U.S. Softens Demand That Countries Stop All Iran Oil Imports

first_imgThe Trump administration is softening its earlier demand that countries like China, India and Turkey end all imports of Iranian oil by Nov. 4, as a top State Department official on Monday said the United States would allow reduced oil flows, in certain cases.“We are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis,” said Brian Hook, the department’s director of policy and planning.His announcement was a delicate attempt at reassuring oil markets and allies that sanctions are not likely to hit them this fall — even if Iranian oil continues to flow around the world, as is likely the case.India, South Korea and Turkey — all allies or friends of the United States — are major importers of oil from Iran and are unlikely to be able to switch suppliers entirely by November.That reality was not acknowledged this past when a different senior State Department official told reporters that the United States expected global imports of Iranian oil to go to zero by Nov. 4, when Washington will reimpose sanctions against Tehran’s energy sector. The announcement sent oil prices soaring, and markets have been on edge since.That official had briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to predict that it was unlikely — but not impossible — that some importers would be given waivers to protect them from penalties after buying Iranian oil. On Monday, Hook said, “Our policy is to get to zero as soon as possible” — a subtle shift that is likely to reassure markets.President Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed concern about oil prices in recent weeks and announced Saturday that King Salman of Saudi Arabia “has agreed” to raise daily oil production by 2 million barrels to ease the price pinch.Saudi Arabia is said to have spare capacity of 2 million barrels per day, but it’s not clear whether that much could be available immediately.Hook will travel to Vienna at the end of the week to meet with diplomats from Britain, France and Germany on the sidelines of talks among the remaining signatories to the Iran nuclear deal since Trump withdrew the United States from the accord in May. He is hoping to persuade his counterparts to do more to push back against Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for proxy forces in Syria and Lebanon.European diplomats, still angry about Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal, have responded to such demands with caution.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will likely travel to Pyongyang, North Korea, in coming days, continuing the Trump administration’s attempts to persuade North Korea to eliminate its nuclear weapons program. The warming outreach is a sharp contrast to the administration’s posture against Iran, which has long maintained it does not have nuclear weapons.© 2018 New York Times News Service Related ItemsIranUnited Stateslast_img read more

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Verdict: Countries Issue Safety Advisories to Citizens

first_imgThe United Kingdom, Canada and Australia have issued advisories to their citizens travelling to India in light of the violence that erupted after self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s conviction in a rape case on Friday. More than 30 people died and about 250 were injured after thousands of followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda, the sect led by Ram Rahim, went on rampage in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi, engaging in violence and arson throughout the day.Britain on Saturday asked its citizens to avoid crowded places in the affected areas. “A number of deaths have been reported in violent clashes following the conviction of the head of the Dera Sacha Sauda spiritual organisation. High alerts and a ban on unauthorised gatherings are in place throughout Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh until August 30, 2017,” according to the advice issued by the UK. “The British Deputy High Commission and British Council offices in Chandigarh are closed until Monday (August 28). Due to the possibility of further serious violence, you should avoid large gatherings, follow the advice of the local authorities, monitor local media and keep in touch with your travel company. Local road and rail travel may be significantly disrupted during this period.”Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.Photo Credit: IANS Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) too warned India-bound travellers to avoid large gatherings and monitor the developments closely. “Local transport has been significantly disrupted with a number of roads closed and rail services cancelled,” the advisory said, asking people to “avoid large gatherings as they could become violent”. It added: “Mobile internet services in Chandigarh have been suspended. Monitor the media for developments that may affect your safety and security. The level of our advice has not changed. Exercise a high degree of caution in India overall.”Canada issued a similar notification. It said: “Following the conviction of a prominent sect leader on August 25, 2017, tensions remain high in the states of Punjab and Haryana, and various other areas. Tens of thousands of people have gathered in protest, some of which have become violent. Local authorities have placed Delhi on high alert due to sporadic violence. Various trains through Haryana and the Punjab have been cancelled and road closures and security checks have been imposed. Power supplies, mobile internet and other telecommunication services are restricted in certain areas. If you are in one of the affected areas, limit your movements and monitor local media for the latest information”Warnings and precautionary messages against travelling to Haryana and Punjab were being posted on social media even before the court’s verdict came. Many NRIs were cancelling their plans to visit their homes in the two states during the past week, according to an Indian Express report. They were closely watching the situation and keeping in touch with their relatives and friends toThe United States had also issued safety advisory for its citizens ahead of the ruling. Related ItemsDera Sacha Sauda NRIforeign advisory Ram RahimLittle IndiaRam Rahim India travelRam Rahim travel advisoryRam Rahim verdictlast_img read more

Simranjit Singh: Punjab’s Loss, Ireland’s Gain

first_imgSimranjit Singh has moved a step closer to realizing his dream of making his Test debut in the Ireland national team. The 30-year-old cricketer, who made his ODI debut against New Zealand in May this year, has once again found a place in the national squad, which will play a lone ODI against the West Indies on Sept. 13.Singh, who is better known as Simi Singh in Ireland, has consistently shown fine performances in the domestic circuit over the past two months, which paved the way for his inclusion in the team now.Ditched by Punjab, Welcomed by Dublin“Although I didn’t play international cricket for India, hopefully, I’ll play my first Test for Ireland soon,” Singh told the Times of India from Dublin.Singh, who hails from Mohali in Punjab, follows in the footsteps of Gurinder Sandhu and Ish Sodhi, two Indian-origin players from the state who played for Australia and New Zealand, respectively.Singh performed well for the state at the U-14 and U-17 levels, but failed to enter the U-19 team.“He was named the best player at the 46th National School Games held in Vijayawada in 2001,” Simranjit’s father Amarjit Singh, who still lives in Mohali, said.“It was a frustrating time for me and my family. My dream to play for India was nipped in the bud,” the player recalled.After failing to get a place in the U-19 team, Singh flew to Ireland to pursue a course in hotel management in 2005. His friend and former teammate Gaurav prompted him to continue pursuing his passion, and informed him that an opportunity existed in Ireland where a person can study and play simultaneously.“I would play cricket on the weekend by paying five euros per game. I worked at a grocery store so that I could afford to pay to play cricket,” Singh said.He  attended the Kings XI Punjab’s IPL selection camp in 2008 but failed to seal his spot in the squad. In 2009, he returned to Dublin and played for a professional club named Malahide till 2012.His career took a new turn in 2015. He was selected in Leinster Lighting, and got a chance to play alongside renowned players like Kevin O’Brien, John Anderson, and George Dockrell. Though he was an opening batsman in Punjab, Singh honed his skills in spin bowling after moving to Ireland.Singh got his Ireland citizenship in May this year.The Worry of Being AsianSingh also shared his initial fears about not getting selected in the national side due to his ethnicity.“Every year it seemed I was top of the batting averages, and taking wickets, but I didn’t feel I was getting a fair opportunity,” he said. “Was it because I’m not Irish, or I’m Asian? I remember I didn’t get picked for an A tour to Scotland and I’d scored a hundred for the Lightning a week or two before selection. I actually rang a selector. What else do I have to do? What’s the story?”The Path AheadSingh is now waiting to get a break in the Test side of Ireland. The team got the Test status from the International Cricket Council on June 22.“Getting Test status is massive and we will be playing against more top sides now — and that’s how you develop, Singh said. “Look at Bangladesh. They just beat Australia in a Test match. It took them 10-15 years to get to that level. It will happen with Ireland as well.” Related ItemsSimi Singh cricketSimi Singh IrelandSimi Singh Irish cricketerSimi Singh NRI cricketSimranjit Singh cricketSimranjit Singh IrelandSimranjit Singh Irish cricketerlast_img read more

Indian-American Man Accused of Killing Girlfriend’s Ex-Boyfriend

first_imgAn Indian-American man has been accused of killing his girlfriend’s Arlington based ex-boyfriend and is facing first-degree murder charges.Jitesh Patel, 42, was arrested in July this year under a second-degree murder charge, which has been changed by prosecutors to the first-degree murder charge, reported ABC7.John Giandoni, who was murdered at his home in Ballston area on Mar.16 this year, was a former boyfriend of the woman, Patel was dating. Patel himself is a married father. The woman had a child from Giandoni and was undergoing through a tough child custody situation with him, said the report.According to a report in the Washington Post, Arlington General District Court said on Nov.19, “that there was a probable cause to indicate that Patel broke into the Giandoni’s house and shot, stabbed and choked him to the death.”Judge Frances O’Brien termed this case as “a case of circumstantial evidence” which has certain pieces “certainly incriminating.” Here she was referring to a gun and, which was found in Patel’s home. Bullets, like the bullets found at the crime scene, were also recovered from Patel’s home.The publication quoted the Judge as saying, “It’s simply not coincidental.”A CCTV footage, which was shown in the courtroom, was from the afternoon of the Giandoni’s death. It showed the outer area of Giandoni’s house, where a minivan was parked. A person was seen exiting the van and entering the house.  Giandoni himself arrived home three hours later. Half an hour after his arrival, a person was seen coming out of the house to get into the van and leave, the newspaper said.The police were able to match Patel’s van with the van model in the video but could not identify the driver or license plate from the video.In May, when the police searched Patel’s house on a warrant, a 9-millimeter pistol and eight boxes of cartridges were found in a safe in his bedroom. One box of cartridges was missing two bullets, which matched the two bullets found from the crime scene: one from Giandoni’s home and one on his body.A police officer who had reached first at crime scene testified that Giandoni suffered gunshot, stab wounds and a zip tie was also found around his mouth which was used to stop him breathing.A grand jury will now be hearing this case. Related Itemslast_img read more

Mohun Bagan Beat Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup Defending Champions to Get Campaign Back on Track

first_imgNew Delhi: Mohun Bagan registered a comfortable victory over Dhivehi Premier League 2018 champions TC Sports Club from the Maldives to get their campaign at the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup back on track.Mohun Bagan, who had suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Young Elephant FC from Laos, got back into the groove with a 2-0 win at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong on Wednesday. On Tuesday, I-League 2018-19 champions Chennai City FC fell to a 5-3 loss to Malaysia’s Terengganu FC in their opener while Gokulam Kerala FC opened their campaign with a solid 3-1 win over Bangladesh Premier League champions Bashundhara Kings.It took Mohun Bagan just four minutes to get themselves on the scoresheet through a poke by Daniel Cyrus. Gurjinder Singh played a beautiful cross towards the far post which Morante got hold of. He drew the defender towards himself and then passed the ball left to the onrushing Cyrus, who slotted it home.However, just three minutes later Gurjinder went down with an injury and had to be replaced by Dhanachandra Singh.In the 20th minute, Mohun Bagan went on another impressive attack and they even hit the woodwork before Akram Ghani of TC Sports Club managed to clear the ball to help his team survive.Just six minutes later, TC goalkeeper was called to action once again when Colinas got his head to a cross from the left and if not for his brilliant diving save, Bagan would have had their second goal.While TC made a number of moves, the Bagan back four was watertight and were hardly troubled as the teams went into half time with Mohun Bagan leading 1-0.The story remained pretty much the same in the second half and in the 60th minute, Mohun Bagan once again came extremely close to scoring. Colinas passed the ball to Salvador Perez Martinez, who took a brilliant shot but it hit the bar.However, it took just another four minutes for Mohun Bagan to finally get their second goal and it was Martinez in the end. Britto passed the ball to Colinas on the left, who trickled the ball in the centre. Martinez collected the ball and turned around, dropped his shoulder and took the shot, that hit the inside of the post and went into the back of the net.TC fought tooth and nail for the entirety of the second half and made Debjit pull off a solid save towards the end as well but Mohun Bagan remained well in control to take the win and knock out the defending champions. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. footballIndiaindian footballMohun Bagan First Published: October 23, 2019, 6:24 PM ISTlast_img read more

What is Decision Fatigue and How Can You Outsmart it?

first_imgSources: Live Like Pros | Medium | Intelligent Economist | Consumer Affairs | Rescue Time | CNBC | Gallup Decision fatigue is the decline in energy and focus you experience after making too many decisions. This mental drain causes your brain to abandon your willpower in order to seek more immediate rewards, which leads to poor decision making and irrational behavior in the workplace and at home.  In this article, we’ll share what decision fatigue is, how it is affecting you daily, and steps you can take to outsmart it. By learning how to save your energy for the important stuff, you’ll set yourself up to be a high-achiever. Jump to our infographic to learn seven quick ways to outsmart decision fatigue, or you can read on to find out more.What is Decision Fatigue?Have you ever felt mentally drained after a morning meeting, or made an impulse purchase after a long day of shopping? Decision fatigue impacts everything from the meals we eat to the profits we make. On average, Americans make between 10,000 to 40,000 choices a day. During a normal workday, you may switch tasks over 300 times. These decisions don’t go unnoticed by your brain. Like other muscles in the body, the brain is subject to exhaustion, which is how decision fatigue wears down your self-control and willpower.  Sometimes referred to as ego depletion, this theory was first uncovered by social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister, and it states that the quality of our decisions declines as we are faced with more and more choices throughout the day. Psychologists believe that it’s because our self-control and willpower draw upon a limited pool of mental resources that can be used up. Once the energy depletes, our self-control becomes impaired, leading to poorer decision making and irrational resolutions. This mental fatigue can take a big hit on your finances. In addition to decreasing productivity in the office, which can translate to low performance reviews and lower profits, decision fatigue also clouds your judgement on big decisions such as purchasing a house. If your brain is faced with too many decisions, it will avoid making one altogether or make an impulse decision that can hurt your wallet, all because of your depleted willpower. One of the most popular studies on decision fatigue looked at parole hearings in Israeli court rooms. The study found that the biggest determining factor for whether inmates would receive parole or not wasn’t based on reasoning or facts, but on the time of day the hearing took place. In fact, prisoners with early morning court appearances received parole about 70% of the time, compared to prisoners late in the day who were paroled less than 10% of the time. The study concluded that this was because judges were so sick of making choices by the time the afternoon cases rolled in, that they chose the easier, less risky decision: denying parole. How is it Affecting You and Your Finances?Decision fatigue affects everyone. This is because the human brain needs fuel to function properly. Specifically, your prefrontal cortex needs glucose, a simple sugar you get from food. The prefrontal cortex is the area of your brain that gives you the power to think, decide, and control your impulses, and it’s also the same area of the brain that becomes depleted after lots of decision-making takes place. This study done at the University of Kentucky found that when glucose is low, it doesn’t make the brain stop working altogether – it just makes a different area of the brain kick-in, which makes you more likely seek immediate rewards and pay less attention to long-term prospects.This can impact you in a number of ways. Decision fatigue impairs your ability to make trade-offs. For example, after spending hours at a car dealership, you’ll be more likely to agree to add-ons right before you complete your purchase because your mind is fatigued and wants to escape. This also causes you to make impulse purchases. Too many choices can also lead you to procrastinate on deciding altogether. One study found that when shoppers at a mall were faced with 26 flavors of jelly, they got overwhelmed and only 3% of shoppers took home a jar. On a different day, when shoppers were faced with just 6 jam flavors, 30% purchased a jar. Perhaps most importantly, decision fatigue impairs your self-regulation, as seen in the case of the Israeli judges. Their job requires them to make unbiased decisions based on law and fact, yet decision fatigue causes them to treat offenders differently based on time of day. Decision fatigue can make you irrational and even turn you against your own guiding principles, so learning how to outsmart it is essential to living a life you can be proud of.Here’s How to Avoid it:Learning how to avoid and outsmart decision fatigue is vital to productivity and smart financial decisions. Use these tips to avoid making impaired judgements on big decisions:1. Make Fewer DecisionsMost people don’t realize just how many decisions they are making, and how all of these choices are impacting their energy and mood. With the average American makes 36,000 choices a day, it’s no wonder some of us are mentally drained before lunchtime. Automating repeating tasks is a great way to limit decisions. Set up autopay for recurring bills to remove bill paying decisions from your routine. Delegate unimportant decisions at work to maximize your time at the office. The more decisions you can automate, the more willpower you can save. For this reason high achievers such as Steve Jobs, Former U.S. President Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg actively limit the amount of decisions they make. Steve Jobs, who wore his trademark blue jeans with a black turtleneck and white sneakers every day, said that, “Deciding what to do is as important as deciding what to do.” Both Zuckerberg and Obama have also adopted this wardrobe tactic: for Zuckerberg, it’s gray tees, for Obama, it’s gray and blue suits. Obama also eats the same thing for breakfast every morning, eliminating yet another decision from his day. 2. Establish Daily RoutinesFrom the moment you wake up until you drift off to dreamland, all of the decisions you make impact your willpower. The more decisions you make, the more mental exhaustion you will feel, so the more decisions you automate, the more energy you can save for the important stuff. Establishing both morning and evening routines will set you up for success by automating some of your processes. For example, if you always start your morning with a meditation and short exercise followed by eggs for breakfast, your mind doesn’t have to decide to do that when you wake up each morning, it will just do the routine on autopilot. While financial decisions should not be made at evening, working a financial review into your nighttime routine will help you achieve better money habits. Set aside a few minutes to review any purchases you made throughout the day. Are there any unnecessary, repeating purchases – like a $5 coffee – that are killing your budget overtime? A budgeting app makes it easy to stay on top of your spending and also keep track of any upcoming bills. Following a strict daily schedule will help you maximize both work and leisure time. Set a start and end time for tasks and split up your day into time block categories for work, exercise, family time, and bed-time. 3. Tackle Big Decisions Early in the DayAfter you’ve completed your morning routine, it’s time to start being productive. Make your biggest decisions early in the day so you can utilize your strong willpower before it starts to deplete. Go through your to-do list focusing on the most important tasks first to increase rational decision-making and productivity. Even if you think you make your best decisions later in the day, you are probably wrong. A study revealed that even people who consider themselves night owls make their best decisions in the morning and their worst ones late at night. Saturday mornings are a great time to make purchases. That way, your financial decisions are not interfering with your professional decisions and you can focus all of your energy on finding the best deal. Do your research before you head to the store so you already know which item and brand you intend to purchase. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed and avoiding the decision altogether, and it will also keep you away from budget killer impulse buys. As the day goes on, remember that not every project you work on or decision you make should use all the energy you can muster. In fact, trying to perfect an unimportant task is a waste of mental energy and time. Sometimes, a task just needs to get done. Prioritize your willpower for the big tasks and give yourself a tight time frame for the small ones. 4. Eat Right, Eat Often Most high-achievers make healthy eating habits a priority. This energy is what gives our brain fuel – in fact, a new study linked low glucose levels with worse decision making. Sugar can help increase glucose levels and fuel short bursts of energy, but we get more long-term energy from healthier foods such as most vegetables, raw fruits, cheese, meat, fish, and good fats. Meal-prepping is a great way to keep your mind healthy and free from decision fatigue. It’s also a great way to make budget decisions around eating. Decide how much you are willing to spend on meals each week, and then work a grocery store visit into your Sunday routine. When you get home, prepare your lunch and dinner for the week so you never have to decide where your next meal is coming from. Resistance also takes a toll on our mental state. Baumeister, in his ego depletion study, found that participants who had recently resisted freshly baked cookies were less able to persevere through the puzzle than their peers.That’s why limiting temptations helps reduce decision fatigue. For example, if you leave a candy bar out on your desk but restrain from eating it, you are adding a decision into your day. If there is no candy bar at all, you don’t have to decide whether or not to eat it. 5. Time Block Your Schedule You can maximize your time, and limit your decisions, by time blocking your schedule each day. By committing ahead of time to a designated task, you are setting priorities and deadlines for yourself as well as eliminating decisions on how to spend free time. The idea is that filling out every minute of your calendar makes you prioritize and leaves you feeling more in control of your own time. Your schedule becomes less-decision based, and more action-based. Being unproductive is a roadblock to financial and professional success. In a recent FPA study, just 13% of financial advisors felt like they had complete control over their time. Taking back control of your day will translate to better performance and bigger profits. Elon Musk and Bill Gates are both big proponents of time-blocking. From the moment Must wakes up at 7 a.m. his day is planned out into five minute increments. He also does not take unscheduled phone calls, and only responds to emails when it’s designated on the schedule. This method can seem robotic and cold, but if you do it the right way, with blocks set aside for family and leisure time, you’ll probably find that you’re actually getting more time to do what you love simply by scheduling it. Decision fatigue is impacting all of us, but high-achievers recognize that the key to a productive day is learning how to outsmart it. You can make your days full of high-level decisions and productivity when you focus on what matters most.Deciding how and where to spend your energy is the key to unlocking your full potential. Take control of your willpower and self-control by using these 8 tactical approaches in the infographic below to outsmart decision fatigue. Post navigationcenter_img Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow to Save by Making Minor TweaksOctober 10, 2019In “Saving”Persuasion Techniques That All Successful Advertisers Use & How to Spot ThemNovember 15, 2019In “How To”What Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type Means for Your WalletApril 16, 2019In “Everyday Triumphs” last_img read more

5 Ways to Have a Sustainable Thanksgiving

first_imgIt’s just a matter of days now until the United States celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday. The Fiscal Times reported last year that 46 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving, and 95 percent of Americans spend the holiday feasting with family.On such an important food day, how can you enjoy the season while also being mindful of the planet? Here are five tips from our experts for having a more sustainable holiday feast:1) Finish Off Your Leftovers with Friends.In the United States, food is the single-largest component of waste ending up in landfills, making landfills the third-largest source of methane emissions in the country. In total, some 133 billion pounds of food is lost or wasted every year.Craig Hanson, Global Director for Food, Forests and Water:”Invite friends over on the Friday to eat re-heated leftovers. Face it, you think you will still be eating leftovers on Sunday, but by then you will be sick of turkey. Don’t fool yourself! Bring friends over and finish off the leftovers. Oh, and buy a turkey one-third smaller than you originally thought you would need.”2) Turn Your Scraps into Soup.In developed countries like the United States, households are major contributors of food waste. Groups like NRDC and the Ad Council are developing campaigns like SavetheFood.com to help individuals find recipes for putting together creative dishes and avoiding food waste.Lauren Zelin, Media Manager:”I have started turning my vegetable scraps into scrap soup. Why buy vegetable broth when you have all the ingredients going into your trash, especially around Thanksgiving when each of us probably generates enough scraps to make a full pot of soup? Carrot and potato peels, onion tops, celery fronds and garlic skins are perfect for soup. All you have to do is rinse the veggies well and keep trimmings in a gallon bag in the freezer until you reach two full bags, then dump them in a big pot, cover with one to two inches of water, add a tablespoon of salt and boil for 1-2 hours. You can use what you need and freeze the rest in large takeout containers for future use.”3) Eat the Rainbow.In many American households, turkey and gravy will be Thanksgiving staples—meat is, after all, a part of holiday traditions around the world. But what will be on the rest of your plate? The U.S. Dietary Guidelines advise Americans across the board to eat more fruits and vegetables. Not only are fruits and veggies good for you, but the wide array of colorful options are also less resource-intensive to produce.Richard Waite, Associate, Food Program:”Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the year just because of how varied it is. Every family has their own traditions, and some of the best Thanksgivings I’ve had have been potlucks where everyone brought a treasured side dish from their childhood. Just think about the spread – the red cranberry sauce, orange squash and sweet potatoes, yellow and green bean dishes, dark leafy greens and a colorful fruit salad. If you have kids, I bet you can get them to eat something new that’s not only delicious – but looks great and is good for them and the planet!”4) Use Your Freezer.Data in the United Kingdom shows that more than 50 percent of avoidable household waste is caused by people buying too much and not using the food before it expires. In the United States, where there’s no regulation on date labels, consumers often see a variety of misleading labels, including ‘sell by’ dates or ‘display until’ dates. These labels are purely for stores’ internal stock control, but they nevertheless contribute to people needlessly wasting food.Liz Goodwin, Senior Fellow and Director, Food Loss and Waste:”At the holidays, we have a tendency to buy more than we actually end up needing. Remember to use your freezer. It means you don’t need to waste food – put things in single portions or amounts that you can use easily. The freezer is particularly good for keeping foods like meat and fish, which spoil quicker, fresher for longer. So if you end up with food that looks like it’s about to go bad or the date label says it’s coming up on expiration, the freezer can ensure you will be able to enjoy it for longer.Like Lauren, we use every bit of scrapped vegetable in our home. We love to chop up all the leftover vegetables — and include meat like leftover turkey — and then fry the mix in a pan. It’s basically a hash. Put a poached egg on top. It’s very flexible as you can make some for vegetarians and some for those who want meat. It’s basically what we call here in England Bubble and Squeak, and it’s delicious.”5) Rethink Your Plate.The average American could cut their diet’s environmental impacts in half just by eating less meat and dairy. Turkey and other poultry require less land and have lower associated greenhouse gas emissions than beef or lamb, making them a better family option than the holiday beef roast. WRI’s Protein Scorecard can help you assess a food’s environmental impact.Daniel Vennard, Director, Better Buying Lab:”Turkey is a favorite part of my family’s celebrations, but this year we plan to get a smaller bird and have vegetables as the center of the show. The Protein Scorecard shows that plant-based protein sources like lentils, chickpeas and beans create less than half the environmental impact of poultry. This year our turkey will be more of a condiment. With all the great spices and herbs that adorn our dishes, we’re looking forward a varied, tasty extravaganza.”last_img read more

Vietnam: An Up-and-Coming Clean Energy Leader?

first_imgVietnam has a significant challenge ahead: power its remarkable economic growth with less polluting and more affordable clean energy.This is no small task. According to the Vietnam Business Forum, the country’s current energy plan would increase coal use from 14 gigawatts (GW) to 55GW by 2030 and require 10 million tons of coal to be imported every year from 2017 onward. Yet the government is increasingly invested in changing this trajectory, recently committing to reduce its emissions up to 25 percent from business-as-usual levels by 2030, in part by generating 18,000 megawatts (MW) of power from wind and solar. The private sector, too, is increasingly willing to support the country’s clean energy and greenhouse gas commitments.Vietnam today is a dynamic place where business and government could chart an unprecedented shift toward towards clean energy — if they can address some key barriers. Challenges Preventing a Renewable TransitionEnergy development and investment must be reshaped, and business consumers are an untapped opportunity to pull new technologies into the mix.  Business involvement will be particularly important, as commercial and industrial companies consume more than 60 percent of Vietnam’s electricity.In recent discussions with corporate energy buyers, we found that three major challenges prevent companies operating in Vietnam from an easy transition to renewables:While companies are interested in sourcing renewable energy, many are finding that national policies for using the grid or selling back extra electricity are not aligned to support these efforts. Industrial electricity prices remain artificially low through subsidies, which makes it difficult for renewables to compete.While companies readily set renewable energy purchasing targets for their operations and their supply chains, many companies do not have the individual energy demand to unlock larger, more cost-effective projects. Collaborating across their sector or with those located in the same area could help, but this type of collaboration is difficult.Despite increased pressure from customers and investors to implement renewable energy quickly, managers often lack the time or knowledge of the market to evaluate the best opportunities for purchasing renewable energy.In short, corporate demand for clean energy in Vietnam exists, but demand alone won’t lead to megawatts being built. Aggregating projects to improve economics while changing the regulatory environment are necessary.Opportunities in 2018Because electricity consumption in the commercial and industrial sectors is expected to multiply in the coming years, now is a critical moment to support large energy users in shifting to clean energy. Innovative partnerships can help.The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a coalition of more than 100 large energy buyers helping corporations purchase 60 GW of renewable energy in the United States by 2025, launched a workgroup in Vietnam in December. Co-led by WRI, Allotrope Partners and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory under the Clean Energy Investment Accelerator (CEIA), the workgroup will collaborate with large commercial and industrial energy consumers to identify ways to lower the cost of deploying and integrating renewable energy.More than 30 representatives from industry, government agencies, the financial sector and research institutions convened for the first time in Ho Chi Minh City to explore how collaboration could unlock new clean energy opportunities in Vietnam. They identified four opportunities for REBA and others:Finalize regulations for power purchase agreements. The Vietnamese government is collaborating with USAID’s Vietnam Low Emission Energy Program (V-LEEP) to develop a “direct power purchase agreement” policy framework. This would allow industrial energy buyers to purchase electricity directly from independent renewable energy producers.Improve transparency of electricity rate forecasting. Electricity prices will have to increase in order for Vietnam’s national utility to finance new energy projects, but the government has not announced a schedule for these price increases. The Vietnam Business Forum has started raising this issue with the government. Better transparency of expected price increases will allow buyers and investors to more accurately value fixed-cost renewable energy contracts, which can offer some price protection.Support supply chain collaboration. This year, the new workgroup will explore a renewable energy product and financing package to help Vietnamese suppliers in the apparel sector gain easier access to financing for renewable energy to meet clean energy mandates. Suppliers currently have difficulty securing financing for renewable energy projects and don’t have sufficient staff capacity to collaborate with peers to reduce costs.Develop a renewable energy model for industrial parks. Given the government’s expectation that industrial areas will continue to grow in Vietnam, these parks are an important place to explore more renewable solutions. The workgroup will research models that allow Vietnam’s industrial parks to aggregate demand from tenants to help scale clean energy. Vietnam Could Be a Regional Clean Energy LeaderWith energy demand growing by two-thirds by 2040 in Southeast Asia, countries throughout the region are wondering how to expand their energy systems in a way that’s sustainable. Vietnam provides an interesting and important combination of conditions that can enable a meaningful transition to clean energy: government commitments to renewables and a private sector eager to meet increasingly stringent clean energy targets. As an up-and-coming clean energy leader, Vietnam has the potential to create solutions that can be replicated across Southeast Asia.last_img read more

Conservation Finance Takes Off as the Netherlands Issues One of the Largest Green Bonds Ever

first_imgSeeing GreenSo how did investors react when the recent Dutch Green Bond was issued? Within 90 minutes of the bond’s issuance, the government had received 21.2 billion euros ($23.8 billion) worth of orders for 5.98 billion ($6.71 billion) euros of certificates, over-subscribing the bond by 3.5 times the original amount. The prospect of a AAA rated bond that credibly met investors’ needs for certified and innovative green investments clearly hit the mark. The Netherlands for their part gave preference to investors with registered sustainability credentials. The conservation finance market hit a new high-water mark in recent weeks as the Dutch government issued one of the largest green bonds ever: 5.98 billion euros (roughly $6.8 billion). This bond for low-carbon development and sustainable water management will finance, among other things, natural infrastructure solutions in the Netherlands that are crucial for protecting one of the world’s lowest-lying countries from floods and sea-level rise.The enthusiasm for the bond also signals a bigger trend: the shift in conservation finance from a niche market to a mainstream, large-scale investment strategy.What Is a Green Bond?A bond allows an institution (in this case the Dutch government) to borrow money from multiple investors and pay them back over time. For example, the U.S. government issues treasury bonds to raise money from citizens to finance government projects. Now the concept is being applied to the challenges of climate change and disaster risk management.The bond benefits the Dutch government by allowing it to raise capital for major infrastructure projects, such as renewable energy facilities, low-carbon transportation systems and water and flood defense infrastructure. The bonds benefit investors (which includes pension funds, banks, and insurance companies) by offering them a stable and predictable investment with a regular rate of return. The Dutch government can repay investors with money raised through a variety of tax and revenue sources.So, what qualifies as a “green” bond? Several labeling and certification schemes have been developed to determine if the investments meet certain criteria for sustainability. The Dutch bond was certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), which uses a robust set of standards that have become a leading framework for green bonds. The certification followed CBI’s Water Infrastructure Criteria, which was crafted with the help of experts at WRI and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, along with technical and industry professionals.Fighting Climate Change with FinanceThe Netherlands is naturally vulnerable to climate change. Much of the country lies below sea level and is protected by dikes, levees and sea walls. Massive floods periodically inundate parts of the country, often causing extensive damage and loss of life. In response, the Dutch have become not only a world leader in engineering solutions to rising sea levels, but a nation heavily invested in fighting climate change even as it adapts to it.The bond will fund a wide range of low-carbon projects, including renewables (such as onshore solar energy and offshore wind energy), energy efficiency (such as residential energy efficiency upgrades) and clean transportation (such as public passenger transport infrastructure). The bond also has a focus on sustainable water management, especially the use of nature-based solutions and green infrastructure approaches for reducing flood risks in coastal and low-lying areas.The Netherlands has already embraced the natural infrastructure approach through its Room for the River program, a pioneering example of how to live with rising water, rather than fight it. Instead of building higher and higher levees to confine rivers to narrow channels, the project restored part of the natural river flood plain by pushing back dikes and digging new channels. The flood-prone areas are restored into wetlands, reservoirs or public parks that are designed to temporarily store flood water. The new green bond could take the lessons learned from Room for the River and scale them even more widely across the country.The Dutch have several examples of projects that harness natural processes to enhance large-scale infrastructure construction. In the province of South Holland, erosion of sand dunes and shoals on the Delfland Coast put the inland areas at risk for flooding. Engineers devised a system to address this through regular “sand nourishment” – replacing the lost sand with material dredged elsewhere. In 2011, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management developed an innovative approach by building a giant “Sand Motor” that mimics the natural structure and movement of dunes – continually replenishing the sand while providing primary sea defense.The “Sand Motor” helps prevent flooding caused by coastal erosion. Image: JvL/WRI This green bond, while exceptionally large, was not an anomaly. China, France, Nigeria, Indonesia, Fiji and dozens of other nations have also issued green bonds. Others, such as a large green bond from Germany, are anticipated to follow soon. Globally, the green bonds market reached about $168 billion in 2018, up more than 80% from 2016. And despite some recent slow-downs, many estimate that the green bonds market will continue to grow as more emerging economies begin to issue green bonds of their own. There is also growth in related conservation finance tools, such as “sustainability bonds”, “social bonds”, and investments focused on water resources.Many historians trace the birth of modern banking back to the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries, including the issue of the first general government bonds. Why did this happen in the Netherlands? Water likely played a role- the Dutch financial system was cultivated out an elaborate system of global trade enabled by the city’s waterways and access to the sea. Now once again, water and finance are inextricably linked in the Netherlands. It likely won’t be the last time.Alex Mauroner and John Matthews are the Network Director and Executive Director respectively for the Alliance for Global Water Adaptationlast_img read more

This Month in Climate Science, August 2019: Persistent Summers, Bumpier Plane Rides and More Heat Deaths

first_imgEvery month, climate scientists make new discoveries that advance our understanding of climate change’s causes and impacts. The research gives a clearer picture of the threats we already face and explores what’s to come if we don’t reduce emissions at a quicker pace.Our blog series, This Month in Climate Science, offers a snapshot of the month’s significant scientific literature, compiled from some of the leading peer-reviewed journals. This edition explores studies published in August 2019. (To get these updates delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our Hot Science newsletter.)Recent Extreme EventsAugust brought alarming signs of a changing climate, many of which are in line with projections of a warming world:About 90% of the Greenland ice sheet’s surface melted from July 30th to August 3rd.  Runoff was 55 billion tons, 40 billion tons more than the average from 1981-2010 for the same time period.Arctic sea ice extent was the second-lowest in the satellite record for the month of August, after 2012.Anchorage, Alaska had its warmest August on record.Hurricane Dorian picked up significant strength, and was one of the five strongest hurricanes on record in the Atlantic Basin.NOAA confirmed that July 2019 was the warmest month on record globally.Ice Loss:September Arctic sea ice to disappear with low levels of warming: A new modeling technique estimated that Arctic sea ice will disappear in September with warming of only 2 to 2.5 degrees C (3.6 to 4.5 degrees F). The authors further stated that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F), a temperature goal in the Paris Agreement, may not be sufficient to prevent ice-free conditions.Human-induced climate change melted West Antarctic ice sheet: Researchers have now established a causal link between greenhouse gas emissions and past melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Human-induced climate change has affected the winds that blow over the nearby oceans, bringing warm waters that melted the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.Arctic sea ice loss may not cause cold winters at mid-latitudes: For several years, scientists have linked record-cold winters to shrinking Arctic sea ice cover. A new article questions that connection for cold mid-latitude winters, finding that atmospheric circulation changes occurred before sea ice loss rather than as a result of it. The authors did find that sea ice loss may be contributing to cold winters in East Asia.Arctic sea ice decline started earlier than previously thought: Scientists used records of algae, which depend on light availability, as a proxy to study sea-ice cover in the high Arctic. They found the declining sea-ice trend started in the beginning of the 20th century, earlier than previously reported. The lowest sea-ice values over the past 200 years occurred from the 1980s to early 2000s.Melting Antarctic icebergs can delay climate impacts: Scientists examined the effect of Antarctic icebergs, which can travel large distances before melting, on meltwater patterns across the Southern Ocean. While they found that meltwater can contribute to accelerated Antarctic ice loss, the iceberg melt also increases surface cooling, slowing down warming in the southern hemisphere. Depending on the rate of ice sheet disintegration, this “iceberg effect” could delay warming in cities such as Buenos Aires and Cape Town.Extreme WeatherHot extremes rise in Europe: Researchers found that across Europe, the number of days with extreme heat and heat stress more than tripled between 1950 and 2018, with temperature extremes warming by 2.3 degrees C (4.1 degrees F) during that period. At the same time, days with extreme cold temperatures decreased by two to three times, and extremely cold temperatures warmed by over 3 degrees C (5.4 degrees F).More persistent summer weather: Summer weather will become more persistent as global average temperature increases more than 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F), leading to longer uninterrupted warm, dry periods, especially in eastern North America. Authors also found that warming increases the likelihood of consecutive days of strong precipitation at mid-latitudes.Flood incidence a mixed bag in Europe: In some regions of Europe, floods increased about 11% between 1960 and 2011, whereas other areas saw a decline of 23%. More autumn and winter rainfall increased floods in northwestern Europe, while decreased precipitation and increased evaporation led to a decline in floods in southern Europe. Eastern Europe also saw decreased floods due to declining snow cover and snowmelt.Thousands more deaths with half a degree of warming in China: Researchers found that limiting warming to 2 degrees C instead of 1.5 degrees C would result in about 28,000 additional-heat related deaths annually in China.Increase in tropical cyclone-related flooding in the US: Tropical cyclone-induced flooding is one of the most destructive hazards. Researchers found that in a warming climate, tropical cyclones would impact flood hazards along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts significantly, with the largest impacts in the Gulf of Mexico.Increased risk of food and water shortages in Upper Nile Basin: While the Upper Nile Basin — which covers South Sudan, Uganda and western Ethiopia — is expected to see more precipitation due to climate change, the increased frequency of hot and dry years will lead to more water shortages, despite increased precipitation. Given the projected rise in hot and dry years (increasing by a factor of 1.5 to 3, even with warming limited to 2 degrees C), agriculture is expected to be stressed, and water scarcity will be exacerbated. The authors conclude that climate change could place the region “at risk of severe food and water shortages.” As many as 250 million people could be affected.Link between sea surface temperature and U.S. tornadoes: Using tornado data in the United States from 1954 to 2016, scientists found that global sea surface temperatures increased tornado activity in April across the Southern Great Plains region, when tornado occurrences have peaked in the region.Impacts:Deforestation significantly affects local climate: A new study found that in areas of the Amazon with severe deforestation, surface temperature increased by 0.44 degrees C (0.8 degrees F) between 2000 and 2013.Earlier grape harvests: Studying a 664-year-long data record of grape harvest dates in Burgundy, scientists found that between 1354 to 1987, grapes were typically picked from September 28th onwards. In the last three decades, harvests began 13 days earlier than the six-century average. The authors said that the transition to rapid warming in 1988 has made hot and dry years the norm.Transformed boreal forests: While evergreen conifers are currently the dominant tree type in Alaska’s boreal forests, by the end of the century, deciduous broadleaf trees will nearly double, making them dominant tree in the ecosystem. Researchers said the expansion of deciduous forest can have several ecological and climatic implications. For example, broadleaf deciduous trees lose their leaves, which can amplify warming as a result of microbial decomposition and increased moisture loss through the leaves.Climate change causing bumpier plane rides: Researchers found that climate change has had a larger impact on the North Atlantic jet stream than previously thought, affecting aviation by creating more turbulence. They studied the change in wind speed at higher heights (known as vertical shear), which has increased 15% between 1979 and 2017.Marine heatwaves affect corals more than previously thought: Researchers discovered that severe marine heatwaves lead to coral death, as well as the rapid dissolution of the coral skeleton, which transforms reefs’ entire structure. This can have widespread impacts on other animals that depend on the reef.Native plant species at risk in Europe: A study of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana in Spain and Germany found that frequent droughts and rising temperatures will put the native plant species at risk. The study suggested that many native plant populations in the transition zone between the Mediterranean and temperate regions could be at risk of perishing.Ocean BehaviorAltered ocean waves: Researchers have found that under a high emissions scenario, climate change will alter ocean waves (in terms of height, frequency and/or length) across about half of the world’s coastline. The impacts vary by region. For example, average wave height is to increase in the Southern Ocean and tropical eastern Pacific, but is to decrease in the North Atlantic and part of the Pacific Ocean. Climate change affects wind patterns, which in turn affect waves.EmissionsCritical role of land in determining climate change: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land found that land removed a net 6 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 per year from 2007 to 2016, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of the United States. Further deforestation and land degradation, though, will chip away at this carbon sink. **Read more about the findings in our blog post.Carbon dioxide makes plants bigger — to a point: Scientists found that the higher carbon dioxide levels expected by the end of the century could increase plant biomass by about 12% over current levels. This additional biomass could sequester about 59 petagrams of carbon (PgC), roughly six years’ worth of global carbon dioxide emissions. However, if deforestation and land use change continue unabated, or the land carbon sink is weakened or reversed due to further climate change, this effect would be lost.last_img read more

How to Setup and Promote Your First Marketing Webinar

first_imgYou do not need to be a rocket scientist to host a webinar. All you need is a webinar checklist – and here we are to provide it. To unveil all the steps and tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way hosting hundreds of marketing webinars over the last 4 years. First we’ll start with the basics of how to host your first webinar. For the advanced webinar hosts out there, stay tuned for a future post on more advanced tips.Download Now: Free Webinar Planning KitHow to Host Your First Webinar – Part 1: Before the Webinar Stage 1: Prepare 8 weeks before the webinar Choose a Topic – Think about your customers’ problems and questions. These are the same ideas you may brainstorm for blog posts. Choose a Speaker – Choose a presenter who can be a face of the company, someone with expertise and experience presenting (or make sure they practice). Consider also acting as a moderator to handle Q&A and make the webinar more interesting for listeners. Choose a Date – No one date/time works for every company. Think about your target audience’s time zones and choose a time you think will work for them. For example, for webinars for US attendees choose afternoon eastern time / morning pacific time. Choose a Webinar System – For a typical webinar, you likely won’t find a better value than GotoWebinar . It’s inexpensive and easy-to-use and they even have a 30-day free trial so you can test it out for free for your first webinar.GotoWebinar Functionality Overview Broadcast type: Share desktop Audio options: Phone and internet VOIP Interactivity: Polls, Q&A via chat Recording: Records screen and audio, saves WMV file to computer Reporting: View attendee login details, Q&A and poll response details Number of attendees supported: 1,000 Originally published Mar 24, 2011 12:30:00 PM, updated October 14 2019 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Webinars Book Your Team – Make sure to get on the calendar of your selected speakers and moderators. Also, reserve a conference room or other quiet room for your event, including 1 hour before your scheduled start time and 30 minutes after the scheduled end. Your room will need, among other things (to be discussed in my next post), a phone and internet connection. 4 weeks before the webinar Create You Webinar Slide Deck – Start with an outline and formulate an agenda. Be sure to use images – you don’t want people to just sit there reading your slides instead of listening to what you have to say. Then make sure to practice your presentation and gauge the right length for the time allotted. Budget time for Q&A as well! You may also want to have pre-webinar slides at the beginning to show while attendees arrive. ( Learn some really advanced presentation tips here. ) Create Your Registration Landing Page – This will allow you to collect registrants as leads for future follow up and set them up to get reminder and follow up emails if you integrate your landing page with a system like GotoWebinar. Be sure to follow the usual landing page best practices . Set Up Your Event with Your Webinar System – The process will be different for whichever system you use; GotoWebinar has a wizard that lets you set up your event. Set up includes scheduling your event, designating presenters who will get a special login to broadcast their audio and screens, and setting up reminder and follow up emails to automatically go to attendees. Practice, Practice, Practice – Practice both your presentation to get comfortable with delivering the content and also the technology to make sure you know how to launch the event. Stage 2: Promote   2 weeks before the webinar Promote via Social Media – Let your social media following know about your webinar. Post an update to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social media site where you are active. Promote to Your Email List – Send a webinar invitation to your house email list or an appropriate segment of your leads and customers. Promote on Your Website/Blog – Add a call to action to your webinar landing page in prominent places on your website, like your homepage. Write a blog article or two relevant to the webinar topic and include a call to action to register for the webinar to learn more. Promote via Free Webinar Listing Sites – There are a number of free sites that let you list webinars, like webinarlistings.com and webinarhero.com . You can also find relevant industry community sites where you can post links to virtual events and webinars. 24 hours before the webinar Remind Your Registrants – Some people will register for your event far in advance and forget that it’s approaching. Be sure to remind them – you can set up a reminder email to send from a system like GotoWebinar – as you near the event, particularly 24 hours before.Now watch the registrants roll in! Up Next: What to Do on the Day of the Webinar last_img read more

Facebook Finally Introduces Embedded Posts: What You Need to Know

first_imgYesterday, Facebook launched a new feature that we’ve always wanted: the ability to embed Facebook posts on websites. Just like tweets, this new feature will allow you to embed all public statuses, photos, videos, and hashtags — and users will be able to interact directly with the embedded content. They can like and share the post, like or follow the post author, or view the author’s Timeline without leaving the page the post is embedded on.Unfortunately, it’s currently only rolled out to a handful of select whitelisted publications — folks like CNN, Mashable, and Bleacher Report are the only ones who can embed Facebook posts on their sites. But Facebook says that this update will be rolling out to all users soon.While we’re all anxiously waiting to get our websites approved (*fingers crossed*), we wanted to give you all the run-down of how this new feature works, plus a few ideas to jumpstart your marketing efforts once your site is whitelisted. Once Facebook Flips the Switch, Here’s How You Embed a Post: Embedding a Facebook post is just as simple as embedding a tweet, Vine, or Instagram post: Just copy a section of code and paste it into your HTML. Here’s how you do it:1) Find the Facebook post you’d like to embed. In the top right corner, click the grey arrow to pull down more options.2) Choose ‘Embed Post.’3) Copy the code that appears, and paste it on your site. … And that’s it. Simple, right? Now, the better question to answer is: How can you actually use this new feature in your marketing?How to Use Embedded Facebook Posts in Your MarketingThere are lots of ways you could use Embedded Facebook Posts … you’ve just got to get creative. Here are a few ideas for using this new feature that can help get your creative juices flowing:1) Recaps of Facebook ChatsRunning a Facebook chat on your Page that was particularly enlightening for your Fans? Chances are, your blog followers would love to be enlightened, too. Embed the post where you held the chat and pull out some of the main questions (and answers) for your blog visitors to read. And poof: an easy way to repurpose content that you know your buyer personas will love, not to mention show your social media fans some love.2) Newsjack ReferencesDid a company in your industry announce its latest news on Facebook? Grab the Facebook embed code from the launch post to use as a jumping off point for your newsjack. Keep in mind that this could get a little sticky for you if you’re trying to newsjack controversial crises (like the whole Amy’s Baking Company fiasco) where the Facebook posts get deleted — in that case, the posts you try to embed will show an error on your blog. Still, this could be a great way to include interactive content in most of your newsjacks.3) Contest WinnersIf you’re having users submit original content on Facebook to win a contest, you might want to announce the winners on your website or blog by embedding the posts. For example, we’re currently hosting an INBOUND 2013 Scholarship contest — users submit original content to potentially win a free ticket to the inbound marketing conference — and I would love to show off any winning entries from Facebook on the blog. With this new feature, I would dream no more!4) Best Practices and ExamplesWith this new feature, you can kiss messy Facebook post screenshots goodbye. Now, you can just embed interactive posts in your blog posts. Bonus: Your audience can get an indication of the success of the post as all the interaction metrics get pulled in, as well. In fact, The Huffington Post has already done this type of post — check out how they used the new Facebook embeds to explain the “21 Reasons To Love George Takei.”5) Interactive Press ReleasesWe’ve all heard that we need to make press releases more interactive and exciting for journalists. Why not use embedded Facebook Posts to announce your next product launch in place of a stodgy press release? (We know you’ve been dying to get rid of it anyway. 😉 ) Switching up our press release style paid off for us a few years ago when we acquired oneforty, so it might be something to consider for your next big announcement.How would you use embeddable Facebook Posts in your marketing? Let’s come up with some creative ideas in the comments!Image credits: Facebook Facebook Marketing Originally published Aug 1, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: 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

How to Generate Click-to-Tweet Links for Your Content [Quick Tip]

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 Originally published Oct 21, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Twitter Marketing Topics:center_img For what it’s worth, I am by no means suggesting you use four Twitter CTAs in your content. Just trying to show the different options available for hyperlinking with our free icons set.Example Use Cases of Click-to-Tweet CTAsWe’ve found these click-to-tweet CTAs to be incredibly helpful in our marketing. Here are some example use cases to help inspire your own usage:1) Tweet CTAs in Blog PostsIf you’re sharing quotes, stats, or even jokes in a blog post, including a click-to-tweet CTA can help the sharability of the post. This can lead to increased traffic to your content. Here are some examples from Unbounce and HubSpot blog posts:2) Tweet CTAs in EmailsOne of our email marketers recently tested this click-to-tweet concept in emails by calling them “lazy tweets.” After including a click-to-tweet button in the email, we saw a significant spike in tweets about the offer the email was promoting.3) Tweet CTAs in EbooksIf you’re putting together an ebook, whitepaper, or pretty much any PDF, you should optimize them with tweet CTAs. Here’s an example button from an Impact Branding ebook and example hashtag from a HubSpot guide. (If you’d like to learn how to hyperlink for Facebook and LinkedIn, read our blog post here).Now, wasn’t that simple?Where do you think you could best utilize click-to-tweet CTAs in your inbound marketing campaign? Share your thoughts with us below! Want your loyal readers, website visitors, and/or employees to easily share your content through their Twitter channels? You’ve come to the right place.Creating a tweetable link is far easier than learning custom code that you have to embed into your content. It’s as simple as having the right free tools and resources at your disposal.Not sure what we’re talking about? Here’s a text example:HubSpot customers with over 1,000 Twitter followers generate more than 800 new website visitors a month. [Source: @HubSpot] (Click to Tweet!)As you can see, clicking the call-to-action to “click to tweet” automatically populates a tweet you can publish through your own Twitter account.This post will show you how to craft a click-to-tweet CTA in either text or button form. Shall we?How to Craft a Text Click-to-Tweet CTA1) Navigate to Click to TweetFirst, you’ll need to head over to clicktotweet.com, an awesome tool we use constantly at HubSpot.2) Craft TweetNext, begin typing the copy of your tweet. Something to remember: When you paste a link into a tweet on Twitter or most third-party Twitter tools, Twitter automatically counts your link as 23 characters — even if there are more than 23 characters in your tweet.Click to Tweet does not have such functionality. So, you’ll need to shorten your link ahead of time using bitly or HubSpot before pasting it into the Click to Tweet share box.3) Hyperlink TextOnce your copy is all set, click the “Generate Link” button to create a custom link. Then, copy the generated link from the “Here’s your URL” field and hyperlink the text you want shared.For example, if you found this article helpful, just click here to share it! (See what I did there? ;-)How to Craft a Button Click-to-Tweet CTA1) Create Custom ButtonFirst, you’ll need a social media image and/or button to link to. If you don’t have time to design or create one, have no fear! We have an array of pre-built social media icons in our collection of 135 free icons you can download and use in your ebooks, blog posts, and other content.2) Craft TweetAs per the instructions above, go to clicktotweet.com and craft your tweet.3) Hyperlink ButtonClick the “Generate Link” button to create a custom link and copy the generated link from the “Here’s your URL” field. Instead of hyperlinking text, though, insert your social media icon into your blog post, ebook, or website, and simply hyperlink it with the link generated from Click to Tweet.Here’s my last chance to get you to tweet out this post … I mean, see some examples of how this looks once all is said and done:last_img read more

What in the World Is a Thank-You Page? [Under 100 Words]

first_imgA thank-you page is the page contacts see immediately after filling out and submitting a form on a landing page.The thank-you page is the final stage in your conversion process. In addition to thanking the person who converted on your landing page, optimized thank-you pages:Make the requested item easily accessibleDirect people to other parts of your siteProvide additional calls-to-actionEncourage social sharingYou can also combine your thank-you pages with automated emails that’ll immediately follow up with your contacts and suggest an additional offer they might enjoy — it could increase conversion rates.What other terms or inbound marketing practices would you like to see explained in under 100 words? Leave your requests in the comments below! Landing Pages Originally published May 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

Who is Bianca Andreescu? The 19-year-old Canadian immigrant who stunned Serena Williams

first_imgWhen she was 16, Bianca Andreescu wrote herself a fake US Open winner’s check as she dreamt herself holding the coveted trophy. The teen kept updating the amount of prize money as it rose in real life. And after 3 years, she was there, standing at the Flushing Meadows, holding the champion’s check worth USD 3.85 million.The victory at the US Open was huge for Bianca Andreescu as it came against the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams. But Bianca showed nerves of steel while facing the former world No. 1 to make sure the first time was her time.Not only did Andreescu became the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam title but the 19-year-old also became the first teenager to win a Grand Slam title in 13 years. The last teenager to win a major was Maria Sharapova, who was 19 when she won the 2006 US Open. Moreover, Andreescu also became the first player born in the 2000s (man or woman) to reach a Grand Slam final.On Sunday, Andreescu was furious on court. For playing against a player of a stature like Serena Williams, Andreescu looked extremely confident and it was rather the American who seemed to be under immense pressure. With her 6-3, 7-4 win over Williams, Andreescu penned one of the most amazing stories in tennis to become a household name among the tennis fans.The daughter of Romanian immigrants to CanadaBianca’s parents – Maria Andreescu and Nicu Andreescu – originally immigrated to Canada from Romania in 1994. “We arrived in Canada with two suitcases and that’s all,” Nicu told the Globe and Mail,” Maria Andreescu recalled during an interview.advertisementBianca returned to her native country at the age of 6 with her mom while her dad stayed behind in Canda. The mother-daughter duo returned to Canada permanently a few years later for the better good.A message from your 2019 women’s singles champion, @Bandreescu_!#USOpen pic.twitter.com/3OSLzPLIuwUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2019Andreescu and her open media appearancesIn her last 8 game Andreescu, found a way to claw back from a set down to win the match. When asked by a reporter how did she managed to do it, Andreescu replied that she said to herself to bring her “it” together, just barely stopping herself before uttering the preceding “sh.”At the Rogers Cup, she consoled a tearful Serena who had to retire hurt from the final and boosted her with her words. “You’re a f-cking beast.”Andreescu and her love for dogsFrom media day to hoisting the trophy, @Bandreescu_ is all about #USOpen pic.twitter.com/K9lBmnas4LUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2019Andreescu has a furry, 7-pound brown dog that often comes to see her play in the matches. Andreescu’s parents brought Coco to the semi-final game where their daughter faced Belinda Bencic.Andreescu and her super fashionable mothersuch a lil nug https://t.co/7aVlwKVXcTBianca (@Bandreescu_) September 5, 2019Bianca Andreescu rose to fame with her phenomenal rise in year 2019. However, it is not just Andreescu in her family who has caught the media attention but her mother Maria Andreescu is also becoming a celebrity in her own right.Maria became the talk of the town with her dressing style during the US Open.Andreescu describes her mother as “the coolest person” she knows. She does seemed like one with her over-sized black sunglasses at night, big hair, and a Versace-esque print top that read “Dog Queen” on the collar, accessorized with the family pooch, Coco, on her lap.She is calm as a monkAndreescu credits her parents, specially her mother, for her success at such early stage. The 19-year-old maintains that she learned how to stay calm in important moments from meditating, something that her mother taught her at a very young age.In the epic showdown on Sunday, Andreescu looked extremely focused and as cool as cucumber against the G.O.A.T Serena Williams and that’s because she knows how to control her mind.”I think if you can control your mind, then you can control a lot of things. When I’m on the court in front of these big stages, I’m really good at just blocking everything and staying in the zone,” Andreescu had said.Also Read | It’s super frustrating: Serena Williams on losing 4 Grand Slam finals since comebackAlso Read | That’s so Canadian: Bianca apologizes to crowd after stunning Serena in US Open finalAlso Read | US Open: Teenager Bianca Andreescu stuns Serena Williams to win her maiden Grand Slam titleadvertisementlast_img read more

Five Storylines to Watch Headed into Fall Camp (Part 2)

first_imgWe continue our two part series of the top storylines to watch headed into fall camp just less than a week before the first practice of fall camp on Tuesday. If you missed Part 1, be sure to give it a read here if you enjoy comments from the infamous Nate.Here are the final five storylines I’ll be intently watching as we head into fall camp.5. Play callingWithout going into too many X’s and O’s since I’m no Thomas Fleming, I’ll be interested to see how the play-calling evolves as Rudolph grabs the full reigns of the offense. Having a Walsh package last season was pretty predictable and easy for Yurcich, since it was like having an offensive coordinator run the offense. But with almost no experience for Rudolph inside the 20 yard line, what will their goal-to-go package look like now? I think that all depends on the progression of the offensive line, but the play calling will definitely show whether the confidence level is restored in the running game.4. Building quality depth at wide receiverWell, No. 3 is out until October. James Washington is the clear cut No. 1, but beyond him, OSU will need to continue to strengthen their depth. No doubt it’s a talented bunch with youngsters Jalen McCleskey and Dillon Stoner who I am both high on. But veterans like Chris Lacy and Jhajuan Seales will need to hold the post until Ateman can return. Seales has all the tools to be a No. 1 option.3. #RudolphToTheNFL ChatterWe’ve already heard it all this offseason about Rudolph being a potential first rounder in 2017. But if QB1 can get his troops rallied and off to another fast start, the NFL chatter will be buzzing come November. I’m not so much interested in the media buzz, but I’ll be interested to see how he has progressed from sophomore to junior year. He has one of the best deep threats in the conference in James Washington, and a ton of speedsters who he can get the ball to in the flats. Rudolph is primed for a big year.2. Can the Cowboys stay healthy?Marcell Ateman is already out until October, which isn’t ideal. OSU could’t keep the injury bug away last season, losing Ryan Simmons and Jimmy Bean to season ending injuries. If the Pokes want to make a Big 12 title run, they’ll need to have all their key pieces in the puzzle healthy to make it happen.1. Improvement along the offensive lineAdding junior college all-american offensive lineman Larry Williams could be a key to stabilizing a much maligned offensive line that has severely struggled. Most of the starting line from a year ago returns, and the young talent in the program has had a year to grow and learn. Among the up-and-comers are offensive tackle Marcus Keyes, who could be slated to see some time at left tackle. If the Cowboys can shore up some deficiencies, specifically at the guard positions, they could take a lot of pressure of Rudolph’s shoulders with a mildly performing run game again. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Day 1 Practice Report: Mike Gundy Says OSU Team Ahead of Schedule

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. I feel like I should admit up front that I’m a little bearish on this OSU football team for 2016. I’m not totally sure if it’s the tough schedule or the losses on defense or the lack of a safety net for QB1, but I’m just failing to see how this squad is going to perform that much better (if at all) than last year. That’s fine of course because 10-2 is amazing, and I might be proven wrong. I just feel like I should feel more confident about a 10-2 team returning nearly everyone on offense and most of its D.Mike Gundy thinks I should as well.“We had a really good offseason,” Gundy said on Monday during the first day of fall camp. “The coaches said we had great leadership in the offseason with the veteran players, and I think that carried over into today. In just watching from a distance, it looks like we’re a week or so ahead of where we’ve been the last two or three years in preseason camp, which is a credit to the players. They’ve reported with a good attitude, so it’s a fun time of the year for all of us, and especially for me to be able to watch our players, see them in practice and continue to see them get better.”A week or so, eh? That makes sense considering all the returning starters (presumably 22 juniors and seniors). And I’m listening now. Tell me more.“I thought that Mason (Rudolph) had a good day, and I thought that Barry J. Sanders looked good when he was in there. … I thought (Jordan) Sterns and (Ashton) Lampkin moved around well. Some of the new guys, I thought Tralund Webber moved out there pretty well and (Keondre) Wudtee threw the ball well.”He talked a little more about “Junior” who is not actually a Junior by name but is called that by Gundy because I presume Gundy calls everyone whose dad he is friends with “Junior.”“I’m not sure what our expectations are [of Sanders]. I hope that he will fall into a guy that can contribute 10 to 12 touches a game, whether that’s a run or a catch. We know that he’s matured and is a college graduate. He seems to be durable and have some elusiveness. His attitude is tremendous. We just need to see how it goes. He’s going to get quality work over the next two weeks, so we’ll see how it develops.”Preseason practice #1 for @CowboyFB. Mike Gundy on his expectations for Barry J. Sanders: pic.twitter.com/z5qpkiXLy7— Cayden McFarland (@caydenmc) August 2, 2016 QB1 agreed with Gundy about being ahead of schedule.“An experienced group of guys who kind of know what’s going on, bunch of veterans out there having fun and picking up where we left off in the spring,” said Rudolph. “He has a lot more faith in us. He has cut down some of these practices. I think the veteran guys know that the mental reps are just as important as being out there and doing it physically. Like you said, we are already excited. Getting to get out there today was fun.”So the start was good. Gundy, for all his perceived (and real) shortcomings, has never been one to shuffle words around when it comes to where his team is at. If it’s good, he’ll tell you it’s good. If it’s not, he’ll tell you that too. What matters is how this thing progresses. Are you going to still be ahead of schedule on August 31? I hope so.Gundy has always been good about finding the pulse of his team early and inserting it into the rhythm of the season properly. Pulling back the reins here, pushing harder over there — it’s one of his most underrated qualities. So I would expect him to pull the reins a little this August and even into September before letting them ride. And hey, all it took was one post-practice interview to get me more fired up than I was yesterday.last_img read more

Oklahoma State Falls in AP Top 25 After Bye Week

first_imgAfter sitting out this week with a bye, Oklahoma State dropped one spot in the AP top 25 poll that was released on Sunday afternoon to No. 11, and stayed at No. 10 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.Three-loss USC, who beat a 4-win Notre Dame team Saturday, jumped the Cowboys into the 10th spot.Here’s a look at where the top 25 stands in the AP poll.screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-1-22-55-pm screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-1-23-17-pmThe Cowboys rank No. 10 in the college football playoff committe rankings that will be updated once again on Tuesday. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

George Clooney Donates 1 Million to Counter War Crimes and Corruption in

first_imgToday George Clooney, through the Clooney Foundation for Justice, gave a $1 million gift to The Sentry to kick off its “Making War Criminals Pay” fundraising campaign.With increased investigative capacity, The Sentry – an initiative of the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch – will dramatically increase its production of dossiers focused on war criminals and their financial networks. The Sentry’s dossiers are being turned over to banks and governments in order to lay the foundation for serious action by regulatory and law enforcement authorities around the world, aimed at prosecuting or seizing the assets of those who finance and benefit from genocide or other war crimes.In addition to George Clooney’s generous grant, The Sentry is pleased to announce leadership gifts from: Don Cheadle, Carl Allen, Ruben Vardanyan, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, and three major donors who wish to remain anonymous. Including the Clooney Foundation grant, these gifts total $3.45 million. To reach their campaign goal of $6 million, The Sentry will seek to raise an additional $2.55 million.The Sentry is a team of policy analysts, regional experts, and financial forensic investigators that follows the money in order to create consequences for those funding and profiting from genocide or other mass atrocities in Africa, and to build leverage for peace.Announcing his gift, George Clooney, co-founder of The Sentry, said: “Our focus is to make sure that war crimes don’t pay. We want to make it more difficult for those willing to kill en masse to secure their political and economic objectives. When we’re able to go after the warlords’ wallets and bankrupt those who choose the bullet over the ballot, suddenly the incentives are for peace, not war; transparency, not corruption.”Sentry co-founder John Prendergast added: “The Sentry is pursuing a new strategy to counter mass atrocities that would utilize the tools of financial pressure normally reserved for countering terrorism, organized crime, and nuclear proliferation. We aim to undermine the pillars of the war economy and disrupt the financial flows that fuel conflict. Unless the links between conflict and corruption are confronted, peace will remain a distant dream.”With the Clooney Foundation gift and additional campaign donations, The Sentry will also be able to increase its capacity for public reporting based on material from these dossiers. Over the coming year, reports will be published focusing on state looting and illicit financial flows out of the war-torn countries of South Sudan, Sudan, Congo, Somalia, and the Central African Republic.As part of its efforts, The Sentry has also been an active partner in the #KeepThePromise (www.thepromisetoact.org) campaign aimed at countering genocide and educating the world about past atrocities such as the Armenian Genocide. The Sentry and its partners Enough and Not On Our Watch will expand its activities in that partnership over the coming year.last_img read more