Five Areas Where Self-Discipline Makes the Difference for Salespeople

first_imgThe foundational attribute all successful people share is self-discipline. It is their self-discipline that allows them to keep the commitments that they make to themselves. Successful people know that their good intentions don’t add up to a hill of beans. It’s their actions that make a difference in their results.You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: successful people do what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do (Note: It’s not that the unsuccessful are unable. They are unwilling.)The following five areas require a thoughtful, disciplined approach.The Discipline of ProspectingThere is one area of sales where self-discipline makes a tremendous difference and is rarely found. That area is prospecting.You can immediately produce better sales results by applying your self-discipline to prospecting. Salespeople with no real sales abilities or skills often outperform those with greater skills or abilities simply through disciplined prospecting.You give yourself more opportunities through the discipline of prospecting. Long term, your results are going to be the product of your prospecting. Make prospecting a discipline.The Discipline of NurturingYour dream clients already have a supplier. Maybe even a partner. Ignoring and neglecting your dream clients doesn’t do anything to move you closer to the relationships that you need.The discipline of nurturing is what eventually opens the relationships that open opportunities. Your effort to create value for your dream clients before claiming any is what will eventually bear fruit. But only if you exercise the self-discipline to create and share new ideas with your dream clients.Who you are as a professional salesperson is visible in your client list. If you want to add marquee clients to that list, you have to have the discipline of nurturing.The Discipline of Following UpYour clients and dream clients are judging you. They are watching to see if you keep your commitments. This is as true for your commitments great or small.The discipline of following up is more than just sending the email you promised to send. It’s also the discipline of doing high quality follow-up work. You make it easier for your client to say “yes” when you observe the discipline of follow-up, keeping your word and doing quality work.Practice the discipline of follow up and be someone who can always be counted on.The Discipline of ImprovementYou can’t afford to rest on your laurels. You did the work to turn your dream client into a paying client, but becoming complacent can cost you their business.From quarter to quarter, you have to improve what you do for your clients. You have to share with them the value that you are creating, as well as your plans for creating even more value together in the future.Practice the discipline of improvement and bring clients ideas that help to create new value.The Discipline of Personal DevelopmentThe environment that we live and sell in is like nothing we’ve ever seen. The forces of globalization, commoditization, and disintermediation make for some tough sledding. Success means that you have to become the very best possible version of yourself. You need to become You 2.0.The self-discipline of personal development begins with your ability to eliminate distractions. Instead of filling down time with distractions and novelties, you have to use some of that time to improve yourself through reading, studying, taking a class, or attending action-oriented webinars. You have to invest both time and money in improving the only real asset you will ever have: You!Practice the discipline of personal development and continue to grow so you can make a greater contribution.QuestionsIs prospecting a discipline for you? Or is it something you approach sporadically?How do you practice the discipline of nurturing your dream clients? What actions do you take and on what frequency?Do you capture and keep all of the commitments you make, regardless of how small the commitment might be?Do you have a disciplined approach to improving the value you create for your clients from quarter to quarter?What is your discipline for improving yourself over time? What are the main components of your personal development plan? 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

If There Is Information Parity, It’s Your Fault

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now There’s so much written now about how the imbalance of power between buyer and seller in the past was due to the fact that the seller had more information. Allegedly, because of the free flow of information on the Internet, your clients are now equal when it comes to information. You are to assume that they have equal knowledge—or maybe even more.Hogwash!If your clients or prospects know as much about what you sell as you do, it’s your own damn fault. It also means you aren’t worth buying from.Subject Matter ExpertWho is supposed to be the subject matter expert when it comes to what you sell and the outcomes that you produce?In the old days, the imbalance of knowledge was an imbalance of power. Because you knew more, you could use that information to your advantage as a salesperson. Today, if your on the losing end of an imbalance when it comes to subject matter expertise and knowledge, you’re useless to your clients and your dream clients (prospects).Why on earth would you know so little that your clients know as much as you? Think this through for a minute.Your client works only for their company. Their only experience with whatever it is you sell is through that lens. You, on the other hand, work with many clients. You have the knowledge and the experience of making whatever it is you sell work in dozens—maybe hundreds—of companies.Your client makes the decision to buy what you sell maybe once a year. Some buy what you sell once every three or more years. You help dozens and dozens of companies make the decision to buy, and you help them produce results. Which of you should know more?They Think You’re Supposed to Have KnowledgeIf you want to be a strategic asset for your clients you’ll need to help them see around corners. If you want to be a trusted advisor, then you’ll need to be someone with the deep situational knowledge and subject matter expertise to be able to offer advise worth taking.My experience tells me that many salespeople do have much, much more knowledge and that there is still a huge imbalance—as it should be. When I speak with clients they explain that they are too busy trying to keep up with the changes in their own industry to study a second industry. That’s why they’re careful in how they select salespeople; they’re not hiring a salesperson but are instead adding someone to their management team.You’re supposed to have more knowledge than your clients about what you sell. If you don’t, you’re letting them down.QuestionsAre you a subject matter expert in your industry?If there is an imbalance when it comes to information, is it in your favor of your client’s?Why is it imperative that you know more than your clients?How does your outsized knowledge benefit your clients?last_img read more

Breaking Bad Habits: How to Achieve Escape Velocity

first_imgIt takes a massive amount of energy to launch a rocket ship into space. The rockets must provide enough power to propel the craft at 7 miles per second, or 25,000 miles per hour. If the spacecraft doesn’t gain that momentum, gravity will pull it back to Earth, or it will end up trapped in Earth’s orbit.Your results are very much affected by gravity, albeit a different kind of gravity. The gravity that keeps you from reaching escape velocity are the routines you’ve allowed yourself to fall into, the comfort you feel now, your avoidance of discomfort, and the amount of energy it takes to create a better result.Hard Habits to BreakIt isn’t easy to break a habit and replace it with one that serves you better. A lot of what you do you’ve been doing the same way for a long time. Maybe you begin work by opening your email inbox and responding to other people’s requests and demands, knowing that operating in a reactive mode is one of the factors that keeps you from reaching your goals. This pattern is difficult to break. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to ignore your inbox and do your most important work first each day.Growth comes from doing the things that make you uncomfortable. You might not want to make cold calls, ask for referrals, or pursue companies that have already rejected your request for a meeting dozens of times in the past, but you aren’t likely to build the pipeline you need without doing these things. It takes a lot of effort to change your beliefs and your behaviors, eliminating ideas and strategies that don’t serve you and replacing them with ones that do.Breaking Gravity’s PullMost of the fuel used to propel a rocket into outer space is used freeing it from Earth’s gravitational pull. The research on willpower indicates that it is finite, the more you use now, the less you will have later as your day progresses.“Gravity” is why a lot of people who workout consistently go to the gym first thing in the morning; they have to break the gravitational pull of a little more sleep. It’s also why I try to do my most challenging or most unpleasant task first thing every day, a habit that will revolutionize your results. I want to expend that first big burst of energy and build momentum. Moving too slowly to do the things that must be done won’t allow you to reach escape velocity.Are you expending enough energy on the things that really matter to create the velocity you need to produce the results you want?What makes up the gravitational forces that keep you locked in the status quo? How do you break free from those things?last_img read more

How You Create the Need to Follow Up

first_imgThe need to follow up is driven by the failure to gain the commitment to take next steps with your prospective client.Leaving a client interaction or sales call without asking for the commitment to do whatever needs to be done next all but ensures that you are going to have to reengage around that same commitment later. You are also going to weeks or months to the process of helping them produce the better results they need. But worst of all is the challenge you are going to have gaining the commitments.You will have to call your prospective client to ask them for the commitment that would have been more easily acquired when you were with them. Many of those calls are going to go to voice mail. You might get a callback, but it isn’t going to be as soon as you’d like. You might also send emails to try to gain the commitment you need to move forward. Those emails will mostly go unanswered.Your prospect is busy, and they have competing priorities. They have work to do outside of working on the opportunity you are pursuing together. If you don’t like having to chase down your dream client, then you have to ask for the commitment to take the next step at the conclusion of every interaction. Leaving a meeting without having another meeting scheduled is how you create the need to follow up. Not getting something on the calendar while you are together is how you create the need to follow up.Selling is a series of conversations about change. During those conversations, you work to create a preference for you, your company, and your solution. It is also a series of commitments, a series of agreements to do certain things together as part of a process of exploring and making change. You make this process more difficult when you don’t gain those commitments.By failing to get the commitments you need, you create the need to follow up. 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

A List of Things Artificial Intelligence Will Not Replace

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Artificial intelligence has made an enormous impact on our lives, including behavioral algorithms, smart home technology, and self-driving cars. There is no doubt that AI will continue to advance and alter our world, but there is also no doubt that there are things it cannot and will not replace.Relationships: You don’t have a relationship with Siri. Or Alexa. These two ladies don’t have any idea who you are. The possibility that humans will go from tribes that live, survive, and thrive together to helmets that live alone and shun other human beings is exceedingly small.Caring: It will be a long time before artificial intelligence becomes conscious, if it ever makes the monumental, evolutionary leap that, so far, has occurred only in sentient beings, and mostly the human variety. Automation, when used as a substitute for human interaction, is the complete elimination of caring. It is an outsourcing of what should not be outsourced.Inspiration: Human beings are inspiring and inspired. Artificial intelligence doesn’t make us feel anything. We are moved by human beings that exercise their compassion. We are inspired by those who achieve great feats, great works of art, and who sacrifice.Wisdom: Artificial intelligence can beat world champions in the game of Chess and the infinitely complex Chinese game called Go. But it can’t tell you how to live a good life, how to discover your purpose, or what is the source of happiness. There is a difference between information and insight. Wisdom is not intelligence; it’s something more than that.A Sense of Belonging: You are not among “your people” when you are surrounded by automatons and computers. You are among your people when you are around “your” people. You can’t replace the sense of being with the people with whom you belong. Friendship is going to be more valuable and more important in the future.Shared Experiences: You are not going to take your artificial intelligence to dinner or on vacation to the south for France. You may let it assist in doing some of the planning.Curiosity, Imagination, and Resourcefulness: These things are infinitely human. Artificial intelligence provides information. It will not replace human curiosity, imagination, or resourcefulness, something that the mind developed as a method of survival. Artificial intelligence doesn’t dream, but you do.Desire: Artificial intelligence may help satisfy some desires, but it isn’t going to create it. That burning feeling in the pit of your stomach when you really want something—and the ability to create that desire—isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.last_img read more

Army uses civilian as shield, sparks outrage

first_imgTwo videos, apparently showing a teenage protester being shot in the head from close range and another showing an alleged stone-thrower tied to the front of an Army Jeep, that went viral on Friday, sparked outrage in the Kashmir Valley. The police have filed an FIR, and the Army has ordered a probe. Also on Friday, five persons were arrested for the assault on CRPF men in Budgam during the April 9 bypoll to the Srinagar parliamentary seat. The arrests followed a complaint from the CRPF, and a hunt was on for six others seen in the video. The latest 19-second video, purportedly also shot in the Chadoora Assembly segment of Budgam on April 9, shows an alleged stone-thrower tied to an Army vehicle which is seen driving through village streets.A voice, apparently that of an Army personnel, can be heard on the Jeep’s public address system saying, “Paththar bazon ka yeh haal hoga (this will be the condition of stone-throwers).” The man has since been identified as Farooq Dar, while the Army unit involved was the 53 Rashtriya Rifles, officials investigating the matter on instructions from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said. They added that Mr. Dar is a resident of Sitaharaan village in Khag tehsil of Budgam.Mr. Dar is said to have told investigators that he had gone to cast his vote and thereafter was on his way to his sister’s house, where a bereavement had taken place. On his way to his sister’s village, he was caught by Army personnel who wanted to enter Beerwah village along with the polling staff, the officials said. He was then tied to the Army Jeep as the security convoy moved into the village along with jawans and some polling staff, they said. Mr. Dar told officials he was released after he was paraded in 10 to 12 villages. However, sources in the army, which has promised an enquiry, claimed that he was picked up from a “trouble spot” and was tied up for barely 100 metres, before being released.Omar furiousFormer chief minister and National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah, who shared the video on Twitter, said, “This video requires an urgent inquiry and follow-up. I understand the outrage the CRPF video (showing protesters heckling a jawan) generated. I’m also outraged that the video of the youth on the Jeep won’t generate the same anger…. ,” wrote Mr. Abdullah.As internet services were restored after a five-day blackout on Thursday, another video from Budgam showed a teenage protester shot in the head during clashes.“There is no huge crowd trying to storm an election booth nor do these young boys carry guns, see video carefully. CRPF could have chased away the handful of boys. But without any warning, 17-year-old Aqeel Ahmad Wani of Chur Mujroo village has been shot in the head at the polling station in Govt High School in Atina Beerwah district of Budgam on the day of polling,” said well-known RTI activist Raja Muzaffar Bhat.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

State HSC results to be declared today

first_imgThe Maharashtra Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) results will be announced on Tuesday. Authorities said the results would be declared by 11 a.m. and students would be able to access their results online after 1 p.m. by logging on to http://mahresult.nic.in/ Students can view their results by entering their hall ticket number in the blank text box and can download a copy of the mark sheet. The results can also be accessed at result.mkcl.org and maharashtra education.comThe Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, among the largest in the country, kept thousands of students on tenterhooks by delaying the results. Most other State and Central boards, including the Central Board of Secondary Education, have already declared their results. Confusion over datesOver the past week, there has been a lot of suspense and confusion over the date of announcement of the results. An estimated 15.05 lakh students appeared for the Maharashtra HSC 2017 exams of which 8,48,000 were boys and 6,56,000 were girls. The exam was held over a course of a month between February 28 and March 25. Last year, the Maharashtra Class 12 results were declared on May 25. About 14 lakh students had appeared for the exam while the overall pass percentage recorded was 86.60%.last_img read more

Fake news does the rounds in Panaji again

first_imgGoa Forward Party leader Babush Monserratte filed a complaint with the Cyber Crime Cell of Goa police on Tuesday after a snapshot claimed he had appealed to people not to vote for Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in Wednesday’s bypolls.A snapshot of the Twitter account run by a local cable channel went viral on WhatsApp and Facebook in Panaji. “Babush [Monserratte] appeals citizens not to vote for Parrikar as he was threatened to join the Goa Forward Party,” read the message with a picture of Mr. Monserrate.last_img read more

Rajasthan conversion Bill returned by Centre

first_imgThe Religious Freedom Bill passed by the Rajasthan Assembly in 2008, aimed at banning forcible religious conversions, was returned by the Union government as it deviated from the national policy.The Rajasthan government informed the High Court on Tuesday that the Bill was pending with the Centre.According to the Union Home Ministry, the Bill was sent back for “further clarifications.”The State government has said that it reminded the Centre in June to clear the pending Bill.The Bill defined “conversion” as “renouncing one’s own religion and adopting another” through “fraudulent means” or any other “fraudulent contrivance.”The Rajasthan government is making attempts to get the President’s nod for the Bill that has been pending since 2008, the year it was passed.The State government recently filed an affidavit in the court in response to a notice on a habeas corpus writ petition seeking production of 22-year-old Aarifa, who has converted from her religion and married a Muslim man. The court had asked whether there was any law or procedure in force in Rajasthan that governed conversions.The MHA examines Bills passed by the Assemblies that are repugnant to Central laws before they get the President’s assent to become a law.BJP president Amit Shah and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat have batted for “anti-conversion” laws at the national level, but the subject is on the State List of the Constitution and the Centre has no jurisdiction in the matter.Contentious clausesThe Rajasthan Dharma Swatantraya Vidheyak was passed by the Assembly in 2008 during the previous stint of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. The Bill has provision for prison terms of up to five years. It also contains a clause for cancellation of registration of organisations held guilty of abetting conversions.The Bill, which was sent for the President’s approval in 2006 too, was returned by Pratibha Patil.A similar Bill of the Chhattisgarh government, Dharma Swatantraya Sanshodhan Vidheyak, 2006, has also been pending with the State.last_img read more

BJP worker booked for Aurangabad clashes escapes from police custody

first_img On March 25 and 26, he along with several others were booked in a case for communal clashes between two communities in Aurangabad during Ram Navami procession.“Singh managed to dodge policemen and escaped when he was taken to a local court for production in a case registered against him”, said a local police official of Aurangabad, preferring anonymity. “We’re looking into how he managed to flee. Action will be taken against the negligent policemen too”, said Aurangabad Superintendent of Police, Satya Prakash.On March 25, communal clashes between two communities had taken place when the Ram Navami procession was passing through the local Jama Masjid in Aurangabad town. More than 60 people were injured and 50 shops were gutted in the fire. Following the communal clashes, a prohibitory order was issued in the town.Later, over 100 people were arrested to maintain law and order situation in the district.Idol vandalisedMeanwhile, a clash between people from two communities took place in Nawada district on Friday morning. The clash broke out after a religious idol was allegedly vandalised in the area.“It was a matter of an idol being vandalised by some miscreants, which led to the communities coming face to face. The situation is now under control,” said district authorities.However, locals told The Hindu that police opened fire to control the violent crowd in the area.For the last two weeks, violent incidents have been reported from different districts of the State and over hundred people, including local BJP workers, were arrested and detained in Bhagalpur, Samastipur, Aurangabad, Munger, Kaimur, Jamui, Sheikhpura, Nawada and Nalanda districts.Earlier, two local BJP workers, Dinesh Kumar Jha and Mohan Patwa, were detained in Samastipur on the basis of a video of the incident.Some policemen too were injured in the clashes there.On Thursday, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav, after reaching Delhi for treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), had charged that the BJP has fostered violence in Bihar.“There are riots and violence everywhere in Bihar these days…after sending me to jail, BJP has set the whole of Bihar on fire and Nitish Kumar is sitting dumb, he is finished now,” alleged Yadav.However, Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav earlier questioned the ruling NDA government in Bihar on how Arijit Shashwat, son of Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Choubey, has been roaming free despite an arrest warrant against his name for the communal clashes that took place in Nathnagar area of Bhagapur on March 17.Mr. Shashwat is said to have approached Patna High Court for anticipatory bail in the case. A Bhartiya Janata Party worker, Anil Singh, who was earlier booked for communal clashes in Aurangabad district, has escaped from police custody when he was taken to the local court.Meanwhile, fresh round of violence between two communities took place on Friday in Nawada district, represented by BJP leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh in parliament.Anil Singh, associated with an organisation called Hindu Sewa Samiti, has been organising Ram Navmi processions in Aurangabad for a long time. He joined the BJP in 2007.Also Read Cong. demands probe into Aurangabad clasheslast_img read more

CCI penalises six firms for rigging waste disposal tenders floated by Pune civic body

first_imgPune: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Wednesday penalised six firms dealing in solid waste processing for rigging tenders floated by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) with a view to dealing with the city’s garbage crisis.In a press release, the CCI has said that Fortified Security Solutions, Ecoman Enviro Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Lahs Green India Pvt. Ltd., Sanjay Agencies, Mahalaxmi Steels and Raghunath Industry Pvt. Ltd. have been penalised for bid rigging/collusion in five tenders floated by the PMC between December 2014 and March 2015 for “design, supply, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of municipal organic and inorganic solid waste processing plant(s)”.A case against these firms was initiated on the basis of an ‘information’ filed under the CCI Act by Pune-based Nagrik Chetna Manch in 2015.After an investigation the CCI found evidence of collusive bidding in five tenders. The agency also unearthed illicit action by the six firms to rig the tenders by submitting proxy bids.Penalties of ₹13.07 lakh, ₹33.9 lakh, ₹21 lakh, ₹90 lakh, ₹1.68 crore, and ₹30.55 lakh have been levied on Fortified, Ecoman, Lahs Green, Sanjay Agencies, Mahalakshmi and Raghunath respectively by the CCI for contravening provisions of the Act.Expressing happiness over the CCI action, Major Gen. (retd.) S.N. Jatar of the Nagrik Chetna Manch, told The Hindu, “Often, I find that a lack of awareness about the Act precludes individuals and NGOs from using it to redress such practices. The CCI Act is a much better recourse than courts which are heavily burdened. Court procedures are also much more complicated and cumbersome.” In 2015, the Nagrik Chetna Manch had written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, demanding a probe by the Anti-Corruption Bureau into irregularities plaguing the city’s garbage processing units. The Manch, in conjunction with the Sajag Nagrik Manch, had brought to notice the PMC’s crumbling waste disposal plants, accusing the civic body of misusing tax-payers’ money.last_img read more

Clashes erupt in Srinagar as man dies after being run over by CRPF vehicle

 Violence erupted during the victim’s funeral at Fateh Kadal. Security forces used tear gas to contain the crowds at the procession. Separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik were not allowed to attend the funeral and were detained in their houses or at local police stations.Parties condemnThe separatists’ call for a shutdown following the incident hit life in the Valley on Saturday. The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a separatist forum, had issued the call. .“What is worse is that after mowing down [Qaiser] Bhat, a case for ‘rash driving’ was registered. Curfew and severe restrictions, snapping Internet connection, barricading roads and alleys in the holy month of Ramzan were causing grave inconvenience to people,” said a JRL spokesman.Omar Abdullah, National Conference leader, expressed anguish over the incident.“Ceasefire means no guns, so use jeeps. Earlier they tied people to the fronts of jeeps and paraded them around villages to deter protesters. Now they just drive their jeeps right over protesters. Is this your new SoP (standard operating procedure) Mehbooba Mufti sahiba,” he said. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Monga termed the incident “a violation of SoP by the CRPF. One of the two protesters, who were hit by a CRPF vehicle during clashes after Friday prayers outside Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, succumbed to injuries in hospital later at night.Police sources said two cases under Sections 307,148,149,152,336,427 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) and under Section 279 (rash driving), 337 of the RPC were registered in connection with the mob violence and the vehicle accident.Qaiser Bhat, 21, from Srinagar’s Fateh Kadal, became the first civilian casualty since the Centre announced ‘cease-ops’ during Ramzan 18 days ago. He was run over by a CRPF vehicle, which was negotiating its way through stone-throwing protesters, outside the mosque. Bhat was brought to the SKIMS hospital after suffering “serious chest injury and multiple fractures” and died at night, hospital authorities said. His death has set off a fresh wave of protests.‘Mob attacked officers’CRPF spokesman Sanjay Sharma said the crowd tried to open the back door of the vehicle on patrol. “The second-in-command of 28 CRPF Battalion was taking stock of the security deployment [when it was attacked]. The mob tried to take the officer and his escort out of the vehicle. Youth climbed over the vehicle and started smashing it with stones. The driver managed to take the vehicle out of crowd,” he said.CRPF vehicle was on a different missionThe death of a protester after being hit by a CRPF vehicle outside the Jamia Masjid here took place even as the police had decided to keep away from the mosque to ensure a “peaceful congregation” and “avoid confrontation after previous Friday’s deadly clashes left over 50 injured”, sources said.The CRPF vehicle, not part of the area domination exercise, was heading for a different assignment when it was caught amid protesters, sources said.Also Read Seven injured in Srinagar grenade attacks read more

Agnivesh fails to get audience with Governor; assault finds echo in Jharkhand Assembly

first_imgSocial activist Swami Agnivesh, who was attacked on July 17 in Jharkhand’s Pakur town by a mob which, he said, belonged to BJP-affiliated youth groups, failed to get an audience with Governor Draupadi Murmu on July 18 and returned to Delhi.The attack on the activist also found resonance in the State Assembly on Wednesday.“My appointment with the Governor was cancelled without any reason,” he told reporters in Ranchi as he hinted that the Pakur episode might be the reason behind it.Swami Agnivesh (79), known for his work against bonded labour, was slapped, kicked around and verbally abused as he came out after addressing a press conference, where he attacked the BJP government in the State for “displacing the tribals by acquiring their land and giving it to corporates”.Raj Bhavan sources, however, said the Pakur incident and his subsequent assertions against the State government were not behind the cancellation of his appointment.“An appointment with the Governor was sought yesterday afternoon over telephone which was accepted, but seeing pressing prior engagements of the Governor, it was cancelled last afternoon itself and conveyed to them,” the sources said on conditions of anonymity.Swami Agnivesh said former Union Minister and Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahay, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha chief Babulal Marandi and Pakur MLA Alamgir Alam (Congress) met him in Ranchi and expressed shock over the incident.Attack after event in PakurHe was in Pakur, about 350 km from Ranchi, to attend an event of tribal body Akhil Bharatiya Adim Janjatiya Vikas Samiti. “As soon as I came out of the venue, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha [BJYM] and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad [ABVP] activists attacked me without any provocation. They alleged that I was speaking against Hindus,” he had said.Police said an FIR was lodged in connection with the assault under various sections of the IPC, including 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly) and 307 (attempt to murder), and the Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.The FIR has been registered against 100 persons, out of which eight have been named, police said.A special investigation team, headed by the Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Pakur, Ashok Kumar Singh, has been formed to investigate as well as conduct raids to apprehend the culprits.Superintendent of Police, Shailendra Prasad Burnwal said some people were detained but they were released as their involvement in the incident was not established during interrogation.’Not happy with probe’Swami Agnivesh, however, expressed reservations about the probe into the incident.“The fact that some people were detained in connection with the incident and later released shows that it is nothing but a natak  [drama]… the attack on me was pre-planned,” he maintained.He expressed dissatisfaction over the government instituting a probe by a DIG, and instead demanded an inquiry by a sitting judge of the Jharkhand High Court into the incident.Meanwhile, a video of the alleged attack on him is doing the rounds on social media and TV channels.After beating up Swami Agnivesh, the attackers are seen saying, “If one wants to live in India, one has to chant Vande Mataram“.Swami Agnivesh lamented that the mob attack happened despite the Supreme Court taking strong note of incidents of lynching, and asked Parliament to consider enacting law to sternly deal with mob lynching and cow vigilantism.The doctor who attended to Swami Agnivesh in Sadar Hospital, Pakur, said the activist had no fracture, but complained of pain. He was given medicine.Opposition protests in AssemblyIn the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, the Opposition parties staged a noisy protest ahainst the assault on Swami Agnivesh, forcing an adjournment of the House till the lunch break. Leader of the Opposition Hemant Soren, Congress MLAs and other Opposition MLAs continued the protest.Mr. Soren demanded ithe mmediate arrest of the culprits.In view of the prevailing situation, Speaker Dinesh Oraon first adjourned the House till 12.45 p.m. and later suspended the proceedings till 2 p.m.Urban Development Minister C.P. Singh, while talking to reporters outside the Assembly, branded the social activist a “fraud” and a “foreign agent”.last_img read more

Haryana Congress to launch bus yatra

first_imgThe Congress on Monday claimed that the party unit in Haryana is united and its top leaderships will undertake a bus yatra to launch its election campaign in the State.Congress general secretary in-charge of Haryana, Ghulam Nabi Azad, made these remarks just two days after the party had done a flip-flop over a coordination committee.After announcing the coordination committee, to be headed by former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the party had withdrawn it, leading to speculation that resentment had forced the party to withdraw the list.“There was no major reason to withdraw the coordination committee list. We thought since there are many other committees like the manifesto committee, campaign committee, publicity committee also have to be formed, we should announce all of it together,” said Mr. Azad. Committee meetingThe committee, however, will meet on Tuesday with Mr. Hooda presiding over the meeting. On the agenda is deciding the date for the launch of the ‘bus yatra’ as part of its Lok Sabha poll campaign in the State where polling to the 10 seats will be held on May 12.The bus yatra would also mark the start of the party’s campaign for the Assembly elections scheduled later this year, Mr. Azad said.“We will now follow the Andhra-Karnataka model, which I had started about two decades back, to put all the leaders in one bus and take them around,” he said.The Congress did it in Karnataka in 1999-2000 and in Andhra Pradesh in 2003-2004. “They are different before entering the bus, but when they come out of the bus after a few weeks, they are one. Twenty leaders become one,” explained Mr. Azad, adding, “When they speak from one stage, when they eat from the same plate, they become one. So, we are working out this plan for a bus tour”.The Congress in-charge said the party intends to cover all the Assembly seats over the next six to eight months.Apart from Mr. Hooda, other prominent panel members include Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar, legislature party leader Kiran Chaudhary, former Union Minister Kumari Selja and Congress communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, former Minister Kuldeep Bishnoi, Rohtak MP Deepender Hooda and former MP Naveen Jindal.”Hopefully, tomorrow we will have a meeting of the coordination committee and we will discuss the plan of touring the entire State. Of course, I will accompany them. That goes without saying,” Mr. Azad said.last_img read more

Conflict Swirls as U.S. House Nears Vote on Permanent R&D Tax Break

first_imgThe U.S. House of Representatives is nearing a vote on a bill that would make a popular tax break for corporate research spending a permanent part of the tax code. But although the House bill has bipartisan support, the White House is threatening a veto. The Senate, meanwhile, is working on a less sweeping proposal. The legislative flurry highlights the complicated politics surrounding efforts to renew the so-called R&D tax credit, which Congress last year let expire for the sixth time in 21 years.The credit, created in 1981, “is probably one of the least controversial provisions of the tax code,” said Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) today in a statement on the House floor. It allows companies to write off about one-fifth of their spending on research and was worth some $7 billion to U.S. firms last year. Both Democrats and Republicans have long endorsed making it permanent in an effort to spur innovation and job creation. This year, lawmakers in both the House and Senate have introduced legislation to do just that.In practice, however, Congress has traditionally extended the R&D credit for just one year, or a few, at a time.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The problem with permanence: paying for it. Fiscal conservatives from both parties have long demanded that backers of making the credit permanent find a source of revenue, or identify budget cuts, to make up for the lost cash. Budget analysts estimate that the government would forgo $156 billion in revenue over the next decade under the proposal before the House today (H.R. 4438), which provides no mechanism for recovering that money.That’s why the Obama administration, which has its own proposal for making the tax credit permanent, “strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 4438,” the White House’s Office of Management and Budget said in a statement released yesterday. And it chided the House’s Republican leaders for promoting legislation that bucks their own party’s commitment to reducing—and not adding to—spending deficits.“Last month,” the statement notes, “House Republicans themselves passed a budget resolution that required offsetting any tax extenders that were made permanent with other revenue measures. … [M]aking traditional tax extenders permanent without offsets represents the wrong approach.”The White House’s veto threat hasn’t gone over well with many business groups. Some argue that Congress shouldn’t worry about offsets, predicting the tax break will more than pay for itself by generating new economic activity. Others suggest the government should get on with making the tax break permanent to provide companies with some certainty as they make long-term investment decisions, and then figure out how to pay for it.Think tanks that support a permanent R&D tax break are also unhappy. “Given that the Obama Administration has publically supported increasing the R&D credit and making it permanent, it is troubling that they are now threatening to veto this pro-growth measure,” said Robert Atkinson, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, in a statement today.In Congress, fault lines have appeared in both parties. Not all Democrats are lining up with the White House against the bill—and not all Republicans are expected to support it. Nine of the bill’s 23 co-sponsors are Democrats. But the legislation received just a single Democratic vote—from Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR)—in a 22 to 12 committee vote to send it to the full House. Another Democratic co-sponsor, Representative John Larson (CT), told the Bloomberg BNA news service that he is thinking about voting for the bill on the floor (after voting against it in committee). Some Republican spending hawks, meanwhile, may vote against the measure because it would add to deficits.In part, the split reflects the varying nature of the industrial bases in different House districts. Many lawmakers backing the bill come from districts with a strong concentration of high-tech, pharmaceutical, and other businesses that invest heavily in research. In contrast, lawmakers from rural, agricultural districts may feel less pressure to back the measure—and get complaints from antideficit voters if they do.Whether the bill’s backers can tack together enough votes to get it through the House should be known soon: A vote on H.R. 4438 could come as early as Wednesday evening.The Senate, meanwhile, is working on its own bill, which would extend the R&D tax break for just 2 years.last_img read more

Research teams clash over too-similar MERS papers

first_imgA great story can be told again and again. But scientists working on the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus are puzzled by two papers appearing in separate journals that not only tell the same story, but also are based on data from the very same patient in Saudi Arabia.The double publication—the first in Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID), the other later in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)—has pitted Saudi Arabia’s former deputy minister of health, Ziad Memish, against infectious diseases specialist Tariq Madani of King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, who recently became the Saudi government’s chief scientific adviser on MERS. Caught in the uncomfortable middle is German virologist Christian Drosten of the University of Bonn, who helped both and became a co-author on Memish’s paper.To make matters more complicated, several scientists, including Drosten, say the central conclusion of the NEJM paper—that the MERS virus jumped from a camel to a human at a Saudi farm—is flawed and most likely the result of lab contamination.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The case is another example of the complex politics of MERS research in Saudi Arabia, says Ian Mackay, a virologist at the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, in Australia, who first highlighted the similarities between the two papers on his blog on 5 June. “It typifies what MERS has been all about: very poor communication.””This is a much bigger issue than just a duplicate publication,” adds Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. “It really is a sign of the overall scientific investigation dysfunction that has occurred to date in Saudi Arabia.”The paper by Memish and Drosten, which appeared online in EID on 20 March, reported a male MERS patient from Jeddah who had fallen ill in October 2013 after caring for sick animals in his herd of nine camels. The patient, who later died, may have been infected by his camels, the authors concluded, although they couldn’t rule out that both the camels and their owner had been infected by a third source with MERS.Then on 4 June, NEJM published a paper by Madani and colleagues at his university and King Fahd Medical Research Center that appeared to describe the very same patient. The paper included full genome sequences of the viruses isolated from the camel and the patient, based on which the authors concluded that the man had most likely been infected by his camels.Madani, who is the chair of a Ministry of Health (MOH) advisory committee on MERS, confirmed to ScienceInsider that the two papers describe the same case. “This patient was my patient at King Abdulaziz University Hospital,” he wrote in an e-mail. The man was admitted to the hospital on 3 November and his condition deteriorated. Madani says that after learning that the herder had taken care of sick camels, he sent a team of veterinarians and virologists to the man’s farm to collect samples on 8 November. Madani also notified MOH, where Memish was working, of his strong suspicion that camels might be the source. By 10 November, Madani says, his group detected the virus in the patient and in one of the camels.One day later, “the MOH announced that they discovered that a camel was a source of infection to a human being without giving the credit of this discovery to our group or at least to our institution,” he says. Madani says he wrote an official complaint to the president of his university, who advised him to publish the findings as soon as possible.But Madani’s NEJM paper was still beaten by 2 months by the EID publication that Memish co-authored. Memish says the ministry carried out its own investigation, as was standard procedure, sampling camels and people in the patient’s household and in the health care facilities where he was treated. The first camel samples were taken on 9 November, according to the EID paper. “By no means did any practicing physician have the responsibility nor the authority to interfere with the MoH public health investigation or conduct their own investigation without official coordination,” Memish writes in an e-mail to ScienceInsider.Memish says that nasal secretions from two camels tested positive for MERS repeatedly, and the 11 November announcement from the ministry came about because Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, Saudi Arabia’s health minister at the time, ordered him to release the information as preliminary results. The Saudi press agency and the World Health Organization were informed on that day, and the next day Memish sent a report to ProMED, an online outbreak reporting system.At the time, MERS had been sickening and killing people on the Arabian Peninsula for more than a year, but little was known about how exactly it spread. Several investigations had shown that many camels harbor antibodies against the virus, suggesting a past infection. The Jeddah patient seemed to offer an opportunity to investigate this link and possibly even prove camel-to-human transmission of the virus, a huge step forward. So the two rival teams continued with their parallel investigations trying to prove the same thing.Madani’s colleague Esam Azhar, the first author on the NEJM paper, asked Drosten, who specializes in coronaviruses, for help in early November. Drosten sent the team reagents and suggested how to proceed with the investigation, but he repeatedly refused to be a co-author, he says, because the researchers in Jeddah would not send him samples to test in his own lab. “I agreed with them: Advice yes, reagents sure, but I won’t take responsibility for the validity of the data with my own name.” In fact, Drosten soon became convinced that something was wrong with the data they were sending him.The Saudi scientists said they had isolated a virus from the patient as well as from one of the camels, grown both samples in monkey kidney cells, and sequenced their genomes, which turned out to be 100% identical. They had also sequenced the virus directly from samples taken from the patient and the camel—and those two were also 100% identical. But the two sets of sequences differed in two positions.That’s impossible to explain, Drosten says; a virus can change slightly when put into cell culture, but why would the camel and the human virus show exactly the same two changes when cultured, changes never seen before? Drosten suspected that contamination had happened, and that what the researchers called the camel virus was actually the human virus as well. (Thomas Briese, a virologist at Columbia University, agrees that it seems unlikely for the mutations to appear twice but says he cannot exclude that possibility.) Frustrated, Drosten stopped working with Madani’s group in mid-December, he says.Meanwhile, Memish says he had sent samples to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, U.K., which sequenced the complete human virus and managed to sequence some small fragments of the camel virus. In January, Memish also enlisted Drosten, whose team managed to sequence eight further fragments of the camel virus. Together the pieces represented about 15% of the camel virus genome and these parts were almost identical to the genome sequenced from the patient. Antibody tests also suggested that the camel had had an acute MERS infection at the time the patient became infected. Although questions remained, Memish and Drosten decided to publish what they had. Meanwhile, Madani’s team decided to submit a paper as well.The paper by Drosten and Memish reached the finish line much faster; EID published it online on 20 March. Madani’s paper went through several revisions and didn’t get into print until last week.Now that it’s out, Drosten says he’s standing by his criticism. Adding to his suspicions about contamination is that the NEJM authors report finding the virus at very low concentrations in the camel. “It seems strange that they managed to get a virus isolate from that at all,” Mackay says. Azhar says that the samples used to isolate the virus may have contained higher concentrations than those used to first detect the virus.Virologist Bart Haagmans of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, says he has submitted a letter to NEJM to point out this issue, as well as what he claims are errors in the phylogenetic tree in Madani’s paper. “I think it’s a pretty weird paper overall,” he says.In a statement, NEJM says that there is a “substantive difference” between the two papers, and that its editors were not aware of the EID paper. “Had they been aware, they would have requested an acknowledgement in the NEJM article,” the statement says. (The journal has now added the acknowledgement itself.) The statement did not address the alleged problems in the paper.Memish lost his job on 2 June, for reasons that are unclear. Six weeks earlier, Al-Rabeeah had already been replaced as health minister by Adel Fakieh. Osterholm is optimistic that the shake-up is a sign of greater commitment to transparency in Saudi Arabia. In fact, just a day after Memish was fired, the country announced 113 new MERS cases, including 92 deaths, which had occurred in the previous months and had gone unreported.But Mackay remains unpersuaded that Saudi Arabia will be more forthcoming. “Nothing has changed, the new transparency is just more opacity,” he says. The government hasn’t explained where the 113 new cases came from, for instance: “There was no data attached whatsoever, how they were tested, dates, ages, anything that would be interesting to an epidemiologist,” he says. “Just putting out this number with a death rate of 80% is crazy.”*Clarification, 11 June, 11:02 a.m.: This story has been updated to clarify a few details in the research described in the EID paper.last_img read more

Car exhaust keeps moths from smelling the roses

first_imgThe acrid smell of car exhaust may seem a far cry from the fragrance of flowers, but both elicit similar responses in the brains of moths, throwing them off in their search for flower nectar. Researchers placed the Manduca sexta moth in a wind tunnel and exposed it to the odor of its favored flower, the sacred datura; they also pumped in other smells that the American insect is likely to encounter in its flight. Sometimes, the confounding smell came from the creosote bush in which the datura often grows. Other times, the smell was from compounds in fuel emissions. In both cases, the moth found it harder to zero in on the flower odor, the researchers report online today in Science. The reason the moth is confused by such disparate smells could be the benzene ring, which is at the heart of several compounds that make up natural and artificial odors. Moths may not be the only victims of such distractions in their search for food. Bees, which pollinate a lot more in urban environments, could also find vehicle emissions confusing, says Jeffrey Riffell, a biologist at the University of Washington, Seattle, and the lead author of the study. The finding is surprising, the researchers say, because moths, like dogs, have a strong sense of smell that is several thousand times sharper than ours. It is also troubling because each minute wasted in search of food eats up valuable energy for these pollinators.last_img read more

Two Days of ICE Raids Target Undocumented Workers at Various Businesses in Northern California; Owners Nervous

first_imgImmigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided 77 businesses in Northern California for two days beginning Jan. 29, with the aim of weeding out undocumented employees.Indian American Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, in a statement issued Feb.1, decried the worksite enforcement actions: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is wrong.”“I firmly believe, as I know many of my colleagues and neighbors in our communities do, that law enforcement must prioritize criminals and not tear apart undocumented families who pose no threats to public safety,” said Khanna.Read it at India West Related Itemslast_img read more

India decries new tariff barriers signalled by US

first_imgIndia on Monday decried “new tariff barriers and even a trade war” being signalled by the United States, emphasizing the importance of multilateral trading system and the need to preserve the “principles of non-discrimination, predictability, and transparency” which are the “bedrock” of the World Trade Organization, according to people familiar with the development.Without naming the US, India’s trade envoy J.S. Deepak said, “We share the concerns that some Members have expressed on recent developments that could lead to new tariff barriers and even a trade war.” US President Donald Trump signalled last week that he intends to slap safeguard tariffs on imports of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium from all countries.Read it at Live Mint Related Itemslast_img read more