Over the weekend, more than three thousand members of the Army, the Marines, and the police began an offensive aimed at arresting the leaders of criminal gangs in the service of drug traffickers in northern Colombia, a police spokesperson revealed on 6 February. “What we estimate is that acting directly against the criminal gangs, independently of the security detachments in the area, there are at least three thousand personnel,” nearly one thousand of whom are from the police, the director of that institution, Gen. Oscar Naranjo, told Bogotá radio station Radio Caracol. The operation, named “Troy,” is planned for the next ninety days and is an action that should make it possible “to arrest the criminal gangs’ leaders and bosses, but also members of the rank-and-file and common criminals in the gangs’ orbit,” Naranjo indicated. The general affirmed that “the priority is neutralizing these criminals, who are posing a grave threat to the communities and defying the authorities, and who, in addition, generate not only violence, but also processes of corruption in the regions.” According to Naranjo, the operation will cover an extensive area in the departments of Antioquia, Córdoba, and Sucre (in northwestern and northern Colombia), where there is a strategic corridor that drug traffickers have traditionally sought to control in order to move drugs to the Pacific. The three thousand personnel from the police, the Army, and the Marines are being joined by units from the Investigative Technical Corps (CTI) of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the intelligence service, and the Judicial Police. The operation was ordered by President Juan Manuel Santos, who on 6 February, upon establishing a National Security Council, said that the issue of criminal gangs (Bacrim) required “comprehensive and effective action by the entire state” and lamented the lack of effective law enforcement against their members. “Out of the total number of members of those gangs who are arrested, only 12% are convicted, and of that 12%, only a small percentage are convicted of belonging to those criminal gangs,” he specified. After indicating that those criminals are often convicted of crimes not punished by mandatory prison terms, Santos said that his administration has observed “failure at every stage of the state’s action.” “And for this reason, what we’ve proposed in this council is to strengthen the weak links in that chain,” the president announced. The Colombian Catholic Church also made a statement about these gangs on the same day, at the beginning of the Colombian bishops’ annual conference. The secretary of the conference, Msgr. Juan Vicente Córdoba, said that in the case of the Bacrim, “there wouldn’t be a possibility other than that they submit to justice,” a reference to messages that gang leaders have conveyed to high-ranking Catholic clergy with regard to possible negotiations with the government for their demobilization. Msgr. Julio Cesar Vidal, the bishop of Montería, the capital of the department of Córdoba (in northern Colombia), the most impacted by these criminal groups, said in this regard that “they (Bacrim members) don’t want a situation similar to the one in Mexico; they just want the Church to help them open a space for them to turn themselves in to the government.” The Catholic prelate explained that “they’re not asking for dialogue commissions, as was done with the United Self-Defense Units of Colombia (AUC, extreme right-wing armed groups), nor for special laws; they’re asking for a space, and that space needs to be given to them, because they’re not one, two, or three people, they’re more than five thousand people.” According to the government, these gangs, the majority of which are made up of members of demobilized extreme right-wing paramilitary groups and which are in the service of drug traffickers, are present in at least sixteen of the country’s thirty-two departments. By Dialogo February 09, 2011
For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi : Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal, who is playing his first Grand Slam, has won the opening set against Roger Federer. The 22-year-old player from Jhajjar, Haryana managed to keep the world no.3 in check in the first set and eventually managed to take lead. He won the first set 6-4.They are facing-off against each other at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. The 22-year-old Indian has become only the fifth Indian player to feature in a Grand Slam singles main draw in this decade. Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri, Saketh Myneni and Prajnesh Gunneswaran are the only ones who have played at Tennis Majors. Nagal had also become only the sixth Indian player to win a junior Grand Slam title in 2015 when he won Wimbledon boys doubles with Nam Hoang Ly of Vietnam.With Prajnesh also playing in this US Open, India now will have two players in the Grand Slam main draw for the first time since 1998 when legends Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi competed at the Wimbledon. Prajnesh is set to clash with Cincinnati Masters winner and world number five Daniil Medvedev, who conquered Novak Djokovic during his title triumph. Nagal came into the US Open qualifiers confident, backed by terrific results during the clay court season. Consistent results on the Challenger Circuit meant that he broke into the top-200 for the first time in his career and has now earned himself a chance to play a match which every tennis player dreams of. He had started the year outside the 350 bracket and had to overcome a difficult period, encountering injuries but came back strong. India’s Davis Cup captain Bhupathi, who was the first to spot Nagal’s talent and took him under his wings to provide support, said it’s a career defining moment for the 22-year-old from Jhajjar in Haryana. “Nagal has been unlucky with injuries and has worked very hard to get back to this level.Playing Roger at the US Open at night is every qualifier’s dream and nightmare and I think this experience will both be a confidence booster and a career defining moment for him,” Bhupathi told PTI, reacting to Nagal’s impending Grand Slam debut. So what Nagal needs to do to not get overwhelmed when he finds Federer across the court? “He needs to enjoy the moment and go for his shots,” suggested Bhupathi.With PTI Inputs read more
So how much did Bryant blame his latest poor outing on his illness? “I don’t know,” said Bryant, before offering optimism about playing when the Lakers (3-17) play on Monday in Toronto (12-9). “If I’m walking, I’m playing.”Yet, Bryant seemed so ill that Lakers coach Byron Scott predicted Bryant would sit in the Lakers’ latest back-to-back slate.“It’s something going around and I had it for two days. If he had the same thing I had, it’ll be hard for him to play,” Scott said. “If the way he walked in and looked is any indication, I don’t know if he’ll be available for either one of them.”But Bryant played anyway, including the entire third quarter. Why? AUBURN HILLS, Mich. >> As he waited patiently to hear his name, Kobe Bryant stood on the sideline hearing the Pistons’ public address announcer listing all of his accomplishments through 20 NBA seasons.Those included Bryant’s five NBA titles, his third-place mark on the league’s all-time scoring list, his two Finals MVPS, one regular-season MVP and much more. But once Bryant actually took the floor, he provided the starkest contrast between his ugly present and glorious past. The Lakers lost yet again, this time a 111-91 defeat to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday at the Palace of Auburn Hills after Bryant labored on the court while nursing the stomach flu. He posted five points, while shooting 2 of 15 from the field and 1 of 6 from 3-point range in 26 minutes before sitting out the fourth quarter. “If it wasn’t my last season,” Bryant said, “I probably wouldn’t have played.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “That was going to be totally up to him,” Scott said of Bryant. “I told him, ‘I understand what you’re saying as far as coming here and playing for all the people who came here to see you. But I’m thinking about you, not them.’” That did not dissuade Bryant. Instead, Bryant appeared just as ineffective as he has all season where he has averaged 16.6 points, while shooting 30.5 percent from the field and 22 percent from 3-point range in 31.6 minutes per game. His first shot happened 34 seconds into the game, a 25-footer that rimmed out. Nearly 90 seconds later, Bryant’s 16-foot jumper fell short. Seven seconds after missing a 23-foot jumper, Bryant stood on the right block before Pistons guard Reggie Jackson pick-pocketed him. The same thing happened to Bryant later in the quarter when he drove into the lane.“I knew he was going to be weak,” Scott said of Bryant. “But he tried to give it everything he had.”Bryant did not score until he launched a 24-foot 3-pointer with 7:35 left in the third quarter. That shot that sent the legions of Bryant fans here in a tizzy despite the Lakers trailing by 23 points. “It’s been fun to get that reaction,” Bryant said. “Tonight was crazy to get a name chanted here in Detroit and chants of encouragement when I made a shot here or there. It’s a beautiful feeling. It’s something I never thought I’d see.” The Lakers’ lone bright spots included Lou Williams (21 points on 6-of-12 shooting), Julius Randle (15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, 11 rebounds) and D’Angelo Russell (12 points on 5-of-9 shooting and three assists). But that did not matter. The Lakers recorded 12 assists. Jordan Clarkson shot 3 of 11 from the field. Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell (22 points), Jackson (20) and Andre Drummond (18) all cracked double figures. And then there’s Bryant’s inefficient play, which has set up a week-long theme. Bryant’s highlights included pregame tributes, as the Pistons posted an image of Bryant along with the message, “Thanks for the memories.”“This entire process has fortunately made me more mature,” Bryant said. “I’ve been extremely thankful to have this and be able to see this process and be able to enjoy these moments. If anything, it helped me realize how fortunate I’ve been to play for so long.” The highlights continued when Bryant offered postgame nostalgia about playing his final game in Detroit amid fierce matchups, including the Lakers’ 2004 NBA Finals loss to the Pistons.“We’ve hated each other for so long,” Bryant said. “There’s a lot of respect and mutual admiration that comes from that. When you have an opponent that you’re going up against that neither one backs down and challenges you and brings out the best in each other for years and years, when it’s time to say goodbye, you’re very appreciative of that.” But in between, Bryant has offered performances that appear as unsettling as his latest illness. read more
The Big Ten Conference won’t be playing football this fall because of concerns about COVID-19. The move comes six day after the conference that includes historic programs such as Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa and Penn State had released a revised conference-only schedule that it hoped would help it navigate a fall season with potential COVID-19 disruptions.We will update this story as more information becomes available.