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Skippings exposes PDM booted him out

Skippings exposes PDM booted him out

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, December 13, 2016 – Oswald Skippings says he and Sam Harvey did not defect from the People’s Democratic Movement; he yesterday told media in the PDA party’s manifesto launch that he was fired by the party because he would not take big money from big investors.  “The matter is you were at a New Year’s party when one of the officials of the PDM openly stated that they turned against me because I refused money from Mr. Cashcroft and I had the nerve to campaign against him.”Skippings says he was due to publish a letter to prove it,  “It’s dated 14th of April,  2015 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands.  Dear Mr. Skippings, Re: Suspension of Membership, pursuant to a recommendation for the Disciplinary Committee regarding your actions that have been deemed  to be contrary to the aims and objectives of the party and in direct violation to the constitution  of the People’s Democratic Movement.  The National General Council considered the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee and voted in the affirmative to approve the recommendation to suspend your membership with the party.”The former leader of the PDM Party and former Chief Minister read that letter during the press conference where the PDA’s plan for the TCI were laid out in a document called ‘United for Change, Empowering Our People.’There are 113 pages which focus on developing new industries in light manufacturing and agricultural investment. The PDA is contesting 12 seats in the upcoming General Elections on December 15. #MagneticMediaNews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppcenter_img Related Items:last_img read more

Interweave To Launch Two More eMags Says Digital Editions Are Profitable

first_imgInterweave is launching two new eMags-SpinKnit, which launches today and as is available at the Interweave store-and Handcrafted Jewelry Studio, which debuts Dec. 6. The two eMags join digital editions Sockupied and Quilting Arts in Stitches, which Interweave launched earlier this year. The eMags run on Adobe’s Air platform and can be downloaded directly to the user’s MAC or PC computer. Each edition is available for $14.97 and features scrolling slide shows, animation, “how-to-information” and social components. SpinKnit features 15 videos totaling one hour of viewing time, while Handcrafted Jewelry Studio will have more than 40 minutes of video and eight step-by-step projects. Interweave isn’t sharing specifics on the success of the eMags to date but the company plans to launch 18 more in 2011. “Yes, the eMags are profitable for us,” says senior vice president and publisher John Bolton. “We decided to create them for the computer first because we can provide the readers with a superior experience. As the tablet devices gain market share and technology evolves, we expect to adapt our eMags for tablet devices in 2011. That said, we know that more than 95 percent of our existing customer base has access to a computer and can read our eMag.”last_img read more

New York makes its pitch again for Amazons HQ2

first_img Politics Share your voice An an anti-Amazon HQ2 rally outside New York City Hall. Ben Fox Rubin/CNET Some powerful New Yorkers are trying to get Amazon to bring back HQ2.The New York Times reported Thursday that an open letter will be published in the Times on Friday that asks Amazon to reconsider its decision to walk away from its plan to build a 25,000-employee campus in Long Island City, Queens. The company pulled the plug on the project, dubbed HQ2, following vocal and persistent opposition to the plan after it was announced three months ago.The letter was signed by the CEOs of Mastercard, Warby Parker, Goldman Sachs, Tishman Speyer and Jetblue, among others. The presidents of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and state AFL-CIO, which were expecting thousands of construction jobs to come from the project, also signed, as did US Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Carolyn Maloney.”We know the public debate that followed the announcement of the Long Island City project was rough and not very welcoming,” the letter stated. “Opinions are strong in New York — sometimes strident. We consider it part of the New York charm! But when we commit to a project as important as this, we figure out how to get it done in a way that works for everyone.”New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also had several conversations with Amazon, including CEO Jeff Bezos, about bringing back the project, the Times said.The letter and Cuomo’s behind-the-scenes efforts are part of the latest fallout since Amazon abandoned HQ2 in New York. The opposition has celebrated the exit as a victory for grassroots campaigns and a stand against lavish government incentives for new development plans. Amazon was slated to get about $3 billion in tax breaks for building the project. Supporters, who weren’t as vocal during the run-up to Amazon leaving, expressed shock and consternation about Amazon’s decision and worried that New York would appear unfriendly to new businesses.While the business community was broadly seen as in favor of the project, the letter shows how both the camps supporting and opposing HQ2 included unions and Democratic US congress members. Unlike Jeffries and Maloney, US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke against the HQ2 plan. Amazon declined to comment for this story, but the Times said Thursday that “Amazon executives gave no sense that it would reconsider.”The company is moving forward with the other half of the HQ2 project, which will be located in Arlington, Virginia. The company also faces public opposition to that project, too, though it appears to be smaller. Post a comment Amazon 0 Tagslast_img read more

OPEC News IranSaudi Arabia differences fuel price drop

first_imgIt used to be said of OPEC that it was like a teabag – it only worked in hot water. If that is so, conditions on world oil markets could hardly be more difficult as prices languish at almost seven-year lows near $40 a barrel.Yet, rather than closing ranks, OPEC is finding that an intensifying battle for market share, worsened by deep regional differences between Saudi Arabia and Iran, is driving it further apart.Halfway through last Friday’s six-hour meeting, an unexpected dispute erupted over the defining feature of the cartel. In a move sources say was masterminded by Saudi Arabia, ministers finally agreed for the first time in decades to drop any reference to the 13-member group’s output ceiling.The pivot, which surprised not only markets but also some OPEC officials, appeared to be a direct response to Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran, which has made clear it intends to make a rapid return to global oil markets next year as nuclear-related sanctions are lifted.With Tehran looking to pump as much as 1 million barrels per day (bpd) more crude into a market already saturated with excess supply, an increase of about 1% in world supply, maintaining or legitimizing any pretence of OPEC limits – no matter how notional – was not an option for Riyadh.”The ceiling issue was very controversial and they could not decide on it,” said an OPEC source briefed on the discussion inside the room. “Nobody was happy.”Earlier, another source said there was a “huge disagreement among members, even bigger now, as oversupply is no longer mainly coming from Gulf delegates, but from Iran.”In the near-term, the outcome of Friday’s meeting probably makes little difference in global markets. Ever since last year, most members have been pumping flat-out to defend their market from fast-growing upstart rivals like US shale drillers.And anyway the group’s 30 million bpd ceiling has largely been symbolic and, in practical terms, ignored.Yet abandoning the pretence of production restraint threatens to intensify price wars between OPEC members, leaving them even less likely to agree on any market measures down the road, analysts said, and piling more pressure on prices.In a note following the meeting, Goldman Sachs said it saw a rising probability that the markets may need to adjust through “operational stress” when the world runs out of storage capacity, reiterating its “lower for even longer” thesis.OPEC’S PURPOSESince OPEC, which produces a third of global oil, was set up 55 years ago, the purpose of its existence was to set production targets to try to influence global prices.It has weathered internal strife and conflict before, including wars between its own members — Iran and Iraq in the 1980s, and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in the 1990s.But the present Sunni-Shia conflicts setting Saudi Arabia and Iran at each other’s throats, particularly in Syria and Yemen, make the relationship between the two OPEC powers even more fraught.”The fact that Iranian-backed Houthi militants are squaring off against Saudi-led troops in Yemen is not helpful, as increased Iranian oil revenues are likely to find their way to Iranian military interests in Yemen, Iraq and Syria,” said Aberdeen Asset Management’s investment strategist Robert Minter.Hence OPEC is setting up for a showdown at the corral, he added, as Iran wants its pre-sanction market share back, and the Gulf states are not inclined to cede volume when they are already feeling the budgetary pain of reduced prices.CONFUSION EMERGESUnlike OPEC’s previous meeting six months ago, when oil prices showed signs of stabilizing near a tolerable $65 a barrel, last week’s meeting was bound to be more tense as an unexpectedly deep and prolonged slump has sapped their economies.All the same, on Friday morning, most delegates and experts anticipated a relatively straightforward meeting that would bless the free-market policy and rubber-stamp a production ceiling. The only likely change, so it seemed, might be raising the figure to 31.5 million bpd to reflect current output rates, rather than the long-exceeded 30 million bpd last reset four years ago.After all, despite the price pain, there were signs that the dramatic strategy masterminded a year ago by Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi was working, albeit more slowly than hoped. Booming US oil production has shifted into reverse, while the world’s demand for oil has revved into a higher gear.The first sign of confusion emerged more than 3 hours into the meeting as ministers broke for lunch.Word leaked that the group had indeed agreed to raise its ceiling to 31.5 million bpd – but it was unclear whether the figure included Indonesia, which was rejoining the group after a hiatus, leaving a 0.9 million bpd margin of error.Although the ceiling increase would have no material effect on actual production, the news sent oil prices tumbling by as much as $1 a barrel, pushing US crude back below $40 a barrel, a response that was unlikely to have heartened ministers.ABOUT FACEWhat fully transpired during that afternoon remains unclear. But several OPEC sources said ultimately a decision was reached that having no ceiling at all would be less negative for oil prices than having a higher ceiling.There appears to have been little if any debate about Iran’s production, although it has been clear for months that it will likely be the biggest challenge they face in 2016.”We spent two minutes on that issue. You can’t stop a sovereign country from coming back to the market. So, debating it is irrelevant,” said Nigerian oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu. “As a matter of fact, our position is that Iran would displace somebody who is not an OPEC member.””From Saudi prospective, they have no allies. So staying the course makes sense for the Saudis,” said veteran OPEC watcher Gary Ross, Founder of Pira Energy thinktank.Ministers later sought to play down any conflict. Most said they saw no problem in having no targets for a few months and agree on new ones when Iran returns to the market, hoping by then for a deeper decline in US oil production.Some said they spent far more time discussing the succession of Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri, whose term is expiring.One thing is clear though – Friday’s decision will in no way help persuade non-OPEC rivals to curtail their output.”I find it very strange when proposals are being made to cut output when OPEC itself is increasing production,” the head of the Kremlin oil major Rosneft Igor Sechin told Reuters last week ahead of the OPEC meeting.last_img read more

Delhi gets an Aussie dose

Delhi gets an Aussie dose

first_imgThe nation is acquiring interest in documentary films, especially since the BBC’s documentary on Nirbhaya rape case created quite a stir in the International platform. Australian documentary films are nonetheless awe-inspiring as they also deal with interesting issues and are creatively presented to the audience. The national Capital also witnessed some of the Australian Documentaries as India International Centre hosted a film festival where award-winning documentaries were shown from July 23-25.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Two documentarians Martin Butler and Pat Fiske, who happened to be in the city for their documentary films, talked about film-making, Australian historical heritage and much more.When asked whether getting into film-making was harder than continuing in the industry, Martin Butler said, “Both are extremely hard but getting started is harder because one does not have the funds or contacts that would facilitate in becoming a documentary film-maker. Money is invested in your work once you gain experience in film-making. Experience makes it easier to get noticed.” Pat Fiske added, “During our time in the 70’s we had access to government funds which was provided to promote film-making and we could explore the art of film-making and learn on the job. At that time the government was putting in a lot of money so we learned by participating but nowadays film schools have come up which did not exist in our time (to Butler) wouldn’t you agree? To which Butler replied “Yes. It is indeed tough to become a documentarian and I suspect one has to be lucky.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTalking about the industry, Butler added, “The Australian film industry is quite big compared to the size of the country and they make quite a number of feature films each year. It is nothing like the size of India obviously, but I think that Australia is stronger in documentary film-making. There are a number of complicated reasons for that but Australian films are bold and they take on interesting, confronting topics and subjects and use them in an innovative way. Indian audience should be advised to watch Australian films, especially, the documentaries. There are a lot of interesting subjects covered, I’d be surprised if they’re already covered in India.” Martin Butler talked about his documentary First Footprints, where he described Australia’s ancient history. He explained how it covers the history of fifty thousand years before the arrival of White Australians. He said, “It is generally assumed that the Aboriginal Australians were too primitive though the research has found out that they were technologically advanced. They were pioneers in sea faring being the first people in the world to cross the ocean. They had explored the ocean when nobody else did. They were also the first ones to make pictures and sculptures. If one would visit the remote areas of Australia, one would find such sculptures and paintings.” He added that Australia is also rich in cultural heritage like India.Pat Fiske, described her two documentary films Scarlet Rose and Love Marriage in Kabul that were shown in the festival.Scarlet Rose follows the extraordinary life of an Australian sex worker, Rachel Wotton. Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression and the rights of sex workers, she specializes in a long over-looked clientele —people with disability.In the documentary Love Marriage in Kabul, Mahboba Rawi is a strong-willed Afghan-Australian woman who has dedicated her life in helping orphans in Afghanistan. She is the founder of Mahboba’s Promise and a mother figure for thousands of orphans and widows currently supported by her programs. The story revolves around one of the girls from her orphanage who falls in love with a boy-next-door and all the problems that she faces in getting them married.last_img read more

Young Entrepreneur Changes the US Cell Phone Market

first_img People who overturn the apple cart don’t ask for permission. But it takes more than audacity for a 26-year-old to challenge an entire industry. For Ahmed Khattak, it was personal: He couldn’t buy a phone. An international student from Peshawar, Pakistan, Khattak arrived at Yale in 2004 at the age of 18 with no social security number and no credit history. That meant no one would sell him a cell phone.He was appalled at the barriers the U.S. cell phone industry threw in front of consumers at every turn. Restrictive two-year contracts?Indecipherable pricing schemes for voice, data and text? And, once he got a prepaid phone, $50 a week just to call his family back in Pakistan? This, from the most technologically advanced country in the world?”I couldn’t believe it,” Khattak says.In 2007, he went to London for an internship and discovered how to change the game–at the airport, no less, only moments after he got off the plane. “I realized that it was as easy as going to a vending machine, buying a SIM card and [thereafter] paying $22 a month for your phone bill,” he says.It was his “eureka” moment: unlocking cell phones, setting them free. “I decided that I had to change the way people in the U.S. go about their plans and phones,” he says. His New Haven, Conn.-based company, GSM Nation, had sales of $35 million in 2011, its first full year, and is on track to reach sales of $50 million this year.Three components to Khattak’s life help explain how he came to build his business. First, he was exceptionally competitive at squash, good enough to be recruited by Yale.”I am ethnically a Pashtun, and Pashtuns have dominated squash for over half a century. I went on to become a top-10-ranked junior national,” he says.The Pakistan Squash Federation is run by the Air Force, the second major influence in Khattak’s upbringing. He was a military brat–his father was in the Air Force–so he lived the gypsy life of moving frequently and with little notice, more than 15 times, to cities as big as Karachi and to tiny, remote villages.The third component was his can-do personality. “I have always loved building stuff and fixing it; [I am] a problem solver. I tend to look at everything to see where the stress points are and how to fix them,” he says. “I would fix my schoolmates’ and neighbors’ computers and PlayStations. All this was leading to a bigger venture for me.”The chance to study engineering at Yale, his ability to fit into any environment and his tinkerer’s bent laid the groundwork for him to tackle the multibillion U.S. cell phone industry.A Business is BornGSM Nation’s model is simple: Consumers buy manufacturer-unlocked phones that can be used with any network, then they sign up for significantly cheaper voice, text and data plans through third-party carriers such as H2O Wireless or Simple Mobile–with no multiyear contracts.These carriers resell blocks of minutes they’ve purchased from T-Mobile and AT&T.Seed capital for the company first came in the form of a $30,000 loan pooled from friends and family; later it would come from Junaid Shams, who co-founded GSM Nation with Khattak. At the time Shams was in medical school at George Washington University (he graduated in May). “In early 2010, Ahmed came to me with this raw business idea,” Shams says. “We spent the entire night developing it, talking about infrastructure, financing and concept, basically trying to figure out if it was feasible or not.”Raising capital was the first test. Once the company had revenue, Khattak and Shams raised an additional $120,000 in loans. A year after launch, capital arrived from an unlikely angel investor: Khattak’s dentist. Needing a root canal (but with no way to pay for it) Khattak searched locally for an endodontist who would do the work on credit. When he ran across the name Moin Ahmed, he thought, Sounds like he’s from my part of the world. Sure enough, Ahmed was a fellow Pakistani, and he told Khattak not to worry about the money.As GSM Nation stirred to life, Ahmed mentioned that he was seeking a place to park some private capital; Khattak suggested he write a check against equity in the company. Bang: Khattak landed $200,000. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now So far, Khattak has managed this dance. And it hasn’t distracted him from the pleasures of starting a business. “It’s incredible coming to work every day and seeing what you have done,” he says. “I am obsessed with growing my company to thousands of people … the fact that I can get the thing I desire and [share] it with my friends and family is a good perk.”On a Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, the fog has burned off, and it’s a gorgeous summer day. Khattak has flown in early for meetings. He speaks rapid-fire, his brain clearly buffering half a dozen ideas that simply can’t make it into words fast enough. Despite the demands of GSM Nation, he is already at work on his next venture, eDrop.com, a new way of social shopping for great bargains. “I have assembled an amazing team,” he says. “We are going to release our first beta in [September] and hopefully go into a nice round of funding by October.”Khattak checks, then pockets, his iPhone and bids goodbye. He is taking a meeting at the airport, then flying back to Connecticut the very same day he flew in. Why? In spite of the insane hours he commits to his work, he reserves one day a week to spend with his wife and son to enjoy the fruits of his American dream.Storming the GatesWhen a twentysomething vaults into an industry with no experience, no contacts, very little capital and meager working knowledge about American business, you have to ask, How did he make this magic? Here’s what other entrepreneurs can learn from the success of GSM Nation’s Ahmed Khattak.Do your homework. “It’s fine to get into uncharted territories, but once you get in, do your research,” Khattak says. “Too many entrepreneurs spend too much time doing risk analysis [before they take action].”Find paying customers ASAP. James Boyle, managing director of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, where GSM Nation was born, emphasizes the practical: “One of the pieces of advice we give students is to focus on finding the first paying customer as soon as possible. Whether you’re familiar with an industry or not, the process of getting someone to pay you money teaches you a great deal about challenges and opportunities in that space.”Balance the grand vision with immediate action. Ka Mo Lau, co-founder and CFO of advertising tech startup PaperG, calls out fellow entrepreneur and friend Khattak for his ability to move things forward: “Have a grand vision for where you want to go, but like Ahmed, execute on practical, immediate actions that bring you closer to that vision every day.” Enroll Now for Free Ahmed Khattak of GSM Nation. Did the endodontist see the growth potential in GSM Nation from the start? “Not at the time,” he says, “but I wanted to help Ahmed in his venture.” Believing in the man more than in the business itself, he handed Khattak the check.With desperately needed capital in hand, Khattak ramped up inventory, and two friends from Yale joined the company. Still, Khattak ran the show.”I am a very independent person, so I really don’t like a lot of interference. I didn’t seek a lot of help at all,” he says. Indirect help came from the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, which gave him a tiny office space and required him to produce quarterly reports. “It instilled a great deal of confidence in me, and I owe them for that,” he says.GSM Nation was an instant hit. “It’s hard to put a finger on a particular occasion when I thought we were going to be successful,” Khattak says, “because we have surpassed our wildest imaginations. I mean, think of it, in excess of $50 million in sales in just over two years. We have taken such huge leaps that every six months we have a new aim and we literally treat that as our starting point.”He estimates the total market for his industry is $2 billion to $3 billion–but growing fast. “Fifty to 70 percent of T-Mobile activations came from contract-free plans in the past year, and now all carriers are going into this segment,” he says. This translates into more sales for the likes of GSM Nation.Full BoilSoaring growth poses the immediate problem of cash flow. On this point, Khattak and Shams agree. “I think the biggest mistake we made in the early going was not having as much funding as we originally thought we needed,” Shams says. “We were growing so fast [in] the first six to 12 months, faster than what even we had expected, that we didn’t have the funding at the time necessary to allow us to grow at the same pace.”Many of GSM Nation’s wholesale clients are based in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. So after a long day at the office, Khattak returns home, and calls begin coming in from the other side of the globe. With Khattak clocking 20-hour days, GSM Nation sidestepped major crises in its first year. Ever the problem-solver, Khattak admits he was constantly putting out smaller fires.The greater challenge is that there are practically no barriers to entry in the unlocked cell phone market, so the company must continually raise its game. “[It makes] the landscape insanely competitive; we started a company that was essentially a repository of information for people, and then if they wanted a device they could buy one,” Khattak says. “It might sound stupid, but our philosophy is to make sure the person who calls wants and needs what he thinks he does … We are not the cheapest in the industry, but we are the best. A lot of our competitors try to compete on pricing, and they never get anywhere.”Related: Young Entrepreneur Challenges the Way Americans Think About Their CellphonesGSM Nation certainly has its fans: A scan of reviews on ResellerRatings.com turns up myriad gushing comments (e.g., “You guys need a Superman cape.”).Yet cash flow remains the biggest obstacle to growth. “If I had a few million [dollars] more, I would do $200 million in sales this year,” Khattak says.Meanwhile, operations are lean at the New Haven headquarters. With just 14 employees, the company relies heavily on contractors. The work environment is casual, with “no sense of hierarchy.” As for his management style, Khattak says, “I am the kind of person [employees] respect and don’t want to disappoint because of my love for them, as opposed to them being scared of me.”Family ManWas Khattak ever frightened of failure? “Absolutely–still am. The fears are different, though. In the beginning, it was more along the lines of, I would have to go back to Pakistan having failed at something, and my friends and family wouldn’t understand,” he says. Today his fears are of disappointing customers. The fire dance of cash flow to keep product moving means that GSM Nation operates on a precipice.center_img This story appears in the October 2012 issue of . Subscribe » 10 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. December 10, 2012last_img read more