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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

USS GERALD R. FORD: Check Out The Construction Of The Most Expensive Ship Ever














ROBERT JOHNSON 






JUL. 24, 2013, 12:48 PM




Robert Johnson for Business Insider







The United States is building its next generation of aircraft carrier, the FORD-class carriers. The U.S. Navy gave us access to photograph construction of the USS Gerald R. Ford at Newport News Shipbuilding, Virgina.







The numbers behind the USS Gerald R. Ford are impressive; about $14 billion in total cost, 224 million pounds, about 25 stories high, four-and-a-half acres long and 250 feet wide. 





But the sheer enormity of the ship and construction operation is hard to grasp until you're nearly face-to-metal with the massive military beast.






At Newport News Shipbuilding the power of new technology and 100 years of carrier design is built into every facet of the new ship. 






The Ford will handle up to 220 takeoffs and landings from its deck every day. 





Part of that quick turnaround is because when aircraft like the new F-35 return for maintenance, the plane's network will already have alerted ground crews to what's needed so they can get the aircraft on its way faster than ever before.







New York Container Terminal extends lease and introduces bridge toll credit program












7/24/2013








New York Container Terminal (NYCT) and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) today announced that they have entered into an extension of their lease agreement to December 31st 2029.






Under the terms of the lease extension, NYCT has committed capital investments over the life of the lease and the PANYNJ has agreed to certain improvements to road conditions to be completed by 2015. 










The most significant change for NYCT is the introduction of a Bridge Toll Credit Program for all trucks serving the terminal for container pick-up or delivery. The Program will reimburse to the truck company via their EZ Pass account a significant proportion of the tolls presently paid to access the terminal via PANYNJ bridges.












Commenting on the lease extension, Jim Devine President and CEO of NYCT stated “I am pleased that NYCT and the PANYNJ have extended the terminal lease enabling NYCT to launch the new Bridge Toll Credit Program. With the toll program soon to be in place, NYCT will be in a much better position to compete for business within the harbor.”








“Today’s lease extension builds on a long-term commitment by the Port Authority to Howland Hook and Staten Island,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. 




“Over the past 13 years, the agency has invested more than $375 million to enhance facility infrastructure, including its on-dock ExpressRail facility, and ensure the continued vitality of New York Container Terminal and retention and creation of jobs in Staten Island.”







$15 million in funding for NYCT was also approved by Empire State Development’s (ESD) Board of Directors on July 18th for continued capital investment by the terminal and confirmed employment on Staten Island.







ESD CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “Today marks another step forward in ensuring that Staten Island’s largest private employer stays right where it belongs – in Howland Hook. The extension of this lease agreement will keep good-paying jobs in Staten Island and lead to key infrastructure investments.”






PERÚ PRODUCIRÍA 250 MIL TM DE MANGO ESTA CAMPAÑA








Comienza en diciembre








Anunció el gerente general de APEM, Juan Carlos Rivera. Un total de 100 mil toneladas de dicho producto se exportaría como fruta fresca y 60 mil toneladas se procesarían como congelado (IQF) o jugo.













Por: José Carlos León Carrasco








Lima, 16 julio 2013 (Agraria.pe) Perú produciría 250 mil toneladas métricas de mango en la próxima campaña que se inicia en diciembre próximo y culmina en marzo de 2014, informó el gerente general de la Asociación Peruana de Productores y Exportadores de Mango (APEM), Juan Carlos Rivera.






En ese sentido, indicó que el nivel de floración que existe es importante, lo que indicaría que la campaña será similar a la pasada cuando la producción fu alta y por la que se obtuvieron 250 mil tm.









“De las 250 mil toneladas de mango producidas en la campaña pasada, 100 mil tm se exportaron como fruta fresca, 60 mil toneladas se procesaron como congelado (IQF) o jugo, que también se dirigieron a los mercados internacionales. Con el resto se abasteció el mercado interno. En esta campaña se espera una figura similar”, explicó.










El gerente señaló que no ha aumentado el número de hectáreas destinadas a la fruta, sin embargo observó que alrededor de 600 Has de las 22 mil Has que existen de mango en el país han sido renovadas.






“Actualmente existen 22 mil hectáreas de mango destinados a la exportación: el 75% de esas áreas se ubican en Piura (en San Lorenzo y Chulucanas), el 15% en Lambayeque y el 10% en Ancash (Casma)”, puntualizó.






Igualmente manifestó que una comisión del Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agraria (Senasa) visitó Corea del Sur y solicitó la apertura de dicho mercado para el mango fresco peruano por lo que se espera que se pueda exportar a dicho destino a fines de este año.






Al respecto, mencionó que para eliminar el riego de la larva de la mosca fruta el mango recibe un tratamiento con agua caliente a 43 grados. “Ese es el tratamiento universal, así lo exportamos a Estados Unidos, Japón, China y Chile y así se le ha planteado a las autoridades surcoreanas respectivas”, dijo.











A Asia, en transporte multimodal



Por otro lado, mencionó que existe una restricción importante en los envíos de mango hacia Asia es el tiempo de tránsito, ya que las navieras –por ahorrar combustible- han disminuido su velocidad. Por ello, según dijo, reorientarán una pequeña parte de su volumen hacia Estados Unidos para luego exportarlo vía aérea a los destinos asiáticos.





“Esta modalidad consiste en llevar la fruta del campo a la planta por tierra, de la planta hasta Estados Unidos (Los Ángeles) por mar y de ahí hacia Asia en avión, para que la fruta llegue en buen estado”, refirió.






Puesto que bajo esta modalidad de envío se incrementan los costos, sólo la emplearían en los mangos de calidad premium, que representa el 1% de la producción peruana.












Datos




. El 7 y 8 de noviembre próximo se realizará en Piura el XII Congreso Internacional sobre el Mango Peruano, donde se abordarán temas relacionados a la campaña 2013/2014 desde el punto de vista de la producción, logística y comercial. También se intercambiará información sobre las normas nacionales e internacionales que deben cumplir los productores y exportadores de mango y los avances tecnológicos en la producción y empaque de dicho producto.






. En gerente general de APEM señaló que en la campaña 2012/2013 se exportaron 100 mil toneladas de mango, siendo el principal mercado destino Estados Unidos adonde se dirigió el 45% de nuestros envíos, seguido de Holanda con el 40%.






PAIS EN QUIEBRA –► No hay dólares para el Sicad: Exportaciones petroleras cayeron 33%






por @DolarToday - Jul 24, 2013 @ 11:27AM en Noticias










Petróleos de Venezuela afronta dos problemas para generar más divisas al mercado cambiario e incrementar el nivel de las reservas internacionales: la producción no logra aumentar y ha descendido en más de 50.000 barriles diarios entre noviembre y junio, al tiempo que los volúmenes de exportación que le aportan efectivo están en menos de 1,7 millones de barriles por día, así lo informó Andrés Rojas Jiménez de El Nacional.







Hace 6 años Pdvsa reportaba volúmenes de exportación con ingresos sobre 2,4 millones de barriles al día,lo que implica que se ha registrado una caída de 800.000 barriles (33%) que dejan de generar una cantidad de entre 80 millones y 90 millones de dólares diariamente.







“Una parte del problema de iliquidez de divisas se debe a que han caído las exportaciones petroleras tanto en físico como en ingresos”, afirmó el economista Víctor Álvarez, investigador del Centro Internacional Miranda. “Hay una porción de las exportaciones de Pdvsa que no aportan ingresos a las reservas internacionales porque se pagan en especies o forman parte de un financiamiento a largo plazo como el caso de Petrocaribe”, agregó.







Otra parte del problema es generado por el consumo de combustibles en el país, principalmente gasolina y diesel, que se utilizan en las plantas térmicas de generación de electricidad que han colocado la demanda interna sobre 700.000 barriles por día.


(Fuente: LaPatilla.com)






ANTIGUA : Mango Fest 2013 deemed successful








By Kyle Christian - Wednesday, July 24th, 2013.






A young lady enjoying one of the lovely mangoes on offer at this year’s Mango Festival at Christian Valley.









ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Organisers of Mango Fest 2013 said, while the two-day event got off to a rough start, it was successful in the end.



Chairperson of the Mango Fest committee Marcelle Freeland-John said a post-mortem of Mango Fest, which took place last Saturday and Sunday, had not yet been completed.



“I am still proud of the people who came out because when they came out, they were banging,” she said.










“Our vendors were very happy with that because sales were very good and persons enjoyed themselves.”






Now in its eighth year, Mango Fest 2013 took place at its usual home of Christian Valley.







“The first day, we had a bit of unforeseen difficulties which I am apologising to the vendors for,” Freeland-John said. “This stalled things to start later than was planned.





“But as the old adage says, a bad beginning makes for a good ending, and indeed this was so.








She added, “We had over 20 vendors ranging from food, agro-processors, books, frozen beverages and it all had a mango component to it.”






Freeland-John said the event also catered for children with a bounce castle, slide and toys.





“It really was a family event,” she said.





“Day two of the event kicked off into high gear, with people attending after church, and we had those visitors vacationing here who attended as well.”





The committee chairperson said the Mango-Pineapple Culinary Competition made the day memorable for her.





“This is the first time we are having that competition at the festival itself,” she said.






Gregory Williams of Sugar Ridge hotel emerged winner of the culinary competition. Angenick Looby of Sugar Ridge hotel and Kason Tapper from Hermitage Bay Hotel won in the pastry and bar categories respectively.








For the second time, the Mango Fest Domino competition, organised by Domino Association, took place. Placing first to third respectively were Chris James, Adella John, and Marilyn Gayle.







“Although we had warri present, it was not in a competitive form. The committee has indicated that next year there will definitely be a Mango Fest warri competition,” Freeland-John said.





“We ended the evening with the Hygh Tempa band, which played some nice old calypso which everybody enjoyed under the moon light on the lawn.”









AFRICA : How U.S. drug sting targeted West African military chiefs










By Richard Valdmanis, David Lewis


Filed 7 hours ago


Updated 5 hours ago










Guinea-Bissau's Armed Forces Chief General Antonio Indjai (front C) leaves a high-level diplomatic meeting at the presidency in the capital Bissau, in this file picture taken November 7, 2012. REUTERS/Joe Penney/Files











It was late afternoon as the speedboat cut across the waters off West Africa for its rendezvous with guns and drugs.







Behind lay the steamy shore of Guinea-Bissau, one of the poorest countries on the planet. 






Ahead lay the Al Saheli, a luxurious 115-foot white motor yacht with tinted black windows.








Riding in the speedboat was Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto - a Guinea-Bissau former naval chief and war hero and, according to U.S. investigators, a kingpin of West Africa's drug trade. Na Tchuto was allegedly hoping to seal a deal involving millions of dollars and tons of cocaine. 





He was also in for a surprise.









"Once onboard (the Al Saheli), we were offered champagne," said Vasco Antonio Na Sia, the captain of the speedboat, speaking on Guinea-Bissau state television when he later returned home. As the new arrivals awaited the refreshments, agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stormed out of the Al Saheli's hold.









"Instead of champagne, we got 50 heavily armed men running at us shouting ‘Police, Police!'," said Na Sia. The DEA team arrested Na Tchuto and two of his aides, but later let go Na Sia and another man, his uncle Luis Sanha.






"They told me, ‘You and Luis will be freed because your names are not on our list.' That is how I was saved," Na Sia said. He and Sanha could not be contacted for further comment.








The sting on April 2 was part of a U.S. operation to lure two prominent figures from Guinea-Bissau into international waters so they could be seized and taken to the United States for trial on allegations of drug smuggling. 





Court documents and Reuters interviews show the elaborate nature of the operation, which was part of a larger effort by the DEA to counter drug cartels seeking to use weak African states as transit points for smuggling.









"The DEA's focus in Africa is to disrupt or dismantle the most significant drug, chemical, money laundering, and narco-terrorism organizations on the continent," Thomas Harrigan, the DEA's deputy administrator, told a Senate hearing in 2012.









The operation off Guinea-Bissau was the first time the DEA had targeted such high-ranking officials in an African state. Na Tchuto is now facing trial in New York on charges of conspiring to traffic cocaine, including to the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice says his capture has helped to break a transnational drugs ring. Na Tchuto denies the charges.








His two arrested aides were also taken to New York and face charges of conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States. They deny the charges.







Angry officials in Guinea-Bissau say Na Tchuto is the victim of entrapment and was illegally seized in Bissau's sovereign waters. Government spokesman Fernando Vaz called the sting a "kidnapping" and said if there is evidence of military officials involved in drugs smuggling, they should be tried domestically.










The DEA says Na Tchuto and his two aides were captured in international waters; it declined to provide further details while the court case is pending. It remains firm in its view that certain elements in Guinea-Bissau pose a danger that needs to be countered.









"Guinea-Bissau is a narco-state," said DEA spokesman Lawrence R. Payne in an email to Reuters. "These drug trafficking organizations are a threat to the security, stability and good governance in West Africa and pose a direct threat not only to the security of West Africans, but also of U.S. citizens."







The United States is keen to have stable partners in a region rich in commodities but struggling to fend off organized crime, maritime piracy and militant Islamism. But the DEA failed to capture its biggest target, General Antonio Indjai, whom it accuses of conspiracy to smuggle drugs and supporting FARC, a Colombian rebel group.





Indjai grabbed power in Guinea-Bissau in a 2012 coup and remains its top military official, enjoying extensive influence, though the country also has a president. Lieutenant-Colonel Daha Bana Na Walna, spokesman for Guinea-Bissau's Armed Forces Chief of Staff, called the DEA operation "regrettable" and said the alleged offences had been invented by the DEA.






He complained that Guinea-Bissau lacked equipment to tackle powerful drug cartels and was being unfairly victimized as a "narco state," especially when compared with the scale of drug-trafficking in other West African countries.




"We are fighting with the means that we have ... we don't have helicopters, vessels or vehicles," he said.








INTERNATIONAL CROSSROADS

The former Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau is home to just 1.6 million people and covers a modest 10,800 square miles; but with its array of islands and unpoliced mangrove creeks, it is a smuggler's paradise.






For years the country has been an important transit point in the lucrative drug trade from South America to Europe. 






United Nations experts estimate some 50 metric tons (55.116 tons) of cocaine, mostly from Colombia and Venezuela, pass through West Africa every year.







A Gulfstream jet left sitting on the tarmac at Bissau's Osvaldo Vieira International Airport is testament to the problem. 





It landed in July 2008 with what the U.N. believes was a bulk shipment of cocaine. 




When local police tried to investigate, they were blocked for several days by the army. 




Once the police did gain access, they found the plane empty - but sniffer dogs confirmed traces of cocaine, according to a former Guinea-Bissau government source and international law enforcement officials.






Two military interventions in the governance of Guinea-Bissau since 2010 - the second a coup in April 2012 - have deepened Western fears that the country is in the grip of suspected drugs barons like Na Tchuto, whom the U.S. added to its list of drug kingpins in 2010.







The decision to target Na Tchuto and Indjai in elaborate stings was taken by the U.S. Department of Justice. Regional diplomats, who better understand the fragile political situation in Guinea-Bissau, had little input, according to some U.S. officials. Some diplomats feared the stings could trigger another coup or spark conflict between rival factions in the country's armed forces.






One source with knowledge of the operation said a handful of DEA agents set up a field office in the U.S. embassy in Dakar, the capital of neighboring Senegal, where they worked huddled away from local embassy staff.







"There was no coordination in policy. The DEA had an opportunity and they took it ... No one thought this through," said a U.S. official, who asked not to be named, referring to the risk of the operation causing unrest among Guinea-Bissau's military.






The DEA's noose began to tighten around Na Tchuto in August last year when the bespectacled ex-navy admiral agreed to a meeting in Senegal with a man the DEA says Na Tchuto thought was a cocaine broker. In fact, he was an undercover DEA operative.







At the meeting Na Tchuto allegedly said he felt it was time for a big narcotics shipment. "Na Tchuto noted that the Guinea-Bissau government was weak in light of the recent coup d'etat and that it was therefore a good time for the proposed cocaine transaction," prosecutors say.







In subsequent meetings Na Tchuto's aides discussed the practicalities of the deal, which would involve taking delivery of a shipment of cocaine at sea, bringing it to shore and trucking it to an underground bunker for storage, according to prosecutors.







Na Tchuto allegedly told the DEA source he wanted $1 million for each metric ton of cocaine brought into the country. He offered to use a company he owned as a front to ship the drugs back out when needed, according to prosecutors.









Sabrina Shroff, a lawyer acting for Na Tchuto, declined to comment on the specifics of his case, but said he had pleaded not guilty. She added that the DEA's tactics amounted to entrapment, that Na Tchuto was in poor health and that she was struggling to find interpreters who spoke Guinea-Bissau's Balanta language.






The DEA declined to comment on how it had conducted the case; however, sting operations are a common tactic used by the agency, though they are rarely targeted at such senior foreign officials.











TWIN STINGS

In parallel with the Na Tchuto operation, the DEA also set up meetings with Indjai, say prosecutors. In 2010 Indjai had ousted his boss and briefly detained the prime minister, and had seized greater control in the 2012 coup.







To snare the military leader, undercover DEA officers posed as members of the Colombian rebel group FARC, or Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, according to prosecutors. FARC is designated a terrorist organization by Washington and runs large cocaine trafficking operations.







The officers contacted Indjai through local and Colombian traffickers operating in Guinea-Bissau and concocted a plan to import Colombian cocaine for transshipment to other countries, including the United States. In return, they asked Indjai to arrange a shipment of weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, for FARC fighters to use against American helicopters in Colombia.








During meetings with undercover DEA operatives in July 2012, Indjai agreed that FARC cocaine would be shipped to Guinea-Bissau for later distribution to the United States, according to prosecutors. One of his associates said the general would expect to retain 13 percent of the drugs as a "fee" for government officials, prosecutors say.







Indjai also said he would help supply weapons to FARC and would brief Guinea-Bissau's transitional president, Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, on the plan, according to prosecutors.








Nhamadjo is acting as interim head of state until elections can be held. His government has vehemently denied any involvement in drug trafficking and has vowed to defend its citizens against the U.S. charges.








Indjai is charged with drug trafficking and providing support for terrorists targeting the United States. His spokesman, Na Walna, said the DEA had used "infiltrators" who had proposed the drugs-for-arms exchanges. "If you invent a crime, then there can be no crime," he said.








Prosecutors allege that during recorded meetings over several months to November 2012, Indjai and his associates agreed to import some 4 metric tons of cocaine, of which 500 kg (1,102 lbs) would go to the United States. A trafficker who operates in Guinea-Bissau listed equipment needed for the work, including trucks with hidden compartments to smuggle the cocaine to the front company's warehouse, prosecutors allege.






As the stings headed towards their climax, the United States shut down its diplomatic office in Bissau, anticipating staff there would be at risk of a backlash if local officials were seized.










DELAYS AND SUSPICIONS

The Al Salehi motor yacht was a key part of the DEA's plan - but earned itself a reputation as a lemon among U.S. operatives. The DEA had seized the yacht in an earlier operation and grappled with mechanical problems on the way to Guinea-Bissau, according to a U.S. official.







Those setbacks had delayed the sting by a month. As the ship waited off the coast for the crucial moment, another delay disrupted plans.







Na Tchuto was suspicious, or cautious, or both. He initially sent Na Sia, the speedboat captain, and his aides to the Al Saheli on their own. The DEA feared their scheme was unraveling. An irate undercover agent who called himself Alex berated the visitors and demanded to deal with Na Tchuto in person, according to Na Sia.









After several hours Na Tchuto was finally lured offshore and seized. But the delay may have cost the DEA its bigger prize. The agency had intended to arrest Na Tchuto first, then attempt to lure out Indjai, a bulky man who enjoys sitting in the shade of the cashew trees at the Amura military base in the capital, by speedboat from another port. The plan failed.








It is not clear why Indjai did not go, but one Western diplomat suggested the lateness of the hour may have been a factor. "By the time they got Na Tchuto it was nearly dark, and they had no chance of getting Indjai offshore," said the source. Whether Indjai had agreed to a meeting on the Al Salehi is unclear; but it headed off without him.









Exactly where Na Tchuto was seized is disputed. The speedboat captain Na Sia said on local state TV that he had initially met the Al Saheli not far from the island of Caravela and that when he returned later with Na Tchuto, the Al Saheli was in "Guinea-Bissau's territorial waters."







The Guinea-Bissau government has supported this view. The DEA says the Al Saheli was in international waters. Either way, the vessel set sail for Cape Verde, where Na Tchuto was put on a plane and flown to New York.











THE FALLOUT

The semi-successful sting had an immediate political impact, according to locals in Bissau, the country's capital.









In the days following Na Tchuto's capture, rival military camps deployed heavily armed soldiers to the streets, setting up roadblocks and searching vehicles heading out of the capital. 





With President Nhamadjo in Germany for medical treatment for complications from diabetes, fears rose of another coup, or a violent power struggle within the army.







Guinea-Bissau officials hit back at the United States. "The seizure of Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto and the accusations against General Antonio Indjai, have hurt Guinea-Bissau ... creating fear in the hearts of our population of another conflict," said Vaz, the government spokesman.







Some Western diplomats and Bissau-watchers are worried about how Indjai will react to the failed plot to seize him.





"If Mr. Antonio Indjai is guilty of the allegations made against him, I would hope that we find ways to ease him out of the military in a manner that does not paint him and his supporters into a corner," said U.N. Special Representative to Guinea-Bissau, Jose Ramos-Horta. "A cornered animal would have no choice but to fight."







Payne, the DEA spokesman, and other U.S. officials said that the United States was generally keen to help local law enforcement agencies strengthen their own capacities to combat organized crime. But direct U.S. intervention reflects the suspicion of international law enforcement officials in the region that little action was taken by local agencies, at least partly because of high-level complicity.









"That was an operation that needed to be done just by us," said one U.S. official, referring to the capture of Na Tchuto. "There is a sense in some circles that we've got commandos lurking offshore ready to pounce. I don't think this will become a regular occurrence in Guinea-Bissau. But if they think it is, no harm done there."






(Additional reporting Pascal Fletcher in Johannesburg and Alvaro Andrade in Praia, Cape Verde; Editing By Richard Woods and Simon Robinson)










Tom’s of Maine Pushes Innovation with Potato Starch Packaging








By Leon Kaye | July 24th, 2013




Tom’s of Maine mouthwash may soon come in potato-based packaging








Tom’s of Maine may now be part of the Colgate-Palmolive family, but to its majority owner’s credit, the earthy, yet polished, personal care products company is still a leader when it comes to sustainability. 





As Earth911 editor Mary Mazzoni’s feature article earlier this month explained, Tom’s is now tinkering with potato starch for some its polylactic acid (PLA) packaging. 







Potatoes are a huge part of Maine’s farming sector, but the company also has a long-term opportunity to divert food waste or crops that are below food grade from landfills and instead churn them into bio-plastic resin.






Compared to its competitors within the personal care and consumer packaged goods industries, Tom’s has pushed the boundaries of packaging sustainability and innovation






The company has ditched cardboard for some of its toothpastes; two years ago Tom’s eliminated aluminum toothpaste tubes in favor of laminate, which the company says is lighter, less energy intensive and reduces the number of steps from sourcing to shipping when compared to aluminum. 




One caveat: those laminate tubes have to be shipped to Terracycle if your community cannot accept them in the recycling stream. Nevertheless, the company has made progress as now 40 percent of the materials used in packaging is sourced from recycled materials.








So, what is the future of potato-based packaging, especially with concern over excessive use of conventional paper, cardboard and of course, fossil fuel-based plastic?






Other companies have experimented with potato starch-based packaging. Across the pond in the United Kingdom, PepsiCo considered churning potato peelings into compostable packaging for its Walkers crisps brand. 





The beverage and snack food giant had searched for an alternative to its much ballyhooed Sun Chips compostable bag, which the company rolled out then pulled off the shelves after customers complained they made too much of a ruckus





High end brands are now considering packaging formed out of spuds: the iconic champagne company, Veuve Clicquot, for example, launched a 100 percent biodegradable potato starch and recycled paper container that looks like a mutant bowling pin or avant-garde hair piece, but can keep the bubbly cool for up to two hours. 





And years ago, when the iPhone 3 shipped across Europe, Dutch potatoes comprised a tray in which those gadgets rested.








But, as Mazzoni outlines in her article, Tom’s potato-based packaging, if successful, could be a game changer. 




The challenge is for liquid materials to be stored, without degrading, within such a bio-PLA container—remember, a bottle of mouthwash can sit on the bathroom vanity for months in a humid environment. 






But the possibility a solid PLA alternative that can prevent the waste of tons of crops and provide farmers additional revenue is indeed an exciting thought.






 Tom’s track record of boosting consumers’ hygiene without stinking up the environment may just well continue.






Based in Fresno, California, Leon Kaye is the editor of GreenGoPost.com and frequently writes about business sustainability strategy. Leon also contributes to Guardian Sustainable Business; his work has also appeared on Sustainable Brands, Inhabitat and Earth911. You can follow Leon and ask him questions on Twitter or Instagram (greengopost).

[Image credit: Leon Kaye]










TROPICAL STORM DORIAN HEADED TO CARIBBEAN ....













NHC has upgraded Tropical Depression Four to Tropical Storm Dorian (pronounced "DOR-ee-an"). 




It's centered over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean - in the lower right corner of this satellite image - and moving toward the west-northwest. 




Maximum sustained winds are 50 mph. 





Get the latest on this tropical cyclone, including graphics, on the NHC website at www.hurricanes.gov








USA BANKS REPLACE CHINA ON THE WORLD STAGE ...





















Six years after a Chinese lender became the world's biggest bank, a U.S. rival, has taken the crown.http://on.wsj.com/13CuP0f






Wells Fargo is now the world's most valuable bank by market capitalization, a sign of shifting fortunes on both sides of the Pacific.







Are perceptions of Western banks changing? What does this mean for China?




THE TWISTS & TURNS OF THE TRAYVON MARTIN STORY THAT THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA HIDES FROM YOU ..











Trayvon's Skittles, Arizona Iced Tea and something called 'Purple Drank'



GOVERNMENT TOPICS
JULY 13, 2013











A popular but deadly mixture.
Credits:
Rio Norte Online











“unow a connect for codien?”












Media speculation as well as internet buzz are openly querying if Trayvon Martin's purchase of Skittles and Arizona Watermelon Fruit Cocktail Juice on the night he died were just to satisfy a young man's sweet tooth or were they two of the three ingredients in a dangerous codeine-based concoction, as reported by the pop culture news portal RashManly.com on July 12, 2013.










Martin has been portrayed by his supporters as an innocent youth armed with nothing more than a bag of Skittles candy and a can of Arizona Iced Tea on the night he was killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman..







During the course of the trial, State Prosecutor John Guy made it official when he identified to the jury Martin's personal possessions found on his body by police, to include an "unopened bag of Skittles" as well as a "full can of watermelon-flavored drink," as reported by Central Florida News 13 on June 25, 2013.









Without citing reference sources, RashManly.com accuses Martin of admitting on his Facebook account as early as June 27, 2011 of being an abuser of a codeine, soft drink and candy beverage popularly known as "Purple Drank" or "Lean."







According to the hipster website, Martin asked a friend online, “unow a connect for codien?”




Martin went on to tell his friend that “robitussin nd soda” could make “some fire ass lean.”




He says, “I had it before” and that he wants “to make some more.”





The RashManly.com statements are credibility-weak without any source documentation cited, but that's exactly what the openly right-of-center weblog/news portal The Conservative Tree House has posted on their site via screen captures of the actual Facebook pages (click here to view).






As cited by the popular contemporary culture reference site Urban Dictionary, Purple Drank/Lean also goes by the street names of sizzurp, Texas Tea and liquid codeine.





Purple Drank is commonly used by Southern Rappers and "wannabe suburban teenagers" according to Urban Dictionary.







Also cited is that the intoxicant is "a mixture of Promethazine/Codeine cough syrup" and any given store-bought clear soft drink or juice.







To further enhance the sweet taste that appeals to the mostly youthful users, Urban Dictionary cites Purple Drank also has "a few jolly ranchers and/or skittles thrown in."







DEHYDRATED : THE MOST EFFICIENT ROUTE FOR PAKISTANI MANGOES TO USA MARKET ...












USA :   emerging market for dried Pak mangoes

July 24, 2013



















LAHORE - The Harvest Tradings Chief Executive officer (CEO) Ahmad Jawad has said that Pakistan must establish proper dried mango industry to increase the exports of mango, as ASEAN, Europe and US regions are the big markets for the product. 





 Speaking during a workshop here, Ahmed Jawad said, the market estimates show that per kg of dried mangoes can be sold for approximately Rs 600 in the wholesale export markets; country can export 70 percent of its dried mango produce to high paying international markets such as the US and Europe.






In 2011-12 the US market demand for dried mangoes was $59 million.






He told the audience that there is a big market that can be tapped as far as the international market is concerned. There is still much growth there but due to the number of competitors, internationally, the price issue comes into play,” but we may create the difference through taste”






Currently, USAID is helping to strengthen Pakistan’s dried mango production, exports and revenues in South Punjab and Sindh areas.







Jawad said Thailand’s dried mango products might be of lesser quality than those produced in the Philippines, the more attractive packaging and lower prices make Thai mangoes more attractive to the international market.










 “Thailand has the edge over the Philippines in dried mango production not just in packaging, but in terms of price."





"If you were to look at how Thailand fruit processors position themselves, all the dried fruit processing plants are situated in an export zone that is no more than 5 kilometers from the plantation. Therefore, your transportation and operational costs are low,” he explained.






Pakistan still needs the infrastructure. 







"We don’t have proper industry in this regard." 








"Government must encourage the private sector to establish these plants without any duty on import of these plants."