Steps to Financial Freedom

first_imgContribution by Molly Herndon and Carolyn BirdDigging out of a mountain of debt can seem like an impossible task, and many resist asking for help. Service members may feel anxious about their options or be unaware of the wide range of services provided to them on base and, increasingly, online. As a PFM you may ask yourself– how do I help a service member find the motivation to stick with a financial management plan? Over the next few weeks, we will be going back to the basics by outlining steps and strategies you can use to help your clients who are looking for financial guidance to get on track.Step 1: Assess the SituationThe first step is to assist the service member in getting the finances under control by assessing the current financial situation. The service member, and you, must know what you’re up against before you can create a plan to get out of the cycle of debt using a net worth calculator.Depending on the specific circumstance, you may recommend your client consider consumer credit counseling, debt consolidation, refinancing or transferring balances to get a handle on existing debt. Each of these strategies comes with advantages and disadvantages. It is important that the client be aware of and ask the lender for an explanation of any increase in the number of payments and interest rates or fees. A clear explanation of costs or extended periods of indebtedness will help the client to evaluate whether the plan is in their best financial interest. Credit repair agencies often promise to remove negative credit information for a fee. Be sure your clients know that the only legal method of improving a credit score is through a history of on-time payments or the removal of false negative information. Steering clients away from credit repair agencies is good practice, saving your clients valuable time and hard earned money.These initial meetings may be a good time to suggest creating a monthly budget tracker. Tracking every penny that comes in and goes out is the only effective measure toward changing spending habits. Providing clients with an easy-to-use worksheet may help clients get started with this new habit.Step 2: Find the MotivationWhat’s really important is what happens after the service member leaves your office. One way to motivate might be to show just how much the debt truly costs. Using the credit card calculator on myfico.com, I experimented with a balance of $3,000 at an interest rate of 18 percent and payments of $75 a month. Guess what? This debt costs $509 a year! Before you run the calculator, ask the service member about favorite hobbies or something he or she would like to buy. Run numbers on the calculator and show the service member just how much the debt at minimum payments is costing them each year. Ask if they wouldn’t rather use that $509 toward that hobby or purchase.Step 3: Recruit Your Team!While PFMs are part of the service member’s team for financial fitness, the most important team member is the service member’s spouse. Discuss with the service member how he will discuss this with his spouse to get her motivated too. Ask about the spouse’s favorite things and help the service member devise an approach that rewards both of them for working together toward a financial goal.These are just the initial steps in working toward financial freedom. Later we will discuss saving, investing, and raising financially fit kids. There are many approaches to debt solution. What strategies have you found works well in helping service members turn their financial situations around?last_img read more

FD Early Intervention Webinar: Enriching Social Emotional Literacy

first_imgSocial Emotional Development in the Early Years: Enriching Social Emotional LiteracyDate:  December 3, 2015Time:  11:00 am – 12:30 pm EasternLocation: Social Emotional Development in the Early Years: Enriching Social Emotional LiteracyCreative Commons Licensing [Flickr, Reading with Daddy by Madgerly, April 26, 2010]Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, and Kimberly Hile will discuss the importance of supporting children’s social emotional development by building their early social emotional literacy and vocabulary skills.  Specific topics will include:Research evidence on the importance of early social emotional literacy and vocabulary skills on children’s social emotional well-being.Selecting age-, developmentally-, and culturally-appropriate books for children to support their social emotional development.  We will highlight topics that may be relevant to military families, such as: loneliness, friendships, understanding and acceptance of disability, separation, transitioning to new locations, bonding, dealing with family stressors, and grieving.Evidence-based strategies for embedding early literacy activities to support children with disabilities within their typical routines and home, school, and in the community.Parent coaching strategies to support parents’ and caregivers’ implementation of early social emotional literacy and vocabulary activities to facilitate the children’s social emotional development. MFLN FD Early Intervention webinars offer CE Credits through the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) at the University of Illinois. The EI team is actively pursuing more CE opportunities in states other than Illinois. Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, & Virginia participants can obtain a certificate of completion to submit to their credentialing agencies for review for CE credits. Please check back frequently to the webinar Learn Event web page to receive updates on our progress. Access to the webinar Learn Event page can be found, here.For more information on future presentations for MFLN Family Development, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: Facebook & Twitter.last_img read more

Get a Grip on Holiday Expenses – Now

first_imgBy Molly C. HerndonSpending during the holiday season can mean the new year begins with the stress and panic of seemingly unsurmountable credit card debt for many. The only way to prevent this burden is to plan ahead. The Personal Finance team has identified several resources for practitioners to share with clients to help them plan for holiday expenses and start 2016 on the right financial foot.Holiday shopping is more enjoyable if it doesn’t come with debt in the new year. Photo by Ben and Kaz AskinsIn this 90-minute video, Kelvin Boston discusses the common stressors of this holiday season and provides resources for coping with the financial burden of the holidays.In this blog post, Dr. Barbara O’Neill offers tips for paying off credit card balances and using PowerPay.org to organize credit card debt.Finally, the University of Maryland Extension offers some tips and resources for smart shopping during the holidays, including making lists, setting budgets and paying in cash.By planning ahead, the holidays can be full of cheer, not debt.last_img read more

Is there an App for everything? Listen to this audiocast for more information!

first_imgFlickr-CC-The-US-Army-The-UOfficial-Army-iPhone-app-Taken-on-January-12-2010.Discover the pros and cons of using nutrition apps in your practice and how to use them effectively.  Tune into this free webinar on September 21, 2016 at 11:00 am EDT.Mobile Apps for RDNs in Patient Care: What Does the Evidence Say?To register, go to the event page.For a preview, listen to this audio chat with our presenters.Audio Playerhttps://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/podcast-Kristen-Justine-Mobile-Apps-webinar.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Audiocast with Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski, Kristin DiFilippo and Justine KarduckWhat nutrition apps are you using? This post was written by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.last_img read more

NAB 2014: AJA Unveils 4K CION Camera

first_imgAJA enters the camera world with their new 4K CION, announced at the 2014 NAB Show.Before Blackmagic released the BMPC they were fierce rivals with AJA, a company dedicated to creating equipment related to film and video production. However, with a recent announcement at NAB 2014, AJA is trying to enter into the camera world. AJA already created everything behind the camera so it was only natural that they created their own…say hello to the CION.AJA CIONOnly a little bit is known about the CION, but here is what we do know so far. The camera is designed to be a intermediate level camera between high-end cameras like the red epic and lower end prosumer cameras such as DSLR’s.The camera is utilizing an APS-C CMOS sensor with global shutter. It can output 4K at up to 120 fps via 3G-SDI and can output 4K signal via  Thunderbolt at 30fps. It is designed for PL mount lenses and in-camera ProRes recording. Still not convinced? Check out this features video by AJA:AJA Known Specs Video Resolution4K, Ultra-HD, 2K, HD Dynamic Range12 stops Monitors1 small built-in monitor RecordingCardsAJA Pack Media InputTimecode, SDI. Power4-pin XLR power connector Audio Inputs2 XLR inputs with phantom powercenter_img Chroma SubsamplingUp to 4:4:4 Frame Rateup to 120 fps via SDI output Pricing and AvailabilityThe CION projected to be priced at $8,995 and won’t be ready to ship until summer 2014.We will be interested to see how this competes with the Blackmagic URSA, a camera that is scheduled to be released this summer too.What do you think of the AJA? Is it a good alternative to the Blackmagic or is it too late to the game? Share in the comments below. Output3G-SDI, HDMI, Thunderbolt SensorAPS-C CMOS with Global Shutter Recording CodecApple ProReslast_img read more

How to Choose the Right Epic Music for Your Film

first_imgQuestions to Ask When Looking for Epic MusicWhat is my story?What is the story you’re trying to tell? Not the big story, the micro story in the scene. How is this scene working towards your narrative goal and what are the music requirements to get you there? For example, if you’re main character is going through battle in which he is going to lose, it doesn’t make sense to have music that is happy victorious orchestral music. Maybe it makes more sense to have music that is dissonant?In some circumstances you may want to use music that is the complete opposite of the feelings in the scene. The best example is a child singing during a horror film. In most circumstances a child singing isn’t scary, but in the context of a suspenseful scene it is extremely uncanny, thus progressing the narrative story. The same could be said about an epic movie. For increased effect it might be helpful to have a soft piano instead of a full epic orchestra.What do I want my audience to feel?Do you want your audience to feel empowered or defeated? Joyful or somber? It’s actually really easy to find music related to your specific feeling online. Feeling, like story, should follow a pre-defined structure laid out by the editor. When music the music complements the feelings conveyed in the footage it is easy to make your audience feel happy, sad, and every emotion in between.Will music drive the scene?Music can sometimes be in the driver’s seat and sometimes it can simply emphasize all of the other on-screen elements. If music is going to be front and center then you probably want to find a good track before you begin refining your edit. If it’s in the background you can simply incorporate it later in the editing process.Will this music work with my other audio?Not every song will work well when you incorporate sound effects and dialogue. Songs with horns and high pitch instruments tend to compete with other audio elements. My personal recommendation is to download a free audio preview before you actually commit to purchase your music. Once you’re ready to finalize you’re edit you can simply purchase the unwatermarked track and replace it in your timeline.Do I have the rights to this music?You can’t simply put any music into your film project (that’s a quick way to get sued). You must have the rights to use the music in your scene. So really you have two options: hire a musician to create the music or license it. Hiring a musician can be a great option (Gasp!), but it can be a huge pain to not only find the right musician, but also convey your creative vision to said artist.The best option is to license music that you find. Unfortunately, licensing Hanz Zimmer is extremely expensive so you might need something a little more reasonable like say…PremiumBeat. Here on PremiumBeat we have thousands of tracks specifically designed to work perfectly in video or film productions. And when it comes to epic music there’s no shortage of grandiose tracks.ConclusionAt the end of the day picking epic music is all about motivation. Each element from cinematography to music should all progress the story and add interest to your film.Want to learn more about incorporating epic music into your projects? Check out a few of the following links:How to Pick the Right Tone, Shots, and Music for Trailers – PremiumBeatCutting Trailers: Understanding How To Create One That Works – PremiumBeatRoyalty Free Music Playlist: Epic Sci-Fi! – PremiumBeatHave any tips for finding epic music? Share in the comments below. What Epic Music Can Do for a Film?Epic music is epic because of the emotions it generates inside the minds of your audience. While the epic category has traditionally been categorized as massive classical compositions it’s not uncommon to see more non-traditional music works in modern cinema. So what can (the right) epic music do for your film? Well…1. Epic Music Raises the Narrative StakesA good story is all about contrast:Good vs. EvilInternal vs. ExternalLove vs. LogicYou get the idea. The greater the contrast, the greater the stakes. When there’s more to lose there’s more for the audience to worry about and your music is a great opportunity to enhance these feelings. Epic music makes the illusion of grandeur even greater. It makes your audience care about the person falling off the cliff. More practically, it makes the audience worried about characters even if they already know their fate.At the end of the day your audience isn’t in any real danger if your hero is killed. Sure it’ll make them sad, but the stakes aren’t real. However, epic music can materialize your audience feelings despite their apathy or intrigue towards your story.2. Epic Music Guides Your AudienceA film can be confusing, especially considering the fact that most film audiences don’t watch movies in the same way you do. As storytellers we’re often keen into the narrative structures that filmmakers use to progress the story. Things like editing, lighting, and shot choice are easily recognized by filmmakers, not so much by the average audience.Epic music tells your audience what to feel. It may seem simple, but without music an audience isn’t always keen to what’s important and what’s less important. Music will tell your audience when get on the edge of their seat and when to lean back.3. Epic Music Makes Everything Else More EpicIt’s a scientific fact that music can change the way an audience perceives your film. In a way, music is the metaphorical lens through which they will watch your movie. When you include epic music in your film it has the power to make everything else more epic. From acting to editing, epic music can make your film seem bigger and more dramatic to your audience. Here’s a few things to consider when looking for that perfect epic track.The filmmaking world is massive in every sense of the word. From the sheer number of those working in the industry to the size and scope of the films being produced, the love for both filmmaking and cinema has never been bigger. And if you have a big film coming up you will need an epic song. Here’s a few tips for picking the perfect epic track.How Does Epic Music Change a Film?Music has the ability to radically change your audiences perceptions and emotions towards your film. While it would be certainly overstepping to say that music has the power to make a bad film good, it can certainly make a good film great. Don’t believe me? Check out this example of what the Star Wars Throne Room scene would look like with no music.Here’s the same scene with music. Notice how the overall tone of the entire scene is different.While these above example was a bit extreme, on a practical level choosing the right music is a task worthy of your time and efforts.last_img read more

Timelapse Photographers Share Their Work and Talk Gear

first_imgThree timelapse photographers offer insight into their workflow and camera gear.Top image via Paul Richardson Timelapse Photographer Paul RichardsonI had the pleasure to chat with photographer Paul Richardson, who gained some notoriety for his latest showreel — Patience. His video is a culmination of his best sequences shot over a two-year period.This video showcases the results of many sleepless nights, hundreds of thousands of photos, and countless hours shooting. I couldn’t even begin to calculate how many hours of work there will be showcased in this piece, but I imagine it’s into the hundreds, if not thousands of hours.For example, the Milky Way shot was the result of a four-day shoot chasing the Milky Way in Wales. I stayed up every night, driving around trying to find clear patches in the night sky. In four days, all I managed to capture was a sequence of 50 images.Here is a look at Paul Richardson’s work.When it comes to his timelapse work, here is what Paul had to say:I’ve been shooting timelapse for about 3 years now, with 2.5 of those being professional. I had been interested in video-editing for years, creating various videos of computer games. After discovering timelapse videos such as Timescapes and The Mountain (seen below), I was in awe of this new exciting medium.Timescapes by Tom LoweThe Mountain by Terje SorgjerdIt was the way in which the invisible was being made visible. Events that you couldn’t normally see with the naked eye were unfolding in video form. I started to make a video about my home city, which gained some traction online and started bringing in paid work.Restless Nights by Paul RichardsonI started off learning the craft by going out and just trying things over and over again. The only real resource at that time was a forum called timescapes, however these days there are countless tutorials on YouTube for learning everything you could need to know. I now try to refrain from spending time on any forums, I’d prefer to be out shooting!The majority of my work to date is a combination of shots for advertising, or broadcast. Generally it will be being hired by a production company to acquire a few shots for their own production, and other times it will be producing and delivering a fully finished video to the client. Generally people want timelapse shots as an aid to their story, whether that be a establishing shot of a location, a day-to-night shot, or something else.I’ve had loads of stories over the years! As a shot can take anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours, it’s easy for something to go wrong. I was shooting a timelapse of lightning over the Arc de Triomphe – a once in a lifetime shot – and I had two tourists come and stand directly in front of my camera to get a selfie. The sequence was ruined. Bare in mind that this was on a night that there was nobody out, yet they still chose to stand just in front of my camera.Image via Paul RichardsonI use a combination of Canon 6D, Canon 7D and Canon 5D Mark III cameras with a selection of L lenses. I normally use a Canon 17-40, 24-105 and 70-200. I prefer zoom lenses these days as I’m traveling fast and light. Carrying a wide selection of primes would inevitably slow my workflow down and make me miss shots. I haven’t needed to rent glass yet, though if there was a particular shot or look that a client required, I would likely rent.The Emotimo TB3 has been my go-to mount for capturing motion control shots. Mainly because of the ease of use and portability of the product. If I was to consider anything else, it would be their new mount called the Spectrum, I wouldn’t even bother looking to see what else is out on the market. I’m not endorsed by them, but have just been impressed with their products and service over the years.Image via Paul RichardsonI just use MeFOTO tripods and Canon batteries. I don’t find there is ever a need for external battery packs, but on the odd occasion that there is, I have an Anker battery to cover that.I’ve got a large roller case that I find invaluable for carrying around everything I ever need. Mainly that’s snacks, battery chargers, spare parts, tools, spare cameras, cleaning implements, and then just general gear (cameras, lenses, tripods, etc). I find that everything should have a place, and a reason for being in that place. That makes it very easy to find what you need a moments notice, and to make sure that all your gear is ready to go for a shoot. I know that if someone called me right now, I could be out the door within five minutes, as everything I could need is in one case.You can see more of Paul’s work at paulrichardson.netTimelapse Duo RalphGM and RandyFX — TimeLAXBrothers Ralph and Randy were born and raised in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Now Ralph lives in Los Angeles, and Randy in Montreal. Though on opposite sides of a continent, the duo continues to make stunning working together for their company iVideoMaking.Here is a look at their latest timelapse, Silicon Beach. Keep any eye out for the spinning shots, where they used a rotating camera mount called the Panlapse from Brinno USA.I got do talk to the brothers about their work together, and they had plenty to share. Here’s what they told me:We have been involved with cameras since we were kids. We started with a Bell & Howell Super 8 camera back in 1980, filming vacation trips. Then our father bought one of the first Sony VCR cameras that were introduced to the consumer market in 1981, so we spent a lot of time with that expensive toy in the afternoons after school.Regarding timelapse photography, we started by the end of 2011. Our goal was to document the unique architecture of Los Angeles, the changes the city was experiencing, and to give people an idea of how busy and huge this city really is. We want people to see our photographs and videos in the future and say “That is how Los Angeles looked 20 years ago.”TimeLAX 01 by iVideoMakingWe started with a DSLR camera and three lenses. Now we work with three cameras and seven lenses, three regular tripods, a GorillaPod, and a table tripod. We usually carry all our gear and accessories even if we are going to shoot just a couple of photo sequences. This means ten batteries, ten memory cards.If you’re going to shoot in the mornings or early afternoons, having sunscreen is highly recommended, because you will spend a lot of time under the sunlight while the camera is taking pictures. If you are planning to hike long and/or high-altitude trails for panoramic shots, then you will need a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated. If you are going to be in the wilderness, we recommend carrying flashlights, bear spray, and snake guards.You can see more of their work at timelax.comWho are your favorite timelapse artists? Please share in the comments below!last_img read more

Underestimating and Overestimating

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now We massively underestimate how much small actions, taken consistently over time, start to stack up when it comes to producing results. Because the action itself is seemingly small, it is difficult to recognize the accumulation of impact it makes over time. This makes it very easy not to take these small actions, consistently, in the first place.We overestimate the value of massive action taken sporadically and inconsistently. A great expenditure of effort every once in a while does very little as it pertains to producing long-term results. Even though we know long term results are not achieved through massive action taken only occasionally, we still try to make up for lost time by cramming.We overestimate the likelihood that a trend in one direction is likely to continue in that direction unabated. We believe that because things are improving, they will keep improving. Or because something is getting worse, it can only get worse, still. Progress (or regress) isn’t a straight line in either direction, and even the strongest trends are subject to reversals.We underestimate the power of infusing work with meaning and purpose when it comes to producing results. We believe that money is a replacement for culture and that it is not necessary to inspire people when you are paying them for their work. We underestimate the importance of belonging.We overestimate the power of rules and force to effect behavioral change, believing that human beings will do their best work when given strong direction alone. Because force is easier to use than persuasion, we rely too heavily on power, even when it is the weaker choice of weaker men.We overestimate the value of money and underestimate the value of our health. Money is valuable and necessary. If given the choice to have too little or too much, it’s smart to err on the side of too much. Health is no different. If you are going to go too far in one direction, make an attempt to be too healthy.Consistency and purpose are difficult to underestimate if we’re honest with ourselves, and that honesty is the first step to being consistent and purpose driven.last_img read more

Right Person, Wrong Role

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now There are a lot of people who are very good people with very good skills that also happen to be in the wrong role. When this is true, they struggle to produce the results their company needs from them, making the company unhappy with their performance. The person in the wrong role is also unhappy because they are trying to be valuable but struggle to do what needs to be done when it is work they should not be doing. Over time, both the person and the company become frustrated with each other, especially when this mismatch is allowed to go unaddressed for a long period of time.If you are responsible for this person on your team, your first obligation is to determine whether you can train and develop them to succeed in the role in which they have been placed. The only way they will ever have a fair chance to succeed is if you provide them the mindset, skill set, and toolkits they need—based on where they are now. When that isn’t enough, you must be fair to the person and find them a role in which their skills will be valuable. If they can be reassigned to a role that suits their unique skills and abilities, you need to help them find that role.If you are the person in the wrong role, your responsibility is to recognize that even though you believed you were right for the role in which you find yourself, you really need to do something else. There is no reason to try to tough it out if you are miserable and failing. Instead, start seeking out another role within your company where you believe you can make a difference. Then ask for the opportunity to be moved to that role.In the end, your company will be a lot happier with you in the right role making a greater contribution, and you will be much happier doing better work and work that is aligned with your skills and abilities.last_img read more

Will You Move the Needle in Sales Today?

first_img 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 Do you have a list of strategic targets, or something I call dream clients that you are actively pursuing today? Are you working from a list of companies that will perceive what you do as massive, strategic value?Do you have a call block on your calendar, protecting the time you need to make calls to your dream clients? Have you eliminated distractions, including your smart phone, the browser, and the water cooler chatter?Do you have language that indicates that you will trade more value for the time you are asking your dream client to give you? Is the disparity in the value greatly in your prospect’s favor?Do you have a theory about what your dream client should be doing differently now to produce better results? Can you help them discover something about themselves?Do you sound confident, like a peer, like someone who can contribute to your dream clients success? Are you confident about who you are, what you do, and your ability to move your dream client forward?Do you have a sequence to follow-up and professionally persist in acquiring a meeting with your dream client over time? Do you have ideas that will allow you to capture mind share over time?Do you have the insights and ideas that make you a subject matter expert at the intersection of your industry and your dream client’s industry?Win customers away from your competition. Check out Eat Their LunchThe fundamentals of selling can be broken into categories. The first category is opportunity creation. The second category is opportunity capture. The first category necessarily precedes the second.If you are struggling in sales, being able to answer yes to all the questions above will improve your results. If you answered any of them in the negative, you might look at shoring up the areas you need to improve.last_img read more

Teachers in Haryana barred from using mobilephones in govt schools

first_imgThe fresh guidelines issued by the Haryana Education Department has curbed the use of mobile phones by teachers in schools.As per the guidelines issued by the Haryana Education Department if a teacher is found using mobile phone in the classroom, it shall be stashed away and kept in the staff room or in an area earmarked by the head of school.If for some unavoidable reasons, mobile phone is required to be taken to the classroom for academic use, prior permission should be taken from the head of school for reasons to be recorded in a register to be maintained for this purpose.To facilitate any emergency communication about teachers, it shall be ensured that the head of school makes available two contact numbers to all teachers. These two phone numbers for emergency call can be that of head of school, the second senior most in-charge of the school, or clerk, or any other arrangement deemed fit by the head of school, say the guidelines.Use of mobile phone during non-class hours shall be confined to the area removed from the classes to save the students from the disturbance of external influence of mobile phones.All inspecting officers, whether on regular inspection or surprise inspections, shall check whether compliance of these instructions is being made meticulously or not. The head of school will be held liable for any violations in the campus. The guidelines stem from the observation that many teachers take mobile phones to classrooms during teaching hours for personal use.last_img read more

Kashmir incomplete without Pandits: Farooq Abdullah

first_imgOpposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah today said Kashmir was incomplete without Pandits and his party wants them to return, though he opposed the idea of creating a separate homeland for them in the Valley.Addressing a delegates’ session of the NC at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium here after a gap of over 15 years, he said Kashmiri Pandits were part of the state and his party will strive to bring them back to the Valley.“Let me tell you that they have to return to Kashmir. Kashmir is incomplete till they return. They are part of this state and we will bring them back. I do not accept this homeland (for Pandits). They have to live with Muslims here and Muslims will protect them,” he said.Earlier, the party passed resolutions on several issues, including one on the return of Kashmiri Pandits.“The tragic exodus of our Kashmiri Pandit brothers and sisters is a dark chapter in history of J&K and remains a source of pain and agony for every conscientious citizen of the state.”“Their dignified return and rehabilitation remains unfulfilled and no headway has been made in this direction,” he said.“While the stakeholders might differ on the features of the return and rehabilitation initiative, there is overwhelming unanimity over the need to take all possible steps to facilitate their return with utmost honour and dignity,” the resolution read.last_img read more

South Kashmir encounters: Videos triggered search for militants

first_imgVideos by militants, leaked and uploaded on multiple social media platforms, became “the main technical input” for carrying out triple “coordinated operations” in south Kashmir’s Anantnag and Shopian on Sunday, the police said.A video uploaded in the last week of March showed 19 armed militants, several carrying two AK-47s, with a foliage-filled backdrop, “hinting that the video is recent and shot in south Kashmir”. One slain militant, Ubaid Shafi Malla, figured “prominently” in the video. “The video triggered a major lookout,” said a senior counter-insurgency official.last_img read more

Class 10, 12 exams postponed in Punjab to be held on April 27: CBSE

first_imgThe CBSE on Tuesday announced that the Class 10 and Class 12 examinations that were postponed in Punjab due to the ‘Bharat bandh’ on April 2, will now be conducted on April 27. At the request of the State government in view of bandh called by several Dalit organisations against the alleged dilution of the SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had postponed the exams scheduled on April 2. It has been decided to conduct the cancelled examination in Punjab on April 27. The roll numbers and examination centres already allotted to the students will remain the same, said KK Chaudhury, Controller of Examinations, CBSE. While Class 12 students were supposed to appear for the Hindi exam, language exams of French, Sanskrit and Urdu were scheduled for Class 10 on that day. The board had then said that it had received a letter of request, dated April 1, from the director general (school education) of the Punjab government to postpone all its examinations scheduled to be held on April 2, on account of apprehensions of law and order problems and other disturbances in the day during the ‘Bharat bandh’.The Punjab government had also taken a decision to keep all schools shut for the day, the CBSE had said referring to the former’s letter.last_img read more

Smartphone spells death for two

first_imgPulled up for smartphone overuse, a 22-year-old man hanged himself from a tree in Odisha’s Ganjam district on Friday night. The remorse of his death pushed his father into taking his own life at the very spot where the body of his son was found on Saturday morning.The incident happened at Kusapada village under Dharakote police station limits.Aska Sub-Divisional Police Officer Subash Chandra Panda said the son, Kalpabata Panda, had an argument with his father, Rajendra Panda (56), on Friday afternoon.Kalpabata, who completed a course from an ITI (industrial training institute), had not taken up higher studies or employment and was allegedly spending most of his time playing games on his smartphone. His father shouted at him and asked him to pay attention towards his studies and career. This irked Kalpabata who burnt down his certificates and ran away from home in the evening. When he did not return at night, his family members launched a search for him.Early Saturday morning, Rajendra and some other villagers found Kalpabata’s body hanging from a tree on the outskirts of Kusapada village. Rajendra blamed himself for the drastic decision of his son and hung himself from an adjoining tree. He used a portion of the rope that had been used by his son to commit suicide.The villagers present at the spot saw Rajendra hanging himself and rushed to rescue him. He was brought down from the tree and taken to Aska hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead.The police have sent both the bodies for autopsy and an investigation has been initiated in the case, said the SDPO.last_img read more

Three injured as part of under-construction flyover collapses in UP’s Basti

first_imgThree persons were injured after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed in Basti district of eastern Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. The flyover is located on National Nighway 28 near Phutaiyya crossing.As per the district administration, a slab of the flyover collapsed between 7 am and 7:30 am.Police identified the injured as Dharmendra, Suresh Rai and Pradeep. They were said to be construction labourers. District magistrate Raj Shekhar said the administration spoke to the contractor, local workers and residents who all confirmed that no other person was injured or missing.The injured are bring treated in the district hospital. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken cognizance of the incident and ordered swift action and ensure proper treatment of the injured.“District Administration has informed PD NHAI (MoRTH) and has asked them to look into the issue immediately and to take appropriate measures on priority,” said Mr. Shekhar.last_img read more

Rafale controversy nothing but propaganda before 2019 polls: Subhash Bhamre

first_imgThe Rafale fighter jet deal controversy is nothing but propaganda spread by the Opposition before the 2019 polls, said Union Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre on Thursday.“The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) could never finalize the Rafale deal nor were the prices of the planes fixed. Yet, how is it that the Congress and other opposition parties are so confidently positing prices during their regime and claiming that our government purchased the jets at allegedly inflated costs?” said Mr. Bhamre, who was speaking in Lonavla along the sidelines of an Engineers Conclave jointly organized by Larsen and Toubro (L & T) and the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE).In fact, the price fixed by our government (BJP-led NDA govt.) on the jets is 9 % less than the price that the Congress leaders claim to have been fixed during the UPA regime, he claimed.Responding to the Congress’ allegation that Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani was favoured in the deal bypassing the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), he said: “There is no question of favouring Mr. Ambani over HAL – the country’s premier aerospace company. The HAL currently has works amounting to Rs. one lakh crore, including the manufacturing of Sukhoi aircraft and Tejas, the indigenous light combat aircraft.”Addressing the conclave, Mr. Bhamre said that the 2018 Draft Defence Policy envisions India to be among the top five producers of defence products by 2025 and lays down an export target of 35,000 crore.“In the last month alone, the Defence Acquisition Council has approved procurement of equipment and systems totaling almost Rs, 60,000 crore with most of these procurements being planned within the country,” he said, stating that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had taken some important policy initiatives in recent years to position the country as an emerging defence manufacturing hub.Furthermore, to facilitate the industry, amendments to the Defence Procurement Policy of 2016 has been carried out recently while the Technology Perspective Capability Roadmap (TPCR) charted this year was already in public domain, Mr. Bhamre observed.last_img read more

Haryana govt. indulging in political vendetta: Hooda

first_imgFormer Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Wednesday hit out at the ruling BJP government in Haryana, accusing it of indulging in political vendetta.“The BJP has completely failed to perform during the past four years. It has not kept its promises made during the 2014 Assembly polls. And now to divert attention from its failures, the BJP has started lodging false and fabricated cases against me. They are indulging in political vendetta,” he said. Mr. Hooda alleged that the tall claims made by the BJP government about zero tolerance towards corruption were untrue. “The government is neck-deep in corruption. A few months ago, the cash-for-job scam was unearthed, which has exposed the BJP’s claims of transparency in functioning.”“After assuming power in the next Assembly polls we will investigate all scams against the BJP government. However, we will not indulge in political vendetta,” he added. Mr. Hooda said the party’s State unit was united and dismissed reports of differences with Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar. “Bringing the Congress back to power in the State is my priority and every leader is working towards strengthening the party,” he said. He added that the name of the Chief Minister would be decided by the MLAs and the party high command after the Congress government was formed in the State. “Once we form the government, the MLAs and the high command can decide on who will be the next CM.” Mr. Hooda said during the ten years of Congress rule, the government had put Haryana on the road to high growth.last_img read more

Hashimpura, where justice was served after 31 years

first_img However, five survived the shooting, pretending to be dead and swam through the waterbodies. The case was built on their testimonies, as they recounted the experience.How did it come about?The incident rocked the faith of the minority community in the State police, and the protracted criminal justice process and the apathy of the political class added to the anxiety. The CB-CID, which was handed over the probe, filed a chargesheet in the criminal court in Ghaziabad in 1996. And over 20 warrants issued by the court over the next three years failed to produce an outcome, the High Court noted in its order.The trial of the cases was later transferred to Delhi on the orders of the Supreme Court after the victims’ families said they were not satisfied with the progress of the investigation.Following this, charges were framed against the accused (19 originally, but three died during trial) by the trial court in May, 2006 for murder, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, disappearance of evidence and rioting, among others. It was only in May 2014 that the statements of the accused were recorded.Why did it take so long?However, in 2015, all 16 PAC men were acquitted by the trial court, which noted that the evidence required to connect the accused to the killing was missing. The verdict was challenged by the victims and their families, and the National Human Rights Commission was allowed by the court to intervene, seeking further probe. The High Court then allowed additional evidence to be recorded. And on October 31, 2018, more than 31 years after the crime, the High Court overturned the 2015 verdict of the trial court.What does it mean for families?The High Court dubbed the Hashimpura incident as a custodial killing and said it was “targeted killings of persons belonging to one minority community.” It has been a long and hard fight for the survivors, battling not just their personal loss and trauma but also the systemic failures and obstacles of the justice system. The prolonged legal battle may have diluted justice, but the conviction of the accused policemen, after three decades, is a landmark, because custodial killings are rarely punished in the country.What next?The High Court’s order is likely to be challenged in the Supreme Court. This means the accused may still have a chance to escape or may be too old to serve the sentence. The victims could have another round of legal battle. Moreover, only subordinate personnel of the PAC were punished while none of their superiors were touched, raising questions of impunity and accountability beyond this case. On October 31, the Delhi High Court sentenced 16 former personnel of the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) to life imprisonment for abducting and shooting dead 38 persons, all Muslims, at Hashimpura in Meerut in 1987. For victims and survivors, it was some consolation after 31 years.What happened?On May 22, 1987, the western Uttar Pradesh city of Meerut was engulfed in communal violence over the Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya. The PAC and the Army launched a search operation at Hashimpura, after two rifles belonging to the PAC personnel were allegedly looted by “anti-social” elements and a relative of a Major was killed near the area.The PAC rounded up 42-45 men, young and old, and packed them into a yellow-coloured truck belonging to the C-Company of the 41st Battalion and drove them away. But instead of taking them to the police station, they were taken to a canal near Ghaziabad. The PAC personnel then shot dead the men with their .303 rifles and dumped some of the bodies into the Gang Nahar (canal) and the rest into Hindon river. Thirty-eight perished. Most bodies were never found. Only 11 bodies were identified by their relatives.last_img read more

Fresh snowfall in Kashmir Valley

first_imgHigher reaches of Kashmir received fresh snowfall on Monday while some areas in plains received intermittent rains, forcing the closure of several vital road-links including the Srinagar-Leh National Highway. The overcast conditions led to rise in the minimum temperature in the valley. Fresh snowfall has been recorded in Gulmarg — the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, a MET department official said. He said the resort recorded around three inches of snowfall. The official said there are reports of snowfall in other areas in the higher reaches of the valley like Zojila Pass and Minimarg on the Srinagar-Leh Highway, Gurez and Mughal Road. He said some areas in the plains received rains. The snowfall and rain have forced the closure of 434-km Srinagar-Leh National Highway, Mughal Road — an alternate road-link connecting valley with Jammu region of the State and Bandipora-Gurez Road in north Kashmir, an official at the Traffic Control Room here said. He, however, said the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was through for traffic. The Meteorological Department said the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir are most likely to receive moderate to heavy rain or snow over the two days. Meanwhile, the mercury at most places in Kashmir division increased on Sunday night owing to a cloud cover. The mercury settled above the freezing point across the valley, except at Gulmarg, on Sunday night providing relief to the residents. The MET Department official said the night temperature in Srinagar city settled at a low of 2.4 degrees Celsius on Sunday night — up nearly three degrees from the previous night’s minus 0.4 degree Celsius.last_img read more