Looming disaster averted in Vermont apple harvest

first_imgA looming disaster threatened by the combination of early-maturing apples and a hitch with visas for the guest workers to pick them has been averted, according to Senator Patrick Leahy and Vermont apple growers.With apple crops ripening 10 days to 14 days early this year, at least 19 orchards in Vermont and New York, and many more throughout the Northeast, had encountered an extra form-filing step in the annual process of recruiting temporary workers from Jamaica.  The added step – Request For Evidence (RFE) process requirements – comes in the aftermath of an 18-month investigation of the Jamaican Central Labour Organization.The process of approving visas for seasonal workers, under the longstanding H-2A guest worker program, is handled by two federal agencies: the U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a unit of the Department of Homeland Security.Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over USCIS, and he also is the most senior member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.  When Vermont growers told him about the problem, he and his staff immediately sought to rectify the situation.  Through Leahy’s efforts – including a personal call to USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas – USCIS now is expediting the process for all apple growers with pending H-2A petitions for workers from Jamaica to have their visa applications settled.  Leahy’s staff is also helping to expedite submissions to USCIS for agency review of growers’ RFE forms.“An entire season’s work was at risk, and crops don’t wait for paperwork,” said Leahy.  “I’m glad we found a commonsense solution for a happy ending after this close call.”Source: Leahy. 8.26.2010last_img read more

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Credit unions dwarf banks for free checking: Bankrate

first_imgCredit unions are more than twice as likely as banks to offer free checking accounts to new members, according to a new Bankrate.com report.Bankrate surveyed the nation’s 50 largest credit unions and found that 76% of their checking accounts are free–meaning no service fees or per-transaction charges regardless of balance or activity.Only 37% of banks can make the same claim. In 2010, 78% of credit unions and 65% of banks offered free checking accounts to everyone.“At a time when free checking has become increasingly rare at large banks, it is still very prevalent among credit unions,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst.Credit unions’ ATM fees are also friendlier; 34% have no fee for going outside the network, or allow at least one free out-of-network withdrawal per week. continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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‘Green’ internships for SA youth

first_img12 June 2013South Africa has launched a R300-million training, mentoring and workplace-based learning project aimed at building a pool of young, capable professionals for the country’s biodiversity and natural resource management sector.The Groen Sebenza project, launched by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa in Pretoria on the weekend, aims to develop skills while bridging the gap between education and job opportunities in South Africa’s green economy.Spearheaded by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi), the innovative project will see 800 unemployed graduates and matriculants being placed in skilled biodiversity jobs in both the public and private sector for a period of two-and-a-half years.The practical workplace experience and training will, it is hoped, kick-start their careers in a fast-growing industry.Over half of the interns commenced with the programme in May, with the remainder due to begin this month.The project is sponsored by the government’s Jobs Fund, which is administered by the Development Bank of Southern Africa.“The Groen Sebenza venture effectively brings to life the ideals of the vision of a green economy, by mobilising for and engendering the involvement of young people in the management of biodiversity through job creation,” Sanbi CEO Tanya Abrahamse said at the launch.A month into the project, the young participants and the 33 Groen Sebenza partner organisations say they are thrilled to be part of the initiative.Sabelo Linda, a 28-year-old from Osizweni, a semi-rural area in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, who is working at NCC Environmental Services in Cape Town, says he is “very grateful” for the opportunity he has been given.Despite holding an Honours degree in science, Linda was unemployed for the first few months after completing his studies, and had to rely on the help of friends to support his siblings.Honing his skills in the field of environmental management, Linda says he feels encouraged by the structured and earnest manner in which the NCC approaches the intensive learning and mentorship of the Groen Sebenza “incubants”.Another participant, Sanelisiwe Mkhize, is training in nature conservation with Ezemvelo Wildlife with only a matric school certificate to her name. Mkhize followed her second choice of study, public management, at the Durban University of Technology last year, but was forced to drop out when her family experienced financial problems.Mkhize feels she has now been given a second chance to “prove myself” and realise her ambition of following a career in nature conservation.Along with three other participants, Mkhize is currently focusing on commercial offshore fishing and compliances which involves inspecting the fish offloaded in the harbour and sold in restaurants for species and sizes.SAinfo reporter and South African National Biodiversity Institutelast_img read more

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10 months agoEverton boss Silva has big plans for McCarthy

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Everton boss Silva has big plans for McCarthyby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveEverton are ready to release James McCarthy for loan next month.The Mirror says McCarthy is returning to full fitness after a double break in his leg suffered last January and will be involved over Christmas, but the club want him to get back to regular action – and that is unlikely to be on offer at Goodison Park.Marco Silva sees a big part for McCarthy in his long-term plans, but he is happy to let him leave on a loan deal for the season.The Republic of Ireland star, 28, has interest from Fulham, Brighton and Burnley, and will talk with Silva before deciding on which club would be best. last_img read more

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10 months agoRB Salzburg coach Marco Rose surprise candidate for Man Utd job

first_imgRB Salzburg coach Marco Rose surprise candidate for Man Utd jobby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveRB Salzburg coach Marco Rose is a candidate for the Manchester United job.The Sun says Rose is the shock name on Manchester United’s managerial shortlist in case Mauricio Pochettino rejects them.The list also includes Zinedine Zidane, Laurent Blanc and interim coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Although Pochettino remains first choice of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, United are putting together a list of alternatives in case the Spurs boss turns them down.Rose, 42, is admired within the United boardroom after leading Red Bull Salzburg to the Austrian title in his first season.The club also made it to the semi-final of last season’s Europa League after beating Real Sociedad, Borussia Dortmund and Lazio in the knockout rounds. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Alberta politicians vote unanimously to back province in oil pipeline fight

first_imgEDMONTON, A.B. – Alberta politicians have passed a motion unanimously to back Premier Rachel Notley’s fight for the Trans Mountain pipeline.The United Conservatives, Alberta Party, and Alberta Liberals joined with Notley’s NDP to back the government motion in support of the project, which would triple the amount of oil flowing from Edmonton to B.C.The final tally was 70-0, with Notley and United Conservative Opposition Leader Jason Kenney in the chamber for the vote. However, some politicians say they still have concerns with how Notley’s government is handling the battle with B.C. and dealing with Ottawa, which has jurisdiction over inter-provincial pipelines.Kenney says Notley should have kept a recently lifted ban on B.C. wine in place, and was late to coming around to embracing the possibility of cutting off oil to B.C. to force the issue.Greg Clark of the Alberta Party says Notley’s government has failed to make the case to B.C. that Alberta shares its concerns and is taking action on climate change.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

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Heads of various depts asked to ensure compliance of poll code

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Chief Electoral Office (CEO)’s office in Delhi has asked heads of various departments under the Delhi government to ensure compliance of the poll code after it received a complaint that MLAs were allegedly “alluring” voters in the garb of undertaking field inspections during installation of CCTV cameras in the city.In a letter to all principal secretaries and secretaries of the Delhi government, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer in has said the matter appears to be “violation of instructions”. The CEO’s office said it is in receipt of a complaint that certain public representatives or MLAs were allegedly “alluring” the voters in the garb of field inspections during installation of CCTV cameras in residential colonies and market places in their respective constituencies. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe poll panel has also attached instructions containing point number 2 and 5 of Chapter 4 — special measures taken by the Election Commission to enforce model code. “It appears to be violation of instructions contained in point-2 and 5…All are requested to comply with the above instruction, in letter and spirit,” the CEO office stated. According to sources, Bharat Electronics (BEL), a state-owned company, had recently agreed to execute the project, under which 2,000 cameras will be installed in each of the 70 assembly constituencies and the work for installation of 2,000 CCTV cameras each in every assembly constituency has begun. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe motive behind huge installation of CCTV cameras are to curb cases of chain and mobile snatching. Thousands of people do not even file complaint with the police. Installation of CCTV cameras in every street will bring the situation under control and also help the police. The Arvind Kejriwal government has been installing CCTV cameras across the national capital, saying it will contribute towards the safety of women. Last month, the CEO office had also received several complaints about various departments of the AAP government and BJP-ruled MCDs which had started work on projects before the poll code came into force and had sought formal approvals later, an official said. The CEO office had shot off a letter to head of departments, saying the projects that actually started on the ground after obtaining all necessary permission, before the poll code came into force, can be continued.last_img read more

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Oppn parties have no option but to accept defeat PM Modi

first_imgLohardaga: Lashing out at opposition parties that claimed EVMs were being manipulated, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the ‘mahamilawatis’ have realized they stand no chance after three phases of elections and are looking for excuses to defend their poor show.Addressing a rally here, Modi said the opposition parties have no option left but to accept defeat. At a press meet Tuesday, leaders of several major opposition parties raised doubt over the credibility of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs),renewing their demand that 50 per cent of the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips be matched with the EVM results before declaration of election results. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”Just like a child who makes excuses to justify his underperformance in exams, opposition parties have started directing their anger on the EVMs and the voting process for their shortcomings. “The response in first three phases of polls have left the opposition with no option but to accept defeat,” he said. Hitting out at the Congress, the prime minister said the “party that ended up shedding tears when Pakistan threatened India” is eyeing the seat of power in Delhi. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KIn a scathing attack on Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy for his alleged remark on the armed forces, Modi said those who believe that the poor join the army to make ends meet should drown to death. “Such comments are demoralising for the army. It takes a lot of courage to fight on the border. Those that say that only the poor join the army to make ends meet should drown to death,” he asserted. Insisting that Indians everywhere were the responsibility of the ‘chowkidaar’ (watchman), the PM said he never discriminated people on the lines of religion or caste. “When 46 nurses were held captive in Iraq, we did our best to get our daughters back. When Kolkata’s Judith D’Souza was kidnapped in Afghanistan, we rescued her. This chowkidaar is always concerned about the safety of the country’s daughters,” he claimed. Noting that Maoist menace in the country has reduced to a “large extent” under the BJP rule, he said youth are shunning violence to join the mainstream. “It is because of the efforts of the BJP government, naxalites have found their strongholds shrinking. The tribal youths in the Maoist-hit areas are now shunning violence and coming forward to work for the development of the country. “Under the District Mineral Development Act, we have allotted Rs 4,000 crore for the development of tribal areas in Jharkhand. I will not let the corrupt touch your land, forest and resources,” he stated. Referring to Sunday’s terrorist attack in neighbouring Sri Lanka, Modi said India too had faced similar tragedies before his government came to power. “What happened in Sri Lanka is very unfortunate. India, too, had gone through similar phases before 2014. But after we came to power, the situation changed. Terrorists are now aware that this chowkidaar will locate them, no matter where they hide,” he said. Expressing gratitude to the people of Jharkhand, who turned up in large numbers for Tuesday’s roadshow in the state capital, Modi said, “The response that I received in Ranchi was overwhelming. I was touched. It wasn’t a planned programme. The state unit of BJP requested me for the show only two days ago.”last_img read more

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