Daily Archives: April 23, 2015

Flawless diamond sells for $22.1m in New York

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The gem, originally mined by De Beers in South Africa, was snapped up by an anonymous buyer after only three minutes’ bidding.

The diamond had taken more than a year to cut, polish and perfect. Only six perfect diamonds weighing more than 100 carats have been auctioned in the past 25 years, according to Sotheby’s.

It had a pre-sale estimate of between $19m and $25m. The head of Sotheby’s jewellery department in New York, Gary Schuler, described the diamond as “the definition of perfection”.

“The colour is whiter than white, it is free of any internal imperfections and so transparent that I can only compare it to a pool of icy water,” he said before the sale.

The gem was the highlight of a sale of more than 350 jewels expected to sell for a total of more than $50m.

Two years ago, a flawless pink diamond known as the Pink Star set a world record price for a gemstone at auction when it sold for $83m in Geneva.

BBC

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Rajapaksa as PM in Sirisena Govt will Boost SL : Gotabaya

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COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s once powerful Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, wants President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to join hands to give the island nation a “functioning government” and lift it from the abyss of political confusion and economic stagnation.

“Maithripala Sirisena has been elected President for six years. Therefore, he will have to continue. But he can quickly call for parliamentary elections and appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister. Together, they should put the country back on its feet by providing a functioning government with people committed to achieving goals,” Gotabaya told Express in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

A sibling of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya claimed that Sri Lankans want Rajapaksa back. “Support for him has grown beyond the 5.8 million votes he got in the January Presidential election,” he said.

Political Confusion

Sri Lankans are clueless as to who is in charge of their country, Gotabaya observed.

“On the one hand there is Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is running the government. But on the other hand, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Champika Ranawaka and Rajitha Senaratne also claim to be in-charge. However, what is clear to the people is that there is no functioning government. All economic development projects initiated by the Rajapaksa government have been brought to a standstil. In the construction sector alone, over 100,000 workers have been rendered jobless by the stoppage of projects,” he pointed out.

Because officials are being hauled up before investigative agencies for alleged “procedural lapses”, no civil servant wants to take decisions. “If this situation is allowed to continue, the entire economy will collapse and it will be difficult to put it back on its feet,” he warned.

Baseless Charges

Gotabaya, who has been asked to appear before the Bribery Commission later this month, dismissed the charges against him as being baseless. “I have been accused of procedural lapses. Have I robbed money? In fact, I have earned money, including foreign exchange, for the government through my projects,” he asserted.

On the alleged illegal activities of the “floating armory” set up by a company wholly owned by the Ministry of Defence, Gotabaya said that it was engaged in anti-piracy work in the Somalian waters as per a UN request.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa “It was an international obligation Lanka had to fulfil. And the company was earning foreign exchange for the country. It had also been held up as a model by an international maritime security body based in UK,” he said.

Achievements

The former Secretary for Defence and Urban Development said that he had not only won the war against the Tamil Tigers but had given a new face to Colombo, both not done by previous regimes. “The present government is after me for delivering results. Sarath Fonseka claimed in India that he won the war. But I say, he was in the army for 30 years, but had failed to win the war. It was only when we (the Rajapaksa brothers) took over, that the war was finished, and that too, in three years flat. Chandrika Kumaratunga claims that she had won 75 per cent of the war, but it was during her Presidency that there were major reverses,” Gotabaya recalled.

Bribe Panel Member to go to Ex-Prez

The Lankan government on Tuesday gave into the Opposition’s agitation demanding that ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa should not be summoned by the Bribery Commission. Wijedasa Rajapaksa, minister for justice, told parliament that a commission officer will visit Rajapaksa’s house and take a statement from him instead. The Opposition’s position is that Rajapaksa could not be taken to court or be questioned for an action he took as President as the President enjoys immunity for his official acts. Rajapaksa had appointed a defector from the Opposition as a cabinet minister during the last Presidential poll campaign. This was deemed as corruption.

TNIE

Stop Fantasizing About the Perfect Job

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Some careers seem to maintain a powerful allure. Many people fantasizing about leaving their jobs for careers that seem to offer deep meaning, like teaching or non-profit work, or apparent autonomy, like entrepreneurship. Others are attracted by high-status, high-pay occupations such as law and consulting. Still others want to work in broadcasting or publishing, for example, which maintain a glamorous allure. The irony is that there are probably just as many people itching to get out of these roles as fighting to get in. In any industry, not just these, it’s fairly easy to find people who dislike the work they do.

Why do smart people have such odd blind spots?

Holding out for a job you love offers to solve all problems at one stroke – boss problems, earning enough, making choices. Perhaps most of all it offers us two big-ticket items: meaning and entertainment. Ideal jobs appear to fulfil deep-seated needs both for variety and task enjoyment, as well as fulfilling a sense of purpose. When you ask people to describe their ideal role, their chosen mix is distinctive but not unique. Many people want a boss who guides rather than pushes, who doesn’t micromanage. Many want an organizational culture that does what it says on the tin. When people talk about idealized work they often also express longing for a job that feels worthwhile: “I want to make a difference” or “I want to give something back.”

So what’s wrong with targeting to a job that you will find totally satisfying and meaningful? Only one thing. You’re probably not going to find it.

Perfection is an odd goal in career choice. We learn not to limit ourselves to perfect when it comes to choosing holidays, houses, or partners, so why are we obsessed with the idea of a job that will fill all our fantasies about work?

When people think about getting their ideal role, they’re falling into an all-or-nothing trap. It’s a kind of challenge to the universe – give me everything now, or leave me alone. Which of course reveals how passive the whole idea is: you may talk about “finding” the perfect job, but secretly you hope it finds you. The deep, dark secret of “all or nothing” is that it gives you and me permission to do absolutely nothing. If something wonderful comes along, you might take a look, but otherwise the same lukewarm plan will do.

Playing the game of ideal-versus-real means that you can toy with the idea of alternative futures without taking the simplest first step towards actual change – which nearly always means talking to someone about the reality of their work.

Holding out for all-satisfying work may be dream territory, but we need the concept of idealized work – or at least the idea that some work can be exciting. We need it because that excitement is what gives people the energy to pick up the phone, to explore, to keep knocking on doors. And we need impassioned door-openers. But we also need pragmatic deal-closers who look for a strong match between their wish lists and an employer’s wants – which means digging deep enough to know what success looks like and what the trade-offs will be. It means asking “What’s the job really like?” and “What will I be doing most of the time?” and “What’s the worst part of this job?”

Finding work that inspires – just a little – means learning how to match yourself properly against job reality, and knowing how to keep reaching out until you find a better deal. And all work is a deal – a deal between what you want to get out of life and what an organization (or customer) wants to get out of you.

Don’t accept second-hand information. Find out what the job feels like from the inside. Don’t allow employer branding or media portrayals make you starry-eyed: look with energy, get offers, and ask the right questions. If it’s a role that takes your resume in a risky direction, perform as much due diligence as you would if you were an investor.

Perfect means hoping and waiting, but doing little. Actively reaching out for good enough can transform your career.

HBR

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