Florida Researchers Use Pests To Help Control Pesky Brazilian Peppertree Plant

Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolia, is a relative of poison ivy. It is one of the most damaging invasive weeds of agricultural and natural areas of Florida, Hawaii and Texas.

In Florida, more than two invasive species get established every month, brought in through cargo or by visitors. But researchers are making progress in the battle against one major pest: the Brazilian peppertree.

On a cattle ranch near Fort Pierce, a team from the University of Florida recently released 1,500 tiny insects called thrips, or Pseudophilothrips ichini.

“That is the biological control for the Brazilian pepper,” Kate Rotindo said.

She’s an urban horticulture specialist and was bent over one of the plants, tapping vigorously on a small vial containing some of the bugs.

“They’re really small; you can see them kind of crawling around,” she said.

The thrips, like the plant, come from Brazil. Working with researchers there, U.S. scientists identified insects that keep Brazilian peppertree in check in its native habitat. On this day, a team from the University of Florida is releasing enough of the insects at the cattle ranch that they’ll become established, start reproducing, and help control the invasive weed.

In Florida, Brazilian peppertree was introduced more than a century ago as an ornamental plant, valued for its red berries and dark green foliage. Since then, it has overrun much of the southern part of the state, also parts of California and Texas, covering 700,000 acres.

Mike Adams says he began to see it on his family’s cattle ranch near Fort Pierce in the late ’60s.

“My cousins from Miami, they would use the Brazilian peppers for their Christmas tree because they had the nice bright red berries,” he says.

On cattle ranches, military bases and natural areas, however, Brazilian peppertree takes over if left unchecked. Adams spends some $250,000 every year to control the weed on his 40,000-acre ranch.

“They just create a monoculture wherever they get started at,” he says. “So, they’ll push out all your natives. They’ll extend out into your grasslands and start phasing those out.”

Mike Adams spends some $250,000 every year to control the weed on his 40,000-acre ranch.

In Everglades National Park, contractors have worked to remove Brazilian peppertree for the past two decades in a 6,300-acre area that used to be farmland. First, bulldozers plow away all the vegetation. Then, the topsoil is scraped down to the bedrock. The effort has cost more than $100 million so far, but it’s the only way permanently to remove the invasive plant.

Researcher Carey Minteer says using herbicides and just pulling up the bushes are temporary measures. And making things worse, Brazilian peppertree is related to poison ivy. Many people are sensitive.

“These things are multi-stemmed. These stems are very tangled,” she says. “Sometimes these thickets are really intertwined. People are allergic to them. So getting in there is really, really difficult.”

Thrips may help to prevent the Brazilian peppertree from spreading.

Minteer and other researchers have high hopes for the thrip and another insect that preys on the plant in its native range, the yellow Brazilian peppertree leaf-galler. After decades of research, they’ve proved that the two species aren’t a threat to native plants and they’ve received federal permission for large-scale releases here. Minteer says the two bugs won’t get rid of all the invasive plant, but they should stop it from spreading.

“That would be how I would define success,” she says, “to have less than 700,000 acres of Brazilian pepper.”

It has taken decades of research to get here, but it’s a small victory in a never-ending battle to control invasive species.

From Kepa to Herrera – How Athletic Bilbao made an incredible €221m through release clauses

The Basque side have consistently smashed transfer records for their stars over recent years, and that is no coincidence

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Athletic are at it again. 

The massive payout the club have received on Chelsea-bound goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is just the latest success story of a team policy that has paid dividends for the Basque club over the last decade. 

Athletic’s Basque-only rule when it comes to player recruitment means that the side work with a built-in handicap compared to their Liga rivals, who trawl the world for top talent and are not afraid to pay top dollar for the privilege. 

That disadvantage ensures that when the Basques do find a star, they hold on to him for all his worth and refuse to sell unless a team is prepared to meet a hefty release clause. 

With Kepa’s departure to Chelsea, Athletic picked up a cool €80 million (£72m/$93m) , which brings their total transfer revenues since the policy was introduced to no less than €221m.

President Jose Urrutia has been in charge since 2011, and the release clause strategy has been a cornerstone of the former Athletic player’s administration. Stars are encouraged to sign new contracts which include multi-million euro buyouts; and unlike with certain other clubs, that figure is imposed with an iron will by the club’s board of directors. 

The first team to suffer against the newly intransigent Athletic were Bayern. In 2012, versatile Spain international Javier Martinez became the Bundesliga’s most expensive player in a €40m deal, with Urrutia refusing to budge on the fee. 

Ander Herrera was then snapped up by Manchester United for €36m, before rivals City went even further to sign the promising Aymeric Laporte. 

Athletic were finally persuaded to release their young defender, in exchange for a pay-off of €65m that broke the transfer record of both clubs back in 2017. Laporte may not yet have made his name at the Etihad Stadium, but he certainly left a handsome profit back in Spain. 

Now the club have once more smashed a transfer record, making Kepa the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, breaking the record set by Liverpool’s acquisition of Alisson just a month prior , as well as their new costliest sale.

Those departures have funded, among other things, Athletic’s sparkling new San Mames home, and helped cement their place as one of Spain’s strongest and, above all, most respected teams.

Lopetegui's Bale project 'has only just begun'

The Wales star has shone in pre-season for Real Madrid, and his manager is looking forward to the forward leading the line this term

Julen Lopetegui is confident Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema are set to enjoy productive campaigns for Real Madrid in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bale has struggled for consistent playing time due to injury problems in recent years, but has led from the front during Madrid’s impressive pre-season, scoring in each of the team’s last three matches.

And the 29-year-old Wales international is now under pressure to fill the void left by the departure of Ronaldo, who signed for Juventus in July. 

“I’m not going to talk about past seasons,” head coach Lopetegui told a news conference after Bale struck in the 3-1 win over AC Milan at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

“The Bale we have now is committed, content, wanting to have a great season. He is training very well, happy, and we are so happy with him. This has only just begun.”

While Madrid won their third successive Champions League crown last term, they struggled badly in La Liga, Benzema netting just five goals in 32 league appearances.

The 30-year-old’s work-rate and all-round contribution remains an important asset to Madrid, though, and Lopetegui is looking forward to getting the best out of the French forward, who opened the scoring against the Rossoneri.

“With Benzema we are happy,” he said.

“He trained very well, he is in great form, excited and enthusiastic. Surely he will help us in all facets, not only with his goals. He contributes a lot to the team and we are happy for what he does.”

Dani Ceballos, Sergio Reguilon, Vinicius Junior and Federico Valverde were among the promising newcomers introduced off the bench against Milan, leaving Lopetegui encouraged by the options at his disposal. 

“We are delighted with all the young players we have here,” he said.

“They have played a very good preseason. The young players’ contribution gives energy and Real Madrid has needs youth and enthusiasm. 

“There is still pre-season to finish off with the squad and we will make decisions.”

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Benitez: Increased forward competition will only benefit Newcastle

Despite a 2-1 loss to Tottenham to open the new campaign, the Magpies boss feels that the side’s abundance of attacking talent will prove a blessing

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez believes that the competition between his forward options for a starting berth will spur them on to greater heights this season.

The Magpies got the new Premier League season underway with a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham at St James’ Park but the Spaniard was only focused on taking the positives form his team’s showing.

Benitez opted for veteran striker Joselu over new signings Salomon Rondon and Yoshinori Muto up front to lead his attack against Spurs and saw his faith rewarded with a goal for the former Stoke City man.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, the 58-year-old stressed that the multiple options Newcastle have in attack will only stand them in good stead for the upcoming campaign, stating: “When you bring in new players it increases the competition.

“It’s always important for the strikers to score. The new players will need some time to understand their team-mates and what we want them to do but at least we have the competition.

“Joselu scored a great goal and that’s good for the rest of the season because [the players] will be pushing each other.”

Spurs took the lead through Jan Vertonghen’s header inside the first 10 minutes before Newcastle found a quick leveller.

They were unable to muster another equaliser though for Dele Alli’s goal in the 18th minute, despite Salomon Rondon finding the woodwork on his debut late in the second half.

Benitez felt they deserved more than a defeat, adding: “From my point of view, we deserved at least a draw. We were fighting until the end and we had some chances, especially in the second half against a good team.

“We were pushing them all the way. You could feel the fans had the belief that we could do something, so it was a pity [that we could not].”

The Magpies were forced to finish the game with 10 men after a late injury to DeAndre Yedlin, who was forced to limp off, and Benitez confirmed he was unaware of the significance of the damage yet, adding: “I don’t really know. The doctor has to assess the injury. We will need some time to know exactly.”

Newcastle next play against newly promoted Cardiff City, who lost 2-0 to Bournemouth earlier today, on August 18.

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Everton star Richarlison indebted to Marco Silva

Having netted a brace on his Everton debut, the winger spoke of his deep gratitude for his manager

Two-goal Everton hero Richarlison has expressed thanks to “father figure” Marco Silva for giving him a platform to shine in the Premier League.

The Brazilian winger netted both of his new side’s goals in the 2-2 draw with Wolves at Molineux, the second coming despite Phil Jagielka’s earlier dismissal.

It was a performance befitting the £40 million ($51m) the Toffees reportedly paid to sign the 21-year-old from Watford, for whom Silva originally signed him 12 months ago.

The pair are now reunited at Everton and Richarlison was quick to thank his Portuguese manager for providing him with a Premier League opportunity.

“I’m very happy for the two goals. It was a very difficult match because we had to run double,” the former Fluminense man told BT Sport.

“We played with one less player after the red card and it was very difficult, but one point away… it’s a very important debut for me.

“I know my responsibilities and I know also the coach has given me freedom to play my football in attack, so I know what I have to do on the pitch. I’m very happy.

“I look to Marco like a father. He came to Brazil to bring me to England and I know I will be grateful for my life to Marco.”

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Silva, meanwhile, insisted the hefty fee attached to Richarlison’s signing should have no bearing on the judgment of his performances.

“When a club pays money it’s because it’s his value in the market,” he said. “Like all the other players we sign it’s not because they are [worth] more or less money. We believe in all of them.

“He performed well like all of the squad. It’s important for him to score in our first match, his first official match in the shirt.”

Bernie Sanders Won’t Yet Explain Details Of How To Pay For Medicare For All

Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders greets supporters during a rally in Queens, N.Y., earlier this month.

Bernie Sanders doesn’t plan on releasing a detailed plan of how to finance his single-payer Medicare for All plan, he told CNBC’s John Harwood on Tuesday.

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“You’re asking me to come up with an exact detailed plan of how every American — how much you’re going to pay more in taxes, how much I’m going to pay,” he said. “I don’t think I have to do that right now.”

The Vermont senator explained that before getting to his detailed financing plan, he wants Americans to understand that they currently pay more for health care than people in other countries.

“The fight right now is to get the American people to understand that we’re spending twice as much per capita — that of course, we can pay for it,” he said. “We’re paying it now in a very reactionary, regressive way. I want to pay for it in a progressive way.”

His comments come as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who backs Sanders’ Medicare for All plan — is being pressed on how she would want the country to pay for such a plan. She has said she will be releasing a plan for financing Medicare for All in the coming weeks.

Harwood asked Sanders if he thinks it’s foolish for Warren to release her own detailed plan. Sanders said he doesn’t.

“All that I’m saying is that we have laid out a variety of options that are progressive,” Sanders continued. “We’ll have that debate. At the end of the day, we will pay for every nickel of Medicare for All, and it will save the overwhelming majority of the American people, who will no longer pay premiums.”

When Sanders introduced Medicare for All on Capitol Hill this year, he also released a document listing potential ways to pay for the plan. These include raising taxes on top earners and imposing a wealth tax for the richest Americans, as well as a 4% tax on Americans earning over $29,000 and a new tax on employers.

But those were characterized as “options.” The question is which ones he would want to institute, and how big the price tag is that those taxes will be covering.

Opponents of Medicare for All, like former Vice President Joe Biden, argue that the price tag is too big, and that the federal budget would balloon to pay for it.

Supporters like Sanders and Warren argue that Medicare for All would not create new health care spending, but rather would simply shift current spending — and, potentially, ultimately reduce overall spending and save money. Estimates vary as to whether there actually would be savings, and how big those savings would be.

Medicare for All supporters like Sanders and Warren argue that while taxes would have to help pay for such a system, many Americans would see their overall health care costs go down because they would no longer be paying current costs like premiums and meeting deductibles.

The conversation over how to finance ambitious plans like Medicare for All plays out against a backdrop of rapidly growing deficits under the Trump administration. Since Trump signed the Republican tax cuts into law at the end of 2017, the federal deficit has grown to nearly $1 trillion, the Treasury announced Friday. That’s an increase of nearly 50%, as the Washington Post noted.

Brighton vs Manchester United: TV channel, live stream, team news & preview

Jose Mourinho’s side travel to Sussex to take on Chris Hughton’s Brighton side on Sunday

Manchester United take on Brighton on Sunday looking to continue their winning start to the season.

United kicked their campaign off with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at home to Leicester on Friday night with Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw opening their goalscoring accounts for the 2018-19 campaign.

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Brighton, however, started proceedings with a disappointing 2-0 loss at Watford and face a difficult run of fixtures in which to find their feet, starting with United’s visit this weekend.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s fixture.

Game Brighton vs Man Utd
Date Sunday, August 19
Time 4pm BST / 11am ET

In the United States (US), the game will be shown on NBC Sports and livestreamed on the NBC Sports app.

US TV channel Online stream
NBC Sports NBC Sports app

In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on Sky Sports on streamed live online on the Sky Go app.

UK TV channel Online stream
Sky Sports SkyGo app

Position Brighton squad
Goalkeepers Ryan, Button, Steele
Defenders Bruno, Montoya, Bong, Suttner, Bernardo, Duffy, Dunk, Balogun, Schelotto
Midfielders Knockaert, March, Jahanbakhsh, Izquierdo, Stephens, Propper, Bissouma, Gross, Kayal, Towell
Forwards Murray, Andone, Locadia, Hemed

Bruno was forced off with an injury against Watford, replaced by Gaetan Bong before new-signing Bernardo was switched to the right of defence. 

Summer signing Martin Montoya may come in to make his debut, while Yves Bissouma is pushing for a place in midfield.

Solly March may drop out of the team following a quiet display against Watford, with record-signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh an option to replace him.

Possible Brighton XI: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Jahanbakhsh, Stephens, Propper, Gross; Murray

Position Man Utd squad
Goalkeepers De Gea, Grant, Romero, O’Hara
Defenders Lindelof, Bailly, Jones, Smalling, Rojo, Young, Dalot, Shaw, Valencia, Darmian
Midfielders Pogba, Mata, Lingard, A. Pereira, Fred, Fellaini, Matic, Herrera, McTominay
Forwards Sanchez, Lukaku, Martial, Rashford

Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia have all returned to first-team training ahead of the trip, having missed out against Leicester.

The United trio are unlikely to play a part, however, with Mourinho saying: “They are fully fit but not yet ready to play or even to be selected, I think, and that’s it.”

Possible Man Utd XI: De Gea; Young, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; Fred, Pereira, Pogba; Mata, Lukaku, Alexis

United are heavy favourites to collect the points on Sunday, with an away win priced at 5/6 with Bet365. Brighton are placed at 17/4, while a draw is 5/2.

United’s 2-1 victory over Leicester on the opening day was overshadowed by stand-in captain Pogba’s post-match comments.

The Frenchman intensified speculation of disharmony at Old Trafford when questioned on his relationship with his manager, saying: “There are things I can say and there are things I cannot say… otherwise I will get fined.”

On Friday, however, Mourinho moved to reject reports that the two were involved in a behind-the-scenes feud and confirmed him as captain for Sunday’s game at Brighton.

“The truth is we are together for two years and a couple of weeks and I’ve never been so happy with him as I am now. That’s the truth,” Mourinho told reporters.

“I cannot demand more from him, I cannot ask more from him. He comes here on Monday [before the Leicester game], he trains for three days, I asked for his support, for his contribution in an important match for us when the team had difficulties, and he did it did better and for more time than we could expect.”

On his opposite number Chris Hughton, Mourinho said: “Chris is a great coach. They have good players, a good team, a beautiful stadium, but they’re difficult to play against.

“They know how to play and they’ve kept the same team, they bought a few new players.”

Pogba was part of the France national team to secure the World Cup trophy in Russia in the summer and scored the opening goal against Leicester in matchday one. 

He will continue in Mourinho’s midfield on Sunday and Albion boss Hughton is fully aware of the threat the 25-year-old poses.

“He’s a very, very good player, there’s no doubt so we have to be guarded against that tactically,” Hughton said. “But no special measures.

“He’s capable of having a very good season. I think he showed that in the summer, I think he’s showed that in good periods at United.

“I think he’s a wonderful athlete, can certainly break very, very well from midfield and I think what he has shown is a passing ability that he’s got.

“He’s a wonderful all-round footballer.”

Lewandowski cannot score on his own – Kimmich

The defender insists that the striker is right to stay at the club, but has warned him he cannot score without his team-mates

Bayern Munich defender Joshua Kimmich has backed Robert Lewandowski following the striker’s outburst against the club’s management, but reminded his free-scoring team-mate that he cannot find the net on his own.

Lewandowski slammed the club for not defending him against the criticism that came his way after Bayern’s exit from the Champions League in last season’s semi-finals, saying he “felt no protection” and “felt alone”.

After contemplating a move away from Allianz Arena, Lewandowski revealed the support of the club’s fans convinced him to stay, and Kimmich insists he is taking the Poland international at his word.

“I don’t know what was said to Robert personally and what was said in public,” Kimmich told reporters.

“But if Robert says that he missed that [support from the club], I don’t know if it’s true, but you have to believe him.

“I think that appraisal can’t be defined on the fact what was said in public. It’s just about communication, and you confirm that by talking face-to-face to a player.”

Kimmich hailed Lewandowski’s scoring record at Bayern, where he has plundered 106 Bundesliga goals in just four seasons, conceding the 30-year-old has been the team’s saviour on numerous occasions.

However, Kimmich has suggested that Lewandowski must keep in mind the importance of solidarity between team-mates amid his criticisms of the club’s hierarchy and calls for more support.

“I’m sure, Robert knows how important he is for us,” said Kimmich. “It is almost certain that he scores 30 goals in a Bundesliga season.

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“On the other hand, he has to realise that he won’t score all those goals without the help of his team-mates. He can’t do that on his own.

“So there is not only appraisal from the other players towards him, but there has to be some appraisal from Robert towards us, too.”

Mendes was right, Ronaldo’s UEFA snub was 'shameful' – he was the Player of the Year

The Juventus star will need a superhuman season – even by his own high standards – to cart off individual awards as his greatness is taken for granted

Cristiano Ronaldo took the decision to stay away from the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco for the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday, where the winner of the 2017-18 Player of the Year contest was also to be announced.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, where Ronaldo was announced as UEFA’s best forward, the Juventus CEO Beppe Marotta confirmed that it was a late, personal decision from his new superstar striker and one that the club respected.

It has since been speculated that Ronaldo avoided it because he was not going to win the main award. His former Real Madrid team-mate Luka Modric took the spoils instead .

Ronaldo’s agent – Jorge Mendes – all but confirmed that theory when he spoke to the Portuguese press afterwards.

“It’s ridiculous, shameful,” he told Record . “The winner is not in doubt, as Ronaldo is the best in his position.

“Football is played on the field and that’s where Cristiano won.

“He scored 15 goals, carried Real Madrid on his back and conquered the Champions League again.”

Mendes may well be Ronaldo’s biggest hype man and usually needs no encouragement to promote his No. 1 client. But, on this count, he was right. UEFA’s jury erred and erred badly by not giving Ronaldo the top prize.

He scored 15 goals in only 13 Champions League games and did more than most to help Madrid carry off their third consecutive European title. He may have been quiet in the final, but he stamped his class all over the competition all season long.

His overhead kick in the quarter-finals against Juventus was rightly judged as the competition’s best goal and his nerveless penalty in the 97th minute of that tie’s second leg earned Real their qualification.

He made a new Champions League record by scoring in 11 consecutive matches and in the bargain became the first man ever to win five Champions League medals.

Add in the fact he’s the Champions League all-time top goalscorer by a margin of 20 goals and you’ll come to the realisation that Ronaldo is Mr Champions League.

And, given that the men’s Champions League is the main club competition that UEFA overseas, shouldn’t it be that one that dictates who should win the best player award?

Instead there seems to be some recency bias on display by the voting panel. A total of 80 coaches and 55 journalists were asked to submit their nominees and a shortlist was announced on August 20.

The 80 coaches represented the 32 competing teams from the Champions League last season and the 48 from the Europa League. The 55 European Sports Media journalists were from each of UEFA’s member associations.

Each jury member wrote a list of three players with the top pick gaining five points, the second pick three points and the third pick one point. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

On that basis, Modric won out with 313 points to Ronaldo’s 223. That is a wide margin but – perhaps – indicative that the jury had the World Cup more in mind than the Champions League.

Modric won the FIFA Golden Ball award having helped Croatia to the final where they were beaten by France. His performances in Russia were consistent and – allied with his Champions League form – should see him in contention for more individual prizes later on in the year.

That said, Ronaldo was no slouch at the World Cup either with his four goals helping him become Europe’s all-time leading international goalscorer. His hat-trick, including a brilliant last-minute free-kick against Spain, will go down as one of the World Cup’s all-time great performances.

But UEFA looks after the Champions League and tries its best to make sure that the world sees it as the pre-eminent competition. Indeed, one of the sticks to beat international football with in recent times has been that it’s a step back from the standard of the Champions League and that tournament is really the true test of greatness.

Why now would UEFA’s voting panel take the decision to look at competitions outside its jurisdiction when deciding the best player?

It wasn’t the case in 2014 when Manuel Neuer was the highest-performing World Cup star on the UEFA Player of the Year list. He finished second. To whom? Cristiano Ronaldo, who had led Madrid to La Decima.

Angel Di Maria finished ninth on that list and – like Modric – won the Champions League for Real Madrid and finished as the World Cup runner-up.

Ronaldo’s been the boss for so long in the Champions League that it’s easy to take it for granted. Scoring 15 goals in 13 matches, breaking more records and winning more titles than anyone else has got to count for something, hasn’t it?

It was an extraordinary season in European competition by anyone’s standards. What kind of season does Ronaldo need to have in order to stand out? Where do you go when 15 goals and another medal is no longer enough?

It appears that Modric won the vote because he deserves an individual honour of some kind. He has been so good for so long that it is time he was recognised for what he is. He is the metronome for club and country and one of the architects of Madrid’s four Champions League titles in five seasons. But it shouldn’t have been this one.

This one was for Ronaldo. He’s no longer with Real Madrid. How quickly people forget.

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