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Prompt Board Next day settlement
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Taken one early morning this week in the #MassaiMara. She really is quite beautiful. So smart, alert, regal and so totally unfazed be me @David_Yarrow
The leopard (Panthera pardus) /ˈlɛpərd/ is one of the five "big cats"
in the genus Panthera. It is a member of the family Felidae with a
wide range in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. Fossil records
suggest that in the Late Pleistocene it occurred in Europe and
Compared to other members of Felidae, the leopard has relatively short
legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance
to the jaguar, but has a smaller, lighter physique. Its fur is marked
with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard's
rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and do not usually have
central spots as the jaguar's do. Both leopards and jaguars that are
melanistic are known as black panthers.
The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur,
opportunistic hunting behaviour, broad diet, and strength (which it
uses to move heavy carcasses into trees), as well as its ability to
adapt to various habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including
arid and montane areas, and its ability to run at speeds of up to 58
kilometres per hour (36 mph).
The Land of Uz I have no debt to the worms except / wads of silk. By Ejiofor Ugwu Guernica
In the house, the healer
coats their bald heads with
red mud, cements the demon back
to the upside down world,
friend-zoning the inmates again.
That stain from the bruised shadow is
said to come after
the three days of darkness, the days of
the coming of the Prince of Heaven; to
judge the living and the dead.
We will dig a hole in the ground,
a hole as gluttonous as the great wall,
for our house,
our goatsheds and the duck roosts, the
lamb, the ducklings, the kids,
our gods and our priests, those
that the gods did not fatten their corpses, especially,
all that have no shadows.
Awuru’s house shall stand;
he will farm away the stain, frenzied
from the wood nails he grew on his stepson’s head, and
the worms he has farmed from it for his day old chicks, and
they have fed, on and on, and
the roosters have grown several
conjoined combs and wattles.
Born in an open city,
butts as marshlands, Akwah sought
the same canal of his birth, bruised the
wall with fried fluids.
Okotombo sculpts stones, eating
the gods’ snakes in the feast of the sun.
We will dig in deeper and deeper, for
the Prince has little patience for hidden hearts.
There is a man child conceived to
break the ribbons, spread flower laurels
and multicolor shreds, by
the name conferred on him.
Let a cloud dwell upon the stain.
Those broken plates in Aleppo we
will hide under our beds, and use the
rest to make tattoos on our foreheads, as tribal people do;
make masks and Ikenga to scare away death.
I will build spiders with talons round
my mother’s hips: they will watch over
the night till the time’s end.
I head for hell at once, possessed by
the speech of sand;
the way, just before the house that
life occupies, a little away from death,
are shadows, made of several shades, often
falling and rising in the harmattan winds,
sometimes drunk on hard water.
I walk to the drunken wind to ferry me,
for my ink is filled with blood now and again, smelling of
ancient balms, flowing through the river,
filling itself again and again, eroding
waterwalls: memorialized in lethal bees,
drywalls and headless semen.
And the world will go on.
Man of Unamuno’s Solon,
why weep when it avails nothing?
and that is precisely the truth of it all
the way we will continue to be grown and fertilized,
and to grow more and more, in the faith.
I have no debt to the worms except
wads of silk;
the cotton trees and the cotton rot are one,
Lear owes the cats many jars of perfumes, not me.
I owe the cats many long nights of wine.
The silkwads need not fill the grave, the sand always can.
And you mix the world at least, for the greatest beauty.
What makes Putin tick, and what the West should do Fiona Hill and Clifford G. Gaddy
Law & Politics
In this book, we have tried to answer the question of who is Mr. Putin
and what motivates him to do what he does. Here, in this coda, we put
this understanding and these insights to the test. Based on what we’ve
written, we consider what lessons we have learned and what advice we
might offer on how to deal with him. The 2014 conflict between Russia
and the West over Ukraine has convinced us that some observers of the
crisis have several, potentially very dangerous, misconceptions about
Putin. These fall into the category of underestimating him in a couple
of important respects, and then overestimating him—or failing to
understand his limitations—in others. First, many in the West
underestimated Putin’s willingness to fight, for as long and as hard
(and as dirty) as he needs to, to achieve his goals. Vladimir Putin
will use all methods available, and he will be ruthless.
First, Vladimir Putin needs to be taken seriously. He will make good
on every promise or threat—if Putin says he will do something, then he
is prepared to do it; and he will find a way of doing it, using every
method at his disposal. From Putin’s biographical materials… [he] and
his Kremlin team wanted domestic and international audiences to
conceive of him as a scrappy little street fighter (a little thug in
Masha Gessen’s depiction in The Man Without a Face). All the stories
laid out in these early materials and the subsequent embellishments
were framed by the outbreak of the second war in Chechnya; but they
were also intended to have a shelf-life for future events. Their
purpose was to underscore that if Vladimir Putin gets into a fight,
then he is prepared to fight to the end. He will keep on fighting,
even if he gets beaten up (as a kid), or risks losing his position (as
the official leader of Russia), or has to embark on a potential
suicide mission (as his father did during World War II). Vladimir
Putin may be an underdog—he’s small in stature, he seems weaker than
his opponents, he was always in secondary, never high-profile,
positions until the late 1990s—but he uses these and other attributes
to his advantage.
In short, Vladimir Putin is a fighter and he is a survivalist. He
won’t give up, and he will fight dirty if that’s what it takes to win.
He didn’t give up as a kid in the Leningrad courtyards. He didn’t give
up in Chechnya. He won’t give up in Ukraine or elsewhere in Russia’s
neighborhood. Vladimir Putin’s rules for street fighting are
essentially the same for his principles in domestic and foreign
politics. Establish credibility and don’t back down until the
advantage is yours and you’ve made your point. Once your opponent has
capitulated and you have established your turf and terms, then you can
patch things up and move on—until the next showdown comes along.
Whether the stories Putin and his team tell about his childhood fights
are all true or not, Putin’s martial arts training lends them some
veracity. It also brings in another dimension. Putin began with judo
and the somewhat rougher Russian variant called sambo at an early age.
Judo gave Putin a more disciplined and ritualized approach to
fighting. It helped him overcome his own weaknesses in terms of his
size and strength relative to others. Judo moved the street kid from
anything goes scraps into formalized matches. It gave him insight and
techniques to figure out ways of pushing bigger, stronger opponents to
the mat while protecting himself.
In the domestic and foreign policy arenas, Putin constantly sizes up
his opponents and probes for physical and psychological weaknesses.
Putin’s adaptation of Nixon’s “Madman Theory” approach helps flush
these weaknesses out—it helps gauge reactions: They think I’m
dangerous, and unpredictable, how do they respond to this? Have I got
them unbalanced and on the back foot as a result? Then Putin tests his
opponents to see if they mean what they say—will they also be prepared
to fight, and fight to the end? If they are not, then he will exploit
their empty threats to show them up, intimidate, deter, and defeat
them. If they are prepared to fight, and he is outweighed or outgunned
by his adversaries, then he will look for unconventional moves that
get around their defenses so that he can outmaneuver them. In judo you
can win on points over the course of a series of matches even if you
are far smaller than your opponent and lose some of the individual
His image is carefully branded and rebranded. Putin’s appearances and
public pronouncements are highly orchestrated and well-prepared. They
are timed for maximum effect so that his audiences will hang on his
every word—looking for any indication of what he might think, or what
he might do next. The Kremlin maintains an almost complete unity of
silence and message. When messages seem to be transmitted without
approval they are accompanied by equal measure of dis/mis-information.
All of this deliberately complicates the task of the political
opponent (as well as the outside analyst or biographer). Vladimir
Putin is, and is supposed to be, unknowable to the outsider. The goal
is to keep everyone confused and off balance.
However, from Putin’s perspective, there might come a point in the
future where those priorities would change for the U.S. and NATO. If
so, he would have to think in terms of such a worst-case scenario. We
are convinced that this is exactly how Putin thinks, because, contrary
to the prevailing external assessment, Putin is a strategic planner.
The notion that Putin is an opportunist, at best an improviser, but
not a strategist, is a dangerous misread. Putin thinks, plans, and
acts strategically. But, as we have stressed in the book, for Putin,
strategic planning is contingency planning. There is no step-by-step
blueprint. There are strategic objectives, and there are many ways to
achieve those objectives. Exactly what his next step towards the
objective will be depends on the circumstances. It depends on how his
Putin has to figure out how to plan for the present and future under
conditions of economic and political uncertainty. Putin knows
unexpected events can and will blow things off course in domestic and
foreign policy. The key to dealing with the unexpected is to
anticipate that there will always be setbacks. This means he focuses
on contingency and adaptive planning to deal with them. He needs
back-up plans and resources ready whenever they come along. Having
back-up plans means learning from past mistakes as well as successes.
It means reducing risk and vulnerability for the future. Putin has
consistently shown that he can learn from his own policy or tactical
mistakes at home and abroad. In his pronouncements and actions, Putin
has emphasized the importance of operational flexibility and of
maximizing options so he can adapt to changes in Russia’s internal and
external environment as he goes along.
Putin had clearly decided sometime before the Munich Security
Conference in 2007 that he would eventually have to confront the
United States, on what he perceived to be its destabilizing behavior,
with something more forceful than heightened rhetoric. In the case of
Georgia, Putin knew that Mikheil Saakashvili was going to keep on
pushing to reassert Georgia’s control over the secessionist republics
of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, including trying to retake them by
force if he felt he had to or could. Saakashvili never hid this
intention. He often spoke of it to interlocutors, including to the
authors on two occasions several years apart. Saakashvili also made it
clear that he would keep pressing for NATO membership in some form. So
Putin had contingencies prepared, including the armed forces’ annual
summer exercises in the North Caucasus military district. Sure enough,
Saakashvili tripped the wire in 2008. After the Georgia war, Putin and
his team looked back over the conflict and examined what had gone
wrong in detail. They looked at Russia’s large-scale military
operations first in Chechnya and then in Georgia and at the West’s
responses. They decided that they needed to do something different
when the next time came along.
The next time was Ukraine. Putin first took the 2011-2012 protests as
a signal that the West had opened another front of attack and he would
need to take immediate preparatory action. Putin set [Armed Forces
Chief of Staff] Gerasimov and [Defense Minister] Shoigu to work at the
end of 2012 to mobilize Russia for fighting the new twenty-first
century warfare with the West. Putin’s second signal was the European
association agreements in 2013, combined with the EU’s decision to
initiate its Third Energy Package and the financial crisis in Cyprus
in March 2013. All this revealed how negative attitudes toward Russia
had become in Brussels and Berlin. Initially in Ukraine, Putin thought
he had the situation under control with the venal and vulnerable
Victor Yanukovych in place. But he had bet on the wrong horse.
Yanukovych could be blackmailed but he couldn’t keep control of
Ukraine. Once it became clear that Yanukovych had “no political
future”—which may have been in December 2013 when the protests in Kyiv
stepped up, or not until February 2014 when things really got out of
hand—then Putin had to make sure his backup plans were in place.
Annexing Crimea and setting the rest of Ukraine on fire were
contingency operations. They were prepared in advance, ready to be
used if needed—but only if needed.
Putin’s operational aim will continue to be to find the weaknesses, to
goad, and intimidate, and to make sure everyone knows he will make
good on his threats. The onus will now be on the West to shore up its
own home defenses, reduce the economic and political vulnerabilities,
and create its own contingency plans if it wants to counter Putin’s
new twenty-first century warfare.
War Consumes South Sudan, a Young Nation Cracking Apart NYT
YAMBIO, South Sudan — Simon Burete was weeding his peanut field a few
weeks ago when he saw smoke coming from his house. He ran as fast as
He and his wife, Angelina, had enjoyed years of peace, he farming the
fields, she selling the produce in the market. They were poor but
welded to each other. Just that morning, they had talked about walking
into town to buy their first mobile phones.
But as Mr. Burete made it back to the house, out of breath, red dirt
still stuck to his knees, he couldn’t believe his eyes. His wife was
lying on the floor, burned to death in a rampage by government forces.
“I used to call her akara-ngba,” he said, which means in the Zande
language “the last word on beauty.”
He could barely choke out the words.
Yambio, a midsize town of wide dirt roads and lofty kapok trees that
seem to breathe tranquillity, used to be part of what was called a
green state. This place was considered safe. It was not a red zone.
Famine-hit South Sudan sharply raises foreigners' work fees
South Sudan has sharply increased the fees required for foreigners to
work in the country — from roughly $100 to up to $10,000 — just days
after famine was declared there.
Even before the fee hike, the government had been repeatedly accused
of restricting humanitarian aid access during the country's three-year
civil war. With the famine declaration, the pleas for access are
The Ministry of Labor raised work permit fees to anywhere from $10,000
to $1,000 depending on skill level, according to a memorandum dated
Thursday. Most foreigners in South Sudan work in humanitarian aid or
the oil industry.
The fee hikes apply only to foreigners and are aimed at increasing
government revenue, Minister of Information Michael Makuei told The
Associated Press on Saturday.
South Sudan was born in a halo of jubilation that now seems Pollyannish
One said the justice system was “too deformed to be reformed.” The
other accused the government of orchestrating a “tribally engineered
Trade on the Streets, and Off the Books, Keeps Zimbabwe Afloat
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Dusk falls and thousands of vendors fan out across
central Harare. Through the night, they hawk their wares — vegetables,
clothes, kitchen utensils, cellphones — from carts, wheelbarrows or
even the pavement, transforming the city’s staid business district
into a giant, freewheeling village market.
On Robert Mugabe Road, around the corner from the city’s remaining
colonial-era luxury hotel, the Meikles, Victor Chitiyo has sold dress
shirts since losing his job as a machine operator at a textile factory
several years ago.
“Since then, I’ve never been employed,” Mr. Chitiyo, 38, said under
the dim light of a street lamp. “If the economy improves, I’d want to
be employed at a company again. But I don’t think that will happen.
It’s been a long time since we were optimistic in Zimbabwe.”
Harare’s night market is the most visible evidence of Zimbabwe’s
swelling informal economy, which the government estimates now employs
all but a small share of the country’s work force.
“The government is moving into an increasingly untenable situation,
and they are in desperate need of a bailout in the billions to restore
liquidity in the country,” said John Robertson, an independent
economist in Harare. “The formal sector has collapsed. The informal
sector is now very much bigger, and it is actually keeping alive a
very much higher percentage of the population.”
“We have companies scaling down or discontinuing certain lines that
are heavy on import requirements,” said Busisa Moyo, president of the
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.
“If you go there with 100 dollars in bond notes, they give you $70 or
$80,” he said. “It’s not equal on the black market.”
Standard Group reports FY 16 EPS of 2.14 versus [2.95] Earnings here
Par Value: 5/-
Closing Price: 18.75
Total Shares Issued: 81731808.00
Market Capitalization: 1,532,471,400
The Standard Group Limited FY 2016 Results through 31st December 2016
vs. 31st December 2015
FY Revenue 4.815327b vs. 4.488399b +7.284%
FY Total operating costs [4.411051b] vs. [4.694449b] -6.037%
FY Other income 98.918m vs. [26.113m] +478.807%
FY Finance costs (net) [233.719m] vs. [163.638m] +42.827%
FY Profit/ [Loss] before taxation 269.475m vs. [395.801m] +168.083%
FY Profit/ [Loss] after tax 198.521m vs. [289.603m] +168.549%
EPS 2.14 vs. [2.95] +172.542%
Total Assets 4.404931b vs. 4.355614b +1.132%
Total shareholders’ equity 2.076094b vs. 1.877573b +10.573%
Cash & cash equivalents at the end of the year [300.162m] vs.
No interim dividend
Revenue increase was mainly from TV and radio segments
cost optimisation measures put in place continue to bear fruit.
strategic plan whose main focus is to grow broadcast and digital
Better results but seriously disruptive times in the media Sector
Kenya's Standard Group swings into full year profit in 2016
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya media company Standard Group swung into
profit in full year 2016 after posting a loss the previous year,
helped by falling operating costs and slightly higher revenues, it
said on Saturday.
Standard said in a statement that it made a pretax profit of 269.48
million shillings ($2.63 million) last year after losing 395.8 million
shillings in 2015, while revenues were up 7 percent to 4.82 billion
Standard, which publishes newspapers, owns a radio and television
stations, websites and does outdoor advertising, said total operating
costs fell 6 percent to 4.41 billion shillings.
Its earnings per share rose to 2.14 shillings from a loss per share of
2.95 shillings in 2015. Its board recommended that no dividend be paid
out to allow for more investments in its broadcast business.