Oracle Co-CEO Mark Hurd Dies At 62

courtesy: www.bizjournals.com/

 

Oracle Corp. ORCL -0.87% said Mark Hurd, one of its two chief executives officers, died Friday.

Oracle said last month that Mr. Hurd, 62, was taking a medical leave of absence, removing the technology giant’s top executive for sales and strategy at a time of intensifying competition in the business-software market.

Oracle didn’t immediately mention the cause of death and hadn’t said what specific issues the CEO was facing when he took leave.

Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison said “Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle.”

He shared the chief executive role with co-CEO Safra Catz. Hurd, who was paid $108.3 million last year, previously served as CEO of Hewlett-Packard for five years until 2010.

In an email to employees on Friday morning obtained by the Business Journal, Oracle co-founder and Chairman Larry Ellison wrote:

Team,
It is with a profound sense of sadness and loss that I tell everyone here at Oracle that Mark Hurd passed away early this morning.

Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague. Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle.

All of us will miss Mark’s keen mind and rare ability to analyze, simplify and solve problems quickly. Some of us will moss his friendship and mentorship. I will miss his kindness and sense of humor.

Mark leaves his beloved wife Paula, two wonderful daughters who were the joy of his life, and his much larger extended family here at Oracle who came to love him. I know that many of us are inconsolable right now, but we are left with memories and a sense of gratitude… that we had the opportunity to get to know Mark, the opportunity to work with him … and become his friend.

Risks Posed By Facebook’s Libra Must Be ‘Addressed’ Before Launch – G20

Breaking Up Facebook Isn't The Answer, Says Zuckerberg
This file photo taken on February 18, 2019 shows the US social media Facebook logo displayed on a tablet in Paris.
Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP

 

Facebook’s proposed digital currency creates “serious” risks of money laundering, fraud and illicit finance, the Group of 20 economies said Friday, adding to the resistance the proposed digital currency faces.

“Such risks… need to be evaluated and appropriately addressed before these projects can commence,” the Japanese presidency of the Group of 20 forum said in a statement.

 

 

US Makes History With First All-Female Spacewalk

This undated combination photo obtained from NASA shows astronauts Christina Koch (L) and Jessica Meir. After an infamous spacesuit flub earlier this year that resulted in accusations of sexism, NASA now plans to carry out the first all-female spacewalk this week, it said on October 15, 2019. Koch and Meir will venture outside the International Space Station either October 17 or October 18 to replace a power controller unit that failed over the weekend. HO / NASA / AFP

 

US astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir became the first all-female pairing to carry out a spacewalk Friday, a historic milestone as NASA prepares to send the first woman to the Moon.

The mission was originally planned for earlier this year but had to be aborted due to a lack of properly fitting spacesuits, leading to allegations of sexism.

“Christina, you may egress the airlock,” spacecraft communicator Stephanie Wilson said as the pair set out to replace a power controller on the International Space Station at 1138 GMT.

This image taken from NASA TV shows, astronaut Christina Koch during her spacewalk outside the International Space Station on October 18, 2019.

They began their mission with standard safety checks on their suits and tethers, before making their way to the repair site on the station’s port side, as the sunlit Earth came into view.

In a call to reporters a few minutes earlier, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine emphasized the symbolic significance of the day.

“We want to make sure that space is available to all people, and this is another milestone in that evolution,” he said.

“I have an 11-year-old daughter, I want her to see herself as having all the same opportunities that I found myself as having when I was growing up.”

– Suit flub –
The first all-female spacewalk was supposed to take place in March but was canceled because the space agency had only one medium-sized suit, with a male-female combination performing the required task at a later date.

Traditionally male-dominated NASA’s failure to be adequately prepared was denounced in some quarters as evidence of implicit sexism.

When they had been outside space station for about five hours, President Donald Trump reached the astronauts in a video call and told them they had made history.

“You are very brave, brilliant women,” Trump told Koch and Meir.

“You represent this country so well,” the president added. “We are very proud of you.”

Koch, an electrical engineer who is leading the mission, is carrying out her fourth spacewalk and was hooked up to the station’s robot arm.

Meir, who holds a doctorate in marine biology and is making her first ever spacewalk, made her way carefully across using handles.

The two were working to replace a faulty battery charge/discharge unit, known as a BCDU.

The station relies on solar power but is out of direct sunlight for much of its orbit and therefore needs batteries, and the BCDUs regulate the amount of charge that goes into them.

The current task was announced Monday and is part of a wider mission of replacing aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with higher capacity lithium-ion units.

– Artemis –
The US sent its first female astronaut into space in 1983, when Sally Ride took part in the seventh Space Shuttle mission, and has now had more women astronauts than any other country.

But the first woman in space was Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova in 1963, followed by compatriot Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982, who was also the first woman spacewalker two years later.

Ken Bowersox, NASA acting associate administrator, said he hoped that an all-female spacewalk would soon be a “routine” matter that would not require celebration.

Asked why it had taken so long — Meir is the 14th US woman spacewalker — he said men’s added height provided an advantage. “There have been a lot of spacewalks where very tall men who are the ones that were able to do the jobs because they were able to reach and do things a little bit more easily,” he said.

“But we’ve also brought women into the crews, because of their brains right, they come in and they bring different skills, they think of things different ways.

“And by using their brains, they can overcome a lot of those physical challenges.”

NASA plans to return to the Moon by 2024 for the first time since the Apollo landings of 1969 – 1972. The new mission is named Artemis, after the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology.

The mission will see the first woman to set foot on the lunar surface, likely as part of a male-female combination, as the space agency looks ahead to a crewed Mars expedition in the 2030s.

British PM Says ‘No Better Outcome’ Than His Brexit Deal

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking about the government’s proposed Brexit deal in the House of Commons in central London
HO / PRU / AFP

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Friday there was “no better outcome” to the tortuous Brexit process than his divorce deal, as he scrambled to get MPs behind the agreement ahead of a knife-edge vote in parliament.

The day before the House of Commons meets to consider the agreement, Johnson urged lawmakers to back the “fantastic” terms he struck with European Union leaders and let Britain leave the bloc on October 31.

“There’s no better outcome than the one I’m advocating tomorrow,” Johnson told BBC television.

READ ALSO: Pound Drops As Johnson Faces Battle To Pass Brexit Bill

“I want colleagues on all sides of the House to think about a world tomorrow night in which we’ve got this thing done,” he added in a separate interview with ITV.

“I think the nation will heave a great sigh of relief.”

Johnson pulled off a major coup in agreeing to a new divorce deal at a Brussels summit on Thursday, only a fortnight before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU.

But the deal’s fortunes — and Britain’s immediate fate — rest in the hands of a few undecided MPs, who will vote in the first Saturday session of the Commons since the 1982 Falklands War.

Political pundits suggest the vote could be exceptionally tight.

Johnson has no majority among MPs, every opposition party has come out against the deal and even his parliamentary ally, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), says it cannot support the terms.

Johnson requires the support of 319 other MPs to guarantee victory — and claims he is confident of getting the numbers, as he spent the day meeting and calling MPs.

He must convince diehard eurosceptics in his own Conservative ranks, former colleagues he expelled from the party for seeking to block a “no deal” departure, and main opposition Labour MPs from Brexit-backing constituencies to have any chance.

Labour is ordering its MPs to vote against the deal but threatening no punishment if they vote in favour.

Several MPs spent Friday wrestling with their consciences as the more than three years of turmoil since the June 2016 EU membership referendum came to a head.

Johnson is expected to deliver a speech to parliament from 0830 GMT on Saturday, kicking off a day of debate that could last well into the evening.

– Macron turns the screw –
If the Commons rejects the deal, Johnson will be forced by law to ask the EU to delay Brexit, for what would be the third time. He has said he would rather be “dead in a ditch”.

French President Emmanuel Macron piled the pressure on MPs, saying he did not want a new delay now a deal was struck.

“The October 31 date should be respected. I don’t think that new deadlines should be given,” he said at the EU summit in Brussels.

“We need to end these negotiations and get on negotiating the future relationship.”

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel added: “There is no choice between Brexit or no Brexit: it’s a choice between deal or no deal.”

Johnson took office in July vowing to keep to the October 31 Brexit deadline, deal or no deal.

He pledged to renegotiate the most contentious elements of a divorce text agreed by his predecessor Theresa May with Brussels last year, which MPs rejected three times.

The compromise deal that was finally struck on Thursday has a new arrangement for keeping open the border between British Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

The DUP has said it cannot support the plans, as efforts to avoid checks on the Irish land border would lead to new trade barriers between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.

– Former PMs wade in –
Former Conservative prime minister John Major (1990-1997) and his Labour successor Tony Blair (1997-2007) pleaded with MPs to back a second referendum, ahead of a major rally by the “People’s Vote” campaign outside parliament on Saturday.

“Whatever is the outcome, no deal or bad deal, it should not pass without the final say resting with the people,” said Blair.

Major said Brexit was a “thoroughly bad idea” that risked breaking up the UK.

Sterling steadied around $1.29 Friday as dealers took a breather at the end of a dizzying week.

ETX Capital analyst Michael Baker said the market was “really gambling” on the vote and had “not priced in fully all scenarios — so expect big moves”.

NAF Kills Several Boko Haram Terrorists In Borno

Photo Credit: Image Grab/NAF Facebook Page

 

The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE (Nigerian Air Force) has destroyed a Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) meeting venue and neutralised several of their fighters at Ngoske on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State.

The attack was executed today, 18 October 2019, following successive days of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, which were aimed at identifying locations housing the BHTs’ leadership as well as their rendezvous positions.

READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests Nine For Cyber Crimes In Enugu

A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigeria Air Force, Ibikunle Daramola, explained that Intelligence derived from the ISR missions led to the designation of 2 buildings within Ngoske that served as assembly areas for the terrorists from where they launch attacks against own troops positions and innocent civilians.

“Accordingly, the ATF detailed its ground attack aircraft to engage the hideout, scoring devastatingly accurate hits which led to the complete destruction of the 2 buildings as well as the neutralization of several terrorists.

“The NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the Northeast”.

 

EFCC Arrests Nine For Cyber Crimes In Enugu

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), has arrested suspects for cyber crimes in Enugu.

The suspects were on Friday arrested at Mexmemphis Properties and Apartments, Maryland District of the state.

Spokesman of the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed the suspects in a statement released, they are, Precious Ibegbulem, Michael Odishi, Ebuka Kenneth, Akabuke Beluolisa, Chibueze Ezeagwu, Nnamdi Maduekwe, Kingsley Orazulike, Linda Chidera and Uche Nwosu were arrested following an intelligence report about their lifestyle and suspected criminal activities.

READ ALSO: NAF Neutralises Several Boko Haram Terrorists In Borno

On the strength of the information, the EFCC raided the home of the suspects and arrested them.

Items recovered from them include mobile phones, laptop computers, two Toyota Corolla vehicles with the registration number DM 722 YAB and LSR 468 FW, etc.

The suspects will be charged to court when the investigation is concluded.

You Are A Living Legend, Buhari Celebrates Gowon On 85th Birthday

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has described former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon as a living legend and a symbol of national unity.

The President stated this in a birthday message to Gen. Gowon on the occasion of his 85th birthday.

As Nigeria’s youngest leader since Independence, President Buhari affirms that Gen. Gowon’s visionary leadership style, wisdom and disciplined outlook kept the country as one, extolling the former Head of State for faith and steadfastness in God in times of adversity, and courageously pursuing the interest of majority Nigerians for a unified and stronger country.

The President believes the elder statesman laid a solid foundation for the country to thrive, with the creation of federating units, and implementation of futuristic policies like the National Youths Service Corps, that has consistently served the purpose of fostering unity, harmony and expanding the horizons of young Nigerians for lifetime opportunities.

READ ALSO: Winning War Against Drug Abuse Is Crucial To Next Level Mandate – Buhari

President Buhari commends Gen. Gowon’s simplicity and humility, leaving the highest position in the country to return to school for further studies, and returning to provide wise counsels to leaders, encouraging good governance and setting up an organisation, Nigeria Prays, that consistently upholds the nation in prayers.

The President notes that the former Head of State has stayed relevant in Nigeria and beyond, and enjoys wide respect from far and near.

President Buhari congratulates all family members, friends and close associates of the exemplary leader on the auspicious occasion of his 85th birthday, praying that the Almighty God will always remember his sacrifices for the nation, and grant him longer life, good health and strength to keep working for the good of country and humanity.

 

Winning War Against Drug Abuse Is Crucial To Next Level Mandate – Buhari

Buhari wades into Tiv-Jukun crisis

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says winning the war against drug abuse remains one of the critical elements of the Next Level mandate of his administration.

The President stated this on Friday when he received the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA).

He reiterated the commitment of the government to the welfare of the citizenry by fighting the scourge of drug abuse.

“Winning the war becomes one of the critical elements of the Next Level mandate of this administration. As a government, we have the responsibility to ensure the security and well-being of our people.

READ ALSO: You Are A Living Legend, Buhari Celebrates Gowon On 85th Birthday

“Our findings have shown that it is more difficult to bring down crime rate to acceptable levels without clearing our country of substance abuse,” the President said.

President Buhari, however, realising the enormity of the menace, solicited for the cooperation of all and sundry. He called on all well-meaning Nigerians and international partners to join hands with relevant government agencies in the fight against drug abuse.

While thanking the committee for its timely and diligent prosecution of the assignment, the President assured that the matter was of utmost importance, and the report would be studied along with the recommendations.

Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (retd) had told the President that since the committee was inaugurated on December 2018, it interfaced with a wide spectrum of stakeholders including Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Non-Governmental organisations, Civil Society Organisations, Faith-based Organisations, professional bodies, international partners and members of drug user communities with their parents, teachers and caregivers.

He added that the assignment, which took members to all the geopolitical zones of the country, confirmed the fears of President Buhari that Nigeria had a very strong drug problem that needed to be tackled as a national emergency.

He, however, said the key to tackling the menace is a formal launch of a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) as part of the declaration of a state of emergency on the menace as well as the establishment of a National Drug Control Commission.

PHOTOS: Buhari Meets With Calabar Leaders

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met with leaders of the Calabar community.

They include His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi, Otu V, Obong of Calabar, at the State House in Abuja.

The President said that though the City had lost its preeminent status as the first capital city of Southern Nigeria to Lagos but his administration will not lessen ongoing efforts to open the City to the rest of Nigeria but will increase the efforts to ensure happiness and betterment of the people of the City in particular and Cross River State in general.

See Photos Below:

 

 

APC Commends Buhari On New Travel Guidelines For Govt Officials

 

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the immediate implementation of sweeping cost-saving measures aimed at instilling financial discipline and prudence, particularly on government trips.

In a statement by the spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party welcomed the presidential directive to ministers and other heads of government agencies to suspend foreign travels and defend their budgets before the National Assembly.

“This will not only foster legislative-executive relations but also ensure that budget passage is speedy and returned to the January-December cycle.

READ ALSO:  FG Gives New Travel Guidelines For Govt Officials

“This is another fulfillment of the president’s election promise to cut the costs of governance, curb leakages, end impunity and ensure adherence to the rule of law by all departments of government.

“To list a few of the approved measures to instill financial discipline and prudence on government trips, all public-funded trips must be strictly for official purposes and must be backed with documented evidence.

“The classes of tickets approved for government officials on official trips have been clearly spelled out. In effect, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants to the President, Chairmen of Extra-Ministerial Departments and Chief Executive Officers of Parastatals are allowed to fly Business Class. Other categories of Public Officers are to travel on Economy Class.

“The government will no longer fund extended stays. The duration of official trips is limited to only the number of days of the event as contained in the supporting documents to qualify for public funding.

“Clearly, the era of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s governments when ministers and other senior government appointees splashed our commonwealth on private jet trips, first-class tickets and limousines to ferry family and cronies around are over. Our public resources are now being rightly deployed to address our national infrastructure needs, social investments and other initiatives that directly benefit the people.

“The APC administration remains resolute in fulfilling its promises to the people of Nigeria”.

 

Buhari Promises To Make Calabar Historic City

Buhari Meets with His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Abasi, Otu V, Obong of Calabar

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja assured full Federal Government’s support for the development of the historic City of Calabar.

At an audience granted His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi, Otu V, Obong of Calabar, at the State House, the President said that though the City had lost its preeminent status as the first capital city of Southern Nigeria to Lagos, his administration will not lessen ongoing efforts to open the City to the rest of Nigeria, but will increase the efforts to ensure happiness and betterment of the people of the City in particular and Cross River State in general.

“We will open up that part of Nigeria to the rest of the country,” President Buhari assured, adding that a number of projects are being executed by the Federal Government in the State.

According to him, “three road projects – Calabar-Ugep-Ikom-Ogoja; Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene and Sapele-Ewu – are at various stages of completion.”

The President noted that in order to speed up work on the Calabar-Ugep-Ikom-Ogoja road, plans are underway to incorporate it in the Sukuk Bond to increase the level of funding of the construction work.

He assured that the dredging of the Calabar harbour will be undertaken as soon as some legal issues are settled by the Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Ports Authority with the contractor.

President Buhari pledged full support to the Calabar Deep Sea Port project of the State, adding that a number of electricity projects would soon follow after a visit to the State by the Ministers of Power in the upcoming two weeks.

Enumerating other projects in the State being undertaken by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs such as the Industrial Park which is one of the three set up through the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, the President also noted the construction of roads and water projects by the Niger Delta Development Commission; the development of a Skills Acquisition Centre for youths; and the construction of houses among others.

In his address, the Obong of Calabar decried the disregard and neglect of the Calabar Kingdom in spite of its national historical significance, and called for the reversal of the “demotion” through the execution of projects in the areas of roads, power, maritime access, security and border issues as well as the plight of displaced persons from the Bakassi Islands.

The Royal Father congratulated President Buhari on his “overwhelming victory” in the February election and at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, and urged his administration to restore Calabar to what it lost to Lagos and Abuja.

 

PDP Demands Source Of Fund For First Lady’s Office, Aides

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenges President Muhammadu Buhari to lead by example demanding him to explain the basis and source of Presidential support for the Office of the First Lady, including the appointment of aides, contrary to his promise not to run that office

The PDP holds that Mr. President remains responsible and answerable for his presidential assurances and Nigerians expect an explanation on the violation of such sensitive undertaking.

While the PDP is still monitoring the implementation of directive to government functionaries on cost cut, the party tasks President Buhari to take the first step by immediately fulfilling his promise to reduce the Presidential fleet, as well as cut his over-bloated entourages and curtail the opulent lifestyle in the Presidency, which is daily flaunted before suffering and impoverished Nigerians.

In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said that millions of compatriots, who look up to government for solutions, wallow in hunger and acute poverty.

The party further urged “Nigerians to note that the Buhari Presidency has failed to make the details of its budget public, despite demands by our party and other well-meaning groups in Nigeria.

“The failure to make the details of the Presidency budget public places a huge burden on the Buhari Presidency, particularly in the face of allegations of budgetary corruption and financial sleazes.

“Unless the Presidency budget is made public for Nigerians to see, any directive on cost cut remains cosmetic”.