31,318 Indians Have Died Abroad Since 2014: Govt

first_imgAs many as 31,318 Indians have lost their lives abroad since 2014, and nearly one-third of these deaths were reported at Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Dec. 20 in response to a question in the Lok Sabha.A total of 10,424 Indians have died in Saudi Arabia since 2014, of which 2,537 were reported in 2017, VK Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs, said. The corresponding number in United Arab Emirates since 2014 is 6,173, while the number of Indians who died in Kuwait in the same period is 2,310.“Upon receipt of information about death of Indian nationals, including those imprisoned, Indian missions or posts take up the matter with local authorities and also initiate prompt action to facilitate transportation of dead bodies to India,” the statement added.It added that the missions or posts liaise with employers or sponsors or local authorities to expedite the process, which includes requisite documentation and clearances of local authorities, preparation of the dead bodies for transportation, and obtaining the consent of the family of the deceased for acceptance of the body.“In cases where the employers are non-cooperative financial assistance is also arranged by our missions or posts from the ICWF (Indian Community Welfare Fund),” the statement said.A significant number of deaths of Indians has been reported in countries like Bahrain, Canada, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar and the United States.The statement added that 5,590 Indians were detained in Saudi Arabia, while 1,132 Indians have been detained in Pakistan since 2015.As soon as information about detention or arrest of an Indian national is received by an Indian mission or post, it gets in touch with the local foreign office and other concerned local authorities to get consular access to the detained or arrested Indian national to confirm nationality and ensure the person’s welfare.“Government of India provides legal assistance to deserving Indian nationals, including prisoners,” the statement said, adding that it also provides help, advice and guidance, ensuring fair and humane treatment in foreign jails, repatriation to India of those who are released and issuing of emergency certificates wherever required. Related ItemsEmploymentMinistry of External Affairslast_img read more

Code4bill

first_imgCode4Bill. Sounds like a secret coded message during the Cold War, but is simply Bill Gates talk for a contest across India to search for the most talented software students. Gates, who announced a $1.7 billion investment in India, said the contest’s top prize would be an internship with Microsoft’s technical team for a year. The Code4Bill contest will be on for eight months, after which 20 finalists will be chosen for internships with Microsoft in India. The grand prize winner will join the Microsoft chairman’s own team. The lucky winner to join Bill’s crack team, probably won’t have to worry about his bills for a long, long time.   Related Itemslast_img

World Champion

first_imgIndian grandmaster and reigning world champion Viswanathan Anand fended off a challenge from former world champion, Bulgarian Veselin Topalov to win the 2010 world chess title and $1.5 million in prize money in Sofia, Bulgaria.  Anand, 40, became world champion in 2007 in Mexico City and defended the title in October 2008. Related Itemslast_img

A New Approach to Fighting Child Malnutrition in India

first_imgIndia’s demographic dividend is often touted as one of the country’s strengths. More than half of its 1.2 billion population is younger than 25. In the coming decades, India is expected to be one of the few countries where the working population will exceed the number of retirees. Even so, India is struggling with a huge problem: The country has the world’s largest population of malnourished children. Each day, some 1,500 children die of malnutrition. A government report titled, Children in India 2012 — A Statistical Appraisal notes that “48% of children under age five years are stunted … which indicates that half of the country’s children are chronically malnourished.” According to UNICEF, one in three malnourished children in the world is Indian. It is estimated that reducing malnutrition could add some 3% to India’s GDP.The Indian government has been trying to address this problem through its Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program. Launched in 1975, the ICDS operates a network of daycare centers called anganwadis across the country. These centers are meant to provide supplementary breakfast and lunch, along with immunizations and pre-school education, to children ages 3-6, and cater to the health needs of pregnant and lactating women. Anganwadi workers are also responsible for going door-to-door to counsel mothers with infants aged less than three years. Some 1.33 million anganwadi centers sprawl across India; each typically caters to 30 children.The anganwadi programis estimated to be the world’s largest child nutrition provider. But, as the state of malnourishment in India shows, the anganwadis themselves need a shot in the arm. That is what Indian Impact, an online platform that focuses exclusively on malnutrition, is looking to provide. Launched in November last year, the Hyderabad-based nonprofit has a two-pronged approach. It offers individuals and corporations an easy way to help improve their nearest anganwadi center, and supports NGOs that are working to reduce malnutrition.Bridging the GapIndian Impact lists the anganwadis in a given area and a checklist of essential items that each center needs. Individuals or businesses can go to the Indian Impact website, locate their nearest anganwadi center, see what it needs and make donations (only in kind) directly to the centers. Donors are required to share the details of their donations with Indian Impact so that members and volunteers can ensure that the donated items are used for the benefit of the children and not pilfered.Donors registered with Indian Impact can also adopt anganwadi centers and fulfill all of their requirements. In addition, Indian Impact has partnered with the Akshaya Patra Foundation, which runs centralized kitchens and distributes nutritious meals to government schools. Organizations can partner with Akshaya Patra through Indian Impact to distribute meals to their adopted anganwadi centers. At present, anganwadis listed by Indian Impact are limited to Hyderabad. In a year, once it has sufficient understanding of this space, Indian Impact plans to expand beyond Hyderabad to other cities and states. Indian Impact has obtained formal approval for anganwadi adoption from the state government’s department of women development and child welfare in Andhra Pradesh. Once it expands to other states, the organization plans to get approvals from other state governments as well.“What we are providing is a go-to-market platform that gives instant results as well as significant outreach.” –Ridhima ParvathaneniIndian Impact also selects and lists on its website reputed NGOs that are doing effective and innovative work to reduce malnutrition, but need funds and manpower in order to scale. Individuals and corporations can donate funds or volunteer their services for any of these projects. NGOs are required to send regular status reports to their donors and also provide proof of utilization to the Indian Impact team.“We are providing a go-to-market platform that gives instant results, as well as significant outreach,” says Ridhima Parvathaneni, president of Indian Impact. Parvathaneni first thought of working in the sector during her last year at college in March 2013 when she read an article on the alarming levels of malnutrition in India. She wanted to develop “an innovative solution to generate awareness (about malnutrition) and to bridge the crucial gap between those who want to help and those who are in dire need of that help.”She put together a six-person leadership team with capabilities in different areas, including strategy, research, marketing, branding and web-development, and launched Indian Impact that November. Apart from this core team of six, who are involved with the strategy and creative aspects of the organization, Indian Impact has a monitoring team of 20.Parvathaneni has also involved her family business, the Seaways Group — one of the largest shipping and logistics conglomerates in India — where she heads new business initiatives, to fund Indian Impact as part of its corporate social responsibility. “One could have chosen the traditional NGO approach, where you work on the ground in a specific locality,” she notes. “But the impact (would be) limited. The situation calls for a solution that will accelerate and magnify the rate of malnutrition reduction. Such a compounding effect is possible through our technological platform.”Partnering for a CauseNilam Sawhney, principal secretary at the department for women, children, disabled and senior citizens for the government of Andhra Pradesh, is upbeat about the initiative. The department has formed a committee to assist firms adopting anganwadis through Indian Impact to help expedite the process, and also track adoption and the consequent improvement. According to Sawhney, this collaboration between her department, Indian Impact and corporations in India “will help create model anganwadis” that can be replicated across the region “for higher efficiency and success rate in reducing malnutrition.”Devika Deshmukh, program director for child health and nutrition at SNEHA, a Mumbai-based NGO that works at reducing malnutrition in urban slums and is listed on Indian Impact’s website, says that Indian Impact is “a step in the right direction.” SNEHA’s experience, she adds, has shown that issues such as “poor newborn care, suboptimal infant and young child feeding practices, lack of access to and poor functioning of the public health care systems, and exclusion of children aged less than 36 months from ICDS anganwadis” are some of the factors that lead to child malnutrition in India. “At SNEHA, we realize that there is a need for joint collaboration with the government, NGOs and other private bodies. We work closely with ICDS and we see the positive impacts of such partnerships.” According to Deshmukh, apart from raising money, Indian Impact needs to evolve into a knowledge and information center for all malnutrition-related information. “Indian Impact can help advocate our model in other metro slums,” she notes.Indian Impact has benefited hugely from the support of corporate stalwarts and philanthropists Ratan Tata and G.M. Rao. The duo helped launch the initiative, giving it high visibility. Both the Tata Trust and GMR Group’s Varalakshmi Foundation have been working in the area of malnutrition and Indian Impact hopes to leverage their experience. The Varalakshmi Foundation, for instance, supports 180 anganwadis by providing infrastructure, teachers and teaching methodologies.According to Rao, it is important for Parvathaneni and her team to understand the dynamics of the anganwadi system and why it has failed to deliver. Speaking at the launch, he noted that the anganwadi program is “highly politicized and highly unionized.” Pointing out that “in most of the states, the anganwadi jobs are auctioned,” Rao cautioned: “The union will not brook any interference. You have to be very careful.” Tata added: “Other than identifying what needs to be done, Indian Impact must get more deeply involved in the implementation of the solution.”Leveraging Business CompetenciesRatnaja Gogula, professor of marketing and strategy at the ICFAI Business School in Hyderabad, says the key strength of the Indian Impact model is in encouraging businesses, NGOs and citizens “to get involved hands-on in resolving basic issues faced by anganwadi centers.” But, while this is “commendable,” it could be “diminutive and time-(consuming) to address the enormous problem of child malnutrition.” Gogula suggests that in order to make a significant impact, “Indian Impact should pick some of the programmatic and operational issues faced by ICDS and devise them as CSR projects that appropriately tie in with the business competencies of corporations.”Gogula points to a 2011 report titled, Broad Framework of Implementation for a Restructured ICDS by an inter-ministerial group (IMG). Some of the programmatic and operational gaps in the ICDS identified by the IMG include inadequate convergence of programs and services, and weak linkages with public health system; poor data management, information system, analysis and reporting; inadequate and inappropriate training; non revision and indexation of cost to rising prices of food, fuel and transportation; an inefficient fund transfer mechanism, and inadequate monitoring systems. The key challenge for the Indian Impact team, Gogula says, is to “identify companies and NGOs that can … contribute to resolving the issues faced by ICDS and bring them on board.”Creating a website “is easy. Attracting people to it is the difficult part,” says Dhaval Udani, CEO of Give India, a donation platform that lists 200 NGOs in diverse areas like child welfare, education and women’s empowerment. Commenting on Indian Impact’s single point agenda of reducing malnutrition as compared to GiveIndia’s multi-pronged approach, Udani says: “The pros are that you can focus more on a specific cause and drill down deeper in terms of projects (and their) impact, and provide more specific information related to the cause itself…. The obvious con is that it loses out on people not interested in the specific area of work.”Multi-pronged ApproachTo attract people to its cause, Indian Impact is banking on multiple initiatives. For instance, in order to reach out to the student community it is partnering with schools and colleges so that each school/college elects some students as brand ambassadors for Indian Impact. To give a boost to its anganwadi adoption program, the organization is in talks with various corporations. Indian Impact is also looking to establish mutually beneficial partnerships. September, an accessory label, has created a limited edition collection of footwear for Indian Impact called the ‘Good Soul Collection.’ A fixed percentage of the sales from the limited edition goes to Indian Impact.Users of Uber in Hyderabad have the option to contribute a fixed percentage of their ride’s sales to Indian Impact. On specific dates, Uber users can hand over their contributions for anganwadis to the Uber drivers, who in turn drop it off at the Indian Impact office. “Such convenience increases donations for Indian Impact and also makes citizens aware of the Uber experience,” says Parvathaneni. She also has plans to merchandise certain products such as hand sanitizers, cell phone wipes and bags under the Indian Impact brand to add to the revenue stream.So far, more than 380 anganwadis have been adopted by individuals, businesses and schools. Around 2,500 peoplehave signed up for teaching at the anganwadis and over 2,000 for donating meals. Parvathaneni hopes to increase the numbers steadily over time. But more important is the impact they create, she says.“Every anganwadi uses a color-based chart, wherein if a child measures low in a certain set of measurements every month, he/she is placed in red (acutely malnourished), or orange (moderately malnourished) and so on,” says Parvathaneni. “So our first step would be to see on a monthly basis, the number of reductions in the ‘red’ zone. Or how many children have dropped from orange to yellow.” Using a computerized model, Indian Impact plans to identify common trends that cause these reductions and standardize and replicate them across different centers. “We believe that having robust standard operating procedures will help us scale and make a significant impact,” she notes. Related Itemslast_img read more

India 14th Best Country for Expats: Survey

first_imgIndia has been ranked 14th in a list of more than 150 countries that are best to live in for expatriates, according to the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey 2017. India fare above the United States, which ranks 27th. The best country for expats to live and work in was found to be Singapore, which took the position for the third year in a row, followed by Norway and New Zealand, respectively.India was found to move 12 places up to enter the top 15 countries for expats, according to the HSBC survey.“Driven by strong ratings across a range of economic, experience and family measures, India shines in this year’s league table, moving up 12 places since 2016 (to rank 14 as overall best country for expats),” HSBC said. “India draws many expats for work and financial opportunities, but new arrivals here often find their family life improves significantly too.”The average income of expats in India was also found to be among the highest in the world. The gross annual personal income of an expat in India was said to average $176,408, behind expats living in Switzerland who were shown to have the highest income, averaging $193,000. The global average income of those surveyed was estimated to be $99,900.Singapore is #1 and India rose to #14 in our 2017 #ExpatExplorer survey. @CNBC spoke to HSBC’s Anurag Mathur: https://t.co/4ccgpObHan— Expat Explorer (@expatexplorer) September 28, 2017India also figured among the top 10 countries when professional development for expats was considered. The report said: ‘The number of resident expats who recommend the country for career progression has increased by 12 percentage points since 2016 to almost two-thirds (63%), placing it seventh in our ranking for career progression.”The survey took into account three broad categories with many sub-categories to judge the nations for people above the age of 18 who live in a country different from their native country. The three broad categories are economics, experience and family.In the Economics category, India fares better than the United States in six out of nine sub-categories. The United States has better career progression, wage growth and disposable income, but India far outranks the western country in savings and job security. In the category of Experience, India fares worse than the United States in four subcategories out of nine — property, finance, integration and quality of life. India scored better than the United States in healthcare, placed at 24th spot as opposed to America’s 45th position in the parameter.Courtesy HSBCIn the family subcategory, India has outperformed the United States in all but one criterion — health.Most of the expats come to India from Europe (38 per cent) and United States (25 per cent). A majority of them reached India at the employer’s behest but some also ventured here for challenge themselves and “improve job prospects”, according to the survey. The top three industries where expats work are construction and engineering, financial services, and telecom, IT and Internet. Among the expats in India, only 4 per cent are students.Among the expats surveyed, only 31 per cent have property in India, while 77 per cent have property in other countries. As many as 71 per cent of expats displayed a high level of confidence in the Indian economy while 58 per cent of them had favorable views about geopolitical stability.The HSBC expat survey had commissioned third party research company YouGov, which surveyed 27,587 expats based in over 100 countries in 2017, to come to the definitive rankings. The top 10 countries are Singapore, Norway, New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Austria and United Arab Emirates. Related Itemsbest country for expatsexpat lifeExpats in Indiaforeigner lifehsbc expat explorer 2017India for expatslast_img read more

The Man Behind Mr. Majestic

first_imgAuthor Zac O’Yeah, whose third and final book in the Majestic trilogy and travelogue A Walk Through Barygaza: The Ancient Greek Port Town of India, was published recently, has spent close to 25 years in India exploring its culture, country, people, and food. What brought him to India is a need to leave his “small and boring Scandinavian country” — Sweden — behind for more colorful shores.“I was immediately taken – it is such a rich country with a great heritage, and every new day is an adventure,” he tells Little India. “Also, I found the people I met in India so inspiring and enterprising that I married one of them.”The Majestic trilogy, first published in 2012, follows Hari, a detective and a hero for hire. The character is an “unofficial trouble-shooter of town, the Mr Fix-It, the person to go to with problems that cannot be solved by any other means,” says O’Yeah. While Hari wants to become a hero on the silver screen, his job as a detective takes him to shady lanes, motels, and the hustle-bustle of the Bengaluru city, which is a character in itself in the novel.“My books are comical detective novels written in the vein of Bollywood cinema,” O’Yeah says.Apart from the Majestic series, the Swedish author also writes and translates in his mother tongue. “Working in two languages may seem a lot, but actually anybody one meets in a city like Bengaluru, where I live, is conversant in so many languages that I feel quite inferior: most people speak English and Kannada and Hindi and often some other south Indian languages as well. I think it is this exposure to the linguistic riches of India that emboldened me to write in two languages as well.”His writing process has evolved since he began the vocation, and now he starts writing in English to show his Indian friends, who help him iron out the small details. O’Yeah finds writing for the Indian audience a liberating experience, since he doesn’t have to explain small details like masala dosa to them, something he has to constantly do for foreign readers.In his own way, he promotes India by translating interesting Indian books to Swedish so that “people there can get a better understanding of the country.” As a creative person who is fond of traveling, he loves the variety of landscapes that India has to offer.“There’s such a rich variation in cultures, for example food is so different depending on whether you travel to the north or the south or the east or the west. India is just an endless source of amazement, so I can never get bored here,” he says.Like his fictional hero, O’Yeah wants to make a name in the movie business in India, but as a writer and not on the screen.“Someday I might take the step into Bollywood cinema, or Sandalwood, or Tollywood, or Kollywood… In fact, I’m negotiating a new movie project as we speak,” he tells Little India. While he has a few movie projects on the cards, he says that it is much more difficult than writing a book.O’Yeah, when not working on books or movie scripts, is engaged in teaching a creative writing course at an arts institute called Shoonya, situated near the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens.“I’ve noticed that lots of people want to write books nowadays – whether it be novels or autobiographies or other types of writing – and so I thought that they might be helped by having a place where they can go and learn the tricks of the trade. So at the institute, some nine writers from the city teach everything from screenwriting to poetry as well as different forms of non-fiction,” he says. He teaches thriller writing and travelogues.The creative writing workshop has hosted writers such as Ramachandra Guha, Vivek Shanbhag, Sugata Srinivasaraju and Lavanya Sankaran as speakers, and will soon feature Maya Jayapal, Anita Nair and others. O’Yeah also enjoys the literary festivals in the country since writers are approachable here while in the West it is a very formal set-up. One has to stand in a queue for hours to just get an autograph from a favorite author, he complains.He is looking forward to get the autograph of a Swedish writer who is soon going to visit the Jaipur Literature Festival. Some Swedish authors that he recommends for Indian readers are John Ajvide Lindqvist, Johan Theorin and Kjell Eriksson — all thriller writers.“Sweden has produced a lot of great thrillers and spooky novels, there’s hardly a village in the country which hasn’t become the setting of some sort of fictional adventure. Actually, one of the things I try to teach in the creative writing workshops is that India is full of exciting locations for fiction writers – because currently most writers set their stories in Mumbai and other major cities, which is sort of getting overused and too familiar,” he says.The boom in thriller writing has led to an increase in tourism to smaller towns in Sweden. “So if a similar trend started in India, it could be very good for the economy.”O’Yeah has mostly good things to say about the country except the “bureaucracy around everything.” That he finds a bit mind-boggling and baffling. And “cute” in its own way. Related ItemsBengaluruSwedenlast_img read more

Indian Eateries in Malaysia Face Crisis Due to Shortage of Workers

first_imgA shortage of workers, including foreign employees, has forced as many as 2,000 Chinese coffee shops and 400 Indian-Muslim and banana leaf restaurants to shut shop in Malaysia in 2017, according to a joint committee representing the owners.Urging the government to immediately look into their issues, the Malaysia-Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors General Association (MSCP), Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (Primas) and Malaysian Indian-Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) have sent a joint memorandum to the authorities, the Star Online reported.“The problem of getting approval for foreign workers has been unresolved for three years. The system of getting replacements has been made very stringent and there is no way small players can meet all the conditions required by the Government,” T. Thanabalan, Primas secretary-general, said.Thanabalan added that several banana leaf rice restaurants are expected to cease operations this year because they are due to substitute their foreign work force. Banana leaf restaurants, which are immensely popular in the country, serve the entire south Indian meal on a plantain leaf.Rehiring is a huge challenge for the owners since they need to go through a tedious process in order to fulfill the criteria laid down by government departments or agencies. “Hence, the cleanliness of restaurants has also been compromised (as a result of the worker shortage) and this resulted in more issues, such as summons from local councils,” Thanabalan added.Presma president Ayub Khan said that his association foresees more Indian-Muslim eateries shutting down this year. The joint memorandum was sent to the government in the hope that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Bin Hamid would take steps to resolve the problems that the operators are facing.Malaysia is known for its Mamak shops, which are small restaurants that offer pocket-friendly Malay and Indian food.According to Thanabalan, if the situation persists, traditional eateries may even vanish from the country. “We are in dire straits and the only way out is to cease operations,” he added.MSCP president Ho Su Mong said that 10 to 15 per cent of its 20,000 members across the country shut down in 2017. The situation could become worse as thousands of foreign workers who had gone to their home countries during the Chinese New Year festive break had not come back. “This means we are looking at more businesses closing down as the procedure for rehiring has been made complicated and more stringent,” Su Mong added. Related ItemsHospitalityMalaysialast_img read more

UK Bus Firm Fined For Letting Unfit Indian-origin Man Drive Leading to Accident, Deaths

first_imgA UK based bus company has been fined by the Birmingham Crown Court for letting an unfit Indian-origin driver to drive the bus, which caused a fatal accident resulting in two deaths in 2015. It was later revealed that the elderly driver was suffering from undiagnosed dementia.Midland Red (South) bus company has been fined 2.3 million pounds for allowing a fatigued driver Kailash Chander, 80, to drive the bus despite many warnings regarding his erratic driving. The bus company had pleaded guilty last year for violating UK’s health and safety at work act while allowing Chander to drive, reported PTI.The bus company has also been told to pay 7,214 pounds for the prosecution’s costs, added the report.On Oct. 1, 2015, Chander had smashed the double-decker bus into a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Coventry when he mistook the accelerator for brakes. A seven-year-old schoolboy, Rowan Fitzgerald, and a 76-year-old pedestrian, Dora Hancox, died in the crash. Fitzgerald was sitting at the front of the upper deck of the bus and succumbed to head injuries caused by the crash, while Hancox died after being hit by the bus and a falling lamppost.While pronouncing the order Judge Paul Farrer QC said, “A moving bus is a potentially lethal piece of machinery and [Midland Red] should have been making sure their drivers were fit to drive at all times,” reported mirror.co.uk.Keeping Chander’s mental state as a fact, the court on Nov.27, also gave a two-year supervision order to him.In September this year, the court had found Chander unfit to plead or stand trial at Birmingham Crown Court as he was diagnosed with dementia.He had been through suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and was very preoccupied with the crash, according to an earlier BBC report.The Mirror quoted Midland Red Phil Medlicott as saying outside the court, “None of us at our company will ever forget the terrible events of October 3, 2015. We are deeply sorry for the heartache of everyone affected, particularly the families of Rowan Fitzgerald and Dora Hancox.”He further said, “Safety is and always will be our first concern, and we take our responsibilities extremely seriously. We have made it our continuing priority to work very closely with the authorities to help fully understand and learn detailed lessons from what has happened.” Related Itemslast_img read more

Mbala vows comeback after lackluster Game 1

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC While he acknowledged Ateneo’s defensive schemes, which held him to a career-low output in points and field goal attempts with seven shots, the 6-foot-7 Cameroonian insisted he could have played better.“They played good defense,” said Mbala, who put up 28 points in La Salle’s second-round win over Ateneo. “I average 20 points per game but they held me to eight points.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Expect me to be more aggressive offensively [in Game 2]. They (Eagles) were able to get in to my head, that is something that shouldn’t happen again.”The Eagles made the big run that gave them enough buffer to weather La Salle’s last rally when Mbala was on the bench nursing four fouls. View comments Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It’s part of the game,” said Mbala. “We don’t want to look for excuses why we lost. They wanted it more than us.”Chiz Ikeh and Isaac Go took turns in guarding Mbala, but the Eagles also clogged the paint each time the big Cameroonian attacked. With Mbala struggling, Aljun Melecio picked up the cudgels with 24 points. But La Salle’s guns fell silent in the last 2:35 of the game, allowing the Eagles to seal the win.Mbala said they have no recourse but to play the game of their lives this Wednesday.“Obviously if we lose the next game then it is over,” said Mbala. “We are not going to go out here just to have a mediocre game. We have to win or everything we’ve been doing throughout the season will just go to waste.”ADVERTISEMENT Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Nazareth-NU, La Salle-Lipa seal title tiffcenter_img CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Expect a more aggressive and assertive Ben Mbala in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 finals.Limited to just eight points in the 70-76 defeat to Ateneo in the championship series opener at Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday night, the reigning Most Valuable Player from La Salle center vowed a resounding comeback this Wednesday when the fierce rivals square off anew at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 City MOST READ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion LATEST STORIES QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohortlast_img read more

LDALL SCS 2

first_imgXi said that China has always been a guardian ofXi said that China has always been a guardian of international rule of law and of fairness and justice, and will always adhere to the path of peaceful development.”China is firmly committed to peace and stability in the South China Sea, and to settling the disputes with countries directly involved, through peaceful negotiations based on the recognition of historical facts and in accordance with international law,” the President said.Scientists believe that the seabed of the SCS could contain unexploited oil, gas and minerals. Major shipping lanes vital to world trade pass through the SCS, carrying raw materials, finished products, as well as huge quantities of oil and gas.Ahead of the verdict, the US had asked China to learn from Indias handling of its maritime disputes with its neighbours.In 2014, the same court that gave verdict on the SCS ? ruled against India in favour of Bangladesh in a three-decade- old maritime dispute. To Indias great credit, it accepted the decision and has abided by it.As the concerns over the verdict rose here, specially its international impact, the Chinese military which is building its installations on the artificial islands asserted that it will “resolutely protect” Beijing?s sovereignty over the area, where the US navy has made big inroads.Yang Yujun, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defence, said that Chinese military will resolutely protect the countrys national sovereignty, security and maritime rights and interests, and will address threats and challenges.advertisement”The position of the Chinese government on the SCS arbitration initiated by the Philippines is consistent and clear,” Yang said, stressing that no matter how the tribunal decides, Chinese military will resolutely protect its national sovereignty, security and maritime rights and interests; safeguard regional peace and stability; and cope with all kinds of threats and challenges.Responding to questions on the Chinese navys recent drills in the SCS, Yang said that the drill was a routine matter in line with the militarys annual exercise plan.Yang said that the drill, seen as a muscle flexing by China ahead of the tribunal verdict, targeted potential situations at sea and was a live-fire test to boost the navys capabilities to fulfil missions.Hours before the tribunal delivered its verdict, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China will not even officially receive the judgment of the tribunal as it has no legal basis.”It is true that we do not recognise and accept the so- called arbitration. We will have no legal connection with the arbitral tribunal and we will not accept what ever materials it provides”, he told a media briefing replying to questions whether China will receive a copy of the verdict.Lu warned warned that China will resort to “solemn response” against anyone challenging its stand with the award.”If any one challenges Chinas interests by siding with the award of the arbitration then China will take solemn response,” he said without elaborating. MORE PTI KJV ZH AKJ ZHlast_img read more

Carmelo Anthony to return to NBA with Blazers

first_imgFederer beats Djokovic to reach semis at ATP Finals Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? LATEST STORIES MOST READ Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Anthony’s deal with Portland was confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because it has not been announced. It was first reported by ESPN.com, which said that Anthony would join the team on its upcoming road trip.Anthony is a three-time Olympic gold medalist but has struggled at the end of his recent stops in Oklahoma City and Houston following 6 ½ seasons in New York.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practiceAnthony was acquired by the Chicago Bulls from Houston on Jan. 21, with the intention of trading him before the deadline or letting him go. He averaged 13.4 points in 10 games with the Rockets last season, but hasn’t played since November 2018.Anthony was traded by Oklahoma City to Atlanta in July 2018, a move that preceded the Hawks releasing him to sign with the Rockets. The Bulls, technically, were his fourth franchise in seven months. Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ FILE – In this Nov. 3, 2018, file photo, Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony, left, drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls forward Justin Holiday during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago. A person familiar with the details says Anthony is returning to the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers. The 10-time All-Star has not played since a short stint with the Rockets ended a little more than a year ago after just 10 games. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)Carmelo Anthony is returning to the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to a person familiar with the details.The 10-time All-Star hasn’t played since a short stint with the Houston Rockets ended a little more than a year ago after just 10 games. But the Blazers hope there is still enough game left in the 35-year-old forward to help them overcome a 4-8 start.ADVERTISEMENT Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Duterte officials’ paranoia is ‘singularly myopic’ Priority legislation in the 18th Congress Rice industry paralysis What’s behind the display of Chinese flag in Boracay? View comments Eight of Anthony’s 10 appearances for the Rockets came off the bench after he had started all 1,054 games he’d played in his first 15 NBA seasons. He has averaged 24 points in 16 seasons.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politicslast_img read more

360i Takes the Stage at the 65th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

first_img360i Chairwoman Sarah Hofstetter took the stage today at the 65th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, alongside Mondelez International’s Chief Marketing Officer, North America, Jason Levine, to challenge the industry to “Think Like a Toddler.”In the packed Debussy Theatre inside the iconic Palais des Festivals, Sarah and Jason shared insights about the two types of mindsets cultivated from a very young age: one that assumes intelligence and creative abilities are innate and fixed, and one that views any challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow. While we all start out as toddlers with enthusiasm for learning and a lack of awareness of our own limitations, somewhere along the way that gets lost. But we need to find it. The success of our companies and careers hinge on adopting the right mindset and allowing ourselves to think like a toddler again – before it’s too late.last_img read more

Before Breaking Up Your Relationship Ask Yourself 7 Important Questions

first_imgA year after divorce, a woman’s quality of life decreases by 73%, and a man’s — by 42%. That’s why psychologists recommend not making decisions in the heat of the moment, especially if you want to leave your partner. Ask youself a few questions first and think everything over thoroughly.Everyone sooner or later encounters a situation where they have to make a hard choice — like to save a relationship hoping that it will go back to normal, or to break up.Psychologists don’t recommend leaving a partner who you really love, but there’s no point in clinging to the “OK-but-not-great” relationships that oppress you. It’s important to make a decision that you won’t be sorry about in future.We suggest you ask yourself these questions. They will help you have a look at your relationships with your partner from a different perspective.1. Do these relationships help to bring out the best in me?Do you feel that you are the best version of yourself now? In normal relationships, a partner usually supports, encourages, and admires when the other partner achieves new things, he/she also encourages self-development, and encourages new hobbies in the other partner.On the other hand, if you feel that your partner pulls you down and prevents you from developing at your chosen pace, then that’s a reason to think things over. Your discontent with each other will probably only increase in future.2. Do we have common goals and plans for the future?This is a very important thing. If you want to live a life full of traveling, parties with friends, adventures, and bright moments, and your partner is a homebody and an introvert, then you’d probably have conflicts because of this.The plans regarding family, work, etc. are no less important. If you believe that you need to build a successful career first and then make plans to have children while your partner supports you, that’s great. Common plans and views will minimize your arguments.3. Do we speak with each other?We are all adults who have our own interests and responsibilities outside of our relationships. But nothing should be more important than love. Sometimes, it can happen that the problems become bigger than the relationship and our talks with each other. But this should never be a regular thing.On the other hand, if you feel that you are always number two to your partner, and he/she is not interested in your life while you treat him/her in the same way, then, maybe, you simply don’t need this relationship.4. Do I feel happy or upset most of the time?This criteria helps you look at your relationships clearly. If you have insignificant problems but most of the time you feel comfortable, peaceful, and warm by your partner’s side, then that’s a good sign.On the other hand, it can happen that partners have almost no problems but they feel upset and unhappy with each other. This is a signal that should never be ignored.5. Do we both make compromises?Any relationship is impossible without compromises, because you are two different people and your views cannot coincide all the time.If you feel that you often have to sacrifice your interests for the sake of your partner, then that’s a bad sign. These relationships have no future.6. Why do I want to break up with this person?Sometimes, it’s hard to formulate the reasons for your unhappiness in your relationships, but if we say them out loud, we may feel awkward. Like, am I going to break up with a person so dear to me because of such a silly thing?Try to identify those reasons for yourself. Figure out whether they are serious and whether you can change the situation if you both apply effort. Only after that should you make your decision.7. Will my life be better if we break up?Imagine your life without this partner in a few years. What do you feel? If you know that you’ll definitely be happier than now, make your move despite all the difficulties. Money and stability are important, but they can’t be the reason for you to stay with a person who doesn’t love you. Spend time sorting these questions out before you break up.Sourcelast_img read more

Why jet lag and night shifts cause weight gain

first_imgWe know stress and poor sleep are linked to weight gain, largely because they send hormones for a loop.But for the first time ever, scientists have confirmed that the timing of those hormonal dips and rises are crucial. In healthy people, fat cells turn over at a rate of 10 percent per year: when they die, they are replaced by new healthy fat cells.Now, a team at Stanford University School of Medicine has confirmed how this regular rate relies on the day-night hormone cycle, and it is when that cycle is out of sync or operates at night that unhealthy fat starts to build, particularly in the belly.It was a mystery long-plaguing science to discover what ‘flips the switch’ that leads to weight gain, and lead author Dr Mary Teruel says the research has implications for controlling weight gain in humans.‘Yes, the timing of your stress does matter,’ Dr Teruel, assistant professor of chemical and systems biology, said.‘Since conversion of precursor cells into fat cells occurs through a bistable switch, it means you can control the process with pulsing. ‘Our results suggest that even if you get significantly stressed or treat your rheumatoid arthritis with glucocorticoids, you won’t gain weight, as long as stress or glucocorticoid treatment happens only during the day. ‘But if you experience chronic, continuous stress or take glucocorticoids at night, the resulting loss of normal circadian glucocorticoid oscillations will result in significant weight gain.’ In a healthy person, cortisol levels peak at around 8am, which wakes us up (in theory), and drop to their lowest at 3am the next day, before rising back to its peak five hours later. Ideally, this 8am peak will be triggered by exposure to sunlight, if not an alarm. When it does, the adrenal glands and brain will start pumping adrenalin. By mid-morning, the cortisol levels start dropping, while the adrenalin (for energy) and serotonin (a mood stabilizer) keep pumping. At midday, metabolism and core body temperature ramp up, getting us hungry and ready to eat. After noon, cortisol levels start their steady decline. Metabolism slows down and tiredness sets in. Gradually the serotonin turns into melatonin, which induces sleepiness. Our blood sugar levels decrease, and at 3am, when we are in the middle of our sleep, cortisol levels hit a 24-hour low. During this cycle, we can experience some stressors without having to worry about our bellies bulging. A morning coffee or an afternoon workout, for example, will increase cortisol levels in our bloodstream temporarily in a positive way, boosting energy. Underlying all of this is the fact that we all have an excess of ‘precursor’ fat cells, which could convert into fat if given the signal. In healthy people, fewer than one percent of their precursor fat cells are converting into fat cells – a low rate of conversion which is key so that damaged mature cells can be replaced and healthy fat tissue can be maintained.In people suffering chronic stress, jet lag, or working night shifts, this conversion can go into overdrive, turning precursor cells into fat that start to balloon the person’s body. While we knew cortisol was inextricably linked with fat conversion, we have never been able to explain exactly what kept this balance in check. ‘What stops normal, healthy daily increases in our glucocorticoid levels [which includes cortisol] due to circadian rhythms and healthy short-term stresses from causing all our precursor cells to convert into fat cells?’ Dr Teruel asked. ‘Why aren’t we drowning in fat every time glucocorticoid levels go high in the morning due to normal circadian rhythms or when our glucocorticoid levels spike when we exercise or go from a warm building out into the cold? ‘And why is losing the normal rhythm of glucocorticoid secretion – such as in conditions of chronic stress, jetlag and sleep disruption in shift-workers – so linked to obesity?’To find an answer, Dr Teruel decided to become the first to investigate the timing of glucocorticoid ‘pulses’ (dips and rises).Dr Teruel found that rises in levels of the ‘stress hormone’ (cortisol) are beneficial if it happens during the day, and lasts fewer than 12 hours: it gets to work breaking glucose down from stored fat to boost energy.But chronic stress and night shifts can send cortisol levels spiking at night, or even soaring for more than 24 hours – and that is when cortisol’s fat-busting becomes a problem, saturating the body with glucose that turns into unhealthy body fat. ‘It explains why treatments with glucocorticoid drugs, which are often essential for people with rheumatoid arthritis and asthma to even function, are so linked with obesity, and it suggests ways in which such treatments can be given safely without the common side effects of weight gain and bone loss,’ Dr Teruel added. To investigate this, Dr Teruel worked with graduate students Zahra Bahrami-Nejad and Michael Zhao to expose precursor fat cells to glucocorticoids in carefully timed pulses over the course of four days.Every other day they bathed the petri-dish-grown cells in fluids with and without glucocorticoids, to assure that the total exposure to the hormone remained the same.Scanning the cells, they found that one pulse of glucocorticoids lasting 48 hours led most of the cells to differentiate. Meanwhile, shorter pulses with at least 12 hours between them resulted in minimal differentiation. The link between food and glucocorticoids is not well-understood, Teruel said. Some of her newer experiments aim to understand how food, insulin and glucocorticoids are related.Sourcelast_img read more

Indigenous Land Rights: How Far Have We Come and How Far Do We Have to Go?

first_imgToday is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, observed every year on August 9, the anniversary of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1994. It is a good time to reflect on the achievements and challenges Indigenous Peoples around the world still face. One pertinent issue is the legal security of land and natural resource rights. How well do national laws protect the interests of these historically marginalized communities?To better assess and monitor the issue, LandMark: The Global Platform of Indigenous and Community Lands is building a comprehensive database that scores countries on 10 indicators of how their national laws protect these rights. With the addition of 31 new countries to the inventory this week, LandMark now has 113 countries in the database, showing which countries and regions of the world have a solid foundation to protect indigenous and community land rights, and which countries are lagging behind.  On this day celebrating the world’s Indigenous Peoples, here are two main findings from this evaluation:1. Countries in Latin America and Africa have the strongest laws protecting indigenous land rights, while the Middle East lags behind.Of the 11 countries with the highest average scores across all 10 indicators, six are in Latin America (Bolivia, Colombia, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Venezuela), four are in Africa (Burkina Faso, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda) and one in Asia (Philippines). These developing countries scored higher than many in the developed world, including the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway, and are more progressive in protecting indigenous land and resource rights.All seven countries in the Middle East that were evaluated (Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen) received the lowest possible score (4) across all 10 indicators, meaning that their national laws make no attempt to address indigenous land rights. In most cases the government has declared ownership of all land that is not private property, thus excluding communities from rights to communal land. This can be problematic for nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes of the Middle East that rely on seasonal migration to find grazing lands for their livestock. For example, in Jordan, state ownership of unsettled rangelands has led to encroachment and overgrazing because there are no longer incentives for tribes to protect and sustainably manage their lands. 2. Many national laws currently fail to ensure that indigenous land is protected from acquisition by governments and outsiders (land grabbing).Few countries have laws that require the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous Peoples prior to acquisition by governments and outsiders. Of the 113 countries evaluated, only six countries (Colombia, Panama, Peru, Philippines, South Africa and Venezuela) scored a 1, meaning that the national laws require FPIC or other broad consent before acquisition. The global average across all countries scored is 3.2, meaning that the vast majority of countries make limited or no attempt in their laws to incorporate FPIC.But implementation of FPIC in these countries is still far from perfect. For example, in Peru, despite passing a groundbreaking Indigenous Peoples Consultation Law in 2011, the government has circumvented the law in many cases by narrowing their definition of Indigenous Peoples so as to exclude the vast majority of Peruvian communities who identify themselves as indigenous. LandMark is currently in the process of developing a new set of national-level indicators due out next year that will evaluate the application and practice of the law, which will show which countries have upheld their laws in practice and which have not.The 113 countries evaluated in LandMark’s database show that the legal security of Indigenous Peoples’ lands and natural resources varies widely. Fortunately, several recent initiatives call attention to inequalities in the treatment of indigenous and community land rights in national law.  One such initiative, launched in September 2015, is the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Comprised of 17 goals and 169 targets that spell out a blueprint for development for the next 15 years, the SDGs capture several aspects of rights of Indigenous Peoples including health, education and cultural identity as well as land. Another initiative focused more exclusively on indigenous and community land right is the Global Call to Action, which seeks to double the amount of legally recognized land owned and controlled by Indigenous Peoples and communities by 2020. Thus the international community is looking to national governments to strengthen their laws and guarantee equal rights for Indigenous Peoples. We will be watching to see how they respond.To find out more about LandMark, visit the website – www.landmarkmap.org.last_img read more

The Flawed Analysis Behind Trump Administration’s Proposed Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

first_imgThe Trump administration’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is based on flawed analysis that understates its benefits. This action is part of this administration’s unfortunate pattern of dismantling sensible policies and rejecting the underlying science of climate change. Repealing the CPP would remove another federal protection meant to help Americans avoid damages from a changing climate.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks to justify the proposed repeal with a new Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) that assesses the benefits and costs of the Clean Power Plan. A comparison of the new analysis with the original analysis issued in 2015 under the Obama administration shows the Trump EPA has abandoned mainstream economics in how it estimates the benefits of avoiding climate change. The new cost estimates of those benefits are a fraction of those in the original analysis, as shown in the table below.Science-based climate policies should be consistent with the UNFCCC’s objective to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” On the other hand, a benefit-cost analysis, while properly conducted, can inform climate policy, though it should not determine climate policy. Sadly, the new RIA badly misinforms the public on the benefits of protecting our climate.The new RIA contains two major analytical flaws: the first relates to the appropriate geographic scope of the social cost of carbon, an estimate of the damages that result from a ton of carbon dioxide emissions in a given future year. The second relates to how climate-related damages in the future are discounted to their “present value” and the intergenerational nature of the climate problem.Flawed Climate Damage Assessments: Domestic vs. GlobalThe Trump administration’s analysis adopts a narrow, U.S.-focused view of the social cost of carbon, in contrast with the original 2015 analysis, which took a global perspective. The former is limited to projected climate change damages within the boundaries of the U.S., while the latter takes account of damages projected across the globe. The domestic social carbon cost is roughly 10 percent of the global total.But climate change doesn’t respect geographical boundaries, making its impact felt on all countries, economies and people. The U.S. government has worked for decades with other countries through the UNFCCC and other institutions to address the challenge from a global perspective. If each country considered damages only within its own borders as a justification for action, then collectively, countries would fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to avoid the global damages that will ultimately affect every country. Both textbook economics and common sense leads to this conclusion, a reality ignored by the EPA’s new analysis.Undercounting the True Costs to Future Generations: High Discount RatesCrucial to calculating the social cost of carbon is the discounting of future benefits and costs to reflect the time value of money. The Trump EPA’s analysis applies the standard discount rates of 3 percent and 7 percent that are commonly used on conventional problems that do not have intergenerational aspects. The higher the discount rate, the lower the value of damage inflicted on people in 2030, 2040, 2050 and beyond. The new analysis ignores the intergenerational impact of climate change and undervalues the damage on future generations. Benefit-cost analysis converts dollar values of future benefits and costs into their present value using discount rates. In other words, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow.So a benefit or cost that occurs 30 years from now will have smaller present value than one that occurs five years from now. That makes choosing a discount rate in an analysis of climate policy extremely important, because climate damages stretch far into the future.Longstanding guidance from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget directs federal agencies to conduct benefit-cost analysis using discounts rates of 3 and 7 percent. However, that guidance also states that lower discount rates – in the 1 to 3 percent range – can be appropriate when there are important intergenerational impacts. The 2015 Obama administration analysis used lower discount rates for precisely that reason and adopted a range of discount rates from 2.5 to 5 percent. Trump’s EPA, on the other hand, used discount rates of 3 and 7 percent, lowering the social cost of carbon and the estimated benefits of avoiding climate change by a factor of 10.The Trump EPA has discarded mainstream economics and common sense by undervaluing the benefits of reducing emissions from the U.S. power sector. EPA has issued a deeply flawed analysis in support of a decidedly wrong turn in U.S. climate policy.last_img read more

12 Countries Sign Historic Agreement Guaranteeing Environmental Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean

first_imgAir pollution can threaten the health and well-being of entire communities. Perhaps no one knows this better than villagers from Quinteros and Puchuncaví, Chile.The two towns have been dealing with air pollution from nearby industrial parks since the 1970s. High levels of sulfur dioxide and particulate matter have damaged crops and sickened children, elderly people and animals. While the government has prepared a decontamination plan, there have already been at least two more air pollution episodes just this year that affected local schools and communities.While citizens from Quinteros and Puchuncavi have demanded a limit on industrial expansion, their power is limited: Chile lacks laws that ensure citizens’ rights to participate in decontamination planning and standard-setting.The plight of citizens from Quinteros and Puchuncavi highlights the need for the Escazú Agreement, a historic treaty that guarantees environmental rights in Latin America and the Caribbean. Also known as the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters, or LAC P10, the Agreement presents three fundamental rights for sound environmental governance: access to information, access to public participation and access to justice. Twelve countries committed today to sign the Agreement, enough to ensure that it will move forward and be brought into force once ratified. Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, Costa Rica, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Guatemala and Argentina have signed so far, with more expected to join today. The Agreement is open for signature for the other 21 countries in the region until 2020.Why the Escazú Agreement Is So ImportantEnvironmental conflicts are particularly rampant in Latin America. In 2017, four environmental defenders were killed every week in the region, according to a report from Global Witness. The Escazú Agreement provides special protections for environmental human rights defenders, including:Guaranteeing a safe environment for people and organizations that promote and defend human rights in environmental matters, so they remain free from threats, restrictions and insecurityTaking steps to recognize, protect and promote all the rights of environmental defendersImplementing measures to prevent, investigate and punish attacks, threats or intimidation against environmental defendersThe Escazú Agreement is also designed to make it easier for nearly 500 million people to access information, participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives, and hold powerful interests accountable. Countries adopting the Agreement will ensure that the most vulnerable groups and those in poverty will be included in the environmental decision-making processes that directly affect them — such as the approval of mines, addressing pollution, and land use planning and policymaking. It has provisions that put pressure on governments to offer support, including legal aid, to those seeking their rights to information, participation or justice, including when facing environmental damages such as air or water pollution. The Agreement also focuses on improving national laws on access to information, including in countries that currently lack such laws, such as Barbados, St. Lucia and others.What Happens Next?The treaty is open for 33 countries in the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (UNECLAC). Now that 12 have signed, the next step is for them to ratify the Agreement and ensure their laws comply with the provisions. Once 11 countries ratify, the Agreement will officially enter into force and implementation can begin.Implementation will include a review of national legislation and practice within each country. This may include engagement with private sector actors on new rules for public participation and environmental impact assessments; investments in capacity-building to ensure governments can provide access to a broad range of environmental information in an affordable, proactive and timely manner; and broadening legal aid for environmental damage and loss of environmental rights.Getting More Countries on BoardIt’s clear that citizens throughout Latin America and the Caribbean want the Escazú Agreement. More than 33,000 people across the region signed a petition urging their governments to sign it.Strengthening environmental democracy is vital. Countries that have signed the Agreement have made it clear that they’re committed to protecting the environmental rights of their citizens. Those that haven’t still have time to get on board.last_img read more

Business Blog: What Is The Best Time Of Day To Post?

first_imgI posted some thoughts of mine previously that were triggered by some statistics from Technorati, a leader in tracking, rating, and searching for the blogosphere.  I relooked at their statistics with the goal of sharing some additional thoughts around . Originally published Nov 10, 2006 12:19:00 PM, updated October 18 2015 starting a business blog I’m curious to hear if anyone else out there has seen similarly good results around blogs posted around 11am… Further evidence that 11am is the best time to post comes from HubSpot’s  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack we use to find all kinds of  interesting correlations between activities and results. For example, in the attached view, our best 5 posts (most visitors) were A (10:32am), G (11:39am), I (10:58am), N (11:32am), and Q (11:00am). Our worst 5 posts were C (6:11pm), D (1:38pm), H (1:46pm), O (12:30pm), and P (3:56pm). The five best were all within 39 minutes of 11am while the five worst were all in the afternoon. This feels like an arbitrage opportunity to me. the right time of day analytics tool — Brian Halligan. I often have wondered and have tried to test a bit when the best time to post a blog article was to increase your likelihood of getting into the social bookmarking sites and hitting some kind of tipping point.  Our readership is all over the world, but the most readers are on the east and west coast of the United States.  Based on what I see in the Technorati graph (horizontal axis is PST), I think 8am PST (11am EST) is the best time to post.  It is at a daily posting low for English language sites, so it will not get as much competition, but it also overlaps with the morning of both east and west coasters who I suspect are in the habit of reading their blog entries in the morning. to post a blog article with my cofounder, but I figured they were relevant to anyone out therelast_img read more

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Articles to Start the Week: Social Media Fear

first_img Kevin Troy Darling engaging your business in social media Write social press releases. of Conversation Agent Valeria’s article addresses a common sentiment toward social media for newbies: fear. Because social media is abstract and can be overwhelming at first, says Maltoni, it’s understandable that businesses would be scared to get involved. How to Get Over Your Fears of Social Media How to Grow a Following With Other People’s Popular Content Author: Use social bookmarking. She therefore discusses a recent experience of hers about how she helped moderate a discussion among professionals about social media, ones? John’s article describes 7 ways: In this week’s top inbound marketing article, Valeria Maltoni discusses why fear is common in social media adoption and how (and why) organizations should get over this fear. Social media guru Chris Brogan explains how to demonstrate the value of social media marketing. Marketing Takeaway: Social media can be helpful for customer relationship management, but it’s not the most important thing. 2. 4. John Jantsch Marketing Takeaway: on ProBlogger Webinar: How to Sell Social Media to Your Boss Social media can be scary at first. Come up with some guidelines to make you feel comfortable; then dig in! 1. on Convince & Convert on Social Media Examiner for your blog, which include telling the story of blog content creation, tweeting interesting comment responses, running a Twitter competition tie-in, and creating a Twitter conversation around an event. 3. . Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — taking full advantage of Twitter to support your blogging efforts? . Period. But how do you generate inbound links, and how do you generate With all the recent buzz about social CRM (sCRM), Kevin’s article takes a step back and dares to say that, while inbound links are important Georgina Laidlaw good Georgina’s article highlights several more unconventional ways to Write a blog. , and why companies should get over their fears and use it to their advantage. She also divulges a few quick tips to help organizations get over their fears and get involved.center_img is a helpful addition to CRM software, the real focus should be on the “C” in the abbreviation. Download the free webinar 5. Submit posts and articles to directories Guest post on other blogs. Author: Valeria Maltoni Leave lots of relevant comments. 7 Ways to Acquire the Right Kinds of Links to Your Site its uses for business Author: Be creative in your Twitter strategy, and don’t be afraid to try different ways of promoting your content. Jordan Pérez Órdenes Originally published Sep 20, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated July 19 2013 Marketing Takeaway: on Duct Tape Marketing Blog get more out of your Twitter account Create profiles. Jamie Beckland Okay, so maybe you’re already using your Twitter feed to help promote your blog posts, but are you really Why Social CRM Needs to Be Less About the Social and More About the Customers social media Does the thought of Content curation is a great strategy for driving traffic to your blog, but use in moderation. Author: As marketers, he says, we need to be reaching our customers where they are, and yes, the potential of social media to help achieve this is unquestionable. However, it’s how we use this technology that matters, and that means effectively targeting your audience with the right messages for different social media. 4 Ways to Use Twitter to Support Your Blog Inbound links are important criteria for off-page SEO. Make an effort to start generating some high-quality links back to your site. Marketing Takeaway: ? leave you (or your boss) trembling with goose bumps? Photo Credit: Marketing Takeaway: Content curation is simply the practice of “reviewing and filtering articles and blog posts from across the web,” and no, it’s not “stealing” content from others. For a deeper look into the wonders of content curation, how it can work for you, and how to do it successfully, take a look at Jamie’s article. start incorporating content curation into your blogging strategy to learn how to get your company started with social media. Author: This Social Media Examiner article is all about content curation, and it’s a good one. Ever get tired of the pressure to create new content day-in and day-out? Why notlast_img read more

5 Google+ Tricks to Dominate Google Search Results

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 Technical SEO There are a number of ways using Google+ for marketing can have a beneficial impact on your business’ search engine optimization efforts. Because Google is so eager to provide plenty of incentives for people to actively use the network, it has tied the platform very closely to all of its Google Search features as well. As a result, there are many ways that using Google+ can help boost your regular performance in Google’s organic search results as well as help you generate more traffic from people doing searches on the topics you already rank for.In fact, because of the strong connection between Google+ and Google Search, businesses can’t afford not to create and maintain a Google+ page. Because Google is launching new integrations between Google+ and Google Search on a regular basis, your business’ search presence will only suffer without an active Google+ page. Here are 5 ways you can use Google+ to help you enhance your business’ SEO.Add the +1 Button to Your WebsiteThe first major SEO benefit of Google+ is in regard to +1 usage/shares and their influence on search rankings. Just like other types of social media sharing, the number of +1s a particular page receives is a factor in how well it will rank in search for different phrases. This directly affects search rankings, and the number of +1s a page has received is also displayed on results pages, especially if those votes came from people who are in your Circles on Google+. This is just another way maintaining an active profile on Google+ is directly influential to your success elsewhere, because your actions on Google+ will have influence on the rest of your profile and activity. That is the main takeaway from Google’s efforts: you will directly benefit by adopting and using more of the Google+ platform and integrating it with your website and marketing efforts.Marketing Takeaway: Add the Google +1 button to your website and blog so that people can easily share your blog posts and landing pages with their friends, and help your pages rank better at the same time. You’ll also benefit from increased traffic, as our research shows that websites using the +1 button generate 3.5x the Google+ visits than sites without the button.Get Your Google+ Status Updates to Appear in Search ResultsIn late December, Google began including specific status updates from Google+ in Google Search results, when they were relevant. This works for both personal profiles and brand pages, making it a very useful addition. While profiles could already appear in search results, the update allowed for specific status updates to appear as well. Marketing Takeaway: The key lesson here is to think about which keyword phrases you want your status updates to rank for, and make sure you optimize your status updates with those keywords. If you’re posting about something interesting and insightful (and why wouldn’t you be?), make sure you spend the few moments it takes to be thoughtful about your keyword usage. It will provide more opportunities to get found, and it’s yet another chance for your great content from social media to shine.Leverage the Google+ Author TagOne of the most visible changes to Google’s search results pages with the launch of Google+ has been the addition of author names, images, and information throughout results pages for editorial content. Google executed a clever strike here by creating a feature that bloggers would be excited to implement. It was an unusually creative move by Google, because to leverage the feature, blog authors must include a link in their post back to their Google+ profile in order to establish authorship. This serves as both an inbound link into the author’s Google+ profile page (which is obviously beneficial to Google+’s number and quality of inbound links), and it also ensures that every author who is active and excited about their blog signs up for Google+ and uses the service. Marketing Takeaway: The appearance of profile information is great for helping your content stand out in search results. If you’re competing for a popular keyword, adding this kind of color and different appearance to your search result can really help you stand out in a crowd of results. By improving your click-through rate from that results page, you will have the opportunity to get more visitors to your site without necessarily impacting your rank. As long as you rank highly enough that people will have the chance to see you in the results (say, position 5 or better), this will have a great impact on how many clicks you earn from searchers. To start using Google+’s Author Tag for enhanced listings in search, click here and follow Google’s instructions.Take Advantage of Personalized SearchThe most recent feature addition to Google+ is ‘Search plus Your World,’ a new version of Google that mixes personal results from your Google+ network in with your regular search results. This mode of Google will search your social network for results, even including results that only you can see for privacy reasons. In other words, Google’s search now includes both regular results and very personal updates from social media. You’ll be able to see when you are receiving personal results because they are called out in a special way and always placed at the very top of a search results page. Be aware that what you share on Google+ can have an increased reach because of this update. It makes Google+ a great place for sharing content and having discussions, because now that content is easy to find (as opposed to networks like Facebook and Twitter, which currently lack personalized search).Marketing Takeaway: Because it is connected to the world’s most popular search engine, content shared on Google+ now has the potential for a much longer lifespan than content shared on other networks. Think about your keyword strategy and how to best exercise it on your Google+ page. Results from a searcher’s Google+ network will also rise to the top of Google search results when they use Search plus Your World. And if your company has built up a large following on Google+, content you’ve shared with your followers will also show up in those followers’ relevant Google.com searches, keeping your business top of mind and increasing its visibility among existing followers across multiple channels.Get Your Pages and Profiles Found in Search Results With the ‘Search plus Your World’ update, another powerful influence for brands that comes only with Google+ adoption is placement in the top-right corner of Google search results for people and pages who are closely associated with a particular topic or brand. If your Google+ business page is relevant to a particular keyword search, Google will show your page in the results for those searches. Furthermore, if you tie your Google+ personal profile to your brand’s domains (for example, by putting your work email address into your Google+ profile), Google can serve your profile in response to people who are learning more about your brand.Marketing Takeaway: To make sure your business page shows up for searches on keywords for which you want to rank, maintain a regularly updated Google+ business page and optimize your updates with those keywords. For example, if a searcher searches for ‘marketing software’ on Google.com, HubSpot’s Google+ page might show up in the top-right results box, providing us with more SEO real estate.To make sure that your profile is able to show up in that top-right box for branded searches, make sure that you’ve added your work email address to your Google+ profile and confirmed the address works, and list your occupation and position in your profile. Remember that Google wants to serve the best possible results, so it’ll only show your profile if it thinks it would actually be helpful for a searcher. If you’re not regularly posting about your brand or really using Google+ often, Google is less likely to show you in the result. Encourage your business’ employees to include your business’ information and content in their Google+ profile so your business can get even more exposure in search results.What other benefits have you noticed from using Google+ to enhance your business’ SEO?Image Credit: Widjaya Ivan Originally published Jan 24, 2012 10:32:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:last_img read more