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Thread: Oranges are not the only fruit

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    Default Oranges are not the only fruit

    Oranges are not the only fruit
    by Tim Wall

    Even though Russia’s election season is now officially over, the aftershocks continue to be felt.
    There is intense media speculation about the makeup and direction of President-elect Vladimir Putin’s new government.
    Will it be an economically liberal administration, looking West to the U.S. and Europe for inspiration, or a more state capitalist one, looking East with China as a model.
    Putin seems likely to try to balance these two tendencies, as he has previously, but this may not be easy.
    The struggle between different factions for prominence in the new government will also continue, as Putin will have to balance calls for austerity and cuts in social spending with his campaign promises to defend ordinary people’s jobs, salaries and pensions.
    One byproduct of this jockeying for power seems to be a desire to search out “closet supporters” of a so-called “Orange Revolution.”
    This is not really what it seems, however, as no one in the Russian elites, liberal or otherwise, actually wants a repeat of what happened in Ukraine after 2004 – where a disputed election turned into years of factional infighting and economic stagnation.
    What is really at stake is government policy, not some postelection coup or mass wave of street protests.
    And the question of an “Orange Revolution” itself is probably a red herring. Russia’s recent election protests, apart from being about ordinary people’s demand for fair elections, as much as anything were about dissatisfaction with the everyday conditions of life.
    The question is really whether the government can fix problems such as corruption, poverty, providing a decent future for the country’s young people – and renewing collapsing infrastructure. This includes everything from air safety and high-speed rail links to modern highways and fixing metro escalators. (In the time it takes Moscow to fix a single escalator, like at Park Kultury, for example, Chinese cities build a dozen metro stations.)
    So no, it’s not an “Orange Revolution” that Russia needs – it’s something more basic and yet fundamental. And that starts with fixing the escalators.


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    This piece shares a title with a coming-of-age novel about a lesbian girl in a pentecostal community. How odd.
    The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.

    It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called "Living"

    If you haven't heard a good rumour by 11am, start one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel K View Post
    This piece shares a title with a coming-of-age novel about a lesbian girl in a pentecostal community. How odd.
    I loved that book

  4. Exclamation

    Orange groves in Fla. ravaged by disease...

    Citrus Disease With No Cure Is Ravaging Florida Groves
    May 9, 2013 — Florida’s citrus industry is grappling with the most serious threat in its history: a bacterial disease with no cure that has infected all 32 of the state’s citrus-growing counties.
    Although the disease, citrus greening, was first spotted in Florida in 2005, this year’s losses from it are by far the most extensive. While the bacteria, which causes fruit to turn bitter and drop from the trees when still unripe, affects all citrus fruits, it has been most devastating to oranges, the largest crop. So many have been affected that the United States Department of Agriculture has downgraded its crop estimates five months in a row, an extraordinary move, analysts said.

    With the harvest not yet over, orange production has already decreased 10 percent from the initial estimate, a major swing, they said. “The long and short of it is that the industry that made Florida, that is synonymous with Florida, that is a staple on every American breakfast table, is totally threatened,” said Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who helped obtain $11 million in federal money for research to fight the disease. “If we don’t find a cure, it will eliminate the citrus industry.”

    The relentless migration of the disease from southern to northern Florida — and beyond — has deepened concerns this year among orange juice processors, investors, growers and lawmakers. Florida is the second-largest producer of orange juice in the world, behind Brazil, and the state’s $9 billion citrus industry is a major economic force, contributing 76,000 jobs. The industry, lashed over the years by canker disease, hard freezes and multiple hurricanes, is no stranger to hardship. But citrus greening is by far the most worrisome.

    The disease, which can lie dormant for two to five years, is spread by an insect no larger than the head of a pin, the Asian citrus psyllid. It snacks on citrus trees, depositing bacteria that gradually starves trees of nutrients. Psyllids fly from tree to tree, leaving a trail of infection. Concerted efforts by growers and millions of dollars spent on research to fight the disease have so far failed, growers and scientists said. The situation was worsened this season by an unusual weather pattern, including a dry winter, growers said. “We have got a real big problem,” said Vic Story, a lifelong citrus grower and the head of The Story Companies, which owns 2,000 acres of groves in Central Florida and manages an additional 3,000 acres, all of which are affected at varying levels. “It’s definitely the biggest threat in my lifetime, and I’m 68. This is a tree killer.”


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