After Kenyan Auditor General’s Damning Report, Can Jesus Christ Save Former Auditor General John…

first_imgThe past week has truly been very interesting. On Monday, April 25, 2016, local radio stations and the print media were dominated with stories on the preliminary report of the Auditor General (AG) of the Kenyan National Accounting Office (KNAO), Mr. Edward Ouko, which was very damning of the financial system and activities of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) over the audited periods of: 2009-2013, under the leaderships of former Auditor General John Morlu, Acting Auditor General Winsley Nanka, Auditor General Robert Kilby; and 2014-15, which coincides with the tenure of the current Auditor General, Yusador Gaye. The Daily Observer banner headline for the day was: “GAC Extremely Corrupt in 2009-2013”; while FrontPageAfrica carried a story on its front page captioned: “First Audit of the General Auditing Commission Reveals Shortcoming.” In essence, Kenyan Auditor General Ouko stated that over the periods audited, the GAC did not have “a clear accounting system in place, no trial balance and no general ledger available. The four years to 2013 were years plagued with weaknesses, non-compliance with financial reporting laws, non-financial statement were being prepared on a timely manner. There were no supporting documentations on purchasing of equipment, staffs that were going for training and IT equipment. There was no evidence that acquired assets were being controlled and recorded.” What was even more troubling to hear was the Kenyan AG’s assertion that there have been numerous “fraudulent” activities from 2009 to 2013, including the lack of considerable documentation for procuring vehicles, exclusion of donor funding from financial statements, as well as an extra, undisclosed account at Ecobank, among others. In sum, the Kenyan AG concluded that financial statements of the GAC over the periods audited were basically non-compliant with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), which I have found out was adopted by the government of Liberia in 2009.In a country as polarized as ours, it was not surprising that the Kenyan AG’s preliminary report generated mixed reactions in the Liberian society. Many Liberians were extremely discouraged to hear that their anti-graft house, that has been so active in fighting corruption in other government institutions, was itself deeply drenched in corruption; while others, especially those that idolized former Auditor General John Morlu, whose extremely controversial and eccentric style of proceeding with his professional duties earned him lots of admiration among Liberians genuinely fed-up with the growing culture of corruption in our society, immediately protested, stating that Morlu is too clean to be corrupt and that this was a ploy engineered by President Sirleaf to discredit Mr. Morlu because of his intention to contest the Liberian presidency.Since the report was issued, I started following the issue very closely and conducting my own research, including finding and going through the Public Financial Management Law of 2009 page by page. Over the weekend, I read on the website of the online Liberian news channel, The Perspective, a letter written by former Auditor General John Morlu to current Auditor General Yusador Gaye requesting a copy of the Kenyan AG Report, as well as the publication of the report for public consumption (click on the following link to read Morlu’s Letter: http://www.theperspective.org/2016/0429201603.php). I fully support Morlu’s request that he be given a copy of the Kenyan Auditor General’s Report for his review and reaction, and that the report be published so that everyone can see its contents. But what turned me off about Morlu’s rather abrasive letter to AG Yusador Gaye was his subtle attempt to project himself as an unrelenting advocate for transparency and accountability in order to leave the unsuspecting public with the impression that he is a victim of a grand conspiracy. The first thing I found troubling with Morlu’s letter is his attempt to cleverly and dishonestly diminish the extent of his culpability by trying to reduce the period of his stewardship covered by the damning report. Morlu writes, “It is reported that the audit covers (a) six-year period, including about a year of the time I served as Auditor General of Liberia.” By using the preposition “about,” which means nearly equal to, Morlu is stating that he is actually responsible to speak or account for less than a year of the six-year period audited. This I consider extremely dishonest. Morlu served as Auditor General of the Republic of Liberia for four unbroken years from April 2007 to April 2011 (see Wikipedia article: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Morlu). If the period audited ranged from 2009- 2015, how can Morlu be telling intelligent people that he is responsible for about a year of the period audited when, no matter how you look at it, whether from a calendar year perspective (January- December) or a Liberian fiscal year perspective (July – June), Morlu would have to account for roughly two (2) years, not one (1) year, of the period audited. If we take it from a calendar year perspective, Morlu will be responsible to account for two years and four months (2009, 2010 and January-April of 2011). If we take it from a Liberian fiscal year perspective, Morlu would have to account for about two years (July 2009-June 2010; July 2010-April 2011) – one year and ten solid months, which can rightly be rounded up to 2 years. His successor, Acting AG Winsley Nanka, who led the GAC for the remaining two months of the fiscal year, cannot be expected to bear the burdens of the sins committed prior to his becoming Acting AG. In order to project himself as a fierce and fearless crusader of transparency and accountability, Morlu writes, “I fought and succeeded in putting in the law the timely publication of audit reports. Section 37 (6) of the PFM Act reads: ‘The Auditor General shall publish the audit report in the Official Gazette and make it available to the Legislature and the public within one month of the completion of said audit report. This (is) the law of Liberia.’” But what Morlu failed to cite is Section 37 Count 4 of the very PFM Act, which states: “Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 37(3)above, the accounts of the General Auditing Commission shall be audited, at least once in every financial year, by a registered and reputable firm of qualified public accountants and auditors appointed by the Legislature or possessing such other qualifications as the Legislature may deem appropriate, at such remuneration and on such other terms as the Legislature may determine. The remuneration of the auditor appointed under this section shall be defrayed from the funds of the General Auditing Commission.” So I have a few questions for Mr. Morlu:1) The law of Liberia that you quote so boastfully also states that the GAC should be audited at least once a year, but why did you run the GAC for four unbroken years without a single audit?2) How did you feel auditing other institutions without standing on the moral high ground of a single audit of your entity? Or to put it another way, don’t you think that you needed to come to equity with clean hands? You may argue that the law states that the Legislature should appoint the auditor for the Legislature, so you should not be held responsible for the lack of audit of the GAC when you served as Auditor General.3) But again, you say you are “a strong believer in public sector transparency and accountability,” why couldn’t you advocate for the Legislature to audit you even if they were reluctant to do so? There is no record in Liberia of you, Auditor General Morlu, ever coming out publicly to express your disgust or disapproval of the Legislature’s delay in auditing the GAC. In Liberia, we say silence means consent. You consented to this anomalous situation to keep the Liberian people in the dark on activities at both the GAC and the Legislature because it was in your interest and that of the Legislature at the time to escape audits. Everyone knows that the Legislature is extremely corrupt to the extent that some in this country consider it the actual epicenter and manufacturer of corruption in this country. One branch of the government that is key to the anti-corruption fight is the Judiciary. Every day, Liberians are crying out about the corrupt nature of our Judiciary. The Judiciary Branch benefits from a law called the Financial Autonomy Act that makes its entire financial system to be a black box that can only be opened by the Auditor General. Under the Act, the Judiciary, unlike other institutions of government, is given a lump sum amount to use and can only account to the Auditor General, not the Ministry of Finance, about the usage of the funds. But for the four years our “fearless” John Morlu ran the GAC; and even up to now, the Judiciary has never once been audited. I can remember that after Phillibert Brown’s National Chronicle Newspaper wrote a critical article on Morlu, he immediately threatened to conduct an audit of the US$20,000 government subsidy provided the Liberian National Olympic Committee (LNOC) under the leadership of Phillibert Brown. Morlu had the time and the fortitude to audit US$20,000 but not the time and the fortitude to audit the tens of millions of dollars that went to the Legislature and the Judiciary. So Morlu appears to be fake, a double-character person who is only now being exposed by the recent audit.Finally, I must state that I too am not a fan of Madam Sirleaf because she has institutionalized corruption and nepotism in this country, and will be exposed in the not too distant future. But it is completely unfair and insincere for some Morlu diehards to begin to attribute the Kenyan Auditor General’s report to a ploy engineered by President Sirleaf. What I have gathered is that the Legislature through the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), being faithful to the provision of the same PFM law Morlu often quotes, decided to work with the GAC to ensure that the GAC was for once audited. Knowing that selecting a local auditing firm would have raised concerns about independence and bias, it was mutually agreed that a peer of the GAC, the Kenyan National Accounting Office (KNAO), was best suited for the job. KNAO was appropriate because the GAC, even under Morlu, has had a professional partnership with the KNAO to the extent that the KNAO would second Kenyan auditors from KNAO to the GAC during Morlu’s tenure to give professional guidance. It was this strong partnership that encouraged Morlu to send almost fifty (50) auditors of the GAC to Kenya to pursue graduate studies. Therefore, any attempt by Morlu and his supporters to discredit the professionalism of Kenyan Auditor General Ouko and his KNAO will be hard to hold water at this point in time. Morlu once upon a time made a vainglorious and extremely unprofessional statement at a Press Union of Liberia (PUL) event in Gbarnga in 2010 that if he indicted anyone in his audit reports, “only Jesus Christ can save you.” A more experienced Auditor General, Edward Ouku, from a superior auditing house as compared to the GAC, has “indicted” Morlu for a host of financial lapses and fraudulent activities including the operation of a secret, undisclosed account at Ecobank. I am left wondering who then will save Morlu. It certainly can’t be Jesus Christ alone. Maybe given the gravity of the situation and the professionalism and toughness of Kenyan AG Ouku, Morlu will need the Holy Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the blessed Holy Spirit – to save him from an imminent big disgrace.We continue to watch the unfolding event, eyes and ears wide open.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

RCMP looking for missing Fort St. John male

first_imgDouglas Remenda left the hospital yesterday afternoon and has not been seen since.Police are concerned for his safety and would like to locate him as soon as possible.Remenda is described as a 44 year old male, 5 feet 5 inches, 150 pounds, brown eyes and is clean shaven, unlike the photo provided.- Advertisement -If you have seen Remenda or know of his whereabouts, contact the Fort St. John RCMP detachment at 250 787 8100.last_img

Portugal lift inaugural Nations League trophy

first_imgPortugal had the advantage of an extra day’s rest and not being forced to extra time against Switzerland in their semi-final as the Dutch were in seeing off England on Thursday.And the hosts looked the fresher throughout with Ronald Koeman’s men happy to wait for their chance to counter-attack.The match had been billed as a showdown between Ronaldo and Van Dijk but with the Dutch captain again rock solid at the back, Portugal’s main threat came from midfield.Ronaldo carried off another piece of silverware for the trophy cabinet after the narrow 1-0 victory in Porto. Photo/Daily MailBruno Fernandes constantly tried his luck from long range in the first half, but only once forced Cillessen into a save as the Barcelona goalkeeper turned behind.Fernandes saw another effort deflected behind by Van Dijk, while Ronaldo was restricted to a shot from outside the box that Cillessen easily gathered before the break.Koeman reacted at half-time by introducing Quincy Promes, who came off the bench to score against England in midweek, for the ineffective Ryan Babel.The Netherlands instantly posed a greater threat with Georginio Wijnaldum denied by Rui Patricio, although the offside flag was eventually raised against the Liverpool midfielder.However, a more open game also gave Portugal’s creators the space they needed to make the breakthrough.Bernardo Silva opened up the Dutch defence and picked out Guedes, who bravely ignored playing in Ronaldo to drill a low shot past Cillessen himself.Goncalo Guedes (left) scored the only goal to win Portugal the Nations League© AFP GABRIEL BOUYSThe Netherlands had come from 2-0 down away to Germany in their final Nations League group game and a goal behind against England to make the final.Patricio was quickly called into action to stop Memphis Depay’s downwards header to prevent another comeback.However, unlike in midweek when Frenkie de Jong dominated the midfield against England, Holland’s latest Barcelona-bound star was unable to seize control the game.Instead, Koeman went for a more physical approach by sending on Luuk de Jong and it nearly worked, as with his first involvement the PSV Eindhoven striker saw claims for a penalty waved away before heading wide from a corner.Portugal, though, comfortably held on in the final stages to make amends for losing the Euro 2004 final to Greece on home soil that left a teenage Ronaldo in tears.0Shares0000(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo hoisted the UEFA Nations League trophy aloft and the celebrations began for the hosts . Photo/Daily MailPORTO, Portugal, June 9 – Portugal added the inaugural Nations League title to their Euro 2016 triumph as Goncalo Guedes’s strike on the hour won an underwhelming final 1-0 against the Netherlands in Porto on Sunday.The Dutch defensive pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt largely kept Cristiano Ronaldo quiet, but Valencia winger Guedes proved the match winner as his shot had too much power for Jasper Cillessen in the Netherlands goal.last_img read more

CASSIDY AND MCGEE INVOLVED IN TWITTER ROW OVER RELIGION

first_imgGAA: Kevin Cassidy and Eamon McGee have become embroiled in a row on social media outlet Twitter after McGee’s outspoken comments regarding religion.McGee is a self-professed atheist and has spoken out against religion in the past. McGee took to Twitter to says how he felt it was sad that in this day and age religion is still being used as selection criteria to get into certain schools.However, Cassidy responded saying his outspoken comments on religion are now getting tiresome, and also said he didn’t seem to have an issue with the ethos of catholic schools when he done coaching in them.The row started when McGee tweeted, “Sad to see in this day and age religion being used as a selection criteria in schools. Is there any genuine argument in having it this way?”Cassidy responded by saying, “Your religious comments are getting tiresome Did you not go around coaching in Catholic Schools?? You had no issue then!! McGee hit back, “I’m sorry Cass I can’t connect the dots on that last tweet, me coaching in schools and their admission policy/ethos aren’t related?”Cassidy then had a pop regarding the financial benefit to McGee of coaching in these schools and said he was only looking after one.Cassidy said, “My point being is that I never heard you bringing it up with the principal in the staff room? Looking after number one €€€”McGee then said, “I agree with you to a point but I’d put it down more to being young and afraid to speak up rather than money.” CASSIDY AND MCGEE INVOLVED IN TWITTER ROW OVER RELIGION was last modified: October 1st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:newsSportlast_img read more

Arsenal vs Tottenham team news: Pochettino admits he could rest top stars

first_img Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? 1 ADVICE And when asked whether Alli or the others would be up to such a task, Pochettino replied: “We are assessing them, maybe yes, maybe no.“We have tomorrow to decide. If we feel the player is going to take some risk then of course we are going to rest. It is not important the name.“If we believe we need to rest some player we are going to rest, we are not going to take a risk. We are going to put a player that we believe can cope with 90 minutes of effort. Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ “We know you cannot 100 per cent avoid the risk on the player but we need to be sure the players that are going to play are ready to compete.” huge blow Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions REPLY Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade no dice REVEALED RANKED center_img Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Dele Alli, Harry Kane, and Moussa Sissoko could all start their third game in a row on Sunday against Arsenal. BEST OF Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he would have no problem with resting some of his stars for Sunday’s north London derby with Arsenal – live on talkSPORT.A host of his players, including Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld, Serge Aurier, Ben Davies, and Moussa Sissoko could all start their third match in eight days. Latest Football Stories Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move shining MONEY last_img read more

Dinosaur Soft Tissue: Fooled by Slime?

first_imgThe claim made in 2005 that soft tissues in dinosaur bone had been discovered (see 03/24/2005) has been challenged by new research published in PLoS One.1  Maybe the pliable stuff is just slime.    Thomas Kaye from the Burke Museum of Natural History in Seattle with two colleagues were actually hoping to find more soft tissue samples.  After analysis, they concluded instead that what they saw in both dinosaur bone, turtle and ammonite fossils is bacterial biofilm that grew in the hollow spaces inside the fossils.  This challenges the findings of Mary Schweitzer’s team who not only claim to have found flexible tissues and remnant blood vessels, but had also sequenced collagen protein in the samples (04/12/2007).  Kaye interprets the putative iron-rich blood cell remnants as framboids – microscopic mineral spheres.  Finding similar structures in an ammonite (squid-like animal with a shell) and turtle indicated to the team that these framboids were too common to be examples of exceptional preservation from the original tissue.  Instead, they postulate that bacterial biofilms grew inside and around the original tissue, maintaining the shape of it after it had decayed away.  The paper was summarized by Science Daily, PhysOrg and Reuters.    According to New Scientist, though, Schweitzer is not convinced.  Her studies indicated that the dinosaur collagen resembled that of chicken, and the mammoth collagen resembled that of elephants.  Kaye offered no explanation for how that could happen, she said.  Other scientists quoted in the article conjectured that the tissues could be composites of both original tissue and biofilm.  The Reuters article quotes Kaye as saying, “We are not experts in the field.  We are not disagreeing with the fact that their instruments detected protein.  We are offering an alternative explanation.”    The original paper offered more evidence that the proteins are from modern bacteria:Bridged trails observed in biofilms indicate that a previously viscous film was populated with swimming bacteria.  Carbon dating of the film points to its relatively modern origin.  A comparison of infrared spectra of modern biofilms with modern collagen and fossil bone coatings suggests that modern biofilms share a closer molecular make-up than modern collagen to the coatings from fossil bones.  Blood cell size iron-oxygen spheres found in the vessels were identified as an oxidized form of formerly pyritic framboids.  Our observations appeal to a more conservative explanation for the structures found preserved in fossil bone.The team investigated 15 genera from seven different geological formations, including the Hell Creek formation where the T. rex soft tissue had been found.  The tissues in this investigation were compared with modern biofilms grown in the laboratory.  Some of them bore branching structures mimicking blood vessels.  The procedure, however, is not as simple as just looking at the tissue with a magnifying class.  Their methods indicate significant alteration and interpretation:A turtle carapace from the Hell Creek formation was selected for spectroscopy because of its proportionally large chambers in the trabecular bone that allowed scraping the coatings loose.  Two milligrams of material was ground with 450 milligrams of potassium bromide (KBr) and pressed into a pellet using 8 tons pressure.  Modern biofilms grown on microscope slides in pond water were allowed to desiccate for 7 days and 2.5 milligrams were pressed into a KBr pellet as above.  A 2.5 milligram sample of desiccated tendon from a chicken was ground with KBr and pelletized.  Spectrums were taken on a Nicolet 510P bench at 1 cm-1 resolution with a minimum of 15 scans.  Infrared flux was matched within 5% for all specimens and a clean KBr pellet used for background subtraction between specimens.  Excel cross correlation routines were used to determine percentage of similarity for spectrums.The team did apply several cross-checks.  Bones from the surface and from burial meters down showed the same effects.  Spectra from living and fossilized specimens were compared.  They did not find as close a correlation of the tissues with modern collagen—only 37%.  In addition, the radiocarbon dates correlated with modern times.    How did these biofilms grow to look so much like original soft tissue?  Here was their explanation:A biofilm would coat the voids of vascular canals and lacunae, producing an endocast of the structure.  Once the bone is dissolved, these biofilm endocasts would closely mimic pliable vascular structures.  The results presented here suggest that the tubular structures and osteocytes are formed by this process.  The lack of observed cell structure in the transparent tubes is inconsistent with preserved tissues.They further stated that bacteria are known to produce collagen-like proteins.  And since biofilms are ubiquitous in nature, existing on almost any water/surface boundary, they could be expected in the cave-like surfaces inside bones.  “They provide a protective medium against changes in the broader environment from pH levels, toxins, etc.,” they said.  “They are viscous, flexible and long lasting through mineralization.”  That’s how the earlier team was misled, they think: “When biofilms coat a substrate, and that substrate is subsequently removed, the biofilm will retain much of the original morphology.  This can explain the quantity and similarity of structures found in fossil bone and indicates that these structures are unlikely to be preserved dinosaurian tissues but the product of common bacterial activities.”    It appears, therefore, that they made a good case for interpreting the soft tissues as modern bacterial slime, not original dinosaurian remnants.  Further investigation will be required to answer new questions this interpretation raises – along with time for rebuttal from the Schweitzer team.Update::  After our first posting of this story today, National Geographic reported it and said Mary Schweitzer is standing by her claims.  She offered four counter-arguments: (1) No biofilms have been reported with branching, hollow tubes such as the ones she found in the T. rex bone; (2) Over time, gravity would have made the films thicker at the bottom, contrary to what her team found; (3) Methane-breathing bacteria have never been reported inside bone; (4) Kaye’s team failed to address her team’s follow-up reports that employed chemical and molecular evidence for soft tissue.  Surprisingly, Kaye responded, “If they say they got T. rex protein, then we’re not disagreeing.”  He just questioned why they got so little of it.  A paleontologist at the National Museum of Natural History left it as a draw.  Both teams make compelling arguments.  “I think you do have two very interesting alternative hypotheses,” he said.1.  Kaye, Gaugler and Sawlowicz, “Dinosaurian Soft Tissues Interpreted as Bacterial Biofilms,” Public Library of Science One 3(7): e2808 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002808.We agree with Kaye that “You have to go where the science leads,” and if Schweitzer ever retracts the claim (based on the best evidence and further study) that these represent (at least in part) original soft tissues from the dinosaur, then so be it.  We’ll have to concede the point.  However, a number of questions arise from the new interpretation.  For one thing, as some observers noted in the New Scientist write-up, the structures could still be a composite of original tissue and biofilm.  And why did Schweitzer get a match of collagen in the dinosaur bone with that of chickens, while using the same techniques, got the collagen in mastodon bone to resemble that of elephants?  What about Schweitzer’s discovery of fragile medullary bone in the same dinosaur fossil? (see 11/11/2006).    We asked a dozen follow-up questions in the 11/11/2006 entry when the slime interpretation was first raised.  More questions come to mind now.  Why was biofilm inside fossilized bone discovered now, after centuries of collecting fossils?  Is there something in common with the environments displaying this phenomenon?  What did all the scraping, grinding and pressing do to the original material?  Maybe less destructive techniques need to be used for corroboration.  Even if biofilms can conform to original tissues and persist after they decay away or fossilize, is it reasonable to believe they would remain unaltered for 68 million years?  If the biofilms date modern by radiocarbon methods, and bacteria are still seen swimming around, it would have to imply the bacteria have been sitting there all this time, incorporating carbon-14 as they grow and divide millions of times.  What did they live on after the original tissue was all gone?  Wouldn’t there be evidence of millions of generations of biological growth in the bacterial colony?  How reasonable is it to assume that for 68 million years, a biofilm would maintain such a good mimic of original dinosaur tissue (now long gone) that it would fool careful researchers in the lab?    So even granting victory to the Kaye team’s interpretation would seem to still argue these bones aren’t that old.  Evolutionists tell us the world underwent drastic changes since this fossil was deposited.  A meteor nearly destroyed all life on earth.  Mountains rose, valleys sank, floods came, tectonic plates mashed against one another while others drifted apart, climates warmed and cooled, ice sheets blanketed continents and animal life was evolving like crazy.  Cows evolved into whales and shrews evolved into giraffes.  All that time, we are asked to believe, the bacteria in that bone held hands to maintain the shape of long-gone soft tissue for millions of generations, till in 2005 a team of scientists found it so perfectly matching collagen and blood vessels they announced to the world the discovery of original soft tissue.  How credible is that?  The fact that Kaye et al found similar biofilms in ammonite and turtle might just suggest those fossils aren’t millions of years old, either.    This is a scientific controversy in progress.  It illustrates the tentative nature of scientific announcements.  The biofilm advocates might argue that Schweitzer’s soft-tissue interpretation is the extraordinary claim that demands extraordinary evidence.  One should take a conservative, guarded attitude about it till more observations can test it.  Fine; creationists were going strong without dinosaur soft tissue.  Their views do not require it.  It would be very interesting to them if the soft-tissue interpretation wins out, and they could employ it as additional evidence falsifying millions of years.  Even so, their claims were no less robust before the surprise announcement in 2005.  Creationists don’t need the soft tissue, but evolutionists need their millions of years.  As we have argued, the biofilm interpretation, even if it wins out, does not get rid of their difficulty.(Visited 25 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Brand South Africa launches 16 Days for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign

first_imgJohannesburg, Thursday 10 November 2016 – Brand South Africa will this week launch a digital campaign under the banner ”No Excuses’ in support of the annual global 16 Days for No Violence Against Women and Children.Brand South Africa calls on all citizens to support the campaign by wearing a white ribbon during the 16-day period to symbolise their pledge to not commit or condone violence against women or children.Commemorated annually, the 16 Days of No Violence Against Women and Children, aims to raise awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on women and children and the country as a whole.  It further aims to encourage people to stop violence against women and childrenBrand South Africa’s GM for Marketing, Ms Sithembile Ntomebla said: “The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign challenges South Africans to declare a truce on violence against women and children – and, ultimately, turn this into 365 days of non-violence against women and children.”The global campaign which runs from 25 November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children through to International Human Rights Day on 10 December, is premised on these specific dates to emphasise the links between ending gender-based violence and human rights principles.  This period includes International Aids Day to raise awareness of how HIV and Aids impacts on the lives of women and children.The 16 Days on No Violence against Women and Children finds expression in South Africa’s Constitution and other policies which call on all stakeholders to play their part to create a society characterised by equity and fairness for women, children and other vulnerable groups.“It is the responsibility of government, business, civil society organisations, faith-based organisations, communities and the media to drive to increase awareness of the negative impact of violence and abuse on women and children, and speak out against woman and child abuse,” added Ms Ntombela.The campaign also aims to challenge the perpetrators of violence to change their behaviour, involve men in helping to eradicate violence, as well as provide survivors with information on services and organisations that can help lessen the impact of violence on their lives.For more information on how to participate in the campaign, follow the conversation on #NoExcuses.Notes to the EditorAbout Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.About Play Your PartPlay Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.last_img read more

Right time to invest in Maharashtra, Fadnavis tells investors

first_imgAcknowledging Maharashtra’s contribution to India’s improved rankings in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today urged investors to give the State an opportunity. Speaking in Ahmednagar after inaugurating one of the State’s largest technology parks, Mr. Fadnavis said this is “right time” to invest in Maharashtra. “The most important thing is that we have skilled manpower. Now, in EoDB rankings we (India) rank 77th which was 142nd earlier. Maharashtra has contributed immensely to this improved ranking. We are here to solve all your issues and this is the right time to invest in Maharashtra,” he told a gathering of leading businessmen while laying the foundation stone for the ₹1,600 crore Midea Technology Park at Supa MIDC Industrial Park on Saturday.Mr. Fadnavis appreciated the State’s achievement in bringing in more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country. “With various business-friendly initiatives now, Maharashtra is achieving new heights. Of the total FDI that comes to India, 49% comes to Maharashtra. I am confident that with Midea Technology Park there will be more employment opportunities,” he said while highlighting the achievements of the Make in India initiatives. “Maharashtra is the growth driver of the country’s economy. We have taken several initiatives to create a conducive ecosystem which has now made the State a favourite investment destination. This will help in our journey of making Maharashtra a hub for manufacturing, production, and research,” he said.The technology park complex is being set up in Supa Parner on 68 acres acquired in 2018. The Midea group, a Fortune 500 company, has earmarked ₹1,350 crore over five years for manufacturing a range of consumer home appliances, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, water purifiers, water heaters, commercial air conditioners, and compressors, plans for which have been finalised in a phased manner. The founder of Midea Group, Xiangjian He, said, “We are happy to begin work on our new facility in India. True to the Midea spirit of pioneering and sharing, this technology park will create leading products for India and transform the company for the future.”last_img read more

Bentley Motors announces Mulsanne Speed as fastest ultra luxury saloon

first_imgBentley Mulsanne SpeedBritish luxury car maker Bentley appears to have redefined the world’s the fastest ultra-luxury driving experience by launching a new pinnacle flagship, Mulsanne Speed. The retuned engine of the Mulsanne Speed propels it from 0 to 100 kmph in a blisteringly quick 4.9 seconds and it achieves a top speed of 305 kmph.Engine and transmissionThe reengineered powertrain of the Mulsanne Speed features Bentley’s mighty 6-litre twin-turbo V8. This engine churns out a mammoth 530 bhp of power and 1,100 Nm of peak torque.  A selectable sports suspension and steering on demand are also available. The engine of this rear wheel drive, ultra luxurious saloon is paired with a recalibrated gearbox, designed to enhance the overall driving experience. Gears are optimised for the new, higher wave of torque, and has been calibrated for instant torque delivery on throttle application. In addition, a new “S” mode gives the driver greater control and helps maintain engine speed above 2,000 rpm so that the turbochargers are always ready.Extensive recalibration of the engine management system has yielded benefits more than just increased torque and power. The cylinder deactivation system that runs the engine as a V4 during light load has been calibrated for smoother transitions between V8 and V4 for highest levels of refinement. In modern Bentley tradition, the extra performance is also matched by improved efficiency, which is a significant 13 per cent gain over the standard Mulsanne.  ExteriorsIt is difficult to really describe the level to which buyers have been pampered by exterior and interior styling of the new Mulsanne Speed. Craftwork on the outside is of the best and most refined British luxury material. advertisementInteriorsOn-board technology and connectivity are integrated with the finest materials, created with unrivalled craftsmanship and exquisite handcraft.Expressing his delight at the new Mulsanne Speed, Wolfgang Drheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors, said, “The new Mulsanne Speed is the car that defines Bentley, as a flagship for driving luxury performance. Our customers don’t compromise, and we’ve adopted the same approach in the design, engineering and crafting of our new flagship. The Mulsanne Speed is distinguished, calm and relaxing, but always with a connection to the road and relentless dynamic performance on demand. In this car, every journey becomes a drive.”The Mulsanne Speed will be showcased at the Paris Motor Show on October 2, 2014last_img read more