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US orange production hit by disease, juice prices soar NEW YORK: A citrus disease spread by a tiny insect has devastated Florida's orange crop, which is expected to be the worst in nearly 30 years, and sent juice prices soaring on New York markets.The culprit? The gnat-sized Asian citrus psyllid, which is infecting citrus trees across the Sunshine State with huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, which causes fruit to taste bitter and fall from trees too soon."It feels we are losing the fight," said Ellis Hunt, the head of a family-run citrus farm spread over about 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) in the central Florida town of Lake Wales.The deadly bacteria has slashed his annual production over the past few years from one million boxes of fruit to 750,000.Citrus greening disease has become such a problem this year that the US government has lowered its forecast for the upcoming harvest four times.The latest figures, published earlier this month by the ...


Six killed in Everest avalanche: mountaineering official KATHMANDU: At least six climbers have been killed after an avalanche struck Mount Everest early Friday, the president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association told AFP."Rescuers have already retrieved four bodies and they are now trying to pull out two more bodies that are buried under snow," Ang Tshering Sherpa said.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014

Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay ROME: Italy's cash-strapped government has raised more than 370,000 euros by selling 52 luxury cars owned by the state through online auction site eBay, the prime minister's office has said.On the first day of sales, Rome managed to sell executive vehicles worth 371,400 euros ($513,000) from the sale of "auto blu" cars, the name given to those owned by ministers and state officials.The sell-off was sanctioned by the new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.He has pledged ...

Gunmen kill 20 at South Sudan UN base: US envoy UNITED NATIONS: Gunmen killed at least 20 people and wounded 70 others when they stormed a UN base in South Sudan, the US envoy to the world body said.Ambassador Samantha Power strongly condemned the "brazen, inhuman attack on unarmed civilians." The United Nations had previously said dozens of civilians from a rival tribe had been wounded in the "unprovoked" attack before peacekeepers fought them off.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014

US releases $450 mn in frozen Iran funds WASHINGTON: The United States has authorized the release of a $450 million installment in Iranian assets that were frozen as punishment for Tehran's disputed nuclear program, the State Department said Thursday.It came after a new report by the UN's nuclear watchdog found that Iran was complying with the terms of a November interim deal with world powers calling for a partial freeze to its controversial nuclear drive."Based on this confirmation and consistent with commitments the ...

Ex-Russian Alaska 'too cold' to annex, Putin jokes MOSCOW: In a patriotic fervour, Russians are asking President Vladimir Putin to bring back the US state of Alaska, sold off to the United States in Tsarist times. Putin's answer? It's too cold.During Putin's annual marathon phone-in session Thursday, when Russians pose questions to the Russian leader, a pensioner asked him to possibly follow the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine with the taking of Alaska."Faina Ivanovna, dear, why do you need Alaska?" Putin asked the ...

115 Nigeria schoolgirls still missing after kidnap: principal LAGOS: A Nigerian school principal on Thursday denied reports from the military that most of the students kidnapped from her school by Islamists were now safe, saying that only 14 of the 129 taken had escaped. "The report from the military is not true," Asabe Kwambura told AFP, referring to an official claim that only eight of the girls were still being held. She specified that Wednesday's report from the area's Governor Kashim Shettima that ...


 



 
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Annual2012/13
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MonthlyFebruary
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