Grass-eating fly

first_imgA tiny Asian fly that feeds on turf and pasture grasses showed up in south Georgia last summer, the first time this species has been documented in the Western Hemisphere. Atherigona reversura calls Japan, Indonesia, India and even Hawaii home, but it has been spotted for the first time in the U.S. in Pierce County, Ga., near Savannah, said Will Hudson, an entomologist with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, located in Tifton, Ga. The fly was confirmed from Savannah to Columbus and south to the Florida line last year, with unconfirmed reports in adjacent states.New to the area“The adult fly lays eggs, and the maggot bores down the stalk of grass. When it completes its development, it pupates and emerges as a fly,” Hudson said. “We’ve never seen them until last year.”The mystery is how this Asian native suddenly emerged in the southeastern U.S. “It is a surprise to find them that widespread when no one had any idea they were here,” he said. “So, that is the unusual thing.”The U.S. doesn’t import much live grass from other countries. “In fact, the flow is the other way. We send sprigs of our grass all over the world for golf courses and things like that. It’s a real puzzle how it got here,” Hudson said. Dines on the tipsBecause the fly only destroys the top two leaves of a plant, it has yet to present any threat to turfgrass cultivars, he said. Georgia’s turfgrass industry is worth $116 million annually.Bermudagrass is an important crop grown from North Carolina to Texas as a pasture grass or for hay. This type of grass seems to be the most damaged by the fly. “A badly infested pasture or hayfield, if you look at it, looks like a frost came along and just nipped the tips, just the very tips. The green underneath is fine,” he said.Mowing or cattle grazing are effective ways to reduce the fly’s economic impact on pastures and hayfields, which are worth $155 million in Georgia.Researchers will study furtherRight now, it doesn’t look as if the flies will become a major problem. But Hudson and others will investigate it in Georgia this summer.“My guess is that this [fly] is going to be a lot of fun for entomologists to play with for a little while,” Hudson said. “At most, a pretty minor inconvenience for some of our cattlemen, primarily our hay farmers. Of course, there is a chance that it may turn out to be a lot worse than that.”last_img read more

Poll Shows Rousseff Expanding Her Lead in Brazil

first_imgBy Dialogo October 22, 2010 Dilma doesn’t attack but only has a campaign. My vote is yours The ruling-party candidate for the presidency of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, expanded her lead over the opposition standardbearer, José Serra, prior to the balloting on 31 October, a poll of voters’ intentions showed on 20 October, confirming Rousseff’s recovery after a decline in her support. Rousseff was supported by about 51 percent of voters prior to the 31 October election, according to the Ibope poll published in the online edition of the daily Estado de Sao Paulo. Center-right opposition candidate José Serra had about 40 percent support. The last Ibope poll, on 13 October, showed Rousseff – chosen by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to be his successor – with about 49 percent support, compared to about 43 percent for Serra. The result is similar to a Vox Populi survey made public earlier this week in which Rousseff had a 12-point lead. The poll will possibly cheer Lula’s former cabinet chief, who has been struggling since she failed to obtain an absolute majority in the first round of voting on 3 October. Rousseff’s campaign has been shaken by corruption accusations involving a former colleague and attacks by religious leaders on her earlier position on abortion. Rousseff, sixty-two years old and a member of Lula’s Workers’ Party, came close to winning an absolute majority on 3 October with about 47 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for Serra, a former governor of Sao Paulo state. In a poll last week, Rousseff’s lead over Serra fell to 4 percentage points, virtually a statistical tie. Neither Rousseff nor Serra would change Lula’s economic policies, but Rousseff is in favor of stronger state-owned companies in some industries and a firmer government hand directing economic policy. The Ibope poll interviewed 3,010 people between 17 and 20 October and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points. If those who did not state a preference are discounted, as is done with blank ballots in the election, Rousseff’s support is about 56 percent, compared to 44 percent for Serra.last_img read more

Jury trials are set to resume in Broome County next week

first_imgWhen a witness testifies, in order to see their face, they will wear some type of face shield or maintain proper distance from others. Michael Korchak, Broome County District Attorney, says this will be a new experience for everyone. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Jury trials are set to resume in Broome County on Monday and the selection process is changing. Korchak says he anticipates jury selection will be drawn out over the course of a few days. To limit the number of people in the courtroom, jurors will come into the courtroom in shifts. They’ll be in groups of 20 to 25, socially distant and wearing masks. In the courtroom, Plexiglas separates jurors and attorneys. “Everyone has a right to a jury trial, jury of their peers,” Korchak said. “We’re looking forward to getting back to the swing of things shortly.” “Lower level trials with less jurors will probably take two, if not three days, to select the jury,” Korchak said. “Just to be safe and to make sure we follow the proper protocols.”last_img read more

COVID-19: KM Kelud put in quarantine in Medan after crewmen test positive

first_imgHe added 36 passengers would be quarantined for four days in Sungai Karang before representatives of the local administration took them for a 14-day quarantine in their respective regions.Rapid testing prior to docking at Belawan Port also showed that 40 crewmen had contracted the disease. Thirty-nine of them were evacuated to the Galang Island COVID-19 Specialist Hospital in Riau Islands, while another one was taken to an isolation ward at BP Batam Hospital in Batam, also in Riau Islands.Read also: Medan toddler suspected of COVID-19 infection diesKM Kelud sailed from Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta to Riau Islands and North Sumatra carrying a total of 111 passengers and 57 crew. North Sumatra health authorities have placed dozens of passengers and crew members of KM Kelud into quarantine after three crewmen tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving at Belawan Port in Medan on Monday evening.North Sumatra COVID-19 task force spokesperson Aris Yudhariansyah said the three crewmen were taken to an isolation ward at the Martha Friska Hospital in Medan. Meanwhile, 36 passengers and 14 other crew members were put in quarantine in two separate places.“All passengers are quarantined at a site of plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara [PTPN] III in Sungai Karang subdistrict, while the crewmen are quarantined on board the ship,” Aris said on Tuesday. Thirty-one passengers got off at Batu Ampar Port in Batam and 44 others at Tanjung Balai Karimun Port in Riau Islands. Meanwhile, 36 people disembarked at Belawan Port in Medan.State-owned shipping company PT Pelni corporate secretary Yahya Kuncoro said the Port Health Authority (KKP) had adhered to the health protocol by spraying disinfectant on all parts of the ship right after it docked at Belawan Port.The ship is now placed 9 miles from the port. “We will quarantine KM Kelud for 14 days in that location starting today,” Yahya said on Tuesday.As of Monday, no passenger was reported to have tested positive for COVID-19. (aly)Topics :last_img read more

Carina family home, on elevated allotment, set for auction

first_img2 Leilani Court, Carina.Mr Behrendt said: “Homes in this location do not sell often but whenever they do, buyers flock to consider”. He said since being listed for sale, more than 55 groups had inspected the property in the first two weeks.“Young families are targeting this pocket of Carina which offers low maintenance brick homes on larger blocks set in a quiet family-friendly neighbourhood just a few minutes from transport and shopping,” he said. The property goes to auction at 2pm on Saturday. 2 Leilani Court, Carina.Young buyers are showing a keen interest in this lowset family home at Carina, which is for sale for the first time.Ray White Bulimba selling agent Gunther Behrendt said the owners built the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in 1989, and raised their children in the family-friendly pocket of Carina.“They are ready to downsize and no longer need such a big home and garden,” Mr Behrendt said.“They are ready to hand the home over this Saturday, most likely to a young couple starting their family.”More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor7 hours ago2 Leilani Court, Carina.The sprawling single-level property, at 2 Leilani Court, is on a 779sq m elevated block and provides ample room for the entire family to live, grow and entertain in style with multiple living areas.last_img read more

IASB urged to look again at DB surplus accounting rules

first_img“Finding a solution to the IFRIC 14 will require going right back to the roots of the interpretation, which goes right back to the basics of how pensions accounting works.“For that reason, I think a sticking-plaster approach is unlikely to be helpful.”Willis Towers Watson consultant Andrew Mandley added: “I didn’t expect the board to change course this late in the day, although the development is not unwelcome.“However, I think the staff are going to find it difficult to develop those principles and they might well conclude that it is not worth changing IFRIC 14.”The IASB and its interpretations committee launched the project in late 2014 to clarify the circumstances in which a DB scheme can recognise a surplus, when third parties, such as trustees, can take investment decisions.The proposals have proved controversial in the UK. In particular, critics have said they could lead to sponsors recognising huge additional liabilities. This is particularly true where a sponsor agrees to a major funding commitment.Tim Marklew also warned companies not to think that the issue was going to go away.“My advice would be to continue to take this IFRIC 14 project very seriously and to establish how changes to IFRIC14 may interact with their scheme rules,” he said. “Any changes to scheme rules take time to negotiate, so companies should review their position sooner rather than later.”He added: “I don’t think that these issues are going to go away, and it is unlikely that the IASB will drop the whole thing.”Other Commonwealth countries such as Canada and Australia could also be affected by the changes to IFRIC 14.Those fears were underlined in January 2016 when the Royal Bank of Scotland announced it would take an additional £4.3bn hit as a result of the proposals. The decision was driven by the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) saying that it wanted companies to apply the IASB’s November 2015 exposure draft proposals early.The FRC told IPE that its approach was consistent with the requirements of IAS 1.Willis Towers Watson’s Mandley said: “I don’t think many companies have made much disclosure about the IFRIC 14 impact so far. In a way, this is good news for companies because it buys them time. If they want to amend the scheme rules, they now have more time to make those changes and that puts them in a stronger negotiating position.”The staff also plan to ask the board to finalise a separate amendment to IAS 19 dealing with DB plan amendments, settlements and curtailments. The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) should carry out further analysis of proposed amendments to rules governing defined benefit (DB) pension surpluses, the accounting regulator’s own staff have said.In a paper prepared for this week’s board meeting, staff said the IASB should “perform further work to assess whether it can establish a more principles-based approach” towards the rules, known as IFRIC 14.Two leading pensions advisers have told IPE they would welcome a pause in the project to carry out further research.Lane Clark Peacock partner Tim Marklew said: “I welcome the IASB’s staff recommendation but I think they will struggle to come up with a principles-based approach.last_img read more

​Norway’s sovereign fund records €50bn investment loss for 2018

first_imgNorway’s giant sovereign wealth fund reported a 6.1% loss on its investment portfolio overall for 2018 – equivalent to €50bn.Falling equity markets in the first and fourth quarters of last year dragged the fund’s value down, according to its annual report for 2018.The Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) booked a loss of NOK485bn (€50bn) in absolute terms, shrinking to fund to NOK8.3trn at the end of 2018, down from NOK8.5trn a year before.However, the real-time figure on the homepage of the fund’s manager – Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) – shows that the fund has since recovered to NOK8.8bn. Øystein Olsen, chair of Norges Bank, said: “Although performance was weak in 2018, the long-term return has been good and higher than the return on the benchmark index.”However, last year’s investment loss was 0.3 percentage points lower than the return on the GPFG’s benchmark index, NBIM said.During 2018, the fund’s market value fluctuated widely in a year dominated by volatile markets.“There was a positive return in the second and third quarters, but a weak equity market in the first and fourth quarters reduced the fund’s overall results,” NBIM said.Of the fund’s three main investment classes, equities fared the worst, losing 9.5%. Its unlisted property allocation produced a gain of 7.5%, while fixed income investments made 0.6%.GPFG responds to equity fallsThe fund revealed it bought huge amounts of equities in the last three months of the year as global stock markets were tumbling. Yngve Slyngstad, CEO, NBIMYngve Slyngstad, NBIM’s chief executive, said: “The fund net bought equities for NOK185bn in fourth quarter 2018. Most of this was bought in November and December.”The share purchases corresponded to 2.2% of the fund’s market value at the end of the year, NBIM said.The buying spree seems to have prevented the oil fund drifting further away from its strategic allocation to equities in benchmark index by the end of the year, which was increased to 70% in 2017.At the end of December, the GPFG’s equities allocation was 66.3%, down from 66.6% 12 months before.Meanwhile, the fund had 3% in unlisted real estate and 30.7% in fixed income at the end of the year.NBIM said the Norwegian krone had weakened against several major currencies during the year, increasing the fund’s value by NOK224bn.For the first time since 2015, in June the fund had an inflow of capital from the Ministry of Finance, NBIM said, with the total inflow for the year amounting to NOK33.8bn.Further readingNorway’s oil fund to axe real estate arm and reduce target allocation Unlisted real estate is set to play a smaller role for GPFG after its manager decided to axe its separate property arm launched four and a half years agoNorway’s sovereign fund pulls plug on ESG managers to cut costs The GPFG’s dedicated ESG investments made an annualised return of 4.5% since inception just over eight years ago, compared to an annual return of 7.3% on the MSCI Global Environment indexlast_img read more

Tonga to ban same sex marriage for CEDAW

first_imgRadioNZ 21 April 2015Over a month ago when the cabinet announced it would ratify Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination on Women, it was greeted with anger from some community and church leaders.They expressed concern it would lead to same sex marriage and abortions in the country as CEDAW refers to the right for a woman to choose her spouse and family planning.But the chief executive of Internal Affairs Lopeti Senituli says the government is planning law changes to satisfy the church leaders.“Under our existing Deaths, Births and Marriages Registration Act there is no specific reference for or against same sex marriage. The government is proposing now that we amend our Deaths, Births and Marriages Registration Act to prohibit same sex marriage.”Mr Senituli says any ratification will include reservations or conditions to allow for cultural considerations such as same-sex marriage, abortion, the royal succession and noble titles. read more

Hinoba-an local stabbed dead

first_imgAlde was rushed to the Eleuterio T.Decena Memorial Hospital where the attending physician declared him “dead onarrival.” This prompted Hirunggay to stab Alde,police said. Police identified the suspect as38-year-old resident Rolando Hirunggay. BACOLOD City – A man was stabbed deadin Barangay Bacuyangan, Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental.  Officers of the Hinobaan municipalpolice station conducted a manhunt operation against Hirunggay, who fled afterthe incident./PN The 25-year-old resident Charlo Aldedied of stab wound on the chest, a police report showed. According to police investigators,Alde and Hirunggay were having a drinking spree when a heated argument ensuedbetween them around 8 p.m. on Friday.last_img read more

Arsenal need Ndidi — Agbonlahor

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles stars model new national team jersey EPL: Gunners survive West Ham scare EPL: Gunners gun for West Ham scalp Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been urged to replace Lucas Torreira with Leicester star Wilfred Ndidi. The Gunners are looking to strengthen their side in the January transfer window. And they have been linked with defensive purchases such as goalkeeper Ionut Radu. But Agbonlahor, who scored 75 goals in nearly 350 appearances for Aston Villa, thinks midfielder Lucas Torreira needs to be replaced. Speaking on Stadium Astro, he said: “I don’t think he’s the player that’s going to take Arsenal to that next step. “Arteta will look at him and think he can do a job now. “But when the summer comes he may be looking for someone with more legs, someone better. “He’s good for now but I think that’s because Arteta can’t buy any players in January. “For the players available, I think Torreira’s the best option he’s got.” One player that was brought up as a potential replacement was Ndidi, who has been a key part of the Foxes’ rise to second in the Premier League. “Yeah, he would suit,” the 33-year-old said. “With the way he’s been playing for Leicester, I think he’s got the legs. “He can move the ball forward and win the ball back.” The former Aston Villa man, though, suggested the Gunners would not find it easy to pry him from Brendan Rodgers’ grip. “But Leicester are doing better than them, so they won’t sell,” Agbonlahor added. “Despite this, he would definitely want a move to Arsenal with their history.”Tags: Gabriel AgbonlahorLucas TorreiraMikel ArtetaWilfred Ndidilast_img read more