Archive for 2020

One Portuguese among 47 detained in Spain for drug trafficking

Tuesday, February 25th, 2020

The Spanish police today announced the arrest of 47 people, including a Portuguese, involved in a drug trafficking network for sexual dysfunction from Asia to several European countries, including Portugal.

In a “major operation” against illegal drug trafficking in several Spanish provinces, 47 people were arrested, “all of whom are Spanish nationals, except for a Portuguese citizen”, who were accused of crimes against public health, belonging to a criminal organization, fraud, smuggling and money laundering.

According to a statement from the Civil Guard (corresponding to the GNR), the sale of illegal drugs was made throughout Spain, as well as in countries such as Portugal, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Russia.

The leader of the criminal network was arrested in Dubai, where he was hiding, and was wanted with three international arrest warrants.

The chain imported large quantities of medicines from Malaysia, such as Tadalafil and Sildenafil, active ingredients diagnosed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, passing them on as natural food supplements.

12 home searches were carried out, 55 inspections of places of sale of this type of product, as well as 59 internet pages and 39 bank accounts were blocked.

“These products, once handled in our country [Spain], were intended to be sold in places such as gyms, health food stores, sex shops and over the internet”, explains the police statement.

The investigation started more than a year ago and was initiated by an anonymous complaint that caused several customs shipments from Malaysia, suspected of containing active ingredients of drugs without being declared as such, to be followed.

Money laundering: Real estate required to report business every three months

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

The new rules on the prevention of money laundering will oblige the real estate sector to inform the regulator of all real estate transactions on a quarterly basis, indicating the values, means of payment and numbers of the payment accounts used, reports the Express .

The idea is that the Institute of Public Markets for Real Estate and Construction (IMPIC), which now receives this information every six months, can make a more timely analysis of the business and report irregularities or suspicions of illegality to the authorities, read up, money laundering.

At stake is a draft law passed last Thursday in the Council of Ministers through which the fifth Community directive on money laundering will be passed into national law.

There will also be new obligations to report suspicious transactions on the part of all professionals who provide tax advice, pension funds that finance pension plans whose members are members of management bodies or art galleries and gold or precious metal traders whenever they are dealing with amounts above ten thousand euros (currently the ceiling is 15 thousand euros)

Small traders, on the other hand, will have some relief, as they no longer have to identify customers or analyse transactions, unless they make cash sales above three thousand euros.

The directive also regulates cryptocurrencies as far as money laundering is concerned and, in that sense, national law will also have new rules and tighter surveillance. The draft law approved by the Government, writes Expresso, thus obliges service providers in the area of ​​virtual money to apply money laundering prevention rules, namely through the identification of their customers.

The new law also provides, as the Government had already announced, for simplifying registration procedures in the Central Register of the Beneficiary.

GNR Operation detects over 800 drivers for improper use of mobile phones

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

The National Republican Guard (GNR) detected more than 800 people for improper use of the mobile phone while driving and almost 200 were arrested for excess alcohol under the “Smartphone, Smartdrive” operation that ended at Monday.

In a statement, the GNR said that during the operation that began on February 11, about 39 thousand drivers were inspected and 13,228 traffic violations were detected.

During the operation, GNR fined 863 drivers for improper use of the mobile phone while driving, 2,845 for speeding, 878 for lack of mandatory periodic inspection 723 for anomalies in the lighting and signaling systems, 544 for lack or incorrect use of the belt and / or child restraint system and 375 for lack of mandatory civil liability insurance.

In that period, 449 drivers with excess alcohol were also detected, of which 197 were detained with an alcohol rate higher than 1.2 g / l, and 135 due to lack of legal driving skills.

During the “Smartphone, Smartdrive” operation, GNR “intensified the enforcement of mobile phone misuse while driving, in order to contribute to the reduction of the risk of accidents and to the adoption of safer behavior by drivers” .

In the note, GNR recalls that the incorrect use and handling of mobile phones, tablets, or similar devices, for making calls, sending written messages or consulting social networks while driving causes associated risks (visual distraction, motor limitation and cognitive conditioning.

LISBON and ÉVORA – SEVEN ARRESTED BY GNR FOR NEARLY 200 ROBBERIES AND THEFTS

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

 

The Intervention Unit, through the Information and Criminal Investigation Section, today detained, in Lisbon and Évora, four women and three men, aged between 26 and 63 years old, suspected of 197 crimes of robbery and theft.

The arrests took place following the investigation of several criminal offenses that occurred in 13 districts in the national territory, namely Aveiro, Braga, Castelo Branco, Évora, Faro, Guarda, Lisbon, Portalegre, Santarém, Setúbal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real and Viseu.

The suspects are indicted in 197 crimes, namely 63 for robbery, 102 for qualified theft, 23 for simple theft and nine for violence after the theft, in which the victims were predominantly elderly people, in a vulnerable situation, and are usually alone in the their dwellings.

As of today, 12 home search warrants have been carried out and, as part of this investigation, 14 people had previously been detained, of which ten are in preventive detention and three with presentations at the police station in the area of ​​residence.

The detainees remain on the premises of this Guard and will be present at the Court of Sintra, tomorrow, February 20, for the first judicial interrogation and application of enforcement measures.

The operation included the reinforcement of the Criminal Investigation Department of GNR, the Territorial Commands of GNR in Lisbon, Setúbal, Santarém and Évora, as well as the Public Security Police in the areas of responsibility where the proceedings took place (Lisbon and Évora).

Psychological aggression is the most frequent acts of violence in dating – study

Friday, February 14th, 2020

A national study on dating violence in a university context revealed that psychological aggression is the most frequent, followed by acts of social, physical and sexual violence.

The data collected between April 2017 and January 2020 had 3,256 participants and made known not only the percentage of situations of violence but also issues related to beliefs about social gender relations.

Respondents’ responses gave, for example, the indication that 3.6% of women and 15.4% of men agree that jealousy is a proof of love while 2.3% of women and 3.1% of men disagree that men and women should have equal rights and duties.

Of the total participants in the study that aims to characterize this social scourge from the perspective of university students, 53.9% reported that they had already been subjected to at least one act of dating violence and 35% had already practiced it.

Although dating violence is suffered and practiced by both sexes, it is men who practice violence the most.

Regarding the type of violence, psychological is highlighted as the most prevalent in dating relationships, followed by social violence, physical violence and, finally, sexual violence.

Of the total respondents, 23.4% of women and 19.6% of men have already been criticized, insulted, defamed and accused without reason and 20.7% of women and 11.1% of men have already been controlled in the way of dressing , in hairstyle or image, in places frequented, in friendships or companies.

The study also reveals that 16.4% of women and 9.4% of men have already been threatened verbally or through behaviors that cause fear, such as screaming, breaking objects or tearing clothes.

Also according to the data collected, 14.1% of women and 9.7% of men have already been prevented from contacting family, friends and or neighbors and 13.9% of women and 10.3% of men have been prevented from work, study or go out alone.

Another aspect revealed by the study is that 10% of women and 7.9% of men have already been physically hurt, pushed, kicked or slapped and 9.5% of women and 5.2% of men have already been forced to have sexual behaviors unwanted.

Of the total respondents, 6.9% of women and 5.5% of men have already suffered death threats, attacks on life or injuries that forced them to receive medical treatment.

Those who practiced and those who suffered violence during dating have more conservative beliefs about gender social relations than those who have neither practiced nor suffered violence.

Men are those who have more conservative beliefs about social gender relations.

The work reveals that 12.2% of women and 27.4% of men agree that some situations of domestic violence are caused by women and 5.9% of women and 11.8% of men agree that women who remain in violent love relationships are masochistic.

The National Study of Dating Violence in a University Context: Beliefs and Practices is an initiative of the Plano i Association under the UNi + Program, funded by the State Secretariat for Citizenship and Equality (1st and 2nd editions) and by the European Social Fund under Portugal 2020 Social Inclusion and Employment Operational Program (POISE) (3rd edition).

Azores archipelago should have working weather radar on Terceira island,

Thursday, February 13th, 2020

The Azores archipelago should have a working weather radar on Terceira island, starting in August, the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) revealed today.

“It is expected that the meteorological radar system of Terceira / Santa Bárbara will start its exploration, on an experimental basis, during August 2020”, IPMA said in a press release.

According to the institute, “a project is underway that aims to install a Band C Doppler meteorological radar system, with double polarization technology, in the central group of the Azores, in Santa Bárbara (Terceira island)”.

This equipment, according to the institute, will be “particularly relevant in severe weather situations, with a direct impact on safeguarding lives and property and on the development of various socio-economic activities”, as well as “for aeronautical and maritime navigation”.

The US Air Force held the only weather radar in the Azores, located in the Santa Bárbara mountain range, on Terceira island, but decided to deactivate it in 2016, following a military reduction process at the Lajes base, located in same island.

At the end of 2017, the US Air Force ceded the radar tower to IPMA and the Regional Government of the Azores leased a land to the institute, where the new radar was expected to be installed, in the Santa Bárbara mountain range, the highest point on the island. , during 2018.

In June 2019, IPMA President Jorge Miranda said he hoped the radar on Terceira Island would be installed by the end of that year, revealing that the intervention had already been awarded for 1.9 million euros.

However, the IPMA only obtained the visa of the Court of Auditors this year to proceed with the installation.

“After completing the tender procedure, the Court of Auditors decided to grant the visa to the contract for the ‘Supply, Installation and Putting into Service of a Dual Polarized Doppler Weather Radar – Santa Bárbara, Terceira Island, Azores’, thus starting the execution of the respective contract ”, revealed the institute today.

According to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere, this radar will fill “an observational gap in the region”.

“It is worth mentioning the decisive contribution that this radar will make, in addition to the network of surface stations and other remote observation equipment, in the fields of short-term weather forecasting (up to three hours) for general purposes and surveillance permanent weather forecast ”, reads the statement.

The installation of a second weather radar is planned on the island of São Miguel, but the IPMA president has already defended the need for a third on the island of Flores.

New Rural Fire Plan aims to reduce burned areas by half by 2030

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

The president of the Agency for the Integrated Management of Rural Fires (AGIF) today highlighted that each region of the country will have its own program depending on the specificity of the territory under the new fire prevention plan.

One day after being presented in parliament, AGIF today takes stock of the public consultation of the National Plan for Integrated Management of Rural Fires (PNGIFR) in Santarém, which lasted two months and ended on February 5th.

This plan, whose main objective is to reduce the burnt area by half by 2030, will allow each region to have its own action plan, since the forest and vegetation are not the same, Lusa Tiago Oliveira told the agency.

The same official outlined as a “strategic objective” the need to have a forest “more socially valued”, with the owner now receiving money to manage it and, with this, being able to “take care of the forest and invest”, taking into account that 95% of the area is private.

“In this plan, the novelty is to pose the problem, highlight it and go looking for solutions to solve the problems in co-responsibility with landowners and local entities,” he said.

With a time horizon of a decade, the National Plan for Integrated Management of Rural Fires provides that in 2030 1.2 million hectares of forest have been cleared, corresponding to “20% of the six million hectares that exist in the territory with risk of fire”.

The goals to be achieved also foresee that within 10 years the burnt areas with more than 500 hectares will be fully managed and with recovery plans implemented, and that there will be less than 80% of ignitions on fire risk days.

The plan foresees a total expenditure of more than six billion euros, with an expected investment of 60% to be directed to prevention and 40% to combat.

Tiago Oliveira also explained that, during the public discussion, more than 75 sessions were held across the country, in which about two thousand people participated, and AGIF has received, so far, approximately 115 contributions.

Within the scope of the public consultation, several entities pointed out criticisms of the Plan, namely the League of Portuguese Firefighters, the Independent Technical Observatory on fires created by the parliament and environmental association Quercus.

One of the criticisms was that the role of firefighters and other Civil Protection agents, such as forest sappers, was not defined.

Tiago Oliveira underlined that the Plan “does not highlight the role of any particular actor”, but assured that the role of the fireman is foreseen, being even reinforced in the sphere of planning and in the involvement with the population in raising awareness.

The same official said that AGIF will now integrate the contributions received during the public consultation and make the adjustments it deems necessary so that the Government can then approve the plan by the end of March this year.

After PNGIFR is approved by the Council of Ministers, AGIF will also prepare national and regional action programs, which are expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.

According to Tiago Oliveira, the PNGIFR that was in public consultation “is a strategic document”.

The closing seminar of the public discussion process of the National Plan for Integrated Management of Rural Fires will be attended by the Prime Minister, António Costa, and the Ministers of Internal Administration and the Environment and Climate Action, Eduardo Cabrita and João Matos Fernandes respectively.

CMP // ZO

Assessment of the biggest fire of 2019 points to flaw in the mobilization of air assets

Monday, February 3rd, 2020

The Fundada fire assessment report, which took place in July 2019 in Vila de Rei (Castelo Branco) and Mação (Santarém), considers that, in the most critical phase of combat, there was  a  lack of air resources.

The Independent Technical Observatory’s report, released today, focused on what was the largest of all fires that occurred in 2019, with an estimated burnt area of ​​9,249 hectares (about 22% of the total burnt area last year, which was close to 42,000 hectares), and also what stood out for the relevance of the impacts on the forest stands affected and on agriculture.

In fighting fire, technicians conclude that “the mobilization of aerial means ended up not corresponding to the phase of greatest need”, estimating that “in the first 16 hours of the fire, the affected area was about 65% of the total burnt area of this fire, which lasted three days to be subdued and five days until it was extinguished ”.

“In the most critical phase, the lack of availability of these means was frankly noticed”, he stresses.

The fire fighting that started on the afternoon of July 20, 2019 in the municipality of Vila de Rei and then extended to those in Mação and Sertã involved a total of 1,946 operational and 703 means (air and land), but “the allocation of aerial means to this fire may have compromised the achievement of more favorable results ”, which was justified by“ some simultaneity in occurrences of this typology ”.

On the first day, five aerial means were involved, four of the same typology (medium amphibious type Fire Boss planes) and a medium helicopter, on the second day 11 aerial means were deployed, obeying the practice of “muscular mobilization of aerial means”, a strategy that, however, “it did not have the desired result” given the similar typologies and autonomies, which contributed to “its equally simultaneous demobilization, providing long periods when there were no aerial means available to engage in the theater of operations”.

As an example, the report points to the fact that at 15:55 on the 21st, when there was a “reactivation burning with intensity in the Sesmarias area towards the São João do Peso Reception Center”, no means were working air.

On the other hand, the report states that the use of tactical fire and counter-fire in this fire “has been greatly reduced”, recommending “a better consideration of the possibility of using these techniques in a safer and more professional manner”.

“Its use during night periods, with lower wind and high relative humidity, was apparently reduced, not taking advantage of the opportunity window of the most favorable conditions in that period”, he adds.

The report also supports the discrepancy in the information systems used in Vila de Rei and Mação, which caused information to be lost with the change of command and the change of support vehicle.

In the “lessons learned”, contained at the end of the document, the Observatory states that “it cannot fail to draw attention to the problems of a different approach between neighboring municipalities or districts”, a difference that was “observed in the elaboration of hazard maps, in adoption of preventive measures and also in the area of ​​combat ”.

“It is not acceptable that failures in the transmission of information and strategy can occur when the fire travels different territories because different systems are used”, he stresses.

Therefore, it “strongly” recommends that the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority “ensure that there is only one single system operating at the national level that can, and should, incorporate all good system developments produced at other levels, such as’ MacFire ‘”(Developed in Mação).

The Observatory recognizes that in the municipality of Mação there has been, since 1990, “an effort that can be considered exemplary at national level, in the sense of general prevention of the territory”.

As previously pointed out, the report considers “the probability of an intentional cause” to be very likely, noting that “material evidence of the ignition medium used” has been collected and that the investigation by the Judicial Police is ongoing.

Regarding the post-fire recovery phase, the Observatory stresses that the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests “has completed the first stages of the process in a relatively short time”, but “the following phases are yet to be completed”, namely the mapping of priority areas for intervention and the survey of the affected infrastructures, “so that the execution projects for intervention can be elaborated under the PDR [Rural Development Program] 2020”.

Nurse battles Coronavirus on the Front Line

Monday, January 27th, 2020

Away from all the major updates and statistics, this personal account by Jiang Ting, a nurse with Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital, reflects what it is like for perhaps hundreds of thousands of frontline medical staff battling this virus throughout China.

It’s 4 am on Monday when my colleague, Yi Bingkun, and I finished the night shift. It’s the 50th hour since we arrived in Wuhan to help fight against the novel coronavirus. The situation here is far more grievous than what we imagined, with more suspected cases and an acute shortage of medical staff. We are here to bring them hope, but it seems that we assume more responsibilities.

The ward was almost overloaded during our first night shift and we continued to receive more patients. My colleague and I plunged into work without delay after wearing protective suits.

However, an emergency occurred when a patient went into sudden cardiac arrest when we had just changed shifts. Kun (my colleague Yi Bingkun’s nickname) rushed to give chest compressions to the patient and I called a doctor for help.

The patient, unfortunately, died of severe illness after all rescue measures failed. The patient’s family, however, sent their gratitude to us. Their every single “Thank you” makes me feel warm and that the efforts we’ve made are worthwhile.

But Kun brought me more warmth because of his bravery and spirit.

I once asked him whether he felt afraid about the possibility of becoming infected when saving the patient. He told me that, “Yes, I was really scared at the time because I do have my family and my kid. But I was more afraid that the life might disappear in front of me.”

I’m really proud to have Kun as my team member.

Our night shift should have been finished at midnight, but it ended at 3 am that night. We found our clothes were drenched after we took off our protective suits. I remember that it was 5 am when we finished washing.

What is impressive is that my colleagues messaged us, worrying why Kun and I didn’t come back with the clock pointing to 1 am, 2 am or even 3 am. They urged us to let them know we were okay as soon as we came back. The tiredness soon lifted.

Kun and I were in a hurry to sum up our work last night at 8 am. Kun even drew a rough sketch of the ward to our colleagues, Xiong Minlong and Jiangjie, who cheered each other on at the time.

Wang Yan, associate chief physician of our hospital’s respiratory department, gave us lectures and advice during breakfast. Sun Liang and Zhong Lina also joined us for logistical management and preparation work.

The weather is really cold but we feel warm from the bottom of our hearts.

Come on, Wuhan! Come on, all my colleagues!

 

Coronavirus 2019-nCoV EDEC Risk Assessment 26th January

Monday, January 27th, 2020

RISK ASSESSMENT ISSUED BY THE EUROPEAN CENTRE FOR DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL (EDEC) 26TH JANUARY

The following risk assessment has been issued by the EDEC cautioning that “there are considerable uncertainties in assessing the risk of this event, due to lack of detailed epidemiological analyses”.

On the basis of the information currently available, ECDC considers that:

  • “the potential impact of 2019-nCoV outbreaks is HIGH;
  • further global spread is LIKELY;
  • there is currently a MODERATE likelihood of infection for EU/EEA citizens residing in or visiting Wuhan, Hubei province, China;
  • there is a HIGH likelihood of further case importation into countries with the greatest volume of people who have travelled from Wuhan, Hubei Province (i.e. countries in Asia);
  • there is a MODERATE likelihood of further case importation into EU/EEA countries;
  • adherence to appropriate infection prevention and control practices, particularly in healthcare settings in EU/EEA countries with direct links to Hubei, means that the likelihood of a case detected in the EU resulting in secondary cases within the EU/EEA is LOW;
  • the impact of the late detection of an imported case in an EU/EEA country without the application of appropriate infection prevention and control measures would be HIGH, therefore in such a scenario the risk of secondary transmission in the community setting is estimated to be VERY HIGH”.