Public letter to the U.S. Department of the Treasury from Venezuelan vice president

first_imgVenezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami, left, with President Nicolás Maduro.The Bolivarian government of Venezuela is fighting back against the outrageous allegations and sanctions levied against Vice President Tareck El Aissami by the Trump administration on Feb. 13. The U.S. has accused him of being an international drug kingpin with millions of dollars in assets in the United States to be frozen. The opposite is true. President Nicolás Maduro on Feb. 14 went on national television in Venezuela demanding a retraction and formal apology from the U.S. Workers World freely shares here a public letter from Vice President El Aissami, published as a full-page ad in the New York Times on Feb. 22. The letter has been lightly edited by WW.Mr. Steven T. MnuchinWashington, D.C.I write to you as a Venezuelan citizen and in my capacity as Executive Vice President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, … [in] reply to the issuance of sanctions against me by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) last Tuesday, Feb. 13.First, in your capacity as OFAC Authority you have been deceived by political sectors, lobbyists and stakeholders in the U.S. whose essential interest is to prevent the United States and Venezuela from restoring their political and diplomatic relations on the basis of mutual recognition and respect.These stakeholders not only lack any evidence to demonstrate the extremely serious accusations against me, but they also have built a false-positive case in order to criminalize — through me — the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, a country that is decidedly waging a war on the transnational drug trafficking business.You should be aware that when I headed the public security corps of my country, in 2008-2012, our fight against drug cartels achieved the greatest progress in our history and in the western hemisphere, both in terms of the transnational drug trafficking business and their logistics structures.During those years, the Venezuelan anti-drug enforcement authorities under my leadership captured, arrested and brought 102 heads of criminal drug trafficking organizations not only to Venezuelan justice but also to the justice of other countries where they were wanted.From these 102 captured drug lords, 21 were promptly deported to the USA and 36 to Colombia, in accordance with the requests made by the authorities of each country and in compliance with the international agreements on the fight against organized crime, facts formally acknowledged by the U.S. and Colombian authorities.Between 2005 and 2013, the seizure of drugs by the Venezuelan authorities averaged 56.61 tons per year, which is a far higher figure than the 34.94 tons per year averaged in the six preceding years, when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency was operating in Venezuela.This figure shows by itself the lack of commitment of the DEA to fighting drug trafficking, and upholds the very well-documented assertion of the connections between that U.S. agency with the criminal drug organizations. In addition, Venezuela has always been recognized by the United Nations as a drug-free territory.The extraordinary progress made by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the fight against drug trafficking — which I directed in my capacity as head of the public security corps — was acknowledged by international organizations, such as the United Nations Organization, and appears in the archives of the judicial bodies of the United States and Colombia, which countries also acknowledged the efforts that I headed against organized crime, which is unprecedented in our hemisphere.Further, [with] firm determination to face the international drug trafficking mafia, President Nicolas Maduro enacted a law in 2012 enabling the interdiction of any drug-trafficking aircraft violating Venezuelan airspace.Thanks to this modern legal instrument, Venezuela has destroyed, disabled or brought down over 100 aircraft belonging to the drug transport structure from Colombia and neighboring countries illegally flying over our territory.Venezuela is waging an all-out war against drugs because it is a cross-border crime against humanity, and because such fight is a shared responsibility, as members of the international community.Venezuela also fights drug cartels because our country and our people are victims of drug trafficking, particularly of the powerful Colombian illegal drug industry, the main supplier of the drug that floods the streets of the United States and Europe.You would need to investigate further before endorsing such false and reckless accusation, crafted by bureaucrats and anti-Venezuelan stakeholders, which sets a dangerous precedent in the relation between sovereign nations.The decision of 120 countries to reject these illegal measures adopted against Venezuela clearly demonstrates that this unilateral decision is a serious error of the U.S. administration, contrary to international law.But beyond any political and geopolitical considerations, OFAC’s decision constitutes a serious violation against my human rights and seriously damages my dignity and honor. I have led my personal, professional and political life in my country, which I love deeply and to which I devote my life through a political project whose supreme objective is the happiness of our people, equality and social justice.I have no assets or accounts in the United States or in any country of the world, and it is both absurd and pathetic that [a U.S.] administrative body — without presenting any evidence — adopts a measure to freeze goods and assets that I do not own at all.The intended sanctions, approved by the head of OFAC, on the very day of his confirmation as Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, are illegal and in violation of International Law. Acting ex officio and without any evidence, as an extraterritorial police and without having powers to do so, is a format that violates the entire international human rights system, whose doctrine prevails in the world.Paradoxically, whereas a governmental office dares to accuse, without evidence, people anywhere in the world — as recognized by the international organizations and academic research —  the “war on drugs” has failed all over the planet and especially in the U.S.Today more drugs are brought into the United States than ever before, while a corrupt and legal powerful financial structure legitimizes and recycles dirty money from this international illegal activity, which deprives thousands of [U.S.] young people of their life and future.The United States owes the world and their own people a reflection on the resounding failure of their fight against drugs. In the country where theso-called “war on drugs” has been implemented as a unilateral strategy, the drug cartels today are stronger than ever; the production of illegal drugs has multiplied, bringing about economic losses and, more importantly, more loss of human lives.How many chiefs of criminal drug organizations have been captured by the U.S in its territory? How many banks and tax havens have been closed down by the U.S. for supporting this gigantic illegal business and crime against humanity?Even though the U.S. claims an extraterritorial power to certify, accuse and punish people and countries, it has failed to ratify any of the international treaties concerning this sensitive issue.The United States must rethink this matter and rectify, particularly as to the application of policies and measures that are clearly against international laws and are aggressive and unfair in the realm of human rights; in addition, they are dangerous for international relations and unconstitutional in light of the U.S Constitution itself.The U.S. should [recognize] that only through joint, transparent and honest cooperation between the States, can the fruits the international community and world citizens be harvested.I am a Venezuelan citizen, I am a Bolivarian and a Latin American. I am fully convinced of the ideals of independence, justice and freedom for which our liberators gave their lives and I am willing to submit to the same fate in the defense of our sovereignty, our Homeland and our People.Tareck El AissamiExecutive Vice PresidentBolivarian Republic of VenezuelaFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, disabled activists, allies demand elevators, not more subway cops

first_imgDec. 3, inside Macy’s.The United Nations established the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Dec. 3, 1992, in a victory for the worldwide struggle of people with disabilities. IDPD has been celebrated around the planet to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of people with disabilities.For the fifth consecutive year, People’s Power Assemblies/NYC marked the IDPD with a Dec. 3 protest inside of Macy’s, which linked struggles for accessibility and against police repression in New York’s mass transit system.In 2016, a U.S. Federal Transit Administration report card on accessibility in subway stations in major U.S. cities showed New York last at 22 percent (with Miami at 100 percent), far below San Francisco, Atlanta and Los Angeles. (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 29, 2016) The situation has not improved; with frequent elevator breakdowns, this city’s subway accessibility is probably less than 20 percent. The PPA flyer declared: “We demand fully accessible transportation for all New Yorkers and real affordable housing and health care. We fight, each to their ability, against the murder, mass incarceration, warehousing and institutionalization of people with disabilities, especially Black and Brown folks.”Speakers at Herald Square — New York’s busiest holiday shopping center — included disabled activists from Disabled in Action, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Communications Workers Local 1180 Committee on People with Disabilities, People’s Power Assemblies/NYC, People’s MTA and Workers World Party. A veteran of the transit accessibility struggle in Canada joined the protest and shared common experiences and strategies in the fight for access.Then activists streamed through Macy’s department store on ramps between the floors, holding impromptu indoor rallies to make people aware that disabled people are not invisible and that disabled people are not disposable. Workers and shoppers cheered and encouraged the protesters on, as they proceeded to the last stop during rush hour Penn Station, where they chanted and held street meetings. Travelers waiting for trains stood around to listen, building small crowds.One rally speaker quoted from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which has been used in the disability community’s fight for elevators against the MTA in both the courts and the streets: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. … Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” (See tinyurl.com/wamv4or for a video of the protest.)   Yudelovich is a person with emotional and hearing loss disabilities and an organizer for the WWP People with Disabilities Caucus.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Families Forward’s “Power of Two” Virtual Event and Auction Set to Wrap Up on Friday

first_img Community News 51 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Families Forward Learning Center in Pasadena is set to conclude its Power of Two Virtual Auction, Friday, May 15.In addition to Pre-K student art, prizes include access to a suite in the Staples Center, various sports memorabilia, local trips and a Tequila Basket. The Power of Two auction, is an annual event to raise funds in support of the group’s community programs.Families Forward Learning Center opted to go virtual with Power of Two this year to comply with social distancing guidelines.“During this time, we are maintaining strong connections with our children and families through virtual delivery systems,” a Families Forward Learning Center statement said. “Our teachers and staff connect with our families daily providing home learning activities, read-alouds, music and movement and much needed mental health support and emergency assistance.”The project is almost halfway to a $100,000 collection goal, the statement said.“But we need your help to get there. Many of our families have lost income as a result of the pandemic and so too have many of our donors. That means the support of those of you who can give is more important now than ever before,” the statement continued.Families Forward.says, the Tikun Olam Foundation will match every dollar donated up to $10,000.“This means your gift can be twice as powerful,” a statement by Families Forward said. “Thank you to our generous sponsors and those of you who have donated. Your support through our virtual Power of Two Event and Auction will ensure Families Forward is able to continue to provide continued support.To donate or to register to bid in the online auction, visit www.familiesforwardlc.org/power-of-two-virtual. Bidding started on May 8 and will close at 7 p.m. Friday. Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Make a comment Non-Profits News Families Forward’s “Power of Two” Virtual Event and Auction Set to Wrap Up on Friday By ANDY VITALICIO Published on Thursday, May 14, 2020 | 11:20 am Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Top of the News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Pulse PollVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Subscribecenter_img CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Herbeauty15 Countries Where Men Have Difficulties Finding A WifeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyTiger Woods’ Ex Wife Found A New Love PartnerHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself Right NowHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty5 Things To Avoid If You Want To Have Whiter TeethHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Things You’ve Always Wanted To Know About RihannaHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyTiger Woods Is ‘Different Man’ 10 Years After ScandalHerbeautyHerbeauty Community News STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy More Cool Stuff Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Business Newslast_img read more

Global Feminine Hygiene Products Market to Grow by $7.11 Billion During 2020-2024 | 32%…

first_imgLocal NewsBusiness Facebook Twitter Pinterest Previous articleBeasley, Whitney lift Montana over Portland St. 70-64 in OTNext articleGlobal Intimate Wash Market to Grow by $123.74 Million During 2020-2024 | Forecasting Strategies for New Normal | Technavio Digital AIM Web Support Pinterest WhatsApp WhatsAppcenter_img Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Global Feminine Hygiene Products Market 2020-2024 Global Feminine Hygiene Products Market to Grow by $7.11 Billion During 2020-2024 | 32% Growth to Come From APAC | Technavio Twitter Facebook TAGS  By Digital AIM Web Support – February 5, 2021 last_img read more

The interpretation of spikes and trends in concentration of nitrate in polar ice cores, based on evidence from snow and atmospheric measurements

first_imgNitrate is frequently measured in ice cores, but its interpretation remains immature. Using daily snow surface concentrations of nitrate at Halley (Antarctica) for 2004 – 2005, we show that sharp spikes (> factor 2) in nitrate concentration can occur from day to day. Some of these spikes will be preserved in ice cores. Many of them are associated with sharp increases in the concentration of sea salt in the snow. There is also a close association between the concentrations of aerosol nitrate and sea salt aerosol. This evidence is consistent with many of the spikes in deposited nitrate being due to the conversion or trapping of gas- phase nitrate, i. e. to enhanced deposition rather than enhanced atmospheric concentrations of NOy. Previously, sharp spikes in nitrate concentration (with concentration increases of up to a factor 4 seen in probably just one snowfall) have been assigned to sharp production events such as solar proton events (SPEs). We find that it is unlikely that SPEs can produce spikes of the kind seen. Taken together with our evidence that such spikes can be produced depositionally, we find that it is not possible to track past SPEs without carrying out a new multi- site and multi- analyte programme. Seasonal and interannual trends in nitrate concentration in cores from any single site cannot be interpreted in terms of production changes until the recycling of nitrate from central Antarctica to coastal Antarctica is better quantified. It might be possible to assess the interannual input of NOy to the Antarctic lower troposphere by using a network of cores to estimate variability in the total annual deposition across the continent (which we estimate to be 9 +/- 2 x 10(7) kg/a – as NO3-), but it will first have to be established that the outflow across the coast can be ignored.last_img read more

Magnetic susceptibilities of rocks of the Antarctic Peninsula: Implications for the redox state of the batholith and the extent of metamorphic zones

first_imgA combination of 1555 magnetic susceptibility measurements from the Antarctic Peninsula between 65°S to 72°S (for which the raw data are made available), and petrological, structural and metamorphic data, has been used to improve understanding of: (1) magma sources for the Antarctic Peninsula batholith; (2) genetic relationships between granitoids and metamorphic rocks, and; (3) to provide a semi-quantitative measure of the extent and grade of metamorphic zones. The redox state of Jurassic plutonic rocks indicates that these had continental magma sources in the tectonostratigraphic terranes of the Central and Eastern domains. Triassic and Cretaceous plutons, on the other hand, had subduction-related sources in the Central Domain of the western Antarctic Peninsula and continental sources in the Gondwana-margin Eastern Domain. Circum-Pacific comparisons of magnetite–ilmenite belt geometries identify the Antarctic Peninsula belt as a natural continuation of comparable South American belts. Susceptibility trends are generally retained by orthogneisses, suggesting that they formed by deformation of plutonic rocks mostly at or below upper amphibolite-facies conditions. Metasedimentary rocks are weakly magnetic across the peninsula, and are spatially associated with continentally derived or crustally contaminated plutons (ilmenite-series). Orthogneisses and metabasites from strongly magnetic plutonic environments show areas of very low magnetic susceptibilities that may be linked to fluid-enhanced, tectonometamorphism-induced reduction of magnetic susceptibility. The distribution of reduced magnetic susceptibility areas follows the surface traces of major shear and fault zones in Palmer Land. Our results are consistent with tectonic interpretations of oblique compression and uplift of an arc block on the Pacific margin of Gondwana during the Palmer Land Event.last_img read more

Causes of the Antarctic region record high temperature at Signy Island, 30 January 1982

first_imgOn 30th January 1982, the research station on Signy Island (South Orkney Islands) reported a daily maximum temperature of 19.8 °C. This is a record maximum for any station south of 60°S. We use surface observations, atmospheric reanalyses and high-resolution atmospheric model simulations to investigate the drivers of this extreme event. At the time of the record temperature exceptionally warm air was being advected southwards towards the South Orkney Islands from the subtropical South Atlantic. This air mass cooled significantly at levels below 1 km during its long track over the cold Southern Ocean but remained relatively warm above this level. Atmospheric model simulations show that warm air from upper levels was brought down towards the surface over Signy Island in a föhn wind generated by northerly flow over Coronation Island, a mountainous island just to the north of Signy Island. Modelled temperatures over Signy Island are in good agreement with observations and thus support the hypothesis that the record temperature was caused by a combination of exceptional warm advection with conditions suitable for the generation of föhn. Since conditions conducive to föhn occur relatively frequently, föhn warming may have a significant influence on the local climate and ecology of Signy Island.last_img read more

Alito: US’ dedication To Religious Liberty Being Tested

first_img Alito: US’ Dedication To Religious Liberty Being Testedby Indiana LawyerThe U.S. is entering a period when its commitment to religious liberty is being tested, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito told an audience Wednesday at an event in Madison, New Jersey, sponsored by a Catholic lawyers’ organization.Alito used his own words from his dissent in the Supreme Court’s landmark same-sex marriage case, telling the gathering he had predicted opposition to the decision would be used to “vilify those who disagree, and treat them as bigots.”“We are seeing this is coming to pass,” he said, then mentioned Bob Dylan’s famous song lyric, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”“A wind is picking up that is hostile to those with traditional moral beliefs,” Alito said.The speech was sponsored by Advocati Christi, a group of Catholic lawyers and judges who seek to “provide an opportunity for lawyers to learn about the Catholic faith and Catholic social teaching and to help them integrate these into their life and practice.”Alito served as U.S. Attorney in New Jersey and was based in Newark while a member of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He has been a Supreme Court justice since 2006.In a roughly 45-minute speech that mentioned the Founding Fathers and 19th-century French writer Alexis De Tocqueville as well as Dylan and the 1960s TV sitcom “The Flying Nun,” Alito discussed the hostility faced by Catholics in the U.S. over the centuries, and of his own joy as a youth staying up until the wee hours of the morning to witness John F. Kennedy elected the first Roman Catholic president in 1960.“I felt it had lifted me up from the status of second-class American,” he said.While religious freedom has been recognized in Congress and in the courts, Alito said, attitudes are slower to change. He recounted a Democratic lawmaker who opposed his nomination in 2005 because Alito would make “too many Catholics on the court.”Alito said reactions to Supreme Court decisions such as the Hobby Lobby case, in which a company balked at being required to cover certain forms of contraception in its employee health plan, should spur action.“We are likely to see pitched battles in courts and Congress, state legislatures and town halls,” he said. “But the most important fight is for the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans. It is up to all of us to evangelize our fellow Americans about the issue of religious freedom.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Indiana Vague About Reasons For Withholding Pence’s Emails

first_imgIL for www.theindianalawyer.comIndiana officials are refusing to release an indeterminate number of emails from private AOL.com accounts Mike Pence used as governor, and they’re not saying whether the vice president’s lawyers influenced which messages should be withheld.Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office has released more than 1,300 pages of his predecessor’s emails, although most of the documents — released in multiple batches over recent months — contain little substance. They largely consist of correspondence from staffers sharing press releases or news articles, laudatory notes from Pence’s fans and documents so heavily redacted they’re barely readable.“It’s hard to justify withholding information after a governor leaves office,” said Nate Jones, of The National Security Archive at George Washington University, which advocates for government transparency. “It makes it look like they aren’t subscribing to good open government practices.”A Pence spokeswoman declined to comment on Monday.The Associated Press has sought emails from Pence’s private AOL accounts, which he regularly used for state business, since shortly after he was tapped to be Donald Trump’s running mate in July 2016.The emails released to date reveal little about some of the divisive topics that defined Pence’s term as governor, including a religious objections law he signed in 2015 that critics decried as discriminatory against gays. Amid the national backlash, Pence held a press conference to push back, hired a crisis management firm and ultimately signed a “fix” into law.But 293 pages of recently released emails about the controversy predominantly consist of news story summaries and links. A few show Pence staffers providing an opinion article to the Wall Street Journal. And one exchange alerts him that the publication of a critical story was postponed. Left out, however, was any meaningful discussion about one of the most difficult situations he faced as governor.Indiana has a weaker public records law than many states, and Holcomb’s office says it can withhold records deemed “advisory” or “deliberative.” Those classifications are open-ended, giving state officials wide latitude to shield from disclosure documents containing internal debates, advice or speculation. Holcomb’s office also declined to provide an accounting of the number of emails it withheld because state law doesn’t require it.“Not knowing what they are withholding is a big disadvantage to the public,” said Gerry Lanosga, an Indiana University journalism professor and former investigative reporter. “Without at least an index or some detail about what those records are, it’s hard not to be skeptical.”During the presidential campaign, Pence suggested that Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server while secretary of state disqualified her from becoming president because it threatened state security. His aides have said charges of hypocrisy regarding his own private email use are unfair because there is a big difference between the secretary of state’s correspondence about sensitive national matters and business conducted by a governor.Pence aides have said that he had an Indiana government email account, but it is unclear if he regularly used it. Most records released before and after he was governor either obscured his email account domain name or show they were routed to an AOL.com account.Still, one of Pence’s AOL.com accounts was subject to a phishing scheme in spring 2016, when his contacts were sent an email falsely claiming that the governor and his wife were stranded in the Philippines and needed money.At Holcomb’s request, Pence’s attorneys provided guidance about what could be withheld, state records show. Holcomb’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Wilson, declined to comment specifically on how much weight was given to that advice but said the governor’s office is “independently evaluating” disclosure decisions.Pence long presented himself as a champion of the free press, but his office regularly delayed or withheld documents when he was governor.It was only after Pence’s use of the private AOL accounts was widely reported in March that he handed over 13 boxes of paper copies. A searchable electronic database wasn’t provided to state officials until July, as they faced a backlog of more than 50 records requests for Pence’s emails from news organization, activists and political parties, among others.As governor, Pence stuck to a tight script, often offering vague talking points instead of concrete detail. The records could offer a window into weighty public policy decisions Pence made.Besides the religious objections law, he also drew negative attention over new abortion restrictions he signed into law, and a standoff he had with the Catholic Church over attempts to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indianapolis.Indiana also faced two high-profile public health crises during his time in office. Public health officials have said Pence’s initial reluctance to allow needle exchanges exacerbated a southern Indiana HIV outbreak tied to intravenous drug use. In 2016, lead contamination from a superfund site in northwest Indiana eventually led to the evacuation of a housing complex.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

News story: Companies House shortlisted for Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) award

first_imgLouise Smyth, Chief Executive of Companies House and Registrar of Companies for England and Wales said: We’re absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for such a prestigious CIPR award. There are a number of highly recognised and respected organisations in our category, so for our communications to be considered in the same class as these organisations is brilliant. Our communications team has worked really hard on this campaign, showing passion and dedication to produce imaginative and creative content across all our external digital channels. Congratulations and good luck to all those shortlisted. The CIPR Excellence Awards recognise the outstanding work an organisation has been delivering for its customers and employees. Being shortlisted for a CIPR award marks you out as an industry leader in the area of external communications, and demonstrates the value of public relations (PR) to the wider business world.This ‘best use of digital’ award recognises a successful campaign or project delivering PR objectives that make imaginative use of content on digital media channels.We entered our small business case studies, ‘Who we are and what we do’ animations and ‘Bizarre filing excuses’ content which formed an overarching ‘Who we are, what we do’ campaign.last_img read more