Exercise boosts quality of sleep in teens

first_imgExercising for more than usual may lead to improved quality and duration of sleep at night, according to a study on teenagers published Wednesday. The study in Scientific Reports journal found that getting more exercise than normal – or being more sedentary than usual – for one day may be enough to affect sleep later that night. It found that for every extra hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, the teens fell asleep 18 minutes earlier, slept 10 minutes longer and had about one per cent greater sleep maintenance efficiency that night. Also Read – Pollution makes you more aggressive”Adolescence is a critical period to obtain adequate sleep, as sleep can affect cognitive and classroom performance, stress, and eating behaviours,” said Lindsay Master, data scientist at Pennsylvania State University in the US. “Our research suggests that encouraging adolescents to spend more time exercising during the day may help their sleep health later that night,” Master said. In contrast, the researchers also found that being sedentary more during the day was associated with worse sleep health. Also Read – Physical therapy better for low back painWhen participants were sedentary for more minutes during the day, they fell asleep and woke up later but slept for a shorter amount of time overall. “You can think of these relationships between physical activity and sleep almost like a teeter totter,” said Orfeu Buxton, professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State. “When you’re getting more steps, essentially, your sleep begins earlier, expands in duration, and is more efficient. Whereas if you’re spending more time sedentary, it’s like sitting on your sleep health: sleep length and quality goes down,” Buxton said. While previous research suggests that adolescents need eight to ten hours of sleep a night, recent estimates suggest that as many as 73 percent of adolescents are getting less than eight. Previous research has also found that people who are generally more physically active tend to sleep longer and have better sleep quality. However, the researchers said less has been known about whether day-to-day changes in physical activity and sedentary behaviour affected sleep length and quality. They used data from 417 participants in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study, a national cohort from 20 US cities. When the participants were 15 years old, they wore accelerometers on their wrists and hips to measure sleep and physical activity for one week. “One of the strengths of this study was using the devices to get precise measurements about sleep and activity instead of asking participants about their own behaviour, which can sometimes be skewed,” Master said. “The hip device measured activity during the day, and the wrist device measured what time the participants fell asleep and woke up, and also how efficiently they slept, which means how often they were sleeping versus tossing and turning,” she said. In addition to finding links between how physical activity affects sleep later that night, the researchers also found connections between sleep and activity the following day. They found that when participants slept longer and woke up later, they engaged in less moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary behaviour the next day.last_img read more

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Tejashwi will not resign like Rahul Gandhi RJD

first_imgPatna: The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Thursday made it clear that party leader Tejashwi Yadav will not give in to demands for his resignation and will continue as the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly. The RJD’s assertion came as Yadav finally made an appearance in the state Assembly after failing to attend the ongoing Monsoon Session for four consecutive days till Wednesday. On Saturday, the cricketer-turned-politician had clarified on Twitter that he had been undergoing treatment. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! Following the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Lok Sabha elections debacle and Yadav’s long absence from the state thereafter demands have been growing for his resignation. Leaders of other parties as well as ally Congress in the Assembly want Yadav to follow in the footsteps of their party chief Rahul Gandhi who stepped down from his post taking responsibility for his party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha polls. RJD spokesperson Bhai Virendra said: “Tejashwi is not a leader who will leave the responsibility of leading the opposition midway.” Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed He was replying to Congress legislator Rajesh Kumar who said Yadav should learn from Gandhi and make way for a change in the leadership in order to strengthen the Grand Alliance in Bihar. “If Tejashwi resigns, all party legislators will resign along with him,” Virendra said. On Wednesday, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MP Chirag Paswan had demanded Yadav’s resignation as the Leader of Opposition alleging the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad was not performing his duties. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sanjay Maunkh also demanded Yadav’s resignation on moral grounds taking responsibility for the defeat of RJD-led Grand Alliance in the Lok Sabha polls.last_img read more

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Greek police detain 38 migrants 2 alleged traffickers

first_imgThessaloniki (Greece): Police in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki say they have arrested the driver of a van carrying 26 migrants 23 of them from Pakistan and three from Bangladesh. Police say the driver was an Albanian who tried to escape on foot after officers stopped the van early Sunday but was caught. Authorities say police then arrested a Greek man in charge of a warehouse where officers found 12 more Pakistanis being held while the traffickers asked for money. Police say the 26 migrants in the van were being driven to the warehouse. Officials say the 26 paid 2,000 euros (USD 2,200) each to be taken by boat across the river dividing Turkey and Greece and then by road to Thessaloniki.last_img read more

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Financial market highlights on Friday SPTSX 1498532 down 3921 points

Highlights at the close Friday at world financial market trading.Stocks:S&P/TSX Composite Index — 14,985.32, down 39.21 pointsDow — 21,797.79, up 13.01 pointsS&P 500– 2,461.43, down 3.67 pointsNasdaq — 6,360.19, down 37.68 pointsCurrencies:Cdn — 82.43 cents US, up 0.11 of a centPound — C$1.6014, up 1.15 centsEuro — C$1.4601, up 0.16 of a centEuro — US$1.2035, up 0.29 of a centOil futures:US$47.48, down $1.61(October contract)Gold futures:US$1,351.20 per oz., up 90 cents(December contract)Canadian Fine Silver Handy and Harman:Daily quote unavailable from source; office closed on Fridays(Thursday: $22.938 per oz., $737.46 per kg.) read more

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Annan urges renewed action to plight of older persons on International Day

To mark the International Day of Older Persons, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on world leaders to make good on their promise to protect a growing population of people over 60 by empowering them in productive jobs, and eliminating the conditions that lead to poverty in old age. “We will not eradicate poverty, or achieve our other goals, without understanding how older persons – and women in particular – experience poverty,” Mr. Annan said in a statement ahead of the Day which is celebrated on 1 October. The Day underscores the commitment by Governments to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on ageing which recognizes that world leaders can help ease the plight of older persons by integrating both gender and age into the programmes that eradicate poverty, he added.Mr. Annan also called to mind the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing in which global leaders have agreed to empower older persons by keeping them in the workforce, or integrating them in productive societal functions.Much of the reason for the renewed emphasis on aging can be found in the numbers. A “remarkable demographic transition [is] under way [which] will result in the old and the young representing an equal share of the world’s population by mid-century,” said the Madrid report. Globally, the proportion of persons aged 60 years and older is to jump twofold between 2000 and 2050, from 10 to 21 per cent, while the number of children is projected to drop by a third, to 21 per cent, said the report. There will be a greater proportion of older women than men as well, with a current average of 88 men for every 100 women among those 60 and older, a number which is expected to drop in the future.In addition to providing for the needs of older persons as their numbers grow, they must be accommodated in productive functions because there will be fewer young people to do so, said Mr. Annan. “Older persons have already shown their commitment, their determination, and their drive to meet this challenge,” he said, but too often “they and their potential contributions are overlooked.” read more

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Nominations sought for BUSU elections

Before the polls open next month to select the University’s next student leaders, candidates are needed for the election ballot.Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) is accepting candidate nominations for the roles of President and three Vice-Presidents: student services, finance and administration, and external affairs. There is also one opening for an 18-month term on Senate.Nomination forms are available at the BUSU office in the Student-Alumni Centre and must be submitted by Friday, Jan. 26 at 4:30 p.m.The campaign period begins Monday, Feb. 5 and voting will open Feb. 13, running until Feb. 15 at 9 p.m.“It is important that all students make their voices heard in the upcoming elections by voting, as it directly impacts their academic years at Brock University,” said Fiona Purkiss, BUSU Chief Returning Officer. “The executive positions have an enormous power to change undergraduate students’ lives for the better, so it is important to stay tuned for upcoming debates and updates from our candidates.”Students are asked to keep an eye on their Brock University email account for additional communication from BUSU about voting procedures.More information on the election can be found on the BUSU website.Questions regarding the election process can be directed to Purkiss at cro@brockbusu.ca, while questions about the available positions can be directed to Kayleigh Rossetto at krossetto@brockbusu.ca read more

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Cougar DJ Hayden Nearly Dies From Injury In Practice

Houston Cougar cornerback D.J. Hayden was close to death when he suffered massive internal bleeding after a routine collision with a teammate in practice.The Houston team doctor said 95 percent of those who suffered the kind of injury Hayden did dies. He tore the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart. That injury is unprecedented on a football field.“This injury has never been seen or reported in association with a football injury and is more associated with high-speed motor vehicle injuries,” head team physician Dr. Walter Lowe said in a release. “The type of injury D.J. had is 95 percent fatal in the field and we are all very thankful for the coordinate response from the University of Houston trainers, EMS paramedics, the trauma team at Memorial Hermann and operating surgeon Dr. John Holcomb.”Given his low odds of survival at the time of the injury, and that it happened on a football field during practice, the efforts to save Hayden’s life had to be incredible. The school said Hayden is in stable yet critical condition, according to CougarsDen.com.Hayden, a senior, was Conference USA’s Newcomer of the Year last season and was earned second team All Conference.“D.J. is a tremendous young man and has been a great asset to our program, both on and off the field,” coach Tony Levine said. “I ask that everyone continue to keep D.J. and his family in their thoughts and prayers. We are very fortunate to have some of the nation’s top physicians and medical facilities just minutes away from our campus and I would like to extend our appreciation for their efforts on Tuesday evening. We thank you for respecting the privacy of D.J. and his family at this time. We look forward to supporting D.J. on his road to recovery.” read more

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Michigan Brewery Introduces First Beer Named by a Neural Network

first_img PewDiePie Pulls $50,000 Pledge to Anti-Hate Group After Fan BacklashPolice Arrest Dutch YouTubers for Trespassing Area 51 Site Stay on target It’s Sunday afternoon. You’re watching the game and hanging out with friends. You reach for another cold one…Will it be a Midnight Shale stout or a Borb! IPA?Those are just two of the “trendy” beer names generated by Janelle Shane’s artificial intelligence platform.Inspired by her recent attempt to name craft beers (River Smush Hopper Amber Ale, anyone?), the research scientist trained her neural network on “hundreds of thousands” of entries from BeerAdvocate.com.And what she got—”a bunch of semi-plausible but nonexistent beers”—is expectedly hilarious: Spulgican’s Chocolate Coconut Pamper sounds less like an IPA on tap at the bar, and more like something scrawled across the glossy cover of a drugstore face mask.Shane’s AI is earning a (well-deserved) reputation across the Internet—it even caught the eye of Old Nation Brewing in Williamston, Mich. Nearly finished brewing a new beer, the distillery still hasn’t found a name for it. Enter the neural network.“They explained what kinds of keywords they were looking for: juice, haz, New England, Vermont, citra, Belgium, spicy, clove, saison, farmhouse, ‘all these trendy new hazy IPA names,’” Shane explained in a blog post.“I searched my database for any beer names having to do with these keywords, and threw them all into the mix for the neural network,” she continued. “It worked.”Not all were winners: Shane shared some of the “rejects” online, starting with the lowest-creativity output, which garnered a lot of saisons (a highly carbonated pale ale), including one of my favorites, Monkey Free Stand Saison.More inventiveness, oddly, produces more primates, and more far-from-tenable titles: Stick Lake, Summer Death, Star Dance, A Shit Farmhouse Ale, Friend Saison Fromp.“At an even higher creativity setting, the neural network’s unpredictability increases,” Shane said. “It begins making up more words. It begins swearing. It starts taking liberties with English, as well as French, grammar.“Old National Brewing chose a name from this creativity level,” she said, unveiling the “very first beer named by a neural network”: The Fine Stranger.A “blend of Old World and New,” the drink combines a “strong, peppery, fruity Belgian Saison yeast strain with the low-bitterness/high-flavor hop goodness of the New England style,” according to the company.The Fine Stranger is coming soon to liquor stores—in Michigan.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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New Emergency Vehicle for Disabled Persons Added to Fleet at Ministry of

first_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #newEMSvehicle Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, May 25, 2017 – Providenciales – Just commissioned today, a brand new emergency vehicle for persons with disabilities has been added to the fleet of the Ministry of Health & Human Services.The keys were handed over in a quaint Emergency Medical Services Ceremony at the Ministry of Health and Human Services office in Providenciales. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppcenter_img #magneticmedianews#newEMSvehiclelast_img read more

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Frances World Cup win a distant memory for Hugo Lloris

first_imgGoalkeeper Hugo Lloris feels that winning the World Cup for France is a thing of the past and is fully focused now on tasting glory at Tottenham.The 32-year-old won the biggest trophy of them all in football last July after captaining France to their second World Cup at Russia.Over six months later, however, the memory of lifting the golden World Cup trophy in front of the French supporters at Moscow following their 4-2 win over Croatia in the final is now nothing more than a distant memory for Lloris.Instead, the Frenchman’s sole concern now lies with Spurs’ current campaign where they hope to finally claim some silverware themselves in the near future.Mauricio Pochettino’s will host Leicester City today at Wembley in the Premier League, where they hope to claim victory to restore their five-point deficit to leaders Liverpool – who defeated Bournemouth 3-0 on Saturday.“To be honest, the football and the time is going so fast,” said Lloris, according to FourFourTwo.“I don’t want to say that I’ve forgotten about the World Cup but, for me, it belongs to the past. I don’t have time to make a step backwards and think about the World Cup.“Every time people talk about this moment – it gives you a lot of positive energy. But as a professional and as a man I am just focused on today and tomorrow. Maybe when I will be retired, I will think in a different way but it’s not the case at the moment.”The Spurs captain added: “We are Tottenham and we have the humility to say in a different place, a different club, a bigger institution, they are used to winning – they won in the past, they win today and they will win tomorrow – because of the heaviness of the institution.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“When you wear the jersey of some clubs, you have this pressure every day. It’s not the case in Tottenham. Historically there is a great history, it’s a great club in England. But it’s not the type of club that used to win every year. It needs more time.“For me the best way is to compare the club when I arrive [in 2012] and the club of today. We reduced the gap massively between the best teams in England and maybe in Europe, too.“And the process takes maybe more time than in some other places. But for sure we are going the right way because every season we are improving and improving and improving.”“It is important to believe in yourself but it is important to have sense, too,” he continued.“The main target for the club and for the team is to get the top four for the fourth time in a row. You need to look at the clubs behind because everything can turn very quickly. But you can look ahead, too.“We are in the position we deserve because in the league, we are quite consistent but at the moment there are two teams who have done much better than us.“We will see what will be in March and if we will be in a place to compete for the title or just the top four. That doesn’t mean we don’t have ambition.“The ambition is to win every game until the end of the season.”The Spurs and Leicester game at Wembley will begin at 2:30 PM (CET).BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 11: Hugo Lloris and Moussa Sissoko of Tottenham Hotspur celebrate with team mates after the UEFA Champions League Group B match between FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur at Camp Nou on December 11, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)last_img read more

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Employers could adapt flexible benefits to address rising eldercare demands

first_imgEmployee Benefits Connect 2016: Employers could address rising eldercare demands by considering how flexible benefits could be adapted to extend to employees’ parents.Speaking in a session titled ‘Eldercare: changing how we develop the benefits offering’ at Employee Benefits Connect on 9 March, Adam Brooke, international benefits manager at Standard Chartered Bank, explained that some benefits providers have already developed benefit offerings that cover employees’ parents, in the same way that certain benefits can include employees’ partners and children. Employers should challenge providers to see whether flexible benefit products and services can be adapted in some way to support those with eldercare responsibilities, said Brooke, for example, health and wellbeing benefits, financial planning support, funeral and will writing services, travel insurance, dental and eyecare.Brooke (pictured) said: “Start challenging flex providers. Look at the benefits you already offer and think about whether they can be changed or adapted to include parents as well.”The number of carers in the UK is expected to rise from 6 million to 9 million over the next 30 years so employers must consider the impact this will have on employee engagement, performance, and retention levels and take steps to support affected staff, said Brooke.Employers should also be mindful of employees that may not class themselves as carers, such as those with short-term caring responsibilities.Brooke said: “It is important to think about how we can engage with employees that don’t class themselves [as carers]; the stress is still there and the support is still needed, we just need to find a different way to start talking to those employees.”Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) are one line of support that employers can provide staff, but they must ensure that these are adequately promoted within the workplace, explained Brooke. EAPs could be highlighted to employees through presentations, monthly newsletters, the intranet, or wallet cards, for example.Brooke said: “We can’t keep doing the same things we have done in years gone past. Things are changing, it’s time to take a step back and look at things afresh.”Employee networks can also provide a valuable support mechanism for staff with caring responsibilities, and employers could help raise awareness of these by inviting external speakers to launch events. However, both EAPs and employee support groups must be integrated into employers’ wider health and wellbeing strategies if they are to be effective, warned Brooke.Other forms of support could include flexible working policies, increasing awareness by marking events such as as National Carers Week, and by offering back-up eldercare support. The latter would function in a similar manner to emergency childcare, providing employees with peace of mind and also benefitting employers through increased employee engagement and a reduction in absences.To control costs, employers could enable staff to convert a certain number of the days allotted to childcare to adult care, said Brooke. By repackaging benefits for carers, employers can help employees to see all of the support options available to them, as well as increasing awareness and engagement levels.Brooke added: “Eldercare responsibilities can affect any of us at any stage in our life. In the last two to three years we have seen a growing awareness of the need to provide benefits to support working carers generally.“This issue is not going to go away, it is going to get worse year on year as we see the population continue to age.”last_img read more

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Tamil director Sathish Chandrasekaran arrested for assaulting woman

first_imgSathish Chandrasekaran.PR HandoutDirector Sathish Chandrasekaran of Darling 2 fame has been arrested in Teynampet, Chennai, for allegedly assaulting a woman.According to reports, Sathish Chandrasekaran and his friends were partying at an upscale hotel in Anna Salai when he confronted a woman over an argument before slapping her in an inebriated situation.With the intervention of the hotel management, the situation was brought to control, but the woman filed a complaint with the cops who recovered the CCTV footage before arresting him. More details about the incident are awaited.Sathish Chandrasekaran made his directorial debut with Darling 2, a horror film starring Kalaiyarasan, Maya, Rameez Raja, Kaali Venkat and Arjunan. The 2016 film had failed to set the box office on fire like its predecessor in the franchise.last_img read more

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CBI files 2000page dossier as evidence in Vijay Mallya extradition case next

first_imgForce India co-owner, Vijay Mallya, leaves after an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, in central London on June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKayThe Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday filed a 2,000-page dossier in a London court as evidence against embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in India for defaulting on several bank loans amounting to nearly Rs 9,000 crore. Mallya also appeared before the Westminster Magistrates Court for the hearing in his extradition case.The court has set the next date for hearing on September 14.Mallya has been hiding out in a mansion near London since March 2016 and was briefly arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant on April 18, before being let off on a bail bond worth 650,000 pounds.”I do as my lawyers advise,” the 61-year-old former chief of erstwhile Kingfisher airlines said when asked about his appearance despite being granted an exemption by Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot at the last hearing on June 13.If the District Judge rules in favour of his extradition at the end of the trial, the UK home secretary must order Mallya’s extradition within two months of the appropriate day. However, the case can go through a series of appeals before arriving at a conclusion, said the Times of India, reporting the development on Thursday.The development comes in the wake of a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Wednesday issuing a fresh non-bailable arrest warrant (NBW) against Mallya and other accused, including IDBI officials, in the alleged loan default case.On 13 June, Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot had granted bail to Mallya until 4 December and scheduled the next hearing for 6 July. The court had exempted Mallya from being present personally for the hearing. The super yacht Indian Empress, owned by fugitive Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, is seen berthed beneath Fort St Angelo in Valletta’s Grand Harbour, Malta, in this December 9, 2016, file photo. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit LupiAt the last hearing, the Indian government had received a setback as Aaron Watkins, counsel representing India, admitted in the court he needs more time to provide further evidence to extradite Mallya, online news portal Firstpost.in said.”We have not received final evidence,” Watkins pleaded in the court, Firstpost reported.Also Read: Absconding businessman Vijay Mallya seen attending Virat Kohli’s charity eventThe court had expressed surprise at the shoddy progress made by the Indian authorities in gathering evidence.The CBI is specifically investigating default of a Rs 900-crore loan by Kingfisher Airlines, Mallya’s now defunct company, said Firstpost.Firstpost said that the CBI suspects a quid pro quo by Mallya and executives of Kingfisher Airlines to expedite the loan process and has alleged that Mallya diverted about Rs 263 crore from the Rs 900 crore loan for “personal” use against norms and regulations.India and the UK have an Extradition Treaty, signed in 1992, but so far only one extradition has taken place under the arrangement — Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, who was sent back to India last October to face trial in connection with his involvement in the post-Godhra riots of 2002.The investigating agency had arrested nine persons, including former executives of Kingfisher Airlines and IDBI Bank officials, in January.The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also probing the money laundering angle. The ED chargesheet in the PMLA court on Wednesday revealed that Rs 417 crore was remitted outside the country under the pretext of lease rental payment and other miscellaneous payments. Moreover, ED has alleged that the brand valuation of KFA was wrong.The court issued the fresh NBW at ED’s request after the anti-money laundering agency submitted that Mallya is in the UK and has failed to appear before it on previous occasions too.last_img read more

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More Women In Local Executive Boards Houstons Low Rate Of Measles Vaccinations

first_imgWednesday, February 6, 2019Top afternoon stories:PixabayA conference room.More Women In Houston’s Executive BoardsHouston-based publicly traded companies added 24 women to their boards of directors during 2018, according to the Spencer Stuart Board Index.That’s up from seven added board members in 2017. Women now make up 20 percent of all independent board directors in Houston, up from 16 percent in 2017 and eight percent in 2011.But when you compare those numbers to S&P 500 companies nationwide, Houston is still behind. On those boards, 24 percent are women, and women made up 40 percent of new board directors in 2018.Eighty-two percent of the largest Houston-based public companies have at least one female director.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)This illustration provides a 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.Houston’s Low Rate Of Measles VaccinationsToo few Houstonians are vaccinated against measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In 2017, the most recent year with data compiled by the CDC, only 87.8 percent of Houston children between 19 and 35 months had the measles vaccine. That’s the worst in Texas and among the worst in the United States.The CDC’s target rate for the measles vaccine is 90 percent. That figure comes from a concept called “herd immunity” – if enough people are vaccinated, the disease can’t spread rapidly. That protects people who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons.This week, five cases of measles have been reported in the Greater Houston region, three in Harris County, one in Galveston County and another one in Montgomery County.Allison Lee/Houston Public MediaTexas State Senator Paul Bettencourt.State Senate Begins Property Tax Reform HearingsThe Texas Legislature is already moving on property tax reform, which Governor Greg Abbott declared an emergency item during his State of the State address on Tuesday. The Senate Property Tax Committee is holding its first hearing on the bill (SB 2) today.The committee’s chair, Senator Paul Bettencourt, says rising property values are driving tax rates out of control. “We’re not talking rocket science here,” he says. “We’re talking simple math, that as values go up tax rates need to come down.”The bill would cap property tax growth at a rate of 2.5 percent a year. Anything above that would require voter approval.The measure also aims to help reform school finance, much of which comes from property taxes. “It does reduce tax revenues for school districts and will increase the cost to the state through the operation of the school funding formula,” Bettencourt says.Municipal leaders across the state, including Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, say the tax cap would hurt their ability to fund services as their populations grow. Sharelast_img read more

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Meredith Sells Sports Illustrated to Authentic Brands Group for 110 Million

first_imgSports Illustrated over the decades has chronicled stellar match-ups, blow-outs, squeakers, sudden deaths and photo finishes. Now it’s getting ready to take on a whole new kind of game.Publisher Meredith Corp. has sold for $110 million the intellectual property around the venerable sports-news outlet to Authentic Brands Group, the brand-development company that manages Juicy Couture, Nautica, and elements of the Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley estates, among others. Meredith took on Sports Illustrated as part of its purchase of Time Inc. in January of 2018 for $1.85 billion plus debt.Under terms of the deal, Authentic Brands acquires the rights to market, develop and license Sports Illustrated and its kids’ edition as well as its swimsuit and “Sportsperson of the Year” franchises, along with the magazine’s photo archive. Meredith will pay a licensing fee to operate the editorial operations of Sports Illustrated in print and in digital for a minimum of two years. Editor Chris Stone and Publisher Danny Lee will continue to lead Sports Illustrated at Meredith. Popular on Variety Related “We felt this was the best outcome for the brand, and gave it the greatest future growth potential,” says Jon Werther, president of Meredith’s national media group, in an interview. With the new pact as a foundation, he says, Meredith can move to sell ads for Sports Illustrated along with its other media holdings. The company had kept the magazine separate from its other properties because of its hopes for a sale. Meredith has no plans to change the magazine’s frequency, Werther says, or the circulation it guarantees advertisers.The pact suggests owners of long-standing print-focused brands may find monetizing non-core assets easier than the traditional business. As audiences migrate to digital screens – and advertisers follow them – wringing profit from magazines and newspapers continues to be a difficult task. SI’s overall print and digital audience for March was off by 9.2%, according to the Association of Magazine Media, a trade organization.But the brand’s new owner expects to forge into new areas.  “Sports Illustrated is not just a magazine. It’s really a platform and it really stands for something that is hard – when you’re building brands – to get: It has authenticity. It has authority. It has respect,” says Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of Authentic Brands, in an interview. “To earn that with a consumer, it’s not easy, right? Consumers are tough.”In a wide-ranging discussion, Salter envisioned possibilities ranging from Sports Illustrated medical clinics and sports-skills training classes to a gambling business and better use of the magazine’s vast photo library. “We always stay close to the DNA and the heritage of the brand,” he says. “Granted, we will go beyond, but we will always remember sort of how we go there.”Known since 1954 as a gold standard for sports journalism, Sports Illustrated has over the years vied with an array of upstarts, most notably Walt Disney’s ESPN, which was able to create a TV-and-video business for sports coverage that SI’s previous owner, Time Warner, was not. The market for sports journalism and discussion around it has fragmented further in the digital age, with the rise of sites such as WarnerMedia’s Bleacher Report; Bill Simmons’ The Ringer; The Chernin Group’s Barstool Sports; and the independent Awful Announcing. Indeed, ESPN said in April it would shut down its flagship print magazine, which was no longer profitable. In New Era, Entertainment Weekly Must Appeal Moment by Momentcenter_img Entertainment Weekly Will Go Monthly The sale moves Meredith close to the end of its effort to sell various Time Inc. assets, once some of the biggest media brands in the sector. Meredith has sold Time and Fortune to entrepreneurs, while folding Money’s print operations. The company is still working to sell Fansided, a network of sports and entertainment sites, according to a person familiar with the matter and is seeing offers in the $30 million range for the property. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

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Delhi ACB reopens 2002 CNG fitness scam case Sources

first_imgIn a significant move, Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of government of Delhi has “reopened” the alleged 2002 CNG fitness scam of Rs 100 crore in which three top officials of Sheila Dikshit government were under scanner.“The ACB is reopening the 2002 CNG Fitness Scam in which top three babus, who had worked under Sheila Dikshit government, are under scanner,” top government sources said.They said that ACB had registered a case in 2012 into the alleged 2002 CNG Fitness scam which runs into Rs 100 crore. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJI“During the AAP’s previous 49-day stint, Arvind Kejriwal had said that all documents would be provided to CBI after the probe agency sought some documents pertaining to the scam. But, the case probe got stuck as Kejriwal government resigned,” they said, adding that as elected government is now in place in the capital, ACB would probe the matter thoroughly.The sources claimed that the probe was stalled due to inability to get permission to question the officials. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindThe Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had, in December last year, raked up the issue of the CNG fitness scam of 2002 and attacked the “continuing silence” of the Central government and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on the alleged indictment of top bureaucrats in the city government by CBI.Senior party leader Ashutosh had said that CBI in its report has stated that the case was originally investigated by the Delhi Anti-Corruption Branch, which has names of several senior bureaucrats of Delhi administration.The probe in the Rs 100-crore scam had hit a roadblock when ACB stated that it did not receive the case details to begin the probe. However, the agency is now ready to reopen the case.Commenting on Kejriwal government’s decision to pursue the 13-year-old case, Congress leader PC Chacko said the AAP government was playing vendetta politics.last_img read more

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SAfrica trial of Nigerian terror suspect resumes

first_img Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The vital role family plays in society Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Sponsored Stories JOHANNESBURG (AP) – The trial has resumed in South Africa of Nigerian Henry Okah, who is accused of masterminding terrorist attacks in the Nigerian city of Abuja in 2010.Okah appeared in a Johannesburg courtroom exactly two years after the two car bombings that he is alleged to have staged killed 12 people and injured at least 36. Prosecutors say Okah was leader of the Nigerian separatist group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, which claimed responsibility for the attacks. He faces charges of engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activity, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device. He was arrested in Johannesburg the day after the attacks.center_img In court Monday he sat impassively as prosecutors made their opening remarks.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

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Lufthansa Group welcomes almost 10 million passengers on board in Marc

first_imgfthansaLufthansa Group welcomes almost 10 million passengers on board in March 2017The airlines of the Lufthansa Group transported some 9.6 million passengers in March, 14% more than the same period last year, although the popular Easter travel time started at the beginning of  April. In the first quarter, 25.2 million passengers, , travelled with the Lufthansa Group, amounting to13% more than the previous year. Total capacity for the month was up to 9.9% in available seat-kilometer terms and total traffic volume, measured in revenue passenger-kilometers, increased by 11%. The seat load factor improved accordingly, rising 0.8 percentage points to 77.2%, compared to March 2016. For the first quarter, both the available seat-kilometers increased to 9.5% and the traffic volume to 11.3%. This results in having an increase in the seat load factor up to 76.7% and thus, a rise of 1.2 percentage points, compared to the previous year. Pricing was slightly positive in March on a currency-neutral basis.Cargo capacity increased 6.7% year-on-year, while cargo sales were up 13.3% in revenue tonne-kilometer terms. As a result, the Cargo load factor showed a corresponding improvement, rising 4.3 percentage points for the month. Total capacity in the first quarter was up to 3.6% and cargo sales were up to 8.3% and the cargo load factor increased 3.0 percentage points, compared to 2016.Hub airlinesNetwork airlines Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines carried 7.4 million passengers in March, 4.5% more than in the prior-year period. A total of 19.7 million passengers flew with network airlines in the first quarter, equaling 3.5 more percentage points than the previous year. . Capacity increased by 1.5%, while the sales volume was up 2.9%, raising seat load factor by 1.0 percentage points. During the first quarter, the capacity increased  1.2% and the sales volume 3.3%, resulting in a 76.5% seat load factor, and increase of  1.5 percentage points.Lufthansa German Airlines transported 5.2 million passengers in March, a 4.1% increase, compared to the same month last year. 13.7 million passengers flew with Lufthansa German Airlines, thus, 2.8% more than the first quarter last year. March capacity was reduced by a slight 0.1%, while the sales volume was up 2.1%. Furthermore, the seat load factor was up to 78.2%, therefore 1.8 percentage points above the prior-year level. In the first quarter, seat load factor rose 2.0 percentage points, compared to the prior-year period. The capacity decreased 0.8%, while the sales volume was up 1.9%.Point-to-point airlinesThe Lufthansa Group’s point-to-point airlines – Eurowings (including Germanwings) and Brussels Airlines – carried 2.2 million passengers in March. Among this total, 2.0 million passengers were on short-haul flights and 0.2 million flew long-haul. This amounts to an increase of 66.0%, in comparison to the previous year, which alongside organic growth is a result of the inclusion of Brussels Airlines and additional capacity through the wet lease agreement with Air Berlin. In total, 5.5 million passengers were transported in the first quarter. Of these, 5.0 million were on short-haul and 0.6 million on long-haul flights.March capacity was 113% above its prior-year level, while February sales volume was up 109%. The seat load decreased by 1.5 percentage points. The entire first quarter capacity increased  to 112.5% and the sales volume 112.4%. The seat load factor decreased to 0.1 percentage-points compared to the first quarter in the previous year.On short-haul services the point-to-point carriers raised capacity 68.3% and increased sales volume by 64.6%, resulting in a 1.6 percentage points decrease in seat load factor, compared to March 2016. Considering the first quarter, both the capacity and sales volume increased to 68.3% and 69.1%, respectively, resulting in an improved seat load factor by 0.3 percentage points. The seat load factor for the long-haul services decreased 9.8 percentage points, following a 282.7% increase in capacity and a 242.3% rise in sales volume, compared to the previous year. In terms of long-haul services in the first quarter, the total capacity was up to 259% in available seat-kilometer terms and the sales volume was 215.9%, resulting in a11.3 percentage points decrease in seat load factor. Lufthansa GroupSource = Lufthansalast_img read more

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December 18 2018

first_imgDecember 18 , 2018 FareShare: Combating food waste at retail is a ben … Demand for ‘imperfect’ produce prompts Oddbox … From the pages of Jim Prevor’s Perishable PunditJohn Bovay has been wowing audiences at The New York Produce Show and Conference for the past two years. He always has a way of researching the hot topics of the day – this year it is Food Waste. We asked Pundit Investigator and Special Projects Editor Mira Slott to find out more:John BovayAssistant Professor andExtension EconomistDept. of Agricultural andResource EconomicsUniversity of ConnecticutQ: At last year’s New York Produce Show, you covered  GMO and Non-GMO Food Labels: Implications Of The New Federal Law For Growers, Marketers, And Consumers. And two years ago, food safety impacts. Now you take a hard and questioning look at calls and mandates for food waste reduction. You certainly don’t shy away from hot topics.Food waste concerns are escalating. Policies to reduce food waste have reached heightened levels on a local, state, national and global scale. It’s not clear what impacts this will have on the produce industry. The economics of food waste seem complicated. We’re excited to learn more about your research to better understand the issues and implications, as well as what actions executives should take….A: What you say is true. Here are some links for more information on USDA, EPA and United Nation food waste reduction policies.https://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/usda_commitments.htmlhttps://academic.oup.com/aepp/article/40/3/402/4566544https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-availability-per-capita-data-system/http://www.fao.org/sustainable-development-goals/indicators/1231/en/The food waste problem has been recognized by scholars for over a century and is gaining tremendous traction in academia as well as popular attention. Yet the magnitude of food waste has never been consistently measured. As a result, one cannot satisfactorily answer the seemingly straightforward question of whether a century’s attention to food waste — or viewed differently, a century of economic growth that has caused changes and shifts in the extent of food waste — has resulted in a more acute or mild problem.We review the economics of food waste, provide historical evidence on the extent of the problem with a focus on the U.S., and we draw conclusions about how various drivers have affected the amount of food waste at various stages of the supply chain over the decades.Based on a draft paper of our ongoing research I’ve been working on for some time, we wanted to review historical evidence on food waste and look at the ways it is measured and estimated over the history of efforts to measure the food waste problem. People have been talking of food waste since the 1800’s, actually, and have been aware of food waste as an economic problem; that not selling or buying food and throwing it away is costly. We’ve been hearing a lot about it recently: There have been more than 4,000 scholarly articles written with food waste in their title just in the past 5 or 6 years.Part of the motivation for this research paper was to take a longer perspective on it and to assess whether this food waste problem has become more of a problem in the past few years, or whether we’re actually doing better, and there’s just sort of a buzz around it now, and we’re hearing so much about it.I don’t know if we’re able to reach conclusions based on the available evidence, because the data is very inconsistent. The methodologies for gathering data, for estimating the amount of food waste and measuring the share of food wasted are unreliable or flawed, so it’s impossible for us to say right now whether the food waste problem has been getting worse or improving over time. But we do have some evidence that production is becoming more efficient and less food is being wasted or lost upstream, but with lower prices and increased income of consumers they are wasting more of it.So, that’s an overview of what we do in this paper.Q: Can you elaborate on why the methodologies are inconsistent or unreliable? Is there even consensus on how to define or classify food waste? Is that where the problem starts?A: One of the main things to keep in mind is the definition of food waste is not even consistent. Food waste is sometimes defined as food that is edible but wasted; sometimes it’s defined as food that’s wasted downstream. In other words, the jargon, or terminology of food waste implies some kind of moral problem — that people have food at their disposal and then they dispose of it.Also, the definition of food itself is difficult to agree upon. People can’t agree for purpose of measuring whether orange peels should count, or avocado pits should be included as food waste. So that’s part of the problem, just this basic definitional concept.Q: You mention the moral aspects connected to food waste. Does that cloud the issues further?A: So that’s not really my focus. I’m an economist, and we try to divorce morals from what we do.Q: That’s an important point.A: But there is this sort of moral connotation of food waste. In fact, in the bible, in John 6:12, after feeding the 5000, Jesus says gather the pieces that are left over, let nothing be wasted.Q: Sorry to sidetrack you into notions of morality, and religious bible passages…A: That’s OK. Professionally, that’s what inspired me to become an economist and to do work that would create policies that would create a better world. The ethics are not something I write about, but it’s something that inspires my career.Q: That’s admirable. So, let’s get back to the science and the expert research you’ve been doing to best inform decisions and solutions on food waste reduction. In a somewhat profound sense, factually-based strategies could also be the most moral too. Just how difficult is it to get those facts?A: There are inconsistencies of estimates of food waste because people define food differently, and waste and loss differently. This makes it really hard to compare say an estimate of food waste generated by collecting garbage from households in the 1980s to a similar study done today. Just because inevitably there are going to be differences in terms of what counts as waste, study to study.That kind of approach is one of the two major approaches to estimating food waste. It’s what we call a “bottom-up” approach, where you’re going and collecting physical evidence on what’s wasted, surveying landfills, surveying trash cans and/or asking people to keep diaries of what they buy and what they eat and throw away.And this will create or give you a sense of the picture of food waste, but because it’s relying on very small samples, how many households is it feasible to sample the garbage of, you’re not going to have very reliable estimates when you talk about the national or global scale of food waste.On the other hand, there are “top-down” approaches, which are based on data of shipments of food, production of food, typically at the national level. These have better coverage but they’re courser because the individual estimates are probably less reliable because of the methodology. There is a lot of assumptions that go into it.For example, the USDA has been putting out periodic estimates of food waste for the last couple of decades. They focus on the retailer and consumer levels that are occasionally making headlines coming from the USDA. I have a lot of respect for the work that they do. I used to work in the same small group of researchers as the people who generate those estimates and reports. The problem is that their task is just really immense, and they’re not able to go in and estimate using real estimation methods on the amount of food wasted on the individual commodities.Q: How do they compensate for this complication?A: They make assumptions. For example, canned peaches, 6 percent of what reaches the retailer doesn’t get sold. Mozzarella cheese, 6 percent of what reaches the retailer doesn’t get sold. This 6 percent is a really common assumption they apply in their analysis and how that drives they’re overall estimates when they apply assumptions like that.Q: That’s a bit disconcerting since those headlines are often taken quite seriously in driving policy…A: All in all, when we ask a question like, “Has the level of food waste risen or decreased in the last 20 years,” and we try to assess it, what we’re left with is an incomplete picture, because all the studies out there that allow us to approximate answers to a question like that are just based on layers and layers of assumptions that are driving whatever changes we might think we’re seeing.And as I said earlier, if you were going to use the more micro-level “bottom-up” approach, you would see too many differences in methodology, more based on definition, as well as possibly people changing their behavior if they know they’re their under study.Q: Can you discuss this phenomenon further?A: For example, if I were to give you instructions to take a picture of your plate of food before and after each meal, you would probably be a lot more conscious of what you put on your plate to be sure you didn’t put too much on your plate.Q: That’s such an interesting point, which could be applied to other studies too… for instance, if you ask people to monitor their produce consumption, they may be apt to eat more fruits and vegetables during that time period. A: One of the studies from the UK found consumers reported 40 percent less food waste when they were asked to report their purchases, and what they ate and what they threw out, as opposed to the observational studies where the surveyors were just surveying the contents of the trashcans.  This is because the people filling out the forms were so conscious of what they were eating and what they were throwing out, it evidently changed what they reported.  Q: I don’t want to interrupt your flow, but do you analyze how these different numbers and messages affect the actions people are taking?A: That’s a good question to segue from here. This paper I’m going to be presenting is the first paper I’ve written on food waste, but I’m looking forward to a couple more research projects that are more about generating original data. One of them is going to involve a series of experiments, possibly with university dining halls, where we present kitchen staff and diners with information about food waste and see what messages are most salient to them, and how we can use messaging to reduce food waste.We’re just in the initial logistical stage right now. We probably won’t be implementing the experiment for another year, but that’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot.Q: Are you going to be monitoring the food waste, weighing plates…or that’s not what this is?A: That’s the concept. It’s probably not weighing plates but weighing what’s disposed.Q: And is there a reason why you’d be focusing on university dining halls?A: We wouldn’t necessarily be focusing on university dining halls; it’s just that it may be more convenient. For this kind of experiment, we do want to partner with institutions that have more than one kitchen. In order to do an experiment properly, you have to have a sense of what behavior is like without these sorts of intervention. We’ll need to have data on food used and food wasted for a year prior to any intervention. We’ll need to see seasonal patterns. For example, if were using a university dining hall, maybe students eat more at the beginning of the semester or at exam time, and we absolutely have to control for that. We wouldn’t want to collect three months of data in an experiment. We really need to see a whole year’s worth of activity.Q: Any other areas you’ll be delving into?A: Yes, there is, and I’ll only be speaking about this briefly during the presentation. The other area is developing a national estimate of the amount of food wasted on farms, and we would start by focusing on vegetables. Again, like the other aggregate food waste studies, there is very little data out there on farm food waste. There are observational studies and data on dozens of farms, but we’re looking to develop a set of estimates that is much more comprehensive than that.Q: And do you have a hypothesis going into this, key goals in mind?A: Won’t have discreet hypotheses. The first step would just be measurements. Then we would be looking into drivers of food waste as well as implications for market prices, for producers’ profits, of various possible policies for reducing food waste.So, one of the things we’re thinking of, for example, is understanding whether more buyers were willing to buy lower graded produce from vegetable farmers around the country, not just processors but people willing to sell lower graded produce to the fresh market; how would that change market prices, how would that change prices for higher graded produce, how would that change well-being of consumers, particularly the lower income consumers?Q: Then with all those numbers, it also comes down to retailers putting the products on the shelf, and bottom line, the market demand for these lower-grade products. We’ve covered strong retail efforts to merchandise and promote “misfits” and Ugly-fruit type programs in our sister publication PRODUCE BUSINESS.At the same time, there have been mixed sales results at retail, with some retailers including Price Chopper/Market 32 and Hannaford discontinuing their “misfits” produce trials.A: These are some of the questions we’re looking at, and this would be a project that would take several years, first to gather data and then to do the analysis.Q: These research papers you’re doing could be very valuable to the produce industry.A: Thank you. I hope so.Q: So, do you want to give more detail on the economic findings of your research you’ll be presenting, and some of the key takeaways?A: Sure. One of the things I’ll say is that I want to lay the groundwork… why are we interested in food waste. It’s not just about product costs; it’s not just about consumer prices, but also the environment costs. There are estimates that around a quarter of inputs to crop production that are used to produce food are ultimately going to be unused. There are estimates that around two percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are due to wasted food; not food production in general, but just wasted food.Food in landfills is also an important contributor to greenhouse gas emission. Decomposing food gives off methane, which is much more potent than carbon.Then the other major reason to be interested in food waste, besides the environment, is food security. It’s possible, but not necessarily true, that food waste increases food prices. It’s also possibly true, on the other hand, that food waste reduction regulations could increase food prices. For example, if food producers were forced to pay a tax on food that was wasted, it’s not clear whether that would affect food prices positively or negatively.Food regulations could increase food price, and if food producers are forced to pay taxes on food waste, it is not clear whether that effect will be positive. It would initially push up prices but eventually push down prices.Q:  The produce industry often turns on basic supply/demand fluctuations; how does this fit into the equation?A: If there were a tax on producers who wasted food, this would essentially increase the cost of doing business as a producer or farmer, and this would push up prices and wouldn’t help poor folks that need lower food prices.That’s the basic supply-and-demand story.There are potentially some policies that could reduce food waste and, in so doing, reduce the cost of food for low-income people as well as other consumers.It is not clear requiring anybody to reduce food waste would bring costs down and solve the food security problem.So why we care about food waste is one set of points I’d like to draw out.Then the other thing we need to consider carefully in relation to food waste reduction is whether actions should be taken by individual sellers or growers of food or whether it’s some type of centralized government policy. We need to simply establish whether the benefits from food waste reduction exceed the costs.Q: Essentially a cost/benefit analysis to determine the ideal balance; in other words, a goal of reaching zero food waste may not be advisable, and actually could be detrimental?A: There are economic concepts of optimal levels of pollution, for example, and we can think about socially acceptable amounts of food waste where society’s benefit from a reduction of one pound of food equals society’s cost to reduce food waste by one pound.For example, the EPA and USDA announced a goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent 12 years from now, in 2030.  It’s not clear whether that 50 percent reduction would cost something that is closer to the social optimum or maybe further away.Maybe we’re very close to the socially optimum level already.Certainly, individuals and individual producers are making decisions optimal to them at every moment. So maybe that’s going to get us close to the socially optimal level already. It just so happens that the optimal level may be something like one-third of the food supply, which is the ballpark common knowledge of what the amount of food waste is currently.We don’t know what the optimal level is, and we certainly don’t know whether a 50 percent food waste reduction is closer to the optimum or sensible in terms of costs and benefits.It’s not just the EPA and USDA, it’s also the United Nations. The UN goal is a little different; it just focuses on retail and consumer food waste.  Q: I see what you’re saying, that it’s critical you’re working with the correct numbers before making these sweeping goals…A: That’s right. So, the food and ag organization at the UN is developing a new methodology to better measure food waste, so they can measure their progress in respect to that goal. They need to know what the level of food waste is now, and then assess the progress in respect to that goal.Q: But they don’t know if that’s the right goal, if the premise is correct…A: Exactly. We don’t know whether that goal is economically sensible, whether the benefits exceed the costs.Q: They could reach their goal, and it ends up being a negative, even though it appears virtuous…What are the potential economic costs?A: It could possibly be throwing money at a problem that is not correctly defined…The other thing I’ll say is this: I’m not sure where the UN is on spending money on food waste reduction and measuring it, which is costly.The EPA and USDA have been providing some funding for this. It’s not just a press release. They are funding various activities and initiatives for food waste reduction. They’ve also been funding education programs.Then in addition to that, local governments have in some cases incentivized food waste reduction. Seattle, for example, is now charging its residents for municipal food composting. You’re not allowed to throw out food in your regular waste basket. You have to throw it out in a special bag, and they charge by the bag.Here in Connecticut, certain large commercial food facilities, including most supermarkets, are required to send their waste off to a digester.So, these are all initiatives that are somewhat costly and, at this point, we don’t know whether the benefits are justified based on those costs.Q: Can the same be said regarding supermarket mandates to replace plastic bags with paper ones?A: That’s a really good analogy. I would say municipal or state policies around food waste reduction are analogous to local bans on plastic bags in that it may be a good idea for the environment to reduce use of plastic bags, but we don’t know whether those benefits justify the costs.The other thing I’d like to say, obviously businesses have incentives to not waste food or to sell as much food they acquire as they can. So, regulations around food waste that are targeted at businesses may be inherently overly paternalistic, just because businesses have a case not to waste food, and clearly have incentives not to waste food.Q: What about environmental issues connected to food waste, or costs that are harder to quantify from a business perspective?A: It may be true there are situations where environmental costs are not accounted for by individual businesses that are purchasing in the food chain, so there may be good reasons to put caps or impose fines on food waste, but we just don’t know yet.  Q: So, for this research, are you totally focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables?A: One of the research projects that hopefully is beginning soon will be focusing just on vegetables, but the general work — the research I’ll be presenting at the Show — looks at food waste for all different commodities.Q: Can you point out notable differences between the different commodities?A: There are. Obviously fresh fruits and vegetables are easily spoiled and highly perishable, and grains and cereals are much less easily spoiled. For example, USDA estimates current loss of dairy products from farm to retail is 1.5 percent, whereas for vegetables the loss is somewhere in the 10-30 percent level.At the consumer level, we’re seeing much more waste from the different commodities, but again it’s higher for vegetables than for other things.USDA, says 42 percent of leafy greens and yellow vegetables are wasted by consumers, and 30 percent for most fruit, compared to 23 percent for dairy and meat. And for potatoes, which are not highly perishable, consumers are only wasting 16 percent, that’s according to the USDA.Here’s another example that illustrates the importance of perishability on food waste.  USDA estimates from farm to retail about 5 percent of fresh pineapple is wasted. And consumers waste 37 percent of the fresh pineapple that they buy.Canned pineapple is completely the opposite. For canned pineapple and pineapple juice, USDA is saying about 41 percent is wasted from farm to retail and only 9 or 10 percent is wasted by consumers.Q: Do you see these trends continuing?A: When we’re talking about historical trends in food waste, we see food has become cheaper over the decades no matter what timeframe you look at, when you control for and make adjustment for inflation, there are exceptions, but overall in the aggregate for commodities.At the same time, incomes are rising as a society.   In the U.S. and globally, we have increased demand for food quality. Part of what that means is we’less likely to accept an ugly carrot that is not perfectly straight, or a potato that has spots or milk a few days too old.Some of my colleagues at the University of Georgia have written that food waste is a luxury good, and they find evidence for this, that with rising incomes sometimes people are willing to waste food.It could be with rising incomes and decreasing food prices, the optimal level of food waste, where the costs of reduction equal the benefits from reduction, may be rising.We also have a lot of changes in our culture. People are cooking less at home, eating out more, and it’s not clear how that is affecting food waste. It does mean we are making less frequent trips to the grocery store, and it’s quite possible that fresh vegetables are wilting in the fridge and getting thrown out. Q: Do you think the whole move toward omni-channel retailing and increased purchases online could make a difference?A: I hope so. Other things on the supply chain upstream… we’ve had a lot of advances in technology that have allowed producers to reduce loss. They’re able to harvest more efficiently using machines. They’re growing different cultivars of fruits and vegetables that have enabled them to produce more, part of that is harvesting more of what you plant. So, we’ve seen upstream reductions in food loss.Also, there are innovations that have enabled food sharing. I think we’re going to see a lot more innovation in terms of food waste reduction, facilitating transactions enabling farmers to find buyers for food that previously they would have just plowed back into the soil. I think it’s a really exciting time to be building a business around food-waste reduction.I met a lot of entrepreneurs this summer at a food waste conference, who are doing great things making a profit while insuring food gets used instead of wasted.Q: You mentioned food sharing?A: I have seen an app out there that allows consumers to say, hey I have leftover lasagna, who wants it? There’s an app that a company operates in a few countries in Europe that allows restaurants to advertise the food they have at the end of the day at a discounted price, it’s called Too Good to Go.Q: Is there anything else you think would be important to point out for this preview? A: Another big issue has been date labeling, I won’t get to talk about that at length, but there is a possibility that federal law could start to standardize date labels; it probably will only be for certain products, and not everything in the grocery store. But very likely, there are going to be more uniformed standards for “sell by,” “best by” date labeling on packages, where there is currently a lot of confusion, and what they really mean.   Brad Rickard has done interesting research on this particular issue, and other studies related to the food waste issue, which he’s presented at past New York Produce Shows [Important Research On Food Waste Unveiled At New York Produce Show: Cornell’s Brad Rickard Dives Into The Question Of Whether Zero Food Waste Is Good For Overall Health (Or The Produce Industry]Q: Brad’s research on food waste complements what you’ll be delving into at this year’s Show.A: I’m looking forward to seeing Brad again at the Show.Q: And he will enjoy reconnecting with you as well.  [Editor’s note: Cornell’s Brad Rickard and Karina Gallardo of Washington State University will be presenting a thought-provoking talk as well:Cornell and Washington State University Team Up On New Research Interactive Presentation At New York Produce Show Gives Industry Buyers A Chance To Weigh In On What They Prefer ******There is a semantic problem with this issue. The word “waste” is inherently pejorative. It might make sense to use it in certain contexts, say a child whose “eyes are too big for his stomach” who thus loads up his plate at a buffet with quantities of food that it is highly predictable he won’t be able to eat.We can say that child is “wasting” food. We can say his parents are allowing “waste” by not better controlling their child’s behavior. It is a pejorative term filled with moral opprobrium. It is not a reasonable way of thinking about the food system.Food left in a field because a farmer makes the judgement that it is not profitable to do a fifth picking of pepper, for example, because the cost of resources – to pick, to pack, to cool, to transport, to distribute, to retail, on and on – is not properly seen as waste. It is actually avoiding waste – the waste of all these resources that the market would not be willing to pay for through the sale of these few and small peppers available to be picked in this picked-over field.To focus our attention on “Food Waste” and ignore the waste of all the other inputs involved in producing food is illogical and irresponsible.Even consumer “waste” has more to do with value judgements than optimal national policy. At the Pundit household, we buy loads of fresh foods and, often, throw it out. Why? Because we are fortunate to be able to not tether ourselves to the possibility that the contents of our crisper may go bad.If the children suddenly have to do a play rehearsal or an extra team practice, if they stay late at school for extra help because an extra test has been added to the schedule, if we are invited to a last-minute barbeque at a neighbor or have to make a sudden business trip –we can make the decision to do all these things even though it may mean we throw out some leafy greens!  We could decline these opportunities. The Pundit Grandmother might well have said “ I already made a  salad and defrosted some lamb chops; you can’t go to your friend’s house for dinner tonight” But would that make our lives better? If we decided to forgo the fresh foods we prefer and only buy frozen vegetables, that would reduce our food waste, but at the cost of life less pleasant. Tasmanian researcher investigates delicate balance … You might also be interested in Optimizing sorting tech would grant produce indust … last_img read more

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Arms uncovered as part of underworld crackdown

first_imgA revolver, a hand gun and 107 live rounds, all in usable condition were located around noon at the Polemidia water reservoir as part of operations to clamp down on organised crime, the Limassol CID chief, Ioannis Soteriades said on Thursday.The items were located following information given to the Limassol police chief, Soteriades said, on suspicious movement at the reservoir in Polemidia. Following a search in the area, the items were located in a nylon bag, placed in a bush.The items were sent for lab tests, he said. It is believed that their owners either wanted to get rid of them or had relocated them, Soteriades said, as “criminals started feeling the police grip tighter around them.” You May LikeLivinglyGwen Stefani’s Best LooksLivinglyUndoCar and DriverThe 17 Best New Subcompact Crossover SUVs of 2019Car and DriverUndoHealthZapTotally Insane Car Cleaning Hacks That Actually WorkHealthZapUndo Heroes’ welcome for Israeli teens after woman detained for false rape claim (Update 2)UndoClear winner in first round of Kition bishop voteUndoHouse rejects presidential veto over repossession lawUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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