Advertisement Keanu Reeves is joining the “Toy Story” universe.Appearing on “The Tonight Show” on Wednesday, Tim Allen teased the upcoming “Toy Story 4”, revealing that the John Wick actor will appear in the film playing a mysterious new character. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement “Keanu Reeves has got a great part,” Allen said. “Actually, a little inside story, even [Reeves] said — gentle, wonderful guy that he is — ‘This sounds too much like Buzz Lightyear.’ And his character does have an edge to that. And the guy said, ‘So we calmed him down a little bit,’ and they reminded me his toy is only that big.”The first two teaser trailers for “Toy Story 4” have already revealed several new characters, including Forky, voiced by Tony Hale, and two plush animals — Ducky and Bunny — played by Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael-Key.“Toy Story 4” will be out in theatres June 21, 2019. Login/Register With: Facebook Twitter
Eight new paramedics and two new ambulances coming to the Peace RegionEight new paramedics and two new ambulances coming to the Peace Region
FORT ST JOHN, B.C. – B.C. Emergency Health Services announced today that eight new paramedic positions and two new ambulances will be coming to Fort St John and Dawson Creek later this year. Currently, both communities have been staffed by a mixture of full-time and on-call paramedics. BCEHS says the addition of eight new paramedics will allow for a more stable staffing model in Northeastern BC. “This investment will help improve access to care for people living in the Peace Region,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “These additional ambulances and full-time positions will help strengthen health-care services the community counts on, and make sure paramedics are there when people need them.”In addition to the eight full-time positions, the two new ambulances will help make sure resources are available to respond to medical 9-1-1 emergencies and will be available to assist with scheduled hospital transfers. The new ambulances will also be able to assist the nearby communities of Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge and Hudson’s Hope when needed.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco Sign Agreement on Visa ExemptionBosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco Sign Agreement on Visa Exemption
Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzegovina and Morocco signed, on Wednesday in Sarajevo, an agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, service or special passports.The agreement was signed by Bosnian Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak and Moroccan ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia Moulay Abbes Kadiri.In a speech on the occasion, Igor Crnadak expressed his country determination to develop friendship relations with Morocco given the Kingdom’s assets and potentials which helped it to have a special status in international relations. Moulay Abbes Kadiri highlighted Morocco’s ongoing efforts to strengthen relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and recalled that this agreement comes after the judiciary, economic and commercial agreements between the two countries.
RBC CEO Dave McKay says battleground for financial institutions is dataRBC CEO Dave McKay says battleground for financial institutions is data
TORONTO — Royal Bank of Canada’s chief executive says data is the battleground for banks that will determine the future success of financial institutions.Dave McKay said during a speech in Toronto on Monday that in the past banks needed economies of scale to succeed, but due to technological advances, they will need data scale in the future.He added during the Sibos banking and financial conference that technology platforms have created ecosystems which have a deep understanding of the customer’s life.McKay said over the next few years, banks will have to decide how they’re going to compete — which may require a rethink of their core value strategies.He also pointed to the potential of artificial intelligence and blockchain, and said banks will have to adapt and evolve further and faster than they have in the past.McKay’s comments came as RBC announced a partnership with J.P. Morgan and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. to launch the Interbank Information Network, which uses blockchain to facilitate easier global payments.“For banks, like every other business, the battleground will be data. Whereas in the past banks needed economic scale to succeed, in the future they will also need data scale,” he said.“This can be gained through existing franchises, or increasingly through strategic partnerships, and the use of open APIs, to enable them to create a platform effect.”
HBC withholding info in deceptivepricing probe Competition Commissioner saysHBC withholding info in deceptivepricing probe Competition Commissioner says
TORONTO — The Commissioner of Competition has accused Hudson’s Bay Co. of possibly withholding tens of thousands of documents in a case of alleged deceptive pricing practices, but the department store chain said the commissioner’s request is irrelevant and too broad.The commissioner filed a request to the Competition Tribunal to require HBC to produce documents related to its pricing practices of mattress and box spring sets, as well as other products from February 2015 until now.The request asked the tribunal to strike HBC’s response from the record should it fail to produce the documents within 10 days.HBC says it has strong shareholder support for Rhone Capital investment dealHBC says Competition Bureau’s mattress pricing probe has cost it US$425,000HBC responded by asking the tribunal to dismiss the commissioner’s motion on the basis that the documents from the time frame are not relevant and the request for that many documents within 10 days is too broad, unreasonable and unrealistic.HBC said it would be a considerable burden to comply and the company has already spent more than US$425,000 to gather 37,000 documents from different dates for the commissioner.In February, the Competition Bureau accused the department store chain of misleading consumers over sleep set prices since at least March 2013 — a claim HBC disputes. The proceedings are ongoing.“We take compliance with all laws and regulations very seriously, and we believe our mattress pricing process is fair, competitive and in line with industry standards and the Competition Act,” HBC said in a statement.
Government accused of failing to probe crimes related to warGovernment accused of failing to probe crimes related to war
An investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights andrelated crimes by both parties to Sri Lanka’s armed conflict was undertaken by theUnited Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in2014. The Government has been accused of failing to investigate serious crimes related to the war.Amnesty International said that while the Government has made some progress establishing mechanisms towards ensuring truth and reparation for victims, it has thus far failed to take effective measures towards investigating the alleged crimes and, where sufficient admissible evidence exists, prosecuting those accused of responsibility. The report of the investigation published in 2015 sets out credibleallegations that war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity were committedby the Sri Lankan army, including enforced disappearance, torture, directing attacksagainst civilian objects (including hospitals) and civilians not taking part inhostilities, and extra-judicial killings of surrendering combatants.In 2015 the Government of Sri Lanka co-sponsored United Nations Human RightsCouncil resolution 30/1 which called for “effective security sector reforms as partof its transitional justice process” and endorsed the Sri Lankan Government’s proposal “to establish a judicial mechanism with a special counsel to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law.” Amnesty International urged the government of Sri Lanka embark on itscommitments on justice and security sector reform to ensure effective remedies forthe victims and non-recurrence without further delay. Amnesty International noted that the serious allegations against Major General Shavendra Silva, who has been appointed as Chief of Staff of the Sri Lankan Army, highlight the urgent need for thorough, impartial, independent and effective criminal investigations into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the armed conflict.Vetting of military personnel is furthermore needed as an important feature of postwar security sector reform to guarantee against future violations, Amnesty International said.As the Commander of the 58th division of Sri Lanka Army during the final phase ofthe armed conflict in 2009, Major General Silva oversaw the division during a periodin which it was alleged to have committed violations of international humanitarianlaw and international human rights law.
Top UN envoy for Iraq arrives in Baghdad food distribution resumesTop UN envoy for Iraq arrives in Baghdad food distribution resumes
“We have to move quickly for the issues are urgent,” Sergio Vieira de Mello, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Iraq, told journalists upon his arrival in Baghdad. “But we must also move intelligently, in concert with the wishes of the Iraqi people and avoiding duplication of efforts,” he said of his forthcoming talks with the United States-run authority.Mr. Vieira de Mello, whose mandate stems from last month’s Security Council resolution calling on Mr. Annan to appoint a special representative to work with the occupying authority, said his only purpose “is to try to ensure that the United Nations does all that it can to help the people of Iraq out of what has been a terrible period in their long and noble history.”He outlined the tasks ascribed to the UN in its Iraqi mission, ranging from reconstruction to refugee return, to economic development, to legal and judicial reform, to civilian administration, to humanitarian relied and human rights.“And one of the most important tasks that the United Nations will seek to assist in, however best it can, are the critical efforts to establish representative governance,” he declared. “The day when Iraqis govern themselves must come quickly.”Mr. Vieira de Mello said that in the coming days he would meet with the broadest possible spectrum of Iraqis, including political, religious and civic personalities, with the US-run authority and with various UN aid agencies, to draw up a “clear picture” of how best the UN and the international community can help Iraq.Meanwhile on the humanitarian front, food brought to the country by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has begun reaching Iraqis for the first time since the country’s public distribution system was disrupted by the war in March. The Iraqi Ministry of Trade began distribution yesterday, as nearly 27 million Iraqis nationwide will receive their food rations from 44,000 distribution agents across the country this month.So far, WFP has brought in about 440,000 tons of food to help re-activate this vital social safety net in a country where 16 million people are believed to be entirely dependent on monthly food rations after two decades of wars and stringent economic sanctions.“With the restoration of the public distribution system, we are confident that we can avert any hunger among Iraqis,” WFP Executive Director James T. Morris said. “With generous donor support and resources available from the Oil-for-Food programme, WFP has been able to launch one of its largest logistics operations ever.”The UN agency said it would continue to bring in enough food commodities using available donor funds and re-negotiated contracts concluded under the Oil-for-Food programme to keep the monthly food rationing system fully operational for the coming six months, during which time it plans to bring in about 2.2 million tons.
Scotland Yard counterterrorism expert named new UN security chiefScotland Yard counterterrorism expert named new UN security chief
David Veness, who previously commanded all Scotland Yard’s specialist operations including protection, terrorism, security and organized crime and served with the royalty and diplomatic protection service, was appointed to the new post created last year by the General Assembly to remedy failures cited in a report on the Baghdad attack.”Mr. Veness is one of the most accomplished security professionals in the field,” Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said in introducing the new security chief at a news briefing in New York. “Mr. Veness has wide experience and hands-on background that you can imagine how pleased we are with this appointment.”The official previously in charge of overall security, Tun Myat, was asked to resign in March 2004 after the report by the Security in Iraq Accountability Panel appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to look into the Baghdad bombing identified institutional and individual failures in assessing security prior to the attack that killed 22 people, including the UN’s top envoy in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, in August 2003.Since then Mr. Annan has repeatedly made clear that security of UN staff remains of paramount importance for him, and the number of international staff in Iraq has been limited over concerns for their safety.”I think this is an absolutely formidable responsibility, and the more that I am briefed, the more I begin to become aware of the global undertaking and the nature of the task that lies ahead,” Mr. Veness said of the post he will assume on 28 February.”It’s already apparent that the task is absolutely enormous but although enormous, it is relatively straightforward. It is to support and enable the mission of the United Nations in all of its component parts by fulfilling the vital role of assuring the safety and security of those who are on the employ of the United Nations and their dependents and families across 150 countries across the world,” he added.”I think the challenge for my team is probably to confront the grim reality. We would not wish it to be the case that humanitarian and other activities are any way bedevilled by extremist, terrorist or other violent threats. But the grim reality is that that is the position.”Asked whether he would be working in the field outside UN Headquarter in New York, Mr. Veness replied: “I am a practical counter-terrorist by background and that is what I have been for a great many years. I’m very clearly of the view that one needs to see the situation on the ground in the theatre and that’s precisely what I will do.”
Iraq UN seeks 284M to start aid response ahead of Mosul militaryIraq UN seeks 284M to start aid response ahead of Mosul military
“The impact of the Mosul military campaign on civilians will be devastating,” said Lise Grande, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq. “Mass casualties among civilians are likely and families trying to flee are expected to be at extreme risk.” The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is asking for an additional $284 million to start preparing food, water, emergency shelter and medical assistance, and other immediately needed aid. Military operations by the Government of Iraq and its allies to retake areas from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are already forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians, including more than 85,000 people from Fallujah, to flee their homes in search of safety. More than 3.3 million Iraqis are currently displaced across the country and as many as 2.5 million more people may become newly displaced along the Anbar and Mosul corridors and in Mosul city in the months ahead. “Humanitarian partners are stretched in every conceivable way,” Ms. Grande said. According to OCHA, “virtually every camp and reception centre receiving newly displaced families is already are full capacity.” The latest appeal is in addition to the $861 million for which OCHA asked at the beginning of the year. So far, only 40 per cent has been received. “Ninety-nine front-line programmes, including 30 life-saving health programmes, have already shut and hundreds more will in the weeks and months ahead if we don’t receive support,” said Ms. Grande.The actual cost of the Mosul humanitarian operation will depend on the scale, duration and intensity of the battle. OCHA estimates that in the worst case, nearly $1.8 billion may be required to support the people in trouble.
New report shows new car emissions continue to fallNew report shows new car emissions continue to fall
Significant growth in diesel and supermini registrations have contributed to the drop in CO2 emissions alongside the development of cleaner technology vehicles. UK diesel penetration has increased rapidly over the past two years. However, at 23.5 per cent of the market, the UK level of diesel penetration remains well below the EU average of 41 per cent. Further rises in motoring taxes in the forthcoming budget could seriously undermine the trend toward diesel cars. With the introduction of CO2 based tax schemes1, emissions data has become increasingly important to car buyers and policy makers alike. The second annual report, UK New Car Registrations by CO2 Performance, offers a unique insight into the UK new car market, how it has performed over recent years, and gives a breakdown by fuel type, segment and tax band. It also offers reasons for the reductions and forecasts for future changes. SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan commented, ‘Recent changes in company car tax and VED have helped focus attention on fuel efficiency. Further increases in vehicle taxation could de-stabilise the new car market and undermine the commercial viability of producers and their ability to meet environmental objectives.’ Note to editors A new report from SMMT shows that average CO2 emissions from new cars have fallen for the sixth successive year. CO2 emissions for new cars fell by an average of 1.9 per cent in 2002 to 174.2g/km, down from 177.6g/km in 2001. Vehicle Excise Duty and Company Car taxation have been based on a vehicle’s CO2 emissions since 1 March 2001 and 1 April 2002 respectively.Headline data for UK average new car CO2 emissions can be accessed at www.smmt.co.uk.Full copies of the report, UK New Car Registrations by CO2 Performance, can be ordered via the SMMT web site or by contacting email@example.com or calling 020 7344 1608.The report is priced at £50 for SMMT members and £100 for non-members.SMMT’s CO2 database is compiled with figures supplied by manufacturers from the first registration document which are checked with type approval data from the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).The data in the report looks at total new car registrations by CO2 values, not merely ACEA, JAMA or KAMA members. ACEA is the European vehicle manufacturers’ trade association, JAMA the Japanese equivalent and KAMA the Korean equivalent.ACEA members have agreed to cut new car emissions across Europe to 140g/km by 2008. JAMA and KAMA members have signed similar agreements.Average new car CO2 emissions in 2002 were 174.2gkm, 1.9 per cent down on the 2001 level of 177.6g/km and 8.2 per cent below the 1997 level of 189.8g/km. DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
August 31, 1934 – June 19, 2019To view the entire obituary, please click here.
Amal Clooney joins forces with Prince Charles for award for unsung youngAmal Clooney joins forces with Prince Charles for award for unsung young
On Tuesday, Amal and George Clooney joined the Prince of Wales for a dinner celebrating the Prince’s Trust at Buckingham Palace, photographed laughing together during the reception.Asked about the event during a television interview yesterday, Mr Clooney, an actor, joked: “Charles got really crazy and started dancing on the tables… I was surprised to see that.”He had such good dance moves. Sir Tom Jones sang, which was fun. It was actually a really great night.”He also spoke for a second time about the Duchess of Sussex, condemning scrutiny of her as “unfair”.Last month, he claimed the Duchess was being “chased, pursued and vilified” just like her late mother-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales. She has been to one Royal Wedding, was instrumental in one lavish New York royal baby shower, and is a new trusted friend to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.Amal Clooney, who last week attended a Buckingham Palace dinner with her husband, is to extend her relationship with the Royal Family with a new working partnership with the Prince of Wales, as she takes on a formal ambassadorial role with his charity.Mrs Clooney, a human right lawyer, is to launch her own prize named the Amal Clooney Award, seeking inspirational young women around the world to celebrate.The award, organised by youth charity Prince’s Trust International, is intended to “highlight the work of young women who have succeeded against the odds to make a lasting difference in their communities”, a spokesman said.Actively seeking out unsung heroes for a prize, to be presented by Mrs Clooney in 2020, Prince’s Trust International is seeking applications from women aged 11 to 30 working in “anything from sustainable farming schemes, to community projects in refugee camps, to rebuild-work in war zones”. Prince Charles at this year’s Prince’s Trust AwardsCredit:Getty Amal and George Clooney at the royal wedding in MayCredit:Reuters Mrs Clooney said : “I am honoured to have been invited by Prince’s Trust International to participate in this global initiative celebrating young women who are change-makers in their communities. It is a privilege to be able to play a part in a project that will draw attention to incredible young women who are the future leaders of our world”.She will become the latest in a line of celebrity ambassadors for the Prince’s Trust at home and overseas, including Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Michael Caine, Kylie Minogue, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joanna Lumley, Sir Ben Kingsley, Richard E Grant, Emma Bunton and Dame Diana Rigg.Mr and Mrs Clooney have previously attended the Prince’s Trust fundraising dinners, including one in 2016. Dame Martina Milburn, group chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working with Amal to shine a light on their passion and celebrate unsung female heroes everywhere.“There is so much we can achieve together to help young people, and their communities, all over the world.” Amal Clooney leave the Duchess of Sussex’s baby showerCredit:James Devaney Following his remarks, the Duchess was photographed at a celebrity hotel in New York for her baby shower, with Mrs Clooney reported to have met the cost of their shared private jet home.”I’ve seen it when the press can turn on you for sort of ridiculous reasons and for almost nothing and it seemed to me to be a little unjust since she [the Duchess] hadn’t done anything except just happen to live her life,” the actor told Good Morning Britain.”She’s a really kind and smart and intelligent young woman and they’re a really wonderful, loving couple.”Most of it you can just shrug off and not pay attention to, but sometimes it’s unkind,” the actor said, calling the media coverage “unfair”.
Teachers receiving same salaries as public servants was never the finalTeachers receiving same salaries as public servants was never the final
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGTU strikes called off: ‘High-Level Task Force’ to be established for Education sectorOctober 30, 2017In “latest news”Teachers’ benefits: Govt to meet with Union to discuss Committee’s recommendations – HarmonAugust 6, 2018In “latest news”Govt will ensure teachers receive better package, says HarmonAugust 16, 2018In “latest news” -GTU agrees to meeting with President to chart the way forwardFollowing the fallout from the meeting held on Thursday with the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) and Government officials, including the Education Minister, Nicolette Henry, over their salary negotiations, a subsequent meeting was held on Friday with State Minister, Joseph Harmon.Minister of State Joseph HarmonA joint press statement was then issued outlining that the initial meeting with the team from the Education Ministry was “never intended to be the final position of the Administration but rather an interim arrangement.”The initial walk out was prompted by Minister Henry informing the Union that Government could only offer teachers the same increases it offered all public servants.Government had announced its “final offer” to the unionized workers in the Public Service—an increase in the minimum wage from $55,000 per month to $60,000 along with staggered increases in wages and salaries with the band of lowest paid workers being offered an eight per cent increase.Harmon in the joint statement was attributed as saying that “the President was very concerned about the reports regarding the outcome of the meeting between the Union and the Ministry of Education and had signaled his willingness to meet with the Union on Monday October 30, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. to discuss all matters of concern to the Union.”The Union indicated its acceptance of the President’s offer and “iterated that it was committed to the process of Collective Bargaining and that it would bring these developments to the attention of its members.”Teachers were on Thursday asked to prepare for possible strike action next week following the initial disagreement with the Ministry of Education on salary increases, which led to representatives of the Guyana Teachers Union walking out of the discussion.Government officials and the GTU during the meeting held on ThursdayThe Union has been calling for salary increases for teachers for the period 2016 to 2020.The Union is seeking across the board salary increases of 40 per cent for 2016, 45 per cent for 2017, 50 per cent for 2018, 2019 and 2020.Furthermore, they requested that the teachers be given a 3 per cent performance based incentive per year throughout the multi-year agreement.GTU is also advocating for teachers to be paid double salary for the month of December.Additionally, the Union is firmly demanding that teachers be granted increased salaries per each qualification- which means teachers with Certificates of Education, management certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Master’s Degree will receive an additional amount ranging from $6,000 to $35,000.Moreover, the Ministry is expected to provide a uniform allowance on a yearly basis of $25,000.The GTU is also calling for duty free concessions for vehicles up to 2700c for Head Teachers.Prior to the meeting with the Education Ministry on Thursday, GTU President Mark Lyte had said that protest action was imminent since after more than two years, officials at the Ministry of Education remain reluctant to have a sit down with the Union and discuss debunching payments.He had noted that the teachers are becoming more frustrated by the day, and warned of the consequences if the teachers decide to down tools to make their voices heard.“Another budget would be presented and we have not come to an agreement for the proposal. We believe that this is disrespectful and comes in direct contravention to the labour agreement (in effect) between the Ministry and the Union, and it is a clear fact that this Administration is not seeking to properly remunerate our teachers,” Lyte had said.
Mick Davis not taking up role as CEO of Glencore Xstrata onMick Davis not taking up role as CEO of Glencore Xstrata on
Xstrata Chief Executive Officer Mick Davis has agreed with Glencore to not take up the six month role of Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Glencore Xstrata following completion of the merger. Davis will step down from Xstrata upon completion of the merger, currently expected to be 2 May 2013, allowing Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Combined Group from the effective date.Davis has agreed to act as consultant to the Combined Group until 30 June 2013 in order to support the integration process. In accordance to the terms of the Merger, Davis’s position on the Glencore Xstrata Board will be taken by a current Xstrata executive from the effective date. A number of other Xstrata Executive Committee members have shown their intention to step down from their roles on the effective date. As previously announced, Xstrata’s Chief Financial Officer Trevor Reid has decided not to take up the position of Chief Financial Officer of Glencore Xstrata upon completion of the merger. Xstrata Copper Chief Executive Charlie Sartain, Xstrata Nickel Chief Executive Ian Pearce, and Loutjie Smit, Interim Chief Executive of Xstrata Alloys, will leave the company on the effective date. Executive General Manager, Strategy and Corporate Affairs Thras Moraitis, and Chief Legal Counsel Benny Levene will also step down on the effective date but, along with Trevor Reid, have agreed to act as consultants to the Combined Group for a period of up to six months following the effective date in order to support the integration of their respective functions.Xstrata Chairman Sir John Bond said “The building of Xstrata over the past decade from modest origins to a FTSE 20 global diversified mining major has been one of the outstanding entrepreneurial achievements of our time. Based on a vision about the impending mining super cycle and the opportunities it created for a nimble new mining group, it was the exceptional leadership, drive and business acumen of Mick Davis and his team that turned this vision into reality. They built a business that embedded an entrepreneurial spirit within a committed but lean management team, combined with a clear sense of purpose and dedication to sustainability, to deliver value in its broadest sense to the many stakeholders in our business. As Xstrata transitions into the merged company with Glencore, Mick and his team can look back with pride on a decade of exceptional achievement. They leave Xstrata with the warmest appreciation of the Board for their outstanding accomplishments.”Davis commented: “I look back on the past eleven years at Xstrata with enormous satisfaction. I have had the great pleasure and privilege of working with a talented and committed group of leaders. Together we were able to build a $50 billion global company from a $500 million minnow, delivering significant returns to our shareholders in the process. At the same time we created a unique culture that empowered individuals to perform and identify opportunities to create value, while making a positive and lasting contribution to the communities and countries in which we work.“My executive team and I are pleased to hand over to the new Glencore Xstrata a company with a strong legacy for value creation and growth, a high quality portfolio of operations and growth options, supported by a very healthy balance sheet. As importantly, we are certain that each of our 84,000 employees and contractors will bring to the new merged entity the unique set of capabilities and values which have made Xstrata so successful and, in particular, an approach to sustainability which is looked to as the model for the industry. All those who travelled on the journey enjoy my most sincere respect and of course great appreciation. At Xstrata we have been proud not only of producing the vital building blocks of society, but also of the way we have gone about this quest – with a clear understanding of the need to do so in an entrepreneurial and sustainable manner that creates shared value for all stakeholders. I look to my colleagues to keep this legacy alive within the new Glencore Xstrata for many years to come. “As referred to in the merger update announcement released by Glencore today, following receipt of approval in China and Glencore having now given effect to the commitments required by the European Commission, completion of the Merger is now only conditional upon completion of the Xstrata court process as further set out in the New Scheme Document in connection with the Merger published by Xstrata on 25 October 2012. The expected timetable in connection with the Merger is as set out in Glencore’s merger update announcement.
Hello Soy Family,The days certainly aren’t getting any cooler here in Iowa, but Labor Day means harvest isn’t too far around the corner. August was a busy month for everyone at ASA, and I’m looking forward to taking time in September to do what I’m most passionate about—farm, and harvest.Looking back on August, I was especially glad to be part of this year’s ASA Farm Progress team, where we partnered with Kubota to roam the show, fielding interviews with the ag media and meeting with industry partners. ASA VP Davie Stephens and I spoke to all the issues affecting soy growers today— from trade and tariffs to farm bill, biodiesel, biotech and more. We didn’t let the rain keep us away… in fact, you might have heard me on air with Newsradio 1040, the WHO, while they were closing the show down for the day. What’s that saying? The show must go on!I’d be remiss to write this monthly message without talking about trade, but there are certainly other topics to focus on too. So I’ll remind everyone that ASA is still working each and every day to advocate to the Administration that soy growers need a diverse set of ways to expand trade opportunities in the midst of Chinese tariffs. I’ll also mention that beginning this week growers are able to apply for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which was designed by USDA as part of their trade aid package to provide relief to farmers across the country who are affected by the 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybean shipments to China.Speaking of relief for farmers, this month the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee held its first public meeting, and ASA continues to push for the passage of an on-time farm bill to bring a sense of stability and certainty to rural America. During the discussion Ranking Member Peterson said that “nobody is this room is going to get everything he or she wants; this process is about compromise,” and I hope that the conferees can put aside party differences to pass a farm bill that provides a farm safety net, improves conservation, places value on exports and feeds our nation.Biodiesel, biotech, and the need to modernize our transportation infrastructure? ASA has been there too this summer. All of these policy issues affect every soy farmer who, like me, can’t spend every day in DC to advocate for their needs.I continue to be proud to lead this organization as its president, and wish you all a safe and successful harvest. John Heisdorffer