4 May

Kongsberg, NDLO Ink Joint Strike Missile Contract

first_img View post tag: Defence View post tag: Joint Strike Missile View post tag: europe Kongsberg Gruppen ASA has signed a Phase III contract with the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization (NDLO) to complete the development of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) and prepare it for integration on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). View post tag: Ink This contract is valued at NOK 1.1 billion, and comes on the heels of a bridge phase contract signed on 29 November 2013, bringing the total scope of JSM development Phase III to some NOK 1.5 billion.JSM development work has going on since 2008 and will be a continuous activity up until the completion of the product in 2017. Future activities in Phase III will include aircraft tests, production of a number of test missiles and integration on the F-35.JSM is a new missile that will enable the F-35 to fight well-defended targets across long distances. No other weapon existing today, or under development, can perform the same types of missions. The missile can also be integrated into other types of aircraft in addition to the F-35, meaning its market potential extends beyond the future users of the F-35.“This contract is an important milestone not only for the JSM as a product and for KONGSBERG, but also for Norway’s technology industry which, through this development project, will establish a unique, globally leading industrial knowledge base,” remarks Walter Qvam, CEO of KONGSBERG.“In future full-scale production, the JSM programme could translate into more than 450 jobs at KONGSBERG, in addition to generating a significant number of assignments for about 100 Norwegian subcontractors for several decades. The JSM has a substantial international market potential of NOK 25 billion over the next 20-30 years,” adds Harald Ånnestad, President of Kongsberg Defence Systems.[mappress]Press Release, July 02, 2014; Image: Kongsberg View post tag: NDLO View post tag: Kongsberg Back to overview,Home naval-today Kongsberg, NDLO Ink Joint Strike Missile Contract July 2, 2014center_img View post tag: contract Authorities View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Naval View post tag: Norway Kongsberg, NDLO Ink Joint Strike Missile Contract View post tag: Navy Share this articlelast_img read more

3 May

Farmers Push Back Against Animal Welfare Laws

first_imgFarmers Push Back Against Animal Welfare LawsBy Jen Fifield for Stateliness /Pew Charitable TrustsAll hogs in Massachusetts will be able to stretch their legs and turn around in their crates and all hens will be able to spread their wings under a law passed this month by voters in the state.Laws like this one, which strictly regulate how farm animals are confined, are becoming more common across the U.S., as large-scale farming replaces family farms and consumers learn more about what happens behind barn doors. Massachusetts is the 12th state to ban the use of some livestock- and poultry-raising cages or crates, such as gestation crates for sows, veal crates for calves or battery cages for chickens, which critics say abusively restrict the animals’ movement.The restrictive laws have taken hold so far in states that have relatively small agriculture industries for animals and animal products and fewer large-scale farming operations. But producers in big farming states see the writing on the wall. Backed by state farm bureaus, large-scale industrial farmers are pushing for changes that would make it harder for states to further regulate the way they do business.North Dakota and Missouri adopted amendments in the last few years that enshrined into their constitutions the right of farmers and ranchers to use current practices and technology. Legislatures in many states, including Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska and West Virginia, considered proposed amendments this year. And Oklahoma voters this month rejected a similar amendment sent to them by the Legislature.Farmers acknowledge that some people who do not spend much time on farms may object to some of their practices. But they say that they do not abuse animals and that their practices are the most efficient and safest way to keep up with demand for food. And, they say, complying with restrictions on raising poultry and livestock like those approved in Massachusetts are costly for them and for consumers.They point to an 18 percent increase in the price of eggs — about 49 cents a dozen — in California last year that was attributed to a law that created strict space requirements for hens. The law applies not just to producers in the state but to producers in other states that sell eggs there.“Our nation’s ability to protect its food supply can be threatened by unnecessary regulations driven by activist agendas, often by people who’ve never set foot on farmland or have no idea what it takes to produce a crop,” said Paul Schlegel, director of environment and energy policy for the American Farm Bureau Federation.‘Right to Harm’Right-to-farm laws were put in place by all 50 states starting in the 1970s, as suburban development sprawled to rural areas. The laws were intended to protect farm owners from lawsuits brought by new neighbors who claimed the farms — with their smells, sounds and chemicals — were a nuisance. The newly proposed amendments would extend the protections by locking in farmers’ ability to use modern technology and practices.Animal welfare advocates, such as Daisy Freund, director of farm animal welfare for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, say the modern practices are not humane and call the right-to-farm amendments “right to harm” laws.The amendments would not only prevent states from passing new animal treatment laws, but would make it harder for anyone to win a lawsuit against an agriculture business, even if the operation was affecting nearby quality of life, or air or water quality, Freund said.Matthew Dominguez, a former lobbyist at the Humane Society of the United States who now works a national advocacy organization called the Nonhuman Rights Project, said the legislators who are proposing the amendments — including some who have received hefty donations from the industry — are trying to find any way they can to continue agriculture business as usual.But consumer expectations already are forcing producers to change how they operate, said Josh Balk, vice president of farm animal protection at the Humane Society of the U.S. Demand for free-range eggs and grass-fed beef is growing, pushing large companies to change their standards. Wal-Mart and McDonald’s recently committed to using only suppliers that raise cage-free hens by 2025.Market demands will force producers to change their practices or be left behind, Balk said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that to meet demand, the industry will have to convert over half its egg production to cage-free systems by 2025, up from the current rate of 10 percent.“It’s kind of similar to which companies are trying to still produce black and white TVs, and which ones are selling color TVs,” Balk said.Paying a PremiumConsumer expectations have shifted as animal welfare groups such as the Humane Society have used undercover investigations to expose industry practices.Videos and images published on the advocacy groups’ websites, on YouTube and in documentaries depict windowless warehouses with hundreds of sows confined in gestation crates, where they spend most of their lives. Hens are shown in cages as wide and long as a letter-sized piece of paper, and barely tall enough for them to stand in.Many of these methods are accepted by industry groups such as the United Egg Producers and the National Pork Producers Council. Farmers say keeping animals in cages is the most sanitary and safest way to care for large groups of farm animals. And farming groups say the practices encouraged by animal welfare groups might not make life for farm animals any better.The National Association of Egg Farmers said that while Massachusetts voters will pay more for eggs, the lives of chickens will not improve. Caging chickens, the association said, reduces the likelihood they will become diseased. It also improves the quality of eggs, the group said, by reducing the chance that the eggs touch manure.Farmers and ranchers aren’t opposed to regulation that protects “the environment, that protects the food supply and that protects our families,” said Tom Buchanan, president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. “We buy our food from the same shelves you do,” he said.But Buchanan and others, such as Harry Kaiser, a professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, say consumers should have the option of buying meat and eggs without paying a premium for special animal treatment.Kaiser led the study, funded by the National Pork Producers Association, that showed an 18 percent increase in the price of eggs in California. The price increased even more than that because of a bird flu crisis, but that additional increase was filtered out of the study’s results.Kaiser said the results didn’t surprise him. If businesses aren’t able to use the most efficient methods for producing eggs, he said, their costs will go up.Not everyone can afford to pay premium prices, he said, and others don’t want to.Rodolfo Nayga, professor in the department of agricultural economics and agribusiness at the University of Arkansas, has found that while a segment of the population is willing to pay higher prices for organic food, or food produced using higher standards for animal treatment, not everyone is.“This isn’t for everybody,” Nayga said. “There are some farmers that won’t be able to accommodate the regulations for animal welfare and for environmental concerns.”Industry ResponseWhen animal welfare groups started about a decade ago to pay their employees to take jobs on farms to expose practices, the industry responded by pushing for what animal welfare advocates call ag-gag laws. Some of the laws made it a crime to take photos or videos of private farm property without the owner’s permission, while others made it a crime for an employee of an animal welfare organization to lie about where they worked when they applied for a job on a farm.About 26 states considered ag-gag laws from 2010 to 2015, but only nine — Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming — passed them.The Humane Society is not aware of any ag-gag bills proposed this year. Interest in these laws has faded after they faced opposition from animal welfare groups, as well as groups advocating for food safety, freedom of speech and workers’ rights, said Dominguez, who traveled the country fighting the laws for the Humane Society. Lawmakers also may be hesitant to propose the laws when so many are being challenged in court, he said.Idaho’s ag-gag law was overturned last year by a U.S. district judge who said it suppressed freedom of speech and violated the Equal Protection Clause. Lawsuits are pending in North Carolina, Wyoming and Utah.Six states — Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma — filed suit against California for its anti-confinement egg law, which was approved by voters in 2008 and took effect last year.The states said the law put their egg producers that supply California at a disadvantage, requiring them to either stop selling eggs in California or spend hundreds of millions of dollars to comply with the California law, which would increase prices even at home.The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this month that the farming states had no legal right to challenge California’s law, upholding a lower court’s decision to dismiss the case.Updates to right-to-farm laws have seen some success, but not everyone thinks they are the way to go.In Oklahoma, small farmers worried that the proposed constitutional amendment would prevent them from suing larger producers whose practices damage their business. It took years for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau to get the measure on the state’s ballot, only to see it overwhelmingly defeated.The amendment was meant to prevent the Legislature from passing the same type of law Massachusetts approved, one that would “drastically handcuff and handicap farmers and ranchers, which ultimately results in less food and higher prices,” Buchanan said.Although Oklahoma is a traditional farming state, Buchanan fears that as more people move to cities and away from rural areas, and as more legislators come from urban backgrounds, laws further regulating farms may eventually have a chance of passing there.It’s better to pass a law now to block such measures, he said. “As the saying goes, it’s too late to shut the barn door once the horse is out.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

17 Sep

Last game for USC to make a statement

first_imgThere’s no doubt about it: Last season was the worst season for USC football since the year Pete Carroll took over in 2001. The Trojans went 9-4, lost to lowly Washington, got blown out at Oregon on Halloween, humiliated at home on homecoming against Stanford and fell to Arizona on the last day of the regular season.It’s a stretch · Senior fullback Stanley Havili and the Trojans have yet to beat a team they lost to last year, including Arizona, whom USC plays this week. Saturday will be USC’s last chance to avenge a loss from last year. – Tim Tran | Daily Trojan A lot has changed since then. There’s a new head coach, a new athletic director, a new star receiver and, as we’ve seen throughout the year, a whole new secondary.The one thing that hasn’t changed is the results. The Trojans still lost to Washington and Stanford this year — albeit in games that were so close the score might have changed if only Willow Smith showed up to whip her hair back and forth — and lost by 21 to Oregon at home.Which is why, if the Trojans want to prove that this season is different than last year’s and that the program is on the rise and better off with all these changes, they need to beat Arizona on Saturday. This is USC’s last chance to make a statement this year. Arizona is the last team the Trojans face whom they lost to last year and the last ranked team they play this year. Not to mention the game on Saturday is on the road.USC came into this season with high hopes. Sure, the NCAA handed down sanctions that were harsher than a black cherry Warhead. But there was talk of the team sticking it to the man and going 13-0, 12-1 or at least 11-2. The Pac-10 title seemed within reach.Then the season started.Even though USC started 4-0, it was clear this team was going to have trouble staying undefeated the rest of the season. Just as it was beginning to show last year, the defense, which had been USC’s hard-hitting, no nonsense, fearsome staple for the past decade, hasn’t been its former self this year. Trojan defenses just don’t give up 53 points in a game and let the opposing team march down the field for game-winning field goals — twice.The Trojans have had chances to make statements this season. They faced Washington, who beat USC last year with the former USC coaching staff, but the Trojans couldn’t prove that last year was a fluke.Then they faced Stanford on the road and couldn’t pull out the victory that would’ve vaulted them back into the Pac-10 title picture. Then came Oregon, and on national TV, USC finally seemed to show signs of its former self. For three quarters, it looked like the Trojans had recovered from the NCAA’s knockout blow. But the fourth quarter hit, and USC stumbled around before crashing hard and staying down for the count.That’s not to say this team hasn’t changed for the better. Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley is fourth in the nation with 24 touchdown passes and has matured into arguably one of the best quarterbacks in college football. USC coach Lane Kiffin has taken over the program and ensured that the team keeps fighting and competing even though the stakes are naught.If USC loses to Arizona but rallies to beat Oregon State, Notre Dame and UCLA, nobody will turn their heads. USC is supposed to beat those teams, even though a matchup with the Beavers will be played in Corvallis, Ore. Finishing 9-4 would be nice and would be on par with the team’s record last year. But the program needs to move forward, and 10-3 and a top-20 ranking looks a heck of a lot better than 9-4.Some fans will say that as long as USC beats Notre Dame and UCLA, the season would be salvageable.Those are the few loyal fans. As we’ve seen this year, when USC doesn’t play well, fans drop off by the thousands. The reported attendance for Saturday’s game against Arizona State was just less than 69,000, but I’d say it was closer to 60,000. It’s sad that the Coliseum isn’t full week in and week out like stadiums for 6-3 teams in the SEC or Big Ten country, but if the Trojans can get this statement win against Arizona, it will increase the hype for next year and maybe the Coliseum will come alive like it did a few weeks ago against Oregon.And who knows, USC might even be able to play for the national championship next season, so the higher the Trojans can be ranked at the beginning of the year, the better the chances of that happening.In a sense, next year starts now.However, it all comes down to this: If USC still wants teams to fear those three letters, the Trojans need to show that they are better than last year’s team, which hasn’t been the case thus far. They need to prove that even with the sanctions, which have undoubtedly hampered the team, they can beat good squads. They need to prove the spirit that USC is not in a state of decline.The way they can do that is by beating a ranked team on the road — one they lost to last year. There’s no doubt the team will fight on, but this is the last chance to hold up the two fingers for victory in front of the nation.“Spittin’ Sports” runs every Thursday. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or e-mail Kenny at [email protected]last_img read more

26 Aug

Padres rookie Hunter Renfroe again puts hurt on Dodgers

first_imgThe back-to-back losses in San Diego have stalled the Dodgers’ pursuit of home-field advantage in their best-of-five National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals this week. The Nationals also lost Wednesday night in a game called during the sixth inning due to rain. So the Nationals’ lead over the Dodgers remains two games with four games left to play.The Dodgers did hit three home runs of their own – solo shots by Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez in the first inning and a two-run drive by Joc Pederson in the fourth inning.Pederson’s homer was his 25th of the season, joining Yasmani Grandal (27), Justin Turner (27) and Corey Seager (26) to give the Dodgers four players with 25 or more home runs this season. It is only the fourth time in franchise history that has happened, the first time since 1997 (Mike Piazza, Todd Zeile, Raul Mondesi and Eric Karros).De Leon lasted just 2 1/3 innings against the Padres and allowed 11 runs in six innings over his final two starts. After the game, Roberts essentially took De Leon out of the running for a spot on the playoff roster, leaving a clear field for fellow rookie Julio Urias to be the presumptive Game 4 starter.“With Jose, it was an outside shot anyway,” Roberts said. “Obviously, his last two starts haven’t been what he expected. “Even if it (the postseason roster) doesn’t happen, that’s not a knock on him. This has been a positive experience for him.”De Leon acknowledged that, saying “honestly, I didn’t think it was going to happen this fast” about his rise to the major leagues this season.“Even though it’s not finishing the way I want it to, I’m just grateful for the opportunity,” De Leon said. “I’m living my dream.“It’s been a blessing. I’ll go to spring training next year with more confidence.” SAN DIEGO >> Home-field advantage goes to Hunter Renfroe.One night after he drove in seven runs with two home runs, the San Diego Padres’ young slugger became the first player in the 13-year history of Petco Park to hit a ball onto the rooftop of the Western Metal Supply Co. building down the left-field line during a game.Renfroe also had a two-run single in the first inning before his two-run, 435-foot blast in the third inning off Dodgers rookie right-hander Jose De Leon on Wednesday night. That gives Renfroe four home runs and 12 RBI in his first seven major-league games. And it went a long way toward helping the Padres hand the Dodgers a 6-5 defeat.“That came off pretty hot,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Renfroe’s long drive, which came off the bat at 109 mph. “This kid has big power.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more