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Details, “I have been trying to Love you as a man but I just realized I do love you like a brother.” These are things that mentally violets a man’s ego, kills his emotional strength and seriously metrosexual. In an African setting that would make things even more complicated than they purported to be. Back in the days of King Solomon and his times it was a normal thing for a man to be polygamous. King Solomon Himself has a remarkable record that I envy.
What does it mean when you personally tell someone special, “I love you”? What does passionately loving someone entail? What is intimate love? These days it’s hard to be a man. Some even go to an extend of hanging themselves. Walking out of your own story by food poisoning yourself. In some places people kill their families and eventually kill themselves in the process of burring the evidence or avoiding prosecution. My Friend puts it in very simple but complicated terms when he says, “Love is easy.” How easy or hard that is depends on your heart.
On the other hand what goes into your mind when the person you think you love intimately wakes up one day and he/she tells you that she loves you like a brother. That all the effort you have been making is irrelevant but only translated as brotherly love. Ouch! That hurts. What would you do about it? Turn around and give a deaf ear? Do you hate each other as an aftermath or do run away n never come back. Did I hear you say you move on? But how easy is that when you know you love someone?
Do we just love or do we fall in love? How can we love without feeling jealous? Jesus must really have a had a big heart in his life as a man.
Hold a true friend with both hands.African proverb
Bad friends will prevent you from having good friends.Gabon proverb
SAN FRANCISCO/DUBLIN (Reuters) – Apple has operated almost tax-free in Ireland since 1980, welcomed by a government keen to bring jobs to what was then one of Europe‘s poorest countries, former company executives and Irish officials have said. Chief Executive Tim Cook faced criticism from a Senate subcommittee in Washington on Tuesday over the iPad and iPhone maker’s tax practices, which had been shrouded from full view behind secretive tax-exempt Irish-based corporate entities.
Apple, one of Ireland‘s top multinational employers, denied avoiding billions of dollars in U.S. taxes and said its arrangements helped fund research jobs in the United States. The committee revealed that Apple‘s Irish companies, some of which are not tax resident in any jurisdiction, allowed the group to pay no tax on much of its overseas earnings in recent years. Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the subcommittee, said Apple had sought “the Holy Grail of tax avoidance”. A former company executive and Irish officials told Reuters the almost tax-free status dates all the way back to Apple‘s arrival in County Cork 32 years ago.
Apple must have seemed attractive to Ireland and to Cork. Amid a generally moribund Irish economy, Cork had been hard hit by the closure of its shipyards and a Ford car plant, and in 1986 nearly one in four were out of work in the city. In the early days, Apple‘s staff sat down to meals together. Now the company employs 4,000 in Ireland.
“There were tax concessions for us to go there,” said Del Yocam, who was Vice President of manufacturing at Apple in the early 1980s. “It was a big concession.” In fact, the deal was about as good as a company can get. “We had a tax holiday for the first 10 years in Ireland. We paid no taxes to the Irish government,” one former finance executive, who asked not to be named, said. Apple wasn’t an exception, although it was among the last to enjoy such favorable treatment. From 1956 to 1980, Ireland attracted foreign companies by offering a zero rate of tax, according to the Irish government‘s website. Eligible companies arriving in 1980 were given holidays until 1990.
“Any multinational attracted into Ireland that was focusing on the export market paid zero percent corporation tax,” said Barry O’Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland, which is charged with attracting investment into Ireland. Apple said it pays all the tax due in every country where it operates. It declined to comment on the tax treatment it received in the 1980s. As part of Ireland‘s accession to the European Economic Community, precursor to the European Union, in 1973, it was forced to stop offering tax holidays to exporters. From 1981, companies arriving in Ireland had to pay tax, albeit at a low 10 percent rate, providing they qualified for manufacturing status.
Apple‘s investment was a major coup for Ireland. At the time, the country was struggling with high and rising unemployment, double-digit inflation and a brain drain of the young and educated through emigration. “We were the first technology company to establish a manufacturing operation in Ireland,” recalled John Sculley, Apple‘s CEO from 1983 to 1993. He said government subsidies had also played a role in deciding to set up a base in Ireland. Ireland also offered low wage rates – a big attraction when it came to hiring hundreds of people for the relatively low-skilled work of assembling electronic equipment.
Apple told the subcommittee it could not answer questions about why it chose Ireland as a base since it had lost the paperwork from the period. The operation in Cork built the company’s Apple II computer and would later build disc drives, ‘Mac’ computers and others. These would be sold in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. But having a tax holiday in Ireland would not, in itself, have allowed Apple to operate tax free in these markets. Equipment assembly is not the kind of activity that economists or tax authorities usually credit with generating a large share of a technology company’s profits.
More value has been associated with generating the intellectual property behind the technology – which Apple did in the United States – and with the selling of goods, which was to be done on the ground in France, Britain and India. But none of these countries offered the tax advantages Ireland did. The key to minimizing Apple‘s tax bill was maximizing the amount of profit that could be ascribed to Apple‘s Irish operations.
This task fell to Mike Rashkin, Apple‘s first tax director, two executives from the period said. One called him “the father of it all”. Rashkin arrived at Apple in 1980, from computer pioneer Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) in Massachusetts, where he had learnt about tax-efficient corporate structuring in tech companies. Apple had already decided to establish its base in Ireland when Rashkin moved to Silicon Valley, but he used his experience at DEC to set up a tax structure that took advantage of Apple‘s base in the country, the executives said. Rashkin declined to comment. The Senate subcommittee’s report reveals how the arrangement was structured. In 1980, Apple entered into a deal with its Irish operation, whereby the latter would share the cost of funding Apple‘s research and development. In return, the Irish unit would be able to enjoy rights to Apple‘s intellectual property for goods sold outside the Americas.
Apple secured the blessing of the U.S. tax authority, the Internal Revenue Service, for the deal, one executive said. The IRS gave Apple an advance pricing agreement, or APA, an agreement which establishes how the IRS will treat a transaction between affiliates for tax purposes, before it is entered into. Many countries’ tax authorities offer APAs, and companies say they are necessary to facilitate international trade and investment. Tax campaigners say tax authorities have been too ready to accept the pricing proposed by companies which apply for APAs. The New York Times reported last year that Apple‘s low taxes were at least in part due to the confidential technology transfer arrangement. The terms of the deal and subsequent cost-sharing deals were favorable for Apple‘s Irish unit. In effect, the Irish unit paid much less to its U.S. parent for the use of Apple intellectual property than it made from selling that property on to affiliates.
“Apple‘s cost sharing agreement (CSA) with its offshore affiliates in Ireland is primarily a conduit for shifting billions of dollars in income from the United States to a low tax jurisdiction,” the subcommittee’s report said. Meanwhile, Apple also constructed a system whereby the affiliates which were actually selling the finished equipment would earn minimal profits. The techniques Apple used over the years included selling goods to affiliates at prices which generated little profit at the retail level, or by paying sales affiliates commissions which are just about enough to cover their operating costs. Rashkin’s work and Ireland‘s accommodating approach had the desired result for Apple.
“We’re very, very pleased,” Apple‘s then-President A.C. ‘Mike’ Markulla said in 1981. “The Irish have really lived up to their promises.” Indeed, the accounts for Apple‘s main Irish unit, then known as Apple Computer Inc. Ltd, for 1989, the earliest year for which detailed accounts were filed, show exactly how effective the arrangement was. The subsidiary paid $500,000 in income tax on profits of $317 million, a rate of 0.2 percent.
END OF THE HOLIDAY
In 1990, Apple‘s tax holiday came to an end, and in that year, the Irish operation’s tax rate hit 4 percent, accounts from the period show. At the same time, Apple‘s Irish manufacturing activities came under question as the company looked to cut costs by outsourcing. In 1992, the company announced plans to cut hundreds of jobs after deciding to shift some work to Singapore, which at this time was attracting increasing investment by offering tax holidays. “They nearly left Ireland altogether,” O’Leary said. By this stage, the European Community had banned tax holidays of the kind given to Apple, so the company and Dublin negotiated an arrangement which had a similar outcome but fell within European rules.
The precise details of the arrangement were not disclosed, but Phillip Bullock, Apple‘s head of tax operations, indicated that it was linked to minimizing taxable profit. “Since the early 1990s, the Government of Ireland has calculated Apple‘s taxable income in such a way as to produce an effective rate in the low single digits,” he told the subcommittee. The deal didn’t stop Apple from shifting manufacturing work to Asia, but in the years that followed new jobs were created in Cork, in sales and administrative support for the European operation, the accounts of the Irish units show. Some manufacturing remains in Ireland, the subcommittee said.
An Irish government spokesman declined to even confirm it held discussions with Apple regarding tax, citing rules on taxpayer confidentiality. From 1996 Ireland phased in a 12.5 percent tax on all corporate trading income, although foreign companies often pay effective rates lower than this by shifting money into tax havens such as Bermuda. Apple‘s Cook told the Senate panel on Tuesday that Apple does not hold money on a Caribbean island or divert profits from sales to U.S. customers to other jurisdictions to avoid U.S. taxes.
Show me a sign or just point me towards the direct line,
Because through you I know I’ll shine & together we shall dine.
A celebration of what you’ve made mine for with you through the entire struggle I believe I can.
Courage, will power and strength to face my challenges like King David,
Live long, healthy & happy like Old Methuselah,
In everything that I set my hands upon may it be a golden touch of King Midas,
Innovative, creative and persistent like Ancient China,
Open my eyes so I can see the beauty beyond the horizon.
Season after season of oblivion be filled with abundant optimistic reasons.
Reasons to hold on despite challenges for we filled with passion,
Reasons to push on despite draw-backs for you know my green zones,
Reasons to look up to you despite earthly pleasures comforting with a shoulder to lean on.
I might not be a huge human being but deep within me am a giant warrior, strongly built to fight your battles in a modern unique way.
May the knowledge, encouragement, wisdom and information you share through me be a word of Hope to many like and unlike me.
May your presence and resourceful nature be felt through I your servant across the whole universe.
May your creative, inspirational and innovative experience be far spread to the tips of my little but humble hands and fingers Oh God and let the world feel and enjoy your touch.
May my name, to which you granted, be a reminder to my fellow man that you truly exist and are ever present.
May all the actions I do symbolize your blessings not only as the Hero but the Legend who lives in and through me.
SO HELP ME GOD.
‘Malaika Fest’ Set to become a Kenyan Brand?
The residents of Rong’e Juu Location and Taita Taveta County in general
are bracing themselves for a major ‘Mwazindika dance’ and a heartfelt
rendition of Fadhili William ballads come Saturday, May 25th, 2013 to
mark the late music icon’s 12th Anniversary since his demise.
Fadhili William, to whom the Kenyan ‘Malaika Festival’ is a tribute, is
the acclaimed author-composer of the World-famous song ‘Malaika’ whose
original composition the late South African songstress Miriam Makeba
erroneously and, unfortunately, attributed to a Tanzanian. Other
Artistes, like Benin’s Angelique Kidjo, also, have unwittingly repeated
Makeba’s original ‘sin’. Starting with ‘Ukifika Taita’-arguably Fadhili’s
most evergreen Kiswahili song in praise of Taita Hills and their lush
pastures that is gradually becoming one of the Festival’s signature tunes
besides ‘Malaika’, the fete promises to deliver aesthetic, sound and
culinary tastes that have so far characterized the growing Malaika
In February 2011, although curious revelers at the Grand event were
initially at pains to comprehend the real meaning of the unfolding
cultural event being held in Rong’e Juu, Taita Taveta County after a
seven-year hiatus since its last performance in Nairobi City, the sheer
sound of ‘Malaika’ the song and the unmistakable voice of the late
Fadhili William, served to re-kindle old memories of the departed
songster who caused ripples in Kenya, East Africa and beyond from the late
50s to the mid-seventies. But, the presence of ‘banana chapatis’, Kimanga,
Kipunde, Mkango, the local Taita brew ‘M’bangara’ and ‘Mwasina’ and, the
eminent ‘Mwazindika’ Drums and ‘Kishawi’ dances all went a long way to
convince the patrons of the sustained blend of Fadhili William’s legacy
and faltering Taita cultural practices which serve as a reminder not
only of Fadhili William’s rich music legacy but, also, of his deep
Strangely though, at first, some local Christians had thought of
‘Malaika Fest’ as a form of the long-forgotten ”ancestor worship’
among the Taita, before they could safely conclude that the event was no
more than a pure celebration of the life and music times of their own
departed son, whose remains they wished they had interred in his Rong’e
ancestral home, instead of far away in Nairobi’s Cosmopolitan Kariokor
Fadhili William had grown up and settled in the Eastland’s side of
Nairobi, before moving to the United States of America in 1983, where he
was to remain for thirteen years.In his younger days, the late Fadhili
composed lyrics and sang in his Taita language, besides Kiswahili and
English. ‘Niko Kireti’, ‘Ngamba Niagesha Wasi’, and ‘Munilaguye Saru’ for
instance, are some of his Taita songs whose rendition caused even aging
nostalgic female fans to gyrate and sweat out at the height of the last
event which is gradually gaining local acceptance and, fanatics. Last
year’s event attracted a huge crowd, both young and old, with host School
Mwanyambo Secondary School students leading the way through their
scintillating drama, songs and dancing styles performed in their
multi-colored School uniforms. To cap it all, even aspiring politicians,
including Taita Taveta Governor aspirant Engineer John Mtuta Mruttu,
Women Representatives Joyce Wanjala Lay and Anna Nyambu, got pulled
away from another social event held nearby, to throbbing Malaika Festival
sounds and Mwazindika Drums.
In the unfolding ‘branding’ of Malaika Festival, Kenyan style, whose
Fadhili William image is, singularly, its most conspicuous mark besides
the red, cream and pink colors associated with the late musician, the
sounds, traditional foods, dances and surrounding scenic beauty of the
Taita Hills closely resembling the Swiss Alps, all combine to create
what is fast becoming the Kenyan ‘Malaika Fest’ brand promise with all
“It is not complete without first slaughtering a Bull for us to feast
on!”, says an old Fadhili William fan during the climax of last year’s
festivity. Although he alone openly voiced his concern, this apparently,
was the general feeling of most fans of the celebratory occasion. “This
will be in keeping with the old customs of remembering our departed
souls!”, added Mzee Silvano Nyambu, a retired police officer from Rong’e
Juu who also plays the Mwazindika Drums as a pastime. But, will this too,
become a future expectation?
As a pointer of better things to come, the Organising Team of the
forthcoming Third edition of the County Festival has given notice, through
the aptly-framed theme of ‘Promoting Peace & National Cohesion through
Music”, of the full Kenyan brand potential comprised in appealing
patriotic songs like ‘Kenya Nchi Yangu’ and ”Harambe Harambe’ in which
Fadhili contributed both lyrics and guitar works, and dances by various
groups from across the cosmopolitan Taita Taveta County representing “the
face of Kenya”, spiced, of course, by the everlasting ‘Malaika’ song,
if the Festival Team’s appeal to local Corporate sponsors including
Kenya Commercial Bank, Silent Guest Resort and Wildlife Works, bears more
Needless to say, however, guarantees of peace and security, besides the
availability of traditional Taita foods, drinks, and Mwazindika Drums
and Taveta Uruasi dances and foods, as well as, possibly, other Kenyan
sounds, will be uppermost as “givens” or “cravings in the minds of
tourists, both foreign and local expected at the Fete, which was
initially held in Nairobi but subsequently “devolved” to Taita Taveta
County three years ago where it is set to be anchored in more fertile
ground. Ironically, although the event’s devolution to Taita Taveta
County was aimed at boosting the County’s potentially rich cultural
profile, it may very well, fortuitously, become a ‘Kenyan Brand’ whose
popular ‘malaika.co.ke’ website domain already reflects its future trend.
Voi City, Saturday, January 12, 2013
The early rumors on this year’s iPhone have been pretty dull.
For the most part, all we’ve heard is that Apple is working on an iPhone 5S which will be just like the iPhone 5, except with a bump in performance.
It will be the same pattern we’ve seen from Apple. The iPhone 3G led to the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 4 was the predecessor to the iPhone 4S. And this year, the iPhone 5S will follow the iPhone 5.
The new HTC One…
The unhealthy smog that settled over Beijing earlier this year, capturing international media attention, is not the only visible sign of China’s rapid economic growth and the resulting environmental hazards. Countless rivers and lakes have also been contaminated by nearby factories, and sometimes, dumping by local residents.
If you Love Bugatti like I do you can like and share this…