A former cadet’s recent account of a sexual assault aboard an unnamed Maersk Line Limited (MLL) vessel has received widespread attention in the U.S. maritime community.
After a series of unfavorable developments in 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation temporarily halted USMMA’s Sea Year program for a review of its sexual assault / sexual harassment prevention protocols.
The latest allegations were published late last month, and they have renewed a longstanding debate over the extent of sexual misconduct in the merchant marine.
In response, USMMA’s parent agencies – the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation – have stepped in again to “determine the steps required to increase and ensure the safety” of the academy’s students.
The story has also reached the headquarters of MLL parent company AP Moller-Maersk, the largest ocean carrier in the world – even reaching the desk of APMM CEO Søren Skou, according to Danish business outlet Berlingske.
“There are enough details for us to be able to identify which ship and which employees are involved. That is why we have something that forms the basis for initiating an investigation, and that is why we have suspended the five involved officers who [were] on the ship,” APMM technical manager Palle Laursen told the outlet.
“We are deeply shaken by this. The way in which the incident is described is not only contrary to ordinary decency, but also in particular to our values and what we stand for in Maersk.”
The information obtained in the investigation will likely be handed over to the police, and Laursen told Berlingske that it is possible that the inquiry may look at other mariners as well.
It is not the first time that an MLL vessel has been touched by a sexual assault scandal.
The advocacy organization contends that the fine reflects a pattern and practice of non-disclosure at MLL but MLL disputes this characterization and is contesting the fine in administrative proceedings.
AP Moller-Maersk has historically declined to provide information about sexual assault and sexual harassment within its global organization, citing confidentiality.
However, Palle Laursen told Berlingske that “overall, we do not have the impression that this is a widespread phenomenon at Maersk.”
Buhari, Jonathan, Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdusalami, Osinbajo, Atiku, others to spend N13.8billon from N27.5 trillion 2024 budget
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Federal government has earmarked the sum of N13.8 billion in the 2024 budget as the cost of upkeep of
former presidents, vice presidents, heads of state, Chiefs of General Staff, retired heads of service, permanent secretaries, and retired heads of government agencies and parastatals.
The beneficiaries include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, ex-vice-presidents Atiku Abubakar, Namadi Sambo and Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
Also expected to benefit from the windfall are ex-military Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Abdusalami Abubakar, as well as a former dictator and self-styled military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, and a former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd.).
Also, N1tn was provisioned for the public service wage adjustment for government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (including arrears of promotion and salary increases, and payment of severance benefits and minimum wage-related adjustments).
A breakdown shows that the entitlements of former presidents/heads of state and vice presidents/chief of general staff will cost N2.3bn. At the same time, N10.5bn is proposed as benefits for retired heads of service, permanent secretaries and professors.
The payment of severance benefits to retired heads of government agencies and parastatals is proposed to cost N1bn.
Other allocations include N65bn for the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the reintegration of transformed ex-militants; N1bn for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Energy; and N108bn for unnamed special projects.
The government is also proposing the sum of N40bn to offset electricity debts owed to power distribution companies by all MDAs.
President Bola Tinubu unveiled the N27.5 trillion budget estimates for the 2024 fiscal year.
The budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, where it is currently undergoing scrutiny and deliberation for final approval.
In his presentation, he declared, “The 2024 Appropriation has been themed the Budget of Renewed Hope.
The proposed budget seeks to achieve job-rich economic growth, macro-economic stability, a better investment environment, enhanced human capital development, as well as poverty reduction and greater access to social security.
News Alert: Wale Adeniyi revives CG conference, holds 2023 edition December 13-15 in Lagos.
Ukraine blocks Russia’s reelection bid at IMO council elections
The outcome is another blow for Russia after it failed in its bid to return to the UN’s top human rights body in October, in an election seen as a key test of Western efforts to keep Moscow isolated.
Last year, Moscow also failed to win enough votes for re-election to the UN aviation agency’s governing council.
The London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) is responsible for regulating the safety and security of international shipping and preventing pollution and comprises 175 member state countries.
Russia has been a member since 1958 and has been consistently re-elected to the IMO Council.
With voting on Friday, 40 countries were elected by secret ballot to the IMO Council, which supervises the work of the body.
In October, Russia said the IMO was departing from its impartial role due to “external pressure” which it said was impacting the fair treatment of all member countries.
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