By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo December 14, 2020 In late October, the Colombian Navy intercepted a semisubmersible with more than 2 tons of cocaine, the Colombian Military Forces’ General Command (CGFM, in Spanish) said in a press release. The operation, which units of the Tumaco Coast Guard Station carried out off the coast of Nariño department, will likely affect the finances of the criminal group United Guerrillas of the Pacific, dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.“Naval intelligence had been monitoring this [criminal] organization; the moment we found out that they were taking the vessel out, we coordinated with a Navy aircraft that began to conduct search flyovers,” Colombian Navy Rear Admiral Hernando Enrique Mattos Dager, commander of the 72nd Poseidon Task Force Against Narcotrafficking, told Diálogo. “We had a coast guard boat, and when the ship reported that it was initiating pursuit, another boat left from Tumaco to support the maneuver.”An Ecuadorean, a Colombian, and a Mexican national were manning the naval vessel that carried a shipment of 2,045 kg of cocaine on board, October 27, 2020. (Photo: Colombian Navy)The semisubmersible, manned by a Colombian, an Ecuadorean, and a Mexican national, carried 2,045 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride and was heading for Mexico, the CGFM said. According to Rear Adm. Mattos, naval intelligence determined that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel would have received the drug.The semisubmersible, its crew, and the drugs were transferred to Tumaco, where the detainees where handed over to the competent authorities for the alleged crimes of trafficking, manufacture, or possession of narcotics, and of construction, commercialization, and/or aggravated possession of semisubmersibles or submersibles, the Navy reported.“To date [November 5] we’ve seized 31 semisubmersible vessels so far in 2020, 136 tons of cocaine hydrochloride, and more than 35 tons of marijuana,” Rear Adm. Mattos said. “These seizures were not [made] only by the Colombian Navy and our units, nor have all [the drugs] been seized on Colombian coasts. We also carry out international operations with our partner countries […]. We have a great partnership to combat narcotrafficking […]. It is an important synergy of the entire region to fight narcotrafficking.”
SACRAMENTO – Democrats began a debate Tuesday on how to extend health coverage to millions of uninsured Californians, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ideas were not on the table. A near universal coverage plan by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles, passed its first committee, over the objections of the minority Republicans. Another plan, by Senate President pro tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, will be heard today. Neither of the Democrats is going as far as the governor, who wants to require every Californian to have health insurance. And it’s not yet clear how the governor’s proposal, which has not been embraced by either Democrats or Republicans, will factor into the debate. His advisers say they deliberately avoided putting his plan into a bill to prevent it from being picked apart in hearings. Instead, they appear to be waiting to bring it up in negotiations later in the legislative session. But Nu ez offered no estimates on what his plan would cost. An economist is still crunching the numbers. Republicans predicted it would be too expensive and said the costs eventually would be picked up by the state. “Literally, we are just opening our doors to the entire world at the expense of California’s generous taxpayers,” said Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks. Democrats are rejecting the fees Schwarzenegger wants to levy on doctors and hospitals to help pay for his plan, much of which relies on increased federal funding. Schwarzenegger’s advisers have been meeting for months with interest groups, seeking their support. But a consensus has yet to develop. Schwarzenegger seemed to acknowledge the difficulty Tuesday during a luncheon address to the California Medical Association in Sacramento. He asked doctors to look beyond their narrow self-interest and support his plan despite the fees they would have to pay. “Of course, everyone will have their thing about it,” he said. “We cannot provide health care and represent everyone. We have to look for the big goal here.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! But the absence of a bill means the Legislature is moving forward with a very different approach from the $12 billion plan Schwarzenegger outlined in January. Both Nu ez and Perata have rejected the idea of mandatory health insurance, the linchpin of the governor’s plan. Unions oppose the idea, unless the working poor are heavily subsidized, an expensive proposition in a state that has more than 6 million uninsured people. Instead, Democrats want to cover all children and many adults, through a combination of government subsidies and a requirement that most businesses insure their workers. Democrats passed a similar business mandate in 2003, only to watch voters repeal it the following year with Schwarzenegger’s help. In presenting his plan to the committee, Nu ez called it conservative and said it was urgent for the state to act now to avoid an implosion of the state’s health care system. “I don’t think that we can miss this opportunity,” he said.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityMembers of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, the unit to which Torrance soldier Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr. belonged, are searching up to the last minute to find the two soldiers who were captured along with Anzack in May. “This is still our brigade’s No. 1 priority,” its commander, Col. Michael Kershaw, said Friday. “We’ve been doing everything possible to bring them back before we leave,” he told Pentagon reporters via videoconference from Iraq. Anzack, 20; Spec. Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass.; and Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich., were seized May 12 when hostile forces attacked and overran a checkpoint during an operation to watch for insurgents placing roadside bombs on a dangerous road south of Baghdad. Anzack’s body was found in the Euphrates River nearly two weeks later, one of more than 300 casualties suffered in Iraq by the brigade from Ft. Drum in northern New York state. IRAQ: Torrance soldier was one of three captured near Baghdad. By Pauline Jelinek THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON – The Army brigade that has served the most time on the battlefield since 2001 is coming home. But as they return, troops may have to leave two of their own behind in Iraq. Casualties taken by the 3,600-member brigade have totaled 52 killed and more than 270 wounded in action, Kershaw said. The brigade is in its 14th month of an extended 15-month tour – “the most-deployed brigade in the U.S. Army,” he said. On its return home, expected to be completed over the next several weeks, it will have served overseas 40 months since December 2001. The brigade has served two tours in Iraq and elements of it have served twice in Afghanistan, according to Army records. Four U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi translator were killed in the May ambush some 20 miles south of Baghdad in which Jimenez and Fouty were taken. Their identification cards were later found in an al-Qaida safe house north of Baghdad, along with video production equipment, computers and weapons. The house was more than 100miles from the area where they disappeared. The Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaida front group, said in a video posted on the Internet that the soldiers were killed and buried. Asked Friday if he believe they were still alive, Kershaw said captured suspects and “numerous other intelligence sources … have given us really all different kinds of stories.” “Just last week we received one significant intelligence thread that indicated that they at least were potentially alive recently, but another that said that that they had been killed shortly after the attack,” Kershaw said. The attack triggered a massive search in an area that is part of the “triangle of death,” named for the rampant insurgent activity there. U.S. aircraft dropped leaflets seeking information; U.S. and Iraqi forces searched muddy canal areas, farmlands and fields. “We flooded the area for about six weeks in a detailed search,” Kershaw recalled Friday, “and continued a more surgical search since then.” A dozen insurgents involved in the planning and execution have been captured, and other suspects may have been hit in a strike Thursday night, he said. He didn’t identify any of those involved except to say the attackers were 15 to 18 people affiliated with al-Qaida. Jimenez’s wife Yaderlin Hiraldo Jimenez – an illegal immigrant – was threatened with deportation but later given a green card out of respect for her husband’s sacrifice, U.S. government officials said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!