State Department Of Health Approves Increase In Childcare Group Size

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) WNY News Now File Image.ALBNAY – The New York State Department of Health has approved an increase in group size for childcare centers around the state.The news was announced late last week that the department will increase group size to 15 children per room where age appropriate.Supporters of the change say it will help ensure childcare availability across the State.The previous recommendation was a maximum group size of 10. The initial changes to group sizes for childcare and day camp programs came as the state continues its fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.last_img

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Energy in organics

first_imgU.S. Department of Agriculture WASHINGTON – The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences recently received $45,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address energy concerns in organic farming.“More and more farmers are adopting organic agriculture practices to produce quality food and boost farm income,” said Roger Beachy, director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. “These research and extension projects will equip producers with the tools and resources they need to operate profitable and sustainable organic farms.”Energy in organic farming needs further research and discussion, he said. The grant is designed to development a proposal to address energy in organic farming. Stakeholders will discuss the current state of energy as it pertains to organic farming, helping organize research questions and outreach needs.Since the late 1990s, U.S. organic production has grown. Now, more than two-thirds of U.S. consumers buy organic products at least occasionally, and 28 percent buy organic products weekly.last_img read more

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40 Under 40

first_imgShane Curry’s work with blueberries, pecans and organics in southeastern Georgia has helped garner the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent a 40 under 40 recognition by Great American Media Services, publishers of Fruit Grower News and Vegetable Growers News.Curry, who has worked in Extension for 12 years, including seven years in his current post in Appling County, has participated in UGA blueberry research trials that have helped Georgia ascend to the top of the national rankings in blueberry production. He will be honored at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market on Dec. 4, 2018, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.“It feels good when you consider there’s only 40 of us being honored across the nation and the university has two of those 40 on there,” Curry said. Extension vegetable plant pathologist Bhabesh Dutta was also selected. “It’s a great honor when the work you do for the better part of your career gets recognized — that’s a great achievement.”The award recognizes outstanding young professionals in the nation’s fruit and vegetable industry who demonstrate excellent commitment to making their mark through innovation and leadership.Appling County is the third-largest blueberry-producing county in Georgia and the largest organic blueberry-producing county in the state.Through research trials with UGA specialists in Appling County, Curry found a way to combat nematodes, which are microscopic parasites that attack the plant’s roots. Using soil fumigants and adding pine bark mulch when blueberry bushes have to be replanted helps to fight pests, specifically nematodes, according to Curry.Growers typically plant new blueberry plants every 10 years or when diseases and other problems reach a certain threshold. Curry’s research emphasizes the need to combine soil fumigants with pine bark before treating the soil prior to replanting. This greatly reduces the nematode populations and slows the pest’s development.“The plants growing with added pine bark reacted better than those with soil fumigants alone. Growers have been using pine bark with highbush blueberries for years, so this isn’t new. It does reiterate that we don’t need to cut corners or try to save money by leaving pine bark out,” Curry said.He’s also part of a coordinated effort between Extension agents and specialists to research blueberry leaf rust. This foliar disease causes small spots to appear on blueberry leaves. Infected leaves usually drop prematurely, and defoliation leads a reduce number of blooms and lower yields the following year, he said.Curry’s disease research centers on a newer fungicide that works extremely well on blueberry leaf rust. Instead of multiple applications, this treatment only requires one or two sprays.He said Extension research is underway to determine a yield impact as a result of this fungicide, and the group is working toward getting a label for the chemical treatment.Curry also started and coordinates the Southeast Georgia Pecan Field Day each year in Baxley, Georgia, where more than 200 pecan growers from eighteen counties attend. He is considered an area expert in pecan trees and has been invited to multiple meetings across Georgia to give presentations on pecan production.Appling County is diverse in its agricultural production. According to Curry, every year the county produces around 30,000 acres of cotton, 10,000 acres of peanuts, 5,000 acres of corn, 1,000 acres of tobacco and 2,000 acres of pecans. There are also about 25 acres of strawberries.“Things are constantly changing so you’ve got to know a lot about a lot of different things. You could easily be focused on blueberries and then get a call on cotton,” Curry said. “You have to be very diverse and knowledgeable of all those things and be able to help a farmer when you receive a call on any one crop.“If there’s one thing about Extension, it’s not the same thing every day and that’s what I like about it.”(Julie Jernigan was an intern on the UGA Tifton campus.)last_img read more

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Snowsports Industry Association Ticks Off 60 Years with Industry in High Spirits

first_imgTwo weeks ago, the snowsports industry celebrated it’s 60th year working together to improve the sport.Whether it was the feet of snow falling in the mountains, Colorado skier visits up in the double digits, record sales numbers, the Broncos in the Super Bowl, freshly legalized marijuana in Denver, or a combination of all of the above, the annual Snow Show in the Mile High City was full of optimism.The show moved from Vegas to Denver in 2010 after 37 years as organizers hoped to put the “snow” back in “Snow Show.” This year marks SIA’s 60th anniversary.The 2014 SIA Snow Show took place January 30-February 2, 2014 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver; followed by the On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest at Copper Mountain Resort February 3-4.Copper Mountain welcomed the demo days with open arms as it moved from Winter Park Resort with two days of alpine-oriented gear testing and one day of Nordic demos. Coinciding SIA-sponsored demo days took place in other regions around the country during the same time span. The event was sold-out. Copper is home to the U.S. Ski, U.S. Snowboarding, and U.S. Freeskiing Teams and the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center — the only full-length training venue of its kind in the world available early season.The show follows the momentum of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, the ISPO trade show in Munich, the X-Games in Aspen, and also served as a send-off to Sochi.“It’s been fabulous this year; we’ve had a lot of cold weather, a lot of snow,” said retailer Bob Thomas of Skier’s Peak, Bloomfield Hills, MI. “We’re considerably up from last year. As long as we keep the cold weather coming we’ll be in good shape.”Recent SIA data for August-December indicated $2.2 billion in snow sports retail sales. And a record holiday sales season was tempered only by severe drought in the Sierra and Cascade mountains.DPS Skis was one of the hot ticket items at this year's SnowShow in Denver. DPS Skis was one of the hot ticket items at this year’s SnowShow in Denver.The Show kicked off with a “Sendoff to Sochi” opening ceremony led by Doug Lewis (1984 and1988 Olympian and Alpine Analyst for Universal Sports), where Lewis named team members and revealed official uniforms for the U.S. Alpine, Freestyle, Freeski and Snowboarding teams developed by Spyder, Columbia, The North Face and Burton. “The relationship between SIA and USSA is really pivotal to the success of our athletes,” said Tom Kelly, Vice President Communications, USSA.The ceremony also included video thank you messages from athletes to the industry, and officials from the city of Denver, USSA, SIA Board Members and industry leaders. Klaus Obermeyer added his signature yodel, which he’s done at the end of the Snow Show for 30 years.“This is an exciting moment for everyone in snow sports,” said David Ingemie, SIA president. “Walking the Show this year, you couldn’t help but appreciate the huge amount of time and talent required to forge innovation on this scale. And there isn’t one ski or snowboard athlete going to Sochi that hasn’t benefited from our industry’s collective determination to innovate.”SIA hosted a special screening of the critically acclaimed documentary The Crash Reel on the first night of the show, with Kevin Pearce and his brother Adam on hand to take questions from the audience.The annual SIA/SOS Outreach Hockey Shootout went down again at the Pepsi Center following the Colorado Avalanche/Minnesota Wild game Thursday night. The game benefits Save Our Snow with snowboard/ski industry members from U.S. and Canada squaring off against NHL alumni.Day Two began with a breakfast co-hosted by Protect Our Winters (POW), SIA and Aspen Skiing Company’s Environment Foundation where Rolling Stone contributing editor Jeff Goodell spoke about “Field Notes From The Climate Wars” to a full house. “We’ve hit several milestones in the last six months for Protect Our Winters and today is one of them, where we officially have this climate discussion at the SIA Snow Show,” said Jeremy Jones, founder and CEO of Protect Our Winters.Jones screened the trailer of “Higher,” the third movie in his trilogy, in the Backcountry Experience — an exhibit that drew enthusiasts across the industry to safety seminars, expert appearances, panel discussions and happy hours. Featuring backcountry products from more than 50 brands, Backcountry Experience connects suppliers, retailers, reps and the media invested in cultivating the backcountry category. “We’re trying to affect human behavior and some basic understanding in newcomers to the backcountry – trying to make people aware – and consistency is very important,” said Kim Miller of SCARPA.“The main reason I wanted to come to the SIA Snow Show was to visit Rental World,” said Adrian Spiker of Deep Creek Marina, McHenry, MD. “I’ve sent other people to check out the Show in other years, but Rental World is what pushed me over the edge to come this year.”“We’ve got friends from different companies that we catch up with while we’re here and we look forward to that, but so far we’ve kind of been going with the flow,” said Kara Gabriel and Agatha Lugowski, buyers for Big White Ski Resort in Colona, BC.Sponsored by TransWorld Business, the BlueBird Social Zone hosted seminars to help retailers in their day-to-day social marketing efforts. Also prominent were celebrations like The Assembly, a convention where snow sports stakeholders presented on the importance of year-round mountain tourism.Trend forecasters predicted that fashion is finally settling down in snowsports apparel, with hues and patterns inspired by arctic landscapes and by academia. Heritage and native patterns continue to affect apparel and accessories; along with more blended wools, blended down, and increasingly technical fabric technologies. Just like in outdoors and in run, color continues to be an important story.Day Two culminated with recognition of specialty retailers and reps from the United States and Canada who received 2013 SnowSports Rep and Retailer of the Year awards. Shops from seven regions in the U.S. and six regions in Canada were honored and nine U.S. reps and six Canadian reps were also honored.At the 15th annual TransWorld SNOWboarding Riders’ Poll Awards at the Odgen Theatre, the best riders, video parts and performances of the year were voted on and honored. With Emcee’s Preston Strout and Jack Mitrani at the helm, top riders were recognized for the best in individual progression and style and filmmakers were awarded for excellence. This year’s TransWorld SNOWboarding Legend Award went to Bryan Iguchi, recognizing his lifetime of commitment and contribution to snowboarding.OIWC kicked off Day Three by announcing the winners of the 2014 Pioneering Woman and First Ascent Awards and a panel discussion on the economic future of the snow. During the breakfast, OIWC announced Laura Fergusson, Arc’teryx as the recipient of the First Ascent award and Kathy MGuire, K2 the Pioneering award winner. Following the awards, Kelly Davis of SIA hosted a panel discussion entitled The Money Stash: Uncovering the Economic Future of the Snow. One of panelist, Anne-Marie Dacyshyn, VP of marketing for Burton Snowboards, joked with the audience: “The secret to capturing a woman’s heart is three more hours of sleep.”The panel discussion focused on the women’s market – being called the most significant and profitable opportunity in the snow industry today. Industry veterans discussed data showing growth and potential, advertising messages and ways to empower women in the snow sports. “We need to mentor and invest in female employees and help them see all their career opportunities,” said Krista Parry, founder of Snowmamas.com.With relatively non-existent logistical problems in Denver and good attendance on the first day of the show, exhibitors were upbeat. However Saturday was a little more casual than vendors might have liked after more than two feet of snow fell in the mountains and many people were out late Friday at Icelantic Skis’ Winter on the Rocks featuring the Jurassic 5 and Ghostland Observatory. Said Annelise Loevlie of Icelantic: “People were pumped, the music was great and Mother Nature reminded us all how good a wintery night with friends can be.”“Where else can you have hundreds, if not thousands, of your favorite people in a single building? Knowing we’re all slammed during the day, early evening receptions are the way to go,” said Robert Yturri, SVP of global sales, product and brand management, Obermeyer, on Saturday’s traffic.Buyers from around the world come to the show to preview next season's product.Buyers from around the world come to the show to preview next season’s product.At the 5th Annual Youth Summit, Social Impact Awards were presented to Chaos Hats and Nicky DeFord of the Vail Echo program, with remarks from SOS Outreach, SIA President David Ingemie and Kevin Pearce (former pro-snowboarder and founder of Love Your Brain). Malakye.com also held another successful “Shmooz fest” snow sports job fair. The new exhibit CRAFT @ SIA, which spotlights craft brands (independent, smaller ski/snowboard manufacturers), saw decent action with craft-brewed beer happy hours each afternoon.At SIA’s Annual Meeting — and after two, two-year terms as board chairman — K2 Sports Sales and Marketing President Tim Petrick handed the gavel to Bob Gundram, co-founder of Capita Snowboards, Union Bindings and Coal Headwear. With the addition of four female board members during the same meeting, a third of Board of Directors positions are now filled by women: Lisa Branner of Venture Snowboards, Wendy Carey of Seirus Innovation, Patty Duke of Point6, Julie Garry of Outdoor Gear, Erin Snow of Erin Isakov, Annelise Loevlie of Icelantic Skis and Rhonda Swenson of Krimson Klover.SIA provided the following data coming into the last quarter of ski season:Alpine Touring/Randonee equipment continues to enjoy significant increases in sales, through December AT equipment sales increased 23% in dollars sold and 20% in units sold.Sales of Alpine/AT boots defined as alpine DIN boots that can be converted to an AT/Touring sole for Backcountry use may be one of hottest items in the alpine market.Sales of alpine/AT boots are up 28% in units sold to 53,000 units sold, and up 21% in dollars sold to $20 million. Alpine/AT boots make up nearly 15% of dollars sold and 10% of units sold in the alpine boot market so far this season.Women are getting prepped to hit the trails. Sales of women’s specific cross country equipment increased 50% in units sold and 43% in dollars sold to over $4 million through December.Overall, sales of cross country equipment were up 16% in dollars sold this season.More girls are getting snowboard equipment this year. Junior girls snowboarding equipment sales grew 17% in units sold and 18% in dollars sold through December.Overall snowboard equipment sales are up 2% in dollars sold to $167 million.Backcountry accessories sales including beacons, probes and shovels increased 17% in dollars sold and 14% in units sold through December. Beacons led the way with a 20% increase in units sold to 13,500 units through December.Sales of protective gear including pads, wrist guards and general impact gear increased 28% in units sold and 34% in dollars sold through December.Sales of action cameras were up 19% in units sold to 81,000 cameras and up 36% in dollars sold to $27 million through December.Alpine insulated tops sales were up 20% in dollars sold to $362 million and up 15% in units to more than 2 million units sold.Apparel accessories that include gloves, baselayers, headwear and neck gaiters increased 12% in units sold and 15% in dollars sold to $402 million through December.SIA Snow Show Day 1last_img read more

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Whale That Washed Up in Hamptons Died of Starvation

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The True’s beaked whale that washed up in Westhampton Beach last week was an emaciated eight-foot-long female calf that died of starvation, according to The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.Marine biologists who performed a necropsy Thursday on the emaciated whale that found it had no food in its stomach and had died days before being found Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the group said.“It is believed this whale was still dependent on its mother, and would still have been nursing at this stage,” the group said in a news release, which noted that the whale’s carcass had been scavenged on by animals on the beach.The whale was found the day after a 28-foot-long juvenile humpback whale washed up on Fire Island. The foundation determined that the humpback died of injuries consistent with being struck by a ship.As far as the True’s beaked whale, the foundation noted that little is known about them since they’re rarely observed by humans because they inhabit deep ocean waters far from shore.They can grow up to 17-feet long and weigh 3,000 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).Their name is derived from Frederick W. True, a curator at the Smithsonian Institution, who described the species in 2002 after one was found stranded on a North Carolina beach, according to the NOAA.Although it’s rare that one of these type of whales washes ashore, an adult 15-foot-long female True’s beaked whale was found on a Long Island beach a day before one of her nearly 9-foot-long calfs also washed ashore last year, the Riverhead foundation said.The lactating mother had ulcers in her stomach, a heavy burden of parasites and was thin, the group said. Although initially stranded alive, she was pushed back into the water by people on the beach before she re-stranded herself and died while the team was in transit.The group wants to remind the public that it is a violation of federal law to interact with federally protected animals like these mammals. Anyone who finds marine wildlife on the beach should call the foundation’s stranding hotline: 631-369-9829.last_img read more

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Pay it forward by giving back!

first_imgIn today’s society, more and more people are socially-conscious about what is happening around the world, as well as, in their community. With the advancements in social media, people have instantaneous knowledge of what is happening, where it is happening, and to some extent why it is happening. As a result, organizations that give back to the community may see their reputation boosted significantly. However, it can also boost the morale and belief that employees have in their employers.Businesses that are dedicated to community involvement and outreach efforts, provide a benefit to their employees that costs the organization little or nothing, but the return on that investment is priceless. Those benefits include fostering a sense of teamwork among employees that extends beyond the workplace and building a positive “brand” in your industry. Giving back allows employees to see, touch, and hear from others who may be less fortunate. It can promote a feeling of appreciation for what they have, and less complaining about what they may not have. It can be a very humbling and fulfilling experience for some, and also present an opportunity for employees to bond. It encourages a company culture based on the vision and values that you have set for your organization.How can your credit union and employees give back? Below are some suggestions… continue reading » 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Why retail banking needs a reputation rehab

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Most consumers probably don’t have strong opinions about their banks, since the relationship tends to be more transactional than emotional.However, in the 2019 Retail Banking Report, a study by Reputation.com that analyzed online data relating to retail banking locations for 23 major U.S. banks, the banking industry was found to be lacking.The study came up with Reputation Scores, measured on a scale of 100 to 1,000, based on online reviews, accurate listings, social media, search results and customer engagement.At a high level, retail banking didn’t score as well as other industries with a 341, 174 points lower than retail’s 515. Automotive dealers (570) and property managers (558) fared best of all.last_img read more

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Tomorrow is the last day for early voting in New York State

first_imgClick here to get more information from the Broome County Board of Elections. Registered voters can cast their ballot at the Broome County Library, the Oakdale Mall, the George F. Johnson Memorial Library, or the Taste of N.Y. building of the Cornell Cooperative Extension. After a high number of early voters this election year, the Broome County Board of Elections has expanded the hours of operation of the polls, but Sunday is the last day for early voting. The Broome County BOE is holding early voting from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. NEW YORK (WBNG) — Early voting for New York State resident wraps up tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 1. last_img

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German regional ministers relaunch push for auto-enrolment

first_imgCountries such as Sweden and the UK had had good experience with state-organised funds, according to the ministers. Thomas Schäfer, the Christian Democrat finance minister for the state of Hesse, has previously cited NEST in the UK and AP7 in Sweden as examples. Ministers in the German federal state of Hesse have relaunched a drive for the introduction of auto-enrolment to boost private pension saving.A resolution to support their idea was brought to the upper chamber of parliament, the Bundesrat, at the end of March. It was promptly assigned to various of the upper chamber’s committees, which have postponed debating the proposal. IPE understands this is normal procedure. Under the Hessian ministers’ proposal, employees would be automatically signed up for a private pension unless they were sufficiently covered by a workplace pension or opted out of the private scheme.The government would create a fund to be the default provider and investor of individuals’ savings unless they chose an alternative. Thomas Schäfer, Hesse finance ministerCredit: Martin Kraft Speaking at an industry conference in Berlin earlier this year, Schäfer also said there was a positive precedent for auto-enrolment in Germany, citing the growth in the number of so-called “mini-jobbers” paying social security contributions since this became the default several years ago.Ministers have also proposed for the default investment product to come with limited guarantees, in return for higher equity exposure and the prospect of higher returns. Currently, state-subsidised private pension savings products have to guarantee the contributions that have been paid in.The state-backed fund would make investments that meet minimum environmental and ethical standards and, for cost reasons, would mainly invest passively. The government would not be allowed to intervene in the fund’s investments.Under the proposals, the scheme would offer savers a cost-efficient and transparent product and compete with private providers on the open market. It and other providers meeting pre-determined criteria would be included in a list to be maintained by a neutral state body. The envisaged national pension savings scheme would be implemented by means of salary sacrifice. For those on a low income, the state would pay a large part of the contributions using the existing system for paying contributions to state-subsidised third-pillar, or “Riester”, products.Trade bodies criticise plansVarious trade associations expressed opposition to the Hessian government’s plan. BVI, the German fund management association, said a state pension fund would distort competition and was unlikely to be cheaper than other products on the market.GDV, the insurance trade body, also came out against the Deutschland-Rente proposal. It said making it a legal requirement for employers to auto-enrol individuals into funded private pensions was challenging from a regulatory and bureaucratic standpoint.It also argued that the Hessian government’s concept did not offer a solution for individuals that were not in stable employment.The current state-subsidised private pension system definitely needed improvement, added the GDV, but efforts should focus on existing, easy-to-implement suggestions. Heribert Karch, chief executive of MetallRente and chair of the German occupational pensions association, was a strong critic of the Deutschland-Rente when it was first put forward by the Hessian ministers.Deutschland-Rente: Take twocenter_img The proposal brought to the Bundesrat last month was based on ideas that go back to 2015, when Schäfer and his fellow regional government ministers Tarek Al-Wazir and Stefan Grüttner first presented the idea of a national private pension savings scheme.The Deutschland-Rente idea came to nothing, however, and reform efforts in the intervening years instead culminated in legislation introducing the possibility of industry-wide defined contribution schemes.  The Hessian ministers have argued that Germany’s recent pension reform – the Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz (BRSG) – would probably not be enough to bring about comprehensive pensions coverage, in particular for employees in small and medium-sized businesses that were not signed up to industry agreements.The BRSG came into effect at the start of this year and German unions and employer representatives have asked providers to give them breathing space to negotiate on new pension plans.Schäfer has previously said that existing private pension products tended to be too complex and too expensive for the return they offered. Promoting a standardised Riester pension is one of the policies in the coalition government’s programme .last_img read more

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Barbados PM arrives In China

first_img Share Tweet NewsRegional Barbados PM arrives In China by: – June 14, 2011 18 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring!center_img Share Share By Peter GreenePrime Minister Freundel Stuart. Photo credit: gisbarbados.gov.bbBEIJING, China (BGIS) — With the national flags of Barbados and China fluttering side-by-side, and a greeting that bore testimony to the good relations that exist between the two countries, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart set foot in China on Sunday for the first time, at the start of a hectic, one-week official visit.Just seven months in office, Stuart is the latest Barbadian head of government to accept an invitation to pay an official visit to China. His predecessor, David Thompson, made an official trip to China in 2008, and former Prime Minister Owen Arthur was there in 2007.Noting that he welcomed the opportunity to visit the country that was quietly emerging as the leading economy in the global sphere of activity, he said he was looking forward to successful talks with the Chinese leadership on a number of important bilateral and international matters.During the six-day visit, Stuart is expected to hold discussions on several areas of mutual interest, particularly alternative and renewable energy; education and infrastructural development; as well as ways to further strengthen Sino-Barbados relations. The prime minister is also scheduled to sign two bilateral agreements on Monday with his Chinese counterpart.Earlier Sunday, Stuart and his delegation held talks with the country’s Ambassador to China, Sir Lloyd Sandiford, and took time out to visit the historic Forbidden City. Later, he had a chance to meet with a number of Barbadian students and other Barbadians studying and living in China, as well as other CARICOM ambassadors in Beijing, during an official reception.Barbados and China formally established diplomatic ties in 1977, and China has had an embassy in Bridgetown soon after that. Barbados opened a mission in Beijing in 2010.Over the years, this country has benefitted from technical, construction and financial assistance from the Chinese, and there have been cultural exchanges between the two states.Caribbean News Nowlast_img read more

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