Federal security forces in Argentina have a new ally in their fight against drug trafficking: satellite technology. The forces now have access to high-definition images from 15 satellites that scan the country each day, including those from the new Argentine satellite, SAC-D/Aquarius. Argentine authorities have high expectations for the information the satellite images will provide. Security Minister Nilda Garré said satellites can reveal clandestine airstrips and alternate land routes used by drug trafficking, locate illegal crop plantations, and uncover smugglers and even human traffickers. The National Commission on Space Activities (CONAE, for its Spanish acronym) is the state agency in charge of distributing satellite images to security forces. Its secretary-general, Félix Menicocci, told Clarín newspaper in October 2011 that satellites send two types of information: optical images (photographs) and radar images. Experts say the latter allows more efficient tracking of drug trafficking movements because they provide clear vision through thick vegetation or even at night. Over the years, the illegal drug trade in Argentina has grown to worrisome proportions. “Argentina’s capability to implement complex long-term operations against drug trafficking is limited,” said the last detailed report from the U.S. State Department, which parallels reports from the U.N. and indicates a booming drug business in Argentine territory. By Dialogo July 01, 2012 Drug trafficking in Argentina An agreement between the Ministry of Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (where CONAE is housed) permits the use of satellite images in the fight against drug trafficking, but work still needs to be done to improve coordination between state agencies. The Ministry of Security understands that this entails a high degree of complexity, so much so that its officials underscored the importance of synergy when they signed the agreement in October 2011. The first approach between CONAE and federal security forces became the “First Joint Course on Image Interpretation.” In it, CONAE experts taught officers from the Gendarmerie, Prefecture and Federal Police how to read the information on satellite images. María José Meincke, an expert in drug trafficking and vice chairman of the Argentine Association of Graduates from the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies in Washington, D.C., said the key goals to the signed agreement are to ensure the agencies involved harmonize their objectives and reach a level of collaboration suitable for exchange and coordination. “In reality, data sensitivity and other matters related to the rivalry existing between agencies results in that, for the time being, information is not shared as it should,” said Meincke, who is well-versed in interagency coordination and fighting transnational organized crime. “Many times, each agency goes its separate way and performs its task separately,” said Sebastián García Díaz, former secretary of Drug Addiction Prevention and the Fight Against Drug Trafficking, a government institution in the province of Cordoba. “It is very important to count on satellite control, but now we have to determine what to do with this information, who will process it and act in real time with resources, regulations and clear procedures?” He explained that these matters will be solved by interagency coordination. In the inherent complexity of the fight against organized crime, which is becoming increasingly transnational and sophisticated, satellite technology will undoubtedly play a fundamental role. The initiative in Argentina started on the right track with the signing of an agreement on cooperation and information exchange. The challenge for disparate state agencies is now to articulate and pool resources to achieve a significant impact against drug trafficking. Interagency coordination The issue of cocaine in Argentina is twofold, according to the 2011 World Report on Drugs produced by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. On one hand, the country is showing positive signs compared to the rest of Latin America in terms of tackling consumption. On the other, it is one of the transit countries through which most of the European-bound cocaine passes. One of many examples was an airplane loaded in Argentina with 940 kilos that was seized by the Spanish Civil Guard in Barcelona in 2011. The sophistication of criminal organizations has been a constant: Besides growing in size, coordinating their interests and expanding their markets, they are rapidly multiplying their resources. For example, hundreds of clandestine airstrips are scattered in northern Argentina. In the province of Chaco, the Argentine nongovernment organization Anti-Drug Association discovered the operation of at least 141 illegal airstrips, largely thanks to satellite information. Facing an increasingly complicated scenario, Argentine authorities have focused their efforts on fighting the sophistication of organized crime with more sophisticated state technology. The satellite images are and will be a fundamental tool to fight off drugs. As we keep using them more and more, they will direct the panchromatic cameras and proper radars towards them. I have no doubt that they will manufacture satellites for these purposes. I took some courses at CONAE, and at the Sat. Technical Lab. with Dr. V. H. Rios, a prestigious researcher at the UNT University. Very good report. Regards.
Nexans has announced the start of construction of a new cable-laying vessel for submarine high voltage (HV) cable systems installation.Being built by Uljanik Group, a Croatia-based shipyard, the high capacity Nexans vessel is designed for worldwide installation of large volumes of HVDC and HVAC cable systems, even in the most severe weather conditions, the company said.The vessel covers the complete Nexans submarine product range, and has a 10 000-tonne capacity turntable.“The construction of this new cable-laying vessel is a fundamental milestone in our commitment to cleaner energy,“ said Arnaud Poupart-Lafarge, Nexans CEO.“In this next exciting chapter of our capacity to meet customer expectations, the cutting-edge technology of the new ship will enable Nexans to support countries in their development of the unlimited potential of renewable power generation”.The new ship, designed by consulting agency Skipsteknisk AS, comes with Dynamic Positioning (IMO class 3) capabilities. The laying equipment allows the vessel to perform complex installation operations of flexible products in shallow to deep water.“Together with our legendary vessel CLV Nexans Skagerrak, the new ship will reinforce Nexans’ position as a leading player in the growing submarine HV cabling market,” said Dirk Steinbrink, Senior Executive Vice President High Voltage and Underwater Cable Business Group at Nexans.“With the advanced technology, impressive capacity and the many cable-laying capabilities, this vessel will be one of Nexans’ key strategic assets”.The new cable-laying vessel is expected to be delivered and start operations by the third quarter of 2020.
(BBC) – A number of Premier League club doctors have raised a range of concerns with league bosses over plans to resume the season, BBC Sport has learned.One issue that the senior medics have sought assurances over includes their own liability and insurance cover if players contract the virus.The Premier League has also been asked to provide some clarity over medical protocols, testing and player welfare.The Premier League is hopeful of a potential 8 June resumption.The 20 club doctors have been holding their own discussions about Project Restart – the label given to plans to resume action – with a view to feeding their thoughts into the Premier League’s leadership.A Premier League source told the BBC that they viewed the move by the medics as a natural part of the process with clubs, and a means of reaching “the best possible set of protocols”.They also confirmed that the league was in talks with insurance companies over the issue of club and doctor liability, and that this would be brought up with government representatives this week.The Premier League is represented on a cross-sport working group of medical experts and public health officials which will meet for the second time in a week on Wednesday.The panel is devising the health and hygiene measures that players, managers and club staff will be asked to agree to before full training and then competition can resume, but only if the government deems it safe to do so.The government is set to review its lockdown measures later this week, with the Premier League meeting to vote on the plans next Monday. A number of players and sports medics have already voiced their concerns about whether it is safe to return to action.Eamonn Salmon, the chief executive of the Football Medicine and Performance Association (FMPA), has told BBC Sport that opinion among doctors and physios at English football clubs regarding resumption plans was varied.Speaking last week, he said: “I guess the views of our members will be a kind of snapshot of society really.“There are those who think it can be done, there are those that are doubtful and there are those that probably suggest it is an impossible task.“We have to wait, this is a waiting game all the time, it is such a changing landscape and fluctuating on a day to day basis.“This is just the start in some respects, whatever proposals are put there it is then open to debate and for comment and opinion to feed into that.”If training is resumed before social distancing rules are relaxed, BBC Sport understands players will be tested for coronavirus twice a week and would be screened for symptoms every day.All tests would be carried out by health professionals at a drive-through NHS testing facility that each club would have access to. Training grounds will be optimised for social distancing and high hygiene levels.In Germany, where the Bundesliga is set to become the first major football league in Europe to return to competition, 10 positive results have been returned from 1,724 coronavirus tests from clubs in the top two divisions.Cubs have been training in groups and the tests are being taken before a planned return to training as teams.Measures including “the isolation of the affected person” have been taken, said the DFL.Top-flight side Cologne have had no further Covid-19 infections after three people tested positive last week.Bundesliga officials suggested resuming on 9 May but the government delayed the decision and a restart may now be on 16 or 23 May.