Obama reaches out to the Muslim world

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Will India bounce back against Pakistan?

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On Investing in Relationships

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now I’ve been thinking a lot about the value of relationships and the high cost of maintaining those relationships.All of our wonderful new social tools have distorted the meaning of words like relationship, friend, and network. In some way our tools have devalued the ideas behind these words. Once you cross Dunbar’s number, the people you are connected to on the social web are something less than relationships, something less than friends, or something less than your real network. These “relationships” may represent a community, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily have a relationship to each of the individuals in that community.The truth is that your real relationships are limited because they come with a very high price.The Investment of TimeIf you are going to have meaningful, valuable, and value-creating relationships, you have to make an investment of time. Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder; it makes the heart go wander. This is one of the main constraints on the number of real relationships you can manage.Think about the most important people in your personal life (it’s probably only five or so). What investment of time do you need to make in those relationships for them to be the meaningful relationships you really want?Think about your most important business relationships (this might be ten to fifteen people, maybe more for some people). Are you investing the time in those relationships to make them meaningful, valuable, and value creating?Because your time is finite, you have to make decisions about where you invest that time—and more importantly, who with.The Investment of FrequencyThe investment of time is critical to relationships. But the frequency of your communication matters too. The longer between visits, the less valuable the relationship becomes. The investment of frequency is part of what creates the relationship.Frequency is difficult, too. There isn’t enough time to do everything we would want to do were time unlimited. This means we often have longer gaps between the face-to-face meetings, the lunches or dinners, or phone calls.Care and feeding of relationships requires frequent communication. The value of the relationship is improved by frequent communication and reduced by long absences.How frequently do you invest your time with the people that matter most in your life? How frequently do you have meaningful communication with the people who make up your most important business relationships?The Investment of CaringThere isn’t any substitute for caring. This is the root of trust, and the root of all great relationships. You can’t care about everyone and everything. You have to make choices.The investment of time is a demonstration of caring. So is the frequency in which you initiate communication. But caring is more about creating value for the other person. It’s about finding a way to help them. Sometimes being valuable can be something as simple (and difficult) as just listening.In our business relationships, caring is the continuous, proactive search to find new ways to create value for your business relationships. Caring is finding some way to help create better business results.The sum total of your happiness is measured by the value of your relationships. You have a limited amount of time and energy to devote to those relationships. Make the investment of time, frequency, and caring to make your most important relationships what they should be.QuestionsHow many real friends do you have?How many real, meaningful, valuable business relationships do you have?How much time do you have to invest in relationships? How do you make the choices of where to invest that time?How frequently do you have meaningful interactions with your most important business relationships?What limits your ability to care? How do you make that investment?last_img read more

Just Stop It

first_imgJust stop it.Just stop believing that the new thing will solve the old problems. Prospecting has never been easy. Acquiring new opportunities is challenging even in the best of times. If by chance you happened to sell a product in hot demand and your clients beat a path to your door you were nothing more than lucky. Don’t expect that to ever be the norm. The only way to acquire new opportunities is to do the work.To just stop pretending that you don’t have time to update your sales force automation software. If you were to enter all of the opportunities that you create in a single day it’s likely that that exercise might take all of 10 minutes. So you’ve fallen behind and have to catch up? Seriously, you don’t have enough opportunities for it to take you more than an hour. No one does. But, your relationships are the most important asset you will ever have as a salesperson (or as a person). The record of those relationships are important to maintain. Take the 15 or 20 minutes a day to keep those records up to date.Just stop making excuses as to why your sales results aren’t what you want them to be. It’s a waste of time, and it doesn’t do anything to move you closer to your sales goals. It’s not your sales manager, even though he doesn’t care enough about you. It’s not your territory. It’s not your product, service, or solution. The sooner you accept that you’re the only one that can change your results the sooner you’ll produce them. Believe in yourself, and believe you have the power to make a difference.Just stop complaining about your price. Everyone complains about their price. Selling would be easy if all you had to do was say yes to the price that your client’s demand. But then, that wouldn’t be selling, now would it? Unless you happen to work for a company that competes on price (something as likely as your riding into your next sales call on a unicorn), you are going to have to work very hard to create value and even harder to capture some of it. The only thing you can do to make selling easier is to create enough value that no one has a problem with you capturing some part of it.Just stop it.QuestionsWhy is it easy to believe that there is some new answer to age-old problems? How often do these new ideas work?If you are being honest, how many opportunities do you create in a day? How long would it take you to keep meticulous records on those relationships?Why is it so easy to blame someone else for our own poor results? How much faster do you improve those results when you take 100% responsibility for them?How do you make it easy to sell value instead of price? Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

How to Fail as a Leader

first_imgYesterday, I had the great and terrible privilege of watching a leader fail.Failure to Communicate: The leader did not communicate with his team. He left them to their own devices. The team did not communicate with each other. The lack of communication caused them to make mistakes, and the mistakes caused them to fail. The leader said nothing.Failure to Believe Success Is Attainable: As the team’s performance worsened, their leader made visible his belief that the team was incapable of success. His failure to believe was immediately and irrevocably adopted by his team. He didn’t believe, so they didn’t believe either. He infected them with the belief that they could only lose, and that became their reality.Failure to Inspire and Motivate: The leader said nothing to inspire the team. He said nothing to instill confidence in his team. When they needed his encouragement, he withheld it, instead showing his lack of interest–and sometimes his contempt–for his team. He made no effort to help them turn things around.Failure to Demand Success: This leader failed to demand that his team give their all, that they do their very best. The leader literally allowed his team to fail. They may have failed anyway, but he should have made clear that he was going to demand more of them, that he wasn’t going to allow them to lose. He let them give up on themselves when he should have demanded they perform.The team failed themselves, too.No One Stepped Up to Lead: Not one member of the team stepped up to take over the role of leader when they lost theirs. They were too young and too inexperienced to know that no one makes you a leader; you step up and take responsibility.One person can make a difference. Leadership is the difference between winning and losing, between success and failure.QuestionsWhy is it important that a leader communicate with her team?How does a leader show her team that she believes in them?How does she inspire and motivate her team?Can you demand success?What is your responsibility when you have no leader?last_img read more

It’s Hard to Tell the Truth

first_imgIt’s harder to tell the truth than to tell people what they want to hear.The truth is that results are difficult to produce, they’re more expensive than you think, and that the change is going to be difficult and perhaps even disruptive. The truth is that things may have to get worse before they get better. You can see how that might not make you real popular, can’t you?Telling people what they want to hear is easier. All you have to do is switch to our firm to produce better results, we’ll save you money, and there will be a seamless transition that won’t disrupt your business at all. Now that sounds good, doesn’t it?This is the contrast principle at work. Better, faster, cheaper? Or better, slower, and more expensive?Some of your prospective clients will buy the big lie that is better, faster, cheaper. Some will buy the lie three or four times in a row, switching providers over and over again, always hoping that the lie is true. Some of these prospects will eventually tire of pursuing the lie and finally invest the time, energy, and money necessary to producing the results they need. Some will learn to live with something inferior and never make the investments.Other prospects are too old, too wise, or too committed to believe the lie. They know better. They make mature, rational business decisions. They’re skeptical of anything that sounds too good to be true because they know that there is no way that they could possibly deliver three outcomes as at odds with each other as better, faster, cheaper.It’s your job to recognize what your buyer believes. When you recognize they believe the big lie, you have to challenge that belief and ask them how they deliver better, faster, and cheaper to their clients or customers? When they hang on to the belief with all their hearts, you have to find your way over them, around them, or abandon them. Some is this group doesn’t want to hear the truth. They’d rather take the blue pill.When your buyer recognizes the need to make the right investments, it’s your job to help them make those investments by helping them see how investing in you is going to help them produce the results they need. It’s easy to tell this group the truth; they want to hear it. They want the red pill. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

Gadling, Sen’s bail pleas to be heard after SC verdict

first_img Directions to jail officialsMeanwhile, Judge K.D. Wadane expressly directed jail authorities to provide the accused with books, including those given to them by their families. He told the prison authorities to permit Mr. Wilson’s relatives to meet him, and approved Mr. Dhawale’s treatment at Sassoon General Hospital. He also directed the officials to permit the activists to receive clothes from their relatives.On September 6 and September 14, the prosecution had sought a postponement on the bail hearings of Ms. Sen and Mr. Gadling.Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar had earlier moved the court to shift the five arrested activists to separate jails, citing security issues at Yerawada Jail as the reason for the proposed transfer of the accused.All five were arrested during a multi-city crackdown conducted by a team of the Pune Police over the contentious Elgaar Parishad held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31 and the Bhima-Koregaon riots that erupted the next day. They were later booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The Pune sessions court will hear the bail pleas of human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling and Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen after the Supreme Court’s decision on the house arrests of the five other activists arrested by the Pune Police on August 28.The court of special judge K.D. Wadane on Thursday reserved the hearings on the bail pleas along with the applications of the Pune Police seeking the transfer of the activists arrested on June 6 to separate jails from Yerawada prison, where they are currently lodged.Ms. Sen, Mr. Gadling, Dalit activist-publisher Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson were arrested on June 6 for their alleged links with the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the Bhima-Koregaon clashes. On August 28, in a second countrywide crackdown, the Pune Police arrested activists Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha on similar charges. They have been under house arrest since August 29.Defence lawyers for the activists arrested on June 6 told the court on Thursday that they would prefer to wait for the bail pleas to be heard after the apex court has passed its decision on the August 28 arrests.Defence counsel Pratap Vitankar said, “A collective decision among advocates for the defence was reached since a parallel case, which is proceeding at the Supreme Court, will affect the bail pleas of Mr. Gadling, Ms. Sen and those activists arrested along with them.”last_img read more

Regional alliances important factor for Lok Sabha results: Farooq Abdullah

first_imgNational Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said the State-level alliances in the country will impact the national scene in upcoming Lok Sabha polls next year.“States will hold a key in alliance formations in the (Lok Sabha) elections. Alliances will be mostly in the States and those States will produce the results for the Parliament. And that will make the difference. Some places there will be stronger alliance and some place there will be mix alliances but the States will be important factor,” said Dr. Abdullah. Dr. Abdullah was speaking in Srinagar on the sidelines of a ceremony where two senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders, Peer Muhammad Hussain and Syed Basharat Bukhari, joined the party. The NC, however, has made clear it will not have any pre-poll alliance with the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir. Dr. Abdullah also called for early Assembly polls in J&K. “I think Governor and the President’s Rule must come to an end. There should be elections and people must choose their representatives who can work,” he added.last_img read more

Carbon Capture Would Become Reality Under New U.S. Power Plant Rules

first_imgThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed limits on carbon pollution from new fossil fuel power plants. The move, if successful, would be the first major step by the U.S. government to limit greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. For the first time, plants would be required to capture some of the carbon dioxide gas produced by burning fossil fuels in addition to finding ways to produce less of the gas in the first place.The regulations, which are a key element of President Barack Obama’s second term climate plan, include separate limits for power plants fueled by coal and natural gas. Coal plants would have to limit their carbon dioxide pollution to about  500 kilograms per megawatt hour of producing power; that’s a 30% to 50% greater reduction than required by existing rules, EPA says. Power plants powered by natural gas, which produce less carbon pollution per unit of energy produced, would be limited to a little more than 450 kilograms per megawatt hour.“By taking commonsense steps to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, we can slow the effects of climate change and fulfill our obligation to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our children,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement released today.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Opposition to the new regulations is expected to be fierce, with the energy industry and its allies on Capitol Hill reacting strongly today. “The proposed standards would require the use of expensive new technologies that are not commercially viable,” said Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, in a statement. “We are the Saudi Arabia of coal, but this impractical rule restricts access to one of our most abundant, affordable, and dependable energy sources.”The EPA received a whopping 2.5 million comments on the first version of the rules, released last year, before pulling them to work out some procedural issues.Some experts think that the new rules could help efficiently transition the U.S. economy to a lower carbon future. “The agency’s proposed rule is very flexible,” says John Thompson, an analyst with Clean Air Task Force, a Boston nonprofit. He cites the fact that power plants will be allowed to phase in emission reductions over 7 years, if they agree to slightly more stringent standards.Another flexibility that EPA included is that new plants would be required to capture some, but not all, of their carbon pollution. Advocates for reducing emissions from the power sector have argued that such “carbon capture and storage” (CCS) technologies will be essential to combating climate change, but CCS research and development is still in its very early days. Even more importantly, the power industry is turning to natural gas for generating electricity, suggesting that the market for building coal-fired power plants with carbon capture equipment could be decades off. “This rule is really not about ending coal, it’s about starting carbon capture,” Thompson says.The Obama administration is also working on new emissions regulations that would apply the existing fleet of power plants in the United States, but a draft isn’t expected until next year.last_img read more

Asteroid impacts may have formed life’s building blocks

first_imgA high-powered laser in the Czech Republic has now provided provocative evidence that the hellish conditions produced when an asteroid or comet slams into Earth could have created some key building blocks of life on Earth. In a lab experiment intended to duplicate the high temperatures and pressures of such an impact, researchers used the laser to simultaneously make adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil, the four organic compounds in RNA, which many believe to have been the first molecule to encode genetic information.“This is, I believe, the first time that all four nucleobases have been made in one set of reaction conditions,” says Steven Benner, an astrobiologist at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Gainesville, Florida.Researchers have long sought to identify ways that the nucleobases that make up RNA or DNA (which uses thymine instead of uracil) could be made from simpler substances. That, in turn, could help scientists ascertain where, how, and under what conditions life might have originated, says Svatopluk Civiš, a physical chemist at the J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry in Prague.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In recent years, Civiš says, researchers proposed that a simple substance called formamide was a possible source of such genetic building blocks. This minimalist chemical, which forms when hydrogen cyanide reacts with water, would have been abundantly available on early Earth and has the major elements needed for prebiotic chemicals—namely, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Indeed, some teams have already produced individual nucleobases in lab experiments using various catalysts to drive chemical reactions between formamide and other ingredients. And other teams have done so starting with different grab bags of simple chemicals.In the new research, Civiš and his colleagues fired their institute’s laser into a formamide-bearing solution that also included clay. In that mixture, intended to represent a chemical-rich pool on ancient Earth’s surface, the one-third-of-a-nanosecond-long pulses generated intense pressure, temperature spikes exceeding 4200°C, and a cascade of radiation including ultraviolet and x-ray wavelengths—just the sort of conditions expected when an object such as a comet or asteroid strikes the ground. Reactions sparked in the experiment’s harsh conditions, besides producing substances such as hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and methanol, also created the four RNA nucleobases, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.In addition to being a nice bit of lab work, Benner says, “this paper has real prebiotic relevance since it uses as a starting material a compound that was undoubtedly present in sizable amounts on early Earth.”Previous studies show that some classes of meteorites already contain nucleobases such as adenine and guanine, says Aaron Burton, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. But the new results suggest the celestial bodies could have also created them when they struck the planet, says Raffaele Saladino, an organic chemist at Tuscia University in Viterbo, Italy. While he and his colleagues have studied formamide under more benign lab conditions, the Prague experiments “are the first time that formamide has been studied in the context of a meteorite impact,” he notes.Such impacts were a significant factor in Earth’s early history. During a period aptly dubbed the Late Heavy Bombardment, which began about 4 billion years ago and lasted some 150 million years, large objects pummeled our planet and moon as well as Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Although many researchers have suggested that such impacts and their resulting effects on climate effectively sterilized Earth’s surface of any life that may have already started, the new study hints that this period seeded our planet with the raw ingredients necessary for life to develop. “This paper nicely correlates the Late Heavy Bombardment and the energy it delivered to Earth about 4 billion years ago with the formation of RNA and DNA nucleobases from formamide,” Benner says.Even if extraterrestrial bodies carried nucleobases to Earth in ancient times, Burton says, impacts “offer an additional route to creating these important molecules during periods of high bombardment.”last_img read more

Moratorium on risky experiments lifted for MERS mouse studies

first_imgThe U.S. government has lifted a temporary ban on research attempting to develop an animal model for the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) virus, a deadly coronavirus spreading from camels to people in the Middle East.On 17 October, in an unusual move, the U.S. government halted federal funding for risky studies on MERS, SARS, or influenza that tweak these viruses to make them more pathogenic or transmissible by respiration in mammals. Among the 18 stopped projects were at least five working on adapting the MERS virus to mice in order to generate a strain that sickens the animals. That could ease studies aimed at understanding the virus and developing vaccines and drugs.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The funding pause came as a shock to MERS researchers. At various meetings, including one at the National Academy of Sciences this week, they argued that developing an animal model for MERS is crucial for addressing the virus, which has infected at least 938 people and killed one-third of them. They applied for an exemption, spelled out in the moratorium policy, that allows for continuing work “urgently necessary to protect the public health.”That exemption has now been approved for at least some of these projects. “We are very happy,” says Matthew Frieman of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, who got a call from his program officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) yesterday. NIAID intramural researcher Kanta Subbarao said her project to develop a rabbit model for MERS has also been exempted; the National Institutes of Health had not responded to a request about the other projects at press time.*Update, 18 December, 3:20 p.m.: NIH confirmed today that all five projects working on a mouse model for MERS have been exempted from the pause. Two influenza studies have also been granted an exception; no requests for an exemption have been denied.last_img read more

New Ebola drug trial starts in Sierra Leone

first_imgResearchers in Sierra Leone today started a new phase II trial of an experimental drug in Ebola patients. The first participant received an injection of the therapeutic, called TKM-Ebola, this morning at an Ebola treatment unit in Port Loko*. The trial may expand to other sites; the study team hopes to have an answer fast so that it can either move on to another drug or start a phase III study of TKM-Ebola.Produced by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals in Burnaby, Canada, TKM-Ebola is made of synthetic, small interfering RNAs packaged into lipid nanoparticles. The RNAs target three of Ebola’s seven genes, blocking the virus’s replication. TKM-Ebola has been shown to work well in monkeys; the efficacy trial in humans is only starting now because there was not enough of the drug available earlier. Also, the RNAs have been adapted to the strain circulating at the moment.The study does not have a placebo arm; all patients at the trial site are eligible for the drug, and researchers hope to determine whether it works by comparing them with patients treated elsewhere.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)However, not every Ebola patient at the unit may actually get the drug because of practical reasons. The treatment is given as a 2-hour infusion every day for a week; patients need to be watched for 8 hours after the infusion because of worries that the drug could produce a dangerous inflammatory response known as a cytokine storm. Doctors and nurses can only spend so much time in their protective equipment in the tropical heat, which means they may not be able to serve everyone. “Staff have a very narrow window, and if there are several patients that are eligible in the morning, we have to choose one randomly,” says Trudie Lang, a global health researcher at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and one of the study’s leaders. Patients at the trial site who don’t receive the drug could also be used as controls in the study.The trial aims to enroll up to 100 patients, but Lang says that it may arrive at an answer much earlier. “We are looking for a big effect, and if there is a big yes or a big no, we hope to see that sooner.” If there is a clear signal that the drug does nothing, the team wants to try to test another experimental drug before Sierra Leone brings down the number of cases to zero. Neighboring Liberia has not seen new cases in more than 2 weeks; although Sierra Leone’s epidemic has slowed considerably, there are still about 10 new cases every day.If TKM-Ebola does seem to work, the team wants to go straight to a bigger phase III clinical trial. It’s “essential that we push forward with clinical trials while we still have a realistic chance of getting answers about which, if any, of the candidate treatments can save lives in this, and in future outbreaks,” said principal investigator Peter Horby in a statement released today by the Wellcome Trust, a charity that is funding the trial.In Liberia, Horby’s group had previously tested brincidofovir, a drug developed for cytomegalovirus and adenovirus that also showed anti-Ebola activity in the lab. That trial had to be stopped last month when Chimerix, the company producing the drug, withdrew their support. There were too few Ebola cases in Liberia, and the scientists weren’t able to expand the trial to Sierra Leone, Lang says. Only a handful of patients were treated; those data will be released in the coming months. “It will be important when we can step back from the business of running this trial to explore what went wrong and what went well in setting up trials during this epidemic,“ she says.So far, no drug has been proven to be effective against Ebola. A study of the Japanese influenza drug favipiravir is going on in Guinea, and scientists have reported a first weak signal that it may be helping some patients. A trial to use serum from recovered Ebola patients as a therapy for others is ongoing in Guinea, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health has said it is planning a trial of an antibody cocktail called ZMapp. *Update: This story originally said the trial had started in an Ebola treatment unit in Kerry Town, as its file in the Pan African Clinical Trials Registry indicated. It actually started in Port Loko and may be expanded later to Kerry Town. *The Ebola Files: Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the Ebola virus and the current outbreak freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more

Australia v India: Tourists Claim First Test Win in Australia Since 2008

first_imgIndia won an opening Test in Australia for the first time with the victory in Adelaide.The home side, chasing 323 for victory, resumed day five in Adelaide on 104-4.They fell to 187-7 after Shaun Marsh (60) and Tim Paine (41) were dismissed but with Nathan Lyon making 38, the lower order gave Australia hope.Read it at BBC Related Itemslast_img

It’s Back In The Court Room – Work Authorisation For H-1B Spouses

first_imgA lakh plus spouses of H-1B workers, who are currently working in the US owing to the employment authorization documents (EAD) granted to them, are living from day to day. They don’t know when the rug will be pulled from beneath their feet. There are many more who haven’t yet obtained an employment authorization and are trying to reconcile with the fact that their careers are on the hold. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

Book Review

first_imgSuvarna Rajguru and Ranjan Pant. 128 pages. Indus Media, 2003. $60.  CBS ran the piece “Imported from India” thrice in 2003 on 60 Minutes. Business Week, Forbes magazine and even Dilbert showcased them. Bur are the Indian Institutes of Technology all that they are hyped to be? Authors Suvarna Rajguru and Ranjan Pant have attempted an introductory overview of the IITs in this picturesque and concisely written coffee table book.The authors say they felt there was “a strong need for a comprehensive publication” that would showcase the “historical, cultural background and development” of these institutions for the Indian Diaspora and the IIT alumnus in particular to cherish.The notion that industrial development was possible only by training high level technocrats, in new, freshly created technical institutions for post independent India, propelled Jawaharlal Nehru to build the IITs. The first IIT was established in Kharagpur in 1951, the site chosen to honor the spirit of the lost political prisoners fighting for India’s freedom in the near by Hijli jail.According to the authors, IIT Kharagpur therefore symbolizes not just technical brilliance but the pride and honor of India in the face of Britain’s legacy of death and destruction. The next four IITs, Bombay, Chennai, Kanpur and Delhi were built by financial and other assistance from UNESCO, USSR, West Germany, USA and Britain and the influences can be seen partly in their unique curriculum and partly in construction. The last two created in 1994 and 2001 at Guwahati and Roorkee, are the creation of the now self reliant central government.Life was not very rosy when the first graduates started emerging from the hallowed portals. Three reviews in 1986, 1995 and 2000 brought home the realization that while the 27,000 engineers who exited these state of the art institutes became trailblazers worldwide, they had failed to meet the needs of the nation’s industry. Several alumni had departed to foreign shores for higher studies and not returned, so India was left struggling with a lagging rural economy.What also stood out was the fact that while the revered, highly experienced older faculty was retiring, there were not many worthy heirs and insufficient support to fund research programs, raise pay scales or even get consultants or professors from outside, and it affected the institutions adversely. While many consider the IITs to be at par with MIT as far as the undergrad programs go, they are considered nowhere near Ivy League standard for postgraduate work. On being reminded that the motto at IIT Kharagpur read “Dedicated to the service of the Nation,” an alumni quipped, “Which Nation?” an biting hreference to the exodus of the Indian technocrats to the U.S.Talking about their alma mater seems to have struck a deep chord within the 35,000 strong IIT alumni community in the United States. The book captures the outpouring of nostalgia and memories and the authors have made a conscious effort to portray the flip side of being an IITian. From studying day and night to the sounds of loud music, the tough competition not just to get in but to survive, lousy food, walking on the dark side with games of Russian roulettes and high stakes, the alumni recall sex, drugs, rock and roll at the Mood Indigo Festivals, attempted suicides and breakdowns.The IIT fraternity also formed “close bonds of friendship that resulted from mutual struggles, competition and commiseration.” An IITian knew the only religion and citizenship that mattered was being an IITian. The $30 billion joint assets and the glorious success that many IITians have savored in the United States is only because of the “fundamentals learnt in IIT,” according to the alumni interviewed.The book also captures the journey of some of the alumni, including those who have returned to India to help their alma maters with financial and hands on help. The authors profile 25 top alumni who have made the highest “global impact in terms of innovation, wealth creation, leadership and philanthropic activities.” The book is strewn with beautiful pictures, interesting statistics and quotes about the seven institutes and their alumni.It took the authors two years of extensive research, collaborations with two historians(one of whom did his PhD dissertation on the IITs,) pouring through 50 years of India’s annual reports on education, visits to all the seven campuses, extensive interviews with academia and faculty at IIT and several students and alumni to create this book.This book pinpoints the vital statistics, captures the essence of these institutes to whet the nostalgic appetite of any IITian. It is an intriguing read even for someone not from these techno jewels in India’s crown, a succulent appetizer, and sets the tone for more in-depth books as the main course to follow.   Related Itemslast_img read more

My Paper Google

first_imgI rushed to my laptop in a panic while cooking something complicated, to look up “blanching.” I ended up very annoyed because I got onion peel on my precious keyboard. Much later, I remembered that I’ve had a sort of paper Google for years, which tells me all I could possibly want to know… and it’s survived a lot worse than onion peel.My mother got this battered blue book when it was new, a present from her cousin in the early years of her marriage. It is called A Guide to Efficient Housekeeping and Good Cooking and was published in 1973 (a month before I was born) by the YWCA-Chennai for a fundraiser. When I left home and country to set up a kitchen of my own, my mother passed it on to me.It’s a combination of old-fashioned recipe book and surprisingly modern how-to manual on setting up a new life. In the section called “Basic Kitchen Aids” – which I read six months after I needed it – I recognized my mother’s organized kitchen and therefore the things I had unconsciously bought anyway.There is also crucial cooking-for-dummies information:* The ounce to tablespoon conversion rate, for example (1 oz = 2 level tablespoons).* How to tell a “moderate oven” from the other kinds (when a sheet of white unglazed paper placed in the heated oven turns medium brown).* What to do if you’ve over-salted a curry (add a teaspoon of sugar or boil with slices of raw potato for a few minutes and then discard the potato).* How to rescue something that is burnt at the bottom (transfer the good portion immediately to another dish, leaving behind at least half an inch at the bottom).It has fascinating tit-bits (of purely academic interest until very recently), such as:* Citrus fruits dipped in warm water are easier to juice.* An egg-shell added to boiling bones helps produce clear stock without skimming.* A wet knife slices hard-boiled eggs more easily. There is even a brief but illuminating bit on throwing parties. The advice ranges in tone from the understanding, but implacable tenets of my great-aunts: “No matter how shy you are, do not forget that they are your guests and you are the hostess,” to the eminently practical voice of my mother’s sister: “Serve a dish you are confident about so you can enjoy your own party.”The recipes themselves are appealing, enlivened by the fact that I recognize here and there something that has been the staple in our home all my life.“The accumulated experience of many a home-maker has gone into the contents of this book” says Rachel Alexander in the preface. She used the current word for housewife 34 years ahead of its time and seems to wear confidently her title of chairman. Possibly she was too busy being one to bother with the mere semantics of chairperson. She belonged to a magnificent generation.The names in the acknowledgements belong to strangers, but they conjure up reminiscences like photographs. I spent many childhood summers with one great-aunt or the other and – as the most easily persuaded of the grandchildren -accompanied those energetic old divas on a million duty visits, tea parties, ladies’ lunches, fundraisers and the like. In my early teens I was even occasionally dispatched alone as the representative. (I wonder how I could have turned out so socially recalcitrant, but perhaps my rabid introversion is because I’ve reached my quota of niceties).I read the my mother’s blue book of cooking cover to cover long ago, because I read everything, compulsively. But being an indifferent cook, the spent more time on my bookshelf than in my kitchen. Now that I’ve discovered a belated pleasure in cooking (“I guess those cooking genes had to eventually kick in,” said a cousin), it’s a fairy godmother from across the seas.The cover shows its age, but the book is neat and poised, the papers never askew or unkempt. After a lifetime of wear and tear, the spine is still straight and the spirit, indomitable. Whenever I open it, the pages susurrate like starched cotton saris rustling around tea trays on verandahs.    Related Itemslast_img read more

Prisoners Of Race

first_imgI encounter bigotry and prejudice all too frequently among my Indian American family members.It’s a beautiful summer day in Palo Alto, Calif. My cousins and I rush to take our seats in the backyard of a house on the Stanford University campus. My aunt can’t stop laughing as her son’s funk band starts playing. She tells us, “I’ve never seen him like this.”Her son, my cousin, is jamming on his sax, wearing shorts, flip-flops and an Afro wig. At 6 feet 2 inches, he’s easily the tallest member of the band; he is also easily the darkest-skinned of the mostly White band. Over burgers and hot dogs after the concert, my aunt explains to us that my cousin was on a road trip in a convertible recently, which is why his skin is so tanned, as if his darkness is something that needs explanation. It reminded me of the time my mom related to me the remark of another aunt after I was born, “She’s so dark.”I was visiting San Jose for my sax-playing cousin’s graduation, a trip that included features typical of family gatherings in the U.S. – delight at seeing relatives I have not seen in weeks, months and sometimes even years; joy at being able to go back and forth between English and Kannada; the kind of laughter that is only possible with people who know you since you were a baby; and finally, bouts of nausea caused both by the blatantly racist comments of relatives and my own inability to challenge them. Though this particular trip lasted only three days, I encountered numerous examples of prejudices that I hear all too frequently among my Indian American family members.The first comment came as I discussed possible places for lunch. One cousin mentioned eating Chinese food recently in a part of town with numerous Chinese restaurants, noting, “I saw flies there and do you think it’s a coincidence it was in that part of the town?”I was stunned into silence. Then I thought, “Really? You think that?” But I said nothing.While I puzzled over what I should have said, we drove to a gas station to fill up before we headed to an Afghan restaurant we had finally settled on. As we chatted about the rising gas prices, my cousin said that she couldn’t understand why the gasoline price hike was such a big deal, “Surely an increase of 50 cents cannot be that much of a burden on someone’s budget.”Later when I learnt just how much she and her husband made at their IT jobs, I could understand why gas that topped $4.50/gallon was no “big deal” for her. On a graduate student stipend, I spend almost 30% of my annual income on rent, while my cousins, whose apartment costs three times as much, still spend only 12% of their income on rent. By the time I had made these calculations in my head, we were eating lunch and hurrying to get to my cousin’s funk band concert.Next it was graduation day at Stanford University. Some 20 family members attended the graduation in the university’s football stadium. It was a warm, sunny day. Most women, wearing short-sleeved shirts, ended up getting sun burned sitting through Oprah Winfrey’s long-winded speech. Later that night, I was commenting on my dramatic tan line when one cousin made some remark about Winfrey. My other cousins, uncles and aunts cracked up. I couldn’t quite hear what he said, but his wife responded, “You can say things like that in the house, but make sure you don’t say that outside.” One aunt cautioned that we should be careful about what we say, because her daughter does not like it when they use the word “Black.” I gathered that my cousin’s comment referred to Winfrey’s dark skin.This time, I said nothing since I had not heard the actual comment.Later that night, another cousin’s wedding album was passed around. My great aunt began disparaging the book’s cover photo, which had the cousin and her husband in casual clothes and pose. She said that the boy was so handsome, but you couldn’t tell that because of his beard. And that my cousin looked even worse – “she looks like a tribal. It’s a terrible photo. I don’t know why she picked this one to put on the cover.” There were murmurs of agreement. Yet again, though I was shocked by her choice of words and the vehemence with which she criticized the photo, I was silent. This time, I justified it by wanting to respect my elders and my inability to challenge her in Kannada. Other photos were criticized that night. A cousin, a sophomore in college, had decided to grow a beard. The great aunt was thoroughly appalled. “Oh my god you look just like a Muslim. It’s terrible.” My cousin just laughed. His mom piped in to say that she has begged him to shave before he gets on a plane. There were more disapproving comments about how he looked Muslim from some of the other relatives.I’m sure by now, you can guess what I did. That’s right. I said nothing.The next day, there was a pooja (religious ceremony) for my uncle’s 60th birthday at a small temple, located in a garage-type building. I chuckled at the adaptations by the temple’s priests. The homa (fire) was created in a tinfoil container, to keep the carpets clean and making disposal easier at the end of the ceremony. As the priest instructed my uncle and aunt, he said to their daughter, “You should get married soon, because there are certain things that only wives can help their husbands with and there are age limits on that. I know everyone wants to get educated, but enough education now. You need to do other things.”My male cousin burst out laughing, teasing his sister loudly that she needed to listen to the priest. I rolled my eyes at the laughter that echoed in the room. Later during the pooja, the priest opined that we all need to make sure that we married Hindus. When some people gasped, he responded: “Well, it’s true. We did not move here just to make money, we need to continue our traditions.”What traditions would the priest have us continue to uphold? Discouraging young women from pursuing education? Devaluing, disparaging and dismissing those who look different or practice a different religion? Having a sense of superiority over those who have less power in society?As frustrated and infuriated as I was by these comments (and this weekend seemed to pack more of them than most family gatherings), I was even more frustrated by my own silence. This was not the first time I had heard prejudiced comments from my relatives against Blacks or Muslims. Nor was it the first time I had been exposed to their ignorance about what it means to be poor either here or in India. The priest was certainly not the first Indian I knew to make boldly sexist comments to good-natured laughter. And unfortunately, this was also not the first time I chose to be silent and thereby tacitly agree with such comments.I am fortunate that I rarely hear my parents make such blatantly prejudiced comments and when they do, I am comfortable challenging them. Recently, my brother, sister-in-law and I had a spirited conversation over Hillary Clinton’s appeal to the racist beliefs of White voters. However, when it comes to family members outside my immediate family, I find myself tongue-tied. I don’t know how to challenge such comments or at least to register my disagreement. The most I do to chip away at their attitudes is to share widely pictures of my social circle, which includes friends from a diverse array of racial and ethnic backgrounds. I can always come up with excuses for my silence. I feel insecure about my own standing within the family – I’m an unmarried 30-year-old woman, pursuing a PhD in Education (“Oh, that’s interesting.”) and have the shortest hair for a woman in my circle of relatives. I am unsure about how to go about challenging comments made in Kannada, because my Kannada is weak. And I cannot challenge the comments of uncles, aunts, grandfathers, great aunts, and so forth, because it would be perceived as being disrespectful.I am especially astounded that my relatives, most of whom are highly educated, can be so bigoted. I suppose I’ve become used to confronting and challenging the much more subtle – though no less devastating – racism that abounds in the halls of academia. Part of my inability to respond to my relatives’ comments stems from my disbelief that supposedly “educated” people could hold onto such stereotypes.But I want to start saying something, even at the risk of sounding preachy, politically correct, or just plain Pollyanna-ish. I want to do so partly because I am committed to opposing and teaching opposition to racism, but mostly because these comments disparage some of my closest friends who have been an incredible source of support, inspiration and love over the years. I want to tell my relatives that that difference isn’t so bad; in fact, it can be enriching and exciting.I write this as a starting point in that conversation, since I often find myself braver and bolder in writing than in speech. I do not believe that my relatives will necessarily change their minds after reading this. However, I do want to register, finally, my protest against their bigotry.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Photojournalist, brother shot dead in U.P.’s Saharanpur

first_imgA photojournalist with a prominent Hindi daily and his brother were shot dead in Saharanpur district on Sunday morning following an altercation over disposal of cow dung, police said. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex-gratia of ₹5 lakh each for the kin of the deceased, however, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress slammed the ruling BJP over the alleged collapse of law and order and failure to provide adequate compensation. Ashish (23), a photographer with Dainik Jagran newspaper, and his brother Ashutosh (19) were killed by their neighbour Mahipal Saini and his sons, Senior Superintendent of Police (Saharanpur) Dinesh Kumar P. said. “In the midst of an argument, Mahipal and his sons entered the house of Ashish and Ashutosh and shot them. Locals rushed the duo to a nearby hospital, where the doctors declared them brought dead,” the SSP said. Three teams have been formed to nab the culprits who are absconding, he added. “Chief Minister has taken cognisance of the Saharanpur incident wherein the journalist of Dainik Jagran and his brother were shot dead by the assailants,” a statement issued here by a senior Uttar Pradesh government official said. “SSP Saharanpur has been directed to initiate the strongest action. The State government stands by the bereaved family,” the statement added. Reacting to the incident, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav expressed grief over the deaths. , and demanded that the guilty be brought to book at the earliest. ‘Inadequate assistance’“During the regime of the SP government, the kin of the deceased used to get ₹20 lakh as immediate financial assistance. The BJP government should do at least this much,” he said. AJay Kumar, Leader of Congress Legislative Party in the U.P. Assembly, demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister.last_img read more

11 drown as boats capsize during Ganesh idol immersion in Bhopal

first_imgEleven people drowned and six were rescued early on Friday after two boats carrying them and Ganesh idols capsized at the Lower Lake of Bhopal, said Collector Tarun Kumar Pithode.“First, one of the boats capsized near the Khatlapura Ghat, from where idols are immersed. Then, the other one capsized too, as those in it may have tried to rescue them,” he said.While those rescued were in a stable condition, the bodies of the deceased were taken to the Hamidia Hospital in the city for post-mortem, said Mr. Pithode.Meanwhile, State Law and Legal Affairs Minister P.C. Sharma said, “The incident is unfortunate. An investigation will be done into it.”Mr. Pithode announced a compensation of ₹4 lakh for families of the deceased and ₹50,000 would be given as immediate relief. Boats capsize during Ganesh idol immersion in BhopalVolume 90%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9Live00:0000:3300:33 Watch: Boats capsize during Ganesh idol immersion in Bhopallast_img read more

Herndon motivated to play alongside league’s top guards at Star

first_imgRobbie Herndon. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netFrom the get-go, Robbie Herndon knew which team he wanted to go to.Though GlobalPort drafted him sixth in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft, it didn’t take long before the Fil-Am swingman’s wish came true when he was shipped by the Batang Pier, together with fourth rounder Gian Abrigo, to the Hotshots for ninth overall pick Lervin Flores, and second rounders Joseph Gabayni and Julian Sargent.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Louie Alas: Wherever Kevin wants to be, we’ll support him “This is a team I wanted to go to. My heart wanted me to end up in Purefoods and God-willing, it ended up happening. I’m excited and I’m super grateful,” he said.Known as an ace gunner, Herndon will be forced to explore another facet of his game as he joins a Star squad where coach Chito Victolero has put a premium on defense.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAnd this early, the 24-year-old is welcoming the task at hand.“The coach wants his team to play defense, so that’s what I’ll focus on,” he said. “I’ll focus on learning the system, jelling with the players, and learn from everybody from the team.  I’m an offensive player, but I can also play on the other side of the court. I guess it’s time to up my defense a little bit and focus on that.” QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd PLAY LIST 02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles01:07Cops linking 2 drug cases to murder of Tagudin judge – CJ Peralta01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES Herndon is also raring to prove himself to the Hotshots faithful as he seeks to find his niche behind lead guards Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, and Peter June Simon.“It’s a huge motivation when you know that you can play with the top players and you feel like you belong with them at the top. It’s a motivation for me to use to keep working hard and I wanted to prove that I can play among the best,” the 6-foot-3 scorer said.center_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ View comments Read Next CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img read more

Ngannou could go from homeless to UFC heavyweight champ

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Embiid pulled in Ngannou for a bro hug and predicted the No. 1 contender would win by knockout in the second round.“That’s a good prediction,” Ngannou said.It would also be a long night of work for Ngannou. The 31-year-old Ngannou (11-1) hasn’t needed to go beyond the first round in any of his last four bouts and has never gone past the second in his 12 pro fights.Knock out Miocic, and Ngannou would complete the made-for-movies tale of homeless to heavyweight champ and position himself as perhaps UFC’s most dominant big man since Brock Lesnar.Ngannou fights just seven weeks after his stunning victory of Alistair Overeem at UFC 218 on a left uppercut that rolled the eyes of the fallen foe to the back of his head. The crushing KO has been replayed in perpetuity to hype Saturday’s fight.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ “I wasn’t able to have a kid life,” he said. “It’s not a good one. I don’t like it.”Ngannou found his way in his 20s and eventually visited the MMA Factory where he met his eventual coach, Fernand Lopez. Lopez would convince Ngannou to forget about boxing and drilled him in jiujitsu and wrestling and a career in MMA.Ngannou made his pro debut in 2013 and was in UFC about two years later in December 2015.Ngannou, who speaks French and English, has not forgot his past and was offended when President Donald Trump reportedly used a profane term to describe African countries last week.“All those people that he was talking about are people like us,” he said. “It’s kind of difficult to accept a thing like that. For myself, the goal for me was to lift my country and (to) see someone who just wants to break that dream, that hope for people (is tough). This guy is like a shame for America. America was built from immigration. America is the country that the world, the poor countries look at and, not expect America to give them something, but just to look at them as an example and build their own country and get a better situation.”Ngannou’s family is still in Cameroon and he wanted his mother and a 17-year-old brother (“he’s very smart”) to come live in the United States.Up first, a shot at the title.Standing in his way is Miocic (17-2), who has a date with heavyweight history and will set the UFC record for consecutive title defenses in the division at three with a victory.Ngannou has one plan — for that UFC title to get wrapped around his waist.“Life beat me up a lot of times,” Ngannou said, “and I want to take my revenge.” He’s not afraid to go face-to-face with anyone — even against his fellow Cameroon native, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. Ngannou, 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, was absolutely dwarfed by the 7-2 Embiid in a visit Thursday morning at Sixers shootaround .Ngannou was ready to pull on his MMA gloves.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“He should be my next opponent,” Ngannou said.“I think I’d kick his ass,” Embiid said, laughing. Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH01:42Stars face off at ONE: Dawn of Heroes01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: 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 City At Fenway Park, the heavy hitter said he can’t escape the clip of his biggest swing.“Any time I open my email, my Instagram, my story, people send it to me in different versions,” Ngannou said. “I think I did very well. It was all about to connect. And I connected.”Blink and you might miss the crowning of a new champ.“Good for him. He got a great knockout,” Miocic said.Ngannou’s rise was hardly as swift.Much like his Embiid, who only started playing basketball at 15, Ngannou was a late-bloomer to mixed martial arts. He was raised as one of five children in the poverty-stricken village of Batie and was only 12 when he went to work in the sand mines to support his family. Basically raised by a single mother, Ngannou was a Tyson fan and wanted to box, so he dabbled and drained in the sport for a few years. He knew there was little future in fighting stuck in the mines and realized if he wanted to become serious about the sport, he’d have to leave Cameroon.“If it was easy for me, I would have stayed in Cameroon,” Ngannou said. “I like to be close to my family. But one day, I felt like I didn’t have a choice. I left everything of my 26 years life behind me, closed the door and go somewhere where I don’t know what it looks like.”His new home was Paris. But Ngannou had no friends, no plan, no support system and lived on the streets. Ngannou worked in the kitchen for a humanitarian organization that helped homeless in Paris.“Being in the street in Paris, it wasn’t scary,” he said. “I embraced that situation because I knew worse than that. I’ve been in a worse situation than that one. Being in the streets in Paris was more comfortable than almost all the situations I’ve been though in my life.”And the worst situation? Australian Open: Svitolina into 4th round, ends 15-year-old Kostyuk’s run Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasacenter_img 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities LATEST STORIES Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues FILE- In this Dec. 2, 2017, file photo, Francis Ngannou, left, hits Alistair Overeem in the first round during a UFC 218 heavyweight mixed martial arts bout, in Detroit. Ngannou defeated Overeem by first-round knockout. Ngannou has knockout power that snaps heads back like Pez dispensers and earned him comparisons to Mike Tyson in his ferocious heyday. Ngannou will compete in the heavyweight champion bout against Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 220. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez, File)BOSTON — Francis Ngannou has knockout power that snaps back heads like Pez dispensers and earned him comparisons to Mike Tyson in his ferocious heyday.Ngannou has stood tall against all opposition in his UFC career and his terrifying run has shaped the challenger into the betting favorite in the heavyweight champion bout against Stipe Miocic.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraqlast_img read more

LeBron says he ‘will definitely not shut up and dribble’

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 17: LeBron James #23 of Team LeBron is introduced for for the upcoming 2018 NBA All-Star game during practice at the Verizon Up Arena at LACC on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty ImagesLOS ANGELES — LeBron James says he will not stick to sports.The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar reiterated his determination to speak out on social issues and the nation’s political climate Saturday during his media availability for the NBA All-Star Game.ADVERTISEMENT Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss00:58Trump blames media, Democrats for impeachment during Kentucky rally01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: 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 City 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers James referenced Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Bill Russell and Jackie Robinson as athletes who previously spoke up for equality and change without concerns about the consequences or any rewards.“We know it’s bigger than us,” James said. “It’s not about us. I’m going to continue to do what I have to do to play this game that I love to play, but this is bigger than me playing the game of basketball.”James was backed at media day by several All-Stars including Stephen Curry, Paul George, Draymond Green and Durant. They all believe athletes have an important opportunity to advocate for positive social change.“We’re a part of what’s going on this world, what’s going on in this society, just as much as anybody else,” said George, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward from nearby Palmdale, California. “We’re fathers. We’re sons. We’re brothers. We’ve got family to look after. We’re connected as deeply in this as anybody else is. For someone to go out and say, ‘Stick to dribbling a basketball,’ that’s pretty ignorant. That just goes to show you where we are as a country right now.”Curry called the Fox News host’s comments and dismissive tone “aggressive and just out of line … but not surprising, because I’ve heard that plenty of times before.”ADVERTISEMENT “That’s the tone that people (utilize to) try to put athletes and black athletes in a box, to say, ’Basketball is the only thing that you can provide in this world,’” Curry said. “It’s really, obviously, very upsetting. I think the way that we handle the response is to highlight all the good that we’re doing … Every single NBA athlete here that plays this game, that’s not what we’re about. That’s not all that we contribute to this world.“Guys are going out, putting resources and funds, and raising awareness in the community and trying to make the world a better place through what we do.” “I will not just shut up and dribble,” James said. “I get to sit up here and talk about what’s really important.”James spoke publicly afer Fox News host Laura Ingraham criticized the three-time NBA champion for his recent comments about social issues. James previously responded with an Instagram post containing similar sentiments.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We will definitely not shut up and dribble,” James said. “I will definitely not do that. I mean too much to society. I mean too much to the youth. I mean too much to so many kids that feel like they don’t have a way out and they need someone to help lead them out of the situation they’re in.”James made the initial public comments in question during a recent video segment on Uninterrupted, a platform co-founded by James. He was joined by Kevin Durant, and both superstars were sharply critical of President Donald Trump and the nation’s racial climate. LATEST STORIES AFP official booed out of forum MOST READ Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Read Next Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Resurgence View commentslast_img read more