FIFA: Turkey safe for U20 World Cup

first_imgFIFA have assured that all those involved in the U20 World Cup in Turkey are safe despite media reports on the riots in major cities in the country.Anti-government protests have been going on for about two weeks now in the major cities of Istanbul and Ankara forcing police to use some force to stop them.The U20 World Cup kicks off on June 21 with an opening game between debutants Cuba and South Korea.Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana and Mali will represent Africa at the tournament.In a circular dated June 11 and signed by deputy secretary general Markus Kattner, FIFA said the World Cup will go ahead as scheduled as the protests will not affect the tournament.The world football governing body said they are in regular contact with the Turkish government as regards security and they have received further assurances from the Turkish National Police.last_img read more

Jagdeo condemns removal of tax waiver on manufacturing inputs

first_img– calls for immediate reversal of “anti-manufacturing policy”Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday criticised the Government’s move to remove the tax waiver on inputs previously enjoyed by the local manufacturing sector. “The Government has gone completely insane,” Jagdeo declared in a statement. He posited that this was a desperate measure to bolster dwindling tax revenues.“Rather than address the core reasons for the revenue shortfall, which is the precipitous drop in economic activities in the country and the ineptitude in defining a way forward, the Government has resorted to targeting the productive sectors of our economy,” he said.The former President asserted that the Government appeared to be ill-advised on policy matters.”[The change] … will have dire consequences for those companies and may result in the closure of some of them and the loss of thousands of jobs,” he predicted.In this regard, Jagdeo is calling on the Government to immediately reverse what he deemed an anti-manufacturing policy.Efforts to contact Finance Minister Winston Jordan for a comment proved futile.In May, President David Granger stated that the Government was moving to reduce concessions to foreign investors in order to create a level playing field for local investors.“We want to ensure that foreigners are not given concessions, waivers and rebates, to which other people are not entitled. In fact, we want to reduce the amount of these concessions so that we become more competitive,” he stated.The President had said he was concerned that businesses would become too reliant on concessions and not do enough to develop their enterprises and resources.At that time, Jagdeo pointed out that it was absurd that the Head of State would make such a comment, adding that the move was “most counterproductive and anti-investment”. He said, “The President views the investment regime, which is currently in place intending to attract direct foreign investments, as too generous and promised that his Government will reduce these concessions.”Jagdeo had in the past lambasted the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration for initiating anti-Private Sector measures.He had highlighted that prominent among the measures was the political contamination of the Guyana Revenue Authority. Jagdeo explained that “sweetheart” deals were being offered to those who have been identified as making “political investments”, thereby creating an uneven playing field for their competitors.He also mentioned the fact that policies were being formulated and implemented without any studies and understanding of the technical nature of the issues, for example, the announcement of policies regarding high levels of remission without an appreciation of a related incentive regime.last_img read more

A’s Bob Melvin: Raiders move might give his guys a cushier clubhouse

first_imgST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Following Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, the A’s will have Thursday off and head home for Friday night’s weekend series opener against the Seattle Mariners.But before the A’s met the Rays for the final time, pregame talk turned to the club’s potential new home — the proposed 34,000-seat Oakland Ballpark at Jack London Square that could open as early as 2023.The Rays, who have a lease at the Trop through 2027, are …last_img read more

Mandela leaves hospital

first_imgFormer South African President Nelson Mandela has reportedly been seen by a specialist pulmonologist, who treats respiratory systems. His respiratory problems date back to when he was imprisoned on Robben Island, where he suffered from tuberculosis. (Image: 46664) MEDIA CONTACTS • Zizi Kodwa Special Advisor on Communications The Presidency +27 82 330 4910 • Thabo Masebe The Presidency +27 82 410 8087 • Ndivhuwo Mabaya The Presidency +27 83 645 7838 • Sello Hatang Information communications manager Nelson Mandela Foundation +27 11 547 5600Following a health scare that has gripped the world, former South African President is to be released from hospital to receive medical care at home, it was announced at a news conference on Friday.Speaking at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, where Mandela was admitted for an acute respiratory infection on Wednesday, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe thanked well-wishers at home and abroad for their messages of support for the 92-year-old former statesman.Also at the press event, Lieutenant General Vejay Ramlakan, Surgeon-General of the South African National Defence Force, said he is satisfied with Mandela’s recovery. “He will be discharged to receive home-based care at his home.”On Thursday night Motlanthe issued a statement that speculation that Mandela’s health had seriously deteriorated was unfounded and that he was in high spirits.“We wish to confirm that Mr Mandela is in Milpark Hospital undergoing a few specialised tests and investigations,” Motlanthe said. “Given the medical history of our former president, his health over the last few years and his age, these tests are necessary in order to provide optimal health care.”The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon confirming that he had been admitted, issued no further comment on Thursday, leading to speculation that his health had seriously deteriorated.On Thursday, high-profile government officials, politicians, friends and family members were seen going in and out of the hospital.According to some media reports, Mandela has been seen by a specialist pulmonologist, who treats respiratory systems. His respiratory problems date back to when he was on Robben Island, where he suffered from tuberculosis.“Mandela suffers from ailments common to people of his age, and conditions that have developed over the years,” Motlanthe said. “We may recall that he suffered from tuberculosis while on Robben Island and has had previous respiratory infections.”The South African National Defence Force is responsible for the medical requirements and care of the country’s current and retired presidents. Motlanthe said that he had tasked the Defence Force with ensuring that all necessary support was provided to the former president and his family.“I can assure all South Africans and the world that Madiba is in good hands,” he said.On Thursday the presidency urged restraint in the face of growing international media frenzy over Mandela’s health and the horde of journalist camped out at the Milpark Hospital.“We urge the media to afford him the dignity and respect that he is entitled to as the country’s founding democratic president, as a national hero and also as a citizen of the republic,” presidential spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.“The media should balance the quest for stories with acting within the bounds of human decency and ensuring the respect for human dignity. The doctors also need to be allowed to do their work without undue pressure.“President Zuma wishes former President Mandela well and requests that the family be accorded space to support him in privacy and dignity.”last_img read more

Purdue dedicates first field phenotyping facility in North America

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Dedication ceremonies were held Aug. 29 for the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center, a 25,500-square-foot facility at the Purdue Agronomy Center for Research and Education.The center will support state-of-the-art research in automated field phenotyping, the process of measuring and analyzing observable plant characteristics.The Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center is a core component of the plant sciences research and education initiative, part of Purdue Moves, announced in 2013 to broaden Purdue’s global impact and enhance educational opportunities for students. It is the first field phenotyping facility in North America.“It will require truly revolutionary new technologies to feed a world of 9 billion people and to do so in a way friendly to the environment,” said Mitch Daniels, Purdue president. “The Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center will play a big part in meeting this most urgent of global challenges.”Jay Akridge, the Glenn W Sample Dean of Agriculture, said the facility will broaden research.“This facility, the only one of its kind at an American university, brings together multidisciplinary teams of faculty and students to develop innovative technologies in plant agriculture,” he said. “Scientists, engineers and aviation specialists are collaborating to apply their expertise to the most pressing problems in plant sciences and our food production system.”Karen Plaut, senior associate dean and director of research in Purdue’s College of Agriculture, said, “Advances in plant genomics have surged over the last decade, enabling scientists to quickly and cheaply sequence the genetic code of key crops. However, technology that captures how these genes are observably expressed in plants, their phenotype, has lagged behind. This center will close this gap to enhance crop yield, nutritional attributes and protect the environment.”The $15 million center is supported with a combined $4 million investment from the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council. AgReliant Genetics, Ag Alumni Seed and ALMACO are also key partners in the project.“Indiana soybean farmers know that we need to think outside the box when it comes to new technologies, said Joe Steinkamp, president of the Indiana Soybean Alliance and a farmer from Evansville. We are excited to partner with Purdue University to place our farmers on the forefront of research that will develop technology to move agriculture forward.”David Gottbrath, Indiana Corn Marketing Council president and a farmer from Pekin, also praised the facility’s potential impact.“This opportunity gives us the chance to invest corn checkoff dollars in a project that will benefit farmers now and in the future,” he said. “We believe that not only the research but also the students who will be trained here will play a vital role in helping farmers remain efficient and sustainable.”last_img read more

Ohio Agricultural Fertilizer Certification deadline looming

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A strong coalition consisting of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), The Ohio State University and several state agricultural organizations are encouraging farmers to attend training courses for the Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification Program.Signed into law by Governor John R. Kasich in May 2014, Ohio Senate Bill 150 created a first of its kind certification program for applying commercial fertilizer in Ohio. Focusing on science-based practices, the bill requires farmers applying commercial fertilizer to more than 50 acres to attend a course on fertilizer application.“Fertilizer Certification Training is important for the farming community in a number of different ways,” said David T. Daniels, ODA Director. “Farmers and agriculturalists want to be part of a good economy and we know that we produce food and fiber for all of the United States and other parts of the world. Lake Erie is extremely important to that production and we want to be sure that we are as productive as we can possibly be, but we need to also be sure we take the environment into consideration as do that.”After over two years of meetings, the Fertilizer Certification Program to date has certified almost 12,000 farmers and those that apply nutrients to farm fields and there are about 6,000 to 10,000 more people that need to become certified before the deadline this fall.“The reason that three years was given is because that coincides with the time that pesticide certification happens in Ohio,” Daniels said. “It has given farmers an opportunity to get all of their training at once and to get those new best management practices under their belts.”OSU Extension will hold numerous training sessions across all regions of the state this winter, with 80 counties holding meetings between now and April. The training sessions focus on best management practices and the latest research to keep nutrients in the field and available to crops while reducing nutrients leaving the field.“ODA is a regulatory agency and not a punitive agency, so our goal is to help people come into compliance and with our partners at Ohio State offering more than ample opportunities to get trained that shouldn’t be a problem,” Daniels said. “With that said, we do have a responsibility to make sure that Senate Bill 150 and its legislative intent is met and if we do find people that are applying without being certified we are going to have to take action against those folks to bring them into compliance and we have plenty of tools in our toolbox to do that.”Warnings will be given to those not certified by the Sept. 30 deadline and those that receive warnings will also be asked to stop applying fertilizer until their certification is complete. In the most extreme cases of non-compliance, misdemeanor charges could be filed.Of the farmers that have taken the certification course, 93% said that it improved their knowledge of certification and near all of the participants said that learned something through the process that helps them with their production practices, saves them money and helps them through environmental stewardship.For more information on certification training, farmers can visit www.nutrienteducation.osu.edu. Once there, farmers can learn more about the training and even sign up for classes in their area.last_img read more

London Olympics 2012: Germany take women’s sprint gold after China demoted

first_imgChina’s Gong Jinjie and Guo Shuang were demoted to the silver medal in the women’s team sprint cycling Thursday, with gold going to Germany’s Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte here at the Olympics.The Chinese pair appeared to have been relegated for an illegal changeover, the same fault that had earlier stopped Britain’s Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish competing in the final after initially qualifying in the German pair’s place.The medal ceremony was delayed as the Chinese riders and coaches argued with cycling officials.Gong and Guo set a time of 32.619 seconds in the final, 0.197 seconds outside the world record they had set earlier in the day, and 0.179 seconds faster than Vogel and Welte.The Australian pair of Kaarle McCullogh and Anna Meares charged to victory in the bronze medal race, beating the Ukrainian pair of Olena Tsyos and Lyubov Shulika.McCullogh and Meares won in a time of 32.727 seconds, which would have been an Olympic record earlier in the day, with the Ukrainian 0.764 seconds behind.last_img read more

Danaos Moves Back to Profitability

first_imgzoom Danaos Corporation has become the latest containership owner to announce a return to profit as it benefited from a high charter contract coverage in 4Q 2017. The company recorded a net income of USD 22.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to a loss of USD 446.6 million seen in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.What is more, operating revenues increased by 1.9 percent to USD 114.2 million in the three months ended December 31, 2017, from USD 112.1 million reported in the same period of 2016.“Our earnings for the fourth quarter of 2017 improved markedly when compared to the earnings of the fourth quarter of 2016 which had been negatively impacted in the aftermath of the Hanjin bankruptcy,” John Coustas, Danaos’ CEO, explained.“This is mainly the result of our high charter contract coverage which remains at 86% for the next 12 months based on current operating revenues and 69% in terms of contracted operating days,” he added.Net income for 2017 stood at USD 83.9 million, against a net loss of USD 366.2 million posted in 2016, while operating revenues amounted to USD 451.7 million in 2017, compared to USD 498.332 million in 2016.As previously reported, Danaos is in breach of certain financial covenants as a result of the Hanjin bankruptcy.“We are currently engaged in discussions with our lenders regarding restructuring our debt, substantially all of which matures on December 31, 2018. In the meantime, we continue to generate positive cash flows from our operations and currently have sufficient liquidity to service all our operational obligations as well as all scheduled principal amortization and interest payments,” Coustas said.Although the charter market has stabilized “at slightly better levels” compared to the lows of 2016, Danaos’ CEO said the company does not expect a material improvement in the market environment this year given the large number of scheduled vessel deliveries.“During this extended period of market weakness which has presented many challenges, we remain focused on taking necessary actions to preserve the value of our company,” Coustas concluded.Danaos’ fleet currently comprises 59 vessels ranging from 2,200 to 13,100 TEU.last_img read more

California crabbers use GPS to find whalekilling gear

first_imgHALF MOON BAY, Calif. – Fisherman Jake Bunch leans over the side of the fishing boat “Sadie K,” spears his catch, and reels it aboard: an abandoned crab pot, dangling one limp lasagna noodle of kelp and dozens of feet of rope, just the kind of fishing gear that has been snaring an increasing number of whales off U.S. coasts.Confirmed counts of humpbacks, blue and other endangered or threatened species of whale entangled by the ropes, buoys and anchors of fishing gear hit a record 50 on the East Coast last year, and tied the record on the West Coast at 48, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The accidental entanglements can gouge whales’ flesh and mouth, weaken the animals, drown them, or kill them painfully, over months.This year, Bunch is one of small number of commercial fishermen out of Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, and five other ports up and down California who headed to sea again after the West Coast’s Dungeness crab season ended this summer.The California fishermen are part of a new effort using their cellphones’ GPS and new software pinpointing areas where lost or abandoned crabbing gear has been spotted. They retrieve the gear for a payment — at Half Moon Bay, it’s $65 per pot —before the fishing ropes can snag a whale.Especially stormy weather this year has meant more wayward crabbing gear than usual, Bunch said recently on a grey late-summer morning at sea.“Makes it all the more important to pick it up,” he says.Bunch spots the algae-blackened buoy of his first derelict crab pot of the day just after a humpback surfaces near the Sadie K.Leaning out the window of his boat’s cabin, Bunch uses his phone to snap a picture of the spot, capturing its location via the GPS setting. Then he hauls in the crab pot, the size and shape of a giant truck tire, and removes the owner’s tag inside that California mandates. He tosses the lone live crab inside the pot back into the water — it’s the off-season.The crab gear goes back to Bunch’s port, which charges the original owners $100 for returning the lost gear — a bargain, compared to the $250 a new pot costs.California fishermen and port officials working with the Nature Conservancy environmental group developed the program, designed to be affordable and easy enough for ports to manage on their own.West Coast fishermen annually lose thousands of pots for Dungeness crabs, which are a staple of Thanksgiving dinners and community crab feeds across California.Dungeness bring in tens of millions of dollars in revenue in a good year. But they also are the single-largest identifiable source of fishing gear entangling whales on the West Coast. Crab pots and the lines can get carried away by waves or by vessels that accidentally snag them. Sometimes fishermen abandon their pots or lose them.On the East Coast, meanwhile, lobster traps and gillnets are among the culprits in whale entanglements.On both coasts, fishermen and others regularly join missions to cut free whales found tangled in gear. Last July, a Canadian fisherman was killed while rescuing an Atlantic right whale snagged by lines.Clearly, “taking gear off the whales is not the solution to the problem. At all,” said Justin Viezbicke, who tracks West Coast entanglements for NOAA federal fisheries. The answer is “prevent these things from happening in the future.”Off the West Coast, changes in ocean temperatures in recent years mean fishermen and whales increasingly have found themselves in the same waters.The surge in whale entanglements has fueled tensions in California between commercial fishing operators eager to show they are trying to tackle the problems and some conservationists.Some environmental groups say the state should put in place more mandatory protection measures, such as blocking fishermen from especially important waters for whales.One group, the Center for Biological Diversity, filed notice this summer that it plans to sue California for allegedly not doing enough to keep the Dungeness crab fishery from killing protected whale species.“We’ve been hearing for years now from both the state of California and fishermen that they care about the problem and want to address it,” said Kristen Monsell, a staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.“But nothing has changed other than more whales are getting tangled off our coast and dying painful, tragic deaths,” Monsell said.On this morning, Bunch quickly reels in nine derelict crab pots in fewer than two hours.Back at Half Moon Bay port, Lisa Damrosch, executive director of the local seafood marketing association, has taken in about 450 recovered crab pots so far this year, stacking them behind a fence to return them to their owners before the crucial holiday season for Dungeness crab.“No one wants to entangle a single whale,” Damrosch said. But “the best fishermen in the world are going to lose a pot.”last_img read more