Colombia is Free of Illegal Flights

first_imgBy Marian Romero/Diálogo October 20, 2017 The Colombian authorities carried out an operation to intercept an unauthorized aircraft in the airspace above the López de Micay municipality, in the department of Cauca, on August 8th. The air defense and surveillance system used by the Colombian Air Force (FAC, per its Spanish acronym) detected three unauthorized aircraft; two in the Caribbean which ended up not entering Colombian airspace, and a single-engine Cessna 210 that was identified as an illegal flight. The plane did not have identification or a flight plan, and it was traveling at an altitude of 200 feet, considered dangerous for that type of aircraft, which, under normal conditions, is supposed to fly at 3,000 feet. It also ignored the security warnings and appeals that are done in these cases. The plane had the capacity to transport approximately 700 kilograms of cocaine. “At first, it was determined that it was in violation of Colombia’s sovereign air space and it was classified as a suspect aircraft. Once it was confirmed that it did not have a tail number and that it had no intention to communicate, it was established that it was a hostile aircraft. At that point, the security protocol was activated to carry out the interdiction,” Colonel Jorge Saavedra, the director of Air Defense for the FAC, explained. Air interdiction process Colombia and the United States government are signatories to an Air Bridge Denial (ABD) agreement, an air interception accord that strengthens the Colombian government’s capacity for eradicating the illegal trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic substances by air. This program’s priority is to intercept suspect and hostile aircraft, forcing them to land so that the competent authorities can then take the necessary measures. The ABD agreement sets forth three phases to prevent the loss of innocent lives in the air or on the ground: 1). Tracking and monitoring aircraft suspected of being involved in illegal trafficking. In this phase, an effort is made to establish radio communication and/or send visual signals to the aircraft to order it to land at an assigned location that is suitable for a safe landing. 2). The use of warning shots with tracer bullets under prior authorization by the FAC commander. At the same time, efforts to establish communication with the aircraft are ongoing. 3). Firing weapons against the intercepted aircraft in the air or on the ground if it does not respond to the communications. In this phase, the goal is to disable the aircraft to force its landing, and if it is on the ground, to prevent it from taking off. “It is essential to carry out these procedures word for word, without skipping any of the phases, to ensure the safety of civil aviation and to avoid operational errors,” FAC Major Álvaro Moreno Aranzales, the officer in charge of the mission in López de Micay, explained. “We use the gradual application of force to protect life, which is a priority. In this case, the procedure was carried out on a beach where the aircraft had landed. When it didn’t respond to our appeals, we had to disable it.” The beach where it had illegally landed is uninhabited, just like most of the territory in López de Micay. That area has about 13,000 residents, which is a small number considering its size, 3,241 square kilometers of land. “The beaches of the Colombian Pacific are very wide, and criminal organizations have set up landing sites in an attempt to violate our air space, even though landing on sand aboard a Cessna 210 presents a high risk,” Col. Saavedra confirmed. “We know from experience the places that are used for drug trafficking; therefore, they are subjected to special monitoring by air and ground detection units.” The operation was conducted through the FAC Command and Control Center, which dispatched early warning and surveillance aircraft from several combat air commands for the surveillance and interdiction. To carry out the operation, an SR-560 intelligence plane piloted by Maj. Moreno was used, as well as an AC-47 fighter, known as The Ghost, and two A-29 Super Tucanos. Shielded against drug trafficking According to FAC, by 2003, 700 illegal flights per year were occurring on average. Today, the airspace is completely free from these kinds of incidents because aircraft attempting to violate Colombia’s sovereignty are neutralized. Three attempts to violate the nation’s airspace—including the one neutralized in López de Micay—have taken place in 2017, but they were all detected and intercepted. “Today we can confirm that 100 percent of Colombian airspace is protected by FAC,” Col. Saavedra assured. “With our new early alert and detection system, plus the reinforcement of our capacities all these years, we can guarantee that there is no drug trafficking by air in Colombia.” To achieve this result, Colombia has bolstered its intelligence and has formed alliances with all the nations of the region to maintain their mutual assistance and ensure the stability of their airspace. “The main challenge that drug trafficking poses to us is that it changes daily. Because this is transnational crime, it’s important for our nations to be connected and for us to anticipate the actions that the criminals may be planning to carry out,” Col. Saavedra added. “We’ve detected cases of ultralight aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles, but their cargo capacity is minimal—just one or two kilos—and they’ve been intercepted. The biggest challenge is at sea, because the cargo capacity through that avenue is far greater—10 tons—and detection is more complicated in the ocean environment,” he concluded.last_img read more

COVID-19—Why your credit union website matters even more right now

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr 46% of Baby Boomers39% of Gen Xers36% of Millennials Right now, in the midst of an intense global pandemic, people are staying inside. They’re not going to restaurants, or gyms, or even to church. And they are certainly trying not to take unnecessary trips to the bank. Because of this, you’ve likely already seen an increase in traffic on your credit union website.What you may not have realized: the change is here to stay. Recently, payments firm FIS conducted a large survey of COVID-era banking habits. Here are some of their key findings.Percentage of respondents who have changed how they interact with financial institutions: 45%Percentage of respondents who are now using mobile or online banking:center_img continue reading »last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgMLB-TOLES ARRESTEDDodgers’ Andrew Toles jailed in Florida on trespass chargeKEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles was in jail Saturday, charged with trespassing.The 28-year-old player was detained this week at the airport in Key West, Florida, by a Monroe County sheriff deputy. The Miami Herald reported he was found sleeping behind a Federal Express building at the airport and refused to move.Jail records show Toles appeared to be homeless when arrested Monday on the misdemeanor charge. His bond was set at $500 but he remained jailed and is scheduled for arraignment Thursday. NASCAR-POCONOLate scratch: Harvick knocks off Pocono from winless listLONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Kevin Harvick snapped an 0-for-38 drought at Pocono Raceway, taking the checkered flag Saturday at one of two tracks where victory had eluded him.Harvick won the first of two NASCAR Cup races in front of no fans this weekend at Pocono and will start 20th on Sunday with the field set by inverting the lead-lap finishers.The 44-year-old California driver has won at every active track except Kentucky Speedway (nine tries) and the 2014 series champion has three wins overall for Stewart-Haas Racing this season.Harvick held off a hard-charging Denny Hamlin for his 52nd career Cup victory. He had 12 top-five finishes in his other 38 starts at Pocono. pandemic.Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes at the track a week ago. Associated Press The Yankees and Nationals are set meet when the virus-delayed season begins next month, a person familiar with the game told The Associated Press on Saturday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there hasn’t been an official announcement.The New York Post first reported the matchup.MLB will start a 60-game season on July 23 or 24. The schedule is still being worked out — there could be a game or two on the first day of play, or a full slate.Cole started the previous game played at Nationals Park. He pitched the Houston Astros past the Nationals 7-1 last October for a 3-2 edge in the World Series. Cole signed a $324 million, nine-year contract with the Yankees as a free agent. Rendon got a $245 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.PGA-TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP NHL-DRAFT LOTTERYPlay-in round team wins draft lottery, shot at LafreniereUNDATED (AP) — Presumptive top selection Alexis Lafreniere will have to wait a little bit longer to find out his NHL destination. Chaos reigned at the NHL draft lottery, with the No. 1 pick still up for grabs in a second lottery drawing. The eight teams that lose in the qualifying round of the playoffs have an equal chance of drafting first. The Kings got the second pick, the Senators the third thanks to 2018 trade with San Jose and the league-worst Red Wings dropped to fourth. Ottawa has the third and fifth picks and is the first team since 2000 with two selections in the top five.As part of the NHL’s 24-team playoff format if it resumes, 16 teams will play each other in best-of-five series to move on — and the losers of those matchups now have a major consolation prize looming: equal 12.5% odds of landing Lafreniere. He held off on the celebratory burnout — Harvick needs the same car for Sunday’s race. The race was scheduled as the second Saturday, but rain washed out the Truck Series race. .”NASCAR-TRIPLEHEADERNASCAR set for Truck, Xfinity, Cup tripleheader SundayLONG POND, Pa. (AP) — NASCAR is set for a tripleheader of racing at Pocono Raceway from three national series on Sunday.Rain has washed out the Truck Series race on Saturday in what was already a packed schedule. Pocono is the site of a Cup Series twin bill, with one race on Saturday and one on Sunday. NFL-OBIT-KRUEGERFormer NFL, college coach Krueger dies at 90; Bucs’ 1st GMPEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) — Former NFL and college coach Phil Krueger has died. Krueger helped build a dominant defense as an assistant for 1967 national champion Southern California and later became part of the first coaching staff in Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ history. Krueger coached offense, defense and special teams during more than three decades in the NFL and college. He was the head coach at Fresno State and Utah State and an assistant at Illinois. Krueger was an assistant coach with the expansion Buccaneers in 1976 and later became their general manager.His family says Krueger died Monday at his home in Pembroke Pines, Florida. He was 90. Todd matches Johnson’s 61 to take the lead; Mickelson drops to 7thCROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Brendon Todd and Dustin Johnson each shot career-low 61s at the Travelers Championship on Saturday, leaving Todd with a two-stroke lead over the 2016 U.S. Open champion. The 34-year-old Georgian, playing a couple holes behind Johnson, had a chance at the tournament’s second 60 of the week but missed a 10-foot putt to the left on the 18th hole. He finished with a 54-hole score of 192 after shooting 66-65 the first two rounds. Johnson, who is looking for his 21st win on tour, also has improved each day, opening with a 69-64. Both golfers shot bogey-free rounds, with Todd making five birdies on the front nine and Johnson five on the back. Kevin Streelman fired a 63 after two straight rounds of 66 and was just three shots back. Mackenzie Hughes, who led after a 60 on Thursday, shot his second straight 68 for sole possession of fourth place. NEW YORK (AP) — A barn at Belmont Park has been placed under a precautionary quarantine because of a suspected case of equine herpesvirus Type 1.New York Racing Association officials say a 4-year-old colt trained by Chris Englehart exhibited fever and neurological symptoms associated with EHV-1 on Saturday and is being treated by a private veterinarian. The colt named Freudnme last raced at Finger Lakes in upstate New York in June 2019.EHV-1 can cause upper respiratory infection in young horses. If a number of horses are housed together, they can become sick and then recover uneventfully. However, equine herpesvirus-1 can also cause a severe neurological disease that affects a horse’s brain and spinal cord, and may result in paralysis and death.NYRA says all 37 horses stabled in Barn 37 will be monitored daily for fever and other signs of illness. They won’t be allowed to enter races or train among the general horse population. The length of the quarantine will depend on the results of tests.Belmont’s current meet ends July 12. It is racing without spectators because of the coronavirus NWSL players kneel during the national anthemPlayers for the Portland Thorns and the North Carolina Courage knelt during the national anthem Saturday when the National Women’s Soccer League opened the Challenge Cup tournament in Utah. The players wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts in warmups before the game, which was nationally televised on CBS. In addition to the anthem, the players knelt for a moment of silence before kickoff. The NWSL is the first professional team sport in the United States to return amid the coronavirus outbreak. The monthlong Challenge Cup opened Saturday with a pair of games at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. Megan Rapinoe, who plays for OL Reign but opted out of the Challenge Cup, was criticized when she knelt at a NWSL game and a pair of national team games in 2016. She said she wanted to express solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the anthem to bring attention to racial inequality. June 27, 2020 The Truck Series was scheduled for Saturday and the second-tier Xfinity Series was scheduled for Sunday. The rainout forced the Truck Series to run at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by 225 miles of Xfinity racing and a 350-mile Cup race.NASCAR says it’s the first time three NASCAR National Series races will be raced on the same day at the same track. It will be the fifth time three NASCAR National Series races will be run on the same day but those were at different tracks. Sunday’s Cup race comes with a twist. The field will be set by inverting the lead-lap finishers from race No. 1.SPEEDWAY OWNER-ROPE ADSpeedway loses partnerships after ‘Bubba rope’ post DENVER (AP) — John Carlos wants to abolish the rule that bans protests at the Olympics. The renowned Olympic protester has written a letter with an influential group of American athletes, calling on the IOC to put in place a new policy done in collaboration with athletes from across the globe. Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists on the medals stand at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics to protest racial inequality in the United States. They were sent home for violating rules that ban such protests. Those rules remain in place today, though in the wake of global demonstrations against racial injustice, the IOC has recently expressed willingness to rethink them. Referring to the actions of Carlos and Smith, the letter says “It is time for the Olympic and Paralympic movement to honor their bravery rather than denounce their actions.”Carlos joined the leadership of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s athlete advisory council in sending the open letter to the International Olympic and Paralympic committees on Saturday. The letter said the AAC had discussed the issue with the IOC’s athlete commission. SOCCER-NWSL-ANTHEM PROTEST Toles rose from the low minors to the majors in just months and became a postseason star for the Dodgers in 2016. He was the starting left fielder in the second half of 2016 and early in 2017. In May of that year, he tore a knee ligament and spent most of 2018 at Triple-A Oklahoma City. The team said Toles never reported to spring training camp in 2019 because of a personal matter. He did not play that year.Toles struggled with anxiety issues even before the Dodgers signed him to a minor league contract. He was Tampa Bay’s minor league player of the year in 2013 but was released in 2015. He was working the early-morning shift in the frozen-food section of a grocery store before the Dodgers recruited him. HORSE RACING-BELMONT-BARN QUARANTINEBelmont Park barn under precautionary quarantine Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditYANKEES-NATIONALS OPENERAP source: Yankees vs champ Nationals in DC on opening dayNEW YORK (AP) — Gerrit Cole could make his New York Yankees debut in a tasty opening-day treat for fans, facing Juan Soto and World Series champion Washington at Nationals Park. WOMEN’S SOCCER-THORNS COURAGEWilliams’ stoppage time goal lifts Courage over Thorns 2-1HERRIMAN, Utah (AP) — Lynn Williams scored in stoppage time and the North Carolina Courage defeated the Portland Thorns 2-1 in the opening game of the National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup tournament. The NWSL is the first professional team sport in the United States to return amid the coronavirus pandemic. The teams had opened preseason training camps when the league shut down on March 12.Players from both teams collectively took a knee during the national anthem and wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts in pre-game warmups to protest racial inequity Players for both teams took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality. Hamilton, a six-time world champion and the only Black driver in F1, was dismayed by Ecclestone’s claim during an interview with broadcaster CNN on Friday that “in lots of cases, Black people are more racist” than white people.On Instagram, Hamilton called the comments “sad and disappointing” and said they “show us how far we as a society need to go before real equality can happen.”Ecclestone made his assertion when he was asked his opinion on Hamilton setting up a commission to increase diversity in motorsport.OLYMPIC PROTESTS-CARLOS LETTERCarlos, US athletes take stand to end Olympic protest rule Phil Mickelson, who celebrated his 50th birthday last week, began the day with a one-stroke lead, but struggled to a 71, finishing tied for seventh in a group six shots back. SPORTS-VIRUS OUTBREAKTexas Rangers: Several positive testsUNDATED (AP) — The Texas Rangers say several of their employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few days. The team said anyone who had direct contact with those affected was sent home from Globe Life Field. The Rangers said no one will be allowed back inside without receiving a negative test for the coronavirus. The club is set to begin another round of training at the ballpark next week.The team said pandemic protocols are in place for front office employees at the new ballpark that’s set to open when the season begins. Update on the latest sports PINE HALL, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina racetrack has lost some partnerships after its owner advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale. The online ad was posted days after a noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top series.The racetrack owner’s post on Facebook Marketplace sparked a backlash on social media and condemnation from the North Carolina governor’s office. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that a concrete company and a driver series have ended their partnerships with the half-mile, dirt track 311 Speedway in Stokes County.F1-HAMILTON-ECCLESTONEHamilton saddened and hurt by Ecclestone’s racism commentsPARIS (AP) — Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has criticized what he called “ignorant and uneducated” comments by former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.last_img read more