“I firmly believe I’m innocent of the charges against me. We believe that God, in fact, is in control and indeed he does work all things for good for those who love the Lord.” Comments from Ken Lay minutes after he was found guilty of conspiracy, lying, bank fraud and insider trading in the largest corporate crisis in U.S. history. The collapse of Enron, which wiped out more than $89 billion in market value, also left 5,600 employees jobless and owed at least $1 billion in benefits.
According to A.P. and the San Francisco Chronicle the Enron boys will spend the rest of their lives in prison. From comfy corner offices, they engaged in chicanery that fleeced shareholders and pensioners. When misconduct was exposed, their company unraveled with breathtaking speed. Now, Enron’s Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, found guilty of conspiracy and fraud, face hundreds of years in the hoosegow.
They’re the last — and many would say, worst — of the gang of white-collar criminals who’ve danced through headlines in the past few years. While Enron is the most visible icon for corporate skulduggery, it was only one of a parade of notorious cases that came to represent to average citizens everything that was wrong with corporate America.
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“I don’t know why the 8 hour difference.” Comments from Coast Guard Petty Officer Dana Warr on learning Royal Caribbean’s digital cameras saw Daniel DiPiero go overboard about 8 hours before officially contacting law enforcement.
According to the Associated Press, the air and sea search for a 21-year-old cruise ship passenger who fell overboard while the ship steamed from Florida to the Bahamas was called off Wednesday afternoon.
Security camera footage from the Royal Caribbean ship Mariner of the Seas showed Daniel DiPiero falling overboard about 2 a.m. Monday. A review of ship camera footage last showed DiPiero Monday on the fourth deck, leaning on a rail near the front of the ship, Coast Guard Petty Officer Dana Warr said.
Warr said search efforts for DiPiero, 21, of Canfield, Ohio, ceased at 2:47 p.m. Wednesday. “We found no evidence of survival.” DiPiero’s friends notified ship personnel at 11 a.m. Monday that he had not slept in his stateroom.
Warr said the Coast Guard received the “man overboard” report around 7 p.m. “I don’t know why the eight-hour difference,” he said.
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“My hope for The Da Vinci Code was, in addition to entertaining people, that it might serve as an open door for readers to begin their own explorations and rekindle their interest in topics of faith.” Comments from Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code.
Experts agree: Dan Brown got most of his facts wrong. According to the Dallas Morning News, yes, it’s fiction, but author’s “fact” claims irritate scholars.
Religion scholars have been whacking The Da Vinci Code like a low-hanging piñata. The swings have come from establishment Christianity – the Vatican and the Archbishop of Canterbury – and from the fringes of the faith – a member of the liberal Jesus Seminar and the agnostic historian Bart Ehrman.
At least 44 books debunking The Da Vinci Code are for sale at Amazon.com, several written by serious academics or well-known pastors. And with the movie starring Tom Hanks scheduled to open in a little over a week, surely more are in the pipeline. All of which leaves this question unanswered: Why bother?
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“I accept full responsibility for everything that happened at Enron. Having said that, I can’t take responsibility for illegal acts that I had no knowledge of.” Comments from Ken Lay on trial in refuting others who have testified he knew of the wrongdoing going on before Enron collapsed.
According to the Morning News, the big, bad media did it again. By reporting about Enron’s financial dealings and unusual partnerships, it brought down an entire corporation, zapped billions of investor dollars into oblivion and put hundreds of people out of work.
That, according to Ken Lay, is what happened to Enron, the company at the center of the largest corporate collapse in U.S. business history.
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“I’m worried about letting this opportunity pass me by without making the best of it and was wondering if you had any advice as to how to spin this to my advantage.” Comments from Kim Roberts, the 2nd Dancer in the Duke lacrosse case.
According to AP, the head of a New York public relations firm said his company will not be representing the second exotic dancer at a Duke men’s lacrosse team party on the night another dancer said she was gang-raped and beaten by three members of the team.
Ronn Torossian said 5W Public Relations, known mainly for its representation of a few Hip-Hop music artists, would not be representing Kim Roberts on any sides in the lacrosse scandal, which has received nationwide attention in the media. Ironically, the above statement came only after Torossian released a private e-mail from his potential client, Ms. Roberts, to the entire media world. It seems 5WPR was more interested in publicity for itself in being considered for the assignment than in confidentiality.
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