Commodity costs push up food inflation figure

first_imgSurges in the price of key bakery commodities, such as wheat and sugar, helped push annual food inflation to nearly 6% last month more than double the average shop price inflation.According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), overall shop price inflation stood at just 2.3% last month, while food inflation hit 5.7%, due to huge increases in commodities. Cattle, lean pork, wheat and sugar prices have all increased by 21-25% year on year, while Robusta coffee is up 42%.High inflation is leading to unprecedented levels of promotions and discounts to drive sales and increase market share, said the BRC, with AC Nielsen data showing promotions now represent 39% of all food sales, compared with 34% last year.Data from Assosia showed that supermarkets ran 791 promotions on wrapped bread in the year to the end of May 2011, compared to 563 promotions the year before a rise of 40%.BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Overall shop price inflation is being driven by surging world commodity prices, the effect of the weak pound on import costs and higher VAT.”The BRC said it expected tight supplies and rising costs to continue exerting pressure on food prices over the coming months.last_img read more

Speech: Delivering long term stability to the Sahel region

first_imgThank you very much Mr President and may I like others start by passing our sincere condolences to Niger and France for the loss of their servicemen and women.Let me also thank our briefers and welcome to the Council His Excellency Mr Alpha Barry, Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso.As set out in the Secretary-General’s Report Mr President, there is some clear progress to be welcomed – particularly the resumption of Joint Force operations since January 2019 and the deployment of 75 per cent of troops as of March 2019. We recognise the efforts of the G5 Sahel States to combat cross-border threats despite difficult and adverse circumstances. Now, the Force must accelerate its efforts to achieve full operational capacity and demonstrate that its security capacity is greater than the sum of its parts. Evidence of tangible results from operations will build the Force’s credibility, both regionally and internationally.To aid the Joint Force in overcoming the challenges they face in terms of funding and thereby achieving full operationalisation, the United Kingdom strongly urges all partners to make good on the financial commitments they have made with the utmost urgency.On the UK’s part, we have contributed to the European Union’s package of support and provided further bilateral contributions which for the Joint Force alone totals around $20 million – that’s set against a far bigger contribution for the Sahel as a whole.Continuing the close cooperation with the EU, MINUSMA and Operation Barkhane is a vital step in aiding operational efforts. In this regard, we welcome the creation of the Coordinating Body for Mali in January, which serves as a framework to enhance information sharing and coordination among the various military and security forces present.We also welcome the steps taken to advance the human rights compliance framework and strongly urge continued efforts to further embed and operationalise this across the G5 Sahel Joint Force. This will not only lead to enhanced civilian protection but also support efforts to win “the hearts and minds” of the populations the Joint Force was created to protect, crucial to the stabilisation of the region. Any alleged human rights violations need to be fully investigated.Looking forward, we encourage the G5 Sahel Secretariat to finalise the Joint Force’s strategic concept of operations, which will both demonstrate a unity of purpose within the Joint Force and boost donor confidence.Mr President, the challenges facing the Sahel region are becoming progressively more complex. With increasing incidents of terrorism, criminality and inter-community violence in Mali’s central regions, we share the Secretary-General’s concerns about the spread of insecurity and terrorism to other parts of the region, including into Burkina Faso. We call upon G5 Sahel countries to expedite their efforts to deploy all outstanding troops and to fully establish the police component in order to address the growing trans-border threats.As with all areas of instability, military action alone is not the solution. As recognised by this Council in its December 2017 resolution on the support to the G5 Sahel Force, long term stability will only be delivered to the region if security efforts are accompanied by programmes to address governance, development, human rights and humanitarian issues.Thank you.last_img read more

In praise of unwanted termites

first_imgThe majestic animals most closely associated with the African savanna — fierce lions, massive elephants, towering giraffes — may be relatively minor players when it comes to shaping the ecosystem.The real king of the savanna appears to be the tiny termite, say ecologists who’ve found that these humble creatures contribute mightily to grassland productivity in central Kenya through a network of uniformly distributed colonies. Termite mounds greatly enhance plant and animal activity at the local level, while their even distribution over a larger area maximizes ecosystem-wide productivity.The finding, published May 25 in the journal PLoS Biology, affirms a counterintuitive approach to population ecology: Often it’s the small things that matter most.“It’s not always the charismatic predators — animals like lions and leopards — that exert the greatest control on populations,” said Robert M. Pringle, a research fellow at Harvard University. “As E.O. Wilson [esteemed biologist and emeritus Harvard professor] likes to point out, in many respects it’s the little things that run the world. In the case of the savanna, it appears these termites have tremendous influence and are central to the functioning of this ecosystem.”Earlier research on the Kenya dwarf gecko initially drew Pringle’s attention to the peculiar role of grassy termite mounds, which in that part of Kenya are 10 meters in diameter and spaced 60 to 100 meters apart. Each mound teems with millions of termites, which build the mounds over the course of centuries.After observing unexpectedly high numbers of lizards in the vicinity of mounds, Pringle and his colleagues began to quantify ecological productivity relative to mound density. They found that each mound supported dense aggregations of flora and fauna. Plants grew more rapidly the closer they were to mounds, and animal populations and reproductive rates fell off appreciably with greater distance.What was observed on the ground was even clearer in satellite imagery. Each mound — relatively inconspicuous on the Kenyan grassland — stood at the center of a burst of floral productivity. More importantly, these bursts were highly organized in relation to one another, evenly dispersed as if squares on a checkerboard. The result, said Pringle, is an optimized network of plant and animal output closely tied to the ordered distribution of termite mounds.“In essence, the highly regular spatial pattern of fertile mounds generated by termites actually increases overall levels of ecosystem production. And it does so in such a profound way,” said Todd M. Palmer, assistant professor of biology at the University of Florida and an affiliate of the Mpala Research Centre in Nanyuki, Kenya. “Seen from above, the grid-work of termite mounds in the savanna is not just a pretty picture. The overdispersion, or regular distribution of these termite mounds, plays an important role in elevating the services this ecosystem provides.”The mechanism through which termite activity is transformed into far-reaching effects on the ecosystem is a complex one. Pringle and Palmer suspect that termites import coarse particles into the otherwise fine soil in the vicinity of their mounds. These coarser particles promote water infiltration of the soil, even as they discourage disruptive shrinking and swelling of topsoil in response to precipitation or drought.The mounds also show elevated levels of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. All this beneficial soil alteration appears to mold ecosystem services far beyond the immediate vicinity of the mound.While further studies will explore the mechanism through which these spatial patterns of termite mounds emerge, Pringle and Palmer suggest that the present work has implications beyond the basic questions of ecology.“Termites are typically viewed as pests, and as threats to agricultural and livestock production,” Pringle said. “But productivity — of both wild and human-dominated landscapes — may be more intricately tied to the pattern-generating organisms of the larger natural landscape than is commonly understood.”The findings also have important implications for conservation, Palmer says.“As we think about restoring degraded ecosystems, as we think about restoring coral reefs, or restoring plant communities, this overdispersed pattern is teaching us something,” he said. “It’s saying we might want to think about doing our coral restoration or plant restoration in a way that takes advantage of this ecosystem-productivity-enhancing phenomenon.”Pringle and Palmer’s co-authors on the PLoS Biology paper are Daniel F. Doak of the Mpala Research Centre and the University of Wyoming; Alison K. Brody of the Mpala Research Centre and the University of Vermont; and Rudy Jocqué of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium. Their work was supported by the Sherwood Family Foundation and the National Science Foundation.last_img read more

Omagbemi Frees Angels, Queens for Federation Cup Final

first_imgSuper Falcons’ Head Coach, Florence Omagbemi has elected to release players of Rivers Angels and Bayelsa Queens in the senior women national team camp for Sunday’s potentially explosive women Federation Cup final between both teams in Lagos.The member of FIFA Technical Study said the ladies would be allowed to leave the team’s camp in Abuja to travel to Lagos for the big clash, which starts at 1pm at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Sunday.That decision has freed Angels’ half dozen of goalkeeper Ibubeleye Whyte, defenders Osinachi Ohale, Ugo Njoku and Gladys Akpa and midfielders Chioma Wogu and Glory Iroka to be part of the glamour event, to be attended by the Governors of Lagos, Anambra, Nasarawa, Bayelsa and Rivers States.Bayelsa Queens’ duo of goalkeeper Alaba Jonathan and playmaker Osarenoma Igbinovia will also be on duty.The involvement of the Super Falcons’ stars will certainly boost the quality of the final match, and ensure the two teams do not miss their Falconets’ players who travel to Papua New Guinea for the 8th FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup on the same day. Coach Rolandson Odeh has to name replacements for Lilian Atule, Joy Bokiri and Yetunde Adeboyejo, while Edwin Okon will have to do without defender Patience Kalu.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Blizzard Bike Club cancels races on Cactus trails through June 8

first_imgThe Blizzard Bike Club has cancelled their mountain bike races on the Cactus trails through June 8. The decision is the result of a club member encountering an individual on the trails who expressed his displeasure over the club having events at the site.Members of the bike club started preparing and cleaning the trails and have been using them over the past six years for a variety of events.A police investigation into the situation has since been closed. Members will discuss their next course of action, including whether or not they will return to the trails at their next club meeting on June 8.- Advertisement -Other races are still going on as scheduled.last_img read more

Bridgestone to invest $304mn over 5 yrs to expand India plants

first_imgNew Delhi, Aug 8 (PTI) Tyre major Bridgestone India today said it will invest USD 304.3 million (around Rs 1,940 crore) over the next five years to expand its two manufacturing plants in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.The company, which is a part of Japans Bridgestone Corporation, plans to expand facilities at Pune (Chakan) and Indore (Kheda).The investment will be done in a phased manner over the next five years starting this year, Bridgestone India said in a statement.”This investment affirms our commitment to expand Bridgestone?s footprint in India, which is one of the fastest growing markets in the world,” Bridgestone India Executive Director Kazutoshi Oyama said.The investment will enable Bridgestone India to be equipped with advanced manufacturing technology and processes that will allow it to better serve its customers with superior quality products, he added.The expansion of the plants will enable Bridgestone to meet increased tyre demand in India, owning to growing vehicle population and production.The production capacity of the two plants is expected to increase by around 15,000 tyres per day, bringing total daily production to around 41,000 tyres by 2022.In addition to capacity expansion, the investment will also enable the company to enhance its products mix to cater to new models being launched in the domestic market.The expansion will also help in creating 450 additional jobs for skilled manpower at the two facilities, Bridgestone said.Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corporation is the world?s largest tyre and rubber company.Besides, selling tyres for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods.advertisementThe companys products are sold in over 150 countries around the world. PTI MSS BALlast_img read more

India vs West Indies World Cup 2019: Vijay Shankar trolled after cheap dismissal

first_imgIndian skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday won the toss and elected to bat against West Indies in their World Cup fixture at Old Trafford. But opener Rohit Sharma was soon removed by Kemar Roach under controversial cicumstances just as he was looking set at the crease. Later when KL Rahul also joined Rohit in the pavilion after making 48, India’s new No. 4 Vijay Shankar walked to join his captain Virat Kohli.However, Shankar couldn’t do much with the bat either as he became Roach’s 2nd victim after edging a full delivery to wicket-keeper Shai Hope. The dismissal capped a disappointing run of scores for Shankar with the bat in this World Cup with a highest score of just 29 coming against Afghanistan in India’s last group match.Shankar’s dismissal sparked off a wide range of reactions on Twitter with many gunning for Rishabh Pant to replace him for the rest of the tournament. Here are a few of them:A weak Number 4 further weakens the middle order. Always had reservations about Vijay Shankar #IndvsWIVikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) June 27, 2019Rishab Pant !!!!!!!!!!!!! How he doesn’t get in this team I will never know …… #CWC19Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 27, 2019Vijay Shankar was the worst Indian experiment after Demonetization.#INDvWIGabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) June 27, 2019Vijay Shankar was the worst Indian experiment after Demonetization.#INDvWIGabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) June 27, 2019#INDvsWIMe trying to understand why Vijay Shankar is still in the team: pic.twitter.com/AJWYKUlHl2Jagriti Gambhir (@iamjagriti_) June 27, 2019Vijay Shankar scores 14 runs on 19 balls and out to prove that he is the worst player of Indian team. And his selection is the biggest mistake of selectors.#INDvsWIadvertisementKRK (@kamaalrkhan) June 27, 2019#INDvsWIVijay shankar trying to support Indian team: pic.twitter.com/OwpFKVmMwl mSalman (@mohdsalman064) June 27, 2019Vijay Shankar about his batting be like .#INDvsWI pic.twitter.com/[email protected] (@s_omil7) June 27, 2019Unpopular opinion : Ambati Rayudu could have been a better pick than Vijay Shankar. #INDvsWIRoshan Rai (@RoshanKrRai) June 27, 2019India have gone with the same team which played against Afghanistan. Meanwhile, West Indies have made two changes in their line-up. They have brought in Sunil Ambris and Fabian Allen in place of Evin Lewis and Ashley Nurse.Also Read | India vs West Indies, World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma’s dismissal sparks off controversyAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Bring on the boo-boys, says Australia’s smiling assassin David Warnerlast_img read more