No Laughing Matter?

first_imgNBC Comedian Jay Leno’s skit mocking Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wealth by showing an image of the Golden Temple as his ”summer home on Lake Winnipesaukee” has fallen flat with the Indian government and some members of the Sikh community.Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi has directed the Indian Embassy in Washington to lodge a protest with NBC over the “quite unfortunate and quite objectionable” satire. And a California Sikh activist Randeep Dhillon has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming that Leno had “hurt the sentiments of all Sikh people” and that his remarks “clearly exposes plaintiff, other Sikhs and their religion to hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy because it falsely portrays the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh.” Related Itemslast_img read more

How Late is Late

first_imgSchedules, deadlines, time pressure…. We are all painfully handcuffed to the notion of time. Scheduling is a state of mind that affects how you organize your day, how you run a meeting, how far you must plan in advance, and how flexible those plans are. Yet what is considered appallingly late in one culture may be acceptably on time in another.Consider the morning you wake up to that harmonica sound from your iPhone reminding you about a meeting with a supplier on the other side of town at 9:15 a.m…. But your day has an unexpectedly chaotic start. Your toddler breaks a jar of raspberry jam on the floor and your older son accidentally steps in it, leading to several stressful minutes of cleanup. This is followed by a desperate search for the car keys, which finally turn up in the kitchen cupboard. You manage to drop the kids off at school just as the bells are ringing and the doors are closing. At that moment, your iPhone chimes 9:00 a.m., which means you’ll be about 6 or 7 minutes late for the important meeting — provided the crosstown traffic is no worse than usual.What to do? You could of course call the supplier to apologize and explain that you will be arriving exactly at 9:21. Or possibly 9:22. Or you consider that 6 or 7 minutes late is basically on time. You decide not to call and simply pull your car out into traffic. And then perhaps you just don’t give the time any thought at all. Whether you arrive at 9:21 or 9:22 or even 9:45, you will still be within a range of what is considered acceptably on time, and neither you nor the supplier will think much of it.In France, 7 minutes late is still on timeIf you live in a linear-time culture like Germany, Scandinavia, the United States, or the UK, you’ll probably make the call. If you don’t, you risk annoying your supplier as the seconds tick on and you still haven’t shown up. On the other hand, if you live in France or northern Italy, chances are you won’t feel the need to make the call, since being 6 or 7 minutes late is within the realm of “basically on time” (If you were running 12 or 15 minutes late, however, that would be a different story.)And if you are from a flexible-time culture such as the Middle East, Africa, India, or South America, time may have an altogether different level of elasticity in your mind. In these societies, as you fight traffic and react to the chaos that life inevitably throws your way, it is expected that delays will happen. In this context, 9:15 differs very little from 9:45, and everybody accepts that.When people describe those from another culture using words like inflexible, chaotic, late, rigid, disorganized, inadaptable, it’s quite likely the scheduling dimension is the issue. And understanding the subtle, often unexpressed assumptions about time that control behaviors and expectations in various cultures can be quite challenging.When I first moved to France (that was 17 years ago), I was warned by other Americans that the French were always late. And this turned out to be partially true, though the impact on my daily work was small. For example, shortly after arriving in Paris, I arranged to visit an HR manager specializing expatriate assignments, in one of the glass towers of La Défense (the Paris corporate business district). Arriving carefully at 9:55 a.m. for my 10:00 a.m. appointment, I practiced my rusty French nervously in my head. The woman I was scheduled to meet, Sandrine Guegan (names have been changed), was a longtime client of the firm and knew my boss well. He had assured me that Ms. Guegan would welcome me warmly.The receptionist called Madame Guegan at precisely 10:00 a.m. and, after a second with her on the phone, said to me politely, “Patientez s’il vous plait” (Please wait). So I perched myself carefully on the big leather couch and pretended I was looking at a newspaper while I waited patiently for 5 minutes. But at 10:07 I was not feeling very patient. Had I gotten the time of the meeting wrong? Was there some unavoidable emergency? And at 10:10 … was the meeting going to take place at all?Madame Guegan stepped out of the elevator at 10:11, and, without a word of apology for her tardiness, she welcomed me warmly. After many years of working in both the United States and France, I can now confirm that in most cases you get about 10 more minutes’ leeway (to run late, start late, end late, take a tangent) in France than you would in the United States. And if you know this, in most circumstances it is really no big deal to adapt.When being ‘on time’ means you’re earlyThe first time I really understood the impact of the scheduling dimension came when I was working in South America. Earlier in the week, I had given a keynote speech in Denver, Colorado, to a group of approximately 500, mostly American, managers. The afternoon before the event, Danielle, the conference organizer, had shown me a stack of cards she would be holding in her lap during my 40-minute talk. “I’ll hold up a sign every 10 minutes,” she explained, showing me cards that read 30 minutes, 20 minutes and 10 minutes in bold black characters. The sequence concluded with cards that read 5 minutes, 2 minutes’ and zero minutes. It was evident that the big black zero on the final card meant in no uncertain terms that my time was up, and, when I saw it, I was to exit the stage.I understood Danielle perfectly. She is a typical member of my (American) tribe, and I was very comfortable with the idea of monitoring each minute carefully. My speech went beautifully, and my linear-time audience was aptly appreciative.A few days later I was dining with Flavio Ranato, a charming older Brazilian man, in a glass-walled restaurant overlooking the lights of Brazil’s fifth-largest city, Belo Horizonte. We were planning the presentation I would give the next day to a large group of South Americans. “This topic is very important to our organization,” Ranato told me. “The participants will love it. Please feel free to take more time than is scheduled if you like. The group will benefit.”I didn’t quite understand, as I had already tested my presentation with the IT support person, and the agenda for the conference was already printed and posted on the conference door. “I have 45 minutes on the agenda. How much time were you thinking? Could I take 60 minutes?” I wondered out loud. With a gentle shrug of his shoulders, Ranato responded, “Of course, take the time you need.” Uncertain about his meaning I confirmed, “Great, I will take 60 minutes,” and Ranato nodded in agreement. I went back to my hotel room and adapted my presentation to a 60-minute time slot.The next day at the conference, I noticed immediately that the agenda on the door still said I had 45 minutes. A bit unnerved, I sought out Ranato in the crowd. “I just want to make sure I understood correctly,” I said. “Did you want me to take 45 or 60 minutes for my presentation this morning”’ Ranato laughed a little, as if my behavior was unusual. “Do not worry, Erin,” he tried to reassure me. “They will love it. Please take whatever time you need.” “I will take 60 minutes,” I articulated again.When my presentation began (after a number of unanticipated delays), the group responded as Ranato had predicted. They were boisterously appreciative, waving their arms to ask questions and provide examples during the question period at the end of my talk. Carefully watching the large clock at the back of the room, I ended my session after 65 minutes. I was a few minutes late as one question ran longer than I had expected.The customer is always rightRanato approached me. “It was great, just as I hoped. But you ended so early!” Early? I was really confused. “I thought I was supposed to take 60 minutes, and I took 65,” I ventured. “You could have certainly gone longer! They were loving it!” Ranato insisted. Later that evening, Ranato and I had an enlightening discussion about our mutual incomprehension. “I didn’t want to use any extra moment of your group’s time without getting explicit permission,” I explained. “You gave me 60 minutes. To me, it would be disrespectful to the group if I took more time than prescheduled without getting your permission.”“But I don’t get it,” Ranato responded. “In this situation, we are the customer. We are paying you to be here with us. If you see that we have more questions and would like to continue the discussion, isn’t it simply good customer service to extend the presentation in order to answer our questions and meet our needs?”I was confused. “But if you have not explicitly told me that I can take another 15 minutes, how do I know that is what you want?” Ranato looked at me curiously, as it started to dawn on him how much of a foreigner I was. “They were so obviously interested and engaged. Couldn’t you tell?” I was beginning to realize how enormous the impact of differing attitudes toward time can be. The assumptions Ranato and I made about scheduling caused us to have contrasting definitions of “good customer service.” The story underscores the importance of understanding how the people you work with think about time, and adjusting your expectations accordingly.When the cows come homeAnthropologist Edward T. Hall was one of the first researchers to explore differences in societal approaches to time. In The Dance of Life: The Other Dimension of Time, Hall referred to monochronic (M-time) cultures and polychronic (P-time) cultures. M-time cultures view time as tangible and concrete: “We speak of time as being saved, spent, wasted, lost, made up, crawling, killing and running out. These metaphors must be taken seriously. M-time scheduling is used as a classification system that orders life. These rules apply to everything except death.”By contrast, P-time cultures take a flexible approach to time, involvement of people, and completion of transactions: Appointments are not taken seriously and, as a consequence, are frequently broken as it is more likely to be considered a point rather than a ribbon in the road…. An Arab will say “I will see you before one hour” or “I will see you after two days.” In other words, a person who lives in P-time will suggest a general approximate meeting slot in the coming future without nailing down the exact moment that meeting will take place.In the wake of Hall’s work, psychologist Robert Levine began meticulously observing and analysing various cultural approaches to clocks. He noted that some cultures measure time in 5-minute intervals, while other cultures barely use clocks and instead schedule their day on what Levine calls “event time”: before lunch, after sunrise, or in the case of the locals in Burundi, “when the cows come home.”Scheduling is profoundly affected by a number of historic factors that shape the ways people live, work, think, and interact with one another. If you live in Germany, you probably find that things pretty much go according to plan. Trains are reliable; traffic is manageable; systems are dependable; government rules are clear and enforced more or less consistently. You can probably schedule your entire year on the assumption that your environment is not likely to interfere greatly with your plans.Where time is driven by the demands of the factoryThere’s a clear link between this cultural pattern and Germany’s place in history as one of the first countries in the world to become heavily industrialized. Imagine being a factory worker in the German automotive industry. If you arrive at work 4 minutes late, the machine for which you are responsible gets started late, which exacts a real, measurable financial cost. To this day, the perception of time in Germany is partially rooted in the early impact of the industrial revolution, where factory work required the labor force to be on hand and in place at a precisely appointed moment.In other societies – particularly in the developing world – life centers around the fact of constant change. As political systems shift and financial systems alter, as traffic surges and wanes, as monsoons or water shortages raise unforeseeable challenges, the successful managers are those who have developed the ability to ride out the changes with ease and flexibility.For example, if you are a farmer in the Nigerian countryside, most of the farmwork is done by people, and you likely have few machines. In this environment, it doesn’t matter much if you start work at 7:00 or 7:12 or even 7:32. What matters is that your work structure is flexible enough to adapt with changes in the natural environment, and that you have invested in the critical relationships needed to keep your workers loyal in times of drought or flooding, erosion or insect infestation.All positions should be considered in relative terms. Germans may complain bitterly about the British lack of punctuality, and Indians often feel the French are rigid with their scheduling. However, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, and Northern European countries generally fall on the linear-time side of the scale. Latin cultures (both Latin European and Latin American) tend to fall on the flexible-time side, with Middle Eastern and many African cultures on the far right. Asian cultures are scattered on this scale. Japan is linear-time, but China and (especially) India practice flexible-time.Erin Meyer is the author of The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business, on a chapter of which this article is based.The Conversation  Related Itemslast_img read more

Letter Written By Gandhi On Jesus, Universal Faith Up For Sale

first_imgA letter written by Mahatma Gandhi to a religious leader in the United States in 1926, which discusses Jesus, is up for sale for $50,000 by the Raab Collection. The letter had been a part of a private collection since the 1960s. This is the first time it has come out in public.In the letter, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi writes to Christian leader Milton Newberry Frantz in response to Franz, who asked Gandhi to read a recent publication he had written with verses about Christianity.The letter originated at Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and was written on April 6, 1926, to Milton Newberry Frantz.“Dear Friend, I have your letter. I am afraid it is not possible for me to subscribe to the creed you have sent me. The subscriber is made to believe that the highest manifestation of the unseen reality was Jesus Christ. In spite of all my efforts, I have not been able to feel the truth of that statement. I have not been able to move beyond the belief that Jesus was one of the great teachers of mankind. Do you not think that religious unity is to be had not by a mechanical subscription to a common creed but by all respecting the creed of each? In my opinion, difference in creed there must be so long as there are different brains. But who does it matter if all these are hung upon the common thread of love and mutual esteem?,” Gandhi wrote.“I return the stamp kindly sent by you. It cannot be used in India,” he added.In this letter, Gandhi is espousing universality of all religions and accepts differences in faiths. He was a Hindu himself for all his life.This is the only letter by Gandhi that mentions Jesus, according to Raab Collection. In the 1960s, the letter was acquired from a New York City-based historical document dealer by the family that is now putting it up for sale. This is one of the finest letters on religion that Gandhi ever wrote, Raab Collection said in a statement.“This letter is the embodiment of Gandhi’s vision for a world of religions at peace. His belief in Jesus as a teacher of mankind shows his efforts to find commonality with his fellow man,” said Nathan Raab, principal at The Raab Collection.The organization searches the world for important historical documents to buy and sell to their historically passionate clientele. Related ItemsGandhiHistoryjesus christlast_img read more

Expat Voice: Peace Among Chaos

first_imgYoung Seaon Park moved to India over two and a half years ago to set up the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency in Kolkata that aims to facilitate trade between the two countries.“I stayed in Delhi for one and a half years and then moved to Kolkata in January 2017 to set up the office,” Young, who has previously stayed in Poland and Thailand, tells Little India. The agency is under the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. “Our main goal is to promote trade and investment between Korea and foreign countries,” he adds.Young, who lives with his Thai wife and 10-year-old son in Kolkata, tell us why he likes the West Bengal capital more than Delhi, driving on the chaotic streets of India and the popularity of Korean pop culture.Adjusting to Life in IndiaDelhi has a strong Korean community because of which it was not difficult for us adjust or make friends there. However, things got slightly difficult when we moved to Kolkata.Our family moves around a lot because of which we do not carry a lot of furniture with us. We prefer renting a fully furnished apartment. When we rented a place here, it was an unfurnished one. So we told the landlord to furnish the apartment before we move in.However, when we moved in, a lot of furniture was missing. The landlord kept saying that the things were on its way but they never arrived. Things work at a slow pace in this city.Young Seaon Park with his family at the Taj MahalWomen’s Place in SocietyMy wife initially did not like coming here because most people here consider women to be inferior to men. Their lifestyles, opportunities and activities are also very different. But she eventually found some friends and her own area of interest. However, she liked Delhi more because she had friends within the Korean community there.I hardly have any Indian friends but there is one person, Rajive Kaul, who I am thankful to because he helped me a lot when I moved to Kolkata. He is the Honorary Consul General of the Korean Embassy and also the Chairman of the Nicco Group.Difference between Delhi and KolkataDelhi is a bigger city with better infrastructure than Kolkata. However, it is easier to connect with the people here than in Delhi.There’s more pollution in Delhi so it was difficult to live there. It’s pretty much the same in Kolkata too, especially during the winter season, but the monsoons balance it out.I personally like Kolkata more. It is difficult to identify with a city like Delhi and find friends there. Kolkata has a smaller community and has a laidback attitude. It has a unique history as it was the capital of India during the British rule. I feel like I belong here. It is easy to make friends in this city.I also feel that the people of Kolkata are more liberal and tolerant than people from other Indian states with regard to religion and food habits.Driving is ChaosDriving on the streets in India is a chaotic affair. When I was living in Delhi, an auto rickshaw hit the back of my car, causing a dent. Then he just ran away instead of apologizing or helping out.If something like this happens in Korea, we usually exchange name cards, take a photo and call the insurance company which deals with the matter. But there is no systematic system here. They just argue and leave.South Korea Vs IndiaSouth Korea is a very homogenous society where people live with the same identity. Here, there are so many diverse cultures and identities which makes it difficult to understand all of them. It is a country of extremes.Seeing the living conditions of the poor in India was a different kind of an experience for me. In Korea, most people belong to the middle class background. The poor have equal right to enjoy all the facilities and infrastructure that the government or the society provides. They are not barred from entering any particular place. Here, the scenario is very different.The caste system that is so prevalent here also existed in Korea at one point of time. But now it doesn’t. I see people in this country marry in their own community or caste, something that does not happen in my country.When I first came to India, all Koreans I knew experienced stomach problems called the ‘Delhi Belly’ but you eventually get used to it. Sometimes, we don’t get the ingredients required to prepare Korean food here. So we travel to Bangkok a few times in a year to buy the ingredients.Young Seaon Park and his wife at Victoria Memorial in KolkataPerception about IndiaI read a lot about Gandhi as a child. Many Koreans are Buddhists – a religion that originated in India. So Koreans have always been familiar with the country.In Korea, we had a picture of the Taj Mahal in our textbooks. People in my country have always wanted to visit Agra to see the monument. I had read about it as well as a child. So when I came here, I went to Agra with my family to see the monument. It felt very good.Two Sides of a CoinNewspapers mostly publish negative stories about India. But when you begin to live here, you see both sides of the coin.Before I moved here, I was told to be careful of a few things like not drinking water from just anywhere, not to walk along the streets at night or take trains for fear of things getting robbed. So I created my own safe zone.I have also read about some villages in the rural areas not having toilets. I would sometime like to visit such areas and see how people lead their lives.I have not experienced it first-hand but people have told me about the discrimination that exists in the minds of some people here with regard to Nepalese people or those who come from the states in Northeast India.Korean Pop CultureIndia itself has such a strong media culture in terms of Bollywood that it is difficult for Korean pop culture to penetrate. But it is slowly happening.I know that people from the Northeast watch a lot of Korean drama while other cities have these small groups of people who have shown interest in Korean pop culture and drama.I’ve also read that a few Indian films have been inspired from Korean movies. In 2016, there was a film called Rocky Handsome, which was an official adaptation of a Korean film called The Man From Nowhere.Incredible and GratifyingWhen I came here, there were aspects of my life I was not happy about. But when I walk on the streets every day and see so many poor people, I feel lucky to have had the opportunities that I had and appreciate the life I currently lead.Living in India has expanded my horizon in many ways. It’s been an incredible and gratifying experience so far. I came here as an outsider but now I feel like I belong here. This place feels more like home now.The interview has been condensed and edited.Expat Voice is regular column on expats in India. Email us at expat@littleindia.com to nominate yourself or another expat for the column. Related ItemsKolkataSouth Korealast_img read more

The Case For Dual Citizenship

first_imgIndians resident in foreign lands are often presented the opportunity to become citizens of their adopted land. But they soon learn that they will lose their Indian citizenship when they acquire citizenship of another country.The Indian Constitution is the Supreme Law in India, and all statutes and acts are subordinate to it. Dual citizenship was barred by Article 9 of the Indian Constitution with the objective of framing and defining citizenship derived from various geographies upon its commencement. But the Constitution does not impose a bar on dual citizenship at a subsequent stage. Article 10 empowers “Parliament to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship.”Section 9 of the Citizenship Act, passed by Parliament in 1955, divests a person of his Indian citizenship upon acquiring the citizenship of a foreign country. The basic question we need to first ask is whether Section 9 is constitutional. We will answer that question from the perspective of India born citizens acquiring foreign citizenship. This is contrasted with foreigners acquiring Indian citizenship as born citizens have a legally and morally higher claim to dual citizenship.The relevant enquiry becomes whether divestment of citizenship (and thus denial of dual citizenship) is constitutionally justified. It is critical to understand that the foundations of India’s Constitution, like those of other democratic countries, respects choices in the absence of a compelling reason to curtail that freedom.On that principle, denial of dual citizenship status would be proper only for considerations of national security or integrity. Since the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card grants lifelong visa and freedom to live in India to a much broader group of people than India born citizens, and no problems have surfaced to date, it would be difficult to assert such concerns with granting dual citizenship to born-citizens. To the contrary, a more compelling case can be made that denial of dual citizenship creates a polity of NRIs/OCIs who are unconnected with the democratic processes of India, thus endangering the security and integrity of the country in the long run.In the 1940s, when India acquired Independence, almost every country in the world denied dual citizenship. But now almost all democratic countries recognize dual citizenship for at least their born-citizens. Indeed, countries like Canada and the United Kingdom make it difficult, if not almost impossible, for born-citizens to renounce citizenship even if they so desire.Clearly, India will be in the company of many democratic societies by recognizing dual citizenship.It is my contention that Section 9 of India Citizenship Act is unconstitutional. I have argued this in a writ petition pending in Bangalore High Court since August 2013, to which the Government of India has thus far failed to respond.Manifest InjusticeDenial of dual citizenship is manifestly unjust for thousands of Goan Indians. Under Portuguese law, subjects and descendants of its erstwhile empire are automatically granted Portuguese citizenship, requiring them to only register their birth information. Portuguese citizenship in turn opens the entire European Union to Goans after registration, which 75,000 are reported to have done.The Indian government, however, interprets its laws to require them to elect either Indian or Portuguese citizenship. If they want Portuguese citizenship they must opt for the OCI card. Many of them are fearful of giving up Indian citizenship for fear of what the Portuguese future may hold for them. This is a gross injustice, perpetrated predominantly against poor people, who may be able to find better employment opportunities in Europe. This problem will fester for generations as Portuguese citizenship law extends to their descendants in perpetuity.The problem is also faced by OCIs living in India. Dual citizenship is a practical necessity for NRIs who return to India for a long duration (say 5 years or more) and desire to retain the option to return to the foreign land at an unknown later date. Citizenship of the non-India jurisdiction in combination with the OCI card obviously gives mobility to these people and hundreds, possibly thousands, of such OCIs are currently living in India.These India-born OCIs have done no harm to India, pose no security threat, yet India has sweeping laws that involuntarily divests them of their Indian citizenship. Many other democratic countries have avoided these constitutional issues by simply recognizing dual citizenship.So why does India reject dual citizenship? The current India laws were framed in the 1950s, rooted in the division of Pakistan, and at a time when dual citizenship was a rarity. But while other democratic societies have adopted dual citizenships, India continues to cling to its antiquated laws.The need for dual citizenship is pressing, because of rising mobility, including digital connectivity. Mobile Indians, such as Portuguese Goans, NRIs, OCIs, and many business people would benefit from dual citizenship, as would the country.Unfortunately, decision makers are principally non-mobile Indians, such as politicians, legal fraternity and senior administrators, who typically have lifetime jobs and retirement options in India. The odds are stacked decidedly against the interests of mobility, despite its contribution to trade and global peace.The NRI community has been denied voting rights pursuant to Article 326, which empowers the legislature to exclude voters based on “non-residence.” NRIs as a group are thus disconnected from the decision and law making processes in India. The denial under Article 326 of voting rights to NRIs, even though they are citizens of India, serves to diminish the political clout of those with the largest stake in dual citizenship.Perhaps the expansion of e-ballots by the Supreme Court recently will serve to extend voting rights to NRIs in the future, which may create a constituency to pressure the government on dual citizenship. Until then, the prospects of India adopting dual citizenship laws are bleak. Naren Thappeta is a U.S./India patent attorney based in Bangalore. Related Itemslast_img read more

Hate Crimes Increase in U.S. For Second Straight Year: FBI

first_imgThe United States witnessed more hate crimes in 2016 than the previous year, with an increase of 4.6 per cent from 2015, new FBI data showed.The total number of hate crimes in 2016 was 6,121, compared with 5,850 in 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation data revealed on Nov. 13.Those criminal incidents, the report said, were motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, or gender identity, Xinhua news agency reported.According to the data, the number of hate crimes increased for a second consecutive year, and most were “single-bias incidents.”Hate crime victims, explained the FBI, can be individuals, businesses, government entities, religious organisations, or society as whole, and they can be committed against persons, property, or society.Of those single-bias offences in 2016, nearly 58 per cent were motivated by race, ethnicity or ancestry bias, while 21 per cent were driven by religious bias and about 18 per cent were caused due to bias towards sexual orientation.More than half of the race-related incidents were anti-black, while some 20 per cent were anti-white. Over half of the religion-related offences were anti-Jewish, while a quarter were anti-Muslim, according to the data.“No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, or how they worship,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement after the data was released.The FBI report was based on voluntary reporting by over 15,000 local law enforcement agencies.Sim Singh, the national advocacy manager of the Sikh Coalition, said the FBI statistics “represents the tip of the iceberg.”Singh said it will be hard for the country to mobilize political will and resources necessary to address the issue if law enforcement agencies fail to document true extent of hate crimes.– (IANS) Related Itemshate crimes FBIracial attacks AmericaSim Singh Sikh Coalitionsingle-bias incidents USAUS hate crimesUS hate crimes 2016last_img read more

Forrester Research Recognizes 360i as a Leader in Search Marketing

first_imgForrester Research has just released “The Forrester Wave™: Search Marketing Agencies, Q4 2017” naming 360i a Leader in Search Marketing. According to Forrester, “Marketers will appreciate this agency’s ability to stay on top of trends but also have a level-headed perspective on what is industry hype versus real market changes.” The report goes on to say that U.S. companies who “want a lead agency with deep heritage in search and digital will find 360i a perfect fit.”The report provides an overview on the state of the search industry and evaluates the most significant agencies against 25 criteria in three main categories: current offering, strategy, and market presence. The final evaluation shows how these agencies stack up against one another and helps guide B2C marketing professionals to make well-informed decisions.360i received the highest scores possible in the market research and reporting & analytics criteria, as well as the service vision criterion within the strategy category. Stating that differentiation comes from supporting discovery beyond Google, Forrester looked at agencies “ability to create organic visibility in non-traditional search engines” and cited our proprietary insights software, “Voice Search Monitor” (VSM) as an example. The recently-released tool tracks how intelligent agents like Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana and Siri respond to questions, and helps brands better understand how these voice agents are communicating back to consumers.“Since our founding in 1998 when Google was redefining how consumers searched for information, 360i has been a pioneer in Search Marketing, helping brands get discovered,” said our President Jared Belsky. “To be recognized as a leader in this space twenty years later demonstrates, in our opinion, sustained excellence in specialized capabilities, even as we continue to develop new practice areas to help brands address what’s next.”This honor follows Forrester’s recognition of 360i as a Leader in its report “The Forrester Wave™: Lead Agencies, Q4 2016” which noted “360i sets the new pace for lead agencies with its ability to both deliver digitally-led strategies and help clients adapt internally to fully realize those strategies…”You can view “The Forrester Wave™: Search Marketing Agencies, Q4 2017” report here.last_img read more

MintFamily with Beth Kobliner: Live, and Let Live…Spend, and Let Spend: What Does Living the Good Life Mean to You?

first_imgDid you know Giving USA reported that in 2018, Americans donated over $410 billion dollars?! It’s around this time of year especiailly that giving back becomes top of mind for many. Whether it’s for a particular occasion or we’re looking… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,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… Full Story,What are some of the biggest lessons you received about money growing up? For me, a few things stand out. We didn’t get too many formal lectures about money, but from time to time, I’d get a lesson sprinkled in here… Full Story,As the year winds down, you may find your spending picks up. With holidays approaching, families may be preparing for trips to see their loved ones or they’re buying gifts. However, if you haven’t been saving beforehand, it can mean… Full Story,While Raleigh is not exactly super close to the beach (we used to have a tiny apartment right across the street from the Chesapeake Bay when we were first married), it’s pretty easy to hop in our car and have… Full Story,How much money are you planning on spending this year during the holidays? For the average American family, it’s a good chunk of change. During the 2017 holiday season, Bank of America found that of those surveyed, they spent on… Full Story,It’s amazing how things change when you have kids. Before kids, weekend getaways and trips were fairly easy. When we needed to take a break, I remember we could look at the calendar and twenty minutes later, have a few… Full Story,How much does your family spend on food? If you’re like most, food is one of your top three expenses (the other two being housing and transportation). While it’s an essential expense for sure, but when digging around those receipts,… Full Story,If you’re a parent, helping your kids avoid or minimize college debt is a goal you’d like to help them tackle. Right now the average price for a public four-year college is $25,290 in-state ($40,940 out of state) while a… Full Storylast_img read more

The Worst Kind of Debt to Carry Is…

first_imgFrom the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,There’s a specific conversation I frequently have with people around my age. As they get closer to middle adulthood and look back on everything they’ve learned about money, they start to wonder – why didn’t they teach us this stuff… Full Story,Depending on what you look for in a card, one of these may be a perfect fit your do-it-yourself projects. Follow along to learn more about these top five credit cards for DIYers. Full Story,In many ways, our credit determines our power as consumers. The strength of our credit profile and score enable us to rent an apartment, take out a car loan, and sign up for a cell phone number. Can you imagine… Full Story,Travel credit cards are available with a wide array of rewards, redemption options, fees, and bonuses. Weeding through so many general and branded travel rewards cards can be tough, so we picked out some favorites for a wide range of travel styles – so you can find the best travel credit card for your wallet.Full Story,Traveling abroad carries with it all sorts of potential credit issues. Some are just mildly annoying, but some can leave you stranded in Amsterdam, relying on the help of a broke friend you haven’t seen since high school. To avoid those issues and everything in between, here are some tips for using credit abroad. Full Story,The top reward credit cards cater to an array of desires. Whether you want to get cash back or earn miles and points toward free travel, the cards below are all a great place to get started.Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated by some of the links that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint Partners were added after the creation… Full Storylast_img read more

10 Reasons Why Social Media Is RUINING Your Relationship

first_imgDISTRACTS YOU FROM LIVING IN THE MOMENTThese days, it’s easy to spend more time scrolling through Instagram than spending actual real-life time with your partner! It doesn’t do any good for your relationship…YOU CAN’T ESCAPE THE PASTTrying to get over your ex is almost impossible when you keep seeing their face pop up on your news feed all the time!OVERSHARINGYou can’t avoid the pressure that comes with social media to share everything about your relationship with the world. Nothing is private anymore!NO MORE LIVING IN THE MOMENTThe oversharing aspect of social media can often ruin precious moments by the need to take a Snapchat of it or update your Facebook status. Where’s the romance gone?JEALOUSY IS SO MUCH EASIERDo you freak out if your boyfriend likes another girl’s photo online? Or what about a comment? Social media gives you more reason than ever to get those feelings of jealousy.CHEATING IS EASIER TOO…Yep, we’re talking about Tinder. With just a swipe of the finger you can talk to someone else…it’s one of the most dangerous effects of social media on relationships!STALKING ALERTSocial media makes it so much easier to get obsessive about stalking your partner’s activity, thanks to apps that show your location. It’s not a healthy habit!CONSTANT COMPARISONSocial media sets unrealistic expectations for relationships! A quick scroll through Instagram is enough to make you doubt whether your relationship is as #couplegoals as some celebrities’ perfect, yet clearly staged, date under the Eiffel Tower…SMDA (SOCIAL MEDIA DISPLAY OF AFFECTION)Whatever happened to actually saying ‘I love you’ in person or surprising your lover with a bouquet of flowers? Now, this has been replaced with a cheesy photo collage with a heart emoji…it’s just not the same, right?RELATIONSHIP STATUS PRESSUREFacebook, in particular, puts huge pressure on couples to define their relationship status to the world! This was never a problem before social media.Sourcelast_img read more

What’s The Difference Between Good Carbs And Bad Carbs?

first_imgCarbs took a reputation hit after the rise of the keto diet—much like Taylor Swift’s stock plummeted after Kim K. leaked the infamous “Famous” phone call.But just like Tay bounced back with her “Reputation” album, carbs are making a comeback, too. They’re actually beneficial for your health and weight—and your body needs them to function.“Carbohydrates are an important source of energy to fuel the body, and they break down to glucose, the brain’s preferred fuel source,” says Maggie Moon, R.D., and author of The MIND Diet.However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. “Carbs aren’t evil, but they come in different forms and portion sizes, and some are certainly healthier than others,” Moon says.What’s a “bad” carb?“I struggle with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ label, as I don’t want to demonize foods or cause food fears for people,” says Moon. But generally speaking, bad carbs are simple, processed carbohydrates that contain added sugars and refined grains. Some of the usual suspects: white bread, pastries, soda, energy drinks, and even white pasta (sorry about that last one).What makes them so bad for you?Bad carbs basically do nothing extra for your bod. “Too many refined grains and added sugars mean you’re getting calories that are stripped of a lot of their nutrition,” says Moon. “It’s just not a great bargain for your health. You’re not getting the nourishment per calorie you could be getting.”Plus, “eating lots of low-fiber and low-nutrient carbs like processed grains and added sugars will lead to excess calories, spiked hunger levels, energy slumps, and often weight gain,” says Dana Angelo White, R.D., and author of Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook. Yikes.While you don’t really ever need added sugar or bad carbs, that doesn’t mean you have to sweat your birthday cupcake or forego a donut when you’re having a major craving. (Come on. We’re all human!)So, what is a “good carb?”Don’t worry—there are some “good” carbs out there. “Generally speaking, healthier carbs come from whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables,” says MoonThey’re considered “good” carbs because of their high fiber content and nutritional profile, as most contain magnesium, protein, and essential vitamins and antioxidants, like A and C. They’re doing a LOT of good for your bod on top of the existing benefits of carbohydrates.Examples of these good carbs include:QuinoaOatmealPopcornBlack beansChickpeasEdamameApplesBananasCarrotsSweet potatoesMost “good carbs” are complex carbohydrates, meaning that they’re made of long chains of carbohydrate molecules that take the body a long time to digest and convert to sugar. Translation: no sugar crash at 3 p.m.How many carbs should you eat?Carbs (particularly the good kind) should make up about 45 to 65 percent of your daily calorie, says Moon. So, for a 1,600-calorie diet, that’s 720 to 1,040 calories worth, or 180 to 260 grams.If you’re not into counting calories (same, tbh) an easier way to make it all balance out at the end of the day is to eat snacks and meals that are about half good carbs, some protein, and some healthy fat, she says.How to decode the labelSure, you can stick to whole foods and grains to get your good carbs. But bad, refined carbs can sneak into some really surprising places.When looking at a nutrition label, first check out the line for total carbohydrates, then see how much of that comes from added sugars (right below it). “Try to avoid added sugars in general, or a good rule of thumb is to try to keep added sugars below 10 grams per serving,” she says.“Fiber is also under carbohydrates, and a good rule of thumb is to look for at least three grams per serving,” Moon adds. “Look at the ingredients statement as well to keep an eye out for good carbs like whole grains, and not-so-great carbs like added sugar or refined grains,” Moon adds. (FYI: Sugar goes by a LOT of different names, so do your homework!)Don’t over-think it though. As long as you’re including good carbs and minimizing bad carbs throughout the day as part of a balanced diet, you’ll be on the right track.Sourcelast_img read more

Why night owls are more likely to die early

first_imgNight owls – people who like to go to bed late and get up late – have a 10 per cent higher risk of dying than early birds, a study found.Research based on 50,000 people in the UK found they had the higher chance of death over the six-and-a-half year period they were being studied.It seems that living in a world geared to early risers damages the health of those who prefer moonlight.And the switch to British Summer Time – pushing the clocks an hour forward in the Spring – makes things even worse for late risers, the scientists said.Kristen Knutson, associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine said: ‘Night owls trying to live in a morning lark world may have health consequences for their bodies.’Previous studies have found that staying up late has bad effects on the heart and metabolism.But night owls still had a 10 per cent higher risk of death after the effects of health were adjusted for.Malcolm von Schantz, Professor of Chronobiology at the University of Surrey, said: ‘This is a public health issue that can no longer be ignored.‘We should discuss allowing evening types to start and finish work later, where practical.‘And we need more research about how we can help evening types cope with the higher effort of keeping their body clock in synchrony with sun time.‘It could be that people who are up late have an internal biological clock that doesn’t match their external environment.‘It could be psychological stress, eating at the wrong time for their body, not exercising enough, not sleeping enough, being awake at night by yourself, maybe drug or alcohol use.‘There are a whole variety of unhealthy behaviours related to being up late in the dark by yourself.’The researchers asked 433,268 participants, age 38 to 73 years, if they are a ‘definite morning type’ a ‘moderate morning type’ a ‘moderate evening type’ or a ‘definite evening type’.Deaths in the sample were tracked up to six and half years later – and then it was calculated what type of person was most likely to die.Professor Knutson said that we are not ‘doomed’ by our biology as even if we are a definite night owl or early bird, there are things that we can change to benefit our health, such as getting more flexibile working hours.Professor Knutson said: ‘If we can recognize these chronotypes are, in part, genetically determined and not just a character flaw, jobs and work hours could have more flexibility for owls.‘They shouldn’t be forced to get up for an 8am shift. Make work shifts match peoples’ chronotypes. Some people may be better suited to night shifts.’The researchers’ next project is to see if night owls are able to shift their body clocks to adapt to an earlier schedule – to see if there are improvements in blood pressure and overall heatlh.The switch to daylight savings or summer time is already known to be much more difficult for evening types than for morning types.Professor von Schantz said pushing the clocks forward in countries that adopt daylight saving time – such as British Summer Time – has negative health effects.He said: ‘There are already reports of higher incidence of heart attacks following the switch to summer time.‘And we have to remember that even a small additional risk is multiplied by more than 1.3 billion people who experience this shift every year. ‘I think we need to seriously consider whether the suggested benefits outweigh these risks.’Sourcelast_img read more

Keeping Heads Above Water: Lessons for Building Resilience After Flooding in South Asia and Texas

first_imgArriving in Katmandu days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, I watched footage of the storm’s torrential rains batter southern Texas and saw heartbreaking images of families trapped on rooftops surrounded by toxic stormwater.Here in Nepal, more than 13,000 kilometers (8,077 miles) away from Houston, the worst monsoon season in years is also inundating villages outside the capital. Extreme flooding has killed more than 1,400 people and impacted 41 million people across South Asia, and heavy rains have also claimed lives in Sierra Leone, China, Indonesia and Niger.Two years ago, my own city Chennai was underwater after an unprecedented monsoon caused local lakes to breach their banks. My heart goes out to families who have lost loved ones and to those who now face the daunting task of restarting their lives.As floodwaters recede, communities around the world must rebuild. While more affluent residents can move to higher ground, poor families will have little choice but to reconstruct their homes in the same vulnerable neighborhoods. But with increasingly unpredictable, intense weather forecasted, many will soon again find themselves wading through waist-high water or evacuating.In this warming world, we must make smarter decisions. Communities from Houston, Texas to Mumbai, India can all learn from these three lessons.Plan for Climate ChangePaddling away from floods in Pakistan in 2010; flash flooding in Karachi killed more than a dozen last week. Flickr/IRIN News It doesn’t have to be this way. Surat officials also approved construction along the banks of a river that winds through the city. But after the 2006 flood, businesses, government agencies and civil society organizations formed a partnership, the Surat Climate Change Trust, and halted construction on the riverbanks. Now the river flows freely, and the city has plans to conserve its coastal ecosystems, including its mangroves forests, which will slow sea level rise and weaken future flooding.Amplify Vulnerable Communities’ VoicesPoor communities—those who live on the cheapest land available, like floodplains, and who lack the resources to evacuate—suffer most when disasters strike. Harvey hit Houston’s low-income neighborhoods hardest. Residents of the low-lying areas say that they have received little help evacuating, and many are struggling to find food, water and shelter. Long-term, they worry about the costs of rebuilding and if they can afford government aid loan programs.Likewise, in Mumbai, informal settlements sprawl across the city’s most vulnerable areas. These citizens are the first to lose their homes, livelihoods and sometimes their lives during monsoon season.Waterside homes in Mumbai. Flickr/Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade It sounds obvious, but we must plan for climate change. Too many communities around the world still lack good resilience strategies and the institutional memory to help citizens withstand climate-related disasters. But when policymakers do factor climate change into decision-making, they can help reduce risks and prepare for climate impacts.Surat, a city of five million people on India’s western coast, is no stranger to floods. It has witnessed 23 in the past 100 years, including an especially destructive flood in 2006. Since then, climate experts have worked with hydrologists to develop new dam protocols to protect the city, and they have trained the public works department staff to manage the dam’s water releases more effectively in a changing climate.Similarly, Dutch officials in Rotterdam are redesigning the sinking city to adapt to sea level rise. The government built a massive sea gate to shield citizens from storm surges, and it constructed lakes, public parks and garages to act as reservoirs if the ocean breaches the gate.By integrating resilience into decision-making, officials in both Surat and Rotterdam have successfully prevented sea level rise and heavy rains from devolving into severe flooding.Go With The Flow and Respect Natural InfrastructureIn Houston, developers built subdivisions across surrounding prairies that some studies estimate can absorb approximately 28 centimeters (11 inches) of rain per hour, leaving few green spaces to take in the stormwater. Urban sprawl across a largely flat city also likely exacerbated flooding, as Hurricane Harvey’s record rains overwhelmed Houston’s drainage systems.Mumbai urban planners have also compromised natural flood management infrastructure, like mangrove forests. Office complexes and apartments have sprung up on the wetlands and mangroves that once helped contain monsoon rains.Surat, in Gujarat, India. Flickr/Saurabh Chatterjeecenter_img Many in these vulnerable communities are also climate resilience leaders. In Bangladesh, villagers developed early warning systems and cyclone shelters that have dramatically reduced fatality rates. Community networks in Chennai played an instrumental role connecting people to rescuers, financial aid and medical care during the 2015 flood.Community-led adaptation in the United States may look different—for example, advocating for local land regulations that limit development in vulnerable locations or improving ecosystem management to reduce climate sensitivity—but including poor communities’ voices in rebuilding efforts is still critical. Doing so will help governments scale local resilience initiatives and ensure that they reach low-income communities.Hurricanes like Harvey and intense flooding will become commonplace in a changing climate. We know that rising sea levels will cause storm surges to swell to new heights, and warmer ocean temperatures will intensify hurricanes. As I write, Caribbean countries are bracing for Category 5 Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic. Millions now stand in the path of the potentially catastrophic hurricane, and those who can are already evacuating. At the same time, precipitation patterns are shifting. Equatorial regions are losing rainwater, while other parts of the world are suffering from increasing rainfall. To keep our heads above water and weather these storms, we must protect people by building stronger, more resilient communities.last_img read more

4 Reasons for Countries to Enhance Their NDCs by 2020

first_imgThe year 2020 will serve as a critical test of the ability of the Paris Agreement to deliver enhanced ambition over time until our collective goals are reached. Countries can do their part by exploring and enacting meaningful options to enhance their NDCs as soon as possible. To help countries identify promising avenues to bring their NDCs into line with the Paris Agreement by 2020, we have developed a menu of options for NDC enhancement.The options cover ways to enhance mitigation ambition and strengthen NDC content on adaptation and implementation and to improve the clarity and transparency with which NDCs are communicated. These options are not mutually exclusive. In many cases, it will be feasible and desirable for a country to strengthen mitigation ambition as well as other facets of their NDC by pursuing multiple options at once. The Paris Agreement was widely hailed for drawing all nations together to tackle climate change, based on bottom-up contributions that will be reviewed and strengthened over time. These contributions are aimed at achieving the ambitious but necessary long-term goals of limiting global temperature increase and building resilience to climate impacts. This process is known as the ambition mechanism, and the first test of whether and how it will work is fast approaching. In 2018, Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will come together to take stock of progress and identify where they can go further, faster to put the goals of the Paris Agreement within reach.Following this process, known as the Talanoa Dialogue, Parties will have the opportunity to communicate new or updated climate commitments, known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs, by 2020.So why should countries communicate new or updated NDCs by 2020?1) Current NDCs Need to Be Strengthened to Achieve the Goals of the Paris AgreementAt the 2015 climate summit in Paris, countries agreed to limit warming to well below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F). The current NDCs, by contrast, would lead to warming in the range of 2.7 to 3.7 degrees C; there remains a significant gap between emissions expected in 2030 and emissions compatible with the Paris goals. The longer countries wait to bring their commitments into line with the Paris goals, the more difficult it will be and the steeper the rate at which emissions will need to decline. Because fossil-fueled power plants and inefficient buildings have long life spans, achieving an ever-steeper reduction rate can become expensive and technically difficult. The sooner NDCs reflect the necessary ambition to achieve the Paris goals, the sooner they can signal to redirect investments away from high-emitting technologies.2) Parties Can Seize Economic and Social Benefits of Updating their NDCsThe current NDCs were developed by Parties ahead of Paris, quickly and with no certainty of the final outcome. With the Paris Agreement now in force and with implementation guidelines to be finalized at the end of 2018, Parties can factor in recent innovations and declining costs of renewable energy to take advantage of opportunities in key sectors to send accurate signals to investors. Many countries have long-term plans and strategies related to climate, development, and economic objectives. Taking the opportunity now to align NDCs with these long-term goals and strategies will avoid locking in high emissions that will exacerbate climate vulnerabilities. For example, analysis has revealed the high potential for synergies between achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the NDCs.The next years could offer new areas of cost-effective climate action. Lastly, many countries have already made substantial progress and some appear to be on track to exceed the targets in their current NDCs.3) It Provides an Opportunity to Engage Stakeholders and Create Support for Climate ActionEnhancing NDCs provides an opportunity to rally support for climate action, strengthen public participation and ensure that relevant stakeholders help to create a strategic vision. The opportunity to review and update the NDCs by 2020 enables Parties to learn from their initial experience and identify ways to engage a broader range of stakeholders to access new information and enhance ownership of the NDC, within and outside government. Enhancing engagement with businesses and other non-state actors, as well as subnational governments, could also reveal additional mitigation potential or innovations that help drive enhanced ambition.4) This Can Send Powerful Signals to Decision-MakersNDCs send powerful signals to inform decision-making by a wide range of actors, not only to the international community, but also domestically. Ensuring the targets, actions and measures in an NDC reflect the latest thinking, sectoral opportunities and potential of a country is important to spur policy development, innovation in research and development, and ensure public and private investment is channeled appropriately and in line with national objectives.Updating NDCs by 2020 will also kick-start the virtuous cycle of ambition at the heart of the Paris Agreement, inducing greater ambition from other Parties thereby leveling the playing field in a globalized economy.last_img read more