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Showing posts from June 18, 2013

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA : Despite lost crops, Mango Mania will go on ...

Posted: Jun 18, 2013 6:44 PM EDT

Updated: Jun 18, 2013 7:20 PM EDT

By Lauren DiSpirito, Reporter - bio | email


Even with hundreds of pounds of mangos on the ground at his 40-acre Pine Island grove, farmer Chris Sapp takes "the long view."

"Under no circumstance do we think of it as lost," Sapp said of the dropped mangoes. "It's still here and if it's not on somebody's dinner table this year, it will be next year."

Sapp chooses not to sell fruit that hits the ground before it can be picked. He's in charge of picking all of the fruit by hand at the Promised Land Mango Grove on Pine Island. Earlier this month, winds during Tropical Storm Andrea knocked a lot of Sapp's crop off the branches of nearly 1000 mango trees. What's on the ground, he says, can fertilize next year's crop.

In addition to storms, weather is also making this a more unusual season than most. Sapp says a warm winter, interrupted by late cold snaps, pr…

U.S. Bioterror Detection Program Comes Under Scrutiny

A national air sampling system tasked with picking up terrorist biological attacks faces scrutiny

By Dina Fine Maron

Francisella tularensis. Image: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

A cutting-edge biological terror alert system detected a potential threat in the air one morning back in 2008, threatening to derail then-Sen. Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in Denver for his party’s presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention. 

Initial results from a pricey national air sampling system suggested that bacteria that could cause tularemia had been detected. The microbe, Francisella tularensis, might have been weaponized to cause the infectious disease.

Public health officials sprang into action and tested further samples from the area that triggered the system, but turned up negative results. The alert, like others issued by the system in the past decade, was ruled to be a false alarm. Obama still made his acceptance speech that night, of course, in an open-air …


In Peru ....

Poor practice of exposing mangoes to the soil ...

Meanwhile in Santander de Quilichao, Colombia ....

While very romantic, this journey is rough on fruit ....

Photos courtesy Noris Ledesma (Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens) FTBG Facebook page ...

PAKISTAN : Two containers of Sindhri mangoes dispatched to Netherlands

June 19, 2013


Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC) in collaboration with Agricultural Services Linkages Programme (ASLP) dispatched two containers of Sindhri mangoes from Sindh Mango Growers (SMG) to the Netherlands. 

The containers which left Karachi recently will reach the Netherlands in two weeks, said a spokesperson of the PHDEC here on Tuesday.

The consignments were prepared under the supervision of Peter Johnson, Department of Agriculture and Food Australia, Dr A.U. Malik and Dr M. Amin from University of Agriculture Faisalabad. Sohail Ayyaz assisted the professionals as Project Development Officer. 

Sindh Mango Growers (SMG) have expressed their delight on the preparation of two consignments as sea freighted mangoes will play their vital role in increasing the export volume of mangoes for different destinations. They said that such exercises would generate employment opportunities for the masses in the area as several labourers are required t…

CAUSE FOR HOPE ??? : The Foreign Policy Impact of Iran's Presidential Election ...

Geopolitical Weekly

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013 - 04:02 


By Michael Nayebi-Oskoui and Kamran Bokhari

Iranians went to the polls Friday to elect outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's successor. Candidates reported few serious problems with the process, and the losers sent congratulations to the eventual winner, Hassan Rouhani.

Compared to the political instability that followed Ahmadinejad's 2009 re-election, this process was relatively boring. But however the news media felt about the election, Iran needs domestic stability if it is going to change its foreign policy in a very challenging geopolitical environment.

Domestic Stability

Domestic stability has been the first goal for any regime that would project power from Iran's central highlands. The Persian Empire first emerged only after a central power subjugated the various groups of Indo-Iranian, Turkic and Semitic peoples within its borders. The suppression of 2009's Green Movement is only a recent example of a str…

Europe gets a taste of Ramgarh mangoes from Pakistan ...

N K Agarwal, TNN | 

Jun 19, 2013, 12.40 AM IST

RAMGARH: Ramgarh, hitherto known for its coal mines, is now producing mangoes that are being exported to Europe and the Middle East. Some farmers from the district, with help from Uttar Pradesh-based cultivators, have proved that the soil of the coal belt is ideal for growing several varieties of mangoes.

The UP farmers convinced those from Ukrid village in Dulmi block to plant mango sapling on the semi-fertile vacant land. These saplings have now grown into trees laden with mangoes.Mahavir Sonkar Khatik, a UP farmer, said as many as 600 mango trees are now producing several varieties that are being exported and also catering to the domestic market. Dhaneshwar Kumar a farmer said that Ukrid village is now producing Langda, Malda, Gulab khas among other variety of mangoes which were being loved by people of across the country and even by foreigners.

Earlier, the farmers only cultivated seasonal crops and vegetables on these lands and a large p…

Is China Engineering Smarter Babies?


Nicolai Sennels is a Danish psychologist who has done extensive research into a little-known problem in the Muslim world: the disastrous results of Muslim inbreeding brought about by the marriage of first-cousins.

This practice, which has been prohibited in the Judeo-Christian tradition since the days of Moses, was sanctioned by Muhammad and has been going on now for 50 generations (1,400 years) in the Muslim world.

This practice of inbreeding will never go away in the Muslim world, since Muhammad is the ultimate example and authority on all matters, including marriage.

The massive inbreeding in Muslim culture may well have done virtually irreversible damage to the Muslim gene pool, including extensive damage to its intelligence, sanity, and health.

According to Sennels, close to half of all Muslims in the world are inbred. In Pakistan , the numbers approach 70%. Even in England , more than half of Pakistani immigrants are married to their first cousins, and in Denmark the number of inbre…


Merchant vessel 'Mol Comfort' splits into two off Mumbai coast, crew rescued

Press Trust of India : Mumbai, Mon Jun 17 2013, 22:37 hrs

A massive container vessel which snapped into two and sank off Yemen on Monday. Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Mumbai, coordinated operations to help rescue 26 sailors from the vessel. The tragedy occurred around 200 nautical miles from Yemen, and around 840 nautical miles west of Mumbai. PTI Photo

A Singapore-bound merchant vessel from Jeddah split into two around 840 nautical miles off the coast here today causing oil spill even as all the crew members were rescued, Coast Guard officials said.

'Mol Comfort', the 316-m-long vessel was carrying 4,500 containers from Saudi Arabia, they said.

"The vessel hull broke into two off the Mumbai coast and the crew members were rescued from the ship in two life rafts and a life boat," a Coast Guard official said.

The cause behind the incident was yet to be ascertained. It was also not known what th…

Can the shipping industry take blimps seriously?

By Janet Fang | June 17, 2013, 8:38 PM PDT

Igor Pasternak of World Aeros wants to be the first to harness helium for multi-ton deliveries, proving to the world that airships (the preferred term) have a bright future in commercial cargo.Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

They’re light and take off and land vertically, making airships an energy-efficient way to carry big loads to out-of-the-way places — without having to build runways or roads first — at a quarter the cost of regular cargo planes.

Their Aeroscraft has a cargo capacity of up to 250 tons (three times that of the C-17), and its design solves a century-old problem:

Traditional blimps, like birthday balloons, are great at rising but not so good at returning to earth. 

Lacking buoyancy control, they have to be tethered by a crew after landing. 

The drawback makes large cargo deliveries virtually impossible: Any weight that’s offloaded has to be replaced with an equally heavy load — say, of sand or lead — for the craft to keep its equi…


Winter Park, Florida

June 18, 2013

The International Pineapple Organization (IPO) is pleased to announce that Raul Romero of Chestnut Hill Farms of Miami, Florida has joined the Executive Committee.

Mr Romero and Chestnut Hill Farms bring extensive knowledge of Production and Marketing of Pineapples to the IPO Board.

Will Cavan, Executive Director and Temporary Administrator of the IPO noted that "Mr. Romero will add valuable insight and guidence to the IPO as we chart our working plan".

Raul Romero – President & COO – Chestnut Hill Farms

Raul Romero is a graduate of Cornell University (BS & MS) with over 30 years of experience in the perishables industry. 

 He has held senior managerial positions with two major companies - Chiquita Brands and Chestnut Hill Farms. 

Raul has developed an impressive knowledge of the fresh produce industry and he has gained credibility with growers as well as wholesalers and retailers in both the North American and European markets. 

 Raul came …

Denmark’s Maersk group: World’s 3 biggest shipping operators form an alliance

By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, June 18, 5:22 AM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says the world’s three biggest shipping container operators have entered an alliance to reduce fuel consumption and improve service and operations.

Vincent Clerc of the Copenhagen-based company’s shipping unit says MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. and CMA CGM of France will form the P3 alliance with Maersk Line.

Clerc said Tuesday that it will mean “even more efficient and competitive” operations.

The alliance will be an independently operated network with 255 vessels and is to start operations next year, depending on regulatory approvals. Maersk stressed the companies will continue to have fully independent sales, marketing and customer service functions.

The P3 alliance will operate a capacity of 2.6 million containers between Asia and Europe, across the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.…