The American Soybean Association (ASA) today indicated that U.S. soybean producers are facing a significant and growing challenge from South American farmers, particularly in Brazil. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, ASA urged Congress to address key issues including modernizing river transportation, enforcing intellectual property rights, increasing soybean research funding, investigating Brazilian domestic subsidies, and expanding foreign market access and domestic market demand.”Prospects for future growth in world demand for both soybean meal and soybean oil are bright,” said ASA Chairman Bart Ruth, a soybean and corn producer from Rising City, Neb. “ASA’s goal is to position the U.S. soybean industry to maximize its return from the growing global market over the next century. Opportunity exists to address competitiveness issues both at home and abroad.”The expansion of the U.S. soybean industry has been a tremendous success story over the last thirty years. From 46 million acres and 1.3 billion bushels in 1972, U.S. soybean production grew to 72 million harvested acres and 2.7 billion bushels in 2002. The industry has strongly supported expanding international trade by reducing tariffs and eliminating other trade barriers to increase access and encourage demand for soy and livestock products in global markets.”The rise in competition from South American exporting countries, and the certainty that it will increase over the next several decades, make aggressive opening of major developing country markets in Doha trade negotiations essential,” Ruth said. “How we all decide to address this challenge will affect the profitability and prosperity of our national agricultural economy, and the overall U.S. economy, for years to come.”To maintain and enhance the distinct advantage the United States has over Brazil in transportation costs, ASA urged legislation authorizing and appropriating funds for lock modernization and extensions on the Mississippi and Illinois waterways that are responsible for transporting 75 percent of all U.S. soybeans exports.ASA also said that the U.S. Government and companies holding technology patents should actively pursue all possible legal remedies to address the un-level playing field in Brazil where weak or non-existent intellectual property protection and enforcement is benefiting Brazilian growers and hurting the competitiveness of U.S. soybean producers. The combination of Brazilian growers not paying royalties on pirated Roundup Ready® Soybean seed, along with the economic benefits Brazilian growers receive from that technology, gives Brazilian growers an ill-gotten competitive advantage estimated at $20 per acre (53 cents per bushel using average yields).ASA has sent letters to both the Commerce Department and the United States Trade Representative urging action against the unfair benefits that illegal use of Roundup Ready soybean technology is providing Brazilian farmers. In addition, ASA strongly supports Monsanto’s actions to begin addressing widespread Brazilian piracy of RoundUp Ready soybeans through a system that collects royalties on Brazilian exports of soybeans and soybean meal to countries where Monsanto has patent protection.”ASA calls on Brazilian and international soybean traders and processors to cooperate in implementing this system,” Ruth said. “Non-cooperation would perpetuate the competitive disadvantage U.S. growers and the entire U.S. soy industry face because of the ongoing theft of RoundUp Ready soybean technology by Brazilian farmers. In addition,” Ruth said, “non-cooperation would continue the trade in a patented product that has been widely pirated.”In other areas, ASA is calling for increased U.S. federal soybean research funding so that U.S. soybean producers can catch up with and keep pace with their Brazilian competitors. While U.S. soybean yields are stagnant or only very slowly improving, yields as well as protein and oil content in Brazil have improved rapidly through government and private sector research, and now surpass U.S. yields and protein levels.Ruth also told the committee that the U.S. Government should investigate the various policies and subsidies that are helping fuel the rapid expansion of crop and livestock production in Brazil, and the results of that investigation should be used to formulate appropriate U.S. policies and trade negotiating objectives. ASA commends Committee Chairman Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) for his leadership in assessing the competitiveness of U.S. agriculture in the world market.In addition, ASA said that protecting and enhancing U.S. domestic market demand is key for soybean producers. Whether it be maintaining a healthy and competitive domestic livestock industry, increasing domestic use through a tax incentive that allows biodiesel to be used to help meet our nation’s energy needs, or creating new soy uses, the U.S. must enhance demand here in our home market where we have the greatest competitive advantage.”Increasing world demand through market access and income growth is a must,” Ruth said. “The best way to secure worldwide income growth is through a comprehensive trade round that creates new market access opportunities.”
The American Soybean Association will take the coming days to review the revised Clean Water Rule, formerly known as Waters of the United States, issued today by the Environmental Protection Agency, and comment after ASA leaders digest the proposals contained in the rule. In making the announcement, ASA President and Texas farmer Wade Cowan reiterated the association’s request for an opportunity to comment on revisions to the rule, something not yet provided by EPA:“As is the case with any expansive document, we need the time to determine the potential impacts of this rule for soybean operations in our 30 growing states before we decide how we want to respond. Our farmers and staff will analyze the rule and we will make a full statement once we’ve done so.“It bears repeating, however, that we haven’t been given an opportunity to comment on EPA’s revision of the rule. We voiced strong opposition to the original version, and while we are encouraged by the agency’s willingness to revisit the rule and potentially address farmer concerns, we are very much in a ‘trust but verify’ mode. ASA needs to establish that the rule does not affect everyday soybean farming operations, and we are now in the process of making that determination. If we find that the rule does not live up to the promises made by EPA, we must have an opportunity to submit comments to the agency to that effect.”
A Battle Ground man was arrested Friday by Newberg, Ore., police on charges he sent sexually explicit photos of himself to a 16-year-old female and intended to have sex with her.The suspect was identified in the McMinnville News-Register as Philip Badalamenti, 53. He was charged with one count each of first-degree online sexual corruption of a child, second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse and soliciting third-degree sexual abuse. Officers responded at about 8 a.m. Friday to a call from a man who said he had detained a male who was stalking his niece, the News-Register reported.The teen told officers she had been chatting online with Badalamenti for a couple of days. When he showed up at her residence, she got scared and went to her uncle.Officers arrived at a residence in the 600 block of Dartmouth Street to find Badalamenti being detained by the teen’s uncle. Badalamenti admitted sending the photos of himself to the victim.
OLYMPIA— Starting today, drivers can expect to have their vehicles towed when police officers arrest them on suspicion of DUI. A new state law requiring officers to tow and impound drunken drivers’ vehicles for 12 hours went into effect at midnight.“This is about making sure that impaired drivers don’t return to their cars and drive again before they’ve sobered up,” State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement issued by the WSP. “This isn’t about trying to punish someone for driving drunk. If they’re found guilty, that will become the court’s job.” Legislators intended to make roads safer when they drafted the law establishing the mandatory 12-hour vehicle holding period earlier this year. WSP Sgt. JJ Gundermann said it will keep impaired drivers away from the wheel after they have been arrested.“Our main concern is to get the impaired drivers off the road and make sure that they don’t re-offend within that 12-hour period,” Gundermann said.The law bars officers from letting a sober friend, relative or any other passenger take over the car for the inebriated driver at the scene of a DUI arrest. However, there are a few exceptions enabling someone to retrieve the vehicle from the impound lot before the end of the 12-hour holding period. If the vehicle belongs to someone else, such as a business, the owner can pick it up. This option could come into play with rental cars, noted WSP Trooper Ryan Tanner.
Bingen-based Insitu Inc. has signed a contract to supply its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft to the Netherlands to fly surveillance missions for the nation’s Ministry of Defense.The Netherlands’ military has been using a different unmanned system, which will soon be replaced by the ScanEagle, said Jill Vacek, a spokeswoman for Insitu, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Co. She would not disclose the number of aircraft ordered or the dollar amount of the Netherlands’ contract.“It’s the beginning of our relationship with them,” Vacek said.Developed through a joint agreement in 2002 between The Boeing Co. and Insitu, the ScanEagle can fly missions that are more than 24 hours long.Vacek said the Netherlands was looking to switch from an unmanned system that is obsolete.As Insitu’s main U.S. military clients brace for Defense Department budget cuts, the company is also exploring new domestic markets, including the prospect of working for Homeland Security. Insitu recently sent representatives to the agency’s border security trade show in Phoenix, Ariz.“We want them to know it is an option — a great alternative for them,” Vacek said.But for now, U.S. airspace is closed to Insitu’s ScanEagle, due to Federal Aviation Administration rules that ban the lighter-weight, unmanned planes but allow the heavier Predator drones.The Scan Eagle weighs in at about 40 pounds at its lightest weight, Vacek said.The FAA has said it is currently reviewing its rules for unmanned aircraft systems and hopes to integrate unmanned civil, public and military aircraft into the same airspace by 2015.
WILSONVILLE, Ore. — Police say a 14-year-old boy was arrested Monday morning in Wilsonville after leading officers on a chase on Interstate 5 from Woodburn.KGW reports the incident began about 3:20 a.m. with a report of a hit-and-run accident. The driver fled on the interstate and took an exit at Wilsonville where two tires failed and the car was pinned by a police cruiser.Police used pepper spray on the driver who managed to run off on foot. He was tracked with a dog and arrested. He was treated for a dog bite on his way to a juvenile facility in Marion County.
The National Weather Service forecasts heavy rainfall and possible thunderstorms this afternoon and into this evening for Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington, according to a special weather statement and a hazardous weather outlook.The weather system moving inland is estimated to bring a half an inch or more of rain to the Vancouver area between this morning and midnight, according to the weather service. The downpours are capable of localized flooding of small streams and could cause standing water on roadways, according to the weather service.The bulk of the showers are expected this afternoon and evening, mainly impacting the Vancouver and Portland metro areas, but the advisory is in effect until 4 a.m. Friday, the weather service reports.Temperatures today are expected to stay between a high of 68 degrees and a low of 59 degrees, with similar temperatures expected for Friday.
An open house meeting today will offer information about an upcoming interchange project at Interstate 205 and Northeast 18th Street, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.The meeting will run from 4 to 7 p.m. today at WSDOT’s regional headquarters, 11018 N.E. 51st Circle in Vancouver. No presentations are scheduled, so participants can drop in any time, according to WSDOT.WSDOT plans to begin construction this summer on a new partial interchange connecting I-205 and 18th Street. Crews will build an offramp from northbound I-205 to 18th Street and an onramp from 18th Street to the southbound side of the freeway, plus other improvements between Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard and 18th Street.The $63 million project is part of a series of planned or recently completed improvements along the I-205 corridor, according to WSDOT.
SEATTLE — The U.S. Justice Department said Friday it will file no criminal charges following a four-year investigation into the April 2010 explosion that killed seven workers at the Tesoro Corp. refinery in Anacortes. The decision was shared with victims’ relatives earlier in the day, said Jenny Durkan, the U.S. attorney in Seattle. Prosecutors examined whether environmental and worker safety laws and regulations had been criminally violated, but there was no evidence that reached the “exacting bar for criminal prosecution,” Durkan announced. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board released its final report on the April 2, 2010, blast in May. It blamed the facility’s safety culture, industry standards, and state and federal oversight for the catastrophic rupture of a heat exchanger.The board called for more conservative standards for the use of carbon steel and called on the state of Washington to adopt more rigorous safety-management standards. “I believe this investigation, as well as those conducted by other agencies, have prompted changes in how the industry conducts itself,” Durkan said.Tesoro and the refinery’s previous owner, Shell Oil Co., agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the families of six victims for $39 million, and the families are also suing an outside firm that they say gave Tesoro bad advice on the mechanism that failed in the blast.
Construction work on the Glenn Jackson Bridge will close the left two lanes of southbound Interstate 205 between Portland and Vancouver overnight tonight, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.ODOT crews will repair bridge joints on the southbound span, closing the lanes from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday. The work will occur near Government Island, according to ODOT.The work is weather-dependent and could be rescheduled if rain falls, according to ODOT.
RelatedPosts Macau GGR tumbles 8.6% in August Aristocrat wins battle over intellectual property rights with US$3 million settlement Macau-based gaming machine distributor Asia Pioneer Entertainment (APE) has revealed it is developing its own games for land-based electronic gaming equipment.The news formed part of the company’s 1Q19 earnings release, which saw revenue for the first quarter of 2019 fall 42.8% year-on-year to HK$8 million, impacted by a decrease in income from the Technical Sales and Distribution of Electronic Gaming Equipment. JW Marriott at Galaxy Macau named venue and Galaxy Entertainment Group named Venue Sponsor for 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 Black Tie Gala Dinner Load More Providing an update on current activities, APE said it has initiated research and development of its own games with the objective “to develop suitable games that may attract Southeast Asia players and customers.”It added, “We hope to market games under the Group’s own intellectual property.”Development of its own games would add a new revenue stream for APE, which saw its 1Q19 loss widen slightly from HK$1.75 million in the prior year period to HK$1.92 million. APE recorded a profit of HK$20.7 million for FY18.The company also stated it was confident in its prospects for the remainder of 2019, with new orders in the pipeline.“We are in discussions with several customers in Macau SAR and Southeast Asia, including planned new casinos in Macau SAR,” it said.
Japan: No prize for second A tourist tax being proposed by the Macao Government Tourism Office is the wrong path to take in combatting “over-tourism” to the Macau, according to a leading scholar.Professor Glenn McCartney, Associate Professor in International Integrated Resort Management, University of Macau, told Inside Asian Gaming at G2E Asia on Wednesday that applying a tourism tax was not the correct solution for Macau in its pursuit of a higher quality but lower volume of visitation. Load More Suncity Group looking to develop new resort hotel in Okinawa, Japan after US$10 million land purchase JW Marriott at Galaxy Macau named venue and Galaxy Entertainment Group named Venue Sponsor for 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 Black Tie Gala Dinner RelatedPosts “We’ve identified that there is a problem and are now looking for solutions to over-tourism, but is it a good solution? I don’t believe a tourist tax is the cure for the problem we’ve got right now,” McCartney said.“The main reason is that people don’t really like paying tax from a visitors’ point of view. If I’m a premium mass player or a business traveller and you’re slapping another tax on me as I’m coming across the border, I’m not going to be too happy about it.“Macau is looking at this tax because Vienna is looking at this tax, but when you’re a city that relies so heavily on the casino industry I don’t think the tourist tax is the way forward.”His comments follow an MGTO announcement on Tuesday that it has commenced a feasibility study on the proposed tourist tax, including a public opinion poll that will run for the next month.McCartney said he fully supports the idea of public consultation but added the best way to attract high quality visitation is to implement a comprehensive branding strategy, rather than a tourist tax, for the SAR.“Branding is at the top of my tick box of what you can do,” he said.“When you look at the Las Vegas sign, it immediately puts images into your mind, sending a message of an entertainment city, events, conventions. That’s what Macau’s brand has to do. The logo, the slogans – it needs to give the perception to the visitor that Macau is where they want to go and want to pay money to stay, go to a conference, dine and see events.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond (pictured) delivered the Autumn Budget speech to the House of Commons on Monday 29 October 2018. Below is a summary of the key announcements that could impact employers’ pay and benefits strategies:From April 2019, the tax-free personal allowance will increase from £11,850 to £12,500, while the higher-rate tax threshold of 40% will also rise from £46,351 to £50,000. Both thresholds will remain at the same level throughout 2020 and 2021, and then increase in line with the Consumer Price Index.The national living wage will increase by 4.9% from April 2019, rising from £7.83 an hour to £8.21 an hour for employees aged 25 and over.The government will extend reforms to the taxation of off-payroll working, known as IR35, to the private sector from April 2020. This means responsibility for applying the correct taxation for off-payroll workers will move from individuals to the organisation, agency or other third party engaging the worker. Small organisations are to be exempt.From April 2020, the government will introduce a 2% digital services tax on large organisations, applying to revenues generated from search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces where activities are linked to the participation of UK users, subject to a £25 million per annum allowance. The tax will only apply to organisations that generate global revenues from in-scope business activities in excess of £500 million per annum.The government will provide an additional £5 million in funding in 2019-2020 to help bring the pensions dashboard to fruition. It will also consult later this year on the pensions dashboard’s detailed design.From April 2020, access to the employment allowance (EA) will be restricted to employers with a national insurance contributions (NICs) bill below £100,000 in the previous tax year. This is targeted to support smaller employers.The government will shortly be implementing legislation to make pensions cold calling illegal. It is also due to publish a response to its consultation on pensions cold calling to help protect pension members from pension fraud.The government will support defined contribution (DC) pension funds to invest in growing UK organisations and start-ups through the British Business Bank.Small employers’ co-investment rate for apprenticeship training is to be cut from 10% to 5%. The government is providing up to £240 million of funding to allow for the halving of the rate.The government has announced increased investment for initiatives within its Industrial Strategy in order to improve productivity across the UK. This includes £1.6 billion of funding for research and development.
KEY WEST, FLA. (WSVN) – A U.S. Coast Guard ship has returned to port showing off the results of months at sea.The Mohawk was on a counter-drug patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. where the crew helped stop 14 vessels smuggling illegal drugs.The narcotics haul is worth almost $400 million.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MIAMI (WSVN) – A South Florida man was convicted of robbing a jewelry store at gunpoint and sentenced to 12 years in prison, Thursday.In 2016, the robber, 29-year-old Jessie Wooden, and an accomplice tied people up at the Seybold building in Downtown Miami.The duo stole about 35 watches and more than $250,000 in cash.Wooden was later identified from surveillance videos.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
(WSVN) – Former electronics giant Circuit City says it is making a comeback.Circuit City made the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show, which is being held this week in Las Vegas, according to a Fox Business report.The retailer will launch a retail website on Feb. 15, CEO Ronny Shmoel said. The company’s ecommerce site will reportedly use IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence platform, and will allow users to search by photo for products. Circuit City says a more personalized shopping experience and real-time tech support will make their website more user-friendly for customers.The company will showcase and sell products out of kiosks before opening up larger showrooms and retail locations.Circuit City filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and tried to operate online before closing its last store in 2009. The company folded in 2012.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Surveillance cameras captured an armed robbery at a jewelry business in a Northwest Miami-Dade flea market.Several masked men could be seen hopping over the jewelry counter at the P&S Jewelry counter before they pushed and shoved employees, smashed display cases and took the loot, Tuesday.The subjects fled the USA Flea Market with over $700,000 worth of items.Miami-Dade Police said the crooks took off from the scene near Northwest 79th Street and 30th Avenue in a white Ford Crown Victoria.Officials said cameras captured the images of at least two males from the robbery.If you have any information on this robbery, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Scholastic publishes 32 classroom magazines as well as several trade and consumer magazines. Through the first nine months, Scholastic Parent & Child saw ad pages skyrocket 47.3 percent, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. Estimated ad revenue spiked 67.7 percent to $34.6 million. In an effort to reduce its company-wide workforce, Scholastic says 110 employees have accepted a voluntary retirement package which was offered to staffers aged 50 or older and who have been with the company 10 or more years.Fewer than 10 of those who accepted the retirement package come from the company’s magazine publishing business, a spokesperson told FOLIO:. While Scholastic doesn’t have plans for company-wide layoffs, the company will further reduce its headcount by instituting a hiring freeze on most open positions and by “merging functions to reduce redundancies,” the spokesperson said.For the fiscal first quarter 2009, New York City-based Scholastic reported a net loss of $49.1 million from $285 million in revenue, down from a loss of $2.8 million on $531.3 million in revenue during the same period last year.
Fox did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.8020 had been backed by Halsey Minor, the founder of CNET. According to a post on a New York Times blog, Minor had recently offered to sell 8020 to Meredith and Condé Nast, without success.However, Fox has a habit of making grand statements in the face of defeat. In August, the San Francisco-based company was forced to fold Everywhere, its travel magazine. At the time, Fox told FOLIO: that 8020 would not only relaunch Everywhere “before the end of the year for sure,” the company would launch as many as three new titles in the first quarter of 2009. In his original memo, Fox wrote: “There is no doubt that our company has done what no others have yet to do. That is, prove that the Web and print can work effectively together, one supporting the other.”But there does seem to be a groundswell of support forming for JPG to continue. Shortly after Fox’s announcement last week, a Web site, SaveJPG.com, was launched hoping to do just that. “The point of this page is simple,” a post on the Web site reads. “To show that the community behind JPG doesn’t need to stop existing. There has been too much effort made by the thousands of contributors to JPG to have it pulled away so quickly and with so little warning.”According to a poll on the site, 32 percent would like JPG members to buy the magazine. (Twenty-seven percent would like to see Flickr buy it.)This is not the first time readers of a magazine have taken to the Web in an effort to pull it out of the fire. In 2007, Business 2.0 readers formed a Facebook group to save the struggling dot.com era magazine. Ultimately, though, their efforts failed; despite a “serious offer” from competing Inc. and Fast Company publisher Joe Mansueto—Time Inc. decided to fold Business 2.0 into Fortune. Late last week, 8020, the publisher of JPG magazine heralded for its community-driven editorial model, announced it had run out of money and would shut down.“In the face of these extraordinary economic times, in a devastated advertising climate, we can no longer continue to operate the business due to lack of funds,” 8020 CEO Mitchell Fox wrote in a memo. “So, while we sit here at the precipice of profitability, the negative marketplace forces are too strong to overcome, and we must take this regrettable action.”But the demise of 8020 Mitchell detailed in his memo might have been premature.“After we announced we were forced to close 8020 Media we were approached by over twenty people/companies who want to make an offer to acquire the company,” Fox wrote in a new memo. “Web based companies have come forward with offers to acquire JPG … and we’re once again excited about its future.”
After shedding its Time Warner Cable and AOL units last year, Time Warner reported full-year 2009 operating income of $4.5 billion, compared to an operating loss in 2008 of $3 billion, which included Time Inc.’s $7.2 billion in impairment charges. Revenues declined 3 percent to $25.8 billion.Operating income during the fourth quarter was $1.2 billion while revenues were $7.3 billion, an increase of 2 percent.During the earnings call, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said the company in 2010 will “leverage our brands and scale to make the most compelling content, improve our efficiency, expand internationally and accelerate the digital transition in our businesses.” He said the company is evolving new business models, including a program called “TV Everywhere” and the digital storefront initiative headed by former Time Inc. executive vice president John Squires.As of December 31, Time Warner carried about $65.7 billion in total assets and approximately $15.3 billion in long-term debt. Time Warner reported Wednesday that its publishing unit, Time Inc., generated $3.7 billion in revenue in 2009, down 19 percent from 2008. Those losses were fueled largely by a 22 percent or $541 million decline in advertising revenue. Meanwhile, subscription revenues declined 13 percent for the year and other revenues fell 24 percent.Time Inc. generated a $246 million operating profit in 2009, up from a $6.6 billion loss in 2008—the result of $7.2 billion in non-cash impairment charges. The results for 2009 included $92 million in restructuring charges during the fourth quarter. It reported an operating income of $79 million on $1.1 billion in revenues during last year’s fourth quarter, a decline of 13 percent compared to the same period last year.In November, the publisher was said to have eliminated as many as 500 positions from its overall workforce. It eliminated roughly 600 staffers from its workforace at the end of 2008. Last summer, Time Inc.’s Lifestyle Group closed 32-year-old luxury lifestyle magazine Southern Accents.