Spice Girls

The Spice Girls are an English pop girl group formed in 1994. The group comprises Melanie Brown known as Mel B, Melanie Chisholm known as Mel C, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Victoria Beckham, they were signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single "Wannabe" in 1996. Their debut album Spice sold more than 31 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by a female group in history, their follow-up album, Spiceworld sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The Spice Girls have sold 85 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling girl group of all time, one of the best-selling pop groups of all time, the biggest British pop success since The Beatles. Among the highest profile acts in 1990s popular culture, Time called them "arguably the most recognizable face" of Cool Britannia, the mid-1990s celebration of youth culture in the UK. Measures of their success include international record sales, a 2007–2008 reunion tour, a 2019 reunion tour, vast merchandising enterprises, iconic symbolism such as Halliwell's Union Jack dress representing "girl power", a film, Spice World.

The group became one of the most successful marketing engines earning up to $75 million per year, with their global gross income estimated at $500–800 million by May 1998. Under the guidance of their mentor and manager Simon Fuller, the Spice Girls embraced merchandising and became a regular feature of the British and global press. In 1996, Top of the Pops magazine gave each member of the group aliases, which were adopted by the group and media. According to Rolling Stone journalist and biographer David Sinclair, "Scary, Ginger and Sporty were the most recognised group of individuals since John, Paul and Ringo". With the "girl power" label, the Spice Girls were popular cultural icons of the 1990s, they are cited as part of the'second wave' 1990s British Invasion of the US. In the mid-1990s, relatives Bob and Chris Herbert of Heart Management decided to create a girl group to compete with popular boy bands, such as Take That and East 17, which dominated the pop music scene at the time. In February 1994, together with financier Chic Murphy, they placed an advertisement in the trade magazine The Stage asking for singers to audition for an all-female pop band at Danceworks studios.

400 women attended the audition, during which they were placed in groups of 10 and danced a routine to "Stay" by Eternal, followed by solo auditions in which they were asked to perform songs of their own choosing. After several weeks of deliberation, Victoria Adams, Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Michelle Stephenson were among 12 women chosen to a second round of auditions in April. A week after the second audition, the women were asked to attend a recall at Nomis Studios in Shepherds Bush, performing "Signed, Delivered" on their own and in a group. During the session, Brown, Chisholm and Stephenson were selected for a band named "Touch"; the group moved to a house in Maidenhead and spent most of 1994 practising songs, written for them by Bob Herbert's long-time associates John Thirkell and Erwin Keiles. During the first two months, they worked on demos at South Hill Park Recording Studios in Bracknell with producer/studio owner Michael Sparkes and songwriter/arranger Tim Hawes. According to Stephenson, the material the group was given was "very young pop".

They worked on various dance routines at the Trinity Studios in Knaphill, near Woking, Surrey. A few months into the training period, Stephenson was fired from the group and replaced with Emma Bunton, it was during this time that Halliwell came up with the band name Spice. The group felt insecure about the lack of a contract and was frustrated by the direction in which Heart Management was steering them. In October 1994, armed with a catalogue of demos and dance routines, they began touring management agencies, they persuaded Bob Herbert to set up a showcase performance for the group in front of industry writers, A&R men in December 1994 at the Nomis Studios, where they received an "overwhelmingly positive" reaction. Due to the large interest in the group, the Herberts set about creating a binding contract for them. Encouraged by the reaction they had received at the Nomis showcase, all five members delayed signing contracts on legal advice from, among others, Adams's father. In March 1995, the group parted from Heart Management due to their frustration with the company's unwillingness to listen to their visions and ideas.

To ensure they kept control of their own work, they stole the master recordings of their discography from the management offices. That same day, the group tracked down Sheffield-based producer Eliot Kennedy, present at the showcase, persuaded him to work with them, they were introduced to record producers Absolute, who in turn brought them to the attention of Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment, who signed them to his company in March 1995. During the summer of that year, the group toured record labels in London and Los Angeles with Fuller, signing a deal with Virgin Records in September 1995, their name was changed to Spice Girls, as a rapper was using the name "Spice". From this point on until the summer of 1996, the group continued to write and record tracks for their debut album while extensively touring the west coast of the US, where they signed a publishing deal with Windswept Pacific. On 7 July 1996, the Spice Girls

Prime d'activité

The prime d'activité is a French social security benefit created on August 17, 2015, relative to labor relations and employment. Stemming from the fusion of the Revenu de solidarité active and the Prime pour l'emploi, the prime d'activité supports the occupation and buying power of low-income workers, rectifying certain problems posed by the both the RSA and PPE; as of January 1, 2016, the prime d'activité is issued by Caisse d'allocations familiales and Mutualité sociale agricole. The prime d'activité was created by the August 17 law #2015-994 relative to labour relations and employment:, title IV, took effect on January 1, 2016, it is codified in book 8 of the social security code L 841-1 to L 847-1, R 842-1 to R 848-1 and D 843-1 to D 848-5. The provisions were finalised by simple decree #2015-1710 on the 21 December 2015 and was published in the Journal officiel de la République française on the 22 December 2016; the creation of the prime d'activité is the result of several reports on two previous insufficient provisions regarding labor and low-income support, namely the RSA and the PPE.

The RSA, whose goal was to promote re-entry into the workforce without fear of earning less than unemployment benefits, was only used by a third of potential beneficiaries due to administrative complexities, fear of overcompensation, social stigma. Furthermore, in all but rare cases, the RSA was not issued to those under 25; the PPE, a tax credit supplementing low-wage incomes, reached between 95% and 97% of potential beneficiaries, but allocated low amounts with a one-year discrepancy in relation to employment. The prime d'activité corrects these drawbacks, it is unconnected to the RSA and is issued monthly at a "fixed" three-month rate irrespective of any changes in employment, reducing the incidence of overcompensation, can be claimed at age 18 with a simplified administrative process. The average amount allocated in 2015 was €170 per month; the objective remains to encourage re-entry into the workforce into low-paying positions, supplementing low incomes. All earnings cited here are defined in relation to SMIC and are shown in monthly net in practice.

On January 1, the net monthly SMIC was 1,130€. General conditions: Be a national of the European Economic Area and reside in France. For homeless individuals, selecting a place of residence at a Centre communal d'action sociale or other certified organisation. Conditions specific to the prime d'activité: be on a regular stay in France for at least 5 years if foreign to the EEA. Conditions for employees: earn between € 1500 per month. Conditions for craftspersons and self-employed individuals: earn between €898.83 and €2742 per month. Conditions for storekeepers: earn less than €6850 in revenue per month. Conditions for students and apprentices: earn at least €898.25 per month. Conditions for those earning less than €898.83 net per month: Proof of no other occupation. The prime d'activité is inversely proportional to earnings. Example for a single childless earner in 2017 €282 net per month: bonus of €185 per month. €1150 net per month: bonus of €132 per month. €1470 net per month: bonus of €15 per month

Genevievette Walker-Lightfoot

Genevievette Walker-Lightfoot is a former U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission attorney, she worked on the Bernard Madoff investigation in 2004, as the Lead Investigator for the SEC on the case. She reported them to her superiors, she was moved off of the case prior to being able to complete the investigation. Genevievette E. Walker graduated from Walt Whitman High School in Huntington, New York, received her B. A. from Georgetown University, attended the Catholic University of America. Walker-Lightfoot worked at the American Stock Exchange from 1999–2001 as a staff lawyer. Walker-Lightfoot worked at the SEC from 2001–06. While a lawyer in the SEC's Office of Compliance and Examinations, she was tasked in 2003–04 with conducting the SEC’s investigation into a complaint about the activities of now-convicted Ponzi-schemer Bernard Madoff and his firm, her work revealed troubling questions. In March 2004 she informed her supervisor, Branch Chief Mark Donohue, his boss, Assistant Director Eric Swanson, that she was concerned because her review of Bernard Madoff found numerous inconsistencies, that she recommended further follow-up questioning.

However, in April 2004 she was told by Donohue and Swanson that because of pressure to investigate the mutual fund industry, she was to focus on that investigation instead, conclude work on the probe, to give all of her documentation from the Madoff investigation to a co-worker. After the investigation concluded, Swanson married Shana Madoff, a niece of Bernie Madoff and the in-house compliance attorney at Madoff's firm. A spokesman for Swanson, who has left the SEC, said Swanson "did not participate in any inquiry of Bernard Madoff Securities or its affiliates while involved in a relationship" with Shana Madoff. Walker-Lightfoot sent emails to her supervisor saying information provided by Madoff during her review didn't add up, sent up a set of questions to ask Madoff's firm, according to a report in The Washington Post. Several of the questions directly challenged Madoff activities that turned out to be elements of his massive fraud, the newspaper said. Madoff was sentenced to a prison term of 150 years on June 29, 2009, after he pleaded guilty to a decades-long fraud that U.

S. prosecutors said. The Washington Post reported that when Walker-Lightfoot reviewed the paper documents and electronic data supplied to the SEC by Madoff, she found it full of inconsistencies, according to documents, a former SEC official, another person knowledgeable about the 2004 investigation. Swanson, no longer with the agency, declined to comment, the Post said. SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation by the agency's Inspector General, Reuters reported. Walker-Lightfoot left the SEC in January 2006, after having received a judgment in her favor against the SEC in a hostile work environment case Walker-Lightfoot did not experience a break in Federal service, as she went to work at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where worked as a specialist in risk management and large financial institutions until October 2011. On November 16, 2009, Walker-Lightfoot was sworn into the Supreme Court of the United States bar. Leaders of the SEC testified on February 4, 2009, before the United States House Committee on Financial Services subcommittee including Linda Chatman Thomsen, acting General Counsel Andy Vollmer, Andrew Donohue, Erik Sirri, Lori Richards ), Stephen Luparello of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

The subject of the hearings was why the SEC had failed to act when Harry Markopolos, a private fraud investigator, alerted the SEC detailing his persistent and unsuccessful efforts to get the SEC to investigate Madoff, beginning in 1999. Richards testified that her department failed to find Madoff due to having to "match available staff resources to the most pressing needs", she restated the same cause for missing the Madoff Ponzi scheme June 17, 2009, in a speech at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association's Compliance and Legal Division St. Louis Regional Seminar. On July 9, six days after the Washington Post article concerning Walker-Lightfoot's involvement in the Madoff investigation was published), The Post announced that Richards would resign from the SEC in order to "take on new challenges."