Make Trees of Shrubs

first_imgCleyera (Cleyera japonica) is one of the many culprits of the overgrown-shrub dilemma.If you let it, it will grow to 20 feet tall. This plant is often pruned year after year in anattempt to keep it small. Remove a few of the bottom branches and use it as a verticalelement in your landscape. New foliage is reddish and attractive. Common privet hedge (L. sinense) is often used as a hedge. Allowed to grow up as aspecimen plant, it will resemble L. lucidum with flowers and fruit but with a smaller, moreflexible leaf. Pruned with care, it can become a weeping tree. Burford holly (Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordi’ and Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordi Nana’). The regularBurford holly grows 15-20 feet tall and is certainly not suited as a foundation plant. Butdid you know the “dwarf” form may get 10 feet tall? Burford hollies are versatile plantsequally well-suited as shrubs or trees. The standard form makes an impressive plant as aspecimen, laden with red berries in fall, while the dwarf is good as a tree form closer to thehouse. Simply remove lower branches and tip the ends in spring to create a pleasinground-headed tree. You’ll need both a male and female plant for berries, but a number ofother species and varieties will perform this task. Making trees out of shrubs isn’t hard and can add an exciting new dimension to thelandscape. Imagine their curiosity when people see this strange new tree in your garden. Southern wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) is an outstanding native plant finding its way intoGeorgia landscapes. Although it’s often used as a hedge, its genetic variability gives eachplant character and a form all its own. So the hedge often looks misproportioned orlumpy. Why not use this plant as a tree? Its attractive, bright green foliage is aromatic ifcrushed. It produces abundant berries along new stems as the fruit develops in fall. Here are some possibilities. It is not unusual for some landscape shrubs to outgrow their allocated area. So we’re facedwith a problem.center_img Solutions to the overgrown-shrub dilemma include moving, replacing and reinventing. Thelatter refers to changing a plant from the shrub form to a tree form. Fragrant tea olive (Osmanthus fragrans) forms a nice specimen plant where it has roomto grow. But its size (20-30 feet tall) excludes its use close to the home. If it’s alreadythere, though, try pruning up the bottom branches and tipping off the new growth inspring. Ligustrum (Ligustrum japonicum, L. lucidum and L. vulgare) make striking tree formswith differing textures and forms. The wax-leaf ligustrum (L. japonicum), probably thesmallest, grows 12 feet at most. It has very coarse-textured, shiny green leaves. Avariegated form also exists. Prune the bottom branches, then prune lateral buds to createan attractive overhanging canopy. Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus). Grows eight to 12 feet tall and generally has a treeform but is very upright. Prune it to create lateral branches and a canopy worthy of a tree.It’s deciduous, but has attractive foliage and fantastic blooms from midsummer until fall.Its many flower shades range from whites to pinks to purples and even bicolor. The planttolerates a range of soils but prefers sunny sites. Sasanqua camellia (Camellia sasanqua). It’s the same genus as the well-known Japanesecamellia. But this form spreads slightly more than its cousin. It has darker green, smallerleaves and blooms in fall. As with its close cousin, it grows taller than you would expect(10-15 feet in a good place).last_img read more

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03 Plant care tops bugs

first_imgJule-Lynne Macie is one of those gardeners who watches to see what insects will do before declaring war.”Because I’m an entomologist, I’d rather let the insects grow and take pictures of them,” said Macie, the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension coordinator in Rockdale County. When it comes to pesticides, she said, “I don’t use a lot of anything.”What she does do is take care of her plants.”If your plants are stressed,” Macie said, “a few insects might bother it. Watering, fertilizing and pruning at the right time are the most important things.”Buy rightThe next most important is something you should do before you even buy your plants.”A lot of times people don’t notice the insects, because they blend in, until plants start showing bad signs,” she said. “Inspect the plants before you buy them at a nursery to make sure you’re not bringing home a problem.”Late winter to early spring is a good time to start planning for insects. Macie suggests applying a horticultural oil to plants like gardenias and azaleas.”The oil kind of cleans up the plant of any white flies, pests and scales, mainly with plants that were infected last year,” she said. Horticultural oil, also known as summer oil, is a refined petroleum product that, when applied to shrubs and fruit trees, smothers insects.Pests will come. But before opening a bag of insecticide and dumping it on every bush and bloom in your yard, read the label. This is critical when you apply chemicals to a vegetable garden.’Is this OK?’Macie said some vegetable gardeners “do stuff on weekends and then call me on Monday to see if it was OK. I had one guy who had to pull up his whole tomato garden” because of the chemicals he used.You can safely treat vegetable plants for insects as long as the pesticide matches the plant and you put it out early enough that it won’t affect your food.”The label will list the days-to-harvest,” she said. “Assuming the spray is labeled for that food crop, it’s safe to use. But if your tomatoes are ready to harvest, don’t put chemicals on the plants.”Macie said many people will put something out and then call her because they didn’t read the label. “If a fruit or vegetable isn’t listed on the label,” she said, “I can’t say it’s safe, because the insecticide hasn’t been approved for that plant.”Common pestsTwo of the most common insect types are aphids and scale insects. The tiny, sap-sucking aphids feed on everything from vegetables to trees. They can give plants a speckled, deformed look. “I see a lot of overfertilized plants that have aphid problems because they have a lot of new growth,” Macie said.To combat aphids, she said, horticultural oils and pesticides help, as do beneficial insects like ladybugs.Scale insects don’t move once they’ve inserted their mouthparts. “They’re usually found in such large numbers that they become a problem,” she said.Horticultural oils and systemic insecticides work on scale insects. But contact insecticides don’t.When she’s home for the day, one of Macie’s favorite ways to control insects is the hunt-and-snatch method. “I do a lot of hand-killing,” she said.Besides keeping her plants healthy his way, she said, “A lot of times they end up in my collection.”When Macie sees an insect she doesn’t have, she’s not afraid to make a deal for it. “I’ve even traded a kid at a gas station in North Carolina a Snickers bar for a rhino beetle,” she said.(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) Volume XXXIINumber 1Page 3 By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaPlants don’t have gyms or health magazines. But they do have gardeners. And gardeners armed with the right tools can help their plants grow healthy and problem-resistant. The payoff comes when insects arrive.last_img read more

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EDGE Expo

first_imgAre you a landscaping professional looking to give your crew an extra edge in 2013?The Urban Ag Council of Georgia will host its annual Edge Expo for landscape professionals on Dec. 5-6 at the Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center in Duluth, Ga.Council members designed the one and a half day EDGE Expo to educate, demonstrate, grow and equip Georgia landscapers with the tools they need to build successful businesses. Industry experts and researchers from across the Southeast will share the latest information on landscape management and tips on how to work smarter next spring. Researchers from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will present workshops on controlling weeds and diseases that affect ornamental plants, managing stressed turfgrass, controlling common insect pests, rotating plants in color beds and solving bedding problems, as well as organic landscape management and integrated pest management. Scientists from Clemson University, University of Florida and West Georgia College will share their expertise, too, along with landscape company owners, landscape architects, irrigation specialists and golf course superintendents. Training for Georgia’s Commercial Pesticide Applicator’s License will be available and the exam will be given the afternoon of Dec. 6. The Association of Professional Landscape Designers, Georgia Certified Landscape Professional, Golf Course Superintendent Association of America, the International Society of Arboriculture, the Irrigation Association, Planet Landscape Industry and Sports Turf Management Association are offering continuing education credits for those who attend the Expo. Landscape-related companies and associations will show off their latest products at the event’s trade show. Urban Ag Council members pay $145 for entire conference before Nov. 21 and $175 after. For nonmembers, the cost is $175 for both days before Nov. 21 and $205 after. One-day fees for members are $95 for Wednesday, which includes lunch, and $55 for Thursday. Nonmembers pay $125 for Wednesday only and $75 for Thursday only. After Nov. 21, these fees go up $30.The fee for the trade show and luncheon on Wednesday is $20 for both members and nonmembers. There is no charge to attend the trade show only.For more information or to register, call (800) 687-6949, or e-mail [email protected] The website is edge-expo.com.last_img read more

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Tom’s Cabin

first_imgPhoto Courtesy of Dave DeBaeremaekerI was a graduate student in Louisiana, where I hoped to become the writer I’d dreamed of being. But after moving to the bayou, all I could write about were the Blue Ridge Mountains. So I came back to visit my friend Thomas and his wife Amanda in Asheville, the home of one of my writing heroes: Thomas Wolfe.Much of Wolfe’s autobiographical fiction is about a young man struggling to leave his hometown, a city clearly based on Asheville. Wolfe spent his twenties longing to get out of the mountains. I’d spent my twenties longing to get back in.Thomas and I took a tour of the Thomas Wolfe House—the Old Kentucky Home—in downtown Asheville, and after the tour, I found Thomas standing in front of a photo of Wolfe taken during the summer of 1937 beside a cabin in nearby Oteen. At the cabin, he entertained a steady stream of celebrity hounds while writing a story entitled “The Party at Jack’s,” which would eventually be folded into You Can’t Go Home Again when the novel was published after his death. The story was based on a real party Wolfe had attended years earlier in New York.“Where was the cabin?” Thomas asked.“I’m not sure,” I said. “But I’ve heard it’s still there.”Half an hour later, we were driving up and down Swannanoa River Road in Oteen. One of the volunteers at the Wolfe Memorial had given us a few landmarks for the cabin. “There’s supposed to be some posts to drive between,” he’d said. “It’s up a dirt road, right near the recreation park.”Soon we were heading uphill on what seemed to be a long-forgotten gravel drive. The road opened to a clearing atop the ridge, and a small log cabin sat before us. We parked and stood in the hot afternoon sun, wondering if we were trespassing and, if so, what would happen to us if we were caught.A plastic tarp covered the cabin’s roof. Vines crept up the sides and tree limbs disappeared into the eaves. The front door was padlocked, and the bright sunlight made it impossible to see anything through the windows. When we walked around back, we stumbled upon a sign that had been yanked out of the ground and left behind: it read “Tom Wolfe’s Cabin.” Like the cabin, the sign appeared forgotten. It made me wonder if Wolfe’s return to Asheville had been forgotten as well.The Old Kentucky Home in downtown Asheville will always be remembered and celebrated not because Wolfe lived there, but because he wrote about it and immortalized it. He never wrote about the Oteen cabin, and while he lived there he wrote about a party in New York City.As Thomas and I climbed into the car and bumped back down the gravel road, I found myself wondering if Wolfe needed to leave New York to see that party clearly enough to fictionalize it. Similarly, I’d often wondered if he’d had to leave Asheville to create Altamont. It wasn’t his current location that concerned Wolfe while he was writing; it was his memory of it that mattered.Once I was back at my desk in Louisiana, I didn’t have to step over a babbling stream to hear it. I didn’t have to stand on a ridge to feel the breeze coming up from the valley below. I realized that I didn’t have to be inside the Blue Ridge Mountains to write about them. They were already inside me, and that was good enough.last_img read more

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The Virtual Guerrilla and Non-State Actors

first_img The virtual wars initiated in this century revolutionized the traditional model of conflicts, where warlike activities are just another option. The so-called “Clean War” that does not inflict structural damage, has become a broader spectrum in the theater of operations, and ruptured the monopoly that used to be exclusive to the government via the Armed Forces or even intelligence agencies. Currently, non-state actors from five continents, jointly and individually, have the same technical capabilities to actively participate at any given moment in either non-desired interventions or support of counterintelligence activities. At this time, this participation is specifically restricted to confidential documents and to threat attacks against government sites and service-providing companies. This is a form of virtual war with ideological interests, against different countries simultaneously. However, this situation may change with the manifestation of other digital piracy groups with more than just the purpose of fighting for freedom of speech, such as the opposition to any type of digital restriction. There are many recent examples of this capability. In November, at the beginning of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a group of hackers supporting the Hamas movement attacked the Israeli Ministry of Defense while trying to penetrate into the anti-missile systems in the Iron Dome. Likewise, the group known as Anonymous initiated an operation code named OpIsrael, through which they took several sites down in retaliation to the announcement that the telecommunications in the Gaza Strip would be interrupted. They even edited a manual destined to Palestinians, with alternative instructions for its recovery. The Swedish Ministry of Defense and several public agencies, including news agencies, were also the target for a series of attacks by Anonymous, who support Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. In Australia, there was an attempt to break into the database stored in the Australian Security Intelligence Organization’s and the Department of Defense’s site, however, without compromising confidential information. The United States and Russia are two instances out of many other countries that are constantly attacked by the virtual war, and although they have recruited hackers to assist with improving their security and defense systems, for each step forward in the creation of new codes, many others are violated, fueling a vicious cycle for more technology. This situation led experts to consider that virtual wars, although clean, may be more damaging than conventional war. Within this perspective, we can include the virtual guerilla, with the difference that it does not have the distinguished asymmetric characteristic from prior decades, making it a more effective threat. *Andre Luís Woloszyn, Strategic Affairs Analyst, specialist in low and medium intensity conflicts. By Dialogo November 30, 2012last_img read more

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Antarctica, An Example of International Brotherhood

first_imgBy Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo March 07, 2017 More than 1,600 people, including soldiers, scientists, and technicians, participated in the Antarctica Summer Campaign 2016-2017 (CAV, per its Spanish acronym). CAV is an annual mission by the Argentine military to resupply the country’s 13 bases on the snow-covered continent. This year’s CAV features the deployment of five Argentine Navy ships as well as airplanes and helicopters from the Argentine Air Force. The military effort allows this South American nation to undertake scientific projects at the South Pole and also provide logistical support to other nations’ bases there. “The Antarctic brotherhood is an example of global coexistence,” Commodore Marcelo Tarapow, commander of the Antarctic Naval Command and the Joint Antarctic Command of Argentina, told Diálogo. “I like to say that change is the only constant in Antarctica. But down there, international cooperation has not changed; in reality, it has improved.” CAV 2016-2017 began on December 6, 2016, when the dispatch boat ARA Puerto Argentino set sail for the bases. The second stage began on January 10th, when the transport ship ARA Bahía San Blas carried out resupply and staff rotation duties. Cmdre. Tarapow gave an exclusive interview to Diálogo on February 17th in Buenos Aires, where he spent a few days before returning to the glaciers. At the time of the interview, the dispatch boat ARA Estrecho de San Carlos was cruising towards Antarctica, thus beginning the third stage that will conclude the campaign on March 28th. Diálogo: What are the goals of CAV 2016-2017? Commodore Marcelo Tarapow: Under Statute 18513, the Argentine military is charged with logistical maintenance in Antarctica. So our main duty is to provide logistical support to the bases and scientific projects – the Argentine ones as well as those of the countries we cooperate with. Argentina is the country with the largest number of bases operating in Antarctica. There are 13 in total; six permanent bases that function year-round [Orcadas, San Martín, Carlini, Esperanza, Belgrano II and Marambio], and seven temporary ones set up only during the summer [Matienzo, Petrel, Brown, Primavera, Cámara, Decepción and Melchior]. We also have to maintain two lighthouses and 80 navigation beacons, which require significant effort. Diálogo: Which vessels are taking part in this CAV and what are their duties? Cmdre. Tarapow: We are using five Navy ships as well as three Hercules C-130s, a Twin Otter plane, one Bell 212 helicopter from the Air Force, and others. Unlike other CAVs, we are not renting boats this year. With a bit of ingenuity and support from the Hercules, we decided to do this campaign with our own resources. The ship that began the campaign was the dispatch boat ARA Isla Malvinas, which is conducting the Joint Antarctic Naval Patrol with Chile and is also helping with the transfer of personnel and buoyage. The second ship is the dispatch boat ARA Puerto Argentino, which is involved in all three stages. The third vessel is the ARA Bahía San Blas, a cargo ship that set sail the second week of January. The fourth is the ARA Estrecho de San Carlos, which is now entering the Antarctic and will remain there until the end of March. Finally, we are using the oceanographic research vessel ARA Puerto Deseado, which is devoted to bathymetric surveys of the Orcadas del Sur island zone for the publication of an international chart. Diálogo: Is new mapping of Antarctica being done? Cmdre. Tarapow: Yes. Argentina, through the Naval Hydrographic Service (SHN, per its Spanish acronym), took charge of a dozen international charts that will be shared among all navigators. Several countries, depending on their regular work sites in Antarctica, volunteered to make a new chart. The thing is the current chart is not complete or accurate. Many of the surveys were done before GPS came about. It’s very imprecise. We have found charts that are off by several kilometers. Diálogo: In total, how many people are taking part in this CAV? Cmdre. Tarapow: Approximately 1,600, of which 350 are scientists and technicians. The rest are service members providing logistical support to the bases. Diálogo: How much cargo will be brought to Antarctica? Cmdre. Tarapow: We are transferring close to 1,700 cubic meters of Antarctic diesel [a fuel that contains an antifreeze additive], as well as 700 gas canisters, each weighing 45 kilograms, and some 1,500 cubic meters of general cargo, including vehicles, construction materials, food, medicine, paint, clothing, and electronic equipment. But we are also bringing back waste: containers, wrapping, plastic boxes, and all of the household garbage produced by living in Antarctica. Diálogo: Is there some special aspect to this CAV? Cmdre. Tarapow: Back when we rented ships, we had the use of the icebreaker ARA Almirante Irízar [melted down in 2007], and we had one logistical operations element that was unparalleled for the Antarctica: a helicopter. This year, we don’t have helicopters on the ships. The only ones we have are those I mentioned, which are at Marambio base. That’s because none of our ships have a flight deck or a hangar. All of them are capable of working with helicopters, but they have no capacity for keeping them on board or in hangars. So all of the loading on and off of the ships will be done using smaller vessels: landing craft, amphibious vehicles, and Zodiac MK 5 inflatable boats. An added complication is the amount of ice that we have to clear to reach the beach. In the 12 trips I’ve made to Antarctica, I’ve never seen so much floating ice. Diálogo: Why is there so much floating ice this time? Cmdre. Tarapow: I don’t know whether it’s a rare phenomenon, a function of the wind and tide, or whether it’s got something to do with an advance in climate change. What I can say is that this is the year that I have seen the most chunks of glaciers, which are dangerous, because they are as hard as a rock. If a ship hits that kind of ice, it damages the hull and propellers. On the other hand, if it were sea ice, which is formed by freezing water, it would be spongier. That kind of ice can be hit without any problem. But what we are seeing are many pieces of glaciers that are all adrift. Diálogo: What other challenges do you face? Cmdre. Tarapow: I have gone on more than 10 campaigns to the Antarctic; however, one never masters them all. The Antarctic always surprises you with something new. No two days are the same — not even on the same campaign — because the weather and the geography are highly variable. We can’t carry out our duties in May, for example, because there are fewer hours of daylight and the action of the glaciers is more aggressive. That’s why the main challenge for a CAV is being able to support the science and supply the bases in a limited amount of time without running risks, which, in Antarctica tend to be serious. An accident there causes injury, death, or environmental harm. Diálogo: What importance does CAV hold for international cooperation? Cmdre. Tarapow: The Antarctic is one place in the world where international brotherhood is on display. This year, we have already provided support to the Uruguayan bases, for example. We transferred personnel and cargo within a climate of cooperation. That’s good because in availing oneself of other countries’ facilities, one reduces the human presence in Antarctica and preserves the environment. Just yesterday, I got a request to haul off the waste from a fire that happened at Brazil’s Comandante Ferraz station [in 2012]. We’ve also received offers of assistance from the rest of the countries. It’s something spontaneous. You don’t have to do a favor for one country in order for it to offer you a favor. We are like one big family. Everyone wants the other Antarctic programs to be successful, and for the other programs to have everything they need. It’s a wonderful sense of brotherhood.last_img read more

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Goldin Award nominations sought

first_img November 1, 2002 Regular News Goldin Award nominations sought Goldin Award nominations soughtThe Criminal Law Section is now undertaking a search for worthy candidates to receive its highest award, the Selig I. Goldin Memorial Award.The candidate for this award will be selected by the executive council in January during The Florida Bar Midyear Meeting. It will be presented at the Criminal Law Section’s luncheon during the Bar’s Annual Meeting in June.Past recipients of this award include Tobias Simon, Albert Datz, Richard Gerstein, Judge Bengamin M. Tench, Judge Phillip A. Hubbart, Justice James C. Adkins, Justice Gerald Kogan, Judge Edward D. Cowart, Judge Marvin U. Mounts, T. Edward Austin, Jr., Prof. Paul Barnard, William Sheppard, Prof. Gerald T. Bennett, Prof. Steven M. Goldstein, Robert E. Jagger, Judge Stanley R. Morris, Prof. John F. Yetter, Justice Ben F. Overton, Prof. William R. Eleazer, Janet Reno, and Bennett Brummer. If you know of a deserving candidate who has made a substantial contribution to the criminal justice system of Florida and who ought to be considered for recognition, send, by letter or e-mail, their name and a description of their contribution to Professor Jerome C. Latimer, Stetson University College of Law, 1401 61st South Street, St. Petersburg 33707, or e-mail: [email protected]last_img read more

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Embracing tech is key to credit union success

first_imgConsumers are no strangers to technology. They shop online, tap to pay and control their thermostats with their mobile devices. Banking is just one more facet to consumers’ digital lifestyles.To meet, and even surpass, consumers’ increasingly greater demand for digital solutions, credit unions must thoroughly understand the value of technology and its uses. Credit unions should focus on how they can leverage technology to supplement their existing expertise. In fact, technology may just be the edge credit unions need to turn good consumer experiences into great ones.When planning their technology strategies, credit unions should keep the following six things in mind:Recognize your true north. Your strategic aspiration and value proposition should be central to any new plans. Look at technology as a means to solve complex problems aligned with your core competencies.Collaborate to innovate. Start by engaging your technology team in strategy-planning sessions. Then explore resources beyond your own organization. Participating in events and discussion groups, like Filene’s REACH Innovation Group, can spark new ideas.Use tech to generate better analytics. Chances are, your credit union is sitting on a gold mine of data. Couple that data with the technology to analyze it and you’ll have the capability to drive the integrated, customized experience consumers want.Work wonders with immersive technologies. Technologies such as robotics, augmented reality and geofencing help create “chemical memories” with consumers, making them more apt to return to your credit union.Anticipate consumers’ needs. Optimal consumer service revolves around the ability to provide products and services consumers want or need before they realize they want or need them.Team up with the right strategic partners. No financial institution alone can keep up with every trend or change in technology. Determine your areas of expertise, what you still want to accomplish and look for partners who can help you get there.As an added incentive for credit unions to offer a variety of digital services, recent research correlates tech capabilities with asset growth. A study by MagnifyMoney found financial institutions with the highest digital adoption scores grew their assets much faster (16 times faster, in fact) than those less likely to adopt new digital technologies.To truly make the most of technology, credit unions should avoid the temptation to offer the latest “cool” apps or widgets. They should instead focus on their strategic aspirations and then invest in the technologies that will help them reach the right consumers. 17SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Shazia Manus At AdvantEdge Analtyics, Shazia Manus applies a futurist view to the field of analytics, helping credit unions discover new possibilities for exceptional member experiences. Prior to joining CUNA Mutual Group … Web: advantedgeanalytics.com Detailslast_img read more

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Lifting up employees: CO-OP forms new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council

first_imgAs companies grapple with how to maintain their culture while supporting their employees (many of whom are now working remotely) during COVID-19, now may be the right time to consider establishing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Council.DE&I Councils, like the one CO-OP recently formed, are tasked with guiding the company’s policies and practices in ways that ensure all employees are celebrated for who they are. Particularly now, as employees are physically isolated from one another, DE&I is more important than ever.Comprised of employees from across the company, CO-OP’s new DE&I Council met for the first time in February to discuss the cultural successes and challenges at CO-OP today, establish goals for the future and set a timeline for Council initiatives going forward.To help guide the discussion, CO-OP President and CEO Todd Clark gave his perspective on why inclusion is vitally important to CO-OP. Attendees also heard from guest speaker Angela Russell, CUNA Mutual’s VP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, who shared best practices that are enhancing the lives of employees at CUNA Mutual today. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

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Laos, Togo report new avian influenza outbreaks

first_imgSep 10, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A government official in Laos yesterday said the H5N1 avian influenza virus has been detected in ducks in one of the country’s provinces, the same day Togo’s health ministry announced that avian influenza struck a poultry farm near that country’s capital.Yong Chanthalangsy, a foreign ministry spokesman in Laos, said the finding prompted the culling of about 7,000 birds in a 1-km radius around the site, according to a report yesterday from Agence France-Presse (AFP). He told the news agency that no suspected human cases have been identified.A Lao newspaper, the Vientiane Times, reported that the outbreak involved ducks in Luang Prabang province, Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported yesterday. The outbreak began on Aug 27 when ducks began to die, the article said.Laos’ last H5N1 outbreaks occurred in February and March, hitting birds at Louang Namtha province in the northwestern part of the country, near the country’s border with Myanmar and China, according to previous reports.The country is now able to conduct its own H5N1 laboratory tests, according to the Xinhua article. Laos previously relied on facilities in Thailand and Vietnam, but now uses a laboratory that is under construction in Vientiane, the country’s capital. The lab was funded by the Japanese government, the report said.Meanwhile, the health ministry in Togo announced in a statement yesterday on the country’s state-run television network that avian influenza has been confirmed at a poultry farm in the village of Agbata, near the capital Lome, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.The statement did not say if the virus was the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain. The government’s Web site said samples from dead chickens were sent to laboratories in Ghana and Italy to identify the virus subtype, according to a report today from Reuters.The outbreak site is a poultry farm in the southern part of the country, not far from the coast, that contained more than 4,500 birds. The ministry didn’t say how many died, but noted that more than 80% of those that were sick died, the AP reported.Togo’s agriculture and livestock ministry tightened a ban on poultry import and stepped up control efforts at ports, markets, and borders with Ghana, Benin, and Burkina Faso, Reuters reported today In late August, two chickens from a poultry market in Benin that were tested during routine surveillance tested positive for the H5N1 virus, according to previous reports.Togo’s last H5N1 outbreaks occurred in June 2007 at poultry farms in the southern part of the country, according to reports from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Those outbreaks were the first to be confirmed in Togo, which pushed the number of African countries that have been struck by the virus to 10.See also:Mar 19 CIDRAP News report “Turkey, Laos report more H5N1 in poultry”Feb 12 CIDRAP News report “H5N1 strikes birds in Laos”OIE reports on 2007 Togo outbreakslast_img read more

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