Forward Rolls

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Asia-Pacific drug trade thrives amid the COVID-19 pandemic

first_imgTopics : “While the world has shifted its attention to the COVID-19 pandemic, all indications are that production and trafficking of synthetic drugs and chemicals continue at record levels in the region.”Inshik Sim, a UNODC Illicit Drugs Analyst, told Reuters that recent intelligence suggested that there had been no change in the street price of methamphetamine in Bangkok or Manila, the capitals of Thailand and the Philippines and the biggest markets for the substance in Southeast Asia.This, he said, showed there had been “no impact on its availability in the market”.The relative stability of the drug market in much of the Asia-Pacific contrasts with the experience in North America and Europe, where tougher travel restrictions and border controls have disrupted supply chains and pushed prices higher. In recent years, transnational crime groups based in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau have expanded the sophistication and scale of methamphetamine production in industrial-scale labs in northern Myanmar and widened their distribution network as far as Japan and New Zealand.As supply has surged and prices have fallen, the purity of the drug has increased, the UNODC report said.Asian crime syndicates produce both potent crystal meth and less expensive tablets of meth mixed with caffeine known as yaba, or “crazy drug” in the Thai language.While opium cultivation and heroin production has been declining in Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle which straddles northern Myanmar and parts of Laos and Thailand, there has been a “steady emergence” of dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl in East And Southeast Asia, said the report.”The illicit drug market here is at a tipping point as synthetic opioid production appears to be migrating into places with deep governance problems like the Golden Triangle,” said Douglas. “Southeast Asia could well become a source of opioids for other parts of the world while these substances get mixed into or displace part of the regional heroin supply.”Other synthetic drugs such as ecstasy, ketamine and cannabinoids are also increasingly found across the region, the UNODC report said.center_img Illicit drug markets in the Asia-Pacific continue to expand and diversify and appear to be largely unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak, the United Nations said on Friday.The production of methamphetamine, the most popular drug in the region, continues to hit record highs while prices fall to new lows in East and Southeast Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a report that compiled data from 2019 to first quarter of 2020.”It is hard to imagine that organized crime have again managed to expand the drug market, but they have,” said Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.last_img read more

Maryland DNR Announces Funding for 49 Projects

first_imgThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is providing $10.5 million in Waterway Improvement Fund grants to improve public boating access and navigation throughout the state.Passed by the Maryland General Assembly and signed by Governor Larry Hogan, this critical funding will go toward 49 projects in 18 counties from Allegany to Worcester.“Through this grant program, we are improving the quality of life of our citizens and visitors through the development and enhancement of various water access sites throughout the state, while expanding opportunities for the public to appreciate all that the Chesapeake Bay, coastal bays and their tributaries have to offer,” Governor Larry Hogan said.“The boating industry supports thousands of jobs in Maryland and contributes billions to our economy.”Funded projects include the dredging of local navigation channels, maintaining public boating access facilities, improving parking and upgrading existing infrastructure such as bulkheads, piers and ramps.Funding is also provided to local first responders to enhance water rescue operations.“From cruising the Chesapeake Bay to maneuvering the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, boating is a way of life in Maryland,” Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said.“The Waterway Improvement Fund is a vital state resource that ensures that residents and visitors alike will continue to benefit from Maryland’s world-class recreational boating opportunities for years to come.”The Waterway Improvement Fund was created in 1966 to support the development, enjoyment and use of Maryland’s waters for the benefit of the general boating public. It is primarily derived from a five-percent vessel excise tax on boat purchases and titling.last_img read more

Nigeria discloses possibility of finding oil in troubled Lake Chad region

first_imgThe Nigerian Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that there are possibilities of finding oil in the Lake Chad area, which has been riddled by violence perpetrated by the Boko Haram militia group.“There are signs from the latest 3D seismic studies that oil may well be very close to being found now in Lake Chad after very many years of trials,” said managing director Ibe Kachikwu.Kachikwu gave no further details but is believed to have been referring to the Kukawa area of Borno state, where exploration had previously begun but was halted because of the six-year Islamist insurgency.In 2006, Nigeria licenced the state-run China National Petroleum Corporation to explore four blocks in the Lake Chad basin.Lake Chad forms the border between Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Chad hit oil on its side of the border in the late 1970s and production hit 100 000 barrels a day in 2013.The Muslim-majority northern region of Nigeria is riddled by unemployment and the discovery of oil has the potential of altering this.last_img read more

Derby County lead Jordon Ibe chase

first_imgRelatedPosts Lampard: I still have confidence in Tomori Gundogan tests positive for coronavirus Derby County want Jordon Ibe Championship club Derby County are in pole position to sign released Bournemouth winger Jordon Ibe, according to reports.The Rams, according to reports, are closing in on the signing of Ibe, with the Liverpool Academy product currently undergoing a medical. The former England U21 international is set to return to Derby County for a second spell, having spent the first half of the 2014-15 season on loan at the Pride Park Stadium, making 24 appearances and scoring five goals.Ibe also featured in the Championship for Birmingham City during his Liverpool days.The 24-year-old was not offered a new deal by Bournemouth for the 2020-2021 season due to a loss of form and his poor injury record.Ibe has not played competitive football since going the distance for Bournemouth in a Carabao Cup clash with Burton Albion on September 25, 2019.Nigeria-eligible youngsters, Josh Shonibare, Festy Ebosele, Osazee Aghatise and Olamide Ibrahim, play for Derby County’s youth teams. Tags: Birmingham CityBournemouthDerby CountyJordon IbeLiverpoollast_img read more

Popovic plays down Palace rumours

first_img “No there’s been no conversations with anyone in regards to that and it’s not for us to speak about speculation,” Popovic said. “If there was something happening we’d certainly speak to you about it. “I’m very fond of that club. I have great memories and history there and many friends I have there. “I wish them the best in whoever they choose as a manager.” Former Cardiff boss Malky Mackay and ex-Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood are the current favourites to replace Pulis. The Eagles were stunned on Thursday by the abrupt exit of the man who had guided them to Barclays Premier League safety last season. Pulis was reportedly unhappy with the way the south London club had done their transfer business in the summer, with Keith Millen taking caretaker charge for Palace’s 2-1 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday. Tony Popovic has downplayed speculation linking him to the vacant Crystal Palace post, insisting his former club have not been in contact. Press Associationcenter_img The 41-year-old former Australia international has strong ties with the Eagles, having played for the club for five seasons before returning in 2011 as part of Dougie Freedman’s backroom set-up. Popovic is now manager of Western Sydney Wanderers and, despite having been as short as 6/1 with one bookmakers to replace Tony Pulis, insisted talk of taking charge at Selhurst Park was wide of the mark. last_img read more

Trojans ready to tangle with the Cougars

first_imgUSC will attempt to bounce back from a tough loss for the third time this season on Saturday afternoon, when the team is set to face the high-flying Washington State Cougars in Pullman, Washington. The Trojans (5-3, 4-2 Pac-12) fell to No. 18 Utah in devastating fashion last week, while the Cougars (2-6, 1-4) have lost three straight games since a one-point win over the Utes on Sept. 27. Though Washington State must win out to match its six-win 2013 output, USC head coach Steve Sarkisian has been impressed with what he has seen of the Cougars’ unique offense.Under pressure · Sophomore linebacker Su’a Cravens and the USC defense will try to put pressure on Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday. Cravens has picked up 11.5 tackles for loss this season. – Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan “Their passing game is their running game — it’s both,” Sarkisian said. “It’s all about the numbing repetition of the same plays over and over again, and their quarterback’s comfort with those plays and his receivers. They’re a talented group and it’ll be a great challenge for us.”Washington State’s offensive success begins and ends with quarterback Connor Halliday, one of the most prolific passers in college football history. Halliday, who set an NCAA record with 734 passing yards in a single game earlier this month, leads the nation by a wide margin with 3,833 yards through eight games. The redshirt senior’s 32 touchdowns are also tops in the country. USC sophomore linebacker Su’a Cravens addressed the challenge that Halliday presents.“Their quarterback throws the ball a lot,” Cravens said. “We’re gonna get pressure on him, I’m confident in our D-line. You grow up [and] do your job, that’s all you have to do. We’re real confident in our abilities and we feel confident that we match up well with these guys.”Though Washington State wide receiver Vince Mayle leads the Pac-12 with 926 receiving yards, Halliday has managed to spread the wealth to a variety of targets thus far. Including Mayle, seven Cougars have more than 20 receptions. Even more impressively, Mayle and fellow wideouts River Cracraft, Isiah Myers and Dom Williams all have over 500 receiving yards. Limiting this talented group will be a difficult task, a fact that USC senior safety Gerald Bowman and the rest of the Trojans’ secondary has recognized.“We have to make sure we’re tight in coverage and be tight on the ball,” Bowman said. “They do a pretty good job of spreading it out, so we gotta execute on the ball when its thrown. Obviously we don’t want to get beat deep.”Through all their offensive brilliance, the Cougars have been less than spectacular on the other side of the ball. The team is tied for 94th in the country in total defense, allowing 444.6 yards per game. Head coach Mike Leach’s squad has given up over 30 points five times this season, including in each of its last three games. Continuing to expose this weak unit will be crucial for Sarkisian and USC.“They have a very aggressive front,” Sarkisian said. “They’re good at trying to get after the quarterback and stop the run. They play a lot of plays; when you have an offense that throws the ball 75-80 times a game the clock stops. That means the defense is on the field a lot. So hopefully we can take advantage of some of those things.”The injury bug bit the Trojans hard against Utah, with redshirt sophomore left tackle Chad Wheeler falling to a torn ACL and senior linebacker J.R. Tavai suffering a sprained knee. Wheeler will miss the remainder of the season while Tavai should be out for the next two games.Freshman Toa Lobendahn will slide over from guard to tackle to take over for Wheeler, opening up a spot for freshman Damien Mama. Redshirt sophomore Scott Felix will start in place of Tavai, a move that Sarkisian feels could benefit the team against Washington State’s prolific aerial attack.“[Felix] is a little more athletic, but he’s not as big or as physical as J.R. [Tavai],” Sarkisian said. “Scott’s [Felix] a little better when we ask him to drop in coverage. It’s all about just continuing to fight for consistency with him. He’s going to make good plays because he’s a really good player.”USC leads the all-time series 58-9 with four ties. Last season, the Cougars picked up their first road win against the Trojans since 2000, prevailing in an ugly 10-7 slugfest. Sarkisian is confident that this year’s contest will be different.“We’ve got an extremely resilient group,” the first-year coach said. “We’ve got great leaders. It’s really a great group of guys.”The game kicks off from Martin Stadium this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and can be seen on the Pac-12 networks.last_img read more

Men’s hockey: Eaves talks end of regular season, upcoming Big Ten tournament

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team wrapped up their regular season this past weekend against the Minnesota Golden Gophers with a series split. The Badgers took Friday’s match 4-3, but dropped Saturday’s game by a final of 4-1.Now, Wisconsin (8-18-8, 3-13-4) will travel to St. Paul, Minn. for the Big Ten Hockey Tournament as the No. 6 seed where they play their quarterfinals match against the third-seeded Penn State Nittany Lions.In his weekly press conference Monday, head coach Mike Eaves talked about his hopes of carrying the quality of play from this past weekend into the Big Ten Tournament.“We played some pretty good hockey,” Eaves said. “We’re doing good things and that helps us now as we move forward.”The Badgers and Penn State (20-12-4, 10-9-1) will play each other for the fifth time this season in the tournament. The Nittany Lions lead the season series 3-1 with Wisconsin winning the most recent game between the two on March 5 at the Kohl Center by a score of 4-3.Men’s hockey: Badgers end final home series with impressive winWisconsin secured a big upset this weekend over No. 14 Penn State in their last home game of the series. Read…Eaves talked about the advantage of his team facing Penn State four times and what he expects in the upcoming game.“If you talked to the boys, they would tell you that they feel they could have won all four,” Eaves said. “We know some of their tendencies and it’ll be a matter of us executing to a higher level.”This year, the Badgers find themselves in a similar situation as the 2013 WCHA Tournament Champion team that needed to win three straight games to claim the title. Eaves said having some players on the team who played on that championship team such as Kevin Schulze and Eddie Wittchow works in their favor heading into the Big Ten Tournament in need of three straight wins.In the Big Ten Tournament, everyone enters in the same situation. Each team is in a win or go home situation regardless of their regular season record.Eaves acknowledged this, but said he focuses more on taking it one game at a time.“Our window of opportunity to get to the top is slimmer than other groups’,  so we recognize that,” Eaves said. “Because our sliver of opportunity is narrow, we have to win one [game] at a time. If we can continue to play like we’ve done, we give ourselves a chance.”The Badgers finished their regular season with a losing record for the second year in a row, but improved from last year’s record by doubling their win total. As his group continues to rebuild, Eaves said he hopes they can get better at holding a lead, a chapter he feels his young players will achieve with time.The Badgers and the Nittany Lions square off Thursday at 4 p.m. on BTN. The winner will advance to the semifinals against number two seed Michigan State Friday at 4 p.m.last_img read more

Tipp pay the price for wide tally.

first_imgTipp manager Peter Creedon was very honest in his summation of the game saying they were in a good position going in just 2 points down at half-time.However he says Tipp’s forward play wasn’t good enough on the day and they didn’t convert enough of their chances.Creedon did say Tipp were getting into the Kerry half more than they had in previous games.           Kerry will now face Cork in the Munster final after the Rebels saw off Clare on a scoreline of 1-20 to 1-8 in yesterdays other semi-final Despite a strong start which saw them score a goal in the opening minutes Tipperary’s Senior Footballers failed to overcome the Munster and All Ireland champions in Semple Stadium yesterday.They kept Kerry under pressure throughout the opening 35 minutes in yesterday’s provincial semi-final.However they paid the price for 13 wides during the course of the game to eventually lose out on a scoreline of 2-14 to 2-8.last_img read more