Following the publication on June 24th of the first of my two columns on NOCAL, I was interviewed by a local reporter and I said that President Sirleaf should take responsibility for the mess at the company because she was the one who appointed the board of directors and senior management there. Some people felt I was too harsh.Well, President Sirleaf has accepted responsibility, as well she should. But I am intrigued by her comment that NOCAL had a board and management that were “able”. How can she say that with a straight face? If NOCAL’s board and management were so “able”, then how in the world did they run the company into the ground? Marie Parker, it seems, was the only thing between the company and disaster. After she retired from the company (and later died), things went to hell in a hand basket. The tens of millions of dollars that she left in NOCAL’s bank accounts were subsequently frittered away. Now the company is virtually bankrupt. And the reasons have nothing to do with the drop in the price of oil. They have everything to do with massive overspending.The debacle that we now see at NOCAL did not happen overnight. The seeds of disaster were sown some time ago. And much of the present mess has to be laid at the feet of President Sirleaf’s favourite son, Rob Sirleaf, the Wall Street savant. My information is that Rob worked for Wachovia Bank. Someone needs to tell me when Wachovia migrated to Wall Street.Rob was chairman of NOCAL’s board from early 2012 till his resignation in August 2013. Before that, he was on NOCAL’s board, directing traffic from the back benches. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that, even though he is no longer on the company’s board, he is still calling the shots there.He was chairman when NOCAL’s board was spending US$1.5 million a year. On what, you may well ask? I too wanted to know. I sent NOCAL a data request on December 9, 2014 requesting, amongst other things, information on what NOCAL was paying its board members as board fees; and on the board projects NOCAL was spending money on for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. I never got an answer, even though our Freedom of Information Act obliges the company, a public entity, to provide me, a citizen of the Republic, with such information.I asked because I had reliably learned that NOCAL was spending lavishly on Rob’s pet projects. Unconfirmed reports suggest, for instance, that NOCAL gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Rob’s BYC football team. Rob was also on the board when the bloat in the payroll took flight. NOCAL went from a headcount of 20-30 people to one of 170 highly paid management and staff, from a payroll of US$360,000 per annum to one of more than US$7 million.Till this day, NOCAL has not honoured my request for information about its operations. An audit, by one of the Big 4 international accounting firms, not that shower at GAC, should be done on NOCAL (in one of his more delirious moments Rob offered to succumb to such an audit) so the Liberian people can know what has really been going on there.And if any criminal wrongdoing is discovered, President Sirleaf should strike the first blow to slay the vampire by instituting criminal proceedings against anyone found culpable, without fear or favour. People should go to jail. Then we will know that she is really serious about combating corruption.I will return to a position that I have long held: that the only way to effectively combat corruption in our public service is to put people in jail. I don’t believe for a moment that Liberians are born with more corruption genes in their DNA than, say, Americans or Germans or the British. Why corruptions thrives here is because there are no consequences. People steal public money and go scot free. No sanctions. No serious punishment.A couple of personal examples will illustrate how I believe a Liberian leader can effectively combat corruption. In 1973, a very close relative of mine was involved in theft of ticket receipts from a football tournament that we, the Big H Committee, had organized. His accomplices perhaps believed that because he was a close relative of mine, they would just get a slap on the wrist if they were caught. Well, they misjudged me. I grabbed my close relative first before anyone else and slammed him into South Beach prison.Currently, I am embarked on a crusade that stretches back three years to have the former superintendent of our Kokoyah Statutory District prosecuted for eating US$60,000 of monies we had negotiated with a logging company to pay the district for use of our facilities. He was indicted by a grand jury in Gbarnga in November 2013. His trial started a few weeks ago. I will not rest until he is put behind bars, should he be found guilty. No begging.Since President Sirleaf does not know what to do with corrupt government officials, we, the citizens of Kokoyah, will give her a good civics lesson.The writer is a certified public accountant and a businessman. He can be reached at .Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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No one can accuse the Ducati XDiavel S of being genial. Even at standstill, this ‘cruiser’ motorcycle from the Italian stable has the mien of the Hound of the Baskervilles on a leash. Press the ignition, and it snarls menacingly, making the crowd part like the sea for Moses. Fear,,No one can accuse the Ducati XDiavel S of being genial. Even at standstill, this ‘cruiser’ motorcycle from the Italian stable has the mien of the Hound of the Baskervilles on a leash. Press the ignition, and it snarls menacingly, making the crowd part like the sea for Moses. Fear, trepidation, and awe sum up the standard reaction to the XDiavel S, which, given that ‘Diavel’ roughly translates into ‘evil, like the devil,’ is rather appropriate.It’s the only concession the XDiavel S makes, but it’s a big one: the mountain of torque-that lovely visceral grunt which imparts ride-ability much more than sheer power-bears down on the rider at as low as 5500 rpm, with a chunk of it coming at just 2000 rpm. What that means, basically, is not only that the XDiavel S can cruise, but also that it’s the first Ducati that allows you to enjoy the feel of a big motorcycle at reasonable velocity. Heck you could even listen to music (there’s Bluetooth connectivity for smartphones). You even get extended footpegs that create a laidback cruiser stance, a long wheelbase, and a low saddle. For all its dragster-like styling, the XDiavel S loves carving corners with almost as much venom as a sport-bike.True to its extra-terrestrial looks, the XDiavel S gets the full treatment of electronics one has come to expect from Ducati. Three riding modes-Urban, Cruiser and Sport-allow the rider to manipulate ride quality, power output, and more importantly how gently (for lack of a better word) or brutally that power is delivered. A practical Ducati is very much an oxymoron, and one of the biggest surprises the XDiavel S springs is its ability to keep its cool. Even in Delhi summer it never gets too hot under its skin, certainly not the singe-the hair-off-the-thighs hot that most big motorcycles tend to in the summer. Truly liberating.advertisementDucati XDiavel Engine 1262cc Testastretta DVT L-Twin, Liquid cooled; Power 247 kg TORQUE 247 kg; Kerb weight 247 kg; Price 18.47 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Director General in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vivian Brown, has encouraged Jamaicans to support the Government’s National Quality Policy 2017, as it aims to increase the nation’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) and export earnings.According to Mr. Brown, the new policy will help with quality upgrading of locally produced goods and services to internationally required standards, not only for local consumers but for the export market.“Quality upgrading of our producers, large and small, not only improves our products and services to meet increasing demands of customer expectations but also enhances opportunities for expansion into new markets,” Mr. Brown said at a National Quality Policy Workshop held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew today (March 6), to analyse and discuss the policy with stakeholders.The National Quality Policy 2017, now in its White Paper stage, articulates the Government’s position on the quality of goods and services produced and consumed in Jamaica.It supports the achievement of the National Development Goals as expressed in the National Development Plan – Vision 2030, by facilitating the production and export of quality goods and services, through the establishment and use of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI), to ensure compliance with global market requirements.“The Government of Jamaica is committed to enhancing the development and maintenance of a modern and robust National Quality Infrastructure. We are committed to the development of our national quality capabilities and competencies and the provision of a competitive trading environment based on internationally accepted standards and principles,” Mr. Brown said.“Equally, we are firmly committed to creating a quality environment that will encourage local consumers to demand high-quality products and services,” he added.Mr. Brown said it is important for the Government to get support with formalising the framework of this new policy, especially from the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as they account for the highest percentage of producers, manufacturers and service providers in Jamaica.“Very importantly for the policy is the ability of our micro, small and medium- sized enterprises to comply with the correct standards and regulations applied in export markets as well as the domestic market,” he said.“In all of this, there’s a pivotal role for the private sector in the development and the implementation of the quality policy as well as its participation in the development of our national quality infrastructure. If we are to achieve the maximum benefit from the National Quality Infrastructure, the private sector must be encouraged to avail itself of information and services being provided by the NQI,” Mr. Brown argued.He said the Government will develop appropriate mechanisms to identify the standards and policy needs of the MSME sector, including establishing initiatives for national quality infrastructure support, which relates to the National Quality Policy (NQP).The Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) will play a pivotal role in assisting Jamaican business operators to meet the standards outlined in the new NQP.JANAAC is the national accreditation body of Jamaica that provides services to conformity assessment bodies (CABs), consisting of laboratory inspection bodies and certification bodies.It is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries and is the only internationally recognised accreditation body in the English-speaking Caribbean. JANAAC was the title sponsor of the workshop. It supports the achievement of the National Development Goals as expressed in the National Development Plan – Vision 2030, by facilitating the production and export of quality goods and services, through the establishment and use of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI), to ensure compliance with global market requirements. Director General in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vivian Brown, has encouraged Jamaicans to support the Government’s National Quality Policy 2017, as it aims to increase the nation’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) and export earnings. “Quality upgrading of our producers, large and small, not only improves our products and services to meet increasing demands of customer expectations but also enhances opportunities for expansion into new markets,” Mr. Brown said at a National Quality Policy Workshop held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew today (March 6), to analyse and discuss the policy with stakeholders. Story Highlights
zoom South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has held a demonstration ceremony for the installation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification system using glycol on board a 170,000 cbm LNG floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) at its Ulsan shipyard.Since the glycol regasification process is free from saltiness unlike a system that uses seawater, it can minimize corrosion in major equipment including heat exchangers and lower the risk of explosion that a system using propane may be exposed to, according to the shipbuilder.Regasification system is a key facility for an LNG FSRU that receives gas from offloading LNG carriers and provides gas send-out through pipelines to shore.LNG FSRU takes a year less and costs half as much as an onshore LNG terminal to complete. The facility, better known as “the LNG plant on the ocean”, can also move from place to place where the energy demand is in growth as it has its own propulsion system.After being granted an approval in principle (AIP) for the system from Lloyd’s Register last month, HHI said it is in the process of receiving the recognition for the system from other classification societies as well.HHI completed FSRU Independence, the world’s first newbuilding LNG FSRU in 2014.
See All This is the Amazfit Bip under sunlight. The reflective color screen is lovely and easy to read. Photo by Rick Broida/CNET It was about a year ago that I first encountered the Amazfit Bip, which at $80 (down from $100) seemed way too good to be true. An always-on screen, a heart-rate monitor, built-in GPS and a battery good for weeks, not days? Yes please.Since then, I’ve shared numerous deals, the lowest being around $61. And I even drew the attention of CNET’s smartwatch expert Scott Stein, who reviewed the Bip and found it “the best low-key casual smartwatch around.”Today, and for a limited time, Amazon has the Amazfit Bip in your choice of colors for $67.49. That’s obviously not the all-time best deal I’ve seen, but it’s close — and it’s excellent.See it at AmazonRead Stein’s review if you want to learn more about the product. I’ll simply add — and reiterate — that even if you use none of the other features, the notifications alone make this worth having. See who’s calling, read incoming texts, get calendar alerts and more, all without touching your phone.I’ll also note that Walmart currently has the Bip for $67.99, which I mention only because of the return option: If you decide you don’t like the Bip, you might find it easier to return to a retail store than to box up and ship. Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 See it News • Amazfit Bip smartwatch dips to $64 (Update: Expired) Comments Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Tags Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. See It Share your voice Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Amazfit Bip Apple $79 $79 reading • The Bip is back: $67.49 for this versatile Apple Watch alternative Walmart 4:00 Review • Amazfit Bip review: You won’t believe how great a budget smartwatch can be Read more: The best smartwatches for 2019(This story originally posted on February 11, 2019. The deal is still active as of now.)CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! Amazfit Bip vs. Fitbit Versa: Which is more like Pebble? 10 Now playing: Watch this: • Mentioned Above Amazfit Bip (kokoda green) Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Apple Wearable Tech The Cheapskate
Bid adieu to dry skin during the pre-winter season by opting for creamy products and oiling your body right, says an expert. Beauty expert Bharti Taneja, of the capital-based Alps Beauty Clinic, has shared some pre-winter beauty tips for making your skin look and feel soft. Opt for creamy products: Pack away those gel-based face washes, creams as well as make-up products and opt for creamy ones. Cream-based products are generally oil-based and hence form a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture during chilly days. These creams deeply moisturise the skin while nourishing it from within. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Use sunscreen: Most of us restrict the usage of sunscreens only for summer to protect the skin from tanning and stop using it as soon as the autumn arrives. But not many know that pre-winter sun too can be harmful for the skin. Therefore, it is advisable to apply broad spectrum sunscreen with UV and PA+++ protection in winter on your face and other exposed parts of the body. For better protection, make sure you apply the sun protection cream 30 minutes before stepping out of the house. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixOil the body: The importance of oiling your body becomes inevitable as the autumn breeze may rob it of its natural moisture as soon as the fall season starts. A 10-minute oiling session before your bath would suffice for the nourishment needs of the skin. Performing this on regular basis is sure to keep your skin soft, supple and smooth throughout the winter season. Conditioner: To keep the lustre of the hair intact, it is good to use a conditioner which has silicon to lock down the outer circle layer and seal in the moisture. You may also try a homemade avocado mask for dry and rough hair. For this, mash the flesh of avocado with fork and add extra virgin olive oil to make a mixture. Apply this smooth mixture and wash it off after 30 minutes. This nourishing mask is enriched with essential vitamins, minerals and softening agents for your hair to fight pre-winter harshness with ease.Hydrate: Boost your beauty regimen by drinking lots of water irrespective of the season. It helps your skin stay young and hydrated by flushing out all the toxins of your body. If you are not very happy with the idea of gulping down the cold water, make sure to drink lots of warm or lukewarm water during the day.
New-born babies should be put to bed in the same bedroom as their parents but not on the same bed for the first year of their life. They should be laid on a separate surface or a crib as this may help avoid cot death among infants, researchers have suggested.“Parents should never place the baby on a sofa, couch, or cushioned chair, either alone or sleeping with another person. These surfaces are extremely hazardous,” said lead author Rachel Moon from the University of Virginia in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death or crib death, is the sudden unexplained death of a child less than one year of age. “We know that parents may be overwhelmed with a new baby in the home, and we want to provide them with clear and simple guidance on how and where to put their infant to sleep,” Moon added, in a new policy statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.Explaining how to create a safe sleep environment for babies, child health experts recommended skin-to-skin care regardless of feeding or delivery method, immediately following birth for at least an hour as soon as the mother is medically stable and awake. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWhile infants are at heightened risk for SIDS between the ages one and four months, new evidence shows that soft bedding continues to pose hazards to babies who are four months and older.Thus, after feeding, parents should move the baby to his or her separate sleeping space, preferably a crib or bassinet in the parents’ bedroom. “There should be no pillows, sheets, blankets or other items that could obstruct the infant’s breathing or cause overheating,” noted Lori Feldman-Winter, Professor at Cooper University Hospital in New Jersey, US. “If you are feeding your baby and think that there’s even the slightest possibility that you may fall asleep, feed your baby on your bed, rather than a sofa or cushioned chair,” Feldman-Winter suggested in the report published online in the journal Pediatrics.
This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now June 1, 2006 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Free 2 min read All the firewalls, anti-virus software and spam killers in the world won’t save you from poor user behavior. A recent survey of IT managers by security company GreenBordershowed that most of the malicious code they have to clean from computers resulted from mobile users bringing back “souvenirs” or from user behavior, such as downloading bad software.There are ways to help protect your business from human error. “It’s a two-pronged approach: education, and protecting [employees] from themselves. You need to educate [employees] about clicking on e-mail attachments and downloading software, [and] you need to have the appropriate security software on their computers,” says Laura Yecies, general manager of Check Point Software Technologies’ recently acquired Zone Labsdivision, a consumer and SMB network security provider.A security suite should be installed on every laptop your mobile workers use. Employees should be instructed in proper user behavior. Points to mention include not using work e-mail for personal use, not installing peer-to-peer networking software or any other un-authorized programs, and not plugging gadgets like PDAs into work computers. Software is available that allows you to place usage restrictions on your server or block certain sites from employee access at work. A comprehensive technology and internet security policy is a good start, but also be sure to update the policy and keep employees trained and informed.
Travelweek Group Tags: America, Donald Trump << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Trump’s second travel ban also put on hold as judge grants preliminary injunction nationwide GREENBELT, Md. — President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban has suffered another federal court setback after a judge in Maryland rejected a revised measure that bans travel targeting six predominantly Muslim countries.Judge Theodore Chuang ruled Thursday in a case brought near the nation’s capital by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups representing immigrants, refugees and their families. The groups argued that the underlying rationale of the ban was to discriminate against Muslims, making it unconstitutional. Chuang granted a preliminary injunction nationwide basis.It was the latest ruling against Trump’s revised travel ban. On Wednesday, a judge in Hawaii rejected the ban.Government lawyers argued that the ban was substantially revised from an earlier version signed in January that was later blocked by a federal judge in Washington state. They said the ban was ordered in the interest of national security to protect the U.S. from “radical Islamic terrorism.”The Maryland plaintiffs also argued the ban illegally reduces the number of refugees authorized to enter the U.S. this year. Chuang granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the travel ban nationwide pending further orders from the court. He declined to stay the ruling should an emergency appeal be filed.The White House did not immediately respond to the Maryland ruling.The Wednesday ruling came from U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu, who rejected the government’s claims that the travel ban is about national security, not discrimination. Watson also said Hawaii would suffer financially if the executive order constricted the flow of students and tourists to the state, and that Hawaii was likely to succeed on a claim that the ban violates First Amendment protections against religious discrimination.More news: Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsWatson criticized what he called the “illogic” of the government’s arguments and cited “significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus” behind the travel ban. He also noted that while courts should not examine the “veiled psyche” and “secret motives” of government decision-makers, “the remarkable facts at issue here require no such impermissible inquiry.”“For instance, there is nothing ‘veiled’ about this press release: ‘Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,”’ Watson wrote, referring to a statement Trump issued as a candidate.Trump called the ruling an example of “unprecedented judicial overreach” and said his administration would appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court. He also called his new travel ban a watered-down version of the first one, which he said he wished he could implement.“We’re going to win. We’re going to keep our citizens safe,” the president said at a rally in Nashville. “The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear.”If the administration seeks an emergency stay of Watson’s decision at the 9th Circuit, the matter would be heard by different judges from the three who ruled on the case last month. That’s because the panel of judges assigned to such cases rotates every month, said court spokesman David Madden.The 9th Circuit on Wednesday declined to reconsider the 3-0 decision not to reinstate the original ban. In a dissent, five judges said they considered that decision incorrect and wanted it vacated.“Whatever we, as individuals, may feel about the president or the executive order, the president’s decision was well within the powers of the presidency,” Judge Jay Bybee wrote for the five.More news: Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyWatson issued his 43-page ruling less than two hours after hearing Hawaii’s request for a temporary restraining order to stop the ban from being put into practice.The hearing was one of three held Wednesday in federal courts around the country. U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who blocked the initial travel ban last month, did not immediately rule on a request from an immigrant-rights group to block the revised version.In all, more than half a dozen states are trying to stop the ban. A case brought by Washington state argues that the new order harms residents, universities and businesses, especially tech companies such as Washington state-based Microsoft and Amazon, which rely on foreign workers. California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon have joined the claim.Trump’s initial travel ban, issued on a Friday in late January, brought chaos and protests to airports around the country as travellers from seven nations – Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen – were barred from entering even if they had prior permission to come to the U.S. The State Department cancelled up to 60,000 visas, but later reversed that decision.Robart ordered the government to stop enforcing the ban, which also suspended the nation’s acceptance of refugees from around the world, and a three-judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declined to reinstate the ban. Thursday, March 16, 2017
MONACO — Heritage Group, headed up by Silversea Cruises chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, will own 85% of luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent while A&K founder Geoffrey Kent will own 15% in a new strategic partnership announced today.Kent will continue to be Chairman and CEO of the operating company, officially Abercrombie & Kent Group of Companies S.A., while Lefebvre will become Chairman of Abercrombie & Kent Holding.Kent and Lefebvre have known each other for more than 20 years and have also been business partners, having acquired the MV Explorer in 1992.Lefebvre built Silversea Cruises, created by his father in 1994 with the purchase of two ships, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, into a leading luxury and expedition cruise line. He is now the Chairman and former owner of Silversea.In summer 2018 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) acquired a 66% stake in Silversea Cruises. A&K is a separate and unique investment by Heritage, led by Lefebvre, and does not involve Silversea, according to a statement about this latest deal.More news: Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoKent is credited with creating the first luxury tented photographic safaris in 1962 in Kenya and built A&K into the world’s leading luxury and adventure travel company.“Abercrombie & Kent is the finest luxury travel company in the world, and I am honoured to be able to partner with Geoffrey Kent to help this remarkable company continue its record growth,” said Lefebvre.Kent added: “I am very excited to be working with Manfredi. I cannot think of a better or more experienced partner for the next phase of A&K’s growth.”The closing is expected to be completed later in the year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Share Travelweek Group Tags: Abercrombie & Kent, Acquisitions, Silversea Cruises Abercrombie & Kent’s 100% joint acquisition deal officially aligns luxury company with Silversea’s Lefebvre Posted by Tuesday, February 12, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >>