UK to Raise ‘Persecution’ of Minorities in India During Commonwealth Meet

first_imgBritain will bring up the issue of the alleged oppression of minorities like Sikhs and Christians in India at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and Windsor in April, the  Hindustan Times reported.The decision has been taken following last week’s debate at Westminster Hall of the House of Commons on “Freedom of religion or belief” where members of parliament cited details of suspected persecution in countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and others, the report added. The MPs demanded that the issue should be discussed when the commonwealth leaders visit the country for CHOGM.Quoting from some reports, Martin Docherty-Hughes of the Scottish National Party (SNP) said that India was one of the most unsafe countries to practice Christianity. He mentioned the detention of his constituent, Jagtar Singh Johal, in Punjab. Docherty-Hughes claimed that “members of the Sikh community across the United Kingdom have become gravely concerned that they, too, may be detained on the simple premise of being a member of the Sikh faith,” HT reported.Johal, a UK National, was taken into custody on Nov. 4 along with four others by the Punjab Police in a terror module case when he was visiting India for his wedding.The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said that it would want to see the transcripts of the debate before commenting on the issue, according to the report.The issue of the alleged persecutions of Christians was raised by Docherty-Hughes and Fabian Hamilton of Labour Party. Docherty-Hughes said that ancient roots of Christianity are in India.“The Republic of India, the world’s largest democracy, has a legal system based on common law, is a signatory to many UN declarations, including on human rights, and is a Commonwealth nation,” said Docherty-Hughes.“My frequent jousting partner, the hon. Member for West Dunbartonshire (Docherty-Hughes), alluded to a consular case that we continue to work closely on,” said Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Minister for Asia and Pacific Mark Field in response to the debate.Field added that Docherty-Hughes made some thoughtful points about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and about Christian and Sikh minorities in India. “We will do our best to raise some of those in an appropriate manner at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in mid-April, to ensure that Parliament’s voice is properly heard,” Field added.When Modi is in London for the CHOGM from April 16 to 20, bilateral meetings are also expected to be held between him and UK Prime Minister Theresa May. This will be Modi’s second visit to London as prime minister, the first one being in November 2015. Related ItemsCommonwealthNarendra ModiUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

Mobile Phone Emerging as Most Critical Device for Indians: Study

first_imgAfter India’s independence, the mobile phone has enabled its citizens to overcome geographic barriers and socio-economic status, according to a recent study by Qualcomm and CyberMedia Research (CMR).The study found that the smartphone has contributed to personal security in India for 76 per cent people, enhanced quality of life for 66 per cent, and personal independence of 63 per cent people. Seventy five percent of Indians surveyed say they have enhanced knowledge of the world and the smartphone offers way to spend time via access to social media, music and videos, which bring joy to 8 out of 10 Indians. A day in India starts and ends for most people with their smartphone. Within 30 minutes of waking up, 69 per cent of Indians reach for their phone. Smartphones are also a way for 43 per cent of them to access government services of information.“The smartphone market in India is growing at an exceptional pace and the opportunities therein are limitless,” Larry Paulson, the vice president and president of Qualcomm India. “Adding impetus to the growth is affordability of data services, thus enabling Indians to gain access to many services including various schemes and services offered by the Government of India.” He added that the smartphone enables consumers in India to not just communicate, but to go online and perform many key functions in their lives, such as learning new information, connecting to friends, making and accepting payments, navigating through traffic, accessing government services, finding and applying for jobs and more.No other nation has embraced mobile phones the way India has, according to Apalak Ghosh, head – Industry Consulting Group (ICG), CMR. “By connecting Indians to the internet, mobile phones have opened many new possibilities for them to perform key functions: whether it is communications or education, transportation or emergency situations, e-commerce or government interface,” he said.A majority of those who were surveyed do not own a desktop, laptop, or a tablet and use smartphone as their access point for digital world. “While the survey findings indicate the myriad contexts in which mobile phones have enabled India, I believe the most encouraging and positive takeaway is the sense of personal security and independence gained by women,” Prabhu Ram, head – Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, pointed out. Related Itemscellphone use IndiaIndians mobile phonesLittle IndiaQualcomm CyberMedia Research IndiaSmartphones in Indialast_img read more

Gay in India, Where Progress Has Come Only With Risk

first_imgIf you had told Ayesha Kapur 10 years ago that she would help lead the fight against one of the world’s oldest laws criminalizing gay sex, she would never have believed you. For most of her life, Kapur was afraid to ever speak of her sexuality.Growing up in New Delhi during the 1980s, Kapur knew of no gay women, no reference points from Bollywood movies that could provide the vocabulary for what she was feeling. The word “lesbian,” she said, was “like a bad word.”Three decades later, Kapur, who describes herself as deeply private and mostly apolitical, became a member of the first group of gay petitioners to challenge the law, known as Section 377.Ayesha Kapur, a businesswoman who is one of the petitioners challenging Section 377 in court, in Delhi, India. Photo Credit: Vivek Singh for The New York TimesIn stepping forward, Kapur, 43, and other petitioners admitted to the court that they were criminals under a law routinely used as a cover to harass, blackmail and sexually assault gay people.“According to the law of the land, I can be handcuffed,” she said. “It’s a very real prospect. Nothing stops the police from coming to the homes of the petitioners.”This summer, India’s Supreme Court is expected to consider those petitions as it reviews Section 377’s constitutionality, creating a surge of hope for lawyers and activists who have been campaigning against the law for years.But hope is tempered by years of disappointment. Even now, it is an act of calculated risk to identify publicly as being gay in India, or to advocate for change.In interviews conducted over three months, gay and transgender Indians from across the country described the cost of living in a country that has forced them to be outlaws: shunning by parents, social isolation, few protections in the workplace, and a frightening vulnerability to both police abuse and sexual assault with limited legal recourse.Kapur, who works in the food and beverages industry, said she came forward because she had finally had enough of all that.“Why are we invisible?” she asked. “Because we have made ourselves invisible? Or have we been made invisible? I don’t want to be seen as a criminal. That is what this is about.”In Bilaspur, a sun-cracked city in central India, Rajesh Yadav, slim with sharp cheek bones, said she had been gang-raped four times in less than one year, beaten with a brick and nearly thrown out of a moving vehicle because of her sexuality.“I would beg them to leave me every time, but they would beat me and use violence against me and then rape me,” said Yadav, 25, who identifies as a gay cross-dresser and prefers female pronouns. “If I start telling you my story, several nights would pass.”A., a young gay man who asked to be identified only by his first initial, shared a similar account.When A., 22, made plans to meet a man from an instant messaging application in eastern India, he was greeted instead by two different men, one of them in a police uniform, who drugged and raped him, he said. Afterward, one of the men took a selfie with A. “I was afraid he would blackmail me,” he said.Neither of them considered approaching the police to report the crimes, fearing the consequences of doing so.“Section 377 is cruel,” A. said. “It is being misused to harm people like me. It makes people hide.”In 2014, when a Bangalore-based doctor did come forward after several men he had sex with extorted about $25,000 from him, police arrested the men, but then booked the doctor under Section 377, said Danish Sheikh, an assistant professor at Jindal Global Law School in New Delhi.“The doctor here becomes both victim and perpetrator,” he said. “The law has a chilling effect on your ability to access justice.”Victims of blackmail or sexual assault often hesitate to approach police for just that reason, fearing they will be arrested — or worse. “The rich ones, they will extort money from; the poor ones, they will use for sexual favors,” said Mohnish Malhotra, a gay-rights activist in New Delhi.“Nobody talks about these experiences,” he added. “This is not a conversation that people are comfortable with here in India.”But India was once at ease with depictions of same-sex love and gender fluidity. In Hinduism, gods transform into goddesses and men bear children. Rekhti, a genre of poetry that flourished in India from the late 1700s, describes erotic encounters between women.When British colonizers arrived in India, that acceptance of homosexuality eroded.In the 1860s, the British introduced Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The law imposed a fine, 10 years’ imprisonment or a life sentence on “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature.”Section 377 is generally applied to sex between men, but it officially extends to anybody engaged in anal or oral sex.Activists said there had been a few advances in the years since India won independence in 1947, including when government literature distributed in schools last year recognized same-sex attraction. But homophobia here is still often expressed with predatory behavior, and Section 377 narrows channels for recourse.The push to strike down Section 377 began in earnest in 2000, when a terrified young man showed up at the Naz Foundation, an HIV advocacy organization in New Delhi, pleading for help.Anjali Gopalan, center, who runs the Naz Foundation, an HIV-patient advocacy group, in her office in New Delhi. Photo: New York TimesAnjali Gopalan, who runs the organization, said the man’s parents had taken him to a government hospital where he was forced to undergo electroshock therapy to “make him straight.”After she relayed the man’s plight to India’s National Human Rights Commission, the commission said it could not help the man because he was gay and therefore a criminal. “I was horrified,” she said.Soon after, Gopalan filed a lawsuit challenging Section 377, fending off death threats until 2009, when a high court in New Delhi ruled that the law could not be applied to consensual sex. But appeals were filed by Christian, Muslim and Hindu groups and the law wasrestored by India’s Supreme Court in 2013.Thousands of gay people who had come out of the closet in 2009 were swiftly pushed back in. Some wealthier Indians left the country for good.“For the first time, I thought I needed to move out,” said the chef Ritu Dalmia, another petitioner challenging Section 377. “There was this fear — absolute fear.”In their judgment, the Supreme Court justified the ruling by writing that only a “minuscule fraction of the country’s population constitute lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders.” Since its inception, the court said, less than 200 people had been prosecuted under Section 377.But figures released by the National Crime Records Bureau, which tracks police complaints, suggest that many more cases are lodged, lawyers said. In 2014, the first year the bureau says it started tracking Section 377 cases, 1,148 complaints were filed. In 2016, the number had nearly doubled to 2,187. That year, over 1,600 cases were sent for trial.Ritu Dalmia, a chef and restaurateur who will be challenging Section 377 in court, at her restaurant in Delhi, India. . Photo Credit: Vivek Singh/The New York TimesDrawing conclusions from the data is difficult. There is often no way to tell on police complaints whether sex was consensual. Many complaints are filed by third parties who make their own judgments, Sheikh said.“It is very rarely the survivor who is filing the case,” he said. “The father would file the case saying that, ‘I caught this other person doing a wrongful act with my son.’”Responding to the court’s ruling, a team of lawyers led by Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju submitted a writ petition in 2016 on behalf of gay Indians. The petition challenged Section 377 on the basis that it violated their rights to equality and liberty, among other infractions, under India’s Constitution.“We always felt that there was a void,” Guruswamy said, “the absence of LGBT individuals saying, ‘This constitution is mine as well.’”Initially, three other petitioners joined Kapur and Dalmia: Navtej Singh Johar, a dancer; Sunil Mehra, a journalist; and Aman Nath, a hotelier.Over the last few weeks, emboldened by that group, petitions were filed by 26 others, including Arif Jafar, whose outreach program for gay and transgender people was shut down in 2001 by police who said he was accepting funds from Pakistan to turn Indian men gay.Jafar was booked under Section 377 and other laws and spent 47 days in jail, where he was beaten by inmates.Though most of the petitioners are financially independent, protections that insulate them from the dangers that many gay Indians face, public opinion has slowly shifted in some places. Pride parades were popping up in cities. Parents were coming forward to support their gay children.Kapur took her own steps. She left a corporate job where she worked with “superb people” but felt bothered by co-workers assuming that everyone in the office was straight. In 2009, she also came out to her mother, who died of lung cancer shortly after the conversation.“After I lost my mother, I became a bit fearless,” Kapur said. “In death, she gave me courage.”Even if the Supreme Court excludes consensual sex from the law, lawyers said its archaic language means a legislative amendment is needed to protect people who are gay. Still, Kapur felt hopeful. Messages of support had overwhelmed negative ones, she said.After the Supreme Court referred Section 377 to a larger bench in January, Kapur’s father mailed her a framed newspaper clipping of an article from The Times of India profiling the “Famous & Fearless 5.”Under the clipping, he scrawled a note: “Your mother would have been so proud.”© 2018 New York Times News Service Related Itemslast_img read more

Mauritius Promises Support for Recognition of Hindi as Official UN Language

first_imgMauritius will do its best to support the recognition of Hindi as an official language at the United Nations, Defense Minister Anerood Jugnauth said at the 11th World Hindi Conference in Port Louis on Aug. 21. Highlighting the important role played by Hindi in the development of Mauritius at a social, economic and political levels, Jugnauth said that his country will make efforts to expand the reach of Hindi.“It is time that like other languages, Hindi also gets its place at the international stage. We refer to India as ‘Bharat Mata,’ which makes Mauritius its son. The son knows its duty,” Jugnauth said, PTI reported. “The son, Mauritius, will go all out to support the recognition of Hindi as an official language at the United Nations,” the Indian-origin minister added.Acting President of Mauritius, Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory, also praised the rich heritage of Hindi at the three-day event, and said that the language will strengthen world peace. Hindi is currently at a very encouraging state and it will find a place as the seventh recognized language in the United Nations, Vyapoory said, according to ANI.On the concluding day of the event, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj distributed Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards to 10 persons of Indian origin. Sarojini Jugnauth, the wife of Defense Minister Anerood Jugnauth, and Education Minister Leela Devi Dookun were among the recipients of the OCI cards on the occasion.External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar took to Twitter to share the news, calling it as the reinforcement of the emotional connect between Mauritius and India.Reinforcing the emotional connect with India. EAM @SushmaSwaraj hands over OCI cards to 10 Mauritian nationals with Indian ancestry, including to the wife of the Mentor Minister, Lady Sarojini Jugnauth and to the Education Minister Leela Devi Dookun.— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) August 20, 2018Swaraj also remembered former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee by reciting some of his poems.Mauritian Prime Minister and Swaraj also released two new postage stamps, with one carrying the image of the national flags of both the countries while the other features the image of the national birds, peacock and dodo — symbol of this year’s conference. The dodo symbolizes the gradual obsolescence of Hindi and the Indian peacock will come to save the dodo, PTI reported.The Hindi conference, organized during Aug.18-20 by the governments of India and the Republic of Mauritius, was also attended by Goa Governor Mridula Sinha and West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, besides other leaders from both the countries. Around 2,000 delegates from across the world participated in the event.The theme of the conference this year was “Hindi Vishwa Aur Bharatiya Sanskriti.” Many deliberation sessions, exhibitions, kavi sammelan, and felicitation ceremony were organized during the three-day event. Scholars, academicians, teachers and institutions working for Hindi in India and other countries were honored with the “Vishwa Hindi Samman” at the conference.The World Hindi Conference was started in 1975 to spread the Hindi language around the world. Mauritius hosted the event for the third time. The last conference was held at Bhopal in India.Hindi is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world, behind Mandarin, Spanish, English and Arabic, and is gaining more visibility in foreign countries. It is the 11th most popular foreign language, and the most popular spoken Indian language in the United States, spoken by 810,000 people in the country, the 2016 American Community Survey revealed.The Sri Lankan tourist police was recently directed to learn Hindi to better serve the large number of Indian tourists who visit the island nation. Related ItemsDiasporaHindiMauritiuslast_img read more

Does Indian Citizenship for Tibetans Dilute its Cause Against China

first_imgThe news of the first Tibetan born in India to get the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) certificate was met with some obvious elation among the community members, but it also sparked discussions about the reservation that many hold about identifying themselves through Indian documents. Namgyal Samdup was born in Bylakuppe, India, in 1978, and moved to Canada in 1999. The Calgary-based Canadian citizen received his OCI certificate on July 12.Not an Easy Decision to MakeWhile Samdup ensured that he got the document after a long-drawn process, not everyone considers it an easy decision to make. The Indian government earlier this year announced that Tibetan refugees born in India during 1950-87 will be able to get Indian passports, after accepting a Delhi High Court ruling from 2016 that had asked for Tibetan refugees to be considered Indian citizens. The Ministry of External Affairs put forth a condition under which those applying for Indian passports will have to surrender their refugee status and leave Tibetan settlements.In March this year, Lobsang Wangyal, 47, had become the first Tibetan to get the Indian passport. “I feel like a real person now, having obtained a passport,” said Wangyal, who had approached the court to demand his right to an Indian passport, Quint quoted him as saying in an earlier interview. “Tibetans are seen as refugees and as stateless in India. Being seen that way after having been born and living our whole lives in India is unfair and impractical,” he told the website.The new rules resulted in a rush among Tibetans to apply for Indian passports. Parveen Mohan Sahay, an official at Regional passport office Shimla, said that the number of Tibetans who had applied for Indian passports in Himachal is about to hit 200 now, according to a Times of India report.Diluting the Cause?The inclination of Tibetan refugees towards getting Indian documents was, however, discouraged by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the global headquarters of Tibetans living across 40 countries. The CTA issued a letter to Tibetan settlements in India, asking them not to give any supporting documents to those applying for passports, and asking them to advise people not to give up their Tibetan identities, the TOI report added.Tibetans in India who are against the policy argue that it may dilute the efforts of the community over the last half a century for a free Tibet. The fear was expressed clearly as early as 2015 when the Election Commission issued a directive allowing Tibetan refugees to register for voter identity cards that would help them acquire Indian citizenship.“Acquiring Indian citizenship will knock the bottom out of their reason for living in exile with a determination to return to their motherland or see her become free at some point in time,” NK Trikha, national convener of Core Group for Tibetan Cause, an organization supporting Tibet’s independence from Chinese rule, was quoted as saying by PTI at the time. “The cost will be too heavy for the overall Tibetan cause,” he had warned.Tibetan-IndiansHowever, the issue is not just one concerning the cause of Tibet  against  China, argues Mila Rangzen, a US armed forces veteran working as an immigration translator in New York, in an article for the Tibet Sun. “One major argument put forward is that once Tibetans in India become Tibetan-Indians, we will lose the legitimacy of fighting for Tibetan freedom,” Rangzen writes.He, however, points out that the problem lies within the “double standards” practiced by the CTA. “At face value, this seems like a good reason, but underneath the surface it is a pure lie, and double standard too. For example, Tibetan-Americans, Tibetan-Canadians, or Tibetan-English face no such problems. They are actually at the forefront of peaceful street protests.”About 1,50,000 Tibetans live around the world, out of which 1,20,000 are estimated to be living in India. Tibetans first sought asylum in India when Dalai Lama fled Lhasa in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese occupation, and established his government in exile in Dharamsala. Tibetans in India are not refugees or citizens; they are foreigners living in special settlements on humanitarian grounds.Rangzen highlights that the OCI status, gives Tibetans every right that an Indian citizen has except voting. “And it does not stipulate that you cannot fight for the Tibetan cause, however vague that might be,” he says. “There is no international law set in stone that with foreign passports, you cannot fight for the freedom of your home country. As long as you don’t collude with the enemy of your adopted country, it’s all well.” Related ItemsDalai LamaLittle IndiaLobsang Wangyal passportNamgyal Samdup OCITibet China stand-offTibetan refugee status IndiaTibetans India OCI statusTibetans Indian passportlast_img read more

India-origin Man Charged for Sexual Assault on Nurse in Singapore

first_imgPillai Shyam Kumar Sadashivan, a managing director of a firm based in Dubai, was convicted on Monday for molesting a private nurse who was hired to take care of his wife who is a cancer patient in Singapore.The 47-year-old Indian national allegedly spoke about not being able to have sex with his wife in recent past because of her illness before sexually assaulting the nurse, Today Online reported.Inappropriate BehaviourSadashivan had come to Singapore on a long-term visit pass with his wife for the purpose of his wife’s cancer treatment. A 25-year-old Singaporean nurse was hired to help take care of the wife.In December last year, when his wife was asleep, Sadashivan told the nurse that “girls in Dubai provide extra services” and asked her if she is one of them. After she spurned his move, Sadashivan molested her.Sentenced and FinedThe next day, the victim returned to care for his wife as “the company was concerned over the fulfilment of the contract”. A police report was subsequently filed.Sadashivan is expected to be sentenced on October 5. He is currently out on bail of S$15,000. He faces up to two years in jail along with fine and caning for molestation. Related ItemsIndian sexual assault SingaporeIndian Singapore crimeLittle IndiaNRI crime SingaporePillai Shyam Kumar SadashivanSadashivan sexual assault Singaporelast_img read more

Manchester United defeats Chelsea, advances to FA Cup quarterfinals

first_imgGrace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Chris Smalling might have put United in front after nine minutes, but Kepa Arrizabalaga saved the weak header before Chelsea’s best stretch of the game.United’s Sergio Romero then made two saves in quick succession, punching David Luiz’s free kick to Pedro, whose volley was gathered by the goalkeeper.Eden Hazard later curled wide before Gonzalo Higuain headed narrowly off target from a cross by Cesar Azpilicueta.Pogba, deployed on the left of United’s midfield, set up the opening goal when he crossed from the left to Herrera, who headed in unnoticed at the back post.A second goal followed as Pogba won the ball in midfield, fed Marcus Rashford down the right wing and was then found by Rashford’s pinpoint cross.Hazard tried to spark Chelsea in the second half by cutting in from the right, but his shot was blocked by Victor Lindelof.Chelsea fans then started to grow restless, greeting Sarri’s predictable substitution of Willian for Pedro with sarcastic applause and doing so again when Mateo Kovacic was replaced by Ross Barkley.“You don’t know what you’re doing” was followed by a chant of “you’re getting sacked in the morning,” and more boos followed when Davide Zappacosta replaced Azpilicueta.United will face Wolverhampton in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup, which will take place March 15-17. Manchester City will travel to Swansea, Millwall will host Brighton and Watford will face Crystal Palace. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Sarri, who replaced Antonio Conte in the summer, went unbeaten over his first 18 games in all competitions but has won just six of 12 games since Jan. 1.“I can understand the situation and our fans, because the result wasn’t really good,” Sarri said. “We are out of the FA Cup, so I can understand. But I am worried about our results.“We were unlucky. In the first half, we played better than the opponent and, at the end of the first half, it was 2-0 to them, so we played confused football in the second half. But, in the first half, we played well. We need, of course, more aggression, more determination.”A change of manager has had the desired effect for United, which appointed Solskjaer after firing Jose Mourinho on Dec. 18.Sarri selected a predictable lineup and Chelsea began well, but United grew into the game and always looked dangerous.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Manchester United caretaker head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauds fans at the end of the English FA Cup fifth round soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Manchester United won 2-0. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)LONDON — Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba each scored first-half goals as Manchester United defeated Chelsea 2-0 on Monday at Stamford Bridge to advance to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.United, which has lost just once in interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 13 games in charge, has reached the quarterfinals of the competition for the fifth consecutive season.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Ex-Man United winger Nani joins Orlando City of MLS LATEST STORIES MOST READ View comments A rematch of last year’s final won by Chelsea, Herrera put United ahead in the 31st minute and Pogba came through just before halftime to double the lead.United had not played since losing 2-0 to Paris Saint-Germain in the opening leg of the Champions League round of 16 last week — a defeat that ended Solskjaer’s unbeaten start.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“You want to see a reaction,” Solskjaer said Monday. “There’s a balance between being too eager (and not) after losing a game, so this was brilliant.”The game took an odd twist late as Chelsea fans fed up with manager Maurizio Sarri joined their United counterparts in chanting for his firing. US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

Rafael Nadal joins Andy Murray in Barcelona Open semi-finals

first_imgRafael Nadal survived a difficult start to see off Chung Hyeon of South Korea in straight sets and reach the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open for a 10th time on Friday.The unseeded Chung, 20, went 3-1 up against the 14-time Grand Slam champion in the first set on the newly renamed Rafa Nadal Court at the Real Tennis Club and forced a tie-break, which the Spaniard eventually won with little trouble.The newly crowned Monte Carlo Masters champion made light work of the second set, rounding off a 7-6(1) 6-2 victory in the Barcelona sunshine with an ace to set up a semi-final on Saturday against Argentine Horacio Zeballos, who beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 6-4 6-1.”I have to be honest, I had hardly seen him play, all I had to go on were videos which I watched yesterday,” Nadal said of the little-known Chung.”These young players have a lot of character so I took to the court with respect, perhaps too much, but in the second set I started dominating.”Nadal has won every semi-final he has played in the Barcelona Open, where he is chasing a 10th title.World number one Andy Murray also made the semi-finals but had to dig deep to overcome Albert Ramos-Vinolas 2-6 6-4 7-6(4), avenging his defeat by the Spaniard in the Monte Carlo Masters last week.Briton Murray was overpowered by Ramos-Vinolas in the first set and had to save three break points in the ninth game of the second before tying the match. He then lost his first service game in the third set.advertisementRamos-Vinolas, who took a few minutes’ rest in the final set to shake off muscle discomfort, was again unable to seize the chance to see off the number one seed, who came out stronger to win the tiebreak.”It was obviously a very tough match. It was kind of the opposite of the match we had last week, where probably today he deserved to win, he created a lot more chances, he served for the match and couldn’t quite get it,” Murray told reporters.”Last week I had 4-0, I felt like I had all of the chances and sometimes on clay matches happen this way so I’m very happy to get through.”I started coming to the net more and volleying, I felt like I started to dictate more of the points and that was a big difference.”Murray will play Dominic Thiem on Saturday after the Austrian booked his place in the last four earlier on Friday by easing past Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-1 6-2.last_img read more

Real Estate Q&A: Rental Property Tax Deductions and Risk in Real Estate Investments

first_imgHow much do you pay for heating? Depending on where you live, it’s a good chunk of money during the wintertime. Even though we live in the South (in lovely Raleigh!), we’re not immune to getting some cold weather.   With winter coming… Full Story,Tips to help turn those homebuying dreams into reality. From outstanding credit card debt to massive student loans, financial difficulties are barring more and more millennials from becoming homeowners. While the vision of buying a first home may seem hopelessly… Full Story,When most people imagine buying a house, they think about how many bedrooms they need or what kind of porch they want. When they think about homebuying costs, they decide how much to put down and what their maximum home… Full Story,One of my favorite shows is Sex and the City. Those women lived glamorous lives I could only dream about. And, Carrie, a writer, was living my dream life as a famous writer in Manhattan. One of the storylines that… Full Story,Last year, my husband and I were packing up our Denver apartment to prepare for our move back to his home state of Indiana. We’d put an offer in on a house and had only given ourselves a couple of… Full Story,A few years ago Dave Munson and his family decided to move from their 5,600-square-feet, 8-bedroom house in the city of San Antonio, Texas, to a smaller, unique living situation: tents. Well, fancy, upscale tents that total 2,000 square feet… Full Story,It’s a well-known fact that your personal environment affects your mental health. If you live in a beautifully decorated home with plenty of plants and green space nearby, your risk for anxiety and depression is lower. If you spend your… Full Story,My husband and I were so excited to buy our house. We’d been renting since college and were eager to have our own place. Finally, no one could tell us how many dogs we could have or how many posters… Full Story,Last summer, I was forced to relocate out of my cozy, bungalow-style apartment in West L.A. Living in one of the most unaffordable rental markets in the U.S., I was resigned to the fact that, to enjoy my ideal setup… Full Story,When you buy a home, you’re making an investment in yourself and your future. You’re building  financial stability, equity, and experience. You have a place to call your own and you can customize the space just how you want. As… Full Storylast_img read more

Millennial Credit Crash Course (Infographic)

first_imgHave a question for Farnoosh? You can submit your questions via Twitter @Farnoosh, Facebook or email at (please note “Mint Blog” in the subject line).Farnoosh Torabi is America’s leading personal finance authority hooked on helping Americans live their richest, happiest lives. From her early days reporting for Money Magazine to now hosting a primetime series on CNBC and writing monthly for O, The Oprah Magazine, she’s become our favorite go-to money expert and friend. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedUsing Rebuilding Credit Cards to Rebuild Your Credit ScoreApril 20, 2018In “Credit Info”How to Get Rid of Closed Accounts on Credit ReportsJanuary 13, 2014In “Credit Info”College Students: Here are The Biggest Financial Mistakes You Need to AvoidAugust 21, 2018In “Budgeting” I opened up several credit cards within the first semester of college. Each time, I earned some sort of cool promotional item – a shot glass, a tee-shirt, a Penn State keychain. When the cards arrived in the mail a week later, I didn’t really bother to use them and when I did, I wasn’t aware of the fine print. When bills arrived in the mail, I just paid the minimum balance, thinking that was all well and good.I had no idea what I’d really gotten myself into.College can be a popular time to establish credit. According to a survey by credit reporting agency Experian, 58% of soon-to-be college graduates possess a credit card, making average monthly charges of over $500.Opening a credit card when you’re young can be a helpful way to achieve a strong credit score in the future. The length of your credit history is equal to 15% of your FICO credit score. The earlier you establish credit, the longer your credit history becomes and credit score calculators consider this a plus.But it can only work to your advantage if you commit to managing credit responsibly and educating yourself on the rules and best practices surrounding credit usage and credit health. This includes credit cards, student loans and other types of credit.Specifically with credit cards, since 2009, the laws have changed whereby those under the age of 21 cannot open a credit card without a cosigner or proving they can afford to make the payments (i.e. have income). The CARD Act (aka The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act), which implemented this rule, also bans banks and card issuers from marketing credit cards to college students.Still, there are smart and responsible ways to establish credit when you’re young. Here’s the credit advice and education I would have given my 18-year-old self back in the day.Student loans can help you established credit.While a large part of your credit score relies on how well you manage revolving debt, like a credit card, student loans also play an influential role. Student loans and mortgages, which you pay back in equal installments every month, are what are known as installment loans.  Be sure to be current and on time with your student loans. While they’re often hailed as “good debt,” a missed payment or delinquency can make life miserable.Credit cards are not free money.It’s really, really easy to spend when using a credit card. In fact, it’s a lot less painful than using cash, research has found.Resist temptation and if you’re prone to impulse purchases, avoid keeping the card in your wallet.Instead, leave it in a drawer at home and link a couple online bills to the card and charge routine expenses to it like a utility bill or gym membership fee. Only spend what you can pay back in full, reconciling the bill with an automatic transfer from your checking or savings account when the balance is due. This way you’re still “using” the card, but not making it all too convenient to swipe (or dip, as it now is). All the while, you’re establishing great credit.Bad behavior can haunt you for years to come.Just like with student loans, one missed payment on a credit card can stain your credit report for years. Later, when you’ve graduated and long forgotten about the incident, a future lender or landlord might take that into account as they review your credit report. They may think twice about lending you money or even offering you the keys to a lease. Steer clear of late payments by automatically scheduling payments to your credit card each month.Talk to a parent or older friend before opening a card.As part of your due diligence, before opening a credit card, speak with someone older and more experienced. Speak with a parent or older friend for their advice. How did they establish credit? What credit card do they have and why?Can’t qualify? Avoid cosigning with parents.If you’re under the age of 21 and don’t have income to prove you can afford credit card payments, you may be tempted to ask a parent to co-sign the credit card offer with you. But realize that you are putting a parent equally on the hook for payments. If you can’t make a payment, the card issuer goes after the co-signer.Instead, consider becoming an authorized user on one of your parent’s cards. Their good behavior with the card – paying on time and in full – is something that gets reported on your credit report and boosts your credit health. On the flip side, you may not want to go down this path if mom or dad is not financially responsible. Negative activity on the card also gets reported on your credit report.As an authorized user you can receive your own copy of the credit card with your name on it. Make a plan with your parent to know how much is OK to spend on the card each month and how to pay back your portion.Avoid applying for multiple cards.Each time you apply for credit, the lender or card issuer reviews your credit profile by pulling your credit report. This is considered a “hard inquiry,” and multiple hard inquiries can injure your credit score by several points.Hard inquiries usually lose their impact after a year, but better to do your research and be very selective, and apply for the one card you have a very strong sense for which you’ll qualify. Mint has a great tool to help you find the right credit card here.Check your credit report. It’s free!Did you know that you can review your credit report at no cost each year? And you can do so from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies? Yep, it’s your legal right. Visit to download your credit report from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.Periodically it’s important to review your credit report to ensure that your credit usage is being reported accurately.  Take a close look all the types of credit listed on the report and the status of each credit card or loan. This is important because information recorded on a credit report directly impacts your credit score (which you can review for free on your mint dashboard.) Post navigationlast_img read more

How to Create a Flexible Grocery List to Save Money

first_img#1 Have three options for breakfast – buy the one with the best price.Go to the grocery store with three possibilities in mind – perhaps eggs, yogurt and granola, and oatmeal – and buy the one that is cheapest. Maybe your favorite granola is having a sale that week – buy that – or maybe oatmeal is more cost effective because it will last you longer. I find it is easiest to choose when I have three options and narrow it down, rather than going with no plan at all. Post navigation #2 Pick a theme.Perhaps you are craving Mexican or Indian or Mediterranean food that week – let that choice guide your shopping. This will create parameters to help guide you, as to avoid coming home with food items you don’t need or won’t go together. #3 Loosely structure a grocery list. The example below will help you understand this point further, but the general idea is to create a list full of “generics” that can be tailored to your theme and sale prices. This may look like: 1 grain, 1 protein, 3 vegetables, 2 herbs, etc. (See example list below.) Over the next few months I’ll be covering a variety of ways to be healthy on a budget. Keep an eye out for those and head over to Brewing Happiness for healthy recipe inspiration in the meantime! Example Meals: Salad with greens, chopped raw vegetables, protein, herbs, cheese, and olive oil and lemon for dressing. Served with fruit on the side.Wrap with greens, cooked vegetables, protein, cheese and herbs. Served with fruit on the side.Roasted sheet pan meal with vegetables and protein, topped with herbs, cheese, and lemon juice.Grain bowl with protein, greens, cooked or raw vegetables, herbs, lemon and olive oil for dressing.Frittata with eggs, vegetables, greens, cheese, and herbs baked.I hope you try out this flexible grocery list concept – it will save some money, while inspiring some new work lunches or family dinners!Follow along! 1 carbtortillas, flatbread, potatoes, etc. #5 Don’t forget the essentials.Always add oils, spices, flour, herbs, and lemon to your grocery list. These things can help diversify your meals by creating marinades or dressings. They can also be customized based on the theme or what is on sale.To illustrate just how easy this can be,  I’ve provided an example grocery list along with three meal possibilities you could make! 1 greenspinach, romaine, swiss chard, kale, etc. 3-4 vegetablesred onion, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc. 1 cheesecotijia, goat cheese, Mexican cheese, etc. Welcome back to the collaboration between Mint and Brewing Happiness. I’m Haley, the girl behind Brewing Happiness – a blog about celebrating the small healthy choices we make in our lives, complete with recipes for everybody!  I’m here to give you tips on living a healthy, happy life on a budget.Today I am going to share with you my strategy for creating a flexible grocery store list that will allow you to make the most of the sales happening in your local market. I often find that the problem with having a strict grocery list is that you miss out on what’s fresh or on sale. Oppositely, when you only buy what’s on sale you end up with a bunch of miscellaneous items that don’t go together. My method will help solve both of those problems, while making meals that won’t break the bank.This method will help you plan out your week so you aren’t stuck with boring work lunches or scrambling to make dinner for your family. The proportions for the actual grocery list will need to be tailored depending on how many people you are feeding. The idea is to take the concept and mold it to your needs and lifestyle.Here are 5 tips to get you started: #4 Consider versatility.When selecting food, especially produce, choose foods that can be used for more than one meal, or foods that you like to eat both raw and cooked. This will provide more meal options for you as well as help save you money. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow to Get Your Food Budget for Two on PointFebruary 21, 2018In “Budgeting”Best Tips for Shopping at the Grocery Store on a BudgetJuly 24, 2019In “Food Budgets”How to Budget for Food and Cut Down on Waste When SingleFebruary 7, 2018In “Budgeting” 3 lemons Grocery ListTheme: MexicanBreakfast choices: eggs, yogurt and granola, or oatmeal1 grainrice, brown rice, quinoa, etc. 2 proteinschicken, steak, chickpeas, eggs, etc. 2 herbscilantro, mint, parsley, etc. 1 fruitbananas, berries, apples, grapes, etc.last_img read more

Fall Into These Good Credit Habits

first_img Post navigation 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 of the posting.  Mint Partners had no influence on the creation, direction or focus of this article unless otherwise specifically stated.Good habits are the foundation of a stable life. Little things like exercise, hygiene, meditation and reading can have a tremendous impact if done consistently. It’s about taking a holistic approach to improving and maintaining yourself day in and day out. The same holds true for your finances. By forming a system of healthy habits, you can avoid the stress that most people associate with managing their money. You may still have setbacks and downturns, but the road to your financial goals will be smoother and less complicated.  The best way to start is by paying closer attention to your credit habits. Here are some of the best ways to do that. Pay Every Bill on Time By far, the best thing you can to improve your credit score is to pay every bill on time. Punctual payment accounts for 35 percent of your credit score, and it’s one of the best ways to build your score quickly.  Despite the benefits and ease of paying on time, nearly 26 percent of Americans admit to regularly making late payments on their credit cards. If you can afford the bill, don’t let this avoidable mistake destroy your credit score. There are two ways to ensure you never miss a payment. The first is to set up autopay on your credit card from your bank account. Every month, the credit card issuer will deduct the amount due from the checking account you selected. This strategy is fool-proof and guaranteed to succeed, as long as you have the funds to cover every bill. Watch your credit card statement for the first month after you enroll in auto-pay, as it can take one or two billing cycles to kick in. You can also pay manually, creating calendar reminders for each separate due date. If you notice that your due dates all fall on the same week, you can choose one day to make all the payments. This plan is a great way to feel more connected and aware of the money you’re spending, but it’s also harder to maintain. Don’t use this method if you struggle with reminders.  Late payments won’t show up on your credit report until they’re 30 days past due. That gives you a little bit of leeway, but it’s still best to pay before the due date. If you’re struggling to find the money to pay on time, that’s probably a sign that you need to cut back on spending. Use Less Than 30% of Available Credit How much credit you utilize makes up 30% of your total credit report. This number only applies to credit cards, which have a total credit limit, and not installment loans. Credit bureaus ding consumers who use more than 30% of their available credit. If your Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a $12,000 credit limit and you have a $5,000 balance, you’re using 41.67% of the card’s credit limit.  Using too much credit makes the bureaus think you’re relying too heavily on credit cards to fund your lifestyle. Even if you pay off the balance every month, the utilization will still be reported to the credit bureau. There’s no easy way to avoid utilizing more than 30% of your available credit. You have to log onto your credit card account to check the balance and then divide it by the available credit.  If you find yourself going over 30% every month, try this trick: Pay half of your credit card bill before the billing cycle closes. The billing cycle date determines what balance is posted on your credit card bill. If you pay before the billing cycle closes, it won’t go on your credit report.  It works like this. You spend $6,000 a month on your credit card, which has a credit limit of $11,000. If you wait until the cycle closes, the credit card issuer will report a credit utilization percentage of 54.54%.  If you pay half of your credit card bill, $3,000, a few days before the billing cycle ends, you’ll only have a credit utilization percentage of 27.27%. This method isn’t the easiest to implement, but it will prevent negative credit scores. Open New Accounts Carefully Opening too many new accounts is a great way to tank your credit score. Credit bureaus get nervous when a customer opens several credit cards or loans in a short period of time, as it can often be a sign of financial instability. This component is responsible for 10% of your credit score.Opening a slew of new accounts at once also drags down the average age of your credit history, which counts for 15% of your credit score. Lenders want borrowers to have the highest credit history age possible. If you’re young and have a relatively new credit history, you should avoid opening multiple new accounts. When you want to open a new account, whether it’s a travel rewards credit card or home equity line of credit, consider if it’s really worth taking a ding on your credit score.  Monitor Your Credit Report Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power when it comes to credit. You can’t improve your credit if you don’t monitor your credit report for errors and identity theft. In a 2012 report, the Federal Trade Commission found that 26% of credit users had a mistake on their credit report affecting their overall score. Chances are, you or someone close to you falls into that category. The only way to find a mistake is by regularly checking your credit report for free at You can also sign up for a paid credit monitoring service or use a free site like Mint. Credit card issuers sometimes offer free monitoring as part of their perks. As more and more companies announce hacks and data breaches, identity theft doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. By staying on top of your credit report, you can catch problems early before you need access to a new line of credit.  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of Intuit Inc, Mint or any affiliated organization. This blog post does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow To Leverage Student Credit Cards As A Financial OpportunityAugust 21, 2019In “Student Finances”Credit Card Reviews: Best Credit Cards for StudentsJuly 2, 2019In “Student Finances”Credit Card Reviews: Best Travel Rewards Credit CardsApril 3, 2019In “Credit Info” last_img read more

Brazil’s Fire Ban Correlates to a Reduction in Amazon Wildfires. The Ban Just Lifted.

first_imgThe highest concentration of fires moved from the Amazon biome—where the majority of Brazil’s primary forest is located— to the Cerrado and other parts of central Brazil in September.Future Fires SeasonsThe fire ban is scheduled to lift today, October 28, although Brazil’s fire season can continue into November. The reduction in Amazon fires seen in September suggests that recent attention given to this region – including the fire ban, public discourse and environmental enforcement policies – may have had a positive impact on curbing fires. Other critical forest biomes in Brazil have not received the same attention nor experienced the same reduction in fires.Continued public and government attention to this issue will be critical for the remainder of this year’s fire season and beyond. The immediate aftermath of this year’s Amazon fire crisis demonstrates just how important this spotlight is. Fires across Brazil caught the world’s attention this August, with fears that burning — and subsequent damage to the Amazon rainforest — would only intensify when peak fire season hit in September. However, Global Forest Watch (GFW) analysis of NASA data shows that fire alerts in the Amazon decreased by 34% between August and September.Amazon Fires Are Down. Can We Thank Brazil’s Fire Ban?Fire season in Brazil typically peaks in September, so this reduction in fires in the Amazon is unexpected. Other forested regions in Brazil showed an increase in fire alerts in September, including the Cerrado — a tropical savanna where fire is a more natural feature of the landscape. In the wetter, Amazon region, fires are rarely natural and almost all burning is related to human activity. Amazônia—the Amazon biome— was the only region of Brazil that saw a drop in fires in September, which deviates from the normal upward trend in fires across the country.So what explains the 34% decrease in fire alerts in the Amazon? It likely wasn’t the weather, as September was slightly drier than normal.The other potential explanation is the fire ban enacted at the end of August. During the peak of the crisis, when both national and international media attention was focused on the Amazon, President Jair Bolsonaro issued a TV and radio announcement declaring “zero tolerance” for environmental crimes. Law enforcement was dispatched to fight the fires and the government enacted a two-month ban on the use of fire to clear land. This ban was in effect across Brazil, but stricter rules applied within the Amazon, where we have seen the greatest reduction in fire alerts.Forests on Privately Owned Land Disproportionately AffectedEven though private properties make up only 48% of the land in the Amazon, they accounted for 62% of the fire alerts detected in the Amazon region in August and September. These fires are usually set to prepare agricultural land for production – an authorized practice before the ban. While the fires typically start on farmland, they often affect nearby forests. Farmers are legally required to set aside up to 80% of their land for conservation purposes and much of this land is forested. Over one-third of the fire alerts on private lands in August and September were detected in primary forests.Roughly 14% of fires over the same time period occurred on conservation units and indigenous lands in the Amazon, which comprise 24% of the region and tend to be even more forested than private lands. Fires in conservation units are never legal, and these areas may also be affected by runaway fires from nearby land-clearing activities. Fires on indigenous lands could be part of the land management practices used by the community, since the fire ban did not apply to indigenous lands. Alternatively, these fires could also represent illegal encroachment from outside actors. Dry Forests of the Cerrado Are Still BurningAlthough fires have gone down significantly within the Amazon, they are still burning in the Cerrado. The dry forest of the Cerrado is a unique ecosystem that plays a critical role in storing carbon and maintaining watersheds. Fires can occur naturally here, and fire alerts detected from satellite cannot differentiate natural fires from fires set by humans. So far this year, fire counts for the Cerrado are in line with historical averages; however, the drying effects of climate change and increased agricultural activity in the region could result in increased fire threat to these forests in the future.last_img read more

How to Create a Wildly Successful Facebook App

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If you haven’t had a lollipop lately, you should try this one. I promise you’ll enjoy it.No, I’m not offering real candy, but I am offering an experience you’ll still find sweet (your teeth can thank me later). Take This Lollipop, a new Facebook application, is a creepy but fascinating interactive video that brings out the spookiness in social media. Launched just two weeks before Halloween, it’s already gained almost 10 million Likes, making it one of the fastest-growing Facebook apps ever.The application, created by Jason Zada (also the creator of the very popular Elf Yourself), took only 30 minutes to script and just four weeks to produce the video. Another amazing fact: no promotion was put behind the app. It just went viral.“It really started as a social experiment — the old adage ‘don’t take candy from strangers’,” said Zada. People did the hard part for me — they convinced each other to try it. You have this lollipop that you know you shouldn’t take, but if your friends tell you to try something that’s potentially really scary, would you do it?”So what are the reasons behind this app’s rapid, viral growth? Here are 6 takeaways from Take This Lollipop and how you can incorporate these characteristics into your campaigns to help them get shared virally:1. Make it an ExperienceThings that go viral are not stale or boring. Oftentimes, they are exciting, educational, entertaining, fun, distinctive, foster strong emotions, or many of these in one. When creating a campaign you hope to go viral, give it a “wow” factor. Most of the time, it’s also best to avoid being too commercialized, meaning the use of over-saturated company branding that takes the life right out of it. Take This Lollipop focuses on the experience. The emotional factor in this case is fear, but it’s also fun and entertaining.2. Make it SimpleWhen something is complicated, people will resist using it or sharing it. Your campaigns need to be simple to understand within seconds, easily digestible and easy to use, touch, or hear. Take This Lollipop is no more complicated than accepting Facebook permissions to watch the video. And the video is short. That’s it. Always think ‘keep it simple stupid.’3. Make it Easily ShareableDon’t create friction with your campaign, which can make it difficult to access or share. Don’t put it behind a pay wall or account registration (in most cases). Even though Take This Lollipop requires granting Facebook access (a requirement for all Facebook applications), it’s still really easy to connect the app with your profile. Also, add social media sharing buttons in visible places so people can share your amazing content!4. Make it UniqueWe like new things, especially if they are unique. If you create a campaign that’s cliché and has been done before, it’s going to make it a lot less exciting. Campaigns that go viral have never been seen before. When creating your campaign, focus on creating something truly original.5. Make it Somewhat ControversialThere’s a lot of debate right now regarding Facebook privacy and the lack of confidentiality in social media. You never know who might be watching and who can see what information about you. Take This Lollipop capitalizes on this controversy by highlighting that exact fear (and plays off of ‘don’t take candy from strangers’) in an interesting way, which is why it has people talking. Zada further explains; “It’s kind of a horror movie that has no blood, no guts, but there’s this person that you don’t want looking at your information. And that to me was the scariest of all.”6. Make it PersonalizedOne reason that Take This Lollipop and Elf Yourself are so popular is due to their personalized experiences. People can upload their own photos or Facebook profile, and as a result, they become part of the experience. This can make a campaign even more engaging. Look for ways to make your campaigns customized or personalized, if possible.Credit: Zada quotes from Mashable Inbound Marketing Originally published Nov 14, 2011 2:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 Topics:last_img read more

England’s James Anderson not thinking about retirement just yet

first_imgEngland pacer James Anderson has said that he doesn’t think too far ahead and has no immediate plans of retiring from cricket.Anderson, 36, who became the most successful pace bowler in Test cricket history on Tuesday during the last day of the fifth Test versus Australia, said that retirement hasn’t crossed his mind yet.Anderson bowled Mohammed Shami to seal victory over India in the fifth Test at the Oval, claiming his 564th Test wicket in his 143rd match to move ahead of Australian great Glenn McGrath in the process.”I don’t really think about it – I play my best when I focus on what’s ahead of me; the next game, the next series – whatever it is,” the Lancastrian said.Also read – Virat Kohli praises ‘relentless’ James Anderson for landmark achievement”I read something that McGrath said – he went into the 2006 Ashes with no intention of retiring and then by the end of it, he thought his time was up,” Anderson told the British media.”That could happen to me, who knows? I don’t like looking too far ahead. I don’t think it helps certainly me or the team.”Also read – Anderson surpasses McGrath to become 4th highest wicket-taker in Test cricketEngland will next tour Sri Lanka with Tests matches scheduled to be held in November before travelling to West Indies and Anderson is fully focussed on the challenges ahead.”So I’ll go away now – we’ve got a decent break before Sri Lanka – and try to get myself in as decent as condition as possible to cope with the rigours of bowling seam in Sri Lanka, which can be tough,” Anderson said.advertisementlast_img read more

New Facebook Data Shows How Questions Impact Comments, Shares & Likes [INFOGRAPHIC]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Marketing TakeawayAs you can see in the infographic, I found that while posts with questions tend to generate more comments, they also tend to garner fewer Likes and shares than non-question posts. In other words, the data shows that periodically using questions to encourage commenting does work, but they are not an all-encompassing engagement panacea. Posing questions can be a great way to elicit feedback from your Facebook fans and page visitors, but it’s not the most effective way to drive overall Facebook engagement.In addition, we can also see that question words that yield “yes” or “no” responses such as “should” and “would” — as well as multiple choice questions like “which” — tend to generate more comments than nebulous, open-ended questions like “why” and “how.” The takeaway here is, if you’re using questions to generate more comments on your Facebook Page, post questions that are quick and easy to answer.How are you using questions on your Facebook Page timeline? Have you experienced similar results? Originally published Nov 26, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Social Media Engagementcenter_img Topics: Last week, we presented our readers with some interesting data about the impact of social CTAs on Facebook engagement. But we got to wondering — what about posing questions in your Facebook posts? How would that impact engagement metrics such as Likes, shares, and comments?If you’re an active Facebook marketer, you’ve probably seen countless brands using questions as a fan engagement tactic. By asking questions, the social media managers behind those pages are hoping to generate responses, thereby increasing engagement rates. In fact, the power of questions on Facebook has been accepted conventional wisdom for some time now.Digging into a large data set of more than 1.2 million posts from the 10,000 most Liked Facebook Pages, I was able to not only verify that anecdotal evidence, but also figure out specifically which types of questions work best. Let’s take a look at what I uncovered …last_img read more

24 Iconic Santa Claus Advertisements From the Past 100 Years

first_img Topics: When you think of Santa Claus, we’re willing to bet that words like “jolly,” “bearded,” and “rosy-cheeked” come to mind. After all, that’s the image of Santa many of us — regardless of age — have grown to know and love, right?The mall Santa that our parents forced us to take an annual photo with (despite the trauma it caused). The Santa we watched Tim Allen transform into in the first installment of The Santa Clause trilogy. And the Santa we’ve seen used in countless holiday advertisements — from Coca-Cola to Kodak. Below, we’ve put together a festive timeline of Santa-inspired print and video ads, dating back to the early 1900s. Check ’em out to see how different companies over the past century have used Santa Claus to sell more products.24 Jolly Advertisements Starring Santa Claus Throughout History1900 – 1950 Advertisements1) 1915: White RockImage Credit: White RockingThis joyful depiction of Santa Claus carrying a sleigh full of White Rock water and various toys appeared in the 1915 issue of the San Francisco Examiner.2) 1919: Murad Turkish CigarettesImage Credit: Vintage Product AdsThis sinister-looking Santa Claus is shown smoking a cigarette in this vintage advertisement … but it’s not just any cigarette. According to the ad copy, Murad’s Turkish Cigarettes are what all the “grown-ups” are choosing for Christmas. 3) 1935: Whitman’s ChocolatesImage Credit: Bamboo TradingAnother classic depiction. This chocolate advertisement shows a simple, familiar Santa — with a festive piece of holly attached to his otherwise uniform hat.4) 1938: EssolubeImage Credit: EtsyThis French motor oil advertisement from Essolube shows Santa Claus delivering a sack of oil to eager automobile owners. The ad copy translates to “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for Your Car.”5) 1940: Bell Telephone SystemImage Credit: Bamboo TradingIn this holiday advertisement from Bell Telephone Systems, a phone-shaped Santa Claus is shown “ringing in the holidays.” It’s not directly selling a product, though — the ad aims to send Bell Telephone System’s warm wishes to its customers.6) 1948: Time Magazine SubscriptionImage Credit: Bamboo TradingIn this late 1940s advertisement, Santa is shown piloting an airplane to deliver magazine subscriptions to all. The plane is embellished with various headlines, and the ad copy highlights their “special Christmas rates.”7) 1949: Prince Albert Smoking TobaccoImage Credit: Bamboo TradingSanta is smoking again. This vintage ad includes a twinkle-eyed, rosy-cheeked image of Old Saint Nick promoting the gift that “says ‘Merry Christmas’ with every puff”: Camel Cigarettes. 1951 – 2000 Advertisements8) 1954: Coca-ColaImage Credit: Bamboo TradingI don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved Coca-Cola’s warm, jolly portrayal of Santa Claus. This classic Coca-Cola ad features Santa Claus enjoying a “gift for his thirst” while he takes a break and puts down his sack of toys. 9) 1956: Jell-OImage Credit: EtsyThis fun advertisement for Jell-O shows Santa enjoying a few bites of the good stuff left out for him by the soundly sleeping child underneath the table. 10) 1969: HooverImage Credit: Vintage AdsYou can almost hear the laughter in this classic, black-and-white display of Santa Claus showing off his Hoover appliances.11) 1972: Kodak Pocket Instamatic CamerasImage Credit: Etsy”Say cheese, Santa!”This cheerful advertisement shows Santa Claus gearing up to take a photo using the new Kodak Pocket camera — the perfect gift for “anyone that has a pocket,” according to the ad copy. 12) 1977: Smith CoronaImage Credit: Bamboo TradingIn this late 1970s advertisement, Santa is seen showing off the Smith-Corona typewriter. (The perfect piece of technology for him to make his list — and check it twice.)13) 1977: Quaker Sugar CookiesImage Credit: Vintage Ad BrowserIn this 1977 ad for old-fashioned holiday cookies, Santa Claus is shown spending some quality, fireside time with the Quaker Oats man himself. If you look closely, you’ll also notice a curious child trying to sneak a peek from behind the chair. 14) 1983: Seagram’s Crown RoyalImage Credit: Vintage Ad BrowserThis advertisement challenges viewers to look Santa in the eye and tell him they really deserve Crown Royal this year. It’s hard not to smile at the dubious look on Mr. Claus’ face. 15) 1993: Got Milk?Santa proves that you can’t have cookies without milk in this classic 1993 commercial.16) 1993: BluBlocker SunglassesImage Credit: Bamboo TradingNow here’s one we haven’t seen before: Santa in sunglasses. This clever advertisement positions Santa’s job in a different light — Old Saint Nick and his reindeers are “famous aviators.”17) 1996: M&M’sThis 90s commercial from M&M is a timeless classic. We love the mutual look of surprise and shock on both Santa and the M&M’s faces when they bump into one another late at night. 18) 1997: Hewlett PackardImage Credit: Bamboo TradingThis HP advertisement shows Santa Paws … I mean Claus posing with a fury friend. Snowball, the featured dog, seems to be eager to join Santa as one of his reindeer. 2001 – 2015 Advertisements19) 2001: DecathlonImage Credit: ColoribusIt’s hard not to laugh at this crew of Santa Claus staff members getting all suited up in their locker room. The chimney entrance game plan on the board is especially amusing. 20) 2007: Niko Motion DetectorsImage Credit: This Is Not AdvertisingSanta? A criminal? This advertisement pokes fun at Santa’s “breaking and entering” skills while highlighting the security of the company’s burglar-proof movement detectors. 21) 2011: PepsiThis Pepsi commercial pokes fun at Santa Claus’ well-known Coca-Cola advertisements by showing him sneaking a Pepsi on vacation in his red and white Hawaiian shirt.22) 2011: iPhoneSanta shows off his tech-savvy side as he communicates with Siri in this amusing commercial for the iPhone 4S.23) 2013: ChevroletEven when cleverly disguised as a car salesman, it’s easy to pick Santa out in a crowd. This ad pokes fun at the interaction this potential car buyer has when he realizes that he just might be buying a car from Santa himself. 24) 2015: Reddi-Wip This quick-witted Reddi-Wip commercial shows a dad spraying on a whipped cream beard to disguise himself after being caught in the act by his son. Turns out his son is not buying it, as the real Santa Claus is standing right behind him. What’s your favorite advertisement? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Originally published Dec 24, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Holiday Marketing 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 16 Best Restaurant WordPress Themes in 2019

first_imgIf you’re a restaurant owner, or if you own any type of food-related business, it’s safe to assume you’re busy every day creating a mouth-watering menu, hiring staff, developing relationships with your customers, locating and ordering ingredients, and maintaining your online store (if you have one).With all of these activities keeping you engaged, building your restaurant’s WordPress website may feel like an overwhelming and daunting task — especially if you don’t have any experience with web development. But without a great website, you’re bound to miss out on valuable customers. WordPress restaurant themes make the process of creating your site quick and easy. Restaurant themes have menu templates, reservation-making integrations, photo galleries for images of your dishes, contact pages, online stores, and more to help you efficiently build a professional site that your customers will enjoy spending time on. Topics: Originally published Dec 14, 2018 4:00:00 PM, updated October 16 2019 Rosa 2SeasonsRestoButterIglooItalicaBenedictaNigiriSageBakes and CakesRescaPicanteDineTamarindTavernThe Flavour Don’t forget to share this post! 16 of the Best Restaurant Themes for WordPress in 2019Whether you run a fine-dining restaurant, cafe, bistro, bakery, or bar, or if you own an online food business, there is a WordPress theme tailored to your needs. We’ve compiled this list of favorite 16 restaurant themes to help you find one that best suits your needs … so you can get back to connecting and entertaining your customers.1. Rosa 2SourceRosa 2 is the improved version of the best-selling restaurant WordPress theme out there. With more than 13,000 customers across the world using it for the last five years, Pixelgrade succeeds in packing their best insights and in-depth expertise into creating the first restaurant theme built on top of Gutenberg, WordPress’s latest editor.Everything about Rosa 2 can be summed up into one single word: experience. This product uses Nova Blocks, the plugin where every single block is imagined with the unique purpose of providing just the right amount of flexibility for what you need to accomplish.If you want to build a modern and performant website for restaurants of all kinds (fine-dining, bistros, tavernas, coffee shops, small business families), Rosa 2 is the right theme to put in great use.Key takeaways:Built 100% on Gutenberg, WordPress latest editorSmooth parallax scrolling effect to capture attentionFlexible and easy-to-use to create a performant website2. SeasonsSourceSeasons is a responsive WordPress theme, meaning it adapts to the type of device and screen it’s being viewed on, whether that’s desktop, mobile, or tablet. It’s a versatile theme that can be used for almost any restaurant type including cafes, food trucks, and catering companies. The theme’s homepage has a featured image slideshow where you can add your newest and most important content, such as menu items and featured dishes for your visitors to drool over. There’s also a pre-built menu page that allows you to quickly add, update, and edit available items for your potential customers.Key Takeaways:Responsive themeFeatured image slideshow on homepagePre-built menu page3. RestoSourceResto is a theme flexible enough to be used for both restaurants and online food businesses. The theme allows you to customize different shopping pages so you can easily sell items and manage your store. Since Resto is SEO-friendly, it’s set up to help you rank on search engines like Google, get more visitors to your site and customers to your restaurant.Key Takeaways:Online storeCustomizable shopping pagesSEO-friendly4. ButterSourceButter is a restaurant theme ideal for any business that sells food online — it includes a WooCommerce integration which makes managing your e-commerce store simple. Butter also has a parallax scrolling effect feature that you can implement to create a 3D, interactive, video-like experience on your pages. There’s also a drag-and-drop page builder that you can use to quickly customize your layout, sections, and more to achieve any look or experience you’re going for.Key Takeaways:WooCommerce integration3D, interactive scrolling effectDrag-and-drop page builder 5. Igloo SourceIgloo is a great theme option for restaurants and bars. There are customizable layouts for your menus so you can easily highlight your newest, specialty items. Igloo also offers other content layouts and features to add to your site, such as a testimonial page where your leads can learn more about the positive experiences customers have had on your site and with your products. The theme has several pre-made color schemes available to choose from.Key Takeaways:Customizable menu layoutsTestimonial page featurePre-made color schemes 6. Italica SourceItalica is a flexible theme with six different customizable “skins” that work in a similar way to your WordPress templates to make your theme suitable for your specific restaurant type. You can apply the different skins to get a completely different look and feel. The theme offers a variety of demo content that you can review pre-install to make customization quick and easy. Italica also has an “Appointment Manager” feature that you can add to a site page so your customers can make reservations directly from your site.Key Takeaways:Six different “skins” to customize your siteDemo content availableAppointment Manager feature to handle reservations7. Benedicta SourceBenedicta is a multi-purpose theme that includes a variety of menu templates tailored towards several different types of restaurants. The theme gives you the option to include a photo gallery to share pictures of your favorite dishes. Benedicta also has site pages for your restaurant’s blog and news so you can share all of your latest updates with customers.Key Takeaways:Creative menu templatesCustomizable photo galleryBlog and news site pages8. NigiriSourceNigiri is a theme specifically tailored towards seafood and sushi restaurants. The theme includes a modern, sleek, and minimalist design. There are a number of templates available that are sushi-focused and allow you to include menu item descriptions and images. The theme has an OpenTable integration so it’s easy for your customers to book reservations without having to call your restaurant.Key Takeaways:Modern and sleek designSeafood and sushi-focused themeOpenTable integration 9. Sage SourceSage is an ideal theme for bars, bistros, and cafes, as well as businesses that sell food products online. It has a number of pre-built elements related to these types of restaurants, and an easy-to-use drag-and-drop page builder, so you’re able to design your website with minimal effort. The theme also includes a WooCommerce integration so you can easily manage your online store and product sales.Key Takeaways:Pre-built elementsDrag-and-drop page builderWooCommerce integration10. Bakes and CakesSourceBakes and Cakes is a theme created for — you guessed it — bakeries. It’s SEO-focused to help your site rank on search engines and drive more traffic. The theme has multiple gallery options and product pages so you can display your baked goods. Bakes and Cakes also has a template that allows you to include testimonials and rave reviews on your web pages.Key Takeaways:Ideal for bakeriesSEO-focusedTestimonial page template 11. Resca SourceResca is a multi-purpose restaurant theme. It offers a “one-page” feature that allows you to build your entire site on a single page for a minimalist design that features only your most important content. The theme is integrated with OpenTable to ensure reservations are easy to make for your customers. Resca also includes a contact form plugin so creating a custom form for your customers is simple.If your theme does not come with a contact form plugin and you’re looking for a simple way to add a form to your site, check out HubSpot’s WordPress Contact Form builder. Key Takeaways:Option to create a one-page websiteOpenTable integrationContact form plugin12. PicanteSourcePicante is a multi-purpose WordPress theme with a “Live Visual Page Builder” feature that allows you to make changes or updates to your theme and view them in real-time. There are eight unique templates available so you can quickly begin designing (or re-designing) your site. The theme provides you with expert support so you can get the assistance you may need while working on your site.Key Takeaways:Live page builder feature to make changes and view them in real-timeEight unique templates ready for installationExpert support available13. Dine SourceDine is created for high-end restaurants and cafes. Each of the theme’s customizable templates come with an elegant, clean design. Dine also offers an “Off Canvas Menu” feature that provides your mobile website visitors with an easy-to-read, mobile-friendly menu. You also get access to the Google Fonts library when you become a Dine user, so you can implement any typography of your choice on your site.Key Takeaways:Elegant, clean designMobile-friendly menu featureGoogle Fonts library access 14. Tamarind SourceTamarind is a multi-purpose restaurant theme with a variety of pre-made templates that you can choose from. The theme includes an OpenTable integration as well as the Contact 7 Reservation Forms plugin for you to manage your reservations. There are also a variety of presentation styles that you can add to your site to uniquely display your breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.Key Takeaways:Pre-made theme templatesOpenTable integration and Contact 7 Reservation FormsVariety of menu presentation styles available15. Tavern SourceTavern is a WordPress theme ideal for bistros, cafes, and bars. The drag-and-drop page builder requires no coding knowledge and includes over 60 pre-made elements that you can use to customize your site. The theme is approved by the Google Mobile-Friendly Test meaning your site will be responsive and functional for visitors browsing on-the-go.Key Takeaways:Drag-and-drop page builder60+ pre-made page elements availableGoogle Mobile-Friendly Test approved 16. The Flavour SourceThe Flavour’s responsive design automatically changes your site’s format to fit the screen it’s being viewed on, whether that’s desktop, mobile, or tablet. There are different image slider options that you can add to your site pages so visitors are able to scroll through full-width photographs of your menu items. There are also restaurant-specific icons (typically of different food items) that visitors can click on to be redirected to a different section or page, creating an interactive and unique experience.Key Takeaways:Responsive themeSliders to display multiple, full-width imagesRestaurant-specific icons for visitors to click Back To YouNo matter the type of food business you run, or the type of restaurant you own, you’ll need a WordPress theme to get your website looking and functioning the way it should to ensure a positive user experience. If, after reviewing our 16 theme recommendations, you’re still interested in considering other restaurant themes for your WordPress site, there are hundreds of options for you to browse in the WordPress theme library. Get started increasing traffic on your site, sharing your menu items, improving user experience, and easily managing your reservations by installing a restaurant theme and customizing it to your liking. The best restaurant themes for WordPress WordPress Themeslast_img read more

How to Create a Group in Gmail

first_img Originally published Apr 11, 2019 7:01:09 AM, updated July 12 2019 5. Name your label and type your group’s name in the recipients box to send an email to your group. Growing up, there was only one thing my mom knew how to do on the internet that I could never figure out — creating an email group. What’s even more surprising is that I sent email blasts to my friends all the time, but I never asked my mom how to make an email group. I would just manually enter my friends’ email addresses into the recipients box.Gosh, I was such a rebel.If you’ve gotten over your teen angst and don’t want to manually enter your family’s, friends’, or coworkers’ email addresses every time you want to send an email blast to them, we’ve got you covered. Check out our five-step guide on creating a group in Gmail.Free Download: 25 Proven Sales Email TemplatesHow to Create a Group in GmailVisit Google Contacts.Click “Contacts”, “Frequently contacted”, or “Directory”.Select the contacts you want to include in your group.Choose the “Label” icon and press “Create Label”.Name your label and type your group’s name in the recipients box to send an email to them. 1. Visit Google Contacts.You can find Google Contacts in the middle of the bottom row of your Google Apps tab. 4. Choose the “Label” icon and press “Create Label”.center_img 3. Select the contacts you want to include in your group. 2. Click “Contacts”, “Frequently contacted”, or “Directory”.It’s likely you won’t have contacts saved in Google Contacts, but you can still access the email addresses of people you frequently interact with by clicking “Frequently contacted” or everyone who currently works at your company by clicking “Directory” in the left side bar. Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more