Dealing with Conflict Is Not Aggressive

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 is something people call aggressive that isn’t something that should be attached to that word. People who are generally more averse to conflict believe that this behavior is aggressive when it is not. Instead, what they deem as aggressive is nothing more than dealing with challenges directly. Let’s say you have a client that always asks you for a discount (this is a very poorly disguised hypothetical). You don’t believe you should have to discount your pricing because you create value in excess of your competitor’s pricing. Regardless of what you believe, your client always asks you for a better price. This is what you might call a systemic problem, because it continues to happen over and over and over again . . . like a giant cable knit sweater. One choice is to try to defend your pricing and your model on every call, repeating the same pattern from week to week. By avoiding a bigger conversation, you eliminate the risk of making your client unhappy by asking to change the nature of your relationship from one that is transactional to one where you create greater value—and one in which you are entitled to capture a little more value for doing so. By making this choice, you avoid the potential conflict and a potential negative outcome that might come from broaching the subject. You also leave the problem unresolved. A second choice is to ask to have a conversation about your relationship and the value you create beyond the product. By asking, “Can we talk about how I can best serve you and why it makes sense for you to buy from me even if our price is a little bit higher than our competitors? I want to make sure I am serving you and make sure you know that I will take care of, even if I don’t always have the lowest price?” Now the cat is out of the bag, and we can now give it a name. Let’s call it “reset.” By dealing directly with a systemic challenge, you can work on a systemic solution. Instead of leaving the issue unaddressed, you address it, and you work towards a resolution. This is not aggressive, nor does it have to be. You can choose to enter this conversation in a way that is playful, professional, and one in which no one feels that you are being aggressive.last_img read more

Recent Posts

  • Military TBI and Family Caregiving 2-Part Webinar Series

    first_imgJoin the eXtension Family Caregiving and Military Families Learning Network Communities of Practice as they host a two-part webinar series beginning at 10:00 a.m. CST on Thursdays, May 9 and May 16, presented by Timothy Elliott, Ph.D.Each of the conference times for the two-part webinar series is 75-minutes in length and will cover specific TBI information for military families:Part I (May 9, 2013) – TBI: What Families Need to KnowPart II (May 16, 2013) – Be An Expert Problems Solver: Caregiving & Coping with TBIMilitary TBITBI is known as the signature wound of war during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The number of those wounded with TBI and accompanying complications has necessitated major changes in the ways in which the Department of Defense and the Veterans Affairs treats these injuries. Although family caregivers are to receive education about TBI as early as possible, many families find they need additional and ongoing support.In this two-part presentation the presenter will review basic information about TBI, its complications and issues family members face living with TBI. The presentation will also provide information about coping and specific problem solving strategies that have been useful to other caregivers living with TBI and additional resources to further enhance caregiver knowledge.PresenterTimothy R. Elliott, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University.  He holds a joint faculty appointment with the School of Rural Public Health at the Texas A&M Health Sciences Center.  He obtained his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1987. After his internship at the Seattle Veterans Administration Medical Center in Seattle, WA, he served on faculty with the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University.  He has also been a faculty member with the School of Medicine and with the Department of Psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.His research has examined adjustment processes among persons living with chronic and disabling health conditions, with particular emphasis on the role of social problem-solving abilities and other factors that predict adjustment following disability.  This work has resulted in over 200 professional publications and federal grant funding for over 15 years (including support for five randomized clinical trials). His research team pioneered the use of long-distance technologies in providing problem solving training to family caregivers of persons with acquired disabilities, including the first randomized clinical trials of a psychological intervention for family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injuries, and for family caregivers of persons with traumatic brain injuries.  In 2006, he was featured in the instructional DVD entitled, Caregiving, as part of the Psychotherapy Video/DVD Series on Relationships published by American Psychological Association.He has recently been appointed to the Defense Health Board’s Neurological/Behavioral Health subcommittee to provide advice on psychological/mental health issues and neurological symptoms or conditions among service members and their families. He served as Editor for Rehabilitation Psychology (2006-2011), published by the American Psychological Association. Currently, he is the Editor of the Journal of Clinical Psychology. He was co-editor of the first edition of the Handbook of Rehabilitation Psychology (2000).  He is a Fellow of three APA divisions and holds board certification (ABPP) in rehabilitation psychology.No registration is required to join the web conferences, simply go to each of the following webinars to attend.Part I – TBI: What Families Need to KnowPart II – Be an Expert Problems Solver: Caregiving & Coping with TBIThe sites will provide handouts associated with each presentation and a direct link to join the event.This post was written by Rachel Brauner of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Wounded Warrior Program and is part of a series of Military Caregiving posts published on the Military Families Learning Network blog.last_img read more

  • Tripod Tips & Tricks

    first_imgThese tripod tips and tricks will keep your equipment in tip top shape and help you to capture better shots.Whether you’re just getting started in photography/video production or are a seasoned veteran, you’ll likely benefit from these useful tripod tips…This recent post by video pro Rich Harrington gives 10 tips for tripod use. My personal favorite, “Check yourself consistently. If you use a tripod, get in the habit of tightening and checking all the tripod and head knobs in exactly the same order every time…” Check out all 10 tripod tips:The following 2:00 video by Matthew Pearce is more focused on tripod shooting tricks, like the dramatic tripod rock:Lastly, this Adorama tutorial goes in-depth about things you should consider before purchasing your own tripod. Tons of useful tips here!Got your own tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

  • Cinema 4D: Movie Poster Design

    first_imgDiscover how one digital artist uses Cinema 4D to create stunning movie posters.For most film buffs, movie posters are a treat – a glimpse into what’s to come. The poster is typically the first form of marketing for a film, as it is often generated before the principle photography has finished or even started. Poster artists many times have to generate the look of the film from assets culled together in the pre-production process.One of these artists is Tomasz Opasinski. He has had a solid career over the last 15 years, developing over 450 commercial posters and art for the film industry during that time.During Siggraph 2014, he gave a Cinema 4D presentation covering his process for crafting the posters for Oblivion (2013), as well as Resident Evil: Extinction and the video games Batman: Arkham Asylum and Rage.Looking at these posters it would be logical to assume Tomasz spends most of his time in Photoshop, but his workflow surprised me. In many cases he will generate quick 3D assets in Cinema 4D and then import them into Photoshop for compositing work.Below are the timecodes for the different sections of the presentation.03:06 Oblivion Poster11:26 Resident Evil: Extinction12:09 Paris, je t’aime16:15 Batman: Arkham Asylum23:12 Rage25:52 Transatlantyk Film Festival 201130:53 Transatlantyk Film Festival 201234:07 Plus Camerimage35:43 Non-commercial Posters42:46 Experimental ArtworkHave you used Cinema 4D in a similar way? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

  • Better Establishing Shots With These Photography Techniques

    first_imgEstablishing shots are usually low priority on set. They usually fall to the second or third unit, and some filmmakers are doing away with them altogether. Personally, I love a great establishing shot; it can really set the tone for a scene. Using the tips here and the techniques discussed in this establishing shot article, you can now improve any project with more dynamic establishing shots.For more composition tips, check out this video by Steve McCurry. Improve your establishing shots with a few principles of still photography.Cover image via Shutterstock.The establishing shot is one of the core tools in cinematography. However, it can be easy to overlook this shot’s creative potential. When it comes to establishing shots, we can look at some principles of photography to create better shots because, in most cases, an establishing shot is essentially a cityscape photograph, a landscape photograph, and so on.Lead-In LinesThere are many visual components of print, film, and photography that can direct the audience’s gaze to specific areas of the image — or lead them through the picture organically. The Gutenberg Diagram dictates that readers of very large print will usually read from top left to right, diagonally across the center, and then to finish on the bottom right of the image. You’ll find countless magazine covers and movie posters that adhere to the Gutenberg Diagram.You can also direct the eye within an establishing shot using a lead-in lines.In photography, a lead-in line is any line in the image that leads your gaze into and through the photograph. It can be a road, the edge of a building, a contrail, even a spiral staircase; it doesn’t have to be a straight line. You can find lead-in lines in almost all compositional spaces — you just have to look for them.Stock Photo via Shutterstock.In filmmaking, we can use a line to direct the audience’s attention throughout the entire image instead of just focusing on a specific aspect. By doing so, we can add story elements and visual cues, and give the audience extra information about the story or plot — all within the establishing shot.Take the following shot from The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Crawford. By choosing to shoot from behind the path, the filmmakers give the audience an organic lead-in line to follow through the entire image until we reach our location.Talk about diagonal lines.Foreground InterestStock Photo via Shutterstock.This photograph is a great example of foreground interest in photography.Foreground interest helps create layers of depth in your image. Since an establishing shot identifies a location, it’s normal to question the idea of featuring something in the foreground that will ultimately be the center of focus. However, foreground interest doesn’t just pertain to a boat, or a fence, or any visible object. Foreground interest can also be the ground itself, tall grass, rocks, water, etc.The establishing shot below is of Bear Island from Game of Thrones, home of fan-favorite Lyanna Mormont. Since this is a digital matte painting, the VFX artists had great creative leeway regarding what they wanted in the composition. The result features the Bear Island keep prominently, and we see some of the beauty of the island. However, by adding foreground interest, we see a lot more emotion in the environment, which creates a sense of depth.Image via HBO.If this were a real location, you would have had two possible shooting scenarios: to walk right up to the edge to get the best shot of the keep, or to move further back and include some of the foreground to give the composition life.Natural FramesA popular photography technique is to find and use natural enclosures to frame a landscape shot.Stock Photo via Shutterstock.Applied correctly, this technique can really add a sense of majestic beauty to an otherwise standard landscape. If you pay close enough attention to Steven Spielberg‘s films, you’ll see that he often uses people and objects within a scene to frame a major character or moment, as we see in Duel.Image via Universal.We can also use this technique in an establishing shot with the use of foliage, bridges, gates, fences, or even clouds. It’s important to note that you don’t have to use objects to create a defined frame. In fact, if we take another look at the still of Bear Island, we can see from the position of the foliage and the darkened areas of towards the edge of the image that there’s a somewhat-natural frame that locks your focus on the building in the center of the composition. Do you have tips for improving establishing shots? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

  • The Traveling Videographer’s Guide to the Monopod

    first_imgMirrorless and DSLRSIf you’re traveling with a mirrorless camera such as the Sony A7s II or a DSLR such as a Canon 5dMkIII, the following monopods are great choices.The Manfrotto MM290C4 Carbon Fiber Monopod is a lightweight professional monopod that is perfect for turning that quick, whimsical shot into beautiful, steady footage. It can extend to 151cm and has a max load of 5kg, which will support the heaviest DSLR and lens kit. At 49cm tall, it just fits into the hand luggage category. So if you’re a traveler who likes their equipment all in one bag, you don’t have to worry with this monopod.I love the MM290C4 because of its versatility when getting from point A to point B. It’s light, sturdy, and reliable.However, if you’re not worried about the minimum fold height and want something that offers even more stability, you can look at a monopod that has a tri-stand, such as the Vanguard VEO AM-264TR Aluminum Monopod.This monopod has a maximum height of 163cm and a load capacity of 6kg. Its foldaway height is 56.5cm, which puts it out of hand luggage category by 0.5 or 1.5cm depending on the airline you travel with.However, this is offset by two amazing features: the tri-stand and the ball joint. The tri-stand allows the user to get more stability than a single rubber mount of a standard monopod. When filming in a windy location, for example, the three feet really help you fight the environment. If you’re shooting guerrilla, the monopod still has a rubber floor mount, so you don’t have to spend time locking out the tri-stand every time you want to use the monopod.The second great feature is the ball mount; this allows you to tilt the monopod left to right, or forward and backward, which will open up a lot more creative options when filming.Dedicated Video UseThe monopods listed above are primarily for photographers. However, it just so happens that DSLRs now have amazing video recording capabilities. If you are looking to incorporate a monopod into your filmmaking, however, don’t worry. There are monopods specifically designed for the DSLR video shooter. They are more durable, they can handle heavier loads, and they can also reach higher.In the case of the Manfrotto XPRO 4 Section Video Monopod (with 2-Way Head + FLUIDTECH Base), it has a maximum height of 203cm. While these monopods aren’t as compact as the Manfrotto Compact Xtreme 2-in-1, they still reign supreme compared to carrying a heavy video tripod through a busy city. For example, you could easily use the XPRO at a music festival while taking up little to no ground space. (A tripod in that situation would be very cumbersome.)The primary feature of a video monopod is a fluid head. When paired with the three retractable feet, you can record beautiful, stable footage that many viewers will think you captured on a tripod. (If you’re filming with a camera such as the Gh5 at 4k, you can also warp stabilize any additional shake in the video.)As you might imagine, a video monopod weighs a lot more than your standard photography monopod. The XPRO weighs just under 2kg, and at a minimum height of 78cm, it’s not the ideal monopod to use if you’re backpacking through eastern Asia. It is, however, a great monopod to use when you have a hotel or hostel you can return to and store your equipment. Monopods advancements are the newest developments in the travel videography world. Here’s what you need to know.Cover image via Vanguard World.A monopod is an excellent tool for traveling videographers who need that extra bit of stability and production value. They’re compact, lightweight, portable, and they are relatively inexpensive. Over the last five years, we’ve seen a number of different camera technologies emerge from development. As a result, many companies have designed monopods for these various systems, and with so many on the market, you may purchase one that can only hold the weight of a compact camera and not a DSLR with an 85mm lens attached to it. There’s even a monopod that can double as a selfie stick — if that’s your thing.Let’s take a look at few of the various monopods available, and which type you need, depending on your camera. I have used all of the monopods below at least once, and I still currently own the Manfrotto MM290C4 Carbon Fiber Monopod.Smartphones, Action, and Compact CamerasThe Manfrotto Compact Xtreme 2-in-1 is a great monopod for smaller cameras such as the GoPro or Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. It weighs just 320g and can reach a maximum height of 131cm. With a steady hand, you can get a stable recording with a small camera very easily. However, even though the maximum load of this monopod is 1kg, I found when attempting to test this monopod with a Gh4 coupled with a 50mm and ND filter (which at an estimate weighs around 950g) that it felt a little too top-heavy.While the monopod has a 1/4″ thread, it also comes with a GoPro adapter, so you don’t to have to acquire one if you’re purchasing this monopod for a GoPro. Since the monopod has a hand strap at the rear of the pole, you can quickly switch from a “selfie” recording angle to a capturing a landscape scene in seconds.For bonus merit, this monopod works well with the TwistGrip Universal Smartphone Clamp. Just attach the clamp to the 1/4″ thread, and you now have a professional selfie-stick/monopod for your smartphone. Which monopod do you prefer for DSLR videography? Let us know in the comments.center_img Once you have chosen your monopod, be sure to check out’s 5 creative camera TIPS and TRICKS.last_img read more

  • Upgrading Your Operating System

    first_imgI am presently using Apple OS 10.9.3. That’s the operating system that runs my Apple computers.The big number, 10, indicates the major revision Apple made to its operating system many years ago (in fact, it was the introduction of a whole new operating system). The second number, 9, is an indication of relatively significant improvements and adjustments made to the operating system. The last number, 3, is an indication of the minor bug fixes and improvements Apple has made as they’ve discovered them.The big number for you is the decade of your life. I am on version 4. The second number is the number of years you are into that decade, making my operating system 4.6.When an operating system is improved, new functionality is added or older, core functions are improved. What is no longer useful or necessary is culled away, making room for a more modern, more functional, and more robust operating system.Let’s look at your software, your operating system.You: UpgradedHave you upgraded your operating system? When was your last major upgrade?What new beliefs have you adopted? What mental programs have you eliminated because they are no longer useful and exchanged for more powerful, more useful programs? What core beliefs have you improved? What viruses did you have to uninstall? What frustrating processes have you eliminated by removing the underlying code?What new programs have you installed? What new actions are you now taking that you weren’t taking before? What have you learned that has allowed you to take these new actions? What actions have you optimized for better performance?Have you done anything to upgrade or maintain your hardware?What new results are you now capable of producing because of your most recent upgrade? What results can you produce more easily?Is it time to upgrade your operating system? Is it time to stop running old programs that no longer serve you and install more empowering programs? Is it time to run new programs that produce new and better results?What exciting new innovations are coming in the next version of your operating system?last_img read more

  • Your Why Do List

    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 You are not a procrastinator because there is no such thing. You are a human being who happens to procrastinate. Procrastination isn’t a nationality, like Italian. You weren’t born a procrastinator. It isn’t your identity, even if you claim it as such as a way to absolve yourself of the responsibility to act or assuage the guilt you feel for not doing what you need to do.But there is a reason that you procrastinate. It’s because you are thinking “to do” when you need to think “why do.”The reason that the tasks on your “to do” list aren’t inspiring is because they’re only tasks. “To do’s” aren’t inspiring, they aren’t motivating, and they don’t excite your soul. “Why do’s” are everything that “to do’s” are not; they are compelling, inspiring, and motivating. “Why do’s” move you. They very literally motivate you by providing you with your motive, your reason why.We humans are meaning seeking creatures. We want to make a difference. We want to do something that matters. Look, the only thing you really need to do to survive is eat, sleep, breathe, and stay out of the elements. Once you’ve got these covered and your survival isn’t threatened, you need to move on to doing something bigger and better. You need to thrive. And thriving is different from surviving.What you do is only important if it’s attached to some greater mission, some greater meaning, some greater why.Look at some task you’ve been putting off. Why does this task matter? What could it mean if you brought your very best self to it? What difference could you make if you invested that task with real meaning. Who does this task serve and why is it that you are serving them?What’s your reason why?last_img read more

  • Why You Have Not

    first_img 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 Now You have not developed the necessary mindset. You do not have an optimistic and empowered belief structure. Until you get your mind right, you will not have.You have not done the work. You have not taken the deliberate action, or you have not taken the disciplined action long enough to have. People who have, do.You have not developed the necessary skills. You have not worked on gaining the competencies necessary to have what you want. Level up your skills.You have not taken enough action. You have put your toe in the water and dabbled instead. You have not done enough to reach the tipping point. To have, you must act.You have not gone all in. You have not burned your boats at the shoreline. You have not given up your Plan B.You have not invested in yourself. You have not invested the time, the money, or the energy in the areas that would help you grow and produce the results you seek.You have not read the books. You have not taken the classes. You have not found a mentor. You have not done the work.You have not asked for help. You have not gained the assistance of people who could shorten your learning curve, make introductions, or in some way assist you in reaching your goal.You have not given up waiting to “be discovered,” waiting to be rescued, or waiting to be given something that you want. You have not given up the belief that you can’t have what you want because someone else has more.You have not had the courage to ask.You have not given yourself over to what you want.If you have not, then you have not embraced your real power.last_img read more

  • Dealing with Conflict Is Not Aggressive

    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 is something people call aggressive that isn’t something that should be attached to that word. People who are generally more averse to conflict believe that this behavior is aggressive when it is not. Instead, what they deem as aggressive is nothing more than dealing with challenges directly. Let’s say you have a client that always asks you for a discount (this is a very poorly disguised hypothetical). You don’t believe you should have to discount your pricing because you create value in excess of your competitor’s pricing. Regardless of what you believe, your client always asks you for a better price. This is what you might call a systemic problem, because it continues to happen over and over and over again . . . like a giant cable knit sweater. One choice is to try to defend your pricing and your model on every call, repeating the same pattern from week to week. By avoiding a bigger conversation, you eliminate the risk of making your client unhappy by asking to change the nature of your relationship from one that is transactional to one where you create greater value—and one in which you are entitled to capture a little more value for doing so. By making this choice, you avoid the potential conflict and a potential negative outcome that might come from broaching the subject. You also leave the problem unresolved. A second choice is to ask to have a conversation about your relationship and the value you create beyond the product. By asking, “Can we talk about how I can best serve you and why it makes sense for you to buy from me even if our price is a little bit higher than our competitors? I want to make sure I am serving you and make sure you know that I will take care of, even if I don’t always have the lowest price?” Now the cat is out of the bag, and we can now give it a name. Let’s call it “reset.” By dealing directly with a systemic challenge, you can work on a systemic solution. Instead of leaving the issue unaddressed, you address it, and you work towards a resolution. This is not aggressive, nor does it have to be. You can choose to enter this conversation in a way that is playful, professional, and one in which no one feels that you are being aggressive.last_img read more

  • Haryana gang rape victim murdered

    first_imgRohtak Gangrape: 2 accused arrested, investigation underway A 23-year-old woman was gang raped and brutally murdered in Haryana. Her mutilated body was found by a passer-by in the urban estate area of Rohtak district on Thursday, the police said. Stray dogs had bitten away the victim’s face and the lower portion of her body.The police said it appeared the victim had been raped and thereafter, the suspects had hit her with a brick, smashing her face.  Two arrested“Two persons, Sumit and Vikas, have been arrested in this connection,” Sub-Inspector (SI) Ajay Malik of the Sonipat police. Sumit, who was an acquaintance of the victim, had allegedly been pressurising her to marry him, police said.The woman had been kidnapped from Sonipat on May 9 and taken to Rohtak in a car, the police said. The victim’s parents had lodged a missing person complaint at the Sonipat police station.“This savage and bone-chilling incident has shocked the conscience of the nation, reminding each one of us about the crying need for revisiting the important issue of women’s safety and security,” Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said in a statement.last_img read more

  • Karni Sena national secretary arrested, says police

    first_imgThe national secretary of the Shree Karni Sena, Suraj Pal Amu, was on Friday arrested by the Gurgaon police for the anti-Padmaavat violence, a police official said. The outfit’s leader was detained on Thursday for questioning and placed under arrest on Friday morning on charges of breaching peace in the city. He has been sent to a four-day judicial custody, Gurgaon Police Public Relations Officer Ravinder Kumar said. On Wednesday, a mob attacked a school bus with 20 to 25 children onboard in Gurgaon, where hundreds of violent protesters took to roads torching vehicles and destroying public property to oppose the film’s release. The protests were led by the Karni Sena which has alleged that history had been distorted in the Sanjal Leela Bhansali-directed period drama. However, the police have not named the Karni Sena in the FIR registered in connection with the attack on the school bus and the torching of a Haryana Roadways bus on Sohna road. “Suraj Pal Amu was detained on charges of apprehension of breach of peace and tranquillity of an area. He had also tried to meet his supporters at the MG road. He was detained from his residence at DLF area in view of the law and order situation,” Mr. Kumar said. The situation in Gurgaon is peaceful and under control.The administration has appealed to residents not to pay heed or spread rumours and follow the prohibitory orders, the officer said. “Earlier, 31 protesters were arrested for violating prohibitory orders under section 144. Of them, 18 were charged with torching the Haryana Roadways bus and pelting the school bus with stones,” Mr. Kumar said.last_img read more

  • Who is Mukul Sangma?

    first_imgThe majority mark has always eluded political parties in Meghalaya, except in 1972 — the year of its statehood — when the All Party Hill Leaders’ Conference bagged 32 seats. The regional party merged with the Congress six years later, but it made the Congress strong enough to be the single largest party in the eight Assembly elections since. With 29 seats of a maximum of 60, the Congress registered its best performance in 2013. And it helped Chief Minister Mukul M. Sangma become the face of the party in the State, more so after his predecessor D.D. Lapang opted out of electoral politics at 83 last year.Simultaneously, Dr. Sangma has also challenged the legacy of Purno A. Sangma, former Lok Sabha Speaker who died in March 2016, in the western part of Meghalaya, including the Garo Hills. Mandate 2018 in Meghalaya is as much of a battle for the Congress to retain one of its last bastions in the country as it is for the 53-year-old Dr. Sangma to be the undisputed leader of the Garo Hills, arguably the power centre.Why did he join politics?All that a young Dr. Sangma wanted to be was a doctor. Born to teachers Binoy Bhushan M. Marak and Roshanara Begum at Ampatigiri, now the headquarters of South West Garo Hills district, he graduated in medicine from the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal, capital of Manipur. He joined the Zikzak Public Health Centre as a medical and health officer in 1991. Zikzak is one of the two administrative blocks under the Ampati Assembly constituency that Dr. Sangma has been representing since 1993, first as an Independent and then as a Congress candidate. Associates say he gravitated towards politics by developing his grass-roots contacts as a doctor. How did he rise in Congress?Meghalaya gave India’s first coalition government in March 1978, underscoring ethnic and sub-regional differences that made fractured verdicts a rule since the Assembly elections that year. The compulsions of coalition saw Dr. Sangma, an Independent, being made chairman of the Meghalaya Transport Corporation in 1993. He soon joined the Congress, which saw in him a leader who could rival the grip P.A. Sangma had on the Garo Hills. He lost to P.A. Sangma in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections (from Tura) but kept climbing in the Congress hierarchy. From Home and Education Minister, he was made Deputy Chief Minister in April 2005 but stepped down from the post five months later after police firing killed five persons at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills district. Dr. Sangma became the Deputy Chief Minister again in 2009, but dissidence in the Congress saw him replace Mr. Lapang as Chief Minister halfway through the term. Dr. Lapang weathered several coup attempts and fended off allegations of scams to become the second Chief Minister after Salseng C. Marak (1993-1998) to complete a term since 2013.What are the challenges?Keeping his flock together has been a challenge throughout Dr. Sangma’s reign for almost eight years. Last year, he lost 13 MLAs in the Congress-helmed Meghalaya United Alliance. Seven of them were from the Congress who joined an upbeat Bharatiya Janata Party, whose presence in the State has been minimal so far. The BJP, though, is seen as less of a rival than the regional National People’s Party (NPP), founded by P.A. Sangma and commandeered by his son Conrad. The NPP, allegedly helped by the BJP, is trying to wrest back the Garo Hills from Dr. Sangma, besides expanding its base to the Khasi and Jaintia Hills, comprising 36 of the 60 Assembly seats. This is the first Assembly election after P.A. Sangma passed away, and the NPP has an emotional advantage. Dr. Sangma has also been accused of shielding Ministers involved in scams, including in teachers recruitment, and doing little to counter the National Green Tribunal’s ban on mining that has destabilised the coal and limestone-based local economy touching the lives of a fifth of the State’s 3.2 million people.last_img read more

  • Two tigers found dead in Ranthambore

    first_imgTwo sub-adult tigers were found found dead in Rajasthan’s Ranthambore National Park (RNP) on Tuesday evening, with forest officials suspecting that they were killed by a male tiger in a territorial fight. The post-mortem of the two carcasses was conducted on Wednesday. RNP field director Y.K. Sahu said as the tiger cubs, both one-and-a-half years old, lived with their mother, T-79, the unidentified tiger might have attacked them while considering them as an obstruction to mating with the tigress.last_img read more

  • Home dept.: nothing new in Naxals issuing death threats

    first_imgMumbai: There is nothing new in Naxals issuing death threats to prominent personalities, sources in the State Home Department have said. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had received two threatening letters this week following anti-Naxal operations in Gadchiroli district. Earlier this week, Pune police claimed they had intercepted an internal Naxal communication about a plan to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a ‘Rajiv Gandhi-type incident’.A senior home department official said, “Left-wing extremists adopted a similar strategy in 2009-2010 in Bastar after they were cornered by police action. This [the recent threats] is nothing new and appears to be blown out of proportion.” The official said 37 VIPs, police officers and informers had featured on a Naxal ‘elimination’ list issued in 2016. He said the threats heightened in 2009 and 2016 after police action had led to heavy casualties and surrender of several Naxals.In 2014, Maharashtra police executed 173 anti-Naxal operations and 237 in 2015. The State also went on to unveil a lucrative surrender policy. The operations forced the Naxals to shift base from the north to the south of Gadchiroli district.Intelligence inputs then said that Naxals brought in several units of Company-10 from Chhattisgarh, comprising 30 trained assassins, to implement the hit list. An intelligence note from 2016 reads: “This [the latest hit list] is a matter of serious concern for the State even as inputs show new strategies are being adopted to attract youth with fresh vigour.” Senior officials said by the end of 2015, the government was convinced that Naxals had a ‘substantial’ retreat. The drop in Naxal activity was attributed to internal factors such as health problems, love affairs, internal rifts, sexual exploitation, because of which ‘guns were dropped’.Officials said Naxals started a recruitment drive in 2016 after the top cadre was neutralised by the police, especially the C-60 teams. He said, “DKSZC [Dandakaranya South Zonal Committee] distributed pamphlets asking surrendered cadres and urban youth to join them. They challenged the C-60 and vowed to take root in urban areas.”last_img read more

  • Bru people to get voting rights: Ministry

    first_imgMore than 30,000 people belonging to the Bru community, who fled from Mizoram to Tripura in 1997 in the wake of inter-community violence, will be given voting rights, a senior Home Ministry official said on Wednesday.Mizoram goes to polls this year and the Election Commission has asked the State to revise its rolls and include the members of the internally-displaced community.As many as 32,876 people of the Reang tribe (known in Mizoram as Brus) are set to be repatriated to Mizoram after a tripartite agreement was signed between the Centre, Tripura and Mizoram.“The identification of migrants was done by the Mizoram government in 2014 based on the electoral rolls. Earlier, six repatriation plans had been finalised and 8,573 people returned to Mizoram. The current plan has taken lot of effort and we had to address the security concerns of the Brus,” said the official.The official said that steps were being taken so that families were not split and they get rehabilitated in villages from where they were forced to leave. “The entire process would cost ₹435 crore to the Centre over a period of two years,” he added.last_img read more

  • Odisha changes norms in food, procurement policy

    first_imgThe Odisha government on Monday decided to facilitate entry of more small and marginal farmers and share-croppers into the procurement fold by bringing changes in the norms of food and procurement policy for the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2018-19.“The past practice of deducting towards personal consumption requirement at the rate of three quintals of paddy per member in the family of farmer for computation of marketable surplus of paddy is waived out from KMS 2018-19,” the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department said in a press release after the Cabinet meeting.The Cabinet, which approved the food and procurement policy for KMS 2019 to regulate all aspects of paddy and rice procurement during the ensuing KMS, decided that paddy (Kharif crop) will be procured between November, 2018 and April, 2019. The paddy (Rabi crop) will be procured from May to June, 2019.A tentative target to procure 55 lakh tonnes of paddy from farmers has been fixed which will be around 37 lakh tonnes in terms of rice. Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Minister has been authorised to revise the target if need arises.The farmers would be paid the Minimum Support Price (MSP) fixed by the Central government at ₹1,750 per quintal for the common variety of paddy and ₹ 1,770 for Grade-A variety. The money would be directly paid into the bank accounts of farmers within three days of the procurement.MoU with CentreWhile 23 lakh tonnes of the procured rice will be pumped into the Public Distribution System in the State, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) will evacuate the remaining 14 lakh tonnes of rice to other States as per the MoU with the Centre.Like previous year, paddy procurement process in all 308 procuring blocks will be conducted through paddy procurement automation system (P-PAS). All documents in connection with paddy procurement shall be generated from computer through P-PAS software to make the process hassle-free and transparent.Farmer leader and activist Lingaraj, however, said the State government should issue farmer identification cards to all farmers in order to bring more small and marginal farmers and share-croppers into the procurement fold.last_img read more

  • 5 Maoists held for tribal’s murder

    first_imgFive Maoists involved in the murder of a tribal on October 23 were arrested by the personnel of Mathili police station in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on Sunday.In another incident, the Malkangiri police also arrested two persons involved in threat and extortion in the name of Maoists. The mastermind of this racket was a junior clerk posted at Khairput tahsil office.As investigation still continued, Malkangiri police did not reveal the identity of the five Maoists arrested in the murder case. It is alleged that on October 23 night, these five had attacked and killed Anant Ram Bhumiya of Dhakadrasi village under the Mathili police station limits, while he was watching a traditional opera show.Following the murder, the police had intensified anti-Maoist operations in the Tulasi reserve forest area to nab the accused. The axes and knives used as murder weapon were also seized.Extortion racketIn the other case, Keshab Khilla, the junior clerk, and his associate Ram Chandra Majhi were arrested early on Sunday morning while they were allegedly collecting extortion money from a person. According to the Malkangiri district police headquarters, on October 10, supervisor of Motu tahsil office K. Chinan Rao had filed a complaint with the police that he and his family were being threatened on phone by some persons who claimed to be Maoists. The accused were demanding ₹5 lakh as ransom.A special police team was formed and a trap was set. On Sunday early morning, Mr. Rao reached a deserted spot near a hill between Korukonda and Kambeda to pay the ransom. The police officers hiding nearby managed to nab the two accused while they came out to accept the money. According to Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Jagmohan Meena, the arrested junior clerk was the mastermind and had engaged Majhi to make the threat calls using a newly procured mobile phone SIM card.last_img read more

  • ‘Demonetisation like Tughlaq’s currency change’

    first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s disregard towards democratic principles has brought the country to the brink of an economic abyss, said senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday.On the tension between the Modi-government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Mr. Chavan said that the crucial November 19 RBI Board meet would result either in a servile central bank or the resignation of the RBI Governor Urjit Patel.“The country is staring at a fiscal deficit crisis brought about by the Prime Minister’s actions. To cover this up, the government is now toying with invoking of the hitherto unused Section 7 of the RBI Act, 1934 to transfer a portion of the central bank’s reserves to its account,” he said.Mr. Chavan compared the schism between the Centre and the RBI to the economic crisis in Argentina in 2010, when differences with the President forced the Argentine central bank’s governor to step down.The Congress leader further said that if the Modi government did make use of Section 7 under the guise of ‘public interest’, it would cause “an economic earthquake”.Remarking that demonetisation had ravaged the lives of crores of people besides causing unprecedented economic chaos, The former Chief Minister likened Mr. Modi’s demonetisation decision to Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s infamous ‘currency change’ move in the 14thcentury. The real motive behind the move and Mr. Modi’s relentless drive towards a cashless economy was to benefit the American fintech corporations, he said.‘No one consulted’“When the decision to demonetise was taken, the government’s intention seemed good. But it immediately became clear that Mr. Modi did not consult anyone before taking this step. It is incredible that the RBI cleared the move barely three hours before the Prime Minister’s official announcement,” Mr. Chavan said.Instead of achieving any of the targets set for it, demonetisation turned into the “biggest money-laundering operation,” Mr. Chavan said.“Not even Arun Jaitley was aware of the particulars of the move. One wonders whether Mr. Modi takes the advice of political adventurers like yoga guru Baba Ramdev on such important matters,” he said. The BJP government has steadily undermined every institution in the country, be it the RBI or the CBI, he said.He further said that the move to replace former CBI Director Alok Verma was nothing less than “a coup” engineered by the Prime Minister to cover up the Rafale scam.last_img read more

  • Mizoram BJP chief puts party unit on the line

    first_imgMizoram BJP chief John V. Hluna on Tuesday threatened to dissolve the party’s State unit if the national leadership goes ahead with the passage of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, “harming the interests of Northeast people”. He stressed that people of Mizoram and their safety were of “primary importance”. “The BJP State unit was formed to safeguard the interests of the people of Mizoram. If the central leadership decides to legislate the proposed amendment, the State unit would have no option but to dissolve itself,” Mr. Hluna told reporters here. He said he had approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other national leaders over the controversial Bill and appealed to the party’s central leadership to revoke it. ‘Keep Northeast out’He added that as an alternative, the State BJP unit also requested the national leaders that the Bill, if not revoked, should at least keep the Northeastern States out of its purview. “We would be left with no choice but to dissolve the BJP State unit if our appeals are not taken into consideration,” Mr. Hluna said.Protests against the Bill have rocked the entire Northeast, including the Mizo National Front-ruled Mizoram.Mass prayersMeanwhile, an umbrella organisation of major churches has urged its members to organise mass prayers next week so that the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is defeated in Parliament. In a statement on Tuesday, the Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee made the appeal to its 16 constituent churches to offer mass prayer during the night service on February 16 so that the Bill is not introduced in the Rajya Sabha or, even if taken up, is not passed.last_img read more

  • Siberian Blast Points to More Destructive Meteors Ahead

    first_imgThree times in the past century, sizable asteroids have streaked into Earth’s atmosphere and exploded in midair. Astronomers have thought that such intense, rapid-fire pummeling was an anomaly. But now a group of researchers says it may be the norm. Their new analysis, based on February’s window-shattering blast over Chelyabinsk, Russia, suggests—but falls short of proving—that the world should expect 10 times as many atmospheric blasts as astronomers have been expecting.There is no doubt that Chelyabinsk’s blast was well observed. There were the 400 video recordings of the smoke trail and blinding detonation, many made by cameras mounted in Russians’ cars to foil fraudsters faking traffic accidents. Seismographs gauged the ground shaking driven by the blast’s shock wave. And instruments monitoring the atmosphere’s ultra-low-frequency “infrasound,” many installed for the enforcement of the nuclear test-ban treaty, picked up the blast’s far-traveling sound.Then there were the “U.S. government sensors,” as the paper reporting the re-analysis in tomorrow’s issue of Nature delicately puts it. As a condition of using the data from these sensors, the 33 authors—led by planetary scientist Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada—can’t say any more than that about their data source. But it is common knowledge that the U.S. government flies light-sensing instruments on classified satellites to catch the flash of clandestine atmospheric nuclear tests.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(*)Using all four types of observations, the group sized up the Chelyabinsk airburst at an energy equivalent to about 500 kilotons of TNT, about 23 times the energy of the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki. That energy rating could then be used to calibrate the past 20 years of infrasound and U.S. government sensors, a record twice as long as analyzed in the past. By looking at the 60 1-meter to about 20-meter asteroids that have exploded in the atmosphere, the team found that the Chelyabinsk airburst and the 3- to 15-megaton Tunguska airburst of 1908—which leveled 2000 square kilometers of Siberian forest—weren’t outliers at all.The authors conclude that the number of big airbursts “may be an order of magnitude higher” than astronomers would have predicted, they write. That would boost the frequency of Tunguska-size blasts from once in several thousand years to once in a few hundred years, Brown says. But he is not wedded to the order-of-magnitude figure. Given the small number of larger impactors observed, “I could easily see a factor of three [uncertainty] each way,” he says.The low end of Brown’s range of airburst frequency is still higher than the astronomers’ estimate, but there may be a middle ground. He considers the lower estimate of impact frequency from telescopic surveys made by NASA consultant Alan Harris of La Cañada Flintridge, California, to be the best possible at this point. And Harris writes in an e-mail that his estimate is uncertain by a factor of two to three. So the high end of his estimated range overlaps with the low end of Brown’s range. Harris tends to think the overlap at an impact rate two to three times as high as previously estimated “is probably right.”Researchers should soon know whether they can agree on a modest boost to the meteoric blast threat. More and better ground-based telescopes are being pressed into service in order to find a suitable target in the 5- to 10-meter size range for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission. “This will be resolved in the next few years,” Brown says.*Correction, 7 November, 11 a.m.: The original version of this story stated that the Tunguska meteoric explosion occurred in 1907. It actually occurred in 1908.last_img read more