US: Terrorist Incidents in Venezuela Reflect Growing ELN Presence

first_imgBy Voice of America (VOA)/Edited by Diálogo Staff July 23, 2020 Terrorist incidents in Venezuela in 2019 reflected the growing presence and territorial control of the National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish), the U.S. Department of State said in its annual report presented June 24.The report shows an increase in confrontations between the ELN, other Colombian and Venezuelan illegal armed groups, and Venezuelan government forces.In its report, the U.S. Department of State stresses that there were no changes in Venezuelan anti-terrorist laws in 2019.Border security at ports of entry was vulnerable and susceptible to corruption,” the report added.In addition, the Department of State highlights that the Juan Guaidó government worked with regional partners to invoke the Interamerican Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (also known as the Rio Treaty) in September to address the Maduro regime’s illegal activities, including terrorism and its financing.U.S. sanctions Iranian ships’ captains for delivering oil to VenezuelaU.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States was sanctioning five Iranian ship captains who had delivered oil to Venezuela.Pompeo also told the press that the United States continues to support Interim President Juan Guaidó.Washington and most governments in the Western Hemisphere have recognized Guaidó as the nation’s legitimate leader.“Great advances” in the fight against terrorismIn 2019, the United States and its partners made great advances to defeat and dismantle international terrorist organizations, according to the June 24 report.The Department of State’s report on terrorism added that, throughout the year, several countries in Western Europe and South America joined the United States in designating Iran-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in its entirety.In 2019, Argentina, Kosovo, Paraguay, and the United Kingdom joined the United States in designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, rejecting the false distinction between its “military wing” and an alleged “political wing.”last_img read more

Chinese Technology Helps Maduro ‘Control’ Venezuelans

first_imgBy Voice of America (VOA)/Edited by Diálogo Staff September 08, 2020 A U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report, accusing China of promoting an authoritarian atmosphere in cyberspace, says that the Venezuelan regime has taken full advantage of China’s hardware and services to control Venezuelans.The report, commissioned by Democrat Senator Bob Menéndez, says that Venezuela owns internet and mobile network equipment, intelligent monitoring systems, and face recognition technology that has been developed and set up by Chinese companies.Government officials have also traveled to China to take part in information management seminars.“The regime,” the report says, “uses these technologies to censor and control its critics by blocking social media platforms and political content, using pro-regime commentators to manipulate online discussions, stifling content critical of Maduro, increasing surveillance of citizens, tracking and detaining government critics, and accessing the data of human rights organizations.”According to the document, the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE has helped the Nicolás Maduro regime to create the Venezuelan Fatherland Card, something critics have said is used to exert tougher social control over the population.According to employees of the institution in charge of the card system, the database stores birthdates, family, employment and income, private property, medical history, state benefits, social media presence, political party affiliation, and voting records.ZTE has also supported Maduro in building six emergency response centers in larger cities and in centralizing the government’s video surveillance.The Menéndez reportThe Senate Committee on Foreign Relations requested the report, which was signed by Menéndez and prepared after reviewing documentation and interviewing former government officials and nongovernmental experts.The report documents how the Chinese government creates a legal framework to strengthen the Communist Party’s manipulation of tools of “digital authoritarianism” to export it abroad.“The People’s Republic of China is pressing forward […] to build and expand digital authoritarianism through economic, political, diplomatic, and coercive means at home and abroad,” the 61-page document says.last_img read more

Thousands Blacked Out After Powerful Storm Hits Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A powerful storm caused power outages to more than 74,000 homes and businesses in northern Suffolk County early Tuesday morning—some of which will remain in the dark for days, officials said.Although the majority of those who lost power have had it restored, about 20,000 remained blacked out at sundown Tuesday with about half of those still expected to be without power Wednesday, according to PSEG Long Island. The remaining estimated 1,000 emergency repairs that need to be made will be time consuming, the utility’s leader said.“This storm packed a very strong, concentrated punch,” said David Daly, president and chief operating officer of PSEG Long Island, who said additional crews have been called in from surrounding areas to assist in the repairs. He noted that hospitals and other critical customers in the area have had their power restored.Daly said the “pop-up” summer thunder storm left half-mile stretches of downed trees in a 40-mile stretch from Huntington and Brookhaven towns on the North Shore. The extensive damage is hampering the repair work, but utility staffers and their backup are working with tree trimmers.The storm is the worst severe weather seen on LI since a record 13 inches of rain fell in one day in and around the Town of Islip a year ago next week, causing widespread flooding that washed out several roadways and caused sinkholes.In Tuesday’s storms, the towns of Brookhaven and Smithtown were the hardest hit, particularly areas north of Jericho Turnpike, officials said.Jay Engle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said that the damage caused by this storm came from “straight line wind,” which is defined as a damaging wind that exceed 40-50 mph—with Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying winds reached up to 80 mph on LI. Engle said that although this storm seemed extreme, it would still simply be classified as a severe thunderstorm, which formed when an old sea breeze boundary met with the warm, humid air that was felt earlier this week.In addition to residential power outages, the storms forced the Long Island Rail Road to temporarily suspend service on parts of the Port Jefferson line, stranding some commuters. Train service between Port Jefferson and Stony Brook was restored during the Tuesday evening commute, which initially saw some cancellations due to downed trees and power outages.“I have authorized all resources from Parks and Waste Management Departments to assist the Highway Department in the clean-up effort,” added Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine.“As communities across the state continue to experience and respond to extreme storms, I am urging all New Yorkers in the impacted regions to exercise caution,” Cuomo said. “Thunderstorms and flash flooding can quickly create dangerous situations, and New Yorkers in any of the worst hit areas should be careful if they must leave home.”For updates on power outages and other services, customers should visit PSEG’s website: psegliny.com or call 1-800-490-0075.last_img read more

Lakers pre-draft workouts: Ivan Rabb believes 2nd season at Cal helped his development

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersOf that group, several NBA mock drafts tabbed Rabb as the most likely candidate the Lakers would select with their No. 28 pick on June 22.Among the reasons: Rabb finished tied for sixth in the Bears record books for career rebounding average (9.5 per game), and the 6-foot-11, 220-pound forward can defend multiple positions.“It’s having a nose for the ball and wanting it,” said Rabb, who also had pre-draft workouts with Milwaukee, Orlando, Miami, Boston and Oklahoma City before training next week in Orlando, Chicago and Toronto. “A lot of times, especially with offensive rebounds, you’re tired from setting screens and doing all types of stuff. You have to find the ball. When it hits the rim, beat the ball to the spot and grab it. It’s a mindset.”Rabb believed he developed that mindset by staying in college for another year, something he argued NBA teams have noticed.“I think they understand I’m trying to be a pro and be here a long time,” Rabb said. “I’m here to work. All you need is one team to love you. Whichever team takes me, I’m just going to give it my all and listen everyday and do whatever I can to be great.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error First things firstTuesday’s gathering resembled a near reunion of the Lakers’ NBA title teams in 2009 and 2010. After the workout ended, Lakers coach Luke Walton huddled with associate coach Brian Shaw and former forward Lamar Odom.Does that mean Odom will join Walton’s coaching staff? Odom said he hopes so, but the Lakers said Walton has simply invited Odom to observe the past two days of workouts. Nonetheless, Walton expressed openness last season about Odom helping the Lakers in some capacity.Familiar faceUnlike many of the draft prospects the team has been working out, Brown was not star struck when he walked into the Lakers’ practice facility. His brother, Shannon, played for the Lakers from 2009-11, so Brown already knew Walton and Odom.Nonetheless, Brown’s brother offered him advice for a workout that he called “definitely exciting.”“Go full force at everything I do,” Brown remembered his brother saying. “Try to build relationships with the coaches and go out there and have fun and don’t take nothing for granted.”Shannon Brown did that with the Lakers, becoming a reliable reserve with his dunking, athleticism and hustle.“I can score the ball and definitely defend,” said Sterling Brown, who averaged 13.4 points on 46.5 percent shooting during his senior season at SMU. “Those two things, that’s what I tried to show.”center_img EL SEGUNDO >> The idea was tempting, as Ivan Rabb pondered an NBA future in which he would represent the latest one-and-done player intent on basking in earnings and playing time.Even with the Cal forward projected to become an NBA lottery pick, however, Rabb chose to stay in college for his sophomore season. A year later, Rabb has fallen in NBA mock drafts as a likely late first-round selection. Still, Rabb said he had no regrets about prolonging his college career.“That helped me with my mentality, just knowing how to prepare myself coming into this year, knowing what to do before games and knowing what to do before practice and after practice,” Rabb said. “Small stuff like that that will help your longevity in the league. I feel like I really needed that year to just realize what I needed.”Rabb was one of six players to work out for the Lakers on Tuesday, joining Clemson senior forward Jaron Blossomgame, SMU senior guard Sterling Brown, Oregon sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey, Nevada sophomore forward Cameron Oliver and Florida State junior guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.last_img read more