U.S. and Latin America Review Fight Against Trafficking in Weapons of Mass Destruction

first_imgBy Dialogo May 15, 2009 On Thursday military and defense experts from around the world concluded a three-day meeting in Miami in which they analyzed measures to combat illicit trafficking in weapons of mass destruction and their components, the U.S. Southern Command reports. The conference, organized by the U.S. Department of Defense and the Southern Command, brings together 34 countries. One of the topics of discussion was the traffic in weapons of mass destruction and related materials within the Americas. “Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States share a common interest in preventing the proliferation of WMD in our hemisphere,” said Paul Trivelli, Foreign Policy Adviser to the Southern Command, who considers it essential for countries to coordinate their efforts in the prevention of trafficking in weapons and combating networks that profit from it. For his part, Gary Moore, who coordinates the monitoring of the proliferation of armaments and weapons of mass destruction at the White House, said that President Obama “has promised to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” but that this goal cannot be achieved without international security initiatives to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Together with North American and Canadian experts, Latin American representatives of Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, and Paraguay also took part of the event.last_img read more

USC upsets No. 4 ranked Stanford

first_imgFollow Darian on Twitter @dariannourian Behind an unrivaled resilience on both sides of the ball, the Trojans embodied the ‘one team, one heartbeat’ message that interim head coach Ed Orgeron had been preaching to them all week long leading up to Saturday’s showdown with the No. 4-ranked Stanford Cardinal.And on one kick, with the game hanging in the balance, tied at 17-17, USC kicker Andre Heidari, who has struggles this season, was able to lift the Trojans (8-3, 5-2 Pac-12) to upset the Cardinal (8-2, 6-2), 20-17 in front of a sold out crowd at the Coliseum that also had a renewed ‘heartbeat’ instilled into it.Heidari’s 47-yard field goal with just 19 seconds remaining is what ultimately allowed the Trojans to shock a Stanford team that was fresh off an upset of their own when they defeated a No. 3 ranked Oregon team, 26-20.“I did what I needed to do,” Heidari said. “I’m glad my team put me into the position and that my teammates believed me.”It was apparent throughout the game, the  ‘GameDay’ hype and electricity that began very early Saturday morning at McCarthy Quad transitioned to the Coliseum, and the Trojans fed off of that energy, defeating Stanford for the first time in five meetings.Once the clock hit double zeros, thousands of fans paraded the field to celebrate USC’s first victory over a ranked a team since 2011 and  that has been playing inspired football ever since Orgeron took over for the fired Lane Kiffin.“This was a win for the entire Trojan family,” Orgeron said. “I’m happy for the fans, it’s been a long time coming.”The Trojans are 5-1 with Orgeron at the helm, spurring up even more conversation that the former defensive line coach could  become the Trojan’s next head football coach.“Obviously there’s going to be some decisions made here after we play UCLA ,” Orgeron said. “That’s out of my hands.”Orgeron, who has now led the Trojans to four consecutive wins, could not have been more happy about this win for his team.“In our tight-knit family, there was a belief that we were going to find a way to win the game,” Orgeron said. “I’m proud of our young men. This is something that they’ve wanted for a long time now.”On a night when former USC quarterback and Heisman trophy Matt Leinart winner led the Trojans out of the tunnel, red shirt sophomore Cody Kessler looked sharp against a tough Stanford defense. He passed for 288 yards and a touchdown, while completing 25 of his 37 passes.In the first half, only two of Kessler’s pass attempts were incompletions.The most important of Kessler’s completions was came on a forth down completion on a slant pass to wide receiver Marquise Lee for 13 yards to continue the Trojan’s drive to win the game with just over a minute remaining in the game. Lee proceeded to hobble off the field following the play, due to what he thought was a bone bruise.“I knew I was taking a chance, but I looked inside there eyes, and as a coach, I wanted to give the guys a chance to win the game,” Orgeron said in regards to going for it on fourth and two at midfield in that situation. “I had no hesitation at all to go for it.”The 2012 Biletnikoff winner, who claimed he was back at one hundred percent earlier in the week, had six catches for 83 yards.“I knew he [Lee] was in pain, but I had trust in him that he was going to be open and I just threw the ball and he was there to make the play,” said Kessler.Nelson Agholor had another big game, catching eight passes for 104 yards.When the offense began to struggle in the second half, though, it was the Trojan’s stalwart defense that made the big plays USC needed in order to stay in the game.After a Kessler fumble in USC territory, the defense had halted the Stanford offense to just a field goal before freshman offensive tackle Chad Wheeler blocked it to keep the game tied at 17-17.Also, in the fourth quarter, the Cardinal were knocking on the door at the USC six-yard line when on third down, Dion Bailey intercepted Hogan’s pass.“It was one of the most electrifying atmospheres I have in my four years here,” said Bailey. “This was a great win for the university.”Later in the fourth with only three minutes left to play, Su’a Cravens would intercept a tipped pass that set up the USC offense for a drive and win the game.The defense not only limited the Cardinal to just a touchdown in the second half, but held them to their lowest point total of the entire season.In fact, USC played only 2 defensive subs during the the majority of the  game.“An outstanding job by Clancy Pendergast [defensive coordinator], Pete Jenkins [defensive line coach], and all of our linebackers for hanging in there toe to toe with the Stanford offensive line,” Orgeron said.The USC running game, which had been so successful in recent weeks, really struggled to get going as they complied a combined a season-low 23 yards. Javorius ‘Buck’ Allen scored a one-yard rushing touchdown late in the first quarter to give USC a 14-7 lead.“The whole game was a grind and it could have gone either way at any second,” said Orgeron.Stanford’s running game, however, was the ‘bread and butter’ of their offense, as they rushed for 210 yards behind their stout offensive line.The Cardinal’s Tyler Gaffney took 24 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Kevin Hogan didn’t turn the ball over, but went 14 of 25 for just 127 yards.Gaffney scored on a 35-yard run in the first quarter to answer Kessler’s one-yard touchdown pass  to full back Soma Vainuku on the Trojan’s first drive of the game.USC’s win avenges the three past defeats that the Trojans have suffered at the hands of the Cardinal in the Coliseum, including a triple-overtime loss two years ago when Andrew Luck was the Stanford quarterback.The Trojans not only derailed the Cardinal’s national title aspirations by pulling off the upset, but also kept their own Pac-12 championship and Rose Bowl hopes alive with two games remaining, one of those coming against cross-town rival UCLA.However, before they match up with the Bruins for what is sure to be another thrilling game at the Coliseum, USC will travel to Boulder, Colo. next Saturday (Nov. 23) to take on the Colorado Buffaloes.last_img read more

Final comment period open on MidAmerican plan to prevent bat and eagle deaths

first_imgDES MOINES — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is entering the final phase in approving a plan for MidAmerican Energy to help prevent the number of bats and eagles killed by its current and future wind farms.Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Kraig McPeek says the final plan is now available for public comment following an earlier public hearing. “We’ve taken those comments that we received form that public commenting period last spring — incorporated changes edits and updates into the document — and now it’s going back out for a final 30-day review for the public,” McPeek says.McPeeks says there were around 100 comments in the spring. He says they could be grouped into categories that included overall displeasure with a permit that allows for the taking of bats and bald eagles, another category that was appreciative of the data-driven approach, and then comments on ways to improve the permitting process in the future.The plan would issue a permit to allow for a limited number of deaths for four bat species and 10 turbine-related incidental bald eagle deaths each year. Bats covered by the permit include the federally endangered Indiana bat, the federally threatened northern long-eared bat, the non-endangered little brown bat and tri-colored bat.McPeek says MidAmerican has agreed to take some measures that would cut down on the number of deaths of each species. “They’re going to feather their blades below their cut-in speeds where they being to produce electricity — that’s been proven to reduce impacts to bats,”McPeek says. “Working with land owners and county road commissions to be sure that road kill deer are not left — carcasses are not left where roadkill deer would bring them into contact with turbines.”McPeek says the company has a set number of eagles and bats that can be killed and they will pay for habitat improvements designed to replace those animals. “They will mitigate to basically create areas for bats to breed and create more bats, and to protect and breed more bald eagles in the wild,” according to McPeek.McPeek says there are still some things that are not known about the impact of wind turbines, but MidAmerican has taken a lot of time to analyze the information available to come up with the best plan. “They’ve spent almost five years now collecting information on their existing wind farms to inform this plan,” he says, “and we’ve combined that information with information from across the great Midwest. So, we do have nearly a decade of information to help us make these decisions.”And he says if they find out that what they are doing is leading to more deaths then expected — they have to take more action. “There’s what we call an adaptive management strategy. And so the company will be monitoring annually to determine if the number of animals killed is was we had expected or if it was greater or lesser,” McPeek says. “And then we have adaptive management triggers in the plan if they do begin to exceed what the expected number of fatalities were — then they do need to take measures to bring that back down.”McKeever says this is a little bit like the process when electric lines started going up and changes were made to keep animals from getting killed on them. He says the work continues on solutions. “This company and many other companies are working to keep bats away from insulation on power lines to keep bald eagles from being electrocuted. There’s some things that can be done to scare them away from wind farms,” McPeek says.McPeek says you can view a copy of the plan online. Paper copies will be available at 22 county libraries in Iowa. A final order on the plan will be issued after the 30-day comment period.last_img read more