Govt continues to pour $14M monthly into “bottomless pit”

first_img…since Sussex Street bond still to be used by Public Health Ministry – NandlallHaving cut the Budget for the judiciary for 2017 by over $100 million, the Government continues to pour $14 million a month into a “bottomless pit” in payments being made to Linden Holdings Inc for the storage of drugs and medical supplies but to date the facility is yet to be utilised.Former Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Anil NandlallThis is according to former Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Anil Nandlall, who in a recent interview with Guyana Times, lamented the state of affairs, saying that Government could have very well been better utilising its scarce resources by investing in more programmes integral to the welfare of Guyanese.Nandlall reminded that Government continues to complain that it is cash-strapped, yet it has already plugged in excess of $90 million into Linden Holdings Inc—owned by Larry Singh, an Alliance For Change (AFC) financier.The Opposition Parliamentarian during his interview with Guyana Times also recalled that President David Granger had set up a Cabinet Sub-committee which had recommended that either Government find another facility, or renegotiate the rental downward.House Speaker,Dr Barton ScotlandThis is yet to happen since Government continues to pay Singh’s Linden Holdings Inc for services not rendered since the Ministry is still to use the facility.In fact the bridge to the building has been damaged and is currently under repair.Nandlall is calling on Government to remedy the situation and reminded that Government still has under its control a state-of-the-art facility at Diamond, East Bank Demerara, in addition to capacity at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and other regional facilities.Public Health Minister Dr George Norton a week ago found himself in hot water when Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland, found that a prima facie case had been made against the Minister with regards to allegations that he misled the House in his pronouncements on Linden Holdings Inc and the monies being paid by Government.The Public Health Minister has since been referred to the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges to determine if in fact he did abuse his privileges as a Member of Parliament and whether he should be sanctioned.The matter was presented to the House in a Motion submitted by Opposition Parliamentarian Dr Frank Anthony and seconded by Chief Whip Gail Teixeira.The fiasco stems from an August 8 consideration of Financial Papers when it was discovered that Government had in fact entered a contract to pay a VAT-excluded $12.5 million monthly rental to Linden Holdings Inc for the storage of drugs and medical supplies. This obtained despite the fact that New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (NEW GPC) was providing free storage at a world class facility free of cost.The brouhaha that erupted led President Granger to set up a Cabinet Sub-committee to investigate the matter and make recommendations. That committee had concluded that the contract should be terminated or re-negotiated since a similar facility could have been found at a cheaper rate.Guyana Times had managed to garner more in-depth information – from a reliable source – of the Confidential Cabinet Report that was handed to President Granger in August 2016, for Executive Action.In the report, the Cabinet Sub-committee found that—contrary to earlier pronouncements by Government spokespersons—the value of the lease with Linden Holdings Inc should be reassessed, as it is likely that a similar facility could be obtained at a lower rate.Dr Norton at the time told Parliament that the building was in fact already being used by the Public Health Ministry to store drugs and medical supplies.This publication was told that under examination by the Cabinet Sub-committee, Minister Norton said his statement was based on the reliance of information provided to him by the ministry officials “to the effect that the bond was ready and in use.”In mid-October, more than two months after he was found to have misled the National Assembly, Dr Norton apologised to the House.Norton used the occasion of ‘Statements by a Minister’ to offer the apology to the President, Prime Minister, Speaker and other members of the National Assembly when the House came out of its annual recess.The apology was however informally rejected by sections of the political Opposition.last_img read more


first_imgAn amazing video featuring former International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield raving about the beauty of Donegal and its people has been released today.Cmdr Hadfield agreed to give his services free of charge to Tourism Ireland to promote the country when he visited in January. The video features Cmdr Hadfield playing guitar in McGrory’s of Culdaff as well as driving across the Inishowen Peninsula and picking up some words of Irish in a primary school.The two minute video is set to give Donegal tourism a real boost around the globe.He has made four videos featuring the Wild Atlantic Way in the Inishowen peninsula, Co Donegal, hurling, Titanic Belfast and the Guinness Storehouse.All four films, and the accompanying feature articles, will be promoted on Tourism Ireland’s website,, and will be shared by Tourism Ireland with its Facebook and Twitter followers and on its YouTube channel. Chris Hadfield, who has four milliotn followers to his twitter account, will also be tweeting links to all four films.SPACEMAN HADFIELD PUTS DONEGAL ON THE MAP WITH AMAZING VIDEO was last modified: March 25th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Commander HadfielddonegalInishowenTourism Irelandvideolast_img read more

Valley aids quest to fill up cup

first_imgNEWHALL – Winter walked into the Starbucks store on San Fernando Road and Carl Court on Saturday afternoon in search of a sample of the day’s brew – and on his way to becoming a legend. Winter – who says that’s his entire legal name – has a goal to visit every company-owned Starbucks in the world. Asked by a cheerful server why he is on his quest, Winter answered, “No good reason,” as she handed him a short cup. “It’s Christmas Blend,” she told him. “What a surprise,” he said. “Please fill it to the top.” He’s been on his Starbucks quest for a decade, driving a road-weary 1997 Honda Civic with 246,000 miles on it – 168,000 of them used up in search of coffee. Sometimes, he admits, he rents a vehicle to get to a store, especially if it’s in a far-flung region. He travels relatively light, plugging in a battery charger, his cell phone and laptop in the store while he sips his coffee. A computer programmer by trade, he uses the Internet for a good portion of his journey – from getting directions and mileage estimates to finding a decent bagel near a target store. Along the way, he also photographs each store. He posts his photos at, along with a blog of his cupside observations. A map of North America sports a series of blue and yellow dots – blue are stores that are open but not yet visited; yellow are stores that have been announced but are not yet open. He has spent more than $30,000 of his own money on the venture, counting gas and airfare (a small amount of that is for coffee, since he usually gets his sample free). So far, his place in the annals of coffee is secure, and he’s already been included in books on strange and unusual quests alongside Virginia resident Peter Holden, who has visited 12,000 McDonald’s restaurants. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Wearing a black T-shirt with “Starbucks” embroidered in white across the chest, Winter asks for a 4-ounce sample of the day’s coffee at each store. This sample was No.6,286. If Starbucks stopped opening stores today, Winter would only have about 1,000 cups to go. But the corporation’s goal of having 40,000 locations worldwide means he’s got a lot of drinking ahead of him. “We’re flattered by his enthusiasm for the Starbucks experience and wish him well in his endeavors,” Starbucks spokeswoman Sanja Gould said. After finishing the short shot of caffeine, Winter pored over a map of Southern California, plotting the rest of the weekend’s journey. He planned to visit 15 more stores by day’s end and 28 before this morning. The 34-year-old Houston native arrived in Santa Clarita Saturday after completing a consulting job up north. last_img read more

The Human Capital Advantage

first_img To read the original article, please click here. Until the information age, companies needed scads of people to run machines in plants and warehouses all over the country. The assets their shareholders valued most were tangible. Today, 80 percent of the asset value of the S&P 500 is intangible. These assets cannot be seen, touched or physically measured. The knowledge economy appreciates the fact that trade secrets, trademarks, patents, knowledge and know-how are what matters. This is why they spend so much on research and development. Last year, the world’s top 20 R&D spenders dished out $153 billion. Eight of these companies participated in the healthcare sector, seven were in software, computers or electronics, and five were automakers. Competitive intangibles are the source from which competitive advantage flows or goes, and human capital is the primary source of every competitive intangible. Finding the right people, motivating them, retaining them, facilitating their personal and professional development isn’t easy. CEOs come and go. Wall Street demands quarterly results. Recessions thrash well thought out strategic intent and pressure CEOs into a mish mash of tactical “quick fix” solutions. If these leaders are not careful, chaos will rule in the complexity they create. My soapbox rants on leadership, strategy and executional principles and practices are for naught without the right human capital in the right place at the right time, every time. This is the first goal of running a successful business. Unlike objectives, goals are intangible. One never quite gets there. In the pursuit of the best human capital, this is a very good thing because great leaders never stop trying.  center_img Without leadership, a business enterprise will eventually fail. Survival is possible without a strategy but seldom over the long haul. Great strategy with lousy execution isn’t worth the piece of paper it is written on. The consequence of these proclamations is obvious. Get it right, bring it all together and you have commercial magic. The glue that binds leadership, strategy, and execution is people – quality individuals at the board level, in the C-suite, in the office, on the factory floor, and in the field.     last_img read more

Facebook testing features that let Pages archive and share Stories

first_imgFacebook’s Stories Archive feature for Pages.Facebook is testing new ways for Pages to archive and share Stories. Marketing Land first became aware of the new features after social media consultant Matt Navarra Tweeted an image of them on Tuesday.“We’re always looking to bring more Stories features to Pages on Facebook, like Stories Archive and the ability for people to share a Page’s story. We will continue to learn and iterate as we test more features like these,” said a Facebook spokesperson in an email to Marketing Land.Why you should careThe new feature allowing Page Stories to be shared by other users could potentially expand the organic reach of a brand’s content beyond its followers.“As advertisers, News Feed posts and ads have had sharing abilities for years. Now, with Stories in the mix, having this popular new placement will be beneficial to us as our audiences will easily be able to share our content, thus, amplifying reach, visibility, and brand trust,” said Akvile DeFazio, president of the social media advertising agency AKvertise, “When people deem content share-worthy, it eases some of the heavy lifting we do as advertisers.”With the Stories archive feature, brands will be able access to their Stories after the 24-hour display period ends, an extra bonus that comes with many benefits.“Archiving this ephemeral content will prolong its shelf life, which will be helpful in keeping historical data, strategizing future posts based on past performance, and will give us the ability to repurpose content as we test it with new audiences.”The archive feature is listed under the Stories tab in a Page’s Publish Tools menu, and the ability to turn on sharing for Stories is under the “General” tab in the Page settings menu.More on the newsFacebook opened Stories to Pages more than a year ago, but the only rolled out Stories ads globally last September.In December, Facebook rolled out Stories to Groups globally, giving group admins controls to monitor the content and members contributing to the Stories.During Facebook’s earnings call for the second quarter of 2018, COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company would be investing in growing and promoting Stories, and that Facebook was very optimistic about monetizing its Stories content.The post Facebook testing features that let Pages archive and share Stories appeared first on Marketing Land.From our sponsors: Facebook testing features that let Pages archive and share Stories Posted on 13th March 2019Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share HomeDigital MarketingFacebook testing features that let Pages archive and share Stories Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 Facebook testing features that let Pages archive and share StoriesYou are here:last_img read more

Florida-bound evacuees from Bahamas asked to get off ferry

first_img(AP) — More than 100 Bahamians who hoped to evacuate to Florida after Hurricane Dorian but didn’t have visas were kicked off a ferry because operators failed to coordinate the mission with authorities, officials said Monday.U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that the agency requested for the company to coordinate with U.S. and Bahamian governments to arrange prescreening of passengers before departing Freeport but it failed to do so. Footage from WSVN-TV shows the Balearia Caribbean ship traveling to Fort Lauderdale on Sunday with a loudspeaker message saying passengers who didn’t have a U.S. visa needed to disembark.Bahamians need a visa to travel to the U.S. unless they are prescreened by U.S. customs officers at one of the two main Bahamian airports. The U.S. agency also can arrange special prescreening for passengers departing from ports. However, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says Balearia Caribbean decided to depart Sunday instead of waiting for the prescreening.Rubio and Florida’s other U.S. senator, Rick Scott, have asked President Donald Trump’s administration to waive visa requirements altogether for Bahamian storm victims with relatives in the U.S., but Trump indicated Monday that he wants to keep stringent vetting in place in part because of “people going to the Bahamas that weren’t supposed to be there.”The Spanish ferry company apologized Monday to the 119 passengers who could not be taken to Fort Lauderdale. In the footage, passengers could be seen walking along the aisles — some carrying young children — to leave the ferry after they had already boarded the ship.In a statement, spokeswoman Pilar Boix said the ferry allowed passengers to embark thinking they didn’t need visas.“The shipping company later received indications that in order to travel to the U.S., the passengers would need pre-clearance authorization in person at the immigration offices in Nassau,” Boix said in an email.A day before the port incident, hundreds of Bahamians had arrived to Florida on a cruise ship that Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line had offered at no cost. CBP says 857 Bahamians were properly screened and arrived to the Port of Palm Beach “without incident.”The company said in a statement Monday that the operators spent nearly a full day going through the vetting process with U.S. officials on the ground in Freeport. About one-fifth of the passengers had to show a police report along with a birth certificate, the company said.Florida state Rep. Shevrin Jones, of Bahamian ancestry, had asked Rubio and Scott for help asking the Trump administration to waive visa requirements. Jones said what happened at the boat was a “misunderstanding” between ferry administrators and U.S. agencies but said the government needs to make the process easier on families fleeing the devastated islands.“I hope that they look at this as a humanitarian issue,” Jones said. “This needs to happen now. The longer we wait, the more lives will be lost.”Trump gave no indication Monday that he is considering lifting requirements for Bahamians. Trump said vetting should continue for those traveling to the U.S. and said people from the affected islands could instead be taken to other Bahamian regions not hit by Dorian.“We have to be very careful. Everybody needs totally proper documentation,” Trump said before he flew to North Carolina to inspect hurricane damage and speak at a political rally. “I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers.”last_img read more

Top 10 Questions for the Threat Agent Risk Assessment (TARA) methodology

first_imgI have compiled a collection of the most common questions asked regarding the Threat Agent Risk Assessment (TARA) methodology.Top 10 Questions for the Threat Agent Risk Assessment (TARA) methodologyWhat is the purpose of TARA?TARA is a method to distill the immense number of possible threats into a manageable picture of the most likely attacks to occur, based upon the objectives and methods of those who possess the capability and desire to do harm.  It is a way of conducting risk assessments to produce a more understandable and realistic picture, so effective security decisions can be made.Why should my organization incorporate TARA?TARA can help if your organization is challenged with building a practical, accurate, and comprehensive security risk analysis which scales and adapts to the changing risk landscape.  This has been a major challenge in the industry, where vulnerability assessments are the norm and resulting outputs, controls value, and recommendations are nebulous.  TARA may be able to help.  What are the primary benefits of TARA? I have seen 3 primary areas of benefit.1. Greatly distilling the cloud of potential attacks, down to a manageable list of likely attacks2. Improving the quality of risk and control evaluations, to better understand the value of security investments3. Communicating risks and recommendations to management and non-security audiencesTARA is highly customizable by the user and can help provide relevant information necessary for management to make good security decisions. Does TARA replace all other methods of risk assessment?No.  TARA is a methodology.  It is a way of looking at and assessing the threat landscape.  It complements and integrates with an organization’s embedded tools, methods, and processes.  It can improve results, reduce overall risk analysis effort, and contribute to better decision making.Is TARA a tool, application, device, or checklist?TARA is a way of analyzing risks (risk of loss) based upon the relationship between attacker’s capability and desire to cause loss, the applicable vulnerabilities, controls, and the residual exposures.  The method can be incorporated into risk analysis tools, applications, and processes.Is TARA relevant for a whole enterprise and applicable to small projects?The methodology applies well across the risk assessment spectrum.  It works when determining the overall risk posture of large enterprises and scales to highlight discrete risks for small projects.Where did TARA come from, is it free to use? TARA was created within Intel in response to a need of evaluating the security risks of a very complex, rapidly changing threat landscape for a large, extremely valuable, and diverse environment.  As the saying goes, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.  Available risk tools and methods were insufficient for the needs.  TARA was created and used very successfully to evaluate and communicate risks and recommendations.  Intel has shared our success with the industry and TARA is free for anyone to adopt and use.How can I use TARA to communicate risks to non-security audiences?TARA results in an easily understandable story of risk.  Even non-security audiences have readily embraced the outputs of TARA as it helps them to understand the sometimes vast and complex world of security risks.What industries have embraced TARA?Over the past few years I have consulted to a number of different industries including: manufacturing, insurance, healthcare, technology, education, financial, government, and security/risk consultancy firms. Where can I get more information, resources, or help on TARA?A number of whitepapers, blogs, presentations, and interviews are available.  As each adoption of TARA is different, an important necessity by design, there is no mandated template or standard playbook.  TARA is customized to meet specific needs of users as a way of embedding threat agent analysis into risk assessments.   Intel’s original Threat Agent Risk Assessment whitepaper: Blogs, Videos, and Papers: Well done Intel: Threat Agent Risk Assessment: risk assessment frameworks: real-world experience: of IT Risk Assessment Framework: Octave, Fair, NIST-RMF and TARA: Information Security Risks with Threat Agent Risk Assessment: to implement an enterprise threat assessment methodology: Risky is Your Business?: (the Threat Agent Risk Assessment): Risk Community Blogs:center_img Intel whitepaper: Improving Healthcare Risk Assessments to maximize Security BudgetsIntel whitepaper: Managing a divestitureIntel whitepaper: Threat Agent LibraryIntel Blog: Blog: Attacks, Threat Agents, and Vulnerabilities are the Key to Prioritizing SecurityTARA Presentation to Society of Information Risks Analysts (SIRA) Aug 2011: recording of my presentation can be streamed herelast_img read more

Here Come The Cinema Angels!

first_imgIf you’re an unknown, emerging film-maker you might find it very hard to get a Hollywood producer like Deepak Nayar of Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice fame to return your calls, but now Nayar is calling you! Nayar along with a group of established Hollywood producers and financers has founded, a twice monthly online subscription based worldwide competition to discover new talent. Besides Nayar, the Filmaka group includes Thomas Augsberger, Christopher Sharp, Robert Herman, Tim Levy, Mahesh Mathai, Kurt Woolner and Colin Firth.Film-makers are asked to make a short film on a given subject and submit it for competition in any language from any part of the world. Cash prizes of $3,000 are awarded for the periodic contests and at year’s end the most talented director will be given a full production deal for a feature film from Filmaka. The company also offers revenue sharing to short films it decides to pick up for distribution.  The yearly subscription of $5 allows members to upload films while the premium fee of $15 allows them to also submit their films for the contest. The first contest “Stuck in Traffic” garnered entries from 13 countries.In the past, Nayar has put together financing packages for first time filmmakers, producing 7-teen Sips directed by Stephen Berra, Harlem Aria for William Jennings, and Matt Dillon’s directing debut City of Ghosts. He says, “I am an independent producer and feel it is my job to discover new talent, new voices and if I can find them and they become successful, then I have done my job.”  Related Itemslast_img read more