NC Farms Watching Monsanto Merger Closely

first_imgMonsanto, with offices in Research Triangle Park outside Raleigh, may be acquired by the German pharmaceutical and chemical company Bayer. The company is known for aspirins, but it also is a key manufacturer of seeds and pesticides. This impacts North Carolina farmers who depend on vegetable seeds.According to Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, the $6.25-billion deal will consolidate control of more than a quarter of the world’s seed and pesticides market.“This extreme consolidation drives up costs for farmers and it limits their choice of products in the marketplace,” he says. “It also reduces the incentive for the remaining agricultural input giants to compete and to innovate through research and development.”Bayer CEO Werner Baumann says his company wants to help farmers grow more nutritious food in a more sustainable way. The Farmers Union, which advocates on behalf of 200,000 farmers and farm communities nationwide, has pledged to ensure that Bayer keeps its word.The Department of Justice spent months reviewing the proposed merger and determined that it would limit competition, but gave it conditional approval anyway if it spins off $9 billion in assets. This includes the sale of Bayer’s digital farming, seed and herbicide businesses.Johnson says divestment is an approach the Trump administration is taking in lieu of imposing regulations that would be subject to regular review.“While we appreciate the significant divestitures agreed to as a part of this approval, the Farmers Union condemns DOJ’s continued rubber-stamping of mergers in the food and agriculture arena,” he notes.Critics say this merger shows that our monopoly laws are worthless, and a recent poll shows that 94 percent of farmers are concerned about the merger.last_img read more

SA sites for new natural wonders

first_imgTable Mountain towers spectacularly over the city of Cape Town. The mountain is one of three natural South African sites in the running for the seven natural wonders of the world. (Image: Walter Knirr, South African Tourism) New7Wonders founder Bernard Weber with Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo at the ceremony in Lisbon announcing the new seven wonders of the world. (Image: New7Wonders of the World)Janine ErasmusSouth Africans have the chance to vote for one of three of the country’s top natural landmarks in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign, the first phase of which is open until the end of 2008.The Kruger National Park, the Cape of Good Hope, and the iconic Table Mountain are all in the running for nomination as one of the world’s seven outstanding natural sites.The Cape of Good Hope, a rocky headland on South Africa’s Atlantic coast, has been a maritime landmark for centuries and is referred to by sailors as “The Cape”.The Kruger National Park, which celebrated its 110th anniversary in June 2008, is South Africa’s largest game reserve and is now an integral part of the 35 000km² Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park with no internal borders that joins the Kruger to Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.Table Mountain is one of the country’s major tourist attractions. Part of the Table Mountain National Park on the Cape peninsula, the flat-topped mountain towers impressively over the city of Cape Town.Searching for seven natural wondersIn July 2007 the New7Wonders of the World were announced after an extensive global campaign in which more than 100-million people cast their votes. The second campaign, also organised by the non-profit New7Wonders Foundation, turns the focus to the natural world in the search for the seven greatest natural sites on earth.There are three criteria for selection – only a natural site, natural monument or landscape can be nominated. Natural phenomena such as the Northern lights are not eligible.After the first round of voting a panel of architectural experts will short-list 21 options from the 77 top-ranked sites, based on the number of votes received. The short list will be announced in January 2009. The panel is headed by Prof Federico Mayor Zaragoza, scholar, politician, and former director-general of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.South Africa’s Aziz Tayob, the first non-white architect in the country, was a member of the expert panel which selected the New7Wonders. Tayob graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1969.The second round of voting will determine the final seven sites, which will be revealed in the second half of 2010. Nominated places must be backed by an official supporting committee to qualify for the second round. Forms are available on the site for those wishing to establish a committee for their chosen landmark.At the time of writing none of the South African sites were in the top 77, which is updated twice a day. Voters are encouraged to vote for their favourite South African natural site to ensure victory against some stiff competition from elsewhere on the African continent. East Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Zimbabwe’s famous Victoria Falls, and the Serengeti National Park, also in Tanzania, are just a few of the natural African sites vying for a place in the top 21.However, voters may participate only once in each round and must cast their votes for seven sites per round. Only one of the seven sites may be located in the voter’s home country.Safeguarding world heritageEstablished in 2001, the New7Wonders Foundation and its two campaigns are the brainchild of Swiss-born Canadian filmmaker, author, aviator and adventurer Bernard Weber. Weber’s intention in inaugurating the campaign is to help protect the world’s human-made and natural heritage, as well as to unite people by encouraging them to respect earth’s cultural diversity.These philosophies are particularly applicable to South Africa, which possesses an extraordinary wealth of natural and cultural heritage.“I feel very strongly that world heritage, as the name says, belongs to the people of the world,” says Weber. “Over 100-million votes from every corner of the world very clearly legitimises the New7Wonders of the World. And we are estimating over one-billion votes for the New7Wonders of Nature. These are choices made by the people of the world.”The New7Wonders of the World, as voted by 100-million people, are the Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan, Chichén Itzá in Mexico, the Statue of Christ Redeemer in Brazil, the Colosseum in Italy, Machu Picchu in Peru, and the Taj Mahal in India.The New7Wonders of Nature campaign aims to increase awareness of and respect for the natural beauty of the world and the need to take care of it. Increased awareness, says Weber, will boost the tourism industry and contribute to the care and preservation of important natural sites.Half of all revenue raised by the project is allocated towards monument conservation and documentation. One of the project’s success stories is the high-definition 3D model of the 4th-century Bamiyan Buddha, a cultural treasure that was destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. The 3D model will enable the people of Afghanistan to rebuild the giant statue.“The more we know about each other, spread across continents and time zones, and the more we share, the more we actively create a peaceful and prosperous future for us all,” says Weber, adding that the sites chosen as the New7Wonders have experienced a boost in tourism of up to 40%.Once the New7Wonders of Nature is complete Weber plans to find the New7Wonders of Technology.Useful linksNew7Wonders of NatureCity of Cape TownKruger National ParkTable MountainCape of Good HopeUnited Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural OrganisationDepartment of Environmental Affairs and Tourismlast_img read more

Preparing for an Emerging Workforce

first_imgBy Todd CorleyMillennials first filled my world in November 2004, when I accepted the job of chief diversity officer at Abercrombie & Fitch—a position mandated by the settlement of discrimination lawsuits against the company totaling nearly $50 million. Millennials, by then, were not only the retailer’s workforce but also its market.As a member of Generation X, I was fascinated by the drastic differences in culture between my own peers and this younger group. I quickly came to admire their openness, their generosity, their friendships, their priorities and their effortless command of accelerating technologies. I heard my peers and older people disparage their supposed laziness, self-absorption and lack of work ethic, but these traits were not present in the young people I had come to know.As the Millennial workforce swells and members of Generation Z (iGens) increasingly join them, the demand for trusted, transparent and authentic leadership is reaching unprecedented heights. By leveraging social media and manifesting a remarkable openness and quest for inclusion, these younger generations are forging cultural shifts that upend traditional leadership values and practices.Traditionalists and Baby Boomers who resist the call for more-equitable and more-ethical workplaces and who seek to maintain “business as usual” leadership place themselves and their organizations at grave risk, regardless of industry or sector. By 2020, Millennials and iGens will make up nearly 60 percent of the U.S. workforce. Preparing your leadership and organization for that eventual reality is mission-critical: Transparency has become the new normal.My new book, FITCH PATH: A Cautionary Tale About A Moose, Millennials, Leadership & Transparency (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015), explores these themes by going inside the iconic Abercrombie & Fitch brand to examine how Millennials and iGens are forging a cultural transformation.Recently, Corley answered questions from HR Magazine about his book:Why did you write the book?To offer solutions to help prepare leaders and organizations for the inevitable realities of today’s emerging workforce. But three reasons, actually:To present research and expert observation that validates the cultural paradigm shifts currently taking place in today’s organizations.To demonstrate how a generationally driven shift in values has altered the way we manage today’s workforce and create engaged teams.To address the issues of inclusivity, equality, transparency and authenticity and add new perspectives to the discourse and dialogue around diversity.What immediate steps can HR professionals take in implementing cultural change in their organizations?Several things:Diversify your personal advisory circle. Surround yourself with “unlikely friends”—those who are of different cultures, genders, ethnicities, ages and so on who, through the exchange of experiences, will enrich your perspective, challenge your assumptions, raise your conscious around hidden biases and inspire you to think more inclusively.Remember, “more is more.” “Less is more” should never apply to managing performance or engagement. Don’t wait until the annual review to provide feedback. Share with more frequency and consistency. Use “in the moment” opportunities to suggest corrective actions. Coach rather than criticize. Focus on individual actions and behaviors, not character or personality.Promote community. Capitalize on moments in between projects to engage Millennials and iGens. Encourage volunteering, reverse mentoring, peer coaching, teamwork and other “people-centered” efforts that promote community.Why do you urge readers to create mutual accountability and respect in their organizations by equally and equitably distributing responsibility as well as recognition and rewards?Gone are the days of centralization, departmentalization and silos. When it comes to strengthening the organization and positively impacting the bottom line, it takes a village—a network of employees working interdependently, sharing in decision-making and pursuing shared goals.Todd Corley, @corleytodd on Twitter is the founder of The TAPO Institute, a consultancy focused on the generationally driven shift in beliefs and values that has redefined the meaning of “inclusive” leadership.Originally posted on the SHRM Book Blog.last_img read more

Could this be the first smart car for quadriplegics?

first_imgBreak the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… Cate Lawrence For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… In a time where the driverless automated car is becoming a modern reality, we are provided with great potential to make things previously improbable if not impossible suddenly possible.My interest was piqued when I came across design plans for car that could be controlled by a driver with quadriplegia. At first the idea seemed mere fantasy but as I spoke to transport designer Rajshekhar Dass and learnt move about the control of technical devices through brain waves, facial gestures and infinitesimal movements the idea seemed more of conceivable.Rajshekar Dass is a car designer from Mumbai, India currently based in Turkey. He has an impressive design history which includes fronting a winner team of the 2016 Michelin Challenge Design for the Google Community Vehicle and  Winner of the  Vehicle, Mobility and Transport Design 2014-15 A’Design Award for a Micro Taxi among awards. He’s interned for Volkswagen in Germany and worked in a range of car dealerships, so has seen car technology from a range of angles.He detailed his rationale for a car designed specifically for people with quadraplegia, a cohort of people who until now have only featured in the automated cars of the future as mere passengers. Such a design is the first of its kind:“Audric Design basically was designed with a particular person in mind, Sam Schmidt, former Indy Racing League driver. He was made paraplegic due to a racing car accident in 2000.  He wanted to get back on the track but came back as an owner rather than driver. Everyone loves driving so my interest was how can we use today’s technology to solve these problems for an audience that are generally overlooked? How can today’s tech be used to enable the same driving experience that he enjoyed previously?”It’s always interesting to learn how a designer approaches the design experience, Dass revealed:“the first point of research is the capabilities of the human body when functionality has been impaired. In paraplegia the brain signals do not reach the human organs  bellow the neck, so the brain signals are basically lost. I thought, what if you could use today’s technology to enable the signals to be transferred to the computers onboard of a car instead, so you can give a rebirth to the whole driving experience?”Dass explained that emerging technology like movement through brain wave signals,  gesture and facial recognition and sensor technology s along with  augmented reality made his design more than a well intentioned concept.There’s precedence here. For example, in 2010  Emotiv released the Emotiv Epoch+, a commercial wearable device designed to enable users to play computer games on a screen through functioning as a brain-computer interface device (Admittedly the design was not without it’s challenges as this review attests).Then in 2014, Ian Burkhart became the first paralyzed person to use neural bypass technology to pick up and hold a spoon using his own brainpower, with his abilities increasing overtime. IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… I’m aware that many people with paralysis experience involuntary movement such as spasms and jerking. I wondered if a car could be smart enough to distinguish these movements from voluntary actions.Dass agreed: It’s a good point. The car is completely autonomous and the AI is constantly monitoring the driver’s motions to learn his/her actions, and since the AI is specially developed for paralyzed drivers it can recognize such involuntary movements. Since the AI is also scanning the brain and can understand that the motion has no connection with the brain signals it can be tagged as involuntary action and not require a reaction”.As well as its driving capabilities, the car would also be designed specifically with the needs of the driver in mind with a rear entry door suited to a wheelchair which would be specially designed to become the driving seat in the vehicle. Dass explained that the project has only been recently published online and he is keen to explore his ideas further with people with disabilities and associated organizations to enable further development.In an era where ideas as seemingly bizarre as Google’s patent for“sticky” technology to protect pedestrians if they get struck by Google’s self-driving cars, a mind powered car doesn’t seem all that strange at all.Dass is working on a range of diverse projects currently and judging by the ingenuity inherent in his design portfolio, this is simply an example of things to come. Related Posts Tags:#adaptive technology#AI#Audric Design#autonomous vehicles#BCI#disabilities#driverless cars#Emotiv#google car#Internet of Things#IoT#M2M#Machine Learning How could it work?Dass stresses that the car would be completely autonomous in the first instance. But over time, the driver’s gestures and motions would be recorded by the car; for example, as the car is taking a right turn, the driver might be tilting his head. In this way, the car is learning from the driver instead of the driver learning from the car.Dass explains further:“There would be a series of levels which would be detected by the AI in the car, that slowly give the control to the driver. e.g. starting with audio and air-conditioning controls first. The next level could be controlling a little bit of the motion and slowly you’d graduate levels as you would in a game with the help of gesture recognition, eye movements and brain mapping. Once the car is confident as to the skill of the driver the complete controls would be available to the driver. but at the same time the car would still have the control over all the systems, as a built-in safety feature.last_img read more

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis to seek trust vote on November 12

first_imgMaharashtra CM Devendra FadnavisA three-day session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly will be held from November 10 in which the Devendra Fadnavis-led government will seek a trust vote.The vote of confidence will be sought on November 12 after all the newly elected MLAs take oath. According to sources in the chief minister’s office, the protem Speaker will be elected on November 10.Governor C Vidyasagar Rao has given Chief Minister Fadnavis 15 days from the day of swearing-in of his government to prove its majority in the 288-member House.After the death of an MLA, BJP’s strength in the Assembly has come down to 121, but it has claimed support of all seven independents and six others from smaller parties.NCP with 41 MLAs has declared outside support to the BJP government and said it will abstain from voting on the trust motion if the 63-member Shiv Sena was to sit in the opposition, helping it sail through.If Shiv Sena comes on board, the BJP government will have no problem proving its majority in the House.Devendra Fadnavis allots cabinet potfolios, keeps Home, Housing, Health with himself Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday allocated portfolios to his ten-member council of ministers while keeping the Home, Urban Development, Housing and Health departments with himself.As per the information provided by the CMO, the portfolios not specifically allocated to any minister will be with the chief minister.Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse has been given revenue, minorities development and wakf, agriculture, animal husbandry, dairy development and fisheries, and state excise.advertisementFormer state BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar has been given finance and planning, and forest departments.Vinod Tawde will hold charge of school education and sports, higher and technical education, medical education, Marathi Bhasha and cultural affairs.Prakash Mehta, the MLA from Ghatkopar East seat in Mumbai, has been given industries and mining, and parliamentary affairs.Chandrakant Patil, an MLC, has been given co-operation, marketing and textiles. He will also handle the public works (including public undertakings) department.Pankaja Munde, who was made the state BJP core committee member after the death of her father Gopinath Munde, will be in-charge of rural development and water conservation, and women and child development.Vishnu Savara, the MLA from Vikramgadh seat in Palghar district, will be in-charge of tribal development, social justice and special assistance.Minister of State Dilip Kamble has been allotted tribal development, social justice and special assistance departments.Besides, Vidya Thakur will be MoS for rural development and water conservation, and women and child development departments.last_img read more

Comedian poised to take over presidency in Ukraine

first_imgKiev: Ukrainians went to polls Sunday in the second round of an extraordinary election with a comedian who plays a president on TV expected to win in a stunning rebuke to the political establishment. Forty-one-year-old Volodymyr Zelensky’s bid to lead the country of 45 million people was initially dismissed as a joke when he announced his candidacy on New Year’s Eve. But now all opinion polls suggest incumbent President Petro Poroshenko is heading for defeat amid widespread anger over poverty, corruption and war. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USZelensky’s victory is expected to open a new chapter in the history of a country that has gone through two popular uprisings in two decades and is mired in a five-year conflict with separatists in the east. Polling stations opened at 0500 GMT as voters from Ukrainian-speaking regions in the west to Russian-speaking regions in the war-torn east went to cast their ballots. Speaking outside a polling booth in the capital Kiev, Galyna, 81, said she voted for Zelensky. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”Because I am against Poroshenko,” said the pensioner who refused to give her last name. Zelensky has tapped into widespread frustration over graft, poverty and a conflict with separatists that has claimed some 13,000 lives. But others doubted whether the consummate showman would be able to take on the country’s vested interests, negotiate with the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and stand up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Viktoriya Olomutska in Kiev suggested many voted for teacher-turned-president Vasyl Goloborodko, Zelensky’s character in the popular TV show “Servant of the People”, now in its third season and available on Netflix. “People have gone mad,” said the 39-year-old Poroshenko supporter, adding many pinned their hopes on “a fictional character”. Seventy-eight-year-old Maria said it was incomprehensible to her that a majority supported Zelensky. “There cannot be so many fools in the country,” she fumed. “But no, apparently there are!” A survey by the Rating pollster this week showed Zelensky winning 73 per cent of the vote against 27 per cent for Poroshenko. Exit poll results are expected at 1700 GMT and the first preliminary results several hours later. The stakes are high for a country dependent on international aid and seen as a buffer between the European Union and Russia. Poroshenko, 53, has argued Zelensky is a political novice unfit to be a war-time commander-in-chief. On Saturday, Poroshenko made a last-ditch plea to voters, begging Ukrainians to think twice before backing his rival.last_img read more

Spain worries about oil discovered on Moroccos shores

first_imgRabat- After the Turkish company Genel Energy announced that Morocco’s coasts contain a significant oil capacity, government officials in the Canary Islands are urging Madrid to pressure Morocco citing concerns of environmental protection.Dreams of oil are to be a reality in Morocco’s Atlantic waters, yet Canaries government officials are asking Madrid to call on Morocco not to start the extraction process.According to Al Massaa, this campaign led by Canaries authorities is claiming a threat to the environment, due to the close proximity of Morocco to the Islands. The oil raw material capacity in Morocco’s shoreline is believed to be over 9,000 million barrels.According to the same source, this move comes after Genel Energy‘s recent discovery of oil in Morocco’s offshore waters announced last Thursday. “We’re against this project for two principle reasons,” explained the mayor of Fuerteventura.“The environmental risks, firstly, but then also the possibility of the reduction in tourism. These islands live exclusively on the tourism industry and a project of this nature, with the elevated risk of accidents that it brings with it, could threaten the main income to these islands,” he added. Edited by Jessica Rohan© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

Modric doesnt think that this generation is under pressure

first_imgIt has been said that this World Cup is the last chance of the so-called Golden generation of Croatian football around Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic – but the first one denied the pressure connected with this.The Real Madrid playmaker doesn’t think that the pressure connected with the expectations of this special group of players will affect the somehow as they expect the best from themselves and they are their biggest critics.Modric spoke about his expectations as he said, according to Sports Keeda:“I hope the pressure that you mention will not be an obstacle. It is only right that there are expectations of us, but first and foremost we expect of ourselves more than anyone else.”Luka Modric, Real MadridReal Madrid suffer a Luka Modric injury blow Andrew Smyth – September 12, 2019 Real Madrid have announced that Luka Modric has suffered an adductor injury, which could rule him out of some key fixtures.“Whether this is the last chance or not is irrelevant,” Croatia’s captain replied, before looking forward to Saturday’s opening match against Nigeria.”“Let’s focus on what’s important and that is the first game, then the next game, and then the next game.”“Our first objective is to emerge from the group and I hope we will prove all those epithets right about this generation.”last_img read more

Spanish players release a statement about plans for US matches

first_imgThe Footballers Union (AFE) will hold a meeting today, but they already released a press release explaining how they feelAfter La Liga announced plans to stage one official match in the United States, the Spanish footballers got very angry.The plan is to have one match in the U.S. for the next 15 years.But the Spanish Footballers Union (AFE in Spanish) is not happy about it and will meet today to talk about this decision.And before that, they released an official statement explaining their stance.“The AFE and the players do not understand unilateral decisions,” said a statement published on Wednesday as reported by Reuters.“[Players are] surprised and indignant that their views were not taken into account in an agreement which affects them directly.”Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“La Liga is distancing the fans from the players, which damages the spectacle and the essence of football,” the press release added.“The players again feel they are marginalized from decision-making (even though) they are the fundamental actors and their opinions are essential for the growth of Spanish football.”“The players demand that our opinions be heard and taken into account in any future negotiation or decision by La Liga which affects them,” they added.#AFEFútbol en contra de jugar la Liga fuera de España.??ásFuertes— AFE (@afefutbol) August 16, 2018last_img read more

SeaLife Center Announces The Hatch Of Giant Pacific Octopus Eggs

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward is getting a shot at raising thousands of octopus hatchlings. The center’s octopus named Gilligan, has raised about 100 eggs into hatchlings with more to come. For about a year, the hatchlings will remain afloat, translucent except for their large eyes and the colored spots of their chromatophores — cells that octopuses can open and close to change color. The center said giant pacific octopuses usually lay a clutch of between 20,000 to 80,000 eggs, from which about 1 percent of the young survive in the wild. Success rates are even lower in captivity due to hatchlings’ fragility. Gilligan is around 30 pounds (13 kilograms) now, but weighed about 50 pounds (22.6 kilograms) when she laid her eggs. Gilligan encourages them to hatch by blowing water from her mantle onto the egg bundles. ASLC Aquarium Curator, Richard Hocking, expects all the eggs to hatch by the end of May. Gilligan, the eldest female giant Pacific octopus at the ASLC began laying her eggs May 2017. About 2 weeks ago ASLC aquarists noticed tiny cephalopods floating around the tank. Gilligan, her eggs, and the hatchlings are on public display in the SeaLife Center’s “Octopus Grotto” exhibit.last_img read more