Can the organics survive the current economy?

first_imgEmail Print NewsCan the organics survive the current economy?By admin – April 10, 2009 722 Twitter Linkedin WhatsAppcenter_img Advertisement IT’s the dreaded and now, quite annoying, “R” word, but it has hit everything in its wake. Probably because we have let it. Food, is no different and as we get cuter with our purchases, some will let the luxury of good sound choices slip them by as they aim to make their money go further. Top of the list for the chop would be your free range meats and most likely your organic produce. Some producers may differ and others will agree, but figures released recently can indicate a slight decline in organic sales.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up In Ireland, the decline is apparent but not fully quantified, but in the UK, sales of organic products present a mixed picture, according to a major report published by the Soil Association.Organic food sales have been hit across all sectors, as consumers tighten their belts in the face of the economic downturn. 2008 saw sales in both regions marginally rise by close on two per cent, but this statistic must be seen in the context of overall food price rises rather than sales volume increases.Industry analysts have said that this has been a really difficult period for all retail, and organic sales have suffered along with the rest of the economy. Reports of this nature describe a very mixed picture as consumers react to the financial crisis. But those consumers who are committed to organic products appear to be staying loyal. This shows the underlying resilience of the organic market, which it is believed will grow again once the economy picks up.Figures would suggest that the organic participants have their fan base and those that choose it as a way of life, but it also shows that the increase in conversion is not that forthcoming as people still adopt a “wait and see attitude”.Th UK based organic body, the Soil Association, issued a report recently and it shows there has been a sharp fall in sales of certain products, including fruit, bread and bakery products, soft drinks and prepared foodstuffs, although even in these sectors, some brands are bucking the recessionary trend. In tandem there has been dynamic growth in sales of organic food through farmers’ markets where figures increased an estimated 19 per cent.Tesco is still the market leader in terms of value despite a fall in organic sales of 9.9% in 2008. Other smaller areas of organic production such as textiles and health and beauty products have also experienced very significant growth.Organic shoppers, like all consumers, have been buying fewer premium products and prepared foods, and switching to lower-cost retailers. There is also a focus on cutting waste and cooking from scratch – sales of organic home cooking ingredients increased by a remarkable 13.5% in 2008, while sales of organic prepared foods dropped sharply.Core consumers who may be cutting back are still determined to stick to their organic principles. Over one third of committed organic consumers say they expect to spend more on organic food in 2009, and only 15% expect to spend less. Animal welfare issues attracted a high public profile in 2008 and sales of organic milk, cheese, some meat and poultry grow by 10.6%, 11.5%, 13.3% and 17.7% respectively, demonstrating that where the benefits of organic production are understood commitment remains firm among ethical consumers.Research shows that over a quarter of consumers who do not currently buy organic food “would like to know more about organic products than they do” suggesting potential to broaden the market still further in the future.Whilst volatility in the organic market looks set to remain in 2009, environmental and political challenges to our current food and farming systems will demand that we develop sustainable production methods in the future. Governments have agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Such cuts can only be achieved in agriculture by deriving fertility from sunshine and organic matter – as organic farmers do – rather than from fossil fuel-based chemical fertilisers. That is a core belief of the organic way and one that they encourage leaders to exploreOrganic farms like all business face uncertainty and volatility. But there are still significant opportunities in some areas – fruit and arable for instance and in developing genuinely local and regional supply networks. Collaboration will also be key to the success of many farm businesses. Facebook Previous articleThe Expert Comment – Paul NestorNext articleOne giant step into Limerick city adminlast_img read more

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Carl McHugh’s ‘fairytale’ date with Wembley

first_img Google+ WhatsApp WhatsApp 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Google+ Carl McHugh’s ‘fairytale’ date with Wembley Pinterest By News Highland – January 23, 2013 Pinterest Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire News Facebookcenter_img Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Twitter Previous articleSoccer – McHugh and Bradford Reach Wembley FinalNext articleIrish Cancer Society confirms 125 thousand euro centre for Letterkenny News Highland Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Facebook Donegal’s Carl Mc Hugh played his part as Bradford knocked Aston Villa out of the league cup to reach Wembley for next months Final.Villa won last nights semi final second leg 2-1 but they lost 4-3 on aggregate.That means the league two side are the first side from the fourth tier in English football to reach a major final since 1962.Lifford’s Shay Given and Ciaran Clark who has connections in Milford both started the game for Villa.It’s been a major turn around for Mc Hugh who suffered numerous set backs last season and only broke into the first team before the win over Wigan earlier in the campaign.Speaking with Chris Mc Nulty afterwards Carl said it is a fairytale come true to reach Wembley:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/carl-mchugh.mp3[/podcast] Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th last_img read more

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Brothers amongst four stabbed in Strabane

first_img Pinterest 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Pinterest Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Twitter Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Facebook Facebook 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Previous articleAnger as Nationalist songs are played over shopping centre’s PA systemNext articleConcern over Donegal’s small schools as review process nears conclusion News Highland Twitter Google+center_img Brothers amongst four stabbed in Strabane WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Newsx Adverts Two men remains in hospital following a Stabbing incident in Strabane last night.A total of four men were stabbed in the Abercorn Square area of Strabane after a large number of people were involved in a disturbance outside a bar in the area at about 9.30pm last night.The two men in hospital are brothers from the town and are said to be in a serious condition, however their injuries are not life-threatening.Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.Strabane councillor Eugene McMenamin says the incident has shocked the community:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/eug1pm.mp3[/podcast] Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Google+ WhatsApp By News Highland – March 18, 2011 Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan firelast_img read more

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Uber driver allegedly tries to kidnap passenger in Boston: Police

first_imgchameleonseye/iStockBy EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(BOSTON) — An Uber driver accused of locking a woman inside his car is due to make his first court appearance on Monday.Kamal Essalak, 47, of Acton, Massachusetts, was arrested for kidnapping on Saturday, Boston police said.The victim told authorities that when she got into the car on Thursday, she thought the driver was “behaving strangely” so she “requested to be dropped off and let out,” Boston police said.When the suspect stopped the car, the woman tried to open the door, but the child safety locks had been activated in the back, police said.“As the victim began to scream and bang on the glass in an attempt to draw attention to the unfolding situation, the suspect began to climb into the rear passenger area of the vehicle, laughing periodically,” police said.The woman quickly slid around the suspect and into the driver’s seat, where she was able to unlock the door and flee, police said.Uber said in a statement to ABC News, “What’s been reported is horrifying and something no one should have to go through. As soon as we became aware, we immediately removed this driver’s access to Uber.”Essalak’s attorney told ABC Boston WCVB affiliate that “he is a family man and this is completely out of the blue,” calling it a “shocking accusation.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Sediment dispersal patterns in part of a deformed Mesozoic back-arc basin on South Georgia, South Atlantic

first_imgThe Cumberland Bay Formation is a deformed Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous volcaniclastic turbidite formation several kilometers thick. It has been interpreted as the fill of a back-arc basin which was active on the southwest margin of Gondwana. Sole marks, oriented fossil wood, and small channels identified the paleocurrent directions, and slump folds indicated the paleoslope. Sole marks show a southeast-northwest trend parallel to the axis of the island; unambiguous current-direction indicators show that the “axial” dispersal was towards the northwest. Paleocurrent distributions are bimodal, there is a “lateral” mode at a high angle to the axial-mode in most areas. Beds bearing lateral-mode sole marks are thicker than those with only axial-mode sole marks. Fossil-wood and channel orientations indicate a major axial dispersal pattern. Slump folds show that over much of the outcrop, paleoslopes were roughly northerly. The overall paleocurrent pattern defines a curve concave to the southwest which parallels the shape of the island; this pattern may reflect original basin shapelast_img read more

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U.S. Energy announces asset acquisition

first_imgThe acquired Properties consist of select upstream assets of FieldPoint Petroleum and were acquired pursuant to Fieldpoint’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy process U.S. Energy closed a transaction to acquire operated and non-operated producing assets. (Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay) U.S. Energy Corp. (NASDAQCM: USEG) (“U.S. Energy” or the “Company”) announced that the Company has entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement and closed a transaction (the “Transaction”) to acquire operated and non-operated producing assets (the “Properties”) primarily located in Lea County, New Mexico and Converse County, Wyoming. The acquired Properties consist of select upstream assets of FieldPoint Petroleum Corporation (“FieldPoint”) and were acquired pursuant to Fieldpoint’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy process.Acquisition HighlightsProved Developed Producing (“PDP”) reserves estimated at approximately 237,263 barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) (63% oil).PDP PV-10 estimated at $2.5 million.Lea County, New Mexico assets comprise approximately 82% of total PDP volumes.Converse County, Wyoming assets comprise approximately 15% of total PDP volumes.Assets acquired for $500,000 in cash.“We are pleased to announce this acquisition, which represents U.S. Energy’s second acquisition of 2020 and follows our previously stated strategy of seeking to acquire assets that represent mature, PDP heavy properties which we believe have significant upside potential from existing operations,” said Ryan Smith, Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Energy, who continued, “The Properties, acquired at an approximate 80% discount to their current PDP PV-10 reserve value, add reserves and immediate free cash flow, with operated acreage positions that are held by production to provide optionality for future opportunities. As we continue to execute our consolidation strategy moving forward in 2020 and into 2021, U.S. Energy will continue to pursue attractive opportunities that allow for capital efficient growth and increased shareholder value, while maintaining a low-cost corporate structure and clean balance sheet.”Acquired Properties OverviewAs of August 1, 2020, the Properties had total estimated proved reserves of approximately 237,263 Boe (63% oil), all of which are Proved Developed Producing reserves, and had a present value of estimated future net revenues before income taxes discounted at 10% (“PV10”) value of approximately $2.5 million. The properties are 59% non-operated and 41% operated, with the non-operated assets being operated primarily by Cimarex Energy and ConocoPhillips in Lea County, New Mexico.The consideration paid at closing by U.S. Energy consisted of $500,000 in cash. Source: Company Press Releaselast_img read more

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OnTheMarket at nearly 50% market share, but how many are on discount deals?

first_imgProperty portal OnTheMarket says it now has 9,000 branches signed up to its service, a growth of over 60% since it launched on the stock market in February, giving it a market share just shy of 50%.The company is on an extremely aggressive acquisition drive having spent considerable sums on a new sales team at its Aldershot office. It has added 500 agents since its previous update two and a half weeks ago.This drive may be at a cost, though. As it revealed in its most recent annual report last week, many of these new agents have been signed up on freebie or discounted deals that the company hopes to monetise later on, a model Zoopla also employed during its early days.Discount deals?Increasing branch numbers may please investors and the City, but the strategy merely kicks the task of extracting full fees out of agents further down the line.The sales drive has been run alongside a large advertising push by OTM last month including TV slots and a huge London roadside poster campaign.This marketing effort is also driving more property hunters to register with OTM, which says the number of ‘active alerts’ set up on the portal by consumers now tops a million. And more registered users has helped the portal double its traffic over the past year to 42.2 million individual online sessions.“We are delighted at the strength of momentum and the power of agent support behind our proposition as an agent-backed challenger portal,” says Ian Springett, CEO of OTM (pictured).“We continue to exceed our own expectations of the overall number of agents signing up, achieving this latest milestone of 9,000 contracted offices just three weeks after reaching 8,500 offices.” Ian Springett OnTheMarket OTM AIM June 14, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Marketing » OnTheMarket at nearly 50% market share, but how many are on discount deals? previous nextMarketingOnTheMarket at nearly 50% market share, but how many are on discount deals?Portal’s hugely aggressive land grab among agents is reaping results as OTM spends millions on TV and poster advertising campaigns.Nigel Lewis14th June 201801,440 Viewslast_img read more

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Pretty in Pink

first_imgThis, though, had its setbacks. The only way was down, even if people didn’t want to admit it at the time, and Lastminute.com’s share price took a notorious plunge, from a peak of 555p in 2000, to just 17p two years later. It was sold in a £577m deal in 2005, which saw her pocket a reported £13.5m. But, in true clichéd style, she dismisses the importance of money. ‘I think it’s a bit of a slippery slope when you start doing things for money,’ she says.Maybe we should take with one big pinch of cybersalt her claim that cash isn’t all. After all, she was in lucky enough straits to start with to be able to risk giving up her job to start a business just for fun. She owned her own home and, so she says, wasn’t even giving money a thought. ‘I didn’t ever even imagine that we would make so much money,’ she concedes. ‘I think you can separate out people who are driven purely by money, and people who are driven by great ideas and a passion for making them succeed.’Surely what made Lane Fox succeed, though, was a lifestyle that married her perfectly to the role of running a website that capitalises on the modern man’s lack of foresight. She calls herself ‘spontaneous’, but says she’s not really a last-minute person herself, and doesn’t like leaving things to chance. What do we think that means? That she books important things (holidays, theatre tickets…) six months in advance, maybe? Plenty would agree on that as a fair definition of advanced planning.Not so for her. ‘I probably know that I’m going to go away for the weekend in the next month, but I haven’t done anything about it.’ It’s relative, you see. ‘Last minute for me might be different from what last minute for you is,’ she ventures. For her, it means ‘today, tomorrow or next weekend. That’s kind of what I think of as last minute. But actually lots of people on the website still book six weeks ahead, two months ahead… You can book anything up to a year ahead if you feel like it and you’re particularly anally retentive.’ Anyone born before 1970 has permission to weep. Joshua Freedman talks to lastminute.com creator Martha Lane Fox Talk about last minute. Martha Lane Fox was lucky to make it. The entrepreneur was meant to be popping up to Oxford to judge a bunch of Varsity Pitch contestants at the Said Business School, and, damn me but she cut it fine. ‘I didn’t know what time train I was going to take to get here until ten minutes before I left,’ she admits.It takes someone like this to make a fortune out of a site that has a section called ‘Go last second.’She got there on time, of course. It was one rather minor gamble in a life of gutsy risks. She gave up easier careers for a bit of entrepreneurial fun, and ended up with a £5m bank balance at the age of 31. Life in the fast lane has its dangers — Lane Fox was almost killed in 2004 when her Moroccan jeep overturned, leaving her with half a body made of metal — but she’s proof, if it exists, that you don’t have to live life out of a filofax to get success.Hers is no story of rags to riches. In fact, her upbringing is one that plenty find difficult to shrug off. The daughter of Old Etonian and Oxford don Robin Lane Fox, she went to Oxford High School and then Westminster, before reading History at Magdalen. She worked for Spectrum, a strategy consultancy firm, and then moved to Carlton, the TV network, where she helped develop the firm’s internet plans and new digital channels.Most people would have been satisfied with a cushy creative job in the media. Lane Fox thought differently. ‘It was too corporate. I was quite excited to get out of that.’She was right to be. She co-founded Lastminute.com in 1998 with fellow Oxford graduate Brent Hoberman (‘probably one of the most last-minute people I’ve ever met’), but she insists it was unquestionably his idea. Hoberman seems to have fitted the bill perfectly. ‘Everything happened at the last minute, from going to meetings when we were working together, to organising dates with his millions of girlfriends,’ she says.Taking his own hectic life as a model, he suggested setting up a website that would let people buy theatre tickets, book flights and reserve hotel rooms by clicking buttons and receiving electronic mail. And, with the help of the Real Time revolution, people could do this whenever they bloody well felt like it. ‘The first time he told me, I said I think that sounds like an absolutely awful idea,’ she admits. ‘He then explained in more detail how the internet enabled you to do something like that. He convinced me that you could do this business that would be very, very, very complicated in the real world.‘If you’re trying to organise a weekend away at the last minute, you have to call up hotels, call up airlines, put it all together yourself, whereas the web enables you to have this incredible live availability and book it in real time.‘So, eventually, he convinced me and we set about raising money, writing a business plan, going to venture capitalists, being told everything from “sod off” to “OK, we’ll give you 50p” to “OK, we’ll invest.”’ The last of the three came eventually. They raised £600k.You don’t have to spend long looking at the site, or reading the mailing list e-mails, to gather that Lastminute.com is the definition of the 21st-century cyberbusiness. It’s all pink, for one thing. One panel on the site alerts you to ‘Newsletters ‘n’ things.’ The ‘a’ and the ‘d’ got left somewhere in the mid-’90s.There was a great eureka moment when she decided pink would do it, and, as she says, the ‘brand was forever born.’ Why pink? ‘I was just trying to create a brand that I liked myself, because I think that that’s where you have to start — if you go with your own gut instinct.’ The branding, she says, ‘was friendly and on the customer’s side’, a rarity at the time. ‘In our day, it was very unusual to write in a chatty way on a website. We had a weekly email that was very chatty. That’s made us stand out a bit I think.’It took the others a while to catch up. ‘Not because of Lastminute.com, but since Lastminute.com,’ she notes, ‘it’s become a lot more common parlance to talk to customers in a friendly tone — Innocent smoothie drinks, for example.’ The intro to the ‘Our Story’ section of their site is ‘We had good jobs before we started Innocent. Why did we change?’‘As it grew,’ she goes on, ‘the products on there appealed to everybody. You want to get on a flight, someone else wants to stay in a hotel, other people buy theatre tickets. It’s very, very broad-ranging. The site turns over $2 1/2 billion of revenue, so you have to appeal to everybody to get to that.’At first sight, Lane Fox and Hoberman were lucky with timing. The site did exactly what she says — it appealed to all sorts — and it came to fruition at the peak of the late-’90s internet boom.last_img read more

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Statement to Parliament: PM Commons statement on European Council: 26 March 2018

first_imgIntroductionMr Speaker, before I turn to the European Council, I am sure the whole House will join me in sending our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the appalling terrorist attack at Trèbes on Friday.The House will also want to pay tribute to the extraordinary actions of Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame who, unarmed, took the place of a hostage and gave his own life to save the lives of others. Son sacrifice et son courage ne seront jamais oubliés.Mr Speaker, just last week we marked the first anniversary of the attack on Westminster and remembered the humbling bravery of PC Keith Palmer.It is through the actions of people like PC Palmer and Lt-Col Beltrame, that we confront the very worst of humanity with the very best.And through the actions of us all – together in this Parliament and in solidarity with our allies in France – we show that our democracy will never be silenced and our way of life will always prevail.European CouncilMr Speaker, turning to the Council, we discussed confronting Russia’s threat to the rules-based order. We agreed our response to America’s import tariffs on steel and aluminium, and we also discussed Turkey and the Western Balkans, as well as economic issues including the appropriate means of taxing digital companies.All of these are issues on which the UK will continue to play a leading role in our future partnership with the EU after we have left. And this Council also took important steps towards building that future partnership.RussiaFirst, on Russia, we are shortly to debate the threat that Russia poses to our national security – and I will set this out in detail then.But at this Council, I shared the basis for our assessment that Russia was responsible for the reckless and brazen attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury – and the exposure of many others to potential harm.All EU leaders agreed and as a result the Council conclusions were changed to state that the Council “…agrees with the United Kingdom government’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no alternative plausible explanation.”Mr Speaker, this was the first offensive use of a nerve agent on European soil since the foundation of the EU and NATO.It is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and – as an unlawful use of force – a clear breach of the UN Charter.It is part of a pattern of increasingly aggressive Russian behaviour – but also represents a new and dangerous phase in Russia’s hostile activity against Europe and our shared values and interests.So I argued that there should be a reappraisal of how our collective efforts can best tackle the challenge that Russia poses following President Putin’s re-election.And in my discussions with President Macron and Chancellor Merkel, as well as other leaders, we agreed on the importance of sending a strong European message in response to Russia’s actions – not just out of solidarity with the UK but recognising the threat posed to the national security of all EU countries.So the Council agreed immediate actions including withdrawing the EU’s ambassador from Moscow.And today 18 countries have announced their intention to expel more than 100 Russian intelligence officers from their countries.This includes 15 EU Member States as well as the US, Canada, and the Ukraine.And this is the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history.I have found great solidarity from our friends and partners in the EU, North America, NATO and beyond over the past three weeks as we have confronted the aftermath of the Salisbury incident.And together we have sent a message that we will not tolerate Russia’s continued attempts to flout international law and undermine our values.European nations will also act to strengthen their resilience to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear-related risks as well as bolstering their capabilities to deal with hybrid threats.We also agreed that we would review progress in June, with Foreign Ministers being tasked to report back ahead of the next Council.Mr Speaker, the challenge of Russia is one that will endure for years to come.As I have made clear before, we have no disagreement with the Russian people who have achieved so much through their country’s great history.Indeed, our thoughts are with them today in the aftermath of the awful shopping centre fire in Kemerovo in Siberia.But President Putin’s regime is carrying out acts of aggression against our shared values and interests within our continent and beyond.And as a sovereign European democracy, the United Kingdom will stand shoulder to shoulder with the EU and with NATO to face down these threats together.US steel tariffsTurning to the United States’ decision to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminium, the Council was clear that these measures cannot be justified on national security grounds, and that sector-wide protection in the US is an inappropriate remedy for the real problems of overcapacity.My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade travelled to Washington last week to argue for an EU-wide exemption.So we welcome the temporary exemption that has now been given to the European Union, but we must work hard to ensure this becomes permanent.At the same time we will continue to support preparations in the EU to defend our industry in a proportionate manner, in compliance with WTO rules.BrexitTurning to Brexit, last week the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union reached agreement with the European Commission negotiating team on large parts of the draft Withdrawal Agreement.This includes the reciprocal agreement on citizens’ rights, the financial settlement, aspects of issues relating to Northern Ireland such as the Common Travel Area, and crucially the detailed terms of a time-limited Implementation Period running to the end of December 2020.I am today placing copies of the draft agreement in the House libraries and I want to thank the Secretary of State and our negotiating team for all their work in getting us to this point.The Council welcomed the agreement reached – including the time that the Implementation Period will provide for governments, businesses and citizens on both sides to prepare for the new relationship we want to build.As I set out in my speech in Florence, it is not in our national interest to ask businesses to undertake two sets of changes.So it follows that during the Implementation Period they should continue to trade on current terms.Whilst I recognise that not everyone will welcome continuation of current trading terms for another 21 months, such an Implementation Period has been widely welcomed by British business because it is necessary if we are to minimise uncertainty and deliver a smooth and successful Brexit.For all of us, the most important issue must be focussing on negotiating the right future relationship that will endure for years to come.And we are determined to use the Implementation Period to prepare properly for that future relationship – which is why it is essential that we have clarity about the terms of that relationship when we ask the House to agree the Implementation Period and the rest of the Withdrawal Agreement in the autumn.Mr Speaker, there are of course some key questions that remain to be resolved on the Withdrawal Agreement – including the governance of the Agreement, and how our commitments to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland should be turned into legal text.As I have made clear, we remain committed to the agreement we reached in December in its entirety.This includes a commitment to agree operational legal text for the “backstop option” set out in the Joint Report – although it remains my firm belief that we can and will find the best solutions for Northern Ireland as part of the overall future relationship between the UK and the EU.I have explained that the specific European Commission proposals for that backstop were unacceptable because they were not in line with Belfast Agreement and threatened the break-up of the UK’s internal market. And as such they were not a fair reflection of the Joint Report.But there are many issues on which we can agree with the Commission and we are committed to working intensively to resolve those which remain outstanding.So I welcome that we are beginning a dedicated set of talks today with the European Commission – and where appropriate the Irish Government – so that we can work together to agree the best way to fulfil the commitments we have made.We have also been working closely with the Government of Gibraltar to ensure that Gibraltar is covered by our EU negotiations on withdrawal, the Implementation Period and future relationship.I am pleased that the draft Agreement published jointly last week correctly applies to Gibraltar, but we will continue to engage closely with the Government of Gibraltar and our European partners to resolve the particular challenges our EU withdrawal poses for Gibraltar and for Spain.Mr Speaker, following my speeches in Munich and at the Mansion House setting out the future security and economic partnerships we want to develop, the Council also agreed guidelines for the next stage of the negotiations on this future relationship which must rightly now be our focus.While there are of course some clear differences between our initial positions, the guidelines are a useful starting point for the negotiations that will now get underway.And I welcome the Council restating the EU’s determination to “have as close as possible a partnership with the UK” and its desire for a “balanced, ambitious and wide-ranging” free trade agreement.For I believe there is now an opportunity to create a new dynamic in these negotiations.The agreements our negotiators have reached on the Withdrawal Agreement and the Implementation Period are proof that with political will – and with a spirit of co-operation and a spirit of opportunity for the future – we can find answers to difficult issues together.And we must continue to do so.For whether people voted leave or remain, many are frankly tired of the old arguments and the attempts to refight the referendum over the past year.With a year to go, people are coming back together and looking forward.They want us to get on with it. And that is what we are going to do.And I commend this Statement to the House.last_img read more

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Zappa Family Trust Is Auctioning Off An ‘Extensive’ Collection Of Frank Zappa Memorabilia

first_imgThe Frank Zappa family has been through quite a bit of late, and the tensions between the Zappa children don’t appear to be easing any time soon. In fact, with financial troubles plaguing the Zappa Family Trust, both Ahmet and Diva Zappa have announced the sale of numerous items from the family’s archives.According to the LA Times, the auction will take place on November 4th, and feature memorabilia and gear that was stored in the family’s Laurel Canyon home. Hundreds of items are set to be auctioned, including exotic and rare antiques that the Zappas collected while traveling the world, in addition to specific items used by Frank Zappa during his music making.“There are a lot of things that he would spend a lot of money on, but then he’d take it a step further and have it professionally modified,” said Darien Julien, who will be organizing the auction with his Julien’s Auctions company. “It would be unlike anything else anybody else has. Some of them were crude, but it made the sound or did what he wanted — and we kept it exactly as he built them.”Naturally, the other two siblings – Dweezil and Moon – are not in support of this venture. “I do not agree with the auction,” said Moon Zappa during a conversation in the spring. “I don’t want my childhood photos and my baby teeth and my Christmas ornaments and the furniture I grew up with sold to the public. That’s weird.” Dweezil has also commented that he doesn’t want Frank’s guitars being sold, as he feels they belong to him. However, the auction house has yet to release an itemized list, and there’s no guarantee that these items will be sold.The press release lists the following items: exotic furnishings, fine antiques, salvaged architectural pieces, unique collectibles and whimsical items that appealed to their panache for colorful and non-conformist eye, a Venetian gilt metal chandelier, an Italian Baroque console table, and a carved gilt wood bookcase. Contemporary fine art including a still life by John Alexander, a nail relief sculpture by Robert Harley, and a large painting by Ashley Laurence titled ‘Angel Pig’ (painting name given by Gail Zappa) are also included in the auction.For more specific information about the auction, you can head here.[H/T JamBase]last_img read more

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