OTTAWA — The federal government ran a $14-billion deficit in 2018-19, according to its latest annual financial report, the third year in a row with a shortfall bigger than $10 billion.The deficit for the fiscal year that ended March 31 was $900 million smaller than the government projected in last spring’s federal budget, however.Revenues in 2018-19 expanded by $21 billion — or 6.7 per cent — compared to the previous year, said the report released Tuesday.The government’s revenue ratio, which is total revenues as a percentage of the size of the economy, increased last year by 15 per cent to reach its highest level since before the financial crisis in 2007-08. The growth in the ratio, which was 14.5 per cent in 2017-18, was mostly due to growth in personal and corporate income tax revenues and other taxes, the report said.The revenue gain was partially offset by an increase of $14.6 billion — or 4.7 per cent — in program expenses and an increase of $1.4 billion — or 6.3 per cent — in public debt charges.The 2018-19 deficit follows two straight $19-billion shortfalls, and the annual financial numbers haven’t shown a surplus since 2006-07.Overall, the federal debt increased to $685.5 billion at the end of 2018-19. The debt-to-GDP ratio — a measure of how burdensome the national debt is — fell to 30.9 per cent from 31.3 per cent in 2017-18, the report shows.The state of federal finances has already been the subject of political debate during the election campaign as parties argue whether the government should make an effort to balance the federal books — and how quickly.In the three full fiscal years since the Liberals came to power, the federal government has posted $52 billion worth of shortfalls even though the economy has had a solid run of growth.The Liberals won the 2015 election on a platform that promised annual deficits of no more than $10 billion and to return to balance by 2019.After taking office, the Liberals abandoned the pledge and argued even larger deficit-driven investments were needed to improve Canada’s long-term economic growth. The government shifted its focus instead to reducing the net debt-to-GDP ratio each year.The Conservatives have long attacked the Liberals for breaking their 2015 deficit pledge and for not providing a timeline to return to balanced budgets. They’ve accused the Liberals of borrowing today on the backs of future generations.Ahead of next month’s election, the Liberals have laid out projections calling for five more years of deficits of at least $10 billion.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is promising to pull Canada out of the red in about five years.Jagmeet Singh’s NDP, which promised balanced books in each of the last several election campaigns, no longer has a timetable to balance the books. Instead, it’s focusing on lowering the debt-to-GDP each year.Green Leader Elizabeth May has committed to returning Canada to budgetary balance in five years.Maxime Bernier’s new People’s Party of Canada is the only political party that’s promised a quick path to balanced books — within two years.
The head of a three-member United Nations team dispatched to the Middle East in response to the unfolding crisis there arrived today in Beirut as an “act of solidarity” with the Lebanese people bearing a call from Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the protection of civilians, support for Lebanon’s Government and the release of all those held captive.“I have come to Lebanon as the head of this United Nations mission as an act of solidarity with the people of this country and the region, who have suffered untold misery as a result of this escalating conflict,” Vijay Nambiar told reporters following a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.As efforts to defuse the crisis continue, he stressed three major points: “My first call is for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, which must be respected by all parties,” he said.“Enough innocent people have been killed. No more innocent life must be lost.”Secondly, he emphasized that the UN supports the Lebanese Government and Prime Minister. “We support the call for a ceasefire and their aim of exercising full authority over the entire country.”Mr. Nambiar’s third point centred on “the release of the captives as part of a solution to this conflict.”The head of the three-member delegation, which includes also Alvaro de Soto and Terje Roed-Larsen, concluded his opening statement with a direct pledge to Mr. Siniora: “Mr. Prime Minister, we are with you and the people of this country and region at a time of grave crisis,” Mr. Nambiar declared. “We plan to meet further with you.” After that meeting, the team met with the Speaker of the Parliament, Nabih Berri. Mr. Nambiar told reporters after that the meeting had been “extremely productive” and that team members looked forward to working with Mr. Berri.“We hope he will play an important role in resolving the escalating conflict and in defusing the crisis,” Mr. Nambiar said.
“This is a loss to UNESCO. This is a loss to the United Nations family. This is a loss for multilateralism,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in a statement. “Universality is critical to UNESCO’s mission to strengthen international peace and security in the face of hatred and violence, to defend human rights and dignity,” she added, noting that UNESCO would continue to build a more just, peaceful, equitable 21st century. Ms. Bokova recalled that in 2011, when the US suspended payment of its membership contributions, she was convinced that the UNESCO never mattered as much for the US or vice versa. “This is all the more true today,” she continued “when the rise of violent extremism and terrorism calls for new long-term responses for peace and security, to counter racism and antisemitism, to fight ignorance and discrimination.” Ms. Bokova spelled out her belief that the American people support UNESCO’s actions to harness new learning technologies; enhance scientific cooperation, for ocean sustainability; promote freedom of expression, defend journalists’ safety; empower girls and women as change-makers and peacebuilders; bolster societies facing emergencies, disasters and conflicts; and advance literacy and quality education. “Despite the withholding of funding, since 2011, we have deepened the partnership between the United States and UNESCO, which has never been so meaningful,” she underscored. “Together, we have worked to protect humanity’s shared cultural heritage in the face of terrorist attacks and to prevent violent extremism through education and media literacy.” The partnership between UNESCO and the US has ‘drawn on shared values’The Director General gave examples of collaborating during that time, such as launching the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education and celebrating World Press Freedom Day in Washington, D.C., with the National Endowment for Democracy. She also mentioned a long history of joint endeavours, including working together with the late Samuel Pisar, Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education, to promote education for remembrance of the Holocaust across the world to fight antisemitism and genocide today; cooperating with major US companies Microsoft, Cisco, Procter & Gamble and Intel to keep girls in school and nurture technologies for quality learning; and working with the US Geological Survey, US Army Corps of Engineers, and US professional societies to advance research for the sustainable management of water resources, agriculture. “The partnership between UNESCO and the United States has been deep, because it has drawn on shared values,” Ms. Bokova stressed. Citing lines in UNESCO’s 1945 Constitution by US Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish – ‘since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed’ – she said this vision has never been more relevant, and added that the US helped inspire the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Calling the agency’s work “key to strengthen the bonds of humanity’s common heritage in the face of forces of hatred and division,” she noted the value of World Heritage cites in the US, such as the Statue of Liberty, as being not just as a defining US symbol but that it speaks for people across the world. “UNESCO will continue to work for the universality of this Organization, for the values we share, for the objectives we hold in common, to strengthen a more effective multilateral order and a more peaceful, more just world,” Ms. Bokova concluded.
The latest exhibit on show at SMMT is a collection of vehicles from Honda, celebrating 20 years of the manufacturer’s operation in the UK.Swindon is Honda’s flagship production facility in Europe and already manufactures Civic and CR-V models. In April, 500 new associates began working at the plant, bringing the total number of employees to 3,500.In October, Honda confirmed that its Swindon manufacturing plant will be the base for production of two new models: the new Civic Type R and the all-new Civic Wagon model.The model announcements followed Honda’s commitment of a £267 million investment programme in the facility to support the production of new Civic, new CR-V and a new 1.6 litre diesel engine.By the end of 2012, production at the Swindon plant is forecast to have doubled on last year’s volumes, up to 183,000 units. Honda aims to increase that figure to 250,000 units per year, within three years.The British-built models at SMMT include an Accord 2.0L ES, which was the very first car to roll off the production line at Honda of the UK Manufacturing in Swindon on 8 October 1992. Also on display is a new Civic 1.4SE, showcasing the latest product to be built at the plant. The ninth generation Civic is quieter, more refined and more efficient than ever.Alongside the UK models, and to showcase Honda’s global heritage and engineering expertise, is a first generation 1970s Civic 1.3 Deluxe and a 1989 NSX. The latter is a pre-production car and the 22nd example to come off the line at the Takanezawa plant in Japan.To find out more about UK automotive manufacturing, download Motor Industry Facts 2012.Click through the slideshow below to see all the photos from SMMT’s exhibition space.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (March 1, 2016), we look at why basketball’s old-timers have come out against the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry, we ask whether Mark Cuban is right that the NBA should look into moving the 3-point line back, and we wonder if the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Gerrit Cole deserves a higher salary. Plus, a significant digit on how 3-point fever is taking over high school basketball.Stream the episode by clicking the play button above, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to. Links to what we discussed are here:Ian Levy breaks down just how good Curry’s season has been.On Bill Simmons’s podcast, Kirk Goldsberry advocates for a unique solution to basketball’s supposed 3-point problem.ESPN’s J.A. Adande says Oscar Robertson will never understand Curry.Rob Arthur explains why baseball’s best players are only getting younger.Maybe baseball needs a safety net for younger players, says Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron.Significant Digit: 39. That’s the percentage increase in 3-point attempts between the high-school 3-point attempt leader in 2004-05 and the leader in 2015-16.Here is a video of that leader, Ashtyn “Syrup” Bradley, shooting bombs for his high school team. His true shooting percentage this season is 57.4 percent. Embed Code If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. Hot Takedown
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram “Hear it here first – we’re putting jobs first and we’re putting Australians first by abolishing 457 visas”. This is how Malcolm Turnbull chose to announce a major shift in migration policy, by making a statement on his Facebook Page (this is what “here” refers to).The PM went on to say that the abolished program will be replaced with the new Temporary Skills Shortage Visa, a new system “specifically designed to recruit the best and brightest in the national interest” that will impose tougher requirements on businesses looking to employ foreign workers. “The new visa will better target genuine skills shortages, including in regional Australia,” said Mr Turnbull. “It will include new requirements, including previous work experience, better English language proficiency and labour testing.” The new system will also include two new visa streams – a two-year visa (which would not allow permanent residency) and a four-year visa, which will require a “higher standard of English” and a police check. “This is about putting Australians first for Australian jobs”, said the PM, promising that the changes will not affect current 457 visa holders. The announcement came with the pledge for the introduction of a new training fund to help fill skills gaps, to which employers will be expected to contribute, while more than 200 jobs will be removed from the occupations list issued each year by the Commonwealth – the 457 visa was introduced to fill gaps in skilled labour, but critics say it was just a stepping stone for mass migration. According to the Immigration Department, there were 95,758 foreign workers on 457 visas as of September 2016. One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, stepped in to support the change, claiming credit for the governments move to adopt the party’s policies.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has condemned racial slur made at Scott Sinclair during the Scottish League Cup final.McInnes has slammed the Aberdeen fan who racially abused the Celtic player, but he insists it was a situation regarding an individual rather than a widespread problem for the Pittodrie club.Sinclair revealed his disappointments regarding the situation on social media after seeing a video of the racial slur aimed at him as he had a penalty saved during his club’s 1-0 win at Hampden.Aberdeen defender Shay Logan, who was himself a victim of racial slurs that saw Celtic winger Aleksandar Tonev banned for seven games in 2014, also called the Sinclair incident an utter disgrace.“If using the skin colour of somebody is what you have to do to try to offend a fellow human being you are losing in life,” said Logan, according to the Scotsman.Derek McInnes insists there isn’t a Premiership title race yet Henry Ikenna Ugwu – January 12, 2019 Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes believes there is no title race despite his side being one of the favourites to lift the Ladbrokes Premiership trophy…“BLACK WHITE ASIAN we are all the same.”McInnes also shares the views of his players as Aberdeen the fan will be punished duly once identifiedHe said: “Any racial abuse, in this day and age, is shocking. It’s embarrassing for the individual. It’s not a club issue for me. It’s the individual.”“That type of comment was maybe normal practice in the Sixties and Seventies, and it was appalling then and shocking then, and even more so now. It’s shocking that Scott Sinclair and any other player is still subjected to that.”
Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) – A man claiming to be HIV positive spat at police officers attempting to restrain him after he ran through the air field of an airport in Pembroke Pines airport, officials said.According to the Broward County Aviation Department, the man entered the air field at North Perry Airport, Friday afternoon, and began running around in circles.When he would not respond to airport officials, police were called and the suspect was detained.7Skyforce HD hovered over the scene as police and employees chased the man throughout the field with what appeared to be a cellphone in his hand.As police restrained him, the suspect claimed to be HIV positive and spat in an officer’s face.He was later charged with battery on an officer and trespassing.Flights at North Perry were briefly suspended.
The harvest was composed of 381 chinook, 370,460 sockeye, 14,544 coho, 1.6 million pink, and 48,729 chum salmon, of which 758,117 (37.9%) were commercial common property harvest and 1.2 million (62.1%) were hatchery cost recovery. The preliminary 2018 hatchery cost recovery value was $4.6 million, according to the DF&G. The preliminary common property harvest exvessel value of approximately $2.6 million was abovethe previous 10-year average of $2.5 million. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The 2018 Lower Cook Inlet Area commercial salmon harvest, based on current preliminary fish ticket data, was 2.0 million fish, according to the Department of Fish and Game. For the Upper Cook Inlet commercial harvest was approximately 1.3 million salmon, which was 61% less than the recent 10-year average annual harvest of 3.4 million fish. President of the United Cook Inlet Drift Association David Martin said in his 47 years of fishing the Cook Inlet, 2018 was “probably the worst” season he’d seen.
The Mahbubnagar court on Monday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Praja Shanti Party chief KA Paul in his brother David Raju’s murder case. KA Paul who was accused in the murder case failed to attend the case hearing in Mahbubnagar court following which the warrant has been issued. However, other accused in the case were present before the court. Further details are awaited. KA Paul’s brother David Raju found murdered in suspicious circumstances in February 2010 in a stationary car parked on the roadside at Kommireddypalli of Mahbubnagar district.
What if, instead of choosing a difficulty level, you chose an experience type? When starting a new game you might select not between Easy, Medium, and Hard, but between Relaxed, Tense, and Harrowing. On relaxed, the game might back off in response to rising makers for frustration, letting you move forward rather than rage against an obstacle. On Harrowing, your every fear could become a reality, the slightest hint of boredom met with an onslaught of your greatest gaming peeves.Such a system would require the ability to collect such emotional information from people, but that’s hardly a challenge for modern technology; we might not be able to read people’s thoughts and emotions well enough for admissibility in court, but video games are another matter entirely. A team of engineers from Stanford University are putting that idea to the test, however, with an Xbox 360 controller specially modified to collect emotional data from players.The controller works with metal strips inlaid into either handle, which measure heart rate, breathing rate, skin temperature, and more. Accelerometers can detect how much the controller is being shaken — probably the single most powerful measure of frustration for gamers. The intent is to collect information about how the player is responding to a game, allowing players to tailor their experience and concerned parents to stop games that are getting children too worked up.EEG set-ups like this one can certainly measure emotion, but aren’t exactly user-friendly.Probably the biggest critic of the disequilibrium between information input and output in gaming is Will Wright. Output, he has often complained, is easy; 1080p gaming with surround sound audio can deliver a ton of bits-per-second to the player, and with rumble and other forms of feedback the stream gets even more dense. Yet input — the ability of the player to deliver information to the machine — is much more primitive. We can literally scream our intent at the console (“GO FORWARD!”) and our advanced, next-gen gaming consoles will sit without heed.The Wii, Playstation Move, and Kinect are three different historical attempts to solve this problem, translating physical movement into control information. Kinect especially seems to cry out for applications like this controller, with its built-in ability to monitor heart rate and other biometrics. By making the hard decision to include a Kinect with every Xbox One, Microsoft may have positioned the Xbox as the only console capable of biometric monitoring without any additional hardware. Depending on how things play out this generation, that could end up being a very powerful factor in the next chapter of the console wars.
Stay on target Watch: Mars 2020 Rover Flexes Mechanical ArmNASA’s Mars 2020 Rover Gets 7-Foot-Long Robotic Arm NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is one step closer to the Red Planet.Well, six steps, technically.Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory last week installed two starboard legs and half a dozen wheels—the mobility suspension—on the vehicle.AdChoices广告“Now that’s a Mars rover,” David Gruel, the Mars 2020 assembly, test, and launch operations manager at JPL, said in a statement.Both legs are composed of titanium tubing, formed with the same process used to make high-end bicycle frames.All six wheels, each with its own motor, are aluminum—with “grousers” or cleats built in to provide traction on the planet’s soft sand and hard rock. The two front and rear tires also have individual steering motors, enabling the vehicle to turn a full 360 degrees.The wheels pictured here will not make the trip to Mars; these engineering models will be swapped for flight models sometime next year.Engineers prepare the starboard legs and wheels for integration onto NASA’s Mars 2020 rover (via NASA/JPL-Caltech)“With the suspension on, not only does it look like a rover,” Gruel said, “but we have almost all our big-ticket items for integration in our rearview mirror—if our rover had one.”A bit like the cars we drive on Earth, the vehicle’s suspension system maintains a constant weight on each wheel. And while drivers avoid terrain that would cause a tilt of more than 30 degrees, the rover can withstand a 45-degree tilt in any direction without tipping over.With the mobility and port suspensions in place, the team expects to install the device’s robotic arm and mast-mounted SuperCam instrument within the next few weeks.Also ready for placement is the Sample Caching System, which includes 17 separate motors, and will collect samples of Martian rock and soil that will be returned to the Earth by a future mission.Mars 2020 will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida next July. It is scheduled to land at Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.Want to be part of NASA’s 2020 mission? There is still time to fly your name—etched onto a microchip—on the rover. Sign up before Sept. 30 to receive a downloadable souvenir boarding pass.A live-stream from a JPL clean room last week gave fans a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes work that goes into assembling and testing a Mars rover.More on Geek.com:NASA Scientists Install HD ‘Eyes’ in Mars 2020 RoverNASA Puts Mars 2020 Rover to the TestNASA Spots ‘Star Trek’ Starfleet Logo ‘Dune Footprints’ on Mars
Fusing together some of the finest works from well established artists, the art exhibition at All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society aims to serve the audience a visual bonanza. Titled Genesis-18, the art show will be held from June 1-7. Genesis-18 is an exposition by 34 artists in a manner that traces a timeline of developments in style, themes and schools of what has emerged today as Indian contemporary art.The striking feature of the works of the participating artists is the manner in which they straddle diverse cultures whilst still voicing the present context of Indian social, cultural and political life. The canvases provide an introspective and sometimes uneasy glimpse into modern India, yet are collectively global in their presentation. This exhibition is a recognition of and respect for the influential antecedents of this genre of art. Clearly, the map has changed as these works demonstrate figurative and abstract, impatient yet unhurried, ancient spirituality fused with modern culture.It is amazing to discern the similarity in the direction of thoughts of all artists, coming from diverse milieus and diverse backgrounds.
Register Now » 3 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global August 3, 2017 Are you having trouble hiring employees? Well, it’s probably your fault.In today’s world, with the help of technology, it’s become easier than ever to get business done through email or over the internet. While technology has helped make processes more efficient, depending on it too much can have its downsides. Especially when it comes to the hiring process.Related: The 3 Most Common — and Costly — Hiring MistakesA recent report by global staffing and HR services provider Randstad U.S. surveyed 1,200 people 18 and older to uncover the perceptions, attitudes and expectations that job seekers have on the job search process. And while most agree technology is helpful during the process, many are frustrated when too much tech is involved.From shaking someone’s hand to actually reading through a candidate’s cover letter and resume — many employers are bypassing important aspects of the hiring process, much to applicants’ chagrin. Eighty-two percent of survey participants said they are frustrated with an overly automated job search experience, and 87 percent of respondents said that technology has made the job search more impersonal.Related: 3 Prudent Hiring Practices to Acquire the Best TalentHowever, that doesn’t mean technology should get the boot from your hiring process. To give candidates the most ideal experience, strike a balance between tech and a human touch. Nearly every survey participant agreed that technology should be used as an “aid” in the hiring process, not replace it.In the study, respondents identified “the degree of personal, human interaction during the process” and “the recruiter/hiring manager I worked with” as the top two aspects that contributed to a positive experience during their last job search. To the contrary, the top two reasons companies leave negative impressions on job seekers are “the length of the hiring process” and “the communication level throughout the selection process.”“The findings reinforce what we’ve believed for quite some time, that successful talent acquisition lies at the intersection between technology and human touch,” said Randstad U.S. CEO Linda Galipeau. “If done correctly, the right combination of personal interaction with the power of today’s intelligent machines can create an experience that is inherently more human.”Related: Hiring Your First Employee? 5 Things You Need to Know.As an employer, it’s important to not burn bridges or miss opportunities because many of these applicants won’t give you another shot. One-third of candidates who had negative experiences during the job search process will never re-apply to that organization, and will never refer a friend or family member to the company.
Feature | Information Technology | June 27, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr Smart Algorithm Extracts Data from Radiology Reports Radiology reports may contain information essential to figuring out a patient’s condition. read more Codonics provides a comprehensive, economical image documentation solutions available in the PACS era. From film to grayscale paper, color paper, CD & DVD, Codonics’ products provide referring physicians with tools for professional patient consultations, and offer a unique marketing package that separates you from the competition. Codonics offers more ways to increase productivity, improve workflow, cut costs and grow your business.For more information: www.codonics.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | PACS | June 26, 2019 Mini-PACS Solution for Image Management and Workflow Optimization ImageGrid Mini is a feature-rich, reliable and cost-effective image management and workflow optimization solution, pr read more Related Content News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | July 02, 2019 Konica Minolta Healthcare Partners With DiA Imaging Analysis for AI-based Cardiac Ultrasound Analysis DiA Imaging Analysis has partnered with Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas Inc. to expand analysis capabilities of… read more Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more Technology | April 28, 2009 Codonics’ Image Storage Designed for the PACS Era Technology | Enterprise Imaging | July 05, 2019 Hyland Healthcare Adds ImageNext Imaging Workflow Optimizer to Enterprise Imaging Suite Hyland Healthcare is launching ImageNext, a vendor-neutral imaging workflow optimizer that combines intelligent imaging… read more News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more News | PACS | July 02, 2019 Laurel Bridge and 3M M*Modal Partner to Improve DICOM Structured Reporting July 2, 2019 — Laurel Bridge Software announced an expanded relationship with 3M M*Modal, a provider of clinical docu read more News | Enterprise Imaging | June 27, 2019 Ambra Health Announces Integration With Box Ambra Health announced an integration with Box to enable the sharing of medical imaging directly from within Box’s… read more News | Enterprise Imaging | July 29, 2019 Philips Announces 10-year Enterprise Informatics Agreement With Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Nancy Philips and Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire (CHRU) de Nancy, a leading academic hospital in the Grand Est… read more
On Sunday, Oct. 5, 1986, a young Sandinista soldier named José Fernando Canales Alemán sighted a Fairchild C-123K cargo plane in Nicaraguan airspace near the Costa Rican border. He fired a Russian-made shoulder mounted SAM-7 (9K32 Strela-2) surface-to-air missile and brought down the plane. Three crew members – William J. Cooper, Wallace “Buzz” Sawyer, and radio operator Freddy Vilches – were killed in the crash. The fourth – and most famous – survived. His name was Eugene Hasenfus, and his subsequent capture by Sandinista forces led to the unraveling of a complex web now called “The Iran-Contra Affair.” The Oct. 8, 1986 edition of Sandinista newspaper Barricada. (Courtesy Barricada)Eugene Hasenfus was a former Marine who had flown supply missions for Air America, the CIA’s air-transport company, during the heady days of the Vietnam War. His ports of call included Saigon and Vientiane, Laos, he told the Christian Science Monitor in a November 1986 interview from jail in Tipitapa, Nicaragua.It was a call from an old colleague at Air America that encouraged him to travel from his home in Marinette, Wisconsin. Marinette is a town of about 10,000 residents in the northern part of the state, along the Michigan state border. Coincidentally, it is about three miles from the home of Capt. Ernest Medina, who was tried and acquitted for the My Lai massacre. (There is no record that the two men ever met.)Hasenfus went to El Salvador to join the Contra resupply operation headed by Gen. Richard Secord for a promised salary of $3,000 per month – a good deal more than he was making as a part-time construction worker in Wisconsin. His job was to kick the loads of cargo out the doors of the plane as it flew low over Contra-controlled areas inside Nicaragua. Hasenfus would later tell his Nicaraguan captors that he had flown more than 10 such missions. On Oct. 5, 1986, the C-123 cargo plane – called a “Provider” by its manufacturer, – left Ilopango Airbase in El Salvador loaded with “70 Soviet-made AK-47 rifles and 100,000 rounds of ammunition, rocket grenades and other supplies,” according to aviation safety records. As the plane entered Nicaraguan airspace it dropped to an altitude of 2,500 feet near San Carlos, along the Río San Juan. At that moment, the young Sandinista fired his shoulder-mounted missile, whose Russian name “Strela” means “arrow,” and the plane began to spiral toward a crash. Unlike his colleagues, Eugene Hasenfus had a parachute that he had borrowed from a brother who was a skydiver. A Russian-made SAM-7 surface-to-air missile launcher. (Wikimedia Commons)The Oct. 8 edition of Sandinista newspaper Barricada would feature on its front cover a full-page photo of Hasenfus being led off by his captors, and on the back cover, a comparable photo of a young Vietnamese militia member who had similarly shot down and captured U.S. airman W. H. Robinson 20 years earlier in September 1965. The image would later appear on a billboard in Managua bearing the text from Augusto César Sandino’s July 1927 manifesto against the U.S. Marines: “More than a battalion of your men, blonde invader, will end up biting the dust of my warring hills.”The fact that Hasenfus – whose name in German roughly translates to “Rabbit’s Foot” – had a parachute was lucky for him, but not so lucky for his CIA employers. Retired U.S. Maj. Gen. John Singlaub, who was President Ronald Reagan’s administrative chief liaison to the secret Contra supply effort, in his 1991 autobiography “Hazardous Duty” bemoans, “Only a fool would dispatch such a plane on a clandestine airdrop during daylight. To make matters worse, Hasenfus and the three dead crewmen had been carrying their wallets with identity cards linking them to Southern Air Transport, a known CIA proprietary company. The final straw in this foul-up was the fact that the plane’s logbooks were on board, which also linked the operation back to the CIA.”It was those logbooks, together with a business card found in Hasenfus’ wallet when he was captured, that led to the exposure of U.S. government involvement in the Contra resupply operation. The business card came from Robert W. Owen, who, according to researcher Peter Dale Scott, had worked with Singlaub in Asia, and later on the staff of U.S. Senator Dan Quayle. In 1983, Rob Owen joined Lt. Col. Oliver North in his “Project Democracy” to aid the Contras. According to Singlaub, North and Secord had botched the operation and then later tried to blame it on him: “… Ollie North’s grandiose self-image as a master covert operator,” he wrote, “had come back to harm the Contra cause.” It was Secord whom Hasenfus would later attempt unsuccessfully to sue in U.S. federal court for negligence and breach of contract. A billboard in Managua included text from Augusto César Sandino’s July 1927 manifesto against the U.S. Marines. (Courtesy of Donna Vukelich)The revelations immediately led to an outcry in the media and U.S. Congress. Lawmakers had voted in the “Boland Amendment” to outlaw U.S. assistance to the Contras for the purpose of overthrowing the Nicaraguan government – including prohibiting all “funds available to the CIA and the DOD [Department of Defense] from being used in Nicaragua for military purposes.” Vincent Cannistraro, director of intelligence programs for the U.S. National Security Council, wrote in a now-declassified memo on Oct. 8 to then-National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane that, “Press Guidance was prepared which states no U.S.G. involvement or connection, but that we are generally aware of such support contracted by the Contras.” The memo continues: “Elliott [Abrams, assistant secretary of state] said he would continue to tell the press these were brave men and brave deeds. We recommended he not do this because it contributes to perception U.S.G. inspired and encouraged private lethal aid effort.”The Iran-Contra hearings began on May 5, 1987, and lasted through the summer until Aug. 6. During that time, the Hasenfus incident became a smaller and smaller cog in a great wheel that included selling missiles to Iran, trading arms for hostages, secret bank accounts, and off-the-books funding of Contra operations in Honduras and Costa Rica. Special Counsel Lawrence Walsh summarized the results: “Of the 14 persons charged criminally during the investigation, four were convicted of felony charges after trial by jury, seven pleaded guilty either to felonies or misdemeanors, and one had his case dismissed because the Administration refused to declassify information deemed necessary to the defendant by the trial judge. Two cases that were awaiting trial were aborted by pardons granted by President Bush.” Outgoing President George H.W. Bush ultimately pardoned six of the key figures in 1992.In 1987, Pacifica Radio began live coverage of the hearings. My station was the first in Wisconsin to air the coverage. I engineered the broadcast each day, as we preempted regular programming. If the hearings ended early, we would need to scramble for LP records (CDs were not in use much in those days) to fill out the afternoon. I would record the live satellite feed on 10-inch reels of tape as it broadcast over the air, and then scramble between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to edit the day down to a half-hour long summary for listeners unable to hear the whole thing. But it was nothing compared to the legendary work of Pacifica reporter Larry Bensky and his producer Bill Wax. They perched in a cramped location in the crowded room to broadcast the hearings and conduct interviews throughout the day. Wax would listen to the hearings and record choice bits onto short cassette tapes for use in Bensky’s summaries – which might happen at any moment in the day if the hearings suddenly went into recess. Lt. Col. Oliver North, former aide to ex-National Security Adviser John Poindexter, is sworn in on July 7, 1987 before the U.S. House and Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on arms sales to Iran and diversion of profits to Nicaraguan Contra rebels. The “Irangate” saga erupted on Nov. 30, 1986 into a new crisis for U.S. President Ronald Reagan, with the resignation of Adm. John Poindexter as the president’s national security adviser and the dismissal of North, a member of the National Security Council staff. AFPAlthough Hasenfus was lucky the day of the crash, luck did not seem to follow him in later life. After being tried, convicted and pardoned by the Nicaraguan government, he returned home to his wife and three children in Marinette just in time for Christmas. There were, of course many jokes at the time about Hasenfus as a “marionette” hanging from the strings of his parachute – or more darkly, controlled by strings from Washington. His father was quoted in the press at the time as saying, “It would have been better if Eugene had died. The dead don’t talk.” The cost of his legal defense was never paid by the government since officials were still trying to deny that he was their employee. The bank came close to foreclosing on his mortgage as he struggled to make ends meet. He unsuccessfully sued his employers, Southern Air Transport and Corporate Air Services, saying they had promised verbally to cover all of his legal fees, but the suit lost in district court, and again on appeal.After that, a downhill slide began. His wife divorced him in 1998, and then, according to Timothy Lange, writing in the Daily Kos:On July 10, 2000, he was accused of indecent exposure in Brookfield, Wisconsin. On June 1, 2002, he killed a bear without a license and was fined $260. He was accused of lascivious behavior a second time in January 2003, after exposing himself in the parking lot at Woodman’s grocery store in Howard, Wisconsin, and received probation. He was accused a third time on May 25, 2005, after exposing himself in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Marinette County, Wisconsin. This violated his probation, and he was forced to serve jail time in Green Bay, Wisconsin, until Dec. 17, 2005 – the 19th anniversary of his release from a Sandinista prison.An interesting side note to the story is the successful life of the twin to the Hasenfus plane shot down in 1986. The CIA had actually purchased two of the Fairchild C-123K Providers, and the other one is now the centerpiece of a unique pub in Costa Rica. According to the website of Hotel Costa Verde, “As a result of this successful Sandinista strike on our Fairchild’s sister plane, the cargo operation was suspended and one of the C-123s was abandoned at the International Airport in San José. In August 2000, we purchased the abandoned Fairchild and shipped the pieces of the Iran-Contra relic to Quepos [on the central Pacific coast]. The fuselage was shipped via ocean ferry because it was 10 inches too wide for the antiquated Chiquita Banana railroad bridges! After hauling seven sections up the Manuel Antonio hill, the C-123 finally found its current cliff-side resting-place. Now, our C-123 has been retired to less risqué endeavors as a restaurant, bar and an enduring Cold War relic.” El Avión Pub in Quepos, near Manuel Antonio National Park, on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast. (Courtesy of Jesse Chapman)•Norman Stockwell is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin. He also serves as operations coordinator for WORT-FM Community Radio. Stockwell has reported from numerous countries in Latin America, including Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast. In 1987 he helped broadcast the Iran-Contra Hearings on community radio before traveling to Nicaragua. Read his recent contribution to The Tico Times’ special “La Penca: 30 Years Later.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Remembering La Penca, 30 years later Reviving the messenger: Gary Webb’s tale on film The undoing of Gary Webb and today’s news organizations 30 years since secret Contra airstrip discovered in Costa Rica
British Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan has expressed his frustration over the intense criticism addressed personally to him by Nicosia for comments he made on Tuesday about Cyprus’ sovereignty being “under dispute” in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the Cyprus News Agency has reported.Cyprus’ high commissioner to the UK, Euripides Evriviades, met with Sir Alan Duncan on Wednesday afternoon at the Foreign Office in London to convey his government’s strong objection to the minister’s remarks.Later in the evening Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis told a London audience of investors and entrepreneurs that Turkey’s incursion into the EEZ was “not the first provocation we are having, but by far the most serious one”.“The spot where Turkey is trying to drill is 37 nautical miles off the coast of Cyprus. I am wondering if anyone under any circumstances through the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) can consider this area, 37 nautical miles from the coast, a disputed area,” he said pointing to a map of Cyprus’ EEZ.Foreign Office sources have said that Tuesday’s statements by Sir Alan and by officials should leave no doubt about the UK position.A clarification issued on Tuesday evening by the Foreign Office stated that the UK recognises the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit oil and gas in its “internationally agreed” EEZ.But the area where Turkey is threatening to start drilling has not been delineated, therefore under the law of the sea it is considered still “under dispute” the British argue.The sources also say that Sir Alan Duncan’s statement actually amounted to a call for Turkey not to proceed with exploratory drilling in that area, since the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea prohibits such activity “in an area where sovereignty is under dispute”.CNA understands that Sir Alan has also expressed his frustration over the barrage of criticism he has faced.Diplomatic sources disputing the British argument note that the UK has not condemned the Turkish incursion into the Cypriot EEZ as it ought to and as other western countries have done.Furthermore, international energy experts in London have underlined that the said maritime areas have not been delineated due to Turkey’s rejection of Cypriot calls for talks on the matter.They have also stressed that Turkey cannot selectively refer to Unclos, a convention to which it has chosen not be a signatory.Turkey, it has also been noted, is the sole country that votes every year against the Omnibus Resolution of the Law of the Sea item in the General Assembly of the United Nations.Meanwhile, Conservative and Labour MPs have written to the Sir Alan urging him to unequivocally condemn the Turkish incursion into Cyprus’ EEZ and to declare London’s support for Nicosia’s right to exploit the natural resources in all its EEZ. Such MPs include Sir Roger Gale, Theresa Villiers and Fabian Hamilton.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
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