CBP, ICE HSI Report $1.2 Billion In Counterfeit Seizures In 2014
Apr06

CBP, ICE HSI Report $1.2 Billion In Counterfeit Seizures In 2014

Special to the Laredo Sun WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) today announced the fiscal year 2014 results of an aggressive enforcement program to protect the United States from counterfeit and pirated goods. CBP and HSI are the components within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responsible for the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). Counterfeit sunglasses with an estimated MSRP of $1,619,550 seized by CBP officers in July 2013. “Protecting intellectual property rights is a critical part of CBP’s trade enforcement mission and critical to protecting American consumers,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “In 2014, strong partnerships with our federal enforcement counterparts, effective targeting of high risk shipments and frontline interceptions of cargo at America’s ports of entry produced more than 23,000 seizures of fake products worth an estimated $1.2 billion that could have cheated or threatened the health of American consumers.” “These results are a testament to the efforts of the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, and the increased collaboration fostered by the IPR Center,” said ICE’s Director Sarah Saldaña. “To be clear, intellectual property theft is not a victimless crime. The victims are American businesses, and the employees whose jobs are dependent on IP-intensive industries. Counterfeiting is a crime of global proportions, and when property rights are violated, American jobs are lost, business profits are stolen and ultimately, consumers are cheated.” Counterfeit soccer club apparel with an estimated MSRP of $1,016,3990 seized by CBP officers in April 2014. In fiscal year 2014, there were 23,140 intellectual property rights seizures with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price or MSRP of $1.2 billion, the value of the goods had they been genuine.  In addition, 144 shipments of circumvention devices were seized for violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  CBP also enforced 44 exclusion orders in fiscal year 2014. Since 2007, CBP has identified intellectual property rights enforcement as a priority trade mission. Although IPR seizures declined slightly in 2014 from 2013, CBP recorded its third busiest year for seizures since 2005. The top ten counterfeit commodities seized are: 1.        2.      Wearing apparel/accessories 3.      Consumer electronics 4.      Pharmaceuticals/personal care 5.      Handbags/wallets 6.      Footwear 7.      Watches/jewelry 8.      Optical media 9.      Computers/accessories Labels/tags Toys Wearing apparel and accessories continue to be the number one commodity classification based on number of seizures with 7,922 seizures or 28 percent.  Watches and jewelry are the largest commodity classification by value with an estimated MSRP of $375 million or 31 percent. The People’s Republic of China remains the primary source economy for counterfeit and pirated goods seized with a...

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Rep. Cuellar Announces Affiliation Agreement Between TAMIU And AFAZ
Apr06

Rep. Cuellar Announces Affiliation Agreement Between TAMIU And AFAZ

Special to the Laredo Sun LAREDO, Texas – Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX28) has announced an agreement between Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) and the Assembly of Friends of Azerbaijan (AFAZ), an educational and cultural organization which aims to build bridges between the United States and the Republic of Azerbaijan, located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. The affiliation agreement signed today at the TAMIU Killam Library will allow these two instructions to collaborate on research, sponsorship of conferences and symposia exchanges of faculty and students, and education materials related to the international oil and gas industry. Pictured above from left to right: TAMIU president Dr. Ray Keck, Mr. Kemal Oksuz, Congressman Henry Cuellar, TAMIU provost and VP for academic affairs Dr. Pablo Arenaz “As an alumnus and former professor of TAMIU, I’m pleased to see the university staying true to its international commitment by bringing together world-renowned scholarship and academia in order to examine and gain a better understanding of the petroleum industry world-wide,” said Congressman Cuellar. “South Texas has been blessed with an oil and gas boom and it is important that we provide a framework for our students in this important and growing industry.” “Our students and faculty are looking forward to this new collaborative and the robust opportunities for both research and study in this important part of our world.  As an international university, we are enormously interested in expanding our world of study for all and most appreciative to Cong. Cuellar for his leadership in this initiative with the Assembly of the Friends of Azerbaijan.”  –  Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU President   “My thanks to Congressman Cuellar for his playing a very instrumental role for this affiliation. He is the cause of this TAMIU-AFAZ Affiliation Agreement. This agreement will give a very ample opportunity to TAMIU faculty and students not only they will study international energy law, politics of energy, environmental impacts and strategy management, but also they will meet and network with people from public and private sectors.” – Dr. Kemal Oksuz This partnership’s initial project will allow students and faculty at both TAMIU and Laredo Community College to participate in the Baku Summer Energy School, an annual two week certificate program held in July in Baku, Azerbaijan. Participants will be issued a certificate by the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy...

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Memory Of Art Instructor Lives On In Gallery Naming, Art Show
Mar29

Memory Of Art Instructor Lives On In Gallery Naming, Art Show

Special to the Laredo Sun In memory of her outstanding influence on the students and community of Laredo, Martha F. Fenstermaker will be honored in a reception to officially name the Visual Arts Gallery in her honor and to unveil an art exhibit offering a retrospective of her art work on Wednesday, April 1 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The former art instructor and head of the Visual Arts Department, who taught various forms of visual arts for more than 30 years, incorporated her passion into humanitarian work by becoming involved  in the city’s and state’s historical and nature preservation endeavors. Along with her two sisters, Fenstermaker devoted time and effort into showcasing the beauty of native Texas while combating those whose projects posed environmental threats. She also joined forces with state and national entities, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Native Plant Society, to preserve and promote the growth of wildlife species vitally tied to Texas’ history. This includes the Texas Longhorn and juniper trees that sustain much of the bird species that make Laredo exclusive for avian aficionados. Fenstermaker is survived by her sisters, Bebe and Sissy Fenstermaker, who collaborated with her in illustrating the masterpiece that is Texas, its sceneries, and its natural gifts. Their work, Enduring Women: A Photography and Oral History Exhibit, is treasured at the Bob Bullock State History Museum in Austin in thanks to the Texas Legacy Project. The Visual Arts Gallery inside the Visual and Performing Arts Center at the Fort McIntosh Campus serves as an appropriate memorial for the cherished college instructor. All students, faculty, and staff are invited to celebrate the life and achievements of Fenstermaker at this event. For more information, please contact the Visual Arts Department at 721.5224. CUTLINE: The lifetime achievements and contributions of retired Laredo Community College art instructor Martha F. Fenstermaker will be celebrated during a special reception to name the college’s Visual Arts Gallery in her name and to unveil a special retrospective art exhibit.  The community is invited to join the LCC family at this event on Wednesday, April 1 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Visual and Performing Arts...

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House Passes Medicare Access And CHIP Reauthorization Act, Includes Provision Of Rep. Cuellar
Mar28

House Passes Medicare Access And CHIP Reauthorization Act, Includes Provision Of Rep. Cuellar

Special to the Laredo Sun WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which included specific language added by Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX28). The language addition would prevent the inappropriate use of quality measures to ensure patients and healthcare professionals have the assurance they deserve, so they no longer need to fear undue legal issues regarding allegations of medical negligence. The legislation will now be sent to the Senate. “The House of Representative sent a strong message today by passing this bill in a timely and bipartisan fashion and including the provision I added to protect Texas doctors and patients,” Congressman Cuellar said. “The passage of today’s legislation will permanently fix the flawed sustainable growth program, will ensure state medical malpractice liability laws are not adversely impacted by the federal government, and will ensure community health centers have proper funding –all wins for Texas patients and doctors.” Today’s passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act in the House of Representatives would permanently replace an 18-year-old formula for reimbursing doctors and expands funding for Community Health Centers by $7.2 billion for two years. This ensures that vital community-based and patient-directed health centers that serve populations with limited access to health care will have HHS funding through FY2017.  Without passage of this important bill, access to health care for millions of people would be lost. The legislation also extends funding and secures the health of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two more years. CHIP has been a priority of Cuellar’s since his time in the Texas state legislature when he started the first CHIP pilot program in Laredo. Cuellar’s additions mark passage of his years-long effort to ensure legal standards of care established by state laws and state courts are protected from the infringement of the federal government. Click HERE for a printable version of the bill’s fact sheet from Democratic House...

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Palomino Soccer Team To Host Tryouts
Mar27

Palomino Soccer Team To Host Tryouts

Special to the Laredo Sun Students with a passion for soccer and who are interested in playing at the collegiate level are invited to try out for the Laredo Community College Palomino soccer team. Prospective players can take advantage of two upcoming tryout sessions. The first will be held on Thursday, March 26 from 12-2 p.m. and the other on Friday, March 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the LCC South Recreation Complex, located at 5500 South Zapata Highway. Tryouts are open to recent high school graduates or current college students. High school students who will graduate in 2015 will not be eligible until after their current soccer season ends. There is a $10 fee that must be paid in advance at the Athletics Department in the Maravillo Gym at the Fort McIntosh Campus. Players can submit their Palomino Athletics Tryout Release and Liability Waiver Form the day before they tryout. Additionally, athletes must provide proof of a recent physical and should come to the tryout properly attired in a white t-shirt and black shorts, shin guards and cleats. The LCC Palominos are part of the highly competitive NJCAA Region 14 South Zone Conference. For more information about tryouts or the Palomino soccer team, call the LCC Athletics Department at...

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Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents Arrest An Undocumented Immigrant With Prior Conviction
Mar27

Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents Arrest An Undocumented Immigrant With Prior Conviction

Special to the Laredo Sun On March 22, 2015, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Laredo West Station, apprehended an undocumented immigrant who was previously convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.  Agents were conducting their assigned duties, when they apprehended a group of undocumented immigrants. During processing, record checks revealed that the male subject, 21, from Honduras, had been charged and convicted in 2006 as a juvenile, for a sexual offense in Houston, Texas.  The subject served a 2-year and 4-month sentence.  The subject will be prosecuted for re-entry into the United States (8 USC 1326) and will be presented in Magistrate Court in Laredo, Texas.  The Laredo Border Patrol Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal...

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