Money Monday

first_imgBrowse more military personal finance blog posts and webinars by experts.Follow Dr. O’Neill on Twitter!This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on October 28, 2013. By Barbara O’NeillCan I set up a military allotment to pay for a non-military debt or obligation?There are two types of allotments: discretionary and non-discretionary. You can have up to six discretionary allotments per month, and any number of non-discretionary allotments as long as the total allotments per month are 15 or less. Your allotment is divided between your two semi-monthly checks and requires a DD 2558 form. Retirees are eligible to continue their allotments as well. For more information, refer to https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx.last_img read more

Resolving to make a Resolution: 5 things to consider when making your New Years Resolution

first_imgBy: Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFTpixabay[Resolution by annca, November 2015, CCO]Have you ever wondered why you can’t seem to stick to your New Year’s resolutions? Do you find yourself wondering why this happens each and every year? You have great intentions and you seem to take off with great force and then your momentum comes to a screeching halt around that third or fourth week in January. Don’t worry; you are not alone. Here is a list of things to consider when making your resolution.Does my resolution have to start on January 1st? So, it’s the beginning of a new year and it seems appropriate to make a fresh start. But, is it really necessary to start of the very first day of the year? Most of us are cleaning up messes from the holidays, attempting to get the kiddos back in something that resembles routine, stewing over that confrontational moment with the mother-in-law, and traveling to get back home. Some of us still may even have more gatherings planned that we were unable to make happen during the actual holidays. With all of these stressors and more, it seems like attempting to make a big change has potential for failure pretty quickly.Are the requirements to attain my resolution really feasible? When you make a resolution, think long and hard about how easily you can do this. If your resolution is to become a body builder over the next year, you will want to think about more than just your ability to go to the gym. Do you have the time to commit to all of the training required? Do you have all of the equipment necessary? And, if you don’t have all of the equipment, do you have the money to buy it? Do you know what type of diet you will need to maintain? And, if you don’t, do you know someone who can help you? Can you afford to pay them to help you? So, before you commit yourself to a resolution, think it through in terms of feasibility, accessibility, and possibility!Is this a resolution that I can really maintain long-term? Tying into the whole idea of thinking long and hard about your resolution choice, add this in as well. Is this something that you can maintain? Are you making such a drastic change in your life that it may not be easy to keep the same momentum at all times? Watzlawick, Weakland, and Fisch (1974) tell us that in first-order change, there are changes that are made but the structure of the system does not change. But, in second order change, the changes that occur are a direct result of a change in the system. So, ask yourself if the changes you have made are simple changes in behavior (first-order change) or complex changes in structure (second-order change) before you decide whether or not this resolution can and will continue past the 3rd week in January.What will happen if I don’t meet my resolution? This is an important question to ask yourself when making a resolution. Will you be disappointed and beat yourself up? Will you blame others for not making it happen? Will this add extra tension and stress to your life? Take some time to really think about this question before you make your resolution.Is it really necessary to even have a resolution? Yes, I asked it. I’m sorry if anyone thinks that this is blasphemous to even suggest it. But, can you skip the resolution this year? Or, if you are really against this idea, you can always make a resolution to not have a resolution this year! Something to think about, right?During these last few weeks of December when you are thinking about your potential resolutions for the upcoming year, consider these five questions. And, most importantly, keep in mind that this is YOUR resolution. You are the expert on yourself which means that you get to choose your resolution and whether you have one or not.References[1] Watzlawick, P., Weakland, J. & Fisch, R. (1974) Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution. New York, NY: W.W Norton & Company, Inc. This post was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT, the Social Media and Programming Coordination Specialist for the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development concentration on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.last_img read more

Industry Interview: “Leaving Neverland” Composer Chad Hobson

first_imgWe chatted with composer Chad Hobson for some insight into his process and influences — and what aspiring composers need to know.PremiumBeat: Chad, with subject matter as explosive as we see in Leaving Neverland, how did you and director Dan Reed arrive at the tone?Chad Hobson: Dan Reed wanted something magical, and Disney-like. Therefore, at our first music meeting, we came up with the concept of a “Walk through a magical forest.” You start walking, and everything is beautiful, but as you walk further and deeper into the forest, it starts to become darker and more disturbing. The limbs of the trees start to twist and the sparking sunlight fades to darkness.Jimmy Safechuck in Leaving Neverland (via HBO).PB: How do you generally see the role of the composer? Are you adding another layer to the narrative already on screen? Or do you see your part as simply being of service to the story and should stay unobtrusive?CH: There are no rules. And it depends on the film. The composer should be the air you breathe. Yes, you should be supporting the narrative, but there are endless ways to do it. I feel it’s your job to expand the story and turn the corners. Not necessarily playing what’s on screen.Chad Hobson (Photo by Adam Tiernan Thomas).PB: Writers often describe having to “kill their darlings,” meaning sometimes you really love something you write, but it doesn’t serve the whole of the story. How often do you fall in love with an aspect of a score and then re-evaluate it either from the original instrumental treatment or from the whole?CH: I try not to fall in love with any of it until it’s dubbed! The score can be a moving goal. You cannot become attached to it during the writing process. As a composer, you never really know what someone may like or dislike. You probably have a gut instinct about a cue or a melody, but there’s only one way to find out and that’s to play it to the powers that be. That can be a lonely place.Image via Gascoigne (KVH Media Group).PB: You’ve worked on so many documentary projects — how does scoring a real-life subject differ from a feature film? Do you feel any responsibility to not allow the music to manipulate emotions, as you might want to do in a narrative feature?CH: I think scoring real events is generally harder. It can be difficult to frame the events and unite the story. Whereas, generally in fiction, there’s usually already a uniting factor in the writing.Formula 1: Drive to Survive (photo by Daniel Vojtech).PB: What scores, other than your own, do you think have worked extremely well to support the storytelling?  What, in your opinion, made it so memorable or successful?CH: Oh, that’s a hard question! There are many. But in recent factual programs, I really liked the work of Walter Mair on the Netflix series about F1: Drive to Survive. Somehow, he and the program captured the intense competition between the teams and agony of failure and the elation of victory, or just surviving to the next race. Really great!PB: Any general advice for young composers on best practices to get their film careers going?CH: The only advice I could give is to keep going. Find your voice and throw yourself into everything you do. Do as much writing as possible. Be brave, push yourself into the uncomfortable places creatively, and never forget to enjoy the process.Cover image via Leaving Neverland (HBO).Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Industry Interview: Emmy-Nominated Composer Dominik ScherrerIndustry Interview: Documentary Editor Aaron WickendenIndustry Interview: DJ Stipsen, DP of “What We Do in the Shadows”The Sun is Also a Star Film Composer Herdís StefánsdóttirIndustry Interview: Miles Hankins — The Composer Behind “Long Shot”last_img read more

Ten Things I Wish I’d Have Known Before I Started Selling

first_imgIt’s about creating value. I resisted selling early in my life because I believed salespeople took advantage of other people. I thought that they were sleazy, self-oriented, and manipulative. Only later did I learn that it was all about helping other people get the results they needed.Prospecting comes first. I did really well in sales when I first started selling professionally. That was a problem. Because I did well, I didn’t do enough prospecting. Later, that mistake came back to haunt me when I lost two key accounts back to back (through no fault of my own). I needed a pipeline and didn’t have one.You need more than one relationship. When I first started in sales, I developed great relationships with key stakeholders, power sponsors, if you will. Only later, when the real problems started, did I learn how important it was to have deep relationships within my client companies. Later, I learned how important it was to have these relationships before there was a decision.Disqualify non-opportunities. I spent a lot of time pursuing non-opportunities. It took time from my calling on better prospects. You can’t afford to chase the wrong prospects. If you aren’t really right for the prospect or them for you, you need to disqualify it fast.Business models matter. I spent a lot of time and energy pursuing what I thought were dream clients. But because their business model made them necessarily focused on price, my value proposition was never going to win the business.Presentations don’t win. I literally read my prospects my presentation when I was a kid. All of it. Word for bloody word. Fortunately, I had a great manager that taught me that it wasn’t the presentation that won. It was the ability to understand the clients needs, to help develop a solution with them, and to take accountability for the result.You don’t win or lose on price. I blamed a lot of losses on price when I was young and didn’t know better. I tried to compete on price instead of the value I created. Because I made it about price, so did the client. Only when I learned to move to value did my clients change their decision criteria.Nurture your dream clients. Decades ago I used a very primitive version of sales force automation. I tracked my calls, and I called my prospects every 90 days. I did nothing to create value in front of a sale. I did well in spite of myself, but I did better when started sharing ideas in front of an opportunity. I also did better when I relentlessly called every week.If it was easy, your competitor would have done it already. It was easy to believe my competitors were my prospect’s problems. They believed that by switching to me they would do better, and so did I. It was only after winning their business did I learn that helping my clients was helping them overcome their own internal constraints. If it would have been easy, my competitors would have already made the necessary improvement.Never disappear after a loss. When I was young, if I lost a deal, I’d forget all about it, pick up the pieces and move on. I’d check back with the prospect a year later to find out they’d changed providers twice in that time. The didn’t get what they wanted, so they switched. But they didn’t call me. This happened a couple times before the lesson stuck. It was only then I learned that my competitors failure to execute opened an immediate opportunity. I stopped disappearing.last_img read more

If Only One Person

first_imgLast week my Sunday newsletter was about making a difference for others. This newsletter struck a nerve with some readers. More than a few told me it reminded them of their higher calling and helped them deal with their burnout. One reader shared an amazing story of the values she learned from her parents.And one reader sent me a note about being disappointed in having helped only one person. This reader didn’t believe that making a difference for one person is enough.StarfishThere is this old story about a child walking down a beach covered with starfish. The tide has receded, and the starfish are suffocating in the sunlight. Many of them will likely die. There are thousands of them.As the child is throwing the starfish back into the ocean, a man says to the child, “Why are you wasting your time throwing these starfish back into the sea? You can’t possibly make a difference.” As the man is finishing his sentence, the child picks up a starfish and launches into the water, turns to the man and says, “I made a difference for that one.”Just One PersonIf you want to change the world, start by helping just one person. If you help just one person, you have already changed the world. You have certainly made the world a better place for that one person.It doesn’t matter that no one other than the person you helped will know that you made a difference. It doesn’t matter that you can’t help as many people as you would like to. Make the difference you are capable of making now. When you can do more, you will have a chance to multiply your efforts. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

How Do You Define Your Work?

first_imgHow do you define your work?Is what you are doing contributing to your legacy? I am not talking about your financial legacy, even though that is important. I am talking about how you are going to be remembered in the future. How will you feel about the work you are doing right now when you look back from some time in the future?Does the work you do provide your life with meaning and purpose? Is what you are doing right now the work that provides your life with something more than just the mere ability to survive? Are you thriving? Do you wake up excited to do whatever it is you are doing? You are here for some reason. Your life has some purpose, even if you don’t yet know what it is.Are you making a difference? Are you making the contribution that you want to make? The contribution you need to make? You are here to make some contribution, to make some difference, no matter how small.There is honor in all work. All work can make a difference. But it depends on whether or not you give yourself over to the work. It depends on you bringing your best self to your work.Defining your job as your work may not provide you with the right answer to these questions. Your work and your job can be very different. You might even have to have a job during the daytime hours and do your real work at night or on the weekend.What is important is that you figure out what that work is and then give yourself over to that work. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

10 Rules for Relationships Inside Your Company

first_imgAssume Good Intentions: In all cases, assume that your peers are operating under the best of intentions. Refuse to believe that your teammates are intentionally making mistakes, creating problems, or being difficult. Assume that everyone you work with is trying to do good work.Put the Client First: Whenever you recognize a problem or challenge, make the decision to put the customer first. Instead of focusing on what you need, what someone else needs, or your competing priorities, turn your attention to what your client needs. This isn’t easy, but your business exists to serve the client, and your internal conflicts cannot come at the client’s expense.Have the Courage to Go First: Numbers one and two are not easy, but someone has to go first. Make that someone you. You must be the one to enter conversations with the intention of helping, of resolving issues or moving forward. You be the diplomat. Expect others to be defensive and to question your motives until they understand your sincerity.Put the Relationship Above Any Challenge: When dealing with challenges, put your relationship with your teammates above the challenge. There is no reason to destroy a relationship with a peer over a challenge that will eventually be resolved. By putting the relationship first, you build the capacity to handle greater challenges together, and you engender trust.Communicate Openly and Honestly: Many of the challenges you face inside your company can be resolved or improved with open, honest conversation. Much of the time mistakes are made or problems persist because they aren’t addressed candidly (and following the rules above). Resolving issues begins with communicating about what the issue is, the implications of it persisting, and why it is important to do something now.Be Willing to Renegotiate Commitments: You are always going to have competing priorities that drive people on the same team in seemingly opposite directions. You need something now, and your teammate has a looming deadline. You, meaning both of you, must be willing to renegotiate your commitments to go back to Rule 2 (Put the Client First). This may also require that you negotiate with your company for additional resources when all else fails. This willingness to renegotiate commitments allows you to find a way forward.In Conflict, Collaborate: Conflict is a funny thing. Most of the time, it is unnecessary, an emotional response that does nothing to produce a better outcome and damaging relationships. But, conflict always gives rise to collaboration. There is always something that can be done, some change that can be made, some solution found. Instead of focusing on “the person” you focus on “the problem.” By doing so, you’ll find you have smart, client-oriented teammates who care as much of you do—and who may be more resourceful than you know.Trust Your Team: The foundation of all relationships is trust. You must trust your team to do their job, and they have to trust you to do yours. You may not always understand why they do what they do, nor them, you. Your team is charged with generating certain outcomes, and you have to let them do their job, just like you want them to let you do your job. Give them your confidence and your support.Treat Your Peers Like They’re Clients: There is a power in service. It changes the nature of relationships. Caring enough to help someone with their challenges tends to create trust and reciprocity on the part of the person you are serving. Instead of treating your teammates as obstacles, treat them as another type of client. Help them with their challenges and create a relationship where they are always willing to help you. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Kutch sex racket: Gujarat government agrees to judicial probe

first_imgRelenting on the Opposition’s demand, the Gujarat government on Wednesday agreed to a judicial probe into the Kutch sex racket and gang rape case in which a few local BJP leaders are allegedly involved. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani made the announcement in the Assembly. “The government is ready for a judicial probe in the matter. We are committed to ensure that all guilty will be punished and no one will be spared,” Mr. Rupani said. The government’s announcement came after the opposition Congress aggressively pushed their demand, forcing frequent adjournments of the Assembly proceedings on Monday and Tuesday. Even ahead of the presentation of annual budget on Tuesday, the House was adjourned as the Congress members demanded probe during the question hour. Earlier, a State Congress delegation had called on Gujarat Governor O.P. Kohli seeking his intervention on the matter.last_img read more

Doctors call off strike in Ahmedabad

first_imgMore than 500 resident doctors at civil hospital in Ahmedabad ended their strike after the authorities accepted their demand to provide protection to the doctors on duty. On Sunday, the doctors had gone on strike after a lady doctor was assaulted by relatives and family members of one 64 year old man who died during treatment in the hospital.”After Lataprasad, who was admitted in the civil for brain hemorrhage, died in the hospital, his family and relatives started abusing a team of doctors who were attending him. A lady doctor was assaulted and she suffered bruises in the neck,” said a body of resident doctors while announcing strike.However, on Monday after a several meetings between the junior doctors and authorities, the doctors announce to end their strike and return to work as the authorities have accepted their demands including deployment of armed policemen in ICU ward and also in each floor of the hospital.According to sources, in view of increasing attacks on medical staff and doctors by relatives and family members of patients, the government has decided to deploy State Reserved Police (SRP) personnel in the hospital premises and armed policemen at ICU ward, trauma ward and other areas of the sprawling hospital campus spread in over 100 acre and caters to more than six lakh people annually.The strike by junior doctors at Ahmedabad civil hospital, largest public hospital in Asia, comes on the heels of a similar incident in Maharashtra where more than 4,500 junior doctors had gone on strike to protest a series of assaults by relatives of patients in government run hospitals.The doctors’ body in Maharashtra ended their strike only after Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis intervened and assured better security at hospitals in the state.last_img read more

BJP seeks Virbhadra’s resignation

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cadres, under the leadership of the party’s Mahila Morcha, on Thursday burnt effigies of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh at 7,000 electoral booths. They are demanding Mr. Singh’s resignation over deteriorating law and order and “a sudden spurt in criminal and drug activities” in the hill State. The BJP has blamed the State government for mishandling the case pertaining to the rape and murder of a 16-year-old in the Kotkhai village of Shimla. The teenage schoolgirl was kidnapped on July 4. She gang-raped and her body was found in a jungle after two days. The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction over the police enquiry, which triggered protests by various political and non-political organisations. He was forced to hand over the enquiry to the CBI.last_img read more

Counter Oppn’s false propaganda: Naveen

first_imgOdisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik on Monday urged party workers to strongly counter the false propaganda of the Opposition parties against the State government.Without naming any party, Mr. Patnaik told BJD workers that some political parties were indulging in false propaganda against the State government, and they should counter the campaign strongly.The Chief Minister was addressing a gathering of party workers and supporters while inaugurating the 10-day-long State-wide ‘Jana Sampark Padayatra’ of the party in the city.He also blamed the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre for neglecting the cause of Odisha, and asked party workers to apprise the people of the Centre’s apathy during the padyatra programmes.Highlighting his government’s achievements, Mr. Patnaik urged party workers to reach out to the people and inform them about the welfare schemes of the State government of the past 17 years. Similar padyatras were also organised by the party in different parts of the State during the day.The BJD is also highlighting the demand for grant of special category status to Odisha, alleged indifference of the Centre in resolving the Mahanadi water dispute involving Chhattisgarh and frequent hike in fuel prices.The padyatra programme, which the BJD organises every year, starts on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and concludes on October 11, the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan.last_img read more

Bosnia keen to forge ties with J&K

first_imgFood, tourism and education are three areas underlined by Bosnia and Herzegovina Ambassador Sabit Subasic in Srinagar to forge ties with conflict-ridden Jammu and Kashmir.In the first-ever visit to Kashmir by any Bosnian authority since its independence, Ambassador Subasic met young entrepreneurs, students, businessmen, politicians and separatists. “It’s a dream come true. It was my childhood wish to see Kashmir,” he said at a function organised by the Kashmir Youth Entrepreneurs Federation here on Thursday. “J&K and Bosnia and Herzegovina share similar scenic beauty… We can share our expertise with each other.”last_img read more

Gujarat, H.P. victories show public is with PM, says Fadnavis

first_imgMaharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the BJP’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh has highlighted the public’s support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi leadership.Speaking to reporters outside the Assembly building, the CM said, “The BJP has achieved tremendous success in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. This success has once again underlined that the common man in every state is strongly standing behind our Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”“Large-scale attempts were made to spread lies and fuel tensions but the common people of India know that only Narendra Modi’s leadership can take them on the path of progress. India has once again put a stamp on Narendra Modi’s leadership and backed his politics of development and trust. Even after 22 years of rule, the BJP has won in Gujarat on such a massive scale. No other political party has ever managed to achieve this trust of Indian public in the past. Even this time, the BJP has polled close to 50 per cent votes (in Gujarat) which is incredible,” Mr. Fadnavis added.The CM also congratulated the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the BJP workers from both States and the local leadership.He also commended the leadership of party president Amit Shah for putting the 19th state in the BJP’s kitty.last_img read more

Ink thrown on Haryana CM

first_imgA man threw ink on Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Hisar on Thursday, exposing breach in the CM’s security. Mr. Khattar was here to participate in a roadshow. The youth, who claimed to be a political activist, shouted slogans against the CM as he splashed ink towards him. While most of the ink fell on the security staff, a few drops landed on Mr. Khattar’s face and clothes. The youth was handed over to the police by the CM’s security staff. Hisar Range IG Sanjay Kumar said that the man is being questioned. “As of now we cannot verify whether he is affiliated to any party,” he said. Later, Mr. Khattar participated in the roadshow and went around in an open vehicle accompanied by State Finance Minister Capt. Abhimanyu.last_img read more

‘Farmers will not forgive those who threw vegetables on roads’

first_imgHaryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday said that farmers will never forgive those who threw their vegetables and spilt milk on the roads.“Those who are misguiding the farmers into doing so are their biggest enemies,” he told journalists in Rohtak.“Vegetables, fruits and milk are produced after tremendous hard work by the farmers. These self-proclaimed leaders are destroying their hard work by throwing the produce on the roads,” he said.The Haryana government has implemented the Prime Minister’s crop insurance, irrigation and electricity connection schemes for the welfare of farmers. “Apart from this, we have paid the farmers the highest compensation for their crops damaged due to natural calamities or disasters,” he said, while responding to a query about the nation-wide strike by farmers.Mr. Khattar said throwing crops and milk on the roads won’t help the farmers. “Those who stop the farmers from bringing produce to the market and force them to throw them on the roads would be sternly dealt with,” he added.Speaking on setting aside of regularisation of contract employees by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr. Khattar said the State government would file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the verdict.“The State government had strongly pleaded for a regularisation policy in the High Court but the court cancelled it due to some shortcomings in the policy. We do not want the recruitments to be cancelled,” he added.last_img read more

First batch of pilgrims begin Amarnath yatra

first_imgAn inaugural batch of 2,995 pilgrims embarked on the Amarnath yatra from Jammu on Wednesday via the new sanitised highway in the Valley amid intensified security.The journey began on a day when Hizbul Mujahideen’s self-styled commander of south Kashmir, Riyaz Naikoo, said the pilgrims are “welcome as guests.”Around 37,000 additional personnel, 19% more compared to last year, will man the highways and the shrine in Pahalgam in south Kashmir during the yatra period, from June 28 till August 26. Over 500 CCTV cameras will monitor the flow of pilgrims, said an official.For the first time, the pilgrims will take the widened Kulgam-Srinagar national highway, bypassing most volatile pockets in south Kashmir. “Re-routing the yatra on the new highway will help bypass volatile Khanbal, Bijbehara, Awantipora and Pampore. Those highway patches were densely populated on both the sides, allowing militants to take advantageous positions,” a senior police official told The Hindu.Eight pilgrims died in a militant attack in July last year on the Srinagar-Jammu highway near Anantnag’s Batengo area when gunmen opened fire at it.“This year no vehicle will pass Batengo area,” said the police.Adviser to Governor N.N. Vohra, K. Vijay Kumar, said the yatra is “a very significant annual event” and “an elaborate scheme is in place to address the concerns of the pilgrims.”The first batch of pilgrims were flagged off by advisers to the Governor, B.B. Vyas and Vijay Kumar, besides Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, from the Bhagwati Nagar camp in Jammu.Tags for vehiclesA fleet of 109 vehicles started around 4.30 a.m. for the cave shrine through the traditional twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal. “Around 1,904 pilgrims opted for the traditional Pahalgam route, while 1,091 chose the Baltal route. The first batch comprised 2,334 men, 520 women, 21 children and 120 sadhus,” said an official.For the first time, GPS-enabled radio-frequency identification (RFID) stickers will be attached to the shrine-bound vehicles for round-the-clock tracking.“All buses carrying pilgrims have to cross the Banihal tunnel by 3 p.m.,” said the official.Meanwhile, Ram Madhav, BJP’s national general secretary, met Governor Vohra at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar and discussed “the arrangements made for the yatra”, said an official spokesman.The 14-km trekking route, the shortest to the Amarnath shrine at an altitude of 3657 metres, was opened in 1999. Most pilgrims prefer this route because it is only a one-day trek.The Pahalgam route, a 43-km. trek, is the traditional, longer route but provides two night stays before the darshan.Most pilgrims first acclimatise at Nunwan and then at Sheshnag (11,730 ft) before they proceed for the pilgrimage.Hizb message“Militants never did it in the past nor do they intend now to carry out any attack on the yatra. Pilgrims come to perform their religious rites and are welcome as guests. The statement by the police that militants are planning an attack is baseless. The yatra should not be politicised,” said Hizb commander Naikoo in a 15-minute audio message.He accused “New Delhi of issuing such statements to portray militancy in Kashmir as terrorism.”“We have no enmity with the people of India,” he added, while inviting migrant Pandits to “return home.”LeT distances itselfDistancing itself from any plot to attack the yatra, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) spokesman Dr. Abdullah Ghaznawi said, “We do not attack unarmed personnel and citizens.”“We abide by the principle of Islamic teachings,” he added.last_img read more

Drug addicts to get priority admission

first_imgPunjab Health Minister Brahm Mohindra on Friday said strict instructions have been issued to all civil surgeons in the State to give priority to drug addiction cases. Under these orders, the surgeons are duty-bound to admit the patient and start treatment as soon as possible.‘Strict action’“In any reported case of dereliction of duty on the part of civil surgeon on this front, strict departmental action would be initiated against the erring surgeon,” said Mr. Mohindra.The Minister added that the State government is aware of the spike in drug addiction cases. Essential medicines“We do have sufficient staff as far as the de-addiction centres are concerned besides adequate availability of essential medicines at all the de-addiction and rehab centres,” he said.Mr. Mohindra said that any patient suffering from drug addiction, who does not want treatment as an indoor patient,can get a daily dose from Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment clinics.Outdoor clinic“The health department launched the OOAT programme to provide outdoor health care services to the patients suffering from drug addiction,” Mr. Mohindra said, adding that the programme was first launched as a pilot project in Moga, Taran Taran, and Amritsar in October 2017.“After observing a patient retention rate of 85%, it has been rolled out in the whole of the State. As many as 81 OOAT clinics are providing healthcare services to drug-abuse patients,” he said.A total of 2,74,938 patients have visited the OOAT clinics and 8,459 patients have registered for treatment, Mr. Mohindra sailast_img read more

Nagaland waits for Assam rice truck

first_imgA district in rain-hit Nagaland is awaiting a truck carrying some 300 bags of rice.The truck that left eastern Assam’s Jorhat town on Tuesday is expected to reach Kiphire town, the headquarters of Nagaland’s Kiphire district bordering Myanmar, in three days. The wait could be longer for the district and its 74,004 people if it rains heavily.The Jorhat-Kiphire road – distance here is measured by hours taken to travel – is not the ‘normal’ route. The one from Dimapur, Nagaland’s commercial hub and only railhead, via State capital Kohima is.Heavy rain on July 26-27 damaged the 265 km Dimapur-Kiphire road at two stretches in Phek district adjoining Kiphire. The nearest stretch from Kiphire town is about three hours’ drive in an SUV.The district has since been finding it hard to procure essential commodities, primarily rice, the staple food, and fuel.“Landslides have disrupted the movement of heavy vehicles between Kiphire and Dimapur for almost four weeks now, leading to shortage of essentials in the former district. The damaged stretch of road between Meluri and Kiphire towns needs to be repaired urgently so that people get some respite,” K. Chumseli Anar, chief of a local students’ body, said.The roads were cleared of debris, but movement of loaded trucks has been restricted owing to soft soil and muddy conditions. Trucks carrying up to 10 tonnes of goods, instead of the normal 18 tonnes, have been allowed to ply.Three such trucks carrying rice reached Kiphire on Friday when the conditions were favourable. “People surrounded the trucks in the hope of buying some rice,” Mr. Anar said.Work on diversionKiphire Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Ali Shihab said the situation has been manageable so far with. some consignments having been delivered by the Indian Air Force choppers as well as the State government.“But the weather often does not permit chopper service. And rain disrupts travel on the road so that for a loaded truck takes more than 12 hours from Dimapur,” Mr. Shihab told The Hindu.The Phek district administration and National Highways Authority of India have been working on a war-footing to make a diversion, he said. The diversion needs some soiling to be usable by heavy vehicles.The longer, less used but no less treacherous alternative road from Jorhat via Zunheboto district has thus become the temporary lifeline for Kiphire. “We are praying that it reaches in three days and the diversion gets ready for the situation to normalise in a week to 10 days’ time,” Mr. Shihab said.“Not much rice is grown in Kiphire, so the demand is high. Most other foodstuff are grown locally. We have a stock of 200 bags of rice at the district headquarters and 50-100 bags in eight subdivision headquarters for emergency situation,” he said.The rice bags coming in are being regulated so that all the subdivisions and 104 villages of Kiphire get them uniformly, according to “population size and remoteness”. In Kiphire town, the Commissioners of 11 wards have been entrusted with monitoring the distribution.last_img read more

Congress stakes claim to form government in Goa

first_img The CLP leader’s move comes at a time when the BJP’s Central observers are meeting leaders of their own party and alliance members here to ascertain their views and finalise an alternative for Mr. Parrikar. The Chief Minister has been fighting pancreatitis for several months, and was last week airlifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi for examination and treatment. Earlier last week, State Congress president Girish Chodankar had written to the Governor cautioning her against dissolution of the House, and seeking an opportunity for the Opposition party to form a government. The Congress is the single largest party in the 40-member Assembly with 16 MLAs, while the BJP, which has 14 MLAs, is supported by three members each of the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, one Nationalist Congress Party legislator and three independent MLAs.Sick bayWhile Mr. Parrikar is in hospital, Urban Development Minister Francis D’Souza is taking treatment for cancer in New York and Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar, who suffered a stroke some months ago, is bedridden at his private residence near here, after a prolonged stay at a Mumbai hospital. Some Goa Ministers and ruling BJP MLAs claimed that the former Defence Minister continued to clear official files from the hospital. “He is clearing files. Today, I got four files cleared by him. So where is the question of giving charge to anyone else,” Public Works Department Minister Sudin Dhavalikar told the media here on Monday. Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho, who claimed he had met the Chief Minister in Delhi on Sunday, said that Mr. Parrikar was recovering well and that there was no vacancy for the top political post in Goa. “He was in a very cheerful mood. He is just taking rest. His health has improved,” Mr. Godinho said. Asked about the demand for a “permanent solution” to the leadership crisis in the State raised by the allies, he said, “The Chief Minister’s post is not vacant. Mr. Parrikar will continue as a CM.”When Sports Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, alliance partner, was asked why the ruling party was burdening an ailing Mr. Parrikar with official work, the Minister said, “It is his (Mr. Parrikar’s) decision.” With the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition in Goa looking for a replacement to ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Congress MLAs on Monday rallied behind Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Chandrakant Kavlekar and staked claim to form a government in the State. Leader of the Opposition and CLP leader Kavlekar, with 15 other MLAs, visited the Raj Bhavan and submitted a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha’s office, reiterating their demand that she should not dissolve the Assembly and pave the way for a fresh election even if the BJP-led government tries to do that in view of the “political turmoil” following Mr. Parrikar’s failing health. Instead, she should invite the Congress, as the single largest party, to form the next government, they said. ‘Don’t hold fresh poll’The Governor is presently out of Goa and is expected to return on Tuesday. “We have requested the Governor through our letter that the Assembly should not be dissolved and fresh election forced on the State. We have also asked her not to impose President’s Rule or keep the House in suspended animation. People have elected us for five years. Pushing for an election after a mere 18 months is not good for anybody,” Mr. Kavlekar said. last_img read more