News story: UK Government Agriculture Bill – Scotland myth-buster

first_img The UK Government has already agreed to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support for Scotland until the end of this Parliament. This Bill ensures that new systems of farming support can be put in place after 2020 in England and Wales. Farmers in Scotland need the same reassurance – and time is running out for the Scottish Government to act. It is simply not acceptable for Scottish farmers to be kept in the dark about the future of agricultural policy in Scotland. The UK Government’s Agriculture Bill was introduced on 12 September 2018. Agriculture is devolved to the Scottish Government and will remain devolved. This Bill does not change that. Claims of ‘power grab’ are completely false and misleading.The UK Government is not seeking consent from the Scottish Parliament on this Bill as we are not legislating in areas of devolved competence in Scotland.No powers that could constrain devolved policy choices in Scotland are being introduced.For example, there is nothing in the Agriculture Bill which will stop existing Scottish Government policies – including the Voluntary Coupled Support and Less Favoured Area Support Scheme. They will still be possible under both retained EU law and the Agriculture Bill.Contrary to claims, Scottish farmers will continue to receive the same level of funding as they currently do until the end of this Parliament in 2022As we leave the EU, it is our intention that each administration can independently design policies that support their farming sectors and enhance their environment.While these policies are still under development, the Agriculture Bill demonstrates a continued commitment by the UK Government to World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations on domestic support.The Scottish Government has claimed powers enabling us to comply with our WTO obligations should be exercised jointly; however, the Scottish Parliament does not have the legal competence to act in this area.While this is a reserved matter, the UK Government will work closely with the devolved administrations on this given their interest. Just as we did ahead of the Agriculture Bill’s introduction.We have offered to extend powers in the Agriculture Bill to the devolved administrationswhich would enable them to create their own farming support systems to replace the CAP.Wales and Northern Ireland have accepted the offer.The Scottish Government has chosen not to take any powers in this Bill. Agriculture is devolved and that is their choice. But our offer remains on the table.We remain in discussions with the Welsh and Scottish Governments regarding red meat levy funds and legislative options.We will continue to work with all parts of the UK to put in place a wider common framework relating to agriculture once we leave the EU.Scottish Secretary David Mundell said:last_img read more

Walking with my baby; an eclectic ‘MixTape’; and taking people back to the ballgame

first_img Bits of the socially distanced lives of staff and faculty, from a LEGO model of the Music Building to Gov. Andrew Cuomo as Henry V to cereal for dinner — in the shower Teaching by podcast; a taste of campus life; lessons from the South Pole; virtual voice lessons Scenes from the socially distant Shannon Ingraham felt shell-shocked when she started working from home.“We went from having full-time child care at day care to becoming the full-time child care ourselves,” said the department administrator in the FAS Office of Finance. “I knew we would be busy trying to balance working from home and my wife’s schedule [she is a physician who is still seeing patients]. My strategy was to buy every toy Leo had enjoyed at day care while my wife tried to focus on the new work schedule.”Leo just turned 1, an occasion that prompted Ingraham to also buy him a tuxedo. She describes young Leonardo Insogna as a happy guy who likes to eat puff snacks, watch for the Federal Express truck, and talk gibberish. And a few weeks ago, he repaid her generosity with a kind of largess of his own.“I thought he would take his first steps at day care,” she said. “He had been taking a step and falling, but then one morning I took him into the living room during a work meeting, and he just started walking toward me! I squealed as loudly as possible and then took out my phone to capture the moment. There are a lot of grandparents who want to see that.”Ingraham was thrilled with Leo’s achievement, though it did come with a price: Now she has to scramble to childproof the house.“I have to hover now because he wants to walk everywhere. He has his hands in the air waddling around,” she said. “It’s nerve-wracking.”,Feeding timeEvery Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Javier Marin follows the same routine. He drops his wife at her nanny job in Jamaica Plain, then heads to the Harvard Museum of Natural History where he cares for a variety of creatures and critters.There are the arthropods, which include scorpions, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, millipedes, two tarantulas, and another type of arachnid called a vinegaroon (or “Vinny” to Marin). There are the marine animals, like the spider crab or a pair of horseshoe crabs. Then there are the vertebrates, which aren’t on display for the public but are used for the museum’s educational programs. Those include a Mexican milk snake, an eastern box turtle, two female leopard geckos, and a beloved 18-year-old African bullfrog.Marin is one of the museum’s bilingual educators. In normal times, he helps run many of the museum’s programs for school-age children and their families. In the COVID-19 era, Marin is the go-to caretaker for the animals.“Depending on the day, I’ll do different things,” Marin said. “But for the most part, there are things I do generally every single day [I’m there]. For example, our African bullfrog needs moisture. He needs humidity. He needs to make sure that he’s nice and wet, so I spray him down and he seems to enjoy that.”Another thing the bullfrog enjoys? Feeding time. Every Monday and Friday, the frog feasts on 30 to 40 crickets and the occasional mealworm as a treat.“One of the coolest things about frogs that we’ve been trying to show people is that they can’t really swallow,” Marin said. “They don’t have the muscles that you and I have to swallow, so what they do is they close their eyes. They basically have muscles right under their eyeballs which push down the food. It’s really, really crazy to watch this frog unfold his tongue, bring the food inside, and then take this big gulp where he closes his eyes where he’s just actually swallowing.”Each animal has its quirks. The box turtle likes the kale, carrots, grapes, and apples medley, but lights up when that meal is topped with a few mealworms. The spider crab is a bit of a “goofball,” Marin explained. “He will always beg for food and chase you around the tank and try to climb out of the tank if you don’t feed him the way he wants.”Marin always talks to the animals during feedings.“I definitely feel like I have to support them during these times and let them know they’re not forgotten and that we’re still counting on them for when we get kids back at the museum,” he said.While Marin is looking forward to life getting back to normal, he admits the experience has had its upsides.“I get the whole museum to myself, basically, which is pretty special in a lot of ways,” he said. “I consider it a real privilege.”,The mixtapeHow would a class premised on real-time collaboration continue with students scattered across the Western hemisphere? Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts Vijay Iyer had his doubts.Turns out Iyer’s spring advanced music workshop worked out just fine. And the proof is in the “MixTape.”“After the break [and move to remote learning], our classes became wonderful collective listening sessions,” Iyer said. “When we listen to music together, we can have a meaningful, shared emotional response. Listening to the students’ recorded pieces in various stages of process offered a way for us to engage in that kind of communion.”“This course is very hands-off, actually, in terms of what the students create,” added Iyer’s teaching assistant, Phillip Golub ’16. “We tried to help them realize what they’re hearing and open them up to possibilities they might not be thinking of. This didn’t change once we moved online.”The class knew Luke Walker ’22, for example, as a very talented steel pan player. But in his final piece he was able to create a makeshift ensemble by overdubbing himself on quatro (a four-stringed lute), percussion (using the back of the quatro as a hand drum), electric bass, flute, and vocals. Walker also included a stirring spoken-word piece about an ancestor from Venezuela.“Luke’s ‘Bisabuelo,’ which he created back home in Trinidad, became an ebullient meditation on lineage, land, freedom, and the sense of home,” Iyer said. “It was all the more astonishing to us because he hadn’t revealed all of these extra abilities to his Harvard classmates before.”Sophomore Anna Pacheco’s work early in the class had a fresh, youthful R&B sensibility. At home in Queens, N.Y., she started exploring the electric bass.“Her singing and songwriting took on a profoundly vulnerable melancholy,” says Iyer. “‘Deserve Your Love’ became our class’ quarantine anthem: a solitary cry, rich with feeling.”Pacheco enlisted help from two classmates, Kyra Teboe ’22 on electric piano, and Jonathan Karp, a Ph.D. student in GSAS, on viola, who recorded their parts in their homes in Maine and Massachusetts, respectively.“I did my best to give students some critical feedback, other musical points of reference, and other ideas to consider,” says Iyer. “But mainly I felt it was important under the circumstances just to hold space, so the students could have some time together, show appreciation for each other’s work, and treat each other with dignity and kindness. And as you can hear, that went a long way.”Although “MixTape,” the collected musical projects, is free to everyone, the students encourage listeners to contribute to The Jazz Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief fund: Select “COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund.”,7th-inning stretchAs the organist for Fenway Park since 2003, Josh Kantor usually spends 14 nights a month during the spring and summer providing the live soundtrack for Red Sox games. For the past eight years, he has invited fans to submit song requests via Twitter, often playing one for the first time minutes after receiving a suggestion.Kantor, who has worked at Harvard Library since 1999, knew that other people would miss the sport and the ballpark atmosphere as much as he did when the Sox season was postponed due to the pandemic.A friend suggested that he do a livestreamed performance of the organ to emulate life at the stadium, so he created “7th-Inning Stretch,” a daily livestream of requested songs, seen on Facebook and produced by his wife, the Rev. Mary Jane Eaton. More than two months later, his daily performance has become appointment viewing for thousands of people from around the world.“It’s so easy to keep doing it every day, and it just lifts our spirits,” said Kantor, who is an assistant keeper at the Isham Memorial Library housed at the Loeb Music Library. “People are asking to hear songs that really mean something to them and resonate for them, and it’s extremely meaningful to be the person who figures out a way to present that and offer some of that comfort for people and maybe some sense of normalcy.”Every day about 3 p.m., Kantor and Eaton set up the 45-minute livestream and field requests for tracks, which have included tunes like “Somebody to Love” by Jefferson Airplane, “Creep” by Radiohead, and even “The Song That Never Ends.” In between songs, Kantor asks viewers to donate to their local food banks and engages with visitors in the corresponding live chat, which has become its own community of friends.The chat “is the gathering place for people to talk to each other and share jokes and stories and recipes and memories,” said Kantor, who plans to play every day until professional baseball resumes. “It’s kind of like being a party where I’m in the corner playing the piano when everybody else is having a cocktail and chatting with each other, and it’s really nice.” Notes from the new normalcenter_img Related Life at a distance Snapshots of the widespread Harvard community: A Zoom wedding; reunion in St. Croix; challenges of teaching ASL online; and a taste of Cuba last_img read more

New bug enters state

first_imgTrash ’em is the best control methodIf you find mealybugs on houseplants, Hudson doesn’t recommendtrying to control it with a pesticide.”Most of the time it’s going to be cheaper and more effective todiscard that one plant and buy another,” he said. “But discard itquickly before they can spread to your other houseplants.”The GDA recommends double-bagging infested plants in blackplastic, tying the bags securely and leaving them in the hot sunfor at least two weeks. Hudson agrees.”Our nursery and greenhouse growers may elect to fight it withpesticides,” Hudson said. “We just want to get rid of them thequickest way and not let them get established in our state.” Florida fighting pest for two years”They came into south Florida about two years ago from theCaribbean,” Irvin said. “These insects are a problem to stop andcontain because there’s no effective chemical treatment.”First Foliage Nursery in Homestead, Fla., shipped as many as44,000 infested hibiscus plants into Georgia from early March toearly June, GDA officials said.The plants were shipped to Lowe’s and Home Depot stores inGeorgia. All but four of the 41 stores are in metro Atlanta andnorth Georgia. By Sharon OmahenUniversity of Georgiaand Jackie SosbyGa. Dept. of AgricultureAs bugs go, pink hibiscus mealybugs are cute. They’re light pinkand look as if they’ve walked through powdered sugar. But ifyou’re a greenhouse grower or homeowner with new hibiscus plants,they’re not so cute.Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin issued an alertthis week asking University of Georgia Extension Service countyagents to be on the lookout for the exotic pest.center_img Has potential to hurt ag cropsCotton and okra are hibiscus family members, too. Peanutscould also be affected by the insect. ButUGA entomologist Will Hudson says it’s unlikely the tiny intruderwill affect the state’s farm crops.”Hibiscus doesn’t survive outdoors here, even in the Tiftonarea,” he said. “The annual ones die back to the ground in thewinter, and the tropical ones will, too, if you leave themoutdoors. Most of this insect’s host plants aren’t cold-hardy,because it’s primarily a tropical- and subtropical-area pest. It remains to be seen if it can thrive in south Georgia.”Hudson and his UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences colleagues work on ways to control insects on both cropsand ornamental plants.Outdoor plants should be safe, he said. But indoor plantsaren’t.”It’s really giving us fits in interior-scapes,” Hudson said.Interior-scapes include mall and hotel areas decorated withplants.If you’re managing an interior-scape, Hudson says, inspect plantsfor mealybugs and pull out as many as necessary to make sureyou’re rid of all infected plants.Interior-scapes should be inspected”To fight a bug like this in an interior-scape would be reallyexpensive and ultimately a losing proposition,” he said.”These areas are typically close to human traffic and sometimesto food courts, so spraying pesticides isn’t an option.”If you buy indoor plants, Hudson says, inspect them, particularlyhibiscus, for signs of mealybugs.Adult mealybugs are about 3 millimeters long and pink. Males aresmaller than females and have one pair of wings and two long,waxy tails.”Chances are, you aren’t going to see the adults, because by thetime you can, the plant will have a lot of distorted growth,” hesaid.”The first signs are waxy, dirty, sooty mold growing on theleaves and distorted plant growth,” he said. “Also pay attentionto the stems, where early infestations occur, and look forlittle, cottony masses the size of a Q-tip. This is an egg massthat can contain hundreds of eggs.”If you spot any of that, don’t buy the plant.With most mealybugs it takes a while for the plant to succumb.”But this one injects a toxin as it feeds so that you get a lot of distorted growth and death of the plant pretty quickly,” Hudsonsaid.last_img read more

Bolivia, Brazil, and United States Begin Coca-Monitoring Program

first_img “Drug trafficking has to be defeated jointly, sharing efforts among states. This is the great contribution of this system, this trilateral plan involving Bolivia, the United States, and Brazil,” Interior Minister Carlos Romero affirmed here. The ancient plant is also the raw material for manufacturing cocaine, an activity in which Bolivia is ranked third in the world, behind Peru and Colombia, according to the UN. The trinational agreement, which will last a year, aims to promote technical and scientific coordination among the signatory countries, in order to achieve improved monitoring of and greater precision about the areas where excess coca is grown, for the purpose of its eradication, with a budget of 350,000 dollars. The GPS equipment makes it possible to verify the amount of coca eradicated on site and then do follow-up to come back to check whether rural workers have replanted coca, an unsolved problem in Bolivia. In the town of Chimoré, in Chapare, Brazil’s ambassador in La Paz, Marcel Biato, and the U.S. chargé d’affaires, John Creamer, delivered GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment as part of an anti-drug agreement signed in January. Bolivia has 31,000 hectares of coca, according to United Nations data, of which only 12,000 are legal for traditional uses, such as chewing, infusion, and in Andean religious rituals. On April 1, in the Bolivian region of Chapare, the Governments of Bolivia, Brazil, and the United States began to use a satellite system to monitor a reduction in areas planted with coca, AFP confirmed. Since the late 1980s, the country has eradicated between 5,000 and 10,000 hectares a year, manually and with the participation of police and Military personnel, but at the same time that the Government destroys crops, rural workers replant more coca. By Dialogo April 03, 2012last_img read more

Dive into the hole…

first_imgby: Anthony DemangoneNAFCU isn’t perfect. There are things we can do better to better serve our members.But I will say this: we try to fill those holes.A common thread we heard from our members over the past few years was that NAFCU needed a system to provide model policies and procedures to its members.  Facing a regulatory avalanche, our members needed help.Dan Berger pushed us to find a solution.During our recent annual conference, we announced a strategic alliance with CBANC. CBANC is an awesome company out of Austin, Texas. I’m very excited to work with them.  And here’s why… continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Nine ways to become a millionaire

first_img 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Your parents and grandparents undoubtedly once thought that if they had a million bucks they would be on top of the world, at least financially. Millionaire status still comes with nice bragging rights.But because of inflation, being a millionaire isn’t even close to what it used to be. If you had $1 million half a century ago, in 1966, you’d have had the equivalent of about $7.4 million in today’s buying power. But today’s $1 million is worth only about $134,400 in 1966 goods and services.That’s the bad news. The good news is that achieving millionaire status is considerably easier now than way back then. The topic seems to be on people’s minds these days.(Here’s a tried-and-true way to make $1 million in the stock market: Start with $2 million. Ouch! I know. Old joke.)Here then are nine ways that people try (sometimes successfully) to make $1 million. continue reading »last_img read more

Martin Keown names his Man Utd and Liverpool combined XI after Jurgen Klopp rant

first_img‘There were rumours over the international break about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer losing his job if United lose. Does he deserve more time? Is he the man to oversee this rebuild?‘Klopp certainly was at Anfield. The German finished eighth in his first season after taking over from Brendan Rodgers in October 2015.‘Four years later, eight of my combined XI were signed or brought through by him. The exceptions are Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino. Keown’s Man Utd and Liverpool combined XI Goalkeeper: Alisson (Liverpool)Defenders: Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Maguire (Manchester United), Van Dijk (Liverpool), Robertson (Liverpool)Midfielders: Henderson (Liverpool), Fabinho (Liverpool), Wijnaldum (Liverpool)Forwards: Salah (Liverpool), Firmino (Liverpool), Mane (Liverpool) Manchester United face Premier League leaders Liverpool at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)Martin Keown has named his Manchester United and Liverpool combined XI after Jurgen Klopp took aim at Danny Mills’ selections.Former Manchester City and England star Mills did not pick a single Manchester United player in his XI and Klopp angrily said: ‘It’s a joke.‘When Sky made a combined line-up of 11 Liverpool payers, it’s building a banana skin. ‘At the moment the world is a circus and we are in the centre. Martin Keown names his Man Utd and Liverpool combined XI after Jurgen Klopp rant Advertisement Commentcenter_img Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 19 Oct 2019 1:26 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link275Shares Jurgen Klopp slammed Danny Mills’ combined XI (Picture: Getty)‘Klopp helped turn Liverpool into the title-chasers and Champions League-winners they are.’Manchester United are 12th ahead of Sunday’s much-anticipated clash but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday: ‘I’ve never felt the job is too big for me.‘We do have a plan and we know that we’ve made some decisions that maybe in the short-term would harm us, but we know in the long-term will benefit us.‘But results are always the main thing and we can move forward quicker if we get results and performances.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Klopp says media has made Man Utd a ‘banana skin’To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 1:53FullscreenKlopp says media has made Man Utd a ‘banana skin’ is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.‘A couple of people want us to win, a couple of people want us to lose. I am aware of the strength of the Manchester United.’AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTArsenal legend Keown, meanwhile, named just one Manchester United player – England defender Harry Maguire – in his combined team.He told the Daily Mail: ‘Of the United players available on Sunday, only Harry Maguire makes my combined XI. Advertisementlast_img read more

Dutch giant PMT to divest holdings in ‘expensive’ hedge funds

first_imgThe pension fund reported combined returns for alternatives, including private equity and infrastructure, of 2.8% over the first six months of 2014.At the same time, the metal scheme announced that it would invest €1bn in Dutch residential mortgages, through the Dutch Mortgage Funding Company (DMFCO), established last year.Inge van den Doel, PMT’s director of asset management, said: “This investment will generate a decent return against an acceptable and verifiable risk.“Investment through the DMCFO offers pension funds the option to solely invest in the type of mortgages that suit their specific policy requirements.“Because several pension funds have joined the initiative and combined their requirements, the DMFCO can offer a full mortgage product.”Meanwhile, PGB, the €16bn pension fund for the printing industry, today announced that it would also invest €500m in Dutch residential mortgages through the DMFCO. PGB trustee Rob Heerkens, responsible for investments, said: “Dutch mortgages are an attractive investment, as they carry a limited risk whilst offering better returns than, for example, Dutch government bonds.”PGB said the €6.7bn pension fund of steelworks Hoogovens had also committed itself to a substantial investment to DMFCO.By committing to the Dutch Mortgage Funding Company, the pension funds have effectively foregone investing in Dutch residential mortgage bonds, soon to be launched by the National Mortgage Institution (NHI).Annemieke Biesheuvel, spokeswoman for PMT, said: “By investing through the DMFCO, pension funds can follow their intended risk/return profile precisely, and won’t be dependent on what the NHI would offer.”The NHI had indicated it would aim at issuing €50bn worth of mortgage bonds for institutional investors. PMT, the €55bn pension fund for Dutch metal workers, has said it will fully divest its €1bn hedge fund allocation in favour of investments in local residential mortgages.Following an extensive analysis of its hedge fund holdings, the pension fund concluded that an active management style in “markets with many players” no longer matched its investment beliefs.It also cited the fact the management cost for its hedge fund portfolio accounted for no less than 32% of its entire asset management costs of 0.54% of assets.PMT said its chief purpose in having a hedge fund allocation – to spread investment risk – no longer carried sufficient weight, particularly in light of the “slightly positive” returns it generated.last_img read more

Indiana DCS holding family game night

first_imgLAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — Monday (4/10) night, the Indiana Department of Child Services will be hosting a Family Game night from 6 – 8 at the Lawrenceburg Community Center.The event will feature games and coloring for all ages.Pinwheels will be distributed to all that attend.Information will be handed out about different safety concerns in the community as well as types of abuse and neglect.The event is open to the public and free to attend.last_img