Progressive Dairy Industry Happenings: September 2020

first_imgProgressive Dairy provides updates on dairy-related organizations and companies, compiled from staff news sources and industry press releases. Email industry and organization news to Progressive Dairy Editor Jenna Digest HighlightsOrganization newsIndustry newsNew products and services   Organization newsFARM Program recognized for international qualityThe USDA Agricultural Marketing Service once again approved the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Animal Care Program’s animal welfare standards, determining that the program’s fourth version meets the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Specification.The assessment to the ISO standard determines whether animal welfare programs meet international standards for animal care as set by an independent standards-setting organization. FARM was evaluated to ensure that the standards in Version 4.0 of its Animal Care program meet the highest quality in species-specific welfare practices.2020 53rd AABP Annual Conference in Louisville will provide CE in-person and virtuallyThe 53rd American Association of Bovine Practitioners Annual Conference will take place Sept. 24-26 both in-person in Louisville, Kentucky, and virtually. Visit to register. Online registration ends Sept. 11.Scientific sessions at the conference will include information on bovine medicine and health, practice management, preconference seminars, research summaries and poster sessions, student sessions and more. The conference will be submitted for RACE-approved continuing education.The Amstutz Scholarship Auction will now be available to all members whether they attend virtually or in-person. A new platform will enable members to view and securely bid on silent auction items, as well as the live auction on Sept. 25.Virtual attendees will be able to live-stream the conference and participate in questions and answers with presenters via the Slido app. In addition to the in-person trade show, the virtual exhibit hall will also allow all participants to access in-depth information in the form of documents, presentations and more on the online platform. These materials will be available on the association’s website until next year’s conference.The American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners will meet jointly with AABP.DCRC pivots from in-person to virtual conferenceThe in-person Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) annual meeting, previously scheduled for Nov. 11-12, in Madison, Wisconsin, is rescheduled for Nov. 10-12, in a virtual format.Confirmed speakers include Milo Wiltbank, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Don Niles, Dan Reuter, Luke Hopkin and Tiffany Paulus Schneider, Wisconsin dairy producers; John Cole, USDA; Peter Hansen, University of Florida; Michael Ferris and Victor Cabrera, UW – Madison; Michael Steele, University of Guelph; Mike Overton, Zoetis; Brian Miller, Merck Animal Health; Klibs Galvão, University of Florida; John Wenz, Washington State University; Richard Pursley, Michigan State University; Daniela Demetrio, Maddox Dairy; Ricardo Chebel, University of Florida; Bruno Amaral, Progressive Dairy Solutions; Kelly Sporer, CentralStar Cooperative; Molly Sloan, URUS; and Steven Roche, ACER Consulting.Visit Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council for more details.NMC publishes laboratory handbook in SpanishNational Mastitis Council’s Laboratory Handbook on Bovine Mastitis is now available in Spanish. A 150-page book for laboratory diagnosticians, veterinarians, educators, students, researchers, technical specialists and dairy producers, it discusses the basic theories of microbial culture, mastitis diagnosis and pathogens, laboratory procedures and molecular pathogen diagnosis methods.The most recent edition of the handbook contains three new chapters. Chapter 4 addresses molecular techniques. These techniques are the most recent development in pathogen diagnosis and are becoming more accurate in identifying causative organisms by genus and species, as well as strain type. Mycoplasmas are now discussed in their own chapter – Chapter 8 – instead of with miscellaneous organisms. And the new Chapter 12 covers on-farm culture Kristi to order a copy.AABP updates factsheet on sole ulcersThe Lameness Committee of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) has recently updated its sole ulcer factsheet. The sheet covers the pathogenesis, prevention, treatment and aftercare of sole ulcers in dairy cattle. It also includes photos and a diagram of the bovine claw anatomy.The factsheet was updated in August 2020. Visit AABP fact sheet to view the sheet.Engage with your campus about agriculture virtually this semesterThe Animal Agriculture Alliance’s annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship competition kicks off Sept. 14. Undergraduate, graduate students and collegiate clubs will compete in the nine-week program to learn how to engage about food and agriculture online and in their communities.Collegiate clubs usually host events on their campus to engage with peers about agriculture, but to ensure students are able to adhere to social distancing guidelines to protect their health and the health of others, the alliance has updated the club competition to include virtual engagement opportunities and events suited for small groups. Participating clubs should follow any guidelines set by their universities for event sizes or required safety measures.Student organizations have 10 challenge categories available to choose from to earn points for the club competition. In the “Undeniably Dairy” challenge sponsored by DMI, clubs are encouraged to partner with local dairy farmers and checkoffs to share the nutritional benefits of dairy and how it’s produced with students on campus who may not be familiar with agriculture. Additional examples of virtual club challenges include a virtual farm tour, virtual “Ask a Farmer” panel, hosting a webinar for a local K-12 class, hosting a milk mustache social media campaign, starting an online watch party for an agricultural film and much more.Undergraduates and graduate students can also sign up for the individual competition. The individual program is completely virtual with students engaging and networking via social media to enhance their communication skills. Visit Animal Agriculture Alliance’s annual College Aggies Online for more information. C Kinler to become a sponsor.Industry newsGraduate students win NMPF scholarshipThe National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) announced the recipients of its 2020 National Dairy Leadership Scholarship awards. This year’s scholarship recipients are:Ellen Lai, Ph.D., Integrative Genetics and Genomics, whose research at the University of California – Davis focuses on improving production and welfare by providing genetic tools to reduce lameness caused by foot warts and sole ulcersConor McCabe, Master of Science, Animal Science at Purdue University in Indiana, whose current research focuses on evaluating tissue mobilization in transition dairy cowsMateus Peiter, Ph.D., Animal Science at the University of Minnesota, whose research focuses on the use of automated technologies to improve animal health and herd management on dairy farmsThe federation also sponsors student awards through the American Dairy Science Association. This year’s Richard M. Hoyt Award winner, Erin Horst, received her Ph.D. from Iowa State University with a research focus on the consequences of immune activation on energetic and calcium homeostasis and its relevance to transition cow disorders.Carsten Walker and Robert Dwight Matson received first-place recognition as part of the NMPF Graduate Student Paper Presentation Contest in Dairy Production in Ph.D. and Master of Science divisions, respectively. Walker is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Meadow Brook Endowed Immunology Laboratory at Michigan State University whose research focuses on abrogating dysfunctional inflammation associated with coliform mastitis. Matson is a graduate student at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada conducting research on dairy health and production in herds using automated milking systems.THE IDEA Student Innovation Award winners competition announcedMerck Animal Health, in partnership with the Veterinary Entrepreneurship Academy (VEA) and VetPrep, recently announced the winners of this year’s THE IDEA Student Innovation Competition. University of Georgia’s Alyssa Gutierrez and Greena Kim, and UC – Davis’ Madison Luker won first place in THE IDEA and took home a grand prize of $10,000 for their concept of AutoMat, a self-disinfecting, retractable non-slip mat for veterinary exam tables.The live contest finale was held virtually on Aug. 12. The top three winning student teams were awarded cash prizes in partnership with Merck Animal Health to assist in funding the ongoing development of their ideas. The IDEA grand prize of $10,000 was presented to Alyssa Gutierrez (University of Georgia), Greena Kim (University of Georgia) and Madison Luker (UC – Davis) for their concept of AutoMat. Marty Metzger, representing Ontario Veterinary College, received the $5,000 second place prize for CattleDock. Third place prize of $2,500 went to University of Missouri’s Libby Martin for Calving Technologies.Preceding the competition, the academy hosted The 2020 VEA Closing Event. This event was a daylong celebration of student innovation and entrepreneurship that brought together the 2020 student cohort, commercial partners and academic partners to recognize the positive impact these students have had on the front lines of veterinary businesses.Visit Veterinary Entrepreneurship Academy for more information.Online Purple Cow Gift Shop to support the National Children’s CenterWorld Dairy Expo’s Purple Cow Gift Shop is offering online sales. The online store features expo apparel and cow paraphernalia. The expo is pledging 10% of all profits from the online store in 2020 to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.Headquartered in Marshfield, Wisconsin, the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety strives to enhance the health and safety of all children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments. Center scientists and staff focus on research and outreach activities that help farm owners, parents and supervisors identify and address hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments.Visit World Dairy Expo for more information. Additional items will be added to the store periodically, so watch the shop’s Facebook page for updates.New products and servicesAgnition launches organic Anchor for Hay, a dry granular hay preservativeAgnition has launched a new OMRI-listed hay preservative for organic production. Anchor for Hay OMRI is a dry granular product designed to help organic hay producers preserve higher-moisture hay without the risk of heating and spoilage.The product uses a dual-pronged approach to preserve higher-moisture hay. First, an organic acid rapidly reduces pH levels to prevent harmful mold and yeast growth. Then Microbial Catalyst technology stimulates bacteria in an inoculant blend along with beneficial bacteria naturally found in hay to create additional preserving acid. This further reduces pH levels and targets higher-moisture areas deep inside the bale for greater preservation.Hay producers using this product can start baling higher-moisture hay sooner without the risk of heating and spoilage.The product can also be utilized when baling cornstalks.Visit Agnition for more information.Bazooka Farmstar introduces new and versatile product lineBazooka Farmstar has released the Quick Attach Series, broadening their existing tank and toolbar product offerings.The new product line includes a universal attachment that allows a single bar to be used in a tank and/or dragline application. The series’ full package includes both tank and dragline components, and although the initial intent was to provide a two-in-one solution, the product line includes a tank or dragline-only option as well. Building the series with three package options provides end-users the ability to more easily expand and diversify their business by investing in the components required to use both application methods over a period of time.The bar component comes in four different models and is equipped with Phantom units. The bar comes equipped with the company’s Flux Manifold and manifold handle. The manifold has a deep “V”-style bowl design that allows trash to exit the manifold through the rear valve.Visit Bazooka Farmstar for more information. Jenna Hurty-PersonField EditorProgressive DairyEmail Jenna Hurty-Personjenna@progressivepublish.comlast_img read more

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Your Voice: It’s time for an educator on the FPS board

first_imgTO THE EDITOR:Lawyers and business owners seem to do alright when it comes to running the Farmington School Board.  They have done a noble job dealing with the financial and legal difficulties they have faced for the past 5-10 years.  Yet I cannot help but wonder how much easier some of their decisions could have been if they had the influence of an educator on the board.Someone who has years of experience teaching and as an administrator could give input on proposed programs and rule changes using his/her experience implementing programs and rule changes.  When decisions about hiring, discipline, curriculum, implementation of federal guidelines, resource allotment, etc. are needed, having someone with hands-on experience helps take the guesswork out.That is why I agree with everyone who says it is time for Pam Green to be elected to the Farmington Schools Board of Education in November 2018. Her connection to Farmington Schools only begins with the fact that her kids attended FPS schools. She also has 30+ years as a teacher and administrator at 4 different FPS schools. She knows how to adapt to student needs as a teacher and how to adapt to teacher needs as an administrator. For her whole career she has advanced education with FPS all the while complying with the restrictions, budget decreases, and requirement changes that the federal and state governments have forced on us.When Pam was a teacher and administrator for my kids at Flanders, she was a tireless worker and advocate for proper and tough teaching and learning. She continued that same style as a principle at three other schools. I am sure she will bring the same attitude and ability to the FPS board.Dr.  John CromwellFPS parentOwner, Cromwell Family ChiropracticFarmington Reported by admin Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Newly Developed Power Saving Chip Acts as a Wake-Up Device for Small IoT Devices

first_imgEngineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a new power saving chip that could significantly reduce or eliminate the need to replace batteries in IoT devices and wearables. The so-called wake-up receiver wakes up a device only when it needs to communicate and perform its function. It allows the device to stay dormant the rest of the time and thus reduce power consumption.The technology is useful for applications that do not always need to be transmitting data, like IoT devices that let consumers instantly order household items they are about to run out of, or wearable health monitors that take readings a handful of times a day. As explained by Patrick Mercier, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC San Diego, the problem now is that these devices do not know exactly when to synchronize with the network, so they periodically wake up to do this even when there’s nothing to communicate. This ends up costing a lot of power. By adding a wake-up receiver, we could improve the battery life of small IoT devices from months to years.The development team, led by Mercier and UC San Diego electrical and computer engineering professors Drew Hall and Gabriel Rebeiz, published their work titled, A 22.3 nW, 4.55 cm2 Temperature-Robust Wake-up Receiver Achieving a Sensitivity of -69.5 dBm at 9 GHz, in the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits. Co-authors include, Haowei Jian, Po-Han Peter Wang, Li Gao and Corentin Pochet. The work was supported by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and equipment purchased through a DURIP award from the Office of Naval Research.The wake-up receiver is an ultra-low power chip that continuously looks out for a specific radio signal, called a wake-up signature that tells it when to wake up the main device. It needs only a very small amount of power to stay on and do this–22.3 nanowatts in this case, about half a millionth the power it takes to run an LED night light.A key part of this receiver’s design is that it targets higher frequency radio signals when compared to other wake-up receivers. The signals operate at a frequency of 9 GHz, which is in the realm of satellite communication, air traffic control and vehicle speed detection. Targeting a higher frequency allowed researchers to shrink everything, including the antenna, transformer and other off-chip components down into a much smaller package – at least 20 times smaller than prior nanowatt-level work.This wake-up receiver can also do something else that other nanowatt-powered receivers cannot: perform well over a wide temperature range. For this receiver, performance is consistent from -10 Degrees C up to 40 Degrees C (14 F to 104 F). Typically, performance in low power wake-up receivers drops if the temperature changes by even just a few degrees. For indoor use, this is not a big deal. But for outdoors use, it needs to work over a wide temperature window. The engineers specifically addressed that in this work.The UC San Diego team developed new circuit designs and system-level techniques to equip their receiver with all these features while boosting sensitivity. These were made possible thanks to cutting edge ultra-low power electronics developed by the Mercier and Hall labs, and advanced antenna and radio technologies developed by the Rebeiz lab. According to the researchers, this receiver’s combination of nanowatt-level power consumption, small package size (4.55 square centimeters in area), sensitivity (-69.5 dBm) and temperature performance is the best that has been published to date.According to Patrick Mercier, these numbers are pretty impressive in the field of wireless communications–power consumption that low, while still retaining temperature-robustness, all in a small, highly sensitive system–this will enable all sorts of new IoT applications. There is a small tradeoff in latency. There is a 540-millisecond delay between when the receiver detects the wake-up signature and when it wakes up the device. But for the intended applications, researchers note that this amount of delay is not a problem.According to Mercier, users don’t need high-throughput, high-bandwidth communication when sending commands to smart home or wearables devices, for example, so the trade-off of waiting for a mere half a second to get a 100,000x improvement in power is worth it.Click here to read the published paper.last_img read more

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2 Bacolod schools in UniGames football

first_imgTWO Bacolod City-based football teams are joining the 2018 University Games in Dumaguete City.Defending champions University of St. La Salle Stingers and the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos are expected to battle it out with other men’s squads later this month.The host city will send the Negros Oriental State University-Dumaguete team to the competition.Manila-based teams headed for the UniGames are the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, National University Bulldogs, De La Salle-College of St. Benilde Blazers, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and University of Perpetual Help Altas. The Stingers of head coach Norman Fegidero bested all of their competitors last year, including the UAAP men’s football champions Fighting Maroons, to clinch the title.In the 2017 UniGames finals, the Stingers banked on the heroics of Charles Barberan, Eli Usman, Ian Perez, and Charles Dabao, and goalkeeper John Mark Jamelo to score 4-3 against the Bulldogs.Aside from football, also to be played in the weeklong Games are men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s beach volleyball, men’s and women’s athletics, table tennis for men and women, taekwondo, chess, and badminton.This will be the seventh time that Dumaguete will host the UniGames. The Games were held in the city in 2000, 2002, 2008, 2010, 2016, and 2017./PNlast_img read more

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Negrense Villanueva loses in WBC world title match

first_imgNegrense boxer Arthur Villanueva. RING TV Oubaali rocked Villanueva from the start with his steady andstraight left hand. The Negrnese challenger was stunned several times in roundsthree and four but managed to make it out of the round on each occasion. Villanueva could have survived anew through six rounds butOubaali intensified his attack, connecting with a straight left and a righthook to send his challenger to the canvas. Villanueva was quick to beat the knockout count but spendingthe rest of the round fighting behind an earmuff defense. The Negrense fighterquit from the corner just before the seventh round. MANILA – Negrense boxer Arthur Villanueva was unsuccessfulanew in taking home a world title following a sixth round stoppage loss to WBCbantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali of France on Saturday night at BarysArena in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.center_img “Nordine’s a good fighter, he has a lot of experience in theamateurs. He’s a world champion and I expect he is a very good fighter,”Villanueva said after the match. It was third world championship defeat of the Bago City,Negros Occidental-native Villanueva after losing to former IBF super flyweightchampion McJoe Arroyo and former WBO bantamweight belt holder Zolani Tetebefore. The 30-year-old Villanueva saw his record dropped to 32-4-1win-loss-draw, including 18 stoppage wins, while the 32-year-old Oubaaliextended his unblemished 16-0-0, with 12 knockout wins./PNlast_img read more

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Adesanya beats Silva to keep unbeaten record

first_imgUndefeated middle-weight Israel Adesanya stepped into the main event spotlight and claimed the biggest scalp of his mixed martial arts career with a unanimous decision victory over Anderson Silva at UFC 234.Nigeria-born Kiwi Adesanya, 29, and Brazilian legend Silva were originally scheduled to face off in the night’s co-main event contest in Melbourne.They were promoted to the main event of the show after Australian UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker withdrew from his fight.Whittaker was taken to hospital and had emergency surgery on what UFC officials called a “severe abdominal injury”.It forced the cancellation of Whittaker’s scheduled world title defence against American Kelvin Gastelum.Undefeated former kickboxing star Adesanya’s fight against 43-year-old former middleweight champion Silva, who was returning from a two-year hiatus – which included a one-year doping ban, had already been billed as a world title eliminator.And the pair delivered a thrilling contest at the Rod Laver Arena as they showcased their spectacular martial arts striking techniques.After three rounds of gripping action, Adesanya was unanimously declared the victor with scores of 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27, taking his career record to 16-0.Adesanya said it was a surreal experience sharing the octagon with one of his idols.“This is crazy. This is like, for a kid, just to play… If I’m playing basketball, to play against Michael Jordan. This is it for me,” he said.last_img read more

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Report: Indians Had High Interest in Tigers OF J.D. Martinez Prior to Trade

first_img Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE. Related TopicsIndiansJ.D. MartínezTigers It’s no secret that the Indians are looking around Major League Baseball at possible trade options, and it’s being reported they had their eyes on one player in the division that could have assisted them not on the mound, but at the plate.That player is now former Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez, who didn’t end up with the Indians, but instead went out west to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a deal. #Indians were only other team seriously involved in J.D. Martinez pursuit this week, source said. Certainly influenced #Tigers return. @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 19, 2017The Tigers received infield prospects Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King in exchange for Martinez, who was hitting .305 with 16 homers and 39 RBI for the Tigers in 57 games.Martinez would have for sure helped the Indians offense as the team continues to struggle at the plate, (one run again on Tuesday night against the Giants), but it makes sense for the Tigers not to make a division contender stronger.The righty is set to be a free agent after the season. One other interesting aspect of the Martinez deal is the fact there’s still a giveaway around him at Comerica Park this summer.The Tigers have a J.D. Martinez-Game of Thrones ticket package schedule for July 28. He was traded today to Arizona.— Bill Shea (@Bill_Shea19) July 19, 2017center_img Matt Loedelast_img read more

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Town Hall Held To Address Recent Violence Against Kenai Peninsula LGBTQ Community

first_imgRepresentative Gary Knopp spoke at the end of the town hall stating his intentions to introduce legislation during the upcoming session that would amend Alaska’s existing hate crime statute to include gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes. On social media following the incident at her home which took place on December 9th, Willis wrote, “There is obviously someone out there that hates me for being gay and an advocate. It is also becoming increasingly obvious that law enforcement is not taking this very seriously at all”. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A town hall meeting was held at the Soldotna Public Library on Saturday following a string of attacks against a Sterling woman. Tammie Willis spoke out on social media to share her story after she was attacked at knife point at her home in Sterling. Willis believes she was attacked because of her status in the gay community. The main goal of the town hall meeting was to raise awareness of the need to strengthen ‘Alaska’s laws to address hate crimes regarding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes’. In addition to Willis, other peninsula residents, law enforcement officials and local elected representatives spoke up about the issue of public safety for the LGBTQ community.center_img Willis spoke for the first time publicly at the town hall meeting where nearly 100 Kenai Peninsula residents filled up the library. Willis: “We still have a lot of healing to do. My wounds have healed on the outside and they’re starting to heal on the inside.”  A number of other Kenai Peninsula residents shared their stories, most did not give their names. Willis: “I hoped to keep this matter private. The idea that I could try to move and put my life back together and give as little attention to hate as possible.”last_img read more

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‘Dito’s link with China state firm still cause for concern,’ says Hontiveros

first_imgSIGN UP TO DAILY NEWSLETTERCLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday insisted that the agreement entered into by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Dito Telecommunity Corp. is a major cause for concern to all Filipinos despite the telecommunication firm’s assurance that safeguards are in place to prevent espionage.Sen. Risa Hontiveros (Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)“The statements of AFP and Dito Telco seeking to reassure the public that safeguards are in place with respect to the China-owned cell sites in our military camps cannot and should not completely put the fears of the Filipino people to rest,” Hontiveros said in a statement.“Dito’s chief administrative officer claims that the public has no cause for concern because its agreement with the military is similar to that of the other two telcos, Globe and Smart,”“However, unlike Dito, the foreign investors of these two telcos are not state-owned corporations of countries with espionage laws that oblige their companies to cooperate in Intelligence gathering,” the senator pointed out.Hontiveros said Chinatel, one of the investors of Dito, is 100 percent owned by the Chinese government. Citing the country’s experience with Chinese-backed local companies, she said warned such entities have been reluctant to submit themselves to inspection and audit.“Just look at the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), which is 40 percent owned by the Chinese government,” she said, citing NGCP’s refusal to be audited by the government.“As such, we must remain vigilant. Since the AFP has, in the spirit of full transparency, expressed willingness to subject its agreement with Dito to public scrutiny, I believe that the Senate should go on with the probe so the matter can be given the attention it deserves,” she stressed.Hontiveros earlier filed a resolution asking the Senate committee on national defense to investigate the AFP-Dito deal, which allowed Dito to build cell sites inside military bases, citing the national security risks it poses to the Philippines.last_img read more

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Wolfpack’s big plans for SBW

first_imgRugby Union Sonny Bill Williams’ number is in – and the Toronto Wolfpack plan to use it to ensure the number is up for staid English rugby league officials. Williams will at this stage wear the No. 21 (teammate Bodene Thompson wants to keep 12 out of superstition) after agreeing to join Super League’s newest club on a deal worth up to $10 million, which gives him a share of the club and a starring role in a Netflix series which the Wolfpack hope will run over three seasons. Sonny Bill Williams’ number is in – and the Toronto Wolfpack plan to use it to ensure the number is up for staid English rugby league officials. Williams will at this stage wear the No 21 (teammate Bodene Thompson wants to keep 12 out of superstition) after agreeing to join Super League’s newest club on a deal worth up to $10 million, which gives him a share of the club and a starring role in a Netflix series which the Wolfpack hope will run over three seasons. But Wolfpack owner David Argyle says he plans to turn Williams’ number into a call-to-arms hashtag: #rugbydisrupters21. This week his CEO Bob Hunter will meet with Super League’s administration and rival club bosses in a combative mood after snaring SBW, and having flagged the pursuit of other rugby union and league stars, understood to be headed by Ben Te’o and Manu Tuilagi. Hunter will ask for the competition’s salary cap to be dramatically altered, for extreme transparency to be introduced and for a rethink on the central distribution of funds. The Canadian franchise also wants the Rugby Football League to positively represent them on the issue of immigration with the UK Home Office. Williams, at the moment, could be refused re-entry to the UK the same way prop Darcy Lussick was last season. Toronto’s players are based in northern England for long stretches of the season, making it a grey area from an immigration perspective. This is especially the case if their families join them – or even seek work. The club believes other sports’ governing bodies in Britain are firm with the Home Office in such situations but the RFL is meek. A declaration that the Wolfpack is a tier-two affiliated company would resolve many of the issues, they believe. Rather than ask for the £2 million ($4m) they voluntarily forgo from TV money, the Wolfpack will ask for where it and other funds are going to be made public. Argyle argues Williams will also help bolster the coffers of each club that hosts matches against the Wolfpack next year – including ‘home’ games transferred to London, York and Leeds – and he is unconvinced those funds will be used wisely. “Fans everywhere need to know the people who are taking a cut of their gate money, their TV subscriptions and merchandise sales are doing what they are charged with doing – growing the game,” he told the Herald from Toronto. “I want this to be grassroots. This is in the interests of all fans that there is greater transparency and those with ambition are not held back. “With this hashtag we want to signal that the fans will hold people accountable from now on – all over the world.” The owner has plans to produce replica Williams jerseys with the hashtag emblazoned across the back. In British rugby league circles, the handing of the Bradford Bulls’ licence to a consortium which went on to almost double the club’s debt has brought the issue of governance and central decision making into sharp focus. Having removed himself from official duties after a racism row, Argyle believes he can utilise the global publicity generated by his signing of Williams to agitate for positive change within the sport. – Sydney Morning Heraldlast_img read more

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