MANCHESTER, England (AP):Teenage striker Marcus Rashford continued the dream start to his Manchester United career, scoring two goals and setting up another in a 3-2 win over title-chasing Arsenal in the Premier League yesterday.Only playing because of United’s chronic injury crisis, the 18-year-old Rashford marked his league debut by scoring in the 29th and 32nd minutes to put his team 2-0 ahead – three days after a double in the Europa League against FC Midtjylland on his senior United debut.After former United striker Danny Welbeck replied for Arsenal, Rashford set up Ander Herrera for a shot from the edge of the area that deflected in off Laurent Koscielny.Mesut Ozil made it 3-2 in the 69th, but fifth-place United held on comfortably to move three points off the top four. Arsenal, which put in an off-colour performance against a young and injury-hit United side, dropped five points behind leaders Leicester and haven’t won in the league at Old Trafford since 2006.United manager Louis van Gaal, under much pressure amid the team’s troubles this season, delivered some light relief when he fell to the ground theatrically while remonstrating with the fourth official in the technical area. The Old Trafford crowd roared with laughter and finished the match singing van Gaal’s name, adding to an atmosphere that was buoyant throughout the game as United’s youngsters proved too energetic for Arsenal.SCORING GOALSThat was particularly the case with Rashford, who must think professional soccer is easy. In his first two games as a pro – both of them high-profile ones – in the space of three days, the striker has scored as many goals as Radamel Falcao did in a whole year for United last season.”I could imagine the first game he did that because he is a striker coming in to score goals and the first match is always good,” Van Gaal said. “The second match he has to do what the manager is willing him to do, and he did it fantastically.”Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was also impressed with Rashford, who hadn’t started a game above under-19 level before Thursday.”The timing and intelligence of his movement was great,” Wenger said. “He could be a very positive surprise for Man United.”Arsenal were flat, strangely, and their passing lacked the usual crispness. But the team managed to reduce the deficit before half-time when Welbeck got behind marker Morgan Schneiderlin at a free kick and headed in Ozil’s cross.Arsenal have 11 games to make up ground on Leicester and is also three points behind second-place Tottenham.”It is still possible,” Wenger said of Arsenal’s title chances, “but the answer will have to come quick and strong.”
GPHC’s sole-sourcingPublic Health Minister Volda Lawrence has finally broken her silence on the sole sourcing contract with ANSA McAL, saying that the Trinidadian company was granted the $606 million contract to “fast track” the supplies of drugs to the Georgetown Public Hospital.Public Health Minister Volda LawrenceIn her delayed statement to the media, Lawrence also said that the company donated four refrigerators to the hospital, something which no other company, which has been supplying the hospital with drugs over the years has done.“ANSA McAL not only airfreighted the drugs (this helped spike the cost to import the items) for the public health sector, but also donated four refrigerators to GPHC to store the emergency supplies at the internationally acceptable temperature of 20 to 80 (degrees) Celsius,” the Minister’s statement outlined.CrisisThe Minister explained that as a result of a drug shortage crisis at the Georgetown Public Hospital, she met with public health officials to ensure an adequate supply of drugs was immediately made available to address the emergency.Minister Lawrence explained that after meeting with the officials, she sought to “fast-track” the procurement of the drugs to minimize the negative effects on patients as a result of the shortages.President David Granger“This influenced the decision to seek the green light from the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) for ANSA McAL to supply drugs and pharmaceuticals to the tune of some $606 million,” she stated.She also disclosed that NEW GPC, Health 2000 and Chirosyn Discovery had each received contracts to supply some of the emergency drugs. Lawrence explained that other companies were not part of the process because investigations are ongoing into the late/or non-delivery of critical drugs which they were contracted to procure for GPHC during 2016.The Minister also pointed out that the companies, which had been given an opportunity to supply drugs to the nation following the 2015 elections had failed in their bid to so do.“Some of these pharmaceuticals were overdue by as much as six months, which exacerbated the drug shortage at the hospital. These are the same suppliers who, before May 2015, when all the pharmaceuticals for the nation was sole-sourced from New GPC for billions of dollars, were given the opportunity under the Granger Administration to become suppliers of pharmaceuticals to the public healthcare sector,” she admitted.RefrigeratorsThe Minister said Georgetown Public Hospital used icepacks to store these sensitive drugs at the facility, because the main refrigerator was in poor condition and unable to maintain the correct temperature for these drugs, endangering their efficacy, potency and integrity.Regarding the donation of refrigerators from ANSA McAL, Minister Lawrence argued that “no other company in the history of the institution has provided cold storage facilities at the hospital, even though at least one of them was the sole supplier of pharmaceuticals to the institution for over 20 years.” The Minister noted that most pharmaceuticals for the entire nation was sole-sourced from that company for billions of tax-payers’ dollars; but, as admitted by the Minister, the other companies which her administration had decided to “give a chance” had failed to supply the pharmaceuticals.Disciplinary actionsCommenting on the development, President David Granger has said that the matter can be resolved at the level of the Finance and Public Health Ministries, as well as the GHPC, so that disciplinary actions can be taken against persons at fault.“If there is some procedural irregularity, that (situation) can be rectified; and if it is found that somebody is at fault, well, there can be disciplinary actions,” he told reporters on the televised programme ‘The Public Interest’, which aired on Friday.Nevertheless, President Granger has insisted that while it is not the policy of his Government to procure drugs through sole-scouring, there was a crisis in which drugs that were supposed to be supplied since last year were delayed for whatever reason, and actions had to be taken to remedy the situation.Pre-qualificationsThe Government had advanced new mechanisms that changed the way drugs were procured and supplied in the country, in essence decentralising the acquisition and dissemination of medical equipment and drugs to the various Regions, while dissolving the prequalification procedure to give companies that do not qualify to the international prescribed standard and consequent supply chain of prequalification an opportunity to supply drugs.The former Administration was criticised for its position of maintaining the prequalification criteria because critics felt favouritism was at play, when some local prequalified companies, received contracts in Guyana.However, the former Administration had only put those mechanisms, which were modelled after international prequalified suppliers such as the World Health Organisation (WHO); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO); United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), etc, in place to ensure that quality drugs were steadily available for mass public consumption at competitive world market prices, the absence of which would invariably lead to shortages of drugs, since there were no direct established supply chains with companies that are prequalified to deliver the requisite drugs needed.
Andy Gray says Raheem Sterling and his agent have got it badly wrong with the way they have attempted to engineer his exit from Liverpool.The winger has made it clear he wants to leave Anfield this summer, amid interest from Manchester City, and has asked to miss the Merseyside’s club pre-season tour to the Far East as he tries to force through a move away.Gray has no issue with the 20-year-old’s desire to leave, but he claims the England starlet should have taken a leaf out of David de Gea’s book.Like Sterling, the Manchester United goalkeeper is understood to be keen to leave this summer – with Real Madrid his favoured destination – but he has shown no public signs of unrest.“There is a right way and a wrong way of going about it,” said the expert pundit and former Scotland star, speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“De Gea has gone about it the right way. He is doing his stuff, turning up, doing his training.“People know he wants to leave but he is not ruffling feathers in doing so.”Liverpool have so far stood firm with Sterling and have rejected two bids from City, the latest in the region of £40million.But Gray believes there is no way back for the former QPR youngster at Anfield after his refusal to go on tour and expects the Reds to sell up this summer.“That should be the end of the road for Raheem Sterling and Liverpool. I cannot imagine a way back, if these reports are true, and I cannot believe they are not,” he said.“If Raheem has refused to go on tour, then I cannot believe he will start the season at Anfield this year. It’s impossible because Liverpool fans have already shown their displeasure at Raheem at their annual awards do at the end of the last season and this must be the final straw.”
SAN QUENTIN – Rapper Snoop Dogg urged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Saturday to grant clemency to convicted murderer and Crips co-founder Stanley “Tookie” Williams so he can continue his work with young people. “Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams is not just a regular old guy, he’s an inspirator,” the rapper and former Crips member told a crowd of about 1,000 outside San Quentin State Prison. Williams, 51, is set to be executed Dec. 13. He was convicted in 1979 of murdering four people during two robberies in Los Angeles. He has exhausted his appeals and has asked Schwarzenegger for clemency. Schwarzenegger said this past week that he was “dreading” the decision. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Williams founded the Crips with a childhood friend in 1971 in Los Angeles, and in the following years, the gang battled with its rival, the Bloods, for territory and control of the drug trade. In prison, however, he gained international acclaim for writing children’s books about the dangers of gang life. An award-winning television movie starring Jamie Foxx, “Redemption,” was based on his life. Snoop Dogg, 33, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, said Williams inspired him to work with young people. The rapper said he was once a gang member and now does youth outreach activities, including running a football league for youngsters. “I didn’t get this from somebody that was on the streets. I got this from Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams, a brother that was locked up on Death Row,” he said, wearing a white T-shirt with huge black letters that said savetookie.org. “He inspired me to want to do something positive with my life and to go touch the kids.” The rapper had wanted to visit Williams on Death Row, but his application was denied by prison officials because of his criminal record. Snoop Dogg has been arrested several times for weapons and drug-related offenses, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Organizers played a new Snoop Dogg song called “Real Soon,” which promotes Williams’ advocacy work. Todd Chretien, who works with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, an advocacy group that helped organize the rally, implored the governor to grant clemency. “There is no reason on earth to kill him, and there is every reason to keep him alive,” he said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
BY EMMET RUSHE: It’s that time of year again.Time seems to go faster. Darkness arrives earlier and earlier, as families get back into the school routine.With the relaxed nature of the long summer holidays, for many, eating habits and routine quickly went out the window. It is time to get back into the habit of planning meals and set meal times, (and indeed meal days in some homes!), that comes with the school year.With childhood obesity on the rise, here are some tips that are taken from ‘Safe foods.ie’ that can make the planning a bit easier and healthier.Children don’t need the same amount of food as adults. They are much smaller than us and should not be expected to eat the same amount as we do.Try using plates and cutlery to match their size. This will give them smaller portion sizes and if they finish it and want more food, you can give it to them. If your children say that they are hungry between meals, give them something nutritious such as fruit and vegetables.Try and avoid having sugary snacks (eg. Cookie jars) freely available in the kitchen. This will save a lot of arguments when they come looking for a snack.Make ‘treats’ exactly that, a treat.Don’t let them have one every day, it should be an occasional occurrence.Keep the portions small or ‘fun sized’, and remember that ‘treats’ do not always have to be in the form of sugary food or drink. Cheese and crackers or carrot sticks can also be a “treat”. If your children drink a lot of soft drinks, try and gradually reduce the amount they consume.Switching them to cordials and then gradually watering down these to help encourage drinking of water.Get your children active.Start with adding in some fun activities into their daily routine that last between 15 and 30mins. These can then be extended until at least 60mins of physical activities are reached each day.Join in with them and don’t let things like the rain interfere. (They are not made of sugar!)Try and aim for less than 2 hours of screen time per day. This includes television, smart phones and computers.Make meal times screen-free: our appetite is satisfied a number of ways and visual satisfaction plays a role in this.If we are distracted during meal times, our bodies may not signal that we have been fully satisfied during the meal and a false hunger can follow.Encourage more sleep.Children who don’t get enough sleep may be at risk of becoming overweight.Try and ensure that your child’s room is dark, comfortable warm and is a screen-free zone.The recommended hours of sleep per night are:11 hours for children under 5 years old10+ hours for children over 5 years old9 hours for children over 10 years oldTAKE THE HEALTHY HABIT QUIZ BELOWMy child eats the same portion size as me.YES NOMy child eats sugary snacks every day.YES NOMy child has a sugary drink at least once per day. YES NOMy child gets less than 60mins of physical activity a day. YES NOMy child spends at least 2 hours per day looking at a screen. YES NOMy child gets less than 10 hours of sleep per night. YES NOIf you answered yes to 3 or more of the above, your child may be at risk of becoming overweight or obese. Small steps can change this.These are some small tips and hints that can get you and your child more active and improve their eating habits.Making small changes to your children’s diet and physical activity can make big differences in their future health.#TrainSmartFor further information on physical activities for you and your children contact me through the link below.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rushe-Personal-Training-and-Performance/120518884715118* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe FitnessEMMET RUSHE’S FITNESS COLUMN: BACK TO SCHOOL – BACK TO HEALTH FOR YOUR CHILDREN was last modified: August 25th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Back to schoolemmet rushefitness columnfoodhealthroutine
Shoppers and visitors to Letterkenny town were treated to some excellent music by local musicians, as the ShopLK Summer Sessions kicked off last Saturday.Joe Gibson a local singer and instrumentalist, entertained the shopping crowds at the Letterkenny Shopping Centre, whilst local traditional music group Rag A Ra, played an excellent trad set at Market Square on the Main Street.Joe Gibson at the ShopLK #SummerSessionsIn the lead up to the annual Letterkenny Busking Festival, which takes place on August 24th, additional Summer Sessions are planned for the months of July and August. The next performance will be by Comhltas and will take place at Market Square on Saturday July 13th. Whether you want to dine out, enjoy a day activity with the family or shop till you drop, Letterkenny is the place to be this Summer! Our Summer Sessions are free to enjoy so why not gather the family or a group of friends and enjoy a day out in Letterkenny!The President of Letterkenny Chamber, Leonard Watson said, “In addition to our annual Busking Festival, we wanted to bring more entertainment to our shopping areas. The Summer Sessions are sure to create a buzz around town and are a way to say thank you to all our customers who continue shopping in Letterkenny!”Summer Sessions will take place from 12pm to 3pm. The performances and dates are:July 13th – Comhaltas – Market Square July 20th – Eamonn Russell and Dallen Davies – Market SquareAugust 17th – Townlaw – Market SquareAugust 17th – After Eight – Letterkenny Shopping CentreCheck out the ShopLK Facebook page or the ShopLK Summer Sessions event page below for updates. Registration is currently open for the Letterkenny Busking Festival. All musicians, singers and entertainers of all ages welcome to take part. To register email email@example.com or message us through the Letterkenny Busking Festival Facebook page.https://www.facebook.com/events/463440714473447/ ShopLK is funded by Donegal County CouncilShopLK Summer Sessions set the beat for great shopping days in Letterkenny was last modified: July 9th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:EntertainmentletterkennyMUSICretailShopLKsummer sessions
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Weed resistance is expanding, which is rapidly driving increased use of pre-emerge residuals, more robust residual rates and a need for herbicide premixes with multiple effective modes of action and active ingredients. Derrick LeBeau, an agronomic service representative for Syngenta, talks about how Acuron performed in 2016 and why it should be a part of a farmer’s plan in 2017.
When terrorists attacked Mumbai last November, the media called it “India’s 9/11.” That tragedy has been succeeded by another that has been dubbed “India’s Enron.” In one of the the biggest frauds in India’s corporate history, B. Ramalinga Raju, founder and CEO of Satyam Computers, India’s fourth-largest IT services firm, announced on Jan. 7 that his company had been falsifying its accounts for years, overstating revenues and inflating profits by $1 billion. Ironically, Satyam means “truth” in Sanskrit, but Raju’s admission — accompanied by his resignation — shows the company had been feeding investors, shareholders, clients and employees a steady diet of asatyam (or untruth), at least regarding its financial performance. B. Ramalinga Raju, the disgraced founder and former chairman of Satyam Computer Services Inc., center, in black, is escorted by police officials out of a court in Hyderabad.Raju’s departure was followed by the resignation of Srinivas Vadlamani, Satyam’s chief financial officer and the government of India disbanded Satyam’s board. Meanwhile, a team of auditors from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which regulates Indian public companies, has begun an investigation into the fraud. Since Satyam’s stocks or American Depository Receipts (ADRs) are listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange as well as the New York Stock Exchange, international regulators could swing into action if they believe U.S. laws have been broken. At least two U.S. law firms have filed class-action lawsuits against Satyam, but given the company’s precarious finances, it is unclear how much money investors will be able to recover.According to experts, the Satyam debacle will have an enormous impact on India’s business scene over the coming months. The possible disappearance of a top IT services and outsourcing giant will reshape India’s IT landscape. Satyam could possibly be sold — in fact, it had engaged Merrill Lynch to explore “strategic options,” but the investment bank has withdrawn following the disclosure about the fraud. It is widely believed that rivals such as HCL, Wipro and TCS could cherry pick the best clients and employees, effectively hollowing out Satyam. Another possible impact could be on the trend of outsourcing to India, since India’s IT firms handle sensitive financial information for some of the world’s largest enterprises. The most significant questions, however, will be asked about corporate governance in India, and whether other companies could follow Satyam’s Raju in revealing skeletons in their own closets.‘Riding a Tiger’ Employees and well-wishers place flowers and placards at the gate of Chanchalguda jail, wher former chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ramalinga Raju is being held, in Hyderabad.Raju was compelled to admit to the fraud following an aborted attempt to have Satyam invest $1.6 billion in Maytas Properties and Maytas Infrastructure (“Maytas” is Satyam spelled backwards) — two firms promoted and controlled by his family members. On Dec. 16, Satyam’s board cleared the investment, sparking a negative reaction by investors, who pummeled its stock on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. The board hurriedly reconvened the same day and called off the proposed investment.The matter didn’t die there, as Raju may have hoped. In the next 48 hours, resignations streamed in from Satyam’s non-executive director and Harvard professor of business administration Krishna Palepu and three independent directors — Mangalam Srinivasan, a management consultant and advisor to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; Vinod Dham, called the “father of the Pentium chip” and now executive managing director of NEA Indo-US Ventures in Santa Clara, Calif.; and M. Rammohan Rao, the dean of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad (ISB).Resigning as Satyam’s chairman and CEO, Raju said in a letter addressed to his board, the stock exchanges and the market regulator Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that Satyam’s profits were inflated over several years to “unmanageable proportions” and that it was forced to carry more assets and resources than its real operations justified. He took sole responsibility for those acts. “It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten,” he said. “The aborted Maytas acquisition was the last attempt to fill the fictitious assets with real ones.”Specifically, Raju acknowledged that Satyam’s balance sheet included Rs. 7,136 crore (nearly $1.5 billion) in non-existent cash and bank balances, accrued interest and misstatements. It had also inflated its 2008 second quarter revenues by Rs. 588 crore ($122 million) to Rs. 2,700 crore ($563 million), and actual operating margins were less than a tenth of the stated Rs. 649 crore ($135 million).Satyam’s auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers issued a terse statement: “The audits were conducted by Price Waterhouse in accordance with applicable auditing standards and were supported by appropriate audit evidence. Given our obligations for client confidentiality, it is not possible for us to comment upon the alleged irregularities. Price Waterhouse will fully meet its obligations to cooperate with the regulators and others.”Impact on ‘Brand India’ Dinesh Kumar Vohra, a share holder of Satyam Computer Services Ltd., right, gestures as security personnel stop him from entering the office of the company, in Hyderabad.The outrage over Raju’s admission of systematic accounting fraud has broadened to wider concern about the potential damage to India’s appeal for foreign investors and the IT services industry in particular. Immediately following Raju’s confession, Satyam’s shareholders took a direct hit as the company’s share price crashed 77% to Rs. 30 (approximately 60 cents), a far cry from its 52-week high of Rs. 544 ($11.35) last May. On the New York Stock Exchange, its price plummeted from a peak of $29.84 in the past year to 78 cents.“If there were one or two more such accounting scandals in the next six months, it would make international investors more wary,” says Wharton management professor Michael Useem. “One example would put people on guard; several examples would be enough to tell big investment money managers that they have to be especially careful working in that environment.”Jitendra Singh, currently dean of the Nanyang Business School in Singapore, believes Satyam is an “outlier” and that there is no reason to think that “problems of this kind may be much more extensive than one company or a handful of companies.” However, he adds, “foreign investors will look a little more askance at accounting data from India. And that may not be a bad thing.”Useem also warns against overreacting. “Don’t assume other firms are guilty,” he says. But he considers the situation to be an “alerting call” for investors to check where their money is, and for auditors and independent directors in all major firms to take a look at the books.Corporate India has tried to contain the damage so far. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, called upon regulators “to move quickly to demonstrate that this is an exceptional case among corporations, and that investors need not worry about Indian corporate governance and accounting standards.” Suresh Surana, founder of RSM Astute Consulting Group, said in a statement that the Satyam development is “a major eye opener and will bring into renewed and critical focus the role of independent directors, auditors, company management, [the] CFO and other key persons involved.”“When you have companies that are ostensibly growing their top lines at 30%, 40% or 50%, it is possible to paper over things,” Singh says. “Satyam was doing it by boosting sales and profits; Bernie Madoff was doing it by boosting rates of return. When growth rates slow down, you are unable to hide the financial reality of how much cash you actually have. It is possible that during this slowdown period, more scandals will come to light.” (U.S. financier Madoff last month admitted to running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme to keep his hedge fund afloat.) Former CEO B. Ramalinga RajuSingh adds that companies with “the bluest of blue-chip reputations [such as] Infosys and TCS” could actually gain in the current environment, because of a potential “flight to quality” among client companies. “The third-tier and weaker companies will probably undergo a lot more scrutiny,” he says.According to Ravi Aron, senior fellow at the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at Wharton, the Satyam fallout could affect India’s IT offshoring and outsourcing firms in several ways. An immediate impact could be skepticism on the part of clients about whether Indian IT firms can be entrusted with sensitive financial information. “Clients could begin to ask, ‘How much do I know about this IT company and its governance?’” says Aron. “Is the IT service provider doing anything that could jeopardize the client’s compliance with FASB, Sarbanes Oxley, Basel II or other financial regulations?”Aron recommends that before other IT companies get blackballed because of Satyam’s problems, “they should act swiftly to demonstrate that their own operations are squeaky clean.” Indian IT companies have always had exceptionally high standards of accounting, and they should ensure that they do not face any spillover effect, he adds. This has already begun to happen. On the day that Raju came clean, N. R. Narayana Murthy, chief mentor at Infosys, was on Indian television — distancing Infosys and the rest of the IT industry from Satyam’s practices.Mauro Guillen, a Wharton management professor who has studied corporate governance in emerging economies, believes that Indian business has an advantage in arguing that the problem is limited to Satyam and is not systemic. “India is not perceived like Russia — it is neither everyone’s darling nor the plague,” he says. “This works to the country’s advantage because it deflects the blame of such occurrences to the way governance works in emerging economies rather than to India. What regulators in India need to do in response to Satyam is to find out quickly if other companies have been doing similar things. The proper response is to deal with and defuse the problem as soon as possible.”Guillen notes that what makes Satyam’s case unusual is that it had listed its ADRs on the NYSE. “Companies in emerging economies have trouble raising capital at low costs. The literature shows that is the reason they want to list in the U.S., where they accept a higher level of governance in order to raise capital at a lower cost. The fact that Satyam listed its ADRs in the U.S. but still had such serious governance problems makes this case particularly disturbing.”Guillen adds, though, that India has several well-regarded IT companies. “If one or two of them don’t make the grade, it should not shake investor confidence. It shows that investing in emerging markets is risky. Investors always balance risks and rewards. If the IT sector in India continues to remain competitive, the Satyam episode will just be a footnote in India’s business story. If the sector becomes uncompetitive, then that would create a serious problem.” Saikat Chaudhuri, a management professor at Wharton, believes the Satyam episode reveals that the pressure on companies to maintain their financial performance is immense. “Satyam always wanted to keep up with the Big Three of Indian IT companies — TCS, Infosys and Wipro,” he notes. “At a time when the IT industry was booming and companies were growing rapidly, it was easy for Satyam to argue that the company was doing well and that it had good governance.” The involvement of the board, Chaudhuri adds, was at the “strategic level; in companies like Satyam, it is the owner/promoter/founder who runs the show. It has to do with the ownership structure.” In Chaudhuri’s view, auditors such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, who signed off on the bogus accounts at Satyam, have a lot more to answer for than the board of directors. “This is a serious lapse on their part. They should have probed.”Chaudhuri’s advice to other Indian IT firms is to distance themselves from the Satyam fallout through prompt action. “Honesty and transparency will alleviate investor concerns,” he says. “I don’t believe the sector will come crashing down. Perhaps Indian IT companies will face more scrutiny in the coming months; they may have to answer a few more questions, but India Inc. will pull through.” NASSCOM, the National Association of Software and Services Companies, could play a role in helping communicate that “the Satyam episode, though it shocked everyone, is an isolated instance,” he adds.Useem says that if one were to take an inference from recent high-profile scandals outside of India, “there would be a redoubled effort [in India] on the part of investors and independent directors at other companies to ensure that nothing like what happened at Satyam happens under their noses.”Singh says that the Satyam scandal doesn’t necessarily warrant more regulation. “There is no need to strengthen corporate governance regulations [in India],” he says. “The issue is really more one of leadership at the board level. The tone gets set by the chairman of the board; it’s much more a matter of culture within the board room, of the group dynamics within the board.”Truth in NumbersNotwithstanding Raju’s confession, the Satyam episode has brought into sharp relief the role and efficacy of independent directors. SEBI requires Indian publicly held companies to ensure that independent directors make up at least half their board strength.The knowledge available to independent directors and even audit committee members is inherently limited to prevent willful withholding of crucial information, Singh notes. “The reality is, at the end of the day, even as an audit committee member or as an independent director, I would have to rely on what the management was presenting to me,” he says, drawing upon his experience as an independent director and audit committee member at Fedders, a publicly held company in the U.S. that filed for bankruptcy last year. “It is the auditors’ job to see if the numbers presented are accurate.”Singh says he drew “a level of confidence” from the accounting rigor and governance mechanisms at Infosys, where he was an independent director from 2000 to 2003. He recalls how T.V. Mohandas Pai, the company’s then-chief financial officer (now a director overseeing human resources) “would take so much time going into accounting details.”Even if outside directors were unaware of the true state of Satyam’s finances, some red flags should have been obvious. According to Aron, Satyam is one of the world’s largest implementers of SAP systems. In an effort to compete against Satyam, HCL recently acquired Axon, an SAP consulting firm, at a cost of $800 million. Aron notes that any Satyam director should have been puzzled that the company was proposing to invest $1.6 billion in real estate at a time when a competitor as formidable as HCL was gunning for one of its most lucrative markets. “IT is a highly capital-intensive business, especially in India,” says Aron. “What on earth would compel Satyam to invest $1.6 billion in real estate at a time when competition with HCL was about to grow more intense? That is what the directors should have been asking.” Instead, he adds, like the dog that didn’t bark in the Sherlock Holmes story, the matter was allowed to slide.How effective independent directors can be is mainly a factor of the “dynamics inside the board room once the doors are closed,” according to Singh. “There is an attitude in some Indian companies that the board members actually work for the people who have brought them onto the board. This is a completely misguided attitude. It looks like this may have been a problem at Satyam…. The real strength of a healthy board is when a consensus gets overturned by a dissenting view.”Even if the proposed investment in the two Maytas firms appeared to be ethical on first sight, Singh notes that he would have expected the independent directors to be extra careful. “Given the fact that there is a family connection involved, as an independent board member I would be looking very hard at whether this is the right decision for the company,” he says. “Also, quite aside from issues of governance, everything we know about unrelated diversification [deals] from management literature is that, as a general matter, they are not a good idea; they don’t seem to make strategic sense.”Independent DefectorsUseem wonders if the Satyam directors who resigned actually did the right thing. “The leadership dictum is that you need to stay the course, stay in the game, face the problem and solve the problem,” he says. “Did the four directors who resigned have an option of banding together, staying on the board and changing governance?” Useem adds that “it is often very hard to stay the course. I am empathetic with people who have difficulty [making that decision].”In a written response, Palepu, Satyam’s former non-executive director, stated that he was not present at the board meetings where the Maytas investment proposals were discussed. “As a result, under Indian law, I was not eligible to vote on the proposals,” he said. Palepu earned nearly Rs. 1 crore (about $200,000) from Satyam in 2007, according to regulatory filings, most of it for rendering “professional services.” He declined comment, but those services were essentially leadership development and consulting for Satyam’s top management, according to Archana Muthappa, the company’s head of media relations.SEBI and India’s registrar of companies have launched an investigation into Satyam. Singh says it is important to remember who the ultimate victims are in cases like Satyam. “This is a real tragedy; the people who will be left holding the bag will be the shareholders.”Even as Raju is widely blamed for unleashing “India’s Enron,” Chaudhuri points to a major difference between Enron and Satyam. “At Enron, the CEO stonewalled, while whistle-blowers came out with the truth,” he says. “At Satyam, there were no whistle-blowers. The CEO blew the whistle on himself.” In that sense, Raju did — ultimately — tell the truth and perhaps live up to the “Satyam” name. Unfortunately for him, the company, and India’s IT industry, by then it was much too late. Related Items
LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “I think it’s our small mistakes which is stopping us from running away with the game. That’s what we need to correct in our next games,” said Lim as Perpetual evened its standing at 2-2.Earvin Mendoza paced Batangas (1-5) with 17 points and six rebounds.The Scores:PERPETUAL 82 — Eze 24, Aurin 22, Charcos 16, Peralta 8, Villanueva 6, Coronel 4, Tamayo 2, Mangalino 0, Pido 0, Tiburcio 0.BATANGAS-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 17, Dela Peña 11, Ablaza 10, De Joya 9, Diego 9, Laude 6, Bautista 4, Garcia 3, J. Mendoza 2, Neri 2, Tampoc 2, Maguliano 0.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Coach Frankie Lim also drew solid outings from Kim Aurin, who got 22 markers and seven boards, as well as Edgar Charcos, who finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in the win.“We just focused on complete denial on defense. I feel we’re very soft on defense and we allow the ball to be passed before we defend. We need to take the ball out of their hands and we had a good job of doing that in this game,” said the mentor.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPerpetual turned a close 24-22 lead in the second quarter to a 38-27 halftime lead as it staged a 14-5 charge to end the first half.With Eze leading the charge, the Altas continued to pounce on the Generals and erected a 16-point lead, 70-54, midway in the final frame, but their 17 turnovers prevented them from stretching the lead as they settled for the seven-point victory. MOST READ Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Quarters: 18-13, 38-27, 60-49, 82-75. Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:31Go: Search for ‘perfect, honest man’ to lead PNP still on01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PBA IMAGESPerpetual got back to its winning ways and clobbered Batangas-EAC, 82-75, to level its standing in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.Shaking off the bruised rib injury he incurred in the Altas’ last game, Nigerian big man Prince Eze bannered the fight with 24 points, 15 rebounds, and eight blocks.ADVERTISEMENT Etheridge, Philippines dreaming of English Premier League Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving View comments AFP official booed out of forum
Virat Kohli and India are on the brink of history at Edgbaston as the visitors look to upset England in their 1000th Test match.India have five wickets in hand and are 84 runs away from winning a historic Test in England — their seventh overall so far. Before this, India have won Tests at The Oval (1971), Lord’s and Leeds (1986), Leeds (2002), Nottingham (2007) and Lord’s (2014).India had won their first Test series in England way back in 1971 with captain Ajit Wadekar lifting the trophy at the end of a three-match series. Kapil Dev and Rahul Dravid repeated history in 1986 and 2007 respectively.However, it is not going to be an easy task for India to win the first Test at Edgbaston on Saturday. Although the equation favours the visitors, the English bowlers will not make it any easier for Kohli & Co. Also, history favours England in Birmingham.In Birmingham, the venue of the 1000th Test, England have played 50 matches since their first Test in May 1902 against Australia, winning 27, losing eight with 15 ending in draws.READ – Virat Kohli’s 149 will inspire Indian teammates: Chris GayleEdgbaston has hosted six Tests between the two sides, with England leading 5-0 on head-to-head record.Overall, England have played 999 Tests since making their debut against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in March 1877 and has won 357 Tests. They have lost 297 Tests while 345 ended in draws. England are the first team in the world to play their 1000th Test match (Reuters Photo)England’s win percentage of 35.73 is the third best behind Australia (47.16) and South Africa (37.70). India, who have played 522 Tests so far, have a win percentage of 27.77 — seventh among top Test playing nations.advertisementREAD – Virat Kohli booed at Edgbaston, responds with epic Test hundredBut, in their way stands Kohli — India’s captain courageous.Kohli has been at the thick of things before the first Test of the five-match series started on August 1 at Edgbaston and he has continued to dominate the headlines as the match got underway as well.Kohli’s horrendous form in England last time (2014) was something everybody was talking about and it was again going to be tested as James Anderson and Stuart Broad geared up to trouble the Indian captain. However, Kohli was in no mood for comparisons and proving himself and he made that clear very early.READ – Virat Kohli takes a few hours, buries the demons of 2014 England tour”Back in the day when I did not know better, these things used to bother me because I used to read a lot. But honestly, I genuinely do not read anything (anymore),” Kohli told the media on the eve of the first Test.”When I walk out to bat, I have the bat in mind, not people on the outside who predict things. I need to be in the most convinced and clear mental space that I can be and that happens when I am focused on what I need to do.READ – Virat Kohli 43 not out, India need 84 to win Edgbaston Test vs England”I did not think 10 years ago I was going to be sitting here in my career so I have no complaints whatsoever and I am not in a frame of mind to prove myself in any country. I just want to perform for the team and take the team forward.”And he has indeed lived up to his words of not looking back and trying to help his team win matches in the series. Kohli’s brave knock of 149 in the first innings rescued India from a compromising position and gave them the upper-hand and in the second innings, as India chase 194 to win a historic Test match in England, he is again his team’s main hope as they get down to business on Day 4 of the Test match. Virat Kohli is standing in the way for England as the match hangs in the balance (Reuters Photo)Kohli, who had his fair share of luck in the first innings, survived for 225 balls and scored his maiden Test century on English soil — thus completing his tally of scoring Test tons in every country he has played in. In the second innings, as wickets continued to tumble again, he held the crease from one end, remaining not out on 43 from 76 balls.READ – India vs England: We need to get Virat Kohli out early, says Sam CurranHe has so far played 301 balls in the Test match, the third most by an Indian captain in a Test match. Only Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (554 in Leeds, 1967) and Sourav Ganguly (308 in Nottingham, 2002) have played more balls than him in a single Test in England.advertisementKohli has also played more balls in this single match than he managed in the entire five-match series in 2014. Four years ago, he played 288 balls from 10 innings and scored 134 runs.Kohli’s stay at the crease will again be key for India as they aim for their seventh Test win in their history in England and go 1-0 up in the five-match series. He will be joined by Dinesh Karthik when play starts and the duo will have a key role in taking India forward in their chase against an England attack, that will be full of hostility and aggression in Birmingham.