first_img[Video: Farm Aid]Headline photo courtesy of Brian Bruner/Bruner Photo. Videos courtesy of Farm Aid.Words by Sarah Bourque On Saturday, September 22, 2018, Farm Aid came to Xfinity Center in Hartford, CT. Before the sold-out event began for 24,000 fans, festival organizers held a press conference to talk about the current state of affairs in the farming community. Founder Willie Nelson joined co-founders John Mellencamp and Neil Young on stage, along with Dave Matthews, who has been a board member since 2001.Connecticut’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Steven Reviczky, kicked off the press conference stating that “this crisis is real. 93% of dairy produced has been lost since 1973. 500 family farms lost. Connecticut has 100 dairy farms.” On that note, local farmers from throughout the state spoke of their current situation.Joe Greenbacker of Fort Hill Farms put it simply by stating, “We’re tired of working for no money.”Blue Hills Orchard’s president, Eric Henry, indicated that “every avenue we have to make money is a good thing. Farming in New England is pretty tough. You see land being lost all the time. To keep the farms that we have is crucial. That’s key. Why would you want to lose that?”A once-empty acre of a concrete lot in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is now home to Reservoir Community Farm. Alexis Martin stated that “it’s basically an acre of land that was built from the ground up. The youth program is eight weeks long, and kids from Bridgeport can come and learn. They learn that they have options other than the corner store.”The major names behind Farm Aid also spoke at the press conference. Nelson was very to the point, noting that “everyone should be very concerned about who does their food. I would hope most of it comes from our local farmers.”Mellencamp was pissed off and noted that his song “Rain On The Scarecrow” was inspired due to the state of the farm economy. He explained,That’s how I met Willie [Nelson]. The admiration is bullshit now. Having the farms having to deal with some madman’s trade habits, fuck that. Big companies run all these radio stations. You’re going to hear corporate bullshit. We’re going to eat corporate bullshit, and we’re governed by corporate bullshit. If you don’t vote we’re going to get shit, which is what we’ve got right now.Young reflected his passion on the matter with strong words that he hoped would stick and drove that point home by stating thatYou should never drive by a farmer’s market without going in and taking part in humanity. I’m Canadian, and I love America. There’s nothing here that needs to be made great again. The corporate farmers suck. They’re poisoning you. Their food is bad. You can stop this if you stand up. Don’t support it. Just don’t drive by another farmer’s market ever again without buying something. Please don’t abandon the farmers of America. Do whatever you have to do. Vote. Buy an orange. Buy something.Matthews followed the same theme, as he went on to say,It is unfathomable in a country that has as much as we have, that has the richest people in droves, that we can still look at ourselves and say we’re the greatest nation on the planet when we have people that are going hungry. When we have people that have to go five miles to get to a grocery store is crazy. Our tax dollars should go to people that are starting urban farms. Our tax dollars should be supporting people that are growing good food.After the hour-plus press conference on stage, doors opened and attendees started to stream in. The venue was packed with fans coming from as far away as Florida, New Jersey, and all points in between. As expected, Willie Nelson opened up the day’s musical event alongside the Wisdom Indian Dancers before Ian Mellencamp took to the stage on acoustic guitar, followed by Particle Kid. It eased fans into the day as they continued to stream into the venue under gorgeous blue skies.Throughout the day, attendees had the chance to learn more about farming and the state of the industry by exploring the interactive exhibits that were available in the “Homegrown Village.” Groups from across the nation provided learning experiences regarding soil, water, energy, and food within this area. At the FarmYard stage within the Village, musicians who performed on the main stage joined local farmers on various discussions. Ian Mellencamp spoke in the panel regarding diversity and told listeners to “get to know your local artists just as you should get to know your local farmers. Art, music, and good food go so well together.”During every performance, enormous screens behind and to the sides of the stage showed stunning photos that continuously changed. Everything farm related, from gorgeous fields of flowers to barns to farm equipment, was seamlessly splashed on the screens, creating a striking backdrop that quietly reminded the audience of the importance of the day’s event.Back at the main stage, the music moved at a quick pace. Afternoon sets featured Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Margo Price, and Jamey Johnson. Johnson was no stranger to the event as this was his eleventh appearance at Farm Aid. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats captivated the crowd with a steamy, energetic set, with Margo Price and Lukas Nelson joining in to wrap things up with a cover of The Band’s “The Shape I’m In.” The angelic vocals of Kacey Musgraves were simply as Nashville as her, and the band was decked out in classy blue outfits.As the sun started to set, the performance time for each artist became lengthier. Sturgill Simpson bounded onto the stage with an energy that just wouldn’t quit. Grammy-winning Chris Stapleton had the crowd charged up, with fans wasting no time belting out the lyrics to “Tennessee Whiskey” at the end of his set. Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds gave an impressive acoustic performance that included heavy hitters such as “#41”, “Ants Marching”, and “Don’t Drink the Water.”Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds – “Don’t Drink The Water”[Video: Farm Aid]John Mellencamp continued to keep the Farm Aid crowd spirited as he reached into the catalog and busted out some of his greatest hits. “Small Town”, “Jack & Diane”, and the song that started his journey on the path for farmers, “Rain On the Scarecrow”, had the entire venue singing along to the lyrics. At times, Mellencamp would back away from the mic and let the audience take over a tune. Over 20,000 people singing along to his songs visibly impressed Mellencamp as he surveyed the crowd while they sang.Neil Young was joined by Promise of the Real, and they did not disappoint. With such a passion for the Farm Aid cause, Young maintained his stance and took the time to repeatedly remind the crowd to shop at farmers’ markets and help the small-town farmers. His set graced the entirety of his legendary career, varying from “Show Me,” “Heart of Gold”, to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Ohio,” and featured the live debut performance of “Children of Destiny.”Neil Young & Promise Of The Real – “Heart Of Gold”[Video: Farm Aid]Willie Nelson bookended the music by closing out the event with his set in annual fashion. Lukas and Micah joined their father on stage to back him during his set, which included heavy favorites “Whiskey River”, “On The Road Again”, and the Brenda Lee cover “Always On My Mind.” A tip of the hat was made to Waylon Jennings with a performance of “Good Hearted Woman”, and Nelson also performed several Hank Williams covers, including “Hey Good Lookin’”. Neil Young took to the stage and helped close out the show as the event wrapped up with “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” and the Albert Brumley cover of “I’ll Fly Away.”The event that sold out in four hours was a huge success in Connecticut. For more information on how you can donate to farmers in need, please visit Farm Aid’s official website.Willie Nelson & Family – “Always On My Mind”last_img read more

first_imgBy Dialogo January 21, 2010 Following a request from the United Nations to increase its peace forces in Haiti, Brazilian army officials claim they are prepared to send an additional 1,300 troops, which would double their presence. The decision must be approved by the national congress. According to Brazil’s Defense Ministry, before last week’s earthquake, 1,266 Brazilians were part of the UN Stabilizing Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), created in 2004 after the ousting of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Since 2004, a total of 13,323 Brazilian soldiers have served in Haiti. The ones who will be deployed to reinforce the latest mission will be picked from that group. Nelson Jobim, Brazil’s defense minister, says Brazil’s armed forces will remain in Haiti for at least another five years. The Brazilian government also approved sending close to US$20 million (R$35 million) in aid to Haiti. Brazil’s military presence in Haiti is the largest such force deployed overseas since World War II. Brazil will replace its troops every six months, and those deployed to the Caribbean nation will be because they volunteered. Brazil has been in charge of the MINUSTAH’s military command since the operation started. The Brazilian military contingency is the largest of the 17 countries that have sent troops to Haiti. The UN authorized the entire number of peacekeepers to be increased to 8,940 military troops and 3,711 police officers on Jan. 19. The police command is under the supervision of Canada, while France is in charge of the civilian command. Since 2004, Brazil has contributed about R$703 million (US$397 million) to the MINUSTAH, out of which the United Nations has been reimbursed R$288 million (US$163 million). Antonio Jorge Ramalho, a professor at Brasília University’s school of international relations, says Brazil’s commitment to Haiti demonstrates it wants to be part of creating a new world order. “Brazil’s diplomatic discourse has always featured this desire to take responsibility in the international community,” Ramalho says. “However, this had not materialized until the [creation of the] MINUSTAH. This time, Brazil has set its discourse into practice.” Ramalho says on previous occasions, such as the reconstruction of East Timor in 1999, Brazil’s role in the United Nation’s peace mission was smaller than anticipated, largely because of the country’s economic crisis. The increase of Brazil’s efforts in Haiti also falls within the foreign policy goals set forth by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s government of increasing involvement in developing countries. Lula became president in 2003, a year before MINUSTAH was created. The Brazilian armed forces are distributed throughout Haiti. The Brazilian presence is considered essential to reducing criminal activity in Cité Soleil, the Haitian gang-controlled slum that’s home to 300,000. Besides patrolling the streets, the military is helping to rebuild streets and harbors. Last week’s earthquake did away with many of MINUSTAH’s achievements. But in Ramalho‘s opinion, the mission is not exactly starting from scratch. “It’s not a total reversal,” Ramalho says. “There was loss of human life and infrastructure, but we can also look at the earthquake as an opportunity. The infrastructure, for instance, can be rebuilt with the most advanced technology.” At least 18 Brazilian soldiers have died in Haiti’s earthquake, in addition to at least three civilians. According the United Nations’ Web site, 46 of its mission workers from different nationalities, have died as a result of the earthquake, with 26 sustaining injury. The UN’s approved budget for all of MINUSTAH’s operations for July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 is US$ 611,750 million.last_img read more

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

first_img“This is not a drill,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters. “This epidemic is a threat for every country, rich and poor.”Tedros called on the heads of government in every country to take charge of the response and “coordinate all sectors”, rather than leaving it to health ministries.What is needed, he said, is “aggressive preparedness.”In the United States, the largest nursing union said a survey of thousands of nurses at hospitals showed “truly disturbing” results.”They show that a large percentage of our nation’s hospitals are unprepared to safely handle COVID-19,” said Jane Thomason, a hygiene specialist with the union.Nurses are working without necessary personal protective equipment and lack education and training for handling the disease, said National Nurses United director Bonnie Castillo. The epidemic has wreaked havoc on international business, tourism, sports events, and schools, with almost 300 million students sent home worldwide.Even religion is affected: The Vatican said Pope Francis may have to change his schedule, tourists have been barred from Bethlehem, and Saudi Arabia emptied Islam’s holiest site in Mecca to sterilize it.China — where the virus emerged late last year — still accounts for the majority of cases and deaths, but infections are now rising faster abroad, with South Korea, Iran and Italy major hotspots.The World Health Organization warned Thursday that a “long list” of countries were not showing “the level of political commitment” needed to “match the level of the threat we all face”. World health officials have warned that countries are not taking the coronavirus crisis seriously enough, as outbreaks surged across Europe and in the United States where medical workers sounded warnings over a “disturbing” lack of hospital preparedness.Global markets tumbled again over concerns about the impact on the economy and as countries took more drastic steps to prevent contagion of a disease that has killed over 3,300 people and infected nearly 100,000 in some 85 nations.Cases soared in Italy, France, Greece, and Iran, while a cruise ship was held offshore in California to test passengers showing symptoms of the disease — echoing a harrowing episode in Japan several weeks ago that saw hundreds infected on a luxury liner. Topics :center_img China imports cases Cases in China have gradually fallen as tens of millions of people remain under strict quarantine to contain the virus.But fresh infections rose for a second consecutive day on Friday, with 143 new cases, and 30 more deaths.China’s death toll now stands at 3,042 with over 80,500 infections.Beijing faces a new concern with the number of cases imported from abroad rising to 36.But cases are increasing faster in other countries.Italy, which has the biggest outbreak in Europe, has ordered schools and universities shut until March 15, and on Thursday reported a sharp rise in deaths, bringing the total to 148.France also reported a steep jump in cases, bringing its total to 423 with seven deaths, as President Emmanuel Macron warned the country was heading towards an “inevitable” epidemic.Italy unveiled a 7.5-billion-euro ($8.4-billion) economic rescue plan while South Korea — the world’s second largest hotspot after China — has proposed an extra budget of $9.9 billion.Stock markets in Asia were sharply down on Friday, with Tokyo losing more than 3.0 percent by the break, following another sell-off on Wall Street as traders fret about the economic fallout from the disease. Countries spend The US Congress passed an emergency $8.3 billion spending bill to combat the coronavirus on Thursday as the number of cases surged in the country’s northwest and deaths reached 12.More than 180 people are infected in the United States.But President Donald Trump has downplayed the risk, saying the WHO’s conclusion of a 3.4 percent mortality rate was “false”.Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of health, estimated the death rate at “somewhere between 0.1 percent and one percent” — closer to the seasonal flu — due to a high number of unreported cases.Passengers on a cruise ship stranded off the coast of San Francisco were confined to their cabins Thursday as tests were conducted to determine if any of the nearly 3,500 guests and crew had contracted the new coronavirus.Health officials sounded the alarm after two passengers who had been on board during a previous voyage between San Francisco and Mexico later fell ill and one of them died. The Grand Princess belongs to Princess Cruises, the company that operated the Diamond Princess — the coronavirus-stricken ship held off Japan last month from which more than 700 people tested positive and six died.last_img read more

first_imgUnder the proposed indexation rules, pension funds can grant inflation compensation if they do so “sustainably”.As a rule of thumb, this would be one-tenth of a scheme’s financial buffers exceeding 110%, according to Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs.Currently, pension funds can start indexing if their funding is more than 105%.Keijmel added that a low discount rate was beneficial for the future pensions of younger workers.He argued it was impossible to establish in advance which generation would benefit or suffer from the current FTK proposals.“The FTK offers sufficient steering instruments for a balanced approach of the various generations,” he said.He also noted that the FTK was not about disputed elements such as the average contribution, or freedom of choice for pension arrangements.“These issues are to be discussed during the society-wide dialogue about the future of the system,” he said.But Keijmel does not believe the FTK is perfect, citing the fact a pension fund cannot adjust its risk profile whilst subject to a recovery plan, as well as too strict rules for indexation and reversing previous rights discounts.He said the proposed increase in financial buffers to counter credit risk might lead to additional system risks, as this would make investing in “safe” long-term governments bonds, Dutch mortgages and loans to small and medium-sized businesses more attractive.Keijmel also argued that the hedging of interest risk should be a policy decision made by a pension fund, rather than prescribed by the assessment framework.He said he expected Parliament to discuss the FTK proposals after the end of October.The new FTK is scheduled to come into force from 1 January 2015, but Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs, has already indicated that some elements of the legislation will be introduced later. The Netherlands’ new financial assessment framework (FTK) will generally be positive for the Dutch pensions industry, and the drop in indexation resulting from the legislation will not be as great as many industry experts predict, according to Mercer.Speaking at a Mercer seminar for pension funds, actuary Sasja Keijmel argued that, with an interest level of 2-2.5% and a return on investments of 6-7%, coverage ratios would improve by up to 5% every year.“Rising interest rates will also help getting closer to indexation,” said Keijmel, who underlined that extra returns would be a condition for inflation compensation anyway.He further noted that the new FTK would have a limited impact on pension funds’ indexation tables, “as most start granting indexation with a funding of more than 110%”.last_img read more

first_imgOil and gas services firm Plexus has been awarded a contract for the provision POS-GRIP high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) adjustable rental exploration wellhead equipment to Rosneft.Plexus said on Thursday that the contract was awarded by Rosneft TNK Vietnam B.V., a subsidiary of the Russian oil and gas company.The company added that the contract award was in a new country and a new territory for Plexus and represented an expansion from the North Sea.Plexus’ CEO, Ben Van Bilderbeek, said: “It is always encouraging to secure a first contract with a new customer, particularly one of the caliber and strategic importance as Rosneft Vietnam, a subsidiary of one of the largest oil and gas majors in the world.“In the past, we have found that once the superior features of our equipment in terms of performance, reliability and safety, along with the significant time and cost savings it offers are experienced first-hand out in the field, new customers become long-standing ones as further contracts are awarded.  We are therefore hopeful that this will be the case with Rosneft Vietnam and that, thanks to Rosneft’s important standing in Russia and the CIS, this inaugural contract bodes well for us and our Russian licensing partner Gusar in terms of raising the profile of our technology in that region.“Russia and the CIS is just one of a number of territories we are targeting as we look to expand outside of our traditional heartland in the North Sea. We see the Middle East, India, Gulf of Mexico, and Asia as strategically important regions for Plexus and it is therefore pleasing to have won this contract in Vietnam, which extends our footprint in Asia.”last_img read more

first_imgStuff 5 July 2018Family First Comment: “Cannabis has proven medical benefits in treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children, chemotherapy-induced nausea and multiple sclerosis. Treatment of chronic pain was considered another promising area – BUT the study, published in Lancet Public Health on Tuesday, may deflate hopes.”  #factsmatterwww.saynopetodope.nzCannabis’ medical benefits have suffered a serious blow, with a major study finding it does almost nothing to help people with chronic pain.The study, one of the largest and most in depth ever done on the drug’s medical use, found cannabis does not cut pain, nor does it help sufferers replace opioids. And users seem to suffer higher levels of anxiety overall.Cannabis has proven medical benefits in treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children, chemotherapy-induced nausea and multiple sclerosis.Treatment of chronic pain was considered another promising area – but the study, published in Lancet Public Health on Tuesday, may deflate hopes.“We found no evidence that cannabis use improved patient outcomes,” the researchers wrote in Lancet.The study raises questions for several stakeholders including political leaders such as premier of the Australian state of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, who have thrown their weight behind legalising the drug, and Australia’s medical cannabis entrepreneurs, who have already made sharemarket fortunes before getting a drug to market.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

first_imgRichmond, In. — The Reid Health Community Benefit program recently awarded $155,075 in grants to programs designed to improve mental health and fight substance abuse in the first grant cycle of 2018.Community benefit is the basis of the tax-exempt status of not-for-profit hospitals.  Community benefit is defined as programs or activities that improve access to health services, enhance public health, advance increased general knowledge, and/or relieve the burden of government to improve health.In addition to grants, the Reid Health Community Benefit sponsors various programs focused on community health.  Int he area of access to care, Reid Health Community Benefit initiated a dental clinic focused on serving those with little or no dental coverage.  Community benefit funds support Claim Aid to assist individuals in applying for health insurance plans or Reid’s financial assistance when necessary.  Access to care also includes the shortfall of the cost of care rendered to those who have Medicaid coverage.  Reid has continued to support community health clinics, such as Siloam Clinic and Hope Center with processing of lab services and providing supplies necessary for operations.To address substance abuse and mental health needs, Reid has provided Narcan kits and training to first responders to prevent death from opioid overdose, containers to dispose of needles for police departments, and participated in efforts to reduce the incidence of babies being born addicted to drugs.  Along with many other community agencies’ support, Reid has been involved in the efforts of the community group focused on the “Herion is Here” initiative designed to increase awareness of drug abuse and its devastating effects.Reid has supported programs addressing physical activity, nutrition and weight such as athletic training services to community schools, community screenings, cooking classes, health fairs, support groups, Reid Healthier Wellness club and provided support for many health education events.last_img read more

first_img Press Association Scotland need to get at least a point against Poland on Thursday to keep their play-off hopes alive while the Republic host Germany. And Bonner is convinced both teams could be on the plane to France if Scotland beat second-placed Poland. “It’s really difficult to call,” said Bonner, who has just released his autobiography, The Last Line. “We are four points ahead but Scotland know if they can get a result against Poland then we could struggle against Germany and it goes down to the last game. “I do think Scotland could get something against Poland. Ireland did it in the Aviva and there’s no reason why Scotland couldn’t. (Robert) Lewandowski is going through the time of his life but with the fans behind them and the passion that Hampden can produce, the players can do it. “Ireland need a good performance against Germany. If we take something from that it would be a miracle because they are a good team, but we need a performance to take us into the last game. “If Poland go into that game needing a result then they could be very nervous and we have nothing to lose. We got something in Germany and there’s no reason why we can’t go to Poland and get something. “I have played against Poland many times and we have always been able to do something against them. Yes, they have some quality players but Ireland fight and they will fight to the end. They have shown in this group that they are never beaten.” Bonner has been recalling his spells on the big stage when writing his book. “It was life-changing,” the 55-year-old said. “When we qualified for the European Championship in ’88, we needed a bit of luck from Scotland, Gary Mackay scoring the goal that helped us qualify. Bonner became an Irish hero when he kept a clean sheet in his country’s first game at a major tournament – their 1-0 win over England in Germany in 1988 – and cemented his status when his penalty save from Romania’s Daniel Timofte helped send them into the World Cup quarter-finals two years later. The former Celtic player, who is still based in Glasgow, is watching the climax of Group D very closely with both his native country and adopted land still vying for qualification for the European Championship finals in France. Former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Pat Bonner believes both his former team and Scotland can taste the “life-changing” experience of playing in a major finals next summer. “But that was the start of it for us under Jack Charlton, giving us the confidence to take on the world. That first game against England in the European Championship changed my life. “The World Cup in 1990, saving the penalty, again changed my life. All for the good. The way that captured the nation, I’m talking about it 25 years later and everyone knows exactly where they were. “Everybody I speak to in Donegal says ‘I was here, I was there’, and they can tell you who they were with. That’s the power of that emotion. When it’s good it sticks in your mind and you never forget it. “That’s what international football can do for a country and I would love to see Ireland and Scotland getting there again and getting success when they’re there. “If we get there first and foremost, both of us, then it would be fantastic and to do well the whole country will get behind it. “There’s no better thing than having people coming up to you and thanking you for what you have done for them.” Bonner’s book tells the story of a teenager who moved from Donegal to Glasgow to embark on a 20-year career with Celtic. “It’s been a fantastic journey, sometimes stressful when you have to dig into certain areas where you don’t want to go,” he said at Celtic Park. “But I have enjoyed looking back and I love looking back at my time in Donegal and the early years here and the 1980s, which was a really good time.” last_img read more

first_imgOfficials in Miami are currently investigating a bomb threat that was been reported at the Lotus House Women’s Shelter.According to the report, authorities responded to the shelter between Northwest 15th Street and Second Avenue around 10:00 am Tuesday.Not much is known at this time, however, the building has been evacuated as authorities continue to evaluate the extent of the threat.This is a developing story.last_img