NY AG Sues To Dissolve NRA

first_imgStock Image.NEW YORK – The New York Attorney General is suing to dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA), the largest and most influential pro-gun organization in the nation. Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that she is charging the organization with illegal conduct because of their diversion of millions of dollars away from the charitable mission of the organization for personal use by senior leadership, awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family, and appearing to dole out lucrative no-show contracts to former employees in order to buy their silence and continued loyalty.The suit specifically charges the NRA as a whole, as well as Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre, former Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wilson “Woody” Phillips, former Chief of Staff and the Executive Director of General Operations Joshua Powell, and Corporate Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer with failing to manage the NRA’s funds and failing to follow numerous state and federal laws, contributing to the loss of more than $64 million in just three years for the NRA.In the complaint, Attorney General James lays out dozens of examples where the four individual defendants failed to fulfill their fiduciary duty to the NRA and used millions upon millions from NRA reserves for personal use, including trips for them and their families to the Bahamas, private jets, expensive meals, and other private travel. In addition to shuttering the NRA’s doors, Attorney General James seeks to recoup millions in lost assets and to stop the four individual defendants from serving on the board of any not-for-profit charitable organization in the state of New York again. “The NRA’s influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets,” said Attorney General James. “The NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse, which is why, today, we seek to dissolve the NRA, because no organization is above the law.”Since 1871, the NRA has operated as a New York-registered 501(c)(4) not-for-profit, charitable corporation. Under state law not-for-profit, charitable corporations are required to register and file annual financial reports with the Charities Bureau in the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The assets are required to be used in a way that serves the interests of NRA membership and that advance the organization’s charitable mission. However, as today’s complaint lays out, the NRA is alleged to have fostered a culture of noncompliance and disregard for internal controls that led to the waste and loss of millions in assets and contributed to the NRA reaching its current deteriorated financial state. The NRA’s internal policies were repeatedly not followed and were even blatantly ignored by senior leaders. Furthermore, the NRA board’s audit committee was negligent in its duty to ensure appropriate, competent, and judicious stewardship of assets by NRA leadership. Specifically, the committee failed to assure standard fiscal controls, failed to respond adequately to whistleblowers, affirmatively took steps to conceal the nature and scope of whistleblower concerns from external auditors, and failed to review potential conflicts of interest for employees.NRA’s Culture of Self-Dealing, Mismanagement, and NegligenceThe lawsuit alleges that the four men instituted a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement, and negligent oversight at the NRA that was illegal, oppressive, and fraudulent. They overrode and evaded internal controls to allow themselves, their families, favored board members, employees, and vendors to benefit through reimbursed expenses, related party transactions, excess compensation, side deals, and waste of charitable assets without regard to the NRA’s best interests.When board members challenged LaPierre and others over their financial governance and leadership of the NRA, LaPierre retaliated and turned the board against those who attempted to challenge the illegal behavior.The complaint lays out numerous other instances in which LaPierre, Phillips, Powell, Frazer, and other executives and board members at the NRA abused their power and illegally diverted or facilitated the diversion of tens of millions of dollars from the NRA. These funds were in addition to millions of dollars the four individual defendants were already receiving in grossly excessive salaries and bonuses that were not in line with the best practices and prudent standards for evaluating and determining compensation.Wayne LaPierre – Executive Vice-PresidentIn his nearly three decades as executive vice-president, Wayne LaPierre ran the day-to-day operations of the NRA and exploited the organization for his and his family’s financial benefit, and the benefit of a close circle of NRA staff, board members, and vendors. Of note, LaPierre:Spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the NRA’s charitable assets for private plane trips for himself and his family, including extended family when he was not present.Visited the Bahamas by private air charter at least eight times in an approximate three-year period with his family, at a cost of more than $500,000 to the NRA. On many of those trips, LaPierre and his family were gifted the use of a 107-foot yacht owned by an NRA vendor.Traveled to Africa with his wife for all-expense paid safaris, gifted by an NRA vendor.Spent millions on unwarranted travel consultants for decades, including for the booking of luxury black car services — spending more than $3.6 million in the last two years alone.Secured a post-employment contract for himself with the NRA, without board approval, currently valued at more than $17 million.Allotted several millions of dollars annually in NRA funds for private security costs for himself and his family without sufficient oversight on their use.Received more than $1.2 million in expense reimbursements in just a four-year period for expenditures that included gifts for favored friends and vendors; travel expenses for himself and his family; and membership fees at golf clubs, hotels, and other member clubs.Secured lucrative consulting contracts for ex-employees and board members worth millions.The complaint alleges that as executive vice-president, LaPierre handpicked individuals in senior staff positions at the NRA that have shown themselves to be loyal to LaPierre as an individual, rather than to the organization. Time and time again, LaPierre has shown that loyalty, more than competence and responsibility, is integral to his staffing picks, which led him to personally hire Phillips, Powell, and Frazer — some chosen despite failing to meet the necessary skills or experience for their respective roles and responsibilities.Wilson “Woody” Phillips – Former Treasurer and Chief Financial OfficerWoody Phillips — the former treasurer and CFO, who was responsible for managing the books and financial operations of the NRA — engaged in practices that violated NRA policy, lied on financial disclosure forms, and set up a deal worth more than $1 million that benefitted his girlfriend. Just before his retirement in 2018, Phillips obtained a contract for himself worth $1.8 million, purportedly for monthly consulting services to the incoming treasurer, even though the current treasurer knew nothing about this contract and has confirmed that “Woody [Phillips] never consulted for me.” Phillips, having served in the capacity as the chief steward of the organization’s finances, also oversaw the financial practices that allowed millions of dollars in entertainment and travel expenses incurred by NRA executives to be fraudulently billed to the NRA as disbursements by the NRA’s largest vendor: Ackerman McQueen, an Oklahoma-based advertising and public relations firm. Furthermore, the complaint asserts that Phillips consistently eschewed his fiduciary duties time and time again, as evidenced by his failure to seriously respond to whistleblower complaints about alleged fiscal improprieties and his readiness to unilaterally authorize payments and contracts outside of the NRA adopted purchasing and contracting policies and procedures.Joshua Powell – Former Chief of Staff and Executive Director of General OperationsJoshua Powell, the chief of staff to LaPierre, was terminated after just 3.5 years for, among other things, misappropriating NRA funds during his tenure. Powell, who is known as a LaPierre loyalist, received sudden and substantial salary increases almost immediately after starting his position. Within a month, his salary was doubled retroactively to the beginning of his tenure with the NRA to $500,000. After less than a year, Powell’s salary increased to $650,000. A little over two years into the job, Powell’s salary more than tripled from the original $250,000 to $800,000, despite numerous complaints of abusive behavior and evidence of illegal conduct and inappropriate spending. Further, Powell abused the NRA’s policy on housing and relocation reimbursements, pocketing in excess of $100,000 more than NRA rules allowed.Powell’s tenure was marked by nepotism. LaPierre, Phillips, and Powell also signed off on the hiring of fundraising consultant McKenna & Associates outside of the NRA’s contract process and without going through any approval process. The NRA paid the company more than $5 million over the course of five years. For all of 2018, Powell’s wife was hired as a consultant by McKenna & Associates, and her entire $30,000 monthly consulting fee was passed through the NRA. The hiring of Powell’s wife was hidden from the NRA’s general counsel, in an effort to not draw attention to and affirmatively hide the conflict of interest, and her role was not pre-approved by the NRA board, as the organization’s policy requires. Additionally, Powell requested an NRA vendor to add his father to a rotation of paid photographers, resulting in more than $90,000 in compensation for his father, an expense which was completely passed through to the NRA.John Frazer – Corporate Secretary and General CounselJohn Frazer was chosen by LaPierre to serve as general counsel and also served as corporate secretary at the NRA. Between 2014 and 2018, Frazer repeatedly failed to comply with board governance procedures, make necessary changes, or advise others that governance changes needed to be made; failed to ensure that financial transactions were being addressed by NRA officers and directors in accordance with law; failed to enforce compliance with the NRA’s conflict of interest policy; and failed to ensure that the NRA was in compliance with laws and policies governing whistleblowers. Additionally, Frazer repeatedly certified false or misleading annual statements.Ackerman McQueen – NRA’s Public Relations and Advertising FirmA practice decades-old between LaPierre and Ackerman McQueen’s co-founder — that would continue until the two companies severed ties in 2019 — ensured that Ackerman McQueen would pay for a variety of non-contractual, out-of-pocket expenses for LaPierre and other NRA executives and pass those expenses through to the NRA. The NRA leadership regularly used this pass-through arrangement — where expenses would be paid for by the NRA without written approvals, receipts, or supporting business purpose documentation — to conceal private travel and other costs that were largely personal in nature. Ackerman McQueen would aggregate the expenses into a lump sum amount and provide no details on the nature or purpose of the expenses when billing the NRA for them. The invoices only typically included a one-line description that read “out-of-pocket expenses” and included an invoice total amount. The expenses billed to the NRA for out-of-pocket expenses did not comply with IRS requirements, and, as a result, all such expenses should have been included by the NRA in taxable personal income for LaPierre and other recipients.Ackerman McQueen was paid more than $70 million in just 2017 and 2018 for “public relations and advertising” services and for “out-of-pocket expenditures” that really went to entertainment and travel incurred by NRA executives and associates without scrutiny from within the organization, including millions for private planes, luxury hotels, memberships to private clubs, special events, fancy meals, and even personal hair and makeup services for LaPierre’s wife.NRA Audit Committee’s Failure to AuditUnder New York law, the NRA’s audit committee is responsible for overseeing the accounting and financial reporting processes of the organization and the audit of its financial statements, but the culture of noncompliance and disregard for the internal controls is evident within the audit committee. The committee failed to serve as an independent check on LaPierre, his senior staff, and the NRA as a whole, and basically served as a rubber stamp for the organization’s illicit behavior, when it did review finances.For example, the audit committee is charged with reviewing any contract that has the appearance of a conflict of interest, such as a contracts with insiders referred to as related-party transactions, and must not only perform certain considerations, but also document its deliberations. The committee routinely approved related-party transactions after LaPierre or senior staff entered into such agreements. In fact, in 2018, the audit committee approved seven related-party transactions after the fact, including a contract between the NRA’s then incoming president and Ackerman McQueen. At the time this contract was executed, the terms were known to LaPierre and Phillips, but the audit committee had no knowledge of it. Then, again in 2019 and 2020, the audit committee purportedly approved, retroactively, many other existing NRA contracts, some of which dated back 15 years.The audit committee’s chair testified during a deposition with the OAG that he had no knowledge of New York law governing audit committees, whistleblowers, or conflicts of interest, and that he could not recall the last time he had seen the audit committee charter that specifically states the audit committee “overs[ees] the integrity of financial information” at the NRA. In fact, the committee chair testified that, in his view and contrary to the charter, the audit committee had no role in oversight of internal controls and that “there is no internal auditing” within the NRA and there hadn’t been one in the whole 19 years he served on the NRA board.Unsurprisingly, during numerous occasions, the audit committee failed to respond adequately to whistleblowers, failed to appropriately review and approve related-party transactions and conflicts of interest, and failed to adequately oversee external auditors.Extensive Violations of Fundamental Not-for-Profit LawAttorney General James alleges in her complaint that the NRA violated multiple laws, including the laws governing the NRA’s charitable status, false reporting on annual filings with the IRS and with the OAG’s Charities Bureau, improper expense documentation, improper wage reporting, improper income tax withholding, failure to make required excise tax reporting and payments, payments in excess of reasonable compensation to disqualified persons, and waste of NRA assets; in direct violation of New York’s Estates, Powers & Trusts Laws; New York’s Not-for-Profit Corporation Law; the New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act; and New York’s Executive Law. The illegal nature of the four individual defendants’ action also violated multiple rules of the NRA’s bylaws, the NRA’s employee handbook, and the NRA’s policy manual.The failure of the NRA to comply with multiple fiduciary responsibilities and state and federal laws resulted in the NRA seeing substantial losses on its balance sheet: going from a surplus of $27,802,714 in 2015 to a net deficit of $36,276,779 in 2018 — contributing to a total loss of more than $64 million in just three years.Proposed ResolutionAs a result of all the allegations mentioned above, Attorney General James seeks to dissolve the NRA; asks the court to order LaPierre, Phillips, Powell, and Frazer to make full restitution for funds they unlawfully profited and salaries earned while employees; pay penalties; recover illegal and unauthorized payments to the four individuals; remove LaPierre and Frazer from the NRA’s leadership (Phillips and Powell are no longer employed by the NRA); and ensure none of the four individual defendants can ever again serve on the board of a charity in New York.Attorney General James began her inquiry into the NRA in February 2019.The matter was led by Bureau Chief James Sheehan and Bureau Co-Chief of the Enforcement Section Emily Stern, with a team of attorneys, legal assistants, and accountants, including Assistant Attorney General and Special Counsel of the Litigation Bureau Monica Connell; Assistant Attorneys General William Wang, Sharon Sash, Jonathan Conley, Stephen Thompson, and Erica James — all of the Charities Bureau; with additional assistance from Chief Accountant Judith Welsh-Liebross, Associate Accountant Darren Beauchamp, and Associate Accountant Charles Aganu; in addition to numerous other individuals at the OAG. The Charities Bureau is part of the Division for Social Justice, which is supervised by Chief Deputy Attorney General Meghan Faux and First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Millennials face tough times

first_imgAttracting and retaining millennials— those ages 18 to 34—is critically important to credit unions. Young members, in part because they’ve historically been heavy borrowers, are the lifeblood of a healthy, vibrant cooperative finance sector.But young people face some especially important challenges in what has been a comparatively weak economic recovery. That makes engagement more difficult—but also more important than ever.For evidence of the challenges one need look no further than the jobs picture. While top-line metrics clearly show significant U.S. labor market improvements, various ancillary measures continue to raise important concerns.The current 5.4% national unemployment rate is nearly a point lower than year-ago readings, is well below the 10% cyclical high, and is nearing the prerecession level of 5%. continue reading » 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

A clear favorite is emerging to replace Redskins as Washington’s new team name

first_imgThe team formerly known as the Redskins are zeroing in on a new name.Washington owner Dan Snyder made it official on July 13, as the team is looking to move on from the offensive, racist and derogatory team name amid financial pressure from sponsors and, equally as important, pressure from Native Americans who wanted the team to abandon the name. View this post on Instagram Mission accomplished, but there could be some time before the Washington NFL franchise settles and unveils a new name. There are some signals that could point to the new moniker, as betting odds, Dwayne Haskins and a mystery man all potentially point to a favorite for a new name: the Redwolves.An Instagram post featuring a mock up of a prospective Redwolves uniform caught the eye of current Washington QB1 Haskins, who chimed in with some positive commentary regarding the unis: MORE: Get the latest NFL betting odds from Sports Insider”Not gone hold you. I can fw this,” Haskins said in a reply on the post.  Howl to the #Redwolves? (Concept done by @catchtheblitz)A post shared by Jordan (@redskinstoday) on Jul 10, 2020 at 2:35pm PDTBut that’s not where the only smoke for the Redwolves nickname comes from. Early July 13, Martin McCaulay tweeted that the Washington Redwolves nickname is currently embroiled in a trademark fight, and that should be of intrigue. Time reported “SBJ and the Post both reported a new name wouldn’t be unveiled Monday because the team’s preferred replacement is involved in a trademark fight.” The only name now in a trademark fight is #WashingtonRedwolves Arkansas State Red Wolves v Chattanooga Red Wolves— Martin McCaulay (@MartinMcCaulay) July 13, 2020McCaulay, a 61-year-old actuary who lives in Alexandria, Va., has filed for 44 trademarks since 2016 — many of them possibilities for Washington’s new team name. Team officials would need to come to an agreement with McCauley to transfer the trademark before before using the name. And McCaulay claimed on Twitter that “Redwolves” is the trademark that’s currently in a tiff in court. MORE: Five options for Washington’s new team nameRedskins name change oddsThough the Redwolves nickname seems to be the favorite, there are a number of other names that have entered the betting sphere, if you care to risk some dollars to guess where Snyder and Co. might go with the next name.All odds are courtesy of Sports Insider:Redwolves +150Redtails +300Warriors +500Generals +600Presidents +750Lincolns +1000Monuments +1000Memorials +1200Redhawks +1200Kings +1400Americans +1600Veterans +1800Skins +2000Roosevelts +2200Jeffersons +2500last_img read more

Spacecraft Launches to Sun, Still a Mystery

first_imgA spacecraft just took off on a mission to the sun, but not to worry; it went at night.The Parker Space Probe is the first spacecraft to be named after a living person. Eugene Parker, discovered the solar wind in 1958. Now aged 91, the senior astrophysicist has been on hand for interviews with NASA prior to launch and was photographed beside the rocket. The successful launch took place Sunday evening, reported Fox News. In a separate article, Space.com explained why the probe needed to launch at night. The launch tried to minimize the craft’s exposure to the Van Allen radiation belts.The probe will fly right into the sun’s “glittering crown,” or corona, explains Phys.org. Despite our opening joke, it will fly toward the sun in broad daylight, shielded by a specially-made heat shield that will keep its instruments in the 80-degree range. Astrobiology Magazine explained why “it’s surprisingly hard to go to the sun.” Several passes by Venus will be required to get it to the target, which is not the surface of the sun, but a point just under 4 million miles where it can “taste” the corona. Even though the corona is millions of degrees hot, the gas is tenuous enough not to harm the spacecraft. Parker should also become the fastest-moving spacecraft ever, clocking in at 430,000 miles per hour, thanks to the sun’s gravity.Despite being the nearest star to earth, our sun still exhibits many phenomena that are poorly understood. Phys.org says,Our yellow dwarf star is, in many ways, a mystery. The outreaching corona is hundreds of times hotter than the sun’s actual surface, confounding scientists. In addition, physicists don’t know what’s driving the solar wind, the supersonic stream of charged particles constantly blasting away from the sun. By being right in the thick of it, Parker should provide some answers, shedding light not only on our star but the billions of others out there.The solar wind impacts earth, but is deflected by our magnetic shield which funnels the high-energy charged particles toward the poles, creating the northern and southern lights. In addition, the Van Allen belts trap some of the “killer electrons” before they could reach earth. Mars, lacking such protection, has seen much of its atmosphere stripped away.The solar wind also impacts the outer planets, stripping away Titan’s methane to the confusion of planetary scientists who wonder why any methane is left.The solar wind reminds us of the exquisite design of Spacecraft Earth. The Van Allen belts, discovered by Explorer 1 (managed by contributing CEH author Dr Henry Richter, also age 91), continue to fascinate geophysicists with their dynamic responses to the solar “shooting gallery” that endangers spacecraft and astronauts, but leaves earthlings on the surface oblivious to the threat.If we can’t even understand our own nearby star, how can scientists claim to know so much about the origin of the universe? There’s a lot of information we can tease out of spectra, but much of the overconfidence in scientific claims comes from bluffing, not understanding. Let’s understand the sun before making grandiose claims about things far, far beyond.Watch for a beautiful new film on the northern lights (aurora) to be posted soon by Illustra Media on TheJohn1010Project.com. (Visited 531 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The World Is Facing a Sand Crisis

first_imgBy Aurora Torres, Jianguo “Jack” Liu, Jodi Brandt, and Kristen LearWhen people picture sand spread across idyllic beaches and endless deserts, they understandably think of it as an infinite resource. But as we discuss in a just-published perspective in the journal Science, over-exploitation of global supplies of sand is damaging the environment, endangering communities, causing shortages and promoting violent conflict.Skyrocketing demand, combined with unfettered mining to meet it, is creating the perfect recipe for shortages. Plentiful evidence strongly suggests that sand is becoming increasingly scarce in many regions. For example, in Vietnam domestic demand for sand exceeds the country’s total reserves. If this mismatch continues, the country may run out of construction sand by 2020, according to recent statements from the country’s Ministry of Construction.This problem is rarely mentioned in scientific discussions and has not been systemically studied. Media attention drew us to this issue. While scientists are making a great effort to quantify how infrastructure systems such as roads and buildings affect the habitats that surround them, the impacts of extracting construction minerals such as sand and gravel to build those structures have been overlooked. Two years ago we created a working group designed to provide an integrated perspective on global sand use. RELATED ARTICLE Sand for Construction Is Vanishing In our view, it is essential to understand what happens at the places where sand is mined, where it is used and many impacted points in between in order to craft workable policies. We are analyzing those questions through a systems integration approach that allows us to better understand socioeconomic and environmental interactions over distances and time. Based on what we have already learned, we believe it is time to develop international conventions to regulate sand mining, use and trade. Skyrocketing demandSand and gravel are now the most-extracted materials in the world, exceeding fossil fuels and biomass (measured by weight). Sand is a key ingredient for concrete, roads, glass, and electronics. Massive amounts of sand are mined for land reclamation projects, shale gas extraction, and beach renourishment programs. Recent floods in Houston, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh will add to growing global demand for sand.In 2010, nations mined about 11 billion tons of sand just for construction. Extraction rates were highest in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by Europe and North America. In the United States alone, production and use of construction sand and gravel was valued at $8.9 billion in 2016, and production has increased by 24% in the past five years.Moreover, we have found that these numbers grossly underestimate global sand extraction and use. According to government agencies, uneven record-keeping in many countries may hide real extraction rates. Official statistics widely underreport sand use and typically do not include non-construction purposes such as hydraulic fracturing and beach nourishment.Sand traditionally has been a local product. However, regional shortages and sand mining bans in some countries are turning it into a globalized commodity. Its international trade value has skyrocketed, increasing almost sixfold in the last 25 years.Profits from sand mining frequently spur profiteering. In response to rampant violence stemming from competition for sand, the government of Hong Kong established a state monopoly over sand mining and trade in the early 1900s that lasted until 1981.Today organized crime groups in India, Italy, and elsewhere conduct illegal trade in soil and sand. Singapore’s high-volume sand imports have drawn it into disputes with Indonesia, Malaysia, and Cambodia. Aurora Torres is a postdoctoral research fellow in ecology at the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research. Jianguo “Jack” Liu is the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability at Michigan State University. Jodi Brandt is an assistant professor of human environment systems at Boise State University. Kristen Lear is a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia. This post originally appeared at The Conversation. Preventing a tragedy of the sand commonsMedia coverage of this issue is growing, thanks to work by organizations such as the United Nations Environment Program, but the scale of the problem is not widely appreciated. Despite huge demand, sand sustainability is rarely addressed in scientific research and policy forums.The complexity of this problem is doubtlessly a factor. Sand is a common-pool resource — open to all, easy to get, and hard to regulate. As a result, we know little about the true global costs of sand mining and consumption.Demand will increase further as urban areas continue to expand and sea levels rise. Major international agreements such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Convention on Biological Diversity promote responsible allocation of natural resources, but there are no international conventions to regulate sand extraction, use, and trade.As long as national regulations are lightly enforced, harmful effects will continue to occur. We believe that the international community needs to develop a global strategy for sand governance, along with global and regional sand budgets. It is time to treat sand like a resource, on a par with clean air, biodiversity and other natural endowments that nations seek to manage for the future. Sand mining harms humans and the environmentThe negative consequences of overexploiting sand are felt in poorer regions where sand is mined. Extensive sand extraction physically alters rivers and coastal ecosystems, increases suspended sediments, and causes erosion.Research shows that sand mining operations are affecting numerous animal species, including fish, dolphins, crustaceans, and crocodiles. For example, the gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) — a critically endangered crocodile found in Asian river systems — is increasingly threatened by sand mining, which destroys or erodes sand banks where the animals bask.Sand mining also has serious impacts on people’s livelihoods. Beaches and wetlands buffer coastal communities against surging seas. Increased erosion resulting from extensive mining makes these communities more vulnerable to floods and storm surges.A recent report by the Water Integrity Network found that sand mining exacerbated the impacts of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Sri Lanka. In the Mekong Delta, sand mining is reducing sediment supplies as drastically as dam construction, threatening the sustainability of the delta. It also is probably enhancing saltwater intrusion during the dry season, which threatens local communities’ water and food security.Potential health impacts from sand mining are poorly characterized but deserve further study. Extraction activities create new standing pools of water that can become breeding sites for malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The pools may also play an important role in the spread of emerging diseases such as Buruli ulcer in West Africa, a bacterial skin infection.last_img read more

Assigning Meeting Homework (A Note to the Sales Manager)

first_imgHave you ever held a meeting to update the sales force without a real agenda and ended up just taking care of some tired housekeeping issues? If you are going to take your team off the field, you have to make it worth their while. You wouldn’t want your sales team go to on sales calls without an agenda, so you don’t have a meeting without one. Here’s one way to build agendas that work.You can dramatically improve the outcomes of your sales meetings, and you can make the meetings a better experience for your sales team, by assigning them homework.Make Improvement an Individual ResponsibilityMost people do their work and spend little time working on improving their ability and capacity to do that work. We’re all just so busy, and salespeople are no different. But our professional development is our own responsibility, even if we sometimes fail to remember this fact.By choosing some area of sales and assigning homework around that area, you reinforce that member of your sales team is responsible for their own individual improvement. You force their engagement in overcoming challenges and growth.Assign homework on prospecting techniques. Assign homework around negotiating. Assign homework on developing a more strategic level relationship with your clients. Reviewing the homework assignments ensures that your team is working on their own improvement because you’re setting a standard and making it so.Make Shared Learning the Sales Force’s ResponsibilityAssigning homework and allowing the salespeople to share their learning outcomes, you help improve the whole sales team.Some salesperson will have a brilliant idea that other salespeople can put to use in their sales game. Some will have a challenge that they haven’t addressed, and they will benefit from hearing one of their peers share how they tackled that problem. Inevitably, you will identify some systemic challenges that the whole sales force is struggling to overcome.By assigning homework and sharing ideas in your team huddles or sales meeting, you encourage the sales force to share their learning. You make the team’s growth their business.Make Issue Recognition the Sales Force’s IssueBy bringing the most challenging issues to your sales meetings, you can identify issues, trends, and challenges that affect the whole sales organization. You’ve been in meetings and heard, “What are you running into?” Is a competitor making a change that is going to threaten you in your market? Is someone losing their hot hand? Are clients telling you they need something new and different?By assigning homework to the sales force, you pull these issues out and you help to tackle them. Some of the issues will require your help; you will be the only one with authority to make changes.Give them homework. Help them develop themselves. Help them develop each other. And help them by removing obstacles and challenges.QuestionsHow do you keep your salespeople engaged in sales meetings and team huddles?How do you ensure that the meetings improve the salespeople and not just allow you to share housekeeping?How can you make sales meetings help salespeople improve themselves?How do you structure sales meetings so that the salespeople can help each other?last_img read more

9 months agoEverton take Idrissa Gueye off market

first_imgEverton take Idrissa Gueye off marketby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveEverton have taken Idrissa Gueye off the market.A target for PSG, it had been claimed Everton would be willing to sell the midfielder for a set price of €45m.However, Foot Mercato says Everton have informed the player’s agent that Gueye is not for sale this month.Indeed, it’s been revealed Everton and PSG have broken off negotiations for the past week. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoSouthampton midfielder Romeu: We must bounce back against Portsmouth

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Southampton midfielder Romeu: We must bounce back against Portsmouthby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton midfielder Oriol Romeu says they must bounce back from defeat to Bournemouth.Two first-half goals left Saints with it all to do after the interval and despite James Ward-Prowse’s penalty in an improved second-half display, it was not enough and Callum Wilson sealed things in stoppage time.Attentions now turn to the south coast derby on Tuesday night at Portsmouth, something which Romeu is relishing.“We have a massive one now ahead and we’re all very excited about that game to get back to winning feelings and sensations and to start building something good again.“There has to be a reaction surely now. We want to prove that we’re not a team that loses and does nothing about it.“We know how important it is, we know how tough it will be also over there but we players like those matches and we’re ready for it.“We want to get that very important win for us, for the fans and also for the club.” last_img read more

Fake website launched in New Brunswick to educate investors about real scams

first_imgFREDERICTON — People who fell for a website hyping a too-good-to-be-true investment opportunity for New Brunswick’s coastline got lucky: The scam wasn’t intended to trap potential investors, but to teach them.The site was created by New Brunswick’s Financial and Consumer Services Commission, who decided that a good way to educate people about real investment scams was to launch their own fake investment scheme.The commission created TydeCoyn.ca, a website boasting a chance to invest in “Atlantic Canada’s first cryptocurrency token that marries tourism promotion and environmental activism.”Erin King, FCNB’s senior education and website officer, says the website was launched to show potential investors all the “red flags” they should watch for to avoid scams, such as vague wording and a countdown clock to create some urgency to investing your money.King says more than 4,500 people have visited the site since October, and 222 people who sought to invest or get more information were considered as potential victims.Anyone who clicked a link on the site was taken to FCNB’s education page.King says it’s unknown if anyone in New Brunswick has been duped in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fundraising scheme involving cryptocurrencies.She says the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ran a similar education program this summer.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Prince Harry Attends Landmine Free World 2025 Reception

first_imgPrince Harry attended The Landmine Free World 2025 Reception at Kensington Palace to mark International Mine Awareness Day.The Reception was hosted by the world’s two leading landmine charities, Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and The HALO Trust, who aim to free the world of landmines by 2025.“I have seen first-hand the work of demining field teams in Cahora Bassa, Mozambique and Cuito Cuanavale, Angola and can attest to their discipline, expertise and determination,” said Prince Harry. “MAG and HALO alone have a combined workforce of 9,000 people – almost all from mine-affected communities. They, and other organisations, have the knowledge, experience and capability to realise the Treaty’s vision by 2025 or sooner.“It would take just an additional £100m each year until 2025 – the cost of a star signing for some professional football teams – to clear the world’s most affected countries of landmines; countries such as Afghanistan, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, where the debris from bygone wars denies men and women the ability to cultivate their land, feed their children and re-build their lives.“I applaud the Secretary of State and our government for their bold commitment to supporting this vital work with additional funding. I hope this example will be seen by the international community as a reminder of the commitments made in 1997 and that other countries will redouble their efforts. The sooner we are able to clear all remaining landmines the less chance there is of innocent lives being lost or changed forever.”The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty was signed 20 years ago in order to prevent the use and production of landmines across the world – but there are still countries contaminated with the devices.Several key figures in the signing of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty attended the reception, alongside other senior representatives of governments who support international mine action.The Chief Executive of MAG, Jane Cocking, and The HALO Trust Chief Executive, James Cowan, spoke before introducing Prince Harry and Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel.Prince Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, was closely involved in raising awareness about landmines, visiting Angola and Bosnia, two countries heavily affected.In the year marking the twentieth anniversary of The Princess’ death, Prince Harry is pleased to recognise his mother’s work and the progress which has been made by MAG, HALO, the UK Government and other organisations.“Twenty years ago, in the last months of her life, my mother campaigned to draw attention to the horrific and indiscriminate impact of landmines,” said Prince Harry. “She visited affected areas such as Huambo in Angola and Travnik in Bosnia. She heard how people in these communities lived in constant fear that each step may be their last. She met with those who had suffered life changing injuries as a result of anti-personnel mines, she listened to their stories, and helped share them with the world.”Prince Harry has visited minefields himself, in both Angola and Mozambique, meeting amputees, and witnessing the devastating impact landmines have on some of the poorest people in mine-affected communities.Source:Royal.UKlast_img read more

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