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MEDELLÍN, Colombia — Armed groups and drug smugglers have long sought cover in Colombia’s remote mountains, thick jungles and expansive coasts — a varied and, at times, impassable terrain that can foil conventional forms of surveillance. That’s led Colombia’s armed forces to depend increasingly on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, also known as drones) to monitor vulnerable infrastructure sites, gather intelligence on guerrilla forces and track the movements of “go fast” drug boats. The Colombian Air Force recently announced that it has a fleet of more than 50 surveillance drones, including the Israeli-made Hermes 900 and the small ScanEagle, a Boeing-made UAV that transmits real-time video of stationary and moving targets. Colombia is also developing its own drone technology. Last month, authorities showed off a Colombian-made flight simulator that will train drone pilots. “In the entire region, there is a boom in the acquisition and development of drones,” said John Marulanda, a Bogotá-based consultant who advises international companies on security matters. Colombia leads Latin America in drone technology Analysts say at least a dozen countries throughout the Americas already have already bought or are developing their own drones, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. All models are believed to be unarmed and for surveillance purposes only. Colombia reportedly first began using U.S.-supplied ScanEagle drones in 2006 as part of counterinsurgency and counternarcotics operations, and the Washington Post reported in 2011 that the aircraft were used “to support U.S. hostage rescue efforts and assist” the Colombian military’s pursuit of guerrilla leaders belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) terrorist group. Colombian authorities have also viewed drones as the best option to monitor the vital Caño Limon oil pipeline, a repeated target of FARC bombings, Marulanda said. “Drones are now watching oil ducts in the west, in the [department of] Putumayo,” he said. “It is known that drones have been used to watch the borders with Ecuador and Venezuela. And there is also information that they have been used to patrol [coasts] along the Pacific because of narcotrafficking there.” Colombia developing X2, IRIS drones Colombia also has two projects to develop its own drones, one led by the military and the other headed by engineers at Bogotá’s San Buenaventura University. The latter, called the Navigator X2, has already flown. It has a five-meter wingspan and flies at about 14,000 feet above sea level. The military’s drone is called the IRIS UAV. It is expected to perform its first test flights in June, and it can fly at 15,000 feet above sea level while transmitting photos remotely at a distance of 60 miles. Air Force Gen. Guillermo León León is head of Corporación de la Industria Aeronáutica Colombia [Colombian Aeronautics Industry Corp.), which is developing the IRIS UAV. He told Bogotá’s El Tiempo newspaper that the project’s aim is to give Colombia “autonomy in the construction of these strategic planes.” And if Colombia were to develop its own drones, it would likely begin to sell them to other countries in the region, Marulanda said: “Countries like Ecuador and Venezuela are making their own drones, while Brazil and Argentina are in a joint project to make a drone that can compete with the Israeli drones so that they can be sold in the region.” Weaponized drones in the future? Colombian authorities view drones primarily as surveillance tools to cover a lot of terrain at relatively little cost, said Adam Isacson, senior associate for regional security at the Washington Office on Latin America. UAVs could be used to monitor guerrilla columns, drug routes, illegal gold mines and coca farms in remote areas, he said, but questioned whether Colombia’s military would be able to reach them in time to stop the illegal activities. “I don’t think they have that nailed down at all,” Isacson said. “If not, all they are going to have is a lot of imagery.” Another question is whether and when Latin American drones will become weaponized, or equipped with the ability to fire off missiles remotely. Some existing models, such as the Hermes 900, could theoretically be modified to carry and fire missiles, though major additional technology investments would be needed. Due to its internal conflict, Colombia has acquired a large number of materials from the U.S. and because of the support of this country we have made technological progress in military strategies, which has given us the tools to develop resources to solve our internal conflict, along with other countries. By Dialogo August 01, 2013
BORUSSIA Dortmund have set a 10 August deadline to agree a deal for forward Jadon Sancho – who is Manchester United’s top summer transfer target – to leave the club.The German club have told United they want in excess of £100m for the 20-year-old England winger.There is no agreement yet on a fee, which would be paid in instalments.Dortmund have set the deadline because they want undisturbed preparation for the 2020-21 Bundesliga season.The new campaign starts on 18 September, with the transfer deadline for international deals on 5 October.Sancho has been at Dortmund for three years, having signed from Manchester City in August 2017 for a fee of about £10m.In July, Dortmund beat United to the signing of 17-year-old English midfielder Jude Bellingham from Birmingham City in a deal that could be worth over £30m.They also bought Norway forward Erling Braut Haaland from Red Bull Salzburg earlier in the season – another player United tried hard to bring to Old Trafford.(BBC Sport)
Bosnia and Herzegovina legend Razija Mujanovic, a dominant force whenever she was on the court, is being honored with induction to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017.Mujanovic, who gained significant recognition for her international exploits, is among six former players being enshrined into the Hall of Fame, alongside Shaquille O’Neal (United States), Toni Kukoc (Croatia), Mickey Berkowitz (Israel), Pero Cameron (New Zealand) and Valdis Valters (Latvia). Joining them is coaching great Dusan Ivkovic (Serbia) and the Dream Team, arguably the greatest international team of all time. They were selected from a list of more than 150 candidates.The 2.02m center is revered in her homeland having initially been a standout figure with Yugoslavia, before proudly leading Bosnia and Herzegovina at their first-ever EuroBasket Women Final Round appearance in 1997.She also gained significant recognition for her success at club level in EuroLeague Women, while also breaking new ground by stepping out in the WNBA.Mujanovic first rose to prominence when she appeared in the Final of EuroBasket Women 1987 and even more so as she then helped Yugoslavia to an Olympic silver medal at the 1988 Seoul Games.A third Final appearance came at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 1990 in Malaysia, when she confirmed her status as one of the top performers on the planet by averaging more than 23 points per game.Her national team successes in Seoul and Kuala Lumpur had also come either side of one of her defining career highlights, after the Celic native was crowned EuroLeague Women champion for the first time. It was made particularly special since it came with the Bosnia and Herzegovina based club, KK Jedinstvo Tusla.Mujanovic would stand on the top of the EuroLeague Women podium again in 1992 with CB Godella, prior to scooping consecutive titles in 1994 and 1995 with Societa Ginnastica.Her silver medal haul with Yugoslavia was also extended with another Final appearance at EuroBasket Women 1991. Then, exactly two decades ago, she finally realized her dream of taking Bosnia and Herzegovina into a major tournament when she led them in their EuroBasket Women debut.Two years later and Bosnia and Herzegovina made a return, only this time it was without Mujanovic, who was enhancing her already glittering resume with WNBA minutes at Detroit Shock.She would return to play for her country again and eventually hung up her shoes in 2007, having cemented her place as the best female player to ever come out of Bosnia and Herzegovina.Mujanovic also proved herself as one of the best players of her generation, as evidenced by the fact she was voted as European Player of the Year on three separate occasions.
View comments “Experience helps, but I just think it’s our chemistry,” said Lassiter after San Miguel’s 111-87 Game 3 win on Sunday.“We have so much chemistry with one another. We’ve been playing for a while. We’re just playing our style. We know June Mar (Fajardo) is our focal point, and we’re gonna continue to attack and give him good looks and just feed off him. If they double him, we’re gonna be ready to score. So we’re just gonna see how they’ll defend us, and we just gotta make adjustments on the fly.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters That was exactly how it went down in the second half of Game 3.Fajardo shredded the Hotshots’ defense in the third quarter, dropping 12 of his 21 points in the period for the slim 75-68 advantage, before taking a backseat and allowing the second unit to run away to start the fourth quarter en route to the 24-point triumph.“That’s our style of play,” said Lassiter, who himself finished with 24 points on a 5-of-9 shooting from downtown.“We’ve been doing it for a while. We just wanna continue doing it for 48 minutes consistently. When are shots are going and our defense goes on, it’s just pretty tough to guard. We know we’re capable of doing that every night, so we just have to come out and prepare ourselves on Wednesday.”ADVERTISEMENT Paul Lee downplays finger injury, assures he’ll be ready for Game 4 Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSan Miguel may be way ahead when it comes to experience in the Finals, but Marcio Lassiter believes it’s not just all about that.The Beermen are moving closer to their fourth straight PBA Philippine Cup championship because of their enviable chemistry as well.ADVERTISEMENT [email protected]’s Marcio Lassiter gave props to their bench which led to their 24-point Game 3 blowout. #PBA2018 #PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/LqjM1xXuQP— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) April 1, 2018 Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ LATEST STORIES With San Miguel taking a 2-1 lead in the championship series, Lassiter knows how important this opportunity is.But with how his side performed on Sunday, he is pretty confident that the Beermen already figured out what needs to be done to write another historic moment.“This is crucial. This is a pivotal game for us. It’s really important to come out strong in the first few minutes of the game. We know that if we play the same way we played tonight, given the effort, the energy, the defense, the shots, we can have a good process going into Game 4,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina