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Croatia charges 9 with smuggling cocaine from Caribbean

first_img ZAGREB, Croatia — Nine people were charged with smuggling at least 175 kilos (386 pounds) of cocaine worth several million euros into Europe from the Caribbean, prosecutors said on April 14. The charges included buying “large quantities of cocaine” in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, then transporting the narcotics on a private plane before selling them in Croatia and western European countries, the national anti-organized crime bureau (USKOK) said. The nine charged were five Croatians, two with dual Canadian-Croatian nationalities, one Colombian and another person holding both Serbian and Bosnian citizenships, according to USKOK. The network was dismantled when Austrian police allegedly caught two of the suspects with over 101 kilos of cocaine worth about €4 million (US$5.23 million). [AFP, 14/04/2012; Eubusiness.com (Croatia), 14/04/2012] By Dialogo April 16, 2012last_img read more

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Rose Bowl Preview: Against Dalton, Badgers face blend of Big Ten’s best

first_imgWhen you get to the Rose Bowl, chances are you’ve seen it all.The No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers sure have. They barely survived Arizona State at home, escaping by way of a blocked extra point. Two weeks later, they were stunningly embarrassed in East Lansing by Michigan State in the Big Ten opener. Another two weeks later, Wisconsin shocked the nation by shutting down Terrelle Pryor and the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes. One Saturday later, and UW was on the road against Iowa, surviving the gut-check of all gut-checks.The latter two wins restored the Badgers’ season, but the four games after it propelled them to the upper echelon of the nation’s elite. In November, Wisconsin slaughtered its opponents, going a perfect 4-0 with a combined score of 235-84, controlling the likes of Denard Robinson in the Big House and preventing traditional spoilers such as Northwestern from repeating history.When the battle-tested Badgers head to Pasadena for their first BCS bowl game in 10 years, such experience will prove invaluable. As much as the Horned Frogs should be an unfamiliar squad – TCU plays in the Mountain West Conference and its 8,700 students dwarf in comparison to UW’s 42,000 – the Badgers find themselves surprisingly prepared.In actuality, TCU can be described as a blend of the Big Ten’s best, especially on offense, where it starts with quarterback Andy Dalton.“He’s a great quarterback,” said UW middle linebacker Culmer St. Jean. “He goes through all his reads; if he doesn’t see them, he’s capable of running. He’ll run and get as many yards as far as I’ve seen, or get a first down. He’s fantastic, he doesn’t make that many mistakes, minimizes turnovers and he gets his playmakers the ball.”With Dalton, there aren’t many surprises. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, the senior from Katy, Texas, has prototypical size for a big-time quarterback. His numbers also speak for themselves – his efficiency rating of 167.0 is fifth in the nation (right behind the Badgers’ Scott Tolzien at 169.8) and he’s thrown for 2,638 yards, 26 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Wisconsin fans are accustomed to Tolzien’s remarkable decision-making; he’s also thrown only six picks as well, and he’s been sacked only 11 times. Dalton’s also supremely quick with the ball, having been sacked just eight times.“He’s very similar to what Scotty does,” said UW safety Jay Valai. “He doesn’t make too many mistakes; he doesn’t get sacked too often. He can run the football, as well. He’s a surprisingly good athlete, he’s a good football player and he’s their leader, so you have to respect him a lot.”Respect won’t be a problem for Wisconsin. They know how good Dalton is; they know he’s smart, efficient and even a capable runner. The Badgers also know he doesn’t do it all by himself. For all the attention given to UW’s offensive line, TCU’s is more than capable. The Badgers’ O-line – anchored by Outland Trophy winner left tackle Gabe Carimi and left guard John Moffitt – averages 6-foot-5, 320-pounds among its starting five, slightly bigger than TCU’s 6-foot-4, 317-pound line. TCU’s offensive line holds the advantage in experience, though, as only left guard Kyle Dooley isn’t a senior (he’s a junior). Wisconsin’s linemen, beyond their size, are also remarkably mobile – particularly center Peter Konz – and TCU’s shares the same reputation.“They run a lot of zone read, but they also throw a little bit of other things into the mix,” said UW defensive tackle Jordan Kohout. “They’re very balanced. Like Coach Bielema was saying at the end of practice, they do a little bit of everything, but they’re good at it. They’re a lot like us in that respect in that we kind of stick to our guns a lot of the time, but we also execute well.”Indeed, TCU’s offense executes as well as basically anyone in the country. The Horned Frogs boast the nation’s 10th-best offense, averaging 491.5 yards per game – 41.3 more than the Badgers. TCU’s even ran for more yards than the vaunted UW rushing attack, holding a 261.2-247.3 advantage in rushing yards per game. Yet, where it matters most, scoring, the two squads are equal: Each team scored 520 points in 12 games.“I feel like they’re a blend of everybody, just like the quarterback,” St. Jean said. “They run the pistol like Ohio State and Purdue, they run the two backs, they run I-backs like ourselves and Iowa and Michigan. They run the spread like Michigan, and Michigan State, I-backs too. They do a lot of things and they’re really good at what they do. We’re really approaching it like this is a season finale, getting all the offenses in one. That’s how we’re going to look at it.”Inevitably, the discussion around the Horned Frogs’ offense returns to Dalton. TCU’s signal caller was the MWC’s Offensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Award, which ended up going to Tolzien. Dalton is also the nation’s leader in wins by an active quarterback, topping Boise State’s Kellen Moore by four with 40 wins. So as powerful as the Horned Frogs’ offense has been this year, the execution begins and ends with Dalton.“In the end, it’s just another game. But obviously, it’s the Rose Bowl,” Valai said, offering an intriguing contradiction. “You’ve got to pick up the way you play on national TV; only game on, really, at that time. We know we’ve got to come out there and come out guns a blazin’. TCU’s a great football team, a lot of speed, and Dallas-Fort Worth area, obviously you’ve got great football players. TCU’s going to be a fun game, we’re coming out there excited to play.”last_img read more

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