By Dialogo March 27, 2012 The Costa Rican police seized a shipment of 595 kilos of cocaine at Peñas Blancas, a border crossing with Nicaragua, bringing the amount of drugs seized during the last week to almost 900 kilos, the Ministry of Public Safety announced on March 25. The cocaine was discovered on the night of March 24 in a vehicle with Guatemalan registration that was waiting to cross the border, an official statement indicated. Upon searching the vehicle, which was carrying a load of bags of cement, “the officers detected an irregularity in the floor of the cargo area, reason for which they proceeded to conduct an exhaustive search,” the report indicated. The Drug Control Police (PCD) determined that 595 kilos of cocaine hydrochloride, “which were immediately seized,” were hidden under the false bottom. The vehicle’s driver, who was arrested, is a 37-year-old Guatemalan citizen identified with the surnames Ordóñez Castellón. On March 21, Costa Rican authorities seized another shipment of 290 kilos of cocaine that was being transported in a small truck, hidden inside the lining of the roof. The two seizures add up to a total of 885 kilograms.
For the past six years, Eliza Cross, a professional blogger and freelance writer in Denver, has put herself on what she calls a “money diet.”Not that she coined the phrase. “Money diet” is a term that’s been around since at least the 1980s. For a stretch of time, maybe a week and often a month, you spend no money, except on essentials like groceries, gas and medicine. Unlike a food diet, where you want to lose pounds, the goal is to gain money. And if you do it right, Cross says, you should have more money than usual at the end of the month, and you may gain better financial habits as well.Cross has been putting herself on a money diet every January, for all 31 days. She writes about it and commiserates with her readers on her blog, HappySimpleLiving.com.And while Cross does it every January – “it’s a good time of year when we’re motivated to make changes in our lives, and a lot of us have been spending a lot over the holidays,” she says – you can obviously go on a money diet any time. That said, some parts of the year are probably more challenging than others, such as the middle of summer, when you may want to do things like go on vacation, visit an old-fashioned ice cream parlor or take the kids to the water park.It will help your cause if your family embraces the idea of a money diet. Cross is divorced and her oldest child is a grown-up, so that makes it easier for her than someone with an uninterested spouse and seven teenagers (although that hypothetical family would need the money diet more). Cross has a 13-year-old son, Michael, but so far, she says he has hardly noticed the extra-frugal periods. continue reading » 40SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
PKA is to step up its engagement with heavy users of coal and will divest companies – where coal is responsible for as little as 25% of their revenues – if plans to reduce reliance are not put in place.The DKK235bn (€31.5bn) Danish pension provider said the new policy was an escalation of an approach, announced last year, which saw it engage with companies drawing 50-90% of revenue from coal.In a complementary approach, PKA will also begin engaging with companies drawing more than half their revenue from tar sand projects.Peter Damgaard Jensen, chief executive at PFA, said the provider’s decision to divest 31 coal companies had already boosted returns, as the stocks in question declined 70% since divestment. He compared this with a 7% return from offshore wind holdings over the same period.“It clearly shows our climate strategy to increase green investment while phasing out coal investments has been right from both an economic and a climate point of view,” he said.The fund has invested in wind farms since 2011 and recently was joined by Kirkbi, parent company of LEGO Group, in acquiring a stake in a wind farm from Dong Energy.The decision to expand the engagement criteria below the 50% coal revenue threshold will see an additional 53 companies added to PKA’s list.Of the new additions, the majority are utilities providers, while eight are mining firms.PKA has already launched a dialogue with nine of the 23 companies identified in 2015 and said four had already put in place policies to reduce reliance on coal.One company has been placed on a watch list, while a further four have been divested.Damgaard Jensen said the success with four of the nine companies proved the value of active ownership, and the provider said it would now start engaging with the remaining companies it had identified.Peabody Energy bankruptcyThe pension provider’s announcement coincided with the world’s largest listed coal company, Peabody Energy, filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US.A statement by the firm cited the “unprecedented industry downturn” as its reason for the filing, but investors seized on the bankruptcy to argue that carbon-intensive industries would no longer be viable if the increase in global temperatures were to be limited to 2° C.Adam Swersky, chair of the £670m (€915m) London Borough of Harrow Pension Fund, said the bankruptcy was a reminder that environmental, social and governance risks needed to be taken into account.“We have known for some time that some carbon-intensive assets are unlikely to be viable in a 2 degree climate change scenario,” he said.“Trustees must challenge fund managers to put this type of assessment at the heart of their investment strategies.”Luke Sussams, senior analyst at the Carbon Tracker Initiative, added that the bankruptcy was the most significant signal to date that the coal market was “nearing a structural decline”, while Julian Poulter of the Asset Owners Disclosure Project argued that investors for too long had ignored warnings over coal holdings.“Whilst commodity prices played a major role in Peabody’s demise, so too did the climate stigma,” he said.“There can be no excuse for investors now not to reshape their entire industry to account for the systemic risk posed by climate change.”However, Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said the bankruptcy was down to Peabody’s inability to adapt to energy markets where coal was being disrupted by newer energy sources.He argued that the coal industry was not “dead” but needed to focus on greater innovation through smaller markets and fewer mines.
President Trump says that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un wants to meet again to “start negotiations” after joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises come to an end. He adds that Kim also apologized for a recent series of short-range missile tests.Kim reportedly assured Trump “that this testing would stop when the exercises end.” Meanwhile, North Korea on Saturday fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea.….also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future! A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2019 The two leaders have already met three times — in Singapore, Hanoi and at the Korean Demilitarized Zone.At the second summit in Vietnam last February, Trump rejected Kim’s demand to drop widespread sanctions in exchange for dismantling the North’s main nuclear complex.The U.S. and South Korea have both scaled down major military exercises since Trump and Kim’s first summit took place in June of 2018. However, the North claims that even those downsized drills violate agreements made between Kim and Trump, and compel North Korea to “develop, test and deploy the powerful physical means essential for national defense.”When they last met two months ago, the two leaders agreed to resume working-level nuclear talks, but no meetings have taken place since then.