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COVID -19 Virus Global Thinkers Gather To Seek Solutions At The IGCF

With  COVID-19 dominating the news headlines worldwide, global thinkers, celebrities and statesmen offer their prognosis and chart the course of action.

– Actor and Activist Priyanka Chopra, Futurist Dr. Michio Kaku, former President of Colombia H.E. Juan Santos and other leading voices have spoken about the measures to tackle Coronavirus at the 9th International Government Communications Forum in Sharjah, UAE.

– Headlining the Forum, Actor and Activist Priyanka Chopra Jones spoke passionately about the role of the entertainment industry to promote diversity and cultural awareness and also addressed the issues of social responsibility and toxicity of social media. 

Sharjah, UAE –  Health checks at airports, deep cleans of public spaces – containment measures have kicked into gear around the world, but will they help to stop the spread of the coronavirus?

While many international events have been cancelled, 64 global thinkers, celebrities and statesmen gathered in Sharjah, UAE to discuss effective government communications as they chart the course of action to tackle the virus.

Former President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos drew on his experience of containing chikungunya virus and El Niño weather events:

“My recommendation to any government is don’t underestimate the problem, never try to hide the truth, don’t manipulate the health officials and experts, allow as much information as possible. What I hope is that something that we are experiencing open our eyes to the world to appreciate the importance of international cooperation.”

Physicist Michio Kaku aims to understand the future of humanity based on his grand “theory of everything”. He’s spoken about the future of AI and the new tech enabling telepathic communications.

Talking about the future development of the virus, he found it hard to asses the scale of what’s to come:

Futurist Michio Kaku: “I think right now you have to be a little bit pessimistic because it hasn’t peaked yet. But look at the flu virus. At one point, the flu virus is also quite, quite dangerous. But over time, it begins to lose some of its lethality. So let’s hope that we’re entering that phase in the coming months. But it’s impossible to say right now.”

Actress, producer and activist Priyanka Chopra Jones was one of the headliners at the event to talk about the power of entertainment industry to change narratives.

She said influencers are as vulnerable to the virus and said all communications are best left to the governments:

“No, I don’t think we have a role to play in educating people about the Coronavirus, because I think we’re just as vulnerable to it as anyone else. And we have as much information or lack of information thereof as everybody else. I just I would implore everyone to, you know, to wash your hands and just educate yourself as much as we know. And I would also implore the governments to give us a lot more information as they find out. “

Irina Bokova, former Director General of UNESCO and a recent candidate for the UN’s top job talked about the dangers of a possible pandemic in an increasingly nationalist world:

“Governments prefer to deal with bilateral issues, multilateralism is under threat, but I don’t see any other possibility of solving global issues that do not know geographical and geopolitical borders. Coronavirus is definitely one of those issues that testify to the fact that these problems will not stop at the border and are not confined in one single country.”

Coronavirus cases have grown in the Middle East in the past week, crossing a threshold of 3000 infections with more than 90 deaths.

Over the past few days a decision had been taken to have schools and universities to be closed for a period of four weeks starting from Sunday, March 8.

The UAE has also been helping Iran, facilitating a WHO mission to deliver medical supplies and equipment.

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea holds Inauguration of the first EITI Office

 The Republic of Equatorial Guinea holds Inauguration of the first EITI Office

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea has today held on June 12, 2019 the inauguration of the first national EITI office in the coastal city of Bata and economic capital of that country. The act coincided with the opening of the ADB Conference (African Development Bank) in the capital city, Malabo.

Equatorial Guinea, after the long period of implementation of the Initiative for Transparency in Extractive Industries (EITI), has taken a giant step today by opening its first national office to the public; This demonstrates the country’s interest in carrying out a transparent process regarding the management of extractive resources.

The opening ceremony was chaired by the Hon. Mr. Santiago Mba Eneme Nsuga, Secretary of State for Mines and Hydrocarbons, on behalf of the Hon. Mr. Gabriel Mbaga OBIANG LIMA, President of the National Commission of the Preparatory Group of EITI-GE; In addition, there was the attendance and participation of Mrs. Priscila Obono Ateba, vice-president, and Mr. Jacinto Nguema Owono Mikue, permanent secretary of the National Commission respectively as well as Civil Society.


Jun, 12, 2019



New Year’s Eve Firework Display Breaks Two Guinness World Records


Vision: Fireworks setting Guinness World Record for the ‘Longest chain of fireworks’. Audience watching from shore. Fireworks setting Guinness World Record for the ‘Longest straight-line fireworks display’. Children watching. Fireworks.  Interview with Abdullah Al Abdooli, Managing Director and CEO of Marjan. Interview with Phil Grucci, CEO and Creative Director, Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks being assembled prior to New Year’s Eve.

Story: January 1st 2019: Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.

Ras Al Khaimah captivated the world with its 2019 New Year’s Eve Fireworks that welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to the emirate. Organised by Marjan, with the support of Ras Al Khaimah’s government entities, and put together by Fireworks by Grucci, the Ras Al Khaimah New Year’s Fireworks, spanning a duration of over 13.20 minutes, also clinched two Guinness World Records for the ‘Longest chain of fireworks’ and the ‘Longest straight line of fireworks’.

Clinching the Guinness World Records for the ‘Longest chain of fireworks’, the first pyrotechnic display, the tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed, featured 11,284 firework devices. The earlier record was for deploying 10,005 firework devices set by Viejas Casino & Resort (USA) in Alpine, California, USA, on September 12, 2014. Fireworks were deployed from 52 sites along Al Marjan Island and the waterways of Ras Al Khaimah’s coastline, with the total length of the chain exceeding 4.6 kilometres. The show was set  to 12 international music compositions  and the record was set in just 40 seconds.

This was followed by a drone countdown to the New Year. A canopy of golden showers followed and Ras Al Khaimah won the Guinness World Records for the ‘Longest straight-line of fireworks’. The stunning display spanned an area of 13 kilometres, trumping the earlier record set over a distance of 11.38 kilometres.

The display had the largest calibre of aerial shells at a diameter of 600 mm, the largest used in the UAE for any fireworks display during this New Year’s Eve. The record was set in 12.06 minutes, with fireworks positioned at 13 sites across Al Marjan Island and the waterways along the RAK shoreline. There were seven themed chapters for the show, which was set to international music compositions. The inspiration for the fireworks display was the natural beauty of Ras Al Khaimah and it was choreographed to highlight the beautiful beaches and resorts along the Emirate’s shoreline.

A 200-piece SkyMagic drone show was precisely integrated into the fireworks design. Scenes such as the tribute to Sheikh Zayed were displayed within a 100m space in the sky accented by colourful bursts of fireworks. A sweeping display of a falcon spreading its wings emphasised the heritage of the Emirate.

Designed by Phil Grucci, CEO & Creative Director of Fireworks by Grucci, the event was verified by an official adjudicator from Guinness World Records for the ‘Longest chain of fireworks’ and the ‘Longest straight-line of fireworks.’ Following the fireworks gala, Abdullah Al Abdooli and Phil Grucci, received the Guinness World Records titles from the adjudicator.

Marjan worked closely with Ras Al Khaimah’s government entities, including Ras Al Khaimah Public Works, to create several public viewing areas across Al Marjan Island. More than 27,000 additional public car parking spaces were provided to welcome the guests.

Preparations for the 2019 Ras Al Khaimah New Year’s Eve Fireworks started in early 2018 immediately after the successful Guinness World Record achievement for the ‘Largest Aerial Shell’ displayed from Al Marjan Island at last year’s New Year’s Eve celebration.

Over 300 hours were spent to design the show. The design resulted in the programming of over 41,000 lines of computer instructions to control 20 computers to display the sweeping performance. The firework components for the aerial shells, ranging in size from 14 to 600 mm, were handcrafted exclusively by Grucci in their factories in New York and Virginia over a two month period.

Abdulla Al Abdooli, Managing Director & CEO of Marjan, said: “The spectacular event highlighted the reputation of Ras Al Khaimah as the must-visit destination for celebrating New Year’s Eve. With visitors arriving from across the world, the event served to highlight the touristic appeal of Ras Al Khaimah and to position it as a fast-growing leisure and commercial hub in the region”.

Shows: Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

0:00       Vision of Guinness World Record fireworks for ‘Longest chain of fireworks’

0:03        Zayed 100 Drone light display

0:07        Close up of spectators watching.

0:14        Drone light display of countdown.

0:27        Vision of Guinness World Record for ‘Longest straight-line chain of fireworks’

1:00        Spectators watching drone light display of falcon.

1:12        Vision of Guinness World Record for ‘Longest straight-line chain of fireworks’

1:35       Vision of Ras Al Khaimah drone light display.

1:42       Drone light display of Jebel Jais mountain.

1:57       Vision of fireworks.

2:34       Vision of Guinness World Record certificates being presented.

3:24       Close up of certificates.

3:29       Interview Abdullah Al Abdooli, Managing Director and CEO of Marjan.

Two Guinness World Records in one night at the beginning of 2019. I can see the happiness in the face of the people. People were amazed with the wonderful show that we had today in Ras Al Khaimah.

3:45       Interview with Phil Grucci, CEO and Creative Director, Fireworks by Grucci. The reaction of the people. You can hear the people in crowd roaring when the fireworks show was going on and seeing the longest chain, the longest straight line of fireworks. The reaction is the reward that we all have. Seeing people really enjoying themselves and Happy New Year to everyone.

04.01     Aerial of Al Marjan Island

04:08     Vision of firework preparations

04.12     Close up of inserting fireworks into launchers

04.15     Vision of prepared fireworks

04.17     Setting up connections for fireworks

04.20     Vision of fireworks being set up on the beach

04.23     Close up of fireworks on beach

04.26     Josef J Mercante , Producer, Fireworks by Grucci

“This one, this one will go at the same time. Probably with those two over there.  In some cases they’re the same, so it’s a big fan”

04.35     Prepared fireworks

04.39     Boat approaching firework barges

04.43     Counting the loads

04.45     Vision of docked barge from the survey boat

04.48     Surveyors on the beach counting loads

04.51     Close up of surveyor boarding a barge

04.54     Surveyor ticking off the barges as they’re checked

04.57     Surveyor recording result on white board

05.03     Aerial of Al Marjan Island

05:07     END

Other: None


Meghan Trumps British Royal Family

LONDON,UK – Top Trumps today crowns Meghan Markle as: ‘The New People’s Princess.’. 

The stunning Royal bride-to-be trumps ALL of her very soon to be new family – including the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Diana – in a brand new Royal Wedding Top Trumps pack, that hits shop shelves tomorrow (Wednesday 9th May 2018).

Meghan is described in her Top Trumps citation as “a modern Royal for a modern age” .. as she is also crowned as both Queen of Style AND Queen of Hearts.

Meghan’s Mega Top Trump scores:

        • TOP TRUMP! :  She reigns supreme – alongside Princess Diana – in a People Person section, notching a perfect 10.
        • TOP TRUMP! :  Meghan beats Duchess of Cambridge in a ‘Style Icon’ listing in the pack, also scoring a maximum 10 out of 10 and being declared in her Top Trumps citation as: ‘The Queen of Style’.
        • TOP TRUMP! :  The former actress also takes top billing in a Big Day Rating category, along with her husband-to-be Prince Harry. Each score 100 out of 100.
        • TOP TRUMP! :  So that’s THREE of the game’s FIVE sections she tops – making her the highest ranked of all 30 cards in the pack.
        • TOP TRUMP! : Top Trumps boss Tom Liddell says he can’t recall a pack in Top Trumps’ 41-year history where one person has so dominated a deck.

Top Trumps has for more than 40 years been a cool cult classic, capturing the heartbeat of the public across more than 1,000 different topics from Dr Who to Dinosaurs and Harry Potter to Pop Stars.

The pack also sees dedicated cards to: Harry, The Queen, William, Kate, the new Royal baby Prince Louis  Diana, Charles, Meghan’s parents, Camilla, a Commoners card, The Spice Girls, Ed Sheeran, The Rings, The Dress and The Corgis AND US President Donald Trump.

Prince Louis just makes it into the pack! He joins his brother and sister, having been born only weeks before the wedding!

The Dorgis/Corgis vs Dexter the Cat – there’s animal rivalry at the royal wedding, but who trumps who??

Shows: London, UK

00:00 – 07:20 – Slates

07:20 – 17:04 – London GV’s

17:04 – 01:34 – Street Vox Pops – public playing Top Trumps with giant cards

01:38 – 02:05 – Soundbite (English) –  Tom Liddell – CEO, Top Trumps

“So Top Trumps is a card game famous all around the world and famous for rating popular culture. Everything from dogs to dinosaurs, from planes to presidents,  we’ve even got a card for Donald Trump. What we’re working on the moment though  is the Royal Wedding, obviously the biggest event of the year and we’re currently working on the deck with Harry and Meghan ready for the big day, May the 19th”.

02:10 – 03:17 Soundbites x5 (English) –  Claire Simon – Global Marketing Manager, Top Trumps

Soundbite 1:

“So this was a hard pack to rate, but Meghan trumps the Royal Family, she’s overtaking Kate on style and she’s up there with Princess Diana on “People Person”, she is the Top Trump” .

Soundbite 2:

“So we put Donald Trump in the pack because there has been lots of speculation about whether he will or won’t be invited to the wedding, turns out Meghan and Harry decided not to          put him on the Guest List, so we popped him in the pack but gave him a “Big Day” rating of zero, but does come up high in “VIP” rating only just being Trumped by The Queen”.

Soundbite 3:

“ The Royal Wedding is the biggest event of the year, everyone’s talking about it globally and it’s a big moment in history, it’s the ultimate fairy tale”.

Soundbite 4:

“It’s Hollywood meets royalty and there is an all star cast. We’ve got a Prince Charming – Harry who meets Hollywood star – Meghan, there’s The Queen, Prince Charles and even The Spice Girls. I t’s got everything”.

Soundbite 5:

“We rated the Royal Wedding using five categories, “VIP”, “Age”, “People Person”, “Style” and “Big Day Rating”.

03:22 – 03:38 GV’s Graphic Design working on card design

03:38 – 03:52 CU Hands shuffling pack of Royal Wedding Top Trump Cards

03:52 – 04:50 – Graphics of some of the cards in the pack

          1. Meghan Markle’s card
          2. Prince Harry’s card
          3. The Queen’s card
          4. Prince Philip’s card
          5. Prince Charles’ card
          6. Prince William’s card
          7. Camilla Parker Bowles’ card
          8. Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge’s card
          9. Prince George’s card
          10. Princess Charlotte’s card
          11. Prince Louis’ card
          12. Princess Diana’s card
          13. Donal Trump’s card
          14. The Spice Girl’s card
          15. Sir Elton John’s card
          16. Serena Williams’ card
          17. Ed Sheeran’s card
          18. The Corgis’ card
          19. St. George’s Chapel’s card
          20. The Dress’ card
          21. The Ring’s card
          22. Dexter The Cat’s card

04:55 – 05:31 Soundbite (English) –  Tom Liddell – CEO, Top Trumps

“ So Top Trumps – we are the World’s coolest games company. We make everything from “Game Of Thrones Risk” to “Super Mario Match”, from “Harry Potter Cluedo” to “Beatles Monopoly”, we’ve been around over forty years. I think we reckon we’ve sold a hundred million units to shops around the world, you can buy our games everywhere from Walmart to Harrods and from the Sydney Opera House store to the skyscrapers of New York City. What we’re probably most famous for though, is our card game Top Trumps”.

05:36 – 06:08 GV’s of the London Top Trumps Office including shots of current games.

Cornwall, UK

06:12 – 06.38 GV’s Printing and packing of the Royal Wedding Top Trumps Cards.

Windsor, UK

06:43 – 07:04 GV’s Windsor Castle.

07:06 – 0708 Contacts Slate.



“Dracula” The Largest Flying Dinosaur Ever Discovered Goes On Display!

DENKENDORF, GERMANY – It’s not only the largest and most powerful flying dinosaur ever found – it also belongs to a completely new genus of pterosaurs.

Scientists and paleontologists are talking about a sensation, because it’s different from all other fossils excavated so far.

Half a ton in weight, and with a wing-span of up to 20 metres.

His nickname “Dracula” comes from where he was discovered in 2009 Sebeş, Transylvania (Romania).

In the Altmühltal Dinosaur Museum (Germany/Bavaria), the Pterosaur is going to be presented to the public for the very first time.


Footage from the press meeting, updated daily,

“Dracula” being set up in the museum,

Pictures of the excavations in Transylvania


Mátyás Vremir, the man who found “Dracula”

Michael Völker, founder and owner of the Altmühltal Dinosaur Museum,

Raimund Albersdörfer, Altmühltal partner of the Dinosaur Museum, excavator and geologist

Other: Altmühltal Dinosaur Museum. Dinopark 1, 85095 Denkendorf

Editor Notes:

Dinosaur Museum Altmuehltal exhibits real Dracula

The  special  pterodactyl  exhibition  “Emperors  of  the  Skies”  presents  a  pterosaur  with  a  physique  that  is different from other previously-known species.

Well-preserved remains show that this is the largest and most robust pterodactyl ever found.

Denkendorf, March 22. The special pterosaur  exhibition “Emperors  of the Skies”  presented by the Altmuehltal

Dinosaur Museum features 24 important exhibits from the Altmuehl Jurassic along with a sensational find from

Transylvania. Nicknamed “Dracula” because of its origin in Transylvania,  this  pterosaur  has a physique that is different  from  other  previously  known  species.  Because  of  its  excellently  preserved  remains,  researchers conclude that it is the most powerful pterodactyl ever excavated.

“The carpal bone alone was larger than that of a mammoth, and the neck was the  width  of a full-grown man,” says paleontologist Mátyás Vremir, member of the Transylvanian Museum Society.

He discovered the first bone on a steep slope near the Romanian town of Sebeș in 2009.

Scientists  estimate  Dracula’s  weight to be at least  half a ton  and its  wingspan  at more than  12  meters.  “The pterodactyl may have had a  wingspan of up to 20  meters, and standing upright, it was probably as  tall  as a giraffe,”  says  Mark  Norell,  Curator,  Division  Chair  and  Professor  Division  of  Paleontology   at  the  American Museum of Natural History in New York. Norell was involved in the excavations in Romania.

“No large predators were found in the region around the site, which was probably a subtropical island landscape in the Cretaceous period. We assume that he was at the top of the food chain,” explains Raimund Albersdörfer, an  excavator and geologist who was involved and financed  the work for many years.

Like T.  rex  that  ruled another continent at the same time, “Dracula” was a witness and victim of the mass extinction of dinosaurs.

“This sensation underscores the Dinosaur Museum Altmuehltal’s claim to be one of the world’s most important exhibition  venues  for  prehistoric  times,”  says  museum  founder  Michael  Völker.  The  “Emperors  of  the  Skies” exhibition is open from March 23 to November 4, 2018.


Guinness World Record For World’s Largest Aerial Firework Shell

RAS AL KHAIMAH, UAE – One of this year’s biggest New Year’s Eve firework displays came from Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.

Guinness World Records were on hand to record the launch of the world’s largest firework into the record books.

The previous world record, held by Japan since 2014, is a 1, 204 pound shell with a diameter of 48 inches.

This new record saw a 2,200 pound shell, with a diameter of 56 inches launched into the sky over Al Marjan island by a 7 metre mortar, weighing 15,000 pounds and buried 4 metres into the sand.

The shell spectacularly detonated at a height of 2,200 feet.

The shell was created by Grucci Fireworks and shipped from America to the UAE where their technicians put the finishing touches to the set up for a spectacular New Year Fireworks display.

Watched by Guinness World Records adjudicators the launch of the new record holder for the world’s largest firework welcomed in 2018, lighting up the sky in the colours of the UAE flag. will finally be loaded and the entire construction put in position ready for the big night.


1. GVs Al Marjan Island New Year’s Eve Firework Display

2. HUGE aerial explosion of the new world record firework!

3. Interview – Phil Grucci, CEO & Creative Director, Fireworks by Grucci

Soundbite 1 “The current World Record for the world’s largest fireworks aerial shell is one thousand and twenty four pounds and the diameter is forty eight inches.

Our attempt to break that record is a two thousand, two hundred pound shell that’s going to be fifty six inches in diameter.”

Soundbite 2 “We came down to recce, to take a look at the island and when we first saw it, in its size and its linear shape, the coral type aspect, the circular aspect but parallel to this beautiful shoreline surrounded by bright, beautiful blue water; I said to myself, this is the perfect stage for a fireworks performance. The perfect stage to break a world record of the size of this”.

4. Interview – Abdullah Rashed Al Abdooli, Managing Director, Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah.

5. GVs Guinness World Record recognition

6. GVs Al Marjan Island

7. GVs Preparation of World’s Largest Arerial Firework Shell

8. Behind the scenes – setting up the Fireworks display.

9. Contact details, Ras Al Khaimah

Other: About Al Marjan Island

Al Marjan Island, is a man-made island located in Ras Al Khaimah, which extends a vast 4.5 kilometers into the sea and covers an area of 2.7 million square meters.

Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Peninsula, and enclosed by the Yanis and Jais Mountains, Al Marjan Island is truly a luxury destination. With sun, sand and sea all year round, Al Marjan welcomes residents and visitors from all over the world


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