By Rosa Milagros Santos[Flickr, OpLove_10-05-09-1971 by Rob Bixby, CC BY 2.0, Oct. 2, 2009] Retrieved on Nov. 19, 2015During our November 12th webinar on Social Emotional Development in the Early Years: Creating Supportive and Inclusive Environments, Dr. Micki Ostrosky and I highlighted specific characteristics of children’s physical environments such as housing quality, noise, street traffic, crowding, and access to transportation that impact their social emotional development. In whatever environmental conditions we (children and adults) live, it is part of human nature for us to learn to adapt to our specific situation. For example, it is not unusual for military families who reside on and off base to learn to live with constant aircraft or artillery noise.Learning to adapt to our environment enables us to function and go about our regular routines and activities. However, for young children these adaptive behaviors can negatively impact their overall development, thereby having both positive and negative consequences. For example, children living in noisy environments can learn to ignore the constant noise around them, a potentially positive thing. However, some children may not be able to discriminate what environmental noise and sounds they should and should not ignore. In an effort to tune out noise, children also may disregard important auditory input like conversation initiations and responses by others.Researchers have noted that children who are constantly exposed to these conditions are less likely to pay attention, less motivated to perform tasks, can become socially withdrawn, and have less interactions with peers and adult caregivers — all these are necessary skills for academic and school success.Fortunately, as parents, teachers, or military family service providers, we have the capacity to create and promote supportive environments to alleviate the chronic and toxic environmental conditions to which some children may be exposed. One of the ways adult caregivers can support children living in these situations is to engage with them through literacy activities. My colleagues, Dr. Angel Fettig and Dr. LaShorage Shaffer and I wrote in our 2012 article, Helping Families Connect Early Literacy with Social-Emotional Development that literacy activities can support children’s language and communication skills as well as positively impact their social-emotional development. In this article, we share some strategies for using literacy activities, such as book reading and storytelling, to promote social emotional development.Creating multiple opportunities to read together whether it is part of a bedtime routine or at different times during the day, provide children and adults those important one-on-one times to interact. Reading together can provide children and adults with a chance to engage in an activity that is calm and quiet — away from the chaos and noise that might be present in their environment. Reading together can also be a time where children can focus on one activity and not be distracted by multiple inputs in their environment. Most importantly, reading together provides a chance for a child to have an adult’s undivided attention especially on those busy days.In our forthcoming webinar on Social Emotional Development in the Early Years: Enriching Social Emotional Literacy (December 3, 2015) we will focus on strategies to support the development of children’s emotional literacy, including building their vocabulary skills. Literacy-rich environments are linked to increased success in school — not only academically but just as importantly, socially and emotionally.Remember, as parents, teachers, or military family service providers we play an important role in designing and creating environments from which children learn and grow, and thus we must choose wisely when we do so!This post was written by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Amy Santos, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.
by Dora Doss, M.S., SLP-CCCFeeding issues frequently come up in MFLN Family Development Early Intervention webinar evaluations as a topic caregivers struggle to address with young finicky eaters. It is my hope that this blog will provide readers with some key resources related to feeding that others have found useful.Image from Pixabay.com, CC0As a parent and provider working with children with feeding disorders, I have found it helpful to have a few go-to resources. In my professional toolkit are two speech pathologists who have made it their mission to educate others; both of them offer something for the experienced provider and for the pediatric feeding newbie.Krisi Brackett, M.S., CCC-SLP has over 20 years of experience treating children with feeding difficulties. She is co-director of the Pediatric Feeding Team at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Krisi teaches a graduate level pediatric dysphagia course at UNC and participates in current feeding research.Pediatric Feeding News Blog – This blog was developed to provide relevant information related to pediatric feeding and swallowing problems. Krisi writes about current issues and research; she often features guest writers who are well known in the field of pediatric feeding. In addition to being a go-to source for information, Krisi welcomes questions from professionals, parents, and caregivers.CAN-EAT Approach© – This approach includes three phases to evaluate and treat feeding disorders.Comfort And Nutrition (CAN): Providers begin with a focus on gut comfort, nutrition, and growth. This includes medical and nutritional intervention for reflux, constipation, food intolerance, and hypersensitivity or pain issues.Establish Acceptance, then Therapy (EAT): The second phase in the CAN-EAT Approach aims to establish acceptance of easy textures for the individual child. This can be purees, soft solids, or other textures which the individual child manages with ease. Finally, providers begin therapy for oral motor skill development and for improving intake volume and variety.There are workshops offered around the country which specifically address this approach and are geared toward for professionals who work with children with feeding difficulties.Melanie Potock, M.A., CCC-SLP is a speech pathologist and also the parent of a picky. She is an international speaker and author of 4 books. She has been featured in publications such as Parents magazine, the Bump, and the ASHA Leader. Melanie blogs at mymunchbug.com where she offers a variety of resources to assist parents and professionals as they work with children who are picky eaters. A few of her resources are described below; these and others can be found on her blog.Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 101 Easy Activities and Recipes features recipes that are family-friendly and strategies to help children become more adventurous eaters. Melanie uses 20 vegetables organized by the seasons of the calendar year which highlight the three phases to vegetable love: Expose, Explore, and Expand. For example, Beet Tattoos is an activity that offers a colorful way to expose children to beets and have fun in the process. Even more exciting is the secret vegetable that erases beet stains! You can view Melanie’s videos related to this book on YouTube!Melanie has a vast library of videos on her YouTube channel. In these videos, Melanie combines her experience as a parent of a picky eater with her professional experience to help the entire family eat healthier. The videos vary in length from a few minutes to half an hour and cover topics such as ‘3 Reasons to Avoid the Kids Menu,’ ‘How Family Dinners Make Good Readers,’ and ‘Help Parents Get on the Same Page with a Picky Eater.’We would love to hear about your favorite feeding resources! Is there an approach you used that you found valuable? Are there additional feeding strategies you would like more information on, that MFLN might explore? You can comment below or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter!This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, Ph.D., members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube.
Song not fitting into your edit? Not a problem. Use the Remix feature in Adobe Audition to automatically rearrange any song to fit any duration.Top image via ShutterstockFinding the perfect song for your video project can be a challenge. Even more frustration can arise when you find yourself struggling to make that perfect song fit into your edit. Luckily, Adobe Audition includes a Remix feature that can make the process incredibly easy and fast. The Remix feature will analyze the song, identify loops, and detect beats before automatically cutting the song into something more manageable and appropriate for your edit.If you’re one who rarely works in Audition (and rarely moves projects from Premiere to Audition and back), then you’re going to like the simplicity of this process.Decide on your song and your clips and go to Edit > Edit in Adobe Audition > Sequence. Then select “Send through dynamic link” for the Video Option.Step 1. Enable RemixAs you can see above, once you hit Enable Remix, Audition will analyze the song clip in its entirety. Once analyzation is complete, you can drag the song clip to fit whatever time you need to. Audition will cut the song to the nearest 5-second mark.Step 2. Change Duration of SongAfter you’ve set the clip at the appropriate time you need, Audition offers a few more tweaks that can be incorporated into the remixed song.Step 3. Add Adjustments to New Song Edit Length allows you to add or subtract fragments of the song that Audition has remixed. The lower you set the bar, the more fragments are added to the song.Features tells the algorithm to favor rhythmic beats or harmonic sounds such as orchestral segments. For more electric fast music, move the bar over to Timbre.Minimum Loop notifies Audition to tighten up transitions that might seem odd due to the algorithm that sets the transition. If a segment of the song sounds off for some reason, toggle this Advanced option around to see if it helps it flow better.Maximum Slack sets the remix duration to as close to the target duration as possible (since it auto-sets the duration in increments of five seconds). Adobe suggests that adjusting this parameter can lead to better sounding remixes.Step 4. Send Back to Premiere ProTo send the remixed song back to Premiere, mute any other audio channels currently in Audition (as you only want your song to be sent back to Premiere). Go to Multitrack > Export to Premiere Pro and check “Stereo File” under the Mixdown Stereo option. Then, hit Export. This will open Premiere and you’ll be able to add the song right into your timeline!Note: This step of the process will only work if Premiere and Audition are both current and fully updated.If you’re looking for more Audition action, we’ve got you covered.Have you used Remix in the past? Did it work out like you had hoped? Let us know in the comments below.
The Smooth GradientOne of the safest background techniques that works in almost every situation is the gradient. A radial gradient provides a clean background and has the ability to work the brand’s color palette into any video. Looking for more After Effects tutorials and assets? Check these out.Our Favorite After Effects Tutorials of 2018 (So Far)Video Tutorial: How to Stitch 360 Footage in After EffectsFree AE Templates and Assets to Celebrate 25 Years of After EffectsVideo Tutorial: How to Loop an Animation in Adobe After EffectsAnimate A ‘Top 10 Countdown’ Screen With After Effects ParticlesParticles can be a great way to add movement and small details to your composition. CC Particle World will allow you to have a constant flow of customized moving particles. You can also upload your own vector graphics as particles. Repeated Shape LayersWant to add some designs to your background? Grab a shape from the tools menu and use a repeater to run it across the entirety of your composition. Repeated shapes offer a quick way to add detail to your background. TexturesMotion graphics artists may be accustomed to using .PNG images just as their background. However, with the techniques above, you can use a texture to composite over your pre-made background. This will tie all of the elements together nicely. Custom Repeated Shape LayersUse the pen tool to add a custom shape that looks amazing and follows the style of your brand. You can even grab the outline of a vector file in Illustrator, paste it into a shape layer within After Effects, and then add a repeater. Bonus: Lens FlaresHaving a pre-made lens flare pack can help you dramatically. Lens flare help create depth and add contrast to the overall composition. Be sure to check out Radium from Rocketstock.com for 120 amazing lens flares elements.100 Loopable BackgroundsIf you are looking for amazing, ready-to-go background assets, check out Canvas on Rocketstock.com. Try these five simple Adobe After Effects techniques to create backgrounds for all your upcoming motion graphics projects.Deciding on backgrounds for motion graphics can take a bit of time, but they don’t have to take forever to create. There are many ways to go about designing your background while keeping it consistent with your main project. This After Effects tutorial covers five different ways to go about creating your background.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.One way to make your job in leadership infinitely more difficult while ensuring you fail to develop your people is to turn them into dependents. There are two things that leaders do that kill initiative and resourcefulness and turn employees into dependents.Doing Their WorkThe presentation or report the client needs is important. It must be done right, and it needs to be your company’s best work. One of your employees explains to you what your client needs and, heroically, you spring into action. You can do a better job than the employee who just received the request. And you want to personally make sure it’s done right.You may be capable of doing a better job on some tasks than the person you believe you are helping, but by doing the work for them you deprive them of the experience of doing the work themselves. You have eliminated their opportunity to learn how to do whatever it is that you have decided to do for them.You’ve also demonstrated that you aren’t confident that they can do the work. Without saying a word, you have shown your employee that you don’t believe they are capable.By doing the work yourself, you may produce a better result, but you haven’t given the person whose work you are doing the learning experience or your confidence in their abilities. In the future, you can count on that person (or persons) coming back to you again and again to do the most important work.By doing the work, you’ve created a dependent.Answering Their QuestionsYour salesperson is stuck. They have a challenging opportunity, and their dream client is stretching them to the very end of their ability. They rush into your office with questions and, being the wise old sage that you are, you start doling out the answers.Sometimes you may need to provide your employees with the answer to challenging problems. But doing so as a standard operating procedure creates dependents. You are doing their thinking for them instead of teaching them how to think. Instead of notching them up, you are limiting their growth. Worse still, your taking their pinkish-gray matter out of their work.Non-directive coaching is a much more powerful choice for engaging with members of your team around challenges. By making your employees answer the questions for themselves, with your help and guidance, you are teaching them to think. Your notching them up instead of creating dependents.Slow is Fast, Fast is SlowIt’s faster to do the work yourself or to provide someone with what you believe is the right answer. Way faster. But way faster equals way slower. It slows down the personal and professional growth of the person you are helping. And it slows down your ability to really help, continually burdening you with more and more work from the dependents you’ve created. That’s why fast is really slow.Slow is fast. The more time you take to coach, train, teach, and develop, the faster your employee’s grow personally and professionally. By taking time now, you eliminate the need to take the time to do the work and provide the answers in the future. This increases the speed of your team, and it provides you with the time you really need to lead. Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now
No one works in sales without having losses. Some of those losses are the result of errors, bad choices, poor strategy, or sloppy sales approaches. Some of those losses are the result of circumstances that are difficult to overcome. You can do everything right and lose, and you can do many things wrong and win. Either way, losses come with the territory.Client issues are also part of sales. Even if you own the outcomes you sell your clients with someone else being responsible for doing the work that generates those outcomes, because you promised your client better results, they are going to look to you for help and for answers. You are accountable for the outcomes you sell, or you put future deals at risk (or more likely, you never see the new opportunities at all).Selling is made up of two major outcomes. The first outcome is opportunity creation, and it requires that you do the work of prospecting, whether you like that work or wish there was another way. The second outcome is opportunity capture. The first outcome always precedes the second. The workload for opportunity creation is equal or greater than the workload of opportunity capture.There will always be someone with a lower price that sells by suggesting they can produce the same result at a lower price point. Much of the time, these competitors will have an irrational pricing model that would cause you to lose money, and you will struggle to understand how they stay in business. But when they have been in business for decades, the only way you beat them is by creating greater value, not by explaining that they can’t survive with their pricing model.Selling is not situational. It is individual. There are always salespeople who succeed at selling the most commoditized, undifferentiated products and services and do well for being able to so. There are also people in sales roles with the most compelling, differentiated offer who struggle to sell what should be a much easier sell. There are intangibles that count for a lot more than most people recognize, and these intangibles are not commonly taught or developed. Success then, is a product of developing yourself. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
A stunt biker met his death when he was run over by a speeding car during a ‘Maut ka Kuan’ (Well of Death) show at Jeypore in Koraput district on Saturday night. This accident occurred in front of hundreds of spectators and one of them captured it on his smart phone. This video clip went viral on Sunday.According to police sources, the victim has been identified as Jitu Singh of Ranchi. The stunt show was being held at the Gandhi Square of Jeypore as part of ‘Meena Bazar’ for the past two weeks .Three bikers were performing stunts in the ‘Maut ka Kuan’ along with two cars when the accident occurred. The bike of the victim hit a car, which then lost balance and fell on him. Although the victim was immediately taken to a hospital, he did not survive.
All 39,073 villages of Bihar were now electrified, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said in Patna on Wednesday.He added that every household in the state would have a free power connection by the end of the next calendar year.The efforts in this regard were a part of Mr. Kumar’s seven resolves (“saat nischay”) of good governance.“We have come a long way since 2005 when we assumed power. Back then, small towns and villages had given up all hopes of getting power and even in the state capital, Patna, the electricity situation had left much to be desired,” Mr. Kumar said.Mr. Kumar had first become the chief minister of Bihar when the NDA came to power in the state in 2005. He has been on the chair since then except for a few months, when he quit after the JD(U) debacle in the 2014 general election and anointed Jitan Ram Manjhi to the post.Mr. Kumar has, on a number of occasions, said improving the electricity situation in power-starved Bihar was a topmost priority of his government.He was addressing a function organised by the state power department, where all the 39,073 villages of the state were declared electrified and foundation stones were laid for power projects worth ₹ 3,030.52 crore.“Bringing electricity to all the villages was not an easy task. It was much more difficult than building roads. But we are happy to have achieved the target of electrifying all the villages by the end of 2017. We are confident of achieving the target of providing free power connections to all the households by December 31, 2018,” the JD(U) chief said.Stating that his government’s resolve to bring power to every village and household was being emulated across the country, Mr. Kumar said, “It is a matter of pride for us that the Centre’s Saubhagya scheme is inspired by our har ghar bijli lagataar programme.” He added that the turnaround in the power situation was achieved through a number of reforms, as a part of which “the state electricity board underwent a major revamp and a number of government-run power companies were set up”.Mr. Kumar also said the state was purchasing power from the NTPC as well as private players, but added, “We cannot depend on thermal power fully since coal is a non-renewable, depletable resource.” The government had decided to give a boost to solar power generation, he said, adding that two solar power units would be set up at Pirpainti in Bhagalpur district and Kajra in Lakhisarai.“We have also made efforts to bring transparency in the process of giving a subsidy on electricity. Electricity bills mention the amount that is paid by the state by way of subsidy. This will result in a decrease in wasteful use of power.“We have also been sensitive towards the complaints regarding inflated bills that many consumers come up with. These complaints have been brought under the purview of the state public grievance redressal system. Under this system, two lakh cases have so far been resolved, of which about 15,000 were related to inflated power bills,” the chief minister said.
Saying that the historic 1818 battle of Bhima-Koregaon represented a watershed moment for the Dalit community in their struggle against caste prejudices, newly elected Gujarat Assembly legislator Jignesh Mevani on Sunday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governmentrepresented a ‘neo-Peshwai’ mentality.Mr. Mevani was among several notable progressive speakers who addressed a humongous congregation at the Elgaar Parishad at the historic Shaniwarwada to commemorate the bicentenary of the Bhima-Koregaon of January 1, 1818. As many as 500 soldiers of the untouchable Mahar community had fought alongside the English to defeat the forces of Peshwa Bajirao II in the battle.Lashing out against regional parochialism, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student activist Umer Khalid “apologised” for not delivering his address in Marathi. “Ours is not the xenophobic credo of the ‘Marathi Manoos’ but a celebration of plurality and diversity … forces are aware that the battle of ideas cannot be won by words and hence are resorting to bullets,” said Mr. Khalid.Relevance todayCommenting on the murders of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, Communist leader Govind Pansare, scholar M.M. Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh, Mr. Khalid said the Bhima-Koregaon bicentenary was not merely a commemoration of the struggle of the Mahar community against the Brahminical Peshwa rule, but had modern-day echoes in the ongoing fight of progressives against Hindutva forces.Radhika Vemula, the mother of the late research scholar Rohith Vemula, said, “The Bhima-Koregaon battle was a defining moment for the Dalit community. Today, the BJP government represents the ‘neo-Peshwai’ mentality … it is this mentality and their agents, be it ministers or legislators, who conspired to killed my son and persecute Dalit scholars like him.” Ms. Vemula said that people must take inspiration from the 1818 battle and form a joint front of progressives to combat the ‘new Peshwai tyranny’. Earlier, following much controversy over the event, the police eventually granted permission to organisers with several caveats, specifying that the programme would not include objectionable slogans, posters, banners or feature acts that would “hurt sentiments of members of any caste or religion”. The event had met with considerable opposition from Hindu outfits and pro-Brahmin groups.Groups from across StateThousands of people from more than 250 progressive social outfits, including several left-leaning, Ambedkarite groups across Maharashtra, participated in the event which was symbolically held at the Shaniwarwada fort, the erstwhile seat of Peshwa power. For Dalit activists and progressives, the narrative of the Bhima-Koregaon battle is emblematic in the ongoing struggle against caste oppression and Brahminical domination.The six-hour event, which began at 2 p.m., featured cultural programmes by groups like the Kabir Kala Manch. Later in the evening, the speakers joined lakhs from the Dalit community to visit the Koregaon Ranstambh (victory pillar), a memorial dedicated to the battle in the village of Bhima-Koregaon, 30 km from the city.
The uncertainty over the Nagaland Assembly elections has been removed. Four days after 11 parties decided to boycott the February 27 elections, three of them — the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF), the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress — have confirmed their participation.The turnaround has been attributed to the possibility of a 1998-like situation in which an extremist-backed election boycott helped the Congress win 43 of the 60 seats uncontested. A similar scenario threatened to play out this time after the core committee of the Naga Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations, a conglomeration of tribal and civil groups, last month opposed the elections, demanding a solution to the 20-year-old Naga issue involving a few extremist outfits, especially the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland. No candidate, though, filed nomination on Friday, with five more days left for the process to end. “The election is very much on. No one has submitted nominations, but many have collected nomination papers across the State,” Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha said.Officials expect the candidates to make a last-minute rush after the dust settles. The parties have been under pressure from tribal NGOs to boycott the elections. The BJP was the first to announce its participation on Thursday, sacking a leader who had signed on the election boycott pledge on behalf of the party. The Congress followed suit and said: “Since all the parties are gearing up to take part in the polls, the Congress will soon be releasing the manifesto.”
The police have arrested a woman schoolteacher for allegedly sexually exploiting a teenage student in Chandigarh.According to the police, the 34-year-old woman, a science teacher, had been sexually harassing the 15-year-old student — she was giving tuitions to — for the past two months. The boy, a Class X student, lives in the same area as the teacher.Police said the incident came to fore after the parents of the victim approached the teacher to inform her that they are withdrawing their son from tuition classes as his grades were falling.“On hearing this, the teacher became abusive and locked their son in a room. It was only with the help of her neighbours that the parents were able to free their son,” said Gurjit Kaur, SHO at Sector 31.The woman was arrested on Thursday, produced before the district court and sent to judicial custody. A case has been registered against her under POCSO Act.(With PTI inputs)
Three Asom Gana Parishad Ministers said on Saturday that they opposed the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 at a meeting of the Assam Cabinet, in a U-turn a day after a party leader claimed the issue was not raised at the key State forum.The Cabinet meeting was held on Friday and immediately after it Assam government spokesperson and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary had told reporters that the AGP did not raise any issue related to the Bill.AGP general secretary Ramendra Narayan Kalita also told the media that the three AGP Ministers — Atul Bora, Keshab Mahanta and Phani Bhusan Choudhury — did not raise the issue at the meeting as Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had met them before it commenced and requested them to discuss it at the next sitting of the coordination committee of the three alliance partners.But taking a U-turn, Mr. Bora, who is the AGP president and the State Agriculture Minister, said on Saturday, “We strongly raised the issue (in the Cabinet meeting). We said that we cannot be in the government if the Bill is passed.”At a hurriedly called press conference in the face of widespread criticism over the reported silence, Mr. Bora said, “We did not say it yesterday (after the Cabinet meeting) as we wanted to maintain the confidentiality of Cabinet meetings. But this has led to confusion among the people. The issue was not on the agenda (of the meeting), yet we raised it and discussed it for about half-an-hour, which led to a lot of debate.”‘Hindu migrants’Though the Bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 15, 2016, seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims who have fled persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, indigenous groups in Assam view it as a move to legitimise Hindus who have migrated from Bangladesh after 1971.The AGP is a constituent of the BJP-led NDA government in Assam and a meeting of the AGP Legislature Party held on May 31 had decided to oppose the Bill, which has triggered protests across the State during the past one month.The Bodoland Peoples’ Front, the other partner of the ruling alliance, is also opposed to the Bill and has asked the Centre to withdraw it keeping in view the interests of the State.Mr. Bora said that there was an understanding after a request from the Chief Minister that nothing from the Cabinet meeting would be made public.“But it was not kept. If the statement (by the government spokesperson) was made in a different way, this situation would not have arisen in Assam today,” Mr. Bora said.The AGP, despite being in the government, has been opposing the Bill since the beginning. Mr. Bora has publicly stated the party’s official position many times that it would leave the government if the Bill is passed.The opposition to the Bill has united all parties, except the BJP, and former Chief Ministers Tarun Gogoi (of the Congress) and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta joined a sit-in on May 31.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first airport in Sikkim; with this inauguration, the number of functional airports in the country went up to 100.“This is a historic day for the State of Sikkim and also an important day for the rest of India. With this inauguration, the country has hit a century (in the number of airports),” Mr. Modi said while addressing a gathering at Pakyong in Sikkim. The Prime Minister described the airport as an “engineering marvel”, and said that within a week or two, regular flights to Kolkata and Guwahati would be started. The airport at Pakyong, about 30 km from Gangtok and surrounded by mountains, is a major boost to connectivity in the mountainous State. Mr. Modi said the airport would be linked to the Union government’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) regional connectivity scheme and the airfare for about an hour would come to ₹2,500. The airport had been constructed at an estimated cost of ₹605 crore.
A sessions court in Alwar on Wednesday convicted self-styled god-man Kaushalendra Prapannacharya alias Falahari Maharaj for raping a 21-year-old law intern at his ashram last year and awarded him life imprisonment in the case. The court also imposed a fine of ₹1 lakh on the 61-year-old.The woman from Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur had accused him of sexually assaulting her when she went to his ashram to meet him. The god-man commands a strong following both in India and abroad and the victim’s family was among his followers for several years, claiming to have given large donations to his ashram.Additional Sessions Judge Rajendra Sharma convicted Falahari Maharaj under Sections 376 (2) (c) (rape by taking advantage of official position) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code after taking on record the statements of 30 witnesses and examining 78 documents and 21 articles submitted to the court.The court had reserved its judgement for Wednesday after hearing the arguments of the prosecution and defence. A huge crowd gathered outside the court when the judgment was pronounced. Falahari Maharaj has been lodged in the Alwar Central Jail since his arrest on September 23 last year.The god-man was arrested from a private hospital in Alwar where he had got himself admitted, three days after the case against him was originally registered in Bilaspur. He had christened himself as Falahari Maharaj with the claim that he had survived by consuming only fruits for the last 25 years.Shortly after the god-man’s arrest, his photographs earlier with BJP leaders such as Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh and Raman Singh were widely circulated on social media.The woman, pursuing a law course in Jaipur, stated in her complaint that when she went to the ashram on the Raksha Bandhan day on August 7 last year, the god-man asked her to stay there in view of the lunar eclipse that day. During the night, he called her in his room and sexually assaulted her.
The BJP exuded confidence on Wednesday that it would retain power in Rajasthan, where the party has set a target of achieving more than 180 seats in the Assembly elections due later this year.The president of the party’s State unit, Madan Lal Saini, said at a press conference here that the organisational tours of BJP chief Amit Shah to Rajasthan have infused a new energy among party workers; Mr. Shah will visit the State again to address the ‘Shakti Kendra Sammelan’ in Sikar and ‘SC Sammelan’ in Bikaner on Thursday.Mr. Saini said the party was geared up and prepared to work with full force to achieve the target of ‘180 plus’. The State has 200 Assembly seats.The State BJP chief also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a public rally in Ajmer on Saturday on the completion of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s ‘Gaurav Yatra’ which she had begun in August. Mr. Modi will also visit the Brahma temple in Pushkar, he said. “Nearly three lakh party workers will attend the historic rally in Ajmer,” Mr. Saini said, adding that the Prime Minister will guide party workers regarding the upcoming Assembly polls in the State.Ticket distributionMr. Saini said the party will consider new faces, youths and women in ticket distribution. “New faces should come (in politics). The party would give adequate representation to youths and women in tickets,” he said.“We will come to power again. Our workers are fully prepared and we work for the nation, not for any individual,” he said.The State BJP chief also said the party has so far not received resignation of any district president of the party. The BJP has decided that those holding the post of district president will have to resign if they want to contest elections.Mr. Saini claimed that the Chief Minister’s yatra has received a good response and since she was not able to cover the Bharatpur division she will later hold public dialogues there.
For the third consecutive phase, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a very poor turnout of 16.4% for the urban local body elections, with the Kashmir Valley registering the lowest of 3.5% on Saturday.“The Jammu division recorded 81.4% polling in Samba, while the Kashmir division witnessed average 3.5% polling. However, the Uri Municipal Committee recorded the highest turnout of 75.3%. The lowest of 1.8% was recorded in Srinagar,” Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shaleen Kabra said.The cumulative poll percentage in all the three phases till date is 41.9%, with 68.4% voting in Jammu division and just 6.7% in Kashmir division.In the third phase, 365 candidates were in the fray for 96 wards of eight civic bodies, spread across Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla and Jammu districts. The final phase is on October 16.The boycott by J&K’s main regional parties, National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), impacted these elections, as 49 wards remained uncontested. Separatists had also called for a boycott and issued a shutdown call, impacting the normal life.The impact was visible in volatile Anantnag’s Aishmuqam tehsil where out of 13 wards, eight remained uncontested. “Anantnag saw only 3.2% and Srinagar 1.8% turnout,” said an official.“It’s high time some people get off the moral high horse. Anybody who disagrees with the two regional parties is labelled a BJP puppet. The fact is both NC and PDP have been in alliance with the BJP before,” said Junaid Mattu, an independent candidate, who cast his vote at Srinagar’s Barazulla. Mr. Mattu quit the NC recently.The only positive turnout came from Kashmir Valley’s Uri, close to the Line of Control, where voters participation touched 75.3% . Women showed equal enthusiasm in the elections here. “Our area is backward. We voted with the hope this these civic bodies will address the issues of basic amenities,” said Asma Bi, a resident of Uri.Omar blames CentreNC vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah blamed the Centre’s handling of Kashmir for the poor turnout.“From the highest turnouts since 1987 in 2014 to the lowest turnouts ever recorded in 2018, why is the Modi government able to get away with its disastrous handing of Kashmir almost unquestioned?” Mr Omar Abdullah said.Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also asked the Centre “to read the writing on the wall”. “Instead of going for cosmetic and coercive measures to continue the status quo, it’s time Government of India to pay heed to the clear message emanating from the rejection of these elections. People want resolution of the dispute once for all,” said the Mirwaiz.Militant killedOne militant was killed and another injured in an operation in Pulwama, while a policeman was killed in his house by unknown gunmen in Baramulla.The police said Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Shabir Ahmed Dar alias Ahsan of Samboora Pampora was killed in an operation in Pulwama’s Babagund village. One critically injured militant, Showkat Nazir Dar, was admitted to a hospital. Police officials said Army soldier-turned-militant Zahoor Ahmed Thokar escaped from the spot.An AK-47 rifle and three magazines were recovered from the spot. Slain Dar was working for the LeT for the past three years. Hundreds participated in his funeral, sparking clashes in parts of Pulwama.In a separate incident in Baramulla’s Sopore, the police said militants on Friday night barged into the house of policeman Javeed Ahmad Lone and fired on him. “He received critical bullet injuries and was evacuated to nearby hospital for medical attention; however, he succumbed to his injuries,” said the police.Dar is survived by ailing mother, wife, five-year-old daughter and two-year-old son.
The Indian Navy on Sunday detected a skeleton, possibly of another missing miner, trapped deep inside the 370-feet-deep coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, officials said. At least 15 miners were trapped after water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into the illegal rat-hole mine in Lumthari village in the Ksan area on December 13 last year. Two decomposed bodies were spotted earlier and out of the them only one body could be recovered, the officials said. On Sunday the rescue operations, the longest in the country, continued for the 74th day. The Army has also joined the rescue operations along with the Navy, the NDRF and other agencies.“The underwater ROV of the Indian Navy on Sunday detected skeletons of the third miner deep inside the coal mine. Efforts are on to retrieve it,” a senior district official told PTI. He said the skeletal remains were detected over 150 feet away from the bottom of the 370-feet-deep vertical mine shaft where the miners have been trapped. Operation spokesperson R Susngi said the “completely” decomposed body was detected and efforts are on to retrieve it. The second body was detected last month and it had slipped away from the jaws of the ROV. That body is yet to be located. Only one body could be retrieved till date, he said. The process of dewatering the mine is also on with three different organisations such as the Coal India Ltd, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd and KSB, discharging over 1 crore litres of water in a span of 24 hours, he said. The Supreme Court is monitoring the operation closely and the matter will come up for hearing on Monday. The state government has paid Rs 1 lakh interim relief to the family members of each of the victims. Home Minister James K Sangma had said the operations to search for the miners will continue as per orders of the Supreme Court. He also said the government is yet to get details of the expenses incurred in the operations which involved mostly dewatering of the mine.
In a major blow to the Maharashtra Government, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the verdict of the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, cancelling the 16% Socially and Economically Backward Classes (SEBC) reservation for postgraduate medical seats in Maharashtra.Late on Thursday night, the State CET Cell issued the schedule of the revised round of admission process, mop up rounds I and II, and institutional level round for private unaided, minority, medical and dental colleges in the State. The State Common Entrance Test (CET) cell said they would issue a fresh seat matrix soon, the Maratha community students will now be treated as open category candidates.The government had moved a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court last week. During the hearing on Wednesday, the court asked the lawyers to present statistics on number of students from the Maratha community, and the open category, who will be affected. “The SC has observed in a few lines that the SEBC quota is dismissed from this year’s post-graduate medical admissions in the State. While upholding the Bombay High Court verdict, it has ordered that the Maratha community students can be accommodated if there are any vacant seats. The EWS petition was adjourned,” senior advocate Ashwin Deshpande, representing the open category students, told The Hindu.Following the order, the State CET cell issued an admission cancellation notice and asked the admitted candidates from the community to collect their original documents and paid requisite fees from the institutes. “The admissions in the previous Rounds I and II of NEET-PG-2019 and NEET-MDS-2019 stand cancelled. The admission to post-graduate courses to State quota seats of the government, corporation, central government, aided, private unaided and minority medical and dental institutes shall be revised in the due course,” the notice read.Dr. Tatyarao Lahane, director, Directorate of Medical Research and Education (DMER) said they would follow the guidelines issued by the State government and CET cell. Anand Rayate, CET cell commissioner said the fresh seat matrix will be displayed and the process would start soon.“All admissions given through this quota have been cancelled. We had shown the seat matrix with SEBC quota and without SEBC quota to the Supreme Court, after which the verdict has been given. Now, once the government approves the new seat matrix, we will publish it immediately,” he said.Thursday’s order brought cheer to the open category aspirants.“Most of us will now get a much better seat. Earlier many of us were either getting periphery colleges in the State or none at all, despite having scored good ranks. At the same time, several students from the Maratha community who had scored ranks behind ours were getting seats better than us. Now, everybody will get a seat they deserve, including the Maratha candidates who will be considered in open category,” Dr. Angad Randive, an open category aspirant said.Dr. Suyash Patil, who had secured his seat in Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College and General Hospital, Pune, said the government must at least increase the seats so they do not lose out on a year. “We have already spent one year studying and now we fear losing six more months. The least the government can do now is increase seats,” he said.
One thing you may not know about Charles Darwin: He loved beetles. The famed naturalist made sure to include the insects among the specimens he collected while sailing on the HMS Beagle’s round-the-world expedition as a young man. Now, on his 205th birthday, one he found in Argentina is being recognized as a new species. University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, entomologist Stylianos Chatzimanolis discovered the rove beetle with unusually saw-toothed antennae and a label reading “C. Darwin” in a collection on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, where it had been misplaced for at least decades. The beetle represented a new species, which is formally named and described in the journal ZooKeys today. The beetle is now known as Darwinilus sedarisi, after Darwin and the writer David Sedaris, whose audiobooks Chatzimanolis listened to while preparing specimens. Sadly, the area of Argentina where Darwin found this beetle is now mostly farm fields, and the insect hasn’t been seen there in recent history. It’s possible that this newly recognized species is already extinct.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)
Building on theories used to describe magnets, scientists have put together a model that captures something very different: voting patterns in U.S. presidential elections. In the model, just two factors directly influence someone’s vote: the proportion of Republicans and Democrats in a voter’s home county and that same proportion in the county where they work. For example, a person who voted Republican in one election and lives in a politically neutral county but works in a heavily Democratic county would likely vote for a Democrat in the next election. Rather than trying to predict the winner in a series of elections, the researchers focused on the distribution of Republican margins of victory across U.S. counties as well as how correlations between two counties’ vote shares changed with the distance separating them, quantities more commonly used to describe the transition from a demagnetized block of iron to a magnetized one. Combining the model of social influence with U.S. census data on commuting patterns, the researchers predicted a bell curve distribution of county-level margins of victory and surprisingly long-range correlations between counties; that suggests that some counties, at least, could feel the effects of social pressures in counties on the other side of the nation, they report this month in Physical Review Letters. What’s more, those patterns were a close match to the actual election data, putting a new spin on some old ideas.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)