Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The war against the Asian longhorned beetle, a hardwood tree-eating invasive insect, is heating up on Long Island after agencies battling the bug doubled the quarantine area, which now includes most of Amityville.This spring, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) expanded LI’s quarantine area from 23 to 51 miles. APHIS and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets also removed and destroyed infected trees last month along the Southern State Parkway in sections of East Farmingdale and West Babylon. Officials are additionally asking the public to do its part by keeping an eye out for the beetles.“The sooner we know where the beetles are, the sooner we can do something about it and the more trees we can save,” Rhonda Santos, spokeswoman for the APHIS Asian longhorned beetle eradication program, told the Press.The agency has identified 499 newly infested trees and chipped up 481 of the trees so far this year, according to Santos. A total of 2,467 trees on LI have been lost to the Asian longhorned beetle since it first arrived here 18 years ago.The beetle is native to China, but they first arrived in the United States in Brooklyn in 1996, having stowed away in cargo shipments. The infestation then spread to the rest of New York City and LI, as well as Massachusetts and Ohio.“This is a serious forest pest,” said Joseph Gittleman, the project manager for the APHIS program in Amityville. “It preys upon perfectly healthy hardwoods. It doesn’t target trees that are already stressed out or dying.”The recent removal of infested trees came after a West Babylon resident spotted an Asian longhorned beetle last year—the first sighting of the beetle on LI since 2008, in Amityville.Before the latest incident, the Island had made some progress in stopping the invasion. APHIS declared the eradication of the beetle from Islip in 2011.Residents can help by checking trees for the Asian longhorned beetle. The insect is about one inch in length and has a black body with white spots and long antennae. The white worm-like larvae feed on the vascular tissues of infested trees and then burrow out of the trees as adults, leaving dime-sized exit holes in the bark.“It’s a very striking beetle,” said Santos. “When you see it, it will give you pause. Even if you’re not sure, making a report is certainly better than not making one.”Those who find an Asian longhorned beetle are urged to take a picture and send the photo to APHIS or email the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Forest Health Program at [email protected] The beetle should be kept frozen in a plastic container in case officials want to inspect the specimen.An important way to prevent the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle is to only burn local firewood. The DEC only allows the import of firewood that has been heat-treated to kill pests. State regulations also prohibit the transportation of untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source.“If you’re cutting down trees for firewood, don’t give it away to your neighbors and don’t move it upstate,” said Gittleman. “Just use it up wherever you are.”For more information about the Asian longhorned beetle and other invasive species, visit this website set up for the first New York State Invasive Species Awareness Week, which runs through Saturday.
Topics : The contraction in China’s foreign trade is set to continue through the second quarter, as global demand remains depressed by measures to curb the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.Both exports and imports are forecast to have slumped 10 percent or more in March, with data due Tuesday expected to show a continuation of the declines seen in the first two months of the year. The outlook is grim too, with the World Trade Organization now saying that 2020 could see the worst collapse in international trade since the Great Depression.China’s shipments plateaued in 2019 due to the trade war with the US and slowing global growth, and the virus outbreak then caused the weakest start for any year since 2012 with exports dropping 17.2 percent from a year earlier in the first two months. Trading partners like the US potentially face many more months of shutdowns before consumption and manufacturing can return to normal. While much of the weakness in February’s data was due to China’s domestic measures to curb the initial outbreak, the irony is that companies are now getting back to work and nearing full capacity just as their overseas markets are closing.A majority of Chinese exporters have resumed over 70 percent of production capacity by March 30, according to the Ministry of Commerce, but factories are already seeing order cancellations.Policymakers across the globe have rushed to introduce stimulus to help their economies over the shutdowns and social distancing necessary to stop the spread of the virus, but there’s little sign of a peak in infections yet. In China, the State Council has ordered more measures to “stabilize trade” including building more cross-border e-commerce zones and moving the main trade fair online.However, with the world facing its worst recession since the 1930s this year and half the member nations of the International Monetary Fund already seeking aid, there’s little prospect of the trade situation improving soon. “If China’s major export markets including the EU and the US suffered in the second quarter due to the pandemic, it’s very likely that China’s exports will be hit hard during the period,” said Betty Wang, senior economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group in Hong Kong. “It won’t be surprising to see China’s exports fall year-on-year in double digits in the second quarter,” even if an increase in medicine-related shipments offsets the loss a little, she said.Her estimates are echoed by others. UBS economist Ning Zhang expects exports to decline by 20 percent between April and June, citing the coming recessions in the US, Europe, Japan, and some emerging economies. Macquarie Group Ltd.’s Larry Hu thinks it’s certain that export growth could fall further in the second quarter and a 13 percent decline in the whole of 2020 is his base case.The WTO’s optimistic scenario last week saw a 13 percent drop in the volume of international goods trade in 2020. The last such drop was in 2009, when trade volumes fell by 12 percent during the financial crisis. Their pessimistic scenario sees the volume of global goods trade dropping by as much as 32 percent this year.If that pessimistic case happens, Chinese exports could fall much more than 13 percent, according to Macquarie’s Hu.
Kane, 21, was chosen as Spurs captain after a week which has also seen him score on his England debut and make his first start for the national team. Kane said: “Yes you could say it has been the best week of my life – to score, to make my first start and score for England, and to be captain today. It has been an unbelievable couple of weeks and one I won’t forget for the rest of my career.” Harry Kane hailed the best week of his life despite his Tottenham side being held to a goalless draw at Burnley. It was a frustrating end to the week however as Burnley dug in to earn a precious point in their relegation battle and Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted a top-four place may now be beyond his side – they are seven points off fourth-placed Manchester City with a vastly inferior goal difference. Pochettino said: “It is difficult but we have seven games, we will try. It is true that it is not easy. This game was a very tough game and we need to try to win the most points possible in the next seven games. “The way Burnley play it is difficult, because always there is long balls into the box. They are a very aggressive team and run a lot. It is difficult to find space to play. “We played better in the second half and we made some chances but it was not enough to score. Three weeks ago Manchester City lost here. It is not an excuse but it is a very, very difficult team.” Pochettino confirmed Kyle Walker, who limped off, has a sprain but said it was “not a big issue”. Burnley manager Sean Dyche claimed the Clarets had the better of the match and rued a gilt-edged chance missed by Danny Ings, who shot straight at Michel Vorm when it seemed easier to score. He said: “I think we edged the game, but there was not a lot in it. “We kept the tempo high and kept pressing high. Danny has had a great chance and it was unlike him not to put it away, he almost hit it too cleanly. “Having said that we are pleased to get another clean sheet against a top side.” Dyche picked out Ashley Barnes for special praise but said the whole of his team had performed well against a Spurs side boasting four England players. The Burnley boss also said he was not too concerned by their struggles to find the net – they have only scored once in five games. He added: “I prefer to look at it as two clean sheets in last three games against some fantastic sides.” Burnley skipper Jason Shackell admitted the Clarets need to be more ruthless in front of goal. He said: “I’m a little disappointed. I thought we played well and we had a few chances. We need to be a bit more clinical between now and the end of the season but it’s another point and that’s a point in the right direction. “If Danny had put the ball in the back of the net of course it would have been different but he’s been phenomenal and will get a few more goals for us before the end of the season for sure. “We have said it from the beginning. We’re hard to beat, we’re organised and we’re not an easy game for anyone. We have seven big games to go and we’re looking forward to it.” Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson aimed a dig at Spurs substitute Andros Townsend after the match. The pair have exchanged words on Twitter in recent weeks over the striker’s appearances for England, with former Arsenal man Merson questioning Townsend’s value to the squad before he scored an impressive equaliser against Italy. Merson tweeted: “Just been watching the game @andros_townsend , did you miss the coach? #RubberDub #7minutes” Press Association
Bayern Munich pulled off a stunning 3-0 victory over Barcelona at the Nou Camp to complete a record Champions League semi-final aggregate win.Arjen Robben opened the scoring shortly after half-time when he cut in from the right and found the top corner.Gerard Pique turned Franck Ribery’s cross into his own net before Thomas Mueller headed in at the far post to complete the 7-0 aggregate rout.Bayern now meet fellow German side Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on 25 May.Jupp Heynckes’ side were beaten by Chelsea in last season’s Champions League final but, on the evidence of their two performances against the Catalan giants, it will take an almighty effort from Dortmund to prevent them winning their fifth European Cup.Barcelona, who left injured talismanic playmaker Lionel Messi on the bench, were once again outplayed by the brilliant Bavarians. And if Bayern’s first-leg demolition shook Europe, their second-leg dominance should ensure even bigger reverberations – such was the magnitude of their dominance in the Nou Camp.From Mario Mandzukic’s selfless work as the lone striker, to the slick pass and move skills of those behind him, the visitors outplayed Tito Vilanova’s side.Their ruthlessly efficient counter-attacks always carried a goal threat, to the extent that Barcelona were reluctant to commit enough men forward to seriously test the stout Bayern defence.Perhaps lifted by the absence of Messi, who is still struggling with a hamstring injury, Bayern started brightly and Pique had to be alert to deny both Robben and Philipp Lahm.Despite the onus being on them to score, Barca were not able to test Manuel Neuer until the 23rd minute – the Germany international goalkeeper tipping Pedro’s 25-yard shot over the bar. Content to let the Spanish side pass the ball about in their own half, Munich sat back and pounced on loose passes to mount dangerous counter-attacks on the beleaguered Barca backline.Xavi fired over for the hosts while, at the other end, Robben had a shot charged down.Something had to give, and it was Barcelona’s slim chances when, three minutes into the second half, David Alaba switched play to Robben, who expertly cut inside and curled a left-footed shot into the top corner.Not content with their commanding advantage, Bayern continued to counter and Pique summed up Barcelona’s evening when he failed to deal with Ribery’s cross from the left and shinned the ball past his own keeper Victor Valdes.The record aggregate victory was completed when Mueller rose highest at the far post to head home another super Ribery cross. It means their victory eclipses Manchester United’s 6-1 aggregate rout of Schalke in 2011, and while Sir Alex Ferguson’s side lost to Barcelona in the final that year it is difficult to see a similar fate befalling this mighty Munich side.
MASON CITY — A Mason City woman has pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and theft charges.34-year-old Amber Griffin was charged this past fall with four counts of insurance fraud by presenting false information and one count of second-degree theft after an investigation by the Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau. The bureau said the charges stemmed from an investigation that started back in February of last year as Griffin allegedly submitted multiple fraudulent insurance claims to her insurance company seeking reimbursement through her insurance policy.Griffin pleaded guilty on Monday to the charges, with court records stating that in return for her pleas prosecutors will recommend three years of probation, suspended five-year prison terms and that Griffin pay restitution.Her sentencing is scheduled for May 20th in Cerro Gordo County District Court.
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