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

As Feds crack down on payday lenders, fintech startups see an opportunity

first_img 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The future looks grim for payday lenders. Comedian John Oliver has had them in his crosshairs since 2014, attracting millions of viewers and stirring up plenty of outrage. President Obama began expressing concerns about their exploitative lending practices last spring. Google announced last month that it would no longer allow payday lenders to advertise. And now federal watchdogs have unveiled new rules that would dismantle a business model that often traps borrowers desperate for cash in cycles of spiraling debt.“The very economics of the payday lending business model depend on a substantial percentage of borrowers being unable to repay the loan and borrowing again and again at high interest rates,” Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), told the New York Times.Payday lenders say the risks associated with serving subprime borrowers justify their practices (20% of payday loans result in re-borrowing and default). But regulators aren’t buying that argument and an increasing number of financial technology startups are reinventing the lending business with a model that promises to help borrowers and build their credit at the same time.“I applaud what the CFPB is doing,” says Joe Bayen, cofounder and CEO of a fintech startup called Lenny, which offers young borrowers credit lines up to $1,000 and a chance to improve their credit scores through a partnership with FICO. “We offer increasing balances based on how a user behaves. Everything is aimed at upward mobility and helping people.” continue reading »last_img read more