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Crackdown continues for Chinese human rights activists, with no Olympic truce during games/ 中国维权人士在奥运会期间仍不得安宁:奥运如期举行,镇压依旧如故

first_img April 27, 2021 Find out more August 13, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Crackdown continues for Chinese human rights activists, with no Olympic truce during games/ 中国维权人士在奥运会期间仍不得安宁:奥运如期举行,镇压依旧如故 Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes Help by sharing this information Follow the news on China The start of the Olympic Games has done nothing to help Chinese human rights activists, who continue to be arrested, watched or threatened. At the same time, incidents involving foreign journalists, including an attack today on a British TV reporter working for ITV, shows that the security services are still preventing the foreign press from working freely. News ChinaAsia – Pacific The start of the Olympic Games has done nothing to help Chinese human rights activists, who continue to be arrested, watched or threatened. At the same time, incidents involving foreign journalists, including an attack today on a British TV reporter working for ITV, shows that the security services are still preventing the foreign press from working freely.To illustrate this, Reporters Without Borders today offers the comments of a foreign reporter about surveillance and harassment by the Chinese police.”In view of the many incidents, we call on the International Olympic Committee to intercede on behalf of the Chinese citizens who are in danger because of the position they have taken during the Olympic Games,” Reporters Without Borders said.”It is the duty of the Olympic movement in its entirety to ensure respect for the spirit of the Olympic truce,” the organisation added. “Since the origins of the Olympics, tradition has required that peace should prevail during the games.”The IOC website has this to say about the Olympic truce in ancient Greece: “During the truce period, the athletes, artists and their families, as well as ordinary pilgrims, could travel in total safety to participate in or attend the Olympic Games and return afterwards to their respective countries. (…) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to revive the ancient concept of the Olympic Truce with the view (…) to encourage searching for peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the conflicts around the world.”John Ray of the British television news service ITN was today covering a protest by several foreign activists who unfurled a pro-Tibet banner near Beijing’s main Olympic zone, when he was arrested by police, dragged along the ground and forcibly restrained for about 20 minutes although he identified himself as a journalist. “This was an assault in my mind, I am incredibly angry about this,” Ray told Agence France Presse.The Foreign Correspondents Club of China (FCCC) says there have been five incidents since 7 August. In one of these incidents, police arrested two Associated Press reporters in the northwestern province of Xinjiang and erased the photos they had taken. One of them was arrested while watching the opening ceremony on TV. Two Scandinavian journalists were prevented from interviewing peasants in Hebei province about the impact of the games on their activities.A European journalist who has been working in Beijing for several years has given Reporters Without Borders a gripping description of what it is like for her and her colleagues in Beijing, and the risks run by Chinese who dare to speak to the foreign press.”They don’t stop following me, filming me and photographing me,” she said. “I think twice before interviewing Chinese about sensitive issues for fear that they could be arrested (…) Last week several Chinese were arrested after giving me interviews. Firstly, people living in the Qianmen district that is in the process of being renovated. They included a woman in charge of an association of evicted residents who sued the government for not paying them enough compensation. The trial began in July but was postponed because of the Olympics. I interviewed her, as other journalists did. Since then she has been detained.”The same thing happened with the pastor of an unrecognised church. Finally, a British woman of Tibetan origin was arrested and expelled after giving me an interview. Under these circumstances, we are all forced to censor ourselves and to refuse to interview certain Chinese for fear of their being immediately arrested. We are all in this situation of intimidation, which makes it very hard for us to work in China, despite the overall improvements.”What’s more, the official media have not stopped attacking us since last March’s events in Tibet. In addition to the death threats received by dozens of foreign journalists, the Chinese media try to undermine our credibility. And all of this gained pace in the run-up to the games.”She is right about Chinese being arrested for talking to the foreign media. Zhang Wei, a former resident of the Beijing district of Qianmen, was arrested on 9 August after filing a request for permission to protest about her family’s eviction two years ago to make way for Olympic construction. The Associated Press quotes her son as saying she is to be held for a month for “disrupting the social order.” The Public Security Bureau said it was looking at her case and had no other comment to make.Yang Guijing, 75, the mother of a young man who demonstrated in one of the Beijing parks that have been officially designated as protest areas, was arrested on 7 August as she on her way to visit her daughter, and has been held ever since. She did not take part in her son’s demonstration, which was in protest the family’s eviction.Other Chinese are being hounded by the authorities, who fear they could protest during the games. There has been no news since 7 August of Zeng Jinyan, the wife of imprisoned activist Hu Jia, and their seven-month-old daughter. Her mother in law said to several Chinese-language news outlets say she may has been forced her to leave the capital. She had been under permanent police surveillance for several years in the “Freedom” residential area where she lives.Some Beijing intellectuals such as Liu Xiaobo and Yu Jie have not been detained, but are under police surveillance. Wan Yanhai, the head of an NGO that cares for AIDS sufferers, chose to leave Beijing during the games to avoid being harassed by the police.Hua Huiqi, the head of an unrecognised protestant church, was arrested in Beijing on 9 August while on his way to a church service that was attended by US President George W. Bush. His brother – arrested at the same time but freed a few hours later – says he has had no news of Hua since then. The police deny ever arresting Hua and claim they had no role in his disappearance. Human Rights in China meanwhile says it got a short letter in which Hua apparently recounts his arrest and subsequent escape.Ji Sizun, a human rights activist form Fujian province, was arrested on 11 August for filing a request several days earlier for permission to demonstrate in one for the areas designated by the Beijing authorities for protests. Human Rights Watch says Ji wanted to organise a rally to protest against corruption and to call for more citizen participation in government decisions.According to HRW, several other Chinese have been arrested or threatened for filing demonstration requests. They include relatives of children killed in the collapse of “tofu” (shoddily-built) schools in the May earthquake in Sichuan. The Washington Post reports that families were prevent from boarding flights in the Sichuan capital of Chengdu.Several members of the outlawed China Democracy Party were arrested in the days preceding the games opening ceremony. According to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, Xie Changfa of Hunan province was arrested on 2 August, while Wang Rongqing, 65, of Zhejiang province was arrested on 31 July. They have been charged with inciting subversion of state authority.奥运比赛已经开始,可是中国维权人士的境遇并没有得到改善,依旧遭逮捕、监视、威胁。另外,以8月13日对英国ITN电视台记者施以暴力为代表的几起和外国记者冲突的事件表明,允许外国记者自由工作的诺言不过是一纸空文。为了更清楚地说明问题,无国界记者用匿名方式发表一名在华工作外国记者的见闻,据这名记者称,中国警方对他们的行动加以监视并对他们施加巨大压力。无国界记者称,“在几起意外事件发生的情况下,我们要求国际奥委会的介入,以保护那些由于政治观点而身处危险的中国公民。自从奥运会诞生以来,比赛期间暂停一切敌对活动,整个奥林匹克运动要让“奥运停战”的精神在中国继续存在。”在国际奥委会的网站上也写着这样的话:“奥运会期间,运动员、演员及其家属和观众都可以在安全的情况下前往比赛现场参加或观看比赛,并在赛后安全返回各自的家园(……)国际奥委会决定让这一传统得以继续(……)以便世界各地的冲突能够以外交手段和平解决。”2008年8月13日,英国电视台记者John Ray在北京报到几名亲藏独运动成员手持旗帜在奥运会场地附近游行时,遭警察传唤并被逮捕。传唤过程中,John Ray被按倒在地并被强行保持此姿势二十分钟,而当时John Ray已经表明自己的记者身份。John Ray接受AFP采访时说,“我很恼火,对我来说,这就是暴力袭击。”据外国驻华记者俱乐部称,自从8月7日起,已经有五起类似事件发生。两名媒体协会记者在新疆遭警察传唤,警察将他们相机中的图像销毁,其中一名记者在观看奥运会开幕式时遭逮捕。两名斯堪的纳维亚记者就奥运会对河北省影响的问题采访该省农民时遭到阻拦。一名已经在北京工作几年的欧洲记者向无国界记者说的一番话令人震撼,他谈到敢于接受外国媒体采访的中国人可能会遭逮捕,“他们(官方)跟着我,给我拍照、录像。对于敏感问题,在采访中国人之前我都非常迟疑,因为我担心他们会因此被捕……上星期,几名接受我采访的中国人就被捕了。被捕的人中有正在改造的前门街区的原居民,其中一位搬迁协会的女负责人就补偿金过低的问题把政府告上法庭。庭审应该在七月进行,不过由于奥运会的缘故延期开庭。我采访了她和她的同事,可随后他们就被逮捕了。一名非官方教堂的神父也遭到了同样的厄运。一名原籍西藏的英国人在接受了我的采访以后被逮捕而后被驱逐出境。在这种情况下,我们不得不对自己写的报道倍加小心,不采访某些中国人,以免他们被捕。尽管总体情况有改善,但是,我们在中国的工作仍十分困难。而且,官方媒体自三月份西藏暴乱以来不停地对我们实施攻击,十几名外国记者收到死亡恐吓,中国媒体竭尽所能让我们丧失信用。这一切在奥运会临近的情况下才愈演愈烈。”几名中国公民在接受外国媒体采访后遭逮捕,张伟就是其中之一。她是北京前门的原住户,8月9日,因反对驱逐她的家人而在递交一份要求游行的申请书后被捕。据媒体协会和张伟之子称,两年前,在奥运会工程进行时,政府以“扰乱社会秩序”为名将张伟关押了一个月。公安局宣称对张伟一案进行调查,并没有发表任何评论。政府防止另外一些中国公民在奥运会期间示威游行,对他们加以骚扰。被捕的异见人士胡佳之妻曾金燕和他们七个月的的女儿自8月7日以来就没有向外界发出任何消息。胡佳之母向几家中国媒体称她的儿媳已被迫离开北京。她们几年来一直生活在长期受警察监视的北京“自由”住所中。刘晓波、徐洁等一些北京学者虽然未遭拘捕,但却要在监视下生活。为艾滋病患者创办的一民间组织主席王延海预防遭报复,在奥运会期间离开北京。未被承认的一基督新教教堂负责人华会其在8月9日在北京前往参加一由布什出席的弥撒时被警方拘捕。他的弟弟华会林也遭逮捕,几小时后被释放,但没有华会起的消息。警方否认拘捕华会其,推卸华失踪的责任。中国人权组织称他们收到了华会其的一封短信,讲述了他被捕、逃脱的经过。原籍福建一维权人士姬司尊几天前提交了一份在政府指定区域游行的申请,却在8月11日遭逮捕。就人权观察组织称,姬司尊希望组织中国公民集会,指责贪污现象,要求公民监察。据维权组织称,几名中国公民在递交游行申请后遭传唤或威胁。在四川地震中几名“豆腐渣”工程学校遇难学生家长也有类似遭遇,据《华盛顿邮报》称,官方禁止这些家长乘飞机离开成都。在奥运会开幕式前几天,几名中国民主党成员(被禁止)被捕。据中国维权人士组织称,湖南省谢长发在8月2日被捕,浙江省65岁的王荣庆在7月31日被拘留。他们将以煽动颠覆国家政权罪被起诉。 June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts News News to go further Organisation News China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures RSF_en ChinaAsia – Pacific China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison March 12, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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first_imgIS IT TRUE  that yesterday we were also told by credible sources that current City Council attorney Josh Claybourn is openly claiming that he has the votes to be retained as the 2020 Evansville City Council attorney?  …last night an e-mail was sent to the City-Council Observer in which Mr. Claybourn states that City Council members that want to retain him are: Brinkmeyer, Beane, Mosby, Elpers, Moore-Morley, Trockman and probably Weaver? IS IT TRUE that Mr. Wallace did a stint in Evansville as the founding CEO of the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville and a key contributor to Innovation Pointe that is still the most technically advanced building in downtown Evansville?… Wallace celebrated his ten year anniversary of separation from GAGE with a bottle of Opus One on the banks of the Tiber River in Rome in August? We hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?IS IT TRUE yesterday we posted that former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel/Jones & Wallace and Democratic State Reperseentive Ryan Hatfield have shown interest in becoming the 2020 City Council attorney? IS IT TRUE we are now told that there are around 5 additional attorneys who would like to interview for the Evansville City Council legal counsel position?IS IT TRUE that former City-County Observer editor and occasional contributor Joe Wallace has accepted an appointment to the Technology Advisory Board of the California Utility Commissions EPIC program?…the EPIC program was established for the purpose of investing in promising technologies to further the use of renewable energy, to strengthen the electrical grid, and to assure that the California power grid is both reliable and sustainable?…the EPIC program invests roughly $130 million per year and has many applicants from all over the world competing for support for projects?… Wallace was invited because of his success in establishing the Innovation Hub or Renewable Energy in Palm Springs and for a lifetime of recognition as an engineering professional in the fields of energy, computer memories, laser-based metrology, and entrepreneurship associated with those technologies?center_img FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare IS IT TRUE on Monday evening the Evansville City Council had the first reading of an ordinance permitting the issuance of Economic Development bonds to be drawn against the Jacobsville TIF?  …that bonds issued can not exceed $2,240,000 and the funds must be invested in an “Opportunity Zone”?  …that the Economic Development bond funds will have to be injected into an “Opportunity Zone” fund in which will be combined with other investor’s funds?  …that since the source of repayment of the bonds will come from the property tax assessment City Council members should be asking who are the investors in the “Opportunity Zone”?IS IT TRUE before the establishment of the Limited Liability Company the Economic Development bond funds and the investor funds must be deposited into an “Opportunity Zone” fund?  …members of the Evansville City Council should be asking who are the individuals or organizations that will be appointed as the Trustee of these funds?IS IT TRUE in order for the private investors to be able to have the maximum tax advantage, their fund injection must be invested by December 31, 2019?  …that there seems to be a sense of urgency regarding this extraordinary financing arrangement but we feel that members of the Evansville City Council should take some extra time to perform their due diligence?    …we should not have to remind them about the embarrassing Earthcare deal and the $200,000 lost of taxpayers dollars because our past elected officials didn’t do their due diligence?IS IT TRUE that the Evansville Redevelopment Commission is 0-4 for attracting a grocery store at the old Buellers Grocery store building site located on North Main street?  …according to a legal agreement, if a grocery store is not quickly lured in, the developer is free to use the retail space anyway he wants?IS IT TRUE according to the Evansville Courier and Press that the  Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation Superintendent David Smith was the highest-paid administrator in Indiana’s five largest school systems last year and local teachers were the lowest-paid?  … if this is true this is downright shameful?IS IT TRUE we are also told that many employees of the EVSC are finally getting tired of the practices of political patronage, nepotism and pork-barrel politics within the school system?Today’s “Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel that the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Coliseum in downtown Evansville should be turned into a Military Museum?FOOTNOTES:  If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected] Observer Comment Policy. Be kind to people. No personal attacks or harassment will not be tolerated and shall be removed from our site. We understand that sometimes people don’t always agree and discussions may become a little heated.  The use of offensive language, insults against commenters will not be tolerated and will be removed from our site.Any reader’s comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertiserslast_img read more

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Dodgers asking Kenta Maeda to take bullpen mentality into rotation spot

first_img“Throwing max effort for just one inning was something that I hadn’t done before. That’s something I’d like to carry over as a starter,” he said. “But I think in general just being aggressive, extremely aggressive in the zone is something I will definitely take away.”Making that adjustment after having a different mentality as a starter his whole career will be “difficult,” Maeda acknowledged. And this is not the first time the Dodgers have asked Maeda to change. Roberts has talked with Maeda before about being more aggressive from the first pitch (particularly after a four-home run outing against the Diamondbacks early last season).“Yeah, we talked about it,” Roberts said. “But until a player sees it really play out on the biggest stage, which Kenta did see – and there’s swing and miss with his fastball and it helps the slider play up even more – then they can buy into it. I think Kenta really feels good about that.”TIMMY TIMETwo-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum will try to make another comeback this season. Lincecum is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers.The Dodgers were among the teams represented at Lincecum’s showcase in the Seattle area two weeks ago. They came away favorably impressed with the 33-year-old Lincecum, who has not pitched since 2016 when he went 2-6 with a 9.16 ERA in nine starts for the Angels.Lincecum had offers from multiple teams and the Dodgers were on his short list. With a set rotation and a deep group of relievers vying for spots in the bullpen, Lincecum would have had to carve out a role for himself. The Rangers are expected to move Lincecum to the bullpen, but their pitching staff offers more opportunity if he is able to maintain his recovered velocity.NOTESLeft-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will make his spring debut Wednesday against the San Diego Padres. Left-hander Rich Hill is expected to face hitters either in a simulated game setting on the back fields or in a ‘B’ game against the Chicago White Sox in the next day or two. … The final game of the Dodgers’ three-game series in Monterrey, Mexico (May 4-6) against the San Diego Padres will be televised by ESPN. The game will be subject to blackout in Southern California. Spotted against right-handed batters, he did not give up a hit in five appearances in the National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs and struck out seven of the 15 batters he faced. He remained unmarked in the World Series until surrendering a costly three-run home run to Jose Altuve in the riotous Game 5.Now the Dodgers hope Maeda the reliever is just as much of a revelation to Maeda the starter.“Absolutely. We talked to Kenta and he did a little self-reflection or evaluation this past winter,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He saw the benefits of being on the attack from the first pitch and felt that it can translate into that starter role.“What he’s known in baseball is trying to go deeper into games as far as number of pitches as opposed to going with the mindset of going as hard as you can for as long as you can. When you look at guys like Clayton (Kershaw) or Rich (Hill) and the elite guys in baseball that have that mindset, players are sometimes surprised how long they can go and hold their stuff instead of trying to reserve or hold back. I do believe that his effectiveness in the ’pen last year will help him.”Maeda has had two largely effective seasons as a mainstay in the Dodgers’ rotation, going 29-17 with a 3.80 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. But he acknowledged he will “try to remember that Kenta (from the postseason) and try to imitate that” as a starter this season. PreviousLos Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda laughs during spring training workouts at Camelback Ranch in Glendale on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda during spring training workouts at Camelback Ranch in Glendale on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda warms up during spring training workouts at Camelback Ranch in Glendale on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda laughs during spring training workouts at Camelback Ranch in Glendale on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 3Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda laughs during spring training workouts at Camelback Ranch in Glendale on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)ExpandGLENDALE, Ariz. — There was a right-handed reliever who pitched very well in a setup role for the Dodgers during their postseason run.Kenta Maeda remembers him.“Of course,” Maeda said through his translator, laughing. “He was pretty good.”A starter throughout his professional career in Japan and with the Dodgers, Maeda was more than “pretty good” in that relief role last October. He was a revelation.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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New manager named for Farm Science Review

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Nick Zachrich began his new position as manager of the Farm Science Review on Sept.12, just days shy of when the 2016 show will open its gates.Nick ZachrichOne of the nation’s premier agricultural trade and education shows, the Farm Science Review is an annual three-day event sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.Zachrich is a six-year employee of the Review, having served as site manager since 2010.“Nick possesses a unique combination of education and experience that has prepared him well for this important role within the college,” said Roger Rennekamp, director of Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of the college. “Our goal is to continually improve the visitor experience while showcasing cutting-edge innovations and best practices of modern agriculture. Nick has the ability to take what he learns on a day-to-day basis and use that information to craft innovations that will help us achieve these goals.”As manager, Zachrich will oversee the Review and other events that take place at the college’s Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio.“I look forward to serving our agricultural industry in the region,” Zachrich said. “Technological advancements in agriculture are more exciting now than ever. I plan to continue to build on the reputation that Farm Science Review has to demonstrate and display the latest in agriculture.”Zachrich joins Matt Sullivan, who began his role as superintendent of the Molly Caren center this summer. Sullivan was previously assistant manager of the Review.last_img read more

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USMCA Vote Could Move to 2020

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorINDIANAPOLIS (DTN) — USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky said Thursday it would be “very unfortunate” for agriculture if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delays a vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement until 2020.Pelosi, D-Calif., was quoted by reporters on Thursday adding some uncertainty to the possibility of a vote on USMCA before the end of 2019. Pelosi was scheduled to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in her office on Thursday to continue negotiations on some sticking points in the trade deal for Democrats.“I’m not even sure if we came to an agreement today that it would be enough time to finish,” The Hill and other publications quoted Pelosi saying.SUPPORTED BY AG GROUPSTo declare USMCA is a priority for agricultural groups is almost an understatement. Agriculture as an industry has been among the biggest advocates for USMCA passage, as 950 groups and businesses signed a letter in May calling on Congress to ratify the deal. After Congress returned from summer recess, farm lobbies and others held a rally to champion the trade deal.The group Farmers for Free Trade just Thursday emailed a list of editorials from newspapers around the country endorsing USMCA and calling on Congress to pass the deal.Further delays of the trade deal could also endanger some moderate House Democrats such as freshmen from Midwest states on the House Agriculture Committee. Reps. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, and Angie Craig, D-Minn., have been among those calling for the House to take up the trade pact.Earlier this week, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, met with House Democrats, pushing them to continue delaying a vote until further labor and enforcement provisions are made. Axne said afterward she told Trumka that, while she supported the enforcement of labor regulations, farmers and manufacturers in her district were hurting due to the trade war and tariffs, which a new trade agreement would alleviate.“The longer we wait, [the more] it increases the pain the folks in Iowa like our farmers are getting right now,” she said.President Donald Trump, in his defense against impeachment, has also frequently brought up that Pelosi has not made enough effort to pass USMCA.MEXICO APPROVED DEALUSMCA was signed last Nov. 30 by President Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Canada. Mexico’s legislature has approved the trade deal, but Canada’s parliament is waiting until the U.S. Congress also moves to pass the trade deal.Censky spoke to reporters Thursday after a speech during the Sustainable Agriculture Summit in downtown Indianapolis. DTN asked Censky about delaying a vote on USMCA.“That would be very unfortunate because we have been waiting a long time for this,” Censky said. “Farmers are looking for trade certainty, the American people are looking for trade certainty, and I think it just postpones locking in an improved trade agreement.”Censky added that the trade agreement locks in the current duty-free access most U.S. agricultural products have going into Mexico. The deal also makes some improvements with biotechnology agreements and with access to Canada, Censky pointed out.“It cracks open additional market access into Canada for our dairy, our wheat, our poultry and egg producers, and it updates the provisions of NAFTA. It’s good for American workers, so if it’s postponed, that would be very disappointing and I hope that doesn’t happen because we need to get it done.”Agricultural groups over the summer pointed out food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico grew from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018 under NAFTA. The USMCA is expected to boost U.S. agricultural exports by an additional $2.2 billion per year.CRP RULECensky also said Thursday that USDA expects to open enrollment for the Conservation Reserve Program in early December. The rule for CRP signup and changes in the program are under review at the White House Office of Management and Budget. USDA expects OMB to release the rule soon, though Censky said he doesn’t want to say when that could happen.Congress raised the cap for CRP to 27 million acres in the 2018 farm bill. Current USDA enrollment reports show 22.35 million acres in the program. Censky said USDA expects “really good and robust participation” to increase acres.“We think it’s going to be one of the biggest CRP signups we’ve had for a lot of years,” Censky said.Under any sign-up, USDA also is expected to reduce CRP rental rates, which were capped at 85% of the county’s average rental rate for general sign-up.Chris Clayton can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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The Insulation Empire Strikes Back

first_imgI was amused, and maybe a little surprised, to find a snail mail, printed letter from NAIMA, the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, in my mailbox recently. This letter, signed by the executive vice president and general counsel, was in response to my earlier post regarding batt insulation. Here is the text of the letter. Please forgive any errors, as it was scanned and run through an OCR program.REGULAR MAILJanuary 17, 2011Mr. Carl SevilleAdvisor to Green Building AdvisorSeville ConsultingRE: Green Building Advisor Article “Should Batt Insulation Be Outlawed?”Dear Mr. Seville:Thank you for your article emphasizing the importance of proper installation of insulation. The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (“NAIMA”) is aware of many qualified contractors who properly install a variety of insulation products, but NAIMA is an advocate of the importance of proper installation in order to achieve full thermal performance. Indeed. NAIMA’s published literature states: “Carefully read the manufacturer’s directions printed on packaging of batt or roll insulation to be sure the material is correctly installed.” In another NAIMA publication, it is stated that “[t]he performance of any insulation product is dependent not only on selecting the proper product but also on installing it correctly.” NAIMA also provides guidance and training materials to insulation contractors.What is true of all insulation products is that when properly installed, insulation delivers significant energy savings. What is also true of all insulation products is that all can be improperly installed. All insulation products must be installed correctly in order to achieve the intended thermal performance. The National Association of Home Builders (“NAHB”) has stated that “you can choose the right insulation, but it will not do the job it’s supposed to do if it is not installed properly.” The NAHB’s statement is directed towards all types of insulation products: batt and blanket, loose-fill, rigid board insulation, spray foam insulation, and others. Therefore, to single out fiber glass batts is unfair and inaccurate. If there is a problem with batts, there is a problem with all batts, including cotton, plastic, denim, rock wool, slag wool, or any other type of batt. Moreover, the rate of improperly installed fiber glass batts must also be weighed in balance with the fact that fiber glass is the most widely used insulation product in North America. Put simply, more fiber glass batts are installed so more are likely to be improperly installed.Many insulation products when incorrectly installed not only fail to deliver their optimum thermal performance, but may cause serious damage or destruction to the building too. Just consider a few of the following examples that effectively illustrate the need to apply equitably the phrase “when properly installed.”In your article, you mention that blown-in products might have been a preferable alternative, though more expensive. As noted above, there is not an insulation product, or any other product for that matter, that is foolproof. Spray foam insulation, which must be installed by experts, can be over-sprayed or under-sprayed. For example, a Maryland inspector reported about an insulation contractor who completely foamed all the walls, roof sheathing, ridge vents, attic fan, and soffit vents. The fan and vents ceased to function. In addition, significant fire and explosion hazards exist during installation of spray foam products. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has identified several fatalities and incidents due to severe asthmatic attacks and fire/explosions associated with the use of isocyanurate-containing materials (which is one of the chemical hazards in spray foam products).Other examples of misapplication of spray foam include under-spraying that leaves gaps and holes similar to those described in your article on fiber glass batts. These gaps or voids will result in decreased R-value. If during a retrofit foam insulation is applied over a 48 inch space using only a two or three inch opening at one side, the foam will begin to expand and cure before it has reached the full depth of the cavity. This would block any more foam from filling the cavity, so random voids would result. Even proponents of foam insulation caution that “spray foam products must still be sprayed correctly.”Most other blown-in products can also be under-sprayed, fluffed, or subject to settling. For example, cellulose insulation settles over time. Third party documentation estimates that settling of cellulose insulation shows an average settling value of 19 percent. Therefore, if cellulose insulation is improperly installed without accounting for settling, cellulose insulation will lose about 19 percent of its R-value when it settles. Therefore, proper installation of cellulose insulation is required in order to improve energy efficiency. The installer must take into account installed thickness and settled thickness, which means additional product must be added to compensate for that settling factor.Too much cellulose insulation above ceilings, however, can impact the ceiling structure of the home. Based on US Gypsum weight limit recommendations for backloaded standard drywall and the installed density of shredded newspaper insulations, there is potential for ceiling drywall to sag at R-values above R-30 for regular cellulose insulation when installed over 1/2 inch ceiling drywall with framing spaced 24 inches on centers. Cellulose insulation, if improperly installed, can cause fires when the insulation is placed near a heat source. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) regulates cellulose insulation as a recognized fire threat. To protect against that fire threat, CPSC regulations mandate the proper installation of cellulose insulation: “Based on available fire incident information, engineering analysis of the probable fire scenarios, and laboratory tests, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined that fire may occur where cellulose insulation is improperly installed too close to the sides or over the top of recessed electrical light fixtures, or installed too close to the exhaust flues from heat producing devices or apparatus such as furnaces, water heaters, and space heaters. These fires may result in serious injuries or deaths. Presently available information indicates that fires may occur where cellulose insulation is improperly installed even though the cellulose insulation complies with the Commission’s amended interim standard for cellulose insulation.”‘CPSC has actually issued regulations that mandate proper installation to avoid house fires, yet even a legal mandate cannot stop improper installation as attested to in the enclosed article, “Going Green May Make You See Red.” Improper installation of cellulose is so serious that this warning label must be affixed: Manufacturers of cellulose insulation shall label all containers of cellulose insulation with the following statement, using capital letters as indicated:CAUTIONPotential Fire Hazard: Keep cellulose insulation at least three inches away from the sides of recessed light fixtures. Do not place insulation over such fixtures so as to entrap heat. Also keep this insulation away from exhaust flues of furnaces, water heaters, space heaters. or other heat-producing devices. To be sure that insulation is kept away from light fixtures and flues, use a barrier to permanently maintain clearance around these areas. Check with local building or fire officials for guidance on installation and barrier requirements. Request to Installer: Remove this label and give it to the consumer at completion of job.Reflective insulation must be positioned adjacent to an air gap to be effective; otherwise heat will simply conduct through to the next solid layer that it touches. In other words, if the reflective insulation is positioned improperly, it will not deliver the intended thermal performance.If you are so anxious to outlaw insulation products, would it not be prudent to start with those products clearly identified as threats to life and safety? Certainly outlawing fiberglass batts should be a low priority. Perhaps in future columns you can join with NAIMA and many other insulation producers in advocating proper installation for all insulation products. To single out fiber glass actually does a great disservice to your readers because it suggests that it is somehow a unique issue to fiber glass when, in reality, it is an issue for the entire insulation industry.Sincerely,Executive Vice President, General CounselNorth American Insulation Manufacturers AssociationSo who is NAIMA anyway?According to its website, “NAIMA is recognized as the voice of the insulation industry for architects and builders; design, process and maintenance engineers; contractors; code groups and standards organizations; government agencies; public interest, energy and environmental groups; and homeowners. NAIMA is an authoritative resource on energy-efficiency, sustainable performance, and the application and safety of fiberglass, rock wool and slag wool insulation products.”OK, so we know they represent all insulation manufacturers, EXCEPT cellulose, foam, cotton, wool, and maybe a few others I am not aware of. So, it is not surprising that the letter focused on the dangers of spray foam and cellulose insulation while ignoring any potential problems with the products NAIMA represents. I do appreciate that they thanked me for emphasizing the importance of proper installation of insulation products, but I didn’t really need a lecture on how wonderful their products are and how evil the competition is. I suppose what I find the most interesting is that there was no acknowledgment that the title about outlawing batt insulation was tongue-in-cheek and meant only to get the reader’s attention, which it apparently did.I suspect that NAIMA wishes I had never written the post, and that the whole issue would just go away—but somehow I think that since the letter has inspired me to write about this again, it will have the opposite effect and help promulgate this post even further.last_img read more

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CEU halts Flying V’s perfect run, forces Game 3

first_imgRod Ebondo. PBA IMAGESRefusing to go home, Centro Escolar University came out like a house on fire and burned Flying V’s dream of a perfect conference down with a 93-72 blowout Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig in their 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals series.The Scorpions held the Thunder scoreless in the final 5:15 of the first quarter to turn a 14-12 deficit into a commanding 31-14 advantage.ADVERTISEMENT Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Macandili on facing powerhouse teams in AVC: ‘This is anybody’s game’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ That choking defense continued in the second quarter, where CEU locked Flying V down to grab a lead as high as 23, 58-35, at halftime.Making true of his vow to force the equalizer, Rod Ebondo scattered 18 points, 26 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks to carry the mantle for the Scorpions.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingArt Aquino was also flawless from the field as he made all of his seven shots to pour 18 markers and seven boards, while Christian Uri had 15 points and four rebounds in the victory.“We didn’t focus much of our defense on Teng, but rather, our team defense. We followed our gameplan on defense and that made things easy on us on offense,” said coach Yong Garcia. 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 Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View comments NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul CEU shot 10-of-22 from threewh ile also limiting Flying V to just 31-percent shooting from the field.The win kept the fourth-ranked Scorpions alive and forced a winner-take-all Game 3 slated on Thursday for the right to face Cignal HD in the Finals.“The pressure is on them,” said Garcia. “We didn’t really expect to make it here, but since we’re here, it’s not bad that we try to go for it.”It was a forgettable outing for leading MVP contender Jeron Teng, who played through a sprained left ankle in the first half before fouling out at the 7:21 mark of the fourth quarter.He finished with 13 points, on a 5-of-13 shooting from the field, on top of three rebounds, and two assists in the defeat to lead the Thunder.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Gab Banal, Aris Dionisio, and Eric Salamat all churned out 11 markers in the defeat.The Scores:CEU 93 – Ebondo 18, Aquino 18, Uri 15, Casiño 13, Jeruta 10, Manlangit 8, Wamar 7, Cruz 4, Arim 0, Baconcon 0.FLYING V 72 – Teng 13, Banal 11, Dionisio 11, Salamat 11, Torres 10, Cañada 8, Paredes 4, Tampus 3, Thiele 1, Austria 0, Koga 0.Quarters: 31-14, 58-35, 79-61, 93-72.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READlast_img read more

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Customs Department Hosts Information Expo

first_imgAn information exposition hosted by the Jamaica Customs Department will be held on Saturday, January 26, at the Chinese Benevolent Association (CBA), Old Hope Road, Kingston. The event, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., culminates a week of activities to observe Customs Week 2013 from January 20 to 26, under the theme: ‘Innovation for Customs Progress’. Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank held on Wednesday (January 23), at the agency’s headquarters on Half-Way-Tree Road in Kingston, Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, said the expo provides an opportunity for stakeholders to get information on the many activities and innovations of the department. “We will be seeking to increase the level of awareness about the services we offer and how to simplify or improve the processes,” he said. Various stakeholders, including the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Tax Administration Jamaica and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), will also mount information booths. Other activities for Customs Week include an awards ceremony on Thursday, January 24, at the Ministry of Finance and Planning’s National Heroes Circle offices, where 10 staff members will receive awards from the World Customs Organization (WCO) for outstanding work and for upholding the rules of the WCO. The Department is registered with the WCO under its Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme and Customs Enforcement Network (CEN). In addition, 12 employees will receive the Commissioner’s awards for exceptional service. On Friday (Jan. 25), a Customs Vibes Day will be held in the car park of the Customs Department, Newport East, which will see staff engaging in friendly competition in football, netball, and domino with representatives of stakeholder groups and agencies.last_img read more

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