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Showing posts from June 21, 2012

2012 HURICANE SEASON: Chris becomes season's first Atlantic hurricane ...

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) June 21, 2012

Chris has strengthened to become the first Atlantic hurricane of 2012, but is way off the coast of Canada's Newfoundland and posing no threat to land, US experts said Thursday.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said the storm's top winds had jumped to 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour, making it a category one hurricane on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale.

Chris was located in the northern Atlantic, 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southeast of Cape Race on the eastern tip of Newfoundland and churning northeast, farther out to sea, at 20 miles (32 kilometers) per hour.

The storm was expected to take a turn to the north later Thursday before heading northwest and west as it weakens on Friday.

"Weakening is expected over the next 48 hours and Chris is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone on Friday," the NHC bulletin said.

US forecasters were also keeping an eye on a low pressure area over the south-central Gulf of …


By Will Cavan
Executive Director
International Mango Organization (IMO)
Vista, California

June 21, 2012

Recent EMEX Data reveals that through June 19, 2012, Mexico has shipped 36, 992,984 (4kg) Cartons so far this season.

Based on preseason projections by EMEX and other major USA Importers of Mexican Mangoes of 55,000,000 (4kg) cartons, that would put the 2012 Mexican mango season at 66% completed.

The wild card that was not projected for this season was the pronounced increase in yellow skin mangoes over historic numbers.

With the Ataulfo, Manila and Oro (Yellow Skin)  Mango crops winding down and the Tommy Atkins, Haden and Kent & Keitt varieties (Red Skin) Mango Crops transitioning, we are looking at an estimated 18,000,000 (4kg) cartons of Redskin mangoes yet to be shipped to the USA Market through the end of August and into the beginning of September.

The States of Nayarit, Jalisco, Sinaloa and Sonora have yet to kick in to high gear giving us the fi…

FOCUS ON RETAIL: Wal-Mart de Mexico downsizes expansion plans ...

June 20, 2012, 6:20 p.m. EDT

By MarketWatch

MEXICO CITY--Wal-Mart Stores Inc's WMT -1.20%  Mexican unit trimmed its expansion plans Wednesday as the company operates under tightened scrutiny following allegations that it bribed public officials to speed store permits in Mexico.

Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB now plans to open between 325 and 335 new stores and restaurants in Mexico and Central America this year and through the first quarter of 2013 for an investment of roughly 17.48 billion pesos ($1.28 billion). That growth implies an 8% increase in installed capacity in Mexico, its main market, and a 9% increase in Central America compared with 2011.

Previously, in February, Walmex had announced more aggressive plans that involved investing around MXN19.70 billion in its operations during the 2012 calendar period to open between 410 and 436 units, thereby increasing its floor space by 12% in Mexico and 9% in Central America.

The bribery allegations surfaced in April.

Walmex's toned-down e…

Scientists develop first satellite deforestation tracker for whole of Latin America ...

by Staff Writers
London UK (SPX) Jun 21, 2012

This shows deforestation around the dry Chaco of Paraguay from 2004-2011.  Credit: Argote/Louis Reymondin.

An international team of researchers in Colombia, the UK, USA and Switzerland have developed the first ever system to monitor deforestation across Latin America in near real-time using satellite data.

 Preliminary results from the new system reveal that in parts of Colombia, deforestation has increased by 340 per cent since 2004; and over a million hectares of forest have been lost in the Gran Chaco region of Paraguay.

The new satellite system, known as Terra-i, is being launched this week in time for the Rio+20 UN environment conference, and is soon to be expanded to cover all tropical regions. 

Although Brazil has had a sophisticated near real-time deforestation monitoring system in place since 2008, until now there has been no equivalent for the rest of Latin America.

Terra-i has been developed to monitor changes …

LIFE IS CHEAPER WHERE MANGOES GROW: 10 Countries Where USD buys the MOST ...

By Jason Notte | – 

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 1:22 PM EDT

Retirement in the United States is nice and all, until they ask you to actually pay for stuff.

When retirees' nest eggs are a finite and dwindling resource, rising local and federal taxes can put even the staunchest, flag-draped patriotism to the test. If retirees are willing to leave the states behind, the savings can be substantial.

[Related: De-Stressing Secrets from Around the World]

The folks at International Living crunched the numbers and looked at the price of simple staples, assimilation and staying in touch with family left behind. 

The following countries scored high marks not only for their inexpensive living, but for overall friendliness toward American retirees:


A retiree has it pretty sweet in Panama, where a program commonly known as pensionado help retirees settle in quickly. International Living says retirees can live like kings here for $1,500 to $2,000 a month and score apartments for less than $500…

Death of a Mango Tree ...

For 20 years the mango tree that my father planted had stood its ground. It took less than 20 hours to bring it down.

By Bijoy Venugopal

Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment – 

Wed 23 May, 2012 11:42 AM IST

"The mango trees are in flower," my father said two weeks ago with an ache in his voice. 

I caught my breath. 

On my way to Parambikulam last month, so close to the village in northeastern Kerala where I spent the summer vacations of my childhood, I had noticed that the orchard trees we passed wore glossy crowns of red leaves adorned with sprays of new flowers. 

Usually, I would have reported that to my father. 

This time I didn't, because I knew it would break his heart.

My father's love for mangoes borders on the pathological -- though he has no other vices, mangoes weaken his hold on his wallet. 

He spends like a gambler, seeking out the last fruit from the market long after the season has officially ended.

 He would save the seeds from the best mangoes (after chafing off the…


Archipiélago de San Bernardo, Colombia
21 Apr 2010

El Archipiélago de San Bernardo es un lugar idílico, no obstante, permanece casi secreto para muchos turistas, por ello, tomen buena nota sobre este lugar.

Ubicado al Sur de las también hermosas Islas de Rosario y en la Punta del Morro de Morrosquillo -en la Costa Norte de Colombia- sus islas, como perdidas, flotan esperando su llegada para mostrar la placidez de esa belleza natural, un descubrir en todos los aspectos, tanto por encima del nivel del agua, como en los silencios mágicos que ofrecen sus profundidades cristalinas.

En “Maravilla y Palma”, la más cosmopolitan de todas las islas, hay un hotel con todo el confort y con servicio de “todo incluido”, la única restricción es la de no poder practicar ningún deporte motorizado por encontrarse la isla dentro de un Parque Nacional.

Para llegar y recorrer este “pedacito de cielo”, se puede hacer desde Cartagena, serán unas tres horas en lancha o desde Tolú, solamente una hora. Los tras…


In India, Democracy Follows the Mango

By Chandrahas Choudhury Jun 21, 2012 12:37 PM PT

When I left my house in Delhi on the last night of April, summer had just arrived in the north of India. The next evening, I found myself in a radio station in Copenhagen, discussing ideas of love in the 21st century with the Danish poet Mette Moestrup and two very opinionated musicians.

From Copenhagen, I voyaged to New York, where I had two weeks to myself in a flat on the Upper West Side with a marvelously idiosyncratic cat as my companion. I spent my mornings drinking iced coffee and writing in that grotto of sweet pleasures, the Hungarian Pastry Shop, and my evenings browsing in the city's magnificent used bookstores and drinking and dining in Chinatown and Greenwich Village.

From New York, I sauntered on to Washington, where I spent the afternoons admiring the work (and snoozing on the grassy lawns) of the residence of the great Indian painter Delna Dastur. I visited the offices of the Washing…


UNITED KINGDOM: Supermarket pricing tactics questioned by consumer reporter ...

Supermarkets can BOGOF with their confusing fruit pricing

by Nikki Whiteman
Consumer Action Producer
Consumer Rights
21 June 2012

1 - 0

Summer’s come around, and with it lots of cheap deals on things like strawberries, mangoes, and other refreshing summer fruits. But why are supermarkets still making it tricky for us to work out which are best value? 

I’m trying (reasonably unsuccessfully) to lose weight at the moment. One of the key things I’ve tried to do is avoid crisps, chocolate and various other calorie-packed treats, and spend more time browsing the fruit and veg aisle to see if I can pick up something healthier.

My main gripe is that many of the healthy snacks I want to buy are almost impossible to compare in terms of price. Take grapes, strawberries or raspberries, for instance – nature’s sweets – easy snacks which have the added bonus that I can share them around the office and show everyone how virtuous I’m being.

They’re sold in pre-packaged tubs and often discounted at two for £…


India rejects USDA mango inspector's abusive billing practices

In order to cut costs India has said that there is no need for USDA inspectors to be present to certify irradiation of mango shipments.

At the time of writing it is the responsibility of India to cover the costs of the USDA inspectors.

Last year the inspectors visited the country twice to clear mangoes, for the first time they had been exported in 18 years. Around 180 tonnes were exported.

One visit, which lasted 21 days, cost India $85,000 US.

The issue came up for discussion at a meeting last month between commerce ministry officials and their US counterparts.

"We told them that India can certify on its own that the mango consignments have been through the required irradiation process and conforms to global sanitary and phytosanitary standards," a commerce ministry official said.

"Apeda (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) incurred the cost last year in order to facilitat…


Air freighted mangoes from Pakistan have arrived in the Dutch Marketplace....

Images are courtesy of IMO FRIEND  Hadi Laghari.


Image: A Hindu priest carries a basket of mangoes to distribute among devotees after it was offered to Hindu God Lord Krishna inside a temple during a mango festival in Ahmedabad.
Photographs: Reuters. 

Mango exports from India could rebound to 80,000 tonnes in the 2012-13, according to the agri-promotion body APEDA.

India's overseas shipment of mango is estimated to be lower at about 46,500 tonnes in the 2011-12 fiscal.

India's mango production is estimated to have been stable at 1.5 million tonnes for last few years.

A woman participates in a mango eating competition during the 18th mango festival in New Delhi.

A labourer unloads mangoes from a basket at a wholesale vegetable and fruit market in Chandigarh.

A girl eats a mango while sitting in a hammock inside her house in the Ralegan Siddhi village, located in the Ahmednagar district about 250km (155 miles) south east of Mumbai.

A labourer pulls a basket to fill it with mangoes from a supply truck at a wholesale fruit market on…

The mango ritual : Rules & Regulations from a Pakistani Lover of the King of Fruits ...

By: Chauburji

June 21, 2012 

I once wrote a column titled The King of Fruits and was gratified to receive mails from my Indian readers, who said that they had experienced total resonance with the central figure of the piece - the Mango. 

I had, therefore, deemed the aforementioned tribute as sufficient, had not two incidents trapped me irrevocably into penning or rather ‘key boarding’ another write upon the subject. 

One of these incidents was an act of ‘royal contempt’ committed by a relative, who appalled all mango fans by consuming a half portion of the fruit, held delicately in his forefinger and thumb, with a spoon. 

The second was a visit to the local market where tiers upon tiers of chaunsas, langras and anwarratols in shops and on handcarts, seduced me into hopeless submission.

The famous poet, Mirza Ghalib, once said that “mangos must always be sweet and in generous quantity”, what he failed to add was that ‘the fruit’s true worth could never be savoured unless one’s hands and m…