Friday 1 November 2013


FAZE 2 (Buka) 222, KILBURN HIGH ROAD, LONDON, NW6 4JP brings you 'AFTER PARTY SATURDAYs' (The After Party of all Weekly/Weekend Events in London) from Saturday 2nd November (The Launch Party) and Every Saturday After from 8pm-5am. Admission is FREE. Dj is the TALENTED & EXPERIENCED 1st Choice KC dishing out all the Jamz & Jointz. Info/Reservations-02076251550. 

EVENT: The Grand Opening & Official Launch Party of THE POINTERS BAR

EVENT: The Grand Opening & Official Launch Party of 

DATE: Fri/1st/Nov/2013

VENUE: THE POINTERS BAR, 286 Lewisham High St, SE13 6JZ

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*350 Capacity.
*Exotic Bar.
*Superb Surround Sound System.
*Multiple seating areas.

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UK suspends 3,000 pound visa bond

" This is good news to the ears innit?"

United Kingdom has suspended its plan to impose 3,000 pounds visa bond on first time visitors from Nigeria.
It could not be confirmed if it has also suspended the policy in five other Commonwealth countries considered to be sources of “high risk” tourists to the UK.
The countries, where the country had, in June, proposed to implement the plan starting from November are Nigeria, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity with our correspondent on Friday, said there had been no official communication from the home country on the visa bond which almost generated a diplomatic row between UK on one hand and the affected countries on the other hand.
He said, “We have not received any directive on the visa bond. This is an issue the two countries (Nigeria and UK) have approached through diplomacy.
“The policy cannot be implemented now because there is no official communication on it.”

Big Chairs Create Big Cheats

" This research result is so intriguing and the part that talks about corruption is so interesting"

Big Chairs Create Big Cheats

The research: In a series of experiments, Andy Yap and his colleagues examined the impact that people’s ergonomic environments had on their ethics. The studies tested whether being put into an expansive or a contracted posture would affect people’s honesty. The results showed that subjects in larger workspaces and seats, which encouraged expansive postures, were more likely than other subjects to pocket, rather than return, an overpayment for participating in the study, to cheat on a test, and to break the rules in a driving simulation game.
The challenge: Is the boss a jerk because of the size of his chair? Is that guy running a red light because he’s in a giant SUV? Professor Yap, defend your research.
Yap: The effect of large spaces, which allow people to expand their postures, was clear. In our first study, in which we deliberately overpaid people to see whether they would point out our error, 78% of the participants who were put into expansive postures kept the overpayment, while only 38% of those who were put into contractive postures did. And in a follow-up field study, in which we observed illegally parked cars in New York, we saw that when the size of a driver’s seat increased by one standard deviation from the mean, the probability that a car would be double-parked increased from 51% to 71%.
HBR: Why would big seats and spaces affect people’s behavior?
Our bodies are perpetually constrained by our physical spaces. When these spaces are large, we incidentally adopt expansive postures. Such postures—open, widespread limbs that fill the space up—often project high power. Contractive, closed postures—in which limbs are pulled in close to the torso and the body collapses inward to minimize space—tend to project low power. It’s not having something big that makes you feel more powerful; these spaces allow you to have an expansive posture, and that’s what makes you feel more powerful. And the feelings of power are what alter your behavior.
Bigness is relative. To see this effect, do you need to change the driver’s seat or chair for someone who is 6'6" much more than for someone who is 5'4"?
We randomly assigned subjects to large and small spaces or postures, so we had an equal number of short people and tall people in each group. We looked at whether height influenced their poses, but we found that it had no effect.
So you’re saying that, regardless of my height, if I push back the driver’s seat in my car, I’ll be more likely to double-park?
It’s not clear that you’re automatically going to double-park. But there’s a higher likelihood that you will give in to a desire to double-park. Of course, there are many other things to consider, like whether you’re in a part of the city where spaces are scarce and the temptation to double-park is greater.
Isn’t it possible you’ve got this backward—that people likely to become bosses are dishonest, materialistic types who prefer big offices and big cars?
Yes, definitely. In our experiments, there certainly were people who were already more “corrupt” than others. However, since we randomly assigned participants to expansive or contractive postures, each group should have had an equal number of corrupt individuals. And the posture was the only variable that differed between the two groups. In any case, newer studies have shown that power has an intensifying effect on personality. So if you’re already corrupt, power brings out an even more corrupt persona. When people are very honest and ethical, though, power makes them more ethical.
So if I’m an honest person, a big space might make me more honest?
We don’t know that for sure. In our studies, we measured only cheating—we wanted to see if the increased sense of power would make people more likely to engage in it. But power itself is not always bad. Power is something like nuclear energy; it can be used for good or bad. Power can actually help you battle stress; power makes you more confident; power makes you feel more focused on your goals. And if you’re channeling it in the right way, you get very positive outcomes.
Do people who work at smaller desks or drive Priuses feel less powerful?
I think that, in general, if you have a smaller space, you feel powerless, especially in comparison with someone in a bigger space. But as I was running the study, I wondered, is there a limit to how powerless a contracted environment makes you feel? If your space is extremely, extremely small, will you feel so frustrated that you’re more likely to cheat? We didn’t measure this, but I think small spaces can change you only so much psychologically.
How do you know that the connection between power and large spaces isn’t just part of an American mind-set in which everything bigger is considered better?
We didn’t measure or test this effect across cultures, but size is so fundamentally related to power and powerlessness. This connection has been found in both animals and humans. However, a recently published study did find that certain poses, such as having your feet on a desk and your hands behind your head, don’t create a sense of power in East Asian cultures, because they’re inconsistent with East Asian norms of modesty and humility. In general the effect of expansive postures can be found across several cultures, but it will be attenuated for specific cultures.
What about other environments like rooms? How would this interview go if we were in a gigantic conference room with huge chairs?
Obviously, with a more expansive space, you feel you can spread out more, but I don’t know if bigger versus smaller rooms could actually lead to the things that the study found. You may feel very small and intimidated if only two of us are in a large conference room and all the chairs are very big. Then the size of the space might make you feel powerless.
If we can’t change how our posture adapts to our space, are we destined to be cheats and liars when we sit in big chairs?
I think it’s important to look at how ordinary, seemingly innocuous things in your life, like the spaces you sit in, can influence thoughts, feelings, and behavior. It’s also important to think about how to reduce corrupt behavior among the powerful. But we need to approach situations case by case.
In my study, we didn’t want the people in expansive poses to feel more comfortable than the people in contractive ones, so as I mentioned, we didn’t test what happens when space constraints are extreme. They might encourage cheating behavior, too. I wouldn’t take the findings literally and say that everyone should have a small desk. The psychology of power is intricate, and what reduces corrupt behavior among ordinary people might not work for powerful people.
How big is your desk?
My desk is about average—I don’t think I take up an expansive pose too often. I’m not usually in a contractive pose, but I do a little bit of both, depending on when I want to be expansive or when I want to be contractive.
by Andy Yap HBR

Grow Your Business - What Board Directors Really Do in Their Free Time

" I came across this article and thought it a good read for you"

Much has been written about boards and diversity, especially diversity that is readily perceptible: gender or race, for example. We ourselves have explored gender diversity, in our global surveys of corporate directors, in partnership with WomenCorporateDirectors and Heidrick & Struggles, and in scores of interviews with board members across the globe.
We were, however, keen to learn more about another type of diversity–one that has received little attention: the personal pursuits, hobbies and interests of board members. What do directors like to do outside of the boardroom? What captures their attention and imaginations? How do they choose to spend their avocational time?
Personal pursuits and interests such as cultural activities, community service, sports, fitness, and recreational travel tell us a lot about an individual–not least because time is often our scarcest resource and how we choose to spend it conveys much about who we are–and help us to draw a more complete picture of a person. Thus, like gender or race, personal interests are an important measure of identity and, therefore, another element of diversity that can be examined in its expression across board members and its role in board composition and the group dynamics of boards.
Who’s Doing What
So what personal pursuits and interests are directors engaging in outside of the boardroom?
We analyzed responses from directors across four regions (see our methodology section below) and found remarkable similarities in their top personal interests. “Sports and fitness” and “arts, culture and design” were among the top three of each region.  One notable difference amongst the regions: “philanthropy and community service” made only one Top Three list—in Asia.

When we broke out the results by gender within each region we found some marked differences between women and men directors—but were struck that most of the differences between genders were consistent across regions. For instance, across all four regions a greater percentage of women than men named “arts, culture and design”; “reading and writing”; “food, wine and cooking”; and “nature” as interests whereas a greater percentage of men than women named “sports and fitness” as an interest.
Another observation that especially intrigued us: the percentage of directors in each region who named “family and friends” as an outside interest. This finding made us wonder if the work-life balance had become so complicated for many that spending time with family and friends had come to be regarded as an interest. And we also found some notable gender differences: In Asia, for example, 11% of men named “family and friends” as an interest whereas no women did.

Cohesion and Gender
When looking at similarities and differences in interests, there is another critical factor to consider: their effects on group dynamics. Throughout our research on boards, directors have repeatedly emphasized that being in sync with their fellow board members is a key to establishing good board dynamics and strive to become cohesive. And we know that a key factor that facilitates group cohesiveness is similarity between members.
But similarity can cut both ways. Many, including us, have looked at long-standing disparities in board composition by gender or race and their continued perpetuation by board members pursuing new members who are like themselves (e.g., from the same social, alumni, professional, regional networks). Also, another important factor to consider: the tendency of members of cohesive groups to converge—that is, to become more alike—over time.
While, overall, we saw alignment in interests across the globe, gender differences persisted in a way that was especially striking. The differences between women and men directors were consistent regardless of region. We find this to be remarkable in light of the fact that each region encompasses different cultures, languages and customs.
Thus, our data does seem to suggest that convergence may be occurring amongst board members, but with an unexpected twist. Is it possible that the convergence is happening along gender lines, that is, women directors are becoming more like their fellow women directors and men directors more like their male cohorts? Future research needs to shed more light on this question.
These findings raise pressing questions for further exploration. Specifically, how and why do these differences between women and men persist, affect group cohesion and, thereby, board dynamics? And more broadly, how do diverse personal interests play out in a board’s group dynamics, selection choices and ultimate composition. We think such a better understanding will help us to differentiate and delineate when alike is a constructive force for boards and when it is a limiting and excluding one.
We surveyed more than 1,000 board members in 59 countries. (U.S. boards made up 37% of the sample while 62% of boards represented were from outside of the U.S.) We analyzed the data along several dimensions including geography. Specifically, we did a geographical breakout by eight major world regions: Asia; Africa; Australia and New Zealand; Eastern Europe & Russia; Latin America; the Middle East; North America; and Western Europe (due to low sample size or domination by one or few countries in a region we have excluded four regions, Africa, Eastern Europe & Russia, Latin America, and the Middle East, from these findings).
These findings are the result of qualitative analysis of participants’ text-based, write-in answers to the question: “What are your outside interests?”
by Boris Groysberg and Deborah Bell  HBR

Spies and Politics Cloaks off

" The American government spy allegation will hunt them for some time, A lot of trust has been broken between allies"

Foreign alarm about American spying is mounting. But the sound and fury do not always match up

AT FIRST coolly dismissive, now shaken and divided, the Obama administration is still grappling for the right response to the diplomatic and domestic political fallout from revelations by the media allies of Edward Snowden, a fugitive former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor.
On October 29th, realising that the political mood in Washington was, in the words of one security official, “turning ugly”, the NSA’s boss, General Keith Alexander, and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, came out slugging. Giving evidence to a congressional committee, both men vigorously denied that the agency had “gone rogue”. In particular, they strongly rejected charges that the NSA had collected data on tens of millions of phone calls in France, Spain and Italy without the knowledge of their governments. They claimed the data had been handed over by those countries’ spooks. Neither Mr Snowden nor the journalists interpreting his material had understood it. The implication was that the European leaders who had joined in the chorus of popular protests about Mr Snowden’s disclosures were either hypocritical or ignorant.
The two men were on shakier ground when it came to defending spying on the leaders of allied or friendly countries. An unapologetic Mr Clapper argued that deciphering “foreign leadership intentions” was “a basic tenet” of the intelligence operations of almost any government. He denied that the NSA undertook such activities without political approval. That is debatable. Unquestionably, the biggest embarrassment for the administration emanating from the Snowden leaks has been allegations (apparently accurate) about the tapping of one of Angela Merkel’s mobile phones—news that surfaced on the eve of a European Union summit towards the end of last week. Barack Obama, it seems, knew nothing about it.
The stormy reaction not just in Germany, but across much of Europe, to the bugging of the German chancellor by the NSA from the time she became opposition leader over a decade ago has clearly rattled the White House. Mrs Merkel, a notably steadfast ally of America, phoned Mr Obama to complain about the “breach of trust” and to suggest the need for new ground rules for data gathering between America and Europe. Later she said that “spying among friends is not at all acceptable. We need to have trust in our allies and partners, and this trust must now be established once again.”
The White House first took the unusual step of issuing a statement saying that Mrs Merkel’s phone is not and will not be monitored (albeit without commenting on whether it used to be). A few days later, Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, was briefed that Mr Obama was considering ordering the NSA to cease eavesdropping on the leaders of America’s allies. This would be among other changes likely to be announced next month, following an internal review which has found that the NSA was actively monitoring the communications of some 35 world leaders, confirming allegations published in the Guardian newspaper. The UN says America has promised to stop spying on its communications.
Ms Feinstein, previously a doughty defender of America’s spooks, declared: “I do not believe the United States should be collecting the phone calls or e-mails of friendly presidents and prime ministers.” She added that her committee would be conducting its own “major review into all intelligence-collection programmes”.
Noises off
The disclosures about Mrs Merkel’s phone were not the first of their kind. In September Glenn Greenwald, Mr Snowden’s main journalistic conduit, told Brazil’s TV Globo that he had a 24-slide PowerPoint presentation which showed how the NSA had intercepted the e-mails and text messages of Brazilian and Mexican leaders. The NSA, he said, had been snooping on Enrique Peña Nieto well before he became president last year and had also been tracking the e-mails, texts and phone calls of Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff. It emerged later that Mexico’s previous president, Felipe Calderón, had also been bugged. Only too aware that America is its biggest trading partner, Mexico’s official response has been almost more one of sorrow than of anger. Though its foreign minister, Antonio Meade, decried “an abuse of trust between partners”, he has stopped short of an open breach with Washington.
Not so Ms Rousseff. Unimpressed by Mr Obama’s response to her demand for a full explanation, she cancelled a state visit scheduled for this month. It would have been the first since 1995 and an opportunity to rebuild a relationship that had frayed under her predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Brazilians, already incensed to learn that the NSA had been monitoring their internet traffic for years, applauded. Ms Rousseff’s popularity, on the slide since huge street protests in June, has recovered, in good time for next year’s election.
But in some countries, at least, the furore is misleading. Until the revelations about her own phone being tapped, Mrs Merkel had tried to play down what the German press had called America’s “spy attack”. She may not be even all that shocked now, but believe she must at least appear to be. The bugged mobile phone seems to be an elderly Nokia that she used mainly for party business. For government business, she has a pricey encrypted phone. Its maker, Secusmart, avers that even the NSA would take 149 billion years to crack the code (though NSA hackers might see that as a nice challenge). If she was using the Nokia for anything important, a security expert says, “she has a lot more than the NSA to be worried about”.
The row may help Mrs Merkel’s argument that Germany should have more access to the intelligence material gathered and shared by the Anglophone countries (America, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) under the so called “Five Eyes” agreement. But most Germans are genuinely outraged by the idea that their government’s wireless communications are being monitored from the roof of the American embassy barely a stone’s throw from the Brandenburg Gate.
In France it has met with a Gallic shrug. President François Holland also called Mr Obama to express his “profound disapproval” of the snooping on Mrs Merkel and to say that he wanted to join her in talks with the Americans over the nature and scale of intelligence-gathering. However, the French are cynical about the stuff their governments get up to and few of them will be surprised to hear that the country’s external-intelligence agency, the DGSE, has collaborated with the NSA in gathering “metadata” on the phone calls (such as their direction and duration), e-mails and web-browsing of French citizens.
A stream of former security officials has already appeared on the airwaves or in print to claim that there is nothing to be surprised at. Bernard Squarcini, formerly France’s counter-intelligence chief, told Le Figaro that he was “amazed by such disconcerting naïveté. You would almost think our politicians don’t bother to read the reports they get from the intelligence services.” He added: “All countries, even when they co-operate on counter-terrorism, spy on their allies.” Nearly two-thirds of respondents in a recent poll agreed.
Where will things go from here? Europeans may want new rules drawn up with the Americans, but they will not press their case too hard for fear of undermining intelligence co-operation that they depend on. Germany may be offered a special deal because it, unlike France, does not have a record of conducting direct offensive operations against America.
Home-grown constraints on America’s spying are another question. Two complementary bipartisan bills aimed at reducing the “trust deficit” created by the Snowden revelations and placing limits on the bulk collection of American citizens’ metadata were introduced to Congress this week.
The White House and Senate Intelligence Committee reviews may be a greater jolt to the NSA’s activities. It is unlikely that America’s spy agencies will be told to stop all eavesdropping on friendly foreign leaders—the definition of who or what is a friend is hard to fix (spying on Mrs Merkel may be hard to fathom, less so her predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, whose links with Vladimir Putin were a source of real concern). But rather than relying on general guidelines, as in the past, they may need political approval each time.

The Economist

Be a Money Management Expert

Becoming a money management expert will be helpful if you are considering a debt-free life. Money management skills are simple to learn and can help you to organise your finances more efficiently.

Learning money management skills
Money management is simply a way of using different financial methods to handle income and expenditure efficiently. Using simple tools such a financial budget, including a spending diary to see exactly where money is going, is one of the first steps. Looking at income and expenditure to see exactly where money is going and what can be cut back on should be a priority. One of the most important factors is to set a monthly budget and stick to it. This can be difficult in the beginning but can soon become second nature once the savings become apparent.

Cutting back on wasted financial outgoings
People who rely heavily on credit cards when purchasing items are simply wasting money on interest fees. Credit tools should be reviewed to see exactly how much is being paid annually in interest. There are some credit products that are unavoidable such as mortgages. But people who spend on credit cards every day when shopping for small items are simply throwing money into the lender’s pockets. Interest fees can take a large chunk out of an annual salary and debit cards and cash are the best ways to eliminate this expense.

Organise debt repayments
People who are paid a monthly salary should take the step of organising all debt repayments to leave bank accounts on the same day. The repayment date should be as close to the salary paid into the bank date as possible. This will limit the chances of spending on the salary before repayments are made to creditors. This method limits the chance of missing debt repayments and incurring late and missed penalty fees. Anyone who incurs late penalty fees every month is wasting hundreds of pounds in charges every year.

Financially live beneath your means
Living beneath your means does not have to mean living like a monk; it simply means becoming financially responsible. Living beneath your means instead of spending excessively will eliminate the need to borrow or use credit. It only takes a few months of responsible spending to provide results and have a healthier bank balance. This could mean cutting down on nights out, clothes shopping and unnecessary impulse purchases. Again, if this is adhered to, it should become second nature once the increased bank balance incentive kicks in.

Look at ways to pay off debts quickly
Most debts will take time to pay and will come with interest charges. It is important to prioritise interest applicable debts in order of importance. To clear debts efficiently, start paying debts that come with higher amounts of interest first. This means paying extra to clear high interest debts or finding ways to limit the interest amounts. Transferring debts to zero per cent interest credit cards with long introductory interest free periods is a viable solution to repaying debts without interest.

Ways to implement money management skills
There are plenty of ways to put money management skills into practice. These can include:
Ignoring easy credit payment options when making daily purchases. Economising in the home and looking for the best deals with services such as fuel bills.

Paying certain bills on time can actually bring discounts from providers.

Recognise that some purchases are simply unnecessary.
Stick to monthly budgets for a few months without fail to see how much money is actually saved.

Make a budget before shopping and stick to it to avoid impulse purchases.

Never incur missed or late payments charges on loans, credit cards and overdrafts.

Unfortunately, money management skills are not generally taught in schools. Many people learn these skills throughout their life; often only after debts have become unmanageable.

KEPCO takes over Egbin termal power plant

" Its 1st of November and as promised the FGN have started handing over the power stations to the various investors, good times ahead"

The Federal Government has handed over the Egbin Thermal Power Plant in Lagos to the core investor, KEPCO.

The plant, with an installed capacity of about 1,200 megawatts, was handed to KEPCO on Friday (Today) at a ceremony in the Egbin area of Ikorodu.

The thermal plant is arguably the country’s highest generating power station.

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