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Conference opens up Asian markets

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio, Liz Wagner, Mayor Mark Jamieson from Sunshine Coast Council and John Wagner from Wagners at Ag in the Asian Century conference in Toowoomba. THE highly anticipated Ag in the Asian Century conference kicked off last night with 200 national and international guests tasting some of the region's best foods and wines. TSBE general manager for export and agribusiness Jo Sheppard said the welcome reception, which included a presentation by the Consul General from the Chinese Embassy in Brisbane, Jiqing Jiang, provided an opportunity for the region's producers to showcase their products. "This is a very significant milestone for TSBE and is the first national event that we have held," Mrs Sheppard said. "We're really pleased with how it has come together and it has taken a lot of work. "We've held this event based on demand from the businesses that we work with who are really keen to proactively share their knowledge and services." >> Creep alert: Man approaches kids in Grand Central >> Federal fund cuts threaten city repairs >> Compensation for families of men killed in pink batts scheme >> Payphones to become Wi-Fi hotspots Mrs Sheppard said it was essential regional businesses understood how they could capitalise on the Asian markets. She said the current conference, through its two-day program, would provide ample opportunity to learn. "For individual businesses, the challenge is to see where they fi...  

Google's Climate Name-Calling

Eric Schmidt always seemed a decent guy but we never had reason to ask if he was especially brave. Then came his long interview on a Washington radio show late last month, the closing minutes of which featured a caller's inquiry whether Google was still "supporting ALEC, which is that fund lobbyist in D.C. that are funding climate change deniers." Google's chairman confessed his company had joined the American... ...  

Galilee Basin Rail Corridor on track

FULL STEAM AHEAD: The Galilee Basin Rail Corridor is on track with GVK Hancock submitting further applications. Bev Lacey MAJOR mining proponents insist the Galilee Basin Rail Corridor is still going ahead. GVK Hancock has started a Material Change of Use application for the 310km first stage of its rail corridor. Corporate affairs manager Josh Euler said this was done following extensive planning and hydrological assessments. "We will also be seeking consent from landholders along the section of this first stage of rail corridor and we have made contact with all landholders along the rail corridor in order to commence such discussions," he said. "Assessments take into consideration the unavoid-able fact that any rail line from the southern end of the Galilee Basin to the coast must traverse the flood plains of the Belyando and its tributaries." A spokeswoman from Aurizon said the company was working closely with GVK Hancock on transport solutions. "There is no change to Aurizon's plans to develop rail and port infrastructure to support future mines in the Galilee Basin," she said. Affected landholder Shontae Moran of Double D, Clermont, said the process of development was lengthy and frustrating. "The process of compulsory acquisition is under way but we have not received a notice," she said. "You can't plan for the future. Everyone is very disheartened and distrusting of government." The Federal Government last week added its conditional approval to Adani's railw...  

With Bill Ackman, Tennis and Herbalife Can Be A Dangerous Mix

Two of the things that William Ackman is most passionate about—tennis and Herbalife—came together on Tuesday in a way that must have disappointed the billionaire hedge fund manager. The Securities & Exchange Commission on Tuesday charged two men with insider-trading in Herbalife, claiming they learned about Ackman’s huge $1 billion short bet against Herbalife in 2012 before it became public from a former Pershing Square analyst and made profitable trades on the information. Sources familiar with the matter say that the former Pershing Square analyst in the SEC case is Mariusz Adamski, who was the New York roommate of Filip Szymik, one of the individuals the SEC charged on Tuesday. Adamski, whose name was first reported by The New York Times, has not been charged with any wrongdoing and every indication is that he won’t be charged. Szymik has settled the SEC charges. Ackman is an avid tennis player, a sport he has played since he was a child growing up in Chappaqua, N.Y. Even now as he oversees $15 billion at his Pershing Square hedge fund, Ackman continues to find time to play. A few years ago, Ackman hired Adamski, a number 1 doubles player at Wake Forest University, after the two were introduced by an investment banker. “I told him I’ll teach him the investment business and he’s teaching me tennis,” Ackman told Bloomberg News in May 2012. Ackman is known for making unorthodox hires at his hedge fund. He has...  

Over Half of Earth's Wildlife Has Been Killed in the Past 40 Years

Fifty-two percent of the world's vertebrates — mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish — were lost between 1970 and 2010 because humans are destroying habitats and consuming animals faster than they are able to reproduce, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).Carbon dioxide emissions, agricultural pollution, and stress on water supplies, the group adds, are leading to potentially irreversible changes to the environment, driven primarily by demands for energy and consumer goods in rich, industrialized nations."Over half of the populations we measured are half the size of what they were 40 years ago. That's pretty astounding," Colby Loucks, senior director of conservation science at WWF, told VICE News. "When ripping apart nature you get holes. And when you rip things apart this much you're going to get some pretty big holes."WWF tracked population trends in 10,380 groups of 3,038 vertebrate species. The 52 percent decline is steeper than in previous WWF reports on animal populations because the organization used a "better representation" of species. The report states there is no sign the trend will reverse.Animals living in freshwater environments have been hit hardest — declining 76 percent. Marine and terrestrial populations fell 39 percent. The biggest declines occurred in South America and the Asia-Pacific region."What I thought was striking about the report was they did excellent and groundbreaking research to document the...  

Top ten climate polluters in Kentucky

Power plants top Kentucky's biggest sources of climate pollution, according to just-released data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.There's no surprise there.But a prominent chemical plant in Louisville's Rubbertown area -- Dupont Louisville Works -- is in the top ten biggest climate polluters in Kentucky for its emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, which the EPA say are actually more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to heating up the atmosphere.The EPA released its fourth year of Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program data, detailing greenhouse gas pollution trends and emissions broken down by industrial sector, geographic region and individual facilities. In 2013, reported emissions from large industrial facilities nationwide were 20 million metric tons higher than the prior year, or 0.6 percent, driven largely by an increase in coal use for power generation, the agency said.That figure intrigued me because conventional wisdom is that we've been burning more natural gas (which has less impact on the climate) and less coal.RELATED: Air pollution district, union agree on job cutsThere is a lot of data to look at, and this is just my first crack at it. I started by doing a quick search of top emitters in Kentucky and Indiana, then top emitters in Louisville Metro, or Jefferson County.Kentucky Utility's Ghent plant topped all of Kentucky's largest industrial sources of a several greenhouse gases, with 12.8 million metric tons released in 2013, the most current year fo...  

Washington State coach Mike Leach has dark nihilistic vision of our future

Updated SEP 30, 2014 7:45p ET Washington State Cougars coach Mike Leach may well have talked about the game of football at his Monday news conference, but it was his dire warning regarding the fate of the entire human species that's still ringing in our ears. No, there was little talk of climate change, meteor strikes or Skynet. But the coach does, however, apparently have major concerns about the future of dating. See, Leach is a brilliant football mind, but he admits he's not so good with technology. And here's what he had to say about the perils of allowing "button pushing" to take the place of real human connection: "We're all going to look into this box and eventually be extinct. That's how it ends." Yikes! And that was just a snippet of Leach's bleak epitaph for humanity. Here are some other gems: --"Conversations won't happen 10 years from now." --"There aren't going to be people to talk to." --"'Where do you want to go?'" "Well, what difference does it make?" --"In the end it's going to be tough to perpetuate the species." The truth is, simply reading Leach's comments doesn't do them justice. You have to actually hear this dark, nihilistic vision of the future in Leach's own words. Here you go: If Leach's prognostication proves to be accurate, more of us may indeed end up wishing we'd abstained from smartphones and online dating ourselves. On the other hand, to borrow the coach's phrasing, "what difference does it make?" Gulp! Mike Leach \ Buzzer \ PAC-12 \ Home \ Wa...  

Smoking while pregnant can limit son's sperm, University of Newcastle study ...

Oct. 1, 2014, 9 a.m. MOTHERS who smoke while pregnant or breastfeeding may be damaging the future fertility of their sons, University of Newcastle research shows. MOTHERS who smoke while pregnant or breastfeeding may be damaging the future fertility of their sons, University of Newcastle research shows.In a “breakthrough” study released on Wednesday morning, researchers found that the male offspring of mums who smoked during their pregnancy had fewer sperm.Their sperm also swam poorly, was abnormally shaped and failed to bind to eggs during in vitro fertilisation (or IVF) studies.“This is the first time we have been able to prove conclusively that male baby exposure to cigarette toxins in pregnancy and early life will damage later life fertility,” lead researcher Professor Eileen McLaughlin said.Professor McLaughlin, the co-director of the University of Newcastle’s priority and research centre in chemical biology, said they had investigated damage to the DNA of cells that were involved in the process of producing sperm, along with sperm counts, the shape of sperm and how well they swam.The study involved testing mice and is the first comprehensive animal model to show how smoking can affect the fertility of male offspring.“The findings are relevant to human health as many men, now in their 30s and 40s, were exposed to cigarette toxins in the womb when it was less well known that smoking affected babies’ health,” Professo...  

The Horse is Technology, But the Rider is on Auto-Pilot

By Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. You wake up the morning and before saying hi to anyone in the house you say hi to your phone. Walking on the way to the bathroom you make sure to grab your phone to check any messages on the way. Slowing down at the stoplight in the car is an invitation to see if you have any messages and perhaps even begin responding. At lunch we make sure to have it with us. Waiting anywhere is a cue to engage anything on the phone. Before going to bed it’s the last thing we kiss goodnight. There’s a very subtle, and for some, not-so-subtle habitual relationship with our technology. I could easily make the argument that most of us have an addiction to our screens. In China there are currently 400 intensive treatment center for web addiction. An entire documentary called Web Junkie has been created to chronicle this issue there (Note: I’ll be at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles, California on October 5th doing a Q&A after this screening). Many of us may not feel we have a web addiction, but in truth, most of us have some form of this. In a recent talk the Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh compared technology to a horse and said we’re currently riding it. When someone walks up and says to the rider, “Where are you going?” The rider looks at the person and replies, “I don’t know, ask the horse.” There it is, we have lost control of technology, it’s driving us, and we are no lon...  

Forex - Japanese yen flat ahead of Q3 Tankan survey, dollar steady

Investing.com - The Japanese yen was flat Wednesday ahead of the quarterly Tankan survey with markets focused on near-term scope for further dollar strength.Yen flat ahead of Q3 Tankan trdaed at 109.65, flat, while held at 0.8746, down 0.02%. traded at 1.2627, down 0.02.China starts a week-long holiday to mark National Day and will markets will reopen day next Wednesday.That however doesn't stop the release of the CFLP PMI due at 0900 local time (0100 GMT). Economists are expecting 51.0 versus August's 51.1.Hong Kong markets are closed Wednesday and Thursday.The Bank of Japan releases its third quarter Tankan survey at 0850 Tokyo (2350 GMT). The September Tankan is expected to show that capital investment plans by major companies will rise 7.2% on year in fiscal 2014, slightly lower than the 7.4% gain projected in the June survey. In Australia, there's the AI Group's Sept manufacturing index due at 0930 Sydney (2330 GMT) followed by the 1130 (0130 GMT) release of August retail sales, expected up 0.4%.Overnight, the dollar traded higher against most major currencies as investors took up fresh positions assuming the Federal Reserve will close its bond-buying program in October and hike rates in 2015.Expectations for U.S. monetary policy to grow less accommodative at a time when others may move to loosen bolstered the greenback on the last day of the third quarter.The Federal Reserve will hold its next monetary policy meeting at the end of October, and markets expect the U.S. ce...  


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