Global influence

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaThey’ve changed how and where people live. They influence law and how people are governed. And as freer global trade forces the world into closer contact, plant diseases will continue to play a major role, says a University of Georgia expert.By knowing a little history and how these diseases shape society now, we can prevent them from misshaping our future, says Ron Walcott, a plant pathologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”Plant diseases in some way have affected virtually everyone in the world,” said Walcott, who teaches a UGA course in Athens, Ga., on the relationship between plant diseases and society.Sparks lawFor example, he said, a nasty, unnoticed Asian pathogen caused a disease that virtually wiped out the American chestnut tree around the turn of the 20th century. The pathogen found its way into the country through normal trade.Until then, American chestnut trees were common nut-bearing trees all over the United States. They haven’t recovered. “Chestnut blight is still here,” Walcott said.As a result of the disease, though, the Plant Protection and Quarantine Act of 1912 was enacted.Sparks migrationsPlant diseases have contributed to massive human migrations. And some say they’ve played a major role in regulating human populations, Walcott said.The most classic case of these mass migrations, he said, can be attributed to a potato disease that ravaged Ireland in 1845. At that time, the potato was the dominant food source for an Irish population that was growing out of control.Because so much could be grown on few acres, the average Irish man ate about 12 pounds of potatoes each day. “They also produced corn, pigs and other agriculture products,” he said. “But these products were used to pay the rent on the land and exported. Potato was by far the major food source.”A growing population that depends on one type of food spells trouble. Ideal weather conditions allowed a fungus to wipe out the Irish potato crop, causing an immediate famine and exodus. (Many of those Irish immigrants landed in Georgia.)But it wasn’t just the famine that caused the great Irish exodus. Due to superstition and an ignorance of plant diseases at the time, Walcott said, many thought they could do nothing else but leave.A plant disease caused a less known, but some say much worse, famine and exodus in India during World War II, he said.India wanted independence from Britain at the time. Tensions were high. Then Japan, Britain’s war enemy, began to advance on the region.The main food source for the Bengal region of India was rice. But a rice disease wiped out the crop. Coupled with war tensions, the disease contributed to the death or exodus of 2 million to 4 million Indians, he said.Sparks debate over rightsPlant diseases still affect us. One disease has sparked a debate over basic citizens’ rights in Florida.Citrus canker has badgered the Florida citrus industry since 1910. There is no cure. It was thought to be eradicated several times, only to come back stronger, most recently in 1995.To combat the spread, the state government, by law, can remove and destroy suspect trees from private property. This has upset many, particularly around the Miami citrus-growing area.”This disease has really brought to the fore, constitutionally, what right the government has to take over personal property for the greater good of the society,” he said.Walcott’s research focuses mainly on the understanding, causes and prevention of seed-borne diseases. He centers on a watermelon disease that has upset relations and caused lawsuits between seed companies and growers in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia.The most efficient way diseases can travel is through seed. Georgia farmers get much of their seed for crops from out-of-state.last_img read more

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The Best Shows on BBC that are not Downtown Abbey

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Lissa HarrisThe BBC has always put together some amazing programming. As the world’s oldest national broadcasting organization, BBC has continuously provided high quality (and low quality) programming to the world on the dime of the average British household and I personally want to thank each and every one of those contributors for hours and hours of pure personal enjoyment. Here is my list of the top shows, most of which can be found on non-nefarious Netflix.The Catherine Tate Show:Catherine Tate is a comedienne known in the States for her portrayal of Nellie Bertram, Michael Scott’s replacement, in the eight and ninth seasons of NBC’s The Office. But her talents are truly showcased in the sketch comedy show that bears her name. Her range of character is incredible and hilarious. My favorite character is Margaret the frightened woman who screams in terror at seemingly innocuous noises such as crunching or her own hiccups. If you think this is funny, you will LOVE this comedy.LutherThe current popularity of the crime drama has me on cloud nine and renews my faith in humanity’s capability to be interested in anything other than a housewife of some county. Like it’s title character played by Idris Alba, Luther has it all: intelligence, suspense, and sharp dialogue most of which is spoken in cockneyed british accents. It exudes a sexy slumpiness that is irresistible and completely satifying right down to the opening song by Massive Attack.Its only flaw is falling prey to the all too familiar “shock” plot twist (ie: killing off a major character) that we see all too often in TV today. But I can forgive its transgression without impunity because everything else about it is so good.Call the MidwifeI happened upon this pink diamond after reading an article about the best shows on Netflix. I was skeptical at first since, on the surface, it possessed none of my usual desired traits for good TV (crime-based, apocalypse centered, or anything sci-fi). It is set in 1950s London in the poverty stricken Eastend and follows the life of novice mid-wife in a convent, Nurse Jenny Lee (played by Jessica Raines). Each episode focuses on a different pregnant women with her own unique set of concerns for herself, her family, and her unborn baby. The show emphasis is on how crucial the midwife was at a time before we gave birth in hospitals strapped to a fetal monitor, a heart monitor, and an IV drip filled with Pitocin. It was surely a simpler time but boy did things go wrong. And although they faced some hard decisions, everything always turned out right in the end except for that one episode that unlike Luther I will never forgive them for. And let us not forget Nurse Camilla “Chummy” Browne, played with wild abandon by Miranda Hart, who at six-foot-something is awkward nervous perfection.SherlockOkay, okay I know. Sherlock is hardly a hidden gem. It is about as popular as that show I mentioned in the title (Downton Abbey, shhhhhh). But unless you have watched this series, every episode, more than once, you don’t know Sherlock. Visually stunning shot for shot, this show should be watched again in slow motion just to be able to absorb the slight nuances of the cinematography and each character’s movements within. Then it should be watched by pausing during breaks in the dialogue in order to catch each line in its “blink and you’ll miss it” style. Sherlock is a veritable banquet for the eyes, brain, and soul. Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes) and Martin Freeman (Dr. Watson) have a chemistry on screen that rivals Bogey and Bacall. The storylines are as realistic, intelligent and well though out as (or dare I say even better than) Breaking Bad, and this last season’s finale was exhausting and glorious to watch. It took my mind a week to recover. If you get nothing from this article except that I think everyone should WATCH THIS SHOW, then this was worth the hour it took me to write and I can feel that I’ve done my part to remove the stigma that still surrounds television. Sherlock is the reason why TV is good, TV is right, and TV should be watched often with a discriminating and curious mind. We will all be better for it.last_img read more

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Travel from Europe to the US suspended for 30 days

first_imgUS President Donald Trump has announced that due to the coronavirus, the US is stopping all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. This ban does not apply to the United Kingdom, as well as to countries that are not members of the Schengen zone, which Croatia currently does not have, along with Romania and Bulgaria. Therefore, the flight ban does not currently apply to Croatia. The new rules will take effect Friday night. There are 1135 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States, and 38 people have died.last_img read more

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Indonesia gains upper hand against Kenya in Davis Cup

first_img“I will definitely deploy him [Christo]. And I am still considering which player will be paired up with him. I will ask the players about their readiness and I will deploy the best pair,” he said after Friday’s match.Christo stands as world number 80 in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) ranking. Before Friday’s contest began, the Davis Cup gave Christo a commitment award for his participation in the men’s team tournament. Christo has represented his country 23 times in the Davis Cup.In Friday’s match, Christo opened the pathway for the team by stunning Sheil Kotecha in a straight 6-1, 6-2. Even though Christo has not played any singles matches in international tournaments since 2018, the 30-year-old was still too strong for Kenya’s first single.David Agung Susanto, who was deployed as Indonesia’s second single, performed his duty well by securing victory over Ismael Changawa Ruwa Mzai 6-2, 6-4.Kenya’s nonplaying captain Rosemary Owino applauded the performance of both Indonesian singles saying they played well and intelligently.“Today is one day. I told you one of us would like to go to bed with a 2-0 lead. But [Friday’s result] never means that the tie is over. It makes tomorrow more interesting,” she said.Topics : Indonesia gained the upper hand against Kenya on the first day of the Davis Cup World Group II tennis playoff after leading 2-0 with ace Christopher Rungkat still showing that he is the one to look out for on court.Despite being in the lead, Indonesia’s nonplaying captain Febi Widhiyanto said that he would still deploy Christo in the men’s doubles match on Saturday to secure the victory.In the draw held on Thursday, Christo’s name was not listed in the doubles category as he was prepared only to play in the singles matches. Indonesia previously named the junior combination of M. Rifqi Fitriadi and Gunawan Trismuwantara in the doubles category, which will open Saturday’s contest.last_img read more

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French public pension fund ERAFP welcomes new chair

first_imgRocchi became chair of the board on 8 November 2011.Between July and October, Philippe Soubirous, vice-president of the board of directors of ERAFP, acted as president in accordance with Article 21 of Decree No. 2004-569 of 18 June 2004.Soubirous was named vice-president of ERAFP by decree in March 2012.ERAFP’s chairman of the board is elected by presidential decree for a period of three years, while the remaining board members are appointed by ministerial decree. The French government has appointed a new chair to the board of directors of the €16bn public pension fund ERAFP after the previous chair stepped down in July.Dominique Lamiot, until recently general secretary of the French Ministry of Finance and Economy, was named chair of the board of directors.He started in his new role earlier this month and was named by presidential decree after five years at the ministry.Lamiot succeeds Jean-François Rocchi, who announced in June this year that he would step down from the board of directors on 1 July.last_img read more

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Sovcomflot Orders Large-Capacity Tankers from Zvezda

first_imgRussian shipping major Sovcomflot (SCF Group) has signed a set of agreements with Rosneft, Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex and VEB Group, placing orders with Zvezda for a series of two next generation large-capacity Aframax tankers.One of the largest leasing companies in Russia, VEB-Leasing, will finance the construction of the tankers, while a subsequent 20-year time-charter for them has been agreed with compatriot petroleum company Rosneft.The vessels will feature 114,000 dwt and a 1A/1B ice class, which makes them able to operate all year round in areas with difficult ice conditions, including sub-Arctic seas and Russian ports of the Baltic region.“The technical specification of the tankers reflects the regulatory limits on sulphur, nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions, which will come into effect for the Baltic and North Seas in 2020,” Sovcomflot said.These next generation tankers are designed to operate on LNG fuel, providing for a low level of human impact on the environment as they reduce emissions of harmful substances.“We welcome the plans of the Russian shipbuilders, from Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex, to create modern large-capacity vessels using natural gas-based bunkers (LNG) as their primary fuel. I’m sure that it is with such vessels that the future of merchant shipping lies,” Sergey Frank, President and CEO of PAO Sovcomflot, said.last_img read more

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China and South Africa forge new agreement on telecoms cooperation

first_imgSouth Africa ready for Forum on China – Africa Cooperation Summit South Africa’s Minister of Telecommunications recently hosted China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology in the city of Cape Town. The two signed a new action plan of cooperation in the telecoms sector. CCTV’s Clementine Logan reports Related FOCAC: China-Africa medical cooperation since 1963 Talk Africa: China-Africa cooperation on povertylast_img

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Pope Francis warns Church could become ‘compassionate NGO’

first_img 45 Views   no discussions Share FaithInternationalLifestylePrint Pope Francis warns Church could become ‘compassionate NGO’ by: – March 14, 2013 Share Tweetcenter_img Sharing is caring! Share Pope Francis: “I would like all of us… to have the courage to walk in the presence of God”Pope Francis has warned the Catholic Church would become “a compassionate NGO” without spiritual renewal.In a Sistine Chapel Mass with cardinals on his first day as Church leader, the pontiff said: “If we do not confess to Christ, what would we be?“We would end up a compassionate NGO. What would happen would be like when children make sand castles and then it all falls down.”Francis is the first Latin American – and the first Jesuit – Pope.The BBC’s David Willey, in Rome, says the 76-year-old has already been swift to stamp his style on the papacy.Pope Francis is regarded as a doctrinal conservative, but he is also seen as a potential force for reform of the Vatican bureaucracy, analysts say.Shunned special carOn Wednesday night, Pope Francis endeared himself to the crowds in St Peter’s Square – and underlined his reputation for humility – when he asked them to bless him before blessing them in return from the balcony of the basilica.The Vatican’s account of his first hours in the top job on Thursday also emphasised Pope Francis’s humility, describing how he shunned a special car and security detail provided to take him to the Vatican, travelling instead on a bus with the other cardinals.Following his first outing as pope to the Rome basilica on Thursday, Francis went back to the clergy house in a city centre side street where he had been staying ahead of the conclave that elected him on Wednesday.“He packed his bags and then he went to pay the bill for his room so as to set a good example,” said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.He also broke tradition by remaining standing to receive cardinals’ acts of homage after his election, instead of sitting in the papal throne, Father Lombardi said.On Friday, Pope Francis will meet all the cardinals, including those aged over 80 who did not take part in the conclave.On Saturday he will meet the world’s media at a special papal audience, an opportunity perhaps to set out some of his global vision, says the BBC’s James Robbins in Rome.A visit to his predecessor Benedict XVI at his retreat at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome is also planned, but will not take place in the next couple of days, Father Lombardi said.The visit to Benedict is important, correspondents say, as the existence of a living retired pope has prompted fears of a possible rival power.Francis will be installed officially in an inauguration Mass on Tuesday 19 March, the Vatican added.BBC Newslast_img read more

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Mangrove-friendly crab culture, a lucrative source of livelihood

first_imgBased on a pilot-project in Palawan, a 4,000 square meterpen which was stocked with 2,040 pieces of crablets yielded 1,767 market-sizedcrabs weighing an average of 275 grams. The crabs were partially harvestedbeginning the third month until the sixth month. In all cases, mangrove crabs are marketed alive. With pricesnow upwards of P500 per kilogram, crab culture among mangroves might just beanother reason for coastal communities to protect their mangrove resources./PN According to a manual authored by SEAFDEC AquacultureDepartment chief Dan Baliao, growing alimango among mangroves mainly entailsstocking wild or hatchery-sourced crablets within a manageable area of between2,000 square meters to 1 hectare enclosed with nets or bamboo slats. The shapeof the area will depend on the topography and distribution of trees and roots. THE lush foliage of mangrove forests is now the pride oftheir host communities – a badge for environmental conservation, a naturalprotection from storm surges, and a potential tourist draw. This is a far cryfrom the times mangrove areas were seen as unproductive wastelands and weresoon cleared to make way for aquaculture ponds. Monosize crablets weighing between 30 to 50 grams each maybe stocked at 5,000 to 10,000 pieces per hectare. Crabs are fed with choppedtrash fish, animal entrails, mussel and snail meat, whichever is locallyavailable and economical. These are broadcast daily beginning at 10 percent ofbiomass before tapering to five percent towards the end of a culture periodthat may last between 45 and 60 days or when they reach at least 200 grams. Another important component is ditches that will serve asrefuge for the crabs. These should be able to hold water during the lowest lowtide and cover between 20 and 30 percent of the enclosure area. While minorroots of mangroves will likely be affected by the digging, cutting main rootsshould be avoided. Growing ‘alimango’ in mangrove pens While aquaculture appears to be the main culprit for thedestruction of mangroves in past decades, they are not mutually exclusive.Farming of fish, shrimps, and crabs within mangrove areas – termedaquasilviculture – may be done to combine the benefits of coastal protection,ecological productivity, and livelihood for nearby communities. Because some crabs tend to dig, enclosures should extend upto 70 centimeters beneath the soil. Meanwhile, the top should be not less than30 centimeters above the highest high tide. Crabs should also be prevented fromclimbing over the pen using a 30-centimeter net overhang or plastic lining ontop of the fence. “Mud crab culture in mangrove pens is the most lucrative andenvironment-friendly mangrove-friendly aquaculture system,” says Dr. JurgennePrimavera, scientist emerita of the Southeast Asian Fisheries DevelopmentCenter (SEAFDEC), referring to the grow-out of crabs, also locally known as alimango,a prized commodity with year-round demand in the market. Considering the natural ebb and flow of tidal waters withinmangrove areas and the obstruction of trunks and roots, aquasilviculture is notas straightforward as pond culture where the water level may be controlled.However, farming amphibious mangrove crabs, also called mud crabs, is seen asthe best option for aquasilviculture. Market-sized mangrove crabs harvested from SEAFDEC’s Dumangas Brackiswater Station. Photo courtesy of SEAFDEC/AQD. By Rex Delsar B. Dianalalast_img read more

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I didn’t get fair chance in football – Sprint king Bolt

first_img Asked if he had any regrets about his attempted career shift, he replied: “I do think about it sometimes that it didn’t work out the way that I wanted it to, because football is something that I love. “The fact that it didn’t work out I do think about it, but as I said, it’s one of those things you’ve got to move past.” Earlier this year, Bolt and his partner Kasi Bennett became parents to a baby girl and he said he was content with life, despite disappointment at not becoming a footballer. Loading… Read Also: NBA: LeBron James brushes off criticism from President Trump “Being a parent now, it’s different. It gives you a sense of accomplishment so I’m really happy and just excited to go on this journey,” he told the broadcaster. “It’s been just about living it and experiencing it day by day.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Sprint legend Usain Bolt Thursday claimed he wasn’t given “a fair chance” to prove himself in Australia’s A-League after a failed attempt to become a professional footballer. The Jamaican, an eight-time Olympic champion, tried out with the Central Coast Mariners in 2018 after quitting athletics, hoping to fulfil a childhood dream to become a soccer player. His quest garnered worldwide attention, which intensified when he scored two goals in a pre-season friendly. But his abilities were questioned, notably by former Ireland striker Andy Keogh who said he had a “touch like a trampoline”, and contract talks failed. Bolt told Australia’s Channel Nine television network: “I think I didn’t get a fair chance. “I didn’t do it how I wanted to do it, but it’s something I think I would’ve been good at,” he added. “But it’s just one of those things you miss out on and just have to move on.” Bolt, the 100m and 200m world record holder, had previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway.Advertisement Promoted Content7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The UniverseBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooDid You Know There’s A Black Hole In The Milky Way?10 Incredibly Looking Albino Animals6 Major TV Characters We Were Relieved To See Leaving The ShowCan You Recognize These Cute Celeb Baby Faces?8 Weird Facts About Coffee That Will Surprise YouYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The WorldCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?last_img read more

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