In-demand Juventus striker Alvaro Morata 1 Arsenal and Liverpool target Alvaro Morata has sparked further uncertainty over his future by admitting he is unsure about which club he wants to play for.Real Madrid have a buy-back option on the Juventus forward and are expected to activate that clause in the summer.But Juve are desperate to keep hold of the Spaniard, who played a pivotal role in last season’s run to the Champions League final and has continued to win over the club’s fans this term.Real may consider selling Morata to an English club should they opt to exercise their right to buy back the 23-year-old, with Arsenal and Liverpool both keen on making bids.Morata insists he is happy in Turin and is seeking clarity over his future to he can make concrete plans.“It’s difficult for me because I don’t have the certainty of knowing where I’ll be and it’s a strange situation,” he told AS.“I want the matter of the repurchase or not to be resolved. I’m happy [at Juve] but I want to know where I have to buy a house, so I want to know where I’m going to be.“I’m happy at Juventus but I would like all of this [speculation] to be stopped.“Back to Madrid? It’s something that exists and it’s a real possibility because it’s a contract, there are documents. I’m looking forward to this being finished.”
Aaron Donald and … The new league year begins March 13 with the start of free agency, but the 2019 season unofficially started this week with the NFL Scouting Combine.Beat writers Matt Schneidman (Raiders) and Cam Inman (49ers) have got you covered in Indianapolis for their respective teams. Here are some other issues to be sorted out in a league-wide sense between now and free agency, the draft, minicamps, training camps and finally the playing of games.The Donald/Mack effect
The families of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are hoping to set up a fund to finance a continued search for the Boeing 777.The move comes after the governments of Australia, Malaysia and China called off the official search in January, despite calls for it to continue.The search, led by Australian safety investigators, had combed a 120,000 sq. km initial search area in the southern Indian Ocean without finding the plane. A group of international experts had recommended sweeping an additional 25,000 sq. kms identified using new ocean drift modelling but the governments refused to heed the advice.Other experts subsequently joined the call for the search to continue but without success.The decision means the disappearance of the plane and its 239 passengers and crew while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, remains this century’s biggest aviation mystery. Jiang Hui, whose mother was on the plane, told CNN on Saturday that relatives were working to create an international fund made up of donations from parties involved in the flight such as governments, plane-maker Boeing and Malaysia Airlines.”The fund will be invested and the annual investment returns or interests will be used for the search of MH370,” Jiang said. “Once the plane is found, the original donation will be returned to the donors, without interest.”There have been a plethora of theories about the fate of MH370 which include a deliberate move by the captain to destroy the plane as well as a possible fire and problems with sensitive electronics.While there is general agreement there was human input early in the flight there have been disagreements about whether anybody was at the controls prior to it plunging into the sea.International experts analysing information from satellite handshakes and debris from the plane believe it was uncontrolled when the engines flamed out.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We’re enjoying the sunshine today. I got some fertilizer spread on Friday and it was just dry enough to where we could get in the field and it rained again. Some places got .4-inch and some places got .9-inch, so we’re still wet. I am hoping I can be back in the field tomorrow afternoon. Then there is a chance of showers Wednesday, Thursday and Friday into the weekend, but at least it looks like we’ll have some heat.The corn I planted last Monday is starting to poke through. It has only been in the ground seven days and I’m pretty happy with that. We planted a field of beans right across from that corn last Tuesday or Wednesday and they have sprouted and will be pushing through the ground in the next two days.I have only gotten a day of planting in. We still are in the front quarter of planting and just really getting started. I talked to a friend in Botkins and they haven’t planted anything yet on the east side of town. They should be planting today.I am starting to worry a little, but we still have a good two weeks to get the corn in. As long as we get the heat units, I won’t get too bent out of shape. There is plenty of moisture there and if we get the heat everything should go.There was a bunch of corn planted a month ago around Wilmington and there is some replanting going on already. You never know with Mother Nature. You have to take what you’re given and do the best you can.The hay is prime to be cut and I am worried it will get overripe. If we can still get it cut in two weeks though I think we’ll still be OK. I don’t think we’ll have a big enough window to mow it now.Hopefully the moisture cuts back a little for the wheat. If it looks like it will dry out, I don’t think we’ll need fungicide on the wheat. It looks pretty good but some of it is still pretty short.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We had almost a half-inch of rain this morning and it is raining right now. When you get a dry summer it always seems like fall evens it out.Quite a few of our neighbors have been cutting beans and we cut beans last Thursday. We cut about 80 acres and they were in the mid-40s. They were nothing spectacular. They were a 2.9-maturity but they were on pretty droughty ground and the late rains didn’t help them much at all. I think that is on the lower end of what we were expecting and I think that will be among our lower yields.I hand sampled some corn yesterday and I had one sample at 30% and another at 22% in the same field but a different variety. That field was planted the end of April and it was 108-day corn. The stalk quality is really poor and if it gets much drier we will switch to corn. A lot of the stalks are starting to break over and we are seeing some ears dropping from the drought stress.Out of a dozen ears I pulled yesterday there were two that were moldy. The top parts of the stalks were still green and an all day rain like we may get today and these warm temperatures do not help.The temperatures have pushed things along, especially on the soybeans. Once it dries up again we will have 300 to 400 acres of beans we’ll be ready to cut. We have had some big winds come through that have flattened little spots in our fields here and there. Our biggest concern is the stalk quality but we don’t want to spend a fortune drying corn either.
Garth Heutel is an associate professor of economics at Georgia State University. This post originally appeared at The Conversation. Environmental economics 101Many renewable energy experts, including economists like me, want governments to do something to address climate change but question the mandate.University of California, Berkeley economist Severin Borenstein summed up this take in his open letter to the California Energy Commission opposing the rule. University of California, Davis economist James Bushnell also opposes the mandate for similar reasons.Above all, what we economists call “command-and-control policies” like this mandate — inflexible requirements that apply to everyone — often don’t make sense. For example, going solar is less economical in some cases. Even in sunny California, builders can construct housing in shady areas, and not all homeowners use enough electricity for the investment to pay off before they move away.The mandate does have some exemptions tied to shade and available roof space, but there could property owners subjected to the requirement to own or lease solar panels who might consider it unreasonable.We tend to think that “market-based policies” would work better. By relying on incentives instead of requirements, people get to decide for themselves what to do.Good examples of these policies include a tax on pollution, like British Columbia’s carbon tax, or a cap-and-trade market, like the European Union’s Emissions Trading System. Instead of restricting the right to pollute, these approaches make people and businesses pay to pollute, either through taxation or by buying mandatory permits.The flexibility of market-based policies can make meeting pollution reduction goals cost-effective. When people — or businesses — have to factor the costs of pollution into their decision-making, they have a financial incentive to pollute less and will find ways to do so. By reducing pollution as cheaply as possible, more money is left over to spend on other pressing needs like housing, health care and education.This advantage is not merely theoretical. By many accounts, market-based policies have successfully worked according to theory, including the U.S. sulfur dioxide trading program and the EU’s carbon trading program.California itself has a cap-and-trade market. I believe that expanding and improving it would cut carbon emissions more cost-effectively than the solar mandate would.Many economists also fear that the mandate will worsen California’s housing unaffordability. This crisis has many causes, such as restrictive zoning regulations that curtail construction. But the solar-panel requirement, which could increase the cost of a new home by more than $10,000, probably won’t help, even though supporters of the policy argue that the solar panels will pay for themselves in terms of lower monthly electricity costs. More than two sidesYou might expect the debate over this policy, which became official when the California Energy Commission unanimously voted in favor of it on May 8, to pit two well-defined camps against each other.Environmentalists who prize fighting climate change might love it due to a presumption that increasing the share of power California derives from solar panels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting demand for natural gas and coal.On the other hand, those who question whether the costs of addressing climate change are worth it might hate the solar mandate, since they either see no benefits or think the benefits aren’t worth the costs. More California rooftops will soon sport solar panels, partly due to a new state mandate requiring them for all new houses and low-rise residential buildings by 2020.This rule immediately sparked lively debates. Even experts who generally advocate for solar energy expressed skepticism that it was actually a good idea.As an environmental economist who studies the design of environmental policies, I believe that doing something about climate change is important, but I don’t consider this new solar mandate to be the best way to achieve that goal. I’m also concerned that it could exacerbate problems with California’s housing market. But there are more than two sides. A practical policyAfter mulling all the various arguments made by these different camps, I don’t think that whether California’s rooftop solar mandate is the perfect policy for the climate or the state’s homebuyers is the question.The answer to that question is a resounding no — but that is beside the point because no policy is perfect. The key question is whether this policy — given its imperfections and given the difficulty in passing more cost-effective policies — is a winner overall. That question is harder to answer.Ultimately, I believe the mandate will yield some environmental benefits, though they could be more cost-effectively achieved through other means. The solar mandate’s fansThe solar mandate’s defenders, including Gov. Jerry Brown and Sierra Club leader Rachel Golden, make several arguments — two of which I find credible.The first is what I’d call the “Panglossian” argument, after the character in Candide, Voltaire’s 18th-century classic satire. In what Voltaire would call “the best of all possible worlds,” taxing carbon would make perfect sense.But this is a world riddled with political obstacles that make enacting almost any climate policy next to impossible. If a big American state can enact an imperfect law like this mandate that might do some good, then it should go for it.The other argument I find reasonable is that by drumming up more demand, the solar mandate will expand the solar panel market — thereby driving solar costs down, perhaps more quickly than a carbon tax would. There’s some evidence supporting the theory that these mandates can spur innovation in renewable electricity technologies.If the mandate works out, it might address two issues at once: shrinking California’s carbon footprint and bolstering technological progress in the solar industry.To be sure, the cost of residential solar panels has plummeted in recent years, although generating solar energy through rooftop panels remains less cost-effective than power from utility-scale solar farms. RELATED ARTICLES California Poised to Require Solar PanelsThe California ModelTo Net Zero and Beyond The Department of Energy Chooses a Definition for Net ZeroBuilding a Low-Cost Zero-Energy HomeRevisiting Net Zero Energy
Political parties in the State are making sure their ground-level staffers are primed for the forthcoming general elections. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is micro-planning by appointing ‘panna-pramukhs’ across the State, the Shiv Sena’s new handbook for ‘gatpramukhs’, the lowest level in the organisational hierarchy, is doing the rounds. It spells out tasks designated to around 25,000 gatpramukhs across Maharashtra. Panna pramukhs, on the other hand, are workers who will come in contact with voters who are on the electoral list.The Shiv Sena has published a special handbook which details the work expected from a gatpramukh. This includes keeping tabs on the voter’s list; keeping a record of the voters who have migrated or are dead; keeping a record of voters who have traditionally voted for the Sena and those who tilt towards other parties; communicating the party programme, initiatives and schemes to voters in the area; maintaining a cordial relationship with voters, ensuring their problems are solved; taking a lead in finding a solution to possible quarrels, and maintaining a clean image. These individuals are also tasked with continuously informing ward presidents and deputies about issues in the area assigned to them. “One might find the concept of the panna-pramukh very interesting, but the Shiv Sena has been implementing it successfully for over two decades. The gatpramukh is the reason the Sena is directly connected to voters across wards in Mumbai,” said a senior Sena leader. As per the party’s organisational structure, a gatpramukh is the lowest-ranking official but one of its most important; he or she maintains contact with voters in 15 to 20 houses on a daily basis. Sensing that all parties, especially the BJP, are focusing on micro-planning, the Sena too is investing more in its gatpramukh.According to the Sena leader, the party has appointed over 25,000 gatpramukhs across the State. “Each one of them is tasked with 15 to 20 families. They will be involved in everything from maintaining cordial relationships with them to bringing them out to vote. This isn’t new for us. The system has been in place in a majority of 48 Lok Sabha constituencies.”
Former Punjab BJP president and senior party leader Kamal Sharma passed away on the morning of October 27 after suffering a heart attack in Ferozepur district.Mr. Sharma, 48, went for a morning walk when he suffered a heart attack, a close aide of Mr. Sharma saidHe was taken to a local hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead, he said.Mr. Sharma is survived by his wife and two children.Two hours back, Mr. Sharma had greeted people on Deepavali through his Twitter handle.