ALSO: First performances February 10 of Michael Xavier and Anna Francolini, who are joining the Menier Chocolate Factory company of director Jamie Lloyd’s superlative revival of Assassins, replacing Aaron Tveit and Catherine Tate, respectively. (Tate then returns to the show after two weeks.) The same night sees the first preview at Wyndham’s Theatre of another of the best productions of 2014: director Ivo van Hove’s searing take on A View from the Bridge, now on the West End after deserved praise at the Young Vic. Mark Strong and Nicola Walker once again head the cast. ALSO: Greg Wise—also known as Emma Thompson’s husband—returns to the London stage for the first time in 17 years to lead the Park Theatre cast of Brad Fraser’s play Kill Me Now: first preview is February 19. February 22 marks the final performance of writer-performer Daniel Kitson’s delightful two-hander Tree at the Old Vic, with the popular comedian playing the inhabitant of a tree who gets a chance visit from a lovelorn Tim Key. ALSO: Broadway’s favorite Frenchwoman Liliane Montevecchi (Nine, Grand Hotel), comes to the Crazy Coqs cabaret near Piccadilly Circus for five evenings beginning February 24. Last chance February 28 to see Jenna Augen’s star-making turn in the London premiere at the St. James Theatre of the off-Broadway hit Bad Jews; her excellent co-star is Ilan Goodman, son of the Olivier Award-winning actor Henry Goodman. FEBRUARY 16-22 Coming Home: Mark Rylance has three Tony Awards to his name, not to mention the starring role in the acclaimed new TV adaptation of Wolf Hall. Not one to forget his roots, Rylance stars in the new play with music, Farinelli and the King, opening February 20 at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at his onetime home, Shakespeare’s Globe. The author is Rylance’s wife, Claire van Kampen. Three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance returns to the playhouse he once ran, and the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical The Book of Mormon gets two new leads—these are just two of the highlights of a richly varied month in London. Plus, Patrick Marber’s era-defining play Closer is back on the London stage and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical premieres in the UK, with Katie Brayben stepping into Jessie Mueller’s Tony-winning shoes. For more on these shows and many others, read on. FEBRUARY 2-8 More Mormons: As proof that you can’t get too much of a good thing, along comes the third set of American leading men to head the West End cast of The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Nic Rouleau and Brian Sears will play Elder Price and Elder Cunningham beginning February 2; the invaluable Olivier Award-winning Stephen Ashfield continues as Elder McKinley. ALSO: Russell Labey’s adaptation of Gods and Monsters, the story of Frankenstein film director James Whale, begins February 5 at the Southwark Playhouse. Last chance February 7 to see the gifted Tobias Menzies steer his masterful way through Wallace Shawn’s solo play The Fever, which has been performed to audiences of 25 people a night in a suite at the five-star May Fair Hotel. FEBRUARY 9-15 Closer than Ever: Patrick Marber’s career-making play Closer was an instant London sensation in 1997 and crossed the Atlantic to Broadway acclaim in 1999, with the late Natasha Richardson heading the New York cast. The on-a-roll Donmar now hosts its first London revival, beginning previews February 12 and with an eye-poppingly good cast that includes Rufus Sewell, Nancy Carroll, Oliver Chris, and newcomer Rachel Redford; David Leveaux directs. FEBRUARY 23-MARCH 1 Crossing the Pond: The Carole King musical Beautiful has arrived in the land of the Queen. British performer Katie Brayben, most recently seen playing Princess Diana in the Mike Bartlett play King Charles III, will play the Grammy-winning singer songwriter, a role originated by Tony winner Jessie Mueller on Broadway. Alan Morrissey plays Gerry Goffin in director Marc Bruni’s production, opening February 24 at the Aldwych Theatre. View Comments
Haitian election officials say former first lady Mirlande Manigat and popular singer Michel Martelly will face off in the presidential runoff election set for March 20. The electoral commission’s announcement on 3 February means ruling party candidate Jude Celestin is out of the race – an outcome supported by the international community. The long-awaited final results of the disputed November election differ from preliminary results, which put Celestin in the runoff with Manigat. The national coordinator for the ruling party, Senator Joseph Lambert, told the French news agency, AFP that the party accepts removing Celestin from the race to avoid economic sanctions against Haiti and to ease social tensions. The head of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, expressed “respect” for the results of 3 February, and said the group hopes that they are received in an environment of “trust and tranquility.” A recent OAS report, backed by the United States, recommended that Martelly be placed in the runoff instead of Celestin, citing irregularities and fraud in the balloting. The U.S. ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, called 3 February a “good day in Haiti” and said the United States is pleased that the election commission seems to have been “very diligent” in following the OAS recommendations. He urged all Haitians to remain calm and peaceful. Riots erupted in December after the electoral commission initially announced that Martelly was eliminated, with his supporters accusing the Haitian government of vote-rigging. Many banks and other businesses closed early on 2 February because of fears the new results could trigger violence. But the streets were calm the next day after the announcement. Adding to political tensions in Haiti was the surprise return last month of former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier after 25 years in exile. A second exiled Haitian leader, former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, also contributed to the political suspense, after the government said it would grant him a diplomatic passport to return to Haiti. By Dialogo February 08, 2011
By Yolima Dussán/Diálogo April 25, 2017 Carrying out a coordinated joint operation within the framework of the Colombian Armed Forces Strategic Plan, the Colombian Air Force (FAC, per its Spanish acronym), Navy, and police units have seized half a ton of cocaine in Caribbean waters as they confront transnational organized crime. The seizure took place when Colombian authorities detected a go-fast boat that had capsized in rough weather. “After making contact with the foundering power boat, 17 sacks wrapped in plastic and one container filled with communication equipment were found. These items were taken to the Coast Guard Station in Cartagena, a Colombian port city,” Rear Admiral Juan Francisco Herrera Leal, commander of Neptuno 53 Antinarcotics Task Force, told Diálogo. During their routine investigation authorities found that the illegal shipment contained cocaine hydrochloride and that it belonged to a criminal group known as the Gulf Clan, a cell that frequents this route to ferry drugs to Central American and Caribbean countries en route to the United States and Europe. The half-ton seized has a market value of more than $30 million on the international market, reported the Colombian antinarcotics force. Modified aircraft and versatile crew The boat was detected by an SR-560 airplane from the FAC’s 3rd Combat Air Command and by aircraft attached to the Caribbean Naval Air Group. “This [SR-560] is a specialized aircraft outfitted with search and tracking equipment that has been modified for these kinds of operations into a versatile craft capable of very high as well as low speeds, and of remaining at one location for a considerable amount of time in order to carry out interceptions,” said Colonel Alexander García Agudelo of the 3rd Combat Air Command. “These aircraft are manned by crews who are specially trained to direct Colombian Navy fast boats, or those of other nations, out to the illegal vessels.” “At present, we have three routes along the Caribbean coast that are used by criminals for drug trafficking. The southern route is without a doubt the easiest one, for its proximity to Panama. The central route is used by vessels departing from the cities of Cartagena, Barranquilla, and Coveñas. And the northern route is used by power boats setting out from Santa Marta and La Guajira,” Rear Adm. Herrera reported. “We made this seizure at one of the interdiction checkpoints for the northern and central exit routes.” Boats with fewer drugs A large portion of Colombian water interdiction is conducted using go-fast boats, which are the type most used by criminal organizations for narcotics trafficking. These boats measure 10 meters in length and use two or three outboard motors of 200 horsepower each, enabling them to reach speeds of up to 50 knots, depending on sea conditions. Using these boats, criminals can travel on the high seas for 36 hours nonstop. They generally carry half- or one-ton drug loads and an average of 25 55-gallon fuel tanks as the engines require a great deal of fuel. “We managed to reduce the number of drugs being transported in these boats in the months of January, February, and March of this year , compared with the corresponding period over the last three years,” said Rear Adm. Herrera. “Before, we would seize 1.5 tons per boat on average; but this year the numbers have changed. The shipments don’t exceed 400 or 500 kilograms.” As a result of the successful interdictions performed by Colombia’s security forces, the boats now carry less contraband. So far this year, the Colombian authorities have seized 11.2 tons of drugs while dismantling major crime syndicates through the criminal prosecutions relating to those seizures. Greater monitoring of ports In their continuing fight against crime, Colombia’s antinarcotics forces have decided to ramp up monitoring of Caribbean coast ports. During 2015 and 2016, 27 tons of drugs reached the European Union in merchant ship containers, which were seized by local authorities. Colombia’s security forces calculate that up to 80 tons of narcotics may have traveled along this route. For that reason, the Colombian Navy is working with the antinarcotics and port police in a joint interagency effort coordinated by Colombia’s Office of the Attorney General and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to reinforce port monitoring. “We are in an ongoing struggle to achieve our goal of preventing the trafficking of narcotics out of Colombia. This crime is fueling instability in our country. We are working to refine this system involving the participation of government agencies such as the Colombian Armed Forces, police agencies, and agencies from other countries that we have accords with, such as the United States and Central American and Caribbean countries. Through this domestic and international synergy we hope to stamp out this scourge,” Col. García told Diálogo.
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Topics : Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced openness Thursday to US participation in World Health Organization efforts on polio and other diseases, despite vows to freeze funds over its coronavirus response.President Donald Trump on April 14 said he would cut off money to the UN body which he accused of acting too late on the pandemic and blindly taking the word of China, where the SARS-CoV-2 virus was first detected.Pompeo, in two interviews on Thursday, said the Trump administration recognized that the WHO worked on a wide range of issues. The wild version of the crippling disease only remains in two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where polio vaccination has been an international priority.Pompeo’s remarks came as lawmakers from the rival Democratic Party press for details on WHO funding cuts, saying the Trump administration has only offered talking points and not specified how it is cutting funds.The United States has been the top donor to the WHO, contributing more than $400 million a year.Critics say Trump has sought to highlight missteps by the WHO to deflect blame over his own handling of COVID-19, which has killed almost 75,000 people in the United States, far more than any other country. “We’re trying to figure out, are there pieces of it that still make sense? It’s done good work in some places on polio and the like,” Pompeo told conservative radio host Chris Stigall.Pompeo separately told host Jack Heath: “Let’s see if there’s a piece of this which we ought to continue to participate in because it’s doing good work on polio or whatever it may be.”Even before Trump’s vows of funding cuts, health workers have been warning that the coronavirus pandemic will set back efforts to fight other diseases.Michel Zaffran, who heads the WHO’s program to eradicate polio, told AFP last month that the disease could advance again as workers have been forced to suspend vaccination efforts.
Read also: A-year-of-upheaval-in-Kashmir-under-direct-rule-from-DelhiSince India’s unilateral action over the disputed territory last year, Pakistan has accused the country of human rights violations in the “most militarized zone” in the world, and the two nuclear powers have continued to trade barbs on various international forums.India has imposed a communication blackout on Jammu and Kashmir, restricting information access to and from the territory. India has reportedly arrested journalists for reporting from the area.When asked about Indian policy on the territory, Indian Ambassador to Indonesia Pradeep Kumar Rawat said that Delhi had taken a series of policies to develop the state, including those that guaranteed basic rights, strengthened grassroots democracy and boosted economic self-reliance.He added that the Indian government had also provided 50 new educational institutions and a variety of scholarship schemes.”Decades of cross-border terrorism and gaps in governance which resulted in resentment needs fresh air of peace and development,” the ambassador said in a written statement obtained by The Jakarta Post.Rawat went on to defend the abrogation of Article 370, calling it a vision “for development, enhanced governance, and socioeconomic justice for disadvantaged sections of the population”.On Wednesday, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi spoke with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmoud Qureshi by phone to exchange Idul Adha greetings. The two foreign ministers also discussed the developments in Jammu and Kashmir.At a press briefing on Friday, Retno said that Indonesia, in its capacity as the UNSC president in August 2020, had acknowledged Pakistan’s request to raise the Jammu and Kashmir issue at the council.The minister reiterated, however, that Indonesia would maintain impartiality over the issue, because “India and Pakistan are both friends of Indonesia”.”I also convey that both sides have to work to control the COVID-19 outbreak in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as put forward dialogue and negotiation for conflict resolution [that] gives special attention and priority to the people’s safety, regardless of their background,” Retno said.Indonesia has largely maintained a neutral stance on the issue, given its good ties with both nations. At the height of the tensions in 2019, Retno called on the two countries to employ dialogue and consultation to bridge their differences.–Dian Septiari contributed to this story.Editor’s note: The statement from Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi has been updated in this article.Topics : Khan pointed to India’s decision to revoke the state’s special status as a violation of both international law and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.He also stressed that articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution permitted Jammu and Kashmir its own constitution and special autonomy status.During the 1947 partition, Muslim-majority Kashmir was expected to become part of Pakistan, but the territory’s then-Hindu ruler, Hari Singh, sought to be independent.Following an invasion of Muslim tribesmen from Pakistan, Singh hastily acceded to India in return for its help against the invaders. The decision led to war and years of tension between India and Pakistan, even after the UN-sponsored ceasefire in 1949. The Pakistan mission in Indonesia has called on the government to support the South Asian country in its stance in the conflict over Jammu and Kashmir with India.On Aug. 5 last year, India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir that had permitted a degree of autonomy to the state. India also turned the single state into two union territories (UTs) in a development that followed decades of complicated relations following the partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947, when the colony won its independence from the United Kingdom.“Jammu and Kashmir remains an internationally recognized dispute and the longest dispute ever at the United Nations with almost a dozen UNSC [United Nations Security Councils] resolutions seeking a plebiscite to determine of the wishes of the Kashmiris for a final settlement,” Pakistan charge d’affaires in Jakarta Sajjad Haider Khan said in a statement on Wednesday.
Three sachets of suspected shabu valuedat around P1,500 were seized from 28-year-old resident Christian Aguia, apolice report showed. The suspect was detained in thecustodial facility of the Sagay City police station, facing charges forviolation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of2002./PN Aguia was nabbed after he sold a sachetof suspected shabu for P500 to an undercover officer around 6:40 a.m. on Jan.18, the report added. BACOLOD City – Police arrested a man ina drug buy-bust operation in Barangay Bato, Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
ProductLetters (1 oz.)Letters additional ouncesLetters (metered 1 oz.)Outbound International Letters (1 oz.)Domestic PostcardsCurrent50 cents21 cents47 cents$1.1535 centsProposed55 cents15 cents50 cents$1.1535 cents First-Class Package Service, a lightweight expedited offering used primarily by businesses for fulfillment purposes, will move to zone-based pricing to better align with the cost of service and improve value based on distance.The Postal Service has some of the lowest letter mail postage rates in the industrialized world and also continues to offer great value in shipping. Unlike some other shippers, the Postal Service does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday or holiday season delivery.The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect Jan. 27, 2019. The complete Postal Service price filings with the new prices for all products can be found on the PRC site under the Daily Listings section. (see listing for Oct. 10) For the Mailing Services filing see Docket No. R2019-1. For the Shipping Services filing see Docket No. CP2019-3. The price change tables are also available on the Postal Service website.The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations. ProductSmall Flat Rate BoxMedium Flat Rate BoxLarge Flat Rate BoxAPO/FPO Large Flat Rate BoxRegular Flat Rate EnvelopeLegal Flat Rate EnvelopePadded Flat Rate EnvelopeCurrent$7.20$13.65$18.90$17.40$6.70$7.00$7.25Proposed$7.90$14.35$19.95$18.45$7.35$7.65$8.00 Batesville, In. — The United States Postal Service has filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today of price changes to take effect Jan. 27, 2019.The proposed prices, approved by the Governors of the Postal Service, would raise Mailing Services product prices approximately 2.5 percent. Shipping Services price increases vary by product. For example, Priority Mail Express will increase 3.9 percent and Priority Mail will increase 5.9 percent. Although Mailing Services price increases are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Shipping Services prices are primarily adjusted according to market conditions. The Governors believe these new rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with needed revenue.If favorably reviewed by the PRC, the new prices will include a 5-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, from 50 cents to 55 cents. The single-piece additional ounce price will be reduced to 15 cents, so a 2-ounce stamped letter, such as a typical wedding invitation, will cost less to mail, decreasing from 71 cents to 70 cents.The proposed Mailing Services price changes include: The proposed domestic Priority Mail Retail Flat Rate price changes are:
By Greg GrabianowskiALGONA, Iowa (April 26) – Last week’s runner-up was this week’s winner as Shane Swanson topped Saturday’s Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod main event at Algona Raceway.Swanson was the hard charger after going to the front from the outside of the fourth row. Greg Sidles was second and Nick Meyer ran third.A familiar face found the winner circle in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature as David Smith earned his first feature victory of the season by holding off a determined Derek Green. Placing third was Devin Smith. Mike Jergens was another first-time 2014 winner, in the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified feature. He started on the outside of the fourth row and piloted his no. 37 flying banana rig to the front of the pack and took the checkers ahead of Jesse Hoeft and Tim Ward. Brandon Nielsen earned his first local IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock victory of the season. Pole starter Daniel Smith finished second and last week’s winner Cody Nielsen took third Cory Peters came from the inside of the fourth row for the Mach-1 Sport Compact win with Jay DeVries second and Kaytee DeVries third.