Uganda’s main opposition leader Kizza Besigye has said he hopes the state puts him on trial for treason following his May arrest, as that would give him a platform to challenge the February presidential election result.Besigye came second in the February 18 vote, but claimed that the poll was rigged by winner President Yoweri Museveni.Besigye was arrested after a video went viral on social media, showing him taking a mock oath of office for the presidency.He was charged with treason and detained until July 12 when he was released on bail.“I want the court (case) to come up and we argue who won and who should have been sworn in,” he said after speaking at an event at Chatham House, a think tank in London.Independent monitors said the election was marred by multiple flaws including a lack of transparency and integrity by the elections body.
After raising the benchmark interest rate just once in the last seven years (0.25 percent in December 2015), the Federal Reserve added another 0.25 percent in December 2016, and hinted three more increases may be coming in 2017.advertisementadvertisementWhy the increases? In short, the U.S. economy is improving.“The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate: Control inflation and keep employment in line,” said Sam Miller, managing director and head of agricultural banking with BMO Harris Bank. “The lengthy period of low interest rates in the U.S. has been because there has been limited inflation and the unemployment level had been high.”With an improving economy, unemployment has been declining. Workers and wages are a major factor driving inflation, and indexes measured by Federal Reserve banks show monthly inflation rates averaged about 1.7 percent through 2016, moving closer to the Fed’s cap target of about 2 percent.The relatively small interest rate increases reflect the fact the overall inflation “marketbasket” is still fairly stable. Besides wages, other factors driving inflation have been mixed. Petroleum prices, although still low, are higher than a year ago. Health care and housing costs have also been rising.At the same time, prices for electronics and other consumer items have been declining. In the agricultural sector, food prices are significantly lower than they were a couple of years ago.advertisement“If the Fed is saying they’re going to raise rates three times in 2017, they’re expecting inflation to increase a like amount,” Miller said. “They raise the rate so that the economy doesn’t overheat.”Basis points and interest ratesThe Fed changes interest rates in increments of “basis points,” with 100 basis points equal to a 1 percent change in the interest rate. So, the most recent increases of 25 basis points is equal to a 0.25 percent boost in the interest rate.How does that translate to what interest rate a dairy farmer pays?“For variable rate loans, for the most part it will be a 1-to-1 correlation,” Miller said. “Each 25 basis point increase announced by the Fed will boost interest rates on variable rate loans by about 0.25 percent.”The basis point/fixed rate loan correlation is less directly aligned, Miller said. For fixed-rate loans, interest rates are also impacted by longer-term expectations for economic growth, employment rates and inflation. At the local level, lenders set rates for individual customers as a hedge against their own costs, including how much interest they pay to depositors.While variable- and fixed-rate interest rates typically move in the same direction, fixed rates are typically higher than variable rates.advertisement“Long-term rates have moved higher since the November elections,” said Chris Laughton, director of Knowledge Exchange with Farm Credit East.On-farm factorsWhile the general U.S. population has seen little overall inflation, the impact on the farm has been more of a roller coaster.“When grain and milk prices were rising, that was very inflationary,” Miller said. “Farmers expanded significantly. Another inflationary pressure, land values, went up. At the same time, the increase on the expense side was masked by increasing crop and milk prices.”In the past couple of years, however, that’s changed. Prices received for commodities have come down, and while prices paid for many inputs – crop inputs and feed expenses – have also come down, they haven’t declined at the same rate as income.Looking into 2017, Miller said discussions with clients indicate inflationary pressures on farmers shouldn’t change drastically. Fertilizer prices will be lower, while fuel prices will be higher than last year. Seed and chemical prices are expected to remain stable, while feed prices for livestock producers, particularly dairy, are expected to be lower than a year ago.With a landscape of rising interest rates and stable on-farm inflationary pressures, how should dairy farmers manage finances in 2017? According to Miller, they’ve already been locking in rates.“Keeping interest rates variable or fixed is not necessarily an easy decision to make, since interest rates on fixed-rate loans are typically 1.5 percent higher than variable-rate loans,” Miller said. “Even with anticipated increases in 2017, interest rates remain at historically low levels. If you fix a rate for five years, that means the variable rates have to move up pretty substantially for the bet to pay off.”Amoritization – paying off debt on a fixed repayment schedule – also comes into play.“If it’s a longer amortization, you’re paying more interest in the front years than you are in the later years,” Miller said. “Fixing that rate may make more sense, because you’ll have more time to get the benefit out of it.”Risk managementPart of the objective is to take some of the risk of rising interest rates off the table.“The longer-term fixed rates usually cost more, but it’s a hedge against variable rates moving up,” Miler said. “Like in anything, you typically don’t just make one bet. You don’t take the entire pile of debt and fix it for ‘X’ number of years. The best managers look at their interest costs as a basket, keeping rates affordable while providing some good interest rate risk management. Some of the shorter-term assets will be fixed for 1 to 3 years; some of the longer-term assets should be fixed from 3 to 5 years; and real estate will be fixed at 5-plus years.”“Fixing the interest rate on a loan is essentially insurance against rising interest rates,” Laughton said. “With a variable rate, the borrower assumes the risk of rate increases, whereas with a fixed rate, the borrower has a measure of protection against that risk.”“There is no rule or magic to timing a fixed-rate decision, nor is there a guarantee as to whether it will save or cost you money,” Laughton said. “If your business would face challenges in covering debt service with rates higher than current fixed rates, it may make sense to fix some or all of your loans in order to mitigate the risk of unexpected rate increases. For other businesses, it may make sense to stay with lower variable rates for now if your business can withstand the impact of rates rising faster than expected. It all depends on your business’s financial condition and your appetite for risk.”For individual borrowers, BMO Harris Bank includes interest rates – along with income and expenses – in its “sensitivity analysis” when making lending decisions. The “shock test” forecasts expected impacts of lower income and higher expenses and interest rates on a farm’s cash flow and profitability.For a “steady-state” operation, the analysis looks at changes of 5 percent on income and expenses and 2 percent on interest rates. For an expanding operation, those “shocks” increase to 10 percent on both income and expenses and 3 percent on interest rates.Other impactsOther than higher interest rates as a cost of doing business, rising rates have a two-fold impact on pushing farmland prices lower, according to Gary Schnitkey, ag economist at the University of Illinois.First, higher interest rates increase the financing costs of land purchases, making it more expensive to debt finance farmland. Second, higher rates signal higher returns on alternative investments, thereby making alternative investments more attractive than farmland.Optimism in 2017Miller has an optimistic outlook for dairy in 2017.“Working capital eroded significantly in 2015-2016,” he said. “The good news was that 2014 had been so strong, they had some reserves built up. Credit had been paid down, and cash was on the balance sheet.”Even with lower milk prices in 2015-2016, some parts of the country faired better than others. In the Midwest, for example, feed piles entering 2017 are bigger and of higher quality.Regardless of how much interest rates move, the “old standards” apply to dairy business management.“Have the best cost controls that you can, manage your price risk, maintain your working capital position and have a strong equity position,” Miller said. “Now that we’ve seen some price improvement and expenses are marginally better, it’s time to rebuild reserves and work hard on getting the balance sheet in shape to handle the next period of adversity that is likely to happen. We have them every couple of years, and I wouldn’t expect that trend to change.” Along with the hope milk prices and income margins will increase in 2017, dairy farmers will likely encounter something else they haven’t seen in a while – rising interest rates. Dave NatzkeEditorProgressive DairymanEmail Dave Natzkedave@progressivepublish.com read more
Nanoelectronics research center imec and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) have developed a frequency division duplex (FDD) balance network, capable of dual-frequency impedance tuning for all LTE bands in the 0.7 to 1 GHz range. When integrated into an electrical-balance duplexer (EBD), it enables FDD duplexing with antennas in real-world environments, paving the way to high-performance, low-power, low-cost solutions for mobile communication.An electrical balance duplexer is a tunable RF front-end concept that seeks to address several key challenges of 4G and 5G mobile systems. It balances an on-chip tunable impedance, the so-called balance network, with the antenna impedance, to provide transmit-to-receive (TX-to-RX) isolation and avoid unwanted frequency components in the received signal. It is a promising alternative to the fixed frequency surface-acoustic wave (SAW) filters implemented in today’s mobile phones as more and more SAW duplexers would be needed to support the ever growing amount of bands adopted by operators, increasing size and cost of these devices. Unlike filter-based front-ends, electrical-balance duplexers provide signal cancellation, which could help enable in-band full-duplex for double capacity and increased network density, among other benefits, for next-generation standards.Imec and VUB’s dual-frequency balance network is the first FDD balance network that allows balancing the on-chip tunable impedance profile with the impedance profile of an antenna at two frequencies, simultaneously. This is crucial, because in real-world situations, the frequency-dependent impedance of an antenna varies over environmental conditions and limits the achievable isolation bandwidth. The balance network can generate, for any LTE band within 0.7-1 GHz, a simultaneous transmit-frequency impedance and receive-frequency impedance to provide high TX-to-RX isolation at both frequencies. It is fabricated in a 0.18µm partially depleted RF SOI CMOS technology, which allows it to better withstand the large voltages present in the EBD during full-power TX operation. The active area of the balance network, which consists of 19 switched capacitors and 10 inductors, is 8.28mm2. The balance network is tuned by an in-house developed custom algorithm, which can optimize the tuning codes of all 19 capacitor banks using only the isolation at the TX and RX frequencies as input.These results were presented at IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC2016). Imec is present at Mobile World Congress 2016 and will be showcasing its 5G radio technology, mm-wave communication and sensing, ultra-low power radio, sensors and IoT networks, wearable technologies for health, and IC design services. read more
Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Kevin Belingon rejoices after defeating Bibiano Fernandes of Brazil for the ONE FC world bantamweight title in a split decision at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. ONE FC PHOTO MANILA – Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Kevin Belingon clinched the ONE FC world bantamweight title with a split decision win over Bibiano Fernandes of Brazil at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.Not only did Belingon captured the world championship in the victory, he also avenged a first-round submission loss to Fernandes in their first encounter two years ago.Fernandes was positioning for a takedown early in the first round before he became successful midway. But Belingon quickly shrugged off the former and landed punches and kicks to close the round.Fernandes took down Belingon anew early in the second round after unloading an overhand right but the Filipino escaped and landed a spinning back kick on the Brazilian before taking him down to land some punches. Early in the third, Belingon shrugged off Fernandes’ hard right. He unloaded a side kick to the body that rattled the Brazilian. Fernandes took down the Filipino anew and landed some punches.Belingon took advantage of a tired Fernandes in the fourth with sidekicks and strikes. Fernandes took down Belingon anew but the latter escaped and knocked down the Brazilian with a right straight late in the round.Belingon turned up the aggression in the fifth as he landed multiple shots on the groggy Fernandes. The Brazilian tried to took down his opponent anew but the Filipino just created distance from the former as the final bell sound.“Bibiano is a very tough opponent, I really had a hard time beating him tonight. I respect him very much, and it is an honor to fight such a tough fighter. I know Bibiano is very tough, but I think I deserve this victory,” Belingon said.“The game plan was to knock him out. We saw a weakness in his previous fight. I kept on giving him everything, but he has a good defense,” added the Filipino MMA fighter.With the victory, the 31-year-old Belingon improved his MMA record to 19-5-0 win-loss-draw, while the 38-year-old Fernandes dropped his slate to 22-4-0, while also suffering his first loss in seven years./PN read more
MANILA – After completing his collegiate career that saw him play for two universities, Negrense guard Edgar Charcos have declared his desire to play in professional basketball. “Magpapa-draft na ako,” said Charcos, who had played for the University of the East Red Warriors and the University of Perpetual Help Altas in college, and Sun Yat Sen High School. The La Carlota City, Negros Occidental native said he will be submitting his application for the 2019 PBA Rookie Draft slated this December. The 23-year-old Charcos had averages of 12.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 0.8 steals in his final year with the Altas in the NCAA Season 85 men’s seniors basketball. Edgar Charcos will be submitting his application for the 2019 PBA Rookie Draft. ABS-CBN SPORTS PHOTO Charcos also proved that he could be reliable down the stretch for the Altas, with him spearheading the school’s late rallies in some matches and converting game winning hits. The 5-foot-8 Negrense guard, however, kept his options open to playing in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League if he is not successful in landing a team in the PBA. “Kunghindi ako makuha sa PBA, sa MPBL ako,” Charcos said./PN read more
Blaine Ford PENSACOLA, Fla. — The University of West Florida baseball team took the first game from West Georgia 6-2 before falling to the Wolves 6-5 in the nightcap. Game one starter Jon Sintes held the Wolves to just two runs on six hits in the game one win to improve to 4-2 on the season. In the nightcap the Argos took a commanding two run lead into the top of the seventh before succumbing to a three run two out rally to give the Wolves a come-from-behind victory over the Argos.In game one the Argos were able to scratch a run across in the bottom half of the first inning to jump out to an early lead. Lee Huggins (Bay Minette, Ala./Faulkner State C.C.) delivered a two out RBI single into the right center field gap to score Kyle Brown (Gulf Breeze, Fla./Gulf Breeze HS) from second for the first run of the ballgame.After posting a run in the fourth to extend their lead to two, the Argo’s bats came alive in the fifth for two more runs. The middle of the Argos lineup strung together three singles, capped off by a two run single by Brenton Goebel (Niceville, Fla./Tallahassee C.C.) to give the Argos a 4-0 advantage.In the sixth, two more runs would come home for the Argos bringing their lead to 6-0. The Wolves broke up the shutout in the eighth inning when they tacked on two runs to make it 6-2 Argos. That would be all runs the Argos would allow as Blake Maher (Orlando, Fla./Lake Highland Prep) came on for a perfect ninth to shut the door.In the nightcap the Argos jumped out to a quick 2-0 after just two innings on RBI base hits from Jack Materne (Bluewater Bay, Fla./Lurleen B. Wallace C.C.) and Brandon Brewer (Apopka, Fla./Apopka H.S.).The Wolves fought back and tacked on a run in the third before taking a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Down by one, the Wolves’ Eric Melton poked a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game up at two. Next batter B.J. Smith then knocked a base hit to left to give them the lead for the first time all afternoon.The Argos responded right back in the fifth with two runs of their own to retake the lead. Materne drove in the game tying run from third on a sacrifice fly to right field to knot the game up at three. Next batter Blaine Ford came up with two down and blasted a mammoth homerun over the scoreboard in right field to give the Argos a 4-3 lead.The Argos added an insurance run in the sixth to make it 5-3 heading into the final inning.Trailing by two and down to their last out in the top half of the seventh, the Wolves mounted a two out rally to take the lead for good. Argos’ reliever John church would surrender two singles and a walk along with some defensive miscues in the field that would cost the Argos the game.For more information on Argonaut athletics or to follow along with live stats, fans can keep up with the action at www.GoArgos.com.Game One Box ScoreGame Two Box ScorePrint Friendly Version Share Uwf Splits Doubleheader With West Georgia read more
FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Governor Bill Walker will travel to Japan next week as the keynote speaker in the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference. While he’s in Japan, the Governor hopes to capitalize on his long-running relationships with Tokyo Electric and Tokyo Natural Gas… The State is aiming towards holding a special session on LNG Project issues, likely focusing on the TransCanada buyout option and hopefully reviewing the agreements with all the partners, if the details are worked out in time. Walker said he wants the market to know that although Alaska has spent the last decade in the observer’s seat, the state is now moving to the driver’s seat. Gov. Walker: “One of the biggest unknowns in an LNG project is, are you going to find the gas? We find it every day with the oil, we put it back in the ground, so. It’s the most proved reserves on the planet, is a way I’ve heard some of the producers refer to it, because it is.” Gov. Walker: “I know that some companies are not comfortable with how aggressive I am in representing Alaska, but that’s my job and that’s what I’m going to do.” The Governor was asked about how changes in the project from the Parnell Administration to Walker approach might be unsettling to potential buyers… read more
GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES Fukabori, an eight-time winner on the tour, carded five birdies in his final nine holes against two bogeys to sit alone in second place. IRUMA, Saitama Pref. – Yeh Wei-tze of Taiwan fired a 5-under-par 66 to take a two-shot lead over Keiichiro Fukabori after the first round of the Mitsubishi Diamond Cup on Thursday.Yeh, whose only victory on the Japanese tour came at the ANA Open in 2003, made six birdies against one bogey on a tough layout at Sayama Golf Club in Saitama Prefecture. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5
Shelley Kerr has named her squad for the upcoming double header against Belarus and Albania as the World Cup Qualification campaign kicks-off.Scotland are aiming to reach their first World Cup after recently playing in Euro 2017 over the summer.Up first, Scotland face Belarus in Minsk on Thursday, October 19th (4pm kick-off).Scotland then return home to face Albania in Paisley, on Tuesday, October 24th (7:30pm kick-off).Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Chloe on selection.Reading tickets are on sale now, buy here
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former Tennessee defensive lineman Michael Sawyers has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor theft.Sawyers was booked on a felony theft charge in April after police said he stole an Xbox and three video games from a dorm room on March 13. He pleaded guilty to the reduced charge Wednesday.Sawyers’ lawyer, Keith Lee Lieberman, said Sawyers can have the charge dismissed and dropped from his record if he pays restitution and court costs and stays out of trouble for the next 11 months, 29 days. Restitution was set at $176.Tennessee coach Butch Jones announced in February that Sawyers had been dismissed from the team for violations of athletic and team policies. Sawyers, 19, appeared in four games and made two tackles as a freshman last season.