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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces historic agreements for U.S.-Cuba agriculture sectors

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As part of President Obama’s historic trip to Cuba to further normalization of relations, advance commercial and people-to-people ties, and express support for human rights for all Cubans, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced several measures that will foster further collaboration between the U.S. and Cuban agriculture sectors. The two neighboring countries share common climate and agriculture related concerns, and the measures announced in Havana will mutually benefit the Cuban people and U.S. farmers and ranchers.While in Cuba, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA will allow the 22 industry-funded Research and Promotion Programs and 18 Marketing Order organizations to conduct authorized research and information exchange activities with Cuba. These groups, which are responsible for creating bonds with consumers and businesses around the world in support of U.S. agriculture, will be able to engage in cooperative research and information exchanges with Cuba about agricultural productivity, food security and sustainable natural resource management. Secretary Vilsack called the announcement “a significant step forward in strengthening our bond and broadening agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba.”During their bilateral meeting today, Secretary Vilsack and Cuban Minster of Agriculture Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero will sign a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes a framework for sharing ideas and research between the two countries. Secretary Vilsack also has invited Minister Rodriguez to join on a visit to one of USDA’s Climate Sub Hubs in Puerto Rico in late May, where USDA researchers are studying the effects of climate change in the subtropical region and strategies for mitigating these effects.“Recognizing the importance of agriculture in the United States and Cuba, USDA is advancing a new partnership for the 21st century between our two countries,” Vilsack said. “U.S. producers are eager to help meet Cuba’s need for healthy, safe, nutritious food. Research and Promotion and Marketing Order Programs have a long history of conducting important research that supports producers by providing information about a commodity’s nutritional benefits and identifying new uses for various commodities. The agreements we reached with our Cuban counterparts on this historic trip, and the ability for our agriculture sector leaders to communicate with Cuban businesses, will help U.S. agricultural interests better understand the Cuban market, while also providing the Cuban people with science-based information as they grow their own agriculture sector.”USDA will review all proposed Research and Promotion Board and Marketing Order activities related to Cuba to ensure that they are consistent with existing laws. Examples of activities that may take place include the following:Provide nutritional research and guidance, as well as participate with the Cuban government and industry officials, at meetings regarding nutrition and related Cuban rules and regulations.Conduct plate waste study research in schools to determine what kids eat and what they discard, leading to improved nutritional information that helps develop the guidance for school meal requirements, ensuring kids are getting adequate nutrition to be successful in school.Provide U.S. based market, consumer, nutrition and environmental research findings to Cuban government and industry officials.Research commodities’ role in a nutritious diet that improves health or lowers the risk of chronic diseases.Study the efficacy of water disinfectants to eliminate/inactivate bacteria on commodities.Test recipes and specific products amongst Cuban consumers of all ages, with the goal of increasing product development and acceptance.Conduct consumer tracking studies to measure attitudes when it comes to a specific commodity and consumption and to identify consumer groups based on their behavior, attitudes, and purchasing habits for a particular commodity.The visit to the Puerto Rico Sub Hub would allow USDA and Cuba’s Ministry of Agriculture to exchange information on climate change as it relates to tropical forestry and agriculture, and explore opportunities for collaboration. The two officials would be able to explore tools and strategies to cope with challenges associated with climate change, such as drought, heat stress, excessive moisture, longer growing seasons, and changes in pest pressure.The Puerto Rico hub is part of the USDA Regional Climate Hub network that supports applied research and provides information to farmers, ranchers, advisors, and managers to inform climate-related decision making. The hubs are an invaluable resource for those seeking to understand the specific risks of climate change, as well as region-specific adaptation strategies.The agriculture and forestry sectors in the Caribbean are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Not only is the region particularly exposed to extreme weather events, but much of its population and prime agricultural lands are located on the coast. The Puerto Rico Sub Hub is specifically focused on addressing these unique challenges and supporting the people and institutions involved in tropical forestry and agriculture.While most U.S. commercial activities are prohibited, the Trade Sanctions Reform Act (TSRA) of 2000 permits the export of U.S. agricultural commodities, though U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba are limited by U.S. restrictions on government export assistance, cash payments, and extending credit. U.S. agricultural exports have grown significantly since trade was authorized in 2000. In 2014, Cuba imported over $2 billion in agricultural products including $300 million from the United States. However, from 2014 to 2015, U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba fell 48 percent to $148.9 million, the lowest since 2002, giving the United States just a 10 percent market share as Cuba’s fourth largest agricultural supplier, behind the EU, Brazil, and Argentina.last_img read more

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Beermen ‘won’t back down’ from KaTropa after intense Game 3

first_imgCayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games What ‘missteps’? Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJust like the Incredible Hulk, the San Miguel Beermen are a different animal when they’re angry.Arwind Santos himself noted that heated confrontations, like what happened in halftime of Game 3 of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against TNT on Sunday, just lights a fire under the Beermen, making them more driven to claim the win.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games “That’s the good thing about this team when we’re angry. We remind each other that it’s okay to feel that because we don’t want to lose,” he said in Filipino. “If our opponents want that kind of game, we’ll give it to them but we won’t lose focus on what we want to achieve.”Tempers flared late in the second period when TNT stand-in import Mike Myers and Governors’ Cup reinforcement Michael Craig jawed at Chris Ross.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Those guys, they keep talking to me and I don’t know why,” shared Ross. “The guy told me he’s playing next conference, I said I’m not worried about the next conference I’m worried about the game right now.”Emotions escalated during the halftime break, where the two imports allegedly pushed a metal railing that hit San Miguel governor Robert Non and some of the Beermen staff who were on their way to the dugout. Both denied the accusations against them. LATEST STORIES Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “We’ve been together for so long and the chemistry is already there. We’re locked in on what we wanted to do and we know what to expect from them after we won Game 2,” he said.Ross, though, hopes the Beermen won’t have to wait for such instances before coming to their senses.“I hope we can get to that level where we can just play at that level from the beginning. That will be good for us. But as long as we got that extra level to go through, it’s always good,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garagecenter_img MOST READ World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ FIFA’s video review system under scrutiny again in Russia Nonetheless, the scuffle seemingly fueled the Beermen in the third quarter as they came out hot en route to a 109-97 Game 3 win and a 2-1 series lead.“We won’t back down from them,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria.Ross echoed Santos’ sentiments and said that heated confrontations “kind of gets our juices going.”“It’s kind of like waking up a sleeping dog or something. We’re just trying to play basketball and when they start to do things that we feel that aren’t basketball, we kind of turn it up the notch,” he said.June Mar Fajardo said it’s San Miguel Beer’s poise given that the Beermen have a lot of experience being in pressure-packed situations.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

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Delhi University admissions 2014 end with 2.7 lakh applications

first_imgDelhi University UG admissions 2014 ended on June 16, 2014 with over 2.7 lakh applications received, breaking previous year records. Despite controversy on the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP), the number of students applying for admission has not been affected. The application process began from June 2, 2014 and was available both online at the official website and at the 18 designated centers.According to official data, 274,381 forms were received by the university till 6 pm on Monday, surpassing the previous record of 254,339 forms, reports IANS. While the offline form submission ended at 6 pm, the online form submission continued till 12 midnight. Last year, the total number of forms submitted online was 1,30,803.In the last academic year, with the introduction of the Four Year Undergraduate Programme, Delhi University received 254,339 applications.Now that applications are complete, candidates will be faced with the Delhi University admission cut off lists.Important dates1. Colleges to declare first admission list by: June 24, 20142. Last date for admission and payment of fees under the first admission list: June 26, 2014 3. Colleges to declare second admission list by: June 27, 20144. Last date for admission and payment of fees under the second admission list: June 30, 2014 5. Colleges to declare third admission list by: July 1, 20146. Last date for admission and payment of fees under the third admission list: July 3, 20147. Colleges to declare fourth admission list by: July 4, 20148. Last date for Admission and payment of fees under the fourth admission list: July 7, 20149. Colleges to declare fifth admission list by: July 8, 201410. Last date for admission and payment of fees under the fifth admission list: July 10, 201411. Colleges to declare sixth admission list by: July 11, 201412. Last date for admission and payment of fees under the sixth admission list: July 12, 201413. Colleges to declare seventh admission list by: July 14, 201414. Last date for admission and payment of fees under the seventh admission list: July 15, 201415. Colleges to declare eighth admission list by: July 16, 2014    16. Last date for admission and payment of fees under the eighth admission list: July 17, 201417. Colleges to declare ninth admission list by: July 18, 201418. Last date for admission and payment of fees under the ninth admission list: July 19, 201419. Colleges to declare tenth admission list by: July 21, 201420. Last date for admission and payment of fees under the tenth admission list: July 22, 2014advertisementlast_img read more

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IOC inspectors face report on tough Olympic work conditions

first_imgIn this Feb. 12, 2019, photo, cranes continue to work at the construction site of the Olympic Village for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Tokyo. An IOC inspection team began a routine tour of venues being built for the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, just days after an international labor union federation derided difficult working conditions at some sites. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO — An IOC inspection team took a routine tour of venues being built for the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, just days after an international labor union federation derided difficult working conditions at some Olympic sites.Top International Olympic Committee officials meet in Tokyo this week with local organizers, where labor issues will be on an agenda that includes rising costs, worries about summer heat when the games open in just under 15 months, and complaints about cost cutting from international sports federations.ADVERTISEMENT Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Death by overwork, known as “karoshi,” is a problem in Japan with employees often forced to work long hours despite government measures to try to prevent it.Tokyo organizers also say they are trying to cut spending, which drew angry responses earlier this month at an annual meeting of Summer Olympic sports federations. One federation head said she feared a “cheap” look in Tokyo as organizers try to cut items they view as decorative that might be out of the view of television cameras.Francesco Ricci Bitti, head of the Summer Olympic sports federations, is also an IOC member and part of the inspection team. He has promised to push organizers about the cuts.Tokyo appears to be well-financed. The $5.6 billion, privately funded operating budget — the budget to run the games themselves — is twice as large as that for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, the national government, cities and prefectures are chipping in about $15 billion more to update infrastructure and get the country ready when the games open.Tokyo officials have said operating costs have increased, partly by a decision to use more existing venues. Earlier plans called for constructing new venues, most of which would have been built at government expense.The IOC has repeatedly said it is saving billions by using existing venues. But doing it has also shifted more costs to local organizers.“Because Tokyo 2020 has been promoting the maximum use of existing facilities, naturally Tokyo 2020 is assuming the increased cost of the overlay and temporary facilities projects,” Tokyo spokesman Masa Takaya said in a recent interview with AP.He said the operating budget would not be increased and suggested some cuts were inevitable. Takaya said the cost to remodel existing venues and refit them was 95 billion yen (about $860 million). Yuson said he had not received a response from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which is building the Olympic village, nor the Japan Sport Council, a national government body that is building the stadium. The municipal government and the sports council told AP they were reviewing the report but offered few other details.The report said that workers interviewed complained about “a pervasive culture of fear” that discouraged speaking out. It said almost half of the workers interviewed did not have formal contracts, and it found “dangerous patterns of overwork” at both high-profile venues. It said some workers at the Olympic village reported working 28 consecutive days, and up to 26 straight at the national stadium.Yuson said some problems were made worse with tight Olympic deadlines and pressure to finish on time.“The situation is even worse with so-called interns or migrant workers with issues — language, employment contracts and immigration issues,” Yuson said by email. “Massive overtime in construction is really a big problem in Japan.”The report noted that two workers have died on projects for the Tokyo Olympics. The report said the labor federation began monitoring the Tokyo Olympics in 2016 and last interviewed workers in February.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Timberwolves retain Ryan Saunders, NBA’s first millennial head coach LATEST STORIES MOST READ Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Issued last week, the labor report titled “The Dark Side of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics,” focused on labor issues at the new national stadium and the Olympic village — the two centerpiece venues for the Tokyo games.Japan, with an aging and declining population, is short handed in many industries. The government has provided more visas for construction workers tied to the Olympics, and in April started allowing more foreign workers to reside in the country.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAmbet Yuson, general secretary of Building and Wood Workers’ International based in Geneva, Switzerland, said the critical report had been sent to IOC president Thomas Bach.“We were informed by the IOC that they are in direct contact with the Tokyo 2020 to find remedies,” Yuson said in an email to the Associated Press. View commentslast_img read more

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