Tonga vs Australia league test finally confirmed

first_imgMate Ma’a Tonga will take on the Kangaroos at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium on October 20th, almost 11 months after a sold out crowd watched the Kingdom pipped by England at the same venue in the World Cup semifinals.Tonga coach Kristian Woolf and Australia’s Mal Meninga have both been supportive of the fixture but confirmation was delayed after New Zealand Rugby League officials expressed concerns the test could overshadow or affect ticket sales for the Kiwis vs Kangaroos clash at the same venue a week earlier.Initial plans to host the match in New York also fell through.However, following talks with the NRL, an agreement was reached.It’s understood Australian players have agreed to a one-off pay cut to ensure the match goes ahead.last_img

With US Out of TPP, So Are Measures to Curb Illegal Logging

first_imgThis unprecedented enforcement action demonstrates President Trump’s strong commitment to enforcing our trade agreements and ensuring that trade is fair to the American people. Illegal logging destroys the environment and undermines U.S. timber companies and American workers who are following the rules. We will continue to closely monitor Peru’s compliance with its obligations under our trade agreement. The deletion of these few words is the difference between cracking down on illegal logging and letting it flourish—and it’s a direct response to U.S. withdrawal from the TPP.U.S. Withdrawal from TPP Withdraws U.S.-Led Measures to Thwart Illegal LoggingIllegal logging is a significant cause of forest degradation, a catalyst for deforestation and a major vector for corruption, conflict and poor governance. Illegally harvested and traded timber, mostly from the tropics, enters global supply chains leading to the United States, China and other major markets. It is big business: The Director of the UN Environment Program estimates that the value of this illegal trade dwarfs the value of all official development aid. Understanding why U.S. withdrawal from the TPP weakens anti-logging measures requires a bit of history. In 2008, the United States expanded a century-old anti-wildlife trafficking statute, the Lacey Act, to include timber. For the first time – in any country – it became a crime to import or possess forest products harvested or traded in violation of the laws of the product’s country of origin, which is often the case. Over the past decade, the Lacey Act has sent a strong signal through global timber supply chains that legal sourcing of wood matters. Analogous laws have since been enacted by the European Union and Australia, among others. At the outset, however, the Lacey timber measure was attacked by both tropical timber exporters and major U.S. trading partners like China and Indonesia, who argued that the law could restrict their trade and violate World Trade Organization rules.When TPP negotiations began in 2010, U.S. trade negotiators argued for language that would oblige signatories to mirror the Lacey Act amendment, restricting the trade of timber harvested in violation of signatories’ own laws or “another applicable law” (i.e. in the country where the take or trade of timber occurred.) U.S. negotiators saw such language as an effective rejoinder to WTO-based criticisms of the Lacey Act. The Obama administration also understood that it needed to demand strong language on environmental issues in order to sway skeptical Democrats and environmentalists to support the agreement. Behind the scenes, however, the United States was fighting a lonely battle. Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam opposed the U.S. “Lacey language.” It was only U.S. insistence that kept the provision in the agreement.It is thus not surprising that countries remaining in the TPP moved rapidly to eliminate the U.S. approach. Parties to the TPP are now free from any obligation to consider whether the timber they import was stolen or not, as long as their own domestic import paperwork requirements are satisfied. This is a major missed opportunity in the global effort to combat illegal logging, and reinforces the lack of attention to illegal logging in China’s own Asia-Pacific trade deal. Illegal logging in the Philippines. Photo by Brown R, Siler C, Oliveros C, Welton L, Rock A, Swab J, Van Weerd M, van Beijnen J, Rodriguez D, Jose E, Diesmos A/Wikimedia Commons ​In a further effort to address the illegal take of, and illegal trade in, wild fauna and flora, including parts and products thereof, each Party shall take measures to combat, and cooperate to prevent, the trade of wild fauna and flora that, based on credible evidence, were taken or traded in violation of that Party’s law or another applicable law, the primary purpose of which is to conserve, protect, or manage wild fauna or flora.”Deleted Footnote: For greater certainty, “another applicable law” means a law of the jurisdiction where the take or trade occurred and is only relevant to the question of whether the wild fauna and flora has been taken or traded in violation of that law. The United States has championed measures to fight illegal logging for many years, with bipartisan support, and the Lacey Act, as well as analogous laws in Australia and the European Union, remain in place.  It is unfortunate that U.S. withdrawal from the TPP has allowed other nations to water down key anti-illegal logging language in the text. It may ultimately be the world’s forests—and the people who rely on them—who suffer. New TPP Agreement Runs Counter to Trump’s Stance on Illegal Logging And, perhaps surprisingly, combating illegal logging is a stated priority of the Trump administration.While President Trump has been famously hostile to environmental protection measures and has rejected the longstanding pro-free trade stance of previous administrations, his administration has taken up the fight against illegal logging as a “fair trade” issue. In October 2017, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer directed the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency to block future timber imports from a Peruvian exporter because of illegally harvested timber in its supply chain, stating that: President Trump may have withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but the 11 remaining countries  renamed and re-signed the trade agreement last week. The new pact comes with a few changes, one of which could fuel the illegal logging trade.The new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), signed on March 8 in Santiago, Chile, incorporates the entire 2016 TPP text, with the exception of 22 changes, including a seemingly minor deletion of a few words in the Environment chapter:last_img read more

It takes a community to raise a barn

first_img John Matson stood back and trembled with emotion while dozens of people scurried around his Hockinson property, trying to replace the irreplaceable.“This is overwhelming,” said the retired carpenter and builder, 74. “It’s not as big as it was, but it’s bigger than I deserve.”It seemed like the whole neighborhood turned out Saturday morning to prove otherwise, raising a new wood shop for Matson on the spot where the old one went up in smoke on the morning of Jan. 9.A team of experienced framers and roofers scrambled up above, guiding into place the triangular trusses that were hoisted up and over by a crane; below, a crew of younger guys with shovels dug around the old foundation to lay new water pipes. Others sawed boards and two-by-fours to size. And still others stood around drinking coffee and remembering how much Matson has meant to them over the years.“It doesn’t surprise me,” said John’s son Walt Matson, 45, sizing up the busy crowd of 40 or so. “Knowing Dad and all the people he helped over the years. Whether it was bringing food to someone who was hungry or helping fix a broken door or leaky roof or whatever. If somebody was in need of help, he always helped.”Matson, who has lived in the area all his life, spent nearly 40 years milking cows and then building cabinets — and all manner of other stuff — in the barn that evolved into a woodshop. “It was my putter shop,” he said. He blames his own less-than-professional wiring for the fire, he said. Volunteers help rebuild John Matson’s barn on Saturday.last_img read more

Tesla Advertises Optimistic Model 3 Prices But Not Everyone Is Impressed

first_imgIn a tweet, Elon emphasized the potential savings. While it is an excellent idea to make it clear what incentives and gas savings buyers might get, displaying the lower price more prominently than the actual price drew some criticism. Here are a few comments I’ve selected:Interestingly, this is not the first time the same issue came up. Here is a quote from 3 years ago which expresses a sad disappointment:Before this change one could proudly say Tesla Motors’ way of selling directly to the customers was much better than going to your local car hustler and being deceived. Now several of our members are actually ashamed to show the Design studio to people interested in buying a Tesla – as even the lowest, most cheating car hustler in Sweden still states the full price for their cars! (June 9, 2015, Tesla Club Sweden, Open letter to Mr Elon Musk)My Opinion:This doesn’t look good for Tesla. It sends the wrong message about what kind of company Tesla is. If the intention is to inform buyers about potential savings, that shouldn’t involve making the actual price less visible and displaying a lower price more prominently. This does not create the best customers experience. Therefore it should be changed. In addition, the total price is not actually $45,000 either because the $1,200 Destination & doc fee is missing and needs to be added. In this example, the total price is $46,200.Screenshot source: /r/teslamotors/Source: Tesla Increases Price Of New Mid-Range Model 3 Let’s Look At Tesla Model 3 Gross Margins: Long & Mid Range Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 24, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle Newscenter_img Tesla Model 3 Configurator was revamped on October 19, 2018 to add the new Mid Range version but that wasn’t the only change. Tesla also made a change to how the prices are displayed. Instead of the actual price, it now shows the price after potential savings where you select the trim level. The actual price is still there, but it’s displayed at the bottom of the page.More Model 3 Mid Range News Tesla Registers 4,500 New Model 3 VINs: 100% Are New Mid Range Version Tesla’s prices seem a bit misleading.last_img read more