Russia lifts World Cup ban on German journalist


first_img0Shares0000“The Russian side has since informed us that @hajoseppelt can at least travel to the World Cup. Let’s continue to push for free reporting,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter.BERLIN, Germany, May 15 – Russia has granted a football World Cup visa to the German journalist banned after he broke the story on Russia’s state-sponsored doping scandal, Berlin said Tuesday.“The Russian side has since informed us that @hajoseppelt can at least travel to the World Cup. Let’s continue to push for free reporting,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter. German journalist Hajo Seppelt’s documentaries on doping among Russian athletes sparked a storm and ended up with Russia being banned from this winter’s Pyeongchang Olympic games.On Friday, it emerged that his application for a visa, submitted by public regional broadcaster SWR, was rejected as he was apparently on a persona non grata list in Russia.Moscow did not specify the reason but Seppelt himself said the “uncovering of the state doping system has had such great impact for Russia that it felt that it needed to take such measures”.News of the ban sparked an outcry in Germany, and Berlin on Monday called Moscow’s decision to ban Seppelt “wrong”.The German government also warned that it “puts Russia as a host in a bad light if the freedom of the press and of opinion is curtailed before the eyes of the world.”Earlier Tuesday, German Football Federation chief Reinhard Grindel said he had spoken with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino to take up the case personally with Russia.“I told him that I hoped that he would personally get in touch with the Russian government,” Grindel said.Russia was already a disputed choice when it was handed the World Cup in a closely-watched 2010 vote that has since been tainted by bribery charges.But the row over Seppelt’s visa had further roiled an already controversial tournament which kicks off in June.FIFA said on Monday that it had already approved Seppelt’s accreditation request to cover the World Cup.“Generally speaking, the freedom of the press is of paramount importance to FIFA and we always aim to provide media representatives with the best possible conditions for coverage of all FIFA events,” FIFA said in a statement.The dispute also came just days before German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, who in recent years has clashed repeatedly with Western leaders on a litany of issues including the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Planning early is a key to effective on-farm research


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field LeaderMost Ohio farmers will agree that 2019 will go down in the history books as a year with tremendous variability. For those who conduct on-farm research, variability is one thing they attempt to reduce. One way to help reduce variability is to have a plan before you go to the field. A plan that is designed to have multiple replications of the various components can give you options.“If you have a plan, you will be more likely to implement it when you go to the field,” said Elizabeth Hawkins, OSU Extension, Agronomic Systems Field Specialist. “If changes need to be made due to changing conditions, you will be more likely to have options available that allow you to maintain the integrity of the research and not compromise the reliability of the results.”Elizabeth Hawkins, OSU Extension Agronomic Systems Field SpecialistHawkins feels that learning what works in different years is critical.“I am excited about the 2019 research, and the potential of what we can learn in what may become a new normal with the changing environmental conditions,” she said.Challenging conditions can result in very useful data with the proper plan.“As our weather variability continues into the future, data in unique years can be even more valuable as we can compare it to similar challenging years. This will be more true as heavy, infrequent, unpredictable weather events continue,” said Eric Richer, OSU Extension educator in Fulton County. “Even if farmers are doing on-farm research for their own purposes, the more replications they have planned, the better the results will be. I tell farmers there should be a minimum of four replications, and actually recommend six replications if possible so that if a couple are compromised, there are still a sufficient number available to gather the data from.”In some cases, there is value in “data cleaning” when doing the final analysis.“If you start your on-farm research plan with a randomized complete block design, it allows for weather occurrences and other unforeseen factors. Exceptions can be made when data cleaning and those exceptions can be thrown out,” Richer said.Factors that can compromise the on-farm research include everything from planter or sprayer mechanical error, to intense weather events, to yield monitor calibration issues, to unknown field or plot physical factors such as compaction zones.“Compaction is a huge issue this year,” Hawkins said. “Precision U will have a session on Jan. 8, 2020 focusing specifically on mitigating the compaction issue.”Precision U is a program hosted by The Ohio State University and the Digital Ag Team to help farmers make better management decisions. This specific program will help those in attendance learn how to minimize compaction and maximize soil productivity.One tip that Hawkins gives all farmers, regardless of the level of research they are conducting is to calibrate their equipment.“Accurately calibrating equipment is very important in reducing variability,” she said. “Farmers need to calibrate for the different scenarios they may encounter.”Taking good notes throughout the season is also important.“Making notes of any replant that had to be done, or marking any drowned-out spots, noting patterns observed during harvest, anything that a farmer observes that stands out will be useful when cleaning-up the data,” she said. “Often the replants and drowned out spots can be ‘clipped-out’ to prevent bias in the data.”Hawkins reminds farmers that the OSU Extension Digital Ag Team and County agriculture educators are available and willing to help both in planning on-farm research trials prior to when the season begins, and also can help make suggestions to clean up the data once harvest is complete.last_img read more

Developers Discover That People Like to Walk


first_imgDevelopers Replace Golf Courses with Hiking TrailsDriving LessGreen Neighborhood in North CarolinaGreen Building Priority #4 — Reduce the Need for Driving A national poll two years ago among 3,000 adults showed that home buyers favor developments that make it easy to walk to stores, restaurants, and other community gathering spots. Residential developers have apparently taken note. An article posted at Construction Dive says that developers of master planned communities are increasingly likely to include more opportunities for walking, and they’re getting an especially positive response from Millennials — buyers in the 18-to-34 age bracket.Adam Drucker, managing director at real estate consultant RCLCO, said that residential developments of a generation ago often had no dedicated walking paths, and sometimes no sidewalks at all. But in the last 10 years, developers have started to favor networks of walking trails over more conventional community amenities like golf courses.“People want to engage with other people outside of their cars,” Drucker said. “Master planned communities (MPCs) are really focusing on providing walking opportunities and they’re getting good results… [Walkability] definitely isn’t a trend. This is now a permanent part of development.” Planned communities respondDevelopments such as the 7,200-acre Walsh community in Fort Worth, Texas, put a premium on open spaces, parks, and trails that connect different parts of the community, Construction Dive said. Residents of the first Walsh neighborhood, now underway, are within five minutes of a park or open space.Jake Wagner, co-CEO of the developer, Republic Property Group, said the appeal of walkways that connect neighborhoods is that they can be used by everyone who lives there, unlike other amenities that might be of interest to smaller groups of people.“Walking pathways are the backbone of the community because they connect homes and amenities,” he said.Municipalities also are doing more to become pedestrian-friendly. In Olympia, Washington, for example, sidewalks and planter strips are now required on every street. The city’s senior planner, Sophie Stimson, said, “Walking is a priority here.” A 2009 report from CEOs for Cities, “Walking the Walk,” said that houses located in walkable neighborhoods were worth more than similar houses in areas where walking was more difficult. “Above average” levels of walkability added a price premium of $4,000 to $34,000 over houses with “average” walkability in a typical metro area. Millennials show the most interest. The poll by the National Association of Realtors found that age group preferred walking over driving by 12 percentage points, a wider margin than any other generation. Millennials said that they wanted to live within walking distance of shops and restaurants, favored a short commute, and were most likely to use public transportation.Among all respondents, 77% said that being within an easy walk of community features like shops and parks was either very important or somewhat important (only 7% said that was not at all important); 85% said having sidewalks and places to take walks were very important or somewhat important. RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

Great Things are Happening in Jamaica – PM


first_imgStory Highlights Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the business environment in Jamaica has improved significantly, with investors now more willing to take risks.The Prime Minister, who was addressing the grand opening of an itelbpo Smart Solutions facility in Freeport, St. James, on October 4, said he has been attending several similar opening and ground-breaking ceremonies in recent times.“I do this because it drives home the point that great things are happening in Jamaica. I am doing two or three per week.“It is amazing what is happening in Jamaica and it is showing the psychology of economics; confidence,” he said, noting that the Government is making it easier for persons to calculate “what the risk factors are, project what the future will be and where you can make wise investments”.The Prime Minister said the fact that persons are willing to take risks with their money puts the impetus on the Government to put the measures in place where they can be successful.“When the owners of capital take the risk and create employment, everyone should be appreciative and try to ensure that the capital is successful,” he stressed.The Prime Minister pointed out that the Government is working to create a sustainable cycle of economic growth and job creation.“We understand that this is the partnership that the Government must continue to nurture. We also want employees to know that they are a part of the risk and should value the fact that employment has been created to their benefit. It all works together in a nice partnership,” he said.For his part, itelbpo co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Yoni Epstein, said the company has “developed exponentially” since its inception in 2012.He informed that itelbpo has grown from a small business process outsourcing (BPO) operator with seven employees in Jamaica to a large global competitor with more than 1,000 employees in Montego Bay; Kingston; The Bahamas; and Tampa, Florida.Over the past five years, the company has serviced a range of clients across sectors such as hospitality, telecommunications, utilities, medical billing and transportation, he pointed out.Services include sales, booking, web chat, social media coordination and Google PPC management, quality assurance and payment services.Itelbpo Smart Solutions is Jamaica’s largest locally owned BPO and contact centre management firm.The function also marked the company’s fifth anniversary celebrations. He informed that itelbpo has grown from a small business process outsourcing (BPO) operator with seven employees in Jamaica to a large global competitor with more than 1,000 employees in Montego Bay; Kingston; The Bahamas; and Tampa, Florida. “It is amazing what is happening in Jamaica and it is showing the psychology of economics; confidence,” he said, noting that the Government is making it easier for persons to calculate “what the risk factors are, project what the future will be and where you can make wise investments”. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the business environment in Jamaica has improved significantly, with investors now more willing to take risks.last_img read more

Cargill Hires Diana Shippings Capesize


first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Athens-based Diana Shipping has entered into a time charter contract with Geneva’s Cargill International for one of its Capesize dry bulk vessels.Under the deal, the company’s 171,810 dwt bulker Salt Lake City would be hired at a gross charter rate of USD 9,750 per day for a period of twenty to twenty-three months.The 2005-built unit is scheduled to commence its charter on March 14, 2019.Diana Shipping expects that the employment would generate around USD 5.85 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the time charter.Salt Lake City is currently working for Cargill International at a rate of USD 16,250 per day. The current deal was signed for a period of over 10 months, from May 2018 to mid-March 2019.last_img read more