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Amazon’s Brag And Awe Press Release Strategy

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Essar Steel vs RBI: How a press release became centre of controversy

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Ahmedabad/Mumbai: An innocuous sentence in a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) press release is at the centre of a challenge filed by Essar Steel Ltd against the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings by its lenders.

If the Gujarat high court’s observations over the past week are any indication, then a lot rides on the contents of this 13 June press release that set in motion the new bankruptcy laws.

On Friday, RBI’s lawyer admitted it had no additional documents to submit before the court to support the decision-making process that went into the press release. It was prepared from an internal meeting, an RBI lawyer said, prompting justice S.G. Shah, who is hearing the case, to say his order will be based on this.

Even before that, the press release was at the centre of controversy.

What exactly did it say? The focus of the plaintiff as well as the high court is one specific line: “Such cases (bankruptcy proceedings) will be accorded priority by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).”

While Essar Steel’s petition objected to the RBI directive on several counts such as calling it arbitrary and the clubbing of the company with 11 other defaulters, its lawyers also brought to attention this particular phrase which seemed to suggest that the central bank was encroaching on the domain of the NCLT.

The Gujarat high court was quick to seize on this, and said as much in its 4 July order: “Initially, it would be appropriate to call upon the respondents to explain what they mean.”

Legal experts say the court has a point in questioning RBI’s directive to the NCLT.

“RBI is a statutory authority to make rules and give directions to the intermediaries under it. In exercise of the powers given to it under the ordinance, RBI issued directions to banks to refer these cases to NCLT. RBI directive can be questioned to the extent of directing NCLT to accord priority to these cases as the two—NCLT and RBI—come under a different acts and RBI does not exercise power on NCLT,” said Sitesh Mukherjee, partner, Trilegal.

Subsequently, on 7 July, RBI’s lawyers conceded that it had erred in including the directive in the press release and added that it would issue a corrigendum withdrawing the line. A day later, RBI redacted that line from its press release.

RBI didn’t reply to an email seeking comment.

Whether the Gujarat HC gives its nod to this flip-flop by RBI is unclear, but it showed up the central bank for its shortage of legal capacity.

“RBI suffers from low capacity in legal drafting (referring to RBI press release directing NCLT to accord priority to these cases),” said Pratik Datta, a researcher at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi. “Most of the time, press releases by RBI and FAQs (frequently asked questions) by Sebi (the Securities and Exchange Board of India) are being used by the market as legal documents; however, legally, they do not hold sanctity. This was also highlighted by the FSLRC (Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission) in its reports that there needs to be only two types of legal papers from regulators—that is, regulations and emergency regulations. However, this is not being followed.”

However, it is likely, now that RBI has redacted its statement, the focus of the Essar case will turn to other aspects of the petition such as the criteria for selecting the 12 delinquent accounts.

“The second issue is more serious. RBI’s press release does not explain why the non-performing status of the accounts as on 31 March 2016 was considered for classifying the accounts in June 2017,” said Datta. “If RBI’s lawyers can provide the court with a clear rationale for choosing that particular date, the court may dismiss Essar’s challenge.”

Justice Shah is expected to pass an order on Monday.

Press Release: Three Arrested for Drugs, Gun &Ammo

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Source: winnfm.com


July 15th 2017




Three Arrested for Drugs, Gun Ammo


A Search of a Potters home on Friday by the police resulted in three people being arrested for Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Firearm and Ammunition.

Colene Jacobs and her son Kareem Jacobs, along with their friend Alston Rodney all of Potters, are currently in police custody assisting the police with their investigations after a loaded .38 revolver and eight matching rounds of ammunition along with 32.2 grams of Cannabis were found on their property. Large sums of $EC and $US currencies, as well as Euros and British Pounds were also found in their possession. The items were seized and taken to Police Headquarters.

It was just in February of this year, that these same three people appeared before the Court charged with a number of drug related offences. The police at the time executed a warrant on their home and found large quantities of Crack-Cocaine, Cannabis and Ecstasy. Kareem took the rap and was convicted and fined $40,000, of which only $3,000 has paid so far. The operation was conducted by officers attached to the Narcotics Department and K-9 Unit. All three are expected to be charged and taken before the Court early next week.




Press Release: Falmouth Man Found with Drugs & Ammo

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Source: winnfm.com

Police carried out a search on the home of a Falmouth man on Friday and found him in possession of ammunition and drugs.

Lester Parker is currently in police custody assisting the police with their investigations after he was found with three 9mm Luger rounds of ammunition and a quantity of Cannabis. Officers attached to Liberta Police Station and the K-9 Unit were part of the operation, when the items were found inside his bedroom.

He was taken into custody, and the items were seized and taken to the police station.

Parker is currently on bail for a number of offences he committed in February of this year.

He was intercepted by officers attached to Liberta Police Station during a routine ‘Stop amp; Search’ exercise, and was found in possession of large sums of $EC and $US currencies and Cannabis.

He was then charged with Possession of Criminal Property, Possession of Drugs and driving without a valid license.

He is expected to be charged for the current offences and taken before the Court next week.

Press Release: The Conference Board Leading Economic Index(R) (LEI) for Mexico Increased

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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index(R) (LEI) for Mexico Increased

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PR Newswire

NEW YORK, July 14, 2017

NEW YORK, July 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Conference Board Leading Economic Index(R) (LEI) for Mexico increased 0.6 percent in May 2017 to 103.0 (2010=100).

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index(R) (CEI) for Mexico also increased 0.2 percent in May 2017 to 123.4 (2010=100).

The composite economic indexes are the key elements in an analytic system designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. The leading and coincident economic indexes are essentially composite averages of several individual leading or coincident indicators. They are constructed to summarize and reveal common turning point patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner than any individual component — primarily because they smooth out some of the volatility of individual components.

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The updated data tables can be found here.

The 2017 data release schedule is available here.

For more information about The Conference Board global business cycle indicators, click here.


The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. Winner of the Consensus Economics 2016 Forecast Accuracy Award (U.S.), The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-conference-board-leading-economic-index-lei-for-mexico-increased-300488522.html

SOURCE The Conference Board

/CONTACT: Carol Courter (212) 339-0232 / courter@conference-board.org; Jonathan Liu (212) 339-0257 / jonathan.liu@conference-board.org

/Web site: http://www.conference-board.org

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 14, 2017 11:15 ET (15:15 GMT)

Press Release: Over 90Lbs of Drugs Seized at the Airport

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Over 90 pounds of Cannabis was seized at V.C. Bird International Airport Thursday night, by members of the Narcotics Department and Customs K-9 Unit. The officers were on duty at the airport conducting one of their routine checks, when the dog indicated on two cardboard boxes, coming out of Jamaica on Caribbean Airlines Flight #459.

Both boxes were searched and twenty six packages of Cannabis wrapped in saran plastic were found inside. The packages weighed a total of 91 ½ pounds with an estimated street value of $366,000. The substance was seized and taken to Police Headquarters pending further investigations. No arrest has yet been made.


The world’s worst press release and the disgrace of the fear industry

Posted by on 8:18 am in Press Release | 0 comments

The world’s worst press release landed in my inbox the other day.

Competition is stiff for that title but this release, which came with the subject line, “Lifesaving information for Chicago citizens,” ran away with the crown.

After a cheery, “Hi Mary,” it began:

“We are only a little over a halfway through with 2017 and Chicago’s violence shows no signs of stopping.”

Halfway through 2017, violence remains stubbornly high in Chicago

While a new police initiative in Chicago’s two historically most crime-plagued districts shows early promise, violence remains stubbornly high as the city marks the often turbulent July Fourth weekend.

At the year’s midpoint, 323 people have died in Chicago violence — one more homicide than a year…

While a new police initiative in Chicago’s two historically most crime-plagued districts shows early promise, violence remains stubbornly high as the city marks the often turbulent July Fourth weekend.

At the year’s midpoint, 323 people have died in Chicago violence — one more homicide than a year…

(Jeremy Gorner)

As I read, I could hear the sirens, bombs and helicopters of her imaginary dystopian Chicago — the PR agency is in Arizona — and wondered if she’d graduated from the Donald Trump School of Public Relations.

Chicago violence: Why the dramatic increases in shootings, homicides?

A look at factors driving Chicago violence as the city sees dramatic increases in shooting victims and homicides. (Jemal R. Brinson / Chicago Tribune)

A look at factors driving Chicago violence as the city sees dramatic increases in shooting victims and homicides. (Jemal R. Brinson / Chicago Tribune)

See more videos

I’m not going to name the self-defense company she was promoting. If I did, the world’s worst press release would have succeeded in getting publicity for its product. Suffice it to say that the company is headquartered in L.A. Its website describes it as the “industry leader in reality based self-defense, fitness, and fighting.”

There’s an industry involved, that’s for sure, but it’s not just the self-defense industry. It’s the fear industry.

Fear is a hot commodity.

Ask Donald Trump. He sold it to the American voters. He’s a titan of the industry, and fearmongering about Chicago is one of his specialties.

The fear industry exists to make us vote a certain way, click on certain stories, buy stuff. In the name of protection, it stokes our fears beyond reason.

A colleague with a teenage daughter recently received a press release that’s a strong runner-up for the title “world’s worst.”

It came with the subject line “This May be The Most Important Thing You Buy for Your College-Bound Daughter,” and warned “With the continual rise of date-rape drugs, empower your daughters with this simple product for her peace of mind (and yours)!”

The product was a “drink system” — the fancy term for container — that lets a young woman take her own drink to the party or bar, thereby thwarting the scoundrel who’d like to slip her a date-rape drug.

In a jaunty tone hardly fitting for the subject of rape — most press releases are jaunty, regardless of topic — it promised that the drink system’s “strong seal prevents spilling, leaking and squirting while the straw helps keep teeth clean and lipstick in place.”

My colleague, who worries about her daughter in the ways any mother would, was appalled that the company was trying to capitalize on her fears for her daughter’s safety “to get me to buy a product that I really don’t want or need.”

The world is full of danger, more for some people than others, but for most people in most realms it’s safer than it used to be.

The titans of the fear industry and their PR agents don’t want us to think that way. They’ve got products to sell, and they’re happy to use real problems to sell fake solutions.

I dream of the day that I get an email with the subject line “Lifesaving information for Chicago citizens” and it’s for a real solution to Chicago’s troubles. It will be the world’s best press release.


Twitter @MarySchmich

NOAA erases ‘human activity’ from news release on soaring greenhouse gases

Posted by on 8:18 am in Press Release | 0 comments

“It’s a complicated topic that can be difficult to communicate,” the Trump administration claims.

The lead image from NOAA’s 2016 news release on its Annual Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Index shows where GHGs come from.

In a truly shocking news release on its Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has erased any reference to “human activity” or fossil fuels. The index monitors the warming influence of greenhouse gases like CO2.

Last year, NOAA’s news release for the index featured the picture of flaring gas from fossil fuel extraction (see top image). The release began by stating, “human activity has increased the direct warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere by 50 percent above pre-industrial levels during the past 25 years, according to NOAA’s 10th annual Greenhouse Gas Index.”

This year, the news release begins, “NOAA’s Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, which tracks the warming influence of long-lived greenhouse gases, has increased by 40 percent from 1990 to 2016 — with most of that attributable to rising carbon dioxide levels, according to NOAA climate scientists.”

Rather than explaining that human activity is the cause, the agency’s release instead goes on to state that “the role of greenhouse gases on influencing global temperatures is well understood by scientists, but it’s a complicated topic that can be difficult to communicate.”

What? Are NOAA officials in the Trump administration implying that the human role in greenhouse gas emissions is somehow too complicated to explain to the public?

Perhaps that’s why NOAA swapped out last year’s lead photo of flaring fossil fuels for the least complicated — and least informative — image imaginable (see below).

This is a stock photo of “nighttime urban image.”

It is certainly complicated and difficult to communicate how human activity — especially the burning of fossil fuels — drives warming if the president and most of his appointees deny basic climate science.

Last year’s release, however, shows how easy it is to explain what’s going on. Jim Butler, director of NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division, explained that “we’re dialing up Earth’s thermostat in a way that will lock more heat into the ocean and atmosphere for thousands of years.”

In this year’s release, Butler’s quote is far less informative: “the greenhouse gas index is based on atmospheric data, so it’s telling us what is happening to Earth’s climate right now.”

Well, the index may be telling us what’s happening to Earth’s climate right now, but NOAA certainly isn’t. And NOAA has company: In May, the Department of the Interior deleted a line explaining how climate change drives sea level rise from its news release on a study about coastal flooding, claiming “it didn’t add anything to the original findings.”

In regard to the Trump administration failing to mention the connection between human activity and greenhouse gas emissions, the New York Times reported that “Theo Stein, a NOAA spokesman, acknowledged in an email that phrasing about humans causing greenhouse gas emissions did not make it into the announcement but noted a second news release that was published on the website of the agency’s office of oceanic and atmospheric research that lists ‘climate change indicators.’”

So the whole humans-cause-GHG-emissions thing didn’t make it into the nine-sentence news release NOAA links to from its front page. But the agency spokesman wants you to feel better because somewhere on their website is a release over twice as long… that also does not mention how humans cause climate change.

Seriously. The second NOAA release Stein refers to has the exact same opening paragraphs as the first, but adds some “climate change indicators” —for instance, “all 16 years of the 21st century rank among the 17 warmest years on record” — again without explaining the cause.

It’s just too complicated and difficult to communicate, I guess.

PRESS RELEASE: Flow customers transcend with Endless Everything Summer

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Ayisha Job topped up $15 and won $300 from Flow! #Transcend #EndlessEverythingSummer.

With the keenly-anticipated Transcend event happening on Tuesday night at the Pigeon Island National Landmark, Flow customers were in winning mode once again on Monday afternoon.

During a brief ceremony at the Baywalk Mall, the Caribbean’s leading telecommunications service provider presented the latest winners in the Endless Everything Summer promotional campaign with cash, sunglasses, and tickets to Transcend.

Among the latest cash winners were Ruby Thomas, Philip Joseph, Thomas Samuel, Ayisha Job, and Perpetua Edwardson, each of whom won $300.00 simply by topping up their prepaid Flow phones with at least $15.00.

Ruby Thomas added a data plan of 1GB on Saint Lucia’s fastest network and became a winner! #Transcend #EndlessEverythingSummer.

Batimus George won fashionable designer sunglasses from Family Eye Care, whilst soca star Sedale Simei presented Gillett Mathurin and Asnia St. Marie with tickets to the premier neon beach event for Saint Lucia Carnival 2017.

Sedale Simei headlines a show that includes some of Saint Lucia’s top soca and kuduro performers. #Transcend #DeeperThanSoca #EndlessEverythingSummer.

“It’s going to be an amazing show,” said Seadale. “I just heard we’re going to have Teddyson John on, along with me, Ezra, some of the top entertainers from Dennery, we have DJ Stephen on board. I’m just so excited to be part of the Flow family, and to be part of the Endless Everything Summer, and I want to encourage people to top up, save, share, and win on Saint Lucia’s best network.”

Dozens of winners have been named already in the Flow Endless Everything Summer promotion.

Customers can become winners just by adding credit to their Flow mobile phones, topping up $15 or more; buying any data plan or combo plan of 1GB or more; signing up for any Flow service; or upgrading any Flow service.


What’s Behind Amazon’s Latest Boastful Press Release?

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Amazon's Echo devices were hot sellers on Prime Day.

Amazon is known for giving few concrete details and lots of questionably useful facts in its press releases, so investors have to weed through the noise if they want to understand the impact of the company’s most recent Prime Day, an annual promotional event that wrapped up on Tuesday.

The company said that this year’s Prime Day generated more sales than either Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but for Amazon, the event is more about boosting customer loyalty than it is about selling lots of batteries and cookware. And the company gave a number of indications that it’s working on engaging customers more.

For one, Amazon said that the Echo Dot, its miniature Alexa-enabled device, was the best selling product in any category on Prime Day. Amazon lowered the price considerably on the device, offering it for $34.99 instead of $49.99, but it was likely a small price to pay to hook more people on the Amazon ecosystem.

Amazon, with its Echo family, already has a huge lead on Alphabet and its Google Home voice-controlled speaker, and the Dot buying spree further extends that. Amazon also gave customers a discount if they ordered an item using Alexa, getting people in the habit of buying items in new ways.

Of course, Prime Day is also about picking up more Prime members, and the company said that it picked up more subscriptions on this day than on any other. While statements like this without actual numbers to back them up aren’t terribly useful, Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson thinks it’s a good sign that Amazon tends to make this claim two or three times a year, since it implies “compounding” interest in Prime.

“Driving more Prime adoption and pushing consumers to have an Alexa enabled device will, over time, increase order volume and train users to become comfortable with voice ordering, a pre-cursor to becoming comfortable with automated consumption,” he wrote.

Big Picture: Amazon boosted its Prime subscribers and sold more Echo devices on Prime Day, drawing even more customers into its ecosystem.