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Tuesday, June 20th, 2017


U.S. Customs Officers Capture 15 Fugitives And Seize $1.4 Million In Drugs

CBP Officers Seize $1.4M In Drugs, Capture 15 Fugitives

 SAN DIEGO – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the ports of entry along the California border with Mexico over the weekend intercepted more than 230 pounds of narcotics valued at more than $1.4 million and captured 15 fugitives.

From Friday, June 16, through Sunday, June 18, CBP officers intercepted more than 200 pounds of methamphetamine and more than 30 pounds of cocaine. CBP officers discovered the narcotics hidden inside vehicles in various places such as the gas tank, speakers, on their body and quarter panels.

During the same time period, the 15 fugitives were arrested for various charges that included DUI, grand theft, burglary, child endangerment and vandalism.

A couple of significant seizures are listed below.

Gas tank stuffed with drugs; one of many drug seizures with San Diego Office of Field Operations.
Gas tank stuffed with drugs;
one of many drug seizures by
San Diego CBP officers.

On Friday, June 16, at approximately 6:30 a.m., at the San Ysidro port of entry PedWest facility, a CBP officer conducting inspections encountered a 27-year-old female U.S. citizen. The CBP officer observed a bulge on the woman’s torso and he referred her for a more intensive inspection. During the inspection, CBP officers discovered five pounds of methamphetamine taped to the woman’s torso. The methamphetamine has an estimated street value of $15,000.

On Friday, June 16, at approximately 10 a.m., at the Otay Mesa port of entry, a CBP officer conducting inspections encountered a 21-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe. The Officer referred the man and vehicle to secondary for a more intensive inspection. CBP officers searched the vehicle and noticed discrepancies with the gas tank. The gas tank was removed and officers discovered 58 wrapped packages of methamphetamine hidden inside. The narcotics weighed 62 pounds with an estimated street value of $197,000.

CBP officers seized all vehicles and narcotics. All subjects were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further processing.

CBP officers at the border crossings in Southern California routinely stop illegal activity, while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States. Those statistics can be found on the CBP Enforcement Statistics webpage.

Criminal charges are merely allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

[Source: CBP -/- Media Relations]
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Registration Now Open For 2017 Global Tourism Summit In Honolulu, Sept. 19-21

Rainbow at Big Island Hawaii

Registration Opens for 2017 Global Tourism Summit in Honolulu, Sept. 19-21
Sustainability is the Theme of This Year’s Conference
Presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority

HONOLULU – Early-bird registration offering flexible discounted rates is now available for the 2017 Global Tourism Summit, being presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), Sept. 19-21.

Participants can register via the dedicated website,, and choose from one of several options to attend the conference being held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.

Sustainability is the theme of this year’s summit and how it is incorporated in the future of tourism will be a featured topic of the presentations. The significance of Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation will also be highlighted in presentations and panel discussions, with the collective focus on improving tourism in Hawaii and abroad.

George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO, said, “The core objective of the Global Tourism Summit is the collaboration and sharing of knowledge to make tourism stronger and better for the Hawaiian Islands and the industry as a whole. Tourism has stakeholders in all walks of life and all around the world and we are encouraging anyone interested in seeing this global industry succeed to participate in the summit, share their insight, and be part of this greater effort for everyone’s future benefit.”  

Early-bird registration is available through July 31 for the following discounted rates:

  • Individuals: Full Conference, Sept. 19-21: $325, a savings of $70
  • Groups of 8 or More: Full Conference, Sept. 19-21: $300 per person, a savings of $65 per person (Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference)
  • Student and Faculty Members: Full Conference, Sept. 19-21: $150
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, Sept. 19-20: $275
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, Sept. 20-21: $265

“We want to be flexible and provide interested attendees, especially those from Hawaii, with options that allow them to participate in the Global Tourism Summit in a way that best meshes with their daily work responsibilities,” said Szigeti. 

Information on sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities is also available online at the dedicated website. A complete listing of sessions, programs and speakers will be added in the coming weeks.

Formerly known as the Hawaii Tourism Conference, HTA changed the name to the Global Tourism Summit to more accurately reflect Hawaii’s emergence as a leader in international travel and tourism. 

About the Hawaii Tourism Authority
The Hawaii Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawaii’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawaii, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawaii’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability of tourism’s success. 

For more information about HTA, please visit Follow updates about HTA on Facebook, Twitter (@HawaiiHTA) and its YouTube Channel.

[Source: Hawaii Tourism Authority -/- Media Relations]
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‘European Bank For Reconstruction And Development’ Meets With Investors In Taiwan

EBRD Reaches Out To Taiwanese Investors

Taipei 101 twilight

A delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is visiting Taipei today for a conference with Taiwanese business to discuss opportunities for cooperation in the countries where the Bank invests.

The conference, entitled “EBRD Investment Forum – We Invest in Changing Lives”, includes country presentations about Turkey from EBRD Managing Director Jean-Patrick Marquet; on Poland by Regional Director Grzegorz Zieliński; and on Jordan and Kazakhstan by Business Development Director Philip ter Woort.

In his introductory remarks, Pierre Heilbronn, EBRD Vice President, Policy and Partnerships, said: “The EBRD and Taiwanese businesses are long-standing partners. There are many lessons the EBRD countries of operations can learn from the Taiwanese model. The Taiwanese donor relationship has also been important for our work and impact in our countries of operations. We are grateful for the support we receive for activities like the EBRD Advice for Small Business and the Women in Business initiatives.”

Richard Wu, Vice President of the Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co, reported about the “Taiwanese experience in the EBRD region”. The company is preparing to introduce its smart toll system in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EBRD has been instrumental in bringing the parties together.

EBRD-Taiwanese cooperation is a long-standing partnership that began in 1991. To date, EBRD-Taiwanese investment jointly stands at almost €1.5 billion. In addition, a total of €36.5 million has been provided for technical cooperation and multi-donor funds, with important support provided to the Bank’s technical cooperation projects in sustainable resource management, intelligent transportation systems, knowledge economy as well as the corporate sector.

An example of EBRD-Taiwanese cooperation is support for the SME Growth Market Project, a joint initiative by the Zagreb Stock Exchange and the EBRD, and co-funded by the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund, that promotes the development of, and access to finance for, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The business development visit to Taipei is taking place while the EBRD is also engaged in two other business development activities this week: one visit is exploring smart city technologies and sustainable development, and another aims to boost cooperation between Taiwanese food processing businesses and potential counterparts in Ukraine, Georgia and south-eastern Europe.

[Source: By Axel  Reiserer ~ EBRD -/- Media Relations]
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Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė And NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Attended Military Exercise ‘Iron Wolf’

NATO Battalion – Symbol Of Alliance’s Unity And Strength

Tuesday, 20 June, Jonava District – President Dalia Grybauskaitė and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attended Iron Wolf 2017 – the largest military exercise in Lithuania this year – in Stašėnai, Jonava District.

Before the drills, the President of Lithuania and NATO Secretary General had a bilateral meeting and discussed the geopolitical situation, threats to regional security and further measures for countering them.

The military exercise Iron Wolf 2017 tested the readiness of the NATO’s forward presence battalion stationed in Lithuania as well as its capacity to perform tactical tasks and to maneuver in the Suwałki corridor together with Lithuanian and other allied troops.

According to the President, the multinational NATO battalion has become an integral part of Lithuania’s defense. High readiness of battalion troops and their ability to engage in large-scale territorial defense together with Lithuanian and allied military units demonstrate the Alliance’s capability to rapidly assess regional threats and ensure efficient deterrence measures.

NATO’s forward presence battalion in Lithuania is the first multinational battle group in the Baltic states and Poland that is fully formed and has reached a full combat capacity. Presently, it consists of troops from four NATO member countries. Next year, troops from five more member countries will arrive to Lithuania. Troops and military equipment from twenty allied nations will be deployed across the region.

According to the President, the active stance and determination of NATO allies to ensure the security of the Baltic countries demonstrates the Alliance’s unity and strong commitment to collective defense. A very clear message is sent that NATO is indivisible, rapid and the strongest defense alliance in the world. Aggression against a fellow NATO member will be countered by a powerful response from 29 member countries of the Alliance.

As many as 5300 soldiers from 12 NATO member countries took part in the military exercise Iron Wolf 2017. River-crossing of heavy military equipment, stopping the aggressor, regaining territory and counter attacks were drilled.  The military exercises were also attended by Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Raimundas Karoblis, Lithuanian and German chiefs of armed forces as well as high-ranking military leadership from other allied countries.

As the new building of NATO headquarters in Brussels is very large, the President made NATO Secretary General a present of a Lithuanian kick-scooter.

[Source: Office of the President of Lithuania -/- Media Relations]
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U.S. Attorney General Creates ‘National Public Safety Partnership’ To Combat Violent Crime

Attorney General Sessions Announces Creation of National Public Safety Partnership to Combat Violent Crime

Jeff Sessions (29090205550)

As the Department of Justice continues its efforts to fulfill President Trump’s commitment to reducing violent crime in America, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today that 12 cities are joining the Department’s newly organized National Public Safety Partnership (PSP). The announcement came during the opening session of a national summit organized by the Attorney General’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. The summit convened federal, state and local law enforcement to discuss how to support and replicate successful local violent crime reduction efforts.

A list of the cities is posted at is external).

“Turning back the recent troubling increase in violent crime in our country is a top priority of the Department of Justice and the Trump Administration, as we work to fulfill the President’s promise to make America safe again,” said Attorney General Sessions. “The Department of Justice will work with American cities suffering from serious violent crime problems. There is no doubt that there are many strategies that are proven to reduce crime. Our new National Public Safety Partnership program will help these communities build up their own capacity to fight crime, by making use of data-driven, evidence-based strategies tailored to specific local concerns, and by drawing upon the expertise and resources of our Department.”

The Justice Department created PSP and the task force in response to President Trump’s February 9, 2017, Executive Order charging the agency with leading a national effort to combat violent crime. The partnership provides a framework for enhancing federal support of state, local and tribal law enforcement officials and prosecutors as they aggressively investigate and pursue violent criminals, specifically those involved in gun crime, drug trafficking and gang violence.

Twelve sites have been selected to receive this significant assistance:

  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Houston, Texas
  • Jackson, Tennessee
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • Springfield, Illinois

We anticipate announcing additional sites this calendar year.

The Justice Department agencies involved in PSP are the United States Attorneys’ Offices, Office of Justice Programs; the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Office on Violence Against Women; and the Office of Community Oriented Policing.

For more information about the Department of Justice’s work to reduce violent crime and enhance public safety:

Attorney General Announces Crime Reduction and Public Safety Task Force

Attorney General Sessions Directs Federal Prosecutors to Target Most Significant Violent Offenders

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announces New Initiatives to Advance Forensic Science and Help Counter the Rise in Violent Crime

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announces New Actions to Support Law Enforcement and Maintain Public Safety in Indian Country

Department of Justice Releases Report Detailing the Prosecutions of Transnational Criminal Organizations and their Subsidiaries

Attorney General Sessions Issues Charging and Sentencing Guidelines to Federal Prosecutors

[Source: U.S. Department of Justice -/- Media Relations]
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Democrats Have A Problem That Transcends Color Lines: Working-Class Americans

A monument of working class
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Long-time Clinton pollster Stanley Greenberg has news for Democrats: You don’t have a “white-working class problem”; You have a “working-class problem.” Greenburg is urging the Democratic Party to get serious about addressing its problem with all working-class Americans, defined as those without a college degree. “The fact is that Democrats have lost support with all working-class… Read More

What Exactly Is Outrage? – Why There Are Costs To Moral Outrage?

Close up - chimpanzee teeth
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By Justin Tosi, Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer, University of Michigan and Brandon Warmke, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Bowling Green State University. What exactly is outrage? Protestor image via Many Americans are morally outraged that U.S. President Donald Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, who had been investigating possible links between Trump’s election campaign… Read More

Another Al-Shabab Car Bomb Rocks Mogadishu

Pictures from an armed convoy trip in Mogadishu
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At least nine people have been killed by a car bomb attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu, a government official said. “We heard a huge explosion in Wadajir district, there are some casualties,” Abifutah Omar Halane, the spokesman for Mogadishu’s mayor, said. A column of white smoke was seen above the capital and some houses were… Read More

Violence In Congo Has Claimed 3,400 Lives Since October 2016, 141 Catholic Schools Have Been Closed

Palais de la Nation Kinshasa (8757785342)
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Goma, Congo (dpa) – The violence raging in Congo’s central Kasai region has claimed 3,383 lives since October 2016, the diplomatic mission of the Catholic Church in the country said Tuesday. Violence has escalated between the army and militias since the leader of the Kamuina Nsapu militia was killed during fighting in August 2016. Congo’s Apostolic… Read More