American Soybean Association (ASA) President Mark Berg testified before the House International Relations Committee last week to present soybean producers’ views on trade issues with the European Union (EU) concerning agricultural products derived from biotechnology. Berg, a Tripp, South Dakota soybean grower, pointed to the rapid acceptance of biotech crops by U.S. farmers as an important factor for addressing EU delays in approving imports of these new varieties.”After many years of seeing the technology advance, and now with the commercialization developing rapidly, American farmers are very eager to take advantage of the benefits plant biotechnology offers,” said Berg.Berg reported that 30 percent of U.S. soybean acreage, 25 percent of corn acreage and 40 percent of cotton acreage—a total of 44 million acres—would be planted with genetically modified varieties in 1998. “This rapid expansion is possible not only because of the developments in technology, but also the regulatory system in the United States which efficiently evaluates the safety of genetically modified crops using science-based risk assessments.”The United States has approved the marketing of three soybean varieties and fifteen corn varieties since 1996. In contrast, the EU has approved the marketing of only one soybean variety and one corn variety. EU delays in approvals are beginning to disrupt marketing of U.S. commodities to European Markets, prompting Berg to make five recommendations.”First we need the EU to adopt a much more transparent and efficient process for approving new biotech varieties,” said Berg who cited frustration with the EU changing its approval process in midstream.The second action Berg suggested is for biotech and seed companies to seek clearances for new varieties in major U.S. export markets on a timely basis, and preferably before they are commercialized in the United States. To prevent trade sanctions against all U.S. soybeans, ASA has requested that each company currently in the soybean biotech arena not launch biotech varieties into commercial markets until the varieties are approved overseas as well as in the United States. ASA has received assurances for 1998 that companies will postpone their commercial launches of unapproved varieties.Berg’s third request was for the EU and other countries to accept that there is no scientific basis for requiring segregation or labeling of biotech varieties that have been determined to be substantially equivalent to conventional varieties in terms of safety, nutrition and composition.Fourth, the Clinton Administration needs to engage the EU in an effort to reach agreement to recognize each other’s procedures for approving and commercializing biotech crops and products.Berg’s final recommendation was that rules governing biotech should be included in the next World Trade Organization negotiations. “The language in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement in the Uruguay Round Agreement must be clarified to apply to biotech crops and products, and to supersede the rules of any other international treaty or agreement,” Berg said.
ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) program recently hosted farmer field day events at seven sites throughout Pakistan. The Farmers’ Field Days are part of the outreach strategy under WISHH’s FEEDing Pakistan program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.The events provided an opportunity for stakeholders to witness the harvest of tilapia fed hi-protein fish feed produced with U.S. soybean meal. More than 450 participants attended the events including progressive fish farmers, members of academia, research fellows, fish traders, feed millers, federal government officials, provincial government officials, representatives from the fisheries department and members of the media.Attendees were highly impressed with the growth of the fish that had been fed the newly-introduced feed.Field Day participants witness the harvesting of tilapia before discussing the value of soy in fish feed. (WISHH photo)
As Congress works to conclude business before adjourning for the year, reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit is still pending and the American Soybean Association (ASA) is asking growers to contact your House and Senate offices to reiterate soybean industry support.ASA continues to work for enactment of a tax extenders package that includes a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax credit and we will continue to update you on developments.Last week updated stand-alone, marker legislation was introduced in the House and Senate to reinstate the biodiesel tax credit and reform it to a producer’s credit beginning in 2016. The House bill was introduced by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), while the Senate version was introduced by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) as an update to their earlier legislation that passed the Senate Finance Committee in July.In addition to restructuring it from a blender’s to a producer’s tax credit to further bolster the domestic biodiesel industry and reduce costs, the bills also include an important technical update ensuring that biodiesel used on-farm, as Bioheat, or other off-road applications will not incur excise tax at any point and avoids the need for a refund process for those applications.Senators and Representatives are urged to sign-on to the Grassley-Cantwell and/or Noem-Pascrell marker bills to demonstrate support for the biodiesel tax credit as Congress negotiates the parameters of a tax extenders package.The biodiesel tax credit expired again on Dec. 31, 2014. Extension of the tax incentive is critical to the industry’s existence and growth. In July, the Senate Finance Committee passed a tax extenders package that includes a two year extension of the biodiesel credit retroactive for 2015 and through Dec. 31, 2016. It would remain a blender’s credit for 2015 but shift to a producer’s credit for 2016.ASA, along with our partners at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), support a restructuring of the tax credit from a blender’s credit to a production tax creditShifting from a blender’s credit to a producer’s credit would restrict the ability of foreign subsidized biodiesel – often coming from countries that do not allow reciprocal access to their markets for U.S. biodiesel – to displace domestically produced biodiesel in our own market. Shifting to a production credit would also reduce the score for the cost of the biodiesel tax credit.This change will further support domestic biodiesel production versus imported biodiesel, improve administration of the incentive, eliminate potential abuses and improve tax compliance. Shifting to a production credit would also reduce the score for the cost of the biodiesel tax credit.Visit the Soy Action Center, for an email with background and talking points for your use in communicating with congressional offices.If you have any questions, please contact Tom Hance in the ASA Washington office at: email@example.com or 202-969-7040.
In the constant juggling act that is the Northwest power grid, utility managers always watch two basic factors: energy supply and energy demand. The two must be equal at all times.Sounds simple, right?Not quite. This year, local and regional utilities have gone to extreme measures to keep things in balance.“We’ve had a tremendous amount of supply mixed with low demand,” said Mike Hansen, a Bonneville Power Administration spokesman.The unusually unbalanced conditions have dropped market energy prices far below normal levels, according to Hansen — a trend that’s continued into this summer. That prompted Clark Public Utilities to shut down its River Road power Generating Plant for an unprecedented period of nearly seven months, said power manager Lynn Latendresse. Basically, it was cheaper for Clark Public Utilities to purchase power from outside the system than produce the energy itself, she said.It’s not unusual for Clark Public Utilities to shut down the River Road facility at times throughout the year. But it has never done so as early as January, and never for this long, Latendresse said. River Road just came back online Aug. 1, she said.“This year has been highly unusual,” Latendresse said.The net impact for ratepayers is essentially a wash, according to Latendresse. Lower energy prices push Clark Public Utilities’ costs down, but they also push down revenues from the electricity it sells to other systems, she said.High water on the Columbia River has provided abundant fuel for the region’s hydroelectric dams since last winter. Meanwhile, an ever-growing collection of wind farms — mostly in the Columbia River Gorge — continue to pump more energy into the system when they’re spinning. The region’s wind farms are now capable of producing more than 3,500 megawatts of energy combined, almost double their capacity just two years ago.
Firefighters are on the scene of a house where smoke was reported in the attic.They were called about 3:22 p.m. to 1701 N.W. Seventh Court in Battle Ground.No flames or smoke were visible from the street, but a smoke detector was sounding and there was smoke in the attic area.Firefighters are investigating.The 15-year-old ranch-style home is owned by John Hoffman, according to county records. It is in the Falcon Chase neighborhood.
OLYMPIA — An education advocacy group that typically supports Democrats endorsed Republican Rob McKenna for governor Friday, saying he has concrete proposals that would improve outcomes for students.Stand for Children Washington said McKenna, the state’s attorney general, was aligned with the group’s policy goals. He drew the support of board member Jennifer Vranek, a lifelong Democrat who acknowledged struggling with the decision to back McKenna.“The fact is that party labels just aren’t a good enough reason to not endorse the right champion for education,” she said. “I was really impressed with McKenna’s depth of knowledge and passion about education. We’re looking for a change agent, and after the interviews it was clear that Rob McKenna will prioritize education and get better results for our kids.”In the 2008 election, Stand for Children endorsed Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire. The group also gave 19 legislative endorsements to Democrats that year, compared to just six for Republicans.Candidates’ responsesMcKenna has said he wants to shrink other areas of state government to dedicate more funding to education. He also supports charter schools and linking teacher pay to the success of students — two things that Democrats and the teachers union have typically opposed.
ATLANTA — One week after a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, people gathered for nationwide rallies to press for changes to self-defense laws and for federal civil rights charges against the former neighborhood watch leader.The Florida case has become a flashpoint in separate but converging national debates over self-defense, guns, and race relations. Zimmerman, who successfully claimed that he was protecting himself when he shot Martin, identifies as Hispanic. Martin was black.“It’s personal,” said Cincinnati resident Chris Donegan, whose 11-year-old son wore a black hoodie to the rally, as Martin did when he died. “Anybody who is black with kids, Trayvon Martin became our son.”The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network organized the “Justice for Trayvon” rallies and vigils outside federal buildings in at least 101 cities: from New York and Los Angeles to Wichita, Kan., and Atlanta, where people stood in the rain at the base of the federal courthouse, with traffic blocked on surrounding downtown streets.Chants rang out across the rallies. “Justice! Justice! Justice! … Now! Now! Now!” “We won’t forget.” “No justice! No peace!” Many also sang hymns, prayed and held hands.
www.highschoolequity.org/images/WaiversReport_R8.pdfWASHINGTON — Millions of at-risk students could fall through the cracks as the Education Department gives states permission to ignore parts of No Child Left Behind, according to a study education advocates released Tuesday.The Education Department has been giving some states waivers from the education law’s requirements, including those to collect and publish data about students and then use the results to pinpoint problem schools. The resulting patchwork of rules — from Miami to Seattle — has given states more freedom to carry out plans to boost education but has allowed almost 2,300 schools to shed their label of seriously troubled, according to numbers compiled at the Campaign for High School Equity.“It appears to us that waivers could lead to fewer students of color receiving the support they need,” said Rufina Hernandez, executive director for the Campaign for High School Equity.Her coalition of education reformers, civil rights activists and policy analysts studied the 34 states and the District of Columbia that had received waivers from No Child Left Behind before April. (Another six states and a collection of individual districts in California have won waivers since then.)The results show students who are at the highest risk of dropping out — those from poor families, students whose native language is not English, those with learning disabilities and minority students — are often no longer tracked as carefully as they were before Education Secretary Arne Duncan began exempting states from some requirements if they promised to better prepare their students for college or careers.
OLYMPIA — Washington state will allow witnesses to executions to see the entire process, including the insertion of intravenous catheters during a lethal injection, state officials told The Associated Press.The new witness protocol, currently a draft that is in its final stages of approval, includes the use of television monitors to show the inmate entering the death chamber and being strapped down, as well as the insertion of the IVs, which had both previously been shielded from public view. The new technology has already been installed, and officials say the protocol will be finalized within the next week. Through public disclosure requests, the AP had sought information about any potential changes to execution protocols. State corrections officials spoke with the AP about the new procedures this week. The change is in response to a 2012 federal appeals court ruling that said all parts of an execution must be fully open to public witnesses. That ruling was sparked by a case brought by the AP and other news organizations who challenged Idaho’s policy to shield the insertion of IV catheters from public view, in spite of a 2002 ruling from the same court that said every aspect of an execution should be open to witnesses.“We have been working on this for many, many months,” Dan Pacholke, assistant secretary of the prisons division at the state Department of Corrections, said Wednesday.Pacholke said they have been researching the technology needed to make the change and followed the process currently used by Arizona, which provides an overhead view via TV monitor of the IV insertion during an execution.
PUYALLUP — One of the oldest buildings on the grounds of the Washington State Fair was destroyed by fire early Monday, just hours after the spring fair concluded Sunday night, spokeswoman Karen LaFlamme said.No one was inside Evergreen Hall when it caught fire and no one was injured.One piglet from the petting farm died; 49 other animals — including a miniature donkey, goats, alpacas, turkeys, ducks, chickens and rabbits — were safely moved to a nearby barn by firefighters and fair staff. A veterinarian treated some that had breathed in smoke, LaFlamme said.The fire broke out around midnight and went to two alarms before it was extinguished by the Central Pierce fire department. The cause of the fire is under investigation but it apparently began in a food concession area in a corner of the building. The Sales Lunch restaurant has been operated for generations by the same family and is known for its onion burgers and Krusty Pup corndogs.Evergreen Hall was remodeled last year to house the agriculture and floral departments at last fall’s Washington State Fair. During the spring fair, it housed the petting farm and Future Farmer of America displays.There’s no dollar estimate yet of the loss, but the building will probably be replaced, LaFlamme said. Floral and farm displays may be exhibited in a tent in the meantime.The traditional state fair held in September is one of the largest in the nation.
There’s a rare opportunity coming Friday and Saturday — a realistic chance to retain a sturgeon from the Columbia River.Bonneville pool is open Friday and Saturday and again June 20 and 21 from Bonneville Dam upstream to the spawning sanctuary boundary. That boundary stretches from the east dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a marker on the Washington shore.About 850 sturgeon remain on the 1,100 annual guideline.However, boaters should expect windy conditions. The Columbia Gorge windsurfer websites are predicting west winds from 26 to 30 miles per hour both days.Saturday marks the start of the main ocean salmon season off Washington and northern Oregon. Fishing will be open daily from the Columbia River ports with a limit of two hatchery coho or one hatchery coho and one chinook.Monday is the beginning of the summer salmon management period in the Columbia River. The daily bag limit shifts to six fish, of which no more than two may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead.Downstream of Bonneville Dam, adult hatchery summer chinook or any sockeye may be retained only through June 30.State, federal and tribal biologists are forecasting a run of 67,500 summer chinook will enter the Columbia River. Under the plethora of management agreements and allocation plans, sportsmen in the lower Columbia are due 2,414 summer chinook, while the commercials get 1,893.Washington and Oregon on Wednesday approved eight hours of gillnetting from 9 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday from Beacon Rock to the ocean.
Arguably the only good thing about the summer dry spell in Oregon is the skies will be clear enough for a great view of the summer “supermoon” this evening.NPR reports that supermoons only happen a couple times in a person’s life, but we’ll be lucky enough to witness three notably larger moons in the sky this summer: tonight, Aug. 10 and Sept. 9.The full moon will seem much larger than usual, but of course it hasn’t grown. NASA reports that this time of year, the moon is closer to the Earth, creating a “moon illusion.” August will appear to have an extra large supermoon because the Earth’s lone satellite will be closest during that month.You’ll be able to see the phenomenon from anywhere the skies are clear, but it’s recommended to watch the moon rise in the east as the sun sets in the west.USA Today reports that supermoon is a relatively new term, first coined in the ’80s by EarthSky’s Bruce McClure. Scientifically speaking, larger full moons are called perigee full moons, meaning “near Earth.”This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.
NEW YORK — Portland coach Terry Stotts always knows he can dial up LaMarcus Aldridge’s number when the Trail Blazers need someone to settle them down. Aldridge scored 24 points, including six in the final 2:46, and the Trail Blazers regrouped after blowing a 11-point lead in the fourth quarter to beat the New York Knicks 103-99 on Sunday night for their fourth straight victory.“He does that often,” Stotts said. “He’s a stabilizing influence at the offensive end. We have a lot ways we can score, but when things are going a little sideways we usually rely on him.” Carmelo Anthony had 23 points with LeBron James sitting courtside, but the Knicks lost their eighth straight and 12th in their last 13. J.R. Smith scored 20 points off the bench and Amare Stoudemire added 16 for New York, whose 4-18 start is a franchise worst.“Losing games as close as we are losing them, whether it’s five or six points over the past 13 games, this is new to me. This feeling is new to me,” Anthony said.
Suncity Group Holdings Limited’s subsidiary, Suncity Group Management and Consultancy (Sihanoukville) Limited, has expanded its agreement with Golden Sun Sky Entertainment Co., Ltd to include pre-opening and casino management services at an under-construction casino resort in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.The expanded agreement comes one month after Suncity agreed to provide consultancy services for the US$360 million property. According to Suncity, the new agreement will see it provide pre-opening and technical services for the casino of Golden Sun Sky’s integrated tourism resort project during various stages prior to opening. The technical services include assistance in the preliminary design for the casino as well as reviewing the designs and approving drawings in relation to the construction of the IR complex.The pre-opening services will include providing assistance to Golden Sun Sky in relation to preparation for the IR’s operation and design plan, as well as reviewing the timetable and budget for the development. After opening, Suncity will provide management services for the casino for a term of 20 years.Golden Sun Sky’s new Sihanoukville IR, located at Otres Beach, is due to open for business in late 2019. It covers an area of 23.7 hectares with total gross floor area of 650,000 square meters and will stand 130.35 meters tall when complete, including 33 stories above ground and one below.According to Suncity, the hotel will include a casino, hotels, duty free shopping and sports betting facilities among other amenities. 10,000 Chinese citizens flee Sihanoukville in days after Cambodian online gaming directive: report RelatedPosts Sihanoukville authorities threaten legal action against 10 building owners over demolition orders Load More Constance Hsu appointed Group COO of Sihanoukville’s Jin Bei Group
Load More Philippines electronic gaming outlet service provider PhilWeb Corporation has reported a narrowed loss of Php22 million (US$426,000) in 1H19, down from Php45.3 million 12 months earlier, on the back of higher revenue and better cost management.Issuing its first half results on Friday, PhilWeb revealed a 25% increase in revenue to Php246 million (US$4.8 million), while EBITDA grew six-fold to Php16 million compared with Php2.4 million in the prior year period. RelatedPosts Philippines rejects China’s call to ban online gambling PAGCOR revenue to hit Php75 billion in 2020 181 Chinese nationals arrested in dispute over POGO accreditation status The company cited stronger performance from its 68 electronic casino outlets and the addition of 22 co-managed electronic bingo outlets as part of a recent deal with the Palmary group for the improved results.“This shows that we are well on track regarding our commitment to getting PhilWeb back to its former profitability levels, during which times we were able to pay out high dividends to stockholders and generate significant share price increases as well,” said Chairman Gregorio Ma. Araneta III.“PhilWeb remains committed to our role in consistently increasing the revenues of PAGCOR, which we have done for over 13 years.”PhilWeb is an accredited service provider to Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR for its network of electronic gaming outlets.
Professional services firm EY takes a long-term approach to supporting working parents. It is mindful of the life events that many of its employees will experience during their time at the organisation, which includes starting a family.Its approach is made up of a number of components to ensure that it is able to respond to employees’ changing home situations and offer them a high level of support.Maggie Stilwell, managing partner for talent at EY, says: “One of the first elements we offer working parents is flexible working. For all of our people, at whatever level of the organisation, we are empowering them to make sensible, individual decisions around how, when and where they work.“Flexible working is very much used by our working dads, not just mums. It’s something that draws people to EY because they hear of people doing it, and being supported doing it, and how that makes a difference to their ability to manage a family.”EY also offers all its working families access to its parents’ network – just one of its 14-plus employee networks. “It offers a variety of topics that are of interest to working parents,” explains Stilwell. “It offers a buddy scheme for when [an employee] returns to work, and speakers, for example, on helping a child to read.”The organisation also uses the network to consult with staff – for example, when it considered introducing shared parental leave (SPL).EY launched enhanced SPL policies in April 2015. “It’s still early days but we expect between 5% and 10% of our men who are parents to take SPL, and I think it will snowball,” says Stilwell.In addition, EY offers coaching sessions for employees before they take up parental leave, during their leave and on return to work. Stilwell says: “It’s about getting a better transition for people as they come out of the workplace, and then thinking about how they return. We manage that transition more successfully for the business and less stressfully for the indivdual.”
What are the main retirement concerns facing your employees? What retirement support does your organisation offer staff? Is your organisation aware of how the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) might impact workplace pensions?Tell us how your organisation approaches pension saving and helps staff prepare for retirement by taking part in the Employee Benefits Pensions research 2017, in association with Nest.The research is designed to provide insight into how your pensions strategy compares to those of industry peers. It looks at financial education, pensions communications, auto-re-enrolment, and more.The online survey will be open until Friday 22 September 2017.As a thank you for taking part, we will enter you into a prize draw to win £100-worth of retail vouchers. For your chance to win, fill in your details at the end of the survey.The research findings will be available online and in a print supplement.Complete the survey today.
Software organisation Salesforce (pictured), technology business Apple and professional services firm Deloitte are the top three employers to work for in the UK and US, according to research by Power House Truths.The analysis used data from LinkedIn, Glassdoor, PayScale and annual organisational reports to compare business’ average salaries, benefits and employee reviews. More than 210,000 staff member reviews were used to compile the final ranking.Salesforce tops Power Truth’s rankings, and offers an average salary of £84,400. Apple, in second place, provides an average salary of £93,700, while Deloitte comes in third; its average salary is £57,000.The research also explored organisations’ employee benefits packages. Sainsbury’s, for example, was lauded for offering good sick pay, critical illness cover and a 10% employee discount card. Uber, on the other hand, was praised for its flexible working hours, while pharmaceutical business GlaxoSmithKline was recognised for its approach to work-life balance, organisational culture and career opportunities.However, online retailer Amazon was noted to provide comparatively poor work-life balance initiatives and smaller salaries.Other employers featured in the research include Airbnb, Barclays, Bupa, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Google, JP Morgan and Oracle.Karen Dykes, recruitment partner at Anne Corder Recruitment, said: “With talent shortages reported in many sectors, top candidates are looking beyond basic salary offerings to attract them to certain roles.“Benefits packages are most certainly in the spotlight, with a particular focus on those that support work-life balance. These include generous holiday entitlement, healthcare advantages and flexible working.“If a skilled candidate has multiple interview offers, benefits packages will come into play. They may be time-poor in terms of interview preparation, so will narrow the field by evaluating the overall package.”
“This level of amputation is generally very hard, especially when it’s on both legs,” he said. “The fact that she’s so young … It’s re-learning everything you thought you knew about walking.”Victoria is always excited to work, the physical therapist said.“She’s a great little girl. Hard worker, just wanted to jump, get right into everything,” said Victoria’s physical therapist. “She was excited about everything. She never complained. She’s been a joy to work with.”Victoria’s aunt, Marie, said she is impressed with how fast her niece is learning to walk.“When she had the surgery, she goes to school after that, after one week, she goes to school, when she go there, she was walking on her knees,” Marie said.Victoria’s goal is to walk and see her mom and dad on Christmas.“I’m going to see my family and my friends,” she said. MIAMI (WSVN) – An 11-year-old double amputee is making strides thanks to the doctors and nurses at Jackson Memorial Hospital.Victoria Thermitus was born in Haiti with two inverted feet, making it difficult to walk. She was the only surviving baby in a set of triplets.With limited access to medical care, her family could do little to help her.When an earthquake hit Haiti six years ago, her legs were further damaged from rubble falling on top of her.Victoria moved to Miami to live with her aunt last year. In March, the day after her 11th birthday, she underwent a double amputation at Jackson.Then she was fitted for prosthetics, and is now learning to walk on her new legs.Victoria’s physical therapist said Victoria has had to re-learn how to walk. Victoria is also proud of the chores she’s now able to do around the house.“I clean the dishes and around the house,” she said.Victoria wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Students at a Liberty City technical school returned from spring break to discover a surprise from the Miami Heat.The Heat donated $20,000 to D.A. Dorsey Technical College after the school was broken into and burglarized earlier this month. The extra help is all part of The Heat’s Random Acts of Heat initiative.The donation will be used to replace the stolen equipment.Microsoft also donated six surface tablets and software to the technical school.“It really shocked me. It touched me, actually, because The Heat! Wow!” said student Lesli Grisette. “I wasn’t expecting that this morning.”Surveillance video captured the thief getting away with $25,000 worth of computer equipment and nearly $20,000 worth of auto mechanic tools.That thief has still not been caught. If you have any information on this theft, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.