Athletics players set, match career highs in win over Tigers

first_imgOAKLAND — The A’s beat the Detroit Tigers, 10-2, on Saturday night.The bullpen was stretched pretty thin following Friday’s quasi-double-header. Chris Bassitt got the most out of his start, holding the Tigers to two runs through six innings. He stuck out a career-high 11 batters on 108 pitches.Matt Olson hit his 29th home run of the year, tying his 2018 high despite missing the first 35 games of the season as he recovered from hamate surgery. He went 4-for-4 with three RBI, it was his first …last_img read more

Big Six likely becoming the Big Four in 2017

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest My favorite law professor, the late Morgan Shipman, used to love to proclaim that “pigs get fat, and hogs get slaughtered” when lecturing about the legal problems created by greed. As a means of policing the swine (actually businesses), the U.S. created federal anti-trust laws in 1890, with the passage of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The government sought to promote fair competition for the benefit of consumers and preserve innovation and new product development. In 1914, the Clayton Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act were added to anti-trust regulations.This year, three huge mergers will likely meet with federal approval and change the landscape of agriculture in this country and worldwide. Currently, the “Big Six” control the seed and crop protection chemicals industry: BASF, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta. DuPont and Dow are proposing a merger of equals, commonly referred to as DuDow, and plan to separate the agriculture, materials science and specialty products businesses into three independent and specialized corporations. ChemChina, which is owned by the Chinese government, seeks approval to purchase Syngenta for $43 billion. Bayer plans to buy Monsanto for $66 billion. Once the dust settles, the “Big Six” will become the “Big Four.” And China, the country, will be one of the “Big Four.” Talk about your place at the table. Chopsticks, anyone?Not only do these companies have to satisfy U.S. regulators, but also the European Union, China and some 30 other countries. Most experts believe all three mergers will be approved and completed this year, after some hoops are jumped through.The European Union required DuPont to sell a large portion of its crop protection businesses to FMC for $1.6 billion. This makes FMC the fifth largest player in the industry.The European Union demanded ChemChina sell a trio of crop protection products to AMVAC, including paraquat. South Africa stipulated Bayer sell Liberty herbicide and LibertyLink branded seeds businesses for $25 billion. BASF is rumored to be a possible purchaser.Obviously, the details of just one of these transactions could be discussed for days. While farmers need not analyze the minutia of the proposed unions, it is important to consider what impact these mergers might have on their farms. Net farm income for 2017, when adjusted for inflation, is likely to fall to a 15-year low. Anything that puts added strain on finances is a problem. Additional concentration in an industry rarely leads to savings. Some producers and farm groups fear that higher prices are likely.ChemChina’s purchase of Syngenta creates a new reality for China. This nation, who currently imports a significant amount of food, will suddenly own GMO technology that could enable them to revolutionize and modernize their agriculture quickly. The country that turned away corn imports because of alleged possession of unapproved GMO traits owned by Syngenta is now anxious to purchase that same company. Obviously, ChemChina will have to deal with the class action litigation Syngenta is fighting as a part of the purchase of the company.Politics may make for strange bedfellows, but the union of Bayer and Monsanto is truly noteworthy, once the past is dug up. Monsanto is almost universally despised, and there have been many theories offered to explain this. Obviously, anti-GMO activists believe Monsanto is the devil because of their invention of RoundUp, never mind that this product dramatically changed farming practices in a good way. Life just isn’t that black and white, and Monsanto has been unfairly tainted due to ignorance and simple thinking. Bayer, on the other hand, is universally linked with aspirin. It is a German company that was founded by Friedrich Bayer and Johann Friedrich Weskott in 1863. From 1898 to 1910, Bayer manufactured and sold “heroin” as a cough suppressant and non-addictive substitute for morphine. Bayer was owned by IG Farben, the world’s largest chemical and pharmaceutical company from 1925 to 1952, which is when their past gets shady. During World War II, IG Farben used slave labor in factories they built adjacent to German concentration camps, notably Auschwitz. IG Farben held a large investment in Degesch, which produced Zyklon B, used to gas and kill prisoners during the Holocaust. After World War II, the Allies broke up Bayer and IG Farben. The union of Monsanto and Bayer will provide conspiracy theorists something new to conjure about.The U.S. anti-trust review of these mergers focuses on competition in pricing and in research. While concentration of an industry still matters, it alone is no longer considered to be a sufficient indicator of market power. Other factors, such as the ease of rival entry and the ease with which buyers can switch their purchases among sellers, now matter as well.Most of the experts seem to believe all three of these mergers will be completed in 2017. Some older brands will be sold, as a condition of the transactions being approved. New owners often means new emphasis, which is a good thing.I’ve Googled enough about this topic to realize that I do not know enough to have an opinion about any of the three proposed corporate unions. Here’s hoping our federal government holds all of these companies to the existing anti-trust regulations. If not, pigs will get fat, and hogs slaughtered, unless they decide to merge.last_img read more

RJD leader shot dead in Bihar

first_imgA Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader was shot dead on Saturday by unidentified assailants in Bihar’s Siwan district, police said.“A group of armed unidentified assailants shot five bullets into Minhaj Khan’s head while he was sleeping in his house in Sheikhpura village,” district police officer Sanjit Kumar said.According to the police, Khan was a popular leader among youths and he had nearly 5,000 followers on social media.He is also said to be close to former Siwan MP Mohammad Shahabuddin who is currently in prison.last_img read more