Government disburses $163m for micro businesses

first_imgIndonesia’s economy relies heavily on small businesses, which account for more than 60 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employ a majority of the labor force.The assistance is meant to soften the economic blow of the pandemic, which shrank Indonesia’s economy by 5.32 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the April-June period.With a budget reaching Rp 22 trillion for the first phase, the government seeks to aid 4.5 million micro businesses by the end of this month, and the number of recipients is expected to increase to 9.16 million by the end of September. It plans to cover 12 million enterprises in total eventually.According to the Finance Ministry, state-owned pawnshop chain PT Pegadaian will disburse the funds to more than 59 percent of the 9.16 million recipients, followed by state-owned banks (32.09 percent), cooperatives and small and medium enterprise agencies nationwide (5.87 percent), the Cooperatives Movement (1.77 percent), regional development banks (0.88 percent) and rural micro lenders (0.03 percent). Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Minister Teten Masduki said the government had compiled data of around 17 million small businesses from regional cooperatives and SMEs agencies, government ministries and agencies, state-owned banks, the Financial Services Authority (OJK), state-owned financing firms and cooperatives.Teten said the assistance was especially aimed at micro businesses that had trouble getting loans from banks or did not have bank accounts at all.“With this productive social assistance, we hope unbankable micro businesses can improve and resume their businesses,” said Teten. “Moreover, it can increase financial inclusion with the new bank accounts being registered by micro enterprises that have not been connected to the banks so far.”The assistance comes as many small businesses struggle to survive the pandemic. According to a survey of 1,165 businesses conducted between April and May by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), 91.8 percent of small businesses said they needed loans without interest or collateral, and 89.5 percent demanded cash assistance or grants.The government has allocated Rp 123.47 trillion in the state budget for small businesses as part of its COVID-19 rescue package amounting to Rp 695.2 trillion. Of the budget for SME assistance, the government has spent 36 percent so far.Topics : President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has launched the productive social assistance program for micro businesses to help them survive the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.The government started the program by disbursing Rp 2.4 trillion (US$162.9 million) directly to 1 million small businesses across the country, each receiving Rp 2.4 million. Businesses that have received other forms of government assistance, like an interest-rate subsidy or debt restructuring, cannot avail themselves of the new benefit.“Once again, I need to remind you that this productive social assistance is a grant, not a loan. I hope you will use it as additional capital to add more goods to sell,” Jokowi said during a virtual press conference on Monday, addressing the recipients.last_img read more

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Siblings arrested after bringing loaded gun to school

first_imgTwo brothers are now facing felony charges after officials say one of them brought a loaded gun onto a school campus.The incident was first reported on October 1st at Miami Palmetto Senior High School.Authorities say they were notified by the school after another student told officials that one of the brothers, Joshua Mizelle, brought a gun to school.When authorities questioned Joshua, the teen told them that he did not have a weapon on him and allowed officers to search his vehicle in the student parking lot.During the search, officials reported that they found not only a loaded handgun, but brass knuckles and two knives inside of the vehicle.At that point, Joshua was taken into custody.Authorities, however, returned to the school to take his brother Jonathan, into custody after they were informed that the brothers arrived to the school in the same vehicle.It was later determined that Jonathan was the brother responsible for bringing the weapons onto school property.During a court hearing on Friday, an attorney for Joshua told the judge that Joshua has never been in trouble with the law before this and the charges may affect his athletic career and scholarship:“What I just want to let the court know, not only has he never been in trouble before, he’s a star athlete. He has a scholarship, which unfortunately, is in jeopardy because of this thing. His whole career and his scholarship is in jeopardy.”Despite the words of the attorney, the judge reportedly stated that all actions have consequences even if Joshua is an athlete:“Those are consequences,” said Judge Orlando Prescott. “There’s always long-term consequences, good, bad and indifferent and because he’s an athlete [it] doesn’t bear anything with me.”Joshua is scheduled to be released on house arrest while Jonathan will be held in detention.Their next trial is scheduled for December 13th.last_img read more

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England sending experienced squad to face the French

first_img8 May 2014 England sending experienced squad to face the French England Golf is sending an experienced team, all of whom have already been capped, for the biennial international against France at Fontainebleau over the weekend of 17th and 18th May. England Golf is sending an experienced team, all of whom have already been capped, for the biennial international against France at Fontainebleau over the weekend of 17th and 18th May. The nine-man squad is: Harry Casey (Enfield, Middlesex), Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park, Shropshire & Herefordshire), Ryan Evans (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire), Paul Howard (Southport & Ainsdale, Lancashire), Nick Marsh (Huddersfield, Yorkshire), Jimmy Mullen (Royal North Devon), Michael Saunders (Dartford, Kent), Jordan Smith (Bowood G&CC, Wiltshire), and Toby Tree (Golf at Goodwood, Sussex). All of the squad have titles under their belts at home and abroad and will be eager to reverse the result the last time this match was held on French soil when England lost 13-11 at Chantilly in 2010. Casey, 20, a former boy cap, made his full England debut against Spain at El Prat last year and was also a member of England’s victorious team in the Home Internationals last August at Ganton. In 2013, he won the Selborne Salver and lost a playoff for the Poncat Dutch Junior Open and finished third in the Portuguese Amateur. Chesters, 24, is the reigning European Amateur champion following his victory at El Prat last August. He made his full England debut against the French at Rochester & Cobham in 2012 and was a member of the European team that beat Asia/Pacific in the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy in India earlier this year. Recently he finished runner-up in the Selborne Salver. Evans, 27, was also a member of England’s winning team at Ganton last year on his debut. Over the winter he won two titles in Australia, the Lake Macquarie International and the Avondale Medal and was the leading qualifier in the Australian Amateur. Last year he won the Berkshire Trophy and the Biarritz Cup in France while he was part of the victorious team in the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy in India.  Howard, 23, was another to earn his first full cap in last year’s Home Internationals and earlier this year won the South American Amateur in Colombia. A member of last year’s victorious Lancashire team in the English County Championship, winning five of his six games, he recently finished runner-up in the Hampshire Salver, tied fourth in the Hampshire Hog and equal seventh in the Lytham Trophy. Marsh, 19, a former boy cap, made his full debut in last year’s Home Internationals having won back-to-back events as an amateur on the Gecko Pro Tour in Spain in 2012. Marsh reached the quarter finals of the Amateur Championship last year and finished runner-up in the North of England Youths Championship and the Welsh Open Youths. Earlier this year he was runner-up in the Portuguese Amateur Championship after a playoff. Mullen, 20, was another to make his full England debut in the Home Internationals at Ganton last year and went on to win five of his six games for Devon in the County Finals at Minchinhampton. He finished third to Howard in the South American Amateur and recently won the Duncan Putter in Wales and finished second in the West of England Stroke Play over his home course at Royal North Devon. Saunders, 23, also made his full England debut in last year’s Home Internationals having finished runner-up in the Chiberta Grand Prix in France. Winner of the Lagonda Trophy in 2012, he finished tied sixth in the Biarritz Cup and seventh in the Brabazon Trophy and the South of England Amateur last year. Smith, 21, represented England for the first time in the 2012 Home Internationals at Glasgow Gailes. That year he reached the semi-finals of the English Amateur and was a member of Wiltshire’s winning team in the County Championship. Last year he was a quarter finalist in the Spanish Amateur, won the Brabazon Trophy at Formby and was a member of the GB&I Walker Cup team. This year he has won the Selborne and Hampshire Salvers. Tree, 19, a former under 16 and boy international, made his full England debut against France in 2012. He won the England under 14 Championship in 2008 and the under 16 title two years later followed by the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters in 2011. Tree represented GB&I against the Continent of Europe in the 2012 Jacques Leglise Trophy and last year helped England win the European Nations Championship and the European Men’s Team Championship. He also has several victories to his name in South Africa and recently finished seventh in the Lytham Trophy. The England v France contests date back to 1934. There have been 32 matches of which England has won 27 and France five. However, four of the French victories have come in the last nine encounters. The match consists of four foursomes and eight singles on each day. Image caption: Nick Marsh (left) and Harry Casey (right). Image copyright Leaderboard Photography.last_img read more

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TALAMO & CALLAGHAN TEAM WITH LONGSHOT DIVINA COMEDIA TO WIN $75,000 SOUTHERN TRUCE STAKES BY 1 ¾ LENGTHS AS FRENCH-BRED MARE COVERS 1 1/16 MILES IN 1:42.89

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (July 3, 2016)–A close fourth into the first turn behind a three-horse scramble that included favored Living The Life, Belle Hill and Gloryzapper, longshot Divina Comedia sat a close fourth down the backside, overtook Living The Life three furlongs out, wheeled three-wide turning for home and prevailed by 1 ¾ lengths under Joe Talamo in Sunday’s $75,000 Southern Truce Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Simon Callaghan, Divina Comedia got a mile and a sixteenth in 1:42.89.“We had an absolutely perfect trip today,” said Talamo. “It was a great set up. Those two fillies (Gloryzapper and Belle Hill) went head and head the whole way and they went fairly quickly, so the set up was in our favor. My mare was all heart down the lane.”Fifth, beaten 7 ¾ lengths by the mighty Beholder in the Grade I Vanity Mile here on June 4, French-bred Divina Comedia was off at 16-1 in a field of seven older fillies and mares and paid $35.00, $12.40 and $7.00.Owned by Marsha Naify, Divina Comedia notched her first stakes win and her fourth victory overall from 18 starts. With the winner’s share of $47,100, she increased her earnings to $218,272.“Joe took care of her in her last race against Beholder because he knew what a tough spot that was,” said Carlos Santamaria, assistant to Callaghan. “She came out of that race great and she was ready to go today.”Caught three-wide into the first turn, Gloryzapper took a narrow half length advantage on Belle Hill when the two of them straightened out down the backside, remained two off the fence into and around the far turn and just held the place by a head over a fast finishing Show Stealer.Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Gloryzapper was the second choice in the wagering and paid $4.20 and $3.00.Ridden by Tyler Baze, Show Stealer rallied from well off the pace to finish third, 3 ½ lengths clear of Moyo Honey. Off at 15-1, Show Stealer paid $4.80 to show.Off at 8-5, Living The Life fell out of contention quickly on the far turn and was eased.Fractions on the race were 23.01, 46.50, 1:11.00 and 1:36.37.First post time for a nine-race card on Independence Day, Monday, is at 1:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.last_img read more

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Nadal on course in Monte Carlo

first_imgMONACO (AP):A ninth Monte Carlo Masters title is getting closer for Rafael Nadal with most of his rivals out of the way – including Roger Federer, who again misses out on one of the few trophies not already in his glittering collection.But Federer – a four-time runner-up on the French Riviera – was not too disappointed, considering that his priority was to come back safely after more than two months out following knee surgery.Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 yesterday to set up a third semi-final here against Andy Murray. Federer lost 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, despite being two points from victory when 5-4 up in the decider, with Tsonga 15-30 down on his serve.This was Federer’s first tournament play since arthroscopic surgery on his left knee for torn cartilage on February 3, and defeat was softened by relief at avoiding any relapse.”It was good to play back-to-back, yesterday and today, good to play 2 hours 10 (minutes) today,” Federer said. “It was nice to play an intense match. I’m happy how the body reacted.”With top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Wawrinka – the French Open champion – also out, Federer himself picked Nadal when asked about the favourite.Nadal leads Murray 16-6 in career meetings and 6-1 on clay. For the other two semi-finalists, Nadal is 11-2 up on Gael Monfils – 4-0 on clay – and 8-4 on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, having beaten him here in the semi-finals three years ago. Nadal went on to lose the 2013 final to Djokovic, who was stunned in the second round this year by Czech Jiri Vesely, an unheralded Czech player ranked 55th.In a one-sided contest between former champions, Nadal broke Wawrinka four times and made the semi-finals for the 11th time.Murray took out Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0 for the second time this year.The Briton thinks patience will be the key factor against the nine-time French Open champion.last_img read more

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Mutation Rate Catastrophe: You Can’t Even Break Even

first_imgIn a tortoise-and-hare kind of story, a team of geneticists figured out what happens when positive natural selection tries to outrun mutations: “mutation rate catastrophe.”  Publishing in PNAS,1 they described how beneficial mutations might become established in a population rapidly (that’s the hare).  Eventually (this is the tortoise), harmful mutations accumulate to the tipping point, and the population goes extinct.    The abstract begins with one of only two praises of natural selection (both qualified with reality checks):The intricate adjustment of organisms to their environment demonstrates the effectiveness of natural selection.  But Darwin himself recognized that certain biological features could limit this effectiveness, features that generally reduce the efficiency of natural selection or yield suboptimal adaptation.  Genetic linkage is known to be one such feature, and here we show theoretically that it can introduce a more sinister flaw: when there is complete linkage between loci affecting fitness and loci affecting mutation rate, positive natural selection and recurrent mutation can drive mutation rates in an adapting population to intolerable levels.The only other praise of natural selection was more of an insult.  Calling it robust does not help it jump the high hurdles their model revealed.  In a section called “How Genetic Linkage Can Subvert Natural Selection,” they spoke of it as a myopic fallen hero:Our theoretical findings indicate that mutator hitchhiking can set in motion a self-reinforcing loss of replication fidelity, but the question of how a process as robust as natural selection could allow this to happen remains.  The key fact is that natural selection, although eminently robust, is a short-sighted process that favors traits with immediate fitness benefits.  The fitness cost of mutator hitchhiking is generally not anticipated because of the slow accumulation of deleterious load.  When a mutator hitchhikes with a new beneficial mutation, a simple model shows that the increased deleterious load due to the mutator is in fact suppressed during the spread of the beneficial mutation.  Indeed, the full fitness cost of the mutator is only realized well after the beneficial mutation has stopped spreading…. A mutator may therefore enjoy the immediate benefit of producing a new beneficial mutation without anticipating the eventual increase in deleterious load.  Because of this delay in the accumulation of deleterious load, natural selection can drive mutation rate up to the point of no return….Indeed, their graphs all show that the temporary, wobbly rises of evolutionary progress under the best of conditions all come crashing down suddenly in the end.    This particular study involved asexual, one-celled organisms.  It was not purely theoretical, though.  They stated that it is known that bad mutations “hitchhike” on the same genes with rare beneficial mutations.  Fatal mutations, of course, kill the organism right off, but some bad mutations delay their harm, adding to the mutational load over time.  Eventually, they catch up and, like the tortoise, win the race after the hare is pooped out.    Why don’t the beneficial mutations ever win?  After all, they can spread rapidly in a population.  The reason is that fitness is short-sighted.  Natural selection cannot see down the road or have a goal.  It can only act on the immediate consequences of a change.  Harmful mutations, by contrast, are not necessarily weeded out immediately.  Consider, for instance, a slightly damaged proofreading enzyme.  It may not kill the organism right off the bat.  Give it time, though, and the damage will add up – right after the beneficial mutation has reached equilibrium in the population.  Their model shows that the mutation rate actually accelerates over time.  Surprisingly, it is the very process of adaptation for fitness that accelerates the mutation rate – not just in bacteria, but in higher organisms, too:There is almost certainly no physiological barrier to such an effect in most organisms: the genomic mutation rate in organisms from viruses to eukaryotes is a quantitative trait affected by many mutations whose effects can readily cumulate to intolerable levels of error.  In what follows, we show that there need not be a selective barrier to this process either: because the full fitness effect of increased deleterious mutation takes some time to accumulate after a higher mutation rate has evolved, it is theoretically possible for a population to evolve a critically high mutation rate and subsequently go extinct.The team tweaked the parameters of their mathematical model in various ways to try to get natural selection to make some headway.  They used infinite populations and small populations.  They used large and small genome sizes.  All efforts yielded the same result: negative mutations eventually swamped any gains from positive natural selection.  In cases of sustained “arms races,” like bacterial invaders vs. the immune system in mammals, the antagonists may struggle back and forth till both fall off the cliff.2  Surprisingly, the beneficial mutation itself may trigger the catastrophe.  Under equilibrium conditions, mutations tend to accumulate slowly, especially if some error correction mechanism is present.  A new beneficial mutation changes the rules.  Now, the population is adapting to a new situation, and the model shows that mutation rate rises to the occasion.    In short, the population has no way to break even.  In a section called “Evolutionary Implications,” they wrote, “Our results suggest the possibility of a novel complement to existing explanations for why truly asexual populations are evolutionarily short-lived.”  Pick your poison: “Either an asexual population does not adapt and goes extinct as a result of the slow accumulation of deleterious mutations, as suggested by existing theory, or else it adapts and goes extinct as a result of the mutation-rate catastrophe.”    How, then, could these authors, being evolutionists, keep faith in neo-Darwinian theory, which relies on mutation and natural selection?  Since their study concerned only asexual organisms, they assumed that early one-celled organisms quickly learned about this problem and adapted ways to get around it.  Maybe they invented proofreading.  Maybe they tried recombination.  Eventually, the idea goes, sexual reproduction arrived and helped mask the effects of “mutation rate catastrophe.”  But they freely admit this is all just speculation:It is tempting to speculate that the mutation rate catastrophe phenomenon that we have observed here played a role in the early establishment of recombination in the most primitive life forms (41).  It seems probable that adaptation was continual in primordial populations and that only rudimentary mechanisms of genomic proofreading and repair had evolved, such that mutation rates were closer to intolerable values than they are in most present forms.  Under these circumstances, the mutation-rate catastrophe could have posed an imminent threat to any purely asexual population.Nevertheless, they did not offer any detailed models of how the catastrophe could be avoided.  Other studies have denied that sexual reproduction offers any resistance to mutational load (10/12/2000, 05/16/2004).  The origin of sex has been called the “queen of evolutionary problems” (04/14/2003).  With 20 competing theories about what it’s good for, it would seem a hard sell that claim sex came to the rescue to prevent error catastrophe.    These problems are not new.  Other evolutionists have written about “mutational meltdown” (12/14/2006).  Hermann Joseph Muller in 1932 described “Muller’s Ratchet,” a principle that shows mutations in asexual populations accumulate in an irreversible manner.  “Our findings depart from previous work, however,” they said, “by showing that such high mutation rates can be the catastrophic result of unfettered natural selection.”    Neo-Darwinian theory may suffer from this model, but there is one bright side for biomedical research.  Maybe pharmacists can take advantage of this finding and help pathogens to mutate themselves to death: “Our results suggest the interesting and related possibility that the adaptive immune response itself could drive a purely clonal pathogen to mutation rate catastrophe and extinction within the host.”  Locked in an arms race, the pathogen and the immune system can drive the germs over the cliff like a big buffalo jump.  “This mechanism could, in theory, help to explain the spontaneous clearance of some viral infections and suggests that recombination, which prevents runaway increases in mutation rate, may be essential to the persistence of other viral infections that are not cleared.”  Now you know why your cold or flu eventually clears up on its own.    One final question: does recombination really prevent mutational catastrophe?  They did not discuss this “suggestion” in any detail.  They only assumed that it would.  Other studies reported here indicate that recombination, while it may stabilize the genome and aid genetic repair (07/18/2001, 07/31/2002), cannot add new genetic information (08/20/2003) and, at best, only delays the inevitable (10/19/2004, 12/14/2006)  Some recombinations, in fact, can be toxic (10/27/2005, bullet 3).  It would seem that adding another random influence in the mix would not overcome the “genetic entropy” of cumulative mutations.1Philip J. Gerrish, Alexandre Colato, Alan S. Perelson, and Paul D. Sniegowski, “Evolution: Complete genetic linkage can subvert natural selection,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0607280104, published online before print April 3, 2007.2See the “Red Queen Effect” – i.e., running and getting nowhere, 09/07/2006.  The authors modeled the Red Queen Effect in the context of pathogen-immune arms races.  Their graph shows an upward adaptational fight ending in sudden collapse.OK, how many times do we have to show that neo-Darwinism has been falsified for its disciples to throw in the towel?  (For a partial list, see 10/19/2004, 11/29/2004, and 12/14/2006).  Jason Wolf told us four years ago how indirect genetic effects produce “slippage on the treadmill” that hinders evolutionary progress (see 03/17/2003).  Now, this paper practically waxes the treadmill to a shiny, frictionless surface, complete with banana peel.  Think of it: neo-Darwinists have pinned their hopes on the rare, mythical “beneficial mutations” to generate novelty, and for natural selection to save every blessed tidbit in its sieve, leading to the wondrous variety of adapted life (wave the magic wand of millions of years here).  But now, their own mechanisms have turned on them.  Beneficial mutations (if there are such things) actually trigger a mutational arms race.  This subverts natural selection, begins a mutational meltdown, and sends the population off the cliff to extinction.  Charlie will never get endless forms most beautiful at this rate.    He who has ears to hear, let him hear (04/06/2007).  If you have placed your eternal hopes on Charlie’s natural selection tale to win the cosmic lottery without responsibility to your Maker, then have faith.  You’re going to need a lot of it.(Visited 64 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Photo library: Countryside 23

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Countryside contact sheet (1.6MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) KwaZulu-Natal province: The luxury Didima holiday resort in the Drakensberg range of mountains.Photo: Hannelie Coetzee,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image KwaZulu-Natal province: The luxury Didima holiday resort in the Drakensberg range of mountains.Photo: Hannelie Coetzee,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image KwaZulu-Natal province: The luxury Didima holiday resort in the Drakensberg range of mountains.Photo: Hannelie Coetzee,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image KwaZulu-Natal province:Sugarcane Fields in the north coast region.Photo: Hannelie Coetzee,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image KwaZulu-Natal Midlands: Dairy goat on Swissland Cheese Farm. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image KwaZulu-Natal Midlands: Dairy goats on Swissland Cheese Farm. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image KwaZulu-Natal Midlands: Dairy goats on Swissland Cheese Farm. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image KwaZulu-Natal Midlands: Dairy goats on Swissland Cheese Farm. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image KwaZulu-Natal Midlands: Dairy goats on Swissland Cheese Farm. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res imageCOUNTRYSIDE 23: {loadposition cs}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected]last_img read more

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Disaster Aid Remains Tied Up

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jerry HagstromDTN Political CorrespondentWASHINGTON (DTN) — Following the defeat of two bills to address 2018 and 2019 disasters on the Senate floor Monday evening, Democrats offered a new plan to address Puerto Rico while Republicans criticized their colleagues for blocking urgently needed aid to other parts of the country.Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Tuesday introduced a substitute to the emergency disaster supplemental while the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee addressed the issue at a hearing on the rural economy.Democrats want more aid for Puerto Rico than the Republicans have proposed. On Monday evening, neither a Republican proposal that contained $600 million in additional food stamp benefits for Puerto nor the House-passed bill that is more generous to Puerto Rico got the 60 votes needed to proceed.Meanwhile, Senate Republicans blamed Democrats for stopping both the aid to Puerto Rico that was in the Republican bill and aid to farmers.Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said, “Senate Democrats yesterday blocked a bill that provides much-needed funds for Puerto Rico’s nutrition program, also aid for the 2018 hurricane and wildfires, and thirdly assistance to Midwest states in the midst of a flood crisis.”“That includes at least Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, maybe other states,” Grassley said.“Now, the people that voted against it say it was because they care about Puerto Rico. But the bill they blocked takes care of the urgent funding shortfalls there in that commonwealth,” he said.“Playing politics with disaster aid does a disservice to the people of Puerto Rico and the people of states like Iowa that are suffering right now from these floods,” Grassley said. “Why would these senators want to come to campaign in Iowa when they don’t show sympathy for Iowans suffering from the floods with the vote that they cast last night?”At a House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the rural economy Tuesday, Paxton Poitevint, the president and CEO of Southwest Georgia Farm Credit in Bainbridge, Georgia, said that while crop insurance, commodity programs and trade agreements are helping, the cotton and nut farmers whose crops were devastated by Hurricane Michael and timber growers in his area “need federal disaster assistance now.”House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., said at the hearing, “To be honest, I did not think we’d still be sitting here in April without a disaster aid package signed into law.”Bishop added that he is “extremely frustrated” and “hopeful it will happen soon.”Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., whose district has been devastated by floods, said that as bad as the agricultural losses are now, they “are going to mount.”Iowa officials estimate about $214 million in agricultural losses and more than $1.6 billion in total disaster losses. Nebraska officials estimate agricultural losses could top $1 billion because of as much as $500 million in livestock losses and $400 million in crop losses, as well as prevented planting challenges this spring. Nebraska officials estimate another $450 million just in road damages. Missouri officials have not released any estimates, but parts of northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa remain underwater.The Leahy/Schumer amendment totals $16.7 billion and includes $2.5 billion in new funding for disaster-stricken communities in the Southeast and Midwest and restores certain funding for Puerto Rico and other territories.Leahy and Schumer said, “We cannot pick and choose which American citizens to help in times of crisis. Democrats are ready to stand with all American communities affected by recent natural disasters. We hope Republican leadership will stand with us in this effort.”The amendment includes increased funding for Community Development Block Grants and grants to help rebuild damaged water systems in Puerto Rico. It also provides Medicaid funding for other territories and mandates that the Department of Housing and Urban Development speed up the release of billions in Community Development Block Grant funding the Trump administration has been withholding from disaster stricken communities.Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., whose constituents suffered from wildfires and forest fires in 2018, voted against the Republican bill and said, “In California, the scale of last year’s destruction was unprecedented. Wildfires killed 85 people, destroyed nearly 14,000 homes and burned more than 150,000 acres, including the entire town of Paradise. Recovery efforts are already underway and additional funding is needed to prevent any delay.”“Tragically, Californians aren’t the only Americans still trying to recover,” Feinstein said. “Victims of recent typhoons, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, including those that struck Puerto Rico two years ago, are also counting on Congress to approve this funding.“Congress used to set politics aside after major disasters and help victims in their time of need. Partisan infighting won’t rebuild a single home or school. It’s time we pass an emergency supplemental bill that includes funding for all disaster victims.”President Donald Trump has said he does not want to provide any aid to Puerto Rico beyond the money for food stamps. Trump called the leaders of Puerto “incompetent and corrupt” and made statements that are factually incorrect, The New York Times reported.Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @hagstromreport(CC/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Notre Dame Welcomes Wisconsin To The Under Armour Family In Spectacular Fashion

first_imgEarly "Badgers Badgers Badgers" viral video.badgers badgers badgers mushroom mushroomFriday morning, Wisconsin and Under Armour officially announced a 10-year contract worth $96 million. One of the apparel manufacturer’s biggest clients came up with a very cool way to welcome the Badgers to the family.Upon hearing the news, Notre Dame tweeted out a video of the famous viral “Badgers” clip with audio of House of Pain’s “Jump Around” – an ode to one of the best Wisconsin football traditions. Check it out:Welcome to #TeamUA, @UWBadgers. You know what to do… @UnderArmour pic.twitter.com/2SOcRLHzLG— The Fighting Irish (@FightingIrish) October 9, 2015Well played, Fighting Irish social media manager.last_img

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Minister Calls for Strengthening of Local Government Regime in Region

first_img Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is calling for the strengthening of the local government regime in the region. While here, the Mayor will visit the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM); meeting with the Mayors of Kingston and St. Ann’s Bay, and with representatives of the Social Development Commission (SDC). Mr. McKenzie told JIS News that he is hoping that the visit to Jamaica by Mayor Glen Ram, Chairman of the Mayaro Rio Claro Regional Corporation in Trinidad and Tobago, will help to rebuild the regional local government regime. Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is calling for the strengthening of the local government regime in the region.“There is a lack of a coordinated effort between countries in the region that actually practise local (governance). There are only a few countries that have such a system,” the Minister noted.Mr. McKenzie told JIS News that he is hoping that the visit to Jamaica by Mayor Glen Ram, Chairman of the Mayaro Rio Claro Regional Corporation in Trinidad and Tobago, will help to rebuild the regional local government regime.“We are hoping that out of this visit by Mayor Ram we can forge and develop a stronger local government fraternity in the region,” the Minister said.Mayor Ram arrived in Jamaica on August 9 for a five-day visit, as the guest of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, to observe the local government reform processes.While here, the Mayor will visit the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM); meeting with the Mayors of Kingston and St. Ann’s Bay, and with representatives of the Social Development Commission (SDC).For his part, Mayor Ram expressed gratitude to Mr. McKenzie and the Local Government Ministry for hosting him.He explained that the primary objective of his visit is geared towards strengthening local government practices in the region.Mayor Ram pointed out that there are many similarities between the two countries, in terms of local governance, and indicated that, currently, in Trinidad and Tobago there is an ongoing effort to strengthen the local government process, so the visit is indeedtimely. Story Highlightslast_img read more

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