By Dialogo February 04, 2011 Chilean Defense Minister Andrés Allemand has designated Army Maj. Gen. Hernán Mardones as the new head of the Joint General Staff. Mardones replaces Maj. Gen. Cristián Le Dantec, who resigned on 17 January. Mardones has had a long career in the Army, which he entered as a cadet, graduating as an infantry second lieutenant in 1974. In 1987 and 1988 he worked in the Office of the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and in 1991, after graduating from the War College (Academia de Guerra), he served as academic secretary of the Infantry School and assistant to the deputy commander-in-chief of the Army. In 2006 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and took up the post of director of Army Management and Development, and he subsequently served as commander of the Army Doctrine Division. In 2008 and 2009 he held the post of the institution’s director of Operations, following which he was promoted to the rank of major general in order to occupy the post of commander of Land Operations, in which he has been serving until now. In the academic arena, Mardones obtained a diploma in Institutional Management in Education from the Catholic University of Chile and a master’s degree in Military Sciences, Planning, and Strategic Management from the Army War College.
RIO VISTA – Scientists became increasingly concerned about the health of two wayward whales Tuesday as the mother whale and her calf spent a second day circling near a Sacramento River bridge about 70 miles from the Pacific. Both whales are wounded, apparently from a run-in with a boat’s propeller, and veterinarians have recently observed changes in the condition of those wounds, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. “The wounds appear to have worsened over time and their skin has changed from smooth and shiny to irregular and pitted,” said Frances Guiland of the Marine Mammal Center. Fresh water from the Sacramento River could hamper the whales’ recovery, biologists said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Skin samples taken from the mother whale Monday were sent to out-of-state labs to assess her general health and help identify her population stock. Scientists and the U.S. Coast Guard tried to position more than two dozen boats ahead of the whales in an effort to keep them from swimming any farther back up the river on Tuesday. Some crews tried to herd the two humpbacks by banging metal pipes beneath the water in an effort to drive them downstream. The challenge, officials said, was encouraging the pair to return to salt water quickly but without resorting to tactics that could upset the wounded whales.