Boeing pushes space station as launchpad for Mars

first_imgIt may not be as cool as the sci-fi space stations in shows such as Star Trek but this could be the launch platform for a manned mission to Mars.US aerospace giant Boeing wants to build a deep space gateway and transport system that would be positioned in “cislunar’’ space near the moon.The station  is being developed as part of NASA’s Space Launch System and would be called the Deep Space Gateway.The aerospace company said the habitat could support critical research and help open opportunities for global government or commercial partnerships in deep space, including lunar missions.“The ability to simultaneously launch humans and cargo on SLS (Space Launch System) would allow us to assemble the gateway in four launches in the early 2020s,” said Pete McGrath, director of global sales and marketing for Boeing’s space exploration division.The company said the gateway could become a waypoint for Mars missions and host a deep space transport vehicle capable of taking humans to the red planet.Both the station and transport vehicle would use solar electric propulsions developed for satellites.Solar electric propulsion uses a combination of an ion drive and solar panels to power a spacecraft and is 10 times more efficient than conventional liquid fuel systems.According to details revealed last year, the scheme would see Boeing assembling the station between  2021 and 2025.It would use five launches of NASA’s Space Launch System to boost two habitat modules, an airlock, a logistics module, and a power bus and augmentation module into space.Boeing’s vice president and general manager for space technology John Elbon told journalists the space station would be an interim step for a journey Mars.Crews would spend the rest of the 2020s evaluating environmental control and life support, habitability, logistics, operational procedures and vehicle systems in the radiation-rich environment of deep space,  website space.com quoted Elbon as saying.A mission to Mars orbit would follow in the early 2030s followed by a landing in the mid- to late 2030s.Entrepreneur Elon Musk is also planning a Mars mission but the timeline has changed several times.Musk’s company had originally planned to put a lander called Red Dragon on Mars in 2022 but then moved the target to 2018.Earlier this year, it moved the date again to 2020.SpaceX plans to follow up the landing with a manned mission.last_img read more



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Livestock haulers get another waiver from ELD rule

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) granted drivers who haul livestock an additional 90-day waiver from a regulation that could have negative effects on animal well-being.A DOT rule issued in 2015 required truckers of commercial vehicles involved in interstate commerce to replace their paper driving logs with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) by Dec. 18, 2017. In September 2017, the National Pork Producers Counci petitioned the agency for a waiver and exemption from the requirement, and DOT provided an initial 90-day waiver — until March 18 — from the mandate for livestock haulers. A final decision on the request for an exemption still is pending.ELDs, which can cost from $200 to $1,000 plus a $30 to $50 monthly fee, record driving time, engine hours, vehicle movement and speed, miles driven and location information. They electronically report that data to federal and state inspectors and supposedly help the DOT enforce its Hours of Service regulation. That rule limits commercial truckers to 11 hours of driving time and 14 consecutive hours of on-duty time in any 24-hour period. Once drivers reach that limit, they must pull over and wait 10 hours before driving again.But because livestock such as pigs are vulnerable to health issues triggered by extreme temperatures, long-established industry standards preclude drivers from stopping while hauling animals, and that could run them afoul of the ELD and Hours of Service rules, NPPC argued in asking DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Raymond Martinez for the waivers.“The U.S. pork industry is grateful to DOT Secretary [Elaine] Chao and FMCSA Administrator Martinez for this additional waiver from the ELD rule, which poses some serious challenges for livestock haulers and the animals in their care,” said Jim Heimerl, NPPC president and a pork producer from Johnstown. “This will provide the department and Congress additional time to find a solution that meets the unique needs of livestock haulers.“Drivers transporting livestock have a moral obligation to care for the animals they’re hauling regardless of any regulation.”DOT did exempt from the Hours of Service regulations and from any distance-logging requirements truckers hauling livestock within a 150-air-mile radius of the location at which animals were loaded, but the exemption is not uniformly recognized and its implementation varies by state.U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue also applauded the agriculture exemption from the ELD mandate.“The ELD mandate imposes restrictions upon the agriculture industry that lack flexibility necessary for the unique realities of hauling agriculture commodities. If the agriculture industry had been forced to comply by the March 18 deadline, live agricultural commodities, including plants and animals, would have been at risk of perishing before they reached their destination. The 90-day extension is critical to give DOT additional time to issue guidance on hours-of-service and other ELD exemptions that are troubling for agriculture haulers,” Perdue said. “Current ELD technologies do not recognize the hours-of-service exemptions for agriculture that are in federal law, leaving drivers to do twice the work by requiring use of both the ELD and traditional paper logs. This is a classic example of a one-size-fits-all federal regulation that ignores common sense to the detriment of sectors like agriculture.”For more information on the hours-of-service exemption for agriculture shipments, visit this U.S. DOT web page: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/eld-hours-service-hos-and-agriculture-exemptions.last_img read more



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Trump, Abe Signal Deal

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jerry HagstromDTN Political CorrespondentWASHINGTON, D.C. (DTN) — President Donald Trump and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Sunday that the two countries have reached a trade deal that will involve large Japanese purchases of U.S. corn and wheat.In a report Saturday, Nikkei, a Japanese news organization, reported that Japan had agreed to grant the United States the same level of tariffs on agricultural products that other countries have gotten through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), from which Trump withdrew, in exchange for an exemption from Trump’s proposal to increase auto tariffs.At a joint news conference on the sidelines of the G-7 meeting in France, Trump said, “We’ve been working on a deal with Japan for a long time. It involves agricultural and it involves e-commerce and many other things. It’s a very big transaction, and we’ve agreed in principle. It’s billions and billions of dollars. Tremendous for the farmers.”“And one of the things that Prime Minister Abe has also agreed to is we have excess corn in various parts of our country, with our farmers, because China did not do what they said they were going to do,” Trump said. “And Prime Minister Abe, on behalf of Japan, they’re going to be buying all of that corn. And that’s a very big transaction. They’re going to be buying it from our farmers.”“So the deal is done in principle.”Trump and Abe both said they probably will be signing it around the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York in September.The deal comes after a difficult month for farmers with higher tariffs promised for China and EPA granting 31 waivers to oil refiners from Renewable Fuel Standard obligations. The president has been looking for a win in agriculture.“This is a tremendous deal for the United States,” Trump said. “It’s a really, tremendous deal for our farmers and agricultural ranchers, and also involves other things, including, as I said, e-commerce.”Abe said that the two countries had “successfully reached consensus with regard to the core elements of both the agricultural and industrial products of our bilateral consultations on August the 23rd. And I certainly welcome this development.”Trump then told Abe, “Perhaps you may want to discuss the additional purchase of all of that corn, because we have a tremendous amount right now. And we’ve been working with the farmers and making very, very large payments for the unfair way they were treated by China.”“And the farmers are very happy,” Trump said. “They like — they like their president. They’re very happy. But I think it’s even better, and I think they’re even happier, when they hear you’re actually buying their products.“So perhaps you could say a couple of words just about the hundreds of millions of dollars of corn – existing corn – that’s there, that you’ll be buying.”While Trump’s remarks made the decision to buy U.S. corn sound almost like a favor, Abe indicated that Japan needs the corn.“So with regard to the potential purchase of American corn, in Japan we are now experiencing insect pest on some of the agricultural products,” Abe said.“And there is a need for us to buy a certain amount of agricultural products. And this will be done by the Japanese private sector. That means that Japanese corporations will need to buy additional agricultural products.“And we believe that there is a need for us to implement emergency support measures for the Japanese private sector to have the early purchase of the American corn.”Trump responded, “And the Japanese private sector listens to the Japanese public sector very strongly. I’m not sure. It’s a little different than it is in our country perhaps. But they are – they have great respect for the public sector. So when I hear the private sector has agreed to this, we’re very happy about that.”Trump later tweeted, “Big Trade Deal just agreed to with Prime Minister Abe of Japan. Will be great for our Farmers, Ranchers and more. Really big Corn purchase!”Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue pointed out, “Japan is a significant market for United States agriculture exports, making today a good day for American agriculture. By removing existing barriers for our products, we will be able to sell more to the Japanese markets. At the same time we will able to close gaps to better allow us to compete on a level playing field with our competitors. I thank President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for their constant support of America’s farmers and ranchers and their hard work negotiating better trade deals around the globe.”At Trump’s urging, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said, “Well, first of all, what we have is an agreement on core principles.”“It has three parts: agriculture, industrial tariffs, and digital trade. And from our point of view, it is extremely important to our farmers and ranchers and those people who work in the digital space.“We’ll get into the details at another time, but generally, Japanese is our third-largest agricultural market. They import about $14 billion worth of U.S. agricultural products. And this will open up markets to over $7 billion of those products.“In the agriculture area, it will be a major benefit for beef, pork, wheat, dairy products, wine, ethanol, and a variety of other products.“It will lead to substantial reductions in tariffs and non-tariff barriers across the board. And I’ll just give you one example: Japan is, by far, our biggest beef market. We sell over $2 billion worth of beef to Japan. And this allows us to do with lower tariffs and to compete more effectively with people across the board, particularly the TPP countries and Europe.“So it’s very good news for our farmers and ranchers, but it’s also good news for those who work in the digital e-commerce space where it is the gold standard of an international agreement. This is an area that not only has been important to the President but been of particular importance to the prime minister.”Trump added, “This is a massive purchase of wheat also, in addition to everything else. This is a very large purchase of wheat, and the very, very large order of corn will go quickly. But importantly, it’s something that wasn’t in the agreement that we may not even — we may do that as a supplementary agreement. But we appreciate that very much. We just agreed to that on the other idea of the door.”“So I just appreciate that very much. And we’ll do a great job. And the farmers are very thankful. Thank you very much.”American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, “America’s farmers and ranchers are pleased to hear that the U.S. and Japan may be close to a trade deal that includes agriculture.”“This is much-needed good news on the agricultural trade front,” Duvall said.National Pork Producers Council President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C., said, “We thank the Trump administration for negotiating a trade agreement with Japan, a market that represented 25 percent of total U.S. pork exports last year. We look forward to rapid implementation of the agreement as international competitors are currently taking U.S. pork market share through more favorable access. he said.“The United States produces the safest, highest-quality and most affordable pork in the world. It is the preference of many Japanese customers and we look forward to competing on a level playing field again.”An executive vice president for the U.S Chamber of Commerce called the announcement “a welcome step in the right direction,” but called for a comprehensive trade deal between the two countries. “American companies and agriculture exporters are at a clear disadvantage to their Asia-Pacific and European counterparts in the absence of a comprehensive trade deal with Japan,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Brilliant added, “Given the existing volatility and uncertainty in global markets, today’s news that the administration is making progress in talks with Japan, one of our most important trading partners, is a welcome step in the right direction. However, the U.S. Chamber strongly urges the Trump Administration to continue its efforts to reach a comprehensive, high-standard agreement that addresses the full range of U.S. trade priorities from services and intellectual property protection to regulatory barriers. By securing that broader agreement, the administration will spur significant economic growth, create U.S. jobs, and open up other avenues for expanding our market access and commercial ties to the vital Asia-Pacific region.”DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton contributed to this report.Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at jhagstrom@njdc.comFollow him on Twitter @hagstromreport(SK)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more



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Dalit man ‘forced to drink urine’ in Punjab

first_imgThe Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission on Friday sought a report from the police over the alleged incident of a Dalit man being beaten and forced to drink urine at Changaliwala village in Sangrur.Tejinder Kaur, chairperson of the Commission, said that the details about the incident have been sought from Sangrur Senior Superintendent of Police.“The Commission has come to know about the incident through newspapers and had taken suo moto notice of it,” she said in a statement.The Sangrur Police had booked three residents of Changaliwala village for allegedly forcing the victim to drink urine.last_img



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10 months agoLeicester boss Claude Puel hails unity for Chelsea shock

first_imgLeicester boss Claude Puel hails unity for Chelsea shockby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City boss Claude Puel hailed their unity for victory at Chelsea.Jamie Vardy scored the only goal of the game early in the second half.“We played this game with confidence and the right mentality away at Chelsea, a good team with great players,” Puel said at full-time.“In this game, we played with a fantastic togetherness. Perhaps in the first half, we were disappointed because we could have used the ball with more quality.“We wasted some good opportunities in the first half but our togetherness and our defensive aspect was fantastic. We scored a goal with a fantastic move and I was happy for Jamie.“It was a clinical goal and fantastic service from Maddy [James Maddison] also. We continued to defend like a team with 11 players with the mentality to keep this result.”That togetherness – which saw all players put their bodies on the line to defend in the latter moments – was the most pleasing factor for Puel to reflect on in his post-match assessment.“It’s a fantastic reward for the team because we managed this game very well,” Puel added. “We were a little lucky in the end when they hit the post, but I am happy for the players.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more



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Here’s An Adorable Photo Of Sam Ponder’s Daughter Teaching Lee Corso How To Use An IPad

first_imgLee Corso seen with Sam Ponder's daughter.scout ponder teaches lee corsoWith college football just around the corner, it looks like ESPN’s College GameDay cast and crew are starting to meet up to get ready for the 2016 campaign. Sam Ponder, one of the show’s co-hosts, posted an absolutely adorable photo from the group’s meet-up today.Yep, that’s analyst Lee Corso with Scout Ponder – Sam’s two-year-old daughter. Scout is teaching the 80-year-old Corso how to use an iPad. Enjoy:last_img



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Bureau of Gender Affairs to Implement Ambassador Programme in Schools

first_img The Bureau of Gender Affairs is to shortly implement its Gender Ambassador Programme in schools Islandwide. The Gender Ambassador Programme is part of the government’s ten-year National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-based Violence in Jamaica. The Bureau of Gender Affairs is to shortly implement its Gender Ambassador Programme in schools Islandwide.The initiative seeks to raise awareness on gender roles and stereotypes and to promote self-care, healthy relationships and leadership development among youth.It also aims to engage the youth on what is gender-based violence (GBV) and ways to reduce the prevalence of GBV in Jamaica.Director, Policy and Research, at the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Sharon Coburn Robinson made the announcement at a JIS Think Tank held recently.Mrs Coburn Robinson said the gender ambassadors would be selected by their principals or guidance counsellors and would be “exemplary students who have displayed good character and who they think would be impactful in their space.”“We also want to use them once they have been dubbed gender ambassadors officially, to impact their schools as well as their communities,” she stated.So far, Mrs Coburn Robinson said students from about ten schools Islandwide have been trained on key aspects of gender-based violence (GBV).She said topics such as “what is gender, how does it mean to be a boy or girl, how to treat a girl if you are a boy, self-esteem, leadership, careers and goal setting decisions and leadership” were discussed with the students.The Director pointed out that it is important for the Bureau to engage the youth, citing the findings of the Women’s Health Survey 2016, which revealed that intimate physical violence is most prevalent among women ages 25 to 29, followed by 15 to 19 and 20 to 24.The Gender Ambassador Programme is part of the government’s ten-year National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-based Violence in Jamaica. Story Highlights Mrs Coburn Robinson said the gender ambassadors would be selected by their principals or guidance counsellors and would be “exemplary students who have displayed good character and who they think would be impactful in their space.”last_img read more



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Dr. Tufton Urges Precaution Against Dengue

first_img He said that while there has been an “unusually high” number of reported cases of dengue in the island, this is not remarkable for this time of the year, reiterating that there is no outbreak of the virus. Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is urging precaution against the dengue fever virus, including destroying mosquito breeding sites in and around the home. “Right now, there is a concern that we have an outbreak of dengue by those persons who do not have the data and who are understandably concerned, particularly if they know someone or have a relative or friend who is affected by signs or symptoms of dengue. We cannot classify the situation as an outbreak. We can say, however, that there are cases and we need to be vigilant,” he said. Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is urging precaution against the dengue fever virus, including destroying mosquito breeding sites in and around the home.He said that while there has been an “unusually high” number of reported cases of dengue in the island, this is not remarkable for this time of the year, reiterating that there is no outbreak of the virus.“Right now, there is a concern that we have an outbreak of dengue by those persons who do not have the data and who are understandably concerned, particularly if they know someone or have a relative or friend who is affected by signs or symptoms of dengue. We cannot classify the situation as an outbreak. We can say, however, that there are cases and we need to be vigilant,” he said.Dr. Tufton was addressing the Pesticides Control Authority’s (PCA) annual awards ceremony at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on December 4.Dengue fever is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and symptoms include sudden onset of high fever with severe headache, fatigue, pain behind the eyes, muscle, bone or joint pain, skin rash and vomiting or feeling nauseous.Rest and adequate hydration are recommended to combat the symptoms and acetaminophen/paracetamol for the treatment of fever. The Ministry is warning the public not to use aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, or any of the medications/pain relievers known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as these have been known to increase the severity of the disease.Additionally, some persons may develop a rare complication of dengue fever referred to as dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), which may result in bleeding, including internal bleeding.The Ministry recommends that immediate medical attention should be sought once a person with a fever begins to vomit, have severe abdominal pain, bleeding under the skin (petechial rash), feels very weak, or gets confused.To prevent against contracting dengue, persons are advised to eliminate mosquito breeding sites by discarding items that collect water (old drums, used tyres, plastic containers); installing mosquito netting over the bed; wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants outdoors; using DEET-containing mosquito repellent; and regularly changing water in animal and pet containers.The PCA awards ceremony recognised staff members and partners of the PCA for their service to the agriculture sector and ensuring healthy food.More than 11 PCA stakeholders were recognised across the following categories: Most Innovative Low Toxicity Pesticide Registered in 2018; Most Compliant Farm Stores; Highest Marks in Pest Control Examination 2018. Story Highlightslast_img read more



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Controversial US education secretary to visit Ontario on public education trip

first_imgTORONTO – U.S. President Donald Trump’s education secretary, who holds controversial views on publicly funded education, is set to visit Ontario to learn about its public school system.Ontario government officials confirmed Betsy DeVos’ trip is taking place but wouldn’t provide details. U.S. embassy officials provided few specifics, except to say DeVos’ visit is on Thursday and Friday and involves a study tour to Toronto “to examine best practices in Ontario’s education system.”“Secretary DeVos plans to engage with Ministry of Education officials from Ontario and other provinces, visit local schools, and learn about U.S. Consulate support for U.S.-Canada higher education linkages,” spokesman Joseph Crook said in a statement.The province often welcomes international delegations who come to look at its publicly funded education system, said Ontario Education Minister Mitzie Hunter.“We’re very proud of our education system in Ontario and we welcome international delegations who come here to learn from us and to really meet our great teachers and educators in our system,” she said.When asked what lessons the American school system can learn from Ontario, Hunter cited full-day kindergarten, graduation rates, specialist high skills major programs — such as agriculture, construction and forestry — and inclusive education.DeVos’ department of education rolled back rules allowing transgender students to use school restrooms of their choice this year. She has also attracted protests recently for revoking a guidance that instructed colleges on how to handle sexual assault cases, saying the previous policy was unfairly skewed against those accused of assault.But much of the criticism directed at DeVos has focused on her positions on public schools, with critics saying she prioritizes the needs of private schools.She advocates for school choice, which includes vouchers that allow kids to attend charter schools — which are publicly funded but privately operated — or private schools on the public dime.Ontario teachers’ organizations and unions expressed disappointment at news of the visit.“DeVos represents everything a public education advocate opposes,” Ontario Teachers’ Federation president Chris Cowley wrote on Twitter. “She should keep her backwards ideas out of Ontario.”The head of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation said in a statement that he is “extremely concerned” about plans to allow DeVos to visit Ontario schools.“Ms. DeVos is a vocal proponent of programs that divert government funding away from public education and into private hands, to pay for tuition at private and religious schools,” Harvey Bischof wrote in a statement.“The Ministry of Education should reconsider this visit and send a strong, clear message to Ms. DeVos and other proponents of privatization that public education in Ontario is not for sale.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously attributed Ontario Teachers’ Federation comments to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario.last_img read more



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Misrepresenting product as kosher could cause spiritual trauma court says

first_imgTORONTO — A Toronto-area flour company has been ordered to pay $25,000 for misrepresenting a cake mix as kosher, after an Ontario court said the move could cause “spiritual trauma” to consumers who bought the product for religious reasons.A small-claims court found earlier this month that Adee Flour Mills breached its contract with the Kashruth Council of Canada, one of the country’s biggest kosher certification agencies, by misusing its logo on a devil’s food cake mix that was not, in fact, certified as kosher.Deputy Judge Lai-King Hum ordered the Mississauga, Ont.-based company to pay the council $20,000 for the breach and the harm it caused to the council’s reputation, as well as $5,000 in punitive damages for the potential harm to consumers.“Since the products that are not authorized to be kosher certified are sold to unsuspecting consumers who adhere to a kosher diet for religious reasons, the failure to adhere to a kosher diet could foreseeably result in spiritual trauma,” the decision said.“I find the defendant Adee’s actions are highly reprehensible, departing markedly from the ordinary standards of decent behaviour, as there is foreseeable harm to the innocent consumer.”The deputy judge did not, however, order the company to stop selling the products and pull them from stores, saying such orders are outside the small-claims court’s jurisdiction.Richard Rabkin, the Kashruth Council’s managing director, said the organization has reached out to others in the kosher community to alert them of the issue with the product.“I think the message is loud and clear here, that a company that engages in this sort of behaviour is unacceptable,” he said in an interview.He stressed it’s “extremely uncommon” to see a company act in this way, noting that most are happy to comply with the kosher program in order to market their products to those consumers.“This was obviously an exceptional situation where you had a company that was basically flouting the law and doing so even after they had been advised and representing themselves as kosher when they weren’t,” he said.Adee could not immediately be reached for comment. The company did not file a defence in the case, according to the court decision.The document shows Adee was granted kosher certification in May 2016 but it was revoked more than a year later after the company failed to pay the annual certification fee, despite several calls and emails from the council.In April of last year, the council learned that one of its rabbis found one of Adee’s Easy Bake devil’s food cake mixes bearing the kosher certification logo during a routine inspection at a factory store, the decision said.The council testified that Adee products with the logo continued to be sold as late as November, it said. The organization argued that diluted its trademark and undermined its reputation.It’s not the first time a company has been accused of trying to pass off products as kosher.A Toronto-area food manufacturer and distributor was charged in 2017 after allegedly forging documents to knowingly sell non-kosher cheddar cheese to Jewish summer camps in the summer of 2015.Creation Foods Co. was fined $25,000 after pleading guilty to two counts of contravening the Food and Drugs Act, according to a release by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.The agency said at the time it was the first case in Canada brought before a provincial court in connection with the misrepresentation of a kosher food product.“The fine is significant and may lead to improved future compliance under this statute,” it said.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img read more



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