17 Dec
2019

Trade emphasis a part of newly announced USDA reorganization

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Thus far, U.S. agriculture has fairly mixed reviews about President Donald Trump. Despite massive support from rural America in his election, the president has been generating significant concern with crucial agricultural policies, most notably with regard to international trade.Trade, of course, is absolutely essential for the economic sustainability of virtually every major U.S. agricultural commodity. The President’s very aggressive stance in opposition to beneficial trade deals for agriculture including the Trans Pacific Partnership (which President Trump withdrew from) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (which President Trump threatened to withdraw from) were making U.S. agriculturalists increasingly uneasy, if not outright angry.The Trump Administration directly addressed this and other growing agricultural concerns in a Cincinnati press conference with newly confirmed U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.Listen to the full audio from the press conference here.Secretary Purdue in Cincinnati 5-11-17 FULL AUDIO“In order to advance agricultural trade, USDA intends to create an Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs and realign the Foreign Agricultural Service to report to the new Undersecretary,” Perdue said. “Our plan to establish an undersecretary for trade fits right in line with my goal to be American agriculture’s unapologetic advocate and chief salesman around the world. By working side by side with our U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the USDA undersecretary for trade will ensure that American producers are well equipped to sell their products and feed the world.”Photo by Dale Minyo.In the last farm bill, Congress provided direction for USDA to examine options for reorganizing the international trade functions at USDA and potentially creating the new Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. The new trade-focused position at the USDA is part of a larger department-wide reorganization. Under the existing structure at USDA, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), which deals with overseas markets, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA), which handles domestic issues, are housed under one mission area, along with the Risk Management Agency (RMA). Perdue pointed out that it makes much more sense to situate FAS under the new undersecretary for trade, where staff can sharpen their focus on foreign markets.Perdue said that the reorganization also includes the formation of a new Farm Production and Conservation mission area with a customer focus that meets USDA constituents in the field.“To create a customer-focused culture of public service and improve service delivery to agricultural producers, USDA intends to create an Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation and realign the Farm Service Agency, the Risk Management Agency, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to report to the renamed Undersecretary,” Perdue said. “USDA also intends to realign the Rural Development agencies to report directly to the Secretary to provide additional visibility for the investments being made in rural America.”Though a reduction in USDA workforce is not part of the reorganization plan, with big budget cuts proposed by the Administration the reorganization efforts will likely ultimately facilitate doing more with less.“USDA remains committed to focusing our constrained resources where they will be most effective — on pushing our record-breaking pace of trade and ensuring that opportunities exist throughout the country for Americans to participate in a transformational global economy. In particular, USDA continues to negotiate and support strong trade deals that will open up markets and help farms, ranches, forests, and production facilities grow, create jobs, and increase wages,” Perdue said. “This plan also details additional changes to our Department that will improve the effectiveness of USDA efforts to meet the needs of agricultural and forest managers and demonstrate increased accountability to the American taxpayer.”Click HERE to view the report on the USDA website.The reviews remained mixed from the agricultural community. Those keenly interested in moving trade forward were pleased.“The National Corn Growers Association has long advocated for a dedicated position at USDA focused on increasing U.S. agricultural exports, and we pushed for this provision in the 2014 farm bill. We are pleased to see that post finally become a reality today,” said Wesley Spurlock, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “Secretary Perdue’s announcement signals to farm country that the Trump Administration is listening to America’s farmers and ranchers. In this farm economy, trade is more important than ever to farmers’ incomes. Overseas markets represent 73% of the world’s purchasing power, 87% of economic growth, and 95% of the world’s customers. Now is the time for U.S. agriculture to fully capitalize on growing global demand for our products. Today’s announcement is a big step toward that goal.”There were concerns, however, about some other parts of the re-organization.“The Center for Rural Affairs has fought on behalf of rural communities for nearly 45 years. We are heartened that Sec. Perdue is making strong efforts during his early days in office to express support for rural communities. However, we are concerned about the path he has chosen. Sec. Purdue has proposed eliminating the position of Undersecretary for Rural Development and moving oversight of Rural Development agencies to the Deputy Secretary, USDA’s second-in-command. If he makes this change, Sec. Perdue will be removing the position of the most significant rural advocate within USDA. Rural America stands to suffer as a result,” said Anna Johnson, Center for Rural Affairs Policy Associate. “While USDA has a broad mission to promote and support our country’s food and agriculture, Rural Development is the only part of USDA that has the explicit directive to support rural communities.last_img read more

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3 Dec
2019

Disgruntled legislators give PDP the jitters

first_imgBharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday may have attempted to put to rest the speculation on government formation in J&K, but the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) accused the BJP “of making bids to split local parties”.NC vice-president Omar Abdullah alleged that the State unit of the BJP had admitted to being party to efforts to break the PDP. “Power at any cost would seem to be the guiding philosophy [of the BJP],” the former Chief Minister said.Turning against partyMr. Abdullah’s remarks come days after at least five PDP legislators — Imran Ansari, Abid Ansari, Abbas Wani, Yasir Reshi and Javaid Beigh — hinted at quitting the party and expressed “disillusionment with Ms. Mufti’s leadership.” Mr. Ansari hinted at many leaders from the Congress and the NC “ready to quit their parties.” “J&K is set to witness a political tsunami,” he said.However, no MLA has put in papers. The anti-defection law in J&K is stringent.What compounds worries for PDP president Mehbooba Mufti is the growing number of disgruntled members, like Rajpora Haseeb Drabu and Lolab Abdul Haq Khan, MLAs, who are maintaining a “meaningful distance from the party’s central leadership”.Delhi meetingsMr. Drabu’s meeting in New Delhi with Peoples Conference (PC) chief Sajjad Lone, considered close to the BJP and Mr. Madhav, fuelled speculation of a third front being formulated ahead of the Assembly polls. Mr. Ansari is also considered close to Mr. Drabu and Mr. Lone, who is emerging as a point-man to cobble a third front ahead of the elections.last_img read more

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27 Nov
2019

James Harden scores 40 in Rockets’ comeback win over Magic

first_imgUS judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Eric Gordon made a 3 for Houston’s first points in almost four minutes after that, starting an 11-4 run that cut the lead to 80-72 with about a minute left in the quarter.Aaron Gordon added a basket for Orlando and Paul hit one for Houston to leave the Magic up by eight entering the fourth.TIP-INSMagic: Vucevic had 19 points, 17 rebounds and five assists. … Fournier added 18 points. … Orlando shot 10 of 35 on 3-pointers.Rockets: Faried has scored 10 points or more in each of his four games with the team. … D’Antoni said before the game Brandon Knight was available after missing the previous seven games with a sore left knee, but he did not play.LIKE MIKEHarden has scored 40 or more points 18 times this season to make him the first player since Michael Jordan (22) in 1986-87 to have at least 18 40-point games within the first 46 games of a season.UP NEXTMagic: Host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.Rockets: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. Houston trailed by as many as 16 and never led until there were about four minutes remaining. The game was tied with about 75 seconds left when a 3-pointer by Harden put the Rockets up 98-95.“I thought I could go under and kind of keep him on the side and of course he made it,” Evan Fournier said of his defense on the play. “It was a dumb mistake.”Terrence Ross missed a 3 on the other end and Harden added a step-back jumper with 30 seconds left to stretch the lead.Harden got his third block when he swatted away a shot by Fournier, and Chris Paul added two free throws with 13.6 seconds remaining to secure Houston’s third straight victory. Paul had 12 points and six assists after missing the previous 17 games with a strained left hamstring.The Rockets went 12-5 in Paul’s absence and he said his return doesn’t change much for Harden.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “I just told James they voted him in the wrong place. They got him as a guard in the All-Star (Game) — he should be a center,” D’Antoni said with a chuckle. “That’s what he is. He’s a point-center and his defense in the post and right behind him is Eric Gordon … is really good.”Harden didn’t answer when asked what he thought about D’Antoni calling him a “point-center” but he did smile and he was still laughing as he walked off following the question.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsHarden’s 40 points included five critical ones down the stretch to lead the Rockets to a 103-98 victory.The reigning MVP extended his streak of 30-point games to 23, which ranks fourth in NBA history behind three such streaks by Wilt Chamberlain. Harden, who had 11 rebounds and six assists, has scored 40 or more points in 12 of his last 17 games, including a franchise-record 61 against the Knicks last week. MOST READ ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woescenter_img Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka, other things we learned at Australian Open View comments Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles around Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)HOUSTON — James Harden had another huge offensive game Sunday night, scoring 40 points in Houston’s comeback win over the Orlando Magic.But it was the point guard’s defense that coach Mike D’Antoni raved about after Harden blocked three shots and helped limit Orlando 7-footer Nikola Vucevic to just two points in the second half.ADVERTISEMENT “James is going to be James,” Paul said. “I don’t care who’s on the court — me, anybody — he’s going to be him. We need him to be him. That’s why he’s the MVP.”Harden was glad to have Paul back.“He looked good. He looked like he had an extra pep in his step,” Harden said. “He looked great and he made some big-time shots. It was good to see him back on the court.”Aaron Gordon had 23 points to lead the Magic, who have dropped six of seven.The Rockets got another strong game from Kenneth Faried, signed last week to fill in while Clint Capela recovers from thumb surgery. Faried finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals.Harden scored 38 points in a 116-109 loss to the Magic this month despite going 1 for 17 from 3-point range. He fared better on Sunday, making four of 12 attempts on a night when Houston hit 12 of 36 tries.Orlando had an eight-point lead before Houston used an 11-3 spurt to tie it at 87 with seven minutes left. Paul drained two 3-pointers during that stretch and Gerald Green added a third.Ross made a 3 for Orlando to power a 5-2 mini-run that put the Magic back on top 92-89 with five minutes left.But then Houston scored the next four points, capped by a layup from P.J. Tucker, to make it 93-92 and give the Rockets their first lead of the game about a minute later.The Magic led by seven at halftime and had pushed it to 76-61 midway through the third quarter after scoring nine straight points, five by Aaron Gordon. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

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17 Sep
2019

Salvation Armys food pantry in El Cajon running short on supplies

first_imgSalvation Army’s food pantry in El Cajon running short on supplies Sasha Foo 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The doors were not open yet, but the lines on Thursday were already forming in front of the Salvation Army in El Cajon where people had come for the food pantry.This summer, food supplies have tumbled to a dismal low. Although the Salvation Army distributes food to about 400 people a week, the non-profit is struggling to stock its shelves.After the Salvation Army’s annual food drive in May, the organization had collected only a meager 20% of what it usually receives in donations.Typically, the Salvation Army brings in 65,000 pounds of food.This spring, it collected only 12,000. Corps administrator Captain Bonita Kelsey said she’s not sure why the donations this year came up short, but she’s concerned that current supplies are running so low.She estimated that the pantry has no more than about 3-4 weeks of food on hand.The pantry is a resource for many different kinds of people. Salvation Army employee Richard Manning said he sees veterans, seniors, refugees and many families.During the summer, when school is out, some families face additional pressures to feed their children who are not receiving meals at school.If you would like to donate to the pantry in El Cajon, you can bring food donations to the office at 1011 East Main Street.Donors can also contact the office by calling 619-440-4683. Posted: July 5, 2018 Sasha Foo, July 5, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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3 Sep
2019

Gunmen kill 10 villagers in Nigeria officials

first_img.Gunmen have killed 10 people in attacks on two Christian-dominated villages in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, a hotbed of ethnic and religous strife, officials said Tuesday.On Christmas Eve, six people were killed when gunmen suspected to be ethnic Fulani Muslims stormed Ungwan Mailafiya, they said.The killings followed an attack in nearby Nindem late Friday where gunmen opened fire on a congregation, killing four and injuring 10, said a local lawmaker.”While we were mourning the deaths at Nindem … the security personnel received distress calls of another attack at Ungwan Mailafiya”, parliamentarian Shehu Nicholas Garba said in a statement.”By daybreak on Christmas, six persons had been confirmed killed, including a child of about six years old, and many others injured,” he said.A spokesman from the state government said troops had been deployed to prevent further violence.Southern Kaduna has for three decades been locked in tit-for-tat killings between indigenous Christian farming communities and Muslim Hausa and Fulani settlers.The dispute was originally over land and grazing rights but has lately degenerated into ethnic and religious conflicts, leaving hundreds dead.last_img read more

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