New military caregiving online course entitled, The Unique Challenges of Military Caregivers, is now available. The course was created under the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Wounded Warrior Program and provides insight into the life of military caregivers and identifies the many challenges they may face. Emphasis is placed on possible resources and supports that professionals can reference or share when working with military caregivers and families.Course BackgroundSpouses, partners, parents and others become a caregiver of military personnel when they learn their loved one is wounded while serving. These hidden heroes are at the bedside of their service members and with them until they learn to live a “new normal.” Military caregivers focus on their wounded warriors often at the determent of their own health and well-being. Being a military caregiver isn’t easy as they advocate for their warrior, provide medical care and deal with the uncertainty of their future. They do this while also continuing as a parent, employee, spouse or other life roles.Professionals often don’t recognize the essential role military caregiver’s play in the service member’s healing process. The caregiver provides information to medical staff or other professionals when the wounded warrior can’t remember or doesn’t want to accept the reality of their situation. Since they are a critical part of the service member’s care team, professionals need to understand the trials and tribulations military caregivers face daily.Upon completion of the course, professionals should be able to recognize a variety of caregiver challenges and identify resources and support services to address each challenge. *The course may take approximately 45-60 minutes to complete.The Unique Challenges of Military Caregivers course was created by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Wounded Warrior Program. Course content was developed by Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., owner of MBP Consulting, LLC and Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Extension.This article was originally published Tuesday, August 19, 2014 on the Military Families Learning Network blog.
On Oct. 23, the MFLN Personal Finance team will host Employment Resources for Military Families, a 90-minute professional development webinar. To broaden our perspective of the employment situation for many military families, we reached out to military spouses working as FINRA Fellows with AFCPE to earn their accreditation as Accredited Financial Counselors. In this post, Christine Maxwell shares her story as a military spouse and the challenges and joys she has encountered in her personal and professional journey. By Christine Maxwell, FINRA FellowPhoto courtesy of Christine MaxwellMy background is in corporate and government finance. I’ve worked for some great companies and I’m very proud of my work experience. I even have a Master of Aerospace Engineering Management from a career I had before I “married into the military”. Even with all this experience and education, it’s still difficult to find a new job when you’re constantly moving.Photo courtesy of Christine MaxwellLike clockwork, every one to two years, I was re-inventing my career due to frequent Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves required by my husband’s Army career. Even though I knew what I signed up for when I married into military life (as more seasoned spouses often reminded me), it didn’t make leaving my career behind any easier each time we moved. My typical PCS related job-hunting routine went like this: Job-hunt, find a great job, work hard, get a promotion, receive PCS orders, pitch remote-work, and be turned down. Rinse, repeat.ChangesAside from the difficulties of constant job searching, it’s soul-crushing to feel like you are continuously starting over with your career with each move. On our fifth PCS, we moved to Fort Hood for a one year assignment when I was seven months pregnant with our son. Although I knew I was fortunate to have the choice to decide to stay at home during the rest of my pregnancy, I wasn’t happy about it.Seven months pregnant and jobless, I didn’t know who I was if I wasn’t working. In retrospect, it sounds silly, but I realized that I had tied my self-worth and value to my career. I looked up my cohort of former co-workers from my first job out of college on LinkedIn. They were all senior managers and directors now. When I renewed my passport, I cried as I typed in “homemaker” for occupation.Photo courtesy of Christine MaxwellI met a new friend at that duty station who brought me out of my fog. We had our babies within two weeks of each other. She taught me to sew, we worked out, and learned how to make kombucha. We learned how to be new moms together. Unknowingly, she helped me to realize that I wasn’t just “Christine and I work at….” I realized that I was actually, Christine, a wife, mother, friend, a creative, and world traveler. My time off from work helped me to realize that I’m much more than just my job.RefreshedA year after I had my son, I felt ready to return to the workforce. Luckily, I didn’t have to return to work because we needed the money or because I felt lost anymore without working. I returned willingly, knowing I was refreshed and ready to try something new.At our new duty station, I found a great new job as a budget manager for a local university. It was new and challenging, and I loved it! Like clockwork, we received our PCS orders a few months later and I was devastated to be leaving. Surprisingly, my manager asked me to stay on and work remotely after I told her I would be leaving at the end of the year.Photo courtesy of Christine MaxwellRethinking the NormalDuring our move to our sixth duty station, my husband deployed in route, and I moved there on my own with our toddler and my remote job. This time I was happy and challenged, but not stressed. Ten years after my first job out of college, I wasn’t a director like my corporate friends, but I was happy. I had time to meet new friends at this duty station. I volunteered and I was even social! I met other military spouses who were entrepreneurs. They inspired me to think about what I was passionate about and what skills and experiences I had to offer. Talking with other military spouses, I realized so many of us were struggling with personal finances and career issues.I started a blog about personal finances and careers for military spouses. I started freelance writing about finance. I decided I want to know more about personal finance and help more people. I applied for the FINRA Military Spouse Scholarship and was accepted into the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) program.HindsightAlmost ten years of living the Army life, I wish I could go back and talk to my 22-year-old self. I would tell her she’s more than just her job. I would remind her that all her friends who climbed past her in her career never had the chance to experience all that she has. They haven’t lived all across the U.S., South Korea, or the Italian Riviera. They haven’t felt the lows of a military deployment but they also haven’t felt the highs of a redeployment ceremony. The military life has afforded me the opportunity to travel and meet new people. My friends are diverse, not just from around the country but around the world. Whether they are working outside the home or not, they are holding down the Homefront while their spouses are away.Photo courtesy of Christine MaxwellLooking back, I wouldn’t trade my experiences with military life for any job. I may not be in the military, but as part of the military community, I’m a part of something bigger than myself. I have a passion for educating others about personal finance and I know that as a FINRA Fellow, I will be able to take my professional knowledge of personal finance to the next level. Working in the field of finance I also know that I have a portable career that will move more easily with each PCS.Final ThoughtsWe have choices in life. I could have decided to stay unhappy about the career I thought I was supposed to have. Instead, I’m happy that I was able to pivot. I finally realized that even though I’m not where I thought I would be ten years ago, I’m actually in a better place now. I’m doing what I love and helping others at the same time.There is still much work to be done for the military spouse employment issue. Not everyone can or wants to work remotely or own their own business. There must be more solutions to this dilemma. However, I’m happy and satisfied with my portable and developing career in personal finance.
Check out these quick videos on building your creative business in the fast changing digital frontier.Even though many business tips may ‘fit into a soundbite’ these ideas, insights and inspiration might contain a golden nugget that transforms the rest of your career. Check out these three resources for many great pieces of advice…#1. Eat Big Fish – Advice CollectionEat Big Fish is a challenger brand consultancy with a great website with a ton of ”3 pieces of advice” videos from marketing, brand, creative and business experts who pack a lifetime of learning into a short space.In this 1 minute video Porter Gale, former VP of marketing at Virgin America and a marketing expert with over 2 decades worth of experience in branding, advertising and social media, packs 3 great pieces of advice on transparency, mobile and social media into just 60 seconds. “96% of millienials are on social media…how’s that going to impact your brand or service?” This 30 second gem from challenger Jeans brand – Huit Denim – encapsulates the fundamentals for any successful would-be entrepreneur.#2. Seth Godin – Guru of GurusSeth Godin is a social media ‘guru’ (in the nicest possible way) whose website is chock full of great free stuff as well as daily thoughts on how to create more, do better and get recognized Time reading or watching Seth is always time well spent. This classic and hugely entertaining TED talk from Seth will get you hooked on what he has to say.#3. A piece of advice on how to make the most of social media.Warren Cass lays out his top tips for anyone entering into the social media frenzy. Check out this simple, but foundational, wisdom on how and why you need to be making the most of Twitter, Linked In, Facebook and the rest.
Get the lowdown on low-angle shots from master filmmakers like Kubrick and Tarantino!Top Image: Inglourious Basterds via The Weinstein Company. Directors like Quentin Tarantino know exactly how and when to use a low-angle shot. A shot like this is used with a very specific purpose in mind, and it’s not just Tarantino using them… they’re used to great effect by plenty of others, like Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Christopher Nolan, and Paul Thomas Anderson.Just like the medium shot we covered recently, the low-angle shot is a standard camera angle used to frame characters on screen. This shot can be utilized in between a long shot and a close-up. For this cinematography breakdown, we’ll highlight the best uses of low-angle shots in film history.The Standard Low-Angle ShotLow-angle shots frame characters from below the waistline looking upward. This type of shot carries with it a very specific visual language to the audience. The best use of a low-angle shot is to utilize it in enhancing the audience’s perception of your character or characters. This enhancement can be for good or bad, as we’ll discuss.Image: From The Invisible Man via Universal Pictures.As seen above, the visual language of a low-angle shot is to convey to the audience that the character is either heroic, strong, or domineering. While most low-angle shots are framed in a medium shot, there are instances of filmmakers using wide or close-ups as well. For this shot from 1933’s The Invisible Man, director James Whale uses the low-angle shot to show Dr. Griffin at the height of his insanity, thus the visual language tells us that he’s a domineering or imposing force.When capturing a low-angle shot, it’s best to use a wider angle lens. Using a lens like this will help you capture the visual information surrounding the characters in the frame. It also helps to make the character seem bigger than they really are.Image: From Inglorious Basterds via The Weinstein Company.Great examples of using a wide-angle lens in a low-angle shot are hidden away in every Quentin Tarantino film. He actually uses the low-angle shot so much that it’s been nicknamed to reflect the way he usually uses it: the “trunk shot.” This name comes from the famous shot in Reservoir Dogs where Mr. White, Mr. Pink and Mr. Blonde open the trunk of the car. Tarantino has been using this shot ever sense. One of the best uses of this type of low-angle shot was in 2009’s Inglourious Basterds.In this scene, Brad Pitt and Eli Roth are kneeling over an unseen Nazi solider into whose forehead they’ve just carved a swastika. While these two characters can be seen as heroes in the film, Tarantino frames them in a domineering way in this shot, reenforcing their strength to the audience.Image: From The Avengers via Marvel Studios.Perhaps no film genre uses the low-angle shot more than superhero films. You could essentially call the low-angle shot the “hero shot” and people would know exactly what you were talking about. While we usually get several individual hero shots during a filme like The Avengers, we also get a medium low-angle shot of the entire ensemble as seen above.The Low-Angle Wide ShotJust like the medium shot, low-angles can also be used with wide framing. Many directors have used this technique, but usually in conjunction with some sort of dolly or tracking shot. The meaning behind taking such a wide view is to present the audience with the world around the hero or villain in the shot.Image: From Psycho via Paramount Pictures. Alfred Hitchcock used the low-angle shot to highlight the demonstrative presence of the Bates home in the 1960 film Psycho. This works so well in this film that the house is almost a character unto itself.Image: From The Dark Knight via Warner Bros.Low-angle shots don’t always have to be stationary. In the 2008 film The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister use the low-angle quite often when showing the Joker. For the sequence when the Joker and Batman face off on the streets of Gotham, Nolan and Pfister chose to keep the camera angle low. Then they tracked toward and past the Joker as Batman drives by. They mirrored this with a low-angle parallax of the Joker turning. This type of shot is incredibly powerful and cinematically amazing to watch.The Low-Angle Close-UpAnother widely used low-angle framing method is the close-up. Close-ups are used just as they are in the standard medium shot, to give the audience a sense of dramatic tension or to add importance to the character in the frame.A unique way of using the low-angle close-up was in Stanley Kubrick‘s 1980 film The Shining. During the pantry scene, Jack is beginning to let the hotel and its forces turn him against his family. Sensing this, his wife Wendy locks him in the pantry. In a brilliant move, Kubrick took the camera and sat it on the floor and framed the low-angle shot in such a way that Jack nearly fills the frame while hovering over the audience. His dominate and dangerous nature is completely evident to the audience.Paul Thomas Anderson used a more conventional approach for this low-angle shot in the 2007’s There Will Be Blood. Trying to get in the good graces of the township, Daniel Plainview attends a church service and goes to the front to confess his sins to the congregation. Anderson uses this low-angle shot to show two dominate forces in the narrative. First we see Daniel, framed low and looking like the overbearing individual he’s been thus far. Additionally, after being convinced to repent of his sins, Daniel rests below the cross behind him as Eli humiliates him in front of the congregation.Lastly let’s look at another close-up, but this time one with movement. In this scene from the 1985 film The Color Purple, director Steven Spielberg uses the low-angle shot with a parallax to show a transition in the film. Throughout the film, Celie had been the subordinate to her abusive husband. However, when she grows in strength and decides to leave him, she stands tall above him. This was a great choice by Spielberg. It clearly showed the audience that she was the hero of the narrative.Are there any other directors who use the low-angle shot perfectly? What are your favorite low-angle shots? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Field recorders are an absolute must when going into any production. Let’s take a look at some of the best and most affordable options for videographers and filmmakers.Capturing quality audio is crucial to any film or video production. Luckily, there’s a vast array of options out there for field recorders, from small handhelds to larger multi-channel recorders.Most filmmakers won’t need to spend big money on upper echelon recorders like those from Sound Devices, Sonosax, Nagra, Roland or Fostex. These field recorders are usually left for production sound mixers working on bigger budget film productions. There are plenty of affordable options for filmmakers and videographers who don’t want to spend more than $1000 on a field recorder. Let’s take a look at a few of them.Handy Recorders1. Zoom H1 Handy Recorder – $99.99Pros: decent sound quality, compact form factorCons: battery life, build qualityThe Zoom H1 Handy Recorder is a compact digital audio recorder. It can fit in your back pocket and it’s perfect for the sound mixer/filmmaker on the go. Built specifically for documentarians, journalists, and podcasters, the small form factor captures professional high-quality WAV and MP3 files.2. Tascam DR-22WL – $101.99Pros: layout, recording abilityCons: build quality, weak wifi signalTascam’s DR-22WL Recorder features WiFi to enable connectivity to an iOS or Android device for monitoring and control. Through the use of WiFi, the recorder can stream playback. It can also transfer files to your external device or the web. It also features a built-in XLR input and is capable of recording up to 24-bit/96kHz quality audio.3. Zoom H5 Handy Recorder – $269.99Pros: ease of use, durability, quality audioCons: on-mic noise, lack of XLR locksThe compact H5 Handy digital recorder from Zoom is capable of recording up to four tracks of audio. It also showcases an interchangeable modular microphone setup. While it comes with its own microphone module, it’s compatible with the H6 line of modules as well.4. TASCAM DR-44WL – $249.99Pros: wifi connectivity, durabilityCons: internal stability, range of wifiThe Tascam DR-44WL is a decent upgrade from the previously mentioned DR-22WL. The built-in WiFi has the same functionality as the 22WL — but where it really shines is with the built-in stereo mic and dual XLR inputs. It also includes the ability to record four tracks of audio simultaneously.5. Roland R-26 – $399.00Pros: solid recording, versatile, ease of useCons: customer support, pre-amps, slight noiseThe Roland R-26 is a full six-channel digital field recorder. With its flexible and compact design, the R-26 is perfect for professional filmmakers who need a handy backup audio system. The recorder comes with a built-in omnidirectional mic, while also offering two XLR combo inputs. Its phantom power is a major plus, and the ease of use for the interface is a nice addition as well.6. Zoom H6 Handy Recorder – $399.99Pros: solid audio, compact, durableCons: slight noise, limited backup recordingZoom’s H6 Recorder is the current master of the handheld field recorder market. Used worldwide by award-winning documentary filmmakers, the H6 is a durable option for on-the-go recording. Its interface is extremely easy to use, its sound quality is high, and its ability to record up to four channels of audio simultaneously is a major plus.Portable Multi-Track Recorders1. Marantz PMD661 MKII – $600Pros: Quality Sound, Low DistortionCons: Long Term Durability, Build QualityThe Marantz PMD661 MKII is a lower budget full professional field recorder. While not as robust as some of the other choices, it’s multi-track capabilities and ease of use interface make it a quality recorder. As we stated its robustness should be questioned. The build quality isn’t what you would think it would be for $600, as such it may not last, so buyer be aware.2. Roland R-44-E – $795Pros: Versatile, Quality Power OutputCons: Form Factor, Does Not Save SettingsRoland’s R-44 field recorder is a quality field recorder for independent videographers and filmmakers. It’s form factor, while not the easiest to navigate weighs less than 3 lbs making the recorder extremely lightweight. It also can record up to 4 channels of clear of audio, all while operating long periods of time due to it efficient power output.3. Tascam DR-680MKII – $832Pros: Quality Audio, Build QualityCons: Phantom Power, Meter ReadoutsThe Tascam DR-680MKII multichannel field recorder allows for up 8 tracks to be recorded simultaneously, and at an amazing 96kHz/24-bit. This small recorder packs a serious punch and offers clear audio all within a sturdy form factor. It boast 4 XLR combo inputs with phantom power, however the phantom power can be one of the recorders faults along side the unclear meter read-outs.4. Superscope PSD450mk2 – $900Pros: Build Quality, Sound RecordingCons: Not User FriendlyThe PSD450mkII field recorder from Superscope is one of the manufactures best portable recorders to date. It’s build quality and recording capabilities are impressive, along side its internal memory storage through a built-in 16GB SSD. It’s settings are deep and robust, however it’s ease of use isn’t where it should be. Regardless of this it boasts a long list of features including a solid EQ and multiple effects inside it’s interface, once you learn to navigate it.5. Tascam HD-P2 – $1000Pros: Sound Quality, Low DistortionCons: Unused Functions, Storage LimitationsTascam’s HD-P2 is an incredibly lightweight 2-channel stereo field recorder. It’s sound quality and low distortion is a huge plus, however it’s use of Compact Flash and Microdrive storage is limited and can be a major drawback. It also boasts a wealth of functions and abilities, the only issue is that many of these functions tend to go unused. Regardless of it few drawbacks, the HD-P2 is an exceptional recorder that can capture audio at a professional level.6. Zoom F8 – $1000Pros: Sound Quality, Ease of Use, DurabilityCons: Sound MeteringThe Zoom F8 Multi-Track Field Recorder is the most robust and durable recorders on our list. With its ability to record up to 8 channels of audio through lockable analog XLR inputs not only puts it at the top of this list but also places it in serious contention with the bigger name recorders like Sound Devices. Perfect for independent filmmakers and videographers the F8 is a field recorder that will provide real professional quality results.Before you know it you’ll be hiring your own sound designer and field recordist and they’ll bring in the big boys, but until then any of these options based on your budget will get you up and rolling. If your budget is smaller than you can easily purchase one of the handy recorders that will work perfectly for simple film or video production. Then if you get to the point where you need to something more robust and adjustable then you can upgrade to one of the multi-track recorders.What field recorders to you like to use? Have you used any of the list recorders? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
I watched an interview with Jamie Dimon, famed CEO of Chase. The interviewer had heard about a list Dimon carried with him in his pocket. It was handwritten, and he carries it with him at all times. The list is pages long, and it is a record of everything that any of his direct reports owe him at that time.Whenever one of Dimon’s direct reports sits down to meet with him, out comes the list. Dimon holds them accountable to their commitments by reviewing the list with them.It can’t be easy to run an organization of the size, scope, and complexity of Chase. And a paper record of commitments folded in thirds and carried in your pocket hardly sounds like the sophisticated tool someone in Dimon’s position might need. But it isn’t the tool that matters; it’s Dimon’s relentless insistence on accountability for keeping commitments that matters.Leaders don’t often fail because they have a poor vision. Good leaders normally end up in their role because they can see the future and the path to getting there.Leaders don’t usually fail because the strategy they pursue isn’t right either. Good leaders almost always know what decisions need to be made and what actions need to be taken.Where leaders normally fail is in the execution of the vision and the strategy.A great leader holds people accountable to pursuing the initiatives that move the organization forward. She is relentless in keeping her people–and their people–focused on their priorities because she continually inspects their progress. She knows what commitments have been made, what outcomes are necessary, and she begins and ends every conversation with a review of these commitments.Leaders struggle to maintain this level of disciplined focus. There are too many demands for their time and attention. There are too many urgent matters that require that they make a decision. And there are too many opportunities that might be pursued. All of these distractions, even the important ones, can prevent the leader from insisting on the execution of their initiatives.Execution is about making and keeping commitments to act. A great leader holds her people accountable for those commitments, and by relentlessly verifying their progress, she ensures that the right things are being done and that she is helping where she is needed–and not allowing the organization to spend time on the distractions that might take them off course.QuestionsHow do you hold your team accountable?What do you use to retain all of the commitments that your team makes?How frequently do you need to review these commitments?Is execution your greatest challenge? If not, what is?
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 What level are most of your client relationships now?What can you do to move these relationships to a healthier place?Whose help do you need?How many of your prospects look like Level 4 candidates to you now? Ever wonder what you get in my Sunday newsletter? Here is an example.I’ve been looking at all kinds of different client relationships. I’ve dropped them into four categories as a way to make it easy to explore what you need to do to improve those relationships—for you and for your clients. As we walk through them here, take a few notes on where your clients fall.Category 1: Not good for you, Not good for your client. These relationships are not good for you or your client. If there is no way to create a healthy, value-creating relationship with a prospective client, then any category 1 deal is only going to cost both of you time and energy.But that’s not where most of these relationships come from. Most of the relationships start out at some higher level and decline to reach this category over time, normally when both parties have become complacent.What are you doing to prevent your relationships from slipping to this level?Category 2: Not good for you, Good for your client. This is where most weak salespeople and weak sales organizations live. They take deals where they can’t command the price they need to deliver, and so always deal with customers who are getting the better end of the deal. These are not relationships of peers, these are subservient relationships. These relationships make you resentful, and in the end, you probably underserve your client and make them resentful.How do you move these relationships to a better level?Category 3: Good for you, Not good for your client. These are not deals where you do good work. These are deals where you do well and your client or customers don’t do well. That is never good.When you create value, you are entitled to capture some part of the value that you create. When you create massive value, you can capture massive value. These are relationships that are all value capture. Ultimately, these will destroy your relationships, your reputation, and your revenue.What do you need to do now to create the value that entitles you to what you are capturing?Category 4: Excellent for you, Excellent for your client. This is the sweet spot. These are the relationships you need to grow and sustain a business. This is where you build customers for life. You create massive value. You capture massive value. You bring growth initiatives to your clients. They challenge you to grow with them.You have to create these relationships by calling on the clients for whom you can create massive value. You have to discover the people within those companies who are mature enough as business people to seek category 4 relationships. You have to develop the initiatives that deliver, and you have to accept the challenge to grow yourself.
Descendants of freedom fighter Laxmi Indira Panda on Saturday staged a protest at Jeypore in Koraput district, demanding expeditious police investigation to trace her grandson, Babula Panda, who went missing on April 16 at the railway station here. Babula’s parents, Surendra Panda and Sujata Panda, were among the descendants of freedom fighters felicitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Raj Bhavan here. Babula had accompanied his parents to the function. Laxmi Indira Panda had joined Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army in the Rani Jhansi Regiment when she was only 14 years old, and fought against the British for the country’s Independence. Separated at stationJust an hour before Babula and his parents were to board the Hirakhand Express from Bhubaneswar to return to Jeypore, the three got separated at the railway station. While Babula’s father Surendra Panda reached Jeypore a day later, his mother Sujata Panda boarded a wrong train and landed in Balasore, from where she was rescued. But Babula could not be traced.Subsequently, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the police to find Babula, but the police had made no headway till Saturday. “It is duty of the government to find our son,” said Ms. Panda.
The Uttar Pradesh government has proposed to increase security on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, the longest six-lane highway in the country.As part of the plan, the government has decided to set up 24 police chowkis or outposts along the 302-km stretch. The focus on highway security comes in the backdrop of an alleged gangrape-murder on the Jewar-Bulandshar highway near the Yamuna Expressway recently.Nine districts coveredThe Lucknow-Agra highway cuts through the heart of Uttar Pradesh, touching nine districts. One outpost each will come up in Lucknow and Auraiya, two in Mainpuri, three each in Unnao, Kanpur, Etawah and Firozabad, while Kannauj and Agra will be provided with four each.The Project Implementation Units (PIUs) of the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority will work in coordination with district teams of the police force to identify land for the outposts, a government spokesperson said.The decision was taken after a meeting of police officers and UPEIDA officials chaired by Director-General of Police Sulkhan Singh.Avanish Awasthi, CEO of UPEIDA, the authority set up to develop highways in the State, said the body had also “accepted” the police department’s “request” for deploying 20 patrolling vehicles on the Expressway.Work not over yetThe Expressway was inaugurated last year by then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav but parts of it are still under the works. The highway will not only reduce the distance from Lucknow to Agra to three-and-a-half hours, but also bring the U.P. capital closer to New Delhi, cutting the time travelled between the two major cities from 8-9 hours to 5-6 hours. It will join the Yamuna Expressway at Agra to connect Lucknow to Delhi.
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Goa government and mining companies to respond on a petition seeking to lower the cap on extraction of mineral ores in the State from the current 20 MTPA to a final 12 MTPA.The apex court asked the State and the companies to file their responses to a petition filed by NGO Goa Foundation, represented by advocates Prashant Bhushan and Pranav Sachdeva, for reducing the interim cap of 20 MTPA.The petition also said the State and its citizens even runs the danger of increased pollution as the The Expert Committee on the CAP (ECOC) has recommended in its final report for an enhanced extraction of mineral ores from 20 million tonnes to 30 million tonnes.“Interim cap on extraction of mineral ores from Goa, recommended by the ECOC, was fixed in a vacuum, when mining had been suspended for several years. It was not fixed after confronting actual mining operations, when started, and their impact on people and environment,” the petition said.The petition said the present cap is subject to review as it is clear that “even 20 MT mineral extraction is deleterious to public health and environment”. The petition said the State does not have the infrastructure to handle such levels of extraction.It said the court should consider reducing the cap on mining in Goa to 5 MTPA.“At that level, mining could be conducted without damage to the environment, since it would be easier to monitor the activity and stop it immediately, if violations were observed,” the petition said.It said that though the mining industry was found to have damaged the environment of Goa in substantial, irreversible manner, as recorded in the reports of the Justice M.B. Shah Commission and the Central Empowered Committee, no rehabilitation of the damaged environment has even commenced despite mining having resumed, albeit on smaller scale, for the past two years.“In the current situation there is demonstrated proof that the mining industry is completely incapable and uninterested in balancing its interests with those of the environment and the villagers affected by their activities,” the petition said.A hearing has been scheduled in the matter for November 29.
Four policemen, including two sub-inspectors, were killed and seven others injured in an encounter with Maoists in Narayanpur district of south Chhattisgarh on Wednesday.“An encounter took place between the police and Maoists near Irapanar village in Abujhmad area of Narayanpur today. Two police sub-inspectors and two constables lost their lives [in the encounter]. Seven jawans were injured and are being brought to Raipur [for treatment],” Devnath, Additional Inspector General of the Anti-Naxal Operation (ANO) unit of Chhattisgarh police said.According to D. M. Awasthi, special Director General of Police in charge of the ANO, the encounter took place when the police team was venturing into the core Maoist area of Abujmad.Exchange of fire for over an hour“The operation was planned by Narayanpur SP [Superintendent of Police]. The police party left the base camp on Tuesday evening. The exchange of fire between the Maoists and the police team went on for over an hour,” he said.In another incident, two policemen suffered injuries in an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) explosion in Bijapur district of south Chhattisgarh.The IED, planted by Maoists, exploded when a police team was carrying out a search operation in Basaguda area of Bijapur. The injured policemen were evacuated to Raipur by a chopper.
Thirteen students of the Central University of Haryana (CUH) in Mahendergarh were suspended on Thursday for allegedly creating “hindrance in the smooth functioning of academic and administrative functioning of the university”. The suspended students, including 11 BTech students, and others have been on strike since the past 10 days against lack of infrastructure and staff in the School of Engineering and Technology.Misbehaviour alleged The suspension came a few hours after the agitating students — who were protesting against alleged misbehaviour by security guards with female students on Wednesday night — prevented Vice-Chancellor R.C. Kuhad from leaving the premises in his car. They claimed the security guards used force on Wednesday to disperse students, including women, who were holding a peaceful protest outside the university’s Academic Block. They added that the guards also tore posters, prompting hundreds of students to hold a protest all night. The agitating students alleged that varsity officials misbehaved with them on Thursday and locked the building from inside to prevent them from entering the premises to drink water and relieve themselves.‘Baseless claims’Dismissed as “baseless” the allegations of misbehaviour by the guards, CUH spokesperson Shailender Kumar accused the students of manhandling the V-C. He claimed CUH had agreed to meet their demands in a time-bound manner and a notice in this regard was already circulated on April 15. Lack of facilitiesThe students are on strike since April 9, alleging that two years after the School of Engineering and Technology was established in 2016, it still lacks minimum facilities like laboratories, building and regular staff. The School offers BTech in four disciplines. However, a student of BTech (electrical engineering) said promises made by the administration were hollow. “We want a letter signed by the V-C himself with a promise to meet all our demands in a time-bound manner. We believed the verbal assurances of the V-C last August but nothing happened. How can we believe the administration that laboratories will be ready in three months when construction of building is yet to start?” said the student. CUH Finance Officer Sanjeev Kumar said the university’s notice to meet the demands of students in a time-bound manner had the approval of the V-C and was signed by the Registrar. “It seems that some people are instigating the students. The students seemed satisfied after a marathon meeting with the V-C on Wednesday but were instigated into continuing the protest. They are coming up with new demands every other day,” said Mr. Kumar.He added that approval of the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was not required for BTech courses as the university was autonomous body and received grants from the University Grants Commission.
A forum of six communities demanding Scheduled Tribe status enforced a 48-hour shutdown affecting normal life in parts of Assam since Monday.The police reported sporadic incidents of violence and disruption of communication in eastern, central and western Assam where the six communities — Moran, Muttock, Tai-Ahom, Kock-Rajbongshi, Chutia and Adivasi (‘tea tribe’) — are in the majority.These communities currently enjoy Other Backwards Class status. The OBCs’ share in Assam’s quota pie is 27%, while the STs (plains), Scheduled Castes and STs (hills) have 10%, 7% and 5% share respectively.Two-decade-old issueThe ST status demand by the six communities has been a major issue for more than two decades now. The Bharatiya Janata Party had promised them tribal status before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.The last meeting between the Centre and the representatives of the six communities was held in April 2017. Leaders of these communities said they are still awaiting a report that was to be submitted by June 2017.The trigger for the two-day shutdown from 5 a.m. on Monday was the alleged snub by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during a meeting with leaders of the six communities in New Delhi on July 20. “The Minister came and went without saying much except that our issue would be resolved soon,” said Aswini Chetia, adviser of All-Assam Tai-Ahom Students’ Union, adding that neither Mr. Singh, nor Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju “seemed interested in knowing about our demands”. The six communities would organise a rally on July 30 demanding the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfil the BJP’s commitment to grant them ST status. Other tribes waryThe existing ST communities in Assam are opposed to the move to grant tribal status to the six ethnic groups. The Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations of Assam (CCTOA), representing Bodo, Rabha, Tiwa, Karbi, Dimasa, Mising, Sonowal, Hajong, Garo and Deuri tribes, had in 2011 written to the Singla Committee that the proposal to grant ST status to six “advances and populous OBC communities” was “a conspiracy to destroy/exterminate the existing STs of Assam”.The Centre had set up the committee headed by Mahesh Kumar Singla, then Special Secretary (internal security) in the Home Ministry, on March 1, 2011, to look into the demand of the six communities and its fallout.The CCTOA had said that the Registrar General of India had rejected the demand of the six communities eight times between 1981 and 2006. The Centre did grant ST status to the Koch-Rajbongshis for six months in 1996, but it was revoked after it was found that 33 of 42 medical seats and 17 of 21 engineering seats apart from other courses reserved for STs had been taken away by the Koch-Rajbongshis.Tribal-majority State?Social scientists say granting ST status to the six communities would make Assam a tribal majority State and would entitle it to special safeguards that might help in solving complications arising out of alleged illegal influx into the State affecting its demographic balance.If granted reservation, the number of Assembly seats reserved for tribal people is expected to jump from the existing 16 to about 85-90 in the 126-seat House by way of fresh delimitation of constituencies.
Punjabi cine actor and former convener of the AAP’s State unit Gurpreet Singh Waraich Ghuggi on Wednesday came out in support of AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, urging party workers to back him and attend his convention at Bathinda on Wednesday.Mr. Ghuggi pledged his support to Mr. Khaira in a video message to the AAP volunteers, also urging them to do likewise. “I fought a long battle for Punjab but it could not succeed because the intentions of the people along with whom I was fighting, were not clean. I feel sorry that whenever anybody raises his voice in the AAP in Punjab’s interest, it is suppressed. You can find such instances in the party’s recent history,” he said. Taking a dig at the party central leadership, Mr. Ghuggi said now the party does not like Mr. Khaira who always raised his voice in the State’s interest.
The police in Assam have arrested more alleged members of the extremist group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), believed to have been planning to launch a disruptive “start-up” in the State.On Monday, the police in central Assam’s Nagaon and adjoining Hojai districts, arrested three men — Riyazuddin Bhuyan, Joynal Ahmed and Baharul Islam. Sleuths, police said, had been keeping a watch on the trio after inputs that they had assisted HM operative Qamar-uz-Zaman during his visit to the State in August.Qamar, hailing from Jamunamukh in the Hojai district, was arrested last week from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Four of his associates, including one from Meghalaya, had been arrested till Sunday.Cashing inThe police said the HM had sent Qamar to Assam to radicalise Muslim youth, possibly to cash in on a feeling of victimisation because of the exclusion of many from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC). “They had plans to launch a start-up in Hojai district. We had kept tabs on the suspects but did not have concrete evidence on their connection with the HM. The arrests were made after collecting technical evidence,” Ankur Jain, Hojai district Superintendent of Police, said.He did not specify the nature of the start-up the HM or Qamar’s associates had been planning to set up.Tracing contactsAssam’s Director General of Police (DGP) Kuladhar Saikia, who is monitoring the investigation, said police traced the people Qamar had contacted or moved around with during his “recruitment trip” in August.Qamar had avoided his home in Jamunamukh but stayed in the house of one Shahnawaz Alam arrested last week. Police said Qamar had also used Riyazuddin’s motorcycle to move around during his stay.Qamar is believed to have been radicalised in Kashmir, where he had gone on some business a few years ago. Police came to know about his joining HM from his photo, in fatigues and holding an AK-47 rifle, uploaded on social media.Assam had a few short-lived Islamist groups that allegedly worked for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) to help militant outfits such as the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in the 1990s.
The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred to September 27 the hearing on Congress leader Kamal Nath’s plea seeking draft voter list of Madhya Pradesh in word format, and said the issue requires substantive hearing. The Congress leader said that Election Commission of India (ECI) had provided voter lists in word format during Karnataka and Rajasthan elections as also during Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls in 2013. ECI said it received complaints of voter profiling and to prevent the misuse of data it has taken a conscious decision to provide it in PDF format (non-editable). A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said that the matter requires substantive hearing and listed the matter for further hearing on September 27. During the hearing, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr. Nath, said that when the ECI can provide the draft voter list in word format in other States, then what is the problem in providing the list in Madhya Pradesh. “We want the list to be provided in word format. They have provided us during Karnataka election, they are giving us in Rajasthan and even in Madhya Pradesh they have given in 2013. Now they are saying it was a mistake,” Mr. Sibal said.PDF format Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for ECI along with advocate Amit Sharma, said that they have received complaints of voter profiling and therefore a conscious decision was taken to provide the draft list in PDF format. He said it was done to thwart any attempt of misuse of voters data. Mr. Sibal said that in PDF format they are providing the same data like they will do in word format, then where is the question of misuse.
Though only a few days are left for the general elections to be notified, Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress and the allies have not been able to finalise the seat distribution in Bihar. According to sources, the RJD has made a final offer of 11 Lok Sabha seats to the Congress, which in turn has been demanding 14 seats. The Congress fought on 12 seats during the 2014 election but managed to win only two. Of the 40 seats in Bihar, four are with the RJD.The RJD is driving a hard bargain and senior RJD leaders said they would want to be consulted on the candidates the Congress decides to field. More than the number of seats, the choice of seats offered to the Congress is creating a problem, a senior Congress leader said. ‘Cordial ties’ The RJD claims that the seat distribution is in the final stages and will be finalised in 48 hours. But the Congress is not sounding optimistic. Congress general secretary in-charge Shakti Sinh Gohil told The Hindu that the talks were still on and a decision can be expected only after the Congress Working Committee meeting in Ahmedabad to be held on March 12. “We have cordial and good relations and at an appropriate time, we will announce,” Mr. Gohil said.The Congress is keen to give tickets to outsiders, including BJP rebels Kirti Azad and Shatrughan Sinha. It is equally eager to take leaders such as Pappu Yadav and Anant Singh on board, who have been at odds with the RJD for a long time.The RJD is also not keen to concede seats to the CPI(M) or the CPI claiming that in Bihar, the CPI(ML) is the only Left party worth giving space to. Equally, there is the problem of accommodating other allies like Jitan Ram Manjhi of the Hindustan Awam Morcha, former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha and Jan Loktantrik Party chief Sharad Yadav. Sources said Mr. Kushwaha may get three seats but Mr. Manjhi may get only the Gaya Lok Sabha constituency and Sharad Yadav too may get only one seat. The delay in seat allocation in the Opposition camp has given the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) reason to cheer. JD (U) spokesperson K.C. Tyagi said the prolonged negotiations clearly indicated that the “mahagatbandhan” was not driven by principles. “The Congress’s big-brother attitude is creating problems for them and their allies everywhere. They have always had the habit of not accept ground realities. It was Nitish Kumar who gave the Congress 40 seats to contest when they were down to four in the Bihar Assembly. This mahagatbandhan is not based on principles so obviously they will find it tough to come together,” Mr. Tyagi said.
A day after the BJP sought security for its workers in the Valley, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday held a meeting in Srinagar and asked the security agencies “to give due consideration to the genuine apprehensions of political activists working at the grassroots level”. ‘Close watch’“There is a need to constantly maintain a close watch on the ground situation. Leaders of different political parties and other organisations may also raise their security concerns with the security headquarters of the J&K police. Due diligence of threat perception will be carried out by the intelligence agencies before any provision of personal security to persons with a perceived threat,” Mr. Malik said during the meeting. The meeting was attended by Adviser to Governor K. Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh, Additional Director General of Police Security Muneer Ahmed Khan and Inspector General of Police S.P. Pani. The Governor said he would invite leaders of different political parties to discuss their security concerns and ways to address them “to create a secure political and governance environment for one and all”.Inquiry orderedThe Governor also ordered an inquiry into all attacks that have taken place since October 2018 against political leaders or workers in Kashmir. A report would be filed within 15 days “with appropriate recommendations”, an official said. For elected sarpanches, municipal councillors, mayors and presidents, it was decided that they would be provided a secure room for their stay either at the State or the district level. The J&K administration had on February 20 decided to withdraw security to 18 Hurriyat leaders and 155 political persons and activists, including Shah Faesal, who resigned from the IAS, and Peoples Democratic Party leader Wahid Parray. It was followed by withdrawal of security to leaders of the National Conference and the PDP. Over 1,000 police personnel and over 100 vehicles were freed to do regular police work, the administration said. Alarm bellsHowever, the killing of BJP leader Gul Muhammad Mir, 60, in south Kashmir on May 4 outside his residence has set the alarm bells ringing. The BJP hit the streets in Srinagar on Tuesday to demand security for its workers in Kashmir.
As part of an ambitious plan to revamp “Ujala Clinics” for adolescents, the Rajasthan government will appoint peer educators and “shadow educators” for counselling of youngsters and ensure better coordination with other medical and health schemes. Ujala Clinics are functioning at the government health facilities in 10 districts of the State.A workshop of adolescent health counsellors was organised here earlier this week under the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram. The role of Ujala Clinics and the scope for connecting them with the initiatives for promoting mental health, reproductive health and de-addiction was discussed on the occasion.National Health Mission’s State Director Samit Sharma said the “shadow educators”, to be appointed in Rajasthan on the lines of Madhya Pradesh, would provide supplementary support to the ongoing counselling services. The new batch of educators will deal with behavioural aspects of adolescents and help them cope with physical and hormonal changes.Ujala Clinics have been established at district hospitals, community health centres and selected primary health centres in Udaipur, Rajsamand, Banswara, Dungarpur, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jalore, Bundi, Karauli and Dholpur districts.United Nations Population Fund’s State Programme Coordinator Sunil Thomas Jacob said a new software was being prepared for reporting, monitoring and evaluation of the clinics’ functioning. Anaemia preventionRKSK State Nodal Officer Rajendra Gaura said the adolescent health strategy was aimed at reducing the prevalence of malnutrition and anaemia and improve adolescents’ knowledge and behaviour in relation to sexual and reproductive health.
The basics of star formation are easy. Find an unusually dense region within a molecular cloud filled with dust and gas in interstellar space and let gravity do the rest. The gas and dust will eventually coalesce into a doughnut-shaped envelope that encircles an inner rotating disk. As material accumulates over hundreds of thousands of years, the central region collapses into a star while the disk solidifies into planets.Astronomers have understood this overall scenario for decades, but the details are fuzzy because telescopes haven’t been good enough to check theorists’ computer models. That changed in 2011 with the partial completion of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The collection of radio antennas is being erected on the Chajnantor Plain, 5000 meters above sea level in the Chilean Andes, where the dry, sparse air causes minimal distortion of the faint waves from the far reaches of the universe. Using 24 of the antennas—the final array will have 66—an international group led by astrophysicists at the University of Tokyo, has taken the most detailed look yet at the heart of a star-forming region and found a chemical surprise.The researchers trained ALMA on a very young star still forming in the constellation Taurus, about 450 light-years from Earth. As is typical at such an early stage, the star is encircled by an envelope and disk of gas and dust. The new scope’s power enabled the team to identify the chemical composition of the gases at different locations throughout this star- and planet-forming system. Previously, astronomers thought that the envelope and disk must be made up of the same gaseous molecules of hydrogen found throughout interstellar space plus dust particles made up of other elements. To the surprise of the University of Tokyo group, ALMA detected something different—sulfur monoxide gas—in a narrow band where the envelope meets the disk. Collisions between particles in the envelope and those in the rapidly spinning disk generate heat that thaws frozen sulfur monoxide molecules stuck to dust grains, explains Nami Sakai, an astrophysicist at the University of Tokyo. Sulfur monoxide can’t be detected when it is frozen to dust grains. But ALMA can spot it in its gaseous state. Knowing just what gases are swirling around young stars should lead to a better understanding of where and how elements found in planets, comets, and asteroids are formed. Sakai and colleagues report their findings online today at Nature.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(*)”These are beautiful data and very interesting results,” says Ewine van Dishoeck, an astrophysicist at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands. “This work shows that ALMA will provide ample observational evidence” that will challenge theoretical models, adds astrophysicist Stéphane Guilloteau of University of Bordeaux in France. “This paper is a beautiful example of the new discovery [capabilities] offered by ALMA.”