San Francisco Giants give three top prospects a late-season promotion

first_imgIt’s been a rough season for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, but the San Francisco Giants’ Double-A affiliate is about to receive a huge infusion of talent.Three of the organization’s top prospects — Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos and Sean Hjelle — have earned late-season promotions from Single-A San Jose to Double-A Richmond, according to a source.Bart, 22, played just 57 games with the San Jose Giants due to a fractured hand that cost him upward of six weeks of games. Bart’s average dipped to .234 …last_img

New Benz to boost auto exports

first_img18 September 2007DaimlerChrysler South Africa (DCSA) has spent approximately R2-billion upgrading its manufacturing plant in East London, which now produces both right- and left-hand drive versions of the latest Mercedes Benz C-Class car for domestic and export markets.The decision demonstrates the confidence that the German-based automaker has in its local unit, which had also been producing right-hand drive versions of the previous C-Class model, for both local sales and for exports to countries like England, Australia and Japan.For the first time, DCSA will manufacture left-hand drive versions of the new C-Class model, dubbed internally as the W204, for export to the United States. East London is one of only three plants globally manufacturing the new C-Class, the other two being Sindelfingen and Bremen in Germany.Speaking at the launch last week, President Thabo Mbeki commended DaimlerChrysler for their investment, which would ensure that the port city became a major manufacturing node.Mbeki said the government was aware of the motor industry’s contribution to the South African economy – currently about 7.5% of gross domestic product (GDP).“Our government has formally taken the decision that in terms of our industrial policy, we must encourage and support the automobile sector as one of the leaders in our process of radical expansion of our manufacturing sector,” he said.New technologiesHighly specialised robots, controlled and monitored by computers, were installed in DCSA’s new plant for laser welding and brazing, high-strength steel welding and structural gluing, while a revamped production line allows for quick and efficient operations.According to DCSA, several of the company’s just-in-time and just-in-sequence suppliers are based in the nearby East London Industrial Development Zone and are linked with the manufacturing plant by a small train.Since the last W203 C-Class car rolled of the production line at the end of February, the electro-coat and primer ovens in the paint shop have been upgraded and a completely new assembly line has been installed.Re-training workersWith some 70% of the welding processes now being carried out by the 230 robots in the bodyshop, existing employees had to be retrained to manage and maintain the robots.DCSA adds that virtually all of its 1 600 employees working on the new C-Class were trained in new skills to support the flexibility concept, which allows for the movement and redeployment of employees capable of building all the options available for the new car.Work at the plant is being carried out in eight-hour shifts, though DCSA chairperson Hansgeorg Niefer states that a good relationship with the relevant trade union gives them more flexibility to extend working hours or add additional shifts should there be a higher demand for the new vehicles.“We have a flexibility agreement in place with the union which will help absorb market fluctuations,” he said. “This type of understanding with Numsa [the National Union of Metalworkers of SA] and our local shop stewards is testimony to the high level of maturity in our relationship with the union.”Commenting on the quality of the luxury car, Mbeki said its class and elegance sent out a message that South Africans were capable of making products of the highest quality.Niefer added the new vehicle was the most technologically advanced product that the company had built at its East London plant.“It is our ticket to the future that has been bought and paid for by many,” he said. “We know that South Africa will reap the rewards of economic growth, skills and technology transfer, supplier development, black economic empowerment, job growth and global respect.”SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

CTICC plans ‘SA’s greenest building’

first_img30 October 2008The Cape Town International Convention Centre and the South African government are at an advanced stage of negotiations on a partnership to expand the hugely successful conference and expo venue, and in the process to create “the greenest building in South Africa”.A comprehensive feasibility and economic impact study of the proposed expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) has been the focus of a team headed by CTICC CEO Rashid Toefy over the past six months.Toefy, who spoke about the expansion at a press conference in Cape Town on Friday, said the construction of a “six-star green building” was an opportunity for the city to provide the kind of global leadership Capetonians could be proud of.“In the context of climate change, sustainable business development and being in a competitive industry, CTICC’s focus must be on minimising its carbon footprint and the environmental impact of any planned expansion,” Toefy said.CTICC Phase 2 – to be located on the site of Customs House on Cape Town’s foreshore – would be built to requirements set by the Green Building Council of South Africa. It would be designed to use 40% less energy per square metre than the present CTICC, consume 95% less potable water, and produce 25% less waste to landfill.Water and energy saving technologiesThe planned 30 000 square metre development, of which 9 500 square metres would be exhibition space, would incorporate state-of-the-art water and energy saving technologies, including special wind turbines to harvest electricity while simultaneously ventilating the parking garages.“We plan to incorporate some of the most progressive environmentally friendly building techniques available, and will set the highest possible international standard in sustainable building design and management,” Toefy said.Reduction in energy would be mainly through the building’s “passive energy design”, extensive use of “daylighting”, and provision of renewable energy using wind and solar.Potable water usage would be reduced mainly through recycling of rainwater and an on-site water treatment system, while the amount of waste being sent to landfill sites would be reduced by providing adequate space for on-site sorting and recycling.A planted green roof would also be provided, as well as bicycle facilities, integrated with planned city cycle routes, for staff and visitors.The business caseMaking the business case for expanding the CTICC, Toefy said there was an “unquestionable need to expand from a purely operational business point of view”, with record occupancy levels pushing the CTICC’s existing space and resources to the limit in 2007/08.The CTICC had also commissioned a study on the impact of the expansion by economists Barry Standish and Anthony Boting of the UCT Graduate School of Business.The report found that the expansion, and the hotel and offices which form part of the project, would result in direct spending in Cape Town of R2.27-billion over an anticipated three years of construction.Spin-offs from the CTICC expansion would contribute in the region of R457-million to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012/13, increasing to more than R1.7-billion a year by 2018.In addition, 513 “direct jobs” and 720 “indirect jobs” would be created in 2012, increasing to 1 276 direct jobs and 1 892 indirect jobs by 2018.Toefy said that all planning was on track and was now dependent on final negotiations with the Department of Public Works, adding that, if successful, this would “result in a unique new partnership in which all three tiers of government – city, provincial and national – have equity in the holding company of the CTICC.”The City of Cape Town currently owns 50.2% of the CTICC and Western Cape provincial government 25.1%. SunWest International is the main private sector shareholder.“If we get the go-ahead in the next three months we could expect building completion in mid-2012,” Toefy said.“The CTICC expansion will not only propel Cape Town into the forefront of sustainable building design and management, but will continue to drive the city’s rise as one of the leading business tourism destinations worldwide.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

A World Cup to remember

first_img12 July 2010The 2010 Fifa World Cup concluded in fine style on Sunday, with the Spanish national side raising the coveted trophy as champions for the first time. As the curtain fell on the historic event, fans reflected on what made the tournament so special for them.Clad in their national colours, Spanish fans celebrated as they left Soccer City stadium for the last time, as victors of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.With tears of joy in his eyes and his hand on his heart, Juan Toral stood with the profile of the stadium behind him, amazed that out of the 64 games, 32 teams and many weeks of football, his team would return home as world champions. “I never thought I would live to see this day,” said Toral. “Tonight we showed the world we are the best, this is a dream come true. Thank you to the people of South Africa.”“It is an amazing day,” said Carlos Cuadrado. “We as the fans of Spain will remember this day and this tournament forever. South Africa will always be special for us, the country will always be in our hearts and minds.”Results aside, many visiting fans have travelled to South Africa for the first time and will return home with fond memories of the hospitable nature of the country.“South Africans have welcomed us all over,” said Spaniard Raul Rodriguez. “It is an incredible country. The atmosphere is fantastic, the landscape is beautiful and people are really friendly. South Africa is on the right path to become a greater country.“I have been very impressed with the support for my team,” Rodriguez added. “I have never seen so many Spanish flags outside of my own country.”For Luiz Goncalves, a Brazilian fan, the hosting of a successful tournament in South Africa has changed his perceptions of the continent. “This is the way a World Cup should be,” Goncalves said. “It has been amazing here, and we hope Brazil can do the same as South Africa and host a great World Cup. I’ve told all my friends back in Brazil that Africa is living la vida loca.”Many fans returning home will offer a different perspective of the host country. “It is not like I read about before coming here,” said Chantal Schinkels, a Dutch fan who has flown to South Africa and followed her team over the last three weeks. “This tournament has changed the view around Africa and South Africa. People have enjoyed it around the world, and I have heard only positive news in the press. This is something I will tell my grandchildren about.”The Fifa World Cup is the pinnacle of international football and as such the tournament offers fans the unique experience of seeing so many stars performing at the highest level.“This final marks our twentieth game in the tournament and I have loved the football,” said local resident Dicky Naiker. “To see players such as Torres and Drogba playing here in South Africa makes us proud. Them coming here, to our country, is mind blowing. I hope the World Cup comes back in my lifetime.”For Zimbabwean national Aaron Chinhara, the World Cup has renewed his love for Africa. “Today I am proud to be African. Throughout this tournament we have seen people from all races, tribes, creeds mingling together nicely. This is a step ahead. We are no longer the continent of disease and poverty, but the continent of joy, happiness and good.”Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

USDA launches second round of trade mitigation payments

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this week launched the second and final round of trade mitigation payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. Producers of certain commodities will now be eligible to receive Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments for the second half of their 2018 production.“The President reaffirmed his support for American farmers and ranchers and made good on his promise, authorizing the second round of payments to be made in short order. While there have been positive movements on the trade front, American farmers are continuing to experience losses due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. This assistance will help with short-term cash flow issues as we move into the new year,” Perdue said.Secretary Perdue announced in July that USDA would act to aid farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation. President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to help protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets to help American farmers compete globally. In September, USDA initiated three programs to aid American agriculture in sustaining the short-term damages associated with the trade disputes and securing long-term, stable export markets.USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has been administering MFP to provide the first payments to almond, corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, fresh sweet cherry, and wheat producers since September 2018 for the first 50% of their 2018 production.USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is administering a food purchase and distribution program to purchase up to $1.2 billion in commodities unfairly targeted by unjustified retaliation. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is distributing these commodities through nutrition assistance programs, such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program and child nutrition programs. So far, USDA has procured some portion of 16 of the 29 commodities included in the program, totaling more than 4,500 truckloads of food. AMS will continue purchasing commodities for delivery throughout 2019.Through the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program, $200 million is being made available to develop foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products. The program will help U.S. agricultural exporters identify and access new markets and help mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ restrictions. The application period closed in November with more than $600 million in requested activities from more than 70 organizations. FAS will announce ATP funding awards in early January.Market Facilitation ProgramProducers need only sign-up once for the MFP to be eligible for the first and second payments. The MFP sign-up period opened in September and runs through January 15, 2019, with information and instructions provided at www.farmers.gov/mfp. Producers must complete an application by January 15, 2019 but have until May 1, 2019 to certify their 2018 production. The MFP provides payments to almond, cotton, corn, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, fresh sweet cherry, and wheat producers who have been significantly impacted by actions of foreign governments resulting in the loss of traditional exports. The MFP is established under the statutory authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation CCC Charter Act and is under the administration of USDA’s FSA. Eligible producers should apply after harvest is complete, as payments will only be issued once production is reported.For farmers who have already applied, completed harvest, and certified their 2018 production, a second payment will be issued on the remaining 50 percent of the producer’s total production, multiplied by the MFP rate for the specific commodity.The Market Facilitation Program provides 1 cent per bushel for corn, 12 cents per hundredweight for milk, $8 for pork, $1.65 per bushel for soybeans, and 14 cents per bushel for wheat. MFP payments are limited to a combined $125,000 for corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, and wheat capped per person or legal entity. MFP payments are also limited to a combined $125,000 for dairy and hog producers. Applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of less than $900,000. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.The help is appreciated, but the efforts do not completely compensate for the losses from trade.“Farmers of all crops have felt the impact of trade tariffs,” said Lynn Chrisp, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “NCGA appreciates the progress the administration has made to advance ethanol, reach a new agreement with Mexico and Canada and move forward on negotiations with Japan, but the benefits of these efforts will take time to materialize and farmers are hurting now.”“One cent per bushel is woefully inadequate to even begin to cover the losses being felt by corn farmers. USDA did not take into account the reality that many of our farmers are facing.”In a Nov. 19 letter to USDA Secretary Perdue, Chrisp stressed the disappointment around USDA’s approach to calculating MFP payments. Many farmers felt it was too narrow in scope and did not capture real-time impacts of trade disruptions. NCGA called on USDA to add ethanol and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to the calculation of damages for corn, roughly $254 million. The organization also asked that farmers who suffered production losses from disasters be allowed to use an alternative to 2018 production for their MFP calculation, ensuring those suffering losses from natural disasters would not be penalized twice. These requests were repeated in subsequent conversations between NCGA and administration officials but ultimately ignored in USDA’s final payment calculation for round two. According to an NCGA-commissioned economic analysis, corn farmers suffered a 44 cent per bushel loss in the price of corn from the beginning of May, right before tariffs were announced, through July, when tariffs were implemented. Based on USDA yield averages and acres of corn planted, that amounts to a $6.3 billion loss to corn farmers.last_img read more

10 months agoSolskjaer on hefty bonuses at Man Utd

first_imgSolskjaer on hefty bonuses at Man Utdby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on hefty bonuses if he can lead the team to success.Solskjaer is on-loan at United from Molde.And the Mirror says according to sources in Norway, Solskjaer will be in the money if he delivers silverware or qualifies for Europe.He is earning £1m, but qualification for either the Champions League or Europa League will net him a seven-figure bonus, while winning a cup will earn a £1m payday.However, should he become the next permanent boss at Old Trafford Molde are set to benefit to the tune of £8m in a managerial transfer fee. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

10 months agoPSG to make opening offer for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say PSG to make opening offer for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramseyby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSG are making an opening offer for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.The Mirror says PSG are keen on a £9million January move for Ramsey.The Arsenal midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season after the north Londoners withdrew their offer of a new contract this season.The French champions are ready to move for him when the transfer window reopens to head off interest from Juventus and Bayern Munich.PSG want to strengthen their midfield options with Adrien Rabiot expected to move to leave the club either in January or next summer. last_img

8 days agoMan Utd teenager Williams signs new contract

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Man Utd teenager Williams signs new contractby Freddie Taylor8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United have tied down Brandon Williams to a new contract.The promising teenager was impressive on debut in the Europa League draw with AZ Alkmaar last month.The new deal will keep him at United until June 2022, with the option to extend for a further year.Speaking after the AZ result, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was full of praise for the young fullback.”You won’t see a better full debut from a full back anywhere,” the Red Devils coach said.”The boy is just going to improve and improve. He’s got the right mentality. I’m very pleased for him.” last_img

Calgary Canada Post workers might not strike for long

first_imgCALGARY (660 NEWS) – Even though rolling strikes are hitting Calgary, Red Deer, and Sherbrooke, Quebec, the work stoppage might not last long for Canada Post employees.“With a mediator there, I’m hoping that he’ll be able to have the issues resolved.”Anna Beale, the Executive VP of the Calgary Local for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) says ideally the strike could be settled by Thursday afternoon.Workers first hit the picket line Wednesday night in the three cities, and continued Thursday at 6 a.m., and will remain on strike for 24 hours unless the matter can be resolved.Despite the optimism, there is still a lot on the table, with CUPW demanding Canada Post address their concerns over health and safety, long hours, and lack of pay for rural mail carriers.Strikes happened for two days in Toronto, which crippled their main distribution centre.Beale knows customers might be frustrated.“The public has stood behind Canada post for over 150 years, and we are there for the Canadian public as well, because it’s the Canadian public that enables us to have jobs at Canada Post.”Negotiations have gone on for 10 months now.The federal government appointed the mediator on Wednesday.last_img read more

BC premier denies crisis says one investment doesnt make an economy

first_imgKinder Morgan announced Sunday it was stopping all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, saying opposition from the B.C. government puts the project at risk. It has set a deadline of May 31 for talks with various stakeholders to reach an agreement that could allow the project to proceed.“All of a sudden when the shareholders in Texas issue a press release there’s a constitutional crisis,” Horgan said.The government announced in February that it will ask the court to decided if it has the right to protect its environment by restricting diluted bitumen in the Trans Mountain pipeline. The decisions to refer the matter to the courts prompted Alberta to suspend a ban on wine imports from B.C.“What we’re talking about here is the province of B.C. going to court to assert our jurisdiction and protect the interests of British Columbians,” Horgan told the legislature. “We said in an election campaign a year ago this is what we would do.”He said B.C. is in court to defend its coast and its interests from a project that will triple bitumen shipments from Alberta to Burnaby and increase tanker traffic seven-fold in B.C. waters.Horgan said he spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on Sunday and told both leaders to build more oil refineries instead of pipelines. VICTORIA, B.C. — British Columbia Premier John Horgan showed no signs Monday of backing down on the battle over the Kinder Morgan pipeline, rejecting widespread claims his government’s challenge of the $7.4 billion project is hurting the economy and tearing apart the country.His tone ran from calm to exasperated during a 30-minute question period in the legislature where the Opposition Liberals accused his government of hurting investor confidence, ignoring the rule of law and picking an unwinnable fight with Alberta and the federal government.“One investment project does not an economy make,” said Horgan, adding B.C. has the lowest jobless rate in Canada and a solid credit rating. “The premier stands alone in his opinions,” he told the legislature. “Is this burgeoning fiasco his definition of success?”Wilkinson urged Horgan to meet with the prime minister to resolve the dispute and ensure certainty for the federally-approved project.Greg D’Avignon, president of the B.C. Business Council, said the government’s decision to prolong the process threatens the credibility of the country’s regulatory and project approval systems.British Columbia’s Chamber of Commerce said the implications of the decision by Kinder Morgan are “seismic,” and if this project can’t be built it will show the world that government approvals count for nothing.Opposition to the pipeline has ramped up in recent weeks, with several dozen people arrested near the Burnaby marine terminal in the last month.Trudeau said last week in Victoria the pipeline will be built.By Dirk MeissnerTHE CANADIAN PRESScenter_img “That would be leadership,” he said.Notley said Monday she told Horgan in a telephone call that B.C.’s opposition to the pipeline threatens the rule of law in Canada and she made it clear her province will retaliate.Notley said she will introduce legislation this week to give Alberta the power to reduce oil flows to B.C., which could send gas prices in the province soaring.Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson said Horgan’s reckless pipeline battle ignores the law, creates uncertainty and tears at the fabric of the nation.last_img read more