Monthly Archive: August 2016

Williamstown’s Beloved K9 Blue Dies at Age 12

Blue and Officer Ziemba at Sweet Brook in 2009. WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. The Police Department’s first K-9, the beloved Blue, died recently in her sleep at the age of 12.

Blue had retired two years ago after a decade of searches, community events and celebrity status. She joined the force in 2005 with her longtime partner and owner, Officer Michael Ziemba. Outfitted with badge and Kevlar vest, she assisted in numerous rescues and searches and was certified with the American Police Working Dogs in tracking and trailing.

Blue was well known to citizens and criminals alike throughout Northern Berkshire. Several years ago, Ziemba recalled how she’d tracked down a man who’d fled after crashing his truck. When she found him, he cried out, “Don’t bite me Blue, don’t bite me,” said Ziemba. “Even the bad guys know who she is.” Her forte was finding, not biting.

The friendly hound visited nursing homes and classrooms, and took her place at parades and community events. Blue was donated to the department by a breeder who had contributed several hounds a year to law enforcement: two of her siblings worked with state police agencies, a brother in Arizona and a sister in Georgia. She did have a scare in 2008, when she managed to escape her kennel at Ziemba’s home and was hit by a car.

Two young women stopped when they saw her sitting in snowbank. She limped over to them and was taken to Greylock Animal Hospital. She ended up at Tufts University in North Grafton with internal bleeding and a dislocated hip.

Blue recovered and returned to her duties. In 2011, a photo of her in the driver’s seat of Ziemba’s specialized cruiser was selected as Canine Cop of the Year for April by the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, the national Humane Society and the Washington, D.C., Humane Society. It also appeared in the U.S.

Humane Society’s 2012 Canine Cop calendar. She and Ziemba also marched in the Independence Day parade in Washington. The Williamstown Police Department announced her passing on its Facebook page on Tuesday. “Blue retired in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed this new assignment, although she still loved to make guest appearances at community events.

Blue was an exceptional tracker and an even better friend, colleague and partner.

Rest in Peace friend; it has been an honor to have you in our lives.” Tags: K9 , memorial 1 , police event 2 , References ^ memorial (www.iberkshires.com) ^ police event (www.iberkshires.com)

In pictures: Revellers hurl tomatoes for messy Tomatina food fight in Spain

Crowds of people throw tomatoes at each other, during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) Crowds of people throw tomatoes at each other, during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain, Wednesday (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) Crowds of people throw tomatoes at each other, during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) Two women enjoy as crowds of people throw tomatoes at each other, during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) Revellers battle with tomato pulp during the annual ‘Tomatina’ (tomato fight) festival in Bunol near Valencia, Spain, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Heino Kalis Revellers battle with tomato pulp during the annual ‘Tomatina’ (tomato fight) festival in Bunol near Valencia, Spain, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Heino Kalis A reveller stands at a wall covered with tomato pulp during the annual ‘Tomatina’ (tomato fight) festival in Bunol near Valencia, Spain, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Heino Kalis Revellers battle with tomato pulp during the annual ‘Tomatina’ (tomato fight) festival in Bunol near Valencia, Spain, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Heino Kalis Revellers battle with tomato pulp during the annual ‘Tomatina’ (tomato fight) festival in Bunol near Valencia, Spain, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Heino Kalis Revellers on a truck throw tomatos into the crowd during the annual ‘Tomatina’ (tomato fight) festival in Bunol near Valencia, Spain, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Heino Kalis Revellers battle with tomato pulp during the annual ‘Tomatina’ (tomato fight) festival in Bunol near Valencia, Spain, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Heino Kalis Revelers throw tomatoes from a balcony during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) Crowds of people throw tomatoes at each other, during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) A men lies in a puddle of squashed tomatoes, during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) A men lies in a puddle of squashed tomatoes as people throw them at each other, during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) Revellers on a truck throw tomatos into the crowd during the annual ‘Tomatina’ (tomato fight) festival in Bunol near Valencia, Spain, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Heino Kalis A reveller is covered with tomato pulp during the annual ‘Tomatina’ (tomato fight) festival in Bunol near Valencia, Spain, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Heino Kalis Crowds of people throw tomatoes at each other, during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) Revelers enjoy as they throw tomatoes at each other, during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) Crowds of people throw tomatoes at each other, during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) Tomatoes are poured over a reveler during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) A reveller lies in tomato pulp during the annual Tomatina festival in Bunol near Valencia, Spain, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Heino Kalis A men lies in a puddle of squashed tomatoes as people throw tomatoes at each other, during the annual “Tomatina”, tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

A team effort – Irish Trucker Magazine

A team effort 31 August 2016 Gaffey Motor factors have three fully stocked delivery vans completing daily deliveries and sales to customers. Gaffey Motor Factors is a long established supplier of quality parts, tools and accessories for the automotive industry with locations in both Cavan and Monaghan. Irish Trucker caught up with Managing Director Brian Dwan to talk about the business which has been thriving as of late. Thriving in tough economic times is no easy feat and Brian Dwan at Gaffey Motor Factors knows that as well as any business owner. Since buying the company in 2002, Brian has watched it come through both the good times and the bad to where it currently stands. He is happy to report that Gaffey Motor Factors are currently experiencing the former at this moment in time. It s no surprise either when you consider Brian s background in the business, having learned from some of the best in the industry. I started in Moffett Engineering in Clontibret and got approached by an automotive company, he explained. Albert Berry Motors is where I got my education and when this company came up for sale I was encouraged to buy it. I had to cross a lot of hurdles to make it a success and a blend of youth and experience is hard to beat – I think that s the secret with this kind of business. The blend of youth and experience, along with a good atmosphere amongst your workers. People like to come in and have the craic with the lads too and feel welcome. To put it simply, Gaffey Motor Factors supply the following at their stores: Car Mats, Alloy Wheels, Clutches, C.D Players, Full range of tools, Truck Parts, Trailer Parts, Lamps & Lens, Wind Deflectors, Batteries, Oils & Filters, Car Paint, Sat-Navs, Wipers, Body Panels, Spark Plugs, Exhausts, Clutches, Seat Covers and Number Plates. The company s main branch is based in Lough Egish, Castleblayney in Co Monaghan, where the doors were re-opened from 2003, but since then Brian has opened two more branches in Bailieborough and Cootehill (both in Co Cavan). We re going 14 years, I bought it in 2002 and we ve 17 working here full-time now, explained Brian. We started with light commercial vehicles and worked towards supplying the agricultural industry. We were getting asked more and more to provide simple things. We were being asked by truck drivers to stock parts for them and that s how I developed into stocking materials for them. The 17 staff throughout the company s three locations are all employed locally and are knowledgeable, efficient and competent when it comes to motor parts, coming from a range of sectors within the motor industry. One member of staff whom has been salient in putting Gaffey Motor Factors on its current path is Cavan native PJ Donohoe. Before PJ s arrival, the business was primarily focused on the supplying car parts, tools and accessories but it has since moved in another direction, as Brian explained. Two years ago, PJ Donohoe joined the staff here, he has been working in the commercial parts industry for 30 years he started off working in the automotive trade. He proposed for us to go into the truck end of things and PJ`s running the truck end of the business now. The area which we are situated in is funny, because we are actually only five minutes away from many towns. The Lakeland Dairy Plant, the Lakeland Mill, Swift s Fine Foods and Glanbia would all be within a 10-mile radius or so, you have a lot of food-orientated businesses around which means they ve truck fleets. So it was being asked upon us to get into it and we did. PJ knew exactly what we needed to do, so we got into it and business is very good at the moment, thankfully. The positive reports for Gaffey Motor Factors are great to hear again, with the company having gone through a transition in 2002, and its Managing Director outlined that there are a few factors behind the busy times which they are currently experiencing. Interestingly, the economic downturn has played its part in helping the business maintain older vehicles and keep them on the road for longer. The testing is keeping us busy, said Brian, believe it or not penalty points have helped us a lot because people have to maintain their cars a lot more than they used to. The average age of a car in 2007 was six years, now it s 8.5 years. He added: The recession did hit us in that so many garages closed down, which left us with many unpaid accounts, so we got hit like any other business. As for the company s own fleet, they currently have three fully stocked delivery vans completing daily deliveries and sales to customers. If they don t have what you are looking for in stock, they can order and have it for you the very next day, and sometimes even the same day depending on the item. We ve three vans on the road from Castleblayney, explained the MD. We ve a Ford Transit, a Volkswagen Crafter and a Caddy van. We have deliveries being made at all different times and we cover all over Cavan, Monaghan and neighbouring counties so we re definitely kept busy with that. The reviews from customers aren t bad either, and it explains why Gaffey Motor Factors are gaining repeat business from them. Word of mouth has played as vital a part as any on the advertising end and Brian and his staff have put forth their best endeavours to make sure that the word about the company stays splendid to maintain its glowing reputation. We are finding the growth with the service we re providing, he said. We find that our customers give us repeat business because of the competitive prices and warranty that we provide. We stay competitive through working with our suppliers and I think we re very competitive with what s out there. You can t afford to have downtime and we pull out all the stops, whether it be with overnight deliveries or whatever. We have a courier that will collect parts in Dublin and bring it to PJ s house for the quickest possible delivery. Gaffey Motor Factors are open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm at all three of their locations and the boss says that his staff deserve major credit for keeping the customers coming through its doors. We close at 6pm and not one member of staff goes home before that, he said. In fairness, we have very dedicated staff here that are always willing to learn. You have to try and make your own bond and keep the customers satisfied that s what you have to do. It s a team effort. Taken from I rish Trucker & Light Commercials magazine, Vol 18 N o 9, November 2015 [1] References ^ rish Trucker & Light Commercials magazine, Vol 18 No 9, November 2015 (www.brtanspares.ie)

DNV GL supports the deployment of LNG as alternative fuel with EU study and tools

DNV GL supports the deployment of LNG as alternative fuel with EU study and tools Whilst LNG has proven to be a viable option as a bunkering fuel for ships, there are still challenges to the pace of its development and demand for LNG as a fuel. One of the obstacles to the accelerated uptake is the uncertainty regarding its availability. DNV GL is undertaking a new study on the LNG market in the EU as part of its efforts to drive the development of an EU-wide network of LNG refuelling points. The company has also developed a new tool and guidelines to facilitate wider adoption. The market study is being carried out on behalf of the CORE LNGas hive project which is co-funded by the European Commission. The research aims to develop a safe and efficient, integrated logistics and supply chain for LNG in the transport industry (small-scale and bunkering), particularly for maritime transport off the Iberian Peninsula. With a total estimated budget of more than EUR33 million, the six-year project is scheduled for completion in December 2020. The results of the project, coordinated by Enagas, will provide recommendations for the Spanish and Portuguese National Policy Frameworks for alternative fuels supply infrastructure, and will prepare the roll-out plan for future commercial deployment along the Mediterranean and Atlantic corridors in the Iberian Peninsula. Fernando Impuesto, CORE LNGas hive project coordinator from Enagas, says: The consortium partners selected DNV GL to execute the demand studies of the project based on the fact that DNV GL has been at the forefront of the development of LNG as a marine cargo for more than 50 years, and for LNG as a marine fuel over 20 years. With that experience and support, they are an important contributor to our success in this project. The CORE LNGas hive project follows another project recently delivered by DNV GL for the EU providing recommendations on how to address barriers to wider adoption of LNG as fuel. Liv Hovem, DNV GL Regional Manager for Continental Europa and North and East Africa, adds: DNV GL has significant experience with adoption of LNG as a marine fuel. This is both through development of gas fuel class rules and assisting and advising private and public clients, port authorities, and global government bodies, with consultancy on safety, technical, and commercial market assessments. DNV GL has already developed new analytical techniques for assessment, services, standards and recommended practices for the LNG sector and has supported the safe development and operation of 35% of the world s LNG plants. Our experience shows that more shipowners would consider LNG as fuel if reliable information on LNG availability was easily accessible. This demand for more knowledge and insight is being addressed with DNV GL s new online tool, LNGi. This provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on worldwide LNG bunkering availability and market data on LNG as fuel for ships. It aims to bring stakeholders from across the LNG industry together to share market intelligence and contribute to the uptake of LNG as a ship fuel. LNGi is supported by The Society of Gas as Marine Fuel (SGMF). The portal s interactive map provides information about LNG bunkering opportunities around the world and also includes data on existing and planned infrastructure such as truck loading facilities, tank-to-ship bunkering options and LNG bunker vessels, as well as detailed information on various port and infrastructure projects. Statistics and further information on alternative fuels and emissions solutions, such as the uptake of scrubbers, give a broader overview of the most popular options to achieve compliance with stringent environmental regulations. In order to continue meeting and supporting the market in its growing demand for cleaner fuels and versatile LNG applications, DNV GL has updated the Recommended Practice (RP) for development and operation of LNG bunkering facilities (DNVGL-RP-G105). The RP provides the first industry guidance on how to perform quality measurements and quantity metering of LNG fuel supply. This enables the industry to understand the business impact of proper fiscal measurement. The update is a key driver for the monetization of small-scale LNG distribution and infrastructure to support the development of a more transparent and compatible market and to safeguard sustainable growth. For more information, please visit : https://www.dnvgl.com [1] References ^ https://www.dnvgl.com (www.dnvgl.com)

Dress code – Prince George Citizen

Summer is almost over. Gentlemen, please put your pants and ties back on unless it’s Friday and you’re taking part in the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation’s September Casual fundraising campaign. Both male and political observers have commented on the dress of female leaders, from Hillary Clinton’s pant suits to Christy Clark’s jogging attire. Men in important positions seem to get a free pass because women don’t want to sound like they’re nagging and men don’t like to be seen to notice how other men dress. How men dress is important, however, because it conveys both power and status. Jackets, ties and dress shoes suggest men who take themselves and their positions seriously. They are as much uniforms as coveralls or steel-toed work boots. For powerful and important men who don’t want to be portrayed that way, that formal uniform has to be customized to suit the audience. Prince George North MLA Mike Morris and Cariboo Prince George MLA Todd Doherty have both mastered the code and its regional dialects. In Victoria and Ottawa, it’s business suits all the way but at home in their ridings, it’s blue jeans, boots and blazers. They are hardly unique in this regard. Rural MLAs and MPs across Canada make the same dress code adjustments. In the U.S., a glance at Donald Trump’s attire informs the viewer of where he’s campaigning at that moment. If he’s in a suit, he’s in a major metropolitan area. If he’s ditched the tie, he’s in a rural centre. If he’s put on the Make America Great Again ball cap with the trucker’s bend in the bill, he’s in the sticks. Making the fashion adjustment is a sign of respect to the norms of that community and doing so is a common requirement for men in many cultures. Men visiting a Jewish temple, for example, are expected to put a yarmulke on their head, regardless of their religious affiliation. In more social settings, it is also a claim to be one with the people of that area. The ball cap on Trump’s head looks as ridiculous as the plaid shirts did on Gordon Campbell when he first ventured out into the Interior 20 years ago as the new leader of the B.C. Liberals. Like the cowboys say, that’s all hat and no cattle. A man has to earn that look but unless it’s a wedding, a funeral or a court date, a man in a suit and tie in rural Canada or the United States is an outsider, a carpetbagger, a city slicker or a pretentious ass, take your pick. That’s why Trump puts on the ball cap but keeps both the blazer and the open dress shirt with the visible cuff links. Urban centres surrounded by rural communities, like Prince George, are problematic because both styles apply to men, depending on the circumstance and even the time of year. Unlike women, professional men get to take the summer off even while they’re at work. The ties (and sometimes the razors) can be put away, the top button can be left open and golf shirts and short-sleeved dress shirts are allowed until Labour Day. But not always. When Doherty joined Veterans Affair Minister Kent Hehr to lay a wreath at the Prince George Cenotaph on Monday, he wore a dark suit and tie. That was probably the first time he had dressed like that in his home riding in months, but the occasion demanded it. The best way for any man to be taking seriously and to show the serious of the situation is to put on a suit, do up a tie and polish those shoes. Prince George has reached the point in its evolution where most professional men on most working days should wear a tie. If Prince George wants to compare itself to Kelowna, Kamloops and Nanaimo, the male decision makers in both the public and private sectors need to project that Prince George is not Mackenzie or Burns Lake or Quesnel or McBride by conducting their affairs in formal business attire. Furthermore, they should welcome important visitors to Prince George wearing suits, to show respect to those visiting dignitaries but also to project the city’s urban sophistication and sensibility. When in doubt on event protocol, Prince George men in positions of authority should reach for the tie rack because leadership, respect and modernity require looking the part. Save the jeans for the weekend or the fundraisers. — Managing editor Neil Godbout Copyright 2016 Prince George Citizen ‘Please support the Prince George Citizen and online news like this by purchasing a digital subscription.’ [1] References ^ ‘Please support the Prince George Citizen and online news like this by purchasing a digital subscription.’ (www.princegeorgecitizen.com)

Dieselgate: Former EU Commissioner blames car manufacturers

VW logo | Photo credit: Press Association Speaking in a hearing on the so-called Dieselgate scandal, the German politician conceded that the ban of so-called defeat devices had not been defined precisely enough. Verheugen also made a robust defence of the Commission in the affair, saying, The EU rules were clear but were simply disregarded. There was no problem with the legislation but with respect for the law by the manufacturers. MEPs on Parliament’s committee of inquiry into emission measurements in the automotive sector ( EMIS ) questioned the former Commission official on Tuesday on the VW exhaust scandal, including the differences between the rules regulating defeat devices for cars and those for trucks and buses. RELATED CONTENT As the Commissioner responsible for enterprise and industry between 2004 and 2010, Verheugen is the highest profile person to be quizzed so far by the committee, which was set up to investigate VW s use of illegal emissions cheating software. Verheugen is seen as the legislative father of the problematic directives and regulations on car emissions exposed by the Dieselgate scandal. He had twice refused an earlier invitation to attend the hearing, saying he needed to clarify the role of his office in the run-up to the emissions testing scandal. In a highly-charged hearing, he said he was not informed about EU member states missing their 2009 deadline to inform the Commission about how to punish the use of illegal emissions cheating software. “No, I was not aware of that,” he told the committee, adding that no member state had informed the Commission on time about the required “effective, proportionate and dissuasive” penalties, he said. The EU emissions legislation, he said, was designed to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle in order not to endanger the driver or other citizens health and he did not expect that a European automaker would disregard the rules. But, following questions by ECR group deputy Hans-Olaf Henkel , Verheugen admitted that the ban of defeat devices had not been defined precisely enough. Verheugen also said he bore the responsibility for the EU regulation prohibiting the defeat devices and indirectly accused automobile manufacturers of misunderstanding the legislation. Henkel replied, saying, For the first time in the European Parliament, I have experienced a politician acknowledging his error.” He added, “Clearer definition would most likely not preclude the VW scandal from happening. However, the committee of inquiry, as well as the debate on whether other car producers such as Opel , Fiat or Renault fulfil current EU legislation would not be needed if Verheugen had introduced clear legal conditions concerning real driving emission testing. Some MEPs were particularly critical of Verheugen s performance, with EPP group spokesperson on the committee, Kri j nis Kari saying, He did not bring clarity to the issue during his appearance. Specifically, he did not explain why EU legislation on emissions was pushed through in 2007 when it was clearly known that real world driving car emissions vastly differ from those in laboratory conditions, to the detriment of public health and the environment. Kari said, Verheugen did not provide a sufficient answer as to why there was no response to possible cheating by light duty vehicle producers following findings on truck manufacturers using defeat devices in the market in the United States back in 1998.” It has also become apparent, according to the deputy, that several other people in the European institutions bear responsibility for having put in place the controversial piece of legislation that made it possible for car manufacturers to cheat. Further comment came from S&D group Vice-Chair and chair of the EMIS committee, Kathleen Van Brempt , who said, I am happy that finally Verheugen accepted the invitation to speak and explain why certain decisions were taken at the time. We certainly need transparency and political accountability about what happened. It is obvious that something went wrong and we must understand why, so that we can take the necessary measures. His account on Tuesday was very important for the work of this committee but this is only the beginning. We will collect more evidence on the Barroso Commission and its dealing with car emissions when former Commissioners Antonio Tajani and Janez Poto nik answer our questions. Seb Dance, S&D group spokesperson on committee, was more scathing, saying it was astonishing that clear linguistic differences” were proposed and agreed upon by the Commission for rules banning defeat devices for trucks and buses and for cars. Dance added, Why would the Commission propose two sets of rules that aim to tackle the same problem? Why did the Commission not include a reference to the type-approval test procedure in the definition of defeat devices for cars, despite the fact similar wording had proven to be effective in stopping emissions cheating in the heavy duty vehicles sector? “If the Commission was aware of the dangers of defeat devices more than 15 years ago for trucks and buses, why were these definitions not used for subsequent legislation for cars?” Elsewhere, GUE / NGL group MEP Cornelia Ernst said that it was right that Verheugen had faced the Committee because, Questions over his failure to oversee the implementation of the type approval regulation have been piling up and thus it became unavoidable for the former Commissioner to attend the hearing. Unsurprisingly, Verheugen continues to point the finger at member states, absolving himself from blame. “The hearings so far have confirmed that big gaps existed between emissions measurements under laboratory conditions and in real driving situations. Seemingly, Verheugen was aware of this situation yet did nothing to intervene. The German MEP accused the former Commissioner of doing the bidding of industry giants at the expense of the environment when crafting the legislation, saying, When Verheugen appointed the CARS 21 high level group in 2005, his goal was to ensure competitiveness of the European car industry and thus the work group was composed mainly of lobbyists for the car industry. The responsibility of Verheugen lies firstly in supporting the interests of the car lobbyists and secondly in failing to monitor the implementation of the regulations. Further reaction to Verheugen’s committee appearance came from Dutch MEP Dennis de Jong who said, Verheugen stated in the hearing that he wasn’t aware about the irregularities happening in the emissions tests. That is not surprising given that CARS 21 was composed mainly of the automotive sector and that voices from civil society were excluded. He should have allowed for environmental and consumer groups to take part in the work group that issued the recommendations that shaped the final legislation. The committee has completed the first phase of the hearings with experts, trade associations and non-governmental organisations. Committee members have so far also questioned Stavros Dimas, environment Commissioner from 2004 to 2010, as well as car manufacturers, including Mitsubishi, Renault and Volkswagen.

Owner of Mercedes in which 15 kg of cocaine was found declines to …

Kevin Schembri Orland Tuesday, 30 August 2016, 15:22 Last update: about 1 day ago Carmel Polidano, the owner of the Mercedes in which 15 kg of cocaine was found in the gas tank, and his son Chris, chose not to take the witness stand in the case against a man charged with trying to import the drugs. Joseph Rodney Grima, a 23 year-old Gozitan man from Ghajnsielem, stands charged with importation and possession of 15 kg of cocaine which was found in a Mercedes car on the ferry. The prosecution said that the accused had requested the Mercedes he was driving to be towed due to mechanical problems. The cause of the mechanical fault was believed to be the drugs stored in the fuel tank. Both Polidanos are assisted by Dr Franco Debono, and both took the stand briefly just to inform the court that they refused to testify so as to not incriminate themselves. The Court heard how the accused, together with Chris Polidano, and a third person called Hamid, took the Mercedes owned by Carmel Polidano up to Hockenheim to watch a drag race. The accused then drove the car back, however the other two did not come along. The car then stopped and failed to start in Macon, France. The Court heard testimony from a police sergeant, who said that 4 car transport trucks had disembarked from the ferries that landed in Malta, and that together with customs personnel, they inspected the cars and trucks. One car s owner was not immediately identifiable, and he was ordered to keep an eye on it. The driver of the truck told the Sergeant that he was asked to pick up the car in Macon, France, by his boss, after the car had broken down. The car was driven by the accused, Mr Grima. The owner was later identified as Carmel Polidano. Police went to Polidano s house, asking Mr Polidano whether he owned the vehicle. Mr Polidano refused to say anything except that he had bought it from the car dealer. He said that the car was loaned to a friend, Mr Grima, for a holiday. Testifying, the truck Driver, Paul Cassar, also took the stand, and told the court that when he found Mr Grima, he unloaded a Renault off the truck, which was then driven by Mr Grima, and the Mercedes was then loaded onto the truck. He said they headed to Genoa. He said that Mr Grima slept briefly inside the Mercedes. The truck was then loaded onto the ferry headed to Malta. The Renault, however, could not be loaded as the ferry would not allow loose cars in the on-board garage. He said that the keys were then given to the boat personnel, and he took a flight back to Malta. The driver s boss corroborated this story, saying that he would pay for employees to fly back rather than stay on the ferry. Mr Cassar also said that in order to gain access to the garage on the ferry, one would need to ask permission from the Captain, who would then send a crew member to escort the person down to the garage. The Court heard how tests were performed on the car, and during a manual inspection, 20 packets of cocaine were extracted from one tank, 16 from another. Once the packets were removed, the car engine could be switched on. Both Chris Polidano and the accused were present for the inspection. The prosecution indicated that Macon was a four-hour detour from Hockenheim to Genoa, the route the men originally drove to see the drag race. Inspector Jonathan Cassar from the drugs squad testified that the arrest had been planned after police had been reliably informed that the vehicle in question would probably be carrying drugs. Police also searched Grima s home, where bullet cartridges were found, however the defendant said they belonged to his brother, and the police admitted that they had not checked whether his brother has a gun licence or spoken with him about it yet. The case continues in September.

HASC chair on 27000 illegal entry arrests: Our borders are ‘not secure’

Keith Vaz: ‘Border not secure’ Police forces need more resources after arresting tens of thousands of people on suspicion of illegally entering the UK, a senior MP warns. More than 27,000 people have been detained by police over the past three years, Freedom of Information (FoI) statistics show. Commons Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) chair Keith Vaz is calling for “urgent action” to be taken to tackle the problem following the FoI responses from 39 forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Many of those arrested were found at motorway service stations and truck stops, having hidden in lorries. The Home Office said it wanted “long-term solutions” to illegal migration. The figures highlight the increasing burden placed on forces by migrants who have slipped through border controls unnoticed.

In 2013, officers made 7,700 arrests for illegal entry. The number increased slightly the following year, and rose to 9,600 in 2015, when many countries in Europe were struggling to deal with the refugee crisis. The total over the entire three-year period, including the first quarter of this year, was 27,800.

Mr Vaz told the BBC the “astonishing” figures “basically showed that our border is not secure”. “The government keeps maintaining that they have got water-tight security at our borders,” he said. “If 27,000 people have been arrested for entering the country illegally by our police forces, then it shows that this problem is even worse than we had anticipated and we expect urgent action to be taken.” Mr Vaz said more resources were needed. This number does not include people arrested for staying longer in the country than their visa entitles them to, nor those detained at ports and airports, who are dealt with by Border Force staff. A spokesperson said: “As part of the ongoing action we are taking to secure our borders, we have invested tens of millions of pounds to bolster security at ports in northern France. “We are also committed to finding long-term solutions to the problem of illegal migration, which is why we created the Organised Immigration Crime Taskforce last year to work with law enforcement and international partners to target the organised crime gangs behind people smuggling.” There were “clear signs” that the action was working, he added.

Meanwhile Home Secretary Amber Rudd has rejected French plans to scrap border control deals in Calais and allow thousands of refugees to move from the Jungle camp to Dover. Ms Rudd rejected French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve s attempts to end the 2003 Le Touquet agreement, which allows for British border agents to work on the other side of the English Channel, especially at points of entry and exit such as the port of Calais and Eurostar terminals. Among those calling for the camp to be moved onto British soil is former head of state Nicholas Sarkozy.

I m demanding the opening of a centre in Britain to deal with asylum seekers in Britain, so that Britain can do the work that concerns them, Mr Sarkozy said after announcing he would once again run for president at next year s election. The Jungle should not be in Calais or anywhere else, because this is a republic and those with no rights to be here should return to their country. Mr Sarkozy is supported by Calais Hauts-de-France regional president Xavier Bertrand, who wants UK asylum seekers to apply at a hotspot in France, rather than gather at the northern French town.

Mr Bertrand said he wanted a “new treatment” for asylum seekers trying to get to the UK as the Jungle camp has become the focal point of France’s refugee crisis with up to 9,000 people living there. More than 10,000 people a year are being smuggled into the UK in lorries every year, according to French police and security sources. The number of so-called lorry drops has increased dramatically, the French authorities noted.

The latest statistics given by French police show a significant surge compared to official data from the UK side which suggests a doubling of illegal entries to 6,400 last year. However, French police say that the real picture could show a much higher number of people arriving in Britain undetected. Philippe Mignonet, deputy mayor of Calais, describes the main motorway leading to the airport as a no-go area between midnight and 6am.

When migrants are found in a lorry, they re usually escorted by police a few hundred metres away, but most of the time there are no legal proceedings and that must change, he said, By Nick Hudson 1 References ^ Nick Hudson (www.policeprofessional.com)