turk_stock_photographer/iStockBy HALEY YAMADA, JASMINE BROWN and MATT GERMAN, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Demands for accountability in the Flint water crisis may soon be answered nearly seven years after people first began reporting the devastating side effects of the city’s lead-poisoned water.Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Wednesday that former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and eight other state officials would be charged in connection to the drinking water crisis, during which at least 12 people died and 79 people became ill from Legionnaires’ disease which was connected to the contaminated water.Snyder is charged with two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty, each carries a penalty of one year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000, according to court documents. Snyder pleaded not guilty via a Zoom hearing on Thursday.The state’s former director of health and human services, Nicolas Lyon, and former chief medical executive, Eden Wells, are each facing nine counts of involuntary manslaughter.Snyder, as well as the former emergency manager of Flint’s Department of Public Works, Howard Croft, who has been charged with two counts of willful neglect, will be back in court on Jan. 19. The other defendants are due back in court on Feb. 18. No other pleas have been entered yet.Flint has a population of about 100,000 people, the majority of whom are Black. To save money, in 2014, the state switched the city’s water supply to come from the Flint River. An investigation later found there were highly toxic levels of lead in the water and that the cases of Legionnaires’ over the course of two outbreaks between 2014 and 2015 also coincided with the water source switch, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.“Pure and simple. This case is about justice, truth, accountability. Poisoned children [and] lost lives,” Nessel said during a press conference Thursday. “We may never know all the names of those who had their lives and livelihoods destroyed by this man-made crisis.”Flint resident LeeAnne Walters has largely been credited with being the first to sound the alarm on the crisis. The mother of four testified in 2016 about how much her children suffered from drinking the water contaminated with lead.“[My son] would scream and cry about how bad his skin burned,” Walters said to the Michigan Joint Committee on the Flint Water Public Health Emergency. “These are my kids. These are everybody’s kids.”Snyder had apologized for the crisis during his 2016 State of the State address.Nearly 9,000 children drank lead-contaminated water over the course of 18 months. Walters said Thursday that the charges are just the beginning of the community’s healing.“There are huge victories that have [been] accomplished, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done,” said Walters. “I think the fact that we’ve had to go through it, it’s opened our eyes to, ‘Yes, there needs to be some community involvement and a check-and-balance system when it comes to a governmental system to make sure that things are being done properly.’”“I would say, in my opinion, about 95% of people still distrust the water,” she added. Since 2016, the water is regularly tested and has been considered safe since 2018.Although the tap water has been deemed safe, people like Shirley Drake say they still rely on bottled water.“I don’t trust the water in the pipes,” said Drake. “So, for cooking and drinking, I get bottled water.”Michigan state Sen. Jim Ananich, a Flint resident, said he doesn’t like when his 5-year-old son drinks the tap water. He thinks accountability will begin to rebuild trust within the community.“Some people, I don’t think, will ever feel there’s justice,” said Ananich. “But, I think criminal convictions of folks will be a start.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Related Shows Violets may be blue but we’re feeling anything but! Tickets are now available for the Great White Way return of two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster in Violet. Directed by Leigh Silverman, the Roundabout Theatre Company production of the Jeanine Tesori-Brian Crawley-penned musical will begin on March 28 and play a limited engagement through August 10. Opening night is set for April 20 at the American Airlines Theatre. Violet will feature choreography by Jeffrey Page, set designs by David Zinn, costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Mark Barton and sound design by Leon Rothenberg. Original orchestrations will be by Joseph Joubert and Buryl Red with music direction by Michael Rafter. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 10, 2014 Violet Star Files View Comments Sutton Foster Violet tells the story of a young woman’s quest for beauty amidst the race and image-obsessed landscape of the 1960s. Facially disfigured in a childhood accident, Violet (Foster) dreams of a miraculous transformation through the power of faith. Convinced that a televangelist in Oklahoma can heal her, she hops a Greyhound bus and starts the journey of a lifetime. Along the way, Violet forms unlikely friendships with her fellow riders, who teach her about beauty, love, courage and what it means to be an outsider. The Roundabout production will be based on last summer’s New York City Center Encores! Off-Center one-night-only concert of Violet, which also starred Foster and was directed by Silverman. read more
May 23, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Romanian officials today lifted quarantines that had sealed off more than 14,000 people in Bucharest over worries sparked by two outbreaks of avian influenza in birds, but one small area remained closed, according to news agencies.Although Romania has had no human cases of H5N1 avian flu, troops and police yesterday sealed more than 13,000 people in Bucharest’s southern fourth district, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). A smaller area on the northern outskirts of the capital had been closed off the night before, affecting more than 1,000 people, AFP reported.Today the quarantine in the southern fourth district was reduced and the northern area was reopened. “We decided to isolate only five streets, or less than 500 people, so as not to distress the population,” said Adrian Inimaroiu, the district mayor, as quoted by AFP.Yesterday Inimaroiu had said the quarantine would last from a week to 21 days, during which “all institutions” would be closed, and 2,500 birds would be culled, the story said. But he reported today that only 230 birds in “high-risk streets” had been killed.Inimaroiu was sharply criticized by Miorara Mantale, general administrator of Bucharest, over the quarantines. “There is no logical reason for putting 13,000 people under quarantine when only two farm yards have been contaminated,” AFP quoted Mantale as saying. “If you had been a civil servant and not elected, you would have been fired.”The quarantines followed numerous outbreaks in poultry in recent days. According to AFP, Agriculture Minister Gheorge Flutur said today the virus had surfaced in 44 places, including the two in Bucharest, in the past 10 days.Last week the government reported the discovery of avian flu on commercial poultry farms in three central counties. Previously the virus had been found in a number of backyard poultry flocks since October 2005.Tests at the European Union reference laboratory in Weybridge, England, confirmed the H5N1 virus in seven samples from Brasov county in central Romania, AFP reported yesterday. Today’s AFP story said Romanian officials have not been able to determine how the virus reached Bucharest.In other recent developments, Canada announced last week that its surveillance for avian flu in wild birds this year will focus primarily on the north Atlantic region and will be coordinated with the US surveillance program.The 2006 survey will cover all the main bird migration routes in Canada, but “it will place a greater focus on the north Atlantic region, which hosts birds that might come into contact with birds from Europe where the Asian H5N1 strain has been found in several countries,” Canadian government agencies said in a joint news release. “This component will include sampling in Iceland, which hosts migratory birds from both North America and Europe.””Canada is coordinating its survey approach with the United States, which has announced plans to conduct extensive surveillance along the Pacific Flyway, which intersects with Asian migratory routes,” the statement continued. US officials earlier announced plans to test as many as 100,000 birds, mostly in Alaska and along the West Coast.This year’s Canadian survey will include expanded testing of dead birds, starting in southern Canada in midsummer, officials said. They said they expect to find a variety of avian flu viruses, most of which have little effect on the birds’ health or that of other animals.See also:May 18 news release on Canada’s wild-bird surveillance programhttp://www.ec.gc.ca/press/2006/060518_n_e.htm read more
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A Jewish father of two Air Force Academy cadets sued the Air Force on Thursday, claiming senior officers and cadets illegally imposed Christianity on others at the school. The lawsuit was filed in federal court by Mikey Weinstein, an academy graduate and outspoken critic of the school’s handling of religion. Over the past decade or more, the lawsuit claims, academy leaders have fostered an environment of religious intolerance at the Colorado school, in violation of the First Amendment. Weinstein has one son who graduated from the academy last year and another who is a junior there. Both were subjected to anti-Semitic slurs from evangelical Christian cadets, he said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Weinstein, who lives in Albuquerque, claims that evangelical Christians at the school have coerced attendance at religious services and prayers at official events, among other things. “It’s a shocking disgrace that I had to file this thing,” he told The Associated Press. An Air Force spokesman in Washington, Lt. Col. Frank Smolinsky, declined to discuss specifics of the suit, but said the Air Force “is committed to defending the rights of all our men and women, whatever their beliefs.” Members of the Air Force Academy’s Board of Visitors declined to comment. The oversight panel, which includes members of Congress, met in Washington on Thursday. Cadets, watchdog groups and a former chaplain at the academy have alleged that religious intolerance is widespread at the school. On Aug. 29, the Air Force issued guidelines discouraging public prayer at official functions and urging commanders to be sensitive about personal expressions of religious faith. There have been complaints at the academy that a Jewish cadet was told the Holocaust was revenge for the death of Jesus and that another Jew was called a Christ killer by a fellow cadet. A banner in the football team’s locker room read: “I am a Christian first and last … I am a member of Team Jesus Christ.” Also, there have been complaints that cadets were pressured to attend chapel, that academy staffers put New Testament verses in government e-mail, and that cadets used the e-mail system to encourage others to see the Mel Gibson movie “The Passion of the Christ.” The lawsuit, which names the Air Force and its acting secretary, Pete Geren, as defendants, asks the Air Force to prohibit its members – including chaplains – from evangelizing and proselytizing or in any related way attempting “to involuntarily convert, pressure, exhort or persuade a fellow member of the USAF to accept their own religious beliefs while on duty.” The lawsuit claims that despite the new guidelines, Air Force officials “have made it clear that they have no intent to actually remedy the unconstitutional practices.” The lawsuit cites a remark by Brig. General Cecil R. Richardson, the Air Force deputy chief of chaplains. “We will not proselytize, but we reserve the right to evangelize the unchurched,” he said in a New York Times article published in July. The Air Force and Geren have refused “to make a clear statement that this is not its policy,” despite repeated requests from Weinstein, the lawsuit says. In June, an Air Force task force said it found no overt religious discrimination but observed a lack of sensitivity among some and confusion over what is permissible in sharing one’s faith. After a July visit to the academy, a team from the Yale Divinity School issued a report last month saying it found lingering problems among the academy’s chaplains, whose activities may conflict with the goals of school leaders and the Air Force overall. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! read more
The President of South Africa, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, hereby invites nominations for candidates to serve as trustees on the Brand South Africa Trust. Brand South Africa is a Schedule 3A public entity and a Trust established in terms of the Trust Property Control Act, No. 57 of 1988 to develop and implement proactive and co-ordinated marketing, communication and reputation management strategies for South Africa. The ultimate aim is to make a contribution towards economic growth, job creation, poverty alleviation and social cohesion by encouraging local and foreign direct investment, tourism and trade through the promotion of the Nation Brand. Requirements: The trustees of Brand South Africa should have leadership qualities and be committed to the primary object and mandate of Brand South Africa. They must possess knowledge and expertise in: board responsibilities (including fiduciary duties), marketing, communications, tourism, investment promotion, research and development, law, risk management, finance, corporate governance, business management, reputation management and any other marketing–related area. Nominated persons must be citizens and ordinarily residents in the Republic of South Africa and be representative of the race, gender and geographic composition of the Republic. Disqualification: The following persons are not eligible to be appointed to the Board of Brand South Africa: unrehabilitated insolvent person; person removed from an office of trust on account of misconduct; and person convicted of an offence within South Africa and abroad, other than an offence committed prior to 27 April 1994 associated with political objectives. Terms and Conditions: The term of office for Board members is three (3) years effective from date of appointment by the President and may be appointed for a further term(s). Nominations Particulars: Nominations should be in writing and must contain the following information: Full name, address and telephone number(s) of the nominating person or organisation. A motivation for the appointment of the nominee to the Board of the Brand SA (maximum:1 page). A short Curriculum Vitae of the nominee (maximum: 2 pages) covering the following areas: the nominee’s full name, ID number, race, gender, contact address, telephone numbers, qualification(s), experience, knowledge and skills, names and contact details of at least two referees. Certified copy of the South African ID. Certified copies of the qualifications. Prior to their appointment, qualifying candidates will be subjected to a process of verifying their qualifications and vetting in respect of criminal records. The closing date for the submission of nominations is Sunday, 18 August 2019. Nominations must be sent to: [email protected] Physical Address: 103 Central Street, Houghton, Johannesburg. Postal address: Director: Governance, Legal & Board Secretariat. ATTENTION: Adv. Sifiso S. Nyoni, Brand South Africa, P.O. Box 87168, Houghton 2041. For Enquiries: Ms Twitwi Rasebopye: 011 483 0122/ 011 712 5000 read more
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCThe USDA reported the lowest ear counts in the last 7 years. Interestingly though in each of the last 6 years, final ear counts ultimately were lower than September estimates.Ear weight estimates, on the other hand, were average compared to the last 6 years. In 4 of the last 6 years, final ear weights increased into the final January estimate as compared to September projections. They dropped in 2018 and were the same in 2014.With this information, it seems reasonable that a national yield reduction is possible; however, widespread favorable weather over the last 4 weeks and upcoming good forecasts for the next 2 weeks may mean improved ear weights that offset some ear loss.Many market participants still think harvested acre estimates could be trimmed by 1 to 2 million acres. However, it’s important to keep in mind that corn exports and ethanol grind have slowed. These demand issues could negate any supply reduction in the coming reports.The report showed the highest pod weight in the last 7 years, while having the fewest pods in the field in September since 2013. In the last 6 years, final pod numbers increased from September estimates to the final numbers; however, in 5 out of 6 years pod weight decreased. So, depending on the difference, there’s still a chance for a yield decrease in January.China announced they will buy some beans for fall shipment, but the sales represents only 2% of what they usually purchase from the U.S. in a marketing year. It will be important for China sales to continue over the next 3 months, because this is the time of year that South America is low on beans, and the U.S. has significant supply from harvest.Old crop carryout was also reduced because crush and export pace estimates increased since last month’s USDA predictions. With the ½ bushel yield estimate reductions this month, 2019 carryout forecasts decreased significantly compared to 2018. If a trade deal could be reached and South America has a production issue, beans could find some upside potential. Rolling futuresLast week I provided an example of how I “rolled” my September futures sales contracts to the December. I had several questions from readers on these types of trades, so below provides more detail and my “best practices” for rolling futures and capturing market carry. What does “rolling futures” mean?It’s the process of moving sales on contract months about to expire to a month further out in time. In last week’s example, I rolled my September contract sales to the December. Why would you do this?It allows me to capture market carry as added premium profit. Market carry is when the price in a later month is higher than the current month.Historically corn usually has market carry, because it encourages farmers to store their corn until it’s needed by end users later in the year. It’s a low risk opportunity to increase my farm operation’s profitability and it’s what nearly all commercial elevators do with their grain and how they turn a profit. How does it work?Using last week’s trade detail:I previously sold some of my 2019 corn for a price against the September that I felt was a good value when I placed the trade. The price I sold is actually irrelevant to the decision or process to roll my futures forward, because in my opinion, once I’ve made a sale, I rarely see a reason to back out of it. When my September contracts were expiring on 8/29/19, September futures were $3.60 and December futures were $3.70. I then bought back the September futures and immediately sold the December futures. The 2 trades keep my sales in place in my brokerage account, but I gain a 10-cent profit. That’s why the price of the futures doesn’t matter, only the SPREAD difference between the 2 months matters. Why don’t the prices matter?Since I’m buying and selling at the exact same time, my position stays the same, but I keep the profit between the 2 contract months. Essentially, I’m following the first rule of business, “buy low and sell high.” All I have done is increased my premium to move my sales further out in time. I move the sales further out trying to get a better basis level in the future.Since I was already short September futures, when I bought back the September futures for $3.60 and sold December futures for $3.70, my sales position remains the same, except for the 10-cent profit added to my position. But I don’t see that in my brokerage account…That’s why it’s tricky to only use a brokerage account to keep track of market carry profits, because they don’t include the details of all the trades that make up my final position and how I got where I’m at. Months from now I may see those December sales in my account and not remember that it was only made to take advantage of market carry. That’s why I use a spreadsheet to document all of my roll trades. Detailed records are essential when hedging grain. What if I don’t like the new sale price?That’s a common concern when considering to roll futures, because farmers may think prices will eventually go higher. However, that’s speculation, which adds risk to a farm operation. As a hedger, I want to lower my farm’s risk. That’s why I’m more focused and concerned about the guaranteed added profit I can collect on the trade, rather than hoping prices could go higher in the future, which is uncertain and never guaranteed.In general, most grain elevators buy your grain and then immediately sell the futures to keep themselves perfectly hedged. Whether or not an elevator agrees with a farmer that prices will go up, they want to minimize risk and speculation. By just hedging the grain they purchase from a farmer and taking small market carry profits, they can remain profitable with much less risk than holding and hoping for higher prices. What if I buy back the September, but wait to sell December when prices are higher?That would be speculation. Trying to time rolls is risky and can get a farmer into trouble very quickly if the market doesn’t go up. It’s important to remember, the market can always go up, down or sideways. So, placing trades hoping prices go up, means there is a 1 in 3 chance of being successful. Speculators putting themselves in this type of situation don’t have the best odds.Plus, I still have a lot more 2019, 2020 and even the 2021 crop to sell, so I need the market to rally already. I don’t need to double down on a rally, when I can take a small guaranteed profit right now on a trade I have already made. Another reason for rolling future contracts forwardWhen December futures are about to expire in a few months, I’ll then roll my futures again to March to capture carry. Today there is a 12.5-cent market carry between December and March. If a speculator doesn’t sell December at $3.70 as part of the roll, they would need to sell March at $3.825 just to match the price I could likely get when I do my next roll.For me it’s not realistic to assume that corn will definitely be above $3.825 on the March futures down the road. Corn was sideways through spring of last year, and only rallied after there was unprecedented widespread planting delays. It’s easy to say that waiting was the right decision last year, but what if the speculator threw in the towel too early before the late April rally because it looked like prices might not go up? What if the speculator didn’t sell when the corn rallied in June and still sits on unpriced grain from last harvest today? What if an ongoing sideways market happens again like it did after the last 3 harvests, where prices never went above $3.80 for 6-7 months? This could mean missing out on several chances to pick up guaranteed market carry premium. The benefits of taking small profits nowHedging, and specifically using spreads, is about taking advantage of small profits now, moving forward, and trying to never lose. Hedging this way isn’t necessarily exciting, and can sometimes even seem boring, but that is how the big grain companies got so big, consistent small profits over and over again.Some farmers may not like this trading approach, and that’s ok. I just prefer minimizing my farm’s operation risk. This means I may miss out on home runs occasionally, but my chances of striking out are very low. This helps me sleep better at night. Please email [email protected] with any questions or to learn more. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. read more