Sugar prices are expected to fall further in 2007, according to the International Sugar Organization’s monthly market report on the world sugar market. However, it said sugar commodities in January were in line with expectations.The report said that world raw sugar prices were expected to continue to fall because of a global glut in 2006/07. The price decreased from 11.42 cents/lb at the beginning of the month to a four-month low of 10.66 cents/lb on 30 January. The monthly average was 10.95 cents/lb, the lowest monthly average since September 2005, according to the report.White sugar values in the second half of the month partly recovered and consolidated at around 15 cents/lb, which resulted in a monthly average of 14.96 cents/lb, down 5% from the previous month.The report said that, in 2007, sugar output in India, the world’s second-largest producer, will hit a new record high and that India alone is providing world production with an additional two to three million tonnes.Sugar production is also expected to grow in Thailand, according to the Thai Sugar Millers Group. China, the world’s third-largest producer, is also heading to a record crop of above 11 million tonnes, compared to less than nine million in the previous season.Brazil’s exports have slowed down, but still remained significantly higher than in the previous crop year and Australia’s raw cane sugar industry is struggling to make a recovery from cyclone and flood damage.
Source / photo: Zadar Tourist Board, Bojan Bogdanić This is confirmed by the figures, and even more by the organization of tourist arrivals, half of which came in the post-season with agency mediation. According to Palek, the structure of guests is changing, because quality hotel accommodation and top gastronomic service are increasingly in demand, and in this context, Zadar still needs more high-capacity hotel facilities. “It is true that the very nice weather brought us a larger number of guests, but we also had two extremely successful events in October. For the first time, we organized the “Meat Me” festival, which during three days attracted the attention of locals and guests of Zadar, but also the traditional regatta “Zadarska Koka”, which attracted a record number of sailors. It turns out that gastronomic festivals, city hats and sports events are a good recipe for the off-season. ” – kaže direktor zadarske Turističke zajednice Mario Paleka. In October, a total of 114.500 overnight stays and 47.200 tourist arrivals were realized, ie 17.200 overnight stays and 6.500 more arrivals than last year. Foreign tourists dominated, accounting for 90% of October overnight stays and 87% of arrivals. Most of these figures were tourists from Germany with a 27% share of overnight stays, followed by Austrians with 7 and Britons with 6%. This fact is particularly pronounced in the growing number of overnight stays and arrivals that are realized at the level of the entire tourist year, because in Zadar from the beginning of 2019 to the end of October, 2.121.000 overnight stays and 600.000 tourist arrivals were recorded. This is a significant increase of 11% in arrivals and 9% in overnight stays. The previous tourist year was made special by American tourists with a growth of 14%, but also the Dutch with 23 and the Germans with 19% growth, and mostly Poles with a growth of 36% compared to last year. Statistics of tourist traffic expressed in overnight stays also reveal that, according to the type of accommodation, household facilities dominated (48%), followed by hotels (32%), other catering facilities for accommodation – companies and crafts (13%), camps (4%) and non-commercial accommodation (3%). The average length of stay of tourists was 3,5 days, confirming Zadar as a highly desirable City Break destination.
Officials in the City of Weston, Florida have reported that Mayor Daniel J. Stermer has tested positive for the coronavirus.The city posted the news on it’s Twitter feed Sunday night after the mayor received his test results. According to the report, Mayor Stermer began feeling ill on March 31st, and isolated himself while he waited for his test results.The mayor says he will continue to quarantine himself and work from home until April 14th.
Facebook151Tweet0Pin0Submitted by South Sound Partners for PhilanthropyPhilanthropists, including a local volunteer who helps more than a dozen organizations, will be honored during the annual luncheon of South Sound Partners for Philanthropy. The event will take place on National Philanthropy Day, Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Hotel RL. The luncheon will begin at noon; registration opens at 11:30a.m. The public is invited to the event.This year’s honorees are:Spencer and Ben Rex invest time, research and care into every item they sell on eBay.Next Generation Philanthropists: Spencer and Ben Rex. For the last several years, the brothers have scoured local garage and other sales for unique items that they sell for a profit on eBay. Ten percent of their profit then goes to local charities. Among those benefiting are Seattle Children’s Hospital, Wounded Warriors, Community Youth Services and Pear Blossom Place. Ben, 14, and Spencer, 16, go to Capital High School. Both are active in band and sports. They also have volunteered the last two summers at the City of Olympia’s Olywahoo summer day camp.Leadership in Personal Philanthropy: Ted and Tanya Jernigan. The Jernigans, who have lived here for about 10 years, have been instrumental in local giving through The Jernigan Foundation, which focuses on global and local concerns, including human trafficking, Boys and Girls Clubs, CareNet Pregnancy Centers, Salvation Army, Washington Engage and the Evergreen Christian School.Leadership in Business Philanthropy: Phillips Burgess PLLC. This local law firm gives extensively in both time and talent to United Way of Thurston County, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Capitol Land Trust, the Thurston County Food Bank and other groups.Leadership in Philanthropy – Community Organization: First United Methodist Church of Olympia. This church has served the community for more than 160 years and been instrumental through its Warm Hearts Fund and its Help Us Move In fund (now an independent foundation) in helping local families in need. FUMCO is also being honored for helping to get Camp Quixote started, for providing meeting space for non-profits for free or at a reduced rate and for its members volunteering and giving at a wide range of local non-profits, including the Family Support Center, the YWCA, Homes First and Community Youth Services.Paul Grudis Inspirational Award: Carole Jones. Local volunteer Carole Jones has clocked in thousands of hours since the early 1990s, helping more than a dozen local non-profit organizations. Carole helps with the Providence St. Peter Foundation’s No One Dies Alone program, the VFW Ladies Auxiliary No. 318, The Washington Center for the Performing Arts and the United Way of Thurston County, which honored her as Volunteer of the Year in 2013.South Sound Partners for Philanthropy, founded in 2000, is a consortium of more than 30 local non-profit organizations. To attend the luncheon, register online at www.celebrategiving.org
July 13-17 – Nelson Skills Camp However, two quick goals proved to be the undoing for the home side as the Caps lost 2-0.Sunday, players were trained by Vancouver based staff for two sessions.Specialized goalkeeper coaches trained the keepers before players moved inside for the afternoon team-building session.“This was a lot of fun and the players got to team up with players that they usually wouldn’t work with,” Adams explained.Monday, players were back on the pitch before travelling back to the Kootenays.“The style is changing and the understanding and the level of the players is getting stronger and stronger,” Adams explained.“Some of the players have been in our programs now two years. This is evident in their play and I’m very proud of the progress in the last two years.Adams is spearheading a series of camps this summer in the Kootenays. July 7-9th – NEW for 2015 – Cranbrook Prospect Camp August 17-21st – Nelson Prospects Camp July 27-31st – Castlegar Skills Camp August 31st – September 2nd – Nelson Attacking speed Camp/GK Camp For more information got to the Whitecaps website or contact Adams at – [email protected] or 250-777-2173. A group of Kootenay Whitecaps Academy players had an opportunity to test their skills in front of the Head of the Academy Centers during a road trip to Vancouver last weekend.“The feedback that we received from Head Coach Bart Choufour is that the Kootenays is growing and with its ability,” said Brett Adams Kootenay Regional Head Coach.“The style is changing and the understanding and the level of the players is getting stronger and stronger.”The road trip started Saturday with a trip to Vancouver and seats at the Vancouver Whitecaps/Seattle Sounders MLS game at BC Place.The game was a complete sellout.
Here are a couple of updates to stories we reported earlier in the category “Everything we thought was wrong.”Globular cluster ages: Our 10/05/2003 entry reported that beliefs about globular cluster ages were undergoing a radical revision. You can almost feel the rumblings in a related story on [email protected]; “In a complex Universe, astronomers thought they had at least one simple system to tell them how stars are born. Turns out they were wrong,” reported Jenny Hogan. Other statements say that globulars “aren’t as simple as astronomers used to think,” and that “it’s changing our ideas completely,” and that this will require us to “tear up textbooks.” Moreover, the realization that GCs are not homogeneous collections of ancient stars, but are now seen to contain young blue stars, will have ripple effects. “If you have problems reproducing star formation in globular clusters, you will have problems with a galaxy,” reported one astronomer. To be sure, a new interpretation is emerging that there were two episodes of star birth in most GCs. Hogan downplays the impact of the revelations, commenting that the new picture “shouldn’t upset long-term calculations of age too much.” To remind us, though, that shouldn’t has an element of wishful thinking in it, she ends: “But, astronomers add, they haven’t yet had time to work out all the implications.”Atmospheric methane sources: In a 01/12/2006 entry, we reported the surprising finding that plants contribute a third of the methane budget in Earth’s atmosphere. Nature brought the story up to date in the 08/17/2006 issue (442, 730-731(17 August 2006) | doi:10.1038/442730a). In “The methane mystery,” the magazine said that this finding has “shaken up atmospheric scientists.” The January claim, corroborated by another team in March, “rattled many, because textbooks hold that methane is produced from organic matter decaying in oxygen-free environments, not from living plants,” the news item said. “If true, his finding could account for a substantial fraction of the methane entering the atmosphere – potentially throwing off calculations of how much humans contribute.” Scrutiny of these announcements has not yielded a consensus to confirm or refute the data. Analysis is complicated further by another finding in Brazil that suggests some species can emit 4,000 times more methane than others. The findings are contentious and may have major ramifications on how atmospheric scientists interpret the human contribution to global warming. The goal now is to collect better data. Nature did not land on a particular side of the debate, but quoted one scientist’s advice, “You need to understand the entire greenhouse budget before you can start thinking about mitigating climate change.”Both these stories came out of the blue. Both are having major impacts on the way scientists think about subjects over which they used to be confident. Both are overhauling textbook orthodoxies, and both are illustrations of the fact that nothing in science is immune to revision.Encore: Here’s a story from the University of Bristol, UK, about Neandertals. It begins, “Neandertals were much more like modern humans than had been previously thought, according to a re-examination of finds from one of the most famous palaeolithic sites in Europe….”Since these are controversial subjects, students should only be taught the standard view. Teachers do not have time to teach the controversy, and it is not the job of public schools to go beyond the prescribed curriculum. Students might be confused by hearing differing views. Despite the credentials of the scientists involved, we can’t be sure they were not politically or religiously motivated. This is how science is done, and if you are going to play the game of science, you must play by the rules. Administrators should prohibit teachers from showing these articles to students under the guise of “supplementary material,” even if they come from the scientific journals. Failure to cease and desist will provide grounds for a lawsuit. (Commentary inspired by Eugenie Scott and the NCSE thought police.)(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
(Visited 219 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The late Carl Sagan might be stunned to see today’s astronomers questioning Earth’s “humdrum” status.Some recent science articles make Earth look mighty special. At Discover Magazine, Nathanial Scharping offers the suggestion that “Earth may be a 1-in-700 quintillion kind of place.” That’s a couple of orders of magnitude lower odds than the number of stars estimated in the universe.A new study suggests that there are around 700 quintillion planets in the universe, but only one like Earth. It’s a revelation that’s both beautiful and terrifying at the same time.Astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson from Uppsala University came up with this number in a computer model, so it could be criticized on that basis. His paper, published on Cornell’s arXiv server in advance of expected publication in the Astrophysical Journal, assumes the big bang and models of stellar, galactic and planetary evolution. Even so, his conclusions mark a startling departure from typical cosmological speculations about the likelihood of habitable planets. Since there are so many stars and planets out there, the thinking has been since Carl Sagan’s days, life must be common.But according to Zackrisson, most planets in the universe shouldn’t look like Earth. His model indicates that Earth’s existence presents a mild statistical anomaly in the multiplicity of planets. Most of the worlds predicted by his model exist in galaxies larger than the Milky Way and orbit stars with different compositions — an important factor in determining a planet’s characteristics. His research indicates that, from a purely statistical standpoint, Earth perhaps shouldn’t exist.Zackrisson’s model will likely be debated and challenged. “Nevertheless,” reporter Scharping felt comfortable saying, “the researchers are confident in the broader implications of their model: Earth is more than your garden-variety planet.”Bob Yirka took this subject up in PhysOrg. Zackrisson, he says, is one of a team of four that arrived at their conclusion. It appears that part of their thinking relies on the Fermi Paradox, which reasons, if advanced civilizations are out there, why haven’t they visited us yet?If correct, the models suggest that Earth is much more unique than other models have been showing in the past few years. This is because it is assumed that if life began on other planets far earlier than on Earth, because it would be much older, it should have matured beyond what we have here on Earth to the point that it would be not only noticeable to us, but likely dominant. But because we have not seen any sign of other life, it appears likely that none is there, or is close enough to spot, which suggests that Earth actually is much more unique than other recent models have been suggesting. The model also suggested that most exoplanets likely exist in galaxies that are a lot bigger than the Milky Way, and orbit stars that are quite different from our sun. To date, space scientists have identified approximately 2,000 exoplanets, clearly a very small proportion of the total amount if the new model is to be viewed as accurate.Because this conclusion contradicts the “Copernican Principle” that has achieved the status of dogma in modern cosmology (i.e., that Earth occupies no privileged position), it is likely to be vigorously debated.Do astronomers know how planets form? Space.com posted excerpts of a dialogue between astronomers at the Kavli Roundtable on the subject. Our recent post on hot Jupiters (2/24/16) described the exasperation those caused to planetary formation models. In the Kavli dialogue, we find Ruth Murray-Clay admitting that accretion of any planet is a problem. Hoping that a newly-observed exoplanet will shed light on accretion, she states, “It’s very difficult to model that process theoretically, partly because we just don’t know how accretion happens in young disks and onto planets.” The article also confesses that core accretion models are problematic accounting for gas giants in any location, whether in tight orbits near their host stars (hot Jupiters) or in distant orbits. A figure caption says, “Overall, many questions remain about how, where and when planets arise around stars.”The panel concluded with expressions of confidence in the Copernican Principle, attributing our lack of knowledge about planet formation to the fact that exoplanet science is in its infancy. Nevertheless, the uniqueness of Earth cannot be ruled out.A lot of us are driven by questions about Earth-like planets, of course. How common they are? How detectable might they be? Can we see them? Planet formation theorists like Ruth are trying to understand whether planets like Earth ultimately are a common thing or a rare thing, and whether our Solar System is unique or whether there’s a whole bunch of others out there like it.Speculations about alien habitats have not slowed down, of course. Steven J. Dick has a new book on the subject with the usual talking points (see Astrobiology Magazine review). Space.com expanded the search space to “exomoons” around exoplanets, complete with references to Hollywood movies about Endor’s Ewoks and Pandora’s Na’vi. One must remember, however, that hosting life requires more than an appropriate-sized planet in a suitable location. A Harvard press release points out that Earth-like planets will need to have Earth-like interiors, too. And Becky Oskin at Live Science points out that alien life would be vulnerable to greenhouse effects on their worlds (think Venus). That kind of warming is as powerful as proximity to the sun. Given an increase in carbon dioxide, “A planet like Earth will eventually change to a very warm climate, and it will occur relatively abruptly,” one researcher said.Then there are other protective mechanisms required, like a long-lived magnetic field (see Nature Communications) and Van Allen Belts (PhysOrg). Too many bombardments can also ruin an alien’s whole day (PhysOrg). Another factor not often considered is how microbial life contributes to the habitability of a planet (Evolution News & Views). This would create a chicken-and-egg dilemma; to be habitable, a planet might need to be inhabited (6/06/14).National Geographic listed five cosmic mysteries that scientists still hope to solve. Three of the five deal with habitability and inhabitants: #3, “Are We Alone?”, #4 “Where Is Everyone?” and #5, “Is Our Universe Alone?” That last one leaves science behind, Michael Greshko admits:Just as Earth seems improbably friendly to life, some fundamental aspects of the universe sit at suspiciously convenient values—a pattern called the naturalness problem. Increase dark energy’s value slightly, for instance, and the early universe would have expanded too quickly for galaxies to stick together.Yet the universe’s overwhelming size all but guarantees that Earth-like planets exist, as a matter of probability. Along this line of thinking, some physicists argue that, like Earth among planets, our universe is one of innumerably many—but that ours happens to have the conditions that allow us to exist. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here to study and write about it.Proponents of this multiverse model claim that it neatly explains our universe’s habitability, but many scientists find it irritatingly circular in its reasoning. Proving or disproving such a sweeping statement verges on the philosophical, and ultimately will have to grapple with how common universes like ours are in comparison to other varieties.For now, it seems appropriate to infer two conclusions from these articles: (1) planet formation is not well understood, and (2) the uniqueness of Earth cannot be ruled out scientifically. Fermi’s Paradox still calls out: if aliens are common, where are they?Carl Sagan influenced a generation with his vision of Earth as a lonely speck around a humdrum star in a universe filled with aliens. That worldview is not holding up to increased observations. Astronomers cannot explain planet formation, star formation, or galaxy formation, and for sure they are clueless about the origin of life. Earth is still the only known place where any life can be found. There is still ample evidence to support the conviction that intelligent life on Earth is not only special, it is unique—even in a universe of quintillions of stars. Don’t let anyone browbeat you into believing that science has proved otherwise.Exercise: Why would the conclusion of Earth’s uniqueness be “both beautiful and terrifying”? Think about that. To whom would it be terrifying? Why?Resources: Watch the videos Privileged Species and The Privileged Planet. For problems with the multiverse idea (including why it is not just bad science, but anti-science), see Our Created Universe.
15 June 2011Global payments company Visa is to acquire Cape Town-based Fundamo, a leading platform provider for mobile financial services in developing countries, for US$110-million.Fundamo, which is a combination of the words “fundamentally mobile”, is owned by a group of South African investors including Sanlam, investment firm Remgro, and HBD Venture Capital, an investment conglomerate founded by billionaire Mark Shuttleworth.It has more than 50 active mobile financial services deployments across more than 40 countries, including 27 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.Fundamo’s platform enables the delivery of mobile financial services to unbanked and under-banked consumers around the world, including person-to-person payment, airtime top-up, bill payment and branchless banking services.Convenient, secure transactionsThe combined Visa Fundamo platform will add enhanced functionality and new services to existing mobile financial services subscribers across Africa, Asia and Latin America for safe, reliable and globally accepted payments solutions.Mobile prepaid payments provide affordable, convenient and secure transaction capabilities that are transformational to the lives of merchants and consumers in those regions.“Combining Visa’s unparalleled network scale, global reach, extensive product suite and established financial institution relationships with Fundamo’s expertise in delivering mobile financial services in developing economies presents us with an important long-term opportunity to grow our business and drive financial inclusion in key geographic markets,” Visa CEO Joseph Saunders said in a statement last week.“We are pleased to add Fundamo’s industry leading technology solutions to our portfolio.”High standards for security, reliabilityFundamo’s deployments currently have a base of more than five-million registered subscribers and the potential to reach more than 180-million consumers with mobile financial services.The Fundamo management team will continue to manage current and future Fundamo implementations as valuable members of Visa’s mobile product organisation.“Mobile network operators and financial institutions will now be able to take advantage of Fundamo’s trusted mobile financial services platform backed by Visa’s high standards for security, reliability and scale,” said Fundamo CEO Hannes van Rensburg.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
For the second year running, telecommunications giant MTN leads the Brand Finance South Africa Top 50. The brand’s value has grown by 31%, largely as a result of the corporate’s accommodating and understanding local conditions before it sets up shop. Brand South Africa chief executive, Miller Matola, says the brands featured in the survey contribute to the image of the country.For the second year in a row, South African telecommunications giant, MTN, has been named the country’s top brand, beating out rival Vodacom, and energy producer Sasol. The announcement was made at the release of the Brand Finance South Africa Top 50 survey at Brand South Africa offices on Tuesday, 22 July.Brand Finance South Africa is part of the international Brand Finance group, which helps companies measure the value of, and manage, their brands.According to the survey, MTN’s brand value has grown by 31% over the last year thanks to its increasing international exposure. This is also due to how MTN conducts business in each country it enters: it collects knowledge of that country and respects its customs.The survey shows just how dominant MTN is in the corporate sector. It has widened the gap between itself and its competitors by posting a brand value of R56.3-million, over R30-million more than Sasol and Vodacom.Sasol had overtaken Vodacom to claim second spot this year after its value increased by 13%. This is largely thanks to ventures in 38 countries; including expansion into the US shale market in recent years, the launch of a R1.9-billion ethylene purification plant in Sasolburg, and the weaker rand.Investec made the most impressive leap this year, moving from 18th in 2013 to 9th this year. Its brand value increased by 67% and according to the survey, could rival South Africa’s big four banks in coming years.Chairman of Brand Finance Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng, said it is important to honour major brands such as MTN and Sasol as they help tell the South African story of a competitive nation and country with a great reputation.He added that the survey provides brands a benchmark they can use to drive their business and their strategy. “It helps to guide them and see how well they do competitively.”Thebe Ikalafeng of Brand Finance Africa says the brands selected in the survey help in telling the South African story.Ikalafeng said South African business is diverse and competitive across all sectors from telecommunications to retail. However, he said, South African brands should strive for excellence shown by European and American counterparts while emphasising its African roots. “Our distinction is who we are as Africans. It’s that colour, that diversity, that Africanness that only an African can define.”Brand South Africa chief executive, Miller Matola, said the companies featured in the top 50 are critical to building a nation’s brand. “A lot of them are pioneers. They have strong images in and outside of South Africa. In many ways these brands help build the brand of South Africa.”He also said that South Africa can increase its global competitiveness by using these enterprises to build sustainable growth and prosperity.Oliver Schmitz, managing director of Brand Finance South Africa, called on business leaders to follow Nelson Mandela’s example of leadership by putting people ahead of profits so as to ensure their own long-term successOliver Schmitz, managing director at Brand Finance South Africa, said more than 450 brands were analysed during the survey. They were assessed according to the International Organisation for Standardisation’s three requirements for brand evaluation; an intellectual property audit, a consumer behaviour review, and combining these for assessing financial performance.The evaluators used the royalty relief method, which estimates the likely future sales of a brand and the royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand.Schmitz said brand leaders need to look after the people around them if they are to ensure long-term success. “We need to play our part. A nation brand has a value and all brands have a value. And together we can give value to the consumers out there.”View the full list of South Africa’s Top 50 Brands
Over 35 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, so it’s just not feasible that YouTube review each video before it’s posted online. Instead, YouTube points to its community guidelines and lets its users flag those videos with inappropriate content for removal. And now, a new category will let you flag ones that “promote terrorism.”YouTube has come under increasing fire recently from governments that demand the company do more to pre-screen videos that may contain terrorist propaganda, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times today. In November, YouTube removed hundreds of videos featuring the American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki after the British and U.S. governments protested his appearance in more than 700 videos with over 3.5 million page views, claiming that the videos were linked to specific acts of violence. But even after YouTube’s official removal of the videos in question, other copies and related material remained. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#NYT#web#YouTube audrey watters Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Prior to this new flag, YouTube videos were already pegged for removal for containing hate speech and inciting dangerous acts. The community guidelines read that, “While it might not seem fair to say you can’t show something because of what viewers theoretically might do in response, we draw the line at content that’s intended to incite violence or encourage dangerous, illegal activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death. This means not posting videos on things like instructional bomb making, ninja assassin training, sniper attacks, videos that train terrorists, or tips on illegal street racing. Any depictions like these should be educational or documentary and shouldn’t be designed to help or encourage others to imitate them.” So YouTube has long forbade materials that incite others to commit violence, but this new category of “promoting terrorism” now makes it a more complicated judgment call. George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen says the new category is “potentially troubling” as it’s such a subjective interpretation. Removing al-Awlaki’s videos calling for the killing of Americans may be an easy decision to make, but drawing the line between free speech (particularly religious free speech) and terrorism might prove more difficult down the road. It’s up to users to flag which videos they think promote terrorism, but now YouTube is going to have to decide what “promoting terrorism” really means.Image via YouTube, Wired 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…