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25-MAR-2019 :: :: Ours is the most Cryptic of Centuries
Law & Politics
I was speaking with H.E Johan Borgstam and he said ''But Aly-Khan
everything started with MH370.''
‘’”We are not witnessing the flow of information so much as pure
spectacle, or information made sacred, ritually unreadable. The small
monitors of the office, home and car become a kind of idolatry here,
where crowds might gather in astonishment.’’
And indeed since 2014 The World has become increasingly cryptic and
like Salman Rushdie [who once spent his Life living under the dark
shadow of an Ayatollah's Fatwa] wrote
"Ours is the most cryptic of Centuries, it's true Nature a Dark Secret"
Lets begin in the United States. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has
now delivered his Report to the Attorney General. President Trump has
spent most of his Presidency trying to undercut this report. Its
arrival is therefore noteworthy. The FED Chairman Powell went Full-on
Dove last week, pronouncing that there would be no rate hike in 2019
Global bond yields went into free fall after the Fed waved the white
flag on policy normalization. 10y Bund yields were at 0.03%, US 10y
yields at 2.5%, 10y Japanese yields at -0.05%. Policy-Makers
particularly in the US have blinked. Over in Europe, Germany printed a
shocking PMI number. The Euro which had pushed higher after Powell's
dovish Tilt suddenly woke up to the Fact that if the US was slowing,
then Europe was going to be slowing even further and was last at
The best performing currency in 2019 has been Sterling though if the
World goes to Hell in a Hand-basket, then all bets will be on the Yen.
The whole Brexit scenario has become a Needle which appears simply
impossible to thread. The Speaker John Bercow quite properly
guillotined Theresa May's endless Groundhog Day, where she brought the
same deal but for a change of an Apostrophe to the Vote in the House
of Commons. And in fact, over the last few months we have watched
Parliamentary Democracy re-assert itself as The Prime Ministership's
power has dimmed.
The EU has agreed to the following
👉 agrees to Art. 50 extension until 22 May if Withdrawal Agreement
approved next week
👉 if not agreed next week then extension until 12 April
👉 approves ‘Strasbourg Agreement’
👉 continues no-deal preparations
Where we go from here is anybody's Guess. It is highly unlikely that
Prime Minister May has a Future. Sky News revealed the armed forces
have activated a team in a nuclear bunker beneath the Ministry of
Defence to step up preparations for a 'no-deal' Brexit. I predicted
that in fact it was the Elysee Palace and President Emmanuel Macron
who now has significant ''Veto'' or ''Decider'' Power and the ability
to essentially throw the UK off the EU Train. Macron says it's
no-deal #Brexit if British MPs reject accord again. @dwnews The
Question for Investors, is as follows. Is the kitchen sink already
priced into Sterling? And therefore, it remains a Buy. What would an
apocalyptic outcome look like?
Last week President Trump tweeted
After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize
Israel's Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical
strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional
Carl Bildt responded ''The jungle is back. This is a catastrophic
departure from the very basis of international law. Kremlin will
applaud and apply the same principle to Crimea. Beijing will applaud
and apply to South China Sea''
When I sat for my Entrance Exam for Westminster School one of thee
questions that I was confronted with was this
''Might is right.'' Discuss.
Some of the uncertainty we are all experiencing is watching the
President of the ''Free World'' seemingly torching the Rules Based
Order, thumping his Chest and as Bildt tweeted returning us to the
From a Geopolitical perspective, the big popping over the Radar
happened in ChristChurch New Zealand. Jacinda Aardern [an agnostic who
took her oath of office without a Bible or mention of God. A living
example that to be a humanitarian you need no dogma; just compassion,
love, an open heart and an open mind @HarounRashid2] shattered the
Glass Ceiling into tiny little pieces. She is the First Western Leader
to seek to assert Narrative control over ''Terror'' The Symbolism of
''A biker gang providing an escort to a hearse transporting the coffin
of Haji Mohammed Daoud Nabi, killed in New Zealand's twin mosque
attacks, to the Memorial Park Cemetery in Christchurch'' sums things
up metaphorically and even cryptically. She vowed never to utter the
name of the twin-mosque gunman to deprive him of the publicity he
craved. She warned social media companies saying "they are the
publisher, not just the postman".
The Prime Minister of New Zealand asserted Narrative Control and
pushed back at what Don Delillo noted
"I used to think it was possible for an artist to alter the inner
life of the culture. Now bomb-makers and gunmen have taken that
territory," Don DeLillo, Mao II.
If You want to measure a Soft Power Leapfrog, Keep an Eye on the Kiwis
and this remarkably sophisticated epitome of c21st Girl Power Jacinda
Finally let us not forget the Egg Boy. Donations are being sought for
the boy's defense and "to buy more eggs" reports said
In a series of private telephone calls, senior ministers agreed that Theresa May must announce she is standing down, warning that she has become a toxic and "erratic" figure @thesundaytimes
Law & Politics
Theresa May was at the mercy of a full-blown cabinet coup last night
as senior ministers moved to oust the prime minister and replace her
with her deputy, David Lidington.
In a frantic series of private telephone calls, senior ministers
agreed the prime minister must announce she is standing down, warning
that she has become a toxic and “erratic” figure whose judgment has
As up to 1m people marched on the streets of London against Brexit
yesterday, May’s fate was being decided elsewhere.
The Sunday Times spoke to 11 cabinet ministers who confirmed that they
wanted the prime minister to make way for someone else.
The plotters plan to confront May at a cabinet meeting tomorrow and
demand that she announces she is quitting. If she refuses, they will
threaten mass resignations or publicly demand her head.
Instead she will be a passenger as MPs vote tomorrow on a motion that
will let them seize control of Wednesday’s Commons business to host a
series of “indicative votes”, where MPs can express a preference for
alternatives to May’s Brexit plan
How Did the F.A.A. Allow the @Boeing 737 Max to Fly? @NewYorker
Law & Politics
With virtually every day that has passed since the crash of Ethiopian
Airlines Flight 302, which killed a hundred and fifty-seven people,
more disturbing news has emerged. On Sunday, a spokesperson for
Ethiopia’s ministry of transport said that the black box that was
recovered from the wreckage of Flight 302 indicated that “clear
similarities were noted between Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and
Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610,” which crashed last October, killing a
hundred and eighty-nine people.
The plane involved in the Lion Air tragedy was also a Boeing 737 Max
8, and investigators suspect that the cause of that crash was a
malfunctioning automated-flight-control feature, which caused the
aircraft’s nose to dip repeatedly during its initial ascent out of the
airport in Jakarta. The automated-flight-control feature on the 737
Max, which is called a Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System
(mcas), was designed to prevent a high-speed stall. It works by
tilting part of the horizontal stabilizer in the tail of the plane,
and investigators at the Ethiopian crash site have found physical
evidence that this part of the plane was, indeed, configured to dive.
Radar data has indicated that both planes jerked up and down in
erratic fashion after takeoff. The captain of the Ethiopian Airlines
flight reported a “flight control” problem to the air-traffic control
tower. Data from the black box of the Lion Air plane showed that its
pilots repeatedly pulled back on the control yoke to try to disengage
the mcas and level the flight path of the plane. “The pilots fought
continuously until the end of the flight,” an official from the
Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee said in November,
after the plane’s black box was recovered.
This is all frightening enough, and it raises serious questions about
why Boeing didn’t tell airlines and pilots much more about the mcas—in
particular, how to disengage it in an emergency—before the 737 Max was
put into service, in 2017. Boeing has delivered three hundred and
seventy-six of these planes to airlines around the world. Practically
all of them have now been grounded out of safety concerns.
Boeing has promised a software fix to address some of the potential
problems created by the mcas. That’s too little, too late, of course,
and it doesn’t address the even larger issue of how the 737 Max was
allowed to fly in the first place. On Sunday, the Seattle Times, the
home-town newspaper of Boeing’s commercial division, published the
results of a lengthy investigation into the federal certification of
the 737 Max. It found that the F.A.A. outsourced key elements of the
certification process to Boeing itself, and that Boeing’s safety
analysis of the new plane contained some serious flaws, including
several relating to the mcas.
The Boeing analysis “understated the power of the new flight control
system,” the Seattle Times article said. “When the planes later
entered service, mcas was capable of moving the tail more than four
times farther than was stated in the initial safety analysis
document.” The Boeing analysis also “failed to account for how the
system could reset itself each time a pilot responded, thereby missing
the potential impact of the system repeatedly pushing the airplane’s
In the case of the Lion Air flight, investigators suspect the mcas was
reacting to faulty data gathered from a single flight sensor mounted
on the fuselage. According to the Seattle Times article, the Boeing
analysis assessed the failure of the mcas system as “as one level
below ‘catastrophic.’ But even that ‘hazardous’ danger level should
have precluded activation of the system based on input from a single
sensor—and yet that’s how it was designed.”
How can a manufacturer of something as complex and potentially
dangerous as a passenger jet be allowed to play such a large role in
deciding whether its product is safe? It turns out that the F.A.A.,
with congressional approval, has “over the years delegated increasing
authority to Boeing to take on more of the work of certifying the
safety of its own airplanes,” the Seattle Times said. In the case of
the 737 Max, which is a longer and more fuel-efficient version of
previous 737s, Boeing was particularly eager to get the plane into
service quickly, so it could compete with Airbus’s new A320neo.
Early on, employees of the F.A.A. and Boeing decided how to divide up
the certification work. But, partway through the process, a former
F.A.A. safety engineer told the Seattle Times, “we were asked by
management to re-evaluate what would be delegated. Management thought
we had retained too much at the FAA.” The engineer said that “there
was constant pressure to re-evaluate our initial decisions,” and “even
after we had reassessed it … there was continued discussion by
management about delegating even more items down to the Boeing
Even the work that was retained, such as reviewing technical documents
provided by Boeing, was sometimes curtailed. “There wasn’t a complete
and proper review of the documents,” the former engineer added.
“Review was rushed to reach certain certification dates.”
The new revelations don’t stop there. “Federal prosecutors and
Department of Transportation officials are scrutinizing the
development of Boeing Co.’s 737 MAX jetliners,” the Wall Street
Journal reported on Monday. “A grand jury in Washington, D.C., issued
a broad subpoena dated March 11 to at least one person involved in the
737 MAX’s development, seeking related documents, including
correspondence, emails and other messages,” a source told the paper.
(The Justice Department and Department of Transportation declined to
comment on the Journal’s reporting.)
The criminal investigation began well before the crash of the
Ethiopian Airlines Flight. It’s not clear yet whether it is focussing
on the mcas system, the report in the Journal said. But, that article
added, “In the U.S., it is highly unusual for federal prosecutors to
investigate details of regulatory approval of commercial aircraft
designs, or to use a criminal probe to delve into dealings between the
FAA and the largest aircraft manufacturer the agency oversees. Probes
of airliner programs or alleged lapses in federal safety oversight
typically are handled as civil cases, often by the DOT inspector
In a statement to the Seattle Times, Boeing said that the F.A.A.
“considered the final configuration and operating parameters of MCAS
during MAX certification, and concluded that it met all certification
and regulatory requirements.” The F.A.A., in a statement issued on
Sunday, said that the “737 MAX certification program followed the
FAA’s standard certification process.”
Given that two brand-new 737 Maxes have plunged to earth, befuddling
their pilots and costing three hundred and forty-six people their
lives, these statements are hardly reassuring. We need to know a lot
more about how the F.A.A. allowed this plane to take to the air.
@Uber to Seal $3.1 Billion Deal to Buy @careem This Week @business
Uber Technologies Inc. is set to announce a $3.1 billion
cash-and-share deal to acquire its Dubai-based rival Careem Networks
FZ as early as this week, according to people with knowledge of the
The U.S. ride-hailing giant will pay $1.4 billion in cash and $1.7
billion in convertible notes for Careem, the people said, asking not
to identified because the talks are private. The notes will be
convertible into Uber shares at a price equal to $55 per share,
according to the term-sheet seen by Bloomberg.
Shareholders in Careem, whose backers include Saudi Prince Alwaleed
bin Talal’s investment firm and Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten
Inc., have been asked to agree to the terms of the transaction by
Monday evening and a deal could be announced as soon as Tuesday, the
Uber spokesman Matt Kallman declined to comment while a spokesman for
Careem wasn’t immediately able to comment.
Uber’s acquisition of Careem would come ahead of its imminent initial
public offering, which could be one of the New York Stock Exchange’s
biggest-ever listings. Uber is expected to publicly file for an IPO in
April, kicking off a listing that could value the company at as much
as $120 billion, people familiar with the plans have said previously.
Careem was valued at about $1 billion in a 2016 funding round, making
it one of the most valuable technology startups in the Middle East.
The company has over a million drivers and operates in more than 90
cities in 15 countries, according to its website.
For Uber, a deal would signal its commitment to the Middle East, where
one of its biggest investors -- a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund
-- is based.
Camel milk: from foodie favourite to future of dairy? @FT ⁦@MADarbyshire⁩
When the FT mail room informed me that two bottles of ice-cold camel
milk had arrived, my heart dropped. I had spent weeks researching and
championing camel milk’s status as the “future of dairy” to my
colleagues; now I had to taste it. As I went to try the surprisingly
thick beverage, my nose wrinkled, my lips pursed. I realised that
something I had not expected was holding me back: prejudice.
Camels were first domesticated for their milk in 3000BC, according to
the UN, and the liquid is a staple in parts of the Middle East and
north Africa, where it can be cheaper than cow’s milk. Now it is
gaining popularity with producers and customers elsewhere, from health
nuts in America to farmers in sub-Saharan Africa reckoning with
The milk is free of lactose, allowing it to be digested by people with
a dairy intolerance and cutting into the market share of nut milks.
Touted by fanatics for its alleged medical benefits and by foodies for
its full flavour, camel milk is now stocked on shelves in Asda
supermarkets in the UK, while a camel dairy in the Netherlands offers
next-day delivery to London doorsteps. Camel-milk ice cream is popping
up on menus at culinary hotspots such as west London’s 108 Garage and
the two-Michelin-starred minibar by José Andrés in Washington DC
I ask Margarito Lopez, pastry chef at minibar, what he likes about it.
“Camel milk is forever on my list to work with,” he says. “The flavour
profile is very different from cow’s milk . . . grassy, lean and
He likes to accent camel milk with flavours that can “highlight and
mesh well with it”, such as honey, pistachio and rose, or he makes it
into ice cream using liquid nitrogen.
Even in the Middle East, “20 years ago, you could not find camel milk
in the markets”, says Bernard Faye, a self-described “camelologist”
based in France, who has spent the past 40 years researching the
animal. “[Herders] consumed the milk or offered it; it was considered
the gift of God . . . [Now] the taboo on selling camel milk is
Camel milk represents 3 per cent of the $360bn global dairy market,
and sales are expected to grow at nearly twice the pace of other
animal milks, a rate of 6.8 per cent each year through 2022, according
to a study by Technavio, a market research company.
Camel’s milk is “the white gold of the desert”, says Swiss researcher
and veterinarian Ulrich Wernery, who helped to set up a camel dairy,
Camelicious, with the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid
The dairy now has some 6,000 camels and produces liquid and powdered
milk. It ships around the world and supplies neighbouring Al Nassma, a
halal camel chocolate company that sells chocolate camels in airports
and the department store Selfridges for £15.99.
Female camels are traditionally bred in the Middle East for speed, not
milk, says Wernery; the majority of racing camels are female.
Camelicious sells most of its unlucky male camels, which are popular
for meat and tourism. Meanwhile, females can produce milk from four
years old, have a gestation of about 12 months and will produce milk
up to two years after giving birth.
Camelicious milk costs about $13 a litre in the Middle East and
Europe. In the US, the fastest-growing market for camel milk, it
retails for a startling $35 a litre from distributor Desert Farms,
which sells in Whole Foods as well as direct to consumers.
Beyond its trendiness with adventurous urbanites, some believe that
camel milk could be the future of dairy farming in the developing
world as droughts become more frequent and intense. While almost four
times as expensive as cows in Kenya, camels are being integrated into
some dairy operations as a hedge against climate change.
Personally, I’m not quite ready to swap a cappuccino for a camelcino
or spread Camelbert cheese on my crackers. But as the planet warms and
food diversity becomes more important, camel milk may have an
increasingly important role to play.
#CycloneIdai After the floods, the famine. And then more of the same @mailandguardian @simonallison
Overnight, Mozambique’s second-largest city disappeared. All the
lights in Beira went off. Its buildings vanished under six metres of
Its roads were washed away, its bridges were torn from their
foundations, and its people — well, still no one knows how many of its
They huddled together on the roofs of three-storey buildings as the
floodwater lapped at their feet; or, trapped in the branches of the
tallest trees, they braced against gale-force winds and waited for a
rescue that, for many, never came.
This was no ordinary natural disaster. Mozambique has weathered more
than its fair share of floods over the years. Cyclone Idai was more
powerful than anything that has come before. It was “a disaster of
great proportions”, said President Filipe Nyusi, who flew over Beira
in a helicopter and saw bodies floating in water where there used to
be villages. More than 90% of the city of 500 000 people was
destroyed, said the Red Cross. The United Nations called it “possibly
the worst-ever weather-related disaster to hit the southern
What’s left of Beira is now cut off from the rest of Mozambique.
Humanitarian agencies are only able to bring in supplies by air or by
boat. National Road number 6, the one major road linking the city to
the rest of the country, has been destroyed. Beira is now an “island
in the ocean”, according to media reports.
Cyclone Idai hit Beira late on March 13, but it did not stop there. It
barrelled inland, sweeping through Sofala province and then across the
border into Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani district. As it moved further from
the sea, it weakened, but even then it was strong enough to burst
riverbanks, sweep away bridges and flood towns and villages.
Although Malawi was not struck directly, the cyclone caused heavy rains.
So far, according to official tallies, more than 200 people have died
in Mozambique, 56 are dead in Malawi and 98 in Zimbabwe. In total, an
estimated 2.6-million people could be affected, with hundreds of
thousands made homeless.
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Scenting victory, the protesters refused to give up. In the end, Bouteflika and his inner circle around him faced a simple choice: crush the protests or give in to them. @Africa_Conf⁩
Too many officials had already started siding with the opposition and
the loyalty of the army could not be guaranteed, so they opted for the
The Arab Spring has finally reached Algeria. People power on a scale
not seen in 30 years forced elderly and infirm President Abdelaziz
Bouteflika to agree not to stand for a fifth term of office. The waves
of protest across the country were too strong for him, and those
around him, to withstand, despite desperate attempts to cling on.
These included warnings that the crisis could spark a return to
terrorism and the carnage of the 1990s civil war, plus a promise that
he would not stay for the full term, and that he would change the
system. Scenting victory, the protesters refused to give up. In the
end, Bouteflika and his inner circle around him faced a simple choice:
crush the protests or give in to them. Too many officials had already
started siding with the opposition and the loyalty of the army could
not be guaranteed, so they opted for the latter.
@StanChartKE reports FY 18 EPS +17.566% Earnings here
Par Value: 5/-
Closing Price: 217.25
Total Shares Issued: 343510571.00
Market Capitalization: 74,627,671,550
Standard Chartered Bank Kenya FY 2018 results through 31st December
2018 vs. 31st December 2017
FY Kenya government securities – available for sale 94.749090b vs.
FY Loans and advances to customers (net) 118.651550b vs. 126.294470b -6.052%
FY Total assets 285.404023b vs. 285.724441b -0.112%
FY Customer deposits 224.284420b vs. 213.349290b +5.125%
FY Total shareholders’ equity 46.639388b vs. 45.664537b +2.135%
FY Loans and advances interest income 13.127082b vs. 13.558397b -3.181%
FY Government securities interest income 12.459334b vs. 11.333686b +9.932%
FY Total interest income 26.870924b vs. 26.274325b +2.271%
FY Customer deposits interest expense [6.435688b] vs. [6.407540b] +0.439%
FY Total interest expenses [7.474627b] vs. [7.708352b] -3.032%
FY Net interest income/ [loss] 19.396297b vs. 18.565973b +4.472%
FY Other fees and commissions 5.077993b vs. 4.361261b +16.434%
FY Foreign exchange trading income 2.843768b vs. 2.661343b +6.855%
FY Total non-interest income 9.201223b vs. 8.772220b +4.890%
FY Total operating income 28.597520b vs. 27.338193b +4.606%
FY Loan loss provision [1.930511b] vs. [4.185571b] -53.877%
FY Staff costs [7.365038b] vs. [6.724878b] +9.519%
FY Total other operating expenses [16.750904b] vs. [17.266900b] -2.988%
FY Profit before tax and exceptional items 11.846616b vs. 10.071293b +17.628%
FY Profit after tax and exceptional items 8.099193b vs. 6.914098b +17.140%
Basic and diluted EPS 23.09 vs. 19.64 +17.566%
Dividend per share 19.00 vs. 17.00 +11.765%
Net NPL and advances 13.871270b vs. 11.317708b +22.563%
The Dividend is going to get a Lot of Folks juiced.
“We are investing in exciting new digital and other transformative
initiatives, and our strengthened risk discipline is paying off.
"We are determined to drive commerce and help our clients achieve
prosperity in a sustainable manner,’’ CEO Kariuki Ngari on the
Limuru Tea Company Ltd. reports FY 18 PAT 2.548m details here
Par Value: 20/-
Closing Price: 580.00
Total Shares Issued: 1200000.00
Market Capitalization: 696,000,000
Limuru Tea PLC FY 2018 Results through 31st December 2018 vs. 31st December 2017
FY Turnover 108.768m vs. 80.370m +35.334%
FY Profit/ [Loss] before income tax 3.696m vs. [31.565m] +111.709%
FY Profit/ [Loss] attributable to shareholders 2.548m vs. [22.134m] +111.512%
EPS 1.1 vs. [9.2] +111.957%
Dividend per share 1.0 vs. –
FY Cash and cash equivalents at 31st December 6.637m vs. 7.922m -16.221%
FY Total Equity 222.705m vs. 222.570m +0.061%
In 2018, the Company produced 3,081,340 kilograms of green leaf, which
in turn was manufactured into 678,969 kilograms of black tea. This was
a 51% increase in green leaf volume from 2017 and is attributed to
average weather in the year 2018 and the yield improvement arising
from the strategic investments done in the recent years.
The Turnover increased by 35% to Kshs. 109 million in 2018 from Kshs.
80 million in 2017. This was driven by the significant growth in sales
volumes. The realised effective market price was lower in 2018
compared to the previous year offsetting the Turnover growth by 10%.
The Company posted a pre-tax profit of Kshs. 3.7 million in the year
ended 31" December 2018 compared to a Kshs. 31.6 million pre-tax loss
in the prior year. The improved profitability resulted from the growth
in Turnover and continued cost saving initiatives being undertaken by
The Directors recommend a payment of a dividend of Ksh. 1.00/- per
ordinary share for the year ended 31" December 2018, payable net of
withholding tax on or about 28th May 2019, to shareholders on the
register at the close of business on 12th April 2019. (2017: Nil).
The 1st quarter of the year 2019 has witnessed a drop in the Tea
auction prices. The volumes may be impacted by prevailing weather
The management will continue with strategic initiatives to ensure any
risks are mitigated in its continued focus to grow the business.
Dr. Richard Korir Chairman
I really don't know why they are still a Tea Company.
In fact its a Real Estate Play.