Leadership and the Remarkably High Cost of Low Expectations

first_imgYour standard as a leader is not what you believe to be your standard. Instead, your standard is what you allow, what you accept, what occurs without your objection or consequences. Over time, you can be lulled into expecting less from the people you lead. The result of low expectations is not reaching your full potential and not helping others achieve theirs.Expecting Too LittleWhile this post isn’t about sales, there may not be a better example than a sales floor with an activity quota. The leader of the team requires forty outbound calls a day, even though most of the calls result in a voice mail. Although anyone is capable of making five calls an hour, the average number of calls ends up being something like thirty-two calls, with a few reps making more, and others making so few calls as to pull down the average.Assume the leader is thoughtful and cares about the outcomes of those calls as much or more than they care about the activity. The standard is not really forty outbound calls. The real standard is what the leader allows, not what the leader suggests. When there is no accountability or consequences, you do not have a standard; you have what amounts to “suggestions.”When you allow your expectations to chase the average performance you can achieve, you both expect and receive something less than the best performance of the people in your charge are capable of producing.Seeing Too LittleThe best leader you ever had believed you were something more than you recognized and pushed you to become that person. They didn’t coddle you or accept something less than your best performance. They weren’t apathetic about your effort, and they didn’t neglect you. Instead, they coached and encouraged you.Most people already underestimate their real potential. They don’t recognize their gifts and their capacities, and many (most) haven’t had the experience of working for someone who cares enough about them to see something in them that they can’t see themselves, or something they can see but haven’t had the courage to become.As a leader, your results are not only limited by your exceptions, but also by the limit of your ability to help people grow and improve their capacities to generate results. What you see in each individual is the performance you can expect from them. If you want to see something different, you have to help them see what they might become.Believing Too LittleThere is a word that you don’t hear enough in business. Perhaps it isn’t heard much outside of business anymore. The word is “encouragement.” The word “encourage” means to support and provide confidence. Without researching the word’s etymology, it isn’t difficult to recognize the idea of providing someone with the courage to act.Most people have no idea what they are capable of, and many (if not most) haven’t been encouraged to become something more than they are now. Most don’t possess enough belief in themselves and are not helped by leaders who don’t have a greater belief in them they have in themselves. Accepting and allowing people to turn in mediocre or poor results because you believe that is all they are capable of is to hold too little belief in them.As a leader, it’s difficult to accept that the person who didn’t perform for you thrives under another leader. The person did not change, nor did their role. The expectations of the person changed when their leader changed.Pushing Too LittleThe person who cares about you will push you to become the better version of yourself that is presently locked up inside you. They will continuously remind you that you are not doing the work, not putting forth the necessary effort and that you are capable of more. They won’t accept anything less than your best, and they’ll keep pushing until you succeed.There are many reasons we fail to push people for their best performance. First, it takes a lot of time and energy. Second, it means having the same conversation over and over again without seeing much of an improvement, if any. Third, it’s easy to be busy with other things, none of which are likely to outweigh developing your people and improving your overall results. But mostly, we may not push because we didn’t have a model of how to drive performance and because we don’t believe it will make a difference (i.e., we see too little, and we believe too little).A considerable measure of your results as a leader is going to come from your ability to encourage the best possible performance from the people on your team. You have to see, believe, and push for their growth and their performance.Failing Those in Your ChargeIf there is a way to fail your people, allowing them to lower their standards has to top the list. You can easily rationalize lowering your expectations, something that will be debilitating to producing better results.You can believe that it isn’t your responsibility to see something in your people they can’t see, and that it isn’t your responsibility to encourage their growth. You are paying them for their work, and you shouldn’t have to push them for their best results. To hold these beliefs is to fail the people in your charge, and in return, you can expect them to fail you.Raise your standards and expect more. Recognize that everyone on your team is capable of more than what they are doing now. Believe and encourage their growth, their development, and their best performance. And push them to start moving towards these things.last_img read more

Three new sites recognised as biodiversity hotspots in Goa

first_imgBirdLife International, a conservation organisation, has recognised three new sites in Goa as hotspots for protection. The sites have been added to their list of “Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas”. The inclusion of these ecological hotspots in a new book come after systematic data collection by the Goa Bird Conservation Network (GBCN). The book is authored by noted ornithologist Asad Rahmani, along with two other co-authors, and is published by the Bombay Natural History Society. Now, seven areas in Goa have been termed important biodiversity areas by BirdLife. GBCN president Parag Rangnekar said Goa earlier had four recognised biodiversity areas: Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, Carambolim Wetlands, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary and Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary.Larger areaThe list has now added Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Navelim Wetlands and Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary.The extent of Carambolim Wetland has been increased to include the fragile ecosystem of Dhado, which has recently become a wintering ground for many species of migratory birds. “While analysing data on birds of the State we realized that we have two species of critically endangered, eight species of vulnerable and 11 species of near-threatened birds that have been documented,” says Pronoy Baidya, vice-president of GBCN and one of the contributors to the Goa chapter in the new book.“Goa harbours a good population of the lesser adjutant and the Nilgiri wood pigeon in certain pockets of the State apart from the identified sites,” said Mr. Baidya.“Goa probably has more sites than the seven identified but a lack of systematic effort in the past to document birds created a void of data because of which we could not propose more sites to BNHS, which coordinates the programme in India,” said Mr. Rangnekar. He recalled that in 2012-13, zoology students from Government College, Sanquelim, in north Goa monitored the Navelim Wetlands for an entire year documenting birds and their population. “It was primarily a marsh land with paddy fields bordered by mangrove growth that is under the local community’s control. It was important to highlight the significance of this area for conservation on a global platform” says Harshada Gauns, an office-bearer of GBCN, who led the team that monitored the wetland. “Declaring a site as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area does not ensure that the site gets legal protection or becomes inaccessible to people. Instead BirdLife International encourages national and State governments to recognise the areas as sites of vital importance for conservation of wildlife and to empower local community-based conservation initiatives,” said Mr. Baidya.“In Goa, the Forest Department has already provided support to GBCN in setting up the long-term bird monitoring project, which has completed one year in Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. The information will help the Forest Department in planning their management strategies,” said Mr. Rangnekar.last_img read more

Flyover collapse: Adityanath orders action against 7 officials

first_imgUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered proceedings for strict penal action against former Managing Director of UP Bridge Corporation Rajan Mittal and six others in connection with the Varanasi flyover collapse, which killed at least 15 people earlier this week.The Chief Minister gave these orders after a three-member team constituted to probe the lapses leading to the collapse, submitted its report on Thursday night, a senior government official said.Besides Mr. Mittal, action has been ordered against chief project manager H.C. Tewari, project manager K R Sudan, assistant engineer Rajesh Singh, engineer Lal Chand, former project manager Genda Lal and additional project manager Rajesh Pal, he said, adding four of them have already been placed under suspension.The State government had on Thursday shunted out Mr. Mittal from the post of Managing Director UP State Bridge Corporation.This in PM’s constituencyA portion of the flyover coming up in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency collapsed on Tuesday, crushing a mini bus, cars and two-wheelers. Officials initially said 18 people were killed, but the toll was revised to 15 later.The Chief Minister has asked the state Public Works Department and other agencies carrying out construction works to take all steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents.He issued a check list needed to be strictly followed in all construction works. The points in the list included proper barricading of the construction site and making alternative arrangement for traffic movement.The official said the Chief Minister has directed authorities concerned to make third-party inspection necessary of all important works to ensure quality.last_img read more

Acid test for Nitish in Jokihat

first_imgThe Jokihat Assembly byelection on Monday has turned out to be a test of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s popularity among 17% of the minority population in the State. The campaign ended on Saturday, and the result is due on May 31.About 70% of the electorate in the constituency is Muslim, and the Janata Dal(U) has been bagging this seat since 2005. Mr. Kumar, with over half-a-dozen Ministers of his Cabinet, has been campaigning hard to win the seat. The Chief Minister wants to send out a message that even after joining hands with the BJP, his popularity has not waned among minority voters.Taslimuddin’s turfMohammad Taslimuddin, former Rashtriya Janata Dal MP from Araria, who died last September, has been the tallest leader not only in Jokihat but also in Araria, Katihar, Purnia and Kishanganj, all minority-dominated Seemanchal (border) districts of north-east Bihar. Taslimuddin and his son Sarfaraj Alam, irrespective of the parties they contested from, had represented the Jokihat Assembly seat nine times. Mr. Alam quit the JD(U) and vacated the Jokihat Assembly seat to contest the Araria Lok Sabha byelection after the death of his father. He won the seat as an RJD candidate, defeating BJP candidate Pradip Singh with a comfortable margin. This time, the RJD has fielded Shahnawaj Alam, younger brother of Mr. Alam, for the Jokihat seat and the JD(U) has put up a former village head, Murshid Alam, who has several criminal charges from gang rape to idol theft pending against him, to bag the seat.“My government has earmarked ₹800 crore for minority welfare … I have maintained communal harmony in the State at all costs,” Mr. Kumar said at a thinly attended public meeting on May 24. Public pulseHowever, Mohd Aadil, 36, sitting in the crowd, raised a question, “Then how did all the communal tensions happened in over 10 districts after Ram Navmi festival celebration this year?”. Mr. Aadil’s voice was not loud enough to reach Mr. Kumar but he got a round of applause from the crowd. When leader of the Opposition Tejaswi Yadav addressed a public meeting at the same venue a day later, the crowd was more than three times that of Mr. Kumar’s audience. Mohd Gaushul Alam, 50, who was among the audience at the meeting said, “After joining hands with the BJP, he [Nitish Kumar] has lost all his political credibility among our community.”last_img read more

Soldier killed, another injured in Kupwara

first_imgA solider was killed and another injured in a militant attack near the Line of Control (LoC) at Keran sector in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Thursday morning.“A stand-off attack was launched (by militants) on our link patrol ahead of the LoC fence in the Keran sector. Two soldiers suffered injuries. Own troops retaliated. The operation is in progress,” Army’s Srinagar- based Defence Ministry spokesperson Col. Rajesh Kalia said.Reports said a group of around five militants, “opened indiscriminate fire upon the Army’s party. “A group of infiltrators was intercepted near the Kacchal Post in Keran Sector adjacent to Chowkibal forests,” said an offcial.The injured soldiers were shifted to military hospital at Drugmulla for treatment, where one jawan died. “The operation is on in the area,” said the police officials.Hideout bustedIn a separate operation, Army busted a militant hideout in Bandipora. “One AK 47, two Chinese pistol, five Chinese grenades, binocular, telescope and two radio sets were seized,” said the Army.The police said it also foiled an attempt to loot the J&K Bank cash van in Shopian. “Suspected militants fired at the cash van at Chidipora area of Zainapora and tried to loot the money. The alert security guards foiled their attempt and the robbers fled from the spot,” said the police.last_img read more

SC notice to U.P. on plea opposing dropping of riots case against CM

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Monday sought the Uttar Pradesh government’s response on a petition challenging the dropping of the 2007 Gorakhpur riots case against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud issued notice and sought a reply from the State government in four weeks.“Issue notice. Let a copy of the petition be served on the caveator. Counter affidavit be filed within four weeks hence. Rejoinder, if any, be filed within two weeks therefrom. List after six weeks,” the Bench said. On January 27, 2007, an FIR was lodged at Kotwali police station in Gorakhpur against Mr. Adityanath, then a Member of Parliament, and several others on charges of promoting enmity between two groups. It was alleged that several incidents of violence were reported in Gorakhpur on that day after an alleged hate speech by Mr. Adityanath. On February 1, the Allahabad High Court had upheld the quashing of a magistrate’s order that had taken cognisance of a chargesheet against Mr. Adityanath in connection with the riot case. The HC had dismissed the petition against the Sessions Court verdict filed by Parvez Parwaz, at whose instance the FIR was registered against Mr. Adityanath and others. Parwaz had challenged the sessions court’s January 28, 2017 decision quashing the Magistrate’s order on the grounds that he was not heard by the court. He had argued before the High Court that being the informant in the case, he was a necessary party, but the sessions judge had set aside the order without impleading him. The CID had completed its probe in 2015 and sought sanction for prosecution that year. The then Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government in the State had not granted sanction to prosecute Mr. Adityanath.last_img read more

CPI(M), BJP workers jointly form panchayat boards in Bengal

first_imgThe workers of the CPI(M) and the BJP are coming together in Purba Medinipur, Malda and Nadia districts of West Bengal to form gram panchayat boards. The CPI(M) leadership admitted that it was not possible for them to “control the actions” of party workers at the village level. However, they made it clear that the CPI(M)’s stand was to neither support the BJP nor the TMC.In Talga Chaari gram panchayat in Purba Medinipur’s Ramnagar block and Srirampur gram panchayat in Tamluk block, one elected gram panchayat member of the CPI(M) and five Independent candidates supported by the party have supported the BJP to form gram panchayat boards.‘Sever all ties’ Confirming the development, CPI(M) district secretary in Purba Medinipur Niranjan Sihi told The Hindu: “We will expel the party members concerned and will sever all ties with the Independent candidates who supported the BJP.”At two gram panchayats in Nadia — Chanderghat gram panchayat of Tehatta I block and Paulsunda gram panchayat of Tehatta II block — two CPI(M) candidates and some Independents supported by the party have joined forces with the BJP to form the gram panchayat boards.“We will expel the party members who supported the BJP. As for the Independent candidates supported by us, we cannot take any responsibility as it is not always possible for us to control their actions,” said Sumit Dey, CPI(M) district secretary in Nadia.In Malda, the CPI(M) candidates have supported the BJP in the Dhumpur gram panchayat in the district’s Habibpur block. However, the CPI(M) district leadership is yet to find out how many among the three party candidates there have supported the BJP.“The CPI-M will oppose both the BJP and the TMC. Any violation of the party’s official stand in this regard will be firmly dealt with and stern action will be taken,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said. ‘No hesitation’ However, BJP’s State president Dilip Ghosh made it clear that they will “not hesitate” in taking ‘the CPI(M) candidates’ support to counter the TMC. “Our key aim is to keep TMC out of gram panchayat boards and we will not hesitate in joining forces with any Opposition party including the CPI(M) for the purpose.”last_img read more

ScienceShot: ‘Mercenary’ Ant Is Both Scourge and Savior

first_imgThe fungus-farming ants Sericomyrmex amabilis of Central and South America are often plagued by the parasitic Megalomyrmex symmetochus (left), which live among them for years, living off their food and mutilating their virgin queens. But new observations put an odd twist in this parasitic tale. A large population of nonfertile Megalomyrmex workers, whose function had been unclear, patrols their host’s territory to defend against an even more menacing invader: the predatory Gnamptogenys hartmani (right). Scientists staged a series of face-offs among the three ant species in the lab, as they report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In Sericomyrmex nests with no parasites, two introduced Gnamptogenys ants obliterated roughly 70% of the colony. But in parasitized nests, the Megalomyrmex ants dispensed an alkaloid venom that not only killed the Gnamptogenys raiders, but also turned them against one another. The scientists compare Megalomyrmex to the mercenaries who protected a medieval city during conflicts but drained its resources in times of peace.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(*)last_img read more

New Hope for an Endangered Fish in Madagascar

first_imgEven for an imperiled species, the Mangarahara cichlid was on its last fins. The colorful fish was thought to have vanished from the wild, and only two individuals remain in captivity—both aging males. But thanks to a serendipitous chain of events, a small population was discovered in Madagascar last month, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) announced.“This is a very exciting discovery,” says Michele Thieme, a conservation biologist with the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D.C., who didn’t participate in the discovery. “It’s rare to find a fish species that was feared extinct in the wild.”The Mangarahara cichlid (Ptychochromis insolitus) is one of several species of cichlids native to Madagascar. They are interesting from an evolutionary perspective because they retain many ancestral traits of cichlid forbears, says Melanie Stiassny, an ichthyologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. When she revised the species’ taxonomy in 2006, she dubbed it “insolitus,” which means unusual, because of its fine-toothed scales and other features.   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(*)To survive in the wild, this cichlid needs clear, deep pools and swift, shallow water. But its habitat—the Mangarahara and Amboaboa river systems—are mostly dry now, their water diverted for rice and other crops. And deforestation has added to silt to streams that feed into the rivers. “This is clearly an endangered species,” Stiassny says. Previous searches had come up empty-handed, says Brian Zimmerman, the curator for fishes at ZSL’s aquarium at London Zoo. “We thought it was likely the fish was extinct in the wild.”But a few specialist hobbyists have raised these cichlids. In fact, ZSL had acquired a dozen fish in 2002 from a couple who had managed to breed them from wild-caught fish, which had been collected by French ichthyologist in the 1990s. It’s not always easy, or safe to do: A zoo in Berlin had tried to breed its pair of Mangarahara cichlids, but the male killed the female “when the courtship got out of hand,” Zimmerman says.With only two fish known left in captivity, Zimmerman started contacting hobbyists in May about finding a female. No one had any more of the fish. A month later, though, he got an e-mail from a man in Madagascar who ran a hotel and raised tilapia in ponds. “I’m pretty sure we can find it,” the man wrote. After seeing a blurry photograph, Zimmerman arranged a trip to Madagascar in November.Zimmerman and his colleagues searched for days near the Mangarahara River with no luck. But when they arrived in a village called Merotandrano, on a small tributary of the river, a fisherman gave him a Mangarahara cichlid that had been dead only a few days. Zimmerman hiked about 2 hours from Merotandrano to a few deep pools where villagers had set out traps. “They went charging into water,” Zimmerman recalls. “They were shouting: Joba mena!” That’s the local name for the fish, which means “red girl,” although in fact it’s the males that have trailing red edges on their fins.The group trapped 18 fish and took them to the hotelier’s private ponds, about a 30-hour drive away. The next step is to determine if they will breed there. After that, Zimmerman hopes to move some fish into a forest reserve higher upstream from the pools.“The discovery of Mangarahara cichlids in the wild could potentially open the door to captive breeding and restoring this species,” Thieme says. “It’s truly a ray of hope for the long-term survival of the species.”last_img read more

Prominent U.S. academics reprise plea for more basic research to fuel innovation

first_img Restoring the Foundation, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2014) To add weight to that message, the academy recruited Lane, a former director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and science adviser to former President Bill Clinton, to chair the group with Augustine, a former CEO of defense giant Lockheed Martin and a familiar presence on such panels. Still, members of the panel know they will be fighting to have an impact.“Sometimes I feel that we’re plowing the ocean,” says panel member James Duderstadt, an engineer and president emeritus of the University of Michigan who also served on a 2012 National Academies committee that examined how to strengthen the U.S. research university system that is the envy of the rest of the world. “Sure, there have been lots of previous studies that covered similar ground, but the feeling was that we needed to pull all of it together to generate some momentum.”Not that long ago, science lobbyists thought they were on a roll after Augustine chaired a 2005 National Academies’ panel that came out with Rising Above the Gathering Storm. That report is generally credited with convincing Congress to pass the America COMPETES Act, a 2007 law that endorsed a budget doubling for agencies funding basic research in the physical sciences. The bill helped boost budgets at some agencies, but the full doubling never materialized, and COMPETES expired last year after being renewed once in 2010.At the time of the National Academies’ report, lobbyists thought that the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which received about half of the $32.3 billion the government spent this year on basic research, was in good shape. Congress had recently finished a 5-year doubling of the NIH budget, and the discipline was booming. But since then NIH’s budget has stalled, with the exception of a spike in 2009 to 2010 from its share of the government-wide stimulus package to help the nation recover from the 2008 financial meltdown.That roller-coaster ride has been devastating to the community, and their cries of pain led the American academy to launch the study released today. “The traditional arguments weren’t winning the day,” explains Lane, a physicist and professor at Rice University in Houston, Texas, in a conversation with ScienceInsider before today’s rollout. “People were saying the same things, but it wasn’t enough to convince the policymakers.”In particular, the new report calls for federal spending on basic research, now $32.3 billion, to reach 0.3% of the nation’s gross domestic product by 2032. That ratio has hovered around its current level of 0.19% for the past 2 decades, rising only to 0.22% at the end of the NIH doubling. Lane admits that such a leap “is rather ambitious.” But he says it’s needed at a time when “science and engineering have become even more important as drivers of economic growth.” To be sure, some legislators are already on board. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D–WV), chair of the Senate commerce and science committee, has introduced a bill to extend the COMPETES Act that embraces many of the recommendations in the American academy’s report, including steadily growing funding for basic research, creating a national science and engineering policy, making changes in how universities commercialize research discoveries, preparing science majors to use their skills in nonacademic careers, and easing regulations that university administrators say are costly, burdensome, and stifle innovation.On Friday, Rockefeller wrote an op-ed titled “Seven Reasons Congress Must Reauthorize America COMPETES.” He argues that his bill (S. 2757) will “build on” the success of the previous legislation “to keep the U.S. competitive … and give life to the innovative ideas coming from our research institutions that help make this nation so successful.”But Rockefeller is retiring this year at the end of the current Congress, and his colleagues are extremely unlikely to take up, much less pass, any reauthorization before they adjourn after a lame-duck session in December. In addition, if the pundits are right, the Republicans will gain control of the Senate next year—and no Republican so far has endorsed Rockefeller’s bill.Another reason to be skeptical is that Rockefeller’s counterpart in the U.S. House of Representatives, Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), has won his panel’s support for a contrasting bill (H.R. 4186) that most scientists hope never becomes law. Among the provisions they oppose are changes to the vaunted peer-review process at NSF, one of the agencies covered in COMPETES, and scant growth in its budget.Lane has been a vocal critic of that bill, and his report explicitly urges the White House and Congress to “reaffirm the principle that competitive expert peer review is the best way to ensure excellence” and asserts that it “should remain the mechanism by which federal agencies make research award decisions.”As a battle-scarred veteran of Washington, Lane knows the harsh political realities of trying to sway legislators to fund more science at a time that Congress is struggling to trim overall federal spending and the public is indifferent to the issue.“There have been efforts to get candidates to address these issues,” he says. “But they haven’t succeeded. The reason we don’t hear candidates talk about science is because they don’t get any political points for it. And that’s because the public doesn’t care.”Academy officials plan to hold a series of meetings around the country to drum up support for the report, the first step in what Lane sees as a long process of changing public attitudes. “We hope that this report will help start a conversation about the things that really matter,” he says. Restoring the Foundation, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2014) How long can U.S. science lobbyists keep repeating the same message—that boosting federal funding for basic research and removing barriers to innovation is a proven way to ensure economic prosperity—without tuning out their intended audience? And is there any reason to think that those who have resisted their pleas in the past will warm to their arguments this time around?Neal Lane and Norm Augustine are about to find out. Today the two eminent science policy veterans came to Washington, D.C., to unveil a report from a panel of academic and industry leaders assembled by the Cambridge, Massachusetts–based American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The 152-page report takes its place alongside a half-dozen other tomes in the last decade intended to first warn U.S. policymakers of an impending disaster and then describe how to avert it.The twin message is captured in the report’s title, Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream. China and other nations are a growing threat to U.S. preeminence in science and innovation, the report notes, and the best response is spending more on basic research and reforming the current U.S. system of innovation.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(*)last_img read more

Final chapter in Italian stem cell controversy?

first_imgA long-running controversy sparked by the Italian government’s decision to fund a clinical trial of an unapproved stem cell therapy may have reached its final chapter. Last week, a panel of experts appointed by the Italian Ministry of Health concluded that the trial of the so-called Stamina method should not move forward.A similar panel reached the same conclusion in 2013, citing scientific flaws and safety concerns, but that ruling was set aside after a legal challenge. This time, Italy’s minister of health, Beatrice Lorenzin, says the new panel’s 3 October recommendation is final and has vowed to block any trial.Meanwhile, 20 people involved in promoting the therapy, including its leading proponent, are facing allegations of criminal conduct. In April, Italian prosecutors released a report alleging that the group was engaged in fraud by selling the therapy to patients. In November, a judge is expected to hold a hearing on whether the case will move forward.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(*)The controversy stretches back to 2006, when the Stamina Foundation, a private organization based in Turin, began promoting the stem cell treatment, which has not been approved by Italian regulators. Foundation President Davide Vannoni claims that the therapy, based on bone marrow stem cells, can promote the growth of new neurons and hence cure a vast range of neurodegenerative diseases. In 2013, the Italian Parliament earmarked €3 million for a trial, amid pressure from patients and some media outlets, and despite investigations by health care officials that resulted in decrees to halt the treatments. The decision to fund the trial drew immediate criticism from stem cell researchers and others, prompting officials to order the initial 2013 expert review.Vannoni continues to back the therapy, despite last week’s setback. “The decision has left me amazed,” he tells ScienceInsider. The committee was supposed to only fine-tune the design of the trial, he says, not rule on its feasibility. Vannoni says he will again go to court in an effort to set aside the panel’s conclusions. He won a similar case in 2013, when a judge ruled that some members of the original panel that reviewed the work were not impartial.No patients are currently receiving the Stamina treatment, in part because prosecutors in Turin recently seized vials containing patient cells and tissues from a hospital involved in the therapy. And Luca Pani, director of Italy’s drug regulator, AIFA, says his agency’s investigations show that the treatments should not resume. Investigators found “a number of serious violations which leave no room for interpretation,” he said in a statement issued after the panel issued its recommendation. “In any Western advanced country, a few pages of that decree would have been sufficient to determine the cessation of any activity.”last_img read more

Life is a Soda Bottle…

first_imgWow! Imported shampoo! Imported T-shirt! Imported soaps! Imported chocolates! Wow! Lives abroad! Vacations abroad! Accent, etc., etc. Wow! What’s in the bags? I would rather say, “What’s in a bottle?”How passé these lines sound today. Two decades ago, they were pride points; foreign countries were a fantasy. Products brought from there were enough to make people envious, although nobody cared to look at the labels — Made in India, Vietnam, China, Bangladesh, etc. If you had a distant aunt or cousin living in New York you would feel proud to share their stories with friends. Even if they brought you soaps from hotels they had stayed in, you would show them off in your bathroom. When they paid with a credit card at a posh restaurant where they took you for dinner, you would be in an awe of the shining gold piece of plastic. And yes, when they ordered salads, which, of course, you would never want to eat, you would be all gaga about it. When they asked, “What will you have for dessert?” you would find yourselves on the horns of a dilemma. Oh God, what should I order?They yellow Faber Castell pencils were the pride of your pencil box. The M&Ms, Snickers and Mars were so wow. And hello, how can you forget the Peanut Butter and Kool Aid? The camera that uncle carried around was amazing and it was called a Handi-Cam! The manicure kit my cousin gifted me would accompany me to all the cities I travelled. And, by God, their kids, they could never be wrong. Even if they cried or screamed for absurd reasons, it was okay. The list is endless, but I cannot neglect the little things: they drank Bisleri mineral water, used hand sanitizer and would only sleep with mosquito repellent!I say, “The bottle is full of soda!”I am sure all you desis out there know what I am talking about. The imported shampoo didn’t do much for your hair. You might have discovered that your oversized T-shirt was a give-away at your cousin’s university or some event or bought while on vacation at a flea market. The chocolates… even those who have have visited the M&M and Hershey store in Times Square, know they are no match for 5 Star. What a taste man! I am craving for it right now. Yes, the smooth chocolate and the gooey toffee beneath…. Umm, umm. Today, when you see the label on that little black dress or the linen shirt at Macy’s with a “Made in India” label, you feel proud and wonder, why is this so expensive?Okay! So your aunt, some uncle and a distant cousin who used to visit India once every three years live here. Sooo? What a life! Do you guys have a full time Bai or a Maharaj? Believe me, the dishwasher is a bigger pain! Lavender crèmes? Hello, I still use my Indian Nivea and ya those shell shaped hotel soaps, they just made my skin dry. When I talk to my friends back in India now, I actually sometimes am jealous of their lifestyle — maids, cooks, smaller rents, bigger houses, no parking problems, no tickets, small health insurance premium and ya the doctor gives you the reports by hand. So what have you got? Peanut Butter and Kool Aid? Very unhealthy! Salads? My home made roti and bhindi ki sabzi beats it hands down. And can the rice and French beans stand any chance before daal chawal? As for that dessert you were inquiring about? I don’t think a chocolate mousse or a Tiramisu really works for me. Can you pass over two pieces of gulab jamuns or gajar ka halwa please? What say you? I know half of you will be panting for an Indian restaurant or whipping up an Indian meal this weekend.Handi-cams? Sorry, I don’t have any room for that in my backpack, what with the water bottle, umbrella, and book. My 16 megapixel phone camera does just fine. And Mr. Cousin, his kids. Would you believe it, they are are thinking of shifting back to India?? Ha, ha, ha. Don’t bother taking back the manicure kit you brought for me. Even the nail cutter was hopeless.I am missing the matke ka paani. What on earth got you hooked on Bisleri?Life has a way of coming full circles, bubbles. Heck the fizz is gone from the soda bottle. Related Itemslast_img read more

Prosecutors: US Conspiracy Came Amid Slow Sales of Opioid

first_imgA new mouth spray that delivered the powerful painkiller fentanyl to end-stage cancer patients wasn’t selling as well as anticipated. So drug company executives moved quickly to make its production worthwhile.U.S. court records in the case against an immigrant billionaire who is one of Arizona’s wealthiest men describe the daunting market challenges that Insys Therapeutics founder John N. Kapoor and fellow executives faced after launching the opioid medication Subsys in 2012.The highly addictive drug was going to cost a cancer patient up to thousands of dollars a month to control intolerable levels of pain. It could only be prescribed by a medical practitioner registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration, and it was among several cancer pain medicines already available.Five years later, Subsys is at the heart of the case against Insys Therapeutics executives, including Kapoor, 74, of Phoenix, who is charged with leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors and pharmacists to widely prescribe the potent painkiller to people who didn’t need it.Defense attorney Brian T. Kelly, a high-profile Boston lawyer, has said Kapoor is not guilty.It comes amid an opioid epidemic that claims thousands of lives each year and led President Donald Trump to declare a nationwide public health emergency.The case is just the latest example of how profits have become more important than health for many U.S. pharmaceutical firms, New Jersey-based health care analyst Steve Brozak said Friday.The aggressive market tactics that federal prosecutors described at Insys have become acceptable, said Brozak of WWB Securities, a health care research firm that tracks companies in the sector.“The only reason (Kapoor) was put in handcuffs and did the perp walk is because the marketing involved an opioid,” he said. “This is an example of a greater addiction, not to opioids, but to big sales. The opioid crisis is the logical extension of the earnings demand.”To make Subsys more profitable, Insys executives turned to aggressive marketing tactics, such as bribes and kickbacks that included “speaker fees and honoraria for marketing events, food and entertainment” for doctors and pharmacists who prescribed the drug, according to an updated federal fraud and racketeering indictment in the ongoing case. The new charges were filed this week in Massachusetts.In exchange, the practitioners are accused of writing large numbers of prescriptions for patients, most of whom were not diagnosed with cancer. Prosecutors say the scam stretched across the U.S., involving pharmacies and pain management clinics and practitioners from Saginaw, Michigan, to southwest Florida and Laredo, Texas.Federal prosecutors in Boston first brought the case against six Insys executives and managers, including former CEO Michael L. Babich, who are set to go to trial next year and have pleaded not guilty. The updated indictment unsealed this week brings new charges against them and alleges Kapoor and the others provided kickbacks to doctors and conspired to defraud insurance providers.The court records describe events that encouraged sales representatives to push practitioners to prescribe ever higher doses of the fentanyl spray. A video at one event purportedly showed company employees dancing, rapping and singing with a life-size bottle of the highest dosage of the spray, suggesting that increased amounts were “not a problem!”To get paid back by insurance companies that didn’t want to fund the drug for non-cancer patients, the company established a “reimbursement center” that used employees to suggest they were calling on behalf of a doctor and the patient in question had cancer _ even if that wasn’t true, the indictment says.Kapoor founded Insys Therapeutics in 1990. Its stock price has tumbled amid the legal trouble in recent months, but the company said this week that it is under new management and has assumed responsibility for its former employees’ actions.The drug is question, fentanyl, is useful for managing pain for people with end-stage cancers, said Dr. Karen Sibert, an associate clinical professor with UCLA Health’s Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. But opioids are dangerous when used incorrectly and without medical supervision because they can cause a person to stop breathing, she said.“If you have extreme pain from end-stage cancer, the risk from stopping breathing is an acceptable risk,” she said. “But it’s not if you are a young person with back pain.”Kapoor emigrated from India decades ago and earned a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Buffalo in New York, where the pharmacy school is named for him and his wife to honor their philanthropy.In addition to Insys Therapeutics, which went public in 2013, Kapoor founded Illinois-based Akorn Pharmaceuticals. He also has a company that operates seven restaurants.Forbes said several years ago that Kapoor was worth $2.4 billion. That has fallen amid his company’s legal woes, but the magazine still listed Kapoor’s worth at $1.75 billion on Friday.A judge set bail for Kapoor at $1 million and said he must wear electronic monitoring and surrender his passports. — Associated Press Related Itemslast_img read more

The Case For Obama

first_imgAs a kid growing up in Central Texas, I learned Hindi by watching Bollywood films. My all-time-favorite was a 1970s flick called Purab Aur Pachhim. In the film, Manoj Kumar plays a student named Bharat who leaves India to study in London. There, he falls in love with a westernized BBCD (British-Born Confused Desi) named Preeti, played by Saira Banu.At the end of the film, Bharat tries to convince Preeti to settle with him back home in India. He shows her the sights and sounds of the homeland – from the majestic Taj Mahal to the quaint villages. However, in the end, the winning argument for her is the newfound understanding that in India, “maa baap ke liye bacche sabh kuchh hai, aur bacche ke liye maa baap” (for parents, children are everything and for children, parents are the same).For all his merits on the issues, I’m supporting Barack Obama for president because he best reflects our values of family, responsibility and community.Barack is the son of an immigrant father, who, like my parents, came to this country to get an education and better himself. He understands the challenges of growing up different in America, with a funny name and an atypical family. But he also understands that our challenges should never be a crutch; that hard work and determination are the key to accessing the opportunities America affords us.In this election, millions of Indian Americans will have the chance to lead by our ballots. We recognize America is no longer the destination. It is our home. So where do we want to see our country go?Barack Obama will return us to the fiscal sanity of the Clinton administration when America’s financial stature in the world was unparalleled because the government did what we expect of families: lived within its means and balanced its budget.Barack Obama champions the cause of universal health care, ensuring that no family is forced to depend on emergency rooms (and taxpayers) for medical services. His plan will help small businesses who are being crushed by the skyrocketing cost of providing health coverage for their employees.Barack Obama will strengthen the U.S.-India friendship with his continued support for the nuclear deal, which will pave the way for energy security in the world’s largest democracy.And Barack Obama will be the president who commits himself to the ideal that every child in America should have access to excellent schools, great teachers and affordable college tuition. This is, after all, the key to the American dream. Barack knows because, like so many of us, he’s lived it.The past eight years have been dismal for all Americans and we simply cannot afford more of the same failed policies of the past. For all John McCain’s rhetoric, a man who spent 26 years in Congress and voted with President Bush 90% of the time can hardly claim to be a maverick or a reformer. We cannot afford the right-wing leanings of a McCain-Palin ticket that turns its back on teaching real science, investing in life-saving research, guarding the privacy and civil liberties of our citizens and ending the war in Iraq responsibly.When John McCain looks at the crisis in our financial markets and declares, “the fundamentals of the economy are strong,” there is no doubt left that he is out of touch with the lives of ordinary Americans. That’s not change. That’s more of the same.We need real change in America. We need leaders who see our diversity as our greatest strength and globalization as an opportunity. We need a president who reminds us that Social Security, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are not government bureaucracies to be vilified in the heat of a campaign, but part and parcel of our compact as an American family where we are all beholden to one another.Over the course of this election, I’ve been proud to see so many young Indian Americans join our campaign for change. They come believing that one person can make a difference. As we celebrate Gandhi Jayanti this month, it’s fitting to remember the community organizer from Porbander, Gujarat, who counseled each of us to “be the change you wish to see in the world.”So I can’t help but wonder, “What would Gandhi do in this election?” Which candidate will stand with me as I aim to fulfill my responsibilities to my parents, my community and the next generation? Who represents the change we desire most for our country? For me, the matter is settled and Barack Obama is my candidate. Parag Mehta is Director of External Communications for the Democratic National Committee.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Stampede near Bihar temple leaves one dead

first_imgA stampede broke out near a temple here on Monday, leaving one person dead and at least eight injured, police said. The incident took place at the Ashok Dham temple here, situated in Town police station area of the district, where a huge throng of devotees had turned up to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva on the last Monday of the auspicious month of ‘Shravan’. At one point of time, the crowd grew restless and many people began to jostle, leading to a stampede-like situation. The situation was, however, soon brought under control, SHO of Town police station Sanjay Kumar Singh said. A 60-year-old unidentified person collapsed on the spot. There were no injury marks on his body, which has been brought to the Sadar hospital for post-mortem. He appears to have suffered a massive heart attack, the SHO said. He also asserted that those said to be injured had actually fallen sick, on account of the extreme humidity and suffocation caused by overcrowded surroundings. They were being treated at the hospital and their condition was out of danger, he said.last_img read more

24 years later, Bombay HC restores land to legal heirs of tenant

first_imgTwenty four years after the death of the original tenant and landlord, the Bombay High Court recently granted relief to the legal heir of the tenant by quashing an order passed by Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal (MRT) that had refused possession of agricultural land to the tenant.The case pertains to one Tatya Ahirekar, landlord of agricultural lands (suit lands), in Vikhale village, Koregaon taluka, Satara, and Jaisingh Ahirekar his tenant. Mr. Tatya obtained a certificate under Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act on July 10, 1962, on the grounds that the eight plots of lands did not exceed the economic holding and that the total annual income of the landlord did not exceed ₹1500.Jaisingh died on September 23, 1980. Mr. Tatya thereafter made an application seeking a negative declaration that Jaisingh was not the tenant. However, the Agricultural Land Tribunal (ALT) dismissed the landlord’s application holding that Jaisingh had cultivation rights of the said land.Jaisingh’s heirs filed an application before the sub-divisional officer, Koregaon for restoration of possession of suit lands. After holding an enquiry, the sub-divisional officer, allowed the application and said, “though the landlord was a certificated landlord, the possession of the suit lands was not obtained in accordance to the Act.” The ALT found that Jaisingh was in cultivation of the suit lands and the said finding has attained finality.The officer held, “the claim of the landlords that they have obtained possession of the suit lands from the tenants was held to be unsustainable as the landlords were not entitled to take possession of the tenanted lands.”The officer allowed the application and directed the landlords to evict themselves from the suit lands and restore possession to the tenants.Tatya’s legal heirs challenged the order before MRT and it passed an order on October 20, 1994, that Jaisingh was not in possession of the suit lands and relied upon a statement made by Tatya that “he was personally cultivating the suit lands since many years”.After Tatya’s death, legal heirs of Jaisingh moved the high court on November 6, 1995. A single bench of N.J. Jamadar recently held that “MRT was not at all justified in recording the finding on the basis of a lame claim of voluntary surrender of the suit lands by the original tenant, without anything more. It is more so for the reason that the tenant has been claiming that the landlord unlawfully dispossessed him of the suit lands.”The Bench quashed the order passed by the MRT and said, “I am conscious of the time-lag. However, in view of the perfunctory manner in which MRT has rendered the order, there is no other go but to remit the matter back to MRT for fresh consideration.”last_img read more

Lyceum outlasts San Beda in 2OT, seals 18-0 sweep of NCAA elims

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netHow sweep it is!Lyceum gutted out a thrilling 107-105 double overtime victory over San Beda to complete an 18-0 sweep and take the top seed in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT After their unprecedented run in the elimination round, the Pirates will now advance to the best-of-three Finals, where they will face the last team standing in the stepladder semis.“They just don’t wanna give up,” said coach Topex Robinson. “Credit goes to the coaches also, they are working extra hard. It’s really about being together, we always talk about together is better. It’s just a testament of really working together as a solid group, you can really change a lot. I’m so blessed I’m surrounded with the right people. These guys really get the credit, it’s not mine.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMike Nzeusseu towered over the competition with 27 points, 21 rebounds, and two blocks, but his contributions go farther than the stat sheets as his endgame heroics saved Lyceum in the clutch.The Cameroonian big man drilled the go-ahead freebies with 12.7 seconds to play, 106-105, in the second overtime period before getting the job done on the defensive end as he intimidated Robert Bolick’s attempt in the waning seconds. Leading MVP candidate CJ Perez fired 20 markers, six boards, six assists, and four steals, and nailed the game-sealing free throw with 1.9 ticks to go.Robinson, though, would like his wards to keep their feet on the ground as they now progress to the championship round.“It’s still a long way to go. There’s so much things that we have to work on, and we always have to stay humble and be grateful for everything that’s been given to us. It’s a testament to how the character of this team is, and hopefully we are inspiring others in the way we play,” he said.With the game tied at 85 in the closely contested fourth period, both Lyceum and San Beda traded misses in the last two minutes including Franz Abuda’s botched potential game-winning jumper.In the overtime period, Pirates were 3.4 seconds away from the win after Perez’ drive. But the referees called a head-shaking foul on Jaycee Marcelino as he defended Bolick’s desperation heave with 1.5 seconds remaining. Bolick split his freebies to send the game to double overtime at 97-all.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Read Next BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight However, Lyceum showed its poise in the second overtime period as they bucked the graduation of integral cogs Jayvee Marcelino and Reymar Caduyac and went to Nzeusseu and Perez to salvage the game.Jaycee Marcelino fired nine points, nine rebounds, three dimes, and three steals, while Caduyac also had nine markers, three boards, and two assists in the victory.Donald Tankoua fired a career-high 34 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks for San Beda, before fouling out late in the first overtime.Bolick also unloaded 16 markers, but shot 4-of-17 from the field, to go with his five assists and two boards.Javee Mocon flirted with a triple-double with his 14 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists, as the Red Lions saw their 15-game winning streak snapped. They remained in second place with their 16-2 card.The Scores:LYCEUM 107 – Nzeusseu 27, Perez 20, Jc. Marcelino 9, Caduyac 9, Pretta 8, Santos 8, Ayaay 7, Baltazar 6, Serrano 6, Jv. Marcelino 4, Ibanez 1.SAN BEDA 105 – Tankoua 34, Bolick 16, Mocon 14, Doliguez 13, Abuda 8, Presbitero 6, Soberano 5, Noah 4, Oftana 3, Cabanag 2, Potts 0, Bahio 0, Adamos 0.Quarters: 25-22, 56-46, 70-69, 85-85, 97-97, 107-105. San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 93 PLAY LIST 02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9301:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:00NCAA Season 93 Preview: Lyceum Pirates01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Harden, Houston spoil another opener, win 105-100 at Kings View comments MOST READ Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNPlast_img read more

LA Revilla sends out cryptic tweet amid Kia hullabaloo

first_imgQC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kung magpapalusot man lang sana ginandahan niyo na ang rason. Hindi talaga eh. Bagsak kayo sigurado kung may lie detector. 💩— LA Revilla (@wilLAREVILLAme) October 27, 2017FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 New team manager Joe Lipa offered a feeble explanation on the trade during talk with the media before PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa announced the approval, which likely triggered Revilla’s post on social media.“One man cannot spell the difference from a team winning a championship. But for us to have three to four veteran players who we believe isn’t only talented but can also contribute to the development of the younger players, we believe that we can be very competitive,” Lipa told reporters.The 27-year-old Revilla has been the team’s star since his arrival in 2014 and is entering his fourth season for the Picanto, who wasted a golden opportunity to draft a sure-fire star in Christian Standhardinger.Lipa also said the Fil-German big man, who is not the typical rookie having played professionally in Germany and with the Philippine national team, “is a great player” and “has a big potential.”Standhardinger is the consensus top choice in the coming draft on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Revilla hasn’t taken down the tweet and also hasn’t made another statement. View commentscenter_img The trade was also approved by PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa Friday night an hour before Game 7 of the 2017 Governors’ Cup, won by Barangay Ginebra, tipped off. Kia acquired Ronald Tubid, JayR Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, and a 2019 first round pick.Trading away a high draft pick is nothing new to Kia.In 2015, the franchise also dealt its rights to No. 2 pick, which turned out to be Troy Rosario, to Talk ’N Text in a three-team trade and got veteran swingmen Aldrech Ramos and KG Canaleta in return.The Picanto followed it up with another head-scratching move a season later when they shipped Ramos and Canaleta despite having a promising campaign.Kia recorded a woeful 6-27 slate this season, including a 0-11 card in the Governors’ Cup. LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH It appears that even LA Revilla couldn’t hide his dismay over Kia’s controversial move that sent the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 PBA Draft to San Miguel Beer.Revilla, the Picanto point guard, wrote a cryptic tweet on Friday night, the same day that after Kia management defended the team’s eyebrow-raising trade move and asked for patience from fans for their “unconventional” ways in the league.ADVERTISEMENT Black admits ‘not very happy’ with how Game 7 was governed John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gameslast_img read more