U.S. soybean farmers remain frustrated by the lack of progress between the U.S. and China in resolving the trade war, which continues to immediately threaten soy prices and, if not resolved, farmers’ ability to stay in business. The American Soybean Association (ASA) has consistently opposed using unilateral tariffs to address U.S. trade deficits with China and other countries. Instead, ASA supports the negotiation of trade agreements and other measures that can increase U.S. agricultural exports, including soybeans.“The U.S. has been at the table with China 11 times now and still has not closed the deal. What that means for soybean growers is that we’re losing. Losing a valuable market, losing stable pricing, losing an opportunity to support our families and our communities. These trade negotiations are serious for us. Farming is our livelihood,” said Davie Stephens, soy grower from Clinton, Ky., and ASA president.The soybean industry realizes the Administration’s reasons for trying to force China to make structural changes to its predatory economic policies, including forced technology transfers, intellectual property theft, and subsidies to state-owned enterprises. Yet, ASA has and continues to recommend that the U.S. achieve these goals through coordinated actions with like-minded developed countries.“We’ve been understanding during this negotiation process, but we cannot withstand another year in which our most important foreign market continues to slip away and soybean prices are 20 to 25 percent, or even more, below pre-tariff levels,” said John Heisdorffer, ASA Chairman and Keota, Iowa, soy grower. “The sentiment out in farm country is getting grimmer by the day. Our patience is waning, our finances are suffering, and the stress from months of living with the consequences of these tariffs is mounting.”The Administration decided on May 10 to increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, from 10 to 25 percent, in order to increase pressure on China to make structural changes to its economic policies, and is also taking steps to impose a 25 percent tariff on the remaining $325 billion in annual imports from China. In turn, China has announced plans to retaliate. With this further escalation in trade tensions and no end in sight, the situation for U.S. growers is dire.“The soybean market in China took us more than 40 years to build, and as this confrontation continues, it will become increasingly difficult to recover. With depressed prices and unsold stocks expected to double by the 2019 harvest, soybean farmers are not willing to be collateral damage in an endless tariff war,” said Stephens.While we support the Administration’s overall goals in these negotiations, ASA cannot support continuing and escalating the use of tariffs to achieve them. Farming is too vulnerable a business to tolerate this much uncertainty over a prolonged period. We call on the Administration to conclude an agreement focused on significantly reducing the U.S. trade deficit with China, including restoring and increasing our agricultural exports and eliminating China’s 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans. We would support the use of other tactics to pursue the structural changes the U.S. is seeking in China’s economic policies, including working with like-minded countries.
That’s because small ad networks can aggregate traffic that was previously too difficult, costly or undesirable to aggregate, the report says. (According to the report, the top 100 publishers sell only 40 percent of their online inventory directly, leaving the rest to be chopped up and sold through ad networks or exchanges.) “In a world without ad networks, few online publishers would be able to sell their online advertising inventory.”The future, according to DeSilva + Phillips, lies in ad exchanges: “There is still a lot of ungathered and unsold inventory, and ad exchanges offer considerable scale to advertisers while remaining too small to attract Google or Yahoo!’s attention as bolt-on additions.”All of this means M&A opportunity for those operating small-to-mid-sized ad networks. During 2007, activity approached $2 billion for 10 “pure play” ad networks. Venture capital investment was $300 million.[EDITOR’S NOTE: Click here for a free copy of DeSilva + Phillips’ Ad Networks: Monetizing the Long Tail.] There’s still a lot of Internet out there. And for publishers joining—or cobbling together— mini ad networks, that means revenue.So says a new white paper released late last week by media investment banking firm DeSilva + Phillips. According to the report, Ad Networks: Monetizing the Long Tail, the approval of Google’s $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick shouldn’t spell doom for smaller ad networks.DeSilva + Phillips foresees a “long tail” of revenue, profit and scale for the smaller ad networks that remain. Or, as they put it: “Online advertising networks have emerged as an essential vehicle for monetizing the Long Tail of the Internet.”
Kit Harrington aka Jon Snow in Game of ThronesFacebook/ Game of ThronesHBO’s Game of Thrones will stop airing in May 2019 and it will leave millions of fans in a dizzy asking for some more drama. Filming the last episodes were also not easy for the cast and crew of this acclaimed fantasy TV series. Kit Harington recently talked about his feelings and how he cried after reading the last pages of the script.Game of Thrones season eight entered into production a long time ago. Several stars of the show have talked about their feelings towards the end of it and how much they are going to miss playing their respective characters. As it turned out, Kit Harington was apparently the last person to read the end. He recently told Stephen Colbert on his show, The Late Show that he apparently was too lazy to read the script but when he did, he cried a lot.”We had a table read and I was the one person who hadn’t read the episodes,” Kit explained. “Everyone else had them like, three days before and read them and… I think I told everyone it was because I didn’t want to know what happened but I think it was just laziness that I didn’t read them.”Kit Harington further revealed that when he got to read the script, the showrunners were pretty excited to know his reactions. After reading Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6’s script, Kit, who plays Jon Snow, was pretty shocked and surprised for the change in the events.”And then I blubbed my eyes out. I cried. I cried, yeah,” he added.Kit Harington also talked about having a child and extending his family. He and his GoT co-star Rose Leslie got married last year. The couple met during season three and have been together ever since. While talking to The Sunday Telegraph’s Watch via DailyMail, Kit talked about his future family as his work with Game of Thrones is finally over. Actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie attend the premiere of HBO’s ‘Game Of Thrones’ season 7 at Walt Disney Concert Hall on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images”I met my wife in this show so, hopefully, it gave me my future family and my life from here on in.” Kit added: “It has changed my life completely. You could not ask for a better job than to be an actor in Game of Thrones.”Kit Harington will return as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones season 8 in April.
US National Security Advisor Bolton answers questions during news conference in the White House briefing room in Washington. Photo: ReutersHanging on a wall in John Bolton’s West Wing office is a memento of his proudest achievement as national security adviser: a framed copy of president Donald Trump’s order to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal.Right next to it hangs a cartoon mocking the agreement.Bolton’s choice of decor reflects his disdain for the deal secured by former president Barack Obama and other world powers in 2015, and his relentless focus on trying to isolate Tehran and cripple its economy by reimposing tight sanctions.Bolton took over as national security adviser in early April. A month later, Trump abandoned the Iran deal, meeting a promise he had made as a presidential candidate, which other wary West Wing advisers had persuaded him to put off.Bolton changed that dynamic quickly. In an interview with Reuters, he said he reassured Trump that his instincts were right and that he could ignore the pleas and warnings of moderates and European allies to stay in the deal.”It’s not the end of the world,” Bolton said he told Trump in arguing for withdrawal from the pact. “The Western alliance is not going to fall apart.”Proud of his role in the policy shift, Bolton said he believes the reimposition of sanctions is already heaping pressure on Iran’s leaders.”I think the return of the sanctions has had a devastating effect on their economy and I think it’s going to get worse.”Iran’s economy and currency have already been hit as big European companies exit to avoid being hurt by US sanctions. The pressure will increase in November when sanctions targeting the oil industry, the lifeblood of Iran’s economy, are to take effect.In Washington’s community of foreign policy veterans, Bolton has been a super-hawk for decades, whether as a tough-talking US ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush or as a prominent analyst on Fox News.Critics call him an ideologue and a warmonger who retaliates against dissenting views, while allies say he is an intellectual and a shrewd operator committed to ensuring the supremacy of US power.Over the years, Bolton has advocated for regime change in both Iran and North Korea, opposed direct negotiations with both and said the United States should stage pre-emptive attacks against their nuclear facilities.He was also a firm supporter of the Iraq war and has been a longtime advocate of tough policies toward Russia.Now, in the most influential position of his long career, the 69-year-old Bolton has softened some of those bellicose positions, at least in public, and says he is happy to follow the president’s lead.That has kept him in good graces with Trump, who has made improved ties with both North Korea and Russia a centerpiece of his foreign policy, and who does not like being overshadowed by his staff.And it allows Bolton the room to shape and execute a hardline strategy on Iran.”Bolton is obsessed with Iran, and everything else plays second fiddle,” said one senior official from France, whose president, Emmanuel Macron, pleaded unsuccessfully with Trump to remain in the Iran deal during an April visit to the White House.WORKING WITH TRUMPThe two men have different views on Russia. While Trump has spoken admiringly of Vladimir Putin, Bolton never does that, and accused the Russian president of lying about Moscow’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.He opposes easing a wide range of US sanctions on Russia and tweeted in March that the United States should have a strategic response to a new array of Russian nuclear weapons “to show our allies in Europe that we will not let Russia push the US or its allies around.”He has no qualms about opposing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other senior officials who want to extend the New START nuclear arms control deal with Russia.But officials across the national security apparatus, from the State and Defense departments to intelligence agencies, say Bolton has studiously avoided directly challenging Trump’s declared goal of improving ties with Putin.Bolton went to Moscow to help organize Trump’s summit with Putin in Helsinki in July.”His accident avoidance is obvious when it comes to Russia,” said one US official on condition of anonymity. “If it were up to him, he would take a much harder position on sanctions and election meddling.”In a recent interview with Reuters, Trump himself said Bolton has dialed back some of his harder-line positions since coming into the White House.”He’s a terrific person who is really working hard,” Trump said. “Now, are his views the same as they have been for 20 years that I’ve been watching him on television, where he wants to go to war with everybody, and if possible, let’s do five nations at a time? No, his views aren’t that anymore.”Bolton has cemented his relationship with Trump by keeping it simple when he briefs the president.The dry, professorial style of Bolton’s predecessor, HR McMaster, frequently left Trump impatient and fuming, multiple officials have said. Bolton uses a more streamlined approach, gleaned from his time in law school.”I do outlines – bigger ones, then reduce them down to smaller ones, then distill notes down to their bare essence so they’ll fit on a notecard,” Bolton told Reuters.A senior White House official said Trump sees Bolton as an essential voice in his inner circle but is not always swayed by him. “He’s very good at making his case and the president always listens to him, but won’t necessarily do what he says,” the official said.IRAN FOCUSBolton has had most success with Trump on Iran. He has played a central role in promoting the Trump administration’s efforts to create a security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in large part to help counter Iran’s expansion in the region.In a speech in New York last week, Bolton warned Iran: “If you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay.”That hard edge was a hallmark of his time in the Bush administration, critics say.Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell when Bolton was undersecretary for arms control and non-proliferation, often confronted Bolton over personnel and policy issues at the State Department.Wilkerson recalled a 2002 meeting in which Bolton asserted that North Korea was “a paper tiger.” Wilkerson warned that in the event of a war Pyongyang could unleash massive artillery barrages that would claim tens of thousands of South Korean and American lives.”John looks at me coldly and says, ‘I don’t do war. That’s your bailiwick.’ I replied, ‘Oh, you just start them,’ …. It’s his Number One solution to any problem he sees in the world,” said Wilkerson, who emerged as a vocal critic of the Iraq war that Bolton had advocated for.A senior administration official close to Bolton dismissed Wilkerson’s concerns, saying Bolton shows “a deft ability to coordinate diplomatic, economic, and military policy to advance and defend America’s national security interests.”One Defense Department official said Bolton blocks out opinions that run counter to his own in discussions with other government agencies.”Dissenting views don’t have a way to be heard, and it’s clear that they aren’t welcome in any event, especially about Iran,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The result is that people who have years or even decades of experience, especially in the field, are either ignored or intimidated.”Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, disputed that view of Bolton. “He plays team ball well.”Bolton did not respond to the allegation but told Reuters he relishes verbal jousting with colleagues.”I’m a litigator by training. My life is debate. So if someone has a different view, I can’t wait,” he said with a smile.
The six-day exhibition displaying the officers creative works ranging from figurative drawings, photographs capturing the reflections of the world to embroideries using pearls and bead sequins are on show at the Hudco Art Gallery. ‘This exhibition was impromptu. In fact, nobody in our office knew that we are into paintings and craftsmanship,’ said Nirmala Pillai, currently working in the Department of Telecommunications as Advisor. Pillai has painted acrylics of women. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘I worked on acrylics. I like nature and many other small things which people ignore. I like to highlight them on my paintings,’ says Pillai who claims to be a self-taught artist.‘Painting is my passion…a strees-buster. I can give up anything for it,’ she says.Sumita Purkayastha, who works at the Department of Telecommunications as DG (NICF), has displayed her designs on saris, suits and dupattas in a combination of Mughal motif with material ranging from silk, tussar, crepes and cotton. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixShowcasing her love for candle-making, Monali P Dhakate, currently on deputation to Staff Selection Commission as Regional Director, has exhibited her collection of handmade candles and chocolates, which she says she had picked up during her days in school.‘The love for candles started in my school days where we were taught of candle making. My mother used to call this craft as mess. She always says to create something exceptional…you need to focus on the smallest details. These words were inspirational for me. The passion and love for the craft developed with time,’ she says.Monali, has showcased her handmade candles for the first time in a public exhibition.‘The idea to exhibit our works was proposed by Nirmala. So we thought let’s come out and show the other side of us which is vibrant and colourful,’ adds Monali.Director (SEA) in the Department of Telecommunications, Yashashri Shukla’s passion for photography is evident with photographs on display at the exhibition giving glimpses of the places she has travelled over the years.The photographs of sunset at Chidiyatapu, Port Blair, a couple walking on the Radhanagar beach at Havelock, Tibetian flags and the ‘Bovine Spa’ are some of her favourite collections.