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          Covering international development: Interview with the Faces2Hearts bloggers by EuropeAid      Cache   Translate Page      

If you are passionate about travel blogging and international development, you might have heard of the Faces2Hearts project of EuropeAid, the EU's International Cooperation and Development department, operating within the European Commission. Four young photographers and bloggers - Ellie Tomassi from Italy, Jean Luc Habimana from Rwanda, Lauren Kana Chan from China and Japan, and Ariel Contreras from the Dominican Republic were chosen this year by the European Commission to travel for five months in Africa, Latin America and Asia to report on EU-funded development projects in those areas, through blog posts, videos and social media.

- Global Affairs
          Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton Expand Company’s Partnership With Clean the World       Cache   Translate Page      

In honor of National Handwashing Awareness Week, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton announced a partnership with Clean the World, the world's largest organization to recycle hotel soap and bath amenities. Furthering Hilton’s 2030 target to send zero soap to landfill, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton commit to supporting Clean the World by providing recycled hygiene products to save the lives of those in need. 

As part of the global partnership that begins in 2019, more than 670 Hilton Garden Inn and 2,230 Hampton by Hilton properties in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic will recycle discarded soap and bathroom amenity bottles to be converted into new bars of soap and hygiene kits. By recycling these products, Clean the World provides soap to those in need, ultimately preventing diseases within communities and reducing mortality rates around the world.

The partnership between Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton with Clean the World is an extension of the pre-existing partnership between the global nonprofit organization and Hilton. In October 2016, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton announced an industry-first standard that has added over 1,000 hotels to the Clean the World program, diverting more than 397,000 pounds of waste from landfills into recycled materials. Hilton’s partnership with Clean the World has already helped distribute over 7.1 million bars of recycled soap to people across 127 countries. With this new commitment, Hilton will more than double the number of hotels it has in the program. 

“We have witnessed the powerful global impact Hilton’s partnership with Clean the World has made and how it continues to serve those most in need and inspires a sustainable future,” said Bill Duncan, global head of Hilton’s All Suites and Focused Service brands. “We’re proud of the work that has been done thus far and look forward to deepening our commitment to providing at-risk communities with access to soap while simultaneously reducing waste across the globe.” 

Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton’s alliance with Clean the World is part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility initiative. The partnership supports Hilton’s goal to send zero soap to landfills by 2030 and cut the company’s environmental footprint in half through responsible hospitality. 

Clean the World’s mission to protect the environment and save millions of lives by leading a global hygiene revolution began in 2009 and since then, the organization has distributed recycled soap and other hygienic products to families in need, contributing to a 35 percent reduction in the death rate of children under the age of five dying due to hygiene-related illnesses. The soap is made from discarded bars donated by hotels around the world, then crushed, sanitized and cut into new soap.  Clean the World’s foundation distributes these soap bars to individuals in need or adds them to hygiene kits along with shampoo, a toothbrush and a towel as part of its WASH (water, sanitization, and hygiene) education and emergency relief efforts. The recycled bath products go to underserved communities to ensure proper handwashing and hygiene is encouraged to eliminate the threat of numerous preventable diseases. Hilton has worked with Clean the World since its launch to help overcome this epidemic in various countries, as well as in times of natural disasters, and now will further support the organization through Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton.

“Hilton’s partnership with Clean the World has already made an impressive life-changing impact around the globe since we joined forces,” said Shawn Seipler, founder and CEO of Clean the World. “The very first hotel we collected soap from was Hampton Inn by Hilton Orlando-International Airport in 2009, and today, we are eager to keep the momentum going by extending our alliance among Hampton by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn brands. Together, we can work to eradicate diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the two top killers of children worldwide, in our lifetime.”  

In addition to its soap recycling program, Hilton leads many sustainability initiatives through Hilton's Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility strategy. For information on the company’s Travel with Purpose goals visit or

Read more about Hilton Garden Inn at and Hampton by Hilton at For more information on Clean the World visit  


About Hilton Garden Inn
The award-winning Hilton Garden Inn brand provides business and leisure guests upscale, affordable accommodations and unexpected amenities for an experience that is ‘Simply on Another Level.’ The Hilton Garden Inn Promise affirms the brand’s goal to make each guest’s stay better and brighter. Guaranteed. Team Members at more than 800 hotels in 41 countries around the world ensure today’s busy travelers have a bright and satisfying experience, starting with the first hello. As a recognized F&B leader, Hilton Garden Inn serves locally-sourced food and beverage at its full-service restaurants and bars, featuring cooked-to-order breakfast, handcrafted cocktails, and on-trend small plates. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. For more information about Hilton Garden Inn, visit or, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram

About Hampton by Hilton
As the number one ranked lodging franchise for the past nine years, according to Entrepreneur®, Hampton by Hilton, including Hampton Inn by Hilton and Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, serves value-conscious and quality-driven travelers at more than 2,410 properties and more than 247,000 rooms in 25 countries and territories. High-quality accommodations and amenities, such as complimentary WiFi, free hot breakfast, and On The RunTM breakfast bags, contribute to Hampton by Hilton ranking as a leader in its segment. Hampton by Hilton Team Members deliver friendly, authentic, caring and thoughtful service defined as Hamptonality, with guest happiness being the number one priority, backed by the 100% Hampton Guarantee®. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. For more information about Hampton by Hilton, visit or, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram

About Travel with Purpose
Travel with Purpose is Hilton’s corporate responsibility strategy to redefine and advance sustainable travel globally. By 2030, we plan to double our social impact and reduce our environmental footprint by half. We track, analyze and report our environmental and social impact at each of Hilton’s more than 5,500 hotels through LightStay, our award-winning performance measurement system. Travel with Purpose capitalizes on Hilton’s global scale to catalyze local economic growth; promote human rights; invest in people and local communities; and preserve our planet by reducing our impact on natural resources. Our strategy aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Visit to learn more.

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 15 world-class brands comprising more than 5,500 properties with nearly 895,000 rooms, in 109 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company, Hilton earned a spot on the 2018 world’s best workplaces list, and has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its nearly 100 year history. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program, Hilton Honors, nearly 82 million members who book directly with Hilton have access to instant benefits, including digital check-in with room selection, Digital Key, and Connected Room. Visit for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, TwitterLinkedInInstagram and YouTube

About Clean the World
Clean the World is a social enterprise dedicated to the mission of saving millions of lives around the world while simultaneously diverting hotel waste from landfills. Clean the World operates soap recycling centers in Orlando, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Netherlands, and Punta Cana and leads a "Global Hygiene Revolution" to distribute recycled soap and hygiene products from more than 5,000 hotel and resort partners. The organization benefits children and families in countries with a high pre-adolescent death rate due to acute respiratory infection (pneumonia) and diarrheal diseases (cholera) – which are two of the top killers of children under the age of five. Since 2009, Clean the World’s foundation has distributed more than 46 million bars of soap in 127 countries and has served over 10 million individuals through its soap distribution and WASH (water, sanitization, and hygiene) education programs. More information:

          Ten Reasons Why Providenciales Was Prince’s Secret Hideaway      Cache   Translate Page      

Recently the world discovered that Providenciales is home to a stunning Caribbean hideaway belonging to the late singer Prince. The mansion in Turks and Caicos is an oceanfront property, features 10 bedrooms and a purple driveway, and went on on sale for $12 million following the singer's death in 2016.

And now, two years later, Prince's Turks and Caicos estate is up for auction. Why did Prince and other celebrities choose Providenciales for their secret hideout? Let's take a look.



Prince's mansion has captured the world's imagination

Reason #1: Beautiful Beaches

The Sands - Grace Bay Beach

There is over 230 miles of beach, most of it softest white sands on Earth. Need we say more?

Grace Bay beach is frequently ranked the world's best beach, thanks to its soft sand, clear waters and incredible turquoise hues. Prince's mansion enjoys its own private stretch of shoreline, looking out over the azure sea.

Providenciales itself is also regularly named a top island destination in the world, mostly for its relative seclusion and pristine beauty.

Reason #2: We're off the Beaten Track

[caption id="attachment_2438" align="aligncenter" width="640"]south caicos South Caicos, by Murray Blacomb.[/caption]

We’re quite close to the mainland, yet still remain relatively undiscovered.

The Turks and Caicos Islands are located 575 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, just below the Bahamas chain and to the east of Cuba and the island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti). Although they're less than an hour by air from the mainland, Turks and Caicos are still located in a relatively quiet corner of the Caribbean -- perfect for celebrities who want to remain out of sight.

And there are many opportunities to stay off the beaten track. The Turks and Caicos Islands consist of 40 islands and cays, and each one offers a chance for a celebrity to enjoy a private Caribbean vacation.

Reason 3: We're Sublimely Beautiful

[caption id="attachment_2071" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Chalk Sound Chalk Sound. By Flickr user Tim Sackton. (CC BY-SA 2.0)[/caption]

From beautiful beaches to truly turquoise seascapes, Turks and Caicos is unbelievably beautiful. Why wouldn't Prince want to spend his vacation time here?

The natural beauty is not limited to Providenciales. From the majestic caves of North Caicos to isolated Dragon Cay on Middle Caicos, we're located in an exceptionally beautiful part of the world.

Reason 4: We're Close to the Mainland

[caption id="attachment_2074" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Provo Airport (PLS) By Flickr user Stefan Krasowski . (CC BY-SA 2.0)[/caption]

Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is also centrally-located, and it takes typically less than 15 minutes to travel to any resort on the island, or any private residence.

Celebrities, like anyone else, want to spend less time in traffic and more time enjoying their vacation and the beach.

Reason 5:

sands grace bay guest comments

While Grace Bay Beach may be the jewel in the Turks and Caicos crown, many other spectacular beaches await you here on the island of Providenciales.

The Turks and Caicos Islands themselves are the tips of banks (basically coral atolls) that rise nearly 3000 meters above the ocean floor.

The bank on which our islands sit is made from the remains of ancient corals and shelled creatures. The chalky limestone has gradually eroded over time to give us the beautiful powdery sand that has made Grace Bay Beach a favorite location for so many people around the world.

All this means there are many secluded white-sand beaches to be explored by celebrity and regular visitors alike. Learn more about Turks and Caicos beaches.

Drone Footage of Prince's Turks and Caicos Estate

Want to know more about Prince's mansion? Watch this great video that includes a ton of overhead footage shot by drone!


The post Ten Reasons Why Providenciales Was Prince’s Secret Hideaway appeared first on The Sands at Grace Bay.

          What Islands Are in the Caribbean?      Cache   Translate Page      

what islands are in the caribbean

What islands are in the Caribbean? And which island is best for planning your perfect vacation?

There are at least 700 islands, reefs and cays in the Caribbean, and every one of them promises adventure for travelers. Some offer all the comforts of home, while others are harder to reach and provide rewards for explorers.

To help you understand where everything is to plan your vacation, let's take a look at the geography of the Caribbean.

Map of the Caribbean

Lesser Antilles and Leeward Islands

When you start researching the Caribbean, you'll encounter two terms: "Lesser Antilles" and "Leeward Islands." These are major island chains in the region, and home to some of the most famous vacation destinations in the world.

But what exactly are they?

Leeward Islands

The Leeward Islands face the open Atlantic Ocean to the east, in the outer, southeast corner of the Caribbean.

The islands get their name from the time when sailing ships were the only form of transportation across the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and its Caribbean colonies. The Leeward Islands include Anguilla, St. Martin, Guadeloupe and other islands.

The Leeward Islands' counterparts are the Windward Islands to their southeast, including St. Lucia, Barbados and Trinidad.

In terms of where each island chain gets its name, in sailing terminology, "windward" means towards the source of the wind, while "leeward" is the opposite direction.

In the Caribbean, the prevailing winds, known as the trade winds, blow out of the southeast. Therefore, an island to the northwest, such as Puerto Rico, would typically be leeward of an island to the southeast, such as Antigua. As well, Antigua would typically be windward of Puerto Rico, but leeward of Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Lesser Antilles

While most people can easily name individual islands and nations that make up the Greater Antilles -- Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba -- the Lesser Antilles can be harder to identify.

The Lesser Antilles, a chain of volcanic islands stretching along the southeastern edge of the Caribbean, also includes the Leeward and Windward Islands. So, the Lesser Antilles includes popular vacation destinations such as the Barbados, Antigua and the US Virgin Islands.

What About Turks and Caicos?

The islands of the Turks and Caicos aren't technically located in the Caribbean at all. Instead, we're in the Atlantic Ocean, and are part of the Bahama Archipelago, to the north of Cuba and to the east of Florida.

The Turks and Caicos shares many characteristics with the Bahamas, the country and island chain to the northwest of us. We share blue seas, white sand beaches, and a similar culture.

Caicos Islands by Satellite

However, it's Providenciales here in Turks and Caicos that is regularly recognized as one of the top travel destinations in the world. And it's Grace Bay that is also regularly voted the world's best beach.

All together, the islands of the the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles and the Bahamas, including Turks and Caicos, make up the West Indies.

Popular Caribbean Island Destinations

The Caribbean and the West Indies are filled with tropical vacation destinations to suit every wallet and every taste. Generally speaking, your travel budget and accessibility -- how long it will take you to reach your destination -- are two of the biggest considerations when planning a Caribbean trip.

With those considerations in mind, here are several Caribbean destinations popular with people all over the world.

St. Martin

One of the Leeward Islands in the southeastern Caribbean, St. Martin is one island shared by two countries, France and the Netherlands. St. Martin is famous for its airport adjacent the beach, where jumbo jets fly low right over holidaymakers.

St. Martin is a beloved airport destination because of its direct flights from Europe and the United States, and its mix of French, Dutch and Caribbean culture. Unfortunately, the 2017 hurricane season left both the island and the airport significantly damaged.


While many travelers visit its neighbor, the Dominican Republic, Haiti is a mostly overlooked Caribbean destination. Although Haiti is quite poor, it has developed into a cruise ship destination with all-inclusive resorts. The history and culture of the country offers many opportunities for more adventurous tourists.

haiti tourism

While Haiti is quite beautiful, because of its location it also tends to experience more than its fair share of hurricanes from September to November. Travel between the airport and resorts can be challenging, so visitors should exercise caution.

St. Lucia

This isolated island hidden away in a remote corner of the Caribbean is a romantic paradise for lovers. Forested mountains tower above pristine beaches, and ultra-exclusive resorts hide among the trees.

st lucia pitons

St. Lucia is one of the more spectacular destinations in the Caribbean, but, even with direct flights from the United States it can be hard to reach -- plan on booking an entire day just on travel. The tree-top resorts are also generally aimed at luxury travelers with big budgets.

Turks and Caicos.. The Perfect Caribbean Destination?

Turks and Caicos, still largely undiscovered by mass tourism, is not only off the beaten track, but is also easy to reach from the mainland. It's about an hour by air from Fort Lauderdale to Providenciales (PLS), with direct flights to Turks and Caicos from other major airports including Atlanta, Boston and New York.

And, what's more, the beautiful award-winning beaches here on Providenciales have to be seen to be believed.

The average temperature ranges between 85 and 90 degrees (29-32 degrees Celsius) from June to October, and in an average year the Turks and Caicos has 350 days of sunshine.

The Sands at Grace Bay is located directly on beautiful Grace Bay, right on the beach. With our pool and spacious suites, we're a family favorite. We're just a short 15 minute drive from the airport, so you'll spend more of your time enjoying your vacation.

Every 4th Night Free

Between now and Dec 19, 2018, stay 3 nights at the Sands Resort and get the 4th night free. Learn more.

The post What Islands Are in the Caribbean? appeared first on The Sands at Grace Bay.

          What is the Best Season to Visit Turks and Caicos and Other Questions      Cache   Translate Page      

turks and caicos satellite view

turks and caicos satellite view

We get asked a lot of questions about Turks and Caicos. Here are some of the most common FAQs.

When is the best time of year to visit the Turks and Caicos?

This is a question we're asked at lot. The the weather is great at any time of the year. There is somewhat more more rain in April and May, as well as at the end of the year, but not enough to change vacation plans.

Peak hurricane season is in September and October. It’s hottest here in August and September, and it’s coolest in January and February. The week after New Years in January is traditionally a slow. It’s least crowded in September and October.

Where Are the Turks and Caicos?

The Turks and Caicos Islands is an archipelago of 40 cays and islets located about an hour by air from Miami, and about 3 hours by air from New York.

The Turks and Caicos sit atop the Caicos Bank. It’s a massive underwater seamount rising up from the deeps of the ocean floor. Just offshore to the north of the Caicos islands run barrier reefs. To the south lies the shallow waters of the Caicos Bank.

How Easy is It to Travel Here?

There are direct flights between Providenciales Airport (PLS) and many cities throughout North America and Canada, including New York, Atlanta, Miami, Toronto and Montreal.

For daily flight information, please consult the Turks and Caicos Airport Authority.

Besides offering flights to South Caicos and North Caicos, locally-based Caicos Express Airways also offers flights to BahamasCubaJamaicaCayman IslandsHispaniola (Dominican Republic & Haiti), and Eastern Caribbean.

Do You Need a Visa to Visit Turks and Caicos?

For tourist stays up to 30 days, U.S. citizens need a passport, naturalization certificate, or original certified birth certificate as well as photo identification, onward or return tickets, and sufficient funds for their stay.

Can I use my cellphone or my ATM card?

Cell phone: yes, but beware of roaming charges. Buy a prepaid SIM card from a local carrier on Providenciales, or just use Skype.

ATM card: most will work at Scotia Bank machines.

How Is Shopping On Turks and Caicos? What About Internet Service?

If you’re considering relocating to Turks and Caicos, be reassured: there’s reliable Internet on Providenciales offered by a variety of providers.

For shopping, many locals depend on IGA’s Graceway chain of supermarkets. Grace Bay, the main tourist area of Providenciales, features Graceway Gourmet, an upscale grocery store with fine, natural and organic foods.

What are Taxes Like in Turks and Caicos?

There is no income tax in Turks and Caicos.

There is a one-time stamp duty or land-transfer tax, payable to the Turks and Caicos Government when purchasing real estate, but that’s it.

Stamp duty ranges from 6.5-percent to 10-percent. This is a one-time land transfer tax, based on price and location of the property. There are no capital gains or estate taxes on real estate.

What’s healthcare like on Providenciales?

Health services provided at the center includes emergency care, dental, dialysis, internal medicine, surgical, orthopedic, obstetric and endoscopic procedures, physiotherapy and diagnostic imaging.

Day to day healthcare and emergency services are handled by private clinics. There is also a hospital, Cheshire Hall Medical Centre, which many of the services that one would find in the USA or Canada.

If you are not a resident of the Turks and Caicos and do not have an employer, you must sign up for private medical insurance before coming to the island.

What is food like in Turks and Caicos?

If you travel to the Turks and Caicos today you’ll be able to choose from almost every cuisine on earth.

This is because, as the islands have become more popular as a tourist destination, people have been attracted from all over the world to live and work here.

The island of Providenciales in particular offers everything from sushi and high-end fusion cuisine to Indian and Chinese food.

Traditional dishes include conch and hominy, cod fish cakes and corn bread. Steamed conch, stewed conch, and stewed fish and grits.

Crab and rice, which features the blue crab common to the islands, is also a local comfort food.

Got Questions about Turks and Caicos?

If you have any questions about Turks and Caicos, leave us a comment below! We will be happy to give you an answer.

The post What is the Best Season to Visit Turks and Caicos and Other Questions appeared first on The Sands at Grace Bay.

          New Records on FamilySearch from November 2018      Cache   Translate Page      
The following announcement was written by FamilySearch: FamilySearch expanded its free online archives in November 2018 with almost 90 million new indexed family history records and almost 300,000 digital images from around the world. New historical records were added from Benin, Chile, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, England, Germany, Honduras, Ireland, Lesotho, Liberia, Nicaragua, Peru, […]
          How We Found Donald Trump Jr.’s Secret Investment in a Fundraiser’s Business      Cache   Translate Page      

Donald Trump Jr. and Gentry Beach, a Dallas-based investor and college friend of Trump Jr., have done business together before, despite past claims by both men that their relationship is strictly personal.

But a new story by ProPublica reveals that Trump became a shareholder last year in Beach’s hydroponic lettuce company, while Beach was seeking government support for his other business interests. Emails obtained by ProPublica via the Freedom of Information Act show that since President Donald Trump’s election, Beach sought backing for energy projects in the Dominican Republic and India. Officials say he never officially applied for government financing.

Here’s how ProPublica uncovered a paper trail revealing Trump Jr.’s investment in the vertical hydroponic lettuce farm now selling packaged greens in Walmarts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Trump Organization Employee Forms MSMDF Agriculture LLC (September 2017)

On Sept. 13, 2017, eight months after Donald Trump entered the White House, a Trump Organization employee formed a new company in Delaware called MSMDF Agriculture LLC. The public filing provided no other information about the entity, who controlled it or what it was to be used for.

Gentry Beach Seeks Federal Support for his Global Business Interests (October 2017)

At the same time that Beach served as co-chairman of the hydroponic lettuce growing company, emails obtained by ProPublica show, he sought government funds for his other business interests from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. OPIC is a federal agency that offers loans and guarantees to American companies looking to expand into emerging markets. In one email from October 2017, Beach emailed OPIC head Ray Washburne about his infrastructure and energy projects in the Dominican Republic, writing that the storm-damaged country “could really use some US investment and support.” An OPIC spokeswoman says that Beach hasn’t submitted a formal application for funding and that the agency carefully vets its applicants.

Trump Jr. Listed as President of MSMDF in New York City Filing (December 2017)

Pursuant to its contracts with the city of New York to run an ice skating rink in Central Park and a golf course in the Bronx, the Trump Organization is required to file annual disclosure reports listing entities it controls as well as those for which its executives serve as principals or officers. In December 2017, the company listed Trump Jr. as the president, secretary and treasurer of MSMDF Agriculture LLC in its disclosure report. In a statement, Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s top lawyer, said MSMDF is “wholly owned and controlled” by Trump Jr., and isn’t affiliated with the Trump Organization.

Eden Green Announced Millions Raised From Investors (June 2018)

The company announced in June that it had raised millions. Just weeks later, its affiliate Eden Green Holdings UK Ltd. disclosed to British regulators that it had issued hundreds of thousands of shares to roughly two dozen investors. Among them? MSMDF Agriculture LLC, which has 7,500 shares.

This document for the first time linked the Delaware-incorporated entity with the indoor lettuce farming business run by campaign fundraiser Beach. That summer the company publicly announced it had raised $22 million from its private investors without naming them. But one of the investors, an entity called Cox-Eden, L.P., used by a wealthy oil and gas family in Midland, Texas, said in court papers filed months later that it had supplied Eden Green with $20 million of the $22 million raised.

Beach is listed as one of the seven principals of Eden Green, according to court filings, along with Grady “Trey” Thomas III, Eric Schick, Jaco Booyens, and brothers Eugene and Jacques van Buuren and Gerhard Ehlers. Beach is named co-chairman of Eden Green, according to the company’s website.

A list of staff on Eden Green's website, including Beach, the co-chairman.

Eden Green’s Biggest Investor Claims Mismanagement, Settles Case (October - November 2018)

On Oct. 30, 2018, Eden Green’s biggest investor filed a lawsuit in Dallas County Court, alleging that company officials had blown through more than $19 million in just nine months. The lawsuit also claimed company executives paid themselves salaries as high as $300,000 and had put the company “on the precipice of failure.” But less than a month after the court papers were filed, the parties reached a settlement for undisclosed terms. A spokesman for Eden Green disputed the claims of exorbitant compensation and said the company has plenty of cash.

Check out the full documents used for this story.

Do you have information about post-election Trump family business ventures? Reach Jake Pearson at or by phone at 917-512-0276.

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Trump Inc at ProPublica
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          Trump Jr. Invested in a Hydroponic Lettuce Company Whose Chair Was Seeking Trump Administration Funds — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast Extra      Cache   Translate Page      

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, took a stake last year in a startup whose co-chairman is a major Trump campaign fundraiser who has sought financial support from the federal government for his other business interests, according to records obtained by ProPublica.

The fundraiser, Texas money manager Gentry Beach, and Trump Jr. attended college together, are godfather to one of each other’s sons and have collaborated on investments — and on the Trump presidential campaign. Since Trump’s election, Beach has attempted to obtain federal assistance for projects in Asia, the Caribbean and South America, and he has met or corresponded with top officials in the National Security Council, Interior Department and Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Beach and others at the startup, Eden Green Technology, have touted their connections to the first family to impress partners, suppliers and others, according to five current and former business associates. Richard Venn, an early backer of Eden Green, recalls the company’s founder mentioning “interest from the Trump family.” Another associate said Beach bragged about his ties to the Trumps in a business meeting.

The investment is one of just a handful of known business ventures pursued by Trump Jr. since his father moved into the White House almost two years ago. In addition to being a top campaign surrogate and public booster, Trump Jr. serves as an executive vice president of his father’s company and one of just two trustees of the trust holding the president’s assets.

Listen to the Episode

Ethics experts have consistently criticized these arrangements, arguing that they invite those seeking to influence the government to do so by attempting to enrich the president or his family members with favorable business opportunities.

Trump Jr. invested in the startup, a company that grows organic lettuce in a hydroponic greenhouse, last year, records show. Those records don’t state how much money — if any — Trump paid for his 7,500 shares. But the shares would have been worth about $650,000 at the end of last year, based on a formula used by another shareholder in a recent court filing. Neither Trump Jr. nor the company have disclosed his investment publicly. Trump Jr. obtained the stake through a limited liability company called MSMDF Agriculture LLC, which was set up by a Trump Organization employee last fall.

The key ethical question, said Virginia Canter, chief ethics lawyer at the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is whether Beach’s involvement with Eden Green, and Trump Jr.’s investment in it, are based on the business merits — or on the possibility of cashing in on connections to power. “Why is Trump Jr. being given this opportunity?” she asked. “It definitely has the appearance of trying to gain access by any means to curry favor with the administration.”

The willingness of Eden Green to invoke the Trump name in its business dealings raises further ethical concerns, experts said, particularly if potential customers understand that they are giving contracts to a startup whose success could enrich the president’s son.

Neither Trump Jr. nor his spokesman responded to messages seeking comment on his relationship with Beach and investment in Eden Green. A White House spokeswoman didn’t respond to emailed questions. Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s top lawyer, said in a statement that Trump Jr.’s investment is a personal one. The entity through which it was made “is not owned or controlled by, or affiliated in any way with, The Trump Organization,” Garten said.

Last fall, Eden Green concluded a deal with Walmart. Today, the giant retailer sells the company’s lettuce, kale and other greens at about 100 stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. (Eden Green’s sole facility is a 44,023-square-foot greenhouse outside Fort Worth, where it grows the greens in 18-foot vertical tubes.)

Walmart interacts with government regulators on an array of matters — everything from labor practices and land use to securities filings — but there is no indication that Walmart is aware of Trump Jr.’s connection to Eden Green. (Separately, Walmart contributed $150,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee. Beach was a finance vice chair of that committee, but a Beach spokesman says he has never met with Walmart executives.)

Molly Blakeman, a Walmart spokeswoman, declined to comment on Eden Green or its investors. “We don’t talk about our relationships with our suppliers,” said Blakeman, who added that Walmart has “supported inaugural activities” in the past.

Andrew Kolvet, a spokesman for Beach and the other Eden Green executives, said it’s “categorically false” that the Trump name was invoked by Eden Green officials. Kolvet cited a corporate policy that forbids discussing investors “with any current or potential client.” He also said Trump Jr. isn’t involved with company operations and bought into Eden Green during “U.S. friends and family fundraising efforts.”

A recent lawsuit asserts that Eden Green is in financial trouble. In October, the company’s largest shareholder, an entity controlled by a wealthy oil and gas family from Midland, Texas, filed suit in state court in Dallas, alleging “gross project mismanagement.” The suit accused Beach and six executives, all of them board members, of paying themselves extravagant salaries (allegedly $250,000 to $300,000 per year) and putting the company “on the precipice of failure.” A financial consultant hired to examine the company’s books asserted that Eden Green executives spent more than $19.4 million in the first nine months of 2018 — a daunting sum for a company that reported having raised a total of $22 million as of June — while generating $9,000 in revenues.

In late November, less than a month after the suit was filed, it was settled on confidential terms. Kolvet disputed the compensation figures asserted in the litigation, saying that the company’s pay is “in accordance with industry standards.” He maintained that Eden Green’s prospects are good. As with many startups, he said, “things don’t go in a straight line.” Kolvet asserted that the company has plenty of operating cash.

Trump Jr., now 40, and Beach, now 43, met at the University of Pennsylvania two decades ago. Both are the sons of wealthy businessmen, one in real estate, one in oil and gas. Beach’s father has since been laid low: Last month he was sentenced to four months in federal detention, plus two years of supervised release, for bankruptcy fraud.

Beach was a groomsman at Trump Jr.’s wedding (Trump Jr. and his wife recently separated). Beach and Trump Jr. like to hunt and once considered buying a hunting preserve in Mexico together. According to a 2010 deposition testimony by Trump Jr., they talked business during lunches at Rothmann’s steakhouse in New York.

Both have struggled in business at times. In 2009, Trump Jr. and others (including one person who pleaded guilty to an unrelated criminal fraud charge in 2010) formed a company that would sell concrete panels for home constructions out of a warehouse in North Charleston, South Carolina. The business quickly became mired in lawsuits seeking payment for unpaid bills. Trump Jr. made the situation more precarious by personally guaranteeing a $3.7 million loan for the project. Days before the note was due, the Trump Organization purchased the debt, eventually taking over the warehouse and selling it all back to Trump Jr.’s original business partner, according to press accounts.

For his part, Beach’s career path has also included some travails. He spent a year or so at Enron and then moved into finance. Beach worked for a hedge fund and remains locked in litigation with it more than a decade later. (He claims he wasn’t paid his full compensation; the fund claims he was “responsible for the destruction of millions of dollars of investor capital.”) Beach now runs a “family office focused on private equity investments” out of a Dallas office that Eden Green uses as its corporate address.

Trump Jr. has at least twice before invested with Beach in deals that didn’t pan out. Trump Jr. put $200,000 in a dry Texas oil well managed by Beach’s father, according to testimony by Trump Jr. He also lost an unknown sum in a failed African mining company affiliated with Beach’s uncle.

But Trump Jr. stuck with his friend. The Associated Press reported this year that the two formed a company last October to pursue technology investments.

Then there was Eden Green. By the time Trump invested last fall, the company had already run into problems. It first launched in 2013 in South Africa with an ambitious mission: to feed the world through a highly efficient indoor farming system deploying patented technology intended to yield 10 to 12 harvests a year, compared with two or three for conventional agriculture.

Butter lettuce and other leafy greens at a Eden Green vertical farm on June 27, 2018, in Cleburne, Texas. (Brandon Wade/AP Images for Eden Green)

There’s a market for vegetables grown in controlled greenhouse environments as big retailers increasingly push for cleaner, more reliable and locally grown alternatives. But the challenges are significant. Energy costs run high, and there are myriad difficulties associated with scaling up to an industrial-size system.

That’s what happened in Eden Green’s first iteration, according to a half dozen early backers and associates. The produce may have been sustainable — but the business model wasn’t. The CEO of its European unit wrote in an October 2017 email obtained by ProPublica that the company had “been bleeding money and resources for almost 2 years now.” In the fall of 2017, Eden Green’s founders cemented a deal to hand over majority control to a group of U.S. investors led by Beach, current and former business associates said.

This was the company Trump Jr. bought into. He used an innocuous-sounding limited liability company, called MSMDF Agriculture LLC, to make the investment. ProPublica discovered MSMDF after the Trump Organization listed it in New York City filings among dozens of other entities it controlled. (Because the Trump Organization has contracts with the city to run the Wollman skating rink in Central Park and a golf course in the Bronx, the city requires the company to file disclosures.) The Trump Organization told ProPublica that MSMDF is not in fact owned by the Trump Organization but was included in the disclosure form because it’s controlled by Trump Jr., who was described in the form as MSMDF’s president, secretary and treasurer.

MSMDF was formed by a Trump Organization employee in September 2017 in Delaware, according to incorporation papers. Eden Green Holdings UK, Ltd., an affiliate of the Texas-based company, then listed MSMDF among its roughly two dozen shareholders in a 2018 report filed with British regulators.

The Trump Jr.-Beach connection has been most visible in the political arena. Last year, for example, Trump Jr. publicly thanked Beach and their mutual friend Tommy Hicks Jr., another wealthy investor from Dallas, for their fundraising during the 2016 campaign. “We couldn’t have done it without you guys,” Trump Jr. said of his buddies to a crowd of Republican donors in March 2017. “It was just absolutely incredible.”

In the foreword to a recent book, Trump Jr. reiterated the message, writing that a “rag tag army” — Trump Jr., Beach, Hicks and Charlie Kirk, the firebrand chief of the pro-Trump organization, Turning Point USA — barnstormed the country in 2016, raising “over 150 million dollars in ninety days.”

Watch Donald Trump Jr. Thank Gentry Beach, Tommy Hicks Jr. for Trump Campaign Fundraising

Trump Jr. mentioned Beach and Hicks Jr. at a dinner hosted by the Dallas County Republicans in March 2017 and invested in Beach’s company Eden Green through an LLC created months after President Trump’s inauguration.

Since Trump’s election, Beach has met with top administration figures on multiple occasions. For example, according to the AP, he lobbied National Security Council officials to relax sanctions against Venezuela to create opportunities for U.S. companies. He attended a private lunch with Republican donors and Interior secretary Ryan Zinke.

Beach has denied leveraging his ties to the first family. Last month, Beach told a TV interviewer in Croatia, where he said he was exploring a “truly spectacular” $100 million real estate development, “I don’t need anything from the government, thankfully, except normal police protection in my hometown.”

But newly obtained emails show that Beach wanted government backing for his private business interests at the same time he was running Eden Green. In October 2017, Beach pitched Ray Washburne, who heads the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a government agency that offers loans and guarantees to American companies looking to expand into emerging markets, according to emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. (Before joining OPIC, Washburne was a Dallas investor and a top fundraiser for Trump. He and Beach move in the same circles and have friends in common.)

“The Dominican Republic could really use some US investment and support,” Beach wrote in one email to Washburne, describing his various projects there, which included “a power plant upgrade to an existing tin mine” as well as liquid natural gas infrastructure. He invited OPIC officials to travel with him to the Dominican Republic “If permitted, we would be happy to handle all transportation from DC to DR and back,” he wrote in a follow-up note. (Such a trip never occurred, according to an OPIC spokesperson.)

A month later, the emails show, Beach also lobbied on another project, arranging a call with his business partner and one of Washburne’s top deputies regarding an “India Oppty,” which appeared to involve an energy fund. Separately, Beach also introduced Washburne to the head of oil giant Exxon Mobil’s Africa operations, with whom Beach said he had gone shooting at Blenheim Palace in England, where the Churchill family resided for three centuries. And Beach connected another Washburne aide with a South African mining executive who Beach described as “one of my partners.”

OPIC spokeswoman Amanda Burke said Beach has not submitted any formal applications for agency funding. “OPIC routinely meets with a variety of businesses and stakeholders,” she said, adding that formal applications trigger background and credit checks and “go through several levels of agency vetting and approval.”

Asked whether having a Trump connection would disqualify a person from receiving OPIC support, Burke emailed that “in general, an individual’s personal or legal business interests would not disqualify them from applying. However, certain relationships may cause board members or other decision makers of OPIC to be conflicted out of the decision-making process on potential projects.”

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          Reviewed: New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley      Cache   Translate Page      

“Sans Roast”

New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley

Established in 2010, Raaka (which means "raw" in Finnish) is a chocolate maker based in Brooklyn, New York. They source their cacao beans from cooperatives and grower-centered organizations that focus on quality and sustainability that in turn work with the farmers themselves and come from countries like Peru, Dominican Republic, and Tanzania. One big difference with Raaka chocolates is that they skip the roasting process, going from bean to bar, which allows the final product to be less Milky Way and more true to the cacao and its origins. (To better understand their process and ogle at some chocolate-making photos see here.) Their finished product is available in stores around New York and Whole Foods nationwide. Recently, Raaka introduced a new identity and packaging designed by Brooklyn-based Andrea Trabucco-Campos and San Francisco, CA-based Simon Blockley.

New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley

The old logo had the right intention by adopting an organic, unfinished, and raw aesthetic but it may have leaned too hard into it, looking more like a scribble from the opening titles of Se7en than a tantalizing logo for delicious chocolate. The new logo maintains the basic structure of the old one but is beautifully rendered in a contemporary, single-thickness, script-like style that looks great. I would typically advocate for slight differences in repeating characters when it comes to script logos but, in this case, keeping the "a"s the same makes the logo stronger and more interesting as they yield a consistent rhythm. I also like how it almost looks like a font (and would pay good money to use it myself).

New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
Custom font.

The custom serif is also great, building on the growing use of bold serifs while giving this one a unique flair in some of the characters. It's as if Chobani and The Guardian had a baby.

Taking influence from the tasting experience of Raaka's chocolate, the rebrand establishes a world of intrigue and discovery with flavorful colors, origin-inspired landscapes and a new custom typeface.

Early in the project we found issues with Raaka's current label placement--often being obstructed by shelf displays. While maintaining an asymmetrical structure, we repositioned the label for better on-shelf impact.

Simon Blockley project page

New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
OLD Packaging.
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
Packaging, before and after.

The old packaging was mostly fine and par for the course when it comes to boutique-y chocolate -- the single-color abstract illustrations were kind of cool -- but it was all over the place in terms of font choices and typographic hierarchy when it came to the details. The new packaging places much more importance on the details, making it more functional on the shelves, while still packing a punch with the bold patterns in the back.

New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
Abstracted landscape.
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley

The logo works great with the bold serif, creating and unexpectedly satisfying combination while the simple sans serif does a solid job with the secondary information. The flavors of each bar stand out just the right amount and the varying color palettes for each are all beautifully balanced on their own and as a group.

New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
Front and back.
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
The story of our bars cannot be told without the story of the producers we work with. As a bean-to-bar maker, we're able to purchase cacao directly from farmer-owned cooperatives and grower centric organizations and establish meaningful, collaborative relationships with each one. But these relationships don't fit the conventional certifications that most chocolate-loving folks are a familiar with, which can make telling, and therefore visualizing and contextualizing this story pretty challenging.

Lucky for us, Andrea and Simon were up for the challenge. They worked patiently and diligently with us to bring our new Transparent Trade model to life on the inside of every wrapper. Now, when someone opens up any Raaka bar, they can learn about the cacao producer we sourced the beans from, what we paid for them, how that stacks up against market prices, and what the supply chain between us and each grower looks like. We believe that the more we can educate customers about the cacao and chocolate supply chain and processes, the more we can create a positive, progressive, and equitable industry for all. That starts with transparency. That starts with us.

Raaka news page

New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
Interior wrap.
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
Hero shots.
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
New Logo and Packaging for Raaka by Andrea Trabucco-Campos and Simon Blockley
Staff swag.

The t-shirts and hats for the staff are fantastic too. Overall, this is small-batch, craft-y design at its best: nuanced, considerate, and beautifully executed in a way that celebrates the product itself without pretense or fake-ness.

          Hilton Introduces Three New All-Inclusive Resorts In Hot Caribbean Destinations      Cache   Translate Page      
One is located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico while the other two are located in the Dominican Republic.
          Family of Yonge St. van attack victim Anne Marie D’Amico launches foundation in her name      Cache   Translate Page      

When Anne Marie D’Amico was a little girl her grandfather gave her the nickname “tartaruga” — turtle, in Italian.

“Because we’d always have to wait so long for her to finish her meal, she would take forever,” remembered her brother Nick D’Amico.

Almost eight months after Anne Marie D’Amico was killed in the April 23 Yonge St. van attack with nine others, that nickname has taken on another meaning for her grieving family, which this week launched a new foundation in her name to end violence against women.

“It kind of transcends her nickname now,” Nick D’Amico said of the foundation’s symbol, a turtle with a heart for a shell and the letters “AM.”

“It’s a symbol of peace and tranquillity. Not acting in haste, and longevity, kind of showing the endurance of our mission.”

The family officially launched the foundation on Dec 3, which would have been Anne Marie D’Amico’s 31st birthday. They’re still working on the details, but every year on that night they plan to hold a “Turtle Project” fundraiser telling the stories of women who have survived violence.

For 2019, donations will go to the North York Women’s Shelter to support building a state-of-the-art new shelter and community hub that can house up to 40 women and children. The non-profit is working to raise $3 million for its construction to complement federal and provincial grants.

D’Amico’s family picked the cause, not just because of the way she died, but because of the person she was.

“With so much tragedy and so much darkness we need to find some sort of positive shining light moving forward,” Nick D’Amico said.

“My sister can be the face of hope for women moving forward.”

Anne Marie D’Amico, who was killed outside the offices of investment firm Invesco where she worked, was a dedicated volunteer with Tennis Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, and even travelled to the Dominican Republic to help build houses.

But she had a way of empowering and encouraging others in her everyday interactions, her father Rocco D’Amico said.

Like the shy man at his daughter’s visitation who told him she’d dragged him onstage at a karaoke bar, giving him the confidence to speak up more at work.

Or the co-worker she inspired to get her driver’s license and go back to school in her mid-twenties.

“She had a way of making everybody’s life a little happier or more complete,” D’Amico said.

It’s important to “keep the conversation” about violence against women going, he said, beyond the news-cycle of the van attack.

“This is what it was and let’s focus and see if we can help other women by it, empower them,” he said.

Alex Minassian, 26, is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder in the van attack. He is accused of jumping the sidewalk with a rented van and hitting pedestrians along a two-kilometre stretch of Yonge St., between Sheppard Ave. and Finch Ave. His trial is set for February 2020.

Police have not announced any evidence Minassian targeted women, but eight of his victims were female. A Facebook post attributed to him just before the attack referenced “incels,” a misogynistic internet community of men who blame women for their lack of sex.

Mohini Datta-Ray, executive director of the North York Women’s Shelter, called the family’s support “invaluable” and sees obvious links with the cause.

“It was very clear to us when the facts were coming out about who this person was, that connection to gender-based violence and that this was just another expression of misogyny,” she said.

Datta-Ray noted in the first eight months of 2018, 106 women and girls were killed by men in Canada, according to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, a rate she calls “staggering.”

“It’s such an amazing fit for us in having a way to memorialize someone who was impacted this tragically with violence against women,” she said.

For now, it’s also “part of the healing process” for the family, Rocco D’Amico said.

“We’re never going to heal, this empty hole will never be completely filled,” he said, but “as long as our mindset lands on a positive note we’re going to heal a lot better.”

May Warren is a breaking news reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @maywarren11

          Don Diego Babies      Cache   Translate Page      
-- Masterfully blended by hand and made with care in the Dominican Republic with a light brown, smooth Connecticut Shade wrapper, Dominican binder and a blend of Dominican and Brazilian grown long fillers, the Don Diego cigar is a wonderfully aromatic mild to medium bodied cigar.
          Partagas Robusto      Cache   Translate Page      
-- Wrapper: Cameroon. Filler: Dominican (Piloto Cubano), Mexican. Binder: Mexico San Andrean. Country of Manufacture: Dominican Republic. Factory Name: General Cigar Dominicana. -- The history: Not long after Jaime Partagas sailed from Spain to Cuba, he founded the cigar brand that bears his name. The year was 1845. Yet the greatest chapters of Partagas history were written by two other men, Ramon Cifuentes and the son who was named after him. Whether working together or alone, it was those two great cigar masters who made Partagas the leading Cuban cigar. But in 196l, two years after Fidel Castro had seized control of the Cuban government, Ramon Cifuentes was forced to flee the island, never to return. Seventeen years later, he was finally able to begin creating his Partagas cigars again, this time in the Dominican Republic, where his unmatched tradition of cigar making remains alive and well. The cigar: The secret of today's rich Partagas cigars lies in their wrapper leaves. Grown in Cameroon, the Central West African country where the steaming, sub-tropical climate unique to the fourth parallel is ideal for growing superb wrapper leaves, Cameroon wrappers have no equals for rich flavor. Indeed, Ramon Cifuentes determined that he could begin producing his Partagas cigars again only after he had discovered, years after the Cuban embargo had begun, that the best wrapper leaves were being grown in Cameroon rather than in Cuba. The experience: So rich yet never harsh, a Partagas cigar has all the flavor and character of the cigar that knew Cuba when.
          Henry Clay Brevas Cello      Cache   Translate Page      
-- Many would consider the cigars made by Henry Clay akin to much more expensive brands, as it utilizes premium quality tobacco at an affordable price. Using a delicious aged Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper, as well as high end tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Henry Clay cigars are a classic robust cigar blended in the old world style.
          Henry Clay Brevas Finas Cello      Cache   Translate Page      
-- Many would consider the cigars made by Henry Clay akin to much more expensive brands, as it utilizes premium quality tobacco at an affordable price. Using a delicious aged Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper, as well as high end tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Henry Clay cigars are a classic robust cigar blended in the old world style.
          Henry Clay Toro Cello      Cache   Translate Page      
-- Many would consider the cigars made by Henry Clay akin to much more expensive brands, as it utilizes premium quality tobacco at an affordable price. Using a delicious aged Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper, as well as high end tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Henry Clay cigars are a classic robust cigar blended in the old world style.
          Miss Intercontinental 2018 - Contestants      Cache   Translate Page      
Yari na isab nag patai in 46 tao kontestants mag agaw sin crown sin Miss Intercontinental 2018 amun pa aunun ha hula Philippines. Good luck ladys...

Bandera de Albania Albania - Amela Kadiu

Flag of Australia.svg Australia - Mikaela Nanm Flowetr 

Flag of Bonaire.svg Bonaire -  Vera Ghazzouli

Flag of Brazil.svg Brasil - Flávia Polido

Flag of Canada.svg Canada - Alice Li

Flag of Chile.png Chile - Gresly Isabel Rios Muñoz

Flag of Colombia.svg Colombia - Hillary Hollmann Del Prado

Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba - Cynthia Linnet Lau 

Bandera de Curazao Curacao - Tiffany De Freitas 

Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czech Republic - Veronika Volkeova

Bandera de República Dominicana Dominican Republic - Wilma Antoniazzi

Flag of Ecuador.svg Ecuador - Nina Suleyka Solórzano Caicedo

Bandera de El Salvador El Salvador - Metzi Gabriela Solano

Bandera de Inglaterra England - Sarah Davies

Bandera de Etiopía Ethiopia - Bella Matwabse Liree

Bandera de Georgia Georgia - Gvantsa Minashvili

Flag of Germany.svg Germany - Olivia Möller

Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala - Yasmin Alvarado

Bandera de Honduras Honduras - Marianela Romero

Flag of Hungary.svg Hungary -  Gréta Muszka

Flag of India.svg India - Suman Chellani 

Bandera de Indonesia Indonesia - Aluna Rifani

Bandera de Jamaica Jamaica - Kayla Smith

Bandera de Japón Japan - Akari Maeda

Bandera de Corea del Sur Korea - Kim Seo Hee

Bandera de Malasia Malaysia - Liew Zi Ling

Bandera de Birmania Myanmar -  Nang Mway Phoung

Bandera de Namibia Namibia - Varaakuani Unonge Kutako

Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands - Michelle Van Sonsbeek

Bandera de Nueva Zelanda New Zealand - Alysson Ward

Bandera de Irlanda del Norte Northern Ireland - Cara Hunter

Flag of Panama.svg Panama - Arleen Paulina Luzowsky 

Bandera de Filipinas Philippines - Karen Juanita Gallman

Flag of Poland.svg Poland -  Angelika Duszczyk

Bandera de Puerto Rico Puerto Rico - Yanelie Santiago

Flag of Romania.svg Romania - Denisse Zifkov 

Bandera de Escocia Scotland - Laura MacMillan

Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa - Margo Kimberly Fargo

Flag of Thailand.svg Thailand - Aink Ingcahnok 

Flag of the United States.svg USA - Marianny Egurrola Daza

Flag of Venezuela.svg Venezuela - Gina Alessandra Paula Bitorzoli Pinto 

Bandera de Gales Wales - Joey Staerkle

Final Night : 29 January 2019 

          Costume to honor the Hawksbill sea turtle at Miss Universe 2018 on Dec 16th      Cache   Translate Page      
Miss Dominican Republic will be costumed as a carey turtle on occasion of her participation in the Miss Universe 2018 [&hellip
          Will the DR sign the Global Compact for Migration      Cache   Translate Page      
The Dominican Republic authorities have not been available for comment on whether the country will sign the 2018 the Global [&hellip
           How the Watergate Scandal Taught Elder Christofferson to Always Follow His Conscience       Cache   Translate Page      

After graduating from law school in 1972, he began clerking for Judge John J. Sirica, then-chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. That clerkship coincided with the Watergate proceedings directed largely by Judge Sirica.“Putting one’s integrity on hold, even for seemingly small acts in seemingly small matters, places one in danger of eventually losing the benefit and protection of conscience altogether,” he declared in his recent keynote address at a business ethics conference in the Dominican Republic.“Conscience is a defining personal imperative that stirs deep in the soul of each person,” he said. It is that “invisible space” in the heart and mind where right and wrong are decided, making one a human being.The general acceptance of so many common standards suggests they derive from a common source that some call “moral sense” and others may call “common sense” or “practical wisdom.”While serving as a young law clerk, Elder D. Todd Christofferson made a defining decision that continues to guide his life: no matter the circumstances, always submit “to the dictates of an ethical conscience.”“The concept that conscience entitles one to do whatever he likes derives from moral relativism,” he said. “By moral relativism, I mean the belief that no moral claim can be verified as objectively true or false or better than any other—that ethical or moral truths depend on the attitudes and feelings of those who hold them, and that no one can judge the validity of someone else’s ‘truth.’”But real conscience holds one to a higher standard based on “fixed moral concepts and values” such as justice, mercy, love, honesty, generosity, self-restraint, and integrity that exist “apart from personal preference.”First, a declaration from Christ in Doctrine and Covenants 93:2: “I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”“As Jesus said to His Apostles, ‘Whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all’ (Mark 10:43–44).”A weak or numbed conscience opens the door for personal “Watergates.” It brings about disasters “that can hurt and destroy both the guilty and the innocent.”“Not all consciences come to the same conclusion on every matter—personalities, perspectives, histories, and circumstances are too diverse for that—but they tend to promote the greater good, not serve personal interests or the demands of blind ideology.”A member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Christofferson drew upon his “ringside seat” to the Watergate political scandal to teach the essentialness of conscience. That pivotal moment in American history enabled the young lawyer to learn “crucial life lessons” that continue to serve him well.Forces are in play, he added, that would dilute the influence of conscience in society and culture by seeing it more as granting license than as imposing duties.“The life lesson I took away from [Nixon’s] experience was that my hope for avoiding the possibility of a similar catastrophe in my own life lay in never making an exception—always and invariably submitting to the dictates of an ethical conscience.”“Underneath the diversity of human experience, we somehow find a way to agree on what it means to be good—loving your neighbors, caring for the poor, protecting the most vulnerable, keeping family obligations, controlling selfish appetites, serving a higher purpose than mere survival, and much more.” Participants at the Ethics and Integrity in Business Conference in the Dominican Republic applaud following Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s keynote address on November 13, 2018.Decades later, Elder Christofferson still wonders why Nixon allowed the Watergate scandal to grow and fester. Over time, the president’s conscience apparently grew increasingly numb.During the Watergate investigation, Nixon’s recordings were subpoenaed. Judge Sirica and his clerk (and future Apostle) Todd Christofferson listened to all the tapes in chambers.There are moral absolutes, he said. Truth and moral concepts cannot be based on whim and personal preference.But for Elder Christofferson, two statements of scripture confirm this “universal instinct.”Watergate culminated, of course, in the political demise of Richard Nixon. The American president’s efforts to cover up the scandal—infamously immortalized in tape recordings of meetings in the Oval Office—resulted in him becoming a co-conspirator in the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex.Entitled “Ethics and Integrity in Business: How Fair Play Yields Better Results,” the November 13 conference drew participants from government, business, media, and academia from across the Caribbean. Cosponsors included the Church, Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Business, and the Dominican Republic’s General Directorate on Ethics and Integrity in Government.“A life devoted to service to others allows conscience to flourish,” he said. “Service provides a natural barrier against the ills that flow in the wake of self-will and self-interest. A focus outside ourselves and beyond personal autonomy and personal pleasure will protect and strengthen conscience.“After we listened to and discussed each taped conversation, the judge determined what was relevant to the investigation,” said Elder Christofferson. “The tapes showed President Nixon’s complicity in the illegal cover-up, but no definitive evidence that he was in any way involved with the initial break-in.”Nixon was, in Elder Christofferson’s assessment, a “basically decent [man].” But his decisions to whitewash the crime occurred when the president opted not to assert his conscience.Elder Christofferson concluded his keynote address with a suggestion that he is certain would strengthen one’s conscience.When acknowledged and followed, conscience leads to light and truth. “My plea is that we all maintain a conscience that is a robust and uncompromising guide,” he said.And second, from Moroni 7:15–16: “It is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain … as the daylight is from the dark night. For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil.”

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