Archive for October 7th, 2010

Frequent facebookers more likely to lose friends

| 07/10/2010 | 1 Comment

 (Telegraph): People who devote the most hours to Facebook are more likely to be "defriended" on thesocial networking site.  Researchers found that friends’ frequent posts about nothing in particular were most likely to lead to a severing of online ties. This was followed by comments about polarising topics like religion and politics. Computer scientist Christopher Sibona, who surveyed more than 1,500 Facebook users to get to the bottom of the new phenomenon of ‘unfriending’, said: "The 100th post about your favourite band is no longer interesting."  He added: "They say not to talk about religion or politics at office parties and the same thing is true online."  Inappropriate posts such as crude or racist comments were the third reason for the severing of relationships.

The study also showed 57 percent of those surveyed unfriended for online reasons while 26.9 percent did so for offline behaviour.  Sibona, a PhD student at Colorado University, observed a sort of online hierarchy of dominant and subordinate relationships.
 

 

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European Union examines FAT levy for banks

| 07/10/2010 | 1 Comment

(Reuters): A European Union tax on bank profits and remuneration could raise as much as 25 billion euros annually for cash-strapped governments to repair their economies, the bloc’s executive said on Thursday. The European Commission was outlining its ideas for a Financial Activities Tax (FAT), saying banks were "under taxed" and should contribute to rebuilding economies they damaged. Tax is a matter for national governments in the EU and it is unclear if any the tax will be introduced. The Commission also backed a tax on financial transactions such as stock and bond trades, as called for by Germany and France.

 
The idea, often referred to as a "Tobin Tax" after the U.S. economist James Tobin who proposed it in the 1970s, should only be introduced on a global basis so as to avoid business shifting elsewhere, EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said.
 
Semeta said the impact of taxes, along with global moves to beef up bank capital and introduce a possible surcharge on big banks, should be studied for their cumulative impact first.
EU states including Britain and Germany are planning a national levy on bank balance sheets to pay for future bailouts and Semeta said all the bloc’s tax moves should be coordinated to avoid overlaps.
 

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Cops renew appeal over restaurant armed robbery

| 07/10/2010 | 5 Comments

(CNS): The police issued another appeal on Thursday morning for witnesses to come forward who could have information regarding an armed robbery at the Alfresco restaurant in West Bay one week ago, on Thursday 30 September at a little after 8pm in the evening. Detectives investigating the case said no further witnesses have come forward since they made the first request. The restaurant was targetted by two masked men brandishing what appeared to be firearms as they entered the premises. They threatened both staff and customers before making off with a sum of cash. Although no shots were fired and no-one was injured the staff members and customers involved were left shaken by the ordeal. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

 
Both suspects are described as being around 5’10” in height and of slim build. One had a fair complexion and was wearing jeans, the other a dark complexion and dark pants. Both had shirts covering their faces.
 
Detective Constable Orville Grant of West Bay CID said it was a frightening experience for the staff and customers. “Thankfully no-one was injured. The robbers were in and out in just a few minutes but despite our previous appeals no further witnesses have come forward,” he explained.
 
“The restaurant is positioned at a busy intersection and today I’m appealing for anyone who may have been in the area around 800pm on Thursday to cast their minds back. Did you see anyone answering the description hanging about outside the premises, or did you see anyone running away? If so, please call West Bay police station as the information you hold could significantly help our enquiry,” Grant asked.
 
Anyone with any information about this crime should call West Bay police station on 949-3999
or the confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477(TIPS).

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Big four come top in world’s favourite employers

| 07/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The world’s big four auditing firms have all ranked in the top five most attractive employers according to a worldwide survey of business students. Google took the top slot in both the business students list and the would-be engineers list. KPMG came 2nd in the top fifty list of the business firms that students would most want to work for followed by Ernst & Young which was third, the PricewaterhouseCoopers 4th and Deloitte in 5th place.  Very pleased with the ranking, local KPM G Partner Sheenah Hislop said the firm understand the importance of education anddeveloping the skills needed for tomorrow’s generation.

 
“The World’s Most Attractive Employers”  rankings are based on the opinions of nearly 130,000 students from top academic institutions in the world’s 12 leading economies – the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Canada, Russia and India. Universum develops the index of the top 50 by asking students pursuing business and engineering degrees to identify “ideal” employers – KPMG ranked second on the index of most attractive employers for business students for 2010, moving up six places from its eighth place ranking in the 2009 index. 
 
“We are honoured that so many students worldwide see KPMG as an ideal place to begin and build their careers,” said Timothy P. Flynn, Chairman, KPMG International. “I think it shows that students recognize the important role played by our profession and in particular the commitment KPMG has to enabling our people to develop the skills and values that are essential for serving our clients and communities in today’s complex global business environment.”
 
Michal Kalinowski, Universum’s CEO said companies in the Banking and Investment industry were perceived as less attractive employers. Trends in the list however reveal that despite the global financial meltdown American corporations are still attractive to students from all over the world.
 
 “It seems that despite the challenges to the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon capitalist model, the American corporations are increasingly the preferred destination for global top talent. They are often perceived as the true international organisations, where nationality will not stand in your way to the top,” Kalinowski added.
 
To secure talent from an increasingly demanding young generation, employers must develop strong employer brands Kalinowski noted. “Based on the results of our survey, KPMG member firms have managed to do just that through their innovative student outreach and employee programs." 
 
KPMG member firms have recruited approximately 15,000 graduates globally over the past year.
 
KPMG Partner in the Cayman Islands, Sheenah Hislop, said:“We understand the importance of education and developing the skills needed for tomorrow’s generation. KPMG’s local commitment to young Caymanians provides them with the opportunity to pursue a career in Accounting. Through our scholarship program this year alone, three young Caymanians graduated with their bachelor’s degree and two new recipients received overseas scholarships to attend the school of their choice. The firm also continues to support six other recipients who are pursuing their undergraduate degree overseas and locally.”
 
KPMG was also awarded Top Employer in the Cayman Islands earlier this year as well being the first to be awarded Investors in People in the Caribbean five years ago, Managing Partner Roy McTaggart adds, “Our student hires benefit from the learning and development programs we have in place so that they can gain the technical, business and leadership skills as well as the global perspective necessary to build a rewarding career within KPMG.”
 
The full list of “The World’s Most Attractive Employers 2010” is available at http://universumglobal.com/IDEAL-Employer-Rankings/Global-Top-50.

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No reserve at luxury Cayman home auction

| 07/10/2010 | 37 Comments

(CNS): Some lucky millionaire could get themselves a real bargain next month when Casa Coyaba, a 19,000 square foot luxury home in Prospect, goes up for auction. With 210 feet of beachfront, the property was previously listed for $19.8 million but there will be no reserve price at the live auction taking place on site on 3 November when it will sell to the highest bidder regardless of price. The house is completely furnished throughout its 39 rooms as well as on its nine open and eight covered balconies. According to the sellers there are eight bedrooms, 10 full bathrooms, two powder bathrooms, a library, two formal living rooms, a great room, full gym, theatre room, two master suites, two gourmet kitchens, two laundry rooms, a separate entire nanny suite and two executive offices.

The live, on-site auction is being conducted on behalf of Cayman Islands Sotheby’s International Realty by Concierge Auctions. Local realtor Sheena Conolly described Casa Coyaba as a “splendor and one of the most impressive luxury residences in the Caribbean” with spectacular views. “There are very few homes that are as memorable as this one," she added. It also has a 40-foot, infinity edge, heated pool that overlooks the beach, as well as hot tubs an outdoor kitchen and bar area and a lighted doubles tennis court that sits just next to the residence.

The property is located on 222 Old Prospect Road, where the auction will take place.
 
"Concierge Auctions has established itself as the auction firm of choice for luxury property sellers throughout the United States, and we are excited to extend our services to select international clients," said George Graham, CEO of Concierge Auctions. "Promising to generate market value for the house the auctioneers said the owner of Casa Coyaba has agreed to sell through the truest form of auction – without reserve. “Buyers will appreciate being able to name the price in an open, transparent forum. This is the first auction of its kind in the Cayman Islands and a genuine, unique opportunity to own a premier estate in one of the worlds most sought-after destinations."

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Hedge Fund manager forced to sell teddy bears

| 07/10/2010 | 1 Comment

(FT.com): A disgraced hedge fund manager is to sell one of the world’s most valuable collections of teddy bears at a London auction alter this month Paul Greenwood, who pleaded guilty to fraud charges last year, will sell his £1.2m collection of Steiff teddy bears at Christies International on October 13, according to people familiar with the situation. Fred Hafetz, Greenwood’s lawyer, said the sale of the bear collection, which is rumoured to be 1,300-strong and contains some extremely rare examples had been approved by the receiver. Greenwood was charged in February 2009, with investment fraud and using funds invested by clients as a “personal piggy bank’’. Among the items purchased with that money were multimillion-dollar homes, a horse farm, cars and the teddy bears.

 
Greenwood’s collection of Steiff stuffed toys, which are made from mole hair and known for their durability, is thought to be among the world’s most extensive and spans the German company’s 107-year history. It contains the only remaining 1925 Harlequin Teddy bear, which is expected to fetch between £50,000 and £80,000 and other notable bears, such as the black “Titanic” Steiff bear.
 
 
 

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FBI rounds up 70 Puerto Rican cops in drug bust

| 07/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(BBC): US federal agents have arrested more than 70 Puerto Rican police officers on drugs-related charges. In all more than 120 people have been charged, including prison guards and soldiers. The US justice department said the arrests followed "the biggest police corruption investigation in the history of the FBI". About 750 FBI agents were flown into the US Caribbean territory to help round up the suspects. The justice department said that in all, 89 law enforcement officials had been detained: 60 members of the Puerto Rico police department, 16 municipal police officers and 12 prison officers.

Also arrested were three Puerto Rico national guard soldiers, two US army officers, and 30 civilians.
 
The charges were the result of 125 undercover drugs transactions conducted by the FBI in Puerto Rico. Many of the detained police officers are accused of providing armed security for cocaine dealers in return for cash.
 

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Missing witness shows up

| 07/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The trial of 19 year old Justin Ramoon was able to begin on Wednesday after the crown’s key witness and complainant in the case, who was missing on Monday, showed up at court. Sven Connor, who said he did not know he was expected on Monday, took the stand and told the court that Justin Ramoon had pulled a gun on him and the two men had fought outside a house in Fairlawn Road George Town on 21 February. Ramoon, who is facing charges of possession of an imitation firearm with intent, denied the allegations and said he was in West Bay on the evening in question. He said he did not know Connor very well and could not explain why he would make the accusation against him. (Photo courtesy of Cayman27)

Connor, who was released from jail last year after serving eleven years following a manslaughter conviction, said he believed that the defendant was sent by his cousin Roydell Robinson and accused Ramon and his family and friends of being a syndicate. The complainant said he had been falsely accused of trying to kill Robinson before the incident in Fairlawn Road but the charges of attempted murder were dropped.
 
Connor told the court that on the night of this incident he was sitting in front of a friend’s house in his girlfriend’s yard at around 8pm, when a distinctive car, which he said belonged to Ramoon’s step-father, pulled up near the property. As the car door slammed Connor looked to see Ramoon walking towards him. Connor told the court that when he was within one arm’s length Ramoon pulled out a semi-automatic hand gun from his pants and engaged the weapon as he aimed it at Connor’s head.
 
Thecomplainant said he quickly grabbed at the gun and the two men began to struggle over the firearm. When the gun fell to the ground, Connor ran into the bushes and towards the Field of Dreams at the end of Crewe Road, where he called the police. Connor said his shoulder was dislocated during the fight and he was taken to hospital. When asked by the defence attorney, Ben Tonner, if he was lying about the incident to get back at Robinson, Connor asked why he would need to lie about it. “I have no reason to lie about him, sir,” Connor said.
 
Ramoon, who took the stand in his own defence, denied being at the scene and said at the time he had moved from his home in George Town. He said his mother was in jail and he did not have a steady job, so was struggling to pay bills and the power had been cut off. He said he was bunking at a house near The Shores in West Bay with a cousin, and on the night Connor accused him of coming to the house, he was eating and drinking with the cousin and other friends.
 
Ramoon denied that he owned a gun or had been to the area that night. He said he had only known Connor for a short time and had no beef with him. The defendant told crown counsel that he was not there. “I never owned a gun, I never seen a gun,” he said. “Miss, you are suggesting wrong. I wasn’t even in the area that this guy is talking about,” Ramoon said as Tanya Lobben cross-examined him on behalf of the crown.
 
Ramoon denied that he had borrowed a car from Anthony Truman or that the man was his step-father but acknowledged that Truman had a relationship with his mother in the past. The defendant admitted that he had been to the area where Connor was talking about in the past to buy drugs and he also told the court he was on good terms with his cousin Robinson.
 
The court heard that although a search warrant had been issued and Ramoon’s home in George Town had been searched, no weapon was ever recovered in the case. The prosecution called three police witnesses that had been involved in the investigation but Anthony Truman, who had given a statement to the police and had been called as a witness, had also failed to appear when the trial was set to start Monday. Lobben told the court on Wednesday that Truman had written a letter saying he did not wish to testify, and according to immigration had left the jurisdiction.
 
Ramoon had originally been charged with attempted murder of Connor and possession of an unlicensed firearm. However, with no forensic evidence proving a gun had been fired, the crown dropped those two charges on Monday and replaced them with the one count for which Ramoon is now being tried.
 
The trial continues on Thursday morning.

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Mother pleads for speedy trial

| 07/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The mother of Jeremiah Barnes, who was shot and killed in West Bay in February, made an impassioned plea to the court this morning that the man accused of killing her son be dealt with speedily. Devon Anglin, who is facing murder charges for the shooting of the 4-year-old boy at Hell Gas Station, West Bay, on 15 February appeared at the opening of the new session of the Grand Court on Wednesday morning. As Anglin came to the dock, Dorlisa Ebanks (left) asked the chief justice if she could speak to the court and her request was allowed. She said that her family had been given a life sentence and she asked the court to set a date for the trial and to stick to it so her family did not have to endure further suffering.(Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Ebanks, who was in the car at the time her child was shot and killed, said she did not wish to keep returning to the court to face the man in the dock and she asked for the matter to be dealt with as speedily as possible.
 
However, despite her pleas to the court, a trial date could not be fixed as a result of various matters, but both the crown and defence said they anticipated that it would be in March or April of next year. Although it is anticipated that Anglin will be pleading not guilty, he did not enter his plea as he made his first appearance in the Grand Court regarding this case.
 
Anglin’s attorney, Clyde Allen, asked that the charges not be put to his client Wednesday as a result of questions that had arisen from the indictment for the murder and a second indictment on another related case, both of which were only given to the defence on Monday. Allen asked for an adjournment to address the issues and another mention date when Anglin could be arraigned.
 
The court heard that the goal was for the two cases, including the murder, to be heard in succession over a four week period. The chief justice asked the lawyers to consider what the victim’s mother had said and asked them to move the case along.
 
Anglin is accused of being the gunman who came from behind the gas station with another man and opened fire on the vehicle in which Jeremiah and his family, including his mother, brother and father Andy Barnes, were sitting as it was parked on the station forecourt at around 8:30 in the evening.

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