US Military Commander Warns of Iran-Hezbollah Influence in Latin America

first_imgBy Dialogo March 18, 2009 At Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday Admiral James Stavridis accused Hezbollah of involvement in the drug trade. “We have seen in Colombia a direct connection between Hezbollah activity and the narco-trafficking activity,” he said. The admiral’s comment came in response to a question from a senator seeking more information about concerns first raised by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates before the same committee in January. The secretary accused Iran of engaging in what he called “subversive” activity in several places in Latin America. He called newly-opened Iranian offices in Central and South America “fronts” for interfering in local affairs. Admiral Stavridis, commander of U.S. Southern Command, noted what he called “an increase in a wide level of activity by the Iranian government,” including the opening of six new embassies in Latin America during the last five years, and what he called “proselytizing and working with Islamic activities throughout the region.” “That is of concern principally because of the connections between the government of Iran, which is a state sponsor of terrorism, and Hezbollah,” he said. “We see a great deal of Hezbollah activity throughout South America, in particular. [The] tri-border of Brazil is a particular concern, as in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, as well as [other] parts of Brazil and in the Caribbean Basin.” Admiral Stavridis said the United States has good cooperation with the tri-border countries and that it receives what he called a “reasonable level” of information about what goes on there. But, he said, there are no U.S. military personnel in the area. The admiral also spoke about Venezuela during his testimony. He said the United States does not have a good understanding of what the government of President Hugo Chavez intends to do with his growing military and strong relationship with Russia. But Stavridis said reduced revenues from the fall in the price of oil will affect Venezuela’s ability to continue its high level of arms purchases from Russia, and to maintain and operate its new, expensive weapons systems.last_img read more

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Bay Shore Man Charged With Murder

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Bay Shore man was arrested and charged with murdering a 26-year-old man who was found dead in a wooded area of Middle Island two weeks ago, Suffolk County prosecutors said.Michael DirkschneiderMichael Dirkschneider pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon Wednesday at Suffolk County court.Authorities said the 30-year-old suspect allegedly shot Alexander Incorvia to death behind a shuttered K-Mart store on Middle Country Road.Police recovered a .45-caliber handgun, which investigators believe to be the murder weapon, from Dirkschneider’s dresser on April 2, the same day a woman found the victim’s body, prosecutors said.Incorvia’s body was found by a woman walking her dog in the wooded area behind the vacant store. The victim, a resident at the Comfort Inn on Route 112 in Medford who had been reported missing days earlier, was shot multiple times.A grand jury indicted Dirkschneider for the homicide on Friday, prosecutors said.last_img read more

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Erickson: This may be the end, but it’s not goodbye

first_imgWell, it’s certainly been a brief four years my friends.I’ve covered countless beats during that time. I toiled through rebuilding seasons with the soccer teams, a season with each tennis team respectively as they tried to find the right mix, two wonderful years with the women’s hockey team that ended in a national title and, of course, two years with the football team that were each capped with return trips to the Rose Bowl.But no beat was closer to my heart than men’s hockey.Yes, I’ll admit it: I love hockey with unquantified passion.After a season of struggle, the hockey team almost had me convinced I was going to cover another down year for my final lap on the beat after a 1-7-2 start. As fans and critics tried to persuade me with their outsider beliefs that head coach Mike Eaves should be fired or that this team with all their talent was such a waste, I held onto my convictions that they were capable of something great.Enter the WCHA tournament.Sitting in the press box at the Xcel Energy Center, I was a ball of nerves for three days straight. On the verge of breaking out in tears at a Badgers’ loss, I was stunned again and again as Wisconsin continued to win game after game until that beautiful moment they hoisted the 2013 Broadmoor Trophy – the last one in the WCHA as it’s currently known.Their run earned them a spot in the NCAA tournament. With a fourth seed, Wisconsin traveled to Manchester, N.H. and got smacked by UMass-Lowell 6-1.I didn’t travel to Manchester. As far as I knew, my final days covering the team were some of the greatest I had ever experienced. A week later it was all finished, but I never had to say goodbye. I never shed a tear. The ending was perfect.And maybe that’s the way I need to leave not only The Badger Herald but also Madison — to let it go in this open-ended way.As far as I’m concerned these last four years – with all their ups and downs – are exactly like my final days covering hockey. They were wonderful, nerve-wracking and eventually made me feel like I was on top of the world.There was move-in freshman year, sporting a confident exterior that hid the well of insecurities, waiting to be unpacked in turn. The nerves set in but eventually went away.More than a year later, I was already covering a major sporting event: the Women’s hockey team’s 2011 NCAA Title. I was living a dream. I was covering the sport I love, doing exactly what I love. It felt like nothing could slow me down – not even a nasty bout of strep throat or the awful city that is Erie, Penn. (Apologies to any natives, but that town is not my cup of tea).And I didn’t slow down. During my junior year, I stepped into the football and men’s hockey beats. But I also faced my own personal crises; those few moments that creeped into my life every now and then, making me question whether I really wanted to write, whether I could really make a career of it. In the face of self-created, minor adversity, I knew I didn’t want to do anything else.Finally, my senior year, that playoff push and insane tournament run which just served as a quick metaphor for my college career.I’ve been dreading my ultimate goodbye to this wonderful city and all the brilliant people in it.So instead of worrying about it or attempting to write some perfectly worded farewell, I’m just not going to say anything.Sure, come Sunday, May 19 there will be tears and hugs all around as I part ways with some of my greatest friends and move onto the daunting, scary, real world. But there will be no goodbyes on my part.Until next time.Kelly is graduating in a week and, well, is thoroughly freaked out by it. She is moving back home to the great state of Minnesota to cover some baseball for the summer before worrying about finding a full-time job. Feel free to keep in touch via Twitter @kellymerickson.last_img read more

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HANDLING OF FISHER AFFAIR NOT IN BEST INTEREST OF FIANNA FAIL – BROGAN

first_imgCouncillor Ciaran Brogan has admitted that the handling of the Victor Fisher affair has not been in the best interest of the Fianna Fail party locally.Councillor Victor FisherDefending the former Lord Mayor of Letterkenny, Cllr Brogan said the local businessman’s loyalty to Fianna Fail could never be questioned.Cllr Fisher quit the party he has served for more than 40 years after Fianna Fail failed to select his son to stand in the forthcoming local elections. Cllr Brogan admitted to Donegal Daily “It is disappointing the way it has happened and it has not been in the best interest of the Fianna Fail party.“I feel strongly about this and my position is crystal clear on it.“It could have been handled better and I will say that publicly.“Victor Fisher’s loyalty to Fianna Fail never swayed and for many people he was the public face of the party on the Main Street. “I would have worked closely with him and I genuinely feel for him.”Councillor Brogan spoke out after Fisher resigned from the party when they failed to select his son David to run in the forthcoming local elections.He claims he was shafted by the Fianna Fail party and is now considering standing as an Independent himself.The four candidates to stand for Fianna Fail in the Letterkenny/Milford electoral area are Ciaran Brogan, Liam Blaney, John Watson and James Pat McDaid. HANDLING OF FISHER AFFAIR NOT IN BEST INTEREST OF FIANNA FAIL – BROGAN was last modified: March 21st, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Cllr Ciaran BroganClr Victor Fisherfianna faillast_img read more

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