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BEPA warns over egg supply

first_imgThere has been a reduction in the supply of legal eggs available for processing, the British Egg Products Association (BEPA) has warned.The shortage follows the implementation of the EU ban on conventional barren battery cages, which came into force on 1 January 2012.It is estimated that around one-quarter of EU cage egg production does not meet the legal requirements, according to BEPA. Eggs in the EU which do not meet the new legal requirements cannot be marketed outside the country in which they are produced, which has led to a shortage of legally-produced cage eggs across the EU.BEPA, which represents the UK’s leading egg processors, has said that the European Commission was warned as far back as 2006 that the ban on conventional battery cages could lead to a severe disruption of the EU egg market.Elwyn Griffiths, chairman, BEPA, said: “Even as late as last year, the Commission was telling us that it expected all EU countries to comply with the ban, although it was obvious to us that this would not be the case. The disruption that we are now seeing in the market could have been avoided if the European Commission had heeded our warnings.”Are you experiencing problems with your egg supply? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]>>Ban confirmed on imported battery eggslast_img read more

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First payment of claims made by the ECCU/BAICO Health Insurance Support Fund: Over 1,000 applications recevied to date

first_imgGovernments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union logo. Photo credit: sknvibes.comThree months after the launch of the ECCU/BAICO Health Insurance Support Fund (“Fund”), the Governments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union are pleased to announce that the Fund has issued payments to meet the unpaid health insurance claims for the first group of BAICO health insurance policyholders who submitted applications. So far, over one thousand (1,000) applications from BAICO health insurance policyholders across all eight ECCU member territories have been received.  The ECCU Governments encourage BAICO Health Insurance policyholders to submit applications to the Fund.  The Fund was established to help bring some relief to health insurance policyholders whose claims could not be met because of the collapse of BAICO, and reaching those affected policyholders remains the Fund’s top priority. The Fund will remain open until the end of December 2011.  This closing date provides ample time for affected policyholders to seek assistance.      Deadline for Submission of Applications Applications MUST be received by the local BAICO branch no later than 31 December, 2011. Payments from the Fund Applicants should allow up to 90 days for processing once they have submitted their completed Applications.  Payments will not be made on any Application until it is fully processed.Operations of the Fund The Fund has been established as a trust, under a Trust Deed that outlines the operating rules for the Fund. The ECCU governments have appointed a special purpose company called ECCU Health Insurance Support Inc as the trustee. More informationMore information about the Fund can be obtained from BAICO branches in the ECCU, or fromThe ECCU Governments will provide regular updates on the progress of the Fund’s operations.Press ReleaseGovernments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union Tweet Share 13 Views   no discussions Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! LocalNews First payment of claims made by the ECCU/BAICO Health Insurance Support Fund: Over 1,000 applications recevied to date by: – August 18, 2011 Sharelast_img read more

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USC can’t remain absent in March

first_imgFollowing UCLA’s 83-63 loss to Minnesota in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on Friday night, USC redshirt junior forward Ari Stewart tweeted the following:“UCLA about to be right back in L.A. with us,” he said.On the one hand, it served as an entertaining, harmless jab at the Trojans’ crosstown rival, which was leaving the Big Dance about as soon as it entered. But on the other hand, it served as yet another reminder: USC is in Los Angeles too. In fact, the program has missed out on the tournament and stayed in Southern California three times during the last four seasons. Its lone appearance was a First Four loss to VCU in 2011, certainly a quick exit. It hasn’t cracked the field of 64 since 2009.That’s a rather sad state of affairs, no doubt. It’s irrelevancy, to say the least. Now you have a student body — with the exception of fifth-year architecture majors or seniors on a victory lap — that has yet to really see its men’s basketball team in the Big Dance. March in South L.A., once again, just isn’t mad. Students continue to pass through the University Park Campus gates without a care in the world in regard to men’s basketball — a disappointing trend, especially when you consider the hectic, exciting pace of the sport and its single-elimination postseason tournament that seemingly appeals to the college demographic.Tell me teams like Florida Gulf Coast aren’t fun to watch this time of year.It’s why the coming weeks become so critical for USC Athletic Director Pat Haden, as the search for USC’s next head coach remains underway. A miss on the next hire presents increasingly drastic consequences.  The program can’t afford to be absent this time of year. As a special report in February from this newspaper pointed out, revenue and attendance are suffering. Reported men’s basketball-related revenue from 2011-12 stood at $4.81 million, ninth among Pac-12 schools. In the last two seasons, average attendance at the 10,258-seat Galen Center stood at just 4,102.It all screams disinterest, and staying home in March only compounds the problem. It’s hard to foster any sort of on-campus hoops culture when players are operating TV remotes to watch NCAA tournament games rather than suiting up to play in them. To combat disinterest, you need a team that’s regularly in the postseason. Haden’s task is finding a coach who can do as much consistently.It almost goes without saying, but USC needs a coach who can turn the program into a perennial tournament team. That stands as the priority. You hear so often about home run hires for USC basketball, the sleeping giant in the nation’s second largest city. But really, at present, this program needs a steady hand, if anything. It’s had too many good seasons over the last decade followed by disappointing, if not disastrous, ones.It’s why names like Dana Altman make sense. To be clear, this isn’t a suggestion that Haden should hire the Oregon coach, who probably isn’t leaving Eugene, but a suggestion that someone like Altman makes sense.For a quick profile: He’s 54 years old. He has led Oregon to the Sweet 16 in his third season with the program. The Ducks also won the Pac-12 tournament this month. Previously, at Creighton, he took the Bluejays to the NCAA tournament seven times. There isn’t much flash from the plain-spoken Nebraska native. Nothing fancy. Simply, he’s coached plenty of winning basketball teams over the years.That’s the portfolio USC so desperately needs. It needs someone, anyone, to make college basketball relevant on this campus. It isn’t a secret formula tucked away in some cupboard. It’s as simple as finding a coach to get the program dancing every March.So, perhaps cool the talk of the big-name hire or someone with local ties or someone who will install an up-tempo style of play. Why all the little bonuses? How about just hiring a good basketball coach?USC basketball needs to learn to walk before it can run. Forget the Elite Eight and the Final Four. Let’s see if the Trojans can in fact play in March and return to the NCAA tournament. Let’s maybe start with that. “The 19th Hole” runs Mondays. To comment on this story, email Joey at [email protected] or visit dailytrojan.com.last_img read more

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Big hole in L.A.’s budget

first_img“I think we have to look at this as a way to begin saving today so we can be ready if we do have to take this hit. “I think, in a worst-case scenario, you are looking at dramatic cuts in services, freezes and even employee layoffs.” Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, who co-chairs the committee, said the panel had been briefed on its options. “Right now, we have to look at what will be in the best interests of the city and whether that is to appeal or accept the ruling,” Greuel said. “We are trying to be as fiscally responsible as we can with this budget for next year to reduce the pressure in following years.” Not only trouble An appellate court ruling that the city illegally hiked cell phone taxes leaves a $167million hole in next year’s city budget – and the gap could widen if the courts strike down a second tax that voters did not approve. The state Court of Appeal decision issued last week said the city violated the California Constitution when it imposed what amounted to a unilateral tax increase on cell phone use without first receiving the voter approval required by Proposition218. That leaves the city without $167million it had counted on for the fiscal year that will begin July1. An additional $100million is threatened by a ruling affecting the telephone excise tax levied on Los Angeles residents. “We have to look at this as the potential loss of a major source of revenue now,” said City Councilman Bernard Parks, who chairs the council’s Budget and Finance Committee, which is reviewing the $7.8billion budget Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa proposed. The loss of the cell phone money adds to city government’s difficulty trying to erase a $143million structural deficit – the difference between revenues and expenditures – and overcome the loss of a $30million transfer from the Department of Water and Power that a separate court has blocked. Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service has announced it will discontinue the federal excise tax on time-only long-distance services. The city’s telephone-tax ordinance is linked to this federal tax, which means roughly $100million in city revenue may be at risk. Nearly every city agency has been told to cut expenses, with only the Los Angeles Police Department receiving more money as it tries to boost its ranks. And some officials have voiced concerns that Villaraigosa may have underestimated – by nearly $30million – how much employee pay raises and overtime for police and firefighters will cost. With the budget picture worsening, Parks said Los Angeles officials and residents need to steel themselves for cuts. “This is a road map for us,” Parks said. “We need to use this 2007-08 budget as a way to prepare us for the future. You can’t just come across that kind of money unless there’s a sudden windfall.” Freeze considered As part of the deliberations on the upcoming budget, Parks has asked for a report on how much money could be saved this year by imposing a partial hiring freeze and rescheduling training for LAPD recruits. Chief Legislative Analyst Gerald Miller is scheduled to release recommendations today for next year’s budget, including an analysis of the cell phone tax ruling. The mayor’s aides said Villaraigosa is reviewing the budget, and he also is debating whether to appeal the ruling to the California Supreme Court. “This certainly adds to the uncertain environment we live in,” Villaraigosa spokesman Matt Szabo said. “The mayor was concerned with this, and that’s why he held the line on spending in this budget, is increasing the reserve fund and is looking to eliminate the structural deficit over five years.” City Administrative Officer Karen Sisson acknowledged the ruling will cost the city revenue in the short term, but she said it might be in the city’s interest to let the decision stand. “What the court did was throw out a portion of the tax,” Sisson said. “We want to go back and look at the ruling to determine, one, if there are grounds for appeal and also whether we can live with the decision.” Part of tax stands Originally, officials were concerned the entire tax would be invalidated, resulting in the loss of $270million a year. Los Angeles has taxed cell phone use since 1993, initially levying 10percent on users’ monthly charges. City officials changed the method in 2002 and began calculating the tax based on a customer’s airtime – a switch that generated millions more in revenue. Verizon, AT&T and other carriers filed suit, saying that Proposition218 requires voters to approve any tax hike. City officials said they are wary of asking voters to change the taxation method, fearing that would jeopardize the revenue generated under the previous system. [email protected] 213-978-0390 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more