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USDA opens signup for Market Facilitation Program

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Signup is open for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program to assist farmers who continue to suffer from damages because of unjustified trade retaliation from foreign nations. Through MFP, USDA will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to impacted producers, part of a broader trade relief package announced in late July. The sign-up period runs through Dec. 6.“Our team at USDA reflected on what worked well and gathered feedback on last year’s program to make this one even stronger and more effective for farmers. Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.MFP payments will be made to producers of certain non-specialty and specialty crops as well as dairy and hog producers.Non-specialty cropsMFP payments will be made to producers of alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton, and wheat.MFP assistance for 2019 crops is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to the MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019. Those per acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019. A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. View payment rates by county.Dairy and HogsDairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a per hundredweight payment on production history, and hog producers will receive a payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.Specialty CropsMFP payments will also be made to producers of almonds, cranberries, cultivated ginseng, fresh grapes, fresh sweet cherries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Each specialty crop will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of fruit or nut bearing plants, or in the case of ginseng, based on harvested acres in 2019.More InformationPayments will be made in up to three tranches, with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. If conditions warrant, the second and third tranches will be made in November and early January.MFP payments are limited to a combined $250,000 for non-specialty crops per person or legal entity. MFP payments are also limited to a combined $250,000 for dairy and hog producers and a combined $250,000 for specialty crop producers. However, no applicant can receive more than $500,000. Eligible applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) for tax years 2015, 2016, and 2017 of less than $900,000, or 75 percent of the person’s or legal entity’s average AGI for those tax years must have been derived from farming and ranching. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.More information can be found on farmers.gov/mfp, including payment information and a program application.last_img read more

Communications Blocked in Libya, Qatari Blogger Arrested: This Week in Online Tyranny

first_imgcurt hopkins A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#NYT#TWiOT#web center_img Related Posts Internet blocked in Tripoli. According to journalist Lisa Goldman, who is in touch with several sources in a position to know, the Internet is being blocked in Libya’s capital city of Tripoli. Long-distance land-line telephone service from the city is also down and mobile service appears interrupted, although that has yet to be confirmed. Inspired by Tunisia and Egypt‘s uprisings, Libyans began protesting at the beginning of last month. Given that, among other reasons, Libya’s leader, Col. Moammar Qaddafi is far less connected to reality than the former leaders of those countries, this uprising has been much bloodier and more resembles a civil war than a large-scale protest. As many as 1,000 Libyans have been killed in the fighting. Qatari blogger arrested. Sultan al-Khalaifi, a blogger and founder of a human rights organization, has been arrested in the Gulf emirate and kept incommunicado since yesterday. Prior to his seizure and that of his computer by eight men in street clothes yesterday evening, he said he had been contacted by the Qatari security forces and told to report to them. Al-Khalifi’s organization, which focuses on detentions in Qatar, is registered in Switzerland. China continues to react against Jasmine Uprisings. China has already banned the use of terms associated with the recent Mideast uprisings, like “jasmine” and “Tunisia.” Now it has gone a step further. A U.S.-based site has called for a series of “Jasmine Rallies” across China in various cities. The latest is to take place this Sunday at 2:00 p.m. local time and has posted locations for protesters to gather. Already, the Chinese security apparatus has swung into action, uniformed and plainclothes police chivvying people who linger at the spots away. They have even enlisted “Public Security Volunteers” to strike people with brooms to clear the spot. In addition to Chinese citizens, some of whom have already been arrested during rather anemic protests so far, journalists and even the U.S. Ambassador to China have been harassed. Syrian blogger released without charges. Six days after last week’s mass arrest of bloggers in Syria, one, Ahmad Abu Al-Kheir, has been released. Al-Kheir, a journalism student who blogs under the name Ahmad Hadifa, had posted detailed circumvention techniques on his blog, where he had also reported on the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. Burmese start “Facebook Revolution.” In an astonishing example of bravery, given the country’s 2007 Saffron Revolution, which ended so violently, a group of Burmese have started a Facebook page called, “Just Do It Against Military Dictatorship.” The campaign began on February 13, in the wake of Egypt’s successful uprising, calling for Burmese military strongman Senior Generatl Than Shwe to abdicate and asking the army to join the people. Fliers that said “Get Out Than Shwe!” were distributed by hand in locations around the cities of Mandalay and Taunggyi. The Internet has very low penetration in the country, with approximately 400,000 users, and Twitter is banned. Libyan photo by Al Jazeera | Qatar photo by Spellwriter | Syria photo by Jane Houle Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Iraqis Rally Around Soccer Team

first_imgBAGHDAD — The Iraqi soccer team’s overtime win against Qatar, which will send it to the Olympics for the first time in more than a decade, has at least briefly united the fractured country in exultation amid its grinding war against the Islamic State group.Residents poured into the streets late Saturday and fireworks rang out for hours, occasionally punctuated by bursts of celebratory gunfire. Hundreds of fans, many singing and dancing, massed on the outskirts of Baghdad airport to give the Lions of Mesopotamia a hero’s welcome after they qualified for the 2016 games in Brazil.“It’s not only a sports victory,” said Hayder al-Sadi, a 40-year-old government worker. “In Iraq, politics and terrorism permeate everything, but football is the only window — the only escape — for the Iraqi people.”Iraq is well into its second year in the fight against the Islamic State group, which seized nearly a third of the country in a lightning offensive in the summer of 2014. Troops and allied militias have clawed back a handful of cities and towns in recent months, but the country remains deeply divided along ethnic and sectarian lines.As on previous occasions, however, the national soccer team has at least briefly allowed Iraq’s Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds to set their disputes aside and revel in the joy of victory.“Honestly, just goose-bumps, that is all I feel when I think of it,” said Amar Rasheed Hass, 34, who watched Saturday night’s game at a crowded cafe in Baghdad’s Karradah neighborhood. “When they won, all I remember is I hugged this other guy three times, I didn’t even know who he was.”Similar scenes unfolded in 2007, at the height of the country’s grisly sectarian violence, when a national team including Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish players won the Asia Cup. That victory was widely hailed as a moment of national unity, but Saturday’s victory marks the first time Iraq has qualified for the Olympics since 2004.“After 12 years, now the Iraqi football team can come back to take part in the Olympics with pride,” head coach Abdul Ghani Shahad said as he arrived in Baghdad late Saturday.The players on the national team are local celebrities, but few have been spared the turmoil that has convulsed Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.Ayman Hussein, who scored the winning goal in Qatar, has had his life upended by violence twice in the past decade. During the insurgency that followed the 2003 invasion, his father was killed in a car bomb claimed by al-Qaeda. In the summer of 2014, IS swept through his hometown in the northern Kirkuk province, kidnapping his brother and forcing him to flee to Baghdad.“I’m still dealing with difficult circumstances, but that gives me motivation to make my family, my people and my country proud,” Hussein told the crowd of cheering fans at the airport.Sama Kamal, who works for a humanitarian group that helps those displaced by the conflict, says the team’s success gives her hope for Iraq.“The players are from all over the country, all parts of society and they are able to play together and win. I think it teaches acceptance,” she said. “You can even see unity in the celebrations, people start to talk to each other and forget all the other issues like security or politics.”But while the goodwill extended across the country’s many divisions, it stopped short at Iraq’s widely reviled politicians, who are seen as corrupt and ineffective.Several political leaders took to social media to congratulate the team, but al-Sadi, the government employee, advised them to log off.“We reply to comments from these politicians by saying: ‘Just keep away, this is our team, not yours,’” he said.SUSANNAH GEORGE, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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North East Flavours Serving the best of local cuisines

first_imgNew Delhi: The North East region of India represents a potpourri of different cultures, unique flavours, and delectable cuisines. The North East Flavours, which is a bold attempt to bring varied and distinctive North East fare together at one place, was inaugurated in the Capital, recently. Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Government of India along with Nishita Goswami, a popular film actor from Assam, marked their presence at the event. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfInaugurating North East Flavours, Kiren Rijiju said, “It is a proud moment for us that north-eastern youth is promoting the local cuisines in the capital. Food is something that unites everyone.”All the seven states of the North East find equal representation in the menu at North East Flavours, with specialised dishes and recipes that will surely delight the foodies of the city. It is the only place that specialises in cooking authentic cuisines from all the seven North Eastern states, which is a highly difficult task that needs to be managed by experts. Seven chefs specialising in local food from each of the seven states have been handpicked to serve authentic food from every region.The basic idea is to promote North Eastern cuisines while highlighting specialties from all the seven states. Most of the dishes are oil free and cooked with organic, indigenous jungle herbs. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBill Lotha, owner of North East Flavours, who is also a passionate chef, has plans to open up North East Flavours in all the metros of India and even go abroad to promote North Eastern cuisine. Talking about the launch of North East Flavours, Bill Lotha said, “North East Flavours is an attempt to promote and showcase North Eastern cuisines and soft power skills to the world at large. I personally believe that North Eastern cuisine is comparable with the best in the world.” The fare on offer at North East Flavours is a veritable cornucopia of the best that North East has to offer. Food lovers will find a diverse range of dishes to choose from. While there is Ngatok from Arunachal Pradesh, which is fish cooked in Arunachal style with indigenous, and aromatic herbs, there is Aksol Dol from Assam which is chicken curry with yam leafs and organic herbs. All of this is just a glimpse of the vast menu that North East Flavours offers.last_img read more

Home cleaning is a great way to spend time with family

first_imgIn a time-strapped 21st century, millenials are struggling to find time with their families. However a majority of Indians feel that home cleaning on Diwali is a great way to spend time with family, says a survey. The survey was conducted in across 8 major cities – Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad between the age group of 22-34 years and covered more than 5,000 consumers. The survey states that home cleaning on Diwali not only creates nostalgia but is also a great way to spend time with family with 68 per cent of respondents feel that pre-festival home cleaning is the best time to spend with family. Also for many, Pre-Diwali is an exciting time with 55 per cent of the respondents looking forward to food, new clothes and home decoration. Also 30 per cent of consumers look forward to Diwali Ki Safai as this practice of pre-festival is an integral tradition for many households in India. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHowever, modern lifestyle and time constraint does not make Diwali house cleaning a fun task. Almost 31 per cent of the respondents feel that Diwali cleaning turns into a hectic or a chaotic day. Among the survey respondents, 42 per cent have the fear of dust allergy, 26 per cent of them fear losing a weekend and equate this feeling of being on a house arrest. Outsourcing to professionals for home cleaning is also a new found tradition with the new age Indians with 68 per cent of consumers between the age of 20-35 are willing to hire professional help, while only 46 per cent over the age of 35 feel no need to outsource. Gender comparison highlights that close to 65 per cent of women are more likely to outsource this yearly task while 40 per cent of the men would prefer to keep the house cleaning a family tradition and will not opt to hire professional help.last_img read more

How Your Smartphone Is Becoming Your Doctor

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Withings Smart Body AnalyzerImage courtesy of WithingsHutchings and Eric Carreel, Withings’ chairman, started the company in 2008 after previously teaming at Inventel, a French electronics and communications systems manufacturer that sells residential gateways to telecom providers. The Withings team spent roughly a year developing the Wi-Fi Body Scale, tailoring the product to operate in conjunction with the then-new iPhone. Withings’ sleek, sophisticated aesthetic mirrors Apple’s approach to product design, and its minimalist elegance has earned laurels including the iF Gold Product Design Award and the Éoiles de l’Observeur.”Nobody wants a piece of the hospital at home,” Hutchings asserts. “They want cool and sexy devices.”In mid-2013 Withings raised $30 million in venture funding from Bpifrance, Idinvest Partners, 360 Capital Partners and Ventech. Up next: Aura, a bedside sleep system that records a user’s body movements, breathing cycles and heart rate, and environmental factors like noise pollution, room temperature and light levels, generating light and sound programs that are customized to the user’s personal body clock. “Users have told us [Withings products] have changed their daily habits and how they manage their lives,” Hutchings says. “Now doctors are starting to integrate our devices into their services. That convergence is our future.”More Health and Fitness BrillianceSherpaa provides employees with 24/7 doctor access via e-mail and phone, as well as reports on health-care usage and budget.Dubbed “Fitbit for dogs,” the Whistle activity monitor attaches to a collar and works with a mobile app to offer data on the animal’s health.The rechargeable, waterproof Blaze Laserlight mounts to handlebars and projects a green image of a bike onto the road, alerting drivers to the cyclist’s presence.The Hello Doctor mobile app collects and manages medical records from multiple sources for easy access during appointments or when conducting research; it also allows patients to take notes and organize questions so they can get the most out of their time with the doctor.Fitmob brings together independent personal trainers to offer classes in city neighborhoods; unlike gyms, it’s pay as you go, and the more you work out, the lower the per-class price.Users of the Pact app earn cash for working out and eating well, with money gathered from other users who don’t stick to their goals.Want to run a marathon? Download your heart rate and GPS data after one short run into TrainingPeaks software, and it’ll spit out your finish time with 99 percent accuracy.Helmet hair be gone–safely. Upon impact, Hövding’s inflatable airbag bike helmet busts out of its collar enclosure for soft but tough protection.CrowdMed uses patented prediction market technology to crowdsource opinions from individuals with unique medical backgrounds and to solve real-world medical cases, diagnosing rare conditions that individual doctors may have missed, or providing a second opinion on a medical diagnosis. May 21, 2014 This story appears in the June 2014 issue of . Subscribe » 100 Brilliant CompaniesModern Food and DrinkFashionMusicSocial MediaMarketingHealth and FitnessMarijuanaTravel and TransportationData and AnalyticsHiring Health and FitnessWellness through innovationThink you can’t survive without your mobile phone? It may not be an exaggeration.Ninety-five million Americans used their phones to access health care information or applications in 2013, up 27 percent year-over-year, and researchers forecast that the worldwide mobile-health apps and solutions market will explode from $6.3 billion a year ago to $20.7 billion by 2018.”Mobile devices are becoming more relevant to the way we relate to health care,” says Cédric Hutchings, CEO of French consumer electronics startup Withings. “More and more, we’re all at the center of our own health management.”Withings is at the center of the connected-health revolution. Beginning with the 2009 launch of its Wi-Fi Body Scale, an internet-enabled bathroom scale that lets users track and visualize their weight, body mass index and fat readings via iOS and Android apps, Withings has created a series of cutting-edge health-care devices ranging from blood pressure monitors to baby monitors, each built to integrate seamlessly with more than 100 partner apps and products that leverage the company’s open API.”A scale can benefit from connectivity because it’s a device that every one of us has at home, but it’s very underused,” Hutchings explains. “As soon as the data is generated, it disappears. It doesn’t help you manage and take charge of your health. By connecting devices to the internet, you can bring a lot of things, like processing power, storage capacity, access to real-time information and a great [user interface].” 4 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more