Flickr CC Navy NADAP Make a New Years Resolution taken March 5, 2013by Joanna ManeroHappy New Year! With every New Year, come the return of New Year’s resolutions. In fact, 41% of Americans usually set a resolution. It is evident when you step into the gym or look at your social media that a large percent of these resolutions have to do with nutrition and exercise. Although those new gym-goers and social media enthusiasts may seem motivated and committed to their resolutions, most of them will drop their resolutions and return to old habits. So how can we help people remain motivated and committed to their health goals? Let’s look at a longitudinal study that examined fidelity and success of New Year’s resolutions.A sample of 213 men and women who made New Year’s resolutions were recruited. On average, participants made 1.8 resolutions which consisted of giving up smoking (30%), weight loss (38%), and relationship improvement (5%), among other resolutions. Researchers found that after just one week, nearly a quarter (23%) of participants reported failure in keeping their new year’s resolution. After one month, over half (55%) reported failure. And finally, after two years, only 19% of participants had kept their new year’s resolution. No effects were found for age, gender, or particular resolution. Furthermore, these numbers are likely elevated by the nature of the volunteer sample and participation in the study. When researchers asked about methods that led to a successful resolution, they found that multiple methods worked and were dependent on the stage of change of the person. Any single method had a moderate effect on success at best. Some of the successful methods were counter conditioning, in particular, using exercise, a gradual reduction in behavior rather than cold turkey elimination, stimulus control, and contingency management. When asked about what caused participants to fail, the most frequent response was the lack of will power. Finally, most participants experienced slip-ups on their journey. When asked about the cause of these slips, the top responses were a lack of self-control, stressful situations, negative emotions, and social pressures. (Norcross and Vangarelli, 1989) Although this study took place in the late 80’s, the factors affecting fidelity and success remain relevant.Lack of self-control was the most frequent cause of slip-ups in keeping a new year’s resolution. In the past, self-control has been described as a limited resource, much like a muscle gets tired from exertion, and self-control becomes depleted and causes failure of a task. However, motivation can temporarily block the effect of ego-depletion that is associated with overused self-control (Roy et. al, 2007). Similarly, motivation was found to have a moderating effect on task completion when self-control was depleted. In particular, people with motivating thoughts that their efforts could benefit themselves or others had greater success in completing a task when self-control was depleted (Muraven and Elisaveta, 2003). This research suggests that although self-control may be a limited resource, motivation may aid in task completion. It is important to motivate your clients throughout their journey. Find out what motivates them; this can include positive feedback, reminding them of their goals, or even the act of overcoming a challenge.Often the causes of failure and slip-ups can be just as important as the causes of success. By identifying past causes of missteps, you can help the client plan for triggering situations in the future.Here are some quick tips to help keep to your new year’s resolution:Stressful Situations/Negative emotions:Become Aware of your Stressors- By recognizing what makes you stressed, you can better plan for the situation.Attempt to Reduce the Intensity of Your Emotional Reaction- Ask yourself, “Am I viewing the situation in an exaggerated manner? Have I overcome a similar situation in the past?”Build on your Social Circle- Seek support from close friends and family about the stressful situation.Recognize What’s in your Control- What can you change about the situation? Can you attempt to tackle the problem little by little?Social Pressures:Practice the Buddy System- Find a friend who shares your goals for the new year and supports each other in social situations.Practice saying “no”- Rehearse scenarios in your head and practice saying “no”, it will help your confidence.Think of the consequences- Imagine giving in during a social situation, then image the consequences of your actions; do they outweigh the immediate pleasure?Avoid stressful situations- If you can, avoid situations where you know you will be tempted to break your goal. What are your with New Year’s resolutions? Share what makes you, or your clients, more likely to achieve them. What will you do to help your clients stay on track this year? Share with others your methods of encouraging motivation throughout the whole year. Hope your 2017 is filled with joy!http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899328988800166 http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/ http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167203029007008 http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00534.x http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/rabideau.html http://www.yourlifecounts.org/blog/20-ways-avoid-peer-pressure https://solveyourproblem.com/setting-goals/managing_stress_for_goal_achievement.shtmlThis was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.
You are invited to join Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak and the MFLN Early Intervention team for this free webinar on June 22 at 11 a.m. EST! CE credits are available. To learn more and register click here.A transcript of the above video is available here.
A few weeks ago, I decided that a blog about the new Department of Defense act would be worth offering. While quite detailed and lengthy, through this recently passed legislation Congress authorizes, but has not yet appropriated, approximately $717 billion for defense matters contains important provisions relating to military personnel and families.The official name of the legislation, is the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The late Senator McCain was chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Driving across rural West Virginia and listening to National Public Radio this past weekend, I learned of his dedication to ensuring that annual National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs) were passed every year. This was no small accomplishment in a time of political gridlock. After passage by Congress in late July, President Trump signed this year’s legislation into law on August 14.The final bill is over 1,350 pages in length. While much of the content focuses on weapons and defense systems, there is also considerable attention given to personnel and family well-being issues. Because one of the fundamental building blocks in military family readiness relates to a service member’s career and work, this blog focuses on some important personnel policy changes that have been authorized. We also consider efforts to accommodate spousal employment interests and needs.First, some basics. The new legislation authorizes that the size of the overall active duty military be increased by 15,600 to about 1.3 million active duty personnel. This reflects a continuing a trend of focused adjustments to force size in recent years. In last month’s blog, I reviewed active duty assignment patterns from 2016. The act also provides for an across the board 2.6% pay raise. While this may seem small, it is the largest raise in 9 years according to the House Armed Services Committee.The new law offers greater flexibility for both command and personnel in regard to career paths and opportunities. Promotion in the officer ranks will rely less on years of service and instead offer flexibility based on job performance and position needs. While rewarding meritorious service, this will also give the service branches more options in recruiting and retaining needed personnel. Through the “career intermission program,” there are also options for service members to step away from active duty status to pursue professional education, attend to family needs, or to pursue temporary career opportunities outside of the military. As summarized by the Senate Armed Services committee, there is need for consistency and reform in “talent management principles” to better adapt to changing needs in the military and to adjust to competition for skilled professionals in the civilian world.Active duty personnel are often part of dual income families where both partners seek career opportunity and growth. Work and career opportunities for non-active duty spouses is a real and practical concern. For this reason, the new NDDA establishes provisions to assess and promote opportunities for spousal employment. Under Subtitle H, Section 575 of the Act, DOD is mandated to assess the impact that permanent changes of station (PCS) might have on spousal employment. There are concerns that a frequent pace or tempo of transfer between installations or assignments creates further employment and career difficulties for military spouses. There are also provisions for non-competitive appointments to facilitate hiring spouses at installations and with other federal departments and agencies. The new law also calls for improvements in the My Career Advancement Account program that provides educational and training support for spouses. The act also encourages service branches to explore opportunities to promote small business enterprises at installations that might be owned and operated by spouses.When any new law or policy is enacted, it is in our best interest to take context into account. This a point that I have made before in a previous blog. The new NDAA sends a clear message. Congress and the Department of Defense recognize the importance of attracting and retaining a highly skilled military workforce. While the overall size of the active duty military remains relatively stable, the roles and responsibilities of those who are serving are expanding and are ever more demanding. Ours is an increasingly complex world of security threats, defense needs, and technological innovation. For those involved in efforts to support military families, these heightened priorities need to be considered. They create both opportunity and challenge in ensuring that military and family readiness are addressed and sustained in a balanced and effective manner. In future blogs, we will look more closely at some of the caregiving, healthcare, and family well-being issues that have been emphasized in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act. Written by: Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University and MFLN Military Caregiving Team
Using the Audio Gain Feature in Premiere Pro is really easy. There are multiple ways to adjust the gain of a clip. You need to know how each gain setting works in order to use it properly.To get to the gain settings of a clip, simply right click the clip and go to “Audio Gain…” You can do this either in your timeline, or in the project window. This will give you a window with multiple options.There are 4 settings in this window.“Set Gain to:”This will set the clip’s gain to a specified value. For example, if you specify “set gain to: 6dB,” the clip’s gain will be set at 6dB.“Adjust Gain by:”In Premiere Pro this will adjust the gain by the amount specified. For example, if the clip’s gain is already set to 6dB, and you specify “adjust gain by: +3dB,” then the clip’s gain will be set to 9dB.“Normalize Max Peak to:”Normalize Max Peak will analyze the clip’s peak amplitude and adjust it to the specified value. Make sure you keep this value negative to keep your audio from peaking. For example, if you set “normalize max peak to: -3dB,” a clip with a peak amplitude of -9dB will be adjusted up by +6dB to equal -3dB.If you have multiple clips selected, the clip with the maximum peak will be adjusted to the specified value, while the other clips will be adjusted by the same amount, preserving their relative gain differences. For example, with two clips selected, set “normalize max peak to: -3dB.” Assume clip one has a peak of -9dB, and clip two has a peak of -6dB. Since clip two has the greater peak value, it will be adjusted by +3dB, boosting is to -3dB, while clip one also will be adjusted by +3dB, boosting it to -6dB, and preserving the gain offset between the two clips in the selection.“Normalize All Peaks to:”This is similar to the previous setting, except that each clip’s peak amplitude is adjusted separately. For example, with multiple clips selected, set “normalize all peaks to: -3dB.” Assume clip one has a peak of -9dB, and clip two has a peak of -6dB. Clip one will be adjusted by +6dB, boosting it to -3dB, and clip two will be adjusted by +3dB, boosting it to -3dB.When I normalize audio peaks in Premiere Pro, I usually normalize them to -3dB. This allows for some headroom.If you select your clip in the project window, the entire clip is affected. If you select the clip in the timeline, that instance of the clip is affected by the gain adjustments.NOTE: Adjusting the gain in this window does not affect the value of the volume level in the “effect controls” window and will not adjust your audio keyframes.Normalize the Master TrackYou can also normalize the master track volume of a sequence in Premiere Pro. This will take the loudest peak of the entire sequence and adjust the fader to set it to the specified value.Select the sequence you want normalized. Go to “Sequence>Normalize Master Track.” In the popup window, specify a value to be normalized to. Click OK.You’ll notice your Master Track fader has been adjusted. This will adjust any keyframes that are on the master track.Learning how to use the gain feature is essential to mastering the audio tools in Premiere Pro.Got more Premiere Pro audio tips?Let us know in the comments below.
Adobe users can harness the powerful motion tracking toolset of Mocha from within After Effects. In the following webinar, you’ll learn how to master the Mocha AE toolset for advanced tracking.Need to track motion in a shot for compositing or chroma key work? Mocha’s got you covered. Developed as a stand-alone application, and now integrated within Adobe After Effects, Mocha is a specialized tracking and rotoscoping toolset.Note: For non AE users Imagineer Systems still makes a Mocha and Mocha Pro as stand-alone apps, as well. To learn more about the different versions of Mocha check out this link.In the following webinar Mathias Möhl, post production guru and educator, takes an in-depth look at the tracking capabilitles of Mocha AE. Highlights of the hour and half webinar include:Tracking position rotation and scale in Mocha AETracking corner pinsTracking foreground elements and rotoscopingHow to avoid common stumbling blocksCommon workflows for tracking in Mocha AEFor anyone interested in really improving their tracking work, this webinar is a must-see. Mathias explains in simple terms how tracking works, the different typs of tracking and how to get the best results in After Effects.For more free Mocha tutorials check out our previous post: Advanced Mocha Pro Training for Post Production Professionals
With the 360 degree camera market growing, YouTube embraces the VR future by enabling users to upload 360 degree video. Here’s what you need to know.UPDATE: Hot on the heels of YouTube’s 360 degree video announcement, Facebook has announced their intention to enter the 360 degree game. During his March 25th keynote at Facebook’s annual developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company is testing so-called “spherical videos,” which are shot with twenty-four cameras working in unison. Zuckerberg said,“You can move around inside the video and view it from different angles.” For more info, here’s an in-depth article from Wired.Everybody’s talking about virtual reality, but YouTube is taking a big step to make VR an everyday reality. On March 13, YouTube announced that the site now supports 360 degree video, a fully immersive visual experience that allows viewers to see the action from any angle by simply dragging their mouse or tilting their phone.The 360 degree videos are currently compatible with Chrome and the Android YouTube app, but YouTube promises that the feature will be available for iPhone and iPad sooner than later. One can only imagine the possibilities with Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR and other VR headsets.Of course, the only thing more fun than watching these incredible videos is creating and uploading them. Fortunately, Google is going out of its way to make sure you can. The company is working closely with manufacturers to ensure compatibility. Currently, you can shoot with the Kodak SP360 and the RICOH THETA, and soon you’ll be able to capture awesome 360 degree footage on the Allie, the Bublcam, and more.Here’s Norm from Tested reviewing the RICOH THETA.If you find the current batch of 360 degree cameras to be out of your budget, you might be able to make due with what you have. Here’s a fun and informative post from photographer Ryan Jackson. He strapped four GoPro Hero HDs together to film a 360 Degree video of a record-breaking dodgeball match and got more than 650,000 hits on YouTube.Additionally, YouTube’s Creator Tech team has opened the doors to YouTube Space LA through April, giving the public a chance to stop in and explore the possibilities of 360 degree video with hands-on camera experience and classes. If you’d like to know more about the technical requirements and scripts for 360 degree videos, Google’s got what you need over on GitHub. Are you excited to explore the 360-degree format now that YouTube supports it? Is it all just hype or does the format have value? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now Most things aren’t black or white. They aren’t either/or. Most things live somewhere in the middle of a continuum. This is why all generalizations are lies.We like to talk about ideas as if they’re all universals. And there are surely some universal principles that can’t easily be broken, like gravity. But most of the situations we encounter in business and in sales aren’t black or white. They live somewhere in the gray.The right approach with a customer at the beginning of the sales cycle isn’t always to diagnose their needs (although it is to discover dissatisfaction), nor is it always right to challenge the customer with your new insight. There are different stakeholders within your client companies, and some of them will have ideas about what they want, while others will be more interested in hearing from you. We take our opportunities as they lie.Much of the time it’s a good idea to diagnose before you present. But sometimes you need to demonstrate your capabilities before you’re even allowed to diagnose. Sometimes the right approach is to occupy gray area.Your sales process outlines all of the steps you take and the commitments you need to move from target and close. It’s the ideal. It’s supposed to be a universal. But following your sales process can occasionally lead you to a stalled or lost opportunity. Sometimes doing what would customarily work is exactly what costs you an opportunity. Instead of doing what normally works, you from time to time need to do something different to get the outcome you need.Your clients and prospects are different, they have different needs, and they want you to create value for them in different ways. You have to be comfortable in the gray.The more you understand about sales, the more you understand about the buying cycle, and the more different processes and methodologies you have available to you, the more comfortable you are living in the gray. Living in the gray gives you more choices. It allows you to be flexible in your approach. You can respond in a way that gets you the outcome you need.Most of us are uncomfortable in the gray. We’re happier believing there is always one right answer. But there isn’t one right answer. There are a lot of right answers and a lot of ways to get those answers.QuestionsWhat do want to believe is either black or white?Why is does uncertainty make you so uncomfortable?Do you always approach your clients as if some certain set of assumptions are true?What do you do when those assumptions turn out to be wrong?What could you do to improve your ability to be more flexible in your approach?
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 For some reason, it’s popular to tell people that they should focus on their strengths and ignore their weaknesses. This is terrific advice . . . in context, anyway.My strengths are in sales and marketing. I care deeply about financials, but I am not a CFO, an accountant, or a bookkeeper. Focusing on my strengths means that I should focus on a few lines of the P&L, and not on the work of putting the P&L together. This is an example of what people mean when they offer this advice that you should focus on your strengths.If you don’t focus on minimizing your real weaknesses, they will be your undoing.Lack of Self-DisciplineIf you lack self-discipline, and you decide that willing yourself to take action is not your strong suit, this weakness will destroy your ability to produce anything more than mediocre results in business and in life. This is a fundamental law of the universe. Success will elude you. You think this is a weakness you can ignore? Do you accept or admire this weakness in others?Low Emotional IntelligenceLet’s say you aren’t the caring type. You have low EQ. You are self-oriented and care only about getting what you want. Maybe you want to offset this weakness with your super high IQ. Unless you are a two-year old, who can be excused for their behavior as they figure out how to deal with discovering that they are an individual, this weakness will massively limit your success.You’ve been taught to answer the interview question, “What is your weakness,” with something about how you wish you were more organized. A lack of organization is either a lack of discipline, or it is a lack of caring about keeping your commitments to other people. In both cases, it isn’t a weakness that you can overlook.Poor MindsetIf you have a pessimistic, defeatist attitude, you may absolve yourself of responsibility for your attitude by suggesting you are a “realist,” or some such thing. You will still produce poorer results than you are capable of, and it will destroy your ability to lead or inspire others to take action. No one succeeds or leads with believing in a better future. Pessimism is weakness, especially in a leader.Lack of ResourcefulnessMaybe your weakness is that you believe you lack creativity. You aren’t resourceful, and you wait passively for someone to give you the ideas you need to reach your goals or help your clients to reach theirs. It doesn’t really matter what your strength is, but it won’t be enough to offset this weakness in the Disruptive Age. You can’t be proactive and take initiative without ideas. You can learn to exercise your creativity by sitting down with a legal pad and a pen for one hour in the morning (see Earl Nightingale).Unwilling to ProspectOne salesperson told me his strength was being in front of prospective customers and his weakness was prospecting. I asked him how he planned to get in front of those customers. He said that it would be great if someone else could do the dirty work for him. I argued that his exceptional business acumen made him the right person to do that work. He argued that it might be nice to have someone with his business acumen make those calls for him. I recommended that it might be better for me to hire that person for the job I was hiring him for, if they had his same chops.Lack of Business AcumenLet’s say your strength is prospecting, but you lack the chops, the real business acumen and situational knowledge you need to make a difference for your customer. Does that sound like a weakness you can live with? Does that sound like a weakness your clients are going to be willing to live with? Hardly. Without business acumen, you will never create enough value to be relevant for most roles, and your career will be severely limited.Shore Up Your WeaknessesThere are some human attributes that you need to have as strengths in order to succeed, to produce the results that you are capable of, and to do meaningful work in line with your greater purpose. You can’t overlook your weaknesses in important areas, and you cannot decide that playing to your strengths will be enough to offset them. In fact, if you are unaware of your weaknesses, you are already paying a price, whether or not you know it.A visionary leader without the ability to execute is a dreamer. A leader with the ability to execute and no vision is a weak manager, at best.A smart person with no energy is a bore. An energetic person with no brains is an entertaining train wreck.Play to your strengths. Shore up your weakness, before they make a mockery of your strengths.
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 There are some who present ideas as if they are truths that one must follow to improve their sales. Here is a field guide to frauds.The “Is Dead” Fraud: Those who insist that some prospecting methods no longer work. The more one insists that some method of prospecting no longer works—or soon won’t—the truer it is that individual is a fraud. This fraud almost always gains attention for themselves for feeding a salesperson’s fear of cold calling. This is true even if they hedge, suggesting that cold calling still works now, but that its demise is imminent. The easiest way to spot this fraud is to notice the regularity in which they write posts about cold calling on LinkedIn, that frequency indicating how much they need attention, as they normally measure their success in likes and comments (all of which come from their fraud peer group or those whose fears they intend to feed). No prospecting method is dead.The “Social Only” Fraud: Those who insist that social channels produce better results than cold calling and one should exclude all others. Were this true, salespeople would already be experiencing the embarrassment of riches that these frauds promised were possible when they set up the mutual exclusivity of one medium outproducing any other. Let us call those who are not frauds “operators,” those people who actually produce results. Operators will tell you that you want to be omnichannel, using every prospecting method available. When results are necessary, more direct methods of asking to explore change outproduce the tools that nurture relationships (both of which are necessary, one taking more time to produce the outcome that is an opportunity). Frauds reject the idea that direct outreach is faster, suggesting instead that you write more blog posts and post more frequently to LinkedIn.The “Henny Penny” Fraud: Those who suggest that the salesperson is irrelevant and that the buyer has parity when it comes to information and insight. Let us call this type of fraud Henny Penny, after the chicken that was hit on the head by an acorn and worked up the rest of the barnyard animals by telling them the sky is falling (a fable that results in almost all the characters dying at the end). More than any other, this group of frauds seems to be made up of those who used to work in sales but found it difficult to create compelling differentiation and sincerely believe that their experience is every salesperson’s experience. In every industry. In every corner of the Earth.Let’s imagine you have sold what you sell now for 3 years. In that time, you have helped 36 companies buy what you sell and enjoy the benefit of the better outcomes you helped them generate. The buyers in each of these cases makes the decision to buy what you sell two or three times in their career. How could they know more, without the many and varied experiences it takes to really know how to produce results?The “Fake News” Fraud: Those who share fraudulent facts about sales that lack the smallest hint of credibility. There is zero credible evidence that buyers no longer take phone calls, that they reject some number over 90 percent of all attempts through a cold outreach, or that over 80 percent of all opportunities come from recommendations. Even some of the facts that are well researched are misinterpreted and being used to suggest a course of action that was never intended. It only takes a few clicks to discover that what is presented as a fact is really a blog post written by a person in a company that sells some sort of technology that is going to “change the way we sell forever.” They write these posts and share these fake facts as a way to make the case for their offerings by suggesting they provide the answer to “why change now?”The “Non-selling Expert” Fraud: Those who offer sales advice without ever having sold. There is a category of frauds made up of people who have never carried a quota, never had to create opportunities in white space, never sat across from a prospective client, and never had to win competitive deals in order to generate their income. They write about sales, some even being published on popular web sites and magazines.Ideas are infections. Once you believe that something is true and adjust your actions to those beliefs, the consequences of your actions follow, no matter the harm that comes to you. Avoid frauds.
The Orissa High Court on Friday granted conditional bail to Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay, who was arrested by the CBI from Kolkata on January 3 this year for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley Group chit fund scam.Justice J.P. Das allowed Mr. Bandopadhyay to go on bail after depositing ₹25 lakh in a nationalised bank. The HC also asked him to furnish bail bonds of two sureties of ₹50,000 each.Mr. Bandopadhyay had approached the High Court in February seeking regular bail on health grounds after his bail applications were rejected by two courts. The CBI had also arrested another Trinamool MP, Tapas Pal, for his alleged involvement in the scam. The agency had accused Rose Valley chairman Gautam Kundu and three others of defrauding investors from across the country of more than ₹17,000 crore. Mamata elatedKolkata Special Correspondent reports:Trinamool chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday welcomed the bail. She said four-and-a-half months in custody had taken a toll on Mr. Bandopadhyay’s health. “He was very ill and had lost 25-30 kg. I want him to take rest and take care of his health,” she told journalists.
For the sixth consecutive day, authorities have decided to keep all the degree colleges and higher secondary schools closed in Srinagar and Anantnag districts on Saturday, as fresh protests erupted in parts of the Valley after the Friday prayers. According to the district magistrates of Srinagar and Anantnag, teaching work shall remain suspended on June 3 “as a precautionary measure”. The decision was taken following the assessment of ground situation by several security agencies. Police sources said several campuses in the city and south Kashmir remain “a challenge”. In a grim sign, the government has closed schools and colleges for 18 days since April 15, when a police raid on the Pulwama Degree College left over 50 students injured. “It has impacted the academic calendar,” said a teacher of the S.P. Higher Secondary on condition of anonymity.A government official told The Hindu that school and colleges will be reopened in phases to avoid any “untoward situation”. The government closed all schools and colleges earlier this week following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat in an encounter.Fresh clashes eruptSporadic clashes erupted in parts of south and north Kashmir after Friday prayers. Clashes broke out between protesters and security forces in Srinagar’s Old City too.Security forces used tear smoke shells in Reshi Bazar, Lal Chowk and Cheni Chowk of Anantnag and Sopore town, where two militants were killed on Thursday.Geelani blames IndiaPaying tributes to slain militants, Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani said, “India’s rigid and stubborn approach is the sole reason for this unabated bloodshed. Youth have no option but to resent this age-old slavery and take arms to defend their rights.”Meanwhile, separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was allowed to lead Friday prayers after a six-day detention at home.
Dalit organisations led by activist Jignesh Mevani will organise a march from Mehsana to Banaskantha next month to mark one year since cow vigilantes thrashed a group of Dalits for skinning a dead cow at Una village in Saurashtra. The vigilantes filmed the Dalits being tied to a jeep, beaten up and paraded in the village in July 2016. The video went viral on social media and drew national attention when BSP leader Mayawati raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha. Soon political leaders such as Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the victims and slammed the Gujarat government for not taking any action against the culprits.During the march, demands such as allotting land to Dalits in the State will be raised. Mr. Mevani, who led a month-long Dalit agitation after the Una incident, said, “Dalits, Muslims and backward communities are being systematically targeted in the name of cow slaughter across the country. We have to raise our voice against this mindless violence being inflicted by people associated with the RSS.” Mr. Mevani said,“After Una, atrocities against Dalits have increased in Gujarat and other States. There has been violence against Dalits in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh after the BJP came to power there. Everywhere, Dalits are being beaten up in the name of cow protection.”
The Centre’s Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma’s three-day visit to Srinagar began on a low-key note on Monday, with no major political party or delegation coming forward to meet him. The major trade associations and business chambers also stayed away. Invitations to meet Mr. Sharma were sent out by the Jammu and Kashmir government from the Divisional Commisioner of Srinagar to various delegations. The invitation, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, described Mr. Sharma as “Government of India Representative for peace talks, Ministry of Home Affairs.” However, several young men, representing various organisations, made their way to the Hari Niwas guest house — an erstwhile interrogation centre which is the venue for the talks — trying to evade the waiting media.One of the young men representing youth from border areas, who spoke to the media after his meeting, said he had requested Mr. Sharma to stop the use of pellet guns against civilians. “If they want to win our confidence, the use of pellet guns should stop. Also the cases against young people should be withdrawn. The Centre has to assure us first.” Yasin Poswal, general secretary of the Gujjar Bakkarwal community that has been demanding political reservation, said the Centre’s special representative gave them a patient hearing. “We met Home Minister Rajnath Singh when he came here last time (in September). We placed our demands then and today apprised the special representative of the same. He was more receptive to our demand than the Home Minister,” Mr. Poswal said. On October 23, when Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced Mr. Sharma’s appointment, he had said it was to initiate and “carry forward a dialogue” with the elected representatives, various organizations and concerned individuals in J&K. A senior Home Ministry official said the State government was short-listing delegates who would meet Mr. Sharma. “I will meet everyone with an open mind,” Mr. Sharma said before he began his meetings at around 2.30 p.m. He was able to meet around 10 delegations though invites were sent out to over 15 groups for Monday. Among those who met Mr. Sharma were the Gujjar Bakkarwal community, fruit growers association, Youth Sports Forum Qamarwari, Students Association Pattan, Youth Sports Fraternity, Peace Forum from Ganderbal and Youth Forum Kupwara. Almost the same set of people met Mr. Singh during his previous visits to J&K. A Home Ministry official said around 60 people were expected to meet Mr. Sharma on Monday but only 40 turned up. Mr. Sharma is expected to meet other delegations on Tuesday. He is camping at Hari Singh guesthouse and would be operating from there. Political leaders are expected to meet him on November 8.
Former Rajya Sabha member Drupad Borgohain, the last of Assam’s communist stalwarts who helped expand the Left’s footprint in the State and set an example in spending MP fund, passed away on Wednesday morning. He was 78.Doctors at a private hospital in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh said Mr. Borgohain died at 6 am after battling severe health complications.Born in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district, Mr. Borgohain headed the State Council of Communist Party of India (CPI). He became a party whole-timer in 1982 after resigning from his teaching job.“He belonged to a generation that expanded communism in Assam and his leadership had an impact on all constituents of the Left Front. In him, the front has lost a communicator who could explain things to the people in a straightforward, uncomplicated language,” Suprakash Talukdar of CPI (Marxist) said. Simplicity was Mr Borgohain’s asset too, as was his clean image, Mr Talukdar said.According to senior CPI leader Munin Mahanta, Mr Borgohain set an example in spending MP Local Area Development fund during his tenure in the Upper House from April 1998 to April 2004.“Unlike most other MPs in Assam, he spent his entire MPLAD money on community projects. He didn’t merely spend the fund; he set up local coordination committees and oversaw the implementation,” Mr Mahanta said.“He also was among the most vocal of MPs from Assam and elsewhere in the northeast. He would often raise issues such as Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and impact of extremism in the State,” Mr Mahanta added.Mr Borgohain had contested as the CPI candidate for the Nazira Assembly seat in the controversial election during the peak of the anti-foreigners Assam Agitation in 1983. He finished second to Congress’s Hiteswar Saikia, the former Chief Minister.He bounced back in the 2006 Assembly election, defeating Mr Saikia’s wife and the then minister in Tarun Gogoi’s Congress government, to win the Nazira seat. Apart from Tanu Konwar of Asom Gana Parishad who won a by-poll in 1988, Mr Borgohain was the only one to wrest the pocket-borough of the Saikia family since 1967.The seat is currently held by Mr Sakia’s son Debabrata Saikia of the Congress.Mr Borgohain had also unsuccessfully contested the Jorhat Lok Sabha seat thrice since 2004.
MOSCOW—Physics research in Russia is on the cusp of a major transition. The government plans to consolidate several large scientific institutes into a single entity that proponents say will make it easier to fund major new facilities. However, some physicists decry what they believe to be the latest government maneuver to undermine the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). Earlier this year, 15 institutes signed an agreement forging a partnership on megaclass research facilities. Major signatories include the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy, the Alikhanov Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, the Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, the RAS Institute for Nuclear Research, and the RAS Special Astrophysical Observatory. Then, just before elections to choose a new RAS president in May, outgoing academy president Yuri Osipov and Kurchatov director Mikhail Kovalchuk wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking him to transform the partnership into a separate body. Putin ordered the government to work out the legal framework for the new body by 1 September.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(*)Some welcome the move to deepen the partnership. “I may be an optimist and my colleagues may criticize me, but it is a good agreement,” says Leonid Kravchuk, deputy head for science at the RAS Institute for Nuclear Research in Troitsk, which, too, will join the association. He predicts that the collective will be more effective at landing research funding than each of the institutes could manage on their own.Others are less enamored by the deal. They see it as another threat to the embattled RAS, which is fighting for its identity as the government moves to strip it of control of its lucrative real estate assets. Some observers worry that the physics institutes may pull out of the academy altogether. No so, says newly elected RAS President Vladimir Fortov. In an interview with the online newspaper Gazeta.ru, he played down the significance of the institutes banding together. “There is nothing in the agreement that would move the institutions to another jurisdiction, outside the academy,” Fortov stated. “In any case, it cannot be done without the institutes’ consent.”Critics also worry that the most powerful of the 15 institutes, the Kurchatov, will end up ruling the other 14. Boris Stern of the RAS Institute for Nuclear Research, who on 26 July revealed the terms of the deal in the scientific opposition newspaper Troitsky Variant, believes that the agreement will erode the institutions’ independence and that the funding windfall Kravchuk envisions is a pipe dream. Some institute directors “don’t understand that it is a question of issuing one single decree—and all their dreams will be ruined,” Shtern says. “The only option for them now is to withdraw from the agreement as soon as possible.”
Scientists should refrain from studies that alter the genome of human embryos, sperm, or egg cells, researchers warn in a commentary published today in Nature.In it, they sound the alarm about new genome-editing techniques known as CRISPR and zinc-finger nucleases that make it much easier for scientists to delete, add, or change specific genes. These tools have made it possible to make better animal models of disease and more easily study the role of individual genes. They also hold the promise of correcting gene mutations in patients, whether in blood cells, muscle cells, or tumor cells.But scientists have also used the technology to make genetically altered monkeys. And there are rumors that some researchers are trying the same technique on human embryos, MIT Technology Review reports.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(*)That is unsafe and unethical, say Edward Lanphier and four other researchers in their commentary. Ethically justifiable applications “are moot until it becomes possible to demonstrate safe outcomes and obtain reproducible data over multiple generations,” they write. They call for a moratorium on any experiments that would edit genes in sperm cells, egg cells, or embryos while scientists publicly debate the scientific and ethical consequences of such experiments. The recent discussion of mitochondrial DNA replacement therapy in the United Kingdom could be a model, they suggest.They hope that such a discussion would help the public understand the difference between genome editing in a person’s somatic cells—cells other than sperm and egg cells—and editing in cells that could pass the changes on to future generations, says Lanphier, who is president and CEO of Sangamo BioSciences in Richmond, California, a company that hopes to use gene-editing technology to treat patients. “There’s an important and clear ethical boundary between genome editing in somatic cells versus in the germ line.”George Daley, a stem cell researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, agrees that a public debate is important. Among scientists, he says, there is broad consensus that at the moment “it’s far too premature and we know far too little about the safety to make any attempts” at modifying germ cells or embryos. But that will eventually change, he says. “There needs to be broad public debate and discussion about what, if any, are the permissible uses of the technology.”
Eminent Indian Americans have launched a nationwide campaign in the US to create awareness about massive backlog for Green Card which they say is impacting some 300,000 high-skilled Indian applicants.Under the current regulation, skilled immigrants from India need to wait anywhere between 25-92 years for a Green Card due to per-country limits, said the newly-launched group GCReforms.org. Read it at Economic Times Related Items
Residents of the Balimela reservoir area — once a major Maoist stronghold in Odisha’s Malkangiri district — have now started calling upon the administration and the government to address their issues instead of approaching the ultras.Ignoring the threat of Maoists, hundreds of inhabitants of 25 villages of Khairaput tehsil held a public meeting at Muduliguda on Saturday to discuss development issues. The area is now connected with the outside world by the Gurupriya bridge that was inaugurated on July 26, 2018. ‘Swabhiman Anchal’ The region with 151 villages is now named ‘Swabhiman Anchal’. At the meeting, the tribals spoke about their problems and aspirations. Their major demand was that Muduliguda be declared a panchayat so that they can avail of the benefits of government schemes easily. They also demanded other basic amenities including proper roads, better education and health facilities. Malkangiri SP Jagmohan Meena said the meeting was an assertion of the tribals’ renewed faith in the administration and government.