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Showing posts from June 13, 2012

U.S. expands secret intelligence operations in Africa ...

View Photo Gallery — From the archives: In another effort to combat al-Qaeda militants in Africa, specifically in Somalia, the United States has been training troops from other African nations to be peacekeepers.

By Craig Whitlock, Wednesday, June 13, 7:02 PM

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — The U.S. military is expanding its secret intelligence operations across Africa, establishing a network of small air bases to spy on terrorist hideouts from the fringes of the Sahara to jungle terrain along the equator, according to documents and people involved in the project.

At the heart of the surveillance operations are small, unarmed turboprop aircraft disguised as private planes. Equipped with hidden sensors that can record full-motion video, track infrared heat patterns, and vacuum up radio and cellphone signals, the planes refuel on isolated airstrips favored by African bush pilots, extending their effective flight range by thousands of miles.

About a dozen air bases have been established in Afric…


The African network The U.S. military has established small air bases across Africa to spy on al-Qaeda affiliates and other militant groups. Shaded areas indicate the presence of those groups, according to U.S. Africa Command. Read related article and learn more about the surveillance targets. Source: Staff reports.By Craig Whitlock and Laris Karklis/The Washington Post.Published on June 13, 2012, 7:46 p.m.


Soil Secrets? 
(There really aren’t any secrets. Just stimulate life.)

"Unhealthy and healthy soil from the same site."

Question: Is there anything I can do to loosen up the clay soil in my front lawn?  When it rains, it has the consistency of pottery clay, but when it stops raining, it dries out quickly. I have been in this house for seven years and aerated once. Any suggestions?

Answer: All of the organic amendments directly or indirectly help loosen and soften the soil. The key to friable, productive soil is abundant life in the soil. 

When the soil is healthy by being rich with biological activity, it will not erode or compact during rains, it will hold moisture at just the right level - thus cutting water costs, and it will create excellent crop production. Healthy soil contains significant microbiotic life. 
The microbes create organic matter that helps build the glue in the soil that creates the texture that allows rain and irrigation to soak in, oxygen to breath…



People may say that the gourmet food truck craze is on its way out, but I think they are wrong. There are a ton of new trucks coming out, and yes, many are knock-offs of existing trucks or concepts, but every once in awhile you find a truck that offers something unique.

If you want a different but great tasting gourmet food truck experience then I suggest you track down Jogasaki Sushi Burrito. These guys are rocking it. Let’s start with the concept, “Sushi Burrito”. 

Doesn’t that just sound funky? 

If funky means perfectly prepared spicy tuna, crab, incredible sushi rice, with your choice of light, crunchy tempura shrimp or Japanese BBQ eel, all wrapped with either rice paper or a flour tortilla, then this is funky!

Those are just a couple of the options you will find. We tried a number of items on their simple menu. To be honest, after Kim and I finished our lunch, we waited in line again to take food home for dinner. There are only a handful of trucks that we have done that with.

Round T…

OCEAN CARGO: Five Carriers Reconfigure Peak Asia-Latin America Slings ...

Peter T. Leach, Senior Editor 
| Jun 13, 2012 2:23PM GMT

The Journal of Commerce Online - News Story

Changes will begin in June and occur in August as well

Five carriers announced plans to reconfigure the slings of their joint service to meet peak-season demand on the trade between Asia and the West Coast of Mexico and South America.

Hamburg Sud, CCNI, China Shipping, Hanjin and Hyundai said the new service will continue to operate with two slings at increased capacity and new rotations, starting with changes in South America in June and finalizing with a new configuration in Asia at the end of August.

The carriers said the reconfigured service will improve transit times on both the eastbound and westbound legs and ensure a faster connection to the Pacific, Atlantic and Caribbean service network of the shipping group at the Balboa transshipment hub.

In the reconfigured service, Sling 1 will deploy 10 vessels with a capacity of between 4,500 and 5,700 20-foot-equivalent units, compared to 11 …

AIR CARGO: ANA, JAL See Growth in International Cargo Volumes ...

Hisane Masaki, Special Correspondent 
| Jun 13, 2012 12:55PM GMT
The Journal of Commerce Online - News Story

Third straight month of growth for the Japanese air cargo carriers

Japan’s All Nippon Airways Co. said that its international cargo volume grew for the third consecutive month in April on a year-on-year basis, rising 1.7 percent to 44,936 tons. The year-on-year pace of growth sharply slowed, however, from 12.8 percent in March.

ANA’s domestic cargo volume fell for the second straight month in April on a year-on-year basis, dropping 2.2 percent to 37,970 tons, but the year-on-year pace of decline was slower than the 4.6 percent drop in March.

The volume of cargo ANA carried on its international routes in fiscal 2011, which ended on March 31, totaled 514,200 tons, up 4.0 percent from the previous fiscal year. The carrier’s domestic cargo volume in fiscal 2011 amounted to 481,125 tons, up 0.5 percent from the previous fiscal year.

Meanwhile, rival Japan Airlines Corp. said that its inter…

USA: Logistics Costs Rose 6.6 Percent Last Year ....

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor 
| Jun 13, 2012 1:45PM GMT

The Journal of Commerce Online - News Story

Report said costs totaled $1.28 trillion last year, still below pre-recession high of $1.39 trillion in 2007

U.S. business logistics costs rose 6.6 percent last year as companies spent more on transportation and inventory in a gradually recovering economy, according to the 23rd annual State of Logistics report.

The report, sponsored by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and Penske Logistics, said logistics costs totaled $1.28 trillion last year. That was up $79 billion from 2010 but still below the peak of $1.39 trillion in 2007.

Logistics spending as a percentage of GDP rose to 8.5 percent from 8.3 percent in 2010 and 7.9 percent in 2009, when the recession slowed shipments.

“Transportation costs were up 6.2 percent in 2011 because of higher rates, not increased volume,” said the report’s author, Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Delcan Corp.

She said railroads’ reve…



2012 World Food Prize Laureate Announcement Ceremony


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room

Washington, DC

June 12, 2012

"Thank you. Thank you, all. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. 

And this is an occasion that we look forward to every year because of the importance of the work that is done to merit such a distinguished prize. 

And I want to thank you, Jonathan, for leading our efforts here at the State Department, and Ambassador Quinn for your continued leadership on behalf of this very pressing issue.

And it’s a wonderful honor to have with us former presidents.

 Thank you so much, President Kufuor, for your leadership on this incredibly significant issue. And thank you very much, President Chissano, for your leadership as well. 

We are proud to be partnering with both Ghana and Mozambique.

 I also want to add my word of welcome to former Congressman Jim Leach, and my friend and colleague Congressman Leonard Boswell. It’s not an accident that the…