Audits Increase in U.S. Companies Employing Immigrant Workers

first_imgThe number of audits conducted by immigration officials in American companies has been increasing, according to data revealed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These audits are conducted to verify that the employees have the authorization to work in the United States, the Associated Press reported.As many as 2,282 employer audits were launched between Oct. 1, 2017 and May 4, 2018, according to ICE data released on May 14. This is jump of almost 60 per cent from the 1,360 audits opened between October 2016 and September 2017.Many of these audits were launched following the audits conducted by the ICE in January this year, and employer interviews held at about 100 franchises of 7-Eleven, a chain of convenience stores in the United States, in 17 states across the country.A total of 594 employers were arrested on criminal immigration charges from Oct. 1 to May 4, 2018, as compared to the corresponding figure of 139 the previous fiscal year. As many as 610 civil immigration charges were filed in the same period as compared to 172 in the same period last year, according to the report.The U.S. administration’s clampdown on undocumented immigration is now penetrating into company offices in order to establish a “culture of compliance” among employers dependent on workers from overseas, Derek Benner, the head of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit said, AP reported.Under federal law, companies have to verify whether their employees have the authorization to work in the United States by assessing their documents and then validating the employee’s identity as well as work authorization to the government.A wave of another nationwide audits planned for this summer would take the total “well over” 5,000 by Sept. 30, Benner said. ICE audits stood at 3,127 in 2013.“This is kind of our vision of creating this culture of compliance. I think it’s a game-changer,” he was quoted as saying in the report.Benner added that deputing close to 250 auditors in one center armed with the right kind of technology as well as a team of lawyers to charge fines would help in enabling his agency for auditing between 10,000 and 15,000 companies in a year. The proposal, however, is subject to funding and support from various other arms of the administration, Benner said.Under the terms of the proposal, Berner wants to create an Employer Compliance Inspection Center to perform employer audits at one location rather than at regional offices across the country, AP reported. Scanning of documents electronically will help in pointing to suspicious activity. Berner said that notices for audit will be served electronically or by certified mail and not in person, as per the proposal.The agency will concentrate on criminal cases against employers as well as deporting employees who are staying in the United States illegally. Related ItemsICEUnited Stateslast_img read more

The Illusiveness Of Time

first_imgSalvador Dali’s painting, “The Persistence of Memory,” is a splendid illustration of a deep mystery — the concept we call time. This surreal painting shows ants devouring a clock and time melting into oblivion. Is time an illusion that melts away as depicted in the painting or a fundamental reality that weaves the fabric of the cosmos with space? Perhaps the mystery of time holds the key to the ultimate truth that humanity is seeking. It remains to be seen whether time will persist forever or fade way as in Dali’s paintings. In the fundamental realm, time may be the result of some missing knowledge about reality rather than a feature of reality.Throughout history, humans have been intrigued by the nature of time. Philosophers like Plato, who contemplated time as immortal, and Newton, who elevated time as eternal, might not accept the death of time. However, the last century witnessed the descent of time from immortal to mortal through Albert Einstein’s equations. Now, the descendants of Einstein are trying to annihilate time, which had been wounded in the revolution unleashed by the theory of relativity.Theoretical physicist and cosmologist Carlo Rovelli points out: “We never really see time. We say we measure time with clocks, but we see only the hands of the clocks, not time itself. And the hands of a clock are a physical variable like any other. So in a sense we cheat, because what we really observe are physical variables as a function of other physical variables, but we represent that as if everything is evolving in time.” Some theoretical physicists argue that information about the measurement of time could be replaced with correlated observations in space. “To give an analogy,” Rovelli says, “I can tell you that I drove from Boston to Los Angeles, but I passed first through Chicago and later through Denver. Here I am specifying things in time. But I could also tell you that I drove from Boston to LA along the road marked in this map.”In other words, the dynamics of the universe are not progressing as evolution in time — the currently held notion in science — but as a network of correlated variables. Time emerges as an effect of the actions of correlated variables. This is similar to saying that temperature results from the interaction of a large number of molecules. Similarly, time is the manifestation of the interaction of some variables, rather than a fundamental quality of the universe. In classical physics, time is a river flowing simply in the forward direction. The observer or external forces like gravity have no impact on the flow of time. Everything we know surfaced, survived and departed during the course of this river, such as men and women, science and music, thoughts and feelings. Nothing could endure but time. Like an arrow shot by the Big Bang, time traveled (existed) for about 13.7 billion years along with its anomalous twin “space.” Einstein’s laws rebuked such an absolute status for time and declared that time is relative as much as space is and they together make the fabric of the cosmos.The general theory of relativity demonstrated that clocks in a stronger gravitational field tick at a slower rate while the special theory of relativity argued that clocks moving at high speeds will appear to tick slower than non-moving ones. As a modern day example, atomic clocks on board GPS satellites move faster by about 45,900 nanoseconds (which is one-billionth of a second) a day because they are in a weaker gravitational field as they are at a higher altitude than atomic clocks on the earth’s surface. Similarly, GPS clocks run slower by about 7,200 nanoseconds a day, as predicted by special theory of relativity, owing to the fact that the satellites have orbital speeds of about 3.9 km/second in a frame centered on the Earth. To offset these time variations the satellite clocks are reset before launch to compensate for these predicted effects. This is the consequence of Einstein’s theory, something that was unimaginable for the scientific community when Einstein predicted it decades ago.Even the time-span of our present day will change in a strong gravitational field. “If you feel there aren’t enough hours in a day, just wait,” says Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “In a few hundred million years, tidal friction will have slowed Earth’s rotation to make the day 25 hours long.”If time is a dimension like space as suggested by the theory of relativity, it must be plausible to go back and forth in time as we do in other dimensions, such as up and down, left and right and forward and backward. Yet, in our universe the cosmological arrow of time is not known to reverse direction since the beginning of the universe.Contrary to our expectations, however, the laws of physics do not discriminate between past, present and future. We are obsessed with time and time keeping and it follows us like a shadow all the time. Physics tells us that all moments exist equally, at once. It’s only our perception that distinguishes the present from the past or future. Or, as cosmologist Tegmark puts it, “If life were a movie, physical reality would be the entire DVD: Future and past frames exist just as much as the present one.”Though back (past) and forth (future) time travel is permitted by the laws of physics, it is riddled with paradoxes. Among the most well known is the “twin paradox’ in which one twin travels at relativistic speeds (comparable to that of light) through the universe for many years leaving his twin brother behind on earth. When he returns he would have aged much less than his sibling. The theory of relativity dictates that in a fast moving frame of reference all clocks, and thus aging, would move slowly.Another paradox offers an even grimmer outcome. What if you travel back in time and murder your grandfather? Some physicists suggested the laws of physics must always conspire to prevent travel into the past and thus the impossibility of such a paradox. However a few others believe that such actions simply cause space-time to branch off into a new parallel universe that doesn’t interfere with the current one.Modern science is not the first to attempt to comprehend the illusive nature of time. Mythology likewise sought such answers too. For instance, in Devi Bhagwata Purana, Narada asks Vishnu about the meaning of Maya, to which Vishnu replies that it is the illusion generated as a consequence of our interaction with the physical world. The view is echoed in Buddhism. “From the Buddhist perspective, time is the experience of being present right now, in this very moment. We in the West, however, like to measure things. In this way, clock time gives us a sense of coherence and stability. But in terms of our inner lives, no time exists except for what is happening in the present moment,” says Joan Halifax, a Zen Buddhist and a distinguished scholar at the Library of Congress.The subjective nature of time is implicit in human life, not just in cosmology or physics. Some events speed up time for us, while others make it crawl. “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity,” Einstein once explained.Neuroscientists examining how the brain perceives time say that the sensation of the passage of time depends on how richly the memories are laid down. Tragic events are likely to be perceived as more recent than they really are or events that are not registered as strongly. Many researchers believe that information and the mode of processing provide the sense of past and future. It is the “flow of information” rather than the “flow of time” that creates this impression — much like a system stores past information (memory) to be recollected and focuses attention on the most recent information.Often, biologists refer to a biological clock based on which our cellular actions are carried out. So if we are completely insulated from our surroundings, the biological clock might function to generate the perception of time passing by. But not everyone agrees. “Time has little impact on biology,” says Michael West, a gerontologist who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. “From a gerontologist’s standpoint, biological time is not wear-and-tear, it’s a genetic program,” says West. “It’s sort of like a time bomb. The cells are programmed to last just long enough for us to bear children, and no longer.” The absence of clocks in our system do not guarantee an eternal life; we will fall apart anyway.At another level we relate this illusive time to death. In Sanskrit, Kala means time and the Hindu mythology refers to Kala (Yama) as the personified god of death. It’s no surprise that time and death are synonyms in Puranas. The conversation between Nachiketas and Yama is the theme of Kathopanishad, one of the 108 Hindu scriptures of the Vedanta philosophy.Nachiketas to Yama : “Some say that when man dies he continues to exist, others that he does not. Explain, and that shall be my third gift.” Initially reluctant to explore such a subject matter, Yama engages in a deep and extensive conversation with Nachiketas and concludes: “The Self knows all, is not born, does not die, is not the effect of any cause; is eternal, self-existent, imperishable, ancient. How can the killing of the body kill Him?”Did time begin with space at the big bang? Our current models of the universe emphasize this supposition and it should end with space. The second law of thermodynamics, often called the “death warrant of universe,” asserts that the entropy (disorder) of the universe must increase and thus the cosmological arrow of time must always go forward. Thus cause precedes effect.All physicists agree on the absence of universal time, because time is a matter of perspective. We can divide time periods in any unit from years to nanoseconds or even beyond. What is the smallest interval of time that can exist? Quantum theory says that it is Planck time, which is equal to 10-43 seconds. Below that the meaning of time loses any physical meaning. So we have to say the universe came into existence when it was 10-43 seconds old. What if reality unfolded even at a lower time interval? There are no answers at least for now.On grander scales, time should not be larger than 13.7 billion years, the current age of the universe. Yet, we do not know if time had the same rate of flow in every phase or part of the universe. This is why some physicists argue that the veil of illusion attributable to time must be removed to learn the truth. Theoretical computations show that the expansion of the universe at an accelerated rate may also be the result of our false notion of time. They anticipate a subsequent revolution in physics would be a cosmos depicted without the constraint of time. But, what if the universe is itself an illusion followed by life? Time is the most familiar experience we deal with yet we don’t know much about it. Black holes provide us a clue to what one can call the “end of time.” The intense gravitational force slows and ultimately freezes time. For an observer outside the black hole, a falling object would appear frozen in time.“The black hole teaches us that space can be crumpled like a piece of paper into an infinitesimal dot, that time can be extinguished like a blown-out flame, and that the laws of physics that we regard as ‘sacred,’ as immutable, are anything but,” wrote John Wheeler, the visionary physicist who coined the term “black hole.” As one can imagine, the pursuit of the real nature of time or its illusion is profoundly complex. But that doesn’t impede modern scientists from trying to crack the code. The latest attempt is by Sean Carroll, a Caltech Physicist. His book, From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time, released in January 2010, offers a lucid and fascinating discussion about the nature of time. He hypothesizes that our universe may be a relatively young member of a big family and that in several of our sibling universes time runs in the reverse direction. Some others, he argues, don’t experience time at all; once a universe cools off and reaches maximum entropy, there is no past or present.In the section “Aranya Parva” in the Mahabharata, Yama disguised as Yaksha posed many questions to challenge Yudhistra.Yaksha asked: “What is the greatest wonder in the world?”Yudhishthira replied: “Every day, men see creatures depart to Yama’s abode and yet, those who remain seek to live forever. This verily is the greatest wonder.”As Lee Smolin, a theoretical physicist, once commented: “So, what is time? Is it the greatest mystery? No, the greatest mystery must be that each of us is here, for some brief time, and that part of the participation that the universe allows us in its larger existence is to ask such questions. And to pass on, from schoolchild to schoolchild, the joy of wondering, of asking, and of telling each other what we know and what we don’t know.”   Related Itemslast_img read more

Bangalore Rated Best Indian City

first_imgA global survey ranks Bangalore as the best city to live in India.Mercer’s 2011 worldwide rankings of the quality of living includes five Indian cities, but all fairly low on the list: Bangalore (141), New Delhi (143), Mumbai (144), Chennai (150) and Kolkata (151).European cities top the Mercer rankings. Vienna tops the rankings. Switzerland and Germany each have three cities in the top 10 on the list. Singapore is the only Asian city to make the top 25.World’s Best Cities1ViennaAustria2ZurichSwitzerland3AucklandNew Zealand4MunichGermany5DüsseldorfGermany5VancouverCanada7FrankfurtGermany8GenevaSwitzerland9BernSwitzerland9CopenhagenDenmark11SydneyAustralia12AmsterdamNetherlands13WellingtonNew Zealand14OttawaCanada15TorontoCanada16HamburgGermany17BerlinGermany18MelbourneAustralia19LuxembourgLuxembourg20StockholmSweden Related Itemslast_img read more

66% decline in child mortality rate but most newborn still die in India: UN report

first_imgIndia has witnessed 66 per cent decline in the under-five mortality rate from 1990 to 2015 but most of the newborn deaths — 24 per cent of all — still occur in the country, according to a new United Nations report.With the reduction, India has met one of its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets of curbing by two-thirds the under-five death rate, according to the survey, “Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017”, conducted by the UNICEF and released globally on Oct. 19.The report acknowledged that there has been “a recent acceleration with a faster decline in reduction of mortality for the girl child in the last five years” but “the under-five mortality for girls in India remains 12.5 per cent higher than the boys”.Globally this is seven per cent higher for the boys.The UN report said there was a need for equitable access to health care for every girl child in India which “warrants an intensification of our combined efforts to bridge this gap and ensure an equitable access to health care for the girl child”.“Even in the states that have met the MDG targets, there are persistent gender inequities. The right of a female child to care is often compromised due to cultural barriers and prevalent social norms.”The report highlighted that a major barrier in seeking healthcare for the girl child was the high out-of-pocket expenses.“To address this, the government has made free health-care an entitlement for every child, with the provision of free transport, drugs and treatment for every child till one year of age. Despite these efforts, female admissions in the special newborn care units are 41 per cent while male admissions are 59 per cent.”Cultural barriers in seeking healthcare for the girl child also needed to be addressed, the report said.“The issue of neglect of the girl child is much broader and needs interventions beyond health, to also address the social norms and cultural practices. This would require working at the policy level and with key influencers in civil society, to create an enabling environment around the need to enhance the value of girls.“At the community level it would also involve building awareness and engaging communities around the discourse on this important issue.”The report stressed that investment in the education of the girl child was crucial and acknowledged that Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” scheme could be used for addressing the prevailing negative social norms towards the girl child in India.The report also found that the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) declined by 68 per cent during the MDG period while the global decline was more modest at 44 per cent.However, the burden on account of MMR remained high due to wide variation among states and also at sub-state level. In states like Assam, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh the maternal mortality ratio “is much higher — around 79 maternal deaths more, per 100,000 live births than the national average”.Globally, the report said, the number of children dying before the age of five was at a new low — 5.6 million in 2016, compared with nearly 9.9 million in 2000. But the proportion of under-five deaths in the newborn period has increased from 41 per cent to 46 per cent during the same period at the global level.“Every day in 2016, 15,000 children died before their fifth birthday, 46 per cent of them — or 7,000 babies — died in the first 28 days of life.”It said most newborn deaths occurred in two regions: South Asia (39 per cent) and sub-Saharan Africa (38 per cent).“Five countries accounted for half of all newborn deaths: India (24 per cent), Pakistan (10 per cent), Nigeria (nine per cent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (four per cent) and Ethiopia (three per cent).” — IANS Related ItemsIndia maternal mortality ratioIndia Millennium Development GoalIndia new-born deathsLittle IndiaUN Levels and Trends in Child Mortalityunder-five mortality ratelast_img read more

In India, 2 Women Defy Protesters And Centuries Of Tradition

first_imgTwo women in southern India made history early Wednesday by entering a renowned Hindu temple where women of childbearing age have not been allowed for centuries.The women – a university professor and a government employee, both in their 40s – entered the inner sanctum of the Sabarimala temple around 3:45 a.m., according to a local news agency which released video of the visit.The shrine is dedicated to the deity Lord Ayappa, who is considered celibate, and tradition forbade women of menstruating age from entering.Last September, however, India’s Supreme Court ruled that all women had the right to worship at Sabarimala, which sits in a tiger reserve in the state of Kerala and draws tens of millions of visitors each year.The verdict set off intense protests by religious conservatives and Hindu nationalists. The controversy represented a crucial test for the rule of law in India, pitting a legal judgment by the nation’s top court against religious custom.After the ruling, more than a dozen women between the ages of 10 and 50 attempted to enter the temple. But all turned back after facing threats and physical intimidation by protesters.A backlash swiftly followed the news of the women’s entry into the shrine on Wednesday. The head priest shut down the temple for an hour to carry out a “purification ritual.” Clashes broke out between protesters and the police in Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital, on Wednesday afternoon.Indira Jaising, a lawyer who argued against the ban before India’s Supreme Court, said that Wednesday’s visit marked “a historic moment.” The ban on menstruating women entering the temple amounted to a form of “untouchability” and gender discrimination, she said.Bindu Hariharan, 42, a professor of legal studies, was one of the women who entered the temple on Wednesday. It was her second attempt to visit the shrine: on an earlier try on Dec. 24, she was forced to return by protesters.“We did the trek to the shrine just like any other devotees,” said Hariharan in remarks released to reporters. None of the other worshipers “had any problems with us visiting the shrine.”To reach the temple, devotees must walk nearly three miles uphill, and Hariharan began the trek at midnight. The group consisted of six men in addition to the two women, who had covered their faces. Four policemen in civilian clothes also accompanied them. At one point, the group was questioned by a couple of protesters but simply continued walking.Prasad Amore, a psychologist based in Kerala who was part of the group, said the journey was not a political statement. “We are proud of these women who helped to implement the Supreme Court verdict,” he said. “We broke the inequality being carried out in the name of God for all these years.”The development came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi commented on the Sabarimala controversy in a rare interview, calling the issue a matter of “beliefs.”Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party spearheaded the local protests against the Supreme Court ruling in Kerala, India’s only communist-led state and considered one of the most progressive in the country.The entry by the two women is “a midnight drama carried out by the atheist [state] government,” said Rahul Easwar, an activist leading the fight against the Supreme Court decision. “Even the prime minister of the country has supported the Sabarimala tradition.”On January 22, the Supreme Court will hear a petition challenging its landmark ruling on the temple. The controversy over Sabarimala is not the first time the entry of women in religious spaces has sparked debate in India. In 2016, courts ruled in favor of a petition by women’s rights group to enter the inner sanctum of a famous Muslim shrine in Mumbai.Rajeev Ramachandran in Kochi contributed reporting.(c) 2019, The Washington Post Related Itemsfeaturedlast_img read more

UK Looks Abroad As it Faces Shortage of Doctors, Nurses

first_imgIndia is among the top countries being looked at, as United Kingdom’s health officials launch an international drive to recruit at least 2,000 general medical practitioners over the next three years. Britain is currently facing, what health officials says, is a “desperate shortage” of doctors and nurses.Making up about 9 per cent of the National Health Service (NHS), India has been a source of medical professionals in the public-funded healthcare system in the United Kingdom. This 9 per cent — 25,342 of them — got their medical qualifications in India.Recruitment DriveThere are several ongoing programmes for medical professionals from India, some of which are coordinated by British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), according to a Hindustan Times report. The latest drive is for general practitioners, who form the nucleus of NHS. The organisation is now also looking at other countries to fill the shortage.“Obviously India has been a very important part of the NHS throughout our history, but the latest drive will initially look for GPs in the European Union, where GP training meets UK standards,” the publication quoted a spokesperson of NHS England as saying.“Workload in general practice is escalating – it has risen 16% over the last seven years – yet investment in our service has declined and we are desperately short of GPs and nurses,” Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said.“We welcome any GP from the EU or further afield who wants to work in UK general practice – as long as they meet the rigorous standards set by the College and General Medical Council…Indeed, thousands of GPs from overseas already work alongside UK GPs, and we are incredibly grateful for their skills and expertise.”The Case of Indian DoctorsOne of the integral health-related bodies in Britain, Health Education England signed a memorandum of understanding  earlier this year with Chennai-based Apollo Hospitals, which includes exchange of clinical staff.“The (Theresa May) government is desperate; it promised during elections to recruit extra doctors. Now many GPs are retiring, which adds to the already acute staffing situation,” BAPIO president Ramesh Mehta told The Hindustan Times.The organisation has asked Indian doctors to be wary and not be lured by promises by local agencies. They urged them to seek advice about taking up employment in the NHS.Historically, Indian doctors have trained and worked in Britain and added value to the medical field. However, there has been a significant drop in the recent years due to visa restrictions. These restrictions are, however, expected to get more lenient while recruiting new doctors to address the severe staff shortage in the NHS. Related ItemsApollo Hospitals UK tie-upBAPIODoctors in UKHealth Education England NRIsLittle IndiaNational Health Service NRINHS IndiansUnited Kingdom Indian doctorslast_img read more

TCS Techie Hari Sudhan Goes Missing in Finland

first_imgHari Sudhan, an Indian techie who works for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has been reported to have gone missing in Helsinki, Finland. The 26-year-old engineer, who hails from George Town, Chennai, has been a resident of the country since February 2016, and suddenly went missing last week.Investigators in Finland are conducting thorough searches in various jurisdictions and hospitals to locate Hari Sudhan, but have not been able to find him. Balakanna, Hari’s father, told the media that he last talked to his mother on Sept. 8 evening. Balakanna added that Hari had the habit of going out with his friends on weekends, but this time, he did not come back on Monday.Family Waits for Hari’s ReturnHari last visited his home in Chennai two months back. Tej, his younger brother, told Deccan Chronicle that the family has not received any update about him, and that they do not have any option but to wait.Tej added that the TCS as well as Finland officials have been very helpful, and are providing details about the developments in the investigation. Several family members of Hari Sudhan have tweeted to the Indian Embassy in Finland, enquiring about the status of the case, and they have received an acknowledgment from the Finnish Indian house.The embassy retweeted their queries, stating that they are in touch with TCS and Finland Police officials regarding the whereabouts of Hari Sudhan.My nephew Hari Sudhan missing for last 3 days from Helsinki,Finland.If any info,pls contact Tej +918056192497 @SushmaSwaraj— Bhagya (@Bhagya987654321) September 11, 2017V r in cntact wth police n TCS reg whrabut of yr brthr. pl contact us @ +358443414350 for details @SushmaSwaraj— Emb of India Finland (@IndEmbFinEst) September 15, 2017Despite conducting massive searches at various locations, the investigative officials have not been able to find Hari Sudhan. TCS will soon send two of Hari’s close relatives to Finland, as the Finnish Police officials have said that they will reveal further details about the case only to his relatives.Hari Sudhan joined TCS in 2013. The company sent him to Finland in February 2016. More than 500 people are working for TCS in Finland in cities like Espoo, Salo, Tampere, and Oulu. Related ItemsHari Sudhan FinlandIndian Embassy FinlandIndian missing FinlandIndian missing HelsinkiLittle IndiaTCS techie missing finlandlast_img read more

U.S. Court Stops Deportation of Man Afraid of Persecution From Dera Sacha Sauda

first_imgA court in San Francisco, California, stopped the deportation of an Indian Sikh man since he was afraid of persecution from the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) group in India.Harbans Singh, a Khalsa Sikh, left India in 2011 and currently resides in Solano County in California. He had applied for political asylum, saying that the members of the Indian religious group were targeting him for not joining the group.The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling said on Nov. 13 that earlier the Immigration Judge “improperly denied Singh’s claim on the basis that his attackers were motivated by extorting Singh’s land and recruiting additional adherents for the DSS religion.” It added: “It appears from the record that the DSS attackers were at least partly motivated by Singh’s religion and political affiliation, particularly because Singh’s refusal to join the DSS was inherently an act of religious expression.”Singh petitioned for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of his applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). Though the court found that he was not tortured and the pressure he faced from DSS was for grabbing his land and for his religious and political beliefs, it said that the fear of recruitment and extortion satisfied his claim.If the immigration court is unable to find that Singh could safely relocate to another place in India, he could be granted political asylum, following which he can apply for legal residency, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.To seek political asylum, an applicant “must establish past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution that has a nexus to one of five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”Singh was reportedly “harmed” by the DSS group on two separate occasions.The leader of the DSS is Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who has been jailed in India after being convicted of rape. He is also accused of murder. He is serving a 20-year jail term.A special investigation team found 600 buried skeletons in the campus of the Rahim-led group in Haryana. The human remains were said to be of those who believed that being buried inside the compound would give them salvation. However, some believe that the remains were of those who knew about the malpractices inside the Sirsa branch of the sect in Haryana. Related ItemsDera Sacha SaudaPolitical asylumUnited Stateslast_img read more

NRI Woman Raped by Tourist Guide and His Friend in U.P.

first_imgA Non-Resident Indian (NRI) woman tourist, who came to India from South Africa, was allegedly gang-raped by a tourist guide and his friend in Mathura, a district in northern state Uttar Pradesh, reported Hindustan Times.The incident came to light when the victim’s friend lodged a complaint soon after knowing about the incident. However, the victim refused to undergo a medical examination and decided to withdraw the case, reported the Times of India.Both the accused have been arrested by the police on Nov.26. One of them is a tourist guide named Monu while another accused is Vishnu, who runs a massage parlor. The victim was taken to the massage parlor owned by Vishnu, where she was allegedly raped.Quoting Deependra Singh, in-charge of Mahawan police station in Mathura, the Hindustan Times said that victim had gone to visit Gokul area in Mathura. The accused guide Monu, 18, and his friend gang-raped her there. When the police asked her to undergo a medical examination, she refused as she didn’t find herself prepared for it, he added.The Times of India said in its report that during police interrogation Monu admitted that he “crossed the lines” during massaging the victim adding that she “didn’t resist his attempt.”The SP (City), Shrawan Kumar Singh was quoted by the publication as saying that a case has been registered under section 376 (Rape).However, a woman has decided to withdraw the rape charges.“The matter is being inquired as to why the woman now wants to withdraw the charges and doesn’t want a medical check-up,” he was quoted as saying.The woman, 25, is originally from India but has been living in South Africa with her NRI status. She came to Mathura to visit Vrindavan and was staying at a guest house near ISKCON temple with her uncle and aunt for a few days. Related Itemslast_img read more

Khade’s mistake costs him rare medal

first_imgLike ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh at the 1960 Rome Olympics and former track queen PT Usha at the Los Angeles Games in 1984, Virdhawal Khade missed what could have been only the second medal in swimming at the Asian Games on Monday. It turned out to be a yet another case of never before Khajan Singh and never after him.India’s fastest swimmer managed only the fourth spot in the 50m freestyle after clocking 22.87, just 0.03 seconds behind the bronze medal winner Japan’s Rammaru Harada who had clocked 22.84 sec at the Aoeti Spors Complex pool here. Predictably, the winner was Wu Shi Lu at 22.37 sec from the host nation who pushed another Japanese Masayuki Kishida to the second spot for silver.It was, indeed, a disappointing day for India and that gloom could have been lifted by Khade and given greater impetus to swimming had he not committed the blunder of stretching to touch the pad, rather than plunging for another stroke. “It was the biggest mistake of my life,” admitted Khade. He as well as the Indian officials present at the pool knew how it has cost the country a precious medal, more so in swimming where India have not won a medal after Khajan Singh. That was way back in 1986 at Seoul.Since then it has been a big struggle for Indian swimmers to make a mark. Monday was the day when Khade could have done that besides overcoming the disappointment of not winning a medal at the Commonwealth Games back home.advertisement”The boy’s potential was never in doubt. We all along knew Virdhawal was capable of winning us a medal, but for the crucial mistake,” said Virendera Nanavati, the secretary-general of the Swimming Federation of India (SFI).Drawn in lane two after qualifying in Heat 6 at 22.98, he had in the final two Chinese in Qiang Run Shi and Wu Zhi besides the two Japanese and a Korean, Taipei and a Hong Kong swimmer. Except for the Taipei and Hong Kong swimmers, all others, including Khade, clocked sub-23 seconds.The difference between the winners and Khade was all of them had been coming after hard practice for the Games. To Khade’s credit, it must be said that he had the pressure of performing in front a home crowd at the New Delhi Games. Just before that he had to compete in the Nationals which was the qualification event. Instead, he should have been allowed to train in the US.One SFI official, who did not want to be quoted, admitted that if Khade had continued his practice in the US and come for the CWG, he would have done well both at home and here. He said this without blaming the authorities for the mistake. Whatever the case, both Khade and India lost a precious medal on Monday.last_img read more

IPL 2016: Virat Kohli steers Royal Challengers Bangalore to play-offs

first_imgLeading from the front, skipper Virat Kohli (54 not out) smashed yet another half-century to guide his Royal Challengers Bangalore to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Sunday. (HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)With the win, RCB climbed to second spot in points table with 16 points from 14 games and thus qualify for play-offs. They will now face Gujarat Lions in the first Qualifier 1 on May 24 in Bengaluru. (POINTS TABLE)Batting first, riding on Quinton de Kock’s 52-ball 60, Delhi managed to post 138/8 in 20 overs but RCB easily chased down the target, posting 139/4 with 11 balls to spare.Delhi’s IPL campaign ended here as they were knocked out of last four berth.EARLY BLOWRCB got off to a poor start losing swashbuckling opener Chris Gayle (1) in the very first over itself.Bangalore received yet another blow as Delhi skipper Zaheer Khan who returned for his second over dismissed the dangerous A.B. de Villiers (6) in the third over to have RCB on the back foot at 17/2.\THE REVIVALBut Bangalore skipper Kohli who has been in stupendous form this season played his natural game along with incoming batsman K.L. Rahul (38) and the right-handed duo added crucial 66-run partnership for the third wicket.As Rahul was nearing yet another half-century, Carlos Brathwaite came in and dismissed the right-hander off his first ball to have RCB reduced to 83/3 in 11th over.Despite wickets at the other end, Kohli played sensibly sneaking in with ones, twos and couple of boundaries to stay in course for the run chase.advertisementShane Watson (14) stay at the crease was also short-lived as he was dismissed in the 15th over to put Delhi back into the game.But Kohli used his experience to best effect to guide his team over the line in style. He was well supported in the end by Stuart Binny (16 not out)For Delhi, Zaheer, Morris, Brathwaite, and Pawan Negi claimed one wicket each.DELHI’S BATTING FAILUREEarlier put into bat, Delhi lost Rishabh Pant (1) in the second over with the score at 11.Pant tried to punch on the up a delivery from pacer Sreenath Aravind, but the ball held its line and flicked the outside edge of his bat and be caught behind.De Kock together with No.3 batsman Karun Nair then put up a brief partnership.But Nair (11) was dismissed after getting a promising start, superbly caught by Kohli off leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. Nair played a booming drive to a flighted delivery. But Kohli completed a catch after sprinting a fair distance to reduce Delhi to 42/2 in the sixth over.Sanju Samson (17) was the next man in and he too promised a lot. Hitting a six and a four to get settled but he lost his wicket in the 10th over with his team at 71/3.They were in more trouble when Sam Billings (4) went cheaply as Gayle took a sharp catch of the bowling of pacer Chris Jordan.DE KOCK WAGED LONE WARLosing wickets after building small partnerships was hurting Delhi’s cause though de Kock held firm. But at 81/4 in 11.2 overs, Delhi needed someone beside de Kock who brought up his fifty in the 14th over with a single.That didn’t happen. Instead, Delhi slipped further losing Negi (6) and Brathwaite (1) in the 15th over by Chris Gayle.To make matters worse, de Kock went back in the next over, bowled by Jordan after hitting five fours and a six during his 52-ball knock.That deprived Delhi of a strong finish to their innings, though Morris provided some lusty blows.Leg spinner Chahal claimed 3/32 off his four overs while Gayle chipped in with 2/11 in two overs.Brief Scores: Delhi Daredevils 138/8 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 60; Yuzvendra Chahal 3-32, Chris Gayle 2-11) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 139/4 in 18.1 overs (Virat Kohli 54 not out; Carlos Brathwaite 1-18)last_img read more

Personalize Your Life With These 7 Free Apps

first_imgHas an organization or university offered you an opportunity with a stipend? Whether it’s an internship or apprenticeship, a stipend is a set amount of money that helps offset living expenses. This fixed amount is financial support provided while you’re… Full Story,Truth is, there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to college: new friends, a new routine, (college parties!), and more independence. But along with all these perks, it’s also time to start thinking about your finances…. Full Story,A routing number is a unique number that identifies a specific banking institution. Each routing number is made up of nine digits. Routing numbers are sometimes referred to as an American Banker’s Association routing transit number or an ABA RTN…. Full Story,It’s stressful enough having a car loan over your head and staying on top of your monthly payments. But what if you have an upside-down car loan — in other words, the amount you owe on your set of wheels… Full Story,When you’re trying to get your financial house in order, it’s easy to get lost in the specifics. You might stress about how to adjust your budget, where to find some extra cash for the holidays or what funds to… Full Story,Shortly after graduating from New York University with a Master’s degree, Melanie Lockert turned to food stamps, as she worked her way out of $81,000 in student loans. “There were a lot of emotions around carrying that debt. It caused… Full Story,Traveling is one of the best things in life, and luckily, low funds don’t have to dash your dreams of enjoying an epic adventure. A wealth of destinations—both in the U.S. and abroad—are so affordable that even hardcore penny pinchers… Full Story,While we don’t yet have flying cars that collapse to the size of a suitcase, pneumatic tubes that transport us from room to room or machines that automatically bathe and clothe us in the morning, every day we’re getting closer… Full Story,Times have changed since Grams and Gramps were your age, looking to settle down and buy their first home. But today the house with the white picket fence—or that trendy loft in downtown—isn’t completely out of the question if you… Full Story,We recently hosted a Twitter chat as part of our #RealTalkSeries. And let’s just say, things definitely got real. Many of you joined us to discuss “taboo” and cringe-worthy money questions such as how to improve a bad credit score,… Full Storylast_img read more

How to Get the Most out of Your 401K and More

first_img Post navigation Open enrollment season is here!  We’re expecting to receive a big packet from human resources with all the options and benefits that our employers’ offer. While I won’t say that this is an exciting thing, we are eager to go over our benefits because we’re aware of how much this can affect our retirement. Employers typically give a couple of weeks for employees to decide if they want to make changes to their plans.   We actually made a huge change with our health insurance a few years ago that’s so far been a big boost. Not only are we paying less in premiums, but we’re building up some serious savings for retirement and lowering our taxable income now!  How to Get the Most out of Your Benefits Plan The key for us was setting aside some dedicated time to go over each of the benefits offered and running the numbers ourselves. It amazed us of how much we could either save right now or stashed away later based on what we signed up for. It is a bit of an investment of your time, but if you set aside a day to knock this out, you’ll not only be saving money now, you can give yourself a huge leg up with your retirement later! Let me show you how you can get the most out of your benefits plan by going over two key areas that affect families the most – your health insurance and 401(k) plans.  Keeping Your Health Insurance Affordable One of the biggest expenses families face is healthcare. Right now the average premium for family plans is over $1,100 a month! Even if you are relatively healthy, those monthly premiums for your health insurance plan is probably a huge chunk out of your paycheck.  We’ve seen this happen with our own paychecks. When it was just the two of us, the premiums were doable, but after having kids, it felt like every year it kept climbing. It would be one thing if we used our insurance regularly, but for several years, it’s been pretty much only well visits. While we’re certainly grateful for that, it’s honestly a bit frustrating to see such a large amount withdrawn for something we hardly used.  When our monthly premiums for a basic family plan were going to go up to pretty much our monthly mortgage payment a couple of years ago, we knew it was time to switch.  How High Deductible Plans and Health Savings Accounts WorkMy husband’s company offered a high deductible plan with an HSA and after running the numbers we made the switch.  With our old PPO plan, we had a lower deductible, but that meant our monthly premiums were high. The high deductible plan is the opposite. You pay less in premiums, but you’re on the hook with a higher deductible. A high deductible plan can make sense for families who typically don’t have a lot of visits to the doctors and little to no prescriptions. Here’s where you can save money now and for retirement with a high deductible plan. With this type of plan, you can open up a health savings account (HSA).  This account can be a huge win tax time now and when you retire. How? When you contribute towards your HSA, that lowers your taxable income now. That money grows tax-free and when you withdraw, it’s tax-free as well!  Your contributions roll over and can continue to grow year after year. So if you’re healthy and don’t have to use it, it’s a really helpful account for your health-related expenses during retirement. If your family does have regular medical expenses or prescriptions, then you may want to look at getting your standard plan and having a flexible spending account.  You can set aside pre-tax dollars for your medical bills. The key thing to remember is that you need to use your account every year because if you don’t you lose the money you allocated for it.  So review what you’ve been paying for your medicine, glasses, and other medically related items to get an idea of what you want to save up for.  Whatever option you choose, please make sure you understand the out of pocket expenses for your family.  How to Make Sure Your 401(k) is Working as Hard as You Do Alright so we covered the big expense of health insurance, let’s look at the other area you need to nail with your benefits – your 401(k). If you’re like most American families your 401(k) is the main account you use to save for your retirement. This qualified retirement account gives you the ability to invest in a tax-advantaged basis.  With a traditional 401(k), you put your money pre-tax, which means you’re lowering your taxable income now while saving for later. If your company offers a Roth 401(k), your contribution is coming out with after-tax dollars the benefit would be when it’s time to withdraw down the line when it’s tax-free.  Now what can sweeten the deal (even more) with your 401(k) is if your employer offers a match. If you put in a certain percentage of your income, they will contribute something as well. This is a huge win and consider it more than free money – it’s part of your compensation package (it’s yours to claim!). The sooner you start with your 401(k) contributions, the more you can take advantage of that match and compound interest.  Keep Your 401(k) Fees in Check Since your objective is to maximize growth within your risk tolerance, you want to stay on top of your 401(k). Focus on making sure you minimize needless fees and look for investments that match your specific goals and risk tolerance.  Going with a target-date fund or an index fund can give you the diversified portfolio you need and still keep it manageable.   By creating an investment plan, automating your contributions, and simply checking in from time to time to make sure things are with your tolerance, you’ll be ahead of most people. Your Take on Maximizing Your Benefits I hope these tips make it easier to figure out what the best options are for you with your benefits. With your health insurance and 401(k) squared away, you’re in a much stronger position for retirement!  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow to Kick-Start Your Retirement Fund in the New YearJanuary 1, 2019In “Financial Planning”Think It’s Too Early To Plan For Retirement? Wrong!August 25, 2017In “Financial Planning”9 Tips To Be Financially Free And Pay Off Your HouseJuly 4, 2019In “Housing Finances” last_img read more

6 everyday habits that could be triggering your headaches

first_imgWhen you’re suffering from headaches, it’s easy for your mind to jump to a worst-case scenario. But while it is possible that recurring headaches can be due to something scary like a brain tumor, it’s much more likely they result from something fairly innocent that you’re doing and don’t realize.In general, headaches happen when the blood vessels, muscles and nerves in your head are over-stimulated, said Dr. Vernon Williams, a neurologist and director of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles.“When these pain-sensitive structures become overactive, or when chemical activity in the brain is altered, we feel the uncomfortable sensations of a headache,” he explained.As reports, the triggers for everyone can be different, but there are a few lifestyle factors that routinely pop up. These are the biggies to keep on your radar:1. You’ve been drinking red wineAlcohol, and red wine in particular, can trigger headaches. Experts aren’t 100 percent sure why this happens, but it may be due to change alcohol causes to your blood flow, said Dr. Amit Sachdev, an assistant professor and director of the Division of Neuromuscular Medicine at Michigan State University.When you drink alcohol, it causes something known as vasodilation, which makes your peripheral blood vessels (the ones in your arms, hands, legs and feet) relax and let more blood flow through. That makes your blood pressure drop and, as a result, your heart rate increases to try to compensate.That change in your blood flow can stimulate the nerves in your brain stem (the part of your brain that connects your cerebrum with your spinal cord), triggering headaches, said Dr. Daniel Franc, a neurologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. While any form of alcohol can do this, scientists have linked the tannins in red wine to an increased risk of headaches. But, Franc said, it’s “an open question exactly why the tannins in wine help set off headaches.”If you notice that you get headaches after you drink even just small amounts, try to figure out whether it may be caused by a certain type of alcohol, like red wine, and stop drinking that. If your headaches go away, you’ve probably located your trigger. If they don’t, try going without alcohol for a bit and seeing where that gets you.2. You’re eating a lot of processed meatsIt seems weird that something as seemingly innocent as a turkey sandwich could be causing your head pain, but there’s definitely a link, Sachdev said. It’s largely due to the nitrates ― preservatives added to meats to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.Of course, plenty of people eat deli meat and hot dogs with no issues. But recent research has suggested that some people have bacteria in their mouths that can interact with the nitrates, causing high levels of the gas nitric oxide and triggering headaches. Nitrates are also linked to vasodilation, the same mechanism that can cause you to have a pounding headache after you drink alcohol.3. You’ve had a change in sleep, or a lack of sleepIf you notice your headaches came on right around the same time you started sleeping less than usual, you may have found your trigger.“An abnormal sleep pattern or lack of sleep can definitely cause headaches,” Franc said.In fact, research has found a direct correlation between a lack of rest and a pounding head; the worse sleep someone gets, the more likely they are to suffer from headaches. The reason why this happens isn’t totally clear, but a lack of sleep can lower your pain threshold and stimulate the nerves in your brain stem, Franc said ― and that can create the perfect storm for headaches.Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get more or better sleep. But try to make it a priority if you can. (Here are some easy nighttime tricks that will help you get those Zs.) And, if you suspect that you’re struggling with a sleep disorder, it’s probably time to reach out to a sleep medicine specialist for help.4. You’re skipping mealsSometimes a midday meeting gets in the way of lunch and, before you realize, it’s dinnertime and the last meal you had was breakfast. But if you make this a regular habit, your head is going to protest.Skipping meals clearly makes you hungry but it can also cause dehydration, Williams explained ― and both of those can lead to headaches. The lining of your brain has a protective mechanism that essentially gives a message that you need to take better care of yourself, Franc said.“When you have behaviors that are unhealthy like skipping meals, it signals through pain that you need to change your behavior,” he said.If your schedule regularly makes it tough to eat when you’re hungry, try packing snacks in your bag so you can at least nosh on the go when you’re tight on time. It can make a big difference, Franc said.5. You have bad postureYour mom was right: You should try to stand up straight. When you slump down, it taxes the muscles in the back of your neck that, coincidentally, interact with the nerves that pull up from your cervical spine, Franc said. That can cause your neck muscles to spasm, irritating the nerves in the back of your head and triggering headaches.“It really gets to the fact that pain in general is from a network of nerves and connective tissues,” Franc explained. “If you disrupt those muscles and tissues, it will set off a network of nerves and cause pain.”You can simply make a point to try to stand up straighter in an attempt to relieve your pain. Or, if that’s a struggle, try meeting with a physical therapist for tips and exercises on how to make good posture more natural for you.6. You’re stressed outStress is the most common trigger for tension headaches, which causes mild to moderate pain that feels like a tight band around your head, according to the Mayo Clinic.While there’s a definite link between stress and headaches, the mechanism behind it is a little less clear, Franc said. The biggest theory is that people who experience tension headaches simply have a higher-than-normal sensitivity to pain. And, when they become stressed, they physically feel it more.Since being told you should stress less will probably just stress you out more, try incorporating proven stress-busting exercises and techniques into your daily life, like meditation and yoga. (And here’s a lengthy list of tips for managing anxiety if those options aren’t your thing.) If you’re still struggling, it may be a good idea to check in with a mental health professional for advice on how to try to better manage your stress.Again, everyone has different triggers for headaches. But the best way to stop headaches and keep them from returning is to figure out your triggers and do your best to avoid them.“Headaches can be debilitating at times, but understanding the causes may make it easier to find relief,” Williams said.last_img read more

Bonn Climate Talks Yield Some — But Not Enough — Progress Putting the Paris Agreement Fully Into Motion

first_imgNegotiators made progress in a number of areas at the latest UN climate talks, which wrapped on May 10, but an overburdened agenda left them with a lot more ground to cover before the big climate summit (COP24) in Katowice, Poland this December.Negotiators must now ramp up progress, as COP24 will be the most critical political moment for climate action since 196 countries adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015. The year-end summit – where key decisions will be made on how to take the Paris Agreement forward – will determine whether the Agreement can turn promise into reality and galvanize the transformation needed globally.Three issues dominated the talks in Bonn, Germany: the Paris Rulebook, the Talanoa Dialogue and climate finance. Here’s a snapshot of where negotiators landed on each:Paris RulebookBy COP24 in December, countries are expected to finalize the rules and guidelines that underpin the Paris Agreement on climate change, known informally as the Paris Rulebook. In Bonn, negotiators worked hard to keep that goal within sight.Delegates recognized that the Paris Rulebook is critically important because well-designed guidelines and additional support for developing countries are essential for incentivizing greater national climate action and fully mobilizing the potential of the Paris Agreement.However, a long list of technical and political hurdles slowed progress at times, including: the sheer volume of agenda items to consider, reflected in 270 pages of informal notes; the technical complexity of the endeavor, exacerbated by complex interlinkages between various elements of the Rulebook; political sensitivities about achieving a balanced package; the need to ensure that developing countries receive predictable and adequate financial and technical support; and issues around how countries can improve both their climate actions and information in their progress reports. In the upcoming negotiations, delegates will need to hash through each of these issues while respecting countries’ different national circumstances, capabilities and vulnerabilities. This is no small task.To better prepare for the next round of negotiations in Bangkok in September, the co-chairs of the process must prepare tools to help advance the negotiations, which could include draft negotiating text. Reaching that stage will be essential for keeping adoption of the Paris Rulebook within reach.As negotiators continue to shape the Paris Rulebook, they need to keep in mind the bigger picture of what is at stake. These rules need to ramp up global climate action that is pursued in a trustworthy and fair manner. This makes the design of an “ambition mechanism” as important as ensuring a level playing field with transparency and accounting rules. For many developing countries, going further and faster will only be possible if adequate support is available, from climate finance and technological assistance to building the capacity of in-country experts. Moreover, it is clear that governments alone cannot deliver the massive transformations needed across entire sectors. The Rulebook must be robust enough to provide the certainty, clarity and predictability that businesses, investors and planners need to accelerate their own low-carbon transformations.Talanoa Dialogue and Enhanced AmbitionThe Talanoa Dialogue was one of the most highly anticipated events heading into Bonn. Effectively the first stock-taking exercise under the Paris Agreement, the Talanoa Dialogue session in Bonn was a collective reality check on the state of climate action, highlighting how far the world has left to go to limit temperature rise to 1.5-2 degrees C (2.7-3.6 degrees F). The process also started to lay the groundwork for countries to strengthen their national climate commitments (known as NDCs) by 2020.Bringing countries, cities, businesses and civil society together to discuss the climate transformation was unprecedented in the history of the UN climate process. During the session on Sunday, a Gabon representative welcomed the fact that “everyone talked to each other like they are people rather than [negotiating] parties.” It was a reminder that governments need the extra muscle of many other actors to turn the Paris Agreement into reality.The Fiji COP presidency deserves credit for its willingness to veer from the norm in these formal negotiations to break down boundaries and build trust. The Polish presidency should continue to actively engage non-state actors on how to further enhance this process at COP24.Given the scale and urgency we face in closing the emissions gap, the Talanoa Dialogue must go further at COP24 to achieve its purpose of fostering greater ambition. Ministers must come ready to explore how to translate the opportunities and lessons learned through the Dialogue into action, and further share the actions they are putting in place at the national level to inspire action globally. As several country groups made clear, the Talanoa Dialogue must set the stage so that at COP24, countries commit to enhance their NDCs by 2020.FinanceThe draft Paris Rulebook contains a number of finance elements. Negotiators in Bonn worked on rules for how donor countries account for the climate finance they provide and mobilize in their biennial reporting to the UN. Another major finance element is developed countries’ biennial communications on future climate funding. Negotiators made some progress in identifying types of finance information these countries could provide to help developing countries better plan and take action on climate, but there was deadlock on whether anything should happen to these communications once they are submitted.This reflects a broader concern about how and where climate finance will be discussed in the UN climate negotiations after 2020, when the current system of annual workshops and biennial ministerial dialogues is set to end. Finance will be a key part of the global stocktake that will take place every five years, but the world of finance is fast moving. Countries should consider making space for more frequent discussion of progress to ensure that all finance flows, at both global and national levels, are fully aligned with the Paris Agreement goals.Lastly, negotiators elaborated the different options for reforms to the Adaptation Fund’s governance, safeguards and operations so that it can function under the Paris Agreement.What’s Next?Delegates will pick up where they left off at an additional negotiating session in Bangkok this September. There, delegates should accelerate the pace of negotiations and craft draft negotiating text while working through sticky issues that remain.By the time the final gavel is struck at COP24 in December, all countries will need to adopt an action and support package that puts the Paris Agreement fully into motion. The measure for success will be three-fold: finalizing a robust Paris Rulebook, a clear commitment that countries will strengthen their national climate plans by 2020, and a signal that support for developing countries will continue to ramp up.As president of the COP and host of COP24, Poland must show the forward-looking leadership necessary to deliver a successful outcome. And between now and December, all countries must use a number of key moments to ramp up political pressure, including at the Petersberg Dialogue and Ministerial on Climate Action in June, the UN General Assembly in September and the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in October.last_img read more

Humble Pie

first_img Originally published Feb 4, 2008 10:12:00 AM, updated October 01 2019 What did I learn this weekend?  First, I learned that even Tom Brady can’t throw a football accurately with linebackers in his face.  Second, Tom Petty might be a bit old to be trying to rock out during halftime.  And finally, yes, I learned that inbound links, website grade, web traffic and other Internet marketing metrics do not affect what happens on a football field. To be honest, I think my prediction last week was clear that it was somewhat in jest.  But still, I make a full apology to our blog readers for going perhaps a bit too far last week when I predicted a Patriots victory using Internet marketing data.  I will now eat my Humble Pie just like the Patriots should be doing.But, that does not mean that all of you reading this article are off the hook!  Why?  Because all these metrics do matter!  Internet marketing metrics matter for your business. While predicting the result of a football game might not make sense, I do think you can predict the future of your business using things like traffic, inbound links and website grade.  More people visiting your website indicates more interest in your business. A higher Website Grade comes from you doing all the right things online, which helps more people find your website.So, I will eat my humble pie. But, your assignment is to get a free marketing report at Website Grader and add to your goals for 2008 to improve your Website Grade, double your website traffic and double your website lead flow. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

The ABCs of Off-Page SEO Tactics

first_img What other tips do you have? ymarketing Develop Unique ContentDevelop written content that invites people to click or take action several times in the text. Promote additional free content where you can track, interact with, or engage the reader in a social mediaplatform.Note: Consider using social platform API’s to allow users to join your site using social networking login credentials.Make your content easy to share! 
If your article is a downloadable document, consider adding a twitter button to a PDF, then add a Social Media Widget to the pages of your document. If your article is being submitted to directories, add links in the resources sections of your submissions to your social sharing site. Use articles to promote additional web assets: SEO best (and worst) practices link building and Off-Page SEO Hosted Content (social networking sites, image sharing sites, profile sites) @googlegirl , who manages SEO and Inbound Marketing campaigns for ecommerce and lead generation clients, and a provider on the . The following is a guest post by Tina Rawlins. Rawlins is a Digital Marketing Specialist for blog for or read her Send article content out to a few friends, family, and coworkers and ask for their responses. Find a few people who represent your target audience and get their responses. Specifically ask them to evaluate your article and give their honest opinions. Your article is a long term marketing asset. Your social network can give you important feedback on the voice, length, and resources of your article. On-Page SEO First, understand that while there are nuances to SEO approaches, the fundamental truth is that proper SEO should include efforts in the two primary areas that contribute to a site’s search rankings by search engine algorithms: Downloads or Whitepapers using tracked links Promote RSS Feed URLs Originally published Aug 25, 2010 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 To help clarify your off-page SEO approach and enable your organization to move forward, we’ll explore the ABCs of SEO tactics, beginning alphabetically with A, for Article Marketing. Follow-up blog posts will explore Blog Marketing, Comments & Ratings, Directories & Profile Building, and more.center_img and off-page SEO. What search engines can determine about the linking structure of other sites, and the sites inter-related to those sites, in relation to your site. Links to Promoted Blog Articles A is for … Article MarketingA well written article contains targeted content for publishers and often subtly advertises products and services. Most articles are hosted by article directory sites and reprinted by webmasters with topical content needs. Including keywords and links within articles adds SEO value to advertisers. Be Clear and DirectCreate an article that is direct about the value you mention in your title. Do not repeat your title in the subtitles. Typically articles are 400-800 words. Consider separating your article content into smaller portions and adding subheadings to create a web friendly format. Request Feedback services. You can follow her on Twitter at content and structure of your site Bookmarked or promoted website pages in Digg and similar sites . So what can companies and marketers do to sift through the noise of Unique Video or Flash Views on a landing page Unique Title Mentions in Twitter . SEO and Social Media Create Unique HeadlinesReview your unique titles in the search engines to track your article pickup. Also review your website analytics for referrers as an indicator of traffic from article directory sites.
 HubSpot Service Marketplace 2. Off-Page SEO Factors: What search engine crawlers can discern from the Natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a confusing and contradictory topic even amongst the industry’s most recognized experts. Organization, directories, trade events and publishers (online and offline) can endlessly debate the finer points of Topics: 1. On-Page SEO Factors: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

4 Unexpected Situations For Creating Content

first_img Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your business website? Download the free webinar to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack There are many opportunities you may be missing to create content in your day to day lives. I remember reading an article by Chris Brogan about how he “does it all”. Chris is a speaker, author, consultant, and father… And on top of that, he regularly blogs multiple times per day. How does he do it? He makes the most of every moment. He’s always thinking or doing something (even if that something is playing with his kids).So when do you find time to create content? Here are a few underused opportunities.Waiting for a Delayed FlightIn fact, this article was written while waiting for a delayed flight! With this unexpected free time, I pulled out my iPhone and started typing with my thumbs. I managed to finish 2 articles before boarding the plane.In the Car or Grocery StoreWhile this takes some setup time so as to stay safe, you can setup a video camera to film you while you drive to your next appointment. Or maybe you get an audio recording device, stick it in your shirt pocket while you go grocery shopping. Just start talking and answer a common customer question as if you were talking to your customer there in the grocery store. For many folks, this is a much faster way to create great content.Live Blogging While at an EventThis means taking out your computer and taking advantage of the ever pervasive wireless Internet at many conferences and sharing the learnings from the event itself . By the end of the event, you’re done! You would have spent that time there anyway, so why not create a blog post or two in during the process.Outsource Content by EmailOk this was a trick answer I suppose but still results in great content with limited time. Think about the top 3 questions in your industry and send them out to experts you know in the field. Send them by email, get their answers by email, and combine them into a blog post. This curated type of content actually works great becasue it draws the credibility of each person that contributes.Other ideas of great times to leverage for content creation? Please share in the comments below! Photo Credit: Dr Stephen Dann Free Download: Blogging for Business Originally published Nov 10, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017center_img Topics: Content Creationlast_img read more

Google Launches Facebook Competitor Google+

first_img Originally published Jun 28, 2011 4:38:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Google Updates Marketing Takeaway Video Chat and Photos began rolling out to early users today. It will be a long time before we know if Google+ is a true social networking competitor and worth the time and effort of marketers. Until then, let’s take a quick look at what Google+ actually does. when you can start using the platform. Social networks aren’t anything new. Today, however, Google made news with its biggest attempt to date to take hold of the social networking market. After a year of development, When it comes to photos, Google has a section for viewing, managing, and editing images and video. A Google+ user can see all of the images he or she has, but unlike Facebook, it is more than just photo tagging. Users can edit images, add photo effects, and edit sharing options. Google has also create Hangouts, in hopes of increasing the adoption of online video chatting. The idea is to have designated chats that members in a group of friends could easily find and join. It is clear that Google knows that the next step of its business is social. Marketers should understand that, with moves like Google+, search will only continue to get more social. Having and growing a social media presence will be critical to generating inbound leads in the future. That said, Google+ does lack the simplicity that enables Google Search to be successful. As marketers, we will need to understand how Google+ is adopted and how Google integrates it with other valuable properties like Google Search and Google Maps. Content Discovery Circles+ Google+ is currently available via invite only, but you can sign up to be notified Topics: The foundation of Google+ is something called Circles+. Google’s belief is that existing social networks like Facebook and Twitter have failed at letting users connect with subsets of friends in an easy way. Friend lists were add-on features of most social networks, but they are at the foundation of Google+. Circles+ is a drag and drop system for organizing friends into different groups. With Google+ comes yet another feature, Google+ Sparks. Each Spark is a collection of content on a subject that pulls in information using Google technology like Google Search. Sparks places Google not just in the content sharing business but also in the content discovery business. In addition, Google will be launching a mobile version of the entire Google+ system, starting with the Andriod operating system. Google+ Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more