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When it comes to living along the coast, South Shore residents know only the strong will survive. Such is the case for the eastern Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa). It’s a plant that has adapted and evolved well over time to not only survive, but thrive among the coastal dunes, dry sands, and sandy fields of Long Island’s South Fork communities. The prickly pear’s normal range does not typically include true deserts but can be found in harsh sandy environments east of the Rockies, from Massachusetts southward to Florida and west to Minnesota and Texas. This is a low-lying plant, and in winter, it can easily be mistaken for some deflated, dried-up plant. But with the vernal equinox and spring rains, the plant revives and rapidly absorbs water in its oval shaped pads. The pads become thick and vibrant green. The pads act as a shield not only to hold moisture but to reflect sunlight and protect the plant from frequent salt spray.As the season progresses, the plant begins to flourish and produces beautiful waxy yellow flowers that most nectar-eating insects can’t resist. The center of the flower has a reddish-orange fruit, once eaten fresh and raw by Native Americans. Some tribes made candy and chewing gum from the fruit, or mashed it into a sort of applesauce. Mashed fruit was also boiled down into syrup, juice, or jelly and stored for the winter.While Eastern Prickly Pear normally occurs as scattered individual plants or in small colonies, sometimes they can form impressively large colonies if it persists at the same location for a long period of time. This plant’s flower opens only for a single day, but a colony as a whole may continuously flower for as long as a month. Two of my favorite places to see established colonies of prickly pear are across from Long Beach in Sag Harbor and along the east side of Lighthouse Road after crossing the Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays.If you miss seeing prickly pear cactus at these two locations, please visit the South Fork Natural History Museum’s native butterfly and wildflower gardens, there are small colonies that can be seen there.Frank Quevedo is the executive director of the South Fork Natural History Museum. Share
InterOil said it has appointed Jon Ozturgut as Chief Operating Officer of the company and Donald Spector as Chief Financial Officer.Ozturgut, a senior executive with 27 years’ international oil and gas experience with Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), CMS Oil and Gas Company, and Woodside Energy, replaces William J. Jasper III, who is retiring after seven years as Chief Operating Officer. Ozturgut will also be responsible for mergers and acquisitions, and new business development.Spector, a senior executive with more than 35 years’ international financial experience, including 30 years in oil and gas, replaces Collin Visaggio, who resigns as Chief Financial Officer, also after seven years with InterOil. As part of his new role, Spector will oversee InterOil’s investor relations team.InterOil Chief Executive, Michael Hession, thanked Jasper and Visaggio for their important contributions in the company’s formative years. “Bill and Collin indicated some time ago their intention to leave once we began commercializing our gas resources in Papua New Guinea,” Dr. Hession said. “They leave with our thanks for their service during the formative years of InterOil.”“We now need people of the calibre and experience of Jon and Don to step into these important roles at this crucial time for the company. InterOil has significant resources, large and prospective exploration acreage, and is developing a large LNG project with Total. These appointments reflect our determination to assemble a world-class team to extract full value from these assets and realise our vision as a regional LNG player.”“We are also streamlining our corporate structure and focusing staff resources at the frontline of our operations in Papua New Guinea and Singapore to support our exploration and LNG activities.”Jon Ozturgut, a senior oil and gas executive brings extensive experience in multi-billion dollar investments in exploration, development, and production across global markets in the Americas, Middle East, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Ozturgut was the Senior Vice President at Woodside Energy, the largest Australian oil and gas company, overseeing international corporate strategy, growing the exploration portfolio, mergers and acquisitions, and LNG developments. He has also held a range of executive positions in operations, delivering significant projects and company transforming transactions during his tenure with Pioneer Natural Resources, CMS Oil and Gas Company, and 15 years with ARCO. Ozturgut has a degree in mechanical engineering.Donald Spector was the Vice President of Taxation and Treasury at Woodside, where he managed the treasury, taxation, risk, and insurance functions, and advised on mergers and acquisitions. He successfully developed the capital management strategy to fund the A$15 billion Woodside Pluto LNG project in Western Australia. Spector has also held senior roles in BP and CRA (now known as Rio Tinto). Spector has a degree in accounting.[mappress]LNG World News Staff, January 21, 2014; Image: InterOil
The Prime Minster of India Narendra Modi has visited Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) as part of his two-day visit to South Korea, to seek increased partnership between Indian shipyards and HHI, with a particular focus on the construction of naval vessels and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.HHI is reported to be the only Korean company the Prime Minister visited during his two-day stay in Korea.During the meeting held at the HHI headquarters in Ulsan, the Prime Minister Modi and the HHI management discussed various ways to expand cooperation on naval defense, LNG carrier construction and shipbuilding technology.In the foreseeable future, India’s state-run gas company GAIL is likely to place an order of maximum 11 LNG carriers to haul LNG from the US to India for 20 years starting in 2017.Meanwhile, HHI recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India-based engineering major Larson & Toubro on technological support for construction of LNG carriers. The visit of the Prime Minister this time is expected to cement the ties between HHI and its Indian counterpart.During Prime Minister Modi’s two-day visit to South Korea, the Ministry of Shipping of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of maritime transport and logistics. The MoU will allow the countries to cooperate in the fields of maritime transport and logistics, including sharing of technologies, information and experiences, training of seafarers, exchange of experts, port operations, etc.
“The global logistics market is a mixed bag in terms of growth, with continued sluggishness in China and Europe; and ongoing pressure on rates. In this environment, we are pleased to report that Agility continues to post steady growth in profitability,” said Agility ceo Tarek Sultan.Revenue for Agility Global Integrated Logistics (GIL) for the second quarter of 2015 was KWD259 million (USD856.3 million), which is a 4 percent year-on-year decrease. Agility puts this result down to the general logistics market performance as well as the planned end of some large contracts.The freight forwarding market showed mixed performance in the second quarter of the year relative to the beginning of the year, with a softer air freight market and consistent ocean freight market, said Agility.”The external market environment will continue to be a challenge for the foreseeable future with economic growth slowing in some countries, but improving in others,” added Sultan. “While we cannot control these external factors, we will be strategic in our investment choices, focusing on countries, verticals, and products that have long-term potential.”www.agility.com
Having been shipped into Ireland from Italy on board a heavy lift ship, ALE assisted the loading of the transformer onto a pontoon at Foynes Port, before it was delivered across the Shannon Estuary to the power station jetty.At the jetty, the oversize unit was rolled off the pontoon using 16 axle lines of self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) and moved through the power plant to the substation, where the transformer was offloaded onto jacks and installed.According to ALE, this was the largest transformer ever to be transported in Ireland. www.ale-heavylift.com
QAYARA AIR BASE, Iraq (AP) – Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition forces have killed or gravely wounded more than 2,000 Islamic State fighters in the battle for Mosul since October, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said Sunday.Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend told reporters there are still an estimated 3,000-5,000 IS fighters defending Mosul. He applauded the efforts of Iraqi security forces, who began their offensive on Oct. 17 in what has been billed a decisive phase of the anti-IS fight.“By our calculations, we think we have killed or badly wounded over 2,000,” Townsend said at a joint news conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter at Qayara air base.Townsend disputed any suggestion that the Islamic State has managed to fight the Iraqi government forces to standstill in Mosul.After citing the estimated 2,000 IS casualties, he added, “I don’t think that suggests anything about a stalemate. This is a major urban area. Any army on the planet, including the United States Army, would be challenged by this fight.”“The Iraqi army has come back from near-defeat two years ago, and now they are attacking this major city 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) from Baghdad,” Townsend said. “I don’t think there is anything in there about a stalemate.”Townsend said U.S. intelligence estimated before the Mosul campaign kicked off in October that IS had 3,500-6,000 fighters in the city. He said the current estimate is 3,000-5,000.US officials have declined to say how many Iraqi government troops have been killed in the Mosul fight.Carter made an unannounced visit Sunday to the Qayara base, flying in from Baghdad after meeting with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and sharing lunch with American troops. It was Carter’s first visit to Qayara since it began operating as an Iraqi staging base in October.Carter toured the air base, greeting soldiers and offering holiday wishes. He assured them the Mosul campaign is on track.“Everything is going according to the plan of a year ago,” Carter saidSunday’s visit came as Iraqi security forces have been slowed in their nearly two-month-old offensive against IS, which has occupied Mosul for more than two years.In Bahrain on Saturday, Carter announced he is sending another 200 troops to Syria to train and advise local fighters combatting IS. There are already 300 U.S. troops authorized for the Syria effort, and some 5,000 in Iraq.The recapture of Mosul, the country’s second largest city, is crucial to the Iraqis’ hopes of restoring their sovereignty, although political stability will likely remain a challenge afterward.Carter told an international security conference in Bahrain that the battle for Mosul and for the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the extremists’ self-described caliphate, would be crucial for defeating the group, which has claimed attacks worldwide.“The seizure of these two cities is necessary to ensure the destruction of ISIL’s parent tumor in Iraq and Syria – the primary objective of our military campaign – and put ISIL on an irreversible path to a lasting defeat,” he said, using another acronym for IS.He did not predict how long it might take for Iraqi forces to prevail in Mosul, but he sounded a note of optimism.“This is a complex mission that will take time to accomplish, but I am confident that ISIL’s days in Mosul are numbered,” he said in Bahrain.Iraqi forces have only captured a handful of eastern Mosul neighborhoods since launching the offensive in mid-October. On Sunday they came under mortar fire as they worked to clear villages along the Tigris River to the south, part of operations to secure supply lines for a campaign that is likely to stretch into the coming year.Carter, whose tenure as defense secretary will end in January if his designated successor – retired Marine Gen. James Mattis – is confirmed by the Senate as expected, also made the case for keeping U.S. forces in Iraq even after the Islamic State group is dislodged from Mosul.“Beyond security, there will still be towns to rebuild, services to re-establish, and communities to restore,” he said in Bahrain. The extremists, he predicted, will attempt to survive by reinventing themselves “in some other shape or form” after they lose their grip on Iraq and Syria.In Baghdad, six separate bombings targeting mostly streets and markets frequented by civilians killed 12 and wounded more than 30 people Sunday, according to Iraqi police and hospital officials. IS claimed responsibility for one of the attacks in southern Baghdad in a statement posted by the group’s Amaq news agency. All Iraqi officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to brief the press.Left unaddressed by Carter during his visit to Iraq was a possible change in course under President-elect Donald Trump when he takes office next month. Published: December 11, 2016 11:56 AM EST Updated: December 11, 2016 11:59 AM EST Author: AP Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. SHARE US defense secretary arrives in Iraq to assess Mosul fight
SPANISH National Railways has completed a further rationalisation of local rail services in Bilbao, with the diversion of suburban routes C1 and C2 from Santurtzi and Muskiz into the main terminus at Abando (RG 3.97 p153). This has involved reconstruction of an orbital freight line and construction of a 600m link between Amézola and Abando. New stations have been opened at Zab
UK: Infrastructure manager Network Rail purchased the assets of Hydrex Equipment (UK) Ltd’s rail division from administrator KPMG on November 17.Noting that Hydrex is a key supplier of on-track plant, Network Rail said the purchase would ensure business continuity and ‘brings to an end an extended period of uncertainty for Hydrex’s employees, customers and suppliers’. More than 300 road-rail vehicles and 531 rail division staff will transfer to Network Rail (NDS-Plant) Ltd, a new subsidiary, but the remaining contracting and plant divisions will be wound down. Discussions were held with the Office for Rail Regulation, Rail Plant Association, contractors, other Hydrex customers and unions before the deal went ahead. ‘This is not a step that Network Rail has taken lightly’, said Martin Elwood, National Delivery Service director. ‘Our priority in making this purchase is to ensure continuity of works. Once we have set in place a successful transition we will seek input from across the industry, including other on-track plant suppliers, about any impact on the marketplace.’
A picture of the map of Africa showing the countries that have confirmed cases of COVID-19./Africa CDC Related Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases pass 40,000 mark: Africa CDC The number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases across Africa rose from 84,634 Monday afternoon to 88,172 as of Tuesday afternoon, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Tuesday.The continental disease control and prevention agency, which noted that the virus has so far spread into 54 African countries, also disclosed that some 33,863 people who have been infected with the COVID-19 have recovered across the continent as of Tuesday afternoon.The death toll due to the COVID-19 pandemic across the African continent also surged from 2,766 on Monday afternoon to 2,835 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the Africa CDC.The Africa CDC currently estimates fatality rates of COVID-19 cases to be around 3.4 percent of all cases in the continent.The Africa CDC said that the Northern African region is the most affected area across the continent both in terms of positive COVID-19 cases, as well as the number of deaths. Africa’s COVID-19 cases surpass 80,000: Africa CDC Africa CDC: Africa’s COVID-19 cases surpass 84,634