Countries U.S. Government Doesn’t Want You Visiting

first_imgCourtesy/ATLBy All Time Lists:For safety concerns, the U.S. government has issued travel advisories on several countries. Here are 10 of them:10. LibyaAccording to an article published by MSN, the U.S. State Department has a standing “do not travel” advisory on Libya. The country has been unstable since its dictator was toppled in 2011. The government is unable to control crime, for the most part, and extremist groups are known to target foreign travelers, particularly those from the U.S.But, for those of you old enough to remember, you know that Libya’s issues go back further than that. The country was a big sponsor, so to speak, of terrorist operations in the 1980s. There’s even a reference to it in the film “Back to the Future.”9. VenezuelaIn January, the U.S. State Department issued a Level 4 “do not travel” advisory (raised from travel advisory Level 3 – reconsider travel) for Venezuela and ordered all non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members to evacuate immediately. This was due to the country’s ongoing political turmoil.You may remember that we told you last year that Venezuela had the third highest murder rate in the world. Well, they’ve moved out of the number three slot into the number two slot. According to World Atlas, Venezuela has the second highest murder rate in the world, with 53.7 murders per 100,000 people each year.OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:The U.S. State Departments says there’s a severe shortage of food, water, medicine, medical supplies and electricity throughout Venezuela.Armed criminal gangs often operate with impunity throughout the urban areas.The vast majority of murders and other violent crimes committed in Venezuela go unsolved.8. North KoreaThis one should come as no surprise to anyone. I mean, after all you hear in the news about it, who’d want to actually travel to North Korea anyway? Dennis Rodman, I suppose. Nonetheless, the U.S. government doesn’t want its citizens traveling there — and for good reason. It actually has more to do with the North Korean government than it does with the North Korean people. According to USA TODAY, the North Korean government remains the biggest threat to American citizens. That’s because they are at risk for arrest, long-term sentences, and hard labor for infractions that aren’t even considered crimes in the U.S. These infractions, and I use the term loosely, include taking unauthorized photographs, shopping at stores not designated for foreigners, and disrespecting the country’s current and former leaders — hardly anything that someone should have to do hard time for.7. TurkeyIt’s not so much that the U.S. government has issues with Turkey. It’s the fact that Syria, one of the countries that’s home to ISIS, is on Turkey’s southern border. Hence, the State Department has issued a Level 3 “reconsider travel” advisory. Americans have been advised not to travel to areas along this border (and certain southeastern provinces as well) because of concerns about terrorism. In fact, terrorist groups have been known to kidnap and assassinate Western tourists and expatriates.6. IranThis is not a country you want to travel to unless you don’t mind getting kidnapped, arrested, and detained. That’s what an article published by MSN says will likely happen to you if you visit. In fact, Iranian authorities have been known to detain students, academics, journalists and business travelers on unjust charges, one of which includes espionage. Those most at risk are people who hold dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship.TIP: Don’t risk traveling to Iran. The U.S. has not had diplomatic relations with them since 1979, so they are unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iran. On the plus side, if you can call it that, Switzerland serves as an intermediary for U.S. citizens in Iran and provides emergency services.5. IraqTerrorism and armed conflict are the reasons why the U.S. government doesn’t want you to travel to Iraq. In fact, American citizens face a high risk of violence and kidnapping by one of the many terrorist and insurgent groups that are active in this country. These groups target Americans as well as Western companies.Americans also risk injury or death due to the many attacks that are carried out using improvised explosive devices. And, like in Iran, the U.S. government’s ability to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq is limited.4. Burkina FasoThe State Department advises U.S. citizens to “reconsider travel” when it comes to one region of Burkina Faso in particular — the northern Sahel border with Mali and Niger. In fact, the State Department has issued travel advisories on both of those countries, Level 4: Do not travel and Level 3: Reconsider travel, respectively. According to an article published by USA TODAY, there are organized criminal groups and terrorists in this region that specifically target Westerners. Potential places of concern include restaurants, hotels, schools, and even police stations.3. HaitiThe State Department issued a “Level 3: Reconsider travel” warning for Haiti due to crime and civil unrest. There are currently widespread, violent demonstrations and protests in Haiti, not to mention that tourists are sometimes targeted shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport. For this reason, the U.S. Embassy requires its employees to use official transportation to and from the airport and discourages them from going to establishments after dark where there’s no secure parking, going to banks, using ATMs, driving outside of Port-au-Prince at night, and using public transportation.FYI, Haiti is another country in which the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.2. HondurasThe State Department issued a “Level 3: Reconsider travel” advisory when it comes to Honduras because of the Central American country’s crimes, which include rape, extortion, and drug and human trafficking. But, that’s not all. Tourists have been known to be attacked when arriving at their hotel from the airport. What’s worse is that Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, with 90.4 murders per 100,000 people.TIPS:Americans are advised not to travel to the region of Gracias a Dios. Danger is elevated there because of a lack of emergency services.San Pedro Sula, in the northwest region of the country, is at the center of much of the violence in Honduras.1. NigeriaApparently, when it comes to Nigeria, the Nigerian Prince scam isn’t the only thing Americans need to worry about. According to the State Department, the threat of terrorism in Nigeria is real — real enough for the State Department to issue a “Level 3: Reconsider travel” advisory. There are many terrorist groups that operate in this country, and as a result, kidnappings and robberies are quite common in certain parts of the country. According to USA TODAY, Americans have been advised to avoid large crowds and places such as churches, markets, shopping malls, and clubs.CONCLUSIONSo, there you have it. These are just some of the countries the government doesn’t want you to visit. In the meantime, check the State Department’s website for a full list, and be safe in your travels.last_img read more

Kongsberg Maritime adds to training portfolio

first_imgGlobal marine technology company, Kongsberg Maritime has reported a “significant increase” in the number of delegates partaking in its training courses. According to Kongsberg, from 2013 to 2014, delegates rose by 26%, and there was also a 36% increase in courses delivered from its training centre in Westhill, Aberdeen.The company looks to continue the success with the launch of its new Dynamic Positioning (DP) Introduction course, which has been re-introduced in response to new industry guidelines. The DP Introduction course, which follows the recommendations contained in The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) guidelines, is designed for onshore and offshore personnel who require a greater understanding of DP and how it can impact their role to support or manage safe and efficient DP vessel operations.Utilising its position as a manufacturer of DP technology, the company’s training centre provides specialist training on its suite of products from DP Maintenance to Advanced DP Operator. The centre encompasses an advanced vessel simulator and specialist individual consoles to provide realistic training scenarios, which are used extensively throughout the course, Kongsberg said in the release.Euan Duncan, training manager at Kongsberg Maritime, said: “We are continually developing our training portfolio in response to industry demand and we believe that our knowledge, reputation and expertly taught courses have each contributed to the strong year on year increase of delegates and courses delivered. “The DP Introduction course concentrates on the layout of a DP system and its operational uses along with DP regulations and guidance. On completion, the programme gives delegates an awareness and understanding of DP,  leaving them better equipped to tackle maritime-based challenges, allowing them to enhance their skills, and make  a tangible contribution to the skills base of their team.”Ahead of the official launch, the course was delivered on a pilot scheme basis, feedback and recommendations were given from those using the learning outcomes first hand.Dave Marsh, course delegate and dive supervisor at Bibby Offshore, said: “The content vastly improved my knowledge of all systems we currently use, as well as some interesting history of the development of DP. The practical exercises were very informative and gave me a much better appreciation of the DPO’s job.”  [mappress mapid=”1365″]last_img read more

Key Trump surrogates once led fight vs. WikiLeaks and Assange

first_imgKey Trump surrogates once led fight vs. WikiLeaks and Assange Author: CBS News Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. (CBS) — President-elect Trump cast doubt on Twitter Wednesday about the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia was behind the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. In doing so, Mr. Trump appeared to side with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who asserts Russia didn’t give his group the hacked Democratic emails that shook up the 2016 election.But back in 2010, when WikiLeaks first came to prominence after the massive leak by Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, several people who are now notable Trump surrogates led the charge against the organization and its controversial leader. They called Assange, among other things, a “handmaiden of terror” and “enemy combatant” with “blood on his hands.”Those surrogates include Rep. Peter King, of New York, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Even Mr. Trump himself weighed in on Assange in 2010, saying, “I think it’s disgraceful. I think there should be like death penalty or something,” in video uncovered by shown on CNN’s KFile on Wednesday.“This person should be pursued,” King declared in a November 2010 Fox News interview. “Assange is absolutely guilty. He does have blood on his hands. And the fact is that there should be much more outrage.”“They are aiding and abetting terrorist organizations. They are providing the weapons to terrorist organizations, giving them information which they can use to kill Americans,” King said of WikiLeaks, adding, “Because they are accessories to a terrorist organization, we should declare them a terrorist organization.”In December that same year, Rep. King introduced a bill targeting WikiLeaks.“I consider Mr. Assange a handmaiden of terror. And he definitely has blood on his hands as far as I’m concerned,” said former CIA Director James Woolsey, now a Trump national security adviser and media surrogate, in a November 2010 MSNBC interview.Contrast that to his response Wednesday when asked about Mr. Trump’s citing of Julian Assange. “I don’t know what Julian Assange knows,” Woolsey said. “This really ought to be a situation in which we get at the facts and understand them before we start making judgments, it seems to me.” Another vocal Trump surrogate, Gingrich, commented on the issue seven years ago. “Information warfare is warfare, and Julian Assange is engaged in warfare. Information terrorism, which leads to people getting killed, is terrorism, and Julian Assange is engaged in terrorism,” he said in a December 2010 Fox interview. He concluded that Assange “should be treated as an enemy combatant. WikiLeaks should be closed down permanently and decisively.”Palin once condemned Assange in 2010 as an “anti-American operative with blood on his hands” after WikiLeaks published leaked emails of hers.But she did a complete 180 Tuesday, telling Assange she’s sorry, tweeting,”To Julian Assange: I apologize.”Elaborating in a Facebook post, Palin wrote, “I apologize for condemning Assange when he published my infamous (and proven noncontroversial, relatively boring) emails years ago,” and thanked him for exposing Democrats.center_img Published: January 5, 2017 5:19 AM EST Updated: January 5, 2017 5:21 AM EST SHARElast_img read more

Targets met – Barnes, Sasso reflect on eye-opening Pan Am experience

first_imgJamaica’s representatives in Olympic skeet at the Pan American Games, Christian Sasso and Shaun Barnes, said that the competition they faced in Lima, Peru, was on another level. However, both shooters thought that they represented well, considering that some aspects of the event and equipment were completely different from what they are used to in local, or American, skeet.Sasso finished 25th with a score of 41 after shooting 22 and 17 over two rounds on day one, while Barnes had 36 after shooting 16 and 20. On day two, Sasso shot 18, 21, 18, 21 and 22 over five rounds to end in 25th with 103. Barnes shot 16, 20, 17, 15 and 19 to end in 28th with 87.But Sasso was happy that he was able to surpass his objective of a 101 score.“I am very happy how I shot. I had a goal I set with my coach of 101 targets, and I broke 103 out of 125. I am very happy with the scores, especially knowing that we are using guns that are not set up technically for skeet. Plus, there were limitations that we had, and we only had one month to prepare, so considering that, both of us did very well,” said Sasso. New Experience The competition was an eye-opener for both men, who gathered a lot from the experience and are now looking to use the exposure gained to improve their game going forward.“The experience was surreal, and it let me know the level of competition is so much higher. It was amazing, and I am very grateful because I have never been on such a big stage internationally. We must look forward to enter more international tournaments for skeet with the hope of going to the Olympics,” Sasso reasoned.Based on the dynamics, Barnes thought they actually overachieved.“It was our first time competing in it, but it opened up a whole new dynamic because what we are accustomed to shooting is totally different from this event. It showed a different level of professionalism, and it showed how much more disciplined and dedicated Olympic athletes are compared to the level we are at locally.“My score wasn’t great. I had one or two hiccups that cost me a few targets, but even at my best, I would not have been near the top competitors. The level of dedication and support they get from their country and federation through sponsorship is something we are lacking,” Barnes noted.However, the pair were grateful for the assistance coach Bianco Rafaelle provided in preparation for the games.“Without his help, we would be lost, and we had so little time. But he made things so much easier for us,” Sasso said. “We still had a lot of work to do because he (Rafaelle) didn’t have the real chance to work with us, he only touched the surface. So going forward, it will be a lot better working with this coach.”Both shooters are now highly motivated to become more competitive at this level and will be working towards achieving greater success.last_img read more

Guyanese hockey women crash out, men’s squash team win

first_imgIT was heartbreak for the Guyanese Women’s National hockey team as they suffered a third straight loss to crash out of the Women’s competition at the 23rd Edition of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, yesterday. Meanwhile the Guyanese Men’s squash team won 3-0 against Panama but lost 3-0 to Colombia while the Women’s squash team lost 2-1 against Barbados. They (Guyanese women) will play their second group match today against Colombia.The win for the Guyanese men means that they can still make the semi-final of the Team competition but to do so they need to win their group game against Jamaica today.After losing their first two games against the Dominican Republic and Cuba, the Guyanese girls faced Mexico yesterday.From left, Guyana’s Taylor Fernandes and Ashley Khalil pose with their Women’s squash doubles bronze medals in Barranquilla, Colombia at the CAC Games.Despite a strong performance in the first two quarters again, it all fell apart for Guyana as the Mexicans seized upon errors in the fifth and 31st minutes to seal a 2-0 victory and collect maximum points as they top Pool ‘A’ with three wins from three games.The scorers for Mexico were Fernanda Oviedo in the fifth minute and Michel Navarro in the 31st minute respectively.Meanwhile speaking after the game, Guyanese goalie, Alyssa Xavier, said it was unfortunate that despite her team’s performance, they lost.The National Men’s hockey team will be in action today as they look to keep their bid for the semi-finals alive; they will face the Guatemalan team who are winless after two matches. The Guyanese men are upbeat about their chances and will be looking to turn in a strong performance.Guyana’s swimmers, Andrew Fowler and Jamila Sanmoogan, will enter their final events today when they swim in the men’s and women’s 50m freestyle respectively.The 23rd Edition of the CAC Games is being run from July 18 to August 4 in Barranquilla, Colombia.last_img read more

Real beat Espanyol to go top of La Liga

first_imgREAL Madrid moved top of La Liga after Marco Asensio’s VAR-awarded strike proved enough to beat Espanyol.Asensio drilled in a low shot just before the break when Luka Modric’s effort deflected into his path, with the goal given after a lengthy review.Borja Iglesias hit the crossbar for the spirited visitors with a deft chip.Former Real keeper Diego Lopez made a fine save to deny Sergio Ramos late on in an otherwise stilted performance by the hosts at the Bernabeu.Victory takes Julen Lopetegui’s side above rivals Barcelona, who can retake the top spot with a draw or victory against Girona today.Espanyol drop to sixth following Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 win over Getafe earlier yesterday. ISCO AND ASENSIO HIGHLIGHT NEW ERAReal made sure of victory with a functional rather than fluent performance, maintaining their unbeaten league start under new boss Lopetegui.Isco and Asensio once again showed how vital they will be to the new era at the Bernabeu after the departure of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo and three-time Champions League-winning manager Zinedine Zidane over the summer, the Spain pair central to most of their side’s best moves.Asensio was unmarked when Modric’s blocked strike fell to him and clinically found the far bottom corner as Espanyol appealed for offside.Referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz consulted VAR and after a long delay awarded the goal, with replays showing Asensio was clearly onside, as the midfielder appeared to joke about the wait with his celebration, pointing to his wrist.Isco then created Real’s best chance in the latter stages, curving an immaculate cross with the outside of his right foot, only for Lopez to tip the onrushing Ramos’ header over the bar.The lack of fluency could also be down to the hosts making five changes from the side that beat Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday, with Gareth Bale an unused substitute.ESPANYOL FAIL TO EXPLOIT SHAKY REAL DEFENCEWhile right-back Alvaro Odriozola made a largely assured debut, Real’s defence as a whole was suspect at times but Espanyol failed to take advantage.Pablo Piatti shot just wide after Real were slow to react to a sweeping Espanyol counter, before former Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois saved from Hernan Perez.After the interval, Ramos was caught dallying in possession on the edge of his own area, with Iglesias robbing him off the ball and beating Courtois with an exquisite lob only to see it ricochet back off the bar.Despite that warning, Ramos continued to streak forward at will, with Casemiro forced to race back and cover on several occasions. The experienced Spaniard could have cost his side the win, had the visitors been more clinical with their final ball. (BBC Sport)last_img read more

Spirometry clinical project proves a success

first_img― over 476 spirometry assessments performed at GPHCOver the last two years, 476 retrospective reviews of spirometry assessments were performed at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GHPC) where the proportion and trend of these tests met acceptability criteria.Understanding that optimal management of chronic respiratory diseases relies on accurate diagnosis, the Hospital collaborated with the Vancouver Hospital to embark on a project to access spirometry quality and diagnostic outcomes following the introduction of spirometry into routine clinical practice at the local hospital.Spirometry (spy-ROM-uh-tree) is a common office test used to assess how well your lungs work by measuring how much air you inhale, how much you exhale and how quickly you exhale.Spirometry is used to diagnose asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions that affect breathing. The test may also be used periodically to check whether a treatment for a chronic lung condition is helping you breathe better.The programme, which began in November 2013, is aimed at developing high-quality spirometry to assist in the diagnosis of airway diseases, such as asthma and COPD, along with other chronic respiratory disorders. Overall, 80.4 per cent of the 454 initial spirometry measurements on unique patients met the acceptability criteria, with no significant change in the proportion of acceptable spirometry over the study period.The programme started small, with only two registered nurses and one physician employed by the GPHC and with no prior specialised training on respiratory disease. From November 2013 to November 2015, one additional physician and two nurses were trained to meet the demand for services and ensure continuity.According to the Public Health Ministry, training consisted of five days of on-site spirometry instruction by two Canadian respiratory specialists and two licensed Canadian respiratory therapists.Ongoing follow-ups were performed remotely, with ongoing remote reviews of all completed spirometry and feedback on both technical aspects of spirometry and interpretation of results. The training team from Canada returned for one week biannually to review the technical details of spirometry and to expand a linked asthma-COPD education and treatment programme.Chronic Respiratory Disease is a significant and growing source of global morbidity and mortality, and according to the Global Burden of Disease (2013), disability due to chronic respiratory disease has increased by eight per cent since 1990.COPD is the third most common cause of death and the fifth most common source of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) globally. Asthma is a less frequent cause of death, but remains a significant source of DALYs and avoidable deaths in the 5–34 years age group.The Public Health Ministry stated that the GPHC Spirometry Project builds on the early successes and opportunities created by the emerging GPHC/ Public Health Ministry strategic plan targeting non-communicable chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart, kidney and lung diseases.“Demonstrating that high-quality spirometry is technically feasible is a first step towards broader implementation of respiratory diagnostics, therapy and specialised respiratory education in Guyana,” the Ministry said.last_img read more