Stagnito Media has acquired Zweig White Information Services’ media group, including CE News and Structural Engineer magazines. Stagnito is backed by Chicago-based private equity firm Cardinal Growth, which counts Zweig White in its portfolio of investments. Financial terms of the transaction, if any, were not disclosed.According to Stagnito president and CEO Harry Stagnito, the acquisition fits within the company’s goal of launching and acquiring media properties in the industrial engineering, architecture, construction and infrastructure industries, “both in the private and public sectors.”Previously, Harry Stagnito served as chief executive of Stagnito Communications, which was sold by Ascend Media to BNP Media in 2007 as part of Ascend’s estimated $30 million divestiture of its professional services division.
10 essential gardening tools and what they do 11 Photos 2 Tags Share your voice Comments My Lawn: A Guide to Lawn CareMy Lawn (download for iOS or Android) makes lawn maintenance understandable and creates an easy-to-follow care plan so you know which products to use and when. Recommendations are based on your lawn size, location and climate. You’ll get an alert when it’s time to feed, seed and water your lawn, so you will never have to guess. You can also create a custom lawn care plan.Monitor the amount of water your yard gets each week from rain, hoses or sprinklers. Keep track of the specific needs of different parts of your yard, like the parts that are mostly shaded versus the parts that are always in the sun.My Lawn App Screenshot by Katie Conner/CBS Interactive GrowIt!Share your garden and connect with others through the GrowIt! app (download for iOS or Android). Share photos of your plants and ask the community for help identifying them. The GrowIt! community is a valuable resource if you’ve just moved to a new area. If you’ve got a pest that’s eating your tomatoes, for example, others on the app might be able to help.See what the people around you are planting to get some inspiration. If you find a plant you like, tap on the information tab to find out how to grow it. The information tab tells you how big the plant can get, how often to water and feed it, and when it will bloom. GrowIt! teaches you how to properly prepare your soil for anything you plant, grow larger vegetables, and what you should and shouldn’t plant based on your location.Read: 6 gardening tips you’ll wish you’d known all alongGrowIt! App Screenshot by Katie Conner/CBS Interactive iScapeDesign your outdoor living area with iScape (download for iOS). Use the design tools to make your project come to life. Snap a photo of an area that needs landscaping and virtually add flowerbeds, trees and shrubs to get an idea of what your yard will look like before you begin.iScape offers 2D and 3D designs so you can see what your physical outdoor area looks like with virtual plants. Once you have a landscape layout, you can share with your spouse or a landscape pro and get your project started.The app offers a free lite version, but to gain full access, you will need to subscribe to a monthly pro subscription for $20, or a yearly pro subscription for $200.iScape App Screenshot by Katie Conner/CBS Interactive FlowerCheckerIf you’ve ever wondered about an unknown plant in your garden, then you need FlowerChecker (download for iOS or Android). This app has a team of experts who can help you identify plants, moss, lichen and fungi.To find out about your unknown plant, snap a few pictures of it and upload them to the app. Try to capture the different parts of the plant like the flower, leaves and stem. The typical response time for an expert to identify the plant can take a few minutes or a few hours. So far, the team of experts has been able to correctly identify an average of 90 percent of plants.Identification costs $1 per plant uploaded. If the team can’t confirm what your plant is, you won’t have to pay anything. You’ll also have to purchase the app for a one-time cost of $1.FlowerChecker App Screenshot by Katie Conner/CBS Interactive Garden AnswersIdentify plants easily with Garden Answers (download for iOS or Android). Unlike Flower Checker, this app uses advanced image recognition technology to identify plants instead of an expert. Simply snap a picture and submit it to instantly get detailed information about a plant.To learn if your plants have pests or diseases, use the keyword search feature to ask Garden Answers a question. If you need more advice on gardening, ask the experts for more specific questions and recommendations. Access any of your previous plant questions and answers within the app.Garden Answers App Screenshot by Katie Conner/CBS Interactive SmartPlantLearn about healthy planting year-round with SmartPlant (download for iOS or Android). Watch videos, view images and learn more about how to care for your plants in the app library. Identify your plants and any pests that are preventing their growth. Scan plant barcodes in stores to receive monthly care tip notifications.The app has a free version that offers occasional access to premium features. If you subscribe to premium, you will have access to expert assistance. Premium costs $4 monthly, $10 quarterly or $35 annually.SmartPlant App Screenshot by Katie Conner/CBS Interactive Gardening CompanionMake your garden immaculate with the help of Gardening Companion (download for iOS or Android). This app acts as your garden assistant to help you care for your plants. Browse through thousands of articles on horticulture to take the best care of your garden.Track your garden’s growth by storing photos and notes in the app’s journal. The app records the weather in your location and you can compare how your garden did this year compared with last year.Set up notifications to remind you to water and fertilize your garden. Gardening Companion can also alert you when the time is right to plant your vegetables.Gardening Companion App Screenshot by Katie Conner/CBS Interactive GardenateLearn what you can grow in your area with Gardenate (download for iOS or Android). The app uses your location to show what is best for you to plant each month. Access plant descriptions and growing tips to become a pro. In the app, record planting dates, harvest dates and notes about your plants. Save the details in the My Garden section. The app will send calendar reminders when it’s time to harvest your produce. Access detailed information about your plants like when they germinate and at what temperatures, how far apart to space your plants and the amount of time it takes for them to harvest. Gardenate App Screenshot by Katie Conner/CBS Interactive Mobile apps can make gardening easier. Dragon Images/iStockphoto Not everyone has a green thumb or an eye for landscaping. Some people don’t even get to try because they’re so busy. Others watch HGTV over and over again and still never achieve the yard of their dreams because it’s easy to forget most of what you learned by the time you get outside.But since you can take your phone with you when you walk out into the yard, there are now some digital tools that can make you a more effective gardener. We’ve gathered together some gardening and landscaping apps that can walk you through how to take care of your plants and keep your yard looking fabulous. Mobile Mobile Apps iOS 12
It used to be said of OPEC that it was like a teabag â€“ it only worked in hot water. If that is so, conditions on world oil markets could hardly be more difficult as prices languish at almost seven-year lows near $40 a barrel.Yet, rather than closing ranks, OPEC is finding that an intensifying battle for market share, worsened by deep regional differences between Saudi Arabia and Iran, is driving it further apart.Halfway through last Friday’s six-hour meeting, an unexpected dispute erupted over the defining feature of the cartel. In a move sources say was masterminded by Saudi Arabia, ministers finally agreed for the first time in decades to drop any reference to the 13-member group’s output ceiling.The pivot, which surprised not only markets but also some OPEC officials, appeared to be a direct response to Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran, which has made clear it intends to make a rapid return to global oil markets next year as nuclear-related sanctions are lifted.With Tehran looking to pump as much as 1 million barrels per day (bpd) more crude into a market already saturated with excess supply, an increase of about 1% in world supply, maintaining or legitimizing any pretence of OPEC limits – no matter how notional – was not an option for Riyadh.”The ceiling issue was very controversial and they could not decide on it,” said an OPEC source briefed on the discussion inside the room. “Nobody was happy.”Earlier, another source said there was a “huge disagreement among members, even bigger now, as oversupply is no longer mainly coming from Gulf delegates, but from Iran.”In the near-term, the outcome of Friday’s meeting probably makes little difference in global markets. Ever since last year, most members have been pumping flat-out to defend their market from fast-growing upstart rivals like US shale drillers.And anyway the group’s 30 million bpd ceiling has largely been symbolic and, in practical terms, ignored.Yet abandoning the pretence of production restraint threatens to intensify price wars between OPEC members, leaving them even less likely to agree on any market measures down the road, analysts said, and piling more pressure on prices.In a note following the meeting, Goldman Sachs said it saw a rising probability that the markets may need to adjust through “operational stress” when the world runs out of storage capacity, reiterating its “lower for even longer” thesis.OPEC’S PURPOSESince OPEC, which produces a third of global oil, was set up 55 years ago, the purpose of its existence was to set production targets to try to influence global prices.It has weathered internal strife and conflict before, including wars between its own members — Iran and Iraq in the 1980s, and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in the 1990s.But the present Sunni-Shia conflicts setting Saudi Arabia and Iran at each other’s throats, particularly in Syria and Yemen, make the relationship between the two OPEC powers even more fraught.”The fact that Iranian-backed Houthi militants are squaring off against Saudi-led troops in Yemen is not helpful, as increased Iranian oil revenues are likely to find their way to Iranian military interests in Yemen, Iraq and Syria,” said Aberdeen Asset Management’s investment strategist Robert Minter.Hence OPEC is setting up for a showdown at the corral, he added, as Iran wants its pre-sanction market share back, and the Gulf states are not inclined to cede volume when they are already feeling the budgetary pain of reduced prices.CONFUSION EMERGESUnlike OPEC’s previous meeting six months ago, when oil prices showed signs of stabilizing near a tolerable $65 a barrel, last week’s meeting was bound to be more tense as an unexpectedly deep and prolonged slump has sapped their economies.All the same, on Friday morning, most delegates and experts anticipated a relatively straightforward meeting that would bless the free-market policy and rubber-stamp a production ceiling. The only likely change, so it seemed, might be raising the figure to 31.5 million bpd to reflect current output rates, rather than the long-exceeded 30 million bpd last reset four years ago.After all, despite the price pain, there were signs that the dramatic strategy masterminded a year ago by Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi was working, albeit more slowly than hoped. Booming US oil production has shifted into reverse, while the world’s demand for oil has revved into a higher gear.The first sign of confusion emerged more than 3 hours into the meeting as ministers broke for lunch.Word leaked that the group had indeed agreed to raise its ceiling to 31.5 million bpd – but it was unclear whether the figure included Indonesia, which was rejoining the group after a hiatus, leaving a 0.9 million bpd margin of error.Although the ceiling increase would have no material effect on actual production, the news sent oil prices tumbling by as much as $1 a barrel, pushing US crude back below $40 a barrel, a response that was unlikely to have heartened ministers.ABOUT FACEWhat fully transpired during that afternoon remains unclear. But several OPEC sources said ultimately a decision was reached that having no ceiling at all would be less negative for oil prices than having a higher ceiling.There appears to have been little if any debate about Iran’s production, although it has been clear for months that it will likely be the biggest challenge they face in 2016.”We spent two minutes on that issue. You can’t stop a sovereign country from coming back to the market. So, debating it is irrelevant,” said Nigerian oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu. “As a matter of fact, our position is that Iran would displace somebody who is not an OPEC member.””From Saudi prospective, they have no allies. So staying the course makes sense for the Saudis,” said veteran OPEC watcher Gary Ross, Founder of Pira Energy thinktank.Ministers later sought to play down any conflict. Most said they saw no problem in having no targets for a few months and agree on new ones when Iran returns to the market, hoping by then for a deeper decline in US oil production.Some said they spent far more time discussing the succession of Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri, whose term is expiring.One thing is clear though – Friday’s decision will in no way help persuade non-OPEC rivals to curtail their output.”I find it very strange when proposals are being made to cut output when OPEC itself is increasing production,” the head of the Kremlin oil major Rosneft Igor Sechin told Reuters last week ahead of the OPEC meeting.
Twitter [Representational Image]The Chief Minister of Karnataka BS Yediyurappa has ordered an investigation into the illegal phone tapping scandal in the state after receiving several complaints about the issue.The Karnataka phone tapping scandal is getting murkier after several top shot politicians from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and government officials alleged that their private conversations were illegally acquired on the approval of the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition.CM Yediyurappa told the state Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar that an investigation needs to be conducted over the matter to wash out the people responsible for this and hold them accountable for the illegal use of government machinery. Union minister DV Sadananda Gowda has also demanded an investigation over the matter. He said that no one should resort to such means as it is illegal and whoever is responsible for this will be revealed.The probe has been initiated after several leaders of the saffron party including R Ashoka, Tejasvi Surya and former JD(S) leader and disqualified MLA AH Vishwanath requested the state CM to conduct a detailed investigation over the allegations of phone tapping.It is alleged that the former CM HD Kumaraswamy was the man behind the alleged phone tapping. However, he has denied the accusations saying that there was no need for him to tap the phone calls to save the government. He claimed that he would never do such a thing as he has been repeatedly saying that the chief minister’s post is not forever.The phone calls of several politicians from the Congress, JD(S) and the BJP were illegally recorded. Not just politicians, people close to the politicians, journalists covering political stories and senior police officers were also tapped continuously for months until the recent Lok Sabha elections.R Ashoka said that he had complained about the phone tappings about six months ago but then the coalition government headed by HDK had denied it.Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao had commissioned a probe into the illegal phone tapping on August 8 after a leaked conversation allegedly from his phone was made public. The alleged clip contained conversation between Rao and another man named Faraz from Delhi, lobbying for his current post with Congress leaders.
By Hamil R. Harris, Special to the AFROA coalition of African-American pastors announced its support for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. This proclamation comes at a time when some of the state’s top Democratic veterans privately say Ben Jealous is losing ground in his bid to unseat the Republican governor, even during the era of President Donald Trump.Baltimore and Prince George’s County are critical for any chances of Jealous winning and this is why the endorsement of a number of prominent pastors is a political body blow to the former President and CEO of the NAACP. Further two of the pastors are leaders in the Progressive National Baptist Convention, which was formed by pastors aligned with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Black Pastors such as the Rev. Anthony Maclin of the Sanctuary at Kingdom Square in Prince George’s County are supporting Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan (R) who is running against Democrat and former NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous.“The gubernatorial leadership of Governor Hogan for our great state has been, and continues to be, insightful, thoughtful and respectful,” said the Rev. Dr. Harold Carter Jr. of the New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore, according to a statement released by the Hogan campaign. “His administration has been one of inclusivity and stability. We are the better for what he, along with Lt. Gov. Rutherford, bring to the table.”The Rev. Anthony Maclin, pastor of the Sanctuary at Kingdom Square, in Capital Heights, Md., is also supporting Hogan and said in a statement, “This governor has brought people together, reaching across political lines for the betterment of the people of the great state of Maryland.”The endorsement of these pastors came during a time where Jealous is being seen at major African American events such as the Morgan State Homecoming last weekend and the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce Gala at National Harbor. Privately, at both venues, leaders say Jealous is losing to Hogan in terms of a good ground game and African Americans like what Hogan has done.In terms of the faith community the pastors supporting Hogan are major players.“The Hogan/Rutherford team has proven to be thoughtful leaders,” said the Rev. Dr. Alvin Hathaway Sr., pastor of Baltimore’s Union Baptist Church. “I’ve found them willing to listen, debate and collaborate. These are the skills needed in this highly partisan climate. Together we are planning major changes in the west Baltimore community I serve.”The Rev. Dr. Calvin Baltimore of the Peoples Community Church in Silver Spring, Md., said, “These men are giving Maryland stellar leadership. I and other ministers and friends will be supporting these great men for re-election.”In addition to touting $25 billion for K-12 education, including $3.8 billion for Baltimore City, Hogan said in a statement that his administration, “has also taken strong action and spoken out against hatred and divisiveness in Maryland,” and has allocated money to improve security passed laws to strengthen hate crime laws.In terms of the endorsement, Hogan said in a statement, “These pastors are pillars of their communities and it is a privilege and an honor to receive their support.“I have been grateful to receive their wisdom and moral guidance during my first term. I look forward to working with them as we continue changing Maryland for the better.”Rutherford, another key to Hogan’s support, said, “Our administration has made building strong communities throughout Maryland a top priority, and these pastors have been vital allies in that effort.”