NSWTE-A also focused its efforts on partner nation self-sustainment strategies when seven FEN members were selected as future instructors, shadowing NSW counterparts during all training evolutions. This mentorship provided each Honduran instructor with the competence and confidence to conduct future selection courses and internal sustainment training unilaterally. Outside of the physical and technical training that is associated with a special operator, NSWTE-A focused on creating a team of communication specialists within the FEN to become experts in Harris radio technologies, a skill set that is lacking in most Central American units due to the lack of expertise. During a recent six-month deployment, members of Naval Special Warfare Task Element-Alpha (NSWTE-A), a deployed maneuver element attached to Naval Special Warfare Unit-FOUR (NSWU-4) in support of Special Operations Command South, partnered with their Honduran counterparts to train and increase the military capacity of the newly established Honduran Fuerza Especiales Naval or (FEN). The FEN is a maritime unit of Special Operators capable of combating transnational organized crime in and around their waterways. “The unique task organization, presentation of functional skill sets, and development of unit pride and esprit de corps has effectively paved the way for continued Honduran led training and operations in the future in order to keep their borders secure against transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking,” said the NSWTE-A officer in charge. NSWU4, stationed in Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek, Va., and in support of SOCSOUTH, headquartered at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., designed and implemented a comprehensive training and maintenance plan to build the FEN into a strong counter-narcotic force. Organizational departments were also created to include assault, boats, communications, engineering and training with a senior officer and enlisted advisor assigned to each department. To compliment the efforts of the Navy SEALs, members from Naval Special Warfare Special Boat Team 22 also spent a month with counterparts from NSWTE-A training the FEN in basic watercraft maintenance skills and procedures, nautical chart familiarization, boat vectoring and intercepting techniques, small boat handling tactics, and long-range navigation exercises. With a rate of 86 people killed for every 100,000 inhabitants, Honduras is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world according to statistics from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report in 2011. By Dialogo February 08, 2013 Some of the conditioning assessments included an eight-mile log physical training event and a six-nautical mile ocean swim across the Bahia de Trujillo. After completing these physical and mental hardships to become a member of the FEN, the 45 qualified individuals continued through more rigorous and operationally-focused skills training, which completed their transformation into a disciplined and dedicated team capable of providing the Honduran Fuerza Naval a capable maritime branch of special operations. Ten operators from SEAL Team 18, attached to NSWU-4, spent six months training and observing the FEN in a multi-disciplinary approach, resulting in 45 highly qualified Honduran Special Operators by the end of the two, eight-week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/s) style training. These courses were modeled after the BUD/s selection training done by the U.S. Navy SEALs in Coronado, Calif. “In my whole military career, I can only remember three times when radios were used successfully on a mission,” said the FEN’s commanding officer. He added that the skills learned during this training should improve the success rate of radios during military movements. With a murder rate four times higher than Mexico, these alarming numbers depict a nation where violence is part of everyday life. Many of these casualties are linked to narcotics trafficking, where Honduras and other Central American nations are used as a transit point from South America into Mexico and the U.S.; the preponderance of these illicit activities enter the region by maritime. “The combination of SEALs and Special Boat Operators provided the FEN with arguably the best maritime training available within USSOF”, said the NSWTE-A officer in charge.
The Indonesian Biodiesel Producers Association (APROBI) has said it will start the trial use of 40 percent biodiesel (B40) fuel in March, as a follow-up to the successful implementation of 30 percent biodiesel (B30) fuel.APROBI chairman MP Tumanggor said the trial, starting in March, was in line with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s plan to implement B40 fuel fully in January 2021, as reported by kompas.com on Monday.“I just received a letter from the oil and gas research agency for us to send the raw material for the trial,” Tumanggor said. He said there would be two models to be tested for the B40 fuel, which is produced by distilling crude palm oil (CPO) and infusing fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) to the mix to reach the expected level.The government is eager to increase the mix of palm oil in diesel fuel to reduce oil imports, which contribute heavily to the country’s trade deficit.Regarding the implementation of B30 fuel, Tumanggor said the program had gone well since its commercial debut in January.The B30 fuel is set to consume 9.6 million kiloliters of palm oil this year.“As of now, [the use of B30 fuel] is still going according to plan with regard to the automotive industry, the supply chain from Pertamina and producers,” he said, adding that the B30 fuel is expected to use a total of 800,000 kiloliters of vegetable oil. (mpr)Topics :
Even the Las Vegas oddsmakers saw it, making Washington a favorite Friday over likely NCAA Tournament-bound USC. The Trojans came out playing uncharacteristically weak defense, fought back into the game but played sloppily down the stretch in an 85-70 loss at Washington that equals the team’s worst defeat of the season. “We’re playing for seeding, the coach said, and we never know how the tournament (selection) might go,” Nick Young said. “We might be shipped out to the East Coast to play against Florida.” Though it won’t impress the NCAA seeding committee, if USC had to lose a game this was a good choice. The Trojans (21-9, 11-6) can still take second place in the Pac-10 by beating Washington State in their final regular-season game. USC also could finish as low as fourth if it loses to the Cougars and Stanford beats Arizona. The game going on simultaneously across the state was actually more important to the Trojans. SEATTLE – It almost seemed inevitable. In a nearly meaningless game with a showdown for second place in the Pacific-10 Conference looming Saturday, the Trojans were ripe for a letdown. UCLA’s victory in Pullman set up the tiebreaker scenario that would put the Trojans ahead of the Cougars. That might have had something to do with USC’s early lackadaisical effort on defense. The game started getting away toward the end of the first half when Washington (17-12, 7-10) hit 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions. The Huskies made 9 of 13 3-point shots in the first half. When Ryan Appleby hit the third 3-pointer in that series, it sparked a controversy. The shot went up just as the Huskies were called for a foul away from the ball. The referees appeared to be waving off the shot but, after a conference, called it good. That set off USC coach Tim Floyd, who ran at the official and got a technical. Appleby hit one of two free throws, giving Washington a 44-30 lead. The Trojans trailed 48-37 at the half. “We put ourselves in a hole early by not defending,” Floyd said. “It wasn’t one of our better defensive efforts. … I thought we didn’t get back defensively with our perimeter players, and we made some real mistakes in terms of location.” Washington’s lead swelled to 17 points early in the second half on a 3-point play by Quincy Pondexter. USC battled back to within five points behind the play of Young, who led the team with 26 points and displayed the wide variety of pro-style offensive moves that could help him leave early for the NBA after the season. Down 70-64, USC turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions starting with a dreadful attempt at an alley-oop pass from Lodrick Stewart to Gabe Pruitt. Stewart, a senior who attended high school in Seattle, also lost the ball on a drive to the basket down 74-66. Spencer Hawes scored for Washington on the other end and that was the end of USC’s comeback hopes. Though the game didn’t mean much for the Trojans, it did to Stewart. Stewart’s father Andrew, brothers Kadeem and Hadeem and son Jaylin were sitting right behind the USC bench. Stewart, who usually does well in front of family members, scored 9 points. “It just didn’t go my way tonight,” Stewart said. “This was one I wanted to look back on and say I beat (Washington) my last game playing in front of my hometown fans. “It’s frustrating to lose this game.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Lithuanian native Kadamovas, 40, of Sherman Oaks, showed no emotion during the sentencing. Russian native Mikhel, 41, of Encino, chose to watch the proceedings from a holding cell. Both were ringleaders of a gang that sought to amass a fortune by kidnapping four men and one woman – including three from the San Fernando Valley – and extorting $1.2 million from their families. The victims were lured to business meetings, where they were suffocated with plastic bags. Their bodies were then weighted and tossed from a bridge into the New Melones Reservoir near Yosemite National Park. The money went to buy expensive homes, mink coats for girlfriends and other luxuries. Kadamovas had told one henchman that he hoped they would collect $50 million and dump enough bodies until they “were stacked up on top of each other” in the reservoir. “Animals, animals, those are animals,” said Ruven Umansky, 73, an immigrant from the Ukraine whose son, Alex, was among the victims. “Justice was done,” he said. “If they would allow me, I would (execute them) myself.” In addition to Muscatel, 58, those killed were banking mogul George Safiev, 37, of Beverly Hills; Safiev’s accountant, Rita Pekler, 39, of West Hollywood; Nick Kharabadze, 29, of Woodland Hills, Safiev’s business partner in a fledgling movie production company; and Umansky, 35, of Sherman Oaks, owner of a car-stereo store. Asked for a few final words before sentencing, Kadamovas issued a long monologue, through an interpreter, about being unjustly tried. Mikhel refused to speak on his own behalf. Tevrizian refused to grant a request for a new trial from Kadamovas’ defense team. He also denied a request by Mikhel for a new penalty phase. Another defendant in the case, 34-year-old Ukrainian Petro Krylov, is now on trial. Three accomplices who pleaded guilty – including Kadamovas’ girlfriend, Natalya Solovyeva and Ainar Altmanis, a Latvian who led authorities to the reservoir – will be sentenced this summer. Evgenia Safiev, who lost her father in the ordeal, said there will be no justice. “Justice would be having our loved ones back,” said Safiev, 22, of Marina del Rey. “Members of our family can barely live, day to day, because of what they’ve done.” Roman Khayumov, Pekler’s husband, is left alone to care for their son, who has Down syndrome. “You take a life, you’ve got to pay with a life,” said Khayumov, 45, of Van Nuys. “The only thing (my son) knows is he doesn’t have a mother.” [email protected] (818) 713-3730 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Nancy Shapiro had always believed the death penalty barbaric – until her husband was strangled with a plastic bag and dumped into a cold mountain reservoir. So when a federal judge issued the ultimate penalty Monday to two men convicted in the brutal kidnap-for-cash scheme that resulted in the murders of five Los Angeles business people, she could only express relief. “These people are evil. They’re monsters. They deserve it,” said Shapiro, whose husband, Meyer Muscatel, became the first of the victims. “There are no winners in this.” Not a win for the mostly Russian immigrants killed in late 2001 and early 2002 despite promises to their loved ones that they’d be set free. Not for their families who, in addition to their loss, suffered through seven months of gruesome and mocking testimony in the presence of the killers. And not for the attorneys and jailers forced to put up with numerous hunger strikes, suicide and escape attempts by the defendants. More than two dozen relatives sat riveted as U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian issued rulings condemning Iouri Mikhel and Jurijus Kadamovas to death. “In this particular case there were five deaths – brutal, brutal, brutal deaths,” Tevrizian said. “These particular killers showed no mercy to their victims. I have never seen a case in court where the evidence was so compelling.”