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Creative Inspiration: Icons Commercial

first_imgExplore cultural imagery in the beautiful and continuous commercial, Icons.We don’t post advertisements often but this one is too good to ignore. If you haven’t seen the widely popular commercial ‘Icons’ by the design agency Grey than you are missing out. The ad was designed for ‘The Sunday Times’ a UK based newspaper and it encompasses many iconic cultural images in one long continuous shot.The goal of the commercial was to highlight some of the cultural icons that will be around ten, twenty, maybe even one hundred years from now, although we have our doubts about Daft Punk. Check out the video below.Behind the ScenesAs stated above, the entire video was shot all in 1 continual shot with no match action cuts or fancy post production tricks of any kind. Most notably the commercial had a lot of pre-production with a very extensive storyboard. There were also a lot of really awesome costumes including this very stylish half-tan, half-black suit.And this luminescent Mad Men set piece.Here’s the behind the scenes in case you haven’t seen it. Take note on how precise everyone’s movements are.This commercial was shot by the Grey Design Agency for the Sunday Times, Thanks for sharing!Have any other inspiring commercials? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

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7 Creative Things to Do With Gaff Tape

first_imgGaff tape can be used for so much more than fixing cables to the ground. Here are some other ways you can use this sticky filmmaking staple.Gaffer’s tape, gaff tape, camera tape, spike tape. Whatever you call it, don’t call it duct tape. Gaff tape is the most common tool you will see on set.The tape is made with a heavy cotton cloth, rather than vinyl or plastic. The adhesive used in gaff tape is more heat resistant, making it popular among lighting technicians. Unlike duct tape, gaff tape wont leave a residue when it’s removed.1. Make a space bra.Image from starwars.comWhen George Lucas was filming the original Star Wars, he told actress Carrie Fisher that “there’s no underwear in space.” That meant Princess Leia couldn’t wear anything more than her hair buns and white robe. To keep the film PG, Fisher had to wear makeshift pasties made out of gaff tape.2. Save your footage from being formatted.Did you just pull a full memory card out of the camera? Put a strip of red gaff tape on it to prevent it from going back into the camera. Keep that card taped until you dump the footage. If you put the card inside a case, tape the case shut. This is an easy way to help you keep track of your cards.3. Salvage your shoes.Did you get a hole in your sole? Maybe your shoes are squeaking too much. Put some gaff tape over the bottom of your shoes to help quiet them.Did you wear white shoes when you are only allowed to wear black ones? Start taping your whole shoe. Gaff tape won’t leave any residue, so your shoes will still be white when you take the tape off.4. DIY tracking points.Will you be using motion tracking when you edit? Make some cross hairs with two pieces of gaff tape. You can even put gaff tape on light stand, like in this VFX breakdown from Jean-Baptiste Lefournier for the Beat Assailant music video RUN.You can see more breakdowns like this over at RocketStock.com.5. Cover your built in laptop camera.Maybe you don’t trust your computer after you accidentally streamed your whole face to a hotel conference while trying to fix an issue at an event. A little gaff tape won’t hurt the screen. You’re on your own when it comes to the microphone.6. Mark your gear.Keeping track of your own gear and rentals can be a hassle. Gaff tape comes in multiple colors. Color code your cameras and gear to make sure everything goes back to its rightful owner.7. Gaff tape on the go.Image from StrobistNow that you know some cool tricks for using gaff tape, make sure you always have some on you. You might not have room for an entire roll, but you can easily have some in your pocket.Have an old gift card or hotel room key? Wrap a foot or two of gaff tape around it. One of the coolest tricks can be found in this tutorial from Strobist. Learn how to make a gaffer’s tape key fob. All you need is a paper clip and pencil to carry 40 inches of gaff tape with you everywhere.Need more cheap gear to help stay organized on set? Then check out these articles from PremiumBeat7 Tricks for Keeping Your Camera Equipment Organized12 Essential Filmmaking Tools Under $204 Cheap Practical Lights That Can Work Wonders On SetKnow of any other tape tips that we missed? Have any tricks of your own? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

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Declare Your Independence

first_imgIt takes an enormous amount of courage and an even greater amount of hard work to declare your independence and truly free yourself.Declare your independence from all of the excuses and the rationalizations that you have shackled yourself in so that you wouldn’t have to take 100% responsibility for your own life and your own results. What will you do to free yourself from your excuses and make your life and your results your own at long last?Declare you independence from the bonds of other people’s expectations and demands and become the truest, fullest, authentic version of yourself. When will you finally become the person you were born to be?Declare your independence from the distractions and novelties that you have used to keep from having to engage in what is your life’s most important work. If not today, when will you start making the difference that you were born to make?Declare your independence from the scarcity mindset and the fear that you have allowed to prevent you from seeing all of the opportunities before you. If not today, when will you start mining the acres of diamonds from within the mine on which you are already standing?Declare your independence for your completely self imposed limitations, the belief that you aren’t good enough, the belief you don’t know enough, the belief that you aren’t ready. You are more than ready. When will you accept that you are perfect just the way you are right now (even though you could stand a little improving)?Today, take the key that is already in your hand and that you have had this whole time and finally free yourself from the shackles in which you alone have locked yourself. Make today the day that you finally and irrevocably declare your independence.last_img read more

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High Profit Selling, Overcoming Objections, and Raising Your Prices, with Mark Hunter – Episode 41

first_imgResources & Links mentioned in this episodewww.TheSalesHunter.com – Mark’s website and resources0814420095 The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarinoTweets you can use to share this episodeHow to win a sales deal without compromising on price with Mark HunterClick To TweetToo many discounts are given away because salespeople don’t believe in their offeringClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 22:56 — 18.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSThere are many difficult spots along the path of closing a sales deal, but none more difficult than the negotiation of price. Mark Hunter is an experienced salesman and coach who knows that struggle firsthand. But what he’s discovered is that price is very seldom an issue if the salesperson has done a good job selling the product. He’s not talking about coercion or bold-faced lies, he’s talking about effectively addressing the concerns and objections your prospect has long before you get to the issue of price. Mark shares his valuable insights with Anthony on this episode of In The Arena.If you are delivering #outcomes to the customer, they will get value automatically ~ Mark HunterClick To TweetWhy you should be selling outcomes instead of features or benefits.There is a lot of talk in the marketing and sales arena about pitching the benefits of your product or service instead of the features, but sales champion Mark Hunter says that you don’t want to be selling either of those. Instead, you want to be selling the outcome that the customer is looking for by considering your service or product. On this episode Mark outlines how features, benefits, and outcomes differ and how you can shift your sales process to hit the outcomes of your prospects every single time.Sometimes the most valuable sale is the one you don’t get.Mark Hunter has seen and done almost everything in the sales arena so he knows what it’s like to feel the pressure of compromising price in order not to lose a sale. He can recall times when he got into less trouble for returning to the sales office with a deal that was underpriced than he would for returning without a deal because he wouldn’t drop the price. He says there’s something fundamentally wrong with that picture. What is it? The salesperson is being encouraged by management to help the customer undervalue the product or service they are offering. Get the inside scoop on how Mark would address this issue, on this episode.The only reason we have to negotiate price is because we haven’t done a good job sellingClick To TweetSales professionals need to be confident enough to walk away.Before you practice all your techniques of how to close a deal, how to overcome objections, or how to present your products effectively, you need to first know and believe in your product or service. Salespeople who don’t believe in their products are the ones who compromise on price and cut themselves and their companies short. The confidence you have in your product or service is what enables you to stick to your guns on price and communicate to your prospect exactly why you can’t bring the price down any further. Doing so shows them the value of what you’re offering and why they need to see the cost as in investment in their own success.How can you increase your prices with existing customers?It’s a touchy subject to talk to an existing customer about increasing the cost of the goods or services you’re already providing to them. Most salespeople have a tough time in those conversations because they don’t understand and believe in the true value they are providing, and why a price increase is needed in order to continue providing that level of service to their customers. On this episode of In The Arena Mark Hunter shares how you can get your head around that concept and how to go about communicating it to your existing customers effectively.Customers do not buy anything. They invest in things that bring them value ~ Mark HunterClick To TweetOutline of this great episode  Anthony’s introduction of Mark Hunter and this episode of In the Arena. If you sell first, the negotiation comes second. Why price is not a feature of your product. Features VS benefits VS outcomes in the sales process. Telling the truth in sales as a way to stop customers from under investing. Why you might need to ignore the customer’s objections about price. Why salespeople have to be confident enough to walk away. How to go about increasing your pricing with existing customers. Why sales is leadership and leadership is sales. Marks’ video subscription (60 second motivation)last_img read more

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 2018

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now The holiday season always causes me to do two things.First, the holidays always make me reflect. Each year seems to go by faster than the one before. I’ve never been great at keeping a journal, my handwriting being too bad to make it useful. I started a digital journal, and it’s surprising how many major events occur in the course of one year of your life. It’s worth going back over the last year to remember all the events and happenings that shaped the past year –or may have changed your trajectory.Second, and more importantly, the holidays make me grateful. If you missed yesterday’s newsletter, it was about “your people,” the people you belong to and the people that belong to you.I am grateful for all my families, starting with the one in which I was born into. None of us gets to choose this family, but if I could choose, I would happily take this one.I’m also grateful for the family that I started with my wife and partner, Cher. There is an element of luck here that can’t be overstated, as I am not sure how we ended up being perfect for each other, or how we helped make three wonderful people.There are other families I am grateful for, the families that I have chosen or that have chosen me. Along this path, you discover that you have brothers and sisters that were born to different parents. You go most of your life never knowing them, and then you meet them and you recognize that these are your people.Then there is this community, the people who read this blog, subscribe to the newsletter, and watch the YouTube show. Every week I am humbled by your replies and your notes, and I am grateful for you sharing your stories, thoughts, and ideas with me. Thanks for being part of my families!Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!last_img read more

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Ahmedabad launches air quality index linked to health advisories

first_imgAHMEDABAD The people of Ahmedabad may soon find information on air pollution levels flashing on LED boards on the city roads, along with accompanying messages asking them to take precautions. This is part of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) new health-based initiative to reduce the adverse impact of rising air pollution on the city’s seven million residents.The civic body is launching a comprehensive Air Quality Index (AQI) and Air Information and Response (AIR) plan that would include an air pollution alert system and health risk communication based on real-time data.“The initiative, the first of its kind, involves five key factors: health risk communication, inter-agency coordination, capacity-building of the medical staff, targeted activities for vulnerable groups such as school children, senior citizens, and people with asthma or lung disease, and research on mitigation pathways,” said Anjali Jaiswal, a senior official in the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC), which has partnered with AMC to launch the new program.According to the plan, eight air quality monitors in Ahmedabad and two in Gandhinagar will collect data on smog and toxic pollutants and feed it into the system which would generate the AQI. This would then be used to inform residents on when to take precautions so that they can minimise exposure to harm.When the AQI is designated as “very poor” (301-400), it triggers a health alert, which would be disseminated by the civic body through various communication channels, including social media platforms and traditional media, and also displayed in colour-coded messages on a dozen large LED screens installed across the city. The AQI is supported by technical expertise from the Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and the Indian Meteorological Department’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), which operate the AQI in Delhi, Pune and Mumbai.“Ahmedabad’s AIR plan is based on global best practices on AQI health risk communication from Beijing, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and New Delhi. With this, we want to prove that you can have clean air and prosperity without compromising on the health of the communities living in the city,” said Ms Jaiswal.last_img read more

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Bihar hospital shifts body in garbage cart

first_imgImages from a government hospital in Muzaffarpur in north Bihar of a destitute woman’s body being taken in a garbage cart for an autopsy has sent shock waves through the State and prompted the District Magistrate to order a probe into the incident.In visuals aired on several private channels, two employees of the Sri Krishna Memorial College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur are seen wheeling the body of the woman in a garbage cart, instead of a mortuary van.The woman died on Wednesday after having been admitted to the hospital two weeks ago for treatment. According to hospital sources, the woman died near a park inside the SKMCH on Wednesday after battling illness for two weeks. Probe ordered“We’ve ordered a probe …strict action will be taken against those found responsible for negligence,” said Dharmendra Singh, District Magistrate of Muzaffarpur district. A gardener at the SKMCH, Kanchan Bhagat told local journalists that he had earlier noticed the ailing woman writhing in pain and had informed the doctors but “none of them paid any attention to her and she died on Wednesday”.last_img read more

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Olive Ridleys keep date with Odisha coast, arrive in large numbers

first_imgOlive Ridley turtles have kept their date with Gahirmatha beach in Odisha’s Kendrapara district, known as world’s largest rookery of this endangered species, arriving just offshore for mating in large numbers.“Olive Ridley pairs have been seen floating near Gahirmatha coast since October last week. We hope that turtles would scale the sand slope in large number to lay eggs in January and February,” said Bimal Prasad Acharya, Divisional Forest Officer of Mangrove Forest Division (Wildlife), Rajnagar, on Thursday.Offshore congregation of Olive Ridley pairs has been observed along 8 km of the Habelighati shoreline. The spectacular sight fascinates nature lovers and scientists.To ensure safe mating, day and night patrolling has been intensified so that fishing attempts can be checked, said Subrat Patra, Gahirmatha forest range officer. Mechanised fishing spells the biggest trouble for turtles as they get entangled in the trawl net.The forest division recently got a shot in the arm with the acquisition of two speed boats — with the assistance of World Bank — which have enabled wildlife teams to patrol the entire stretch of Gahirmatha sanctuary in five to six hours as against the earlier 11-12 hours.In 2016-17, around 9.75 lakh Olive Ridley turtles came out from the sea to lay eggs along the Odisha coast. Nasi II Island of Gahirmatha Sanctuary had alone hosted six lakhs. As per the forest department estimates, 20.22 lakh hatchlings finally emerged from egg shells in Gahirmatha.Following a high-level meeting held here in the third week of October, a central monitoring unit was set up in the Principal Chief Wildlife Warden’s office to coordinate with law-enforcing bodies for ensuring smooth mass-nesting of turtles, which begins in November and continues till May.Sporadic nesting activities of the turtles and their mortality are also being monitored through a web portal, www.manage.odishawildlife.org. It has also been decided that rookeries would be fenced to protect the nests and eggs after the mass nesting.last_img read more

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Navy’s MIG-29k crashes off runway while taking off at Goa airport

first_imgA MIG-29K fighter aircraft of the Navy with an trainee pilot crashed off the runway during takeoff at the Goa airport on Wednesday.“The pilot has ejected to safety. Fire on the aircraft is being extinguished,” a Navy officer said.This is the first accident involving the MIG-29k. The Navy operates 45 such aircraft and they fly off aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.Normal flight operations were suspended and the airport was closed.A Court of Inquiry (CoI) will determine the cause of the accident.last_img read more

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Jobless SPOs block Brahmaputra bridge

first_imgSome 300 Special Police Officers (SPOs) on Monday blocked an arterial bridge across the Brahmaputra river demanding regularisation of their jobs. They threatened to commit mass suicide by jumping into the river before the police dragged them away to restore order.About 650 SPOs have been jobless since the Assam government discharged them in 2015. They have been awaiting absorption in the proposed 3rd Assam Industrial Security Force as the government had promised.“We have no job, no money to look after our families. The government does not want us to live, and by preventing us from jumping into into the river, it does not want us to die either,” an SPO said.The State government had raised the SPOs in 2008 to guard government officials and vital installations after militants triggered large-scale violence in Dima Hasao district. Many surrendered rebels were included into the squad under rehabilitation schemes.“Initially, 900 SPOs were recruited. But the government discharged 298 of them in 2010 without any notice. The remaining SPOs were discharged in 2015, but none of us was given the revised pay since September 2013,” Dilip Saikia, president of SPO Welfare Society, had said recently. Mr. Saikia is undergoing treatment following an accident.The SPOs were recruited at a fixed monthly pay of ₹4,839 for the first three months. The pay was later revised to ₹8,200.last_img read more

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Goa Lokayukta receives disproportionate assets complaint against Power Minister Madkaikar

first_imgA complaint filed on Thursday with the Goa Lokayukta against Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar sought a probe into his disproportionate assets.In the complaint filed under Section 11 of the Goa Lokayukta Act, the complainant, advocate Aires Rodrigues has drawn the attention of the Lokayukta that Mr. Madkaikar’s company, Nikitasha Realtors Pvt. Ltd., had on April 1 this year, inaugurated a bungalow in survey no. 144/2 next to the Basilica of Bom Jesus in North Goa, estimated to have cost around ₹200 crore.Last month, he lodged a complaint of disproportionate assets with the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), Goa against Mr. Madkaikar, which the ACB officials said “was under examination.” The complainant has attached a copy of the affidavit of assets filed by Mr. Madkaikar on January 13, 2017 along with his nomination papers during the 2017 Assembly elections.The complaint pointed out that in his I-T returns for the financial year 2015-16, Mr. Madkaikar had shown his total income for the year as ₹1, 44,389 and that of his wife Janita, sarpanch of Old Goa village panchayat, a sum of ₹24,389. The complaint also finds details of all personal loans of the Minister and his wife to claim that the construction of this new bungalow at Old Goa was disproportionate to his known source of income.Urging the Lokayukta to seek a status report from the ACB of the complaint filed by him against Mr. Madkaikar, Mr. Rodrigues has also sought in his complaint that the Lokayukta issue action to be taken against Mr. Madkaikar.Mr. Madkaikar is presently in a private hospital in Mumbai convalescing after a surgery he underwent on Monday following a brain stroke he suffered.last_img read more

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Bhima Koregaon clashes: Activists Gonsalves, Ferreira in police custody

first_imgA Pune police team took activists Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves into custody on Friday after a special court here rejected bail pleas filed by them and noted civil rights activist Sudha Bharadwaj.The three activists, who had been under house arrest since August 29, had on September 28 been given four weeks time by the Supreme Court to seek legal remedies. That period ended today.They were first arrested on August 28 along with poet-activist Varavara Rao and Gautam Navlakha for allegedly having links with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) and purportedly having had a role in the controversial ‘Elgaar Parishad’ and the subsequent Bhima-Koregaon clashes.“Following the court’s rejection of their bail pleas, our teams took Mr. Ferreira and Mr. Gonsalves into custody from their respective residences in Mumbai,” Pune’s Joint Commissioner of Police Shivaji Bodkhe told The Hindu. “They will be produced before a Pune court tomorrow,” he said.Ms. Bharadwaj was likely to be taken into custody on Saturday morning in keeping with legal rules that prohibit taking women into custody after sunset, said a police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Earlier on Friday, a special court had rejected applications filed by the three activists’ lawyers seeking a week-long extension of their house arrest thus paving the way for the Pune police to take them into custody again.  In a parallel hearing in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court had similarly rejected separate pleas seeking the extension of house arrest sought by Mr. Gonsalves and Mr. Ferreira.In his order rejecting the bail pleas of the three accused, Special Judge K.D. Vadane said that “the investigation against the accused was at a very crucial stage” and that “material collected by the investigating officer prima facie revealed their involvement in alleged unlawful activities against the unity, integrity, security and sovereignty of India.”The order took into account the prosecution’s submission of allegedly incriminating letters and e-mails which hinted at the involvement of the three activists in recruiting cadre for the outlawed CPI (Maoist) and purportedly made reference for the need to “assess the damage caused by the seizure of communications by the police”.Arguing against the bail pleas last week, public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar had submitted two e-mails to the court that were allegedly “intercepted communications” exchanged between Maoist leader Ganapathy alias Comrade Chandrashekhar and poet Varavara Rao in July.The city police has claimed that the mails were allegedly exchanged after the June 6 arrests of activist Sudhir Dhawale, prominent human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, tribal activist Mahesh Raut, Nagpur University English Professor Shoma Sen and activist Rona Wilson.Ms. Pawar told the court that the e-mails apparently revealed that top leaders in the Maoist Central Committee (CC) were ‘concerned’ after the June arrest of the five activists and that Ganapathy had allegedly asked Mr. Rao as to how the letters were leaked and how they had found their way into the hands of the Pune police.The contents of the e-mail, quoted by Ms. Pawar in the court, has Ganapathy allegedly urging Mr. Rao to ensure the confidentiality of “this communication channel” and remarking that the five arrests (of Mr. Gadling and the others) had caused a lot of damage to the movement and that urgent steps were needed to boost the morale of the cadre.Ms. Bharadwaj’s counsel had earlier argued that the so-called Maoist communications were of “dubious authenticity”.Similarly, lawyers representing Ms. Sen and Advocate Gadling, during their bail pleas, had also separately submitted that there was nothing in the so-called Maoist communications produced by the Pune police to incriminate the activists and asserted that the supposedly ‘incriminating’ evidence against their clients was “manufactured”. Ms. Bharadwaj, Mr. Ferreira and Mr. Gonsalves had filed their bail pleas in the Pune sessions court in the second week of October.Earlier this week, the Hyderabad High Court extended Mr. Rao’s house arrest period by three weeks while Mr. Navlakha’s arrest has already been quashed by the Delhi High Court.The two countrywide swoops by the Pune police, in June and in August, that led to the arrest of the 10 persons, were based on an FIR registered at the city’s Vishrambaug Wada police station in connection with ostensibly provocative speeches made during the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ held on December 31, 2017 — a day before clashes erupted in Bhima-Koregaon.The FIR was based on a complaint by one Tushar Damgude against six participants, including Mr. Dhawale, of the Parishad. Those named in the FIR were members of the Kabir Kala Manch — a radical Dalit cultural troupe.The complainant had accused the KKM activists of making a number of “inflammatory” speeches and delivering “socially divisive” presentations during the course of the troupe’s performance and recitals at the ‘Elgaar Parishad’, which lasted almost eight hours and witnessed the participation of thousands of persons from more than 250 social outfits including several Ambedkarite and leftist groups across Maharashtra. Activist Vernon Gonsalves arriving at his residence along with the police, in Pune. File  | Photo Credit: Prashant Waydandelast_img read more

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Fire torches not the way to drive away elephants: SC

first_imgThe Supreme Court questioned the West Bengal government Monday over the use of fire torches to drive away elephants and directed the State to place before it the names and designations of the Forest officials who would be held responsible for any accident due to this.The apex court observed that the use of fire or fire torches “cannot be the only answer” for driving away elephants in West Bengal and directed that the tender floated by the State government for procuring burnt mobil oil for distribution among villagers not be processed in the meanwhile.Man-animal conflictWhen the counsel appearing for the State said using fire torches was the only way to avoid man-animal conflicts, a Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta said, “You will kill all the animals and then there will be no man-animal conflict.”“Wildlife is just being decimated. See the newspaper reports, so many elephants have died. Fire cannot be the only answer. You cannot go on burning everything. What is there to prevent somebody from throwing fire torches at the animals,” the Bench asked.It directed the State to file an affidavit within two weeks, giving the names and designations of the officials from each forest division who would be held accountable and responsible in case of an accident due to the use of fire or fire torches.High-beam lightsThe counsel appearing for the petitioner, who had raised the issue of the use of spikes and fireballs in some States to drive away elephants, told the apex court that instead of fire torches, the West Bengal government should provide high-beam lights to villagers.Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor-General A.N.S. Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, said they had in-principle agreed to the suggestion of setting up a task force, which would formulate and implement measures to effectively deal with conflicts with elephants across the country. When the issue of use of fire in West Bengal was raked up, Mr. Nadkarni said, “Fireballs are not to be used.”Next hearingThe Bench posted the matter for further hearing on December 4.On October 22, the court had observed that human-animal conflicts, especially involving elephants, were a “problem” and the Centre should consider setting up a task force to ensure adherence to the guidelines in this regard.last_img read more

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TMC to contest Assam rural polls

first_imgThe killing of five Bengali villagers by suspected extremists in eastern Assam on November 1 has apparently given the Trinamool Congress a window of opportunity to contest the State’s panchayat elections for the first time.The rural polls are scheduled in January 2019.Condolence meeting West Bengal’s Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim flew in to Guwahati on Monday to attend a condolence meeting for the five who were gunned down at Bisonimukh-Kherbari village. The TMC’s State unit had organised the meet.His was the second visit to the State by the TMC leaders in a week. On November 5, a delegation of four of the party’s lawmakers, including MP Derek O’Brien, had visited Bisonimukh-Kherbari to stand by the victims and provide them assistance.‘Feeling insecure’“It is not just the Bengalis that are feeling insecure in Assam under a BJP-led government. Other communities are feeling threatened too,” Mr. Hakim said, criticising the slow progress of the investigation into the killings.He also said that the TMC would be contesting the panchayat polls where the BJP’s ruling ally Asom Gana Parishad is keen on contesting on its own and the pro-minorities All India United Democratic Front wants to tie up with the Congress to keep the BJP out.Monday also saw the leaders of the pro-talks faction of the extremist United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) holding a “brotherhood meeting” with some Bengali intellectuals and activists of the State headed by Pradip Sen Sharma.The Assam government had after the November 1 killings arrested two pro-talks ULFA leaders – Mrinal Hazarika and Jiten Dutta – for provocative statements.‘Situation deteriorating’“The situation in Assam is deteriorating due to some misunderstanding among the communities. Some third party is taking advantage to create a violent rift between the Assamese and Bengalis in the State. We met in a bid to iron out the differences,” ULFA leader Anup Chetia said.“Both groups agreed that the Centre’s move to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, has strained the cordial relationship the two communities have been enjoying for decades now,” Mr. Chetia said.“We can see a deep conspiracy behind the attempts to divide the two communities,” Mr. Sen Sharma said.last_img read more

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Kashmir parties criticise Governor Satya Pal Malik

first_imgA slew of decisions taken by the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday sparked sharp reactions from Jammu and Kashmir’s regional parties, which suspected that these moves were “motivated”.Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former State Law Minister Abdul Haq Khan said his party warned the Governor’s administration against “fiddling with the existing State subject laws”.He described the administration’s move to amend rules of Jammu & Kashmir Protection of Human Rights Act — by virtue of which the State Human Rights Commission will be unable to investigate any complaint of human rights violation submitted one year after the incident — “an act beyond its mandate”.“The Governor’s rule is a transitory arrangement and Governor Malik should avoid disrupting the existing laws and procedures. People here have been worst victims of human rights violations and there is no time-frame for the problems they have faced,” Mr. Haq said.Engineer Rashid, who heads the Awami Ittehad Party, said the order issued regarding SHRC functioning “should be immediately revoked”.“With lack of accountability for men in uniform, the SHRC is still a ray of hope. The Governor’s move is part of a well-crafted strategy to suppress the voice of the masses,” Mr. Rashid said.The administration’s move to “change and ease” procedures for issuing Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC), a certificate issued to domicile citizens of J&K, has also come under cover of suspicion.“Mr, Malik is going into the most crucial and important territory of PRC, which could further disturb the situation on the ground. It is well advised to the Governor administration not to fiddle with existing systems and procedures,” said PDP’s Khan. “The system of granting the PRC is an established practice and should not be diluted at any cost. This is a matter of the identity of the State and any attempt to relax it will meet with resistance. It can open a Pandora box if the procedure is relaxed in any way,” he added. Under criticism, a government spokesman said the process for issuance of PRCs in J&K “remains unchanged”. “But district development commissioners have been asked only to explain the causes of delay on the complaints alleging unprecedented delay in its issuance,” said the spokesman.Meanwhile, the National Conference on Saturday staged protests at all district headquarters of the State and sought a rollback of the SAC decision of declaring J&K Bank a public sector undertaking.“The decision will downgrade and put the prestigious institution at par with any other state public sector undertaking,” said a NC spokesman.last_img read more

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AAP accuses Goa government of harassing deputy sarpanch

first_imgThe Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Goa accused the BJP-led coalition government on Friday of harassing a former deputy sarpanch, who had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the high court last month seeking a probe into alleged illegalities committed by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s son Abhijat in an eco-tourism project.The project is located near the Netravali wildlife sanctuary in South Goa. Addressing a press conference, AAP Goa convenor Elvis Gomes said the former deputy sarpanch Abhijit Dessai was “unfairly” sacked by an order of the director of the State panchayat out of vengeance last month, soon after he filed a petition in Bombay High Court at Goa.“The order of the Panchayat department would not survive the judicial test but is good enough to cause fear among others that they too would meet such fate,” Mr. Gomes said. On February 12, the Bombay High Court at Goa had issued notices to Mr. Abhijat Parrikar and several other government agencies in connection with the petition filed against him by Mr. Dessai for alleged destruction of forested area for construction of an eco-resort located near the Netravali wildlife sanctuary. All have been directed to respond to the high court notice by March 11.last_img read more

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Two Jaish militants from Pakistan killed in J&K

first_imgTwo non-local Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants were killed in an operation on the outskirts of Srinagar on Friday morning. According to police, the militants, identified as Ali and Idrees, both from Pakistan, were trapped during a cordon-and-search operation in the Sutsoo Kalan area of Nowgam.“The search party was fired upon by the hiding militants. The fire was retaliated, leading to an encounter. Both militants were killed,” said the police. They were involved in conspiring and executing many terror attacks in the area, said the police.Meanwhile, suspected militants shot at a civilian at Pulwama’s Tral on Friday. “The victim, Naseer Ahmad Ganaie, is stated to be critical,” said the police.last_img read more

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Why displacement due to river erosion not a poll issue, ask villagers

first_imgThe village Hossainpur, that voted in all earlier elections, has disappeared. Last October, the village with about a thousand voters was devoured by the Ganga displacing all. Earlier this week, standing close to the advancing river, the villagers identified points where their mud and bamboo thatched houses were located.“Mine had three rooms, a courtyard and a garden,” said Rina Sarkar, a mother of three. The residents, mostly from Namasudra community, had moved twice earlier before settling in Hossainpur which was located at the point where the river splits in south Malda, with one branch moving to Bangladesh. As the village disappeared, the villagers moved further south to settle on the floodplains and named it “Srikanta Sarkarer Para”, after a local popular trader. ‘River man’Many thousand villages in central Bengal have disappeared or gone to other States due to river erosion over the last four decades. “About two lakh Bengalis became residents of Jharkhand as the river moved towards Bangladesh, giving birth to new floodplains in Jharkhand. Bengal’s loss is Jharkhand’s gain,” said Kedar Mondal, a former CPI(M) activist. Octogenarian Mr. Mondal is considered the “river-man” of central Bengal, with in-depth knowledge to understand river erosion. Since 2014 Lok Sabha poll, Mr. Mondal has documented 900 families “who have lost land and livelihood in at least six villages” on the border between Malda and Murshidabad. He blamed construction of the Farakka Barrage, nearly five decades ago, for excessive siltation causing large-scale flooding and erosion.“Experts have reported on many occasions that the barrage allows the water to flow but the silt drops on the riverbed. Such siltation raises the height of the riverbed, washing away the villages year after year,” Mr. Mondal said. What bothers Mr. Mondal more is the lack of response from the government.“It [river erosion] never features in party manifestos. None of the parties talks about erosion and no one indicates any permanent solution,” said Dipali Biswas, formerly a Hossainpur resident. Suranjan Mondal, a farmer, said that young men from erstwhile Hossainpur have now moved to Kerala.“Didi’s [CM Mamata Banerjee] slogan is ‘Ma, Mati, Manush [mother, land, people]’ but she refuses to find a permanent solution to the manush on this mati,” said Govinda Roy, a farmer.TMC candidate from Malda South Moazzem Hossain and BJP candidate Khagen Murmu said addressing the issue of river erosion will be their priority, if elected.last_img read more

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Tripura Chief Secy., 15 others transferred

first_imgIn a major administrative reshuffle a day after the Lok Sabha election results were announced, the BJP government in Tripura has transferred the Chief Secretary, 11 IAS officers, two IPS officers and two Tripura Civil Service officers, officials said on Saturday.“While campaigning for the elections, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had openly expressed anger about the functioning of some senior officials. The administrative reshuffle might be in line with his discontent,” said a senior official on condition of anonymity.‘An upright officer’ “The government has transferred Chief Secretary Lalit Kumar Gupta, an upright 1987 batch IAS officer, and posted him as Director General of SIPARD (State Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development). Principal Secretary Manoj Kumar would hold the interim charge of the Chief Secretary,” the official added.The official said that the EC had transferred some IPS and IAS officers during the election. “Some of those officers were either reinstated or posted elsewhere in the Friday night reshuffle,” he said. In the administrative shake-up, senior IPS officer Rajiv Singh has been reinstated as Additional DGP (Law Order), while IGP (Crime) Puneet Rastogi has been relieved from the charge of IGP (Law and Order).last_img read more

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Beware of Communists Bearing Gifts

first_imgAn innocent study of brown bear populations in Bulgaria has found that the country’s former communist leader was not one to look a gift bear in the mouth. The research revived undocumented and almost forgotten rumors that the regime imported bears for sport hunting during the 1970s and 1980s. The study shows the importance of considering human history when using genetics to study the migration of large carnivores, which, historically, heads of state have given as gifts.Though the transport was kept secret, foresters and game wardens in Bulgaria have long known that Nicolae Ceauşescu, the leader of the Romanian Communist Party and an avid bear hunter, airlifted bears to Bulgaria. He gave the animals as a gift to his comrade and fellow hunting enthusiast, Bulgarian President Todor Zhivkov.Despite its history of hunting, Bulgaria has one of the last large populations of the endangered brown bear in Europe. But scientists know little about their numbers and distribution. Carsten Nowak, a wildlife geneticist at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Gelnhausen, Germany, and his colleagues were investigating this brown bear population when they found some strange results. They analyzed the DNA profiles from hair, scat, and tissue samples collected in Bulgaria and found seven individuals—from three different mountainous regions—that had genetic patterns unlike the rest.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(*)At first, they thought the animals had migrated from surrounding countries, so they collected samples from the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, where a separate brown bear population lives. Scientists have speculated that a wildlife corridor runs from Bulgaria through eastern Serbia to Romania, but there is no hard evidence that bears use this corridor. When the analysis came back, “it was clear that these Bulgarian bears matched perfectly the Carpathian bears,” Nowak says. They found that 2.8% of the Bulgarian bears had Carpathian DNA profiles. A few days passed before he and his colleagues in Bulgaria and Romania realized that Ceauşescu’s gift could explain the strange findings, they report online in Conservation Genetics. “If we had no idea of what historically happened, we would have most likely drawn a very, very wrong picture,” he says. Some of the bears appear to have pure Carpathian heritage, while others seem to be hybrids, Nowak says. Because brown bears could conceivably survive for 30 years in captivity, it is possible that these are the original bears that came from Romania and later escaped or were released. Eleven brown bears still live in Kormisosh, one of two bear enclosures operated by Bulgaria’s state hunting enterprise, though trophy hunting is no longer legal. The researchers could not obtain hair samples from these bears to verify if they had Carpathian origins.“There is quite strong support for the claim of the authors that animals were translocated,” says Alexandros Karamanlidis, a wildlife conservationist at ARCTUROS/Civil Society for the Protection of Natural Environment and Wildlife in Thessaloniki, Greece, who was not involved in the study. “Knowing how obsessed people like Ceauşescu and Zhivkov were [with] hunting bears,” he says, “it doesn’t seem unrealistic that this might have happened.”Though they cannot rule out that the bears migrated to Bulgaria naturally, the possibility is unlikely, researchers say. Half of the Carpathian bears found in Bulgaria were female, and although male brown bears may travel hundreds of kilometers from home, females rarely roam so far. Additionally, in two of the three places where the researchers found evidence of Carpathian bears, the animals were located near the government-run enclosures, which are far from the Romanian border. In future work, Nowak plans to investigate the wildlife corridor to see if there is any natural migration occurring between the two bear populations.“It’s a very sound study showing what genetics can do in a historic context and in aspects of species conservation,” says Alexander Kopatz, a bear researcher at Bioforsk, the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research in Svanhovd, who was not involved in the research. Bear populations are recovering in some parts of Europe, he says, and it’s encouraging that now “bears are dispersing into several areas where they once were intensively hunted and wiped out.”last_img read more

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