ROTTERDAM, January 15 -- Now in mid January the effects of the Sudden Stratospheric Warming (short: SWW) and Polar vortex split are becoming visible as strong blocking over the Arctic region is resulting in strongly dynamic pattern in the mid-latitudes.
The current strong ridge over the north Atlantic should persist until the weekend when a significant pattern change will likely occur. The ridge over the Arctic will intensify while the northern Atlantic ridge retreats west towards North America. This brings development of troughs with cyclones also towards western Europe. As a result, widespread cooling will take place for large parts of Europe and enhance chances for snowfall events.
The pattern overview for the weekend into early next week indicates weakening of the north Atlantic ridge as its axis retreats towards the North American continent. Deep troughs pass over the western Europe and continue towards south and southwest Europe as well. As a result, an intense cold outbreak should develop for the western half of Europe, including the British Isles and Ireland, Iberian peninsula, central Europe and the Mediterranean.
Here is the snowfall probability map for mid next week, suggesting improved chances for snowfall events across a large part of Europe, including western and much of central Europe, which have both experiencing a lack of snowfall this winter so far.
ROTTERDAM, January 15 -- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is a supporter of international organizations such as the European Union.
But he also thinks President Trump has some legitimate complaints about multilateralism — and he apparently has little patience for some of Trump’s Dutch critics. “It pisses me off when I hear white-wine-sipping Amsterdam elites say that Trump is so wrong,” Rutte said Sunday in an interview on Buitenhof, a Dutch TV program. “In NATO, lots of things are not good. In the [World Trade Organization,] lots of things are not good. In the European Union, lots of things are not good,” he said. “So let’s make use of the presence of someone like Trump, who sometimes rightly says, ‘Guys, this is not good.’ ”
Rutte singled out E.U. policy as an area where there is not enough coordination between groups. “Eastern Europe does nothing at all and leaves it to the Netherlands and Germany to decide,” he said.
Rutte also pushed back on talk that he might be the next president of the European Council, suggesting that he had never been asked. The Dutch prime minister went on to say that upcoming European Parliament elections, in which the far right may make big gains, are not that important, especially given that turnout is “so low.” (E.U. data shows that voter turnout for the last election, held in 2014, was 42.6 percent).
Rutte’s comments drew criticism from some Dutch citizens, especially those based in Amsterdam. Zeeger Ernsting, a member of the city council for the GroenLinks party, tweeted a picture of Rutte sharing a glass of white wine with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
PARIS/YOKOHAMA, January 12 -- One of Renault boss Carlos Ghosn’s senior executives received an additional six-figure salary unknown to the carmaker’s board via the Dutch joint venture overseeing its alliance with Nissan, according to sources and documents seen by Reuters.
Ghosn and Nissan senior director Greg Kelly, who are at the centre of a financial misconduct scandal engulfing the carmaking alliance, approved payments totalling 500,000 euros ($572,000) to Renault General Secretary Mouna Sepehri, who is responsible for corporate governance in her role as board secretary. There is nothing to suggest that the payments by Renault-Nissan BV (RNBV) were illegal or violated Renault-Nissan rules, but they highlight governance issues and potential conflicts of interest.
Sepehri did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.
“Individual compensation, while entirely justified, is not publicly disclosed, in accordance with the law,” a Renault spokesman said in a statement. “Renault would be outraged by any publication of an identified executive’s pay, which constitutes personal information.”
Sepehri currently sits on the RNBV board with nine other Renault and Nissan executives, and is the only director who drew a compensation package directly from the subsidiary, according to the documents and a senior alliance executive. She received 200,000 euros in 2013 and 100,000 euros annually from 2014-16 in addition to her Renault pay, according to statements addressed to her each year and the minutes of a 2013 meeting at which Ghosn and Kelly ordered the payments “for the performance of her duties as a management board member”. “It’s important as a general rule that board secretaries avoid allowing themselves to be influenced by a CEO who might promise them remuneration through a subsidiary,” said Loic Dessaint, head of Proxinvest, a prominent shareholder advisory firm based in Paris.
BANGKOK, January 11 -- Exports of rice last year declined slightly, according to a report issued by the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export Formality.
Cambodia exported 626,225 tonnes of rice to international markets in 2018, a drop of 1.5% compared to 2017, the Khmer Times reported. Local firms exported mainly three types of rice: fragrant rice (493,597 tonnes shipped, or 78.82% of total rice exports), long-grain white rice (105,990 tonnes, or 16.93%), and long-grain parboiled rice (26,638 tonnes, or 4.25%), it added. The largest market for Cambodian rice continues to be the European Union, which imported almost 270,000 tonnes, equivalent to 42.98% of total exports. By individual country, the largest buyer was China (170,000 tonnes), followed by France (90,000 tonnes), Malaysia (40,000 tonnes), Gabon (30,000 tonnes), and the Netherlands (26,000 tonnes).
Hun Lak, vice president of the Cambodia Rice Federation, said throughout the year exports were significantly lower than in 2017, but that a high volume of shipments in December helped close the gap. “We thought that the fall in rice exports would be bigger than 1.5% because this year we had only one harvest for our first-grade rice,” he said, noting, however, that total export value was unchanged compared to 2017 because fragrant rice fetched a high price in the international market. High-quality fragrant rice now sells for $885 per tonne, while the lower quality one fetches $750, according to Lak.
In 2018, producers complained of high production costs that limited their ability to purchase seeds. This, in turn, meant rice millers did not have enough rice to process and export.
“For 2019, the government has agreed to lower electricity costs which will be a good thing for the sector. This year we will also have more storage facilities. The big issue now remains transportation costs,” Lak said.
Players in the local rice sector are still awaiting the EU’s final say on whether it imposes tariffs on Cambodian rice. A final decision is due on Tuesday. Lak said the safeguard investigation into whether Cambodian rice imports affect European farmers was launched by Italy and Spain, who wanted to protect their own rice sectors. “The tariffs will make our rice in the European market very uncompetitive. “If these tariffs are approved, we will have to shift our focus from the EU market to other countries. We are trying to diversify into markets like China,” Lak said, adding that Cambodia needs to continue lowering production and transportation costs while improving the quality of its products.
Earlier this week, the Khmer Times reported that uncertainty in the tariff issue was causing the delay of rice shipments abroad, with overseas buyers reluctant to go ahead with exchanges. Chan Sokheang, chairman and chief executive officer of local rice exporter Signatures of Asia, said “Due to this uncertainty, buyers are delaying shipments. They are waiting for European Commission’s decision.
“If the EU activates the tariffs, many buyers will cancel their orders and our rice sector will be hurt.”
GLASGOW, January 10 -- A pre-construction agreement (PCA) for work on a windfarm off the coast of Scotland has been signed by Dutch-based dredging, offshore contracting and marine services company Boskalis Westminster.
The project is the Inch Cape offshore windfarm project, and the award was made by Inch Cape Offshore Ltd (ICOL), a subsidiary of Red Rock Power. The work will include the transportation and installation of the wind turbine foundations, the offshore substation and cables. The award of the contract is subject to a successful bid by ICOL in the next UK Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction in mid-2019, and financial close in the second half of 2020. The CfD scheme is the UK government’s main mechanism for supporting low-carbon electricity generation. The Inch Cape contract, excluding procurement, is expected to be more than €200 million.
Boskalis said it would, in the coming months, assist with the further engineering and design of the project. The final contract cost, including the amount associated with the supply of the wind turbine foundations and inter-array cables, will be determined during this period. The PCA includes the engineering, supply, transportation and installation of up to 72 pre-piled jacket foundations and up to 84 inter-array cables in addition to the transportation and installation of the offshore substation.
Boskalis said the Bokalift 1 crane vessel would be deployed for the transportation and installation of the foundations, as well as the offshore substation foundation, sub-structure and topside. Also, the company said it would supply and install two 85km export cables to connect the offshore substation to the mainland, in a consortium with NKT. The Inch Cape offshore wind farm will be located in the North Sea, 15km off the Angus Coast in the East of Scotland.
The project is scheduled for 2021 to 2022, in time to enable Inch Cape to meet the CfD 3 delivery windows between 2023 and 2025.
JERUZALEM, January 9 -- A large Dutch pensions group has reversed its blacklisting of Israeli banks from 2014.
PGGM had divested from all five leading Israeli banks over “ethical concerns” pertaining to their presence or actions in the West Bank, disputed territory where Palestinians are the majority but where hundreds of thousands of Israelis also live. The decision to blacklist was seen as a major victory for advocates of attempts to boycott Israel.
UTRECHT, January 9 -- Dutch international heavy lift company Mammoet has established a new fleet of heavy lifting operation in Mozambique.
The operation which will include specialised equipment and an experienced team of individuals, will be located in Mocímboa da Praia town in Cabo Delgado province. The office, which will report through Mammoet’s South African office, is geared up to provide heavy lifting and transport services and solutions across the country. Davide Andreani, general manager of Mammoet South and East Africa said: “Mammoet has worked in Mozambique for quite a while now, albeit on a project basis. The outlook of Mozambique's economy is positive. Particularly, as capital investments have been growing significantly in the past few years. Mammoet locates its global fleet close to our customers anywhere in the world they need us, in order to serve them swiftly and efficiently. It demonstrates our commitment to be part of, and to contribute to the Mozambique community, working with local people, utilizing the local workforce, training and offering professional development opportunities to help grow our business and the local economy.”
Liefde is van alle tijden. Hoe we ermee omgaan is veranderlijk. De verworvenheden van vandaag, waardoor mensen steeds meer vrij zijn om de liefde op hun eigen manier te beleven, staan steeds weer onder druk. Een hang naar het verleden of naar vaststaande waarheden zorgt ervoor dat mensen weer in beknellende hokjes gedrukt worden.
Het is van belang de vrijheid te verdedigen om lief te hebben naar eigen wens. Daarom deze verklaring. Een liefdesverklaring aan mensen en een liefdesverklaring aan de vrijheid.
ROTTERDAM, January 7 -- The first major storm of 2019 is expected to hit the Wadden islands and the north coast of the Netherlands coming Tuesday.
Force 9 gales, with gusts of up to 95 km/h, and waves of up to 10 metres are forecast for Tuesday. Heavy rain will also sweep across the country while temperatures will dip to between 5C and 7C. The impending storm will hamper efforts to clean up the debris of 281 shipping containers that went overboard from a cargo vessel last week. Volunteers have been instructed to leave the operation to specialist teams from Monday afternoon and return on Wednesday. ‘The emergency services have their hands full. They don’t want to have to help people who have put themselves in difficulty,’ a spokesman for Friesland’s regional safety council told NOS.
The containers were spilled by the Panamanian-flagged MSC Zoe, one of the world’s biggest cargo vessels, near the German island of Borkum last Wednesday. The Dutch highways and waterways administrator Rijkswaterstaat has held the vessel’s operators responsible and a criminal investigation is under way. Most of the debris has been removed from the beaches of Ameland, Terschelling and Schiermonnikoog. So far 222 containers have been traced to the seabed but 41 are still missing, prompting fears that more could be washed up during Tuesday’s storm.
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