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first_imgGovernors Urge Federal Government to Increase LIHEAP Funding to $1Bfor New England StatesRequest Sharp Increase in Funds to Assist Most Vulnerable this WinterWaterbury, VT-At an energy summit held by the New England Governors’ Conference, Inc. (NEGC) July 9, Governor Jim Douglas and his regional counterparts urged the federal government to increase federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding to $1 billion for the New England states this winter.In a letter sent to President Bush, Congressional leadership, and Senators McCain and Obama, the governors illustrate that the requested funding, a sharp increase from last year’s federal budget, is desperately needed to support low-income families in the upcoming heating season. They note that since the winter of 2005-2006, the price of home heating oil in New England has jumped 87%, and natural gas prices have also risen steeply. In order to deliver the same amount of fuel to New England eligible households as LIHEAP provided in 2005-06, assuming a likely increase in the number of households that will apply for needed assistance, LIHEAP funding for New England states would need to be increased to $1 billion.”Many Vermont families-indeed, many New England families-rely on the heating assistance provided by the LIHEAP program, particularly in this time of soaring fuel prices,” said Governor Douglas. “No Vermonter should be cold in his or her home this winter, or any winter. Through my new Food and Fuel Partnership, my administration is marshalling all our state’s resources to ensure all Vermonters are able to weather the perfect storm of rising food, fuel and transportation prices.”Thanks to the financial commitments made by Governor Douglas and the Vermont legislature, last year Vermont provided the most generous LIHEAP benefit in the country, averaging approximately $1169 per household, with approximately 23,000 households served.”Ensuring that the LIHEAP program remains strong for the many families it serves is a key component of the Governor’s Food and Fuel Partnership,” said Agency of Human Services Secretary Cynthia D. LaWare. “With so many Vermont and New England residents facing the very real prospect of being unable to heat their homes this winter, we need unwavering support from our federal partners in addition to the state’s efforts to ensure our most vulnerable families are able to keep their families warm.”The New England Governors further noted that all of their states are mobilizing resources to address the coming heating crisis, including establishing programs to replace inefficient furnaces, and significantly expanding the installation of insulation, programmable thermostats, thermal windows, weather stripping, and energy efficient appliances. However, these measures alone will not be enough to address the immediate needs of vulnerable families this winter.The NEGC also called on the federal government to take action to protect New England’s most vulnerable residents through a variety of other measures. These include significantly increasing funding for the federal Weatherization Program; increasing TANF block grants to allow for family supplemental payments for greater utility and heating costs; allowing Medicaid rules to cover increasing energy costs for programs and services that are provided in 24/7 facilities such as group homes and residential care and nursing facilities; and, increasing social services block grants to cover additional costs of transportation and energy for center-based care, such as child-care centers.The New England Governors’ Conference, Inc., is a non-partisan, non-profit corporation, and includes the Governors of Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The NEGC coordinates regional policy programs in the areas of economic development, transportation, environment, energy, and health.#####last_img read more

first_imgBy Gonzalo Silva Infante/Diálogo December 04, 2017 Nice blog. I would like to share it with my friends. I hope you will continue your works like this. Keep up the excellent work. You have a magical talent of holding readers mind. It is something special which cant be given to everyone. Keep it safe 🙂 In just two operations, the Peruvian Navy (MGP, per its Spanish acronym) intercepted 971 kilograms of cocaine along the country’s coast. In the last months of 2017, MGP helped seize more than two tons of cocaine. On the night of September 30th, 2017, MGP found 700 packets of drugs in Los Órganos Beach, in the northern department of Piura. According to MGP, the maritime patrol ship BAP Río Cañete pursued a vessel that approached the beach and then fled when it noticed the patrols. The authorities seized 850 kilograms of cocaine wrapped in packets the size of bricks and placed in 20 black polyethylene bags buried in the sand. According to the authorities, the drugs came from the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM, per its Spanish acronym) and were on their way to the United States or Europe through Ecuador. The authorities work under the premise that the merchandise could belong to a Mexican cartel, as the packets, worth about $25,000 on the international market, had the logos “Speedy Gonzales” and “Kuka.” During the operation, authorities arrested one person and seized a pickup truck and a recreational boat. The Counter Narcotics Executive Directorate (DIREJANDRO, per its Spanish acronym) of the National Police of Peru (PNP, per its Spanish acronym), with the support of MGP led the seizure. “When we have such information [about drug trafficking], we work together,” Peruvian Navy Captain Bruno Fatur Díaz, MGP commander of Coast Guard Operations, told Diálogo. “They [PNP] can give us information about our area of jurisdiction, and we can also gather data that’s reported to their area of intelligence.” Strike in Ilo In mid-September, MGP seized 121 cocaine packets aboard a Maltese vessel. The Dimitris C, a cargo ship moored at the port of Ilo, on Peru’s southern coast, hailed from Iquique, Chile, and was due to continue its voyage to the port of Guayaquil, Ecuador. “There was a tip, something suspicious was unloaded by some of the crew,” said MGP Commander Augusto Alzamora Olivari. “Although there were no specifics—it wasn’t exactly seen—the captain of the [Maltese flag] ship reported that there was something unusual going on in his vessel.” Based on that information, calls were made to the Attorney General, Customs, PNP, and others who worked with MGP. The ship search took 12 hours. At the end, authorities found three canvas bags and a briefcase containing 121 kilograms of cocaine. “We divided into two search groups,” Cmdr. Alzamora explained. “We took orders from the attorney general and worked in two teams with 15 people. One team remained on land so that no one could board, and the other carried out the inspection.” Intelligence and perseverance The mountainous jungle of VRAEM is the largest cocaine producing area in Peru, the world’s second leading cocaine producer. According to the National Commission for Development and Drug Free Living (DEVIDA, per its Spanish acronym), Peru’s antinarcotics organization, the region counts an estimated 55,000 hectares of coca plants. Drug traffickers continue to favor the maritime space to transport drugs. With a coastline of nearly 2,400 kilometers and dozens of ports, the threats to Peru’s coast are significant. An estimated 44 million tons of cargo passed through Peru’s public port terminals in 2016. Such high traffic makes it impossible to search each vessel. In addition, drug trafficking through ports increased due to criminal networks’ efforts to recruit port workers who help conceal and transport drugs. “When ships arrive, we do random inspections,” Cmdr. Alzamora explained. “Also, there are ships that stand by, waiting to see whether they want to unload drugs from the side of the ship instead of in port, because there are more controls in port—except when the staff has been compromised—but usually they try to unload it right off of the ship, at sea, to take it to another area.” MGP intercepts vessels at sea. “There [at sea] is where our guard ship operates, in addition to the personnel from headquarters who do random inspections,” Cmdr. Alzamora said. The intelligence work and cooperation among the various authorities involved in the war on drugs allows for the detection of vessels carrying illegal cargo and the fulfillment of their mission. “We don’t need any reward; it’s our job to combat these illegal activities in our jurisdiction,” Capt. Fatur concluded. “We do this as part of the government, together with all state institutions, as a single clenched fist.”last_img read more

first_imgThe “Bubba Rope” is a reference to the noose a Richard Petty Motorsports team member found in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. Both NASCAR and the FBI investigated the matter and determined no hate crime had been committed against Wallace because the noose had been in place since October 2019.MORE: NASCAR explains its noose investigationFulp’s post was criticized in the comments section before it was removed.”This incident of racism is horrific and shameful,” said Ford Porter, the governor’s deputy communications director, via the Winston-Salem Journal. “North Carolina is better than this.” A spokesman for North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday condemned a racist Facebook post from the owner of a race track in the state.Mike Fulp, who owns 311 Speedway in Pine Hall, N.C., advertised a “Bubba Rope” for sale on Facebook Marketplace. The listing was posted Wednesday and removed Thursday, according to The Associated Press. It included the description, “Buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great.” Mike Fulp’s “Bubba Rope” post https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/f5/12/bubba-rope-062620_1mrqz92vcdd4r16rv7yqy6u9rx.png?t=-243765054&w=500&quality=80311 Speedway is a half-mile dirt track located just off highway 311 in the north-central portion of the state.The Journal reported Saturday that 311 Speedway had lost a couple partnerships in the wake of Fulp’s post — one from a concrete company and the other from a driver series.NASCAR said the investigation into the noose found in Wallace’s garage stall revealed that it was placed at some point during its 2019 Talladega race weekend. Troubled by the fact that it was not alerted of the noose’s presence earlier, NASCAR is implementing industry-wide sensitivity and unconscious bias training and installing additional cameras in garages at its tracks.”NASCAR conducted a thorough sweep of all the garage areas across the tracks where we race,” NASCAR president Steve Phelps said Thursday. “So across those 29 tracks, and 1,684 garage stalls, we found only 11 total that had a pull-down rope tied into a knot.”And only one noose — the one discovered Sunday in Bubba Wallace’s garage.”MORE: All the facts of the Bubba Wallace noose case (Winston-Salem Journal) NASCAR has released a clear photo of the noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall.https://t.co/DdkCWRvrA1— Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 25, 2020Wallace, 26 and the only Black driver in NASCAR’s three national series, has been taking heat for what was a misunderstanding on the part of his own Richard Petty Motorsports race team and NASCAR.”You get backlash every day,” Wallace said Tuesday night on CNN hours after the FBI and NASCAR announced the findings of their investigation. “I’m used to it. It stings a little bit worse when they’re trying to test your character.”Amid global protests of racial injustice, Wallace a few weeks ago led a group of drivers who pushed to have NASCAR ban the Confederate flag from tracks. NASCAR on June 10 did just that, announcing it would no longer allow the display of the flag at any of its events or properties.last_img read more