about Catholic conscience would have long-term positive effects. “We have opportunities to shift the discussion slightly … as an opportunity to teach people in the wider society how Catholics understand religion and religious freedom, how we understand conscience,” Clairmont said. “Conscience has a very particular place in the logic of the faith’s presentation. And that is something that is relevant to the public discussion.”last_img read more

Amanda Seyfried Talks Conquering Stage Fright with The Way We Get By

first_img The Way We Get By Related Shows View Comments Amanda Seyfried may light up the big screen in films like Mean Girls, Mamma Mia! and Les Miserables, but as she’s told us in the past, that doesn’t make being on stage any easier. The film star, who is currently making her off-Broadway debut in Neil LaBute’s The Way We Get By, suffers from stage fright continuously. But when she stopped by Late Night to chat with Seth Meyers, she had a message for all the kids: “Children, don’t run away from your fears. Fight ‘em!” Despite the jitters, she’s enjoying her time on stage, but wishes audiences would stop talking (and eating pretzels) during the show. Take a look at the interview below, in which she also talks about her, erm, nauseating cameo in the upcoming film Pan, then catch The Way We Get By at Second Stage Theatre. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 21, 2015last_img read more

Saint Joseph’s College Launches MBA Program with Killington Resort

first_imgStarting this September, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine will offer a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Resort Management. In the two-year, full-time program, students will complete courses at Saint Joseph’s College in Maine, and, during the winter ski season, at Killington Resort in Vermont.“This degree will prepare students to provide leadership in resort business organizations – not simply provide administrative oversight,” said Dr. Gregory Gull, Director of Business Administration Programs for the Division of Graduate & Professional Studies.The program’s emphasis on leadership will prepare future business managers by deepening their understanding of the interplay of the quantitative (i.e. revenue, profit, costs) and qualitative (meaning, relationships, values) aspects of business organizations. According to Gull, ethics will be as important as economics, psychology as important as finance, communication as important as commerce, team performance is as important as individual performance, and quality as important as quantity.The curriculum will consist of 12 three-credit courses and six credits earned through paid internships at Killington Resort. Courses will be taught at the Killington Resort campus in Vermont from November through March and the rest of the year at the Saint Joseph’s College campus in Standish, Maine. Saint Joseph’s College is currently accepting applications for the program.“We’re very excited about this new graduate program, and the learning opportunities it will bring to students – especially the internship component at Killington,” said Dr. David House, President of Saint Joseph’s College. The paid internships will allow students to directly experience and better understand the management and supervisory aspects of resort management, as well as provide a means to reduce students’ overall educational costs.The East’s largest ski resort, Killington Resort offers a superb environment for experiential learning, and abundant opportunities for leadership growth in areas such as tourism development, retail operations, hotel management, entertainment services and more. “We look forward to having Saint Joseph’s students learn and work at Killington in this program. Students will be provided with a truly unique educational opportunity that blends academic theory with the reality of daily resort operations.” said Allen Wilson, President of Killington Resort.The MBA program is the first residential graduate program offered by the Division of Graduate & Professional Studies, which offers other undergraduate and graduate degree programs through distance learning.For further information about the MBA program, contact Dr. Gregory Gull, Director of Business Administration Programs, Division of Graduate & Professional Studies at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. He can be reached at 207-893-7988 or [email protected](link sends e-mail).last_img read more

Peruvian Armed Forces Destroy Marijuana Plantations and Clandestine Labs

first_imgBy Juan Delgado/Diálogo December 15, 2020 In late October, the Peruvian Armed Forces, in coordination with the National Police, destroyed thousands of marijuana plants in operations carried out in the Anco district, Ayacucho region. At that location, service members also destroyed clandestine drug labs, the Peruvian Armed Forces Joint Command (CCFFAA, in Spanish) reported.“Five labs used for drying and storing drugs, as well as 255,600 marijuana plants, were discovered following a joint operation between the Eastern Operational Command [COE, in Spanish] and the National Police, on October 25 in Amaru Pampa village,” the CCFFAA said in a statement.Service members destroy a rustic lab for cocaine production in Loreto department, after COAM troops found six labs during a territorial control operation in late October. (Photo: Peruvian Armed Forces Joint Command)Agents seized a total of eight plots, in coordination with the Prosecutor’s Office Specializing in the Crime of Illicit Drug Trafficking, which ordered the incineration of the crops and labs that were found.“This new effort by the law enforcement forces follows the intervention [conducted] on Thursday, October 22, in this same area, where authorities managed to destroy another 15,000 marijuana plants bound for illicit drug trafficking,” the CCFFAA reported.The CCFFAA specified that this type of plantations is new in the area, where illicit cocaine trafficking prevails, and announced that they will put greater emphasis on control so as to prevent this type of crops.From October 30 to November 2, patrols of the Amazon Operational Command (COAM, in Spanish) carried out a territorial control operation as part of the Border Surveillance System and destroyed six illegal laboratories in the Mariscal Ramón Castilla province, Loreto department, which borders Colombia.The labs were rustic wooden houses, where service members found coca crops covering about 60 hectares, in addition to other materials used for drug production, such as a boat engine, a coca leaf mincer, a motor pump, a high-pressure pump, and two electric scales.After complying with legal protocols for the sampling and identification of chemicals, authorities proceeded to destroy and incinerate the narco-labs.“The Armed Forces continue to make efforts to neutralize illegal activities, together with control actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the CCFFAA said.last_img read more

Advocates Urge Minorities to Vote on Election Day

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Organizers for minority groups reached out to Hempstead residents Thursday in a get-out-the-vote effort just five days before Election Day.Community organizers armed with clipboards and Tootsie Rolls impressed upon minority voters the importance of casting their ballots during an outreach effort at the Rosa Parks Hempstead Transit Center Thursday, greeting straphangers with candy and asking them to pledge to vote Nov. 5.Organizers chose levity over earth-shattering repercussions if votes aren’t cast by donning spooky masks and comical hats for Halloween. Still, they tried not to downplay the significance of casting a ballot on Election day, which is less than a week away.“We have a chance to make a difference this year,” said Diane Goins, whose group New York Communities for Change also works with the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, which spearheaded the event. “We will have a seat at the table and our voices will be heard.”The group of about a dozen chanted “Trick or vote!” and “The people united will never be defeated!” outside the bustling transit center as commuters on the bus line looked on.Daniel Altschuler of the Long Island Civic Engagement Table said the afternoon event was part of a broader outreach effort to engage minority voters in areas dominated by low and middle-income residents, such as Hempstead, Elmont, Brentwood, Central Islip and Gordon Heights. They hope to collect at least 10,000 signatures and to engage 25,000 residents before the day’s over.“We haven’t been respected yet,” Goins said of low-income residents. Many in her community are concerned about affordable housing, jobs, cuts to children services and foreclosures, she said.James Boone of Hempstead was one of the first to take the pledge, but said he makes sure to get to the polls every year.“When you go out and vote you’re able to change things,” he said. “I always vote.”The 30-year-old Hempstead resident said he’s concerned about the amount people who are either homeless or living in shelters.“You have to know who you’re voting for,” Boone said.Organizers don’t try to influence voters decisions by telling them who to vote for, Goins noted, adding that they should educate themselves about each and every candidate on the ballot.Minority organizations have registered more than 11,000 voters this year. They plan on going door-to-door from now until Election Day to inform people about their polling sites and to secure more pledges.last_img read more