Eagles to Get AITEO’s N50m When they Reconvene for Zambia

first_imgThe Technical partners of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the AITEO Group, has promised to redeem the N50million it pledged to boost Super Eagles’ World Cup 2018 qualifying clashes against Cameroon when the team reconvenes for its next game in October.To boost Super Eagles against reigning African champions Cameroon, the management of Aiteo Group, Nigeria’s foremost oil and gas company, pledged to given to the team N10 Million for every goal scored against the Indomitable Lions in the double header matches in Uyo and Yaounde. John Mikel Obi and his teammates defeated the Lions 4-0 in Uyo before going to Yaounde to be held to a one-all draw game.Speaking on how the N10million-per-goal pledge helped ginger Eagles to crush the Indomitable Lions in the ongoing Russia 2018 qualifiers, Executive Vice Chairman of the AITEO Group, Mr. Benedict Peters, expressed his happiness that the pledge spurred the senior national soccer team to consolidate its leadership of the Group B. “Our ambition is to boost the performance of the Nigerian teams and return the country to the position of dominance in African football,” stressed Mr Peters who watched both matches against Cameroon in Uyo and Yaounde live.The N50million bonus to the team from the oil and gas giants, it was learnt may be donated by the players towards the treatment of the team’s first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, who was diagnosed with acute leukaemia last July.Mr. Peters added: “We are happy with the progress the Super Eagles are making, and are looking forward to having Ikeme return to action for the national team soon. This is our way of showing support for the team and the goalkeeper in particular. As a company, we are interested in the things that integrate and unite Nigerians, and we know that football is at the core of our national pride and international diplomacy.”The recent outstanding performances of the Super Eagles have been attributed to the financial stability the team now enjoys. Many of the team’s key financial needs are being addressed by the N2.7billion sponsorship deal between the NFF and the AITEO Group which is ensuring that major outings of both the senior men and women national footballteams are extensively supported by the oil giant for the next five years.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Starting orders… Sky Sports prepares for launch of dedicated racing channel

first_img StumbleUpon Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 Share Share Related Articles Sky Sports grows American football offering with NFL channel August 14, 2020 EFL announces that all non-Sky Sports fixtures will be available to stream August 27, 2020 Submit Barney Francis – Sky SportsSky Sports is set to launch ‘Sky Sports Racing’ , which will replace ‘At The Races’ as the digital broadcaster’s dedicated horseracing channel.The new racing channel becomes the UK broadcaster’s eleventh ‘dedicated sports channel’, and will feature +650 UK fixtures as well as exclusive international racing content.Entering 2018, Sky UK confirmed that it would expand its racing content having taken a majority 51% stake in racing broadcaster At The Races (ATR).Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, commented on the upcoming launch: “We’ve seen a great reaction from our customers to launching dedicated sports channels and this takes us to another level. Horse racing is a massive sport that Sky has been involved in for two decades, now we will have a channel to give our customers more of what they love every day”.Further to announcing Sky Sports Racing, Sky Sports has secured ten-year exclusive rights deal to showcase Chester Race Company fixtures. Moving forward, Sky Sports Racing will secure the broadcasts for live racing from Chester and Bangor-on-Dee tracks.Backing Sky Sports Racing as its new partner, Richard Thomas, Chief Executive of Chester Race Company, said: “We’re delighted to announce this new deal and long-term partnership. We believe it secures a positive and exciting future for Chester and Bangor-on-Dee Racecourses and fits squarely with our values and ambitions. We know Sky Sports will move the dial in the way our racing is covered but more than that we are excited by the prospect of how we can communicate and promote racing and the Chester brand further.”Matthew Imi – At The RacesMatthew Imi, CEO of At The Races, has backed Sky Sports Racing’s exclusive rights with Chester Company, stating that the new channel will become the leading destination for all racing viewers.“There is no better home for our new channel production facility than Sky Sports’ studios which are the best in the business and we believe Sky Sports Racing is set to be a game changer for racing. Later this year we look forward to presenting our plans in more detail to the major constituents in our sport and racing fans more generally.”last_img read more

BRESSIE LEADS CAMPAIGN AGAINST SUICIDE ACROSS DONEGAL

first_imgDonegal people are being called upon to rally around Cycle Against Suicide which rolls into the county tomorrow (TUES).Europe’s biggest charity awareness cycling event, the Cycle Against Suicide (www.cycleagainstsuicide.com), kicked off at RTE Studios on Monday 22nd April and will finish on Sunday 5th May 2013.Aimed at tackling suicide, the 1,400km 14 days Cycle, starting and finishing in Dublin, is covering a gruelling 100km each day. Cyclists and support crew will be arriving in Donegal on the ninth day of the Cycle, tomorrow Tuesday and will spend 3 days here.Cycle Against Suicide organisers are asking locals to show their support by cheering on the cyclists, which include some of Ireland’s top celebrities Roz Purcell, Bressie, Brent Pope, PJ Gallagher and Colm Hayes.The Cycle will also host an informative event at:Coláiste Cholmcille, College St, Ballyshannon on Tuesday 30th April (11.45am) Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Letterkenny on Tuesday 30th April (5pm)Buncrana Community College, Crana Road, Buncrana on Wednesday 1st May (11.45am)Moville Community College, Carrownaffe, Moville on Wednesday 1st May (4pm)Magh Ene Community College, Bundoran Thursday 2nd May (1pm)Well known judge on The Voice and highly talented singer/songwriter, Bressie, has been confirmed to attend Coláiste Cholmcille Ballyshannon and Letterkenny Institute of Technology so please come out and give a great Donegal welcome to himself, Roz, Jim and all the others on the Cycle Against Suicide this week. Coláiste Cholmcille, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Buncrana Community College, Moville Community College and Magh Ene Community College are just five of the 28 schools and colleges around the country hosting mental health exhibitions of local mental health services and a series of mental health talks during the cycle.Jim Breen, CEO and Founder of PulseLearning Ltd and TriGrandPrix Ltd, devised the initiative following the screening of a TV documentary ‘The Secret Millionaire’ which featured him visiting a suicide awareness group.BRESSIE LEADS CAMPAIGN AGAINST SUICIDE ACROSS DONEGAL was last modified: April 29th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BressiedonegalSUICIDElast_img read more

Bare Feet Were Made for Walking

first_imgYour feet can become hard against rough ground without sacrificing their sensitivity.Years ago, Dr Daniel Lieberman, an endurance runner and physiologist, impressed CEH in Nov. 2004 with his findings that humans are the best endurance runners in the animal kingdom. Even though he is an evolutionist, the number of physical adaptations he described that are necessary for endurance running in an upright posture seem to shout “design.” Now, Lieberman and other scientists have investigated barefoot walkers and found new adaptations that make one wonder if we really need shoes.The human foot is a highly complex apparatus composed of 26 bones, with tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, skin and sensory organs all integrated and coordinated. One anatomist called it a “biomechanical masterpiece.”Foot callus thickness does not trade off protection for tactile sensitivity during walking (Holowka et al., with Daniel Lieberman, Nature). This team studied habitually barefoot walkers in Kenya and made the following observations.Until relatively recently, humans, similar to other animals, were habitually barefoot. Therefore, the soles of our feet were the only direct contact between the body and the ground when walking. There is indirect evidence that footwear such as sandals and moccasins were first invented within the past 40 thousand years, the oldest recovered footwear dates to eight thousand years ago and inexpensive shoes with cushioned heels were not developed until the Industrial Revolution. Because calluses—thickened and hardened areas of the epidermal layer of the skin—are the evolutionary solution to protecting the foot, we wondered whether they differ from shoes in maintaining tactile sensitivity during walking, especially at initial foot contact, to improve safety on surfaces that can be slippery, abrasive or otherwise injurious or uncomfortable. Here we show that, as expected, people from Kenya and the United States who frequently walk barefoot have thicker and harder calluses than those who typically use footwear. However, in contrast to shoes, callus thickness does not trade-off protection, measured as hardness and stiffness, for the ability to perceive tactile stimuli at frequencies experienced during walking. Additionally, unlike cushioned footwear, callus thickness does not affect how hard the feet strike the ground during walking, as indicated by impact forces. Along with providing protection and comfort at the cost of tactile sensitivity, cushioned footwear also lowers rates of loading at impact but increases force impulses, with unknown effects on the skeleton that merit future study.Why callused bare feet are a better fit than cushioned shoes (Editorial, Nature). The editors describe Lieberman as “an evolutionary biologist with something of an obsession for how we use our feet.” They describe us humans as “quite large, as mammals go,” and since we walk upright, our feet take a lot of punishment. Surprisingly, though, the thick calluses that grow on barefoot walkers do not hinder their sense of touch; “although calluses protect our feet, they transmit tactile sensation almost as effectively as does soft skin.” Tenderfeet (i.e., habitual shoe wearers) know the pain of stepping on a Lego piece in the dark hours of the morning.As Lieberman and colleagues observe, a person with callused feet would feel that Lego brick just as acutely. But the researchers also find that bare feet offer a better guide to the force with which our feet strike the ground than do artificially cushioned soles, comfy as those might feel. This difference could have untold consequences for the rest of our skeleton.Barefoot Walking Gives You Calluses That Are Even Better for Your Feet Than Shoes, Study Suggests (Live Science). Christopher Wanjek gives a Darwin-saturated take on the findings, simply assuming that if bare feet exist, they must have evolved. “At its core,” he alleges, “the study is about human evolution.” He claims that calluses are “the evolutionary solution to protecting the foot,” but if that were true, why didn’t we evolve hard hooves, like horses? The actual study reinforces design; here is a structure that can develop thick skin for protection, and yet maintain tactile sensitivity. Shoes rob us of some of the senses that might improve our health:However, very thick calluses don’t simply act like shoe cushions. The callus thickness can protect against heat or sharp objects, providing comfort and safety, like shoes can. But the sensory receptors in the foot that detect ground surface differences still transmit signals to the brain.This uninhibited signal — that sensation of feeling the earth — may help the barefoot walker keep balance, strengthen muscles and create a stronger neural connections between the feet and the brain.Barefoot walkers have tough feet but sense the ground just as well (Michael Le Page, BBC News). This less-evolutionary article shares some interesting facts about bare feet that indicate we are missing out on benefits by wearing shoes.Lieberman noticed that as his calluses grew thicker, his feet got tougher without seeming to lose their ability to sense the surface beneath them. He and his colleagues have now confirmed this by studying the feet of around 100 people in Kenya and the US.Those who usually went barefoot had calluses up to a third thicker, but could sense vibrations just as well as those with thinner calluses. The reason, the team think, is that hard calluses transmit forces without dampening them – unlike the foam or rubber soles of many shoes.While this is surprising, it is analogous to guitar players who grow calluses on their fingers but still maintain exquisite sensitivity to touch. It means that the sensors on the skin are able to penetrate the callus and still transmit touch signals to the brain. Lieberman expects to study the physiological benefits of barefoot walking more. He thinks the sensory advantage of bare feet could help elderly people avoid falls, for one thing, and might help everybody avoid joint diseases.Walking on your sensitive sole (News and Views, Nature). Wading past the typical evolutionary fluff about human ancestors millions of years ago, the reader eventually hears good reasons for the design of the human foot.Our feet are remarkably sensitive, enabling pleasant sensations such as the feeling when walking barefoot on a beach, but also the experience of pain when stepping on a sharp rock. This sensitivity is useful because our body’s nerves use such information to fine-tune our posture and gait, in a similar way to how our sensitive fingertips enable us to precisely manipulate objects. As part of the system that aids this tactile sensitivity, a variety of mechanoreceptors in our skin sense mechanical stimuli such as pressure. If these receptors don’t work normally, as can occur in disease or during experimental manipulation, people can have problems with their balance or gait.This article describes the experiments Holowka and Lieberman’s team used to arrive at their findings. They remain ambivalent about the value of bare feet compared to shoes, however, admitting that hard soled shoes can also transmit vibrations pretty well, and are important for added protection in some situations.More research will be needed to fully understand the effect of shoe soles on gait. Humans are not like machines, in which just one variable at a time can be studied. Human movement is a complex, dynamic system, and changing even one variable, such as shoe-sole stiffness, will probably trigger other physiological and behavioural changes. For example, running when using cushioned soles, compared with running barefoot, triggers changes in how the foot makes contact with the ground (called the strike pattern), and also causes the arch of the foot to behave more stiffly.So should we take our shoes off? “It makes sense that preserving foot sensitivity is useful, especially if maintaining stability is challenging,” they admit. But for now, “Although this mystery has been solved, much remains to be discovered about what affects how humans walk.”Feet are amazingly complex features God has given us. They did not evolve. Human feet are so different from ape feet, they are essentially a completely different design. In the book Spacecraft Earth, a Guide for Passengers, Dr Henry Richter spends five pages talking about the human foot. On page 48, he compares it to the ape foot:The shape of the human foot is much different, clearly adapted for walking upright all of the time. It has a unique bone structure, muscle structure, and sole, with two arches almost perpendicular to each other. The heel and ankle are suited to living on the ground, not in the trees. What chance mutations created such a radical change? Evolutionists often gloss over these details, simply imagining that a change in climate led some ape ancestor to climb out of the trees and start walking. Such things do not just happen. There would be too many things for natural selection to do at the same time. (Richter, p. 48) The foot is just one of hundreds of wonders our Creator gave us to experience His world. The more we learn about our bodies and minds, the more our gratitude and awe should grow. Evolutionary theory (the Stuff Happens Law) robs God of the honor that is His due.Exercise: Try barefoot walking when you can. It would take weeks or months to build up the calluses need to walk on rough surfaces, but pay attention to the sensitivity provided through the skin. Does it improve your balance? Are you more aware of the positions of your toes, arches and heel? Compare that with the feeling of walking in soft shoes or hard shoes. What benefits can you find designed into bare feet that can aid your health and enhance your experience of the world?(Visited 454 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa a good investment: OBG

first_img12 June 2012 South Africa boasts an attractive investment environment that few regional peers could match, according to a report by the Oxford Business Group that focuses on the country’s drive to cement its position as the gateway to the rest of Africa through a wave of major initiatives. The Report: South Africa 2012, launched in Johannesburg on Friday, gives wide-ranging coverage of the government’s efforts to boost growth across South Africa’s industrial sector, particularly in manufacturing, in a bid to address the country’s unemployment problems.Automotive, steel, mining, transport This includes extensive analysis of South Africa’s automotive and steel sectors, which are well positioned to spearhead further economic growth and attract investment. It also considers the extensive transport infrastructure upgrades under way, as well as initiatives being put in place to improve SA’s energy infrastructure and secure steady power supplies as the country looks to tackle the challenge of rising demand. South Africa’s mining industry also comes under the spotlight, as the report documents the potential for expansion in new markets, especially China, while exploring promising growth segments such as iron ore. The Oxford Business Group (OGB) publishes economic intelligence on 33 countries around the world from its offices in Istanbul, Dubai and London. The group spent about nine months in the country compiling the report in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry.‘Attractive investment environment’ OBG regional editor Robert Tashima said that while South Africa faced some sizable structural challenges, it still boasted an attractive investment environment that few regional peers could match. “South Africa has made a fairly strong recovery from the 2009 contraction, driven in large part by domestic consumption,” Tashima said in a statement. “The focus over the medium term will need to unshackle greater output in productive sectors, particularly those that provide greater multiplier effects, such as industry and infrastructure.” Tashima described South Africa’s economy as sophisticated, noting that it took about 19 days to register a business in the country – much faster than in most African countries – and adding that the country’s government budget was in good health. Unemployment at 24% was described as a structural challenge, and inequality in South African society as posing “long term concern”. “The problems are concerning, but they are not a cause for despondency,” Tashima said. The report credits South Africa with having policy and political stability, a good business environment, rich natural resources and strong infrastructure. “These can propel the economy forward, they offer opportunity,” Tashima said. On the energy side, with initiatives like the renewable independent power producers programme under way, the report found that prospects for growth were “electrifying”. Some of the growth strategies identified in the report include diversification of exports and strengthening of skills sets.‘Serious long-term growth potential’ “The central message contained in the report is that South Africa offers significant and serious long-term growth and development potential despite the challenges which we confront at present, some of which are not of our own making but … the winds of the world economy blowing in our direction,” Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at Friday’s launch. “The report articulates a clear message that South Africa is open for business,” Davies said, adding that it was important to situate the report within the context of the country’s economic strategy. The Report: South Africa 2012 contains an exclusive interview with President Jacob Zuma, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. It provides a wide range of contributions from leading political, economic and business representatives, including the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus and Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu. International personalities, including OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria, Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Fernando Damata Pimentel, European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, Virgin Atlantic president Richard Branson, also offer their views on South Africa’s economic development. SAinfo reporter and BuaNewslast_img read more

Sea life explained for young explorers

first_imgA marine biologist from Stellenbosch University has authored a children’s book on Southern African sea life. (Image: Random Struik) Dr Sophie von der Heyden lectures in marine biology and genetics at Stellenbosch University and has published widely on marine biodiversity and conservation. (Image: Stellenbosch University) The full-colour 88-page field guide is filled with beautiful photographs, interesting facts and easy-to-understand descriptions that bring to life the beauty of marine plants and animals such as seaweeds, molluscs, fish, seashore birds, and marine mammals. Guido Zsilavecz, a respected marine photographer contributed most of the photographs in the book. (Images: Wilma den Hartigh) MEDIA CONTACTS • Engela Duvenhage   Stellenbosch University  +27 21 808 9321 RELATED ARTICLES • Protecting marine life with plastic • Protecting SA’s coastline pays off • Pick n Pay greens seafood operations • Conquering South Africa’s litterbug Wilma den HartighA marine biologist from Stellenbosch University has authored a children’s book on Southern African sea life to teach young people about the importance of oceans and inspire them to explore marine environments in Africa.The author, Dr Sophie von der Heyden, has a PhD from Oxford University, lectures in marine biology and genetics at Stellenbosch University and has published widely on marine biodiversity and conservation.She says that although there are numerous marine guides in South Africa, these are only suitable for adult readers.“There was nothing specifically geared towards children,” Von der Heyden explains, adding that she wanted to write a book that would be informative for both children and adults.“I hope it will fascinate and educate children, and that they will discover the joys of exploring,” she says.Von der Heyden received a grant from the Academic and Non-fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (Anfasa) to complete the field guide.She is one of eight emerging or established writers who are supported through Anfasa’s grant scheme for authors, which aims to support interesting academic and non-fiction projects.The field guide, Southern African Sea Life: A Guide for Young Explorers, is available in most local bookshops, online at Exclusive Books or directly from the publisher, Random Struik, for only R100 (US$12)Colourful and accessibleThe full-colour 88-page field guide is filled with beautiful photographs, interesting facts and easy-to-understand descriptions that bring to life the beauty of marine plants and animals such as seaweeds, molluscs, fish, seashore birds, and marine mammals.The book also explains concepts such as ocean currents and the importance of protecting oceans and marine habitats.The author included a holiday guide section which focuses on popular areas of the Southern African coastline such as the West Coast, the Wild Coast, Namibia and Mozambique. This section provides an overview on the marine life and environments that visitors are most likely to encounter when exploring the coastline around each of these areas.“I’d like people to use this section to get to know their favourite holiday destinations,” she says.There is also a chapter on careers in marine science and the valuable work of marine scientists.“I hope the book will inspire future generations to become biologists, oceanographers and conservationists working together to preserve our amazing oceans,” Von der Heyden says.“It shows just how wide ranging the field is. Marine biology isn’t the only career; there are also others such as marine chemistry, aquaculture and oceanography.”She says it is important that children develop a love for oceans and marine life. A resource such as this vibrant field guide, as well as input from parents, can help to create early awareness about the value of oceans.Von der Heyden says she has her older brother to thank for her interest in all things marine. “He is 10 years older than me, but he got me interested in fishing when I was a child,” she recalls. “Together, we explored muddy ponds and this is what sparked my interest.”Helping parents and curious childrenThe idea for the book came about a few years ago when Von der Heyden was on a field trip, exploring the rock pools of Margate on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast with two students and her young daughter.“While we were collecting samples I saw a dad trying to answer the questions his sons were asking about the things that they found in the rock pools,” she tells, adding that the harried parent was running out of creative answers.“Kids love the sea so I started to think about the value of an informative and fun guide that was age appropriate.”The guide provides parents of young children with answers to such questions and older children who can read can browse through the book by themselves to find out more about their rock pool discoveries.There are many interesting facts contained in the book. Even adults might be surprised to learn that a sea star feeds by pushing its stomach out through its mouth and placing it directly over its prey, octopuses are quite clever, and that the yellow-bellied sea snake is the only marine snake found in the oceans of Southern Africa.Beautiful photographs“What makes the book stand out is the photography,” Von der Heyden.Her favourite two-page spread is one of sea stars, brittlestars, sea cucumbers and other types of echinoderms (animals that have spines and bumps covering their bodies).“The photographs are simply beautiful.”Von der Heyden worked with Guido Zsilavecz, a respected marine photographer from the Southern Underwater Research Group who contributed most of the photographs in the book.Zsilavecz is an experienced underwater lensman and has published identification guides on fish and sea slugs. Von der Heyden enjoys the fact that he has captured some of the smallest aquatic and marine species.The author explains that it was important to compile a highly visual book with excellent photographs that would make it fun for children to identify species.The field guide also contains illustrations by Sally McLarty, an experienced illustrator of children’s and nature books.Easy and descriptive textVon der Heyden says that one of the most challenging aspects of the writing process, which started in 2010, was to explain scientific aspects of the marine environment in language for children, yet ensure that the book maintains its scientific integrity.“Writing for kids has been a real eye-opener and huge fun,” she says. “I come from a background of academic writing, and it was tricky to explain complicated concepts without losing detail.”Fortunately she could consult with her two young children for an honest opinion about what she was writing. “They were excellent sounding boards, and I regularly read sections to them to see if it was accessible.”• Slideshow image courtesy of Guido Zsilaveczlast_img read more

Cargill Faces Fire Over Amazon

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorOMAHA (DTN) — One of the areas feeling an impact from fires across the Amazon rainforest is the headquarters for Cargill Inc., just outside Minneapolis.The agricultural giant — the largest private company in the U.S. — was already under constant criticism from a relatively new environmental group, Mighty Earth, over Amazon deforestation before the fires became global news last month. In July, Mighty Earth dubbed Cargill “the worst company in the world,” accusing Cargill of making sustainability pledges while continuing to source soybeans from deforested areas of Brazil and Bolivia.Mighty Earth, which was founded by former U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., increased its pressure last week with a protest rally against Cargill at the Minneapolis Art Institute, a museum the Cargill family has helped support.Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has championed economic development over the environment and critics argue Bolsonaro’s views have helped spur a push for clearing land by burning that sparked more Amazon fires over the summer.“We have many people, including the big media, interested in criticizing President Bolsonaro for anything,” said Ricardo Arioli Silva, a farmer in Mato Grosso who also has a radio program on agriculture in the state, told DTN in an email. “The fires in the Amazon was a great opportunity.”On Friday, the presidents of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana and Suriname all signed the “Amazon Pact” to increase cooperation in the Amazon. Bolsonaro did not attend the event, but did issue a video for the event and sent Brazil’s foreign minister to the conference. Some environmental groups complained the pact doesn’t go far enough.Silva was in the U.S. last week with other Brazilian farmers. He noted he heard several times that farmers were using the fires to clear more land and plant soybeans to sell to China because of the trade war. “That’s ridiculous,” he said.Silva notes there are no soybeans in the Amazon rainforest, because it’s too complicated to grow them there. It’s too expensive to convert the land to soybean production and too far away from roads and elevators to sell the beans. There are also complications in trying to sell beans from those areas specifically because of a moratorium.Still, agribusiness is tied to the Amazon fires. Twice during a CNN event last Wednesday on climate change, audience members asked Democratic presidential candidates what they planned to do to control agribusinesses causing Amazon fires and deforestation.Cargill has come under increasing criticism on social media and is associated with the deforestation. Climate activist Bill McKibben tweeted last Tuesday, “Glad to see people standing up to @Cargill for their role in Amazon fires.”In an interview with DTN last month, Cargill’s vice president of global sustainability for business operations and supply chain, Jill Kolling, said Cargill and other companies have been able to drastically reduce deforestation around palm oil production, but the challenges are more complex with soybeans in Brazil. And while Cargill is taking the heat, Kolling said it’s really an issue for the entire soy trade operating in Brazil.“We were saying that, when it comes to soy, the sector is not going to make that goal. It’s been a much more complex problem than palm oil where the industry has made really good progress working to eliminate deforestation there,” Kolling said.RAINFOREST OR CERRADO?Part of the challenge for the grain trade is a broadening of Amazon deforestation to include Brazil’s Cerrado, the country’s savannah, a large swath of which has been cleared over the past decades for farming, especially in the state of Mato Grosso. Brazil has sought to restrict further clearing of the Cerrado, but it continues.“The progress in the Cerrado has been a little different and we don’t think the solutions that worked elsewhere are going to work there,” Kolling said. She added, “As conservation groups have evolved their thinking, they believe that the Cerrado area — they will call it an upside down forest, because of the roots in the ground and the native vegetation are a really important carbon sink. The soil is sequestering carbon and it became a native vegetation sort of goal.”Mighty Earth and others want no conversion of native vegetation. Yet, while the world condemns the Amazon fires, Brazil has also become the biggest soybean and beef exporter to China. A Chinese state-owned oilseed and food company, COFCO, just last month announced it would buy 25% more soybeans from Brazil over the next five years and spend $60 million to help Brazilian farmers expand. Chinese officials have rejected ties between Amazon fires and agricultural exports to the country.Kolling noted the environmental challenges of deforestation, whether in the rainforest or the Cerrado, are pitted against the economics of rural poor areas in Brazil.“Some of those areas are some of the poorest areas of Brazil and they are really looking to agriculture as an economic lever, just like we did 100 years ago here,” Kolling said. “That’s the challenge we are facing as Brazil sees agriculture as a key to their future.”Cargill’s action plan came as the company sent a letter to Brazilian soy producers that it would not sign on a new soy moratorium in the Cerrado. Cargill, Bunge, ADM and others have been part of a pact to avoid soy production in the Amazon, but Cargill came out in June telling farmers it would not join a similar ban in the Cerrado. Cargill executives also met multiple times with leaders from Mighty Earth, but were unable to reach any agreement on deforestation and sustainability issues.“We agree on the importance of protecting the environment and protecting native lands in key areas,” Kolling said. “We absolutely agree on that. It’s the how that we really disagree on. We believe we need to consider that economic piece for the farmer and for the rural communities of Brazil, in addition to looking at the environment. And that’s part of sustainability and what makes it challenging.”Kolling added, “We really view it as a balance of environmental, economic and social. Sometimes if you are somebody who is really passionate about a single issue, you forget about the other side of it and unintended consequences that can happen.”Instead of joining a ban on Cerrado development, Cargill released a soy action plan that includes listing the Matopiba region in the Cerrado as a high-priority area for risk assessments and restricted sourcing. Among other actions in the plan are suspensions for suppliers who violate protected areas or appear on government lists regarding forced labor practices. “We recognize that as a leading company in food and agriculture, we must use our influence to help enact change. We take this role seriously,” Cargill stated.As part of its soy action plan, Cargill committed $30 million in June to a fund to protect the rainforest and Cerrado, but at the same time, Cargill acknowledged the company and the larger food industry as a whole, would not meet a goal to end deforestation in the soy industry by 2020.“Some Brazilian farmers from Matopiba are mad at them also, just because they announced a $30 million budget to promote sustainable production,” Silva said.Cargill, Bunge and three Brazilian companies were fined in May 2018 a combined total of $6.5 million following an investigation dubbed “Operation Soy Sauce” by the Brazil Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resource, which charged the companies with buying soy grown on land in the Matopiba region of Brazil without deforestation licenses. Matopiba is made up of four Brazilian states and the undeveloped areas are largely Cerrado.ADM and Bunge have issued statements about the Amazon fires, stating they do not source commodities from deforested areas and are using satellite images to enforce that. ADM told DTN it has joined a ban on Cerrado development.DRY SUMMER OR DEFORESTATION?A study released by the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) in August blamed deforestation, not drought, as the main driver for the summer fires, which now top more than 90,000 across the Amazon. IPAM stated moisture levels in the Amazon were higher this year than in the past three years, but fires for 2019 are higher than any of the last four years across the Amazon. In its recommendations, IPAM stated, “Considering that deforestation is a direct driver of forest fires, the fight against illegal deforestation must be intensified, and producers must be supported to adopt better practices and quit using fire to prepare the land.”Click on this link to view the study: https://ipam.org.br/…Using numbers from the IPAM study, Brazil’s Vegetable Oil Industry Association — ABIOVE –pushed back on the argument that soy production was a driver for the fires and current deforestation in the Amazon. ABIOVE released a report showing the 10 areas with the most fires over the first six months of the year only accounting for about 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of planted beans. Brazil planted 36 million hectares (nearly 89 million acres) of soybeans last year.Yet, Reuters reported 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) of soybeans grew in one area hit hard by fires, Novo Progresso in Para state, where an investigation is taking place over fires started intentionally on lands along a major farm highway in the country, BR-163. Allegations claim as many as 70 people coordinated “fire day” on the social media platform WhatsApp to burn off more land for development.Click on this link to view the investigation:https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/…PAY FOR DEFORESTED SOYWhile groups clamor for agriculture to do more to help reduce deforestation, there are questions about broad commitments. Consumers, for instance, are not making major demands of companies on their soy purchases.“We don’t see consumers across the world saying, ‘I am willing to pay for deforestation-free soy.’ Some people are, but that’s not mainstream,” Kolling said.Commercially certified deforestation-free soy is available today, but that leads to higher costs because of the segregated supply chain and getting farmers certified for such a program.“We have these commercial options available today and we would like to see demand for those products grow. Because that sends a signal to the farmers too that this is what consumers want,” Kolling said.Chris Clayton can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(BAS/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Cabinet Approves Changes to Proceeds of Crime Act and Money Laundering Regulations

first_imgCabinet has approved changes to the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), and the Proceeds of Crime Money Laundering Prevention Regulations, to meet international requirements.The changes were recommended by the Financial Action Task Force to address matters dealing with: suspicious and unusual transactions; rules governing reporting, documenting, supervision and regulation of designated non-financial businesses and professions; and non-face to face business transactions. Drafting instructions are to be issued to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.Making the announcement at the weekly Jamaica House Press briefing on Wednesday, April 17, Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer explained that the amendments provide for the forfeiture of the properties of persons found to have accumulated wealth through criminal means.“It provides a more comprehensive and effective scheme for the forfeiture of the proceeds of crime and the prevention of money laundering,” she stated.The changes will enhance the effectiveness of POCA locally, and meet the international requirements as set out by the Financial Action Task Force. Failure to comply may result in measures such as refusal by the Financial Action Task Force’s countries to conduct any business with Jamaica. These countries include the United States, the United Kingdom and other European Union countries, Canada and China.At present, Jamaica is partially compliant, and must take additional steps to fall in line with international standards.Amending the POCA is one such step.The Financial Action Task Force is an inter-governmental body, which sets standards to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.Jamaica is a member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.POCA repealed and replaced the Drug Offences Forfeiture of Proceeds and the Money Laundering Acts in 2007.By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporterlast_img read more

Business Highlights

first_img___Black Friday shoppers ditch their computers, flock to storesNEW YORK (AP) — Retailers are offering much of their Black Friday deals online, but shoppers still showed up at malls and stores around the country looking for discounts — and to take in the scene. Black Friday is expected to be the busiest shopping day of the year, according to ShopperTrak. Sales are expected to hit $23 billion on Friday, up from $21 billion during the same year-ago period, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks all forms of payment, including cash.___A holiday miracle? Stores try to cut down on long linesNEW YORK (AP) — Retailers will once again offer big deals and early hours to lure shoppers into their stores for Black Friday. But they’ll also try to get shoppers out of their stores faster by minimizing the thing they hate most: long lines. At Macy’s, shoppers can scan and pay for goods on their own smartphones. And at Target, Walmart and others, workers will be sent to store aisles to check customers out on mobile devices. Retailers hope the changes will make in-store shopping less of a hassle.___Adults want cozy, kids want gross: 4 holiday trends to watchNEW YORK (AP) — Cozy sweaters and soft pyjamas are in for adults. Kids, meanwhile, are asking for board games featuring fake poop and pimples. Those are just some of the trends expected this holiday season, when shoppers are projected to spend as much as $720 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Kohl’s, for example, is pushing soft sweaters and fuzzy mules. And gross-out games like Pimple Pete are popular.___S&P 500 slides into ‘correction’ for second time this yearU.S. stocks closed lower Friday, bumping the benchmark S&P 500 index into a correction, or drop of 10 per cent or more from its recent all-time high in September. Energy companies led the market slide as the price of U.S. crude oil tumbled to its lowest level in more than a year, reflecting worries among traders that a slowing global economy could hurt demand for oil.___Japan’s Osaka to host 2025 World Expo, beating Russian cityPARIS (AP) — The Japanese city of Osaka will host the World Expo in 2025, after beating out cities in Russia and Azerbaijan. They all wanted to attract an event expected to draw millions of visitors and showcase the local economy and culture. Shouts of joy in Japanese rose up in the Paris auditorium where the 170 member states of the Bureau International des Expositions voted Friday in favour of Osaka’s bid.___GM under investigation for faulty brake vacuum pumpsRegulators are investigating poor brake performance on 2.7 million GM pickups and SUVs. The NHTSA has received reports of nine crashes and two injuries___Nissan board fires Ghosn as chairman following arrestTOKYO (AP) — Nissan has fired Carlos Ghosn as chairman in a dramatic end to the powerful executive’s nearly two decade reign at the Japanese automaker. The company says its own investigation detected serious misconduct, including under-reporting of Ghosh’s income and misuse of company assets. Nissan Motor Co. said its board of directors met for several hours Thursday and voted unanimously to dismiss Ghosn. Prosecutors say he is suspected of under-reporting $44.6 million in income from 2011 to 2015.___Cyber Monday shoppers will see more sites charging sales taxWASHINGTON (AP) — Shoppers heading online to purchase holiday gifts will find they’re being charged sales tax at some websites where they weren’t before. The reason: the Supreme Court. A June ruling gave states the go-ahead to require more companies to collect sales tax on online purchases. Now, more than two dozen have moved to take advantage of the ruling, many ahead of the busy holiday shopping season.___The S&P 500 index fell 17.37 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 2,632.56. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 178.74 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 24,285.95. The Nasdaq composite dropped 33.27 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 6,938.98. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 0.40 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 1,488.68.The benchmark U.S. crude contract slid 7.7 per cent to settle at $50.42 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 6.1 per cent to close at $58.80 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline plunged 7.9 per cent to $1.39 a gallon. Heating oil lost 4.8 per cent to $1.88 a gallon. Natural gas fell 3.2 per cent to $4.31 per 1,000 cubic feet.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Local company Beescause recognized on a global platform

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local company Beescause has been recognized by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their ‘Forces for Change’ campaign.Beescause was created as a way to help change the future for bees as bee populations are declining at what the company shares, is at an alarming rate.By manufacturing be hives and facilitating placement for people to ‘foster hives’ the hives the company is bringing back bee colonies with the help of foster placements and the sales of bracelets to fund the making of hives. Beescause was highlighted on a global platform when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry put out to their Instagram followers to help them find 15 grassroots organizations that are lesser-known forces of change, to help shine a light on them.To view Beescause, CLICK HERE To view the Duke and Duchess Instagram; @sussexroyallast_img read more