Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It’s the time of year when industry groups come together to celebrate accomplishments, reflect on the past, and look ahead to the future. Aerial applicators, more often known as crop dusters, did just that in Long Beach, Calif. earlier this month.“We’re always looking to stay on the cutting edge of things,” said Brian Gibbs, Ohio crop duster with Gibbs Aero Spray.Gibbs serves the northern portion of the state and deals heavily with vegetable crops. He said it’s good to keep with the latest updates, especially in the hi-tech industry that is agricultural aviation.“It’s good to talk to people here. I’ve got friends from Louisiana to California to the Midwest. Everybody does things a little bit different and it’s neat to hear everyone’s input. It really helps us to stay on the cutting edge of things just by hearing what other people are doing and what’s worked for them and what chemicals and fungicides had benefitted their farmers.”Gibbs also finds the annual convention a good time to reflect on the past year.“We had another safe, productive season. I think everybody was real happy and actually surprised on how well things ended up turning out. Soybean yields were better across the board than people expected and I think corn was off a little bit, but not as bad what people feared,” he said. “Our acres were probably about average to what they normally are. Corn fungicide was a little slower because of the dry spell we had through the middle of summer, but we treated quite a few acres of soybeans. Obviously the cover crop deal was big again this year so all in all, I think it was a good year. I’d take more of them this way every year.”The nationwide organization for ag pilots, the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), is celebrating a milestone as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of their organization.“NAAA is basically our nationwide representation for aerial applicators,” Gibbs said. “They do anything from lobbying in Washington for regulations and different things coming down the pipe to basically just providing a storefront for these guys to get together and display their products and get everybody in the same room so we can talk and ask questions.“It’s a lot like what the farmers do with Farm Science Review. It’s exactly that same setup. Here at the convention hall today, I can see three airplanes and a helicopter from where I’m standing,” he said.The NAAA, founded in 1966, represents approximately 1,900 members in 46 states. Ohio has a unique connection to the agricultural aviation industry, being the birthplace of crop dusting after the treatment of caterpillar infestation by airplane near Troy, Ohio in 1921.As with any lobbying organization, the NAAA is heavily involved in legislative issues. Farmers may think they have it bad when dealing with regulations, but compared with the regulatory hurdles of a hi-powered aircraft loaded with chemicals, the difference is vast.“The NAAA has been working a lot with the EPA and the Clean Water Act. There’s some permitting that’s been required here recently that is pretty burdensome to aerial applicators across the nation. It applies to ground applicators too, but unfortunately we’re sometimes more in the public eye and tend to get wrapped up in those situations more,” Gibbs said. “The process is not such a big deal to file for, but just getting them to understand that a lot of our business is on demand and guys call and want stuff done that day, the following day, or yesterday. And trying to get those permits through the government, it’s not happening that fast. That makes it pretty difficult to do our job successfully when you’ve got those issues.”Gibbs also mentioned an interesting time for drones across the country has made them especially curious for ag pilots to deal with.“Some of the biggest things we’re dealing with right now is obviously the UAV, drone technology. With them being so accessible to the public, how can we work together with the people selling them or using them to make sure we all stay safe? The last thing we want to do is have a drone strike in somebody’s back yard because we’re trying to spray a field behind their house and there’s somebody out there with a drone flying around,” Gibbs said. “The NAAA has been working the FAA to try to sort out some of these regulations to keep it best for both of us. It’s a cool technology that’s really useful to the farmers. There’s a lot of benefits to it and our organization doesn’t want to see it go away, but we just want to make sure that we have input so we can all safe at the end of the day and go home to our families.”Gibbs said overall, it’s a strong time in the agricultural aviation industry in which communication is paramount.“I think it’s stronger then ever. We’re really trying to reset our image to being professional and using a lot of technology now that we didn’t before. Just trying to get the word out that we’re not out to hurt anybody, we’re just trying to do our jobs and provide a service to the agricultural industry,” he said. “Sometimes the only way for them to get work done is by using us. Like I said, a lot of younger guys here getting involved in the industry and a lot of older guys to talk to get some mentorship, so I think the overall health is good.”
The media knows Alabama head coach Nick Saban for his long rants during media conferences and for winning four out of the last seven national championships.He has a playful side too, though.In an interview with ESPN reporter Marty Smith and college football analyst Tim Tebow, Nick Saban opened up his home on Georgia’s Lake Burton and revealed that playful side.Don’t believe it? Watch him jump into the lake with his two visitors, fully clothed:[email protected] & @MartySmithESPN invited themselves to Nick Saban’s house. See the full interview at 9:30am ET on ESPN.https://t.co/sYa0CWA2N1— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 28, 2016The SportsCenter preseason interview with the acclaimed coach set a goal of humanizing the legend. ESPN promoted the visit as “Nick Saban like you’ve never seen him before.” From previews, it definitely lives up to that expectation.The interview took at the end of July, shortly before Alabama opened fall camp. The intimate group made points to discuss non-football topics, including life and family.In addition to jumping into a lake with Saban, the two ESPN representatives grilled the coach on his keys to success while he casually drove his boat.“I don’t think about what was accomplished in the past. I really spend all my time thinking about the next challenge,” Saban told the two reporters.The Tim Tebow, Nick Saban and Marty Smith interview aired this morning at 9:30 E.T. on SportsCenter. It will continue to air throughout the day.Alabama opens its 2016 season Sept. 3 against USC.
TORONTO – DHX Media Ltd. is beginning to see returns from its investments over the past three years to build its library and now expects spending to be more moderate, chief executive Dana Landry said Tuesday.He said acquiring the Peanuts franchise — in a US$345-million debt-financed deal that closed at the end of June — has created a more diversified, stable business for DHX.“Over 40 per cent of our revenues now come from licencing consumer products, compared with 18 per cent during the same period last year,” Landry said.The Halifax-based company (TSX:DHX.B) has a three-pronged strategy: create or acquire child- and family-oriented content, generate revenue globally from its content and license merchandise based on its characters.“The plan is to leverage our expertise to grow our existing brands through new original content,” Landry said. “This will allow us to add new categories and new territories in our consumer products portfolio.”But he also said the company is putting a high priority on improving its free cash flow and is on track to reduce operating costs and leverage while improving revenue.The company said it will realize its target of $11 million in total annualized acquisition-related synergies and cost reductions by the end of its 2019 financial year.The comments came as DHX reported it earned $8.1 million or six cents per share, compared with a profit of $1.4 million or a penny per share a year ago.Revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 — for the first quarter of its 2018 financial year — grew to $98.6 million, compared with $53.8 million in the same quarter last year, in part because of its acquisition of the Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake characters earlier this year.Landry’s positive tone during the call with financial analysts was a marked contrast to his remarks while discussing DHX Media’s fourth quarter earlier this year, when he said the company had taken “corrective actions” to address “disappointing financial results.”On Oct. 2, less than a week after Landry made that comment, DHX Media launched a strategic review of its alternatives — including the possible sale of all or part of the company.Landry said Tuesday that discussions with business partners and cost-cutting measures are proceeding as usual while a special committee of DHX directors undertakes the review.Executive chairman Michael Donovan said the strategic review was launched in the context of DHX’s acquisition of the Peanuts franchise, but he declined to make specific comments about how long it will take.He said that DHX sees Peanuts as a “core” holding but “we’re committed to exploring all options to enhance shareholder value. We’ll update shareholders when the process is complete.”
Over three decades back, it looked quite impossible to ask the World Bank to review a project approved by them and to have a complaint mechanism inside the Bank. Yet, the struggle of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) against the Bank-financed Sardar Sarovar (Narmada) Dam did just that. After years of struggle, in 1991, the movement got the World Bank to review the dam project. Two years later, the Bank withdrew from the project — a first in their history of financing projects around the world. On February 27, 2019, by challenging the immunity of the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) at the United States of America (US) Supreme Court in a landmark case, the fishworkers associated with Machimar Adhikaar Sangharsh Sangathan (MASS) rewrote history. Also Read – A special kind of bondParadoxically, both these peoples’ movements have roots in Gujarat. Indeed, it would have been impossible for the people to reach the highest court of US if not for the tenacity of the committed team of lawyer-activists at EarthRights International — a US-based NGO specialising in “legal actions against perpetrators of earth rights abuses, training grassroots and community leaders and advocacy campaigns.” However, the victory, though significant, is only partial in this case. In 2015, a case was filed before the District Court of Washington DC — where IFC is registered — to hold IFC accountable for lending to the Tata Mundra project (Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd). The petitioners claimed irreversible loss to their livelihood. IFC, instead of challenging the case, sought to hide behind the veil of immunity. Now that the Supreme Court has decided that they do not enjoy absolute immunity, the case about IFC’s liability in Tata Mundra project will commence in the District Court. Also Read – Insider threat managementWith the documentation of non-compliance of IFC’s social and environmental policies, as reported by its own Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) in an eloquently crafted report, it’s only a matter of time before IFC is held accountable and made to pay. Besides, the Compliance Review Panel (CRP) — the independent accountability mechanism of Asian Development Bank (ADB) — another co-financier of the project, also reported about the gross violations of ADB policies. ADB’s actions on the findings continue to be inadequate and far from addressing the real violations as reported by the CRP. Despite confronting a heedless company and careless financiers, the people never gave up hope. Even in the face of extreme difficulty, with sources of their livelihood dwindling and pressure from different quarters to withdraw the case, they stood their ground. And that paid. Immunity, even as a principle, is incompatible with present day’s advanced discourse on human rights, good governance and equitable development — terms which the Bank tosses around at their conferences and publications, but seldom practices. Even an elected government could be taken to court by its citizens. So how can then the World Bank and other international organisations enjoy immunity? Absolute immunity leads to impunity, and that foments lack of transparency and the reluctance to be held accountable. This historical decision has opened up an opportunity for communities around the globe to take decisive actions against lenders whose investments are causing damage to humans and the environment. This decision will push financial institutions to be more responsible in their lending and ensure that no or least damages are caused due to their investments. As in the case of Narmada and many other struggles, this judgment proves that local struggles along with the support of other likeminded organisations, developing extensive documentation of violations and building their case on rock-solid facts, will certainly drive the violators to look for hideouts. It has undeniably thrown open an opportunity for peoples’ movements, fighting against destructive developmental projects, to include ‘finance’ as a part of their existing strategies. It also upholds that the rights of the people are above the privileges of the rich and powerful. In a world where spaces are shrinking for people to dissent in order to protect their rights and are disempowered before the might of corporations and financiers, this verdict becomes more significant. Not just for the World Bank Group, this decision is a clarion call to other financial institutions as well — both national and international — that they will be held accountable, and made to pay, for investments where they do not consider people and environment. Interestingly, a case from Honduras filed by the farmers may not have to go through the same process. The suit, filed through EarthRights International, arises out of the substantial financial support by IFC and the IFC Asset Management Corporation (IFC-AMC) — both World Bank entities — in Honduran palm-oil company Dinant. The company has been at the centre of bloody, decades-long land-grabbing in the Bajo Aguán region of Honduras. Furthermore, the outgoing President Jim Yong Kim was at the helm when CAO report about non-compliance of IFC’s policies by the company was published. The CAO reported many shocking findings — that the social and environmental impact assessments were erroneous, people were not consulted before the project was approved, project is causing health hazards to people in the vicinity and the livelihood of the people is gravely impacted. Kim had every reason to take action on the report. Instead, he chose to ignore the findings and the demands of the people. The consistent indifference of the Bank led the people to knock at the doors of US judiciary. Of course, inadvertently, Kim made the World Bank a step closer to accountability. And he will be remembered for that. In 2013, a campaign around the CAO findings was named ‘Wake Up Kim’. It demanded that President Kim wake up from his slumber, recognise the violations and take actions. Time has come to rename it to ‘Wake Up World Bank’. (The author is Executive Director of Centre for Financial Accountability. The views expressed are strictly personal)
Kolkata: Two youths were killed and three persons suffered serious injuries in a road accident that took place at Habra in North 24-Parganas on Monday morning.Police said the deceased identified as Sanu Ghosh and Satyajit Biswas were riding a motorcycle when a truck coming from the opposite direction hit them. Three other persons, who were also on a motorcycle, were knocked down by the same truck. Ghosh and Biswas were going to near Habra station from Kalshima village. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaLocal residents rushed all the injured persons to a nearby hospital where Biswas and Ghosh were declared brought dead. The injured persons are undergoing treatment at the hospital. It is said they suffered serious injuries. According to the police, the deceased had bled excessively and this led to their deaths. The incident caused traffic congestion in the area. Local residents said the truck was moving at a high speed and as a result the driver could not control the vehicle. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe police are probing the matter to find out what exactly led to the incident. According to a senior police officer, the truck directly hit the motorbike, which Ghosh and Biswas were riding. Both the victims were thrown off the motorbike due to the impact of the accident. The truck later hit another motorcycle leaving three riders badly injured. The injured persons are serious and they have been kept under observation. The police reached the spot immediately after the incident and started a probe. The truck driver managed to flee from the spot along with the vehicle. The cops are on a hunt to nab the driver. Local residents alleged trucks often float speed limits. The issue was brought to the notice of the local administration but no steps have been taken in this regard.
Samastipur (Bihar): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday called the NYAY scheme a surgical strike on poverty and asserted that the proposed minimum income guarantee programme was not populist but based on sound economics.Gandhi also sought to allay apprehensions of the middle class saying he guaranteed that the salaried people will have to pay not a single paisa from their pockets to fund the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) scheme. Addressing a rally in this north Bihar town where he shared the stage, for the first time after general elections were announced, with RJD heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav, Gandhi also deplored the insulting treatment meted out to Lalu Prasad, the jailed supremo of his alliance partner and warned the BJP-led coalition of a backlash in the polls. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Former state minister Ashok Ram of Congress is pitted against Ramchandra Paswan, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s brother, at Samastipur (sc,reserved seat). Commencing his nearly 25-minute-long speech with an apology for turning up late because of a snag in his aircraft, Gandhi greeted the crowds with Ki haal chaal chhe (how are you) in the local Maithili dialect and went on to add with a smirk has not Modi looted you a lot. Lakhs of crores have been gifted to thieves like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya by the chowkidar (watchman an epithet the Prime Minister uses for himself). Public money to the tune of 5.55 lakh crore has been siphoned off by 15 persons close to Modi, Gandhi alleged. Bihar was promised a special package, besides there were promises of two crore jobs, Rs 15 lakh into the accounts of all poor, Gandhi recalled, adding kuchh nahin sab jhootha hai, Narendra Modi ne loota hai”, (all promises are proven false. Narendra Modi has robbed people of whatever they had). Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KCalling the NYAY programme proposed in his partys manifesto a surgical strike on poverty, Gandhi declared the scheme will be entirely funded with the money that thieves like Anil Ambani plunder with Narendra Modis help. This is sound economics too as the money thus given to the poor would boost the demand for consumer goods and thereby give an impetus to commerce and industries, Gandhi claimed. The Congress president also mocked the prime pinister for making military operations carried out after terror attacks in Uri and Pulwama a poll plank and quipped wherever he goes he gives discourses on the surgical strikes since he is left with nothing else. He carries teleprompter wherever he goes to deliver his speeches, he said and turned towards the young RJD leader for a moment saying Tejashwi ji, you too would have noticed the teleprompter. He delivers his speeches from the text on the teleprompter and in the meantime keeps getting orders from above don’t talk about rozgar (employment)…remit into accounts of every poor Indian.
Mumbai: An average 18.39 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first four hours in Maharashtra’s 17 seats on Monday as polling for the fourth and last phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state was underway. Polling began at 7 am and long queues were seen outside many booths, some of which were decorated with balloons and ‘rangolis’ (colourful decorations). BJP MP Poonam Mahajan, industrialist Anil Ambani, Congress nominee Urmila Matondkar and actor Rekha were among the early voters in Mumbai. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework State education minister Vinod Tawde, BJP candidate from Mumhai-North East Manoj Kotak and Congress nominee from Mumbai-Central Eknath Gaikwad also exercised their franchise in the initial hours. So far, Nandurbar Lok Sabha seat recorded highest polling at 24.59 per cent while Kalyan constituency saw lowest voter turnout of 13.91 per cent, according to an official statement. The voting figures till 11 am in other constituencies are as follows: Dhule- 18.26 per cent, Dindori – 21.06 per cent, Nashik- 17.22 per cent, Palghar- 21.46 per cent, Bhiwandi- 17.25 per cent, Thane-17.43 per cent, Mumbai-North- 19.46 per cent, Mumbai-North West 17.64 per cent, Mumbai-North East-18.39 per cent, Mumbai-North Central- 16.21 per cent, Mumbai-South Central-16.80 per cent, Mumbai- South 15.51 per cent, Maval- 18.23 per cent, Shirur- 18.65 per cent and Shirdi 20.55 per cent. As many as 3.11 crore voters spread across the Mumbai metropolitan region and northern and western Maharashtra are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 323 candidates in the fray in these 17 seats. Around 40 polling booths in these constituencies, including 26 in suburban Mumbai, are being managed women.
For the past four years, Ohio State has had at least one player selected in the NBA Draft. The streak will more than likely extend to five years Thursday night as former Buckeye David Lighty realizes his professional dream. Lighty, the all-time leader in wins at OSU, is widely projected to be taken in the second round. ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla told the Cleveland Plain Dealer he feels that Lighty will be valuable to an NBA team. “I think David Lighty will be on the roster in one way, shape or form,” Fraschilla told the Plain Dealer. “[It wouldn’t be a surprise] if you tell me in a year or two from now he’s having a lot of success because he’s one of those no-mistake guys we talked about. If you put him on the floor he’s probably going to know his role. There is a lot that he offers as an early to mid-second round pick.” The 6-foot-6, 216-pound Buckeye was a defensive-specialist at OSU, regularly taking on the opposing team’s best scorer. Last season, Lighty averaged slightly more than 12 points per game while shooting a career-best 46.8 percent on three-pointers. Several teams have hosted Lighty for a workout, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, who hold two selections in the second round. Another Buckeye who might hear his name called on Thursday night is Jon Diebler. While the general sense is that Diebler has a greater chance of going undrafted than Lighty, ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford told the Plain Dealer he thinks both players will be selected. “Diebler shot 50 percent from three this year, and he took a lot of threes,” Ford told the paper. “He’s got pretty good size. He’s not a terrible athlete either. I actually think both [Lighty and Diebler] will be drafted.” Ford has Diebler ranked as the 69th prospect of the draft class. If he is picked, it would cap off a busy and memorable month for the OSU senior. Along with NBA workouts, Diebler recently married. Fellow senior Dallas Lauderdale will more than likely go undrafted, but the 6-8, 260-pounder has worked out for a few teams and should get an invite to an NBA training camp. Before the Cavaliers have the chance to consider this trio of Buckeyes in the second round, the team must decide what to do with the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks of the draft. The general consensus is that Duke guard Kyrie Irving and Arizona forward Derrick Williams are the two best players in the draft class, both worthy of garnering the top-selection. Ford predicts Cleveland will take Irving. The Cavaliers could have several options with the fourth pick. Many mock drafts have them deciding between two European big men, 7-foot Jonas Valanciunas from Lithuania and 6-foot-11 Enes Kanter from Turkey. Cleveland has also been rumored to be exploring trade options with the pick, including a bid to secure the second overall selection from Minnesota in hopes of getting both Irving and Williams. According to Ford’s mock draft analysis, Valanciunas has a buyout with his team in Lithuania that may prevent him from playing in the NBA this season. Ultimately, he projects the Cavaliers will take Kanter. “The Cavs love Valanciunas, but do they love him enough to draft him even if he won’t be coming to the NBA next season? I doubt it at No. 4. The Cavs have been exploring a number of trade possibilities to move down a few spots in the draft. If they stay here, I think Kanter is their guy,” Ford wrote. The 2011 NBA Draft is Thursday at 7 p.m. in Newark, N.J.