By Dialogo February 14, 2012 On February 10, Colombia and Venezuela agreed to conduct coordinated operations against drug trafficking, as part of binational security programs that include confronting kidnapping, extortion, and illegal armed groups. The agreement was reached during a meeting in Colombia between the defense ministers of both countries, as part of the process of normalizing relations between their governments after a 2010 diplomatic crisis that originated in security issues. “It was a frank and friendly meeting; we’re reactivating our mechanisms of trust, and we’re working to confront transnational crime together,” Colombian Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón said. This was Pinzón’s first meeting with his counterpart, General Henry Rangel, named to that post by President Hugo Chávez. “To the extent that we see results, trust between the two countries will continue to be increased,” Pinzón stated, upon revealing that the Colombian and Venezuelan Air Forces will conduct simultaneous operations to intercept drug planes that move between the two countries. Another of the fronts on which the two countries will move forward will be the fight against kidnapping, with a protocol that was established to enable a joint reaction by the authorities in response to the report of a kidnapping along their shared border, the Colombian official revealed. For his part, Rangel said that the two countries took a step toward putting an end to “myths” that have damaged bilateral relations. Colombia and Venezuela share a 2,219-kilometer land border, along which the presence of guerrillas and criminal gangs dedicated to drug trafficking and made up of former ultra-right-wing paramilitaries is reported.
As questions mount over the validity of the government’s COVID-19 data, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil confirmed that the numbers announced by the Health Ministry in its daily press conferences did not match that reported by his regional administration.“After [the COVID-19 outbreak] ends, I need to press the central government to give more powers to regional governments in dealing with crisis,” Ridwan said in a roundtable discussion with foreign ambassadors on Monday. He said this was necessary because regional administrations had a better grasp of grassroots level data. “For example, I reported 30 cases today, the central government put five in the report. I reported seven today, the central government reports 50,” he said. “That’s why in today’s pandemic we are using our own data, not using the central government’s data to create scientific data analysis.”According to the Health Ministry’s official count, the number of new cases in West Java has fluctuated widely in the past few weeks, with some days reporting zero new confirmed cases and other days more than 100 new cases.Ridwan said the data discrepancies also extended to government COVID-19 aid, adding that this confusion was the main cause of public dissatisfaction during the outbreak“We discuss the potential for social unrest [due to economic concerns] with the local intelligence agencies, but so far there has been no issue, only confusion from the public about how we’re handling [the outbreak],” he said.Topics :
Published on March 22, 2018 at 6:49 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 OMAHA, Neb. — One day before 11th-seeded Syracuse (23-13, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) faces No. 2 seed Duke (28-7, 13-5), Orange head coach Jim Boeheim discussed the Sweet 16 matchup from the CenturyLink Center. Here are three notable things he said.Down-low duoDuke’s Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter, Jr. are leading the show. The freshmen clean up boards inside, collecting easy put-back points. They back down fellow bigs. And they dunk. Bagley III, a probable lottery pick in June, averages a team-high 21.2 points and 11.3 boards per game. Carter Jr. averages 13.6 points and 9.2 boards per game. Against Syracuse on Feb. 24, a 60-44 Duke win, Bagley III had a game-high 19 points. Carter Jr. added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Whether SU can prevent both from similar production on Friday night could dictate who goes home and who keeps dancing. “They’re a problem inside for everybody,” Boeheim said. “They’ve averaged right around that for the year. What they did against us wasn’t unusual. I think they averaged pretty close to that, 34, someplace in that area.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Our center got in foul trouble down there. We did a good job on the perimeter shooters. That’s important. But we played against three pretty good man-to-man defensive teams, and seeing that Duke does play some man-to-man, it wouldn’t surprise me if they played man-to-man in some cases against us. I think we’ve overall played pretty well against zones this year.”The beauty in low-scoring, defensive battlesSyracuse arguably is playing the best defense in the country right now, holding three-straight opponents who averaged 80-plus points per game to under 60. First was Arizona State last Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio, for the Sun Devils were once ranked in the AP Top 5 and proved capable of efficient offense. Then SU held TCU to just 52 points, and only 24 in the second half. On Sunday, Syracuse played perhaps its best defense all season. The Michigan State Spartans boasted a deep, high-powered offense that had powered them to 30 wins and only four losses. Yet SU held them to 53 points in front of a mostly MSU-backed crowd in Detroit. “Everybody says defense wins games, but then when they see it they don’t like it,” Boeheim said. “I think there’s a beauty in that or 90 to 95 or 100. And you can do that; you can watch the NBA and see that anytime you want to. College basketball is different. It’s always been different. You can control the game a little bit more with your defense and with your offense a little bit, too.“We just aren’t good on that end (offense) of the court,” he added. “Where we struggle is on that end. On defense, if you like defense, it’s good to watch. But our offense has struggled and that gets difficult sometimes. I don’t like to watch it sometimes.”Appreciating Big Dance expansionBoeheim said he’s an advocate of an expanded NCAA Tournament. For years, the field consisted of 64 teams. But in 2011, the NCAA expanded that number to 68, including four additional teams that would compete in “play-in games,” such as the game in which Syracuse played last week against Arizona State. The First Four is a series of play-in games contested between teams holding the four lowest-seeded automatic bids and the four lowest-seeded at-large bids. In 2011, VCU most famously made a run from the First Four as a No. 11 seed out to the Final Four. La Salle (2013) and Tennessee (2014) each made the Sweet 16 as First Four teams, and Syracuse has this March. For that reason, Boeheim said, more bubble teams should be allowed in. “It used to be, if you were on a bubble, you probably couldn’t win anyway,” Boeheim said. “But now those teams can win. And there’s more than a couple of teams that are on the bubble. But I’ve always advocated for more teams from when it was 64 to 68. And the playoff system that we have this year, when we go and play, I think you could duplicate that in another regional and get a couple more teams in or four more teams in, whatever the number is.“And I just think that when you give fan bases and players that opportunity to go play, even if you don’t win, you had that opportunity,” he added. “And I just think it’s a great thing, because if it hadn’t gone from 64 to 68 we wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t be here now.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+