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RSF decries curbs on media access to Polish parliament

first_img Receive email alerts December 18, 2016 – Updated on February 9, 2017 RSF decries curbs on media access to Polish parliament RSF_en Demonstration in front of Polish parliament / AFP News News June 2, 2021 Find out more PolandEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsMedia independence Freedom of expression Follow the news on Poland News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed about the latest attack on media freedom by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) – a plan to restrict media access to parliament from next month onwards. It comes one year after the government seized control of public radio and TV broadcasting.In a protest against the new rules, dozens of opposition parliamentarians occupied the speaker’s podium in the Polish parliament for several hours on 16 December, blocking all proceedings. At the same time, in response to a call from the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD), hundreds of people gathered in front of the parliament building, chanting “Free media!” and anti-government slogans.Under the new regulations, only five officially-approved TV channels will be allowed cameras inside parliament to film its debates, while each media outlet will be limited to two accredited parliamentary reporters. Increasingly restrictive measures as reporters already encountered difficulties in working within the parliament and accessing to parliamentarians.Ever since the Law and Justice party’s return to power in late 2015, RSF has been condemning its moves to tighten control over the public broadcast media and weaken the constitutional court, Poland’s highest judicial body.“What with public media now taking orders from the government, journalists subjected to economic constraints and the stifling of privately-owned media outlets, media independence has been badly eroded by this parliament’s measures,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s EU-Balkans desk.“These are very grave violations of the values on which the European Union is founded, in particular, those of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and pluralism, which are supposed to be common to all member states. With these new rules, the government is attacking not only the work of journalists but also the public’s right to be informed about the work of the parliamentarians they elected.” A score of Polish media outlets – including commercial TV stations, the Gazeta Wyborcza and Rzeczpospolita newspapers and privately-owned radio stations – decided to boycott parliament’s proceedings on 16 December in protest against the new curbs.Poland is ranked 47th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index, a fall of 29 places from its position in the 2015 Index. May 10, 2021 Find out more to go further Help by sharing this information News Organisation With firing of four editors, “repolonisation” under way in Poland PolandEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsMedia independence Freedom of expression Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU Poland’s new social media law puts freedom of expression at risk, RSF warns January 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

BREAKING NEWS: Senate Passes Massive $2 Trillion Coronavirus Spending Bill

first_imgBy Lauren Egan, Rebecca Shabad, Dartunorro Clark, Julie Tsirkin and Alex Moe House Democratic leaders said that they need to see bill text and review the package before deciding whether to take it up or when.“The Senate is going to stand together, act together, and pass this historic relief package today,” he said, addressing the chamber around noon on Wednesday. “Struggling Americans are going to go to their mailboxes and find four-figure checks to help with their bills. Why? Because the Senate stepped up.”Shortly afterward, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor, “Help is on the way, big help.”Earlier Wednesday, Schumer said that while the bill was “far from perfect,” it had “improved significantly to warrant its quick consideration and passage.”Overnight, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters that President Donald Trump would “absolutely” sign it if Congress passes it.Trump praised the legislation at the White House coronavirus briefing Wednesday night.“I encourage the House to pass this vital legislation and send the bill to my desk for a signature without delay. I will sign it immediately,” Trump said.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement Wednesday morning that the legislation “takes us a long way down the road in meeting the needs of the American people,” but she did not say whether or how the House would take up the legislation if the Senate passes it.House Democrats would review the provisions of the measure “to determine a course of action,” she said.She told CNN in an appearance Wednesday that once the Senate passes the bill, Hoyer would give members 24 hours notice that the bill will be on the floor and give them a chance to review it. Pelosi said she believes she has the votes to pass it once it reaches the floor.“I believe that at that time, one option we will not have is unanimous consent because there are those who might object to that but we can take a voice vote and if someone calls for a recorded vote, we are prepared to go in that direction as well,” she said.The speaker told PBS NewsHour on Wednesday that if there is an objection, there is a plan in place where members could safely participate on the floor in debate and in voting.Although the full text of the bill is not yet known, lawmakers indicated Tuesday that it would include the initial GOP proposal for direct cash payments to Americans.Under the plan, people making up to $75,000 a year are expected to receive checks for $1,200. Couples making up to $150,000 would receive $2,400, with an additional $500 per child. The new agreement removed the phased-in provision that would have excluded lower-income Americans from receiving the full benefit.The payments would decrease for those making more than $75,000, with an income cap of $99,000 per individual or $198,000 for couples.“Our expectation is within three weeks we will have direct payments out,” Mnuchin said at the White House briefing.The bill is also expected to include roughly $100 billion in assistance for hospitals; $350 billion in assistance to small businesses; $500 billion in aid for corporations, including airline companies and cruise lines, that have been hurt by the outbreak; and about $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds.Unemployment insurance would also be significantly bolstered for four months by increasing payments and extending the benefit to those who typically do not qualify, such as gig economy workers, furloughed employees and freelancers. Specifically, the bill would increase the maximum unemployment benefit that a state gives to a person by $600 per week and according to Schumer, “ensures that laid-off workers, on average, will receive their full pay for four months.”The agreement also would prohibit businesses controlled by Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and heads of executive departments from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs.The White House first pitched a stimulus plan to Senate Republicans early last week and then McConnell introduced the Republican proposal last Thursday, giving lawmakers less than a week to negotiate a deal, draft legislative text and vote on a package.Negotiations, however, came to a head over how much additional unemployment insurance should be extended, as well as aid for distressed corporations. Democrats, specifically, opposed what they called a $500 billion “slush fund” for big corporations, but the final deal includes oversight measures for that money. Schumer said the initial Republican plan would not have dedicated enough money to hospitals, and he called for a “Marshall Plan” for the health care system.Senators, along with representatives from the White House, huddled in the Capitol over the weekend and early this week to hammer out a deal.Legislation rarely moves this rapidly in Washington, especially a bill of this size. But both parties appeared motivated to act quickly as unemployment numbers continue to rise and more businesses are forced to close their doors.Tensions flared earlier in the week as the White House and Republican leadership fell short of their goal to have a bill on the president’s desk by Monday.Democratic leaders in the House, whose members are at home in their districts, are now deciding how they will vote on the bill. Two members announced last week that they had been diagnosed with the coronavirus, forcing a handful of their colleagues who had been in close contact to self-isolate for the recommended two weeks. House leadership was exploring voting by unanimous consent and other alternatives before the deal was announced.On Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced that he had also been diagnosed with the coronavirus, sending some colleagues who had been in close contact with him during negotiations over the weekend back home to self-quarantine.The spending package is now the third round of emergency legislation that Congress has approved to combat the outbreak. Lawmakers approved an $8.3 billion bill for health agencies and a roughly $100 billion bill aimed at providing free coronavirus testing, some paid leave and unemployment benefits, as well as additional Medicaid funding and food assistance. Senate Passes Massive $2 Trillion Coronavirus Spending BillAmong other things, the legislation boosts unemployment insurance, sends checks to many Americans and bars Trump from receiving any aid. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare WASHINGTON — The Senate overwhelmingly passed a massive stimulus package late Wednesday night meant to soften the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic for American workers and businesses.The bill includes billions of dollars in credit for struggling industries, a significant boost to unemployment insurance and direct cash payments to Americans. The fate of the bill now rests with the House, which House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said would not vote until Friday.A small group of senators opposed to an unemployment funding provision for out-of-work Americans in the $2 trillion bill failed to get enough support for a change, clearing the way for the Senate to pass the emergency measure aimed at propping up an economy severely wounded by the coronavirus pandemic.The amendment, offered by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., did not reach the 60 vote threshold. It failed 48-48 largely along party lines.The final vote was passed 96-0.“At last, we have a deal. After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced from the Senate floor shortly before 2 a.m. on Wednesday. “In effect, this is a wartime level of investment for our nation.”last_img read more

KCCA are regional soccer kings

first_imgKCCA champs. PHOTO KCCA MEDIAKCCA   1 Azam   0Kigali, Rwanda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mike Mutebi’s KCCA Football Club has lifted the 2019 CECAFA Kagame Club Championship title.KCCA FC stopped defending champions Azam FC (Tanzania) 1-0 in the final played at Kigali Stadium, Nyamirambo, on Sunday.Mustafa Kiiza scored the lone goal in the 64th minute. The team dominated the first half of the game, in which Allan Okello scored a goal which was later disallowed, and Sadat Anaku missing the target by inches.The Azam side returned with a physical approach, but Kiiza’s strike was enough to give the Ugandan Premier League champions victory.Mike Hillary Mutebi’s team had stopped the same side 1-0 in the group stages. “I am happy that we have broken the 41-year jinx since the club last won the CECAFA title in 1978,” Mutebi said after the game.The KCCA coach said that he is glad his players have had a chance to play as many games until the final which helped them gain enough confidence. KCCA FC lifted the trophy that comes with a cheque worth USD 30,000 (78 million Shillings). The runner’s up Azam received USD 20,000 and Zambia’s Green Eagles FC who came third took home USD 10,000. FUFA President Moses Magogo had earlier promised  3.6 million Shillings (USD 1,000) to every KCCA FC player, in the event that the team won the title.Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye thanked the Rwanda President Paul Kagame for the support he has given the regional Club tournament for over 10 years now.KCCA FC will now shift their attention to prepare for a preliminary match in the CAF Champions League early next month. In the draws released on Sunday KCCA FC will face Namibia’s African Stars FC.****URNShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Baltimore Colts legend John Mackey dies

first_imgLARGER THAN LIFE—This Aug. 26, 1970 photo shows Baltimore Colts Hall of Fame NFL player John Mackey on the practice field. (AP Photo/File) BALTIMORE (AP)—John Mackey revolutionized the tight end position, his incomparable ability to catch passes off the line of scrimmage helping to usher the NFL into the pass-happy modern era. After his retirement, Mackey remained on the forefront of change in professional football. He pushed for better health care and championed the cause of former players, even as he battled the dementia that ultimately forced him into an assisted-living facility. The Hall of Famer for the Baltimore Colts died at age 69. Mackey’s wife notified the team about her husband’s death, Ravens spokesman Chad Steele said Thursday. No cause was given.“John Mackey was one of the great leaders in NFL history, on and off the field,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “He was a Hall of Fame player who redefined the tight end position. He was a courageous advocate for his fellow NFL players as head of the NFL Players Association. He worked closely with our office on many issues through the years, including serving as the first president of the NFL Youth Football Fund. He never stopped fighting the good fight.”Mackey played for the Colts from 1963-71, during a time when tight ends were viewed as additional offensive tackles. His breakaway speed, soft hands and bruising running made him difficult to cover, giving Johnny Unitas another top target in the passing game.Together, they helped the Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1971 Super Bowl by connecting on a pass after it deflected off two other players for a 75-yard touchdown. Mackey also played for the San Diego Chargers in 1972, and finished his 10-year career with 331 catches for 5,236 yards and 38 TDs.His efforts after his playing days were just as important as his performance on the field.An NFL labor agreement ratified in 2006 includes the “88 Plan,” named for Mackey’s number. The plan provides up to $88,000 a year for nursing care or day care for former players with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or $50,000 for home care.“John Mackey is still our leader. As the president of the NFLPA, he led the fight for fairness with a brilliance and with ferocious drive,” union executive director DeMaurice Smith said. “His passion continues to define our organization and inspire our players. His unwavering loyalty to our mission and his exemplary courage will never be forgotten.”Mackey has become closely associated with the plight of many former players who took to the field in an era before million-dollar contracts, safer equipment and better health care coverage.He suffered from frontotemporal dementia that is believed to have been caused by the contact associated with playing football. The costs associated with his care, which far outpaced Mackey’s pension, led the push toward better health care for former players.The issue has gained prominence in recent months during negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. An NFL lockout has been going on since March.“John Mackey has inspired me and will continue to inspire our players,” Smith posted on his Twitter feed Thursday. “He will be missed but never forgotten.”Mackey was drafted in 1963 out of Syracuse—twice, actually. He was selected by the NFL’s Colts in the second round and the rival AFL’s New York Jets in the fifth round.He wound up playing for the Colts just as the passing game was taking on a major role in pro football. His size, speed and ability to catch the ball while also blocking in the running game made him the prototype for future generations of tight ends.“John revolutionized the tight end position during his Hall of Fame career, and he laid the foundation on and off the field for modern NFL players,” Ravens general manager and fellow Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome said.Mackey caught 35 passes for 726 yards as a rookie in 1963, when he was selected to the first of five Pro Bowls. He also was voted first-team All-Pro by The Associated Press in 1966, ’67 and ’68.“John set the standard by which tight ends are measured on the field, and he will be sorely missed not only by his family, but also by the entire Baltimore community,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said in a statement.After he retired, Mackey joined Mike Ditka as the first tight ends selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The John Mackey Award was established to honor the nation’s top college tight end.Mackey made several trips to the Carrier Dome for Orange home games over the years, but those appearances became less frequent as his condition worsened. One of his last visits was on Sept. 15, 2007, when Syracuse retired his No. 88 jersey in a halftime ceremony against Illinois.“John was the perfect role model for Syracuse football student-athletes,” Syracuse coach and former NFL player Doug Marrone said. “He was a larger-than-life man and he influenced so many people. Many consider him the greatest tight end in NFL history and he was a pioneer in the development in the NFL Players Association.”last_img read more

Mallards Source for Sports Team of the Week — Granite Pt. Kootenay Zone Champs

first_imgGranite Pointe recenlty played host to the annual Kootenay Ladies Zone Championships.While Cherie Baker of Creston walked away with two of the main piceces of hardware, it was a foursome from Granite Pointe that took home the team title. Staff and management at Mallard’s Source for Sports would like to salute the ladies with Team of the Week honours.The quartet includes, from left, Kathy Tencza, Sue Moisey, Audrey Arcuri and Sherry McIvor.last_img

Raiders WR Martavis Bryant suspended indefinitely by NFL

first_imgRaiders wide receiver Martavis Bryant has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL “for violating the terms of his April 2017 conditional reinstatement under the Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse,” the league said in a statement.Bryant is currently on injured reserve with a knee injury and becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season.“Effective immediately, Martavis Bryant has been returned to the Reserve/Commissioner Suspended list indefinitely for violating the terms of his …last_img

Are 49ers great, or just good? We’re about to find out

first_img​In the first eight games of their season, the 49ers have proven they can beat bad teams. The Bengals, Browns, and Washington come to mind.They’ve proven they can beat mediocre teams, as well. I’m thinking Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, and Arizona.They’ve even proven they can beat good, playoff-contending teams. The Rams and the Panthers were both smacked by San Francisco.And in beating those three tiers of teams, the undefeated Niners — after five years of downright futility — have been promoted. …last_img

Acclaim for SA sommelier

first_imgOne of the brightest stars of SouthAfrica’s wine and hospitality industry.(Image: Twelve Apostles) Luvo Ntezo, with Cape Town’s spectacularLion’s Head in the background.(Image: Wijnplein)Janine ErasmusYoung Luvo Ntezo, budding wine expert at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, has turned his passion for fine wine and food into international acclaim. Ntezo recently came fourth in the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs international competition for young sommeliers.To be placed in the top five in a fiercely contested international event is no mean feat. As the top young sommelier in the South African leg of the competition, Ntezo travelled to Vienna to represent his country against contestants from Austria, Finland, Great Britain, Israel, the US, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and France.Christopher Muller of the US was the overall winner, followed by Great Britain with Greece and Austria in joint third place.The Young Sommeliers competition is an initiative of the international gastronomic society La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, founded in Paris in 1950. The competition takes place in three stages – theory, service and blind tasting. Theory involves a one-hour written test and is designed to reveal contestants’ knowledge of areas such as wine, wine production, laws, viticulture and vinification. It also touches on other products such as spirits, beers, ales, ciders, ports and sherry.In the service section, contestants show off their skill at serving, proving that they are adept at techniques such as preparing glassware, pouring champagne, and even bantering good-humouredly with their customers, the judges. Role playing shows up their level of poise, competence and professionalism, and contestants are also expected to provide innovative food and wine pairing suggestions. Finally, they are required to identify between six and 12 spirits using just the nose.Blind tasting is the final segment of the competition and involves assessment of six wines by sight, nose and palate in aspects of wine colour, age, alcohol content, country of origin and appellation.Each judge observes different aspects of candidates’ performance, after which the final scores are tallied.“Following a string of local successes, we are over the moon that Luvo has achieved recognition by such an acclaimed society on a world stage,” said Clive Bennett, MD of Red Carnation Hotels, South Africa – the group to which Twelve Apostles belongs.Natural aptitudeFor a young man who had no idea how to pull a cork when he took his first job in the hospitality industry, the 24-year-old Ntezo has given every indication that a distinguished career in wine lies in wait for him.He was born in the Eastern Cape but attended school in Cape Town, where his thirst for knowledge led him to study hard during his school career and afterwards, acquiring as much knowledge as possible in fields such as IT, maths and accountancy.However, his first job was as a pool porter at the Steenberg hotel, which nestles among vineyards in Cape Town’s tranquil Constantia Valley. Not only was this the first time Ntezo had ever laid eyes on a grape vine, but he also quickly realised that having to enlist the help of guests to open wine bottles would not do much for his career. “I decided there and then to learn more about wine,” he recalled.Steenberg’s winemaker John Laubscher and cellar master Herman Hanekom became Ntezo’s mentors and soon he was promoted to wine steward and barman at Steenberg. It wasn’t long before the Twelve Apostles noticed him and in 2003 offered him a position as barman in the Leopard Lounge.His career took off after a wine tasting, where he spoke his mind about a wine that everyone else, including the sommelier, had praised. Numerous questions later, his employers realised that they had an oenophilic gem on their hands.Management at the Twelve Apostles wasted no time in nurturing the promising sommelier, who now works in the hotel’s Azure restaurant. They sent him on various training courses at the Cape Wine Academy and encouraged him all the way. For his participation in the international Chaîne des Rôtisseurs competition they brought in wine expert Monty Friendship, who helped hone his knowledge of wine and food to the required standard.Lofty ambitionNtezo’s ambition is to be the Cape’s top wine master. With a string of certificates under his belt and now recognition as the fourth best young sommelier in the world, he seems set to achieve his dream.A sommelier is expected to have extensive knowledge of wines and their suitability with various dishes. Part of a sommelier’s duty, therefore, involves knowing exactly which wine to recommend for each dish served by the establishment – this calls for a broad knowledge of food as well. Some hotels and restaurants also entrust the sommelier with stocking and replenishing of the wine cellar.For Azure Ntezo has compiled an extensive, and award-winning, wine list featuring some of the Cape’s best wines. Azure’s wine selection was good enough to earn an award of excellence in 2007 and a diamond award in 2008 at the annual Diners Club Wine List awards.Ntezo hosts regular complimentary wine tasting sessions for guests, and revels in sharing his knowledge about a subject he is so passionate about. The best thing about being a sommelier, he believes, is that he gets to sample a variety of local and international wines, and is able to enhance the experiences of hotel guests.“I am so proud to work for the Twelve Apostles, as everything I have ever achieved in my career so far was made possible by them. Once again, thank you to everyone who believed in my ability and supported me. This is one award that I will never take home, but rather hang in the hotel as an inspiration to all my colleagues,” he enthused after his triumph.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] storiesWine on the wild sideBlack, female, and making great wineWine: SA’s French connectionUseful linksTwelve Apostles Hotel and SpaWinemagDiners Clublast_img read more

Hydrogen powers South African schools

first_img15 June 2015Hydrogen fuel cell technology is being used successfully to provide standby power in some schools in Eastern Cape. The power generated by the fuel cells is used to support basic energy requirements, for example, charging stations for tablets, fax machines and computers.It is part of a pilot project led by the Department of Science and Technology, which has partnered with the private sector to use hydrogen fuel cell technology in three schools in Cofimvaba, namely Arthur Mfebe Senior Secondary School, St Marks Junior Secondary School and Mvuzo Junior Secondary School.Anglo American Platinum sponsored three platinum-based fuel cell systems, including installation and ongoing maintenance and operations. Air Products is supplying the hydrogen fuel requirements, while Clean Energy Investments, a South African company co-owned by the department and Anglo American Platinum, commissioned the fuel cells to bring standby power to the schools.Air Products conducted feasibility assessments and erected hydrogen storage facilities according to international standards to supply the fuel cells at the three schools. All the fuel cell power systems have been operating since September 2014.Public-private partnershipsThe official launch, however, was on 12 June. Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor noted that the Cofimvaba initiative demonstrated that collaboration between the public and private sectors was essential to improving living conditions.“Success stories from other countries, like Japan, indicate that active public-private partnerships are critical in supporting the uptake of emerging technologies. The knowledge and experience gained from the Cofimvaba pilot project and others taking place throughout the country will not only promote awareness of the technology, but will assist in creating a market for technologies that are being developed through the Hydrogen South Africa [HySA] programme,” Pandor said at the event.HySA focuses on the development of high-value hydrogen fuel cell technology products that promote the beneficiation of the platinum group metals and has three centres of competence, focusing on catalysis, infrastructure and systems integration.Anglo Platinum, together with the Young Engineers and Scientists of Africa (Yesa) group and the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (Saasta), has developed an educational programme that has been rolled out to schools in the area, teaching pupils about the science of fuel cells. To date, 3 500 schoolchildren from Grade R to Grade 12 at 26 schools in the region have benefited from this programme.Improved teaching and learningAndrew Hinkly, the executive head of marketing of Anglo American Platinum, said: “This collaboration provides the opportunity to demonstrate not only the technical ability of platinum-based fuel cells to power rural schools, but also contributes to the improvement of the quality of teaching and learning in a rural context.“The education initiative has been an inspiration to learners, enhancing their aspirations for vocations in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation. These skills are key to creating a knowledge base to support fuel cell deployment and, ultimately, a new, high-tech fuel cell industry in South Africa.”Gavin Coetzer, the chief executive of Clean Energy Investments, added: “As technology is incorporated into the education environment, power stability at schools is essential. Fuel cell standby power solutions are efficient, reliable, safe and, most importantly, quiet, ensuring a non-intrusive standby and – potentially – primary power solution.”Tech4RedThis year, the department, through the Tech4Red (Technology for Rural Education Development) project, will install two solar systems and a biogas system, as well as provide portable rechargeable batteries to pupils in the region who have no electricity in their homes.The project is part of the energy working group of Tech4Red that the department is piloting in the Nciba Circuit in Cofimvaba as a research initiative to assess how technology can contribute to the improvement of education in the area.Other components of Tech4Red involve information and communication technology (ICT), elearning, science and technology, nutrition and agri-teaching, water and sanitation and health. The ICT component involves providing tablets to teachers and pupils and ascertaining how this intervention can contribute to improving mathematics and science learning.Source: Department of Science and Technologylast_img read more

Insect Management Knowledge Program from Monsanto announces research grants

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Monsanto Company has announced that six recipients will be awarded research grants as part of the Insect Management Knowledge Program (IMKP). The program, which started in early 2013 as the Corn Rootworm Knowledge Program, provides merit-based awards of up to $250,000 per award per year for up to three years for outstanding research that will not only enhance the collective understanding of insect management, but help address significant challenges and issues in agriculture.“The valuable research that is being generated through this program will provide industry and academia further opportunity to enhance our collective understanding of insect management, leading to even more effective solutions for farmers in the future,” said Dr. Sherri Brown, vice president of science strategy for Monsanto and co-chair of the program.The IMKP is guided by a 10-person Advisory Committee that is co-chaired by Dr. Brown, and Dr. Steven Pueppke, associate vice president of research and graduate studies for Michigan State University. The committee consists of academics and growers, and provides guidance on integrated pest management, as well as recommendations for areas of basic research on insect resistance and management that would be of interest to growers, the academic community and Monsanto. Earlier this year, the program expanded its focus to include insects that are economically damaging to any U.S. row crop.“This IMKP grant will allow us to move our laboratory-based studies of the molecular mechanisms of gene silencing in insects into an actual field testing setting, which I couldn’t do with more traditional biomedical research funding agencies,” said Dr. Philip Zamore, professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology, and co-director of the RNA Theraputics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.The six awards granted focus on a number of items from addressing the management of insect threats such as whitefly, soybean aphid, and corn earworm resistance to creating a new model for determining how key risk factors affect the development of insect resistance in transgenic Bt corn. The award recipients are: Peter Ellsworth, University of Arizona; Felicia Wu, Michigan State University; Jeff Gore, Mississippi State University; Matthew O’Neal, Iowa State University; Tom Coudron, USDA-ARS; and Philip Zamore, University of Massachusetts.“I am very appreciative that the Insect Management Knowledge Program is providing a grant for our team to model how the most devastating pest of U.S. corn, the corn rootworm, develops resistance to insect control products, and how management practices can help combat this problem,” said Felicia Wu, university distinguished professor at Michigan State University.A listing of the winners and background on their projects is available on the Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program webpage.last_img read more

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