Liberia’s first entertainment complex opens with added value

first_imgTruly a story of Destiny in the making! Introducing Liberia’s first upscale entertainment complex that is packaged for the entire family unlike anything you have seen in Liberia. The Destiny Entertainment Complex is opening just in time for the holiday celebrations for all Liberians to enjoy. What makes it even more special is that it is 100% Liberian owned with the investment being made singlehandedly with no local bank loan whatsoever showing the owner’s commitment and trust in Liberia at this present time as most Liberians are packing their bags or going slow owing to the upcoming presidential and general elections coming up in 2017. According to Marie Morgan-Luyken, who is the proprietress and owner of this establishment, Destiny is to make a difference with something special to offer for all and will be unique to our diverse community. The Complex has over 50 working staff and is adding more, making them a serious investment brand in Liberia.Destiny Entertainment Complex is located on the Capitol bye-pass by the old Health Ministry, now the Ministry of Gender, and is situated on over 2 acres of land. The Complex can be value at over US$2 million in investment capital with more value being added as the management wishes to get international status and a brand that transcends beyond the borders of Liberia, as the venue will be used as a platform for the showcasing of Liberian arts and craft as well as talents from all walks of life.“Destiny offers a comprehensive entertainment facility for the entire family while featuring a broad spectrum of community events designed to build and strengthen the Liberian economy and communities while promoting the arts. Destiny will provide Liberians an outlet for daily entertainment in addition to featured events that will promote growth in individuals and communities. The facilities include: 10 movie theaters, with two having SD features; a pool hall, bingo gaming; 3 restaurants and food court; private suites; outdoor café; night club and lounge with an ice cream parlor, plus more. The Complex is ideal for live concerts with a space that can take up to 2,000 plus persons, and is unique for weddings, parties, etc.Destiny will play host to a series of activities on a daily basis with activities that shall include educational and entertaining films and documentaries; dance classes for children and adults; group fitness classes; painting workshops; outdoor festivals and gigs; and with added events like fashion shows, talent shows, bodybuilding contests, poetry nights, comedy nights, date nights, ladies nights with top DJ’s and entertainers as special guests, local and international. The grand opening kicks off on Friday, October 28, with a VIP event including the general public, and will continue up until Sunday, with a carnival for the entire family. The roll out continues on a daily basis.Concluding, Madam Luyken said that her love for Liberia while growing up is the reason she has returned to help to add value by building an institution that will be family friendly as this is the whole purpose of Destiny Entertainment Complex. She looks forward to Liberian and foreign resident patronage as she can assure all of a high level of customer service coupled with an atmosphere that will be safe and conducive for all.So, the red carpet are being rolled out, the cameras are on ready to flash, and it is time to check out Liberia’s First Entertainment Complex….Destiny Entertainment Complex.Grand Opening EventFriday 28: Club Night – DJ TK Lamour & Gangsta DJ: Happy Hour 9pm-11pmSaturday 29: Club Night: DJ TK Lamour & Gangsta DJ- Ladies free until 11pmSunday 30: Day Carnival – Bring the whole family for music, matineemovie and food special Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Letterkenny Parkrun celebrates 75th event

first_imgToday marked the 75th Letterkenny Parkrun event, with music, balloons, and refreshments.Tea and coffee were served with compliments by Mac’s Mac, High Road, on a very pleasant day at the park. The 75th event was opened by Mayor Jimmy Kavanagh.John Melvin was the first home, followed closely by Cian Friel. The first woman to cross the finish line this morning was Aoife Mc Elwaine.Every Saturday morning at 9:30am, walkers, joggers, fun runners, and elite runners alike come together to take part in this free 5k.The emphasis is on having fun and enjoying yourself – why not join in next week? Letterkenny Parkrun celebrates 75th event was last modified: July 8th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:letterkenny parkrunpicture speciallast_img read more

11th Circuit Discusses Routine Governmental Action Prong Of The FCPAs Facilitation Payments

first_imgFebruary 2013 post highlighted the criminal appeal of Jean Rene Duperval, the alleged “foreign official” at the center of the various Haiti Teleco enforcement actions, including U.S. v. Esquenazi, the recent 11th Circuit decision concerning the “foreign official” element.In connection with the Haiti Teleco cases, Duperval was found guilty by a jury on various money laundering charges. As highlighted in the prior post, Duperval appealed his conviction to the 11th Circuit and among the issues appealed were:whether the evidence was “insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Haiti Teleco was a government instrumentality and that Duperval was a foreign official as required to prove that a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act generated proceeds of a specified unlawful activity – a necessary predicate for the convictions on the money laundering conspiracy and substantive money laundering charges.”various due process challenges concerning the declaration of the Haitian Prime Minister; andwhether the “trial court erred in not charging the jury in accordance with Duperval’s proffered theory of defense instruction” as to whether the FCPA’s facilitation payments exception applied.Earlier this week, the 11th Circuit issues this opinion.  The opinion begins as follows.“This appeal of criminal convictions involving money laundering and foreign bribery presents issues of exposure of jurors to publicity; the sufficiency of the evidence that a telephone company was an “instrumentality” of a foreign government, 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-2(h)(2)(A); whether the administration of a multimillion dollar contract is “routine governmental action,” id. § 78dd-2(h)(4)(A); whether the government interfered with a witness when it obtained a clarifying declaration from that witness; and four issues about the application of the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Jean Rene Duperval appeals both his convictions of two counts of conspiring to commit money laundering, 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h), and 19 counts of concealment of money laundering, id. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i), and his sentence of imprisonment of 108 months followed by three years of supervised release. Duperval worked as the Director of International Affairs at Telecommunications D’Haiti, a company owned by the government of Haiti. Duperval participated in two schemes in which international companies gave him bribes in exchange for favors from Teleco. Duperval’s arguments fail. We affirm.”As relevant to “foreign official,” the 11th Circuit’s discussion of this issue in Duperval mirrors the 11th Circuit’s conclusion in U.S. v. Esquenazi.  In short, in Duperval the court stated: “[i]n Esquenazi and this appeal, the government introduced almost identical evidence about Teleco. […] As in Esquenazi, the jury could have reasonably found that Teleco was an instrumentality of Haiti.”As relevant to the “routine government action” portion of the facilitation payments exception, the 11th Circuit stated:“Duperval admitted that he received money from Cinergy and Terra, but he asserted that the money was for doing a good job in the administration of the contracts. Duperval’s counsel requested a jury instruction based on an exception to the Act for routine governmental action, id. § 78dd-2(b), but the district court denied this request.”[…]“Duperval argues that the district court erred when it refused his proffered jury instruction. Duperval requested that the district court instruct the jury on the exception to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for routine governmental action, 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-2(b). Duperval argues that he was entitled to an instruction on this defense because he introduced evidence that he was paid only for administering the contracts within their terms. But we conclude that the district court did not err when it refused Duperval’s instruction.A defendant has the right to have the jury instructed on a theory of defense only if “the proposed instruction presents a valid defense and [if] there has been some evidence adduced at trial relevant to that defense.” United States v. Ruiz, 59 F.3d 1151, 1154 (11th Cir. 1995). When we review the refusal to give an instruction for abuse of discretion, we ask whether “the requested instruction is correct, not adequately covered by the charge given, and involves a point so important that failure to give the instruction seriously impaired the party’s ability to present an effective case.” Svete, 556 F.3d at 1161 (internal quotation marks omitted). But we need not engage in this inquiry if the defendant failed to introduce evidence relevant to the jury instruction.The Act allows “any facilitating or expediting payment to a foreign official . . . the purpose of which is to expedite or to secure the performance of a routine governmental action.” 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-2(b). Routine governmental action includes actions such as “obtaining permits . . . to do business[;] . . . processing governmental papers, such as visas and work orders; providing police protection, mail pick-up and delivery, or scheduling inspections[; and] . . . providing phone service, power and water supply, loading and unloading cargo, or protecting perishable products.” Id. § 78dd-2(h)(4)(A). Other actions are routine governmental action only if they are “actions of a similar nature” to those listed in the statute. Id. § 78dd-2(h)(4)(A)(v). But routine governmental action “does not include . . . any action taken by a foreign official involved in the decision-making process to encourage a decision to award new business to or continue business with a particular party.” Id. § 78dd-2(h)(4)(B).Duperval argues that he performed a routine governmental action when he administered the contracts, but he misunderstands this exception to the Act. As the Fifth Circuit explained, “[a] brief review of the types of routine governmental actions enumerated by Congress shows how limited Congress wanted to make the . . . exception[].” United States v. Kay, 359 F.3d 738, 750 (5th Cir. 2004). These actions are “largely non-discretionary, ministerial activities performed by mid- or low-level foreign functionaries,” id. at 751, and the payments allowed under this exception are “grease payments” to expedite the receipt of routine services, id. at 747. The administration of a multi-million dollar telecommunication contract is not an “action[] of a similar nature” to the actions enumerated in the Act. 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-2(h)(4)(A)(v). Duperval was not a low-level employee who provided a routine service; he was a high ranking official who administered international contracts. And, when Terra and Cinergy paid Duperval, their “grease payment” was not to expedite the receipt of a routine service. Duperval was not “providing phone service” as the Act uses that term, id. § 78dd-2(h)(4)(A)(iv). “[P]hone service” appears along with “providing . . . power and water supply, loading and unloading cargo, or protecting perishable products.” Id. The text of the statute refers to the government providing a service to a person or business, not to the government administering contracts with companies that provide telephone service.Duperval’s interpretation also is in tension with the section of the Act that describes what is not routine governmental action, id. § 78dd-2(h)(4)(B). A party cannot pay a decision-maker to continue a contract with the government, id., but under Duperval’s interpretation, a party could circumvent this limitation by “rewarding” the decision-maker for doing a good job in administering the current contract. This interpretation, which would provide an end-run around the provisions of the Act, finds no support in the text of the Act. Duperval presented evidence that he administered multi-million dollar contracts. He failed to prove that he performed a routine governmental action. Without any evidence to support his defense, Duperval was not entitled to his requested jury instruction.”The 11th Circuit’s conclusion as to “routine governmental action,” was hardly surprising given the facts at issue in Duperval and Duperval’s argument.Nevertheless, the 11th Circuit’s discussion of facilitation payments in Duperval is believed to be the first time an appellate court has squarely  addressed this prong of the FCPA (as the Fifth Circuit’s discussion of facilitation payments in Kay was dicta).last_img read more