Army jawan among the two arrested in Rewari gang-rape case

first_imgArmy jawan Pankaj and his friend Manish were arrested by the Special Investigation Team on Sunday in connection with the gang-rape of a teenager in Haryana’s Rewari earlier this month. The two were on the run since September 12.Prime accused Nishu, quack Sanjeev and tube-well room owner Deen Dayal have already been arrested in the case. While Nishu is on police remand till September 25, Sanjeev and Deen Dayal have been remanded to judicial custody till October 5. All the five accused identified in the case so far, have now been accounted for with the arrest of the duo.Superintendent of Police, Nazneen Bhasin, the SIT head, said Pankaj, Manish and Nishu, were involved in several cases of organised gang-rape earlier as well, besides the recent case of the Rewari teenager, but not a single victim could be “positively” identified so far. She said the victims were probably lured from outside the village. She made an appeal to the victims to come forward with the information and assured action on any complaint received by the SIT. She said that Deen Dayal knew for “long” that the place was being used for commission of crime by the accused.Ms. Bhasin said Pankaj and Manish were nabbed outside a “dhaba” in Mahendergarh’s Satnali around 5 a.m. based on technical surveillance following an input. She said the duo took shelter at “dharamshalas”, stayed in houses on the outskirts of the villages and slept in the open fields and on the mountains while being on the run. The duo also went to Bikaner and Ranthambore in Rajasthan and mostly took shelters at Haryana-Rajasthan border areas, added the police officer.“The two buried their phones. They did not have enough cash and took help from the petty criminals,” said Ms. Bhasin. She, however, refused to share the details of recoveries made from the two saying that it was “important to maintain the integrity of the investigation”.She said that more arrests could not be ruled out in the case and roles of more people were being looked into. “It was an organised gang-rape. The investigation is still at a crucial stage. There could be more revelations in the next 24 hours,” said Ms. Bhasin. She added that the investigation in the case was carried out in the shortest “humanly” possible time as the police needed to process every data and follow up every input.Nishu along with Pankaj and Manish had allegedly abducted, drugged and gang-raped the victim on September 12 when she was on her way to coaching classes at Mahendergarh’s Kanina.The victim’s family had alleged that the Rewari Police delayed the transfer of zero First Information Report to their Mahendergarh counterparts allowing the accused ample time to flee. Superintendent of Police, Rewari, Rajesh Dhuggal, was then transferred and women Sub-Inspector Heeramani at Rewari’s Women Police Stationput under suspension for dereliction of duty.last_img read more

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Jalandhar in Jakarta

first_imgIndonesia leaves most Indians unscathed. Nobody wants to be an Indonesian, not even the Sindhis. The music slams into my chest as soon as I enter the darkened room. The girls are on a small stage belting out the words “Rabba, Rabba” to a psychedelic beat, doing slow half circles in that Punjabi way – one leg bent, a palm outstretched. They are in jeans, sequin tops and pointy-toed boots. Their hair, Indian black, falls straight to their shoulders.I forget to order a beer and instead stand transfixed, taking in three twenty-somethings from Jalandhar in a hotel, The Jakarta Marriott, best known for a suicide bombing last year. Most of those here, swaying to the music or sipping tall, frothy green drinks, are Indonesian; except for a group of thick-waisted Indian men who huddle in a corner of the dance floor.The girls finish their song and an Indonesian man in leather pants shakes his waist-length hair and grabs a mike.“The most beautiful girls in the world are Indian. Miss World, Miss Universe is always from India,” he shouts. A black man in a red track suit nods in agreement. The girls file off stage, another band takes over, and I’m beamed back to reality, like a character out of Star Trek.I first encountered Girlz, to use the band’s name, the night before, at the Indian embassy’s Republic Day reception. There they were, in their painted-on jeans and sequins, alternating between bhangra and Western pop and creating a stir in the Indian community, which had come expecting tandoori chicken and dal makhni, perhaps even a classical dance performance, but certainly not a robotic enactment of a Kylie Minogue video by a band flown in from Bombay.My primary interest was in the food. But one thing led to another and, as the giant room emptied of all but a few stragglers, I found myself seated at a large round table with, among others, Deepa, Disha and Sonali. That’s when I discovered that they’re from Jalandhar…army kids…grew up all over the place… now based in Bombay…would never wear such clothes in Punjab.I found myself holding on to every word, soaking in their accents – public school Punjabi – reacquainting myself with how a single dismissive hand gesture can say “oh him, we used to think he was such a big star, but now he’s just a regular guy to us.”I haven’t lived in India since I last worked there as a journalist more than three years ago. My contacts with Indians here in Indonesia are sporadic, confined to embassy functions on Republic Day and Independence Day, and to the occasional invitation to dinner by some kind older person. So my encounter with the girls hits me with the force of nostalgia, not what you might feel when you run into an old friend after years but, rather, an odd blend of newness and familiarity, like discovering a stranger in a family album.It’s this feeling that I’m here to explore at the Marriott. I head to the corner where the Girlz sit. They remember me from the previous night and soon I strike up a conversation with Deepa, at 27 the oldest of the three, and so, at least in my mind, the band leader.We employ the special code that Indians are genetically programmed to use with each other, allowing a swift and unforgiving determination of social worth that both makes subsequent conversation possible, and establishes its tone and tenor. In less than the time it takes to finish a beer, I learn about a brother who is a doctor in Arkansas, a sister-in-law who works on Wall Street, a great-grandfather who went to Princeton, a grandfather who fought a famous case at the Supreme Court, a father in the army and a Welsh woman somewhere in the family tree.Deepa, of course, finds out about a diplomat father, a brother at Oxford, a master’s degree from Princeton and an ethnic mix that’s half Maharashtrian and half Tamil. (Though my involuntary responses to dal makhni and that Rabba Rabba song prove that I’m secretly Punjabi too.)After a while, Deepa whips out a Nokia camera phone and proceeds to show me pictures. There she is in Bombay with Mick Jagger – “he was really cool to hang out with, a really decent person” – playfully cradling a video camera.Here she is with the lead singer of the Pakistani band Junoon, I forget his name. Here’s Deepa at the Eiffel Tower. She tells me about performing in Dubai, Muscat and Sri Lanka, about how someone called them India’s Spice Girls – there used to be five of them – and how she hated it because “it’s so wannabe.”My eyes stray to the knot of Indian men, off the dance floor, but still in a huddle, and my mind wanders to how being an Indian in Indonesia is so much more predictable than being one in America. You don’t feel this country constantly pressing down on you on all sides so you don’t have to make the same effort to maintain your sense of self.In America, you have Indians trying desperately to be American, saying ant when they mean aunt and ruthlessly excising “lift” (for elevator), “trousers” and “air hostess” from their vocabularies. Then you have Indians fighting viciously to remain Indian, hrefusing to say ant when they mean aunt, and devoting their lives to studying 19th century Bengali lesbians or the novels of Shobha De. Then there are the ABCDs, some of whom want to say aunt and wear saris to work – or, better still, complain about how they can’t – and boast about how their fathers read the Times of India. In short, it’s all so complicated.Indonesia leaves most Indians unscathed. Nobody wants to be Indonesian. Even the Sindhis, some of whom have been here for generations, do not confuse business with belonging.You can easily spend 20 years here playing bridge or golf once a week with fellow Indians, having the same friends over for stuffed bhindi and mutton curry, and generally getting on with a life transplanted from Delhi’s Defence Colony or Greater Kailash; except that the servants are better trained and don’t scratch their crotches in front of guests.I turn back to Deepa with her coke-colored drink, her Marlboro Lights and her camera phone with the picture of Mick Jagger.Despite her familiarity, I sense a gulf, a slippage between her India and mine. Deepa is old enough to belong to an India I recognize, young enough to have one leg in an India that I don’t. It saddens me to think that things are changing so fast that before long I’ll feel like a stranger in my own land. Or perhaps that has already happened, leaving me only with a craving for mutton curry and that Rabba Rabba song in my head.  Related Itemslast_img read more

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Mind Over Matter

first_imgIt may be argued, scientifically, that matter originated first and the interactions of networked matter created everything else, including life, mind and consciousness. But, a deeper analysis suggests, as the physicist Max Planck believed, that consciousness is elemental and everything else is secondary. Is the mind matrix of all matter?Our scientific quest, based on reductionism, tempts us into believing that fundamental particles are really fundamental. They create our universe at a basic level, as they do our body and brain. But, if the brain is just a collection of particles that constitute cells, it wouldn’t be much different than a rock or a piece of wood.The cells that make up the brain interact within a complex network that communicates among various segments of the brain. This exchange of information gives rise to the non-physical attributes, such as mind, consciousness, and, as some believe, a soul within the human body. In the absence of such information trading, even when the brain is physically present, the meaning of existence is lost.The scientific argument is appealing as it seems lucid and coherent, and is held by many modern researchers. It’s simple and plain — matter (elementary particles, atoms and cells in that hierarchical order) came first, followed by life and consciousness. Accordingly, consciousness is an emergent property of the interactions of fundamental particles. The tangible creates the intangible. The tangible matter generates the intangible and unbounded entity like the mind, which is considered the ultimate source of our inner voice.While everyone agrees that consciousness defines existence and reality, the mechanism that generates this phenomenon is controversial and mostly unknown. In the classical approach, a trigger in the form of an electrical pulse in the brain caused by an external stimulus originates at one location and that information propagates to various cells, somewhat like a domino effect, yet it remains local in nature. The current neurophysiologic understanding of consciousness asserts that it is a manifestation of the emergent firing of neurons — the nerve cells in the brain.Thus, if a sufficiently complex system can generate consciousness, why can’t machines mimic the same? Computers that execute algorithms, at some point, must be able to generate consciousness, because it is the result of complex networks performing information exchange among different components.Our machines, such as computers, can store, process and analyze information. And, some advances algorithms, such as artificial intelligence, can imitate some other features, like muscle movement, pattern recognition or even the sense of taste, smell, etc. What on earth stops them creating other attributes of consciousness and self-awareness? What about emotions and feelings?Is the brain an interface that bridges a super consciousness with human activities  or a pure source of consciousness?It is generally agreed that all the laws of physics are computable. In other words, a complex machine can simulate the underpinnings of brain at some point. If the laws of nature are computable, the workings of brain and consciousness also must be computable. But, researchers have no clue about creating such rules, nor are they confident that our current algorithms are capable of doing that. That’s where the findings of Oxford physicist Roger Penrose become revolutionary.Penrose argued, to the dismay of many researchers, that our current science is incapable of creating artificial consciousness. Even if we can amass unimaginable computing powers, consciousness will still remain a fantasy. There is some missing link. What could be that unknown piece?Penrose sought a deep and initially somewhat vague connection between consciousness and quantum physics. His ground-breaking work came to the public domain through his popular book The Emperor’s New Mind. He suggested that brain cells seem to execute quantum mechanical antics rather than the classical tricks to generate consciousness. Precisely, consciousness is created by some mysterious quantum mechanical phenomenon that takes place in brain cells. And, unless we master that technique, consciousness will remain a mystery.Working along with Stuart Hameroff of Arizona University, Penrose identified the cellular components that perform quantum mechanical mishmash or the nature’s quantum computers. It turned out to be long and thin hollow tubes of protein about ten-millionth of an inch in diameter that network the cellular structure known as microtubule.Identifying the physical root of consciousness isn’t enough to know the mechanism by which these tubes perform quantum mechanical computations. Quantum theory describes the underpinnings of matter and energy at the most fundamental level. An object in a quantum state is a “wave of possibilities” and exists in coherent superposition of many possible states. When the brain attempts to solve a problem, billions of different choices exist simultaneously as available outcomes. However, the numerous wave functions collapse and return a single choice from the possible cellular traffic, the one that becomes the conscious thought.Also, in quantum behavior non-locality is key. This essentially means the activity at one place affects the activity at another place of the brain without going through a domino effect needed by classical behavior. The information is entangled everywhere rather than being transported from one place to the other. Perhaps, quantum information is hardwired to the entire universe. It’s always been there in the universe waiting to be shared. Our brains are connected to the entire universe — a daring thought, some believe, that might one day explain paranormal effects such as telepathy or remote viewing.The scientific approaches to unravel the workings of brain and consciousness have a long way to go even if the quantum mechanical behavior proposed by Penrose is proved right. Recent researches indicate that our sense of smell, the photosynthesis and even the navigation of birds all depend on strange quantum effects.The dubious feature of mind-matter origin is passionately debated in scientific circles and will continue for a long time. But, the concept of consciousness is weaved into the fabric of Hindu philosophy. In Hindu thought, consciousness has independent existence and is part of the ultimate reality not an emergent phenomena as conceived by science. Our individual minds borrow consciousness from the omnipresent Brahman, which describes the realty as sat (truth or eternal), cit (pure consciousness) and ananda (ideal bliss). The existence is a universal reality that transcends the manifested universe.The fundamental particles, considered to be the building blocks, are inseparable from the energy field that pervades the universe. Their existence may manifest as energy or matter, but the state of existence is eternal in nature. The bewildering activity our brain performs to create consciousness is neither local nor totally new. Our brain is entangled with the entire universe and pre-existing consciousness. It’s the intangible that creates the tangible. We do not have evidence, as of now, to establish such a principle, but it’s something researchers can’t ignore as they nail down the science of consciousness.Sri Aurobindo, the great Indian philosopher and poet, introduced the evolution idea into vedantic thought through an unfamiliar and unexplored level of consciousness: “Evolution is not finished; reason is not the last word nor the reasoning animal the supreme figure of Nature. As man emerged out of the animal, so out of man the superman emerges.” He called it the Supermind. Our individual minds and bodies are parts of this principle and it is present in the Satchidananda. The Supermind generates mind followed by life and matter. Rejecting the idea of renunciation of the material world, proposed by some school of thoughts, he suggested it is possible to transcend and transform human nature and evolve spiritually not just materialistically.Aurobindo said: “Be conscious first of thyself within, then think and act. All living thought is a world in preparation; all real act is a thought manifested. The material world exists because an Idea began to play in divine self-consciousness.” Related Itemslast_img read more

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Gasol agrees to three-year deal with Spurs—report

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Cavs star Kyrie Irving reportedly requests trade Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Gasol, who won NBA titles in 2009 and 2010 with the Los Angeles Lakers, spent seven seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies before being traded to the Lakers in 2008. He signed as a free agent with Chicago in 2014 and San Antonio last July.In 64 games for the Spurs last season, Gasol averaged 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 blocked shots as San Antonio went 61-21, the NBA’s second-best record behind eventual playoff champion Golden State.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsGasol has career NBA averages of 17.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.7 blocked shots over 1,119 games.By declining his $16.2 million contract option for next season, Gasol allowed the Spurs salary cap room to sign fellow free agents Rudy Gay, Brandon Paul and Joffrey Lauvergne and are in talks to bring back Argentine star reserve guard Manu Ginobili for a 16th season in San Antonio. National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ View comments MOST READ In this May 3, 2017, file photo, San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol (16) dunks the ball in front of Houston Rockets’ Clint Capela, right, during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in San Antonio. A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Gasol has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Spurs. The 7-foot Spaniard and the team came to agreement on Friday, July 21, 2017, on a deal that is partially guaranteed for the third season. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)NEW YORK—Spanish 37-year-old free agent center Pau Gasol, a six-time NBA All-Star, has agreed to a three-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs, ESPN reported Friday.The contract, according to unnamed sources in the ESPN website report, will include a partial guarantee in the final season for the Barcelona-born star, who is set to start his 17th NBA campaign later this year.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Gameslast_img read more

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Hachimura hopes his NBA success helps growth of Japan basketball

first_imgMOST READ LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:35U.S. urges Japan, South Korea to share intel00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Grizzlies trade Mike Conley to Jazz for 3 players Rui Hachimura, a Gonzaga junior college basketball player from Japan, attends the NBA Draft media availability, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in New York. The draft will be held Thursday, June 20. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)NEW YORK — Rui Hachimura used to adore a manga and anime series called “Slam Dunk,” which followed a high school basketball team’s trials and tribulations and helped bring the sport into the Japanese consciousness.Though Hachimura was born in Toyama Prefecture two years after the series ended in 1996, he was still profoundly influenced by its cultural impact.ADVERTISEMENT View comments DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. So was Joji Sakamoto, his coach at Okuda Junior High who told Hachimura after his first practice that he was in for big things on the basketball court — in the United States.“He pointed at me and said: ‘You’re going to the NBA,’” said Hachimura, the Gonzaga forward who is expected to be the first Japanese-born first-round pick, and just the third to play in the league. “At that time, I was stupid, I believed him. And he was for real, too. He was serious about it. And I really believed him. And I’m really here now. It’s crazy.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsHachimura had never played basketball before meeting Sakamoto at age 13. Sakamoto entered basketball due in large part to “Slam Dunk.” Hachimura’s teammates, too, were obsessed with the program years after its finale.“The first wave of basketball in Japan was pushed forward by ‘Slam Dunk,’” said Dexter Thomas, a PhD candidate at Cornell University writing a dissertation on race in Japanese hip-hop and a correspondent on ‘Vice News Tonight.’ “Rui Hachimura, if he succeeds, it’s going to be another level.”center_img Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles “The half-kids, mixed kids like me, there are a lot of half-black, half-Japanese, they play sports and they’re actually good at it,” Hachimura said. “I think it’s going to be great for them to see.”Hachimura recognizes the national impact his success can have back home.“It’s big for the country,” Hachimura said. “It’s big for Japan because we’ve never really had a player like me in Japan playing basketball in the NBA and stuff. It’s going to be big and it’s going to be a dream. It means a lot for me, my family, Japanese basketball — the whole country.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Though basketball is not heavily followed in Japan, exceptional Japanese athletes are, regardless of the sport. So if Hachimura, the West Coast Conference player of the year and a potential lottery pick, is successful, it could help grow the game that figures to get a boost leading into the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.“He’s been huge for Japan,” said Gonzaga teammate Brandon Clarke, another projected first-round pick. “He’s just done so much for the country. The fact that he’s going to be drafted in the first round and probably a lottery pick (Thursday), it’ll be really big for the country.”Hachimura was born to a Beninese father and Japanese mother. The 21-year-old said he faced racism as a child, but added that the perception that Japanese people are racist is generally overblown. Though there are prominent hafus — the term in Japan used for a biracial person — across Japanese society, none has quite the background of Hachimura.“(Hachimura) doesn’t have somebody that he can point to and be like, ‘I look like him and I could be him.’” Thomas said. “He doesn’t have that, but he could be that for somebody younger. I have a lot of friends who could’ve used someone like Hachimura growing up.”That’s what Hachimura wants, to be a role model for, in his own words, “blackanese,” like him.ADVERTISEMENT Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

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Transgender and their lives: All you should know about it

first_imgIn the year 2014, the transgenders were recognised as a third gender by the Supreme Court which ordered the government to provide the third gender with quotas in jobs and education. On April 24, 2015, a bill for the transgenders was passed in the Rajya Sabha which sought equal rights for the community. The bill was later adopted through a voice note.Since human rights are for all then why should they be neglected? On the occasion of India’s 69th Independence Day, here is all you should know about the transgenders and why they deserve equal rights. Let’s start with knowing the term Transgender.Transgender is a global term for the people whose gender identity does not conform with the sex they were assigned at the time of their birth. Sex is different from gender. Sex refers to genitalia and gender is a society constructed definition to differentiate between a man and a woman.Lives of transgenders:Being a transgender is not a choice in the first placeThe transgender community is unbelievably and amazingly diverseSome transgender people identify as male or female, and some identify as genderqueer, non-binary, or agenderSome of the trans people take hormones and have surgery and some don’tThe LGBT community still faces substantial disgrace based on over a century of being branded as mentally ill and different. Although these views for gays and lesbians have faded over the years, the trans people still face such issues. They are often ridiculed for what they areSince the society ridicules them, they often face rejection from their families, friends, co-workers and othersThey are often harassed, bullied for being a transgenderNot only they face rejection from their family and friends, but are also denied access to hospitals, public toilets, schools, industries and public places.This Independence day, let’s pledge to eradicate all forms of discrimination against trans people and to treat them like fellow human beings. The following video should be definitely seen!advertisementSource: YouTubelast_img read more

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Cabinet congratulates Indian teams for best-ever show in SAG

first_imgNew Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) The Union Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today congratulated the Indian contingent for their record breaking medal winning performance in the just-concluded South Asian Games co-hosted by Guwahati and Shillong. Briefing reporters after the meeting today, Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Prime Minister Modi has congratulated the athletes and observed that all SAARC nations have participated in the Games which were conducted successfully by India. The 12th South Asian Games concluded yesterday with a grand closing ceremony. The event has been widely hailed as the best South Asian Games ever organised, a statement from the Sports Ministry said. The Games involved about 4500 participants, including around 2600 athletes in 22 disciplines. All the eight countries participated in the 12-day sporting extravaganza. The 12th South Asians Games saw a record medal haul by India. Out of total 789 medals on offer, India India won a record 308 medals, which is almost 40% per cent of all the medals. As many as 12 new records were created in athletics, out of which 10 belonged to India. Out of the 28 records created in swimming, 19 belonged to India. The release further said that the successful conduct of the Games is to be seen in the context of record time in which it was executed. It was barely six months ago when the two cities Guwahati andShillong were finalised as venues. Chairman of the Organising Committee and Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal played a big role in bringing various ministries and departments of the Government of India, public sector undertakings, state governments of Assam and Meghalaya and other key players together to deliver the best-ever South Asian Games, it added. In a first initiative of its kind for the Games, the Government of India is considering a cash prize for the Indian medal winners. An award of Rs 3 lacs will be given to gold medal winners, while Rs 2 lacs and Rs 1 lac are earmarked for silver and bronze medallists. The next South Asian Games will be hosted by Kathmandu, Nepal. PTI SSC SSCadvertisementlast_img read more

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KASHMIR-STADIA 2 LAST

first_imgDeputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh intervened in theDeputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh intervened in the matter, saying the state government will take up with the Centre the issue of setting up similar facilities in other areas as well.”It is the concern of the entire House. Sports have been ignored for the past 67 years. We will approach the Centre for including the left out areas,” he said.However, not satisfied with the statement made by Singh, Jasrotia staged a walkout and was joined by Congress MLA G M Saroori.According to the written reply by the government, out of the 12 indoor sports halls, seven have been allotted to Kashmir Valley, three to Jammu division and two to Ladakh region.While the indoor hall for Anantnag district has been alloted to the constituency then represented by late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, in Kathua district the facility has been given to Billawar constituency represented by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh.Incumbent Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is contesting the bypoll from the Anantnag seat which will be held on June 22.Finance Minister Haseeb Drabus Rajpora constituency has got one of two facilities sanctioned for Pulwama district. The other facility has been earmarked for Tral constituency, the hometown of new militancy poster boy Burhan Wani.In Baramulla district, the facility will be set up in Pattan constituency represented by Technical Education and Sports Minister Imran Raza Ansari while Handwara segment, represented by Social Welfare Minister Sajad Gani Lone, has bagged the facility in Kupwara district.advertisementIn Budgam district, the sports hall will be set up in Soibugh area–the native village of Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin. PTI MIJ AAR DV AARlast_img read more

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IOC backs IAAF decision to uphold Russian athlete ban for Rio Games

first_imgThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) ended any slim hopes that Russian athletes might have had of competing at the Rio Games in August by backing the IAAF’s decision to extend its ban on the country for systematic doping on Saturday.The IOC said in a statement it “fully respects” Friday’s ruling by world athletics’ governing body (IAAF) to maintain its suspension of the Russians.The IOC added “the eligibility of athletes in any international competition including the Olympic Games is a matter for the respective international federation.”That was exactly what IAAF president Sebastian Coe said on Friday after the IAAF Council voted unanimously to retain the ban on Russia competing in any athletics events.DEEP-SEATED CULTURE OF TOLERANCE Rune Andersen, who heads the IAAF task force overseeing Russia’s attempts to reform, said on Friday that a “deep-seated culture of tolerance, or worse, appears not to be materially changed”.”No athlete will compete in Rio under a Russian flag,” he said.He and Coe will therefore be relieved that the IOC came to the same conclusion after a teleconference of its executive committee on Saturday.HOPES OF CHANGE IOC president Thomas Bach had earlier this month given Russia hope that his organisation might overrule the IAAF at its own meeting next week over concerns that innocent athletes would be punished, saying he “refused to speculate” whether the IAAF vote would be the end of the issue. (Also read: Olympics will be diminished without Russian athletes: Sports Ministry) Russian President Vladimir Putin also appeared to retain hope of a change when he said on Friday: “We’ll talk to our colleagues at the anti-doping body, and I hope there’ll be an appropriate response from the International Olympic Committee.”advertisementThe only Russian athletes who might now compete in track and field in Rio are a handful — thought to be fewer than five — who are based outside the country and can apply to the IAAF for special dispensation to compete as independents.FIRST TIME SINCE 1984 It is the first time the country, which finished second behind the United States in the track and field medal table in the 2012 Games, will be absent since the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles which they, along with several other Eastern Bloc countries, boycotted.An IOC Olympic summit in Lausanne next Tuesday is still due to discuss the issue, along with reports that Russia put in a place a complex system to beat anti-doping measures at the Winter Olympics that it hosted in Sochi two years ago.”The IOC will initiate further far-reaching measures in order to ensure a level playing field for all the athletes taking part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016,” the organisation said on Saturday.”The upcoming Olympic summit on Tuesday will address the situation of the countries in which the National Anti-Doping Organisation has been declared non-compliant by WADA for reasons of the non-efficient functioning of the national anti-doping system.”last_img read more

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Asian Wrestling Championship: Bajrang Punia wins India’s first gold

first_imgBajranj Punia won the first gold medal for India at the Asian Wrestling Championship by defeating Lee Seungchul of South Korea in the final of the men’s 65 kg Freestyle division here on Saturday.Bajranj staged a superb comeback after conceding the lead to dominate the second and final round and script a comprehensive 6-2 win.Photo Credit: PTI Sarita added to cheer for the sizeable home crowd as she took silver in the women’s 58 kilogram category earlier in the day.Sarita lost 0-6 to Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan in the final.Sarita’s performance added to the best ever showing by Indian women wrestlers at the continental showpiece event as they finished with four silver and two bronze medals.Bajrang’s performance was the only bright spot in an other wise disappointing performance by the Indian wrestlers in the freestyle events so far.Lee took the lead in the fast paced opening period when he took two points with a takedown. That prompted the Indian to go on the offensive and he almost forced a takedown but the hooter announcing the ned of the round saved Lee.The Indian dominated the second round right from the start. He took his first point with a push out before taking the lead by earning two more points with a takedown.The Haryana grappler continued with his fast, aggressive style forcing the jaded looking Korean to continously defend himself from conceeding more points.Bajrang produced another takedown with around 30 seconds left prompting the judges to award him two more points. But the Korean coach decided to appeal against the decision with a counter appeal coming in from the Indian coaches.advertisementAfter studying the television replays, the judges decided to award three points to the Indian. That forced the Korean to go on the attack in the last 30 seconds in a desperate attempt to avoid defeat.But Bajrand held on comfortably to ensure victory.”The tournament has been running for the last 2-3 days but we did not get a gold. I wanted to win the gold and there was a lot of expectation from me as well,” Bajrang said after the win.”The coaches had worked hard before this tournament and they expected me to win gold. They had told me that I could win gold if I gave my best efforts,” he added.”There was lot of pressure on me. We are playing at home and although it does put pressure, we also got a lot of help due to our home conditions. I want all four Indian wrestlers who are competing tomorrow to win gold medals.”The 23-year-old from Jhajjar district of Haryana thanked his coaches Jagminder Singh and Sujit Mann along with his mentor 2012 Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt for their guidance and support. Dutt was present in the Indian technical area during the final.”He (Yogeshwar) has always supported me. He is with me during most of my bouts. He is an Olympic medallist and can easily spot out my flaws. That helps me a lot.”My coaches Dronacharya Award winner Jagminderji and Arjuna Award recipient Mannji are always with me during the day and we spend the entire day in training. Both of them have played at the Olympics and have a lot of experience which helps me a lot,” Bajrang said.Earlier, Sarita had to be satisfied with the silver following a 0-6 reverse to Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan.Sarita was faster off the blocks and was the more aggressive wrestler in the early stages. She almost opened the scoring in the first minute but the Kyrgyz showed excellent technique to wriggle out.Aisuluu weathered the initial wave of aggression from Sarita and took four points with a takedown followed by a fitley move.The second period was a more sedate affair with Aisuluu increasing her lead by two points with another takedown.”I had taken silver in the previous Asian Championship as well, so I wanted to produce a better performance.”I was mentally prepared for this bout. I wanted to give my 100 percent and win the gold medal,” Sarita said later.last_img read more

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Dominant Real Madrid crush Barcelona to win Super Cup

first_imgReal Madrid won the Spanish Super Cup for the 10th time with a 2-0 win over rivals Barcelona at a joyous Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday to complete a 5-1 aggregate victory that underlined their new status as Spain’s dominant force.Marco Asensio followed up his brilliant late goal in Sunday’s first leg with a stunning effort from 30 metres in the fourth minute that proved a punishing blow for the Catalans.Karim Benzema struck before halftime to seal the victory and Barcelona left the Spanish capital with home supporters’ chants of ‘champions’ ringing in their ears.Real, last season’s Spanish and European champions, dominated throughout, toying with Ernesto Valverde’s side and showing no sign they were missing suspended forward Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale who was on the bench.Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both hit the woodwork but it was a bleak display for Barcelona, leaving Valverde with plenty of holes to patch before the start of the league this weekend.”We’re not in our best moment, not on the level of the team or the level of the club. It’s the first time we’ve felt Madrid are superior,” Barcelona defender Gerard Pique told reporters.Real, meanwhile, have started where they left off last season, by adding more silverware to their bursting trophy cabinet.They clinched the European Super Cup last week with a 2-1 victory over Manchester United in Macedonia, adding to an already remarkable haul for coach Zinedine Zidane since he took over in Jan. 2016.ASENSIO IMPACTWith Ronaldo banned for shoving the referee in the first leg, Asensio was given a starting spot and made an instant impact.advertisementThe 21-year-old curled a brilliant strike into the top left corner from distance that left keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen bewildered.”The first was beautiful, but this one was, too. The other was harder because of the path (it took),” Asensio told reporters.”I’m going to work to have the maximum minutes possible out there. I’m very happy on a personal level and for the collective, too.”The second goal had been coming, with Lucas Vazquez striking the post minutes earlier, and it eventually arrived when Marcelo sent in a low cross which Benzema finished with aplomb in the 38th minute.After that Madrid controlled the game, stroking the ball around their opponents and conserving energy for the challenges ahead.”We have started the season well, there’s a long way to go,” said Zidane. “It will be very difficult but we are happy. The first half was spectacular.”last_img read more

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What Gets Paid First? The Best Way to Prioritize Your Savings Plan

first_img Post navigation Does your list of savings goals feel a little overwhelming?You need to save for retirement, obviously. And you’d like to pay for your child’s education– but those are decades away.In the more immediate future, you need to save for eventual car and home repairs. After all, your tires will lose their traction, your dishwasher will break, and your roof will need to be repaired. It’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when.”You’re also aware that you should put some money aside for medical bills. You’re healthy now, but someday you might have to shell out for an expensive deductible, co-pay or prescription. You’d also like to build a general emergency fund to protect you in case of a job loss.On top of that, you’d like to pay down your mortgage a little bit faster or perhaps you’d like to save for a down payment on a home. You’d prefer to buy your next car in cash, but you need savings for that goal, as well.It’s an exhausting list.So how should you go about prioritizing when you have so many disparate savings goals? Here are a few tips.Retirement Comes FirstI’m going to say this in stark terms: nothing is more important than your retirement.Think about it: you’re trying to save enough money to live for 30 or more years without earning a dime. That’s an ambitious goal.To complicate matters, you don’t just need to make your money outlive you, you also need to protect it against inflation while simultaneously sheltering it from too much risk– like the ups and downs of the stock market.Furthermore, your other savings goals come with alternatives and options. Your children can take out student loans. You can buy a car with financing. You can skip your annual holiday vacation.But you can’t take out a “retirement loan.” There’s no entity that will give you a cost-of-living payout during your golden years. Social Security might give you a little, but it probably won’t be enough. You’re on the hook for the balance.Depending on your age and circumstances, you’ll want to put aside 10-30% of your monthly income into retirement savings. And when deciding how to put your savings to optimal use, there are online resources that can help.Jemstep.com, an online investment advisor, can help you optimize your retirement portfolio by giving you specific, step-by-step advice for making the best investment decisions.Save for EmergenciesYour second-highest priority should be to set aside some money for emergencies: Your car’s engine is sputtering, your roof is leaking, there’s mold growing on your walls or you unexpectedly lose your job.You’ll be in a much better position – and have more peace of mind – if you have some money set aside for these emergencies.How much should you set aside? Experts advise saving between 3 to 9 months of your income. This can help you get through major calamities like a job loss.There’s a caveat here, however: If you currently have high-interest debt, it doesn’t make sense to shovel all your extra income into a savings account.  Which leads to my third point …Pay Off DebtsYour third priority should be to pay off debt.There are two theories about the best way to approach this: the “debt stacking” method advises that you should pay down your highest-interest debt first, while the “debt snowball” method says you should tackle your smallest debt, regardless of its interest rate.No matter which method you prefer, the most important thing is that you’re paying off that balance.Once you’ve put aside money for retirement, built an emergency fund and paid off your debts, you can begin allocating your savings towards more fun goals, like a vacation — you’ve earned it!Kevin Cimring is Joint CEO of Jemstep.com, an online investment advisor that helps people lock in more money for retirement. Jemstep’s easy-to-use website takes the complexity, difficulty, and anxiety out of investing.Providing the high-caliber, personalized advice that has traditionally been available only to wealthy investors, Jemstep empowers all investors to take charge of their retirement planning and invest with confidence. A Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC, Jemstep is led by a team of experts with over 100 years’ combined experience in financial management and technology innovation and development. Learn more at Jemstep.com. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedlast_img read more

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Improving Building Efficiency: A Tale of 4 Cities

first_imgCreating Livable, Efficient Neighborhoods in Eskisehir, TurkeyHome to Europe’s largest university, Eskisehir in Central Anatolia has a dynamic, knowledge-driven economy, and values creating livable spaces as it grows. Demand from Turkey’s national government for better energy performance has placed pressure on building owners to improve efficiency. The city wants to improve its buildings while also protecting the city’s character.Eskisehir is currently pursuing multiple district redevelopment projects to improve construction quality and public spaces. The mayor and his team are finding ways to include building efficiency measures within the plan to lower energy use while reducing pollution and waste.Eskisehir is also striving to expedite the effective implementation of Turkey’s national mandate for all large buildings to have energy performance certificates that rate the efficiency of their construction and equipment.Eskişehir, Turkey Leadership through Legislation and Implementation in Tshwane, South AfricaThe City of Tshwane is home to Pretoria, the district which hosts the executive branch of South Africa’s national government.  The drive to be a national leader is one motivation behind the city’s aim to make its buildings the country’s greenest.In 2013, the city instituted a green buildings by-law, but now it must implement it. Like many cities, Tshwane faces limited financial resources, so its leaders are exploring how to achieve further efficiency gains through financing models and non-financial incentives for efficiency investments. To demonstrate public leadership by example, the city hopes to retrofit several municipal buildings.Pretoria, South Africa. Photo by South African Tourism/Flickr One-third of the world’s energy-related emissions come from buildings. So perhaps it’s no surprise that more than 80 national climate plans submitted ahead of COP21 in Paris included commitments to improve building efficiency.A year later, the discussion continues with Human Settlements Day today at COP22 in Marrakech. The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC) released a report taking stock of the opportunity to reduce emissions from buildings, and laid out a roadmap for national governments attending the climate talks.One of the key recommendations is to support building efficiency action by cities. WRI leads the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA), a public-private collaboration of 30 organizations working with 23 cities to help them advance building efficiency. In doing so, they also reduce pollution, boost resiliency to heat waves and other climate events, improve infrastructure and more. Here’s a look at four cities where BEA partners are working now:Anticipating a Hotter, Larger City in Da Nang, VietnamResidents of Da Nang, Vietnam’s third-largest city, face hot and humid weather, particularly in the summer. As the climate changes, summer heat waves could pose health risks to citizens in buildings without effective and efficient cooling technology. Because Da Nang’s population is growing rapidly along with its industry and tourism, electricity demand, related pollution and strain on the grid are also growing.Da Nang’s government has prioritized building efficiency as part of its new Resilience Strategy to address public health risks from climate change. Local leaders are exploring creative ways to signal to property developers and building managers that efficiency is a public priority. The government is working to improve the availability of information on energy performance of large buildings like hotels.  And it’s considering expediting permitting processes for new construction and renovations that include efficiency measures, as well as creating a demonstration project to improve efficiency in one or more hotels.Da Nang, Vietnam. Photo by Patrick Keogh/Flickr Reducing Energy Costs through Better Buildings in Belgrade, SerbiaIn Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, a large stock of old, multifamily public housing provides homes to thousands of residents. Energy to heat 22 million square meters of homes and business, which cover roughly half the city, comes from a district heating system that pipes heat from central sources to individual buildings.City leaders in Belgrade are now developing a building renovation plan to reduce wasted energy. Better building insulation would lower energy costs for residents and the utility company, while expanding efficient district heating to more of the city.Belgrade, Serbia. Photo by Magelan Travel/Flickr Cities on the Frontline of Building Efficiency ActionAll cities have a unique cultural and political context. Mayors, administrators and other urban leaders often face significant demands and limited resources to address multiple challenges, everything from housing growing populations to reducing utility costs and improving services.  Building efficiency is a cost-effective solution that improves air quality, boosts productivity and provides better occupant comfort.But cities can’t go it alone. Urban leaders require technical support, financial investments and policy alignment with their national governments. As the climate community gathers today, it’s time for local and national leaders to work together in pursuing more efficient buildings for everyone.last_img read more

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Young Entrepreneurs See Business Opportunity in Rural Africa’s Degraded Lands

first_imgLire cet article en français.In 2013, Samuel Rigu was looking for a new challenge. Having grown up in a rural Kenyan farming family, he knew that farms in his village depended on synthetic fertilizers. On a continent where land degradation has driven millions of people out of their villages and into cities, fertilizer is often a must for farmers. However, African farmers pay two-to-six times the average world price for fertilizers due to a heavy reliance on imports, combined with high transportation costs and a dearth of suppliers in the countryside. Rigu wanted to change that.Around that time, he met Kevin Kung, a PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was in Kenya to work on his thesis on alternative energy. Together they co-founded Safi Organics in 2015, a company that decentralizes fertilizer production by manufacturing at a village level, thus avoiding transport costs and import duties. Safi Organics converts farmers’ crop waste into organic fertilizer by heating biomass at high temperatures to create a carbon-rich substance, which they then mix with other nutrients to produce Safi Sarvi fertilizer.According to the company, its fertilizer helps smallholder farmers increase yields up to 30 percent through improved soil health. For every acre of land fertilized, Safi Sarvi also sequesters 1.7 tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere  by boosting organic matter in the soil. The company won a $25,000 grant through a “Startupper of the Year” competition by Total Kenya, and currently earns $40,000 in annual revenues from a pilot project producing 2.5 tons of fertilizer per day. It has more than 2,500 customers.Restoring Degraded Land Gives New Life to Rural CommunitiesRigu’s work is letting farmers stay on their land, stemming migration to cities. While rural-urban migration is a global trend, the biggest change has taken place in Africa, whose population has transformed from 14 percent urban in 1950 to more than 40 percent in 2015. While a greater availability of jobs in cities initially drove this rural exodus, land degradation has also pushed more people into cities.“Great entrepreneurs see opportunity where others don’t,” Rigu said. “There are many needs farmers have that are not served well. Organic fertilizer that rejuvenates their soil and puts more food on their tables is one of them.”Samuel Rigu and Kevin Kung work together on Safi Organics Local Startups Are Restoring Land, Helping Farmers and Creating JobsSafi Organics is one of 12 African companies participating in WRI’s Land Accelerator, the first startup accelerator in the world to focus on companies that restore degraded forests and farmland – from improving soil health to planting trees to optimizing harvests.The inaugural program will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from December 3-6, 2018. 245 companies applied, showing that hundreds of restoration enterprises have a strong unmet need for support. WRI partnered with Fledge, a network of impact-focused startup accelerators, to create a restoration-specific program. The Accelerator will offer training in three areas: business essentials like financial modeling, technical topics such as nursery management, and communications skills like developing an investment pitch.Asili Natural Oils is another restoration-focused startup joining the Land Accelerator. Founded in 2013 in Rwanda, Asili is a social enterprise that produces cosmetics oils by cold-pressing the seeds of moringa trees. Working with smallholder farmers, Asili recently planted 100,000 moringa trees in the most drought-affected rural areas of Rwanda. The company has created more than 40 full-time jobs and 750 seasonal positions. It has also connected 2,137 small-holder farmers to high-value international markets in the cosmetics and personal care industry. The company has a fair-trade agreement with Body Shop International, as well as other clients around the world.  “We benefit those who need it most: Rwandan smallholder farmers,” said Theo Hakizimana, managing director of Asili. “We create an opportunity not just for our business, but for the whole community. If there were more companies like us, more young people would definitely stay in their villages and still break away from poverty.”Land Restoration and Economic Growth Go Hand-in-HandFor these companies, the bottom line is the beginning of the story, not the end. By restoring land, these entrepreneurs not only create local jobs and fill gaps in farmers’ needs, but they also contribute to regional food and water security. And by sequestering carbon into plants and soil, companies like Asili Oils and Safi Organics make an important dent in the fight against climate change.They’re also playing a prominent role in a larger regional and international movement. African countries have committed to bring 100 million hectares of degraded land under restoration by 2030 as part of the AFR100 initiative, of which WRI is a managing partner. Research shows that halting deforestation could boost the global economy by as much as $80 billion per year, while making countries more resilient to a changing climate. Developing sustainable food and land use business models overall could be worth up to $2.3 trillion, and provide over 70 million jobs globally by 2030.To learn more about the Land Accelerator, visit the event page here.last_img read more

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Google Allows Select Brands to Turn Google+ Posts Into Display Ads

first_img Social Media Advertising Originally published Dec 9, 2013 3:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If there’s one company that knows how to shake things up, it’s Google. Whether it’s the introduction of a new algorithm or pretty much limiting access to all keyword data, it simply isn’t afraid to make some (rather enormous) waves. And once again, there’s new news from the tech giant — this time, it’s for Google+ (and something many brands should be pumped about).Today, Google announced the introduction of +Post ads (on Google+, of course), a new ad type it has begun testing with a handful of brands. These +Post ads will essentially be display ads of brands’ Google+ posts — and I mean any post, including ones with videos, images, and Hangouts — that allow website visitors to comment on posts in the ad and share them within their circles. What’s more is that Google stated these ads can be run across the 2 million Google Display Network sites.As noted in the announcement for +Post ads: “This lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream.”Google exhibited just how +Post ads will work is by highlighting one of the few companies to take advantage of the new ad type: Toyota. (Yes, this is just a test right now, so don’t go looking to do this just yet.)A rep from the car manufacturer noted in the video below how it joined the testing not only to reach more consumers, but also the right ones at the right time, and, ultimately, begin a conversation with those consumers.Google’s +Post ads should excite marketers everywhere.As we’ve noted on this blog over and over again, inbound is an evolving methodology. In other words, inbound continually provides new avenues for marketers to experiment, grow their brands, bolster their lead gen, and improve their ROI. These +Post ads certainly provide a new avenue for inbounders — and one they should definitely take.Think of it this way: If you focus on quality content creation and share that content on Google+, you could not only share it with your own followers on the social platform to expand your reach, but also use it in +Post ads that you share with the right audience. Even better, you can test out the efficacy of content organically before investing money in its promotion — making the typical PPC you do even more effective.Specifically, the brands that can likely benefit most from +Post ads are ones that have some difficulty drawing in visitors to their social accounts. (I’m sure plenty of B2B marketers can attest to this — and even some B2C ones, too.) From the looks of it, by developing these ads, brands can reach their buyer persona in a truly unique new way.Now we just play the waiting game.Of course, it’s now a waiting game, given that Google revealed only Toyota and a “select group” of brands, including Ritz Crackers and Cadbury UK, have the ability to create +Post ads. However, it was noted these brands were seeing significant results from the new ad type: expansion rates of 50% higher than the industry average for other rich media ads.Marketers obviously won’t get a clear idea of just how effective +Post ads will be for them with these brands as proxies, but we’ll stay up to date with the latest from The Google to hear about any news regarding when +Post ads will be made available to more/all brands.What do you think of this news from Google? Do you think you would want to implement +Post ads for your brand? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!last_img read more

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How Do Conversion Paths Work? [FAQs]

first_imgAs a marketer, a big part of your job is to convert qualified website visitors into leads. Simple enough.But as an inbound marketer, your job is to convert qualified website visitors (aka your buyer personas) into leads by offering remarkable content for which they’ll want to trade their contact information in exchange. Ideally, those leads turn into opportunities, who turn into customers and even promoters.Clearly, conversions are a big deal. So how can you optimize yours? By creating conversion paths optimized to most effectively convert your ideal visitors into leads.Download Now: Free 8-Week Conversion Rate Optimization PlannerWhat’s a Conversion Path?A conversion path is the process by which an anonymous website visitor becomes a known lead. A conversion path is comprised of a remarkable content offer, call-to-action, landing page, and thank you page. In order to convert into a lead, a visitor sees a content offer of interest to them (that’s your remarkable content), clicks on the call-to-action button to access that content, and is then taken to a landing page. On that landing page, the visitor can provide their information on a form in exchange for access to the offer itself. Upon submitting that form, the now-lead is taken to a thank you page where they receive the offer.Voila! Conversion path complete.By designing and implementing the right conversion paths, you can most effectively move website visitors through the buyer’s journey and help them become customers and promoters.What Makes a Good Conversion Path?Well as you might have guessed, you need content, a call-to-action, a landing page, and a thank you page. But with so any conversion paths out there on the internet for your potential customers to explore, it’s now more important than ever to create the RIGHT paths — paths that your ideal customers are drawn to and most effectively convert the right visitors into leads.Let’s explore the four items you need in your inbound toolkit to create effective conversion paths.1) Context-Appropriate ContentContent is the fuel that powers effective inbound strategies — and it’s what you’ll use to convert those website visitors into leads. The good news is that content is everywhere! Content is what your website pages are filled with, what goes into your emails, and what’s hosted on your blog — your website pages, emails, and blog are just vehicles to deliver that content.Although content is in no short supply, in order for it to act as your inbound rocket fuel, you need to create the right content. As you can probably guess, the right content is optimized to appeal specifically to your buyer personas. It should focus on the challenges they’re trying to overcome and the goals they’re looking to hit. Most of all, it should be relevant and interesting to them.But here’s the kicker — it’s not enough to just create persona-specific content. That content needs to be relevant to your persona based on where they are in the buyer’s journey.The Buyer’s Journey is the active research process your personas go through leading up to making a purchase — and specific content is more relevant to your personas at different stages of that journey. This is where the “context” piece comes in: It’s not enough to just create content for your personas. You have to make sure that content is relevant to what they’re interested in and hoping to learn more about.Most visitors to your site are still at the very beginning stages of that journey — they might not even know what your product does or how it can help them. All they may know is that they have a problem or there’s an opportunity at hand. So, the content that will most appeal to your personas when they’re first visiting your website and converting a lead will generally be high-level and educational in nature.In order to be an effective tool in your conversion path toolkit, make sure you have remarkable content tailored to your buyer personas and where they are in the buyer’s journey.2) Landing Pages That Speak to Your PersonasAfter you’ve developed a remarkable content offer that speaks to both who your personas are and where they are in the buyer’s journey, the next step is to leverage that piece of content to convert website visitors into leads. That’s where landing pages come in.Landing pages are specialized website pages whose sole purpose is to collect visitors’ contact information in exchange for something of value to them. Landing pages contain forms that potential leads must fill out and submit before getting access to your remarkable content offer. And like that offer, great landing pages must also be tailored to both who your personas are and where they are in the buyer’s journey.In order to most effectively convert website visitors into leads, your landing pages must present the benefits of your offer that are most relevant to the particular problem your persona is experiencing — and discuss the aspects of that problem that are most important to where your persona is in the buyer’s journey.Imagine, for example, you work at a pet store and have created an ebook on raising a puppy. Someone who’s at the beginning of the buyer’s journey probably won’t be too interested in downloading your ebook if your landing page talks all about how your ebook contains the best techniques for housebreaking. Instead, an effective landing page for this persona might highlight how your ebook discusses how to choose the right dog breed for you.Great landing pages focus on both who your personas are and where they are in the buyer’s journey.3) Attention-Grabbing Calls-to-ActionWhile having a remarkable content offer and great landing page are key to creating a successful conversion path, your website visitors needs a way to actually access that landing page in the first place. That’s where calls-to-action come in.Calls-to-action are buttons you can embed throughout your website that advertise your content offers. When a user clicks on one of these calls-to-action, they’ll be taken to your landing page. In effect, every call-to-action you have on your website is the beginning of a conversion path.To create calls-to-action that get those clicks and act as key steps within your conversion paths, you must ensure that the message displayed on your call-to-action aligns with the message on your landing page — and the content itself.Great calls-to-action should be just that: action-oriented. Since their main objective is to garner clicks and direct people to landing pages, ensure that they’re click-worthy by using actionable language and colors that help them stand out from the rest of your website.4) Optimized Thank You PagesIf a call-to-action is the beginning of a conversion path, a thank you page marks its end. Thank you pages are the final item you need in your inbound toolkit to lead your website visitors down a conversion path to become, well, a lead.Thank you pages are specialized website pages from which your now-leads can download the offer promised by your call-to-action and landing page. They’re also an opportunity to move people further along in the buyer’s journey, by including things like additional calls-to-action that complement the offer you’ve just provided your lead.Conversion paths are the process by which anonymous, unknown website visitors become leads. When done right, your conversion paths can go beyond the first conversion to help move your now-leads through the buyer’s journey to become customers. To learn more about this stuff — creating remarkable content, optimizing landing pages, designing stand-out calls-to-action, and setting up great thank you pages, check out HubSpot Academy’s Inbound Certification program and pay special attention to the “convert” series of classes. Conversion Rate Optimization Topics: Originally published May 15, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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So Your Ebook Didn’t Generate Leads? You Could Be Making These Rookie Mistakes

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack We’ve all had it happen before. You spend days creating an ebook. You slaved over the copy. You hacked together the design. You put it on your website. And then … crickets. No one downloads it.But you were told ebooks are one of the most effective forms of content marketing. So what gives?If you’re using ebooks to generate leads and still not seeing the results you’ve been promised, then you might be making one of the following rookie mistakes.1) You didn’t identify your target audience.This is a classic case of marketing with the lights off. If you don’t know who your target audience is, then how are you supposed to write an entire book for them?Solution: Create a buyer persona.It’s time to do your market research to create a buyer persona before you mess up your next ebook’s chances. Your buyer persona will detail everything there is to know about your ideal customer and it will typically include:DemographicsObjectionsGoals and challengesHobbies and interestsKeywordsOnce you have this information, you’ll be able to more easily and consistently produce targeted content. You’ll know the right topic to choose for your ebook and you’ll know how to speak in their language.2) Your topic wasn’t valuable.If you could find the answers to your ebook by a simple Google search then why would anybody be inclined to download it?The whole point of your ebook is to get people to give you their email address, correct? Problem is, you’re also competing with every other marketer who wants their details — so why should they give it to you ahead of the other guy?Solution: Solve their problems.There’s a reason why your business exists. It’s because you have a solution to the problems that your customers face.By creating an ebook that promises to educate them on how to solve those very problems, you’ll be providing them with a valuable resource that they won’t have to think twice about downloading.For example, this ebook below from the HubSpot library is ideal. It doesn’t try to give the hard sell to the prospect, rather it promises to educate the target audience on how they can create a responsive website (something that’s incredibly important given recent Google Algorithm changes):When coming up with a topic, make sure it’s:Targeted to your audience and your nicheUseful and educationalIncludes keywords that resonate with your prospectsClearly communicates the benefits of the ebook3) You made the cover with MS Paint.Alright, we know that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t guilty of it.If you want people to download the ebook, then its design needs to entice the prospect to do so. It has to look professional, set the story of your ebook, and reflect your brand.  Solution: Create a professional design.When designing your cover it needs to reflect the theme of your whole ebook. It’s the first thing your audience will see, so the design has to instantly attract them.For example, this ebook from SparkPay has an effective design with simple graphics, a clear title, and reflects the style of their brand:If you are designing your own ebook then make sure the cover is:Clear, attractive, and noteworthyConsistent with your brandConveys the theme of what’s insideHighlights the value to the readerBut let’s be honest, not everyone is a designer, so if you’re lacking in this department then hire a professional ebook designer to help you or download one of HubSpot’s free ebook templates.4) You didn’t promote it.This is biggest mistake that you can make. If you’re expecting people to just stumble upon your ebook without giving it the promotion it deserves, then you may as well throw in the towel right away.Truthfully, you need to put the same amount of effort into promoting your ebook as you did to create it.Most people immediately think of these four channels: Social, email, blog, and paid amplification. But after you’ve exhausted your social media accounts, emailed it to part of your database, blogged about it, and paid for advertising, where do you look to next?Solution: Do outreach for your ebook.An effective outreach strategy is the next step to giving your ebook the very best chances of getting seen. Outreach is focused on finding different channels and influencers within your industry who can help you give your content a bigger push.This can include:Writing guest posts for high-traffic bloggersAsking influencers who write about similar subjects to share itSending out a press releasePublishing on an ebook marketing platformTo make sure you are giving your content the best possible chance to be snapped up, it’s vital that you only target influencers who speak to your audience. Platforms such as BuzzSumo can help you search, analyze, and connect with influencers to help you promote your content.5) Your audience couldn’t find your landing page.The landing page is the gateway to your ebook, and the reason you’re generating leads in the first place. So you need to make sure that:a) People can find your landing pageb) The landing page entices people to fill out their detailsSolution: Optimize your landing page.Optimizing your landing page is a crucial step in making sure that you have everything prepped for a guaranteed download.Below is a great example of an optimized landing page: Want to optimize your landing page the same way? Follow these tips:Use the keywords of your ebook in the headline, URL, meta description, and in the intro copy.Write a short summary of what’s included in the ebook.Include an image of your ebook.Add bullets to highlight the ebook’s benefits.Don’t include any links, and take away the navigation bar.Don’t ask for more contact information than you need in the form.Once you’ve correctly optimized your page, your audience won’t have to search high and low to find what they’re looking for. And by highlighting all of the benefits, they feel more compelled to to download your ebook. In Short: Keep your audience in mind.The key takeaway is that your content has to be created with your audience firmly in mind. Make sure you aren’t making any of these critical mistakes for your next ebook and start using it as it was intended: a lead making machine!  Lead Generation Topics: Originally published Jul 27, 2015 4:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

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After Roger Federer face-off, Sumit Nagal wants to excel on clay

first_imgRising India tennis star Sumit Nagal has said that his US Open first round match against Swiss great Roger Federer has helped him identify areas that he needs to improve upon. The 21-year-old from Haryana also said that clay was his preferred surface.Nagal breezed through the qualifiers to face the 20-time Grand Slam winner in the first round at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday. He incredibly ended up winning the first set, but Federer took the next three to script a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win.”When I got to know that Federer has to play a qualifier in the first round, I told my coach that I really want to qualify and face him,” Nagal told IANS.”After the qualifiers got over, I was getting my massage when my coach told me that I will be facing Federer. I was very happy. We had two days off and I couldn’t sleep because of the excitement. I didn’t make any changes to my training schedule though,” the Haryana lad said.Nagal said that he was able to win the first set because of his serve and some good play from the base line, but Federer made the necessary adjustments after that and won the match.”It doesn’t matter that I won a set, what matters is who won the match. In the first set I was serving very well and winning a lot of points from the baseline. He noticed this and started putting some pressure on me in the second set. He then started serving very well and pretty much took the game away from me,” he said.advertisementNagal also said that clay was his preferred surface, something that Federer himself had pointed out after the match. “I think his game is based on being really consistent, moving well, moving the ball around well. Sort of very much a clay-courter. That’s also the surface he’s basically played the entire year almost,” Federer had said.Nagal could not speak to Federer after the match as both players had to give interviews. When asked how he evaluated where he stood after the match, Nagal admitted that he needed improvement in all departments of the game.”You need to be very fit to play five-set matches. I have always been working on my fitness and I still need to do a lot more. It will take time,” he said.Nagal also said that the Virat Kohli Foundation has helped him a lot. “Tennis tends to be a very expensive sport. You need to travel to a lot of different places. The Virat Kohli Foundation has helped me a lot in this respect over the past three years,” he said.Also Read | Learnt a lot from Roger Federer, couldn’t have asked for a better match up: Sumit NagalAlso Read | I could barely sleep, couldn’t wait to face Roger Federer: Sumit Nagal to India TodayAlso Seelast_img read more

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‘Higuain a great like Kane’

first_imgTottenham Hotspur Pochettino: Higuain is one of the greatest like Kane Matt Dorman 00:03 7/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Gonzalo Higuain - cropped Getty Images Tottenham Hotspur UEFA Champions League Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus Juventus The Juventus striker will take on Tottenham in midweek in the second leg of their Champions League encounter, and the Spurs manager is wary Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino warned his players to be “careful” against Gonzalo Higuain as the Juventus striker, who he sees as one of the game’s best along with Harry Kane, prepares for a timely return from injury.The Argentina international trained on Tuesday to ease fears he would miss the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at Wembley on Wednesday.Higuain has been sidelined for Juve’s last two matches with an ankle problem. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp But the 30-year-old, who scored twice and missed a penalty in the 2-2 first-leg draw in Turin last month, now looms as a major threat to Spurs’ hopes of reaching the quarter-finals, with Pochettino in no doubt over his quality.”I think he is one of the greatest strikers in the world, with Harry Kane,” Pochettino said of his compatriot.”We know his talent very well and sometimes it is not easy to stop him. Like Paulo Dybala or Lionel Messi, this type of player.”We need to be careful with him but also careful with all of their players we are going to play against on Wednesday.”Spurs are in a strong position after Kane and Christian Eriksen both struck valuable away goals in the first leg, but Pochettino insists his side will not sit back and hold on for a low-scoring draw on the night.”We are a brave team – very positive people that love the challenge,” he said.”We need to think we can win, we always think in this way, and then what happens will be a consequence of our performance.”If we perform the way we usually do we will be close to winning and going through to the next stage.”last_img read more

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Report: Marseille 3 Athletic 1

first_imgMarseille 3 Athletic Bilbao 1: Ocampos at the double as Thauvin injured Matt Dorman 06:05 9/3/2018 Lucas Ocampos - cropped Getty Images Lucas Ocampos’ brace led Marseille to a confident victory over Athletic Bilbao in their Europa League meeting at the Stade Velodrome. Lucas Ocampos scored after 36 seconds to help Marseille to a 3-1 home win over Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 encounter on Thursday.The influential Ocampos struck the quickest goal of the competition this season and added another after half-time to put Rudi Garcia’s side within reach of a quarter-final berth.Dimitri Payet was also on target for the hosts inside a blistering first 20 minutes as Athletic, now beaten in four of their last six outings, struggled to cope. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Aritz Aduriz did pull one back courtesy of a contentious penalty, but Ocampos’ second left the Basque club needing to score at least twice in the reverse fixture to the turn the tie around.The only blight on Marseille’s victory was an apparent ankle injury for Florian Thauvin, who has scored 18 goals this season and is now in serious doubt for next week’s return leg at San Mames after being taken off on a stretcher.2009 – Dimitri Payet has scored his first goal in European competitions since 26 February 2009 (with St Etienne against Olympiakos), more than 9 years ago. Wait. pic.twitter.com/8bZRWyQzbL — OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 8, 2018 Winless in their last five competitive fixtures, Marseille quickly put their poor form behind them with a breathtaking start.Ocampos netted the first inside the opening minute, caressing a calm finish past Iago Herrerin after Thauvin expertly picked out his run to the far post.The advantage was doubled in the 14th minute when Xabier Etxeita’s horrendously hooked clearance dropped perfectly for Payet, who chested the ball down and rifled in a thumping finish.And Marseille would have been out of sight midway through the half if not for Herrerin, the goalkeeper twice denying Valerie Germain in a quickfire pair of one-on-one opportunities.Instead, they were gifted hope on the stroke of half-time as Aduriz converted from the spot after Adil Rami was harshly ruled to have handled the striker’s close-range effort, referee Jorge Sousa awarding a penalty after consultation with his assistant. 45+2′ 2-1 #athlive #UEL pic.twitter.com/rgYryZDBna — Athletic Club (@Athletic_en) March 8, 2018 Any confidence Athletic gained from that goal eroded 12 minutes after the restart, Ocampos squeezing Payet’s low cross through Herrerin.The 23-year-old went close to making it a hat-trick late on, but Etxeita redeemed himself as he desperately cleared Ocampos’ goal-bound effort off the line to keep the two-goal margin intact. read morelast_img read more

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