Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 338

Posts Tagged ‘scandal’

The African Energy Chamber Debunks the Senegalese USD$10 Billion Scandal that Never Was

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 31 luglio 2019

Johannesburg. The oil and gas industry is well known for being a very capital-intensive industry. The likes of BP, Exxon-Mobil, Saudi Aramco or Shell, routinely make the top-ten of the world’s largest companies by revenue, and the figures can be so strikingly large as to cause confusion from the point of view of the individual. That could have been a possible explanation for the BBC’s Panorama show’s outlandish claim over an alleged USD$10 billion “scandal” taking place in Senegal and involving the highest levels of government and most of the country’s main oil and gas players. It was either that or the sheer necessity to present an over-sensationalized view of the facts for the sake of audience shares, which I liked to believe was beneath such a respected media institution.If not let’s see. Panorama’s story covers the sale and acquisition of two offshore oil and gas blocks in Senegal by a company named Petro-Tim, an unknown company registered in the Cayman Islands as a subsidiary of another ghost-like global entreprise named PetroAsia resources. Petro-Tim is controlled by Frank Timiș, a Romanian-Australian businessman with a rather cloudy reputation, to put it extremely mildly.In 2012, former president Abdoulaye Wade and his economy minister Karim Wade approved the deal after allegedly doing some extensive due diligence and assessing the “proven track-record” of PetroAsia, which backed Petro-Tim. Timiș later sold much off its license to Kosmos Energy, another well-known exploration company with an impeccable track-record. After massive natural gas discoveries were made in the company’s two licenses, Timiș sold his remaining shares to global oil company BP for a reported USD$250 million and some undisclosed “royalty concessions”. After some share exchange with Kosmos, today, BP controls an operating 60% stake in the Cayar Offshore Profond and St. Louis Profond licenses, with Kosmos retaining 30% and Petrosen, Senegal’s national oil company, controlling the remaining 10%.
Now, Timiș initial acquisition of the licenses during the Wade administration might have happened under suspicious circumstances, as the BBC alleges, and might certainly be worth investigating, which president Macky Sall has already initiated. That, however, is no reason to demonize the whole of the country’s oil sector and produce false claims that jeopardize the work being done to develop an industry with the potential to bring considerable wealth, jobs and economic development to this impoverished nation.

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USC Libraries Scripter Honors “Leave No Trace” and “A Very English Scandal”

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 12 febbraio 2019

The authors and screenwriters behind the film “Leave No Trace,” and the television miniseries “A Very English Scandal” received the 31st-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award at the Feb. 9 ceremony at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library. The Scripter Award recognizes the year’s best adaptation of the written word for the screen, and includes feature film and television adaptations.
In the television category, the selection committee chose “A Very English Scandal,” written for the screen by Russell T Davies for the streaming network Amazon Prime. It is based on John Preston’s 2016 nonfiction book of the same name, which details the 1970s scandal involving British Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe and his wayward attempts to silence a former lover.
Due to a tie in the nominating round, six television shows were eligible this year. The other finalists were the writers behind episodes of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (distributed by FX), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu), “The Looming Tower” (Hulu), “Patrick Melrose” (Showtime), and “Sharp Objects” (HBO).In the film category, the winners were writer Peter Rock, author of the novel “My Abandonment,” and screenwriters Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, who adapted for the screen Rock’s work, itself an adaptation of a 2004 local news report about a Vietnam veteran and his young daughter found living off the grid in the forest near Portland, Oregon. “Leave No Trace” was released by Bleecker Street.In accepting the award, Rock paid tribute to the screenwriters. “Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini and I walked through Forest Park in Portland, Oregon, and talked about possibilities, so I want to deeply thank them for the heart and inspiration they brought into making a great film.” The other finalist films were “Black Panther” (distributed by Disney), “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Fox Searchlight), “The Death of Stalin” (IFC Films), and “If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna Pictures).Earlier in the evening, Quinlan honored Dr. George Isaacs as the 2019 Ex Libris Award winner for his extraordinary support of the USC Libraries, which resulted in the creation of the George E. Isaacs Dean’s Suite in Doheny Memorial Library. Accepting the award on his behalf was his son Mark Isaacs, who said, “My father, George Isaacs, is a long-time and enthusiastic supporter of the University of Southern California, including the Libraries. Why the Libraries? Books deliver knowledge, joy and understanding. Very few products in the world today can make that claim.”
Scripter began in 1988, co-founded by USC Libraries board members Glenn Sonnenberg and Marjorie Lord. For more information about Scripter—including additional images from the ceremony—visit scripter.usc.edu.

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Volkswagen Group Sales to Fall by 2-4 Percent by 2020

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 29 ottobre 2015

volkswagenLondon, UK – 28th October 2015 – Volkswagen’s (VW) concession of corporate malfeasance in circumventing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing in the U.S. has sent the global automotive industry into a tailspin. This webinar examines the fallout from the emission scandal and its impact on the Volkswagen group, as well as the wider automotive ecosystem. “As an immediate impact of the scandal, Volkswagen Group sales are expected to fall by 2-4 percent by 2020,” outlines Frost & Sullivan Automotive and Transportation Senior Research Analyst, Arun Chandranath. “There will be a significant push towards alternate powertrains from both the industry and the consumer. Hybrids will be the strongest benefactor segment, owing to their advantage of being independent from a charging infrastructure and the availability of strong products in the market today.” This webinar will benefit the entire automotive value chain including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, financial service providers, regulatory bodies, independent testing organisations, technology solution providers, telematics providers and a whole host of industry participants looking to understand the current position of Volkswagen and the implications of the scandal. With the “clean diesel” image taking a hit, we expect a significant push towards alternate powertrains from both the industry and the consumer,” notes Frost & Sullivan Program Manager, Shwetha Surender. “Globally harmonized test procedures will be a vital strategy to implement globalized test standards to ensure standardized emission and fuel testing for all OEMs and thus regain consumer trust.”

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German Nation Brand Devalued by US$191 Billion Following VW Scandal

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 10 ottobre 2015

volkswagenThe revelation that as many as 11 million diesel vehicles have been fitted with software designed to deceive emissions testers, has dealt a hammer blow not just to Volkswagen’s reputation but to the entire German nation brand. Germany has lost its position as the most powerful nation brand according to Brand Finance. The firm, which specialises in brand valuation and strategy, evaluates the financial impact of the image and reputation of the top 100 countries, publishing the results in an annual study, the Brand Finance Nation Brands report. The report shows measurable damage to the long-term financial potential of ‘brand Germany’. Its value has dropped by US$191 billion to US$4.2 trillion, down 4% on 2014.“German industry is lauded for its efficiency and reliability while Germans as a whole are seen as hard-working, honest and law abiding. That such an iconic German brand, the ‘people’s car’, could behave in this way is beginning to undo decades of accumulated goodwill and cast aspersions over the practices of German industry, making the Siemens bribery scandal appear less a one-off than evidence of a broader malaise” said Brand Finance’s CEO, David Haigh.Until this episode, 2015 had actually been a fairly positive year for Germany’s international reputation and the prospects of its nation brand. Germany has garnered worldwide admiration for its receptivity to Syrian migrants. This influx of generally young people and families will provide a fillip for Germany’s labour force, though the goodwill generated by sympathetic stance has been overshadowed by VW’s deception.Replacing Germany as the world’s most powerful nation brand is Singapore. As the city-state celebrates its 50th anniversary its citizens can be rightly proud of the nation they have created. The chief architect was of course Lee Kwan You. The vision, pragmatism, longevity, intolerance of corruption and relative benevolence of the country’s first prime minister and elder statesman are widely seen as the key reasons for its success. Haigh continues, “Though the passing of Lee Kuan Yew in March this year is a sad loss, he leaves a legacy that few can hope to better. Singapore is now seen as modern, innovative, industrious, welcoming to outsiders and increasingly culturally rich and has left its neighbours, including Malaysia (from which Singapore was ejected 50 years ago) far behind it.”
Though some way off the top spot, the fastest growing nation brand this year is Iran. Its brand value is up 59% to US$159 billion as Hassan Rouhani’s moderate approach slowly shifts international perceptions of the country’s potential and eases restrictive sanctions. A fractious relationship with Sunni states will remain an impediment to trade and investment locally but with a market of 77 million people, vast hydrocarbon reserves and a highly educated population, Iran certainly has a receptive audience globally.
David Haigh comments, “Iran will need to assiduously manage its communications with its newfound suitors making a carefully assessed nation branding strategy almost as important as traditional diplomacy. Managed correctly, Iran’s ancient treasures, sophisticated population, strategic location and natural assets could be used to transform its reputation.”Though Singapore is the most powerful brand, being closer to its full potential than any other nation, in sheer value terms The US remains dominant. It is the most valuable nation brand, with a national brand value of US$19.7 trillion. The USA is undoubtedly a powerful brand with an inviting business climate, however its value comes in large part from the country’s sheer economic scale. Not only is there a large, wealthy market predisposed to ‘buy American’ but also an unrivalled group of established companies and organisations exporting worldwide whose American heritage forms (to a lesser or greater extent) part of their appeal. The US’ world-leading higher education system and the soft power arising from its dominance of the music and entertainment industries are significant contributors too. This soft power will help the US to retain the most valuable nation brand for some time after China’s seemingly imminent rise to become the world’s biggest economy.

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VW Risks its $31 billion Brand and Germany’s National Reputation

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 28 settembre 2015

wolkswagen2Recent revelations that, at the time of writing, as many as 11 million diesel vehicles may have been fitted with software designed to deceive emissions testers, have dealt a hammer blow not just to Volkswagen’s reputation but potentially to the entire German nation brand. David Haigh, CEO of brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance, gives his view on the scandal that has sent shockwaves around the world.“At Brand Finance’s last calculation VW’s brand value stood at just over US$31 billion, making it the world’s 3rd most valuable auto brand. It appeared to be motoring ahead, brand value having increased from just over US$27 billion in 2014. The developments of the last few days will undoubtedly send this trend into reverse, resulting in $10 billion in lost brand value. The apparent ease with which the company’s activities were uncovered makes it all the more astonishing that VW was willing to endanger its most valuable asset. Rather than ‘Das Auto’, VW’s motto might be more appropriate if changed to ‘Crass Auto’.
“Toyota, the world’s most valuable auto brand, suffered significant reputational and brand damage following a series of recalls over mechanical issues from 2009 to 2011. This was reflected in its brand value. After reaching a peak of US$27.3 billion in 2010, it dropped to US$26.2 in 2011 and further to $24.5 in 2012. It did not exceed the previous peak until 2014, when brand value was US$34.9 billion, increasing slightly to US$35 billion this year.“On first assessment it appeared that Volkswagen might escape such severe brand damage. Toyota’s errors led directly and visibly to fatal accidents while Volkswagen’s alleged activity may also pose a threat to life, but in a less immediate way. However as the scale of the deception has emerged over the last few days it is beginning to look as though VW may face a crisis on an unprecedented scale.
“The cost of recalls and fines could be far more significant than those Toyota faced, whilst the apparently deliberate nature of VW’s actions compounds the impact on its credibility. Its sins of emission are sins of commission. This sits particularly badly with Volkswagen’s brand identity which is founded on reliability, honesty, efficiency (both efficiency of production and fuel economy) and more recently for environmental friendliness via models such as the Polo Bluemotion and XL1. Brand Finance therefore estimates that as much as $10 billion has already been wiped off the value of the brand.
“The very future of the VW brand is in doubt. To have any chance of recovery, VW must investigate the source of the supposedly nefarious activity and if it is confined to a particular division or series of ‘bad apples’ then to clearly communicate that fact to avoid contagion. It must ensure that this type of activity cannot take place again and through multiple communication channels, from official statements to advertising campaigns, continue to emphasise the brand’s green credentials and commitment to mitigating the effect of the industry on the environment.

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The Economist: this week

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 10 febbraio 2011

Questa settimana segnala nella sezione Europe:
–   L’editoriale su Berlusconi e le sue vicende giuridiche: Ruby red face: The trial that looks likely will surely embarrass even Italy’s prime minister
–   L’editoriale, che riprende l’articolo pubblicato recentemente (9 febbraio) dal settimanale satirico francese “Le Canard Enchainé”, sullo scandalo del governo francese: Monsieur Fillon’s holiday – A scandal over ministerial holiday in north Africa highlights once again French complicity with the region’s autocracies
–  L’articolo sulla trasformazione di quartieri popolari in quartieri di lusso in Germania: German gentrification – Lamenting the smartering-up of the old freewheeling Berlin
–  La rubrica Charlemagne: The union within the union – What Angela Merkel’s conversion to more euro-zone integration means for Europe
Mentre nella sezione Leaders:
–   L’editoriale sulle nuove tecnologie industriali di 3D  printing e su come queste saranno in grado di cambiare il mondo in cui viviamo: Print me a Stradivarius – How a new manufacturing technology will change the word
–  L’ articolo sull’aumento di investimenti e quindi di ricchezza nei Paesi africani grazie alla presenza di risorse naturali: Spread the wealth – The impressive growth for natural resources -rich African countries are not all good news
–   L’articolo sull’Egitto: The long haul – Mubarak’s regime looks as if it trying to snuff out the protest. Can it be stopped?
–   L’articolo sulla volontà di Francia e Germania di un’Eurozona più integrata: Pact of uncompetiveness – Dangers lurk in Franco-German plans for a more tightly integrated euro zone, l’argomento viene ripreso e affrontato anche nella rubrica Charlemagne: The union within the union – What Angela Merkel’s conversion to more euro-zone integration means for Europe.
Editor’s highlights
This week we focus on a development that hardly anybody has heard of, but we reckon is going to change everybody’s lives. It’s a new manufacturing technology called 3D printing, which is just beginning to take off. It creates objects by putting down thin layers of materials–thus dramatically cutting manufacturing costs, and making it cheaper to produce small runs or single items. This technology has huge implications: it dispenses with assembly lines, makes factories unnecessary, enables mass customisation and lowers barriers to entry in manufacturing, thus encouraging innovation.
Also in this week’s issue The shoe-thrower’s index: Where in the Arab world unrest is likely to happen next Mobile phones: How Nokia–and Europe as a whole–lost their edge Africa’s wealth: Impressive growth rates are not all good news Japan’s tea party: A small revolt against the size of government How to switch off the internet, in Egypt and elsewhere: Easier for some governments than for others

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The last supper

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 3 aprile 2010

Roman Catholics globally will join together for feast of Holy Thursday, to commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus the Christ and welcome the Easter Triduum, the holiest days for Catholics.  It was during the Last Supper that Jesus gave those gathered a new commandment —to “love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another,” only to be betrayed by Judas. Like Jesus, Roman Catholics everywhere have been betrayed – again.  The latest Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal which implicates Pope Benedict XVI, the former Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger of Munich, in a sex abuse case is beyond belief for Catholics worldwide.  How can these crimes still be coming to light when the Vatican has been made aware of the magnitude of the crisis? How is it possible that leaders of the Vatican still have not come clean about pedophile cases that were not properly addressed? For far too long, the all-male boys club has covered up decades of abuse with lies and secrets that have put our most vulnerable in severe danger, a far cry from Jesus’ commandment to live a life of love.  The Women’s Ordination Conference calls for an official opening of the discussion on women’s ordination. In a church reeling from abuse, scandal, and oppression, it’s long overdue for the Vatican to use all of its resources to work toward a solution.  For far too long, only ordained, male, celibate clergy have dictated-or tried to dictate-how Catholics worship, pray and make decisions.  Canon 1024, which states that only men can validly receive the sacrament of ordination, is unjust and does not value the gospel message of Jesus.  It must be changed.   We are calling on our members to take action: express their outrage and call for accountability and equality to their local priests and parish leaders,  reach out to victims and take steps to make sure children are protected now,  write letters to the U.S. Bishops, and discontinue all financial contributions that benefit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. When women are full and equal partners in every aspect of the Catholic Church, only then, will the Roman Catholic Church be associated with accountability, transparency and justice rather than hierarchy, exclusion, and scandal. Until then, we will continue to raise our collective voices and organize actions that will bring our church closer to the gospel values of Jesus.

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