A way-too-early preview of the 2020 San Francisco Giants

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has an extensive offseason agenda.He must hire a general manager, replace Bruce Bochy and continue to bring change to the organization’s front office. All of those processes will consume Zaidi’s time, but his greatest challenge is improving the Giants’ on-field product.The Giants wrapped up the 2019 season Sunday with their third consecutive losing record. Their top prospects aren’t quite ready to make a …last_img read more

San Jose Sharks can’t catch a break this year on video reviews

first_imgSAN JOSE — The Sharks just can’t catch a break this season when it comes to official reviews.Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets, a review by the NHL’s Situation Room cost the Sharks the chance to take the lead in a game for the first time in a week.After Barclay Goodrow scored at the 3:18 mark of the second period to tie the game 1-1, the Sharks thought they had the go-ahead goal as Evander Kane chipped one past Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck at the side of the net.But the Jets challenged …last_img read more

Livestock legalities around the nation affecting producers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Agricultural and Resource Law Program, Ohio State UniversityEvery year, we hear fascinating legal updates at the American Agricultural Law Association’s annual conference. Thanks to presentations by Todd Janzen and Brianna Schroeder of Janzen Ag Law in Indianapolis, we were inspired to learn a little more about trends in meat law. For readers with a livestock operation, these legal issues can present great challenges, and keeping up to date on legal trends helps farmers stay prepared. Veal, pork, and eggs: States battle each other on minimum confinement space regulationsCalifornia voters passed Proposition 12 in the November 2018 election, which will require producers to comply with minimum confinement space regulations in order to sell certain products in California. The Prevent Cruelty California Coalition placed the proposition on the ballot, expanding a previous regulation on in-state suppliers, but the new law would apply to any producer trying to sell veal, pork, or eggs in California. By 2020, veal calves must be housed with at least 43 square feet of usable floor space, breeding pigs must be housed with at least 24 square feet of usable floor space, and egg-laying hens must have at least 1 square foot of floor space. However, by 2022, egg-laying hens must be cage free. Proposition 12 strengthens requirements approved by California voters in 2008’s Proposition 2 by imposing the requirements on out-of-state producers who want to sell their products in California.In 2016, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot measure that would require eggs sold within the state to be cage free by 2022. Thirteen states, led by Indiana, have sued Massachusetts in the United States Supreme Court in an attempt to stop Massachusetts from enforcing the requirement. These states allege that the restriction is an attempt to regulate how farmers in other states operate, which violates the rights of other states to create their own regulations. This would be a constitutional question under what is known as the Dormant Commerce Clause, which prohibits states from unfairly regulating business activities that have impacts beyond a state’s border. Status updates on the lawsuit are available here.Trying a legislative solution to slow the trend of cage-free restrictions, Iowa passed a law earlier this year that requires grocers that sell cage-free eggs to also sell conventional eggs if they want to receive benefits from the USDA WIC program. Supporters of the law argued that cage-free eggs are often more expensive and excluded from the WIC program. They argue that as a result, when grocers make commitments to sell only cage-free eggs, they make it more difficult for low-income families to purchase eggs. Non-meat proteins continue to target beefThe “Impossible Burger” wants to convince consumers that a non-meat burger patty that tastes just like meat is just around the corner. Veggie burgers are not new to the grocery store shelves, but recent innovations that have allowed non-meat proteins to improve in taste and texture have raised concerns among meat producers that these products are becoming a serious threat. Given that many of these innovations have taken aim at the burger market, beef producers in particular have felt a target on their backs. As we reported in a previous edition of The Harvest, Missouri became the first state this year to regulate labeling of non-animal products as being derived from an animal, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has petitioned the USDA to consider regulating labels involving animal terms like “meat.” Other speakers at the AALA conference indicated that the USDA is currently debating how to regulate labels, but has yet to develop a comprehensive rule package. Dairy contracts: always know what you are signingThe market has been very tough for dairy producers. Having a long term supply contract in place is certainly preferable to no contract, but depending upon the terms of the contract, unfortunate surprises may be in store.Purchasers often write the contracts, and include terms that favor them. For example, many contracts contain termination provisions that allow either party to end the agreement for essentially any reason with prior notice, often 30 days. When producers invest in their operations under the expectation that the contract will stand throughout the term specified, these termination provisions can result in devastating surprises. As another example, many contracts contain confidentiality agreements that make it difficult for a producer to determine whether the deal they are offered is great, average, or actually bad. Equally concerning for producers are provisions that shift liability for problems with the milk to the producer, and away from the purchaser who sells the milk on the market. With modern technology, tracking where milk originated makes this possible. Courts are likely to enforce these agreements because the law of contracts favors enforcement of private agreements.Given the current market, many dairy producers felt that they are not in a position to negotiate better terms, for fear that another dairy close by will accept the terms as-is. This position is made worse by the inability of producers to talk about their contracts with one another because of confidentiality provisions.What a producer can do is to read the contract carefully and make sure that he or she understands the terms of the contract. It may be wise to speak with an attorney to verify that the producer’s understanding of the contract matches how the contract is likely to be read by a court.Even writes for the Ohio Agricultural Law Blog.last_img read more

Momota advances to championship match at badminton’s World Tour Finals

first_imgGuangzhou (China), Dec 15 (IANS) Japanese men’s singles world No. 1 Kento Momota vanquished a fourth straight opponent here on Saturday to reach the championship match at badminton’s World Tour Finals, the sport’s elite year-end event.After three consecutive straight-game victories in round-robin play, Momota scored a relatively routine 21-14, 21-12 victory in the semi-finals over South Korean world No. 6 Son Wan-ho.Son was forced to try shots with little margin for error and that led to costly mistakes, including a smash wide of the sideline on match point, reports Efe news.Next up for Momota in the championship match will be Chinese world No. 2 Shi Yuqi, who saved a match point in the second game before rallying to defeat India’s Sameer Verma 12-21, 22-20, 21-17 in Saturday’s other semi-final.Sunday’s contest will be a rematch of this year’s BWF World Championships final, which Momota won 21-11, 21-13.–IANSkk/sedlast_img read more

Ward 8 Dems Dont Endorse in Chairman AtLarge Race

first_imgBy James Wright, Special to the AFRO, jwright@afro.comThe chairman of the D.C. Council, and one of the at-large council members, didn’t receive an endorsement from one of the most influential political organizations in the District of Columbia.On April 21, the Ward 8 Democrats held their endorsement meeting for the positions of the District Attorney General, chairman of the D.C. Council, and the Democratic at-large seat on the council at the D.C. Vehicle for Hire Department in the ward. Ward 8 Democratic voters were eligible to cast ballots for the three positions and there were members of the D.C. Democratic State Committee members from other wards to police the process and see that it ran smoothly.Anita Bonds is running for re-election as a Democratic at-large council member. (AFRO File Photo)The voting took place from 12-2 p.m.The endorsements are for the June 19 Democratic primary. The winner of the Democratic primary for the three positions are favorites to win the Nov. 6 general election because the city is 74 percent Democratic, according to D.C. Board of Elections statistics.For a candidate to receive an endorsement from the Ward 8 Democrats, they needed to get 60 percent of the votes that were cast. In this instance, a candidate would have had to get 46 votes out of the 78 cast.D.C. Council member Anita Bonds (D-At Large) is running for re-election to a second full term. Bonds is running against Ward 8 activist Aaron Holmes, environmental leader Jeremiah Lowery and real estate professional Marcus Goodwin in the June 19 Democratic Party primary.Bonds got 33 votes, 13 short of the endorsement while Holmes got 21, Goodwin received 12 and Lowery had eight. Despite not getting the Ward 8 Democrats nod, Bonds told the AFRO she was satisfied with the result.“I am pleased that I came and participated,” she said. “I would note that one of my opponents came from this ward and I got more votes than he did.”WHO IS SHE TALKING ABOUT?Goodwin credited the leadership of the Ward 8 Democrats for having an open process. “The result was nothing profound to me but I take my hat off to the Ward 8 Democrats for giving the candidates a fair opportunity,” he said to the AFRO. Goodwin noted that the late Marion Barry, the four-term mayor and elected four times to represent the ward on the D.C. Council, would have supported Bonds and she would have gotten the endorsement outright because of his influence.During the council candidates’ forum that took place during the voting, all agreed that more affordable housing is needed in the District and the educational system is due for major improvements. They also agreed that the District should have a state-of the art hospital in its East End and not a jail, whether it is publicly or privately financed.In the chairman’s race, D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson came up three votes shy of winning the endorsement. However, there are three provisional ballots that need to be counted and they have the potential to earn the chairman the endorsement.Former D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute leader Ed Lazere had 20 votes to perennial candidate Calvin Gurley, the only African American in the race, who got eight. District Attorney General Karl Racine has no opponent in the Democratic primary and easily got past the 60 percent threshold.last_img read more

Researchers suggest rate of evolution change can explain discrepancy between molecular clocks

first_img(Phys.org) —A pair of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Australia, believe they may have found a way to solve the discrepancy problem that exists between molecular biologists and paleontologists who disagree on the likely first appearance of placental mammals. They describe their new dating approach, which they call a “morphological clock” in their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Citation: Researchers suggest rate of evolution change can explain discrepancy between molecular clocks and fossil evidence (2014, August 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-evolution-discrepancy-molecular-clocks-fossil.html More information: Ancient dates or accelerated rates? Morphological clocks and the antiquity of placental mammals, Proc. R. Soc. B 22 October 2014 vol. 281 no. 1793 20141278. rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or … nt/281/1793/20141278AbstractAnalyses of a comprehensive morphological character matrix of mammals using ‘relaxed’ clock models (which simultaneously estimate topology, divergence dates and evolutionary rates), either alone or in combination with an 8.5 kb nuclear sequence dataset, retrieve implausibly ancient, Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous estimates for the initial diversification of Placentalia (crown-group Eutheria). These dates are much older than all recent molecular and palaeontological estimates. They are recovered using two very different clock models, and regardless of whether the tree topology is freely estimated or constrained using scaffolds to match the current consensus placental phylogeny. This raises the possibility that divergence dates have been overestimated in previous analyses that have applied such clock models to morphological and total evidence datasets. Enforcing additional age constraints on selected internal divergences results in only a slight reduction of the age of Placentalia. Constraining Placentalia to less than 93.8 Ma, congruent with recent molecular estimates, does not require major changes in morphological or molecular evolutionary rates. Even constraining Placentalia to less than 66 Ma to match the ‘explosive’ palaeontological model results in only a 10- to 20-fold increase in maximum evolutionary rate for morphology, and fivefold for molecules. The large discrepancies between clock- and fossil-based estimates for divergence dates might therefore be attributable to relatively small changes in evolutionary rates through time, although other explanations (such as overly simplistic models of morphological evolution) need to be investigated. Conversely, dates inferred using relaxed clock models (especially with discrete morphological data and MRBAYES) should be treated cautiously, as relatively minor deviations in rate patterns can generate large effects on estimated divergence dates. Explore further Research team claims fossil-only study of placental mammalian evolution time frame is wrongcenter_img To date the first appearance of a something in the biological record, modern scientists have two main tools—dating fossils and using what’s known as a molecular clock, where DNA techniques are used to follow the evolution of species divergence. Problems come in when the two methods offer different results. That’s been the case with researchers attempting to date the first arrival of placental mammals. The earliest fossils suggest they showed up on the scene approximately 66 million years ago. The molecular clock approach, however, suggests it happened long before that, approximately 90 to 100 million years ago. In this new effort, the research pair suggest a way to resolve the difference (without claiming that the difference is because older fossils have just not been found.) They call their approach a morphological clock, which is based on the progression of anatomical differences that arise in a species, rather than DNA tracing. Using it, they suggest it’s possible that placental mammals first arrived as early as 160 million years ago. But they have a caveat, they suggest, that the speed at which evolutionary changes took place could have changed, which if taken into account, would bring the time frame closer to 66 million years ago. As for why a change in speed of evolution might have taken place, the team notes that it might have occurred soon after the dinosaurs went extinct—which would have opened up a whole new niche that could have been filled very quickly by the advent of placental mammals.If this new approach is to be taken seriously, it would cast doubts on the accuracy of molecular clocks in general—they’re based on the assumption that evolution occurs at a fixed rate. It could also help explain the “sudden” appearance of a wide variety of species 540 million years ago—the Cambrian explosion—which many believe led to the appearance of all modern animal groups. © 2014 Phys.org A four-day-old mouse. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Gravitational data from Dawn suggests dome on Ceres is made of volcanic

first_img Citation: Gravitational data from Dawn suggests dome on Ceres is made of volcanic mud (2019, June 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-gravitational-dawn-dome-ceres-volcanic.html © 2019 Science X Network This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Back in 2015, NASA’s Dawn space probe showed that there was a domed-shaped mountain approximately four kilometers high and seventeen kilometers wide—since named Ahuna Mons—rising from the surface of Ceres, a dwarf planet residing in our solar system’s asteroid belt. Initial inspection suggested volcanism; the dome-shape streaked mountain with salt on its slope looked reminiscent of volcanoes here on Earth, or even the icy domes seen on some of the solar system’s moons. But logic has suggested that the mechanics involved in creating volcanism on a dwarf planet would not work. Because of its small size, it would cool down and solidify, preventing any interior activity. But that logic appears not to apply to Ceres, the team found.The researchers noted evidence that the dome was created relatively recently, perhaps just a couple hundred million years ago—it has very few craters. Also, prior study of data from Dawn by another team led to the discovery that Ceres had a mantle loaded with fluids. To learn more, the team looked at gravity field maps built using data from Dawn. They found evidence of a plume extending from the mantle to the dome above it. A closer look suggested that the plume had at some point carried a mud-like mix of water, salt and other particles up into the area where the dome had formed.The researchers describe the plume as unlike any other documented to date, and thus is a novelty in the solar system. They also note that because of the composition of the plume, there is a possibility that Ceres’ mantle is still churning, pushing material up into the dome making it grow. Explore further Dawn snaps its best-yet image of dwarf planet cerescenter_img Journal information: Nature Geoscience More information: Ottaviano Ruesch et al. Slurry extrusion on Ceres from a convective mud-bearing mantle, Nature Geoscience (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0378-7 Colocation of volcanic dome and isostatic gravity anomaly. a, A false-colour mosaic (R, 0.97 µm; G, 0.75 µm; B, 0.44 µm) of the region of Ahuna Mons from Dawn Framing Camera observations. The dome of Ahuna Mons is close to the centre of the mosaic, and its high-reflectance areas are steep flanks rich in carbonates and phyllosilicates. b, The isostatic anomaly represented with spherical harmonic degrees l= 5–14 and showing about 50–60 mGal at approximately the same coordinates as Ahuna Mons for the same area as a. Credit: Nature Geoscience (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0378-7 An international team of researchers has found evidence that suggests the large dome found on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres is made of slurry—a mix of salty brine and solid particles. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the group describes their study of data from the Dawn spacecraft and what it revealed.last_img read more

State govt to build 83 lakh houses for the rural poor

first_imgKolkata: The state government has decided to construct 8.30 lakh houses for poorpeople living in the rural areas, under the Banglar Bari project. The houses will be constructed in the current financial year. In the 2018-19 financial year, 5.86 lakh houses have been built under the project, while in the current financial year, another 2.50 lakh houses will be set up. The houses will be built by the Panchayat and Rural Development department. The district magistrates have been asked to prepare a list of beneficiaries. The Central government will bear 60% of the cost, while 40% cost will be borne by the state government. The toilets will be constructed under Mission Nirmal Bangla project. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe area of the houses will be 25 sq metres. There will be one room, a kitchen, a balcony and a toilet in each. It has been decided that in Jangalmahal, the beneficiaries will get Rs 1.30 lakh while their counterparts in other areas will get Rs 1.20 lakh. It may be mentioned that stress has been given on eight districts in this regard, namely South and North 24-Parganas, East and West Midnapore, Howrah, Hooghly, Murshidabad and East Burdwan. The ministry of Rural Development has increased the financial allotment in the current financial year, on the basis of the good performance of the state government in the last financial year. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed that every house will bear the Banglar Bari tag. Under the project, the beneficiaries can decorate the houses on their own. A similar project for the urban poor has also been taken up. Around 8 lakh people living in the city and suburbs will be brought under the scheme. Around Rs 3.75 lakh will be allotted to construct each house under the project.last_img read more

Traffic chaos at busy StokeonTrent crossroads after threecar crash

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA three-car crash is causing traffic chaos at a busy Stoke-on-Trent crossroads. Emergency services were called to Baddeley Green Lane, Baddeley Green, just before 12pm today following reports of a collision. A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service crew from Longton and the West Midlands Ambulance Service are in attendance. A fire service spokesman said: “We were called to reports of a road traffic collision in Baddeley Green Lane, Milton, at around 11.54am. Read More’We don’t want this happening on our road…’ – Stunned residents find their homes cordoned off as cops investigate serious assault on busy Stoke-on-Trent street “One crew from Longton has attended. The collision involved three saloon cars. “Five casualties are currently receiving first aid treatment by paramedics from the ambulance service.” Drivers are being advised to avoid the area at this time as the incident is causing lengthy delays. Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive .last_img read more