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Showing posts from November 29, 2012



— Nov. 29 6:34 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Superstorm Sandy packed a bigger economic punch than most people had thought.

In its sweep through the Northeast, the storm halted sales at major retailers at the start of the crucial holiday shopping season, closed factories and slowed home sales in one of the most densely populated areas of the country.

On Thursday, for example, Kohl's, Target and Macy's blamed the storm for weak sales in November. Macy's and Nordstrom Inc. reported their first monthly sales drop since late 2009, when the U.S. economy was just emerging from the Great Recession.

And the government said this week that new-home sales plunged 32 percent in the Northeast last month and nearly 12 percent in the South. By contrast, sales surged nearly 63 percent in the Midwest and nearly 9 percent in the West.

Sandy is being blamed for about $62 billion in damage and other losses in the U.S., most of it in New York and New Jersey. It's the second-costl…

AUSTRALIA: Mango sap burns hospitalise workers ...

November 30, 2012 12:38PM

A SPATE of seasonal workers needing treatment for mango sap burn has been recorded at Katherine Hospital in the Northern Territory.

The hospital's emergency department has treated 77 people for the condition in just over the past two weeks.

Most are seasonal workers who have suffered with a range of skin conditions after coming into contact with the sap from mango trees.

One case was bad enough for the person to be transferred to Darwin for medical management.

Director of medical services at Katherine Hospital, Kelvin Billinghurst, said the condition most commonly affected the fingers, but could also present as a rash across the chest and workers could suffer splash injuries to the face and eyes.

"Mango sap is very irritating and it can cause a reaction on the skin," Dr Billinghurst told ABC radio.

"You have a range of conditions just from mild redness right through to severe blistering that can be quite extensive."

Dr Billinghurst sa…

Peruvian mango forum draws industry heavyweights from the region, Mexico and U.S.A. ...

by Keith Rosenblum | November 29, 2012

The muscle that Peru has garnered from its mango export industry manifest itself once again at the annual Perspectivas de la Industria de Exportación de Mango Peruano, held earlier this month in front of more than 300 people in that South American country.

The conference is held in advance of the main Peruvian harvest, which begins in mid-December, the middle of that region's spring, and continues through March. The country is already producing limited quantities of its Kent variety. In all, some 60,000 acres are thought to be under harvest this year, about one-fifth of which are from plants less than five years old.

Attendees were told that this season's harvest is expected to be equal to or superior to the 2011-12 season, when 70,000 tons were exported. Also on the docket at the conference were new cultivation techniques, particularly the use of solar energy in mango irrigation. Also analyzed was the U.S. Department of Agriculture's ha…

Pakistani exporters fail to address Australian reservations on mangoes ...

November 30, 2012

 The unnecessary delay in documentation at ministries/public sector departments has always remained a major hurdle in resolution of any issue. Some reservations shown by Australian Audit team about the process of the proposed mango export to Australia are yet to be resolved despite a lapse of over six-month.

The delay on the part of Pakistan is likely to result in losing a lucrative market for the country's mango in coming season, sources claimed. 

In response to a letter entitled "Is Pakistan not interested to export mango to Australia?" sent by Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) to Ministry of National Food Security and Research Department of Plant Protection, the ministry has claimed that "in response to some reservations of the Australian Audit Team of Biosecurity-DAFF, the Plant Protection Department (DPP) has formulated a draft document of MoU to be signed between DPP and Pakistan Horti…

Port of Los Angeles clerical workers strike spreads to Long Beach port ...

By Brian Sumers Staff Writer
Posted: 11/29/2012 08:27:33 AM PST
Updated: 11/29/2012 12:08:55 PM PST

PORT OF LOS ANGELES, CALIF. USA -- Protesters picket APM Terminals at Pier 400 in the Port of Los Angeles for the second day on November 29, 2012. Photo by Sean Hiller / Staff Photographer

Clerical workers at the Port of Long Beach set up picket... (Brittany Murray/Staff Photographer)

A strike that began Tuesday afternoon in one terminal at the Port of Los Angeles spread Wednesday, crippling much of the operations at the nation's largest port complex.

By the end of the day, workers had struck at six of the seven terminals at the Port of Los Angeles and three of six terminals at the Port of Long Beach, officials said.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit, which is working under terms of a set of contracts that expired in June 2010, began setting up the additional picket lines around midday Wednesday.

Other longshore bargaining units refused to cro…

Chavez's return to Cuba for treatment rattles Venezuela ...

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Analysis & Opinion

Bolivar everywhere
U.S. broker-dealers scrutinized for anti-laundering compliance in Venezuelan currency swaps

By Andrew Cawthorne and Jeff Franks

CARACAS/HAVANA | Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:06am EST

(Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez flew into Cuba on Wednesday for cancer-linked medical treatment that revived questions about the viability of his socialist rule and left Venezuelans again guessing about his exact condition.

After weeks of scarce public appearances, Chavez, 58, announced in a letter on Tuesday that he was going to Havana for therapy known as "hyperbaric oxygenation" - a method used to reduce bone decay caused by radia…

UNITED KINGDOM: Importer sees success in airfreight mangoes ...

One of the leading importers and growers of avocado, HL Hall International has now brought their expertise and record of success to the premium market of air freight mango. 

Sales have grown consistently with 'Halls' having the advantage of offering the fruit throughout the year, from key producing countries such as Peru, Ivory Coast, Mali, Brazil, Mexico, Israel and Senegal.

With select picking of tree-ripened fruit and the quality commitment of their export and growing partners, Halls have developed sales of 576,000kgs through 2012. 

Says Izam Afkir, Product Manager of exotic fruits, "We expect continued growth in the market during 2013 and with our proven marketing expertise we aim to consolidate our position and anticipate sales in excess of 1,000,000kgs across Europe, with France as our principle market".

For further information:
Izam Afkir
HL Hall International
Tel: +33 1 82 39 00 33

Publication date: 11/29/2012