zoom The crew of the United States Coast Guard Cutter Active seized an estimated 2,300 pounds (1043kg) of cocaine, worth approximately $37 million, in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean some 140 miles off the coast of Panama late last month.Active, home ported in Port Angeles, Wash., was on routine patrol in the region when it was directed to intercept a suspicious Panamanian fishing vessel sighted earlier by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection P-3 aircraft. A Coast Guard boarding team was launched as Active approached the fishing vessel.During an inspection of the vessel, the boarding team discovered more than 40 burlap sacks filled with cocaine. The fishing boat, the contraband, and five suspected smugglers were turned over to Panamanian authorities. “I am extremely proud of this crew. They have continually lived up to the cutter’s nickname, the ‘Li’l Tough Guy’,” said Cmdr. Philip Crigler, Active’s commanding officer. “Through their tenacity we have had great success on this patrol keeping illegal drugs from reaching the shores of the United States.”The Coast Guard deploys assets to both the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea in coordination with other law enforcement agencies and partner nations in the regions to disrupt the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.Overall coordination of surveillance and patrols is done by an interagency task force based in Florida. U.S. maritime law enforcement and the interdiction phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific occurs under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda.USCG, April 24, 2014
Private survey: Growth at US services firms surges to new high in July by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press Posted Aug 5, 2015 8:35 am MDT Last Updated Aug 5, 2015 at 9:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email In this June 12, 2015 photo, Dayamyra Perez Fernandez prepares a lunch to go for a customer at a local grocery store in the Little Havana area of Miami. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, issues its index of non-manufacturing activity for July on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) WASHINGTON – Business at U.S. services companies surged in July, the Institute for Supply Management reported Wednesday.The institute said its services index rose to 60.3 last month, highest since the index was created in 2008 and up from 56 in June. Any reading above 50 shows growth in the services sector.Its measure of business activity for services firms rose to 64.9 from 61.5 in June. New orders and employment were also up strongly. Export orders also rose at a faster pace, despite a strong dollar that makes U.S. products and services more expensive in overseas markets.Anthony Nieves, chairman of the institute’s services survey committee, said growth in services usually cools during the summer, so the July surge “is a bit unusual.” He said a strong job market might be helping services firms. Unemployment has tumbled to a seven-year low of 5.3 per cent.The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers. Its services survey covers businesses that employ 90 per cent of workers, including retail, construction, health care and financial services companies.Fifteen of 18 services industries reported growth.The performance of the services sector last month was in contrast to U.S. manufacturing: On Monday, the institute reported that factories were less busy in June. Its manufacturing index slipped to 52.7 last month from 53.5 in June. Hiring slowed at U.S. factories last month, but production and new orders rose.Adam Collins, economist at Capital Economics, said the growth in services last month “more than offsets the weakness in the manufacturing sector … All things considered, this survey reinforces our view that the economy is on a strong footing and suggests that (economic) growth will accelerate in the second half of the year.”The economy grew at an annual pace of just 0.6 per cent from January through March and 2.3 per cent from April through June. Economists are expecting annualized growth of 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent in the second half of the year.