Cooperation crucial in the fight against organized crime The criminal activities of organized crime groups, such as drug smuggling, extortion, kidnapping, and human trafficking, have led to increased levels of violence in several OAS countries in recent years. For example, from 2000 to 2011, the homicide rate in El Salvador jumped from 60 to 69 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). During that time, the number of killings in Honduras rose from 51 to 92 per 100,000 residents. In Guatemala, the number of killings ncreased from 26 to 39 for every 100,000 inhabitants. The violent street gangs Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, and Barrio 18, or 18th Street, operate in each of those countries, where they engage in domestic drug dealing, extortion, and firearms trafficking. Those gangs are responsible for much of the violence in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. These gangs also have alliances with Mexican drug trafficking organizations, such as the Sinaloa Cartel, which is led by fugitive kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and Los Zetas. Strengthening joint actions Security officials in Latin America need reliable equipment, technological tools, and sound tactical and strategic plans to succeed in their battle against organized crime, officials from more than 30 countries agreed following a recent conference. These were the main conclusions reached during the IV meeting of the Ministers of Security in the Americas (MISPA) in Medellin, Colombia. Officials from the 35 countries which comprise the Organization of American States (OAS) participated in the conference, which took place Nov. 21-22 2013. Security officials at the conference also determined that regional cooperation between OAS countries is crucial in the fight against transnational criminal threats. Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, and United States Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. were among the officials who attended the conference. The two-day meeting strengthened ties between OAS countries which battle transnational criminal organizations, Pinzón said. “The summit is an instrument that strengthens and reinforces joint actions against transnational crime and criminal behaviors that are common in these countries,” Pinzón said. Many OAS members face the shared threat posed by transnational criminal organizations, Pinzón explained. Transnational criminal organizations are “a global challenge that prevents the development of countries and violates human rights,” the defense minister said. Gangs in Colombia An international commission Colombian security forces are battling several organized crime groups, including the drug trafficking gangs “Los Rastrojos” and “Los Urabeños.” Both of these gangs have alliances with Mexican drug cartels. ”, both linked to drug trafficking in collusion with Mexican drug cartels, especially the Sinaloa Cartel, led by the fugitive of justice, Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán. Colombian officials are negotiating with representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which has been fighting the government for 50 years. The ongoing negotiations are taking place in Havana. Organized crime activity increases violence By Dialogo December 19, 2013 At the end of the meeting, MISPA defined strategies for regional cooperation in the fight against transnational criminal organizations. The strategy calls for joint investigation protocols and improving the lines of communication for police forces from different countries to share information. Several OAS member countries are already cooperating in the fight against organized crime. For example, on Nov. 14, 2013 in Piura, Peru, the presidents of Peru and Ecuador agreed to strengthen cooperation on security in the fight against human trafficking and the illegal sale of fuel. The agreement President Ollanta Humala of Peru and President Rafael Correa of Ecuador marked the closing of the VII Binational Ministerial Cabinet. On Nov. 23, 2013, President Correa met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to discuss the progress of the agreements reached during the first Binational Cabinet meeting between the two countries. This meeting was held in December 2012, in Tulcán, Ecuador, where eight agreements were signed on issues of security, transportation, education, tourism, and petroleum. During the MISPA meeting, Insulza urged officials from OAS nations to support the idea of forming an international commission to fight transnational crime. “I hope that the proposal for an Inter-American Commission against organized transnational crime is considered and realized, because even today, in the second decade of the 21st century, we do not have a technical-political agency dedicated to organizing and coordinating collective efforts to address the growing threat of transnational organized crime,” the OAS Secretary General said. “In the five years that have passed since our first meeting in Mexico City, the issue of public security has become a cornerstone for OAS actions. MISPA has been institutionalized and response capabilities of the various agencies have increased,” Insulza said.
CFPB views credit unions’ payday alternative loans as a “good product” and wants to make room for those loans in its payday lending rulemaking, CFPB Director Richard Cordray told the Senate Banking Committee Thursday as he delivered his semiannual report to the panel.In testimony similar to that given last month before the House Financial Services Committee, Cordray testified before the panel about CFPB’s regulatory and enforcement activities, future rulemaking and the bureau’s regulatory relief efforts for credit unions.The CFPB director fielded numerous questions from committee members on matters important to credit unions, including consumer services and regulatory topics, such as the bureau’s exemption authority.Asked by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., what solutions are out there for small, short-term credit, Cordray noted the role of credit unions and singled out PALs as a good, law-abiding product. He added that the bureau wants to allow room for the product under any new rules on payday lending. continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
In 2015 OAK carried out a comprehensive survey of the quality of external audit reports and found a high error rate. It subsequently issued a draft directive laying down requirements for auditors, which the cabinet noted was strongly criticised by associations and authorities.The government was subsequently commissioned to check whether OAK’s directive was in line with its legal authority and to potentially consider adjustments. Today’s report is the outcome of that review process.It reaching its conclusions the government also had the input of an opinion from an independent expert, Thomas Gächter of the University of Zurich, although it effectively disagreed with his view that OAK should be denied any authority to give instructions to auditors.If the supervisor were only permitted to issue recommendations, it would ultimately not be able to fulfil its task of making sure that the occupational pension system as a whole was functioning reliably, according to the government.However, the statutory authority to issue directives only applied to those that were needed for quality assurance, it noted in its report. It did not extend to issuing stipulations relating to the admission of auditors, which was the responsibility of the federal audit supervisor.The audit authority has previously warned about weaknesses in the auditing of the country’s pension funds. The Swiss federal pensions regulator “exceeded its legal authority” when it proposed requirements that related to the admission of external auditors of occupational pension funds, according to the country’s government.Although the Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK BV) was allowed to issue certain technical instructions to pension fund auditors as part of its statutory mandate, the introduction of a special permit for examining pension funds was a matter for lawmakers, the federal council said in a report published today.However, it was in agreement with the OAK that there were issues that need to be addressed with regard to the auditing of occupational pension funds, as previously outlined by the regulator.The cabinet had therefore instructed the federal department for internal affairs to weigh possible legislative steps, including whether the federal audit supervisory authority should be assigned sole responsibility for admitting and supervising auditors of occupational pension funds.
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“I can now confirm that there is a lifeless body, our team is still collecting more information on ground and the body is to be taken to Mulago for postmortem,” Owoyesigyire said.Muhangi’s lifeless body was reportedly found lying in his bed by his child around 7:30am. The Igara East MP, Michael Mawanda is among the more than 30 people URN found at the late Muhangi’s home.Mawanda says the deceased’s family, told him that Muhangi retired to bed at 1am after holding meetings with unnamed people at his home. “They told me by the time he went to sleep he was well and didn’t complain of anything,” Mawanda told URN.He however, says the family was shocked to find Muhangi’s lifeless body in his bed this morning. Mary Karooro Okurut, the Minister of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister couldn’t speak much only saying “It’s sad. We are still in great shock over his passing.” MuhangiKampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Businessman and rally ace Charles Muhangi is dead. Vincent Sekaate, the CID Spokesperson Kampala has confirmed Muhangi’s death.However, details about the death are still scanty. Muhangi has been embroiled in a wrangle with businessman, Drake Lubega over the ownership of Qualicel Bus Terminal in Kampala.Last month, President Museveni met the two businessmen and agreed to settle their dispute.Muhangi, a former African Rally Champion, was the also the owner of Horizon Coaches.Muhangi and co driver Byaruhanga were the first Black Africans to win the African Rally Championship back in 1999.He was best known in motor sport circles for his bravado, and drove a Subaru Impreza he dubbed Ekitaguriro as he took on the established stars of the nineties and early 2000s.Police seal off Muhangi homeScene of Crime Officers early Thursday sealed off the home of Muhangi to collect information relating to his death.The team is led by the Kabalagala Division Police Commander, Edrisa Kyeyune. Shortly after arriving at the home in Lower Mawanga in Buziga in Makindye Division, the officers sealed it off before entering the house to draw a sketch of the crime scene.The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Luke Owoywsigyire, says once the Scene of Crime Officers are done, Muhangi’s body will be transferred to Mulago National Referral Hospital for postmortem. Details to followShare on: WhatsApp Willy Robert, the Lower Mawanga Village Chairperson, describes Muhangi’s death as sad.*****URN
Two people are dead, and another 20 are injured, after a gunman allegedly opened fire at an off-campus Texas A&M University-Commerce Halloween and homecoming party Saturday night.According to Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks, the shooter may have been targeting a certain person at the gathering of about 750 people in Greenville, which is 15 miles southwest of the campus.The shooting occurred around midnight Saturday. Meeks says the injured included four people who did not have suffer gunshot wounds but were instead hurt while attempting to run from the scene.Authorities believe the male shooter entered the venue through a back door and then began firing with a handgun. He remains on the loose, and they do not know who he is or have a description of him.Sheriff’s deputies had been questioning a party-goer in front of the building due to complaints of parking on the roadway blocking traffic. That is when they heard gunshots coming from the back of the building.Meeks says the two deceased victims are both males, but he did not know if they were A&M-Commerce students.School and sheriff’s officials add that the party was not a school-sponsored event.The party was being held at a facility called The Party Venue. The owner is cooperating with authorities, Meeks says.According to its website, Texas A&M University-Commerce is the second-largest university in the Texas A&M University System. The school, which was founded in 1889, has about 6,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students.
Americans will gain an extra hour of sleep this weekend as Sunday marks the end of daylight saving time.At 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 3rd, people across the U.S. will need to “fall back” one hour to reflect the new time.It won’t affect residents of Arizona, Hawaii, and many of the U.S. territories.President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, which established daylight saving time from the second Sunday of March through the first Sunday of November.Inside Edition offers tips to help one adjust to daylight saving time in the video above!
Orange County Sheriff’s responded to a scene at a club in a shopping plaza north of Orlando after a shooting occurred that left two men dead.According to reports, over 250 people fled the scene after the shots were fired.Security was at the event but appeared to be outside when the shooting broke out.“We are told some security guards were outside at the time of the shooting, but investigators say they don’t believe they screened or searched any of the party-goers before entering,” Jamie Hoffman of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.Officials say they are still looking for a suspect.
A Kentucky man has been arrested after he reportedly killed and skinned four dogs to make what he called a “doggy coat.”38-year-old Jonathan D. Watkins was arrested on December 23rd after one of his neighbor’s contacted police about the incident.The neighbor told authorities that Watkins showed up to their home around 1:20 pm covered in blood and asking for a cigarette. When the neighbor inquired why Watkins was covered in blood, Watkins replied “I’ve been skinning dogs.”The neighbor says he didn’t initially believe Watkins, however, when the neighbor went walking by Watkins home later that afternoon, they saw what they believed to be four animal skins and two dog carcasses on his porch. That’s when the neighbor called police.Authorities say two residents contacted them earlier about their missing dogs, however, authorities had not been able to locate them.When a trooper made contact with Watkins about the missing dogs and the carcasses on his porch, Watkins told the trooper: “I’m making myself a Doggy Coat. ” He then went on to say that he didn’t see anything wrong with making the coat and that he killed the animals by “stabbing them in the heart” before he skinned them and abandoned their carcasses over a nearby hill.Watkins is now facing animal cruelty charges in addition to charges for tampering with physical evidence.
Police arrested a North Carolina police officer who had been fired for harassing rape victims by accessing a police database to obtain information about the women and sending them sexual messages, reports say.34-year-old Paul George Matrafailo was charged with illegally accessing government computers.Court documents say Matrafailo was a detective with the Fayetteville Police Department but was fired on May 7 after three women accused him of sending them sexual messages.
A possible case of coronavirus here in South Florida recently affected emergency operations at a hospital, according to reports.Workers at Memorial Regional Hospital in Broward allegedly told at least one fire-rescue department not to bring anyone to their emergency room.Dr. Bindu Mayi, an infectious disease specialist and professor of microbiology at Nova Southeastern University, says she had heard about the potential Hollywood case from medical colleagues.“If there is a local case, it is something we [the public] should all be made aware of,” Mayi says. “The absence of information becomes conjecture and that’s a dicey thing. If there is a local case, people who are immune-suppressed may need to be more discerning about not being in large crowds or gathering where don’t know who has been exposed to what.”Memorial Regional Hospital officials would not comment on the status of the woman who arrived last Friday afternoon in their emergency room. Hospital spokeswoman Kerting Baldwin explains, “There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus at Memorial.”Hollywood Fire Rescue was informed of the situation in the emergency room. “At one point we offered to wear masks, but that was overkill because the patient suspected of coronavirus was already in isolation,” says Patrick Moore, division chief of operations at Hollywood Fire Rescue.Amanda Conwell, a spokesperson for the Pembroke Pines Police Department, says her staff was told for a brief time Friday evening not to transport anyone to Memorial until a proper quarantine was established. She adds that the action was based on information they had and did not indicate that there was a confirmed case within the county.Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Health will not comment on the possible case.State health officials explain they are concerned about creating panic or compromising patient privacy by disclosing too much information. They may use their website to inform the public about pending cases and results.“We’ve kicked it around and bounced it off leadership and we hope to have something soon,” says Brad Dalton, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Health. “You don’t want to scare people, and you want to make sure when information gets out there it’s what does the public the most good.”The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. stood at 12 on Wednesday.Tests were pending on 76 possible coronavirus cases across the country as of Wednesday. The CDC does not indicate where in the United States those tests have been conducted, although at least some of them have come from Florida.A week ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a visit to Boca Raton that all tests for coronavirus in our state were sent to the CDC in Atlanta and had come back negative.South Florida hospitals say that staff from the health department have met with them in order to ensure they are properly screening and preparing for a possible coronavirus case here.Local doctors also believe it is only a matter of time before coronavirus reaches Florida.“We know we are at high risk with international travelers coming to our area,” says Dr. Ivan Gonzalez, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Jackson Memorial and UM Health. “A lot of this is going to rely on self-reporting — awareness and education are key.”A quarantine station at Miami International Airport that is staffed by the CDC is screening international passengers flying into the region.Florida’s Department of Health says it is unclear when and where tests kits will be widely available in Florida.The virus originated in Wuhan, China. It has spread to 28 countries. There are more than 24,000 confirmed cases in China alone.Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared coronavirus a public health emergency, imposing a mandatory quarantine for any citizen who had traveled to China’s Hubei province during the previous two weeks.In addition, planes carrying U.S. citizens who have recently been in China are only allowed to land at one of 11 designated airports, none of which are in Florida. As of Wednesday, more than 500 people have died as a result of the virus.