China is a major supplier of food ingredients and products to the U.S. and Canada. However, food safety concerns for both Chinese and U.S. products have resulted in food recalls in recent years. To address these concerns, the University of Georgia held the fourth International Summit on Emerging Issues in Food Safety and Marketing.The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences hosted 10 scientists from China and one from Taiwan, as well as several UGA food experts and students, for the summit which is a partnership between UGA, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Shanghai Ocean University. Each year, the summit is held at one of these institutions. “This program provides a catalyst for increased collaboration and exchange by providing a forum for researchers, students and stakeholders to exchange knowledge and ideas related to food safety, trade and policy issues,” said Ed Kanemasu, CAES assistant dean and director of global programs. “We envision new collaboration in training on food safety issues and new opportunities for student exchange.”Food exports from China have surged since its entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001. However, defective labeling, contamination and poor food safety have caused concern and sparked the recall of some food products. The summit focused on food safety and trade to ensure that food safety issues don’t hinder international trade. Outbreaks of foodborne illnesses from fresh produce and ready-to-eat foods in the U.S. have led to new food safety laws, increased food-tracing technologies and greater scrutiny of imports.The summit included discussions about new technology to decrease foodborne viruses, too, and postharvest quality techniques as well as pesticide applications and global food marketing. “Our economies are so intertwined that we must find ways to work together. This begins with relationships,” said Scott Angle, CAES dean and director. “While the immediate purpose of the meeting is to share information, the relationships we are creating are just as valuable.”Next year, the summit will be hosted by SHOU in Shanghai, when the university celebrates its 100-year anniversary.
New Washington law requires state’s utilities to quit coal by 2025 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Seattle Times:Gov. Jay Inslee signed a package of bills Tuesday to combat climate change headlined by legislation to rid Washington’s electric grid of fossil-fuel-generated power by 2045, a move that makes the state a leader in the national clean-power movement.Other parts of the green agenda now embedded in state law create new conservation standards for energy use in large new buildings, require new efficiency standards for appliances and phase out “super pollutant” hydrofluorocarbons used as refrigerants.The law sets a 2025 deadline for utilities to end all reliance on coal, and a 2045 deadline to end use of natural-gas-generated electricity. The new energy standards will have a major impact on investor-owned utilities. Puget Sound Energy (PSE), which serves more than 1.1 million electric customers, got nearly 60 percent of its electricity from coal and natural gas in 2017.PSE leaders were involved in intense negotiations with legislators and environmentalists over the shape of the bill. In the final version, legislators yielded to utility concerns that an early House bill contained too harsh of a financial stick should the fossil-fuel-powered electricity not be phased out by 2045.For PSE, the clean-power law will add new urgency to the task of ending a decades long reliance on a major coal-fired plant in Colstrip, Montana, which the utility partially owns. Two of the plant’s four units will close by July 2022. PSE had forecast that it would stop drawing power from the other two units by the early 2030s, and hinted in planning documents that it could happen sooner.The new legislation means that within six years, PSE needs to be done with delivering Colstrip power to Washington.More: Clean power is now the law; Inslee signs bill for zero-carbon electricity by 2045
37SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Hadley Malcolm, USA TODAYA low credit score thwarted Marie Kapelke and her husband Mike Biethan’s plans to try to buy a house early last year.When the couple, both 26, met with a mortgage specialist in December 2013, they found out Biethan would need to improve his score in order for them to get pre-approved for a mortgage. In fact, neither of them knew their credit scores before meeting with the banker, but they were ready to buy their first home after living in Seattle for about six years.“We found out, OK your credit score really affects your interest rate,” Kapelke says. Biethan worked to improve his score over the past year, and the two revisited homeownership in the fall. They closed on a townhouse in West Seattle last month.With rents rising into unaffordable territory, housing inventory up and mortgage rates hovering below 4%, 2015 may prove to be the year of homeownership for millions of Millennials. Real estate website Zillow predicts Millennials will overcome Gen X as the largest group of home buyers this year — more than half of 18- to 34-year-olds said they plan to buy a house in the next one to five years, according to a survey by Zillow last summer.But after putting away enough savings, the biggest hurdle for Millennial buyers may be the learning curve that comes with understanding the process, as well as a host of new financial terms, trade-offs and commitments to consider.It’s a stressful process, especially when you’ve never done it before, recent first-time Millennial buyers say. Kenny Coleman, 25, bought his first place — a loft-style apartment in Cincinnati — in December. He says the first bank he went to for a mortgage wasn’t good at explaining the financing process to a first-timer. “They used all this jargon,” he says. “And they’re talking about all these different insurances.” Coleman, who says the process took him from “complete idiot to pretty well versed” in a matter of weeks, ultimately went to a different bank that was willing to give him a fixed-rate mortgage instead of an adjustable-rate mortgage. continue reading »
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‘Very negative consequences’ “The national security law risks seriously undermining the ‘one country, two systems’ principle and Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, which we wish to see stay in place.”Von der Leyen said that she had warned the Chinese leaders that Hong Kong owes its economic success to its relative autonomy from Beijing.”So we also conveyed that China risks very negative consequences if it goes forward with imposing this law,” she said.Under the “One Country, Two Systems” agreement made before Britain handed the territory back to China in 1997, Beijing agreed to let Hong Kong maintain certain liberties and autonomy until 2047 — including legislative and judicial independence and freedom of speech.But after a year of huge and often violent rallies that have morphed into a popular call for democracy and police accountability, Beijing says the new law is needed to end unrest and restore stability.China and the EU both profess to want to strengthen ties, but the relationship is tangled in a thicket of disagreements on topics ranging from trade and investment rules to human rights and national security.And Monday’s talks came against a backdrop of rising tensions and increasing mistrust between Brussels and Beijing. “We expressed our grave concerns about the proposed national security law for Hong Kong,” Michel told reporters after the talks. “We called on China to follow the promises made to the people of Hong Kong and the international community regarding Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and guaranteed freedoms.”A report of the summit by China’s state news agency Xinhua made no mention of Hong Kong but said Xi had stressed his country wanted “peace without hegemony”.Foreign ministers from the G7 group of industrialized nations last week urged Beijing to reconsider the proposed law, which has raised concerns it will end Hong Kong’s relative freedoms and open the door to the kind of repression seen in mainland China. Echoing the language of the G7 statement, von der Leyen said they had made it clear to the Chinese that the EU believes the imposition of the national security law breaches Beijing’s international commitments. Topics : The EU on Monday warned China it would face “very negative consequences” if it presses ahead with a new security law for Hong Kong, stepping up pressure on Beijing over the controversial legislation.European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council chief Charles Michel told China’s top leaders of their “grave concern” over the new law, which critics say will curb the financial hub’s autonomy and freedoms.The stern message, delivered during a video summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, adds to a chorus of international concern over Hong Kong, though so far Beijing has shown no sign of backing down on a law it says is necessary to maintain order. Cyber complaints The EU has been angered by what it says is a significant Chinese campaign of disinformation around the coronavirus epidemic, which originated in China.”We have seen cyber attacks on hospitals and dedicated computing centers. Likewise we’ve seen a rise on online disinformation, and we pointed out clearly that this cannot be tolerated,” von der Leyen said.The EU has in recent months sought to tread a delicate path with China, characterizing it as a “systemic rival” and competitor but also as a partner on some issues.But Monday’s statements were sharper and more critical in tone.Up to now the EU’s efforts to stand up to Xi’s increasingly assertive China have been stymied by a lack of unity among its 27 member states, many of which have been courted assiduously by the Asian giant.Going into the summit, Chinese officials grumbled about proposed new EU legislation aimed at ensuring foreign firms backed by heavy state subsidies do not distort competition in Europe.There is particular concern about Chinese companies swooping in to buy European companies weakened by the coronavirus-triggered recession.According to Xinhua, Xi said the economies of China and Europe should become a “dual engine of the world economy” to promote recovery after the pandemic.After the summit, von der Leyen said there needed to be “more ambition” from the Chinese side to conclude a stalled investment agreement.
‘A circus with balloons’ Navalny, a 44-year-old anti-corruption campaigner who has organized the biggest anti-Kremlin demonstrations in recent years, has slammed the reforms as a “constitutional coup” but has done little to forcefully oppose them.He has said debate about whether to participate in the plebiscite is pointless because lawmakers have already backed the amendments and the vote will be a fraud.”What we are left with is a circus with balloons,” he wrote on Telegram.While many opposition supporters have been frustrated by its inability to offer a more decisive plan of action, some said change will come sooner or later.Mikhail Samin, a 20-year-old programmer who took part in anti-government protests in Moscow last summer, pointed to Putin’s approval ratings, which fell to a historic low of 59 percent in April, according to a poll by the Levada Centre. “The opposition is moving in the right direction,” Samin said. “Society is moving in the right direction.”Navalny has said that, instead of focusing on Putin’s constitutional changes, Russians should prepare for regional elections in September and parliamentary polls due in 2021.Last year pro-Kremlin candidates suffered losses in Moscow city polls after Navalny called for tactical voting to oppose Putin loyalists.Analyst Stanovaya said it was time for Navalny to save his strength for another battle.”Now is not his time.” Russia’s opposition is denouncing this week’s vote on President Vladimir Putin’s constitutional reforms as a joke, pointing out that copies of the amended basic law are already on sale in Moscow bookshops.From liberal reformers to Communists, Kremlin critics say the vote — which started last week and ends on Wednesday — is a thinly veiled attempt to keep Putin, 67, in power for life.But other than tepid calls to boycott or vote “No”, the opposition has done little to actively fight the changes. Russia’s top opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who last summer rallied thousands against suspected voter fraud in Moscow, has also shown little interest in combating the reforms.Experts say deep divisions and shrewd moves by the Kremlin are keeping opponents from mounting any serious opposition to Putin’s plans.”A lack of resources, a lack of new faces, a lack of excitement, inspiration and faith — that’s what I think are the main reason for the problems,” said Vitali Shkliarov, a Harvard University fellow and political adviser who has worked with the Russian opposition.”There have been a million opportunities to prove yourself” since Putin announced the reforms, he said. But after years of repression, Kremlin critics feel dispirited. ‘Opposition in a bind’The amendments have already been approved by parliament but Putin called the public vote in an effort to boost their legitimacy.Initially planned for April 22, the ballot was postponed by the coronavirus epidemic and analysts say its quick scheduling and then rescheduling is part of the reason the opposition has been unable to mount a strong campaign.Tatyana Stanovaya, founder of analysis firm R. Politik, said the Kremlin also pulled the rug from under its opponents when it gave Russians the choice to vote only “yes” or “no” on the entire package of changes, instead of individual amendments.Opposing popular measures such as better pensions and minimum wages could leave Kremlin opponents vulnerable, she said.”In such a situation it’s hard to argue against the amendments,” she told AFP. “The opposition is in a bind.”Liberal party Yabloko has urged Russians to stay away from the “illegal, anti-constitutional and fake vote”.The Communist Party is calling on its supporters to vote “No”, an unusual move for a party that often toes the Kremlin line. “The Russian opposition does not believe in itself.”Putin proposed amending the constitution in January and later approved a last-minute addition that would reset presidential term limits to zero, potentially allowing him to serve two more six-year terms after his mandate expires in 2024.They also include political changes like strengthening the role of parliament and a series of populist measures such as a requirement to adjust state pensions for inflation and an effective ban on gay marriage.Opinion polls show a majority of Russians support the social amendments but there is less enthusiasm for the political reforms. Topics :
Share Share 12 Views no discussions Sharing is caring! NewsRegional First minority government for Guyana by: – December 2, 2011 Share Tweet President-elect, Donald RamotarGEORGETOWN, Guyana — The Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) on Thursday declared Donald Ramotar of the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) the winner of Monday’s presidential election. However, Ramotar’s party failed to win an overall parliamentary majority.GECOM said the PPP/C won 32 seats, the opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) 26 seats, and the Alliance for Change 7 seats. It is the first minority government in Guyana since the former British colony achieved self-government in 1953 and independence in 1966.Ramotar is expected to be sworn in as president on Saturday, replacing Bharrat Jagdeo, who served the two-term maximum set by Guyana’s constitution.The electoral commission had delayed the announcement of the final results, which had been expected on Wednesday, amid much controversy, prompting GECOM chairman Steve Surujbally to defend the integrity of the commission and the results.By Caribbean News Now contributor
Tanaleon added that because the barangaydrug-clearing program is in full force, they have begun tapping privateestablishments so business operators would know that their workers are notusing illegal drugs. The MOA will provide the impetus for thefull implementation of the drug-free workplace policy in Western Visayas,Tanaleon said in an interview. DOLE Department Order 53-03, or theguidelines for the implementation of a drug-free workplace policy for theprivate sector, mandates establishments that employ 10 or more workers toformulate drug abuse prevention and control programs and company policy againstdrug use, Tanaleon said. “This is a good program so there is noreason for us not to pursue it,” she added. (With a report from PNA/PN) “One of the things that will be includedin the MOA is for LGUs to undertake the implementation of the drug-freeworkplace policy. We will include in the requirements that before a businesspermit or renewal permit is issued, DOLE has to certify that an establishmenthas complied or is exempted from DO (Department Order) 53-03,” she said. “PDEA, DOLE, and the LGU will worktogether to issue requirements that should be complied (with) by anestablishment to make sure that they have a drug-free policy within theirbusiness,” she said. “This is a big program and our pilotareas are also major cities. Once we start with these big cities, we arepositive that other municipalities in Western Visayas will follow,” she added. Tanaleon said Thursday they were justfinalizing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that would be entered into by theiragency, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and pilot localgovernment units (LGUs). On Jan. 28, PDEA met with the localchief executives and representatives of these cities to discuss the initiative. Last year, PDEA also launched “OplanKalasag”, an advocacy program on drug-free workplace where administrators,front liners, and security officers of hotels, restaurants, bars, subdivisions,condominiums, and warehouses were empowered in compliance with Republic Act9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and DOLE DO 53-03,Tanaleon said. ILOILO City – The full implementation of the drug-free workplace policy inprivate establishments will be formalized before the first quarter of the yearends, according to Ma. Graziella Tanaleon, information officer of the PhilippineDrug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Western Visayas. The drug agency eyes to pilot the fullimplementation in the cities of Passi, Iloilo, and Bacolod.
The BMS Girls’ Basketball team held their awards program this week.Congratulations to all of the players on their hard work, dedication, and improvement.Individual awards went to.Offensive Award: Hattie WesterfeldDefensive Award: Stephanie NobbeBulldog Award: Ellie WaechterCourtesy of Bulldogs Coach Thomas Barnett.