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‘The House of Jaipur’ Maps the History, Glamour and Feuds of a Former Royal Family – The Wire

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The sub-title of John Zubrzyckis book is The Inside Story of Indias Most Glamorous Royal Family, so any reader could be forgiven for thinking it is yet another romance about royalty, fabulous wealth, beautiful people and the secrets of their personal lives, glamour and its dark side masquerading as history. House of Jaipur is a popular history in that it is extremely readable, except when the reader gets too entangled in the internecine litigation which has plagued the family for the last 40 years.

There are stories of colourful people told colourfully. There is wealth beyond the dream of Croesus too. But The House of Jaipur is not romantic its a serious history of one of the unique institutions, the Princely States, which enabled the British to hold India together. The Indian princes ruled over one-third of Indias population at the time of independence, therefore they played a crucial role in creating the nation which was partitioned at independence.

Zubrzycki undermines the myth that all the princes were feudal despots, rulers clinging to an outdated tradition of absolute monarchy with servile subjects bound to them by archaic religious ritualism. He brings out the extent to which the Jaipur Maharajas were bound to the British, yet at the same time had the freedom to govern the state as they would. He does write of the princes antediluvian mindset, yet he stresses how progressive the Maharaja of Baroda, Sayajirao Gaekwad III, was. His granddaughter Gayatri Devi, internationally renowned for her beauty, married the last member of the royal house of Jaipur to rule his state.

The Baroda Maharaja introduced numerous social reforms including banning untouchability, child marriage, bigamy and purdah, and making education for all school-age children compulsory. He sympathised with the independence movement and is renowned for turning his back on King Emperor George the Fifth at the 1911 Durbar, instead of stepping backwards after paying obeisance to him.

John Zubrzycki The House of Jaipur Juggernaut, 2020

The Jaipur family claims its history goes back to Kush, the son of Lord Ram, a genealogy Diya Kumari, the mother of the current Maharaja and a BJP MP, does not allow her constituents to forget. The Jaipur monarchy was rooted in Hinduism, yet Zubrzycki traces the rise of the family to their alliances with the Mughal rulers. Although this was an unequal relationship, the Jaipur rulers were allies. They were certainly not subservient, or as some portray them, slaves. Man Singh I became the commander-in-chief of Akbars army.

In the middle years of the 19th century, it was in part because the two rulers, Jai Singh I and Ram Singh II, managed to keep outside interference at bay, that Jaipur enjoyed a cultural flowering. Free of interference and minimising the internecine struggles which had plagued the family and would do so in the future, the two rulers devoted their energies to creating dreamlike palaces, forts and extraordinary cityscapes, and patronizing the arts.

Ram Singhs successor Madho Singh II chose to ingratiate himself with the British. As a result, he was one of the few princes invited to King Edward VIIs coronation. Zubrzycki describes in detail all the arrangements made for his voyage to avoid being polluted by crossing the kala pani. These included six separate kitchens, one for his deity Gopalji, installed in the newly commissioned ship he was to travel in. But for all his position as a favourite of the British, Madho Singh made no secret of his disapproval of their way of life and their culture, and he discouraged his nobles from having anything to do with them. He remained a staunch, orthodox Rajput Hindu.

Most historians dont pay much attention to the story of the princes in the independence movement. Zubrzycki says Gandhi and the Congress were not very interested in Rajasthan in the 1920s, but the British were. The anglicising of the House of Jaipur started when Madho Singh died without a son in 1922. His adopted heir Sawai Man Singh II, known in the family as Jai, was only ten years old so the British moved in to insure he grew up as they wanted him to grow up. They took a special interest in his sex life. His guardian recommended that to avoid repression and venereal diseases, from about the age of 15 Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II should associate with a healthy young girl, and that in moderation. But the pull of Rajput tradition proved too powerful and he was married to a princess from the Jodhpur Royal family at the age of 12. The British saw to it that they were not allowed to cohabit for several years.

The anglicising programme continued, with Jai being sent to Mayo College modelled on the British public school system. That was followed by a years military training in Britain. The British were so concerned about keeping Jai on their side, and being able to keep his people on their side too, that the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, presided over his investiture on the Jaipur throne.

Also read: The Maharanis Mercenaries and Family Disputes in the House of Jaipur

Zubrzycki considers Jais time undergoing military training in London as a turning point in his life. It was the time when released from the formalities and intrigues of Jaipur, he learnt to have fun. From then on, he led two separate existences. In Jaipur he was a Hindu monarch. On his annual extensive visits to Britain, he was welcomed into Londons high society preoccupied with parties and polo. The British authorities in India were worried that the Maharaja didnt take his Indian responsibilities sufficiently seriously. But they didnt have to worry about his politics. He remained unashamedly loyal to the King Emperor and joined the British army in the Second World War rather than the Indian army .

It was while having fun in Calcutta that Jai met Gayatri Devi, the daughter of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar. He was 19 and she just 12, but Zubrzycki says she developed a schoolgirl crush on him which grew into a full-blown romance. Ignoring warnings about Jais philandering, she became his third wife in 1940. The British disapproved of the marriage and refused to endorse it. Jais courtiers and the Rajput community opposed it too, because Gayatri Devi was not a Rajput.

In the end, the British divided and quit, leaving the princes who they had relied on to govern two-fifths of Indias land mass to the mercy of Sardar Patel and V.P. Menon. Zubrzycki describes their duplicitous dealings. They proposed that Jai should be the Rajpramukh or hereditary governor of Greater Rajasthan. But then they whittled down the offer removing the hereditary status and making Jai little more than any other governor. In 1956, Jawaharlal Nehru abolished the office altogether.

In 1970, Jai died playing polo in England. The vast crowds which turned out for his funeral showed that although he had been stripped of all power, he was still deeply respected by his people. His death was another turning point in the history of The House of Jaipur. One of the family friends quoted in the book had once told me, it all fell apart when Jai died. The family became embroiled in litigation over Jais property, with his widow Ayesha lined up against Jais son and successor, Bhawani Singh known as Bubbles. That was the beginning of seemingly never-ending litigation, which has kept more than 40 internecine cases still rumbling on in local courts.

Bhawani Singh, the last titular ruler of Jaipur. Photo: via Jaipur Royal Family

But the litigation has not been the end of The House of Jaipur. Although Bubbles attempt to establish a new role for a Maharaja in government failed when he was defeated as the Congress candidate for Jaipur in the 1989 general election, Ayesha had a successful political career with the Swatantra Party. She swept Jaipur in her first of three successful parliamentary elections and earned the wrath, and Zubrzycki suggests the jealousy, of Indira Gandhi. He quotes Kushwant Singh as saying, Indira couldnt stomach a woman more good-looking than herself. Indira insulted Gayatri Devi in parliament, set the taxmen on her and locked her up during the Emergency.

Gayatri Devis beauty was indeed legendary. Historian, restorer and hotelier Aman Nath described her beauty as angelic. Zubrzycki quotes the Economist describing her on her death as a princess, and a princess who could make Jackie Kennedy almost a frump.

After Jai died, Gayatri Devi suffered the tragedy of her only child, an alcoholic son, dying as a result of a binge in London. She faced a challenge to his will from the family which led to her two grandchildren falling out with her, but she was eventually reconciled to them. She became recognised in India and internationally as the brand ambassador of the House of Jaipur, working for the empowerment of women and for the promotion of arts and culture.

When Gayatri Devi died aged 80 in 2009, almost four decades had elapsed since the House of Jaipur was stripped of all royal powers, prerogatives and privileges. but Zubrzycki describes in detail the regal procession led by two elephants, the crowds and the cries of Maharani ki jai which accompanied Gayatri Devi to her cremation.

Zubrzycki maintains that even the death of Gayatri Devi has not marked the end of the House of Jaipur. He says they now manage their estates and assets professionally. Under their direction, the City Palace has become one of the finest museums in India. Padmanab Singh, the present Maharaja, plays polo for India and is an international fashion model. Bubbles daughter Diya Kumari is a BJP MP. So Zubrzycki concludes his history of the House with these words,

In politics, at the polo ground and even on the catwalk the House of Jaipur has begun to map out a new set of traditions, deftly harnessing their royal aura as they reinvent their roles and their relevance in twenty first century democratic India.

Mark Tully is a writer and columnist, and is the former India Bureau chief of the BBC.

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People Analytics Leader – Governance, Ethics, and Prioritization at Allstate – Insurance Journal

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The world isnt standing still, and neither is Allstate. Were moving quickly, looking across our businesses and brands and taking bold steps to better serve customers evolving needs. Thats why now is an exciting time to join our team. As a leader in a corporation with 83,000 employees and agency force members, youll have a hand in transforming not only Allstate but a dynamic industry. Youll have opportunities to take risks, challenge the status quo and shape the future for the greater good.

Youll do all this in an environment of excellence and the highest ethical standards a place where values such as integrity, inclusive diversity and accountability are paramount. We empower every employee to lead, drive change and give back where they work and live. Our people are our greatest strength, and we work as one team in service of our customers and communities.

Everything we do at Allstate is driven by a shared purpose: to protect people from lifes uncertainties so they can realize their hopes and dreams. For 89 years weve thrived by staying a step ahead of whatevers coming next to give customers peace of mind no matter what changes they face. We acted with conviction to advocate for seat belts, air bags and graduated driving laws. We help give survivors of domestic violence a voice through financial empowerment. Weve been an industry leader in pricing sophistication, telematics, digital photo claims and, more recently, device and identity protection. We are the Good Hands. We dont follow the trends. We set them.

The People Analytics Leader Governance, Ethics, and Prioritization is accountable for the development, execution and enforcement of all aspect of the Governance, Ethics and Prioritization processes across the People Analytics function. This results-driven individual leads the prioritization of all people analytics work through coordinating effort across the full spectrum of the People Analytics team. Additionally, they will coordinate the People Analytics Governance Board and lead all ethics compliance work for people & HR data and analytics, in conjunction with stakeholders in Legal & D3.

The candidate(s) offered this position will be required to submit to a background investigation, which includes a drug screen.

As a Fortune 100 company and industry leader, we provide a competitive salary but thats just the beginning. Our Total Rewards package also offers benefits like tuition assistance, medical and dental insurance, as well as a robust pension and 401(k). Plus, youll have access to a wide variety of programs to help you balance your work and personal life -- including a generous paid time off policy.

Learn more about life at Allstate. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn or watch a video.

Effective July 1, 2014, under Indiana House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1242, it is against public policy of the State of Indiana and a discriminatory practice for an employer to discriminate against a prospective employee on the basis of status as a veteran by refusing to employ an applicant on the basis that they are a veteran of the armed forces of the United States, a member of the Indiana National Guard or a member of a reserve component.

For jobs in San Francisco, please click here for information regarding the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance. For jobs in Los Angeles, please click here for information regarding the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance.

To view the EEO is the Law poster click here. This poster provides information concerning the laws and procedures for filing complaints of violations of the laws with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

To view the FMLA poster, click here. This poster summarizing the major provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and telling employees how to file a complaint.

It is the Companys policy to employ the best qualified individuals available for all jobs. Therefore, any discriminatory action taken on account of an employees ancestry, age, color, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual and reproductive health decision, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, race (include traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles), religion (including religious dress), sex, or sexual orientation that adversely affects an employee's terms or conditions of employment is prohibited. This policy applies to all aspects of the employment relationship, including, but not limited to, hiring, training, salary administration, promotion, job assignment, benefits, discipline, and separation of employment.

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People Analytics Leader - Governance, Ethics, and Prioritization at Allstate - Insurance Journal

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August 29th, 2020 at 7:58 am

More Women Tapping On Fintech? – The ASEAN Post

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The ASEAN Post Team

A woman talks on a phone next to the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) logo during the official listing ceremony of ACLEDA Bank Plc on the exchange in Phnom Penh. (AFP Photo)

Southeast Asia has a growing fintech ecosystem which provides innovative services such as loans and payment platforms. Fintech fosters a financial inclusion strategy that can reduce the growing wealth gapand provide the poor with critical resources.

A 2019 study by ValueChampion, a Singapore-based personal finance and consumer research brand, placed Singapore second after Australia as one of the Best countries for women in fintech in Asia-Pacific. The study ranked countries based on the climate opportunity for womens advancement, prioritising nations that have strong fintech markets but also closer to gender equality.

Malaysia ranks fourth, while Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam rank seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively. Each country was also ranked by subcategory of business climate, existing gender gap, womens safety and fintech salary, among others. The research company noted that the limited data available on women in fintech makes a thorough analysis difficult.

Climate Of Opportunity

Singapore is a hotbed for fintech innovation, with the highest number of fintech start-ups per capita. Ranked second, the city-state has a positive environment for women in general. Over the past few years, the gender gap has decreased, reflected in the unopposed election of the nation's first female president Halimah Yacob in 2017. However, Singapore's gender wage gap increased substantially in 2018, with the widest disparity recorded in the financial and insurance industries.

Malaysias moderately strong fintech market also provides some opportunities for female advancement in an affordable setting. In 2017, the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) initiative was launched by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) to grow the nation's internet economy and to facilitate cross-border e-commerce.

Malaysia also offers a reasonably supportive environment for women looking to succeed in their careers. Based on 2019 data compiled by Bloomberg, the ASEAN member state has the highest representation of women in top positions (33 percent) in the banking industry.

Over in Vietnam, efforts have been made to tap womens potential by improving the business environment and giving them control over their finances, such as the Mobile Banking Financial Inclusion and Economic Empowerment for Low-Income People and Women in Vietnam project launched by the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies.

There is an increasing number of women making inroads into fintech, but the growing fintech sector in the region is not always accessible to females seeking professional advancement. Fintech is still a difficult market for women to break into. According to the Ernst & Young ASEAN FinTech Census 2018, 86 percent of all fintech organisations still have all-male founders.

Support More Women

There is an emergence of prominent funds focused on supporting ventures by women in fintech globally. Last year, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) launched an Innovation Fund on digital solutions for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) in the Asia-Pacific region. The fund seeks to improve access to finance, removing barriers to scale and enhancing the operational efficiency of women-led MSMEs. The initiative is expected to benefit 20,000 women entrepreneurs in six countries across the region.

Women-owned micro, small and medium enterprises have the greatest potential to benefit from ICT as these technologies can help them overcome the typical barriers to expansion and growth, said Hongjoo Hahm, officer-in-charge of ESCAP.

Miss Kaya is a financial platform built by women for women, founded by entrepreneur, Gina Heng. The platform allows women to receive guidance on their savings and investments.

In 2018, Miss Kaya and LATTICE80 announced the launch of an accelerator programme for women entrepreneurs to support women-led businesses. Their collaboration led to the release of a list of the top 100 women in fintech around the world in 2019.

At Miss Kaya, we want to be there to encourage and support more women entrepreneurs to develop and grow their ideas. I know first-hand how challenging the process can be, but if we can create a supportive community and share resources and networks, the chances of success are higher. We are happy to partner with LATTICE80 to begin this journey, said Heng.

It should be noted that persistent gender biases, whether intentionally or unintentionally, still exist. Although the regions fintech industry is relatively strong, it doesnt mean its equally accessible to both genders. More needs to be done to ensure women are allowed to rise through the ranks, lead teams, start companies and decide on industry policy.

Related Articles:

Banking Southeast Asias Unbanked

Vietnam Is The Regions Fintech Hub

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The Tech Perspective Kamala Harris Could Bring to the Vice Presidency – Nextgov

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Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., walks a fine line on technology issues: She represents Silicon Valley and has a track record of using data and technology to solve government problems. But at the same time, the first-term senator doesnt shy away from questioning technology practices that may risk consumer privacy or national security.

To understand the tech background of the vice presidential candidate, Nextgov took a look at her record in the Senate, past statements and her work as attorney general of California. Though Harris is not always the leader on hot topics such as rural broadband access or protecting intellectual property, the first-term senator is savvy when it comes to technology, according to experts.

Daniel Castro, who works on tech policy issues as director of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundations Center for Data Innovation, told Nextgov Harris could be a strong voice for using technology to improve government services in a potential Biden administration.

It seems like there's going to be someone who has that hands-on experience of actually using digital technologies for transformation of government, and to me that's actually an exciting idea, Castro said. We haven't had someone in government at that high a level that has that kind of experience or insight and I think that's a major asset to the ticket.

Transforming Government with Technology

Two key projects stick out in Harriss record for transforming government using technology: her OpenJustice initiative, which she spearheaded as Californias attorney general, and a bill she introduced in 2019 that sets aside funding for state and local governments to improve government services using technology.

Castro said Harris first came on the radar for technology issues when she rolled out the OpenJustice data project. OpenJustice takes the California Department of Justices statistical data and combines it with other public datasets to create a dashboard the public can use to track law enforcement interactions with the community.

When Harris was a U.S. Senate candidate in 2016, she told the San Diego Union Tribune the project is all about transparency and allowing experts access to data so that they can analyze it and explain whats going on with policing.

So I then talked to my friends, who are my colleagues in law enforcement and others and I say hey you know, those folks who are annoyed with Black Lives Matter should probably know that maybe perhaps with anecdote and maybe perhaps with emotion theyre telling us exactly what the data tells us, Harris told the Union Tribunes editorial board. There are in fact racial disparities in the system. So lets deal with that. Lets use the data so we can drive public policy in a way that is based on fact and metrics instead of ideology or emotion.

According to Castro, the OpenJustice project was one of the first of its kind, and has served as a model for other data transparency projects. He added governments in general are continuing to move in the direction of more data transparency.

More recently, Harris introduced a bill that would provide funding to state and local governments so that they can essentially build their own, localized versions of the U.S. Digital Service. The bill, called the Digital Service Act, would provide a $15 million pool of funding for local governments. It would also set aside an additional $50 million of funding per year for USDS.

We must do more to empower our state and local governments to tap into the power of technology to provide seamless, cost-effective services for the 21st century, Harris said in a statement. The Digital Service Act will help harness top talent for the government, save taxpayer dollars, and put the power of technology to work on behalf of the American people.

Harris has also sponsored legislation around data sharing within the federal government. For example, she introduced legislation in 2017 requiring the Homeland Security Department to facilitate increased information sharing about maritime-related cybersecurity risks. The bill required DHS to create a cybersecurity risk assessment model and develop plans to mitigate cybersecurity risks at the nations ports.

Regulation, Data Privacy and Equity

Harris is known for her tough prosecutorial style, and as a senator, she has showcased her precise questioning techniques on data privacy issues. In 2018, Harris took a stand on the importance of transparency when it comes to data privacy at a hearing probing the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal.

During the course of this hearing these past four hours, youve been asked several critical questions for which you dont have answers, Harris said to Facebook founder MarkZuckerberg. Those questions have included whether Facebook can track users browsing activity even after the user has logged off of Facebook, whether Facebook can track your activity across devices even when you arent logged into Facebook, who is Facebooks biggest competition, whether Facebook may store up to 96 categories of users information, and her list went on.

During Harriss questioning, Zuckerberg admitted his company made a mistake in failing to notify users regarding the Cambridge Analytica data breach. Facebook knew of the breach in 2015, three years prior to the hearing.

When asked by the New York Times in an interview as a presidential candidate whether the major tech companies like Facebook as well as Amazon and Google should be broken up, Harris wouldnt commit. Instead, she said her first priority was data privacy.

I believe that the tech companies have got to be regulated in a way that we can ensure and the American consumer can be certain that their privacy is not being compromised, she told the Times, adding that consumers should be empowered to make decisions about their personal information.

Harris has taken some criticism for her perceived relationships with Silicon Valley, especially in light of the fact that other presidential candidates running at the time such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called directly for Big Tech companies to be broken up.

A July Huffington Post piece asserts that Harris didnt do enough as attorney general to confront metastasizing threats to American consumers and American democracy from big tech. The article was based on a tranche of emails the Huffington Post obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.

Dr. Nicol Turner Lee, a sociologist studying equity and technology at the Brookings Institution, said she doesnt view Harriss connections to technology companies as inherently problematic.

Clearly, she has had a cordial relationship with Big Tech by the nature of her representation in California, Turner Lee said. But that doesnt mean that I dont think shes going to be strong on enforcement of anti-competitive behavior.

Turner Lee said Harris membership in the Congressional Black Caucus may lead her to put more pressure on tech companies to adopt better diversity and inclusion practices, too. She added Harris niche may be finding ways to use government to enhance transparency around equity issues like she did with the OpenJustice project.

One example of an equity provision Harris sponsored is the Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act, which was introduced in 2019. The legislation requires the National Science Foundation to convene a working group composed of representatives of federal statistical agencies to develop questions on sexual harassment in STEM departments in order to gather national data on the prevalence, nature, and implications of such harassment in institutions of higher education.

Election Security

Another issue important to the Congressional Black Caucus that Harris has also focused on is election security. Harris has been a major player on election security legislation in the Senate, and Turner Lee said she expects that advocacy to continue, particularly in light of voter suppression issues arising due to COVID-19 and the gutting of U.S. Postal Service operations.

Harris has been involved with nearly every significant piece of legislation on election security during her tenure in the Senate. She sits on the intelligence committee, which conducted a major investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Her questioning of Facebooks data privacy and transparency practices in the 2018 hearing can also be understood as related to her advocacy for stronger protections against election interference.

Harris, along with Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., championed the 2017 Secure Elections Act, a bill that aimed to prevent foreign election interference by modernizing election cybersecurity. The legislation included enhancements to information-sharing practices between federal intelligence entities and state election agencies.

The bill ultimately failed in the Republican-controlled Senate, but Turner Lee said Harris is unlikely to lose sight of election security and foreign interference issues if she ascends to the vice presidency.

Clearly, election security, mail-in voting, voter suppression, are going to be key issues and in this election off the bat, Turner Lee said. And I dont see Kamala Harris backing away from those issues, nor do I see her giving a pass to companies that may in some way embolden that type of illegal activity just by the nature of being publicly available to share content.

The Big Picture

The Obama/Biden administration is widely viewed as the first tech administration. Beginning in the 2008 campaign, then-candidate Barack Obama harnessed technology and social media to reach voters in a way that had never been done before.

The U.S. Digital Service was also born during that administration, and, despite its problematic rollout, was an important milestone in the growth of digital technologies used for making government services more accessible.

But the ground has since shifted. Progressives within the Democratic party consistently push for greater regulation and intervention in Silicon Valley. Castro said the fact that Biden and Harris are trying to build a big tent coalition of support from the various wings of the party may mean adopting some of these stances.

As a senator, Harris has not shied away from speaking out on problems with the unregulated technology industry. Castro and Turner Lee both said she has been willing to go after anyone on important issues such as data privacy.

At the same time, Harris appears to have held on to the idea that technology can be harnessed to solve problems. Turner Lee said she wouldnt be surprised if Harris and Biden take on more projects similar to the OpenJustice initiative, and maybe even an effort to pass privacy legislation.

I do believe that there's going to be a lot of empowerment to the people when it comes to technology policy, Turner Lee said.

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The Tech Perspective Kamala Harris Could Bring to the Vice Presidency - Nextgov

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August 29th, 2020 at 7:57 am

The Zondo Commission, the dealmaker, and the botched evidence – Moneyweb

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The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Wednesday continued with aviation-related evidence and probed the personal knowledge of Vuyisile Aaron Ndzeku, director of JM Aviation South Africa, a ground support equipment and aviation spares supplier, and Swissport, a provider of airport ground and cargo handling services.

Evidence leader Advocate Kate Hofmeyr questioned Ndzeku on the role he played at JM Aviation and Swissport, the payments he received, the payments JM Aviation received and paid out, the land deal with Nontsasa Memela (who was head of procurement at SAA), and the land deal with her mother, Ms Hlohlela, as well as his meetings/introductions/encounters with various role players in the aviation-related evidence.

Hofmeyr eventually obtained Ndzekus confirmation that the unsigned affidavit submitted to the commission by his attorneys was a true and fair recollection of his version of events.


Ndzeku admitted to receiving a salary of R35 000 a month from Swissport and R35 000 a month from JM Aviation, and conceded to having received other payments ranging from R50 000 to R100 000. But he wasnt able to explain to Judge Zondo what he did to earn a salary.

Read: Why did PwC not identify corruption atSAA?

SAA awarded a R1.5 billion, five-year ground-handling contract to Swissport on condition that 30% was paid to an empowerment company ostensibly belonging to Daluxolo Peter.

Soon thereafter, Swissport paid R28.5 million to JM Aviation SA.

JM Aviation SA then paid R20 million to Daluxolo Peters company, R2.5 million to BM Kolisi Attorneys, and R2.5 million into Ndzekus personal bank account.

BM Kolisi Attorneys then paid the R2.5 million towards the purchase of two sports cars for Lester Peter, head of SAA procurement.

Ndzeku denied knowledge of the R2.5 million sitting in his bank account, and denied knowledge of the payments.

Ndzeku also denied knowing that the R2.5 million he paid Memelas mother for purchasing her property (part of tribal land) in the Eastern Cape would be given to Memela to purchase a property. There are no title deeds for the land allegedly purchased, and a handwriting expert has concluded that the apparent signatures of Memelas mother are a forgery.

Daluxolo Peter alleged in his affidavit submitted to the commission that Ndzeku was the mastermind, and in fact set up the empowerment company.

JM Aviation made R6 million in a one-day trade on 12 ground power units that were purchased from SAA and on-sold to Swissport.

JM Aviation South Africa

Ndzeku was a director of JM Aviation, together with his daughters Vuyelwa Sokhulu and Natasha Van Louw, and one Julian Aires. Ndzekus wife, Miss Hendricks, is also an employee of JMSA. Ndzeku didnt know what her role was, and he couldnt remember when they got married. He couldnt even remember if she was employed at JM before they got married.

Ndzeku didnt see any conflict of interest in being a director of both Swissport and JM Aviation, as he wasnt involved in operations.

Financial assistance given to former head of SAA procurement

Ndzeku met Nontsasa Memela in 2015, at a compliance development workshop, and said he was not aware that she was head of SAA Technical procurement.

Ndzeku had acannabis-growing business in Lesotho and Swaziland, and was interested in purchasing land in the Eastern Cape. Memelas mother, Ms Hlohlela, just happened to own a piece of land in the Eastern Cape.

Ndzeku met with Hlohlela in 2015 in Johannesburg, and on another occasion at her home. He had shown her his companys document on the cannabis business. When Hofmeyr later informed him that said document had only been generated in 2018 he tried to change what he meant.

Hofmeyr submitted that Ndzeku had changed his version of events over the course of the day.

To summarise, Ndzeku purchased an indeterminate piece of tribal land next to the river, for which he would receive no title deeds.

Hofmeyr refers to an affidavit deposed by the forensic document examiner (a handwriting expert), which concludes that the apparent signatures of Hlohlela on the affidavit and the sale agreement are in fact a forgery.

Hofmeyr submitted to the commission that there was no agreement about any land whatsoever, there was only a payment of R2.5 million to be made to Memela.

Hofmeyr further explained how Memela benefitted JM Aviation: She agreed to sell 12 ground power units [GPUs] to your daughter for R3 million. On the same day, JM Aviation billed Swissport R9 million for the same GPUs. JM Aviation made R6 million in one day.

Hofmeyr continued, informing the commission that R4.3 million was paid into a forex trading company called Zanospark, and ended up being paid to Yakhe Kwinana, former chair of SAA Technical.

Hofmeyr informed the commission that Zanospark was only created in February 2016, and is not an authorised trader.

SAA ground handling contract

Hofmeyr probed Ndzeku on his interactions and meetings with Kwinana, including a meeting held with SAA in 2016.

At the meeting Kwinana demanded that Swissport pay 30% to SAAs designated empowerment company, and threatened to terminate the relationship with Swissport if they didnt agree to these terms.

Ndzeku admitted to having spoken with Kwinana a few times but said he didnt see it as a conflict of interest as he was not involved in operational matters. He admitted to having discussed the empowerment partner with Kwinana, but not the deal. Swissport was handling that, he said.

Bob Gurr from Swissport had taken notes at the meeting, which conflicted with Ndzekus evidence, and he recalled Ndzeku saying get the deal done.

Swissport did ultimately agree to bring Daluxolo Peters company in as the empowerment partner, and it was awarded the R1.5 billion contract for five years on March 15, 2016. Lester Peters, as SAA chief of procurement, and Ndzeku, signed as witnesses.

Hofmeyr tried to get to grips with the timeline of events in 2016: On 10 February the deal was off, but on March 15 they seem to find each other. Hofmeyr then referred to the service level agreement concluded between Swissport and JM Aviation on March 2, in terms of which R28.5 million would be paid to JM Aviation.

Agreement between Swissport and JM Aviation

The R28.5 million payment made by Swissport to JM Aviation was ostensibly paid in regard to a general service level agreement that was entered into in 2016. The agreement detailed the various services that would be provided.

JMs bank balance prior to the deposit of R28.5 million was only R1 000.

JM Aviation

Ndzeku was questioned on the payments made by JM Aviation to the empowerment partner (R20 million), BM Kolisi Attorneys (R2.5 million towards sports cars for Lester Peter), and R2.5 million to Ndzekus personal bank account.

Ndzeku couldnt recall the meetings he had had with Lester Peter, and denied any knowledge of Lester Peter being head of SAA procurement.

Even though he was a director of JM Aviation, and his daughter had sole signing powers to the bank account, he denied any knowledge of any deposits or payments. He couldnt explain why JM Aviation was used to make the R20 million payment to the empowerment partner.

Hofmeyr then dropped a bombshell.

The empowerment company played no role in the SAA ground handling contract. Daluxolo Peter, in his affidavit submitted to the commission, alleged that Ndzeku was the mastermind behind the whole deal, and that Ndzeku in fact put the empowerment company together, and put his daughter in as a director.

Daluxolo Peter further alleged that of the R20 million, he took R5 million for himself, paid BM Kolisi Attorneys R10 million, and withdrew cash in tranches of R500000 totalling R10 million, and paid this over to BM Kolisi Attorneys.

Read: The bankers, lawyers and liars who enabledstate capture

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The Zondo Commission, the dealmaker, and the botched evidence - Moneyweb

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August 29th, 2020 at 7:57 am

First Horizon Bank Offers Financial Wellness Programs On Demand –

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In an effort to support businesses and their employees during the economic downturn, First Horizon Bank is now offering on-demand Financial Wellness programs. These free classes, previously offered onsite, have been held virtually since April. With the addition of the on-demand option, First Horizon is making financial literacy even more convenient for people in Middle Tennessee.

200 companies are currently enrolled in the First Horizon Bank Financial Wellness Program. Through the program, these organizations provide their employees with access to classes focusing on personal finances and strategies for improving financial health. Free, confidential counseling sessions with First Horizon Bank financial representatives are also offered as part of the program.

Our business partners have shared that their employees need us now more than ever, said Carol Yochem, president of First Horizon Bank for the Middle Tennessee Region. Offering classes in a pre-recorded format is another way we are bringing financial wellness and empowerment to individuals during a time when many can benefit from professional counsel. Those enrolled in the program can listen when they have time, and we always invite them to schedule a one-on-one confidential financial counseling appointment at the end of each class.

Best practices from successful financial wellness programs indicate that classes addressing basic financial topics like how to build an emergency savings fund, how to budget and how to avoid costly debt may be the most relevant to peoples lives, regardless of their compensation. With these guidelines in mind, First Horizon currently offers classes on topics including:

Introduction to Financial Wellness

Importance of Financial Goals

5 Factors to Financial Wellness

Budgeting for Success

Understanding Credit

Boosting Your Score

Budgeting to Achieve Financial Goals

Understanding Fraud

Identity Protection

More Bang For Your Buck

Participating companies and employees do not have to be First Horizon Bank clients to take the classes or to consult with a First Horizon Bank Financial Wellness expert. To learn more about the program, classes and the financial counseling sessions, companies can email Donna Spears, First Horizon Bank Business Development Acquisition Specialist, at: [emailprotected]

About First Horizon

First Horizon National Corp. (NYSE:FHN), with $79 billion in assets, is a leading regional financial services company, dedicated to strengthening the lives of our associates, clients, shareholders, and communities. Headquartered in Memphis, TN, the banking subsidiary First Horizon Bank operates approximately 460 bank locations in 11 states across the Southeast. With more than 288 years of combined First Horizon Bank and IBERIABANK financial experience, the Company and its subsidiaries offer commercial, private banking, consumer, small business, wealth and trust management, retail brokerage, capital markets, fixed income, mortgage, and title insurance services. First Horizon is recognized as one of the nations best employers by Fortune and Forbes magazines and a Top 10 Most Reputable U.S. bank. More information is available at

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August 29th, 2020 at 7:57 am

DiCarlo Shy upon Recognition, Relentless in Her Mission – Wanderer

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Elizabeth Liz DiCarlo has been advocating for people on multiple fronts for more than 40 years. That statement of fact recently put DiCarlo in a special category of women from Massachusetts she was named as a Commonwealth Heroine by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.

Her name was advanced by State Representative Antonio Cabral of the 13thBristol District.

Noted in DiCarlos biography posted on, Cabral gave a long list of her service achievements such as working with populations from Central America, HIV/AIDS education for at-risk people, affordable-housing issues, and efforts to mitigate discrimination faced by LGBTQ people. She is without a doubt the ultimate people-person.

WhenThe Wanderercaught up with DiCarlo, she softly said of all the recognition she has been receiving, its a little embarrassing. Yet DiCarlo speaks strongly and very clearly when it comes to the issues she believes in fighting for, namely helping those who may be the last to receive services. And while she claims to be retired, it was quite clear her work is far from over.

Im working with the Democratic Town Committee, she said of her ongoing work on voter registration so that, people can vote for those who represent them and their interests.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the 1970s, DiCarlo became a nurse working as a public health sector. She is originally from Newton but moved to the New Bedford area after graduating. Her family built a home in Mattapoisett around 1975. I was very happy about that! she said.

New Bedford became her base from which she began work organizing labor-union groups and immersing herself in multi-cultural neighborhoods. I love the richness, the diversity of cultures, she said. New Bedford has people from Cape Verde, the Caribbean, Latin America, Ireland, France there have been waves of immigration through the centuries. She said her work over the years has focused on identifying where need exists and then finding the ways and means to serve the people.

One need that DiCarlo identified as growing in urgency is affordable housing. The next generation cant afford to live in Mattapoisett, she stated and explained that the rising cost of owning or even renting properties is impacting young and old alike. Our seniors want to downsize and live in Mattapoisett, but where?

DiCarlo said it is time to think about different types of housing stock and shared her hope that Mattapoisetts updated Master Plan, currently under review by the Planning Board and other committees with the assistance of SRPEDD, will help in finding new ways to solve old problems keeping a roof over heads. She expressed concern that if Mattapoisett doesnt take a proactive approach to affordable housing, Someone will come in and do it.

Systems, process analysis, data collection, and assessment are some of the cornerstones of public nursing, and DiCarlo has thrown her talents to all of those through the years.

On Cape Cod, DiCarlo was hired as a consultant to bring together a network of agencies and community centers for a needs assessment of the 15 towns that comprise the peninsula. There are growing Latino, Caribbean, and Brazilian communities on the Cape, she said, the goal being to understand how well the people can access healthcare services. To her surprise, 1,000 households participated, not hesitating to share their data. She had deployed 200 volunteers in the effort. There were four languages to take into consideration, she said, The response was fabulous. The data from the surveys pointed to the need for culturally competent care and interpretation services.

With pride, DiCarlo said that this project inspired the development of dental services for immigrant populations throughout the Cape. We found that there was a major issue for these people in accessing dental care. The development of dental operatories, locations and services made available to those without insurance or the means to pay for services, bloomed. We developed partnerships with Cape Cod Regional Vocational High School in Harwich and Cape Cod Community College to provide oral health services. That program reached out across Buzzards Bay to Marthas Vineyard as well.

More recently, DiCarlos work has focused on getting out the vote. We want people to come out and vote their values. From a regional standpoint, she said a strong effort had been made in networking for social justice including LGBTQ platforms, but that it is important to increase the dialogue and understanding that voting matters. Having an up-to-date voter registration is critical.

DiCarlo has been involved in school-based, voter-registration drives and placing visual reminders around New Bedford and the surrounding area that display dates of elections. We need people to think about what is important to them; in the larger cities, you have to find ways of reaching people But this isnt new stuff, she added with a chuckle. Weve been doing this since the Rainbow Coalition, personal empowerment, and political empowerment.

HIV/AIDS, health education, and the role of public health nursing are also part of DiCarlos early work. We engaged with communities to assess their assets and identify their limitations to come up with opportunities, she said. We had candid discussions about how to be safe; its not just giving out information but in having those explicit conversations about sexual practices and drugs. She said providing health care was also part of the program, so people could get the care that they needed.

Given the current pandemic, DiCarlo believes, Its not enough to give education, systems have to be in place to help the victims. She said the Southcoast region has done a good job reaching businesses to ensure that distancing and face coverings are used in the workplace.

While talking about workers her thoughts turned to their homelives. Lots of family members may live in a small apartment. We need to educate the children, make sure food resources are readily available, and think about how they will care for one another to prevent the spread of COVID, she said. Half of New Bedford is Latino. They live in dense situations. If we are looking at the data, we need to make sure educational opportunities are there.

That whole-systems approach is the hallmark of a public health professional or, as DiCarlo framed it, All things are possible with honest collaboration, dignity and respect.

By Marilou Newell

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July 8th, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Pureology, #1 Professional Color Care Brand*, Pioneer In Vegan Haircare, To Unveil New Look And Formulas – PRNewswire

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NEW YORK, July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Pureology is proud to launch a completely renovated product lineup this summer with a new look and select formula improvements. "Color care without compromise" is the Pureology promise to professional stylists and at-home users who wish to align their beauty product choices with their personal values: sustainable practices, aesthetic performance and emotional empowerment. The new Pureology was introduced in June on and at SalonCentric, and will befullyavailable in August at ULTA and

In recent years, the rise of beauty products that are ecologically-friendly has grown considerably.Like many brands at the forefront of sustainability, Pureology was created in California. The very first products were sulfate-free and 100% vegan. As the brand enters its 20th year, that eco-commitment has grown to encompass even more sustainable benevolence: The new Pureology boasts a reduction in carbon footprint during sourcing of ingredients and raw materials, increased water conservation through concentrated formulas, and95% post-consumer recycled plastic packaging that is 100% recyclable. Further, Pureology formulas are paraben- and mineral oil- free.

Professional stylists and their followings know that Pureology's environmentally-friendly assortment does not sacrifice product performance. In fact, the high-performance, high-lather formulas, and experiential fragrances are what have set Pureology's Sulfate-Free line apart. The new Pureology consists of more than 30 SKUs - including shampoos, conditioners, treatments and styling products - organized by desired benefit: hydration, strength, smoothing, toning, volume, and texture + hold.

To ensure professional-grade results, Pureology products are madeWITH:

All Pureology products are madeWITHOUT:

"The moment where women feel the most beautiful and confident is in the salon chair after a fresh salon service.That's the power of a professional stylist service," said Candy Gebhart, General Manager, Pureology."It's that moment of feeling undeniably beautiful and confident that Pureology aims to preserve from the inside out, from salon visit to salon visit."

ThePureologymodernization has been in planning stages for over a year, however, distribution was temporarily paused in solidarity with themedicaland racial pandemics currently affecting the global population. While progress on each respective front continues to evolve, stylists and salon-goers can expect that once beauty businesses open up again, the new Pureology will be available to offersocially-conscious products that are committed to people, the planet and causes that advance thebenevolenceof both.

*Based on dollar sales reported in Kline's Kline PRO: Salon Retail Products and Services Database for the year ending December 31, 2019.

SOURCE Pureology

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Pureology, #1 Professional Color Care Brand*, Pioneer In Vegan Haircare, To Unveil New Look And Formulas - PRNewswire

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July 8th, 2020 at 2:46 pm

‘Gamificaiton’ of educational content offers a peek into the future of classrooms – StepFeed

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Video games have never ceased to gain popularity among all age groups, except when it's time for work or assignments. So when companies like Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo decided to disrupt old school curriculums to extend the fun, they developed exciting and challenging games that double as educational tools.

Minecraft, the Microsoft-owned game since 2014, is known for its user-driven content, creative use of blocks, and nocturnal creatures. Putting that aside, the prominent video game has also been at the frontline of mainstream games that offer educational content ever since its $2.5-billion acquisition.A version of the game, titled "Minecraft: Education Edition," promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive digital environment that tackles different subjects.

According to the game's website, 115 countries are currently using this edition across their curriculum. Students learn how body organs, chemical reactions, and important mechanisms work as well as how to formulate algorithms and program them in a visual environment. Meanwhile, teachers can direct the game and watch how materials are perceived.

"When we were studying the work of body organs, I asked the children to divide into teams, choose a body organ and create a 3D model of it in Minecraft. To accomplish this task, they had to read all about the work of the organ, and they no longer saw this as something boring because it looked like an interesting challenge," Peter Pallo, a biology teacher, said in a testimony to Microsoft.

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'Gamificaiton' of educational content offers a peek into the future of classrooms - StepFeed

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July 8th, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Vermont Dance Alliance and Black Freedom Fund Partner to Empower – Seven Days

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Everyone needs to experience joy, perhaps especially as the country navigates a pandemic, political divisiveness and the tumultuous struggle for racial justice. Through dance and philanthropy, the Vermont Dance Alliance and the Black Freedom Fund are working to help people nurture their joy and support racial equality in the Green Mountain State and beyond.

In late June the alliance, a statewide nonprofit that supports dance artists, released the video "TRACES 2020 Virtual Performance." It's the pandemic-era version of the group's annual one-day event. Since 2017, TRACES performers have danced outside in Burlington on sidewalks, alongside public sculptures, on the waterfront where audiences encountered them by design or by chance.

This year, the 11.5-minute video, produced by South Burlington's Extensity Creative, features 31 dancers of all ages performing 30- to 60-second pieces in backyards and woods, on picnic benches and industrial stairs. The pieces are elegantly interwoven and set to music by local musicians. It's the most intriguing and satisfying dance video this viewer has seen in a long time. Clever, energetic and filled with surprises, the video exudes joy and captures normally ephemeral live dance as a forever-accessible gem.

"People need this outlet of movement and connection to community," said Burlington's Hanna Satterlee, founder and executive director of the Vermont Dance Alliance. The group hasn't sponsored in-person events since the pandemic began and won't for a long time, she said. Hungry for interaction, participants enjoyed Zoom rehearsals and collaborating on the video; the alliance is sponsoring more dance video projects as a result. For example, on Monday it launched Dancing Digitally, a five-week interactive series on five local choreographers' new works.

"TRACES 2020" also came at a time when alliance board members "wanted to give back immediately to an organization working for racial and social justice," Satterlee said. After considering numerous national groups, they discovered the Vermont-based Black Freedom Fund, which perfectly fits the alliance's mission of empowerment. Just before the credits at the end of the video, viewers are invited to donate.

Christal Brown is an artist, educator, entrepreneur and chair of the dance program at Middlebury College. In early June, she launched the Black Freedom Fund to support Black artists, families and entrepreneurs who are under-resourced due to COVID-19 or other challenges. Through it, she said, she aims not only to provide monetary gifts but also to help create the conditions that support joy.

"Most of the things that we relish in this country that are African American made are from the outgrowth of joy, not pain," Brown said. "The publicity of the pain overshadows the joy of the music, the dancing, the love. It overshadows a lot of the work we've done to be able to be joyful people."

Brown appreciates using "TRACES 2020" as a vehicle to raise funds because the video exemplifies the complexity of bridging different life experiences. Just as performers must understand each person's part, so must we "recognize what goes into each person's reality" to change systems of racism and oppression, Brown said. The collaboration of the alliance and the Black Freedom Fund is "a way of leveraging our realities."

In the Middlebury area, where Brown and her young son are among the few Black residents, her neighbors and allies recently began asking for advice on how to support racial justice.

One day she responded, "'I can do this. I can make something for you. Hold on. Give me a minute,'" she recalled. Almost that quickly, Brown created the Black Freedom Fund under the auspices of her nonprofit company INSPIRIT.

"There's a pain point that's happening right now, and there's a lot of confusion," she said. "When change happens, it has to happen person to person ... in a meaningful way. I wanted to stand in the gap between different communities" by making it easier to give.

In less than a month, the Black Freedom Fund's crowdsourcing campaign surpassed its $10,000 goal and the gifts keep coming. As of Tuesday, 184 people had made donations of $20 to $1,000, totaling $14,457; some businesses had also donated, bringing the total even higher.

Brown put $10,000 in an investment fund and is using the overage to make a gift of about $500 each month. Through professional and personal networks, she identifies recipients around the country for whom that amount would be significant. To date, there's enough to last about 14 months; after that she'll begin drawing from the investment's accruing interest.

A recent gift went to a man with whom Brown grew up in Kinston, S.C. Initially, he got caught up in crime, but after seeing many of his friends die or be drawn into "the prison pipeline of a small town where there's no opportunity," Brown said, "he totally flipped his life around." He's now married, has a son and is a generous force in his community, serving meals to the homeless, doing fund drives and cooking for neighbors, according to Brown. The man recently underwent a leg amputation and cannot work while waiting for the prosthetic. The Black Freedom Fund covered his July rent.

"Black joy is a reservoir," Brown said, that allows people to persevere despite loss, pain and misfortune. Sometimes a gift can help refill it.

Vermont Dance Alliance and Black Freedom Fund Partner to Empower - Seven Days

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July 8th, 2020 at 2:46 pm

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