Job losses in nearly every sector expected for 2017

first_imgAlaska’s Energy Desk | EconomyJob losses in nearly every sector expected for 2017January 9, 2017 by Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau Share:Like most other sectors of the economy, state jobs are in decline. Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development economists predict a shrinking economy in 2017 as the state struggles to recover from low oil prices and a loss of billions in revenue from the oil and gas industry.  (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO)Thousands of Alaskans lost their jobs in 2016, and in the forecast for 2017, it doesn’t look like the economy is going to stop shrinking anytime soon.Oil prices, the foundation of the state’s economy, have rebounded slightly but not enough to balance the state’s budget. A new state economic forecast predicts layoffs and job losses in nearly every sector of the economy. State economists say cuts in the oil and gas industry, construction and the public sector have been so deep they’re causing job losses in nearly every other sector of the economy. Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Alaska’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development economists say the state’s economy is in decline, and, for the first time in decades, the state is going to have to fund the majority of its budget with something other than oil revenue. That said, oil industry losses, the catalyst for the state’s rapidly shrinking economy, are expected to slow. According to the state’s employment forecast for 2017, the oil industry is expected to shed 1,400 jobs this year: about half of what it lost last year. Oil workforce drops from 2015 high. (Graphic Courtesy Alaska’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development)While oil prices are the main driver for the economy, state economist Caroline Schultz says they’re relatively easy to predict. The big unknown now is political. “Legislative decisions and budget decisions made by the legislature and the governor, I mean, we don’t have as good of a read on how that’s going to pan out as we do on oil prices,” Schultz said.Whatever the legislature decides to do this year probably won’t solve all of the state’s budget problems but could go a long way toward boosting consumer confidence and encouraging new business, Schultz wrote in her analysis.Sectors of the economy like arts and entertainment and recreation will see big losses in 2017 as people spend less money. And, while a good tourist season will help with that loss, this year could be rough on restaurants and bars. The financial services are also expected to take a hit as real estate and demand for financing slows. Also, the public sector will be thinned again. At least 1,300 jobs were cut in 2016. Governor Bill Walker introduced a budget in mid-December that calls for another 400 state jobs to be cut by December of 2017. Government job losses in Alaska. 2016 numbers are preliminary; 2017 are forecasted. (Graphic Courtesy Alaska’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development)There are some bright spots.The healthcare industry is expected to keep adding jobs as the state’s population ages. In fact, it’s the only industry forecasted to grow, adding 500 new jobs this year. Military spending is up with nearly $550 million in new hangars, buildings and construction contracts between Eielson and Fort Wainwright bases in Fairbanks. In Anchorage and Southeast Alaska the tourism industry could get a boost from large numbers of out-of-state travelers. Cruise ship bookings are up. Schultz says there weren’t a lot of surprises when they were crunching the numbers for the 2017 forecast.  “We’re kind of past the hard part where we had to predict when the rough times were going to start,” she said. “So now we can definitely in retrospect identify that they really started in 2016.”The new excitement, she says, is to predict when the state starts to come out of this slump. But that likely won’t happen in 2017. Share this story:last_img read more

Hard decisions loom as Southeast Alaska’s king salmon continue their slide

first_imgFisheries | Oceans | SoutheastHard decisions loom as Southeast Alaska’s king salmon continue their slideJanuary 16, 2018 by Jacob Resneck, KTOO Share:Trollers in Sitka’s Eliason Harbor. (KCAW file photo)Dwindling king salmon numbers in Southeast Alaska are a familiar headline.Still, little is known about why the fish aren’t coming back.And fishermen are grappling with the consequences.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Kings or chinook are not like other salmon.They’re bigger for one, averaging about 11 pounds. And they’re more valuable; fishermen can expect to make about $100 a fish.But this money fish’s health and survival are in question. Alaska Department of Fish and Game just put out the lowest forecasts for Southeast kings since records began in the 1970s.Researchers don’t have a lot of answers why their numbers are dwindling. But before the why can be studied, researchers investigating salmon mortality, need to know the when.“Is it happening in the first couple months, is it happening over winter, is it happening throughout their life?” said Federal fisheries biologist Jim Murphy at Auke Bay Laboratories. “To know the scope of the problem is important.”One thing’s beyond dispute: climate change has brought warmer, nutrient-poor waters to the North Pacific.This warm water was nicknamed “The Blob” when it first appeared in 2013 and wreaked havoc on salmon feeding in the open ocean.“There’s a lot of concern over ‘The Blob’ but in reality the marine survival of chinook salmon has been declining for several years, even before the blob showed up,” Murphy said.Other theories point to more predators in the ocean. What preys on kings?“We don’t really know,” Murphy said. “I have not ever seen a single predator that has a chinook salmon in their stomach, even though I’ve spent 15 years sampling the oceans.”Closer to shore, the picture doesn’t get much clearer. Yet state fisheries managers are responsible for keeping fisheries sustainable.It’s a numbers game that focuses on escapement, or the number of fish that survive in the open ocean, elude predators as well as fishermen and then return to rivers and streams to spawn.Each summer, Fish and Game technicians try and count the returning fish to gauge the relative health of the run.In many rivers, escapement fell short of last year’s targets.“Around the region, I’d say it’s the worst we’ve seen,” said Dan Gray, fish and game’s Southeast salmon fisheries coordinator in Sitka. “The forecasts for 2018 are even worse than what we saw in 2017. We’re in historic sort of area here.”Gray isn’t dwelling on the why. He’s trying to conserve those that still show up.“We’re going to manage what comes back regardless of what’s going on in out in the ocean,” Gray said. “It’s a great, it would be a great to know or to understand, but it really doesn’t impact how we do our job.”Spring King Salmon Derby winner David Turner Jr. poses with his winning 29.25-pound salmon in 2016. The derby was canceled in 2017 and is unlikely to be held in 2018. (Photo courtesy Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)Conservation often means restricting or closing down fisheries altogether. Sport fishing included.Juneau’s Spring King Salmon Derby, which raises money for scholarships, marked its 20th event in 2016.“That was the last derby because in the spring, Alaska Department of Fish and Game had to close the spring king fishery due to the low returns,” said Laird Jones, who organizes the derby for Central Council of Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.He said this year’s derby will likely be canceled too.“We have had people fly in and spend a week or two fishing,” he said, “so we try to get the word out as soon as possible that this year is not occurring.”Decisions on what to do loom large at this month’s state Board of Fisheries meeting.At least 30 proposals are on the table and more could emerge during the marathon meeting in Sitka.Fish and Game managers are recommending listing king salmon as a stock of concern, which could trigger stronger restrictions.The hope is that’ll help the population rebound.Commercial fishermen are anxious: It’s a question of livelihood for many of 1,000 or so active permit holders.“King salmon can make up half of our annual revenue,” said Dale Kelley, executive director of the Alaska Trollers Association. “It’s a significant species when it comes to the troll fishery.”And Kelley said fishermen are trying to take the long view.“The important thing is getting salmon eggs into the gravel right now,” she said. “While fishermen are extremely concerned about the effects of conservation management on their businesses, our long-term survival depends on the health of these stocks.”For salmon researchers, the decline of king salmon is vexing.“It does really point to our lack of understanding in the underlying ecology,” Murphy said. “I think it’s good to kind of put some resources into understanding. It’s probably not going to bring fish back but it helps to be able to sort out very difficult decisions that are made.”Difficult decisions for the Board of Fisheries, which has scheduled two days of public testimony.#AKBoF TweetsShare this story:last_img read more

Dow and S&P retreat from record highs – New York Report

first_img Dow and S&P retreat from record highs – New York Report US SHARES edged lower yesterday as minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting gave investors few new clues as to when interest rates might rise.The S&P 500 snapped a four-day run of gains and a two-day streak of record closing highs.The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2.09 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 17,685.73, the S&P 500 lost 3.08 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 2,048.72 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 26.73 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 4,675.71.Tech names were among the biggest drags on the market, with the Nasdaq underperforming both the Dow and S&P 500. Shares of Microsoft fell 1.1 per cent to $48.22 and Qualcomm eased 2.1 per cent to $70.47 as a result of it giving a more conservative five-year outlook than in the past.Among the S&P 500’s biggest positives, Target rose 7.4 per cent to $72.50 and Lowe’s rose 6.4 per cent to $62.26, both after results.Oplink Communications shares jumped 13.8 per cent to $24.18. It is being purchased by Koch Optics, a subsidiary of privately held Koch Industries, for about $445m.Among other big movers, shares of JetBlue Airways rose 4.1 per cent to $13.25 after it said it would charge certain customers for their first checked luggage.After the bell, shares of fell 4.1 per cent to $58.55 as its revenue forecast missed analysts’ expectations. Share Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofHomemade Tomato Soup: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proof Wednesday 19 November 2014 8:02 pm whatsapp Show Comments ▼center_img by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May Likezenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailPost FunGreat Songs That Artists Are Now Embarrassed OfPost FunMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorLoan Insurance WealthDolly Parton, 74, Takes off Makeup, Leaves Us With No WordsLoan Insurance WealthPast Factory4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!Past FactoryNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar Program Express KCS whatsapp Tags: NULLlast_img read more

Financial firms’ demand boosts IT sector growth

first_img Show Comments ▼ THE UK’s IT sector is booming with the number of companies growing by 15,000 in 2014.There were 321,000 in 2014, up from 306,000 in 2013, according to data released today by IT accountants NoPalaver. The figure marks an annual jump of five per cent. NoPalaver attributes the rise to “FinTech” applications and “Big Data”. FinTech applications enable financial services firms an increased use of technology and lower operating costs. Big Data refers to the area of using technology to process greater volumes of data over a shorter period of time. Both are part of the UK’s “app economy”. “The UK, particularly London, continues to prove itself a breeding ground for technological innovation and offers attractive investment opportunities,” said Graham Jenner, director at NoPalaver. Sunday 11 January 2015 10:40 pm Express KCS Financial firms’ demand boosts IT sector growth Share whatsapp whatsapp Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe Wrap’Drake & Josh’ Star Drake Bell Arrested in Ohio on Attempted ChildThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe Wrap’The View’: Meghan McCain Calls VP Kamala Harris a ‘Moron’ for BorderThe WrapPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The WrapKatt Williams Explains Why He Believes There ‘Is No Cancel Culture’ inThe Wrap’Black Widow’ First Reactions: ‘This Is Like the MCU’s Bond Movie’The Wrap Tags: NULLlast_img read more

Walkie Talkie prompts City clampdown on wind tunnels as skyscrapers transform London

first_img Show Comments ▼ Complaints over powerful gusts of wind around the base of the Walkie Talkie skyscraper in the City have prompted planners to demand property developers seek a second opinion over their wind reports.  Wind tunnels have become a more frequent problem as an apparent result of skyscrapers going up in the capital. The City of London is now asking for an “independent verification” of developers’ wind studies. The City of London Corporation is demanding that developers have their wind studies independently audited after stronger-than-expected winds at the bottom of Land Securities and Canary Wharf’s 20 Fenchurch Street building.   Traditionally a low-rise city compared with other metropolises like New York, London’s skyline has dramatically changed over the last decade, with more plans being submitted for skyscrapers than ever. The City’s head of design Gwyn Richards said that as a result of this building boom, developers will have to carry out more rigorous reports. Wind tunnels have become a more frequent problem  “The wind outcome at street level experienced post-construction on a number of projects differs somewhat to the conditions we were expecting from the one outlined in the planning application wind assessments.,” he said. Read more: Does the Walkie Talkie have a wind problem? “This is why we are asking for an independent verification of the wind studies on a number of new schemes to ensure a rigorous and resilient approach as possible.” Axa Real Estate’s 22 Bishopsgate scheme and Wilkinson Eyre’s tower at 6-8 Bishopsgate are among the first to undergo the new procedure.  whatsapp Tags: bridges and landmarks Company Land Securities Group London buildings Express KCS Share whatsapp by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailSwift VerdictChrissy Metz, 39, Shows Off Massive Weight Loss In Fierce New PhotoSwift VerdictMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekPost FunKate & Meghan Are Very Different Mothers, These Photos Prove ItPost FunComedyAbandoned Submarines Floating Around the WorldComedyForbesThese 10 Colleges Have Produced The Most Billionaire AlumniForbesGameday NewsNBA Wife Turns Heads Wherever She GoesGameday Newszenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity Mirror Monday 13 July 2015 9:09 pm Walkie Talkie prompts City clampdown on wind tunnels as skyscrapers transform London last_img read more

Labour leadership race: Want to be like Jeremy Corbyn? Now you can, with this blazer

first_img Show Comments ▼ Monday 7 September 2015 2:05 pm whatsapp We all know Jeremy Corbyn, the nation’s new political celebrity, is more than a man with bold ideas: with his characteristic beard and crumpled suits, his distinct style transcends generations.Now you can look just like him – with the “Jeremy Corbyn 70s Beige Burton Blazer” on Ebay. Simply combine with a white shirt and dark red tie, and you’re set. Read more: Jeremy Corbyn’s tweets ahead in the social media stakes – but not enough to win outright”You’ve seen the man, now you can be the part, in this vintage Burton beige blazer by John Weiz,” says seller vintageagency, who describes the garment as having “Exposed stitching. Tailor cut, perfect for demonstrations and down your lefty pub”.Delivery the next working day after King Corbyn’s expected coronation (Source: eBay)But even when you’ve finished a long day at the office, you can still channel your political hero – by picking up one of Corbyn’s “sexy” £1.50 vests from a stall at Nag’s Head Market.Read more: Can geography tell us if Labour is being infiltrated?The one thing you may find it harder to emulate is that beard. After all, Corbyn has won the parliamentary beard of the year award five times now. Alas, quality facial hair like that isn’t available on Ebay…. Labour leadership race: Want to be like Jeremy Corbyn? Now you can, with this blazer James Nickerson center_img whatsapp Tags: Jeremy Corbyn Labour leadership race People Share More From Our Partners Killer drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgWhite House Again Downplays Fourth Possible Coronvirus Checkvaluewalk.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgInstitutional Investors Turn To Options to Bet Against AMCvaluewalk.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.org980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse‘The Love Boat’ captain Gavin MacLeod dies at 90nypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.comWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeSwift VerdictChrissy Metz, 39, Shows Off Massive Weight Loss In Fierce New PhotoSwift VerdictPost FunKate & Meghan Are Very Different Mothers, These Photos Prove ItPost FunMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity Mirrorzenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comTheFashionBallAlica Schmidt Is The Most Beautiful Athlete To ExistTheFashionBallArticles SkillHusband Leaves Wife For Her Sister, Not Knowing She Won The Lottery Just Moments BeforeArticles SkillLearn It WiseAfter Losing 70lbs Susan Boyle Is So Skinny Now She Looks Like A ModelLearn It WiseDefinitionThe Most Famous Movie Filmed In Every U.S. StateDefinitionlast_img read more

News / Ambitious rival Florida airport targets a prime slice of Miami’s freighter traffic

first_img© Adrianadh By Alex Lennane 09/01/2020 Freighter operators moving cargo on intra-Americas routes have a new option as Airglades International Airport (AIA) targets their traffic.The airport has announced plans for a “state-of-the-art logistics complex in southern Florida to dramatically reshape the efficient flow of perishable goods from Latin American producers to North American consumer markets”.The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cleared the way for the project in September, okaying a proposal for a private takeover of AIA to convert it into an all-cargo gateway. The project had already secured the backing of local and regional authorities.According to the airport authority, AIA is one of three airports in the FAA’s Airport Investment Partnership Programme, launched in 1996 to generate access to private capital for airport development and improvement.center_img “I’ve spent 10 years on this,” said AIA chief executive Fred Ford. He has worked closely with third-party airport services provider AvPorts, as the designated airport operator, and Star America as a private investor and equity provider.Their plan includes construction of a 600,000 sq ft cooler complex to handle fish and seafood, flowers and high-end fruits and vegetables flown from Latin America to the US.The airport has a 6,000 ft runway, but the developers are planning a new 10,000 ft runway to accommodate widebody freighters and also intend to build taxiways and a cargo apron to serve 20 aircraft, Mr Ford said.He expects to move forward with the construction soon.“We have sufficient firm commitments to go to capital markets,” he said. These are from construction and fuel providers as well as major perishables importers. We are now converting letters of intent and term sheets into contracts so we have guaranteed tenants and volumes. We want to convert as many as possible.”He intends to complete this stage before the end of the second quarter and begin construction in Q2 or Q3.And there have been talks with airlines that operate freighters: “It’s basically the all-cargo aircraft operators we target,” Mr Ford said.So far none has made a commitment, but some regard the project as an interesting possibility.“It’s an interesting option because of its focus on cargo operations and congestion reduction,” said Kamal Hadad, network and alliance director of LATAM Cargo. “Right now, our freighter supporting bellies strategy relies heavily on Miami as a key location and therefore we believe we should continue operating there. Nevertheless, we are constantly evaluating new opportunities for our network.”US freighter airline 21 Air also sounded a positive note: “The focus of this development is to provide an alternative solution to the everyday, busier Miami International Airport, especially on the air cargo service to flowers, fruits, fish and other perishables. 21 Air, as an all-cargo carrier, is aware of this situation and  has expressed its interest in having future operations via this airport.”According to Mr Ford, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, which manages Miami International Airport (MIA), has reached out to start a dialogue with a rival that is presenting itself as an alternative to the congestion at the mega-gateway.With congestion and longer dwell times at MIA, the AIA project emphasises its location, 100 miles north of MIA, means shorter truck transit times to US markets beyond Florida. (It is located just on the southwest of Lake Okeechobee shown on the map above.)“We had to prove shelf-life and transport miles savings to the perishables industry to be acceptable,” said Mr Ford. “The reduction in overall cost of a trip is the foundation for the concept.”Users of the airport will be charged a throughput fee. Instead of per sq ft rental on the building or landing fees, the airport’s costs will be paid for by this mechanism. The amount will be determined by the expense and the amount of debt the airport has.“Historically, attempts to capture cargo-related revenue have mostly fallen under less-imaginative landing fees charged to all-cargo carriers, fuel fees passed through fueling agents from airlines and rents for the land and/or physical facilities depending on whether the airport was an active or passive landlord,” noted Mike Webber, associate vice-president of aviation planning and development consultant Landrum & Brown.“Very few airports contemplate air cargo as even a break-even proposition for revenues, but tolerate it for its economic development benefits for their constituents, and accept that it doesn’t need to pull its own weight but is just a typically off-peak user of mostly fixed assets, so must only (hopefully) cover the marginal costs of cargo operations,” he continued.Previous attempts to divert international freighters from Miami to other airports in the south-eastern US have failed, chiefly because of the connectivity and infrastructure at MIA. Combination carriers like LATAM and Avianca usually are reluctant to split their operations.On the brighter side, cargo airports have fared better over the past couple of years. However, much of this has been driven by e-commerce. If AIA were to succeed, it would be the first cargo airport story written on the back of the strength of perishables.last_img read more

News / As China returns to work, box carriers look to rate hikes to help regain losses

first_img By Mike Wackett 06/03/2020 Ocean carriers are preparing for a return to fully booked ships.The recovery in China’s manufacturing is reported to be up to around 80% of pre-new year levels, and regional transport movements are also getting back up to speed, it seems.“We have seen many terminals and depots returning to normal operations,” said OOCL. “The reefer plug shortage issue in Shanghai, Tianjin and Ningbo has also gradually improved and more trucking services have resumed.”The carrier’s view was supported by online freight marketplace Freightos, which reported this week that manufacturing in China had taken “definite steps” towards normality.And on the intermodal situation, Freightos said: “Inter-province trucking, which last week was a major pain point, is now operating at about 80% capacity as well.”The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) commentary this week reported vessel utilisation levels of 75%-80% for Europe and around 70% for US sailings.Carriers have been obliged to withdraw almost half of scheduled capacity on both the Asia-Europe and transpacific tradelanes since the Chinese new year on 25 January, which analyst Sea-Intelligence estimates at some 1.9m teu.This radical action could have cost the container lines around $2bn in lost revenue, according to the analyst, although carriers appeared to have succeeded in protecting spot rates from any serious erosion during the worst of the virus crisis.In fact, the North Europe component of today’s SCFI recorded a 3.2% uplift, to $830 per teu, while for Mediterranean ports, there was a slight decline of 1.4%, to $915 per teu.Carriers are in the process of preparing to raise FAK rates later in the month, as they look to recover severe losses incurred in the first quarter.The knock-on effect of the blanked sailings from China has caused a major problem for Europe’s exporters. Firstly, shippers with cargo already delivered to container terminals are having to wait weeks before loading, and secondly, acute equipment shortages at depots, caused by the absence of import cargo box returns, has resulted in some carriers refusing bookings altogether.Nevertheless, The Loadstar has seen wave after wave of North Europe-Asia ‘peak season surcharge’ (PSS)  announcements from carriers in the past two weeks, which has driven a spot rate spike of 24% in the past week, to $786 per 40ft, according to Drewry’s WCI index.“Not only can we not make any bookings due to our carriers rationing equipment, but when we eventually do, who knows what the PSS will be,” said one UK forwarder.And Flexport’s head of ocean freight for Europe, Martin Holst-Mikkelsen, told The Loadstar storms hitting North Europe last month had also contributed to export delays.“The stormy weather led to a growing backlog of containers waiting to be exported at sea terminals, prompting the introduction of restricted delivery slots,” said Mr Holst-Mikkelsen.On the transpacific, spot rates as recorded by the SCFI were virtually unchanged this week for US east coast ports, at $2,679 per 40ft, while for the west coast, rates edged down 2.4% to $1,361 per 40ft.“Rate increases announced for 1 April show carriers expect a slow March, followed by a strong April and beyond,” said Freightos. © Woraphon Banchobdi last_img read more

Newly named MacArthur ‘Genius’ and neuroscientist talks creativity in science

first_img Shraddha Chakradhar Both your parents were artists. Did they influence how you work?I was strongly influenced by their creative process, which is parallel to how scientists work. There’s a kind of honing in your craft. It’s obvious in the artistic endeavors, whether it’s practicing dancing or something else. But it’s also there in the sciences — you have to be disciplined about pushing through with your experiments.Is there something specific you remember about your parents’ artistry and how it led to your work today?Both my parents were very passionate about what they did. My father passed away at the age of 98, and up until two months before that, he had painted every single day of my life. He was a landscape painter, and he would look at mountains and trees and then distill it into his own version of what it looks like in [his] mind. I think that’s really intimate — what the nervous system is doing [where] we take similar types of sensory signals, but then there’s some individuality in the way we respond to it. So, I think there is this natural affinity to thinking about sensory perception.Were you always interested in science?I did like science and math, but I was actually interested in being a ballet dancer and took four years after high school to pursue it professionally. I went to Stuyvesant High School [in New York], which is a good math and science school. When I decided to quit dance, I thought about what would be orthogonal to that, and decided on chemistry. The rules of chemistry were something I thought I could really appreciate. But I didn’t really know anything because I didn’t realize how creative the process could be.It was only during my postdoc did I decide to switch things around to neuroscience. [Making the switch] just gave me more freedom. I don’t feel ever hesitant. Many great scientists whom I admire very much [are] willing to take themselves where science takes them, instead of staying some place where science keeps them comfortable. And it’s become something of a guiding principle of the way my lab is run. I hope to always push myself to be a little bit outside my comfort zone.Can you give me an example of that?My lab spans a broad range. We try to think of how chemical information is detected in the environment. We do structural biology all the way to biophysics to behavior, and one of the things we’ve come to appreciate recently is even in the simplified nervous system of [fruit flies], there’s a great deal of complexity in how the nervous system works in a dynamic way. You have to think about the nervous system from a systems perspective. I was always sort of a reductionist [as far as thinking about structural chemistry], and doing things this way has taken me out of my comfort zone.What’s a big research idea you’re pursuing?One big question is: How do you detect the enormous variety of chemicals in the environment? Insects have evolved a completely novel family of olfactory receptors. Using structural biology, we determined the structure of one of these last year. Insects use their sense of smell to find human hosts [and so] these are great target molecules for designing insect repellants.What do you see as the biggest issues confronting science?Funding. It seems too boring an answer, but it is something that we all think about. I really am spoiled by the fact that I work at an institution where I can actually let my questions guide my approaches, and I’m only limited by ideas. I think that’s helped spur greater creativity and exploration. You try things that may fail, but you don’t worry about it because you’re not resource-limited.One thing I’d really like to see is to increase the diversity in science. I think there’s still a great disparity in gender, but it’s also much more among [scientists of color]. I think that requires reaching out to people earlier and supporting them and giving them encouragement, probably even when they’re in high school and college. To let them know that this is a career, and they don’t have to fit the stereotypical model of an older white man to be a scientist. After making the switch to science, however, she says that creativity — and the freedom that comes with it — still plays a big part in how she goes about her work. Her research now involves better understanding how the nervous system takes in external cues such as smell and processes these stimuli to inspire various behaviors.STAT spoke with Ruta to learn more about her life and work. This interview has been lightly edited and condensed.advertisement By Shraddha Chakradhar Sept. 27, 2019 Reprints @scchak Tags neuroscienceresearch About the Author Reprintscenter_img [email protected] Reporter, Morning Rounds Writer, Intern Coordinator Shraddha writes the Morning Rounds newsletter and covers health and medicine. Vanessa Ruta Rockefeller University In the LabNewly named MacArthur ‘Genius’ and neuroscientist talks creativity in science A version of this Q&A first appeared in STAT’s Morning Rounds. You can subscribe to the free newsletter here.Rockefeller University neuroscientist Vanessa Ruta was just named a member of the latest class of MacArthur “Genius” grant winners. The fellowship offers a five-year grant of $625,000 to individuals “who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future,” according to the MacArthur Foundation.Fortuitously, or perhaps by design, creativity has been a guiding principle for Ruta, 45, and her work. Both her parents were visual artists, and Ruta herself grew up as a ballet dancer — and at one point considered it a career path.advertisementlast_img read more

Livestock reform needed for ordinary North Koreans to eat beef

first_img Facebook Twitter AvatarJo Hyon, PhD, Kyungnam University Analysis & Opinion Kim Jong Un during a site visit to the Ungok Area General Stock Farm, reported by Korean Central News Agency on August 13. Image: Rodong SinmunKim Jong Un’s ongoing review of North Korea’s economic sector is drawing attention from the international community. After discussions in April with the United States, the regime is shifting its focus to the national economy. Kim Jong Un has traveled to various sites across the country over the past two months, including construction sites, factories, farms, and tourist locations. During a state visit in early August to a livestock farm in Ungok, South Pyongan Province, Chairman Kim called for “Modernization and scientific methods to be applied to breeding, feeding, and management”, further stating that, “North Korea needs to come in line with advanced nations in the livestock industry”. The farm is considered an industry leader as a major supplier of animal products in North Korea. Despite this, Kim publicly admonished the farm’s management for its failure to keep up with the latest livestock techniques, ordering an investigation to determine the root of the problem. However, the issues are unlikely to be overcome through sheer willpower on the part of scientists and workers.Breeding problems are a pressing matter for North Korea’s livestock industry. After first implementing a pyramid breeding method from Poland, North Korea encountered an economic crisis in the 1990s. North Korea’s livestock numbers for cows saw a subsequent decline, with the current number of 577,000 representing an 18% reduction compared to 1963, which recorded some 685,000 head of cattle. In reality, most cows being bred at livestock farms such as those in Songam, Anbyon, and China are for the upper class, a demographic that does not even comprise 1% of the population.  The majority cows in North Korea are bred for labor rather than consumption, as much of the agricultural machinery in the country is obsolete or beyond repair. North Korean farmers are thus forced to rely on cows for plowing and transporting loads.Cows are typically only killed for their meat when they become too old and weak to continue with agricultural work. However, pictures taken of farms in the Sino-Korean border area show that most animals are so malnourished that their skeletal ribs can be clearly seen protruding. As deforestation escalates in North Korea, sources of potential feed for the cows have dwindled.To address such issues, massive systemic reforms are needed to increase livestock production. If farmers are permitted more autonomy and the freedom to invest in efforts to increase production, cows will no longer be needed for agricultural work. With profit-generation as an incentive, the free market would allow farmers to take it upon themselves to procure more modern agricultural equipment. Rather than seeking a quick solution by investigating ways to breed superior cattle, North Korea needs a more wholesome approach to its pursuit of livestock reform.*The author of this piece is originally from North Korea.Translated by Brian Boyle Livestock reform needed for ordinary North Koreans to eat beef Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? By Jo Hyon, PhD, Kyungnam University – 2018.09.06 4:50pm RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img Analysis & Opinion Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion SHARE Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more