On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, as the sun was setting. Mexican soldiers, waiting to intercept it, found 128 cases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something else – more important and far-reaching – was discovered in the paper trail behind the purchase of the plane by the Sinaloa narco-trafficking cartel.
During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo.
The authorities uncovered billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveller’s cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Wachovia was put under immediate investigation for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme. Of special significance was that the period concerned began in 2004, which coincided with the first escalation of violence along the US-Mexico border that ignited the current drugs war.
Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court.
‘I’m a Mac’ — so what? Study finds way to measure brand personality appeal
Companies spend millions to develop their brand’s personality, in hopes that it can help sell products. But they’ve had no way of measuring whether that personality actually appeals to consumers. Now, research from North Carolina State University lays out a system for measuring the appeal of a brand’s personality.
“We developed this means of measuring brand personality appeal (BPA) so companies can figure out how favorably their brand personality is viewed by consumers — and what they can do to enhance that personality’s appeal to their market,” says Dr. David Henard, an associate professor of business management at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the study.
The concept of brand personality helps consumers form attachments to specific brands. For example, Apple has its “I’m a Mac And I’m a PC” campaign, which brands its products as young and hip. But does that brand personality actually get people to buy anything?
Battered Soldiers, Broken Plan: Afghanistan in Video and Photos
RAMSTEIN AIR FORCE BASE, Germany — The 88-foot-long cargo hold of the massive airlifter has been converted into a makeshift intensive care unit. Metal stanchions hold collapsible stretchers fitted with heart monitors. Defibrillators, pumps, intubation kits, oxygen bottles and other equipment lie ready in their hardened cases.
For the scheduled seven-and-a-half hour flight between Afghanistan and this U.S. air base near the Pentagon’s Landstuhl hospital, the seven men and women of the Air Force’s 10th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight and their attached critical-care team will try to keep their patients alive. But for now they wait, shuffling foot-to-foot under the cargo hold’s glaring lights.
The 11 patients arrive at 3 a.m. on an overcast Afghan night, delivered by airmen driving white buses emblazoned with big red crosses. The first patients are able to walk on board: four minor injuries, plus one psychiatric case.
Tablet Market May Surge to $49 Billion
Demand for Apple iPads and other devices that bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops may surge by 2015, from close to zero last year, Strategy Analytics says
By Danielle Kucera
Apple (AAPL) and other electronics makers will generate $49 billion in sales of tablet computers by 2015, amid booming demand for devices that bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops, Strategy Analytics predicts.
Tablets are becoming readily available in a greater number of markets as companies such as Samsung Electronics (005930:KS), Motorola Mobility Holdings (MMI), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and Dell (DELL) rush to “copycat” Apple’s iPad, according to the Boston-based research firm. “The strategic trend here is for personal and mobile computing to shift away from keyboards to touchscreens,” says Neil Mawston, a Strategy Analytics analyst. “Competition is rising, supply is rising, so prices should fall over time.”
Apple’s rivals are releasing their own tablet-style devices to replicate the success of the iPad, which generated $9.6 billion in sales in the year since its April 2010 debut. North America, Asia Pacific, and Western Europe pose the biggest opportunities for tablet vendors, Strategy Analytics says. The tablet may surpass all other consumer electronic devices by sales, except for personal computers and TVs, it says.
Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein.
2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners “Winning photographs and cartoons, and bios and photos of winners, are available by clicking the links below. More than 2,400 entries are submitted each year in the Pulitzer Prize competitions, and only 21 awards are normally made. The awards are the culmination of a year-long process that begins early in the year with the appointment of 102 distinguished judges who serve on 20 separate juries and are asked to make three nominations in each of the 21 categories.”
Pictures of a war forgotten by most. Most people today do not know that Russia had attacked Finland. Check it out: READ HERE
Arabs are a large group of people whose native language is Arabic and who share a common history and culture. Most Arabs live in the Middle East, which spreads across southwestern Asia and northern Africa. – Provided by The World Almanac 2011
Sexual assault and rape victimizes every one of every demographic in every country. Two-thirds of the men, women and children who fall victim to such horrors have some sort of relationship with their attackers, who use everything from violence to coercion to get the power they want. Many myths about both rape and sexual assault unfairly persist to this day, making the lives of its many victims just that much harder. Though April is Sexual Assault Prevention Month, every day of the year should be dedicated to chipping away at the roots of this serious issue. Taking the time to understand how to minimize the risk makes a great start, however.
Săpânţa is a village about 15 kms west of Sighet, smack up against the Tisa river in the far north of Romania. When I first came to Maramureş in 1990, the streets in this village were lined with cearga – furry raw sheep wool blankets – for sale, hanging from every house’ fence along the road that leads to Sighet. Within weeks of the end of Communism, these villagers were doing business big time. In 1990, right after the fall of Ceaucescu and the Communist Party in Romania, the peasants of Săpânţa had their own reading on freedom. After annoucement of a federal tax on home brewed brandy – the ţuica so central to Maramureş existence – the villagers of Săpânţa blockaded the main road to Sighet and effectively revolted in defense of their beloved tax-free home brew.
Originally posted 2011-04-19 16:06:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter