Category: xnvpjukrkety

CPL proud to be sponsor of Lewas

first_imgCPL recently came on board as the naming rights sponsor of the women’s national cricket team – the PNG Lewas.At the announcement of the Lewas team today, CPL project officer Oti Sarufa said CPL was proud to be associated with the Lewas.“We wish the Lewas the best in this qualifier and encourage them to be positive role models as ambassadors for PNG,” said Sarufa. She added trainings are in place to prepare the Lewas players for life after cricket when they retire.last_img

In a tale of two LAPD captains, one lives, one dies

first_img“I literally broke down when they told me. … I was shocked, dismayed, emotional. It was devastating to me.” Why one captain lived and the other committed suicide is something that has puzzled Meraz – now a 63-year-old captain at Central Division – ever since. Meraz said he knew Salicos was obsessed by the public humiliation and enraged at being at the center of an internal investigation into Rampart, where officers stole narcotics, planted evidence and beat suspects. “Every time I talked to Nick Salicos, he was angry and frustrated.” Salicos is among nearly two dozen LAPD officers who have committed suicide in the past decade, up slightly from the previous 10 years and nearly double the number killed in the line of duty, according to department data. Nationwide, about 450 active and retired law enforcement and corrections officers commit suicide each year – nearly three times the number killed on duty, according to the nonprofit National POLICE Suicide Foundation. The foundation’s estimate of 60 suicides for each 100,000 officers is nearly triple what most researchers say, but foundation officials say families are more forthcoming with them. “It’s the best-kept secret in this country,” said Robert E. Douglas, executive director of the foundation, based in Pasadena, Md. “Suicide is devastating to deal with.” The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said none of its deputies has committed suicide since it launched a prevention program in 2002. But the California Highway Patrol lost eight of its 7,200 officers to suicide last year, five times the national average for law enforcement. While the statistics are alarming, experts disagree about whether suicide rates among law enforcement officers are higher than the general population. A study of New York City police officers conducted from 1977 to 1996 found a suicide rate of 14.9 per 100,000, compared with 18.3 per 100,000 residents. “The good news was the suicide rate wasn’t excessively high, in the sense there were reports police officers had suicide rates several times that of the general population,” said Dr. Peter Marzuk, professor of psychiatry at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. “The study showed there wasn’t an epidemic.” But the bad news was that officers – who had steady jobs and had been screened for psychological fitness – had about the same suicide rate as the general population, which includes the mentally ill and unemployed. “The same level as the general population might mean a slight elevation (for police suicide),” Marzuk said. But Douglas says the foundation believes the rate is significantly higher. It collects data on about 450 suicides a year of active and retired officers. He said a 1998 informal survey of 500 officers found 98 percent said they would consider suicide under particularly stressful circumstances, such as the loss of a child or spouse. “They see the control of their life slipping away from them,” he said. “They have the mindset of a warrior … Instead of compromising your position, you’d go ahead and check out.” Meraz got a 20-day suspension for his role in the Rampart scandal – supervisorial failures in investigating a jailhouse beating. Salicos opted to retire. Meraz said his decision to remain with the LAPD may have spurred his emotional recovery. “Nick sat at home stewing, whereas I came to work every day, put my uniform on and came in through the front door. When we had a command staff meeting, I sat in the front row. I looked my chief dead in the eye. “When you leave the department, you can’t fight it anymore. You can’t deal with it. You can’t face it head on.” Meraz said he learned a hard lesson: Taking responsibility for your own self-esteem can be liberating. But Meraz acknowledges that a police culture that combines great stress with the need for self-control can make it hard for officers to express their feelings. “They don’t know how to cope.” Author Ellen Kirschman – whose book “I Love a Cop” has been a staple for police psychologists – said law enforcement suicides most frequently are driven by relationship failures, fueled by alcohol and facilitated by easy access to guns. “It’s more apt to have something to do with (their) rigidity … All their eggs are in one basket, their self-esteem,” Kirshman said. “They can become very brittle, they need to be in control.” Retired LAPD Deputy Chief Frank Piersol lost two of his closest friends and fellow officers to suicide: former adjutant Robert McCrary, who shot himself in the chest in November 1992; and Dennis Walter, who had retired to Salmon, Idaho, and did the same a year later. “When I think back, was there anything I could have done – maybe even at the expense of the friendship – that could have prevented these things from occurring? The answer is yes,” said Piersol, 62. “That question haunts me to this moment. It’s something that doesn’t go away. Now, they went away, but the thoughts don’t go away.” McCrary and Walter shared military backgrounds and a talent for police work. They also shared bouts of hard drinking, marital problems and career difficulties. Piersol said he regrets that he and other officers enabled the men. Even when McCrary lost his badge after an evening of partying, no one confronted him about his drinking problem. “We thought we were doing him a favor … We thought we were kind of keeping him out of trouble, keeping him out of the formal discipline process and that we were helping him.” Piersol said he was forced to re-evaluate that in 1992 when he got a midnight call from the command center that began, “Commander, you might want to sit down.” McCrary, 51, had shot himself in the chest with his service revolver in his Upland home. His son Rob McCrary, now a Pomona Police Department detective, was 21 at the time. McCrary said he knew his father, a Vietnam veteran and alcoholic with marital troubles, had become increasingly frustrated at not being promoted to LAPD lieutenant. But Rob said he still admired his father and his death left him with some invaluable lessons about dealing with stress. “He didn’t know how to relax. He didn’t know how to deal with stuff,” he said. Rob said he doesn’t drink, and now makes sure to take regular family vacations and talk to his wife, who is also a police officer. In November 1993, Walter killed himself. Piersol wore his uniform when he gave Walter’s eulogy. The two had started their careers together, belting out the song “We Belong Together” from the Box Tops as they drove the Arroyo Seco on their way to their jobs in Highland Park. “We were just the best of friends … young, happy guys on the department who couldn’t wait to get to that station and get to work.” But as Piersol rose through the ranks, Walter never got above detective. He battled alcoholism, personal and professional problems. Piersol, who retired in 1998, said he now remembers the clues – the morning water glasses filled with bourbon, the distressed phone calls – and how his friend hid his problems behind a meticulous uniform and hours of physical training. Piersol also was the captain at Rampart Division before Salicos retired and died of a drug overdose in the midst of a police-abuse scandal at the station. Longtime colleague Meraz gave the eulogy at Salicos’ funeral and said he’s now at peace with his friend. “For me, the process is reflecting back on the relationship I had with him. The bottom line is, `I couldn’t have stopped this.”‘ In the eulogy that June day in 2002, Meraz said Salicos cared deeply about the LAPD but also needed a human connection – one that sometimes is forgotten when police put on their work-a-day armor. “No matter how strong or indifferent we may want others to see us, there is a deep part in all of us that yearns to be understood. “That conceals an emotional pain that lingers and requires another person’s awareness through words, presence or acknowledgment, but so often goes unsaid, unnoticed, or untouched.” 450 a year Sitting at home Lost friends (818) 713-3731 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Nick Salicos and Richard Meraz stood together for years as captains at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Rampart Division. Then they stood together in the public spotlight as the division was roiled by revelations of abuse in the late 1990s. Finally, they stood together as friends bonded by the emotional scars of the ordeal. But on May 27, 2002, Meraz got a call just before midnight: Salicos was dead of an overdose of alcohol and prescription drugs. last_img


first_imgYOU’VE been reacting to our story on a hotel ban for staff who get stuck in the snow going to or from Letterkenny General Hospital.This came from a member of staff: “Not all staff were the recipients of such benefits. It is not fair to presume that all public sector workers are spoilt to this degree. Some of us do an honest days work rain, hail or snow….. we leave home earlier than normal in the morning and worked back any hours that we owe due to weather conditions.“We do not get home until later than normal because of the weather just like everybody else – no special treatment. It would be better if this statement had made clear who it was aimed at as once again everybody is being tarred unfairly with the same brush!” You can leave a comment on this post or on the story itself:HOSPITAL SNOW HOTEL BAN – YOUR VIEWS was last modified: December 2nd, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgWanted: McLaughlinThe detective leading the investigation into the murder of Barry McCrory has made an appeal to suspect Kieran McLaughlin to give himself up.PSNI Chief Inspector Ian Harrison confirmed they had investigated a number of false reports of McLaughlin being in the Derry area today.It follows a massive Garda search in Inishowen. Said CI Harrison: “We are continuing to appeal to the public for their assistance in establishing the current whereabouts of 58 year old Kieran McLaughlin.“I can confirm there have been a number unconfirmed sightings of Mr McLaughlin in the Derry area but it is imperative that future sightings of Kieran are reported to police immediately and reiterate to the public not to approach him, but to contact police on 999 if you think you know of his whereabouts.DCI Harrison made a direct appeal to McLaughlin to give himself up.He said: “I would also emphasise to Kieran to contact police immediately as we are actively seeking to speak with you. It is our wish that this matter is resolved without further incident.”  OFFICER TELLS MURDER SUSPECT: GIVE YOURSELF UP was last modified: October 12th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Kieran McLaughlinpolice appeallast_img read more


first_imgDonegal Airport grew its numbers 4.9% last year, new figures show.The number of people travelling through Carrickfin in 2014 reached 35,415.New Central Statistics Office figures show that almost 26.5 million people passed through Irish airports in 2014, 6.9pc higher than a year earlier.Dublin Airport dominates air traffic, accounting for 82pc of those passengers and growing by 7.7pc to 21.7 million last year.The numbers travelling through Knock airport grew by 5.7pc to 703,670.  DONEGAL AIRPORT PASSENGER NUMBERS UP was last modified: May 30th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:airportdonegalKnockPassengersuplast_img read more

‘Media freedom is your freedom’

first_img4 May 2006The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) marked World Press Freedom Day, 3 May, by launching a “media freedom is your freedom” campaign geared to highlight the value of a free media in the young South African democracy.“Ours is an often-raucous democracy where a thousand opinions contend,” Sanef said in a statement on Wednesday. “A key reason for this is that our media have been unshackled from its draconian past.”The multimedia campaign – with an advertising drive sub-titled “What you can’t see, can hurt you” – invites the public to take part in debates on radio, television, online and in print media, and to visit the Sanef website to find out more.Sanef paid tribute to the 500 journalists and publishers around the world who were killed or arrested in 2005 for doing their jobs, and deplored the “continued arrests and detention of many of our colleagues across the continent”, saying Africa would not achieve its emancipation if journalists were not free.In South Africa, Sanef said it would “continue to press for the amendment of laws which continue to impact on the free flow of information.”At the same time, the body welcomed President Thabo Mbeki’s decision to return the Icasa (Independendent Communications Authority of SA) Amendment Bill to Parliament because he was concerned that it could be unconstitutional.Critics of the Bill, including Sanef, argue that it would strip the country’s communications regulator of its independence by taking the power of selecting Icasa councillors out of the hands of Parliament and placing it in the hands of the minister of communications.“The media are your eyes and ears on the world,” Sanef says in its campaign. “Media freedom guarantees your right to know what’s going on in your country, and participate fully in the decisions affecting you.“Media freedom is your freedom. Insist on it.” reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Sharpeville remembered

first_imgA gathering at the Sharpeville Memorial in the Gauteng township to pay tribute to those who died in the violence. (Image: Emfuleni local municipality)  On 21 March, Human Rights Day, South Africa remembered the Sharpeville massacre of 50 years ago, when police clashed with crowds protesting against unjust apartheid laws. Sixty-nine people were killed and close to 200 injured in the demonstrations.The watershed event was commemorated peacefully, in stark contrast to the bloody confrontation of the day.This year about 5 000 people came together in Sharpeville, a township near Vereeniging about 50km south of Johannesburg, to pay tribute to those who gave their lives for the country’s liberation struggle. Of the 69 who died, 10 were children and eight were women, and all were unarmed.As the horrific events at Sharpeville were unfolding, protesters in the Western Cape’s Langa township, some 1 600km away, also came under police fire and tear gas assault, and two people were left dead.The government retaliated by declaring its first State of Emergency and banning the African National Congress (ANC) and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). This fateful decision led to the ANC taking up arms against apartheid through its military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe.Remembering the fallenDeputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was present at the commemoration, which took place under the theme “Working together we can do more to protect human rights”. He attended a service at the local Catholic church and laid wreaths on the graves of Sharpeville victims during a hymn service.“The Sharpeville and Langa massacres were a tipping point in that they triggered revulsion and disgust locally and internationally,” said Motlanthe, revisiting the events of 50 years ago. “The government of the day responded by banning the ANC and PAC and this precipitated the end of the non-violent struggle and brought to bear an advent of the armed struggle by the liberation movement.”Motlanthe also pointed out that demonstrations of that time were peaceful and that people didn’t set out to loot shops or burn cars, unlike the protesters of today who seem to think nothing of destroying private and public property.He urged those with grievances to use the democratic channels available to them, and to voice their protests without resorting to violence.Like 50 years ago, many members of today’s Sharpeville community are poverty-stricken and dissatisfied, and protests against poor service delivery are a part of life.“To adequately commemorate the victims and survivors of the Sharpeville massacre and other bloodbaths, we must ensure the progressive realisation of the socio-economic rights as envisaged in the Bill of Rights,” said Motlanthe, adding that government and its social partners must work harder to improve the quality of life of all South Africans, by providing shelter, basic amenities, education, and security.Nationwide protests against the passAlthough the apartheid system would not fall for another 30 years, the tragedy at Sharpeville was the beginning of its demise. International condemnation was swift and severe and led to disinvestment from South Africa, the country’s global isolation and eventually, the end of the Nationalist apartheid regime.The Nationalist government, during its reign, had imposed ludicrous laws and restrictions on black people, intended to control their movements and isolate them from fellow South Africans of other races. One of these was the stipulation that black people working away from their homes, mostly in white areas, had to carry a pass book.The pass law was enacted in the early part of the 20th century, but was most visibly and cruelly enforced during the tenure of the apartheid government, which came to power in 1948.The pass was a type of identification document that carried the personal information of its bearer, including their name, photograph, address, fingerprints, criminal and tax records, and name of employer. In essence, the pass showed that they had permission to move about in white areas. Under the law of the time, an employer could only be a white person, and he or she sometimes entered an evaluation of the employee into the pass book.The pass laws at first applied only to men, but before long they were extended to include women. Travelling to other areas without a pass book was a huge risk, because of the possibility of arrest and imprisonment.This was a degrading experience for black people, and understandably it was met with great resistance. Both men and women rebelled, leading to ongoing demonstrations and many thousands of arrests.The ANC-led Defiance Campaign against unjust laws was launched in 1952, in collaboration with the party’s ally, the South African Indian Congress, with whom it had signed a pact of mutual support in 1947. The idea here was that people would deliberately break the pass laws and then give themselves up to the police, in the hopes that cells would become crowded and the police system overloaded. All race groups were involved.The campaign didn’t have the desired effect, and the ANC decided to draft an entirely new Constitution for South Africa. This led to the adoption of the Freedom Charter in 1956, which was outlawed by the government as part of a plot to replace it with a communist state. Government action led to the arrest of 158 activists, and the subsequent Treason Trial.In August of that same year a group of 20 000 feisty women marched on the Union Buildings, the seat of the government, in Pretoria. Singing the now-famous struggle song “Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo!” (Zulu, meaning “strike the women, strike the rock”) they showed their outrage at the pass laws. The event is now remembered on 9 August, South Africa’s National Women’s Day.Boiling pointHowever, all this strife was like a simmering cauldron about to boil over, and in 1960 that is exactly what happened. The PAC, a newly formed breakaway group of the ANC, demonstrated on 21 March of that year in Sharpeville under the leadership of the charismatic Robert Sobukwe.The PAC and ANC had been vying for support from the people, and the PAC got wind of an ANC anti-pass march, scheduled for 31 March. The former decided to strike first and planned their march for 10 days earlier.Sobukwe led a contingent of PAC comrades in a march on the police station at Orlando, Soweto. Here he admitted guilt to being in an area other than what was stipulated in his pass book, and offered himself up for arrest. He was sentenced to three years in jail but when his term was up, at the discretion of the justice minister his imprisonment was renewed on an annual basis for a further three years. This was the controversial so-called Sobukwe Clause, implemented as Article Four of the General Law Amendment Act of 1963.At the same time, at various spots around the country, and particularly in the Gauteng township of Sharpeville, about 50km south of Johannesburg, marchers were preparing to descend on police stations and hand themselves over in a repeat of Sobukwe’s actions, or for not carrying their pass books at all.At the sight of the thousands of marchers, police in Sharpeville panicked and shot into the crowd. They were reportedly on edge because of the killing of nine police members in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal, just a few weeks before. The police later claimed to have been attacked first by stone-throwers, but as many of the wounded were shot in the back, this claim is refuted.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up in 1995 to investigate atrocities committed on both sides during the apartheid years, found that police actions were the cause of the massacre.“The Commission finds that the police deliberately opened fire on an unarmed crowd that had gathered peacefully at Sharpeville on 21 March 1960 to protest against the pass laws,” said its 1998 report.The despised pass laws were eventually repealed in 1986 under the leadership of the late state president Pieter Willem (PW) Botha.Today Sharpeville is also remembered as the place where former president Nelson Mandela signed the new Constitution in December 1996. The document came into force in February 1997.last_img read more

Are corn yields on their way up?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The October USDA supply and demand report often has the potential to be a game changer. Game changers can also be called surprises, which in turn create violent price moves. With that report USDA has the ability to gather actual harvest data to give a much more representative report for U.S. yields. Previous reports were merely estimates based in part upon ear size and plant populations. The trade had expected corn yields to decline compared to the September report. That reduction could then easily pave the way for continuing reduced yields leading into the final production in January 2016. Instead, the corn yield was increased a half bushel with a U.S. yield at 168 bushels per acre. Now the expectation is that the corn yield will again be increasing in successive reports.By now you may be asking, “How did they do that?” It happens when your state is in the top six and corn yields grow as the season advances. Two of those states would be Minnesota and South Dakota. For months, many had expected corn yields in those western states to be records. It was just a matter of how high is the new record. All season long the question has been, “Would the yields in the western Corn Belt offset the reduced corn yields from the eastern Corn Belt?” Corn production in October was estimated at 13.555 billion bushels, down 30 million bushels from September. Acres were reduced 500,000 acres. That reduction helped offset the yield increase.Corn prices from mid-September to mid-October had a range of $3.72 to $3.99. The $4 mark has been a huge corn benchmark for the past several months. Producers have been quite content to sock away as much harvested corn as possible. With corn harvest at 42% with the report on October 13, producers had seen great harvest weather in Ohio and the midwest the previous month. Rain events were almost non existent, though timely rains did provide benefits to wheat. While wheat producers are planting fewer acres this fall, those that did get planted by early October are off to a great start.Weekly soybean exports mid-October were an astonishing 67.3 million bushels. That weekly number was above the high end of trade expectations. It also was the highest weekly total since the start of the marketing year Sept. 1. Those exports along with a U.S. soybean sale to China of 240,000 tons resulted in a daily gain of 26 cents for soybeans as November CBOT soybeans reached $9.15. It was only the second time since the last week of August for November soybeans to penetrate the $9 level. Numerous producers in the western midwest are reporting yields above expectations. It has been fairly common to see producers selling those extra bushels of production.Traders are already beginning to closely monitor Brazil’s 2016 soybean plantings. Many traders already have ideas that Brazil’s soybean production could be at least 100 million tons. USDA currently has their production at 100 million tons. Last year their production was 96 million tons. Overall planting progress is off to a slow start. Weather in Brazil is seeing less than ideal conditions as of last month. Wet and persistent weather in the south is in sharp contrast to dry conditions in the north.While weather is always on the minds of producers everywhere, currency worries are not an issue for those in Brazil as of last month. With the currency conversions available to soybean farmers in Brazil, they are seeing the highest revenues for soybeans in the past five years. Without a doubt it adds fuel to the reality of seeing more land in Brazil planted to soybeans in the years to come. Meanwhile producers here in the United States have seen soybean prices below $9, the lowest prices they have seen for many years.Producers continue to be favoring holding corn into the winter months. With the strong probability of reduced corn production coming from South America, U.S. producers could be seeing less world competition the next six months.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — January 23, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Very few changes this morning, as cold air looks to take over the state. We still have some minor moisture holding over Ohio today, and that may trigger some light snows from time to time. The best chance of these will be from US 30 northward, but the moisture set up looks much more unorganized than yesterday. So, we are going to look for a coating to an inch in spots, but have coverage of snows today limited to 40% of the state. Areas south of I-70 see little to no action today and far southern Ohio will deal only with clouds.Cold air continues to intensify tomorrow, and we likely reach our peak of cold tomorrow afternoon, where a large part of the state struggles to hit freezing. We do expect some sun, though, and winds will turn to the southwest for late Thursday. This will allow temps to moderate again for the last part of the week. Temps Thursday will start to climb, but will lag somewhat…meaning we could still be below normal there. But, on Friday temps go above normal thanks to sunshine and that strong south flow. Now, winds at 15-30 mph will mean we still feel a pretty good chill, though, even though actual air temps may run toward the lower to middle 40s again. This surge and strong wind set up will be in advance of our next system, which still looks strong.Rains kick off Saturday night and we are making no serious changes to our forecast. The best rains will roll through overnight Saturday night through Sunday.  We are keeping rain totals at .25”-1” with 90% coverage, but have some concern about some 1”+ totals in central and southern parts of the state if action lingers. Then, we see cold air blasting into the state overnight Sunday night while moisture is still trying to exit the eastern half to third of the state. While we think that moisture has a good chance of being gone before the coldest air arrives, models are having a hard time with this setup…one model run says it’s done and snow potential is minimal, and the next says we could see some 3-6 inch snow potential overnight Sunday night over the eastern part of the state. Timing will be everything. For now, we will keep an eye on snow, but will not talk it up just yet. We think there is a chance for some accumulation over the eastern third, like we mentioned yesterday, but we do not want to make a big deal about it just yet.We still won’t rule out some lake effect snow for next Monday (29th), mostly over northeast Ohio. However, this morning the action looks a little less impressive, thanks to wind direction (more north) and temperatures not as cold. For example…temps Monday likely are in the lower to mid-30s, and that temperature change is not as conducive to big lake snows.  Cold air holds through next Tuesday.The rest of the way, out outlook is unchanged from yesterday. We finish the 10 day period with wind shifting back to the SW for midweek next week, which will allot temps to moderate some for Wednesday, the 31st. We do not expect a big move above normal, but a return to normal for Wednesday is likely. A clipper races through next Thursday, and brings a quick burst of snow, along with colder air.The extended period brings another strong system up from the SW out of the central plains for the 3rd and early the 4th. This system has liquid precipitation potential up to 1.25” and coverage at 100% of the region. This system may have some rain to start, but its current projected track would signal that we need to be on the lookout for some significant snow as well. Time will tell. Behind that event, we put together several dry days, but could see another strong system for the 6th into the 7th, bringing the potential for snow. This would be the start of a potentially very active month of February.last_img read more

Sec. Perdue comments on government reopening

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Friday issued the following statement in response to President Donald J. Trump’s announcement of reopening the federal government:“President Trump’s announcement of the reopening of the federal government is welcome news, as it will bring thousands of our employees back to work and return us to our mission of providing our customers with the services they rely upon.  I extend my sincere thanks to the thousands of USDA workers who stayed on the job during the shutdown to offer as many of our normal activities as we could.  The President has already signed legislation that guarantees backpay for all employees, and we will move forward on that as soon as possible.  Meanwhile, we will prepare for a smooth reestablishment of USDA functions.“There will now be sufficient time for Congress to come to an agreement with the President on his pledge to protect our national security by securing our southern border with a reliable, effective barrier.”last_img read more