ROAD SAFETY AUTHORITY ONLY PAYING LIP-SERVICE TO IRISH LANGUAGE – CLAIM

first_imgIndependent political activist Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has today issued a further statement on the issue of the Irish Language and government outsourcing.The well-kwnon campaigner claimed yesterday that resources at the NCT centre in Gaoth Dobhair were not adequate to deal with people looking to have their business done in Irish.However the Department of Transport said it had made provisions so that anyone who wanted their NCT to be done through Irish could do so upon request. Mr Mac Giolla Easbuig said ‘There appears to be some confusion over my position on this issue. Let’s be clear here, I am not attacking workers in the Gweedore NCT centre, I am highlighting the issue of this Government’s mealy mouthed approach to the preservation of our language.‘I spoke this morning with workers in the centre to reassure them of this. I have spoken today also to officials within Roinn na Gaeltachta, who have confirmed for me that companies awarded government outsourcing contracts are not bound by the Official Languages Act.“Therefore these private companies are under no obligation to provide service in our native tongue in Gaeltacht areas, or indeed to up-skill workers that would like to be able to communicate in Irish with the consumer’‘In my mind one of the most important aspects of the language’s preservation is its use in day to day interactions, the statement from the RSA misses that point, it pays the usual lip service to Gaeltacht areas but lacks reality and practicality. ‘I believe there should be a strong policy in this area to help preserve the everyday use of the language and it takes all government departments to buy into this, not just Udaras and Roinn na Gaeltachta The soft words and platitudes about our language don’t sit well with the truth of Fine Gael privitisation ideology,” said Mac Giolla Easbuig.ROAD SAFETY AUTHORITY ONLY PAYING LIP-SERVICE TO IRISH LANGUAGE – CLAIM was last modified: August 23rd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Corn Stocks Galore

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Alan BruglerDTN Contributing AnalystThe stars for Friday’s USDA reports were clearly the Planting Intentions for 2019 corn and soybeans, with large corn stocks (as of March 1) getting the award for best supporting actor in a bear costume. USDA showed intentions for 92.792 million acres (ma) of corn in 2019, with soybeans at 84.617 ma. The former was up 3.66 ma from last year, while soybeans were down 4.579 ma. Traders, analysts and even random guys at coffee shops were expecting some shift to soybeans and corn, but the degree of shifting caught some by surprise. I’ll also argue that the data showed a big implied increase in unplanted acres. Let’s deal with that one first.The top table shows what USDA calls Principal Crop Acres for 2019 based on the Planting Intentions report. Please note, that hay is only shown by USDA as a harvested number, and there was no number for rye, so I used a plug number. I combined several types of edible beans on one line, and caught things like potatoes in the Miscellaneous category.Note that primary crops totaled 315.352 ma, which is 4.226 ma below last year. Either folks were sandbagging in the surveys or they were literally sandbagging and expecting that nothing would be planted in their fields this year.A small part of the difference may be double-crop soybean intentions, which create acres out of thin air and subtract them the same way. With lower winter wheat plantings and lower soy prices you tend to get fewer double-crop beans. That said, prevented planting “plans” or “suspicions” likely account for much of the shortfall.If we plug in 5.5 million prevented planting (PP) acres, our bottom line total for planted, CRP and PP is within 617,000 ma of last year and 2 ma plus from 2017. Is 5.5 ma realistic?My second table shows only 1.9 ma were prevented in 2018, but 6.6 ma were on the sidelines in 2015 and 8.3 ma in 2013. There is a price to pay for claiming prevented planting. The check you get isn’t large compared to what you can make on a good crop, and claims in any kind of insurance tend to raise future premiums. You do it because you have to. If it stays wet, the 5.5 ma for PP could be conservative.Now back to the corn and soybeans. The main questions I got following the acreage report went something like this, “Isn’t that corn number too high? Isn’t it likely to shrink due to prevented planting or switching to soybeans?”Perhaps a little, but not a lot.Here are my reasons:1. The survey was focused on the first 10 days of March, but data was taken up to March 19. If you were in the Western Corn Belt, that period was about as bleak as it gets. You were already being flooded, or you were staring at 20 inches or more of snow that had been there seemingly forever. You weren’t likely to overstate your corn intentions. The soy-to-corn ratio says to grow more corn. Anything below 2.3:1, which we had last fall, says to grow a lot more corn. Ratios below 2.5:1 still suggest a little creep toward corn and away from beans. The market has spent much of 2019 in the 2.3 to 2.4 range.2. A peek at corn planting intentions by state versus a year ago shows higher planned acreage for the entire Corn Belt (except Missouri and Ohio) and also in the Southeast and the Northern Plains. Those with more favorable moisture profiles are also planning to plant more corn. Therefore, Friday’s numbers were fundamentally bearish for corn, but probably not as much as the price movement would have you believe. The low acreage for soybeans wasn’t particularly supportive, because cutting 4.579 ma at 50 bushels per acre only cuts 229 ma from the total supply. Current old-crop ending stocks are expected to be 900 ma. There is plenty of fat there. Yes, a China purchase deal could change that fairly quickly, but the deal isn’t signed yet. As my grandma always said, don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.Alan Brugler may be reached at [email protected](BE/BAS)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

China trade update

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In late March, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Beijing for two days of trade talks with Chinese officials. This was followed by another round of talks in Washington, D.C., in early April. They indicated that progress was being made.The U.S. Administration officials say they have seen progress in all areas from a month ago. Talks have shifted from a focus on Chinese purchases of U.S. goods to more structural issues with the trade agreement, giving hope that resolutions will come sooner rather than later. China indicated it wants the U.S. to lift tariffs as a part of the deal, but the U.S. is pushing back as a way of maintaining leverage to ensure Beijing follows through on any commitments it makes. Discussions on this area of the agreement could potentially push a resolution from April into May or June, according to Lighthizer.In addition, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel found that China has provided trade distorting domestic support to its grain producers well in excess of its commitments under WTO rules. China’s market price support policy artificially raises Chinese prices for grains above market levels, creating incentives for increased Chinese production of agricultural products and reduced imports.This panel report is a significant victory for U.S. agriculture that will help American farmers compete on a more level playing field. This dispute is the first to challenge China’s agricultural policies that disregard WTO rules.last_img read more

To Prove a Point, Melt Some Ice

first_imgA second round in SeattleEarlier this month, The Ice Box Challenge moved 142 miles south and set up shop at Occidental Park in Seattle, where a similar “ice reveal” was planned for today (September 28).This time, the contest pits the Passive House standard against Seattle’s building code. During the 20-day melt-down, visitors could take a peek through windows in the sides of the small buildings to see how the 1,200-pound blocks of ice were faring.Brittany Porter, a project architect at NK Architects, one of the primary sponsors of the event, said that the idea for bringing the demonstration to Seattle was hatched at a Passive House conference in the spring attended by a number of people from the Canadian Passive House group. Similar demonstrations have taken place in Europe, where Passive House construction is more common, and the face-off seemed like a good way of introducing more people in the Northwest to Passive House features.The houses are basically the same, with a few notable exceptions. The code-compliant building has 2×6 framing and is insulated with Roxul mineral wool cavity insulation to R-21. It has double-pane windows. The Passive House version has 2×12 framing plus cavity insulation and a continuous exterior layer of Roxul insulation for a total R-38 envelope. It gets triple-pane windows, higher quality air-sealing tapes, and a more careful window installation.Blocks of ice with an aggregate weight of about 1,200 pounds have been melting inside specially designed demonstration enclosures in Seattle, a repeat of the Ice Box Challenge that took place earlier in the year in Vancouver, British Columbia.Porter says that the buildings were run through standard energy modeling to make sure they would comply with their respective standards (but there were no blower door tests).NK Architects and Passive House Northwest weren’t offering any prizes for the best guess on the ice melt, but Porter said that public interest has been high nonetheless.“Luckily it’s in Occidental Park where there are food trucks and a live music in the summer,” she said by phone. “It’s sort of the happening spot for lunch time. There are always people checking it out and asking questions. The biggest question is always, ‘What’s the difference between the two boxes?’ Everyone is always pretty impressed: There is more insulation, better construction quality with the taping and the air sealing and another pane of glass. That’s really all there is.” RELATED ARTICLES Passive House advocates in the Pacific Northwest have organized an unusual public demonstration aimed at proving just how much energy can be saved with superinsulation and airtight design, a contest not unlike a county fair come-on where visitors are asked to guess how many pebbles will fit into a one-gallon jar.Only in this case it’s how much of an original ton of ice will be left after sitting inside an unrefrigerated building in the middle of summer for several weeks.Earlier this year, Passive House Canada (with the backing of a number of other sponsors) built two small structures and placed them on a sidewalk in Vancouver, British Columbia. One was constructed to meet the Passive House building standard, the second to the provincial building code.Just under a metric ton (1,000 kilograms) of ice was placed in each one, and after 18 days the enclosures were removed to expose what was left. According to Canadian Consulting Engineer, the remaining ice in the Passive House structure weighed 639 kilograms, compared to the 407 kg of ice in the BC code-compliant enclosure, when the event ended on August 14. Prizes offered to the people whose guesses were the closest included tours of Passive House buildings in the Whistler and Vancouver areas. Passivhaus For BeginnersAre Passivhaus Requirements Logical or Arbitrary?A Passivhaus Rebuttal: In Defense of the StandardNet-Zero-Energy versus Passivhauscenter_img The backdrop is a new zoning law that will eventually require all new houses in the city be built to the Passive House standard, Business Vancouver reported. Good timingSponsors managed to squeeze in the project between the Seattle Design Festival opening on September 9 and this weekend’s North American Passive House Network Conference (which promotes the German-based Passivhaus standard rather than a similar standard published by the Passive House Institute U.S.) Results of what Porter calls a “public science demonstration” will be revealed just as the conference gets up to speed.“It’s just a nice visual way for the public to see some of the ways in which designing a better building can save up to 75% in energy use — and I expect that will be the difference in ice melt — about 75% more ice melt in the code-built building,” she said.Seattle’s Ice Box Challenge follows by a year a demonstration staged by Olson Kundig Architects on the same spot: the melting of a 10-ton block of ice to mimic how the Earth’s ice caps are melting.“I’m hoping this is sort of a hopeful, optimistic type of installation,” she said. “Last year was meant to be a shock-and-awe thing, but done very beautifully. We’re in the same location, in the same amount of time, and we’re coming in with this piece that’s just proposing a solution, and a really achievable solution. That’s why we’re really excited.”Next year the exhibit travels to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland.last_img read more

Day curfew lifted, night curfew on in Kishtwar

first_imgDay curfew has been lifted in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district following improvement in situation, though night curfew will remain in force as a precautionary measure, authorities said on Thursday. Curfew was imposed in the district last Thursday following the killing of BJP State secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar by suspected militants.Deputy Commissioner Angrez Singh Rana said that the situation has improved and there was no report of any untoward incident in the district.last_img read more

Who is Yeddyurappa?

first_imgFrom a rice mill clerk and a farmers’ leader to heading the first BJP government in the south, B.S. Yeddyurappa has been a master survivor emerging unscathed through much turbulence in his three years in office before the Lokayukta report on illegal mining scam did him in.Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa (68), who completed three years and two months in office as the first saffron party chief minister of Karnataka, ushered in a bumper harvest for the BJP in the state during the 2008 Assembly Elections.Always sporting his trademark white safari suit, he was also briefly the chief minister in November 2007 before the coalition government with JD(S) collapsed following what he called “betrayal” by its leader and his predecessor H D Kumaraswamy.Yeddyurappa, who had to juggle with one crisis or the other, has shown his skills as a political survivor, overcoming adversities emanating from within his own party and the combined Congress-JD(S) onslaught to oust him over alleged land scams.Learning initial steps of leadership, development of mass base and human resource management from the RSS, it has been a fascinating journey dotted with many struggles for the devout Lingayat who believed that the gods are on his side.He went on to apply these pragmatic lessons in action when he decided to lead various mass movements in the state, highlighting the problems faced by landless farmers and bonded labourers.Yeddyurappa never misses an opportunity to visit temples when he is confronted by crisis but he was not lucky this time after he was severely indicted by Lokayukta Santosh Hegde on corruption charges. He was named after presiding deity of a Shaivite temple built by the saint Siddalingeshwar at Yedeyur, in Tumkur district.advertisementOn a couple of occasions before his fate was almost sealed but Yeddyurappa had the last laugh as he battled a spate of allegations of multi-crore land scams, nepotism and open violation of rules to favour his kith and kin.Yeddyurappa managed to rally round his party MPs and loyalists after remaining defiant and keeping the top brass guessing on his moves when he was once asked to resign by the BJP leadership.Yeddyurappa, whose end as chief minister once seemed almost certain, with a smug opposition and his detractors within the party triumphant over delivering what they believed were deadly blows, has managed to carry the day with the party asking him to stay on.A graduate in arts, Yeddyurappa once warned the central leadership that his exit would mean the end of the party government as well, a threat which made the senior leaders to do a rethink on their decision before to ask him to quit.Sometimes. he also brought out an ace up his sleeve, the Lingayat caste card.He belongs to the Lingayat community which constitute nearly a fifth of the population in Karnataka and also a strong support base for the BJP. He also managed to rally influential seers around him, and got them to support him.In November 2010, Yeddyurappa was alleged to have used his position as chief minister to unfairly favour his sons in the allotment of prime land in Bangalore triggering another round of crisis. On February 5, 2011, Yeddyurappa publicly declared his assets, and then challenged the opposition and the Congress to find any “black money”.Yeddyurappa, who began his rule on sticky wicket in May 2008 falling short of a majority in the Assembly, cobbled up a slender majority by luring opposition MLAs and independents who were made to resign and contest bypolls.His gambit called ‘Operation Lotus’ paid off in enabling the BJP to secure the majority in the 224-member House.But the troubles did not seem to die down with the powerful Reddy brothers, ministers and mining magnates – Janardhana and Karunakara – launching a campaign for his removal.The BJP high command’s intervention ensured his survival before another wave of dissidence engulfed his government.As many as 11 BJP rebel MLAS and five independents withdrew support to his government, pushing it to a precipice.This too he survived, winning the trust vote twice – the first one, carried by voice vote, called unconstitutional by Governor H R Bhardwaj forcing him to face another floor test which he won by 106-100 votes.Yeddyurappa, who was often at loggerheads with Bhardwaj, went down in the Indian legislative history to be the only chief minister to survive two trust motions in a week’s time.Just as he seemed to have surmounted the crisis with the high court verdict upholding the disqualification of 11 rebel MLAs coming as a shot in the arm, trouble erupted again as the JDS levelled a series of allegations about land scams involving his family.advertisementHe rose to prominence when he helped JD(S)’ Kumaraswamy to bring down the coalition government of Dharam Singh of Congress. Kumaraswamy formed the government with the help of the BJP headed by Yeddyurappa.A deal was struck between the JD(S) and BJP, which specified that Kumaraswamy would be the chief minister for the first 20 months, after which Yeddyurappa would succeed him for the remaining 20 months of the tenure of the legislature.Yeddyurappa was nominated as the deputy chief minister as well as the finance minister in Kumaraswamy’s government.However, in October 2007, when Yeddyurappa’s turn of becoming the chief minister was supposed to start, Kumaraswamy refused to resign from his post.This forced Yeddyurappa and all of the ministers from his party to resign and on October 5, he met the governor and formally withdrew the BJP’s support from the government.Karnataka was put under President’s rule which was revoked on November 7.During the period of the President’s rule, the JD(S) and the BJP decided to bury their differences and this paved the way for Yeddyurappa to become the chief minister.Yeddyurappa was sworn in on November 12, 2007. However, JDS refused to support his government over disagreement on sharing of ministries which made him resign from his post on November 19, 2007.Born to Siddalingappa and Puttathayamma in Bookanakere in Mandya district in the state on February 27, 1943, the BJP leader lost his mother when he was just four-years-old.However, his determination to rise above all odds saw him overcoming the personal tragedy and move on in life.Yeddyurappa, was elected as President, Shikaripura Taluk Jana Sangha in 1972, marking his debut in public life.His leadership skills got an early start when he became the secretary of the Janata Party in 1977.His forte in taking up peoples’ issues, was amply illustrated when he spearheaded a team of 1,700 bonded labourers to Shimoga Deputy Commissioner’s Office demanding the release and rehabilitation of such labourers.A farmer himself, it was under his leadership that the movement for upholding the rights of ryots who were cultivating on government land unauthorisedly gained momentum.This missionary zeal brought some sufferings too. He was imprisoned during emergency in India between 1975 and 1977 and spent his days in Bellary and Shimoga jails.In 1965, he got a job of a first-division clerk in the social welfare department but instead shifted to Shikaripur where he joined as a clerk at his relative’s rice mill. In 1967, Yeddyurappa married Mythradevi, the daughter of the owner of the rice mill Veerabhadra Shastri. He later set up a hardware shop in Shimoga.Yeddyurappa’s true political career began when in 1983 he was first elected to the Assembly and he has represented Shikaripur constituency from then on for five times.His leadership skills were recognised by the central leadership of BJP and he was made the president of the state unit twice. He was also the national secretary in 1992.advertisementThe “yatri” in him is always at work. To improve the lives of marginalized, poor and gullible farmers, Yeddyurappa has taken up many yatras through the entire length and breadth of the state.Born on February 27, 1943 Yeddyurappa has two sons and three daughters. In 2004, his wife died after falling into and drowning in a nearby well under mysterious circumstances. No case was registered.-With PTI inputslast_img read more

FRENCH OPEN 2019: A look at younger, less-famous challengers

first_imgWHO: Marketa Vondrousova, 19, Czech RepublicBEST MAJOR: Fourth round, 2018 U.S. OpenFRENCH OPEN RECORD: 1-2WHY SHE MATTERS: Lefty with mature game full of variety is 21-5 since the Australian Open, including two victories over 2018 French Open champion Simona Halep.WHAT COULD HOLD HER BACK: Like some others on this list, unaccustomed to the rarefied air of the latter rounds at a Grand Slam tournament.POSSIBLE OPPONENT: 3-time major champion Angelique Kerber in the second round.WORDS: “If not this year, keep an eye on her. She is going to be good, for sure.” — 18-time major champion Chris Evert.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next That doesn’t mean, of course, that all have a shot at a title, even if defending champion Simona Halep figures about 10 women do.No one truly believes that many men are viable contenders to end up with the trophy. The list pretty much begins and ends with 11-time champ Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who has won the past three majors.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAs 14th-seeded Gael Monfils put it: “If I were to ask you who the favorites are for Roland Garros, you would give me two names and it’s always the same. No one is going to give me another name. … Who are the two main favorites? They are Rafa and Novak. And that is not going to change right away.”There are 128 entrants in each draw, and while 127 will lose, there are men and women who have yet to win a Grand Slam title — maybe not even come that close yet — who might make some noise at the 2019 French Open. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew WORDS: “I am playing my best tennis right now.” — Garin.___WHO: Stefanos Tsitsipas, 20, GreeceBEST MAJOR: Semifinals, 2019 Australian OpenFRENCH OPEN RECORD: 1-2WHY HE MATTERS: Announced his presence by upsetting 20-time major champ Roger Federer in the fourth round in Australia; tied for the tour lead with two titles in 2019. Has a rare combination of strength at the baseline and touch at the net.WHAT COULD HOLD HIM BACK: No real reason he shouldn’t be a factor deep into the tournament.POSSIBLE OPPONENT: Federer in the quarterfinals.WORDS: “It’s good to come into a Grand Slam knowing what you’ve done well, what you’ve done wrong, trying to concentrate on those things in order to avoid the same mistakes in the big events.” — Tsitsipas.___ Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport WHAT COULD HOLD HER BACK: In a word: inexperience. Has played only six Grand Slam matches in what shapes up as a promising career.POSSIBLE OPPONENT: No. 11 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the second round.IN HER WORDS: “It’s been a really great year for me. Obviously I’m motivated to do even more.” — Anisimova.___WHO: Cristian Garin, 22, ChileBEST MAJOR: 0-3 in Grand Slam matchesFRENCH OPEN RECORD: DebutWHY HE MATTERS: One of only two men (Benoit Paire is the other) to have won more than one clay-court title this season.WHAT COULD HOLD HIM BACK: New to this stage. Never won a match at a major; never appeared in the main draw at Roland Garros.POSSIBLE OPPONENT: 3-time major champ Stan Wawrinka in the second round. View comments Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES FRENCH OPEN 2019: What to watch, from Osaka to Federer’s return Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP FRENCH OPEN RECORD: DebutWHY SHE MATTERS: A fresh face on the scene. Big strokes and fearless attitude carried her to a hard-court title at Indian Wells as a wild-card entrant and a 31-4 record this season.WHAT COULD HOLD HER BACK: Has been dealing with an injured right shoulder that sidelined her since March.POSSIBLE OPPONENT: 23-time major champion Serena Williams in the third round.WORDS: “I have watched all these players play on TV so many times, so it’s surreal to be able to play against them.” — Andreescu.___WHO: Amanda Anisimova, 17, United States.BEST MAJOR: Fourth round, 2019 Australian OpenFRENCH OPEN RECORD: 0-1WHY SHE MATTERS: Showed with a second-week run in Australia in January and a clay-court title in Colombia in April that she can handle the setting and the surface. She’s the youngest American woman to win a title since Serena Williams was 17 at Indian Wells in 1999. Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MOST READ PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FILE – In this March 17, 2019, file photo, Bianca Andreescu, of Canada, kisses her trophy after defeating Angelique Kerber, of Germany, in the women’s final at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif. Andreescu, 18, is seeded at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time at the 2019 French Open, where play begins Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)PARIS — There’s been unprecedented tennis parity so far in 2019, including the clay-court circuit leading to the French Open: A total of 23 players split the 25 WTA and ATP titles on the slow, red surface.That means there are plenty of people who can succeed over the next two weeks at Roland Garros, where play begins Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Even setting aside those without a major championship but other strong bona fides, along the lines of Dominic Thiem, Kiki Bertens or Karolina Pliskova, the brackets contain some younger competitors without previous success at Roland Garros who could draw attention.Here’s a look:___WHO: Bianca Andreescu, 18, CanadaBEST MAJOR: Second round, 2019 Australian OpenADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more