Coega port blasting ahead

first_img23 February 2005South Africa will soon have a brand new high-capacity port. Developers say Ngqura, a multi-user deepwater port on the Coega River, and part of the multi-billion rand Coega industrial development zone (IDZ), is rapidly taking shape.The government is spending about US$400-million on the port – and other improvements in and adjacent to the Coega IDZ.Construction on the port is already far advanced, and the facility is expected to be ready for commercial traffic by the end of 2005. It will have a capacity for accommodating bigger container vessels than any of South Africa’s seven other commercial ports.The filling up of the Ngqura harbour basin was completed in July 2004, which means that 5.75-million cubic metres of water have now replaced the 14-million cubic metres of beach sand that were removed.With the depth of the channel and the protected position in Algoa Bay, the port is in one of the best spots for a harbour along the South African coast.A channel carved by an ancient glacier allowed the development of the port to up to 23 metres. Protected from south-westerly winds by a finger of land, the port’s bay has 330 anchor days per year.Coega’s cutter suction dredger finished cutting an approach channel into the basin in December, meaning that the water in the basin now rises and falls in time with the tide.“With the quay walls complete, the successful filling of the harbour basin in July last year, the dredging finished, and the steady progress of the breakwaters, our main focus at the moment is the positioning of the concrete structures [caissons]”, said National Ports Authority resident engineer Chris Matchett.Matchett said the caissons were towed into position using tugboats and positioned by a system of anchors and winches before being flooded and sunk on prepared stone foundation beds.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

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Mashery: APIs the Key to a Thriving Cloud

first_imgEditor’s note: this is a “Sponsor Post” by one of our long-term sponsors. These posts are clearly labeled as such, but we also want them to be useful and interesting to our readers. We hope you like the posts, and we encourage you to support our sponsors by trying out their products.Cloud computing has arrived. You can scarcely open a computer magazine or business journal without coming across an article about this transformative new approach to providing web-based services. Cloud computing is undoubtedly shifting the landscape. But what many observers miss is that, while cloud computing has arrived, only through APIs will its full business potential be realized.A (Very) Brief History of Cloud ComputingA few years ago, Google capitalized on the idea of using huge clusters of cheap computers and building software with a high fault tolerance, so that when its machines would go down, the overall system would still function properly. Amazon used the same approach, with a twist. The company’s vast, distributed architecture lent itself to a standardized provisioning of computing resources. As the provisioning process became more standardized, and it became easier for Amazon to roll out new services, the company started selling on-demand access to its massive, distributed computing infrastructure.The rest is history. And more cloud computing providers have appeared, each with its own approach. GoGrid, for example, offers flexible server specifications and interconnection options. Salesforce.com provides an application infrastructure with database, security, workflow, and other capabilities already in place. Ning emphasizes simplicity, giving its users the ability to roll their own social networks without any programming knowledge.Without APIs, There Is No Cloud ComputingCloud computing is not simply another type of application service provider (ASP) offering. The ASP and hosting providers of years gone by offered a set of software services from within a walled garden. These services were tied to specific hardware and software configurations.In contrast, cloud computing draws its strength from its connections to the outside world, through APIs. These APIs fall into three general categories:Control APIs, which allow cloud infrastructure to be added, reconfigured, or removed in real time, either by human control or programmatically based on traffic, outages, or other factorsData APIs, which are the conduits through which data flow in and out of the cloud.Application Functionality APIs, which enable the functionality that end users interact with, such as shopping carts, wikis, and widgets.Control APIs: The Key to Cloud Computing FlexibilityNearly all cloud services allow (or even require) deployment and configuration through APIs. When you use Amazon’s EC2 service, you are using the EC2 API to dynamically configure virtual servers. When you use Google’s App Engine, you are using an API to run your web applications on Google’s infrastructure. These control APIs are integral to the capabilities of all cloud computing providers, performing functions similar to those of a conventional data center dashboard. In fact, some observers believe a significant reason for the failure of Sun’s network.com cloud (which has been taken down) is that it could not be controlled through APIs and therefore lacked the flexibility that developers expect from cloud services.At first, control APIs were limited to individual cloud providers, but that is starting to change. GoGrid has made its Mashery-powered control API available under a Creative Commons Share Alike license, so that other cloud providers can use and modify it to suit their needs.Data APIs: Essential Conduits for All Cloud-Based ApplicationsThis is an exciting development, but the real magic in cloud computing happens when data interchange APIs move between clouds. The web itself provides the underlying infrastructure, while applications, data, and services are delivered via interconnected clouds.We are now starting to see some of the benefits of cross-cloud applications. For example, Lasso2Go, an impressive contact information service, makes use of Amazon and Salesforce.com’s clouds, as well as the APIs for the iPhone and other devices. The Amazon data interchange APIs have been merged with other data interchange APIs, enabling a seamlessly integrated cross-cloud application.In a completely different market, soundpushr demonstrates the power of APIs. Using APIs from Amazon, Flickr, the Hype Machine, Last.fm, and YouTube, soundpushr gives music enthusiasts the ability to search for and instantly find music, videos, and photos of artists they like. The search tool does not use bots to crawl the web. Instead, it connects directly to data sources in the Amazon and YouTube clouds, as well as ones at Flickr, the Hype Machine, and Last.fm.Application Functionality APIs: The Final LayerApplication platform APIs provide functionality beyond data access. For example, they give Ning the ability to provision configurable social networking sites from an array of centralized services. But application platform APIs can do more. The social shopping site Kaboodle leverages the Shopping.com API to provide product information, and then adds its own social networking features. The possibilities for application functionality integration are already being explored, and as more APIs become available, we can expect even more exciting combinations.A Thrilling FutureOver the last six months, we have seen an amazing transition in Web 2.0. Organizations ranging from retail giants like Best Buy to content providers like the New York Times to service providers like Netflix to powerful institutions like the World Bank are opening their content and services to developers and partners.We are witnessing a revolution. Content and services that were previously trapped in systems that required great effort to get pushed out to the web are now part of a much larger set of connected cloud eco-systems. Information, functionality, and services can now be delivered at the point and time that users want it. And APIs are the foundation that makes this all possible.If you enjoyed this post then check out Mashery.com, the leading provider of API management services. rww sponsor 1 Tags:#cloud computing#Sponsors#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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LP Challenges In A “Secure” Environment

first_imgParadies Lagardère is the North American division of Lagardère Travel Retail. We have 10,000 associates in more than 850 retail stores and 170 restaurants and bars in 100 airports across North America. Paradies Lagardère delivers the very best solutions—a favorite local concept or a highly desirable international brand—that exceed expectations for our airport partners and travelers. Paradies Lagardère specializes in three key airport concessions areas: dining, travel essentials, and specialty retail. Within travel essentials and specialty retail, we offer a diverse mix of categories, including fashion, luxury, electronics, convenience, sports, luggage, jewelry, and souvenirs. Paradies Lagardère also delivers high-end restaurants, quick-serve and casual restaurants, and quality bars, including local, national, and international brands that provide travelers delicious dining options.In the Beginning, There Was RetailChris RathgebWhile attending college, I began working for JCPenney in the credit and catalog department. This was the start of my retail career. While at JCPenney, a store loss prevention officer (LPO) approached the credit and catalog department team about a credit card fraud case that we might come into contact with and asked us to inform them if the person showed up to retrieve a catalog order. I ended up being the person who waited on them. I can still remember the feeling when I heard the name and turned around to find the order and realized who I was assisting. It was at that moment—and the moments after as that situation played out with the arrest of the person by law enforcement as they exited the doors of the store—that I thought of loss prevention as a position I would enjoy.I would have to wait another year before getting the opportunity to transfer schools and begin working at a different JCPenney. At my new store, I discovered they didn’t have any loss prevention presence and inquired with the store manager about the possibility of adding the position. We were nearing the holiday season, so he agreed to place me in the role. I stayed in that store for several months, and during that time I realized catching shoplifters was a lot more difficult than I understood. I ended up transferring back to my original store and met with my first loss prevention teacher, Marcia Rexford. She was the LPO who worked on the credit card fraud case and ignited my passion for loss prevention with her guidance. She was instrumental in helping me understand what to look for in a shoplifter, including behavior and actions, but it was just scratching the surface on how loss prevention impacts companies.- Sponsor – After four years with JCPenney, I accepted an entry-level LP role with Famous Barr, a division of May Company, and met the manager that had the biggest impact on my development and understanding of loss prevention, Mark Stebbe. He and John Lillard, the vice president of loss prevention, had created a team environment and a culture of learning in which I thrived. I decided during my time at Famous Barr that loss prevention was going to be the career for me.The Airports Came Calling After spending some time at Famous Barr, I decided to join a loss prevention program in the airport concessions industry. That was nearly twenty years ago, and I have never had any doubt that I made the right choice. I worked for HMSHost as they were restarting their loss prevention department. I was given the opportunity to create a program for a single airport with about thirty different restaurant concepts. Through a promotion to my first regional loss prevention manager role, I was able to expand the program to a group of airports in the company. After a year at HMSHost I was approached by the new director of loss prevention at The Paradies Shops. He was tasked with building a loss prevention program from the ground up and believed I would be a good fit to assist him. It’s not often that you are given an opportunity to create a department’s mission and purpose through ideas you have crafted in your mind on “how I would do it” from its inception. It was too good an offer to pass up. Fast forward almost nineteen years later, and I am now the senior director of loss prevention/safety and lead a team of thirteen professionals in the areas of loss prevention, safety, general insurance claims management for worker’s compensation, general liability, auto, and property, and lead business continuity for the organization. In addition, I oversee facilities management for our three support center offices and supply chain for our retail division.Some Things Never ChangeThere are several similarities between airport concessions and conventional retail and restaurants in the LP world. Airport concessions offerings have evolved over time to stay current with popular street retail and restaurants. Paradies Lagardère’s stores sell high-end electronics such as MacBooks and iPads in our iStores, premium apparel in our Brooks Brothers stores, and high-end handbags and jewelry in our Brighton Collectibles and Pandora stores. You can also find must-have travel products in our CNBC, Trip Advisor, and locally themed travel-essential stores.We have losses that include outright theft from registers, failing to record sales, taking merchandise, fraudulent refunds, moving items across multiple checks, bartering in exchange for goods, or giving away items or meals, as well as shoplifting. Customers and airport workers have stolen from us. Granted, it isn’t to the degree that you see street side, but it does happen.We experience credit card fraud, primarily in our retail division. We have had organized retail crime groups buy cheap airline tickets with the sole purpose of defrauding us. Some will simply go through security with their boarding passes, make a number of fraudulent purchases, and exit, never stepping foot on a plane. Others will make multiple stops across the country and make purchases along the way.One of our core roles is the identification and resolution of internal theft. Our ability to prosecute is based on knowing the jurisdictional guidelines of all the airports we support. In most cases, local law enforcement patrols the concourses. We build relationships with law enforcement as part of our routine. While they vary from state to state and province to province, we must know each jurisdiction’s requirements. Our ability to leverage the criminal justice system is dependent on the relationships we build with law enforcement. We established a process in the last four or five years where we will meet with local law enforcement prior to interviewing a dishonest associate. This may seem counterintuitive to contact them before you interview, but we recognized that officers are fluent in the law but not necessarily retail or restaurant theft. By taking the time in advance of our interview to explain what is happening, when it’s happening, and how we are handling it internally, it makes the after-interview process much quicker and more successful. It has been well received by our law enforcement partners in the airport.We experience operational loss such as short shipping, receiving mistakes, and so forth. Stock shortage, because of operational inefficiencies, is a part of any retail landscape including an airport environment. We are challenged with training gaps, employee turnover, and typical receiving mistakes that hamper any retail operation. We have established a corporate committee specifically designed to look at operational loss related to process gaps. This has been a significant cross-functional effort that has yielded favorable results and systemic improvements. We are constantly focused on training and use audits to help gauge compliance.Some Things Always ChangeTo help explain our specific challenges, I think it is important to provide a landscape of operating in an airport. As concessionaires, Paradies Lagardère has two customers. We have the customer who comes into our store or restaurant and pays for merchandise or services rendered. We also have a second customer, which is the airport governing body that decides which concessionaires get to do business at a specific location. Both of those customers are equally important to our success. So much so that our mission statement is “to maintain first-class standards that exceed the expectations of the customers and business partners we serve.”Street retailers often purchase the store site or negotiate a lease for a space. In the airport concessions environment, we are unable to make site purchases. Our business is dependent on a multiyear store lease based on winning a contract through a request for proposal. At the conclusion of the lease, other airport concessionaires may bid on new lease options proposed by the airport governing body. Paradies Lagardère’s retail and restaurant models are always in a state of renewal, and I need to make sure the loss prevention and safety strategies are meeting the needs of this changing environment.No two airports are the same, and no two restaurant or store layouts are the same either. We fit our stores into the space provided by the airport. Because each restaurant or store has a different layout, we have to adjust to each space. We must customize our camera design and integration, which requires an additional labor investment for each store opening.We allow a high degree of functionality on our registers for our associates. Our customers are looking for speed of service. They are typically waiting to catch a flight and can’t be held up waiting on a supervisor to approve the transaction of an associate. This allows opportunity for our associates to conduct fraudulent activity in our stores.Big Airports, Big ChallengesOur stores and restaurants are open 365 days a year. In our largest operations, we have over forty stores and restaurants. These facilities are spread out to presecurity and postsecurity and could be spread over several concourses or terminals. The concourses and terminals, at times, are not physically connected to each other. The opening and closing times of our operations vary within in each airport. This can change if we experience airline delays. We are there to provide service to the traveling public, so our hours of operation remain fluid to allow for these changes. All of these factors can make communication with our team members a challenge. Communication has to be filtered through others. It can be difficult to ensure that the original message gets to everyone in the same context. Because of this, we have to be strategic about our messages to the team.In larger airports, most of our inventory is stored at an off-site warehouse anywhere from five to twenty minutes from the airport. We can’t secure our inventory by locking or sealing the transport truck because the truck must be inspected before it can enter airport space. We have had instances of those trucks making unscheduled stops along their route to the airport to offload product to a waiting vehicle. Once the product arrives at the airport, it can go directly to a store or be placed in on-site stockrooms throughout the airport. In street retail, it is typically contained within four walls. In our environment, it can be spread between an off-site facility, on-site stockrooms, and multiple stores of an airport. This product is moved around between concourses and stores, depending on where it is needed, and we can lose visibility to where that product goes. On the street side, unpaid-for product has no reason to leave the four walls. In our environment, it will leave one lease line and be moved to another lease line with potentially a lot of space between the two.Giving Credit Where Credit is DueEvery great leader hasgreat support. The leaderswho report to me include:■■ Lilly Noyan-Paddyfoote,safety and loss controlmanager, who hasresponsibility for safety andclaims management (worker’scompensation, generalliability, auto, property) forthe organization.■■ Billy Childers, lossprevention and safetyoperations manager, whohas responsibility for lossprevention/safety centralizedprograms and services,CCTV, and retail supply chain.■■ Annette Barry, regional lossprevention/safety managerof dining, who has alignmentwith the western half of thedining division.■■ Doug Martinez, regionalloss prevention/safetymanager of retail, who hasalignment with the westernhalf of the retail division.Doug is supported bymarket managers Eric Tullisin the Texas and Southwestregions, Diane Valdezin the California region,and Rick Wittman in theMountain Plains and WesternCanada regions.■■ Bret Graddy, regional lossprevention/safety manager ofretail, who has alignment withthe eastern half of the retaildivision. Bret is supportedby market managers MarcosLozano in the Southeastand Florida regions, SteveMathieu in the Great Lakesand Eastern Canadaregions, and Martin Davisin the Northeast and OhioValley regions.The Secret to Having No SecretsOur approach to loss prevention in our retail and dining divisions is transparency. We openly discuss internal theft. We list in our internal employee communication the different ways employees can steal. We do this for multiple reasons. Our thought is that dishonest employees already have that knowledge of how to steal, but our largely honest population may not recognize what they are seeing when another associate commits an act of theft. By providing this information to our associates, we now have 10,000 people understanding how theft in the workplace occurs. When they observe it, they will know how to respond. This also shows the dishonest associate that we’ve seen it before. It’s not new. We want them to know they aren’t the first and won’t be the last. Finally, it shows a level of trust with our employees. The team recognizes we are equipping all of our associates with understanding on how to steal. But when you show trust in your employees, amazing things can happen. They feel empowered and more connected to the organization. This fits with Paradies Lagardère’s core values of TRIFIC: trust, respect, integrity, first class, innovation, and commitment.To go along with our transparency approach and emphasize the company stance on theft, Paradies Lagardère made the conscious decision to prosecute those who defraud the company. That decision is known throughout the organization. The financial dividends obtained through our shrink results reinforce this was the right decision. Since making this change five years ago, we have seen a steady decline in our shrink number. With each successive year, we have broken the record set in the previous year for lowest shrink number in company history.Another important point in how we achieve success is our relationships with our business partners. The entire team recognizes the role we play as a support function. The team develops strong relationships with their operations partners, HR partners, and LP/safety team members and works regularly in cross-functional committees to strengthen and create new and existing relationships.Tapping into the Hub of KnowledgeSince the restaurant industry is so much different than retail, I find it essential to surround myself with experienced restaurant-specific professionals that I can connect with through the Restaurant Loss Prevention and Security Association (RLPSA).Networking with like-minded professionals is the key to any loss prevention leader’s success. Attending the RLPSA’s annual conference has provided me with not only an unprecedented networking ability but also education and insight from other restaurant loss prevention programs facing similar challenges. To me, that is invaluable. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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Maryland Issues Wayfair Guidance

first_imgMaryland issued guidance for online sellers after the recent decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. advising them to review the decision. Wayfair struck down the requirement that a vendor must be physically present in a state to be subject to sales and use tax in that state.Sellers collecting and remitting Maryland sales tax should continue to do so.Remote Seller CollectionMaryland imposes sales tax as broadly as permitted by the U.S. Constitution. Remote sellers should review the Wayfair decision to see how they are affected. Remote sellers that want to start collecting tax  should complete a Combined Registration Application.Maryland has not signed the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement and is not a participating state. SST registration cannot be used to collect Maryland sales tax.Maryland Vendor CollectionMaryland vendors that sell into other states may have to collect tax for those sales. Vendors are advised to contact states they make sales in for guidance on collection.Sales and Use Tax Alert, Maryland Comptroller, July 17, 2018, ¶202-050Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

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Sania Mirza will be in top 100 for sure: Martina Navratilova

first_imgTennis legend Martina Navratilova, on her first visit to India for the WTA Hyderabad open, spoke to senior editor Sharda Ugra. Excerpts: Martina NavratilovaQ.Indian girls are always told that in tennis everything is against them physique, culture, precedent. Can such hurdles be overcome?A. Physique is bullshit … pardon my French,Tennis legend Martina Navratilova, on her first visit to India for theWTA Hyderabad open, spoke to senior editor Sharda Ugra. Excerpts: Martina NavratilovaQ.Indian girls are always told that in tennis everything is against them physique, culture, precedent. Can such hurdles be overcome? A. Physique is bullshit … pardon my French but Justine Henin-Hardenne is just 5 ft 6 in. You don’t have to be a monster to be No. 1. Roger Federer is not a big guy. One who can be a threat at the net as well as play from the baseline, that is the player who will be No. 1, the champion of 2005 or 2010. If you are bigger, it helps but there is place for a smaller player who is clever and fast, who can use the court. I don’t think physique is the problem in India, it is more cultural. Girls are not encouraged to be as active as boys, women don’t have as many opportunities. It is tricky but you can overcome it. Look at Sania, she’ll be in the top 100, for sure.Q. What would you say to Sania Mirza today? A. Love what you do and do it to the best of your ability. Give 100 per centon the practice court, in preparation, in matches. Take care of details – fitness, rest, training, diet. Also balance tennis with other things.Q. Can athleticism be taught to a player who may not move well? A. No, you are either a natural athlete or not. Movement is essential to reach the top. And all top players are great movers. But you can work to become a better athlete at every level. India has fantastic cricketers and you play very good field hockey which is a very athletic sport. So the basic athletic ability is there, you just have to nourish it.Q. Can India produce champions? A. I don’t know how many people play tennis here. Dogirls play it in school? Do you have the system to support it? You need clubs, funding, competition. You are only as good as your opposition. You cannot hit a great tennis ball until a great tennis ball is hit to you.Q. When you come to places like India,does your impact surprise you? A. It is strange when you come to a country you have never been to and people know who you are. I amnot used to it. It still surprises me.Q. In your press conference, you said you were familiar with Indian history. Who and what had you heard of, outside tennis? A. Indira Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi himself. Indira was very popular in Czechoslovakia. I know about the division of India and Pakistan, the history, about the Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and the Buddhists. You have such a combination of cultures and they got along fine until the British came and messed things up. But you are getting yourself together economically. Indian people are so bright … it is funny, every time I call AOL for technical support, Iend up talking to someone in India.advertisementlast_img read more

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SBP still on lookout for next naturalized player

first_imgHotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH LATEST STORIES Recruitment biggest challenge for Frankie Lim at Perpetual View comments MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Malditas save PH from shutoutcenter_img But they just haven’t decided on who to take that next step with.“At this point in time, we do not have any particular player yet. My understanding is we’re still looking for the best possible candidate,” said SBP vice chairman Robbie Puno on Thursday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“Right now, we’re ready to spearhead that process. We’ve spoken with a couple of congressmen who will author the bill. But what we’re waiting for is the imprimatur as to who we will really make the effort to naturalize, because when you start that process, it becomes really difficult,” he said.Blatche has represented the Philippines as its naturalized player for the better part of the last three years, but the SBP has meticulously tried to find a contingency plan and kept an eye on a few prospects. One of them is Isaiah Austin, who suited up for Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas in the 2017 Fiba Asia Champions Cup and impressed with his averages of 20.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, and 2.4 assists.Puno, who authored the bills for the naturalization of Blatche and Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger previously, said that the Philippines hosting the 2023 Fiba World Cup should be taken at the highest of considerations as SBP looks to field possibly one of the strongest national teams in six years’ time.“If our target is 2023, there will be probably enough time for us to make sure we have the right player in terms of his basketball skills, his age, as well as his attitude,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Andray Blatche. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netAndray Blatche may still be at his peak right now, but Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) acknowledges that the Syracuse native is now battling time.That’s why the association has is prepared to endorse next naturalized candidate who could represent the country in international tournaments.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breadslast_img read more

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