1Richard Kerr, “Another Hint of Planetary Marauders,” Science, Vol 309, Issue 5742, 1800, 16 September 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5742.1800a].2Strom et al., “The Origin of Planetary Impactors in the Inner Solar System,” Science, Vol 309, Issue 5742, 1847-1850, 16 September 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1113544].Several things stand out from stories of this genre. (1) The new finding contradicts earlier beliefs. (2) The new finding is put in the context of a vast field of unanswered questions. (3) Evolution is a given. (4) The accepted age of the solar system (4.6 billion years) is a given. (5) Most of the work remains to be done. (6) The check is in the mail (e.g., from this tiny tidbit of hypothesis, “we can now recover the prehistory of our solar system”). (7) Once we figure this out for our solar system, we will unlock the keys to other stars and planets, and to the whole universe. (8) This finding is the greatest thing since primordial soup. This is the way evolutionists kid themselves that they are doing science. They envelop themselves in periodic tables, lab instruments, and equations. So far so good. But since the Big Picture of Evolution has already been decided to be fact by decree, every piece of data must be forced into it. Working this way requires adding whatever ad hoc elements are needed to keep the story going, as well as ignoring uncomfortable facts. Dr. Walt Brown, for instance, who has a very different theory for the origin of impactors (see website), said this about Strom’s theory:Without explaining how asteroids formed in the first place, Kerr and Strom try to explain why asteroids in the main belt were shaken up by moving the giant planets around, and appealing to the extremely weak Yarkovsky effect and planetary resonances. (The radiometer effect is much stronger, because water molecules are much more massive than photons.) Showing that the size distribution of MBAs [not accountants, but Main Belt Asteroids] corresponds to the early craters in the inner solar system does not mean that the early impacts came from the asteroid belt.Each scientist working under evolutionary, naturalistic assumptions is a willing accomplice to this game of self-deception. Their motive is to contribute a brick for the Temple of Charlie, which produces gratification that one is doing his part to advance the cult. Whether the cult matches the real history of the universe, well – how could they ever tell? Of course, you’re only likely to hear the evolutionary side in the media, because they are all part of the cult, too.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Several researchers lately have claimed that meteorites can tell us the history of our solar system. How can this be?Messages from Heaven: Richard Kerr in Science1 reported on work by Strom et al. in the same issue2 that the asteroid belt was the source of the so-called “late heavy bombardment” that is said to have pummeled the early solar system 3.9 billion years ago. One researcher who had been working on this “problem” for 35 years completely changed his view based on the study. Strom’s team hypothesized that the gas giants rearranged themselves, and then modeled how impactors might have been flung inward from the asteroid belt as a consequence. Kerr writes, “Cratering specialists suspect that Strom and his colleagues are on to something, but they say the case remains open.” Another said they could be right, but “we have to be careful.”Crystal Balls: A Purdue University press release says “meteorites offer glimpse of the early Earth.” Purdue scientists measuring the isotopic ratios in Antarctic meteorites think they can deduce the temperature of their formation. From this, they believe, they can tell whether they formed at the same time Earth formed, or later. It’s not like reading a book, exactly; one scientist said, “There are still quite a few unanswered questions about the earliest periods of the Earth’s history, and this study only provides one piece of the puzzle.”Treasure Chest: As if to one-up the previous claim, EurekAlert printed a Florida State story that an “unusual meteorite unlocks treasure trove of solar system secrets.” The Tagish Lake meteorite that fell in Canada in 2000 led a FSU “geochemist to a breakthrough in understanding the origin of the chemical elements that make up our solar system,” the press release claimed. What did he find? An unusual ratio of isotopes of osmium. From this, he believes he can tell what kind of star produced the element, and when. His hypothesis, however, flies in the face of earlier suggestions that the element came from dust from a nearby star. No, the leader of the team says: his findings “reveal that the raw materials from which our solar system was built are preserved in a few exceptional meteorites, from which we can now recover the prehistory of our solar system.”
The microscopist fired for his publication of Darwin-embarrassing dinosaur soft tissue has won a historic settlement against Cal State University.Exclusive: Mark Armitage tells CEH that his case against Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) has resulted in a settlement after Judge Dalila Lyons of the California Superior Court ruled in a motion of adjudication favorable to his complaint. Rather than face a probable loss before a jury, CSUN’s lawyers chose to settle with him. Armitage writes:It was not simply a motion for summary judgment that the judge ruled against. The judge ruled against them in a motion for adjudication. There’s a big difference. In other words the judge made a ruling on the case and as a trier of fact concluded that we proved our case that they discriminated against my religion and they failed to follow up or investigate a written complaint of religious discrimination. There was no sense for the University to be dragged into the jury trial because it was clear that they were going to lose at trial and the awards would have been much larger than they presently are.According to FreedomX attorney Bill Becker, who litigated the Coppedge vs JPL case in 2012, a motion for adjudication means that the judge has confirmed certain evidence to be factual, and thus not in need of debate before a trier of fact. Said evidence can thus be stipulated as factual at the beginning of a court proceeding. Whatever the facts were, they must have been significant enough to scare CSUN’s attorneys from chancing a trial before a jury.Mark was employed as a microscopist and lab instructor at the university, but was abruptly terminated in 2014 without explanation after he and Dr. Kevin Anderson published a paper in Acta Histochemica describing soft tissue they had found in a Triceratops horn in Montana. That paper mentioned nothing about intelligent design or creationism, but Mark is well known as a young earth creationist, being a board member of the Creation Research Society (CRS), along with Anderson. The case caught the attention of Nature (11/05/14). Finding intact soft tissue inside a dinosaur bone causes obvious problems with the geological time scale (6/10/15). Since his firing, Mark has continued electron-microscopy work on dinosaur soft tissue under the auspices of CRS.Indications are that significant haggling went on before reaching a settlement. Mark and his attorney, Alan Reinach of Church State Council, apparently stood firm, according to Dr. Jay Wile, who spoke with Mark and wrote about it on a blog entry. Mark tells CEH that all parties signed, checks were written, and “my oh my some of them were very big.”So this is a done deal and we won a clear Victory. As my attorney has said, especially to a group of his peers at a meeting of employment lawyers, we have won an historic victory.Details of the settlement are not available until Reinach issues a formal press release. Mark tells CEH that there was no non-disclosure agreement, “so I’m free to give out the whole story including the amazing deposition testimony,” he said. So far, however, the only news online about the case as this entry goes to press is a Jay Wile’s blog, a homemade YouTube video by Mark posted October 1, and our email conversations with Mark quoted here. When a press release is issued, we will update this entry below.Update 10/04/16: Mark has written more information under his YouTube video, and is responding to comments.Update 10/05/16: An article on The College Fix adds more information, stating that Mark received a six-figure amount in the settlement, approximately 15 times his annual part-time salary. Alan Reinach says the university is still not admitting to discrimination: “the judge did not rule, in the settlement agreement there is no admission of guilt, and they have rehashed their claim that he was fired for budgetary reasons.” So there does not appear to be a ruling on the merits. Nevertheless, CSUN’s would not have agreed to such a large settlement if they thought they could win in court, Reinach believes; “they certainly would not have paid that kind of money if they did not recognize that we had them dead to rights.”While we wait for more detail, this appears to be a historic turn of events indeed. While some plaintiffs have won settlements against Darwin bigots (e.g., the California Science Center case, the Martin Garlick case, the Eric Hedin case), the vast majority of court cases have turned out badly for design advocates and creationists. Jerry Bergman’s 2nd volume of Slaughter of the Dissidents was just published: Silencing the Darwin Skeptics details additional stories of creationists and design advocates suffering loss of jobs or tenure for going against the Darwin Party. Will the Armitage case put the bigots on notice that they stand to lose significant money and prestige if they continue to discriminate? Time will tell.According to Jay Wile, CSUN’s lawyers pulled the same stunt as JPL’s lawyers in the Coppedge case, claiming Mark was fired for “budgetary reasons.” It also appears that having a good judge is key. Mark thinks the Honorable Judge Lyons is a Christian. Coppedge’s judge who ruled against him in the JPL case, Ernest Hiroshige (in the same Los Angeles courthouse as Lyons), is a Democrat appointed by Jerry Brown—unlikely to have wanted to face his peer group as having given aid and comfort to the “enemy” (intelligent design advocates). His decision was given without explanation. 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World Walking by William Kentridge ispart of the Caversham exhibition.(Image: The Heritage Agency) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jo-Anne DugganThe Heritage Agency+27 83 285 3600• Ehllene BekkerUJ Arts Centre+27 11 559 2099Chris ThurmanTradition is a loaded word that tends to evoke strong responses.Those who oppose tradition tend to associate it with the conservative, the old-fashioned, the out-of-date. Those who endorse it prefer to think of tradition as representing the authentic, the timeless, the tried-and-trusted.In most countries, cultural traditions, or traditional cultures, are of greater interest to tourists than to locals; they are part of national identity and history, but rarely register in citizens’ collective daily consciousness until they are used as political tools.In South Africa, tradition is typically allied with indigeneity and thus set against modern or Western practices and institutions. We often refer to traditional leaders, traditional healers, traditional beliefs, traditional music, traditional beer, traditional dress; but, in practice, these and other traditional elements combine with other influences and adopt hybrid forms.Two recent art exhibitions in Johannesburg challenge viewers to re-think their assumptions about what tradition implies.Artistic breeding groundA common misapprehension is that traditions are hundreds of years old.The Caversham Press, for example, celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2010 – and during those two and a half decades, this creative hub in rural KwaZulu-Natal has developed a tradition in its own right.In 1985, art teacher and master printer Malcolm Christian established Caversham in a run-down former Methodist chapel near Lidgetton, a small village in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.Christian invited artists such as William Kentridge and the late Robert Hodgins to use the Caversham facilities and to participate in a collaborative print-making process. Kentridge and Hodgins would, of course, subsequently become two of South Africa’s best-known artists.Other highly respected artists have produced work at Caversham, including Deborah Bell, David Koloane, Penny Siopis, Magkabo Helen Sebidi, Marion Arnold, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Bonnie Ntshalintshali, Malcolm Payne and Karel Nel. Their work forms part of People, Prints and Process: 25 Years at Caversham, an exhibition which ended on 4 December at Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Gallery.What is equally significant, however, is that the walls were also adorned with prints by relative newcomers to the arts scene. Christian and his colleagues constantly encourage young artists, many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, to visit Caversham and develop their skills. Residential fellowships, an educational trust and programmes such as the CreACTive Initiatives have broadened the scope of Caversham’s influence.Its tremendous value is evident in the current exhibition – not only because of the world-renowned names, but also because of success stories such as that of Sthembiso Sibisi, a self-taught painter whose Caversham prints have become widely sought-after.This, then, is an eclectic tradition. The prints exhibited range from woodcuts and linocuts to engravings and etchings, from screenprints to lithographs. There are portraits, still lives and landscapes; there are symbolist, surrealist, narrative and abstract pieces; there are black-and-white works as well as prints in bold colours.What provides the thread of continuity is that each of the artists involved has a direct connection to the organic tradition of Caversham Press.A trip through Venda cultureAvhashoni Mainganye’s work engages with a very different tradition – one that is made clear to visitors the moment they enter the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery through dzikhareni totems, which mark the entrance to a site where Venda boys undergo their initiation into manhood.Mainganye’s exhibition, Walking the Ancient Path, is a kind of initiation for those unfamiliar with aspects of Venda culture. Structured around the elements of water, earth, fire and air, the exhibition incorporates wood and stone sculpture, painting, photography and multimedia works.Many of these relate directly to traditional Venda practices, beliefs and sacred sites in South Africa’s northern province of Limpopo: Lake Fundudzi, Thathe Forest and the Phiphidi waterfalls are depicted in abstract paintings, a typical family shrine is recreated and there are photographs of an initiate and a tshiawelo or stone cairn.Yet the form, content and even names of these works resist any artificial notion of African authenticity or purity. The shrine includes candle-holders made out of Coke bottles. Titles in French such as “Le Monde” and “La Femme” gesture towards a global context of production and reception. Sculptures and paintings alike demonstrate a fusion of, on the one hand, traditional African patterns and styles and, on the other hand, a modernism with its roots in Europe. This collapsing of the Africa-Europe binary is nowhere more evident than in the Baptism of Fire series, in which both acrylic and cow dung have been used on burnt and torn canvasses.Moreover, rather than emphasising cultural distinction, Mainganye chooses to affirm similarity. Alongside the Venda tshiawelo, for instance, is a photograph of a Celtic cairn in Scotland. Likewise, a number of the sculpted figures are archetypal and thus universal: a pregnant woman, a mother, a supplicant.There are also strong trans-national connections in works that allude to parallel but diverging histories of freedom and oppression in South Africa and Zimbabwe – Venda people, after all, live on both sides of the Limpopo river that marks the boundary between the two countries.In this case, the continuity offered by tradition presents a powerful critique of the disruptions of modernity that take the form of colonialism and postcolonial legacies.Tradition and artIn a famous essay on “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, Anglo-American poet TS Eliot argued that – despite the common assumption that the role of the artist is to create something new and, in doing so, depart from tradition – great works of art emerge only when an artist is steeped in the work of his or her predecessors.Artistic creation, according to Eliot’s formulation, is a dynamic process in which past and present are mutually formative. Individual artists respond to a tradition but, in the process, change that tradition through their contribution: “What happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art that preceded it”.In the 1970s, half a century after Eliot’s essay was first published, literary critic Harold Bloom propounded a different theory. He suggested that, instead of extending a tradition, the work of great artists is produced through “the anxiety of influence”. In other words, feeling all too aware of the effect that famous forerunners potentially have on them, ambitious artists deliberately avoid their precursors, or parody them, or imitate their style in order to improve upon it.Both Eliot and Bloom are unfortunately Eurocentric in their definitions of tradition, but the tension that is evident between their respective positions can be identified in various debates about visual art in South Africa. These debates inevitably take on racial overtones. What does it mean for a white artist to eschew the history of Western art and embrace instead the aesthetic of bushman paintings? What does it mean for a black artist to deliberately separate himself from the modes of township art?When we attempt to answer these questions, the reductive connotations of words like “traditional” prove inadequate. Likewise, if we are to appreciate the living history of the Caversham Press or take up Mainganye’s invitation to “walk the ancient path”, a more complex understanding of tradition is required.http://www.cavershamcentre.org/
Toyota South Africa Motors CEO explains their continued investment into South Africa By Tsabeng Nthite – South Africa’s vehicle market remains the biggest in Africa, accounting for 37% of new vehicle sales on the continent. Mr Andrew Kirby, President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors attributes this to the direction that the South African government has taken to make South African an attractive investment destination. “The automotive sector is a bright spot for us in South Africa because we have long-term stability of the industrial policy from government, and over the years there has been consistent support from the motor industry,” said Mr Kirby. Brand South Africa in collaboration with Business Leadership SA – is running a six week campaign to position South Africa as in ideal investment destination. The CEOs Know Campaign features CEO’s from multinational corporations based in South Africa who share insights on the value of their respective organisations’ investment into South Africa. Mr Andrew Kirby, CEO and President of Toyota South Africa is one of the CEO’s featured.“The benefit for us is that we get asset investment support, and we also get support through the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP), which incentivises the production and exports of vehicles which allows us to offset a lot of the initiation costs, and that makes us globally competitive,” concluded Mr Kirby. Other CEO’s featured include South African Tourism CEO, Mr Sisa Ntshona; the Johannesburg Stock Exchange CEO, Ms Nicky Newton-King; MD and Partner of Goldman Sachs South Africa, Mr Colin Coleman; Executive Head of Anglo American South Africa, Mr Andile Sangqu, as well as CEO of Shell Companies South Africa, Mr Hloniphizwe Mtolo
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest CornUSDA surprised Chicago analysts last week by reducing 2015 corn acres estimates — 200K planted but 500K harvested. This could reduce 2015 bushels by 80 to100 million, and ultimately support prices. Still questions remain:• Will harvested acres stay low?• Will USDA revise estimates in the future?• Will excessive rainfall cause a drop in USDA yield estimates in July?• With abundance of forage in the South will some silage acres be harvested for corn?Interestingly, sorghum planted acres were up 1 million. Comparing total corn and sorghum acres between 2014 and 2015, there was no change. When the massive amount of low quality wheat is also considered (which will likely replace some corn feed), could long-term corn be a bit “overdone?” Crop reportsNE — with the recent good weather, crops are looking much better than two weeks agoKS — some progress was made on double crop soybeans last week.IN & OH — crops are uneven and yield estimates are uncertainEurope — Very hot with dry top soil, likely reducing corn yields over 10%China and Canada — some dry weather concernsWeather is clearly critical to yield for the next few weeks. Market volatility will continue.End users bought more corn this week than any other week in the past few years. Many farmers behind in 2014 sales “pulled the trigger.” This caused basis (cash price verses CBOT price) to drop 15 to 25 cents across the country. Corn is trading at levels that farmers can largely make money at this year, so some started making new crop sales as well. SoybeansBean acres are still an unknown. Even the USDA will resurvey farmers in July to get better planted acre estimates. With the recent $1 per bushel rally in the futures market, farmers are scrambling to get beans planted even at such a late date verses taking prevent plant. The price range for beans has gotten wider instead of narrower, making predictions impossible. Futures TradeBefore last week’s report, I suggested having “wish orders” in the market. I placed an offer (5% of my production) to sell Dec futures at $4.24, a target value I have had on since April. This is the first futures sale I’ve made since last October when I had extra grain production at harvest. The trade before that was 8/11/14 when I made a sale at $4.08. Options TradeFollowing deconstructs a recent trade that shows not only how farmers can pick up market carry premiums but also how it allows me to take advantage of rallies and reduce risk by keeping my choices open.On 10/9/14 futures were trading $3.40, which was up 22 cents off harvest lows 10 days earlier. Hindsight shows I should have waited. However, I sold a Jan $3.60 call (selling a call is giving the rights to someone to buy grain at $3.60 from me) for 13.5 cents that would expire on 12/26/14. On 12/26/14 futures were above that $3.60 call, so that trade became a futures contract sale at $3.735 ($3.60 + $.135 premium I received for selling my rights).On 12/29/14 because the Dec futures were ready to expire I had to move them forward in time unless I wanted to move grain at the end of December, which I did not want to do. I bought back my Dec futures and sold the Jul ’15 futures at a 15 cent profit (thus I pushed the trade forward). After commissions the sales price was now $3.875 ($3.735+$.14 profit to move it to the July futures).July ’15 is about to expire, so I have to move this trade forward to Dec ’15. Once again, I will buy my sale back in the Jul and sell it again in Dec ’15 for another 17.5 cent profit – Now the trade is worth $4.05 against Dec ($3.875+$.175 profit to move it to the Dec futures after commissions.)So basically, I increased my sales position by moving my trade forward using market carry and call premium from $3.40 to $4.05 while maintaining flexibility in my marketing strategy.I am nearly 100% sold for 2015 harvest, so I’ll likely need to move this trade forward again into 2016 (unless there is above average yields this harvest). In Dec I’ll make that decision based upon the market conditions and crop yields at that time. Listening to ExpertsThe recent market “run up” highlights why farmers need a “game plan.” Many experts analyze technical signals to predict market trends. In many cases, their records are pretty good — estimates indicate they are accurate 70% of the time. This is why speculators follow expert advice and why farmers hear “the trend is your friend.” Weather is the big unknown and why the experts can’t predict more accurately long-term what will occur.Last week an expert was asked, “What should farmers do before the report?” He said it is difficult to know from a farmer’s point of view, but from a “trader’s perspective” he would look for a rally. Clearly that expert was correct, considering the recent rally. The trouble is, most farmers aren’t traders (really just a fancy word for speculator). Most aren’t getting in and out of the market.There are only two kinds of people involved in the futures market — hedgers or speculators. You are either one or the other. Farmers are natural hedgers because they have to continually sell their crop (at least eventually, grains have a shelf-life). Since they HAVE to sell, farmers have to take a different view of the market from the experts.I urge all of my clients to let go of the fantasy that they will always hit the top of the market. I don’t know anyone who can do that. Rather, I recommend setting a “game plan” or marketing strategy that takes advantage of the available premiums in the market based upon historical trends and utilize all the marketing “tools” in the tool box to increase flexibility and reduce risk.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations. Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
188 Teams will make the annual pilgrimage to Tuffins Lane in Port Macquarie 1-3 December 2006 for the 30th New South Wales Touch Association (NSWTA) State Cup. The 2006 NSWTA State Cup will be contested across 15 divisions with entries received from 53 affiliates State wide.This year sees the Men’s and Women’s 20 Years Divisions return to the tournament schedule.A Division Two section in the respective Men’s and Women’s Open will be contested for the first time in the 30 year history of the esteemed event which combines the best of competitive and social atmospheres the sport has to offer. Over 230 Referees will be travelling to Port Macquarie to officiate in 552 games over three days of fast and furious action.The showcase event has a rich and proud history and is Australia’s biggest and most popular adult Touch tournament of its kind.To ensure the tournament runs smoothly, NSWTA Staff will be supported by the Port Macquarie Volunteers Organisation, and additional NSW Touch volunteers.Pool games commence at 9.00am on Friday 1 December and recommence at 8.00am on Saturday 2 December, with Quarter finals commencing on Sunday 3 December at 8.35am. The Tournament will culminate with the State Cup Grand Finals across all divisions on Sunday afternoon.The premier Women’s Open Division final is at 3.25pm, whilst the Men’s Finalists will tap off on field one at 4.10pm to battle it out for the State Cup crown.For further information and contact details please click on the link to NSWTA website www.nswtouch.com.au and follow the links to the State Cup.
TagsSerie A NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say Milan derby sets record viewing figures for DAZNby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSports streaming subscription platform DAZN has revealed that last Saturday’s Milan derby between Serie A rivals AC and Inter was the most watched game ever on its Italian service, reports, www.sportspromedia.com/.DAZN did not disclose how many viewers in Italy tuned into the action but said that figures for the match, which saw Inter win 2-0, surpassed its previous record for a top-flight Italian soccer game set by last season’s fixture between Inter and Juventus.Overall it was a record-breaking weekend for DAZN, which said that it registered more than three million hours of streaming viewed on its Italian platform from 20th to 22nd September.”It was a record-breaking weekend for DAZN,” said Veronica Diquattro, DAZN’s executive vice president for Southern Europe. “The Milan-Inter derby was the most followed event ever on our streaming platform, with excellent feedback in terms of quality. We are very happy with the results, which show how streaming remains the core business of our company.”
WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit dropped in May to the lowest level in 19 months as U.S. exports rose to a record level. But the trade gap between the United States and China increased sharply, underscoring the economic tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.The Commerce Department said Friday that the May trade deficit — the difference between what America sells and what it buys in foreign markets — fell 6.6 per cent to $43.1 billion. It was the smallest imbalance since October 2016.Exports climbed 1.9 per cent to a record $215.3 billion. Imports were up a smaller 0.4 per cent to $258.4 billion.The United States imposed penalty tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods Friday. China retaliated in kind, starting what Beijing called the “biggest trade war in economic history.”For May, the America’s deficit in goods with China rose 18.7 per cent to $33.2 billion. So far this year the deficit totals $152.2 billion, up 9.9 perce4nt from the same period a year ago. As has been the case for decades, America’s deficit with China is the largest imbalance with any country.During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump repeatedly attacked America’s trade deficits, contending they were the result of inept U.S. negotiators striking bad deals. He pledged to correct that situation if elected and since taking office he has tried in a number of ways to force China and other U.S. trading partners to alter trade arrangements to boost U.S. export sales.The penalty tariffs that the United States imposed Friday on China are part of an effort to confront Beijing over development tactics the administration contends include stealing or pressuring foreign companies to hand over technology.Washington imposed 25 per cent duties on $34 billion of imports from China in the first in a possible series of increases that Trump says could affect up to $550 billion of Chinese goods. China announced that its retaliatory tariffs had also taken effect.The Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily said they were imposed on a $34 billion list of goods issued that included soybeans, pork and electric vehicles. Washington has “ignited the biggest trade war in economic history,” China’s Commerce Ministry said in a printed statement.The U.S. trade report said that the rise in American exports to an all-time high included a near doubling in exports of soybeans, apparently an effort by farmers to get shipments to China before the tariffs took effect.In addition to the battle with China over technology, the administration has imposed penalty tariffs on China and other countries in an effort to protect U.S. producers of steel and aluminum. Trump has vowed to bring down America’s massive deficits, which he blames on bad trade agreements and abusive practices by U.S. trading partners.In addition to a jump in exports of soybeans in May, sales of commercial airplanes and industrial engines also rose.On the import side, imports of telecommunications equipment and computers saw big gains.The United States ran a $22.7 billion surplus in May in the trade of services such as education and banking. But that was offset by a $65.8 billion deficit in the trade of goods.