VLE Session # 1: Rethinking! Creating New Strategies to Build Trust and CredibilityJoin the MFLN Military Caregiving team as we reimagine our skills as helping professionals and working with military families in this three-part Virtual Learning Event (VLE) beginning at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 28.In Session One of the VLE entitled, Rethinking! Creating New Strategies to Build Trust and Credibility, we will examine strategies for helping professionals in promoting collaborative work with families. The focus will be on the role of the service provider in helping families manage expectations while accessing necessary services. You will learn strategies for communicating with clientele, how to connect families with services and access additional expertise to address identified family needs.The VLE is centered on the theme of reenergizing and rejuvenating your work environment. This FREE web-based learning opportunity is open to the public and will be similar to a professional conference – no travel involved! Registration is required.As I mentioned, this is only Session One of a three-part VLE series. To learn more about this VLE and the other sessions to follow, click on 2015 MFLN Military Caregiving VLE.CEU Credit Available!The MFLN has applied for 1.5 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) continuing education credit for credentialed participants. Certificates of Completion will also be available for training hours as well. For more information on CEU credits go to: NASW Continuing Education Instructions.Interested in Joining the VLE?Go to Rethinking! Creating New Strategies to Build Trust and Credibility, the day of the event to join. The event is hosted by the Department of Defense Collaboration System (DCS), but is open to the public. It is strongly suggested that when using the DCS system that you open the webinar on Google Chrome for both PC and MAC connections. If this is not an option, Internet Explorer may be used if connecting via PC. Safari and Firefox are not compatible with this DCS platform.For those of you who cannot connect to the DCS site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on Ustream.This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on October 16, 2015.
Stop motion in Excel? Yes, you read that correctly. This is a very unique motion design worth watching!Microsoft Excel, the software ubiquitous with accounting and business, is used in an entirely new and creative way in this fun stop motion video.To create this stop motion video, footage was shot on green screen and then brought into After Effects. In AE, the footage was keyed and a mosaic pattern applied. The exported reference video was the blueprint for the colorization done in Excel, as each spreadsheet cell was filled with a solid color. In total over 730 individual spreadsheets were created to represent each video frame!Although it took an incredible amount of time to create this cool video, it totally seems worth it. What do you think of this Excel stop motion video? Let us know in the comments.Click here to see more videos by YouTube user Joe Penna.(view this one full screen!)Behind-the-scenes video on how the stop motion effect was created:
Adobe has updated their popular professional video editing application, Premiere Pro. Here’s the 10 new features we’re most excited about!Adobe is revealing the next version of Premiere Pro at NAB 2013. If you are attending NAB, be sure to check out Adobe at booth #SL3910. Adobe is currently offering a 40% NAB promo on the Creative Cloud. In this post, I a look at my 10 favorite features in Premiere Pro Next. A mix of small & big additions, there is something for everyone here (previous users, as well as FCP & Media Composer editors).Move a clip up or downYes! Thank you Adobe. For ex Final Cut Pro editors, this feature will be very welcome. This is a huge time saver and my favorite new feature.Adobe calls this new feature Nudge. You can Nudge clips up, down, and left and right. By default Nudge Up & Down don’t have shortcuts but you can add these. You can also nudge in the Titler – very cool.Insert as Nest or Individual ClipsSome new insert and overwrite features made it into the update. The new feature appears as an icon in the top left of the Timeline (highlighted in Red in the screenshot below).This feature determines the behavior when you edit a sequence into a sequence. I often prefer to edit a sequence into another sequence as clips, and this feature lets you do just that.When it is toggled on, the sequence is added as a Nest. When it is toggled off, the sequence is added as individual clips. I loved this feature in FCP & Media Composer and it is a welcome addition to Premiere Pro.Control Surface SupportControl surface support was previously in Audition CS6 and is a welcome addition to Premiere Pro.Using a control surface is my preferred and a more tactile way to work with audio, be it a hardware or an iPad. This is particularly handy for audio keyframe automation.Timeline Display SettingsClicking the wrench icon in the Timeline brings up the Display Settings.This feature makes it quick and easy to customize your display settings.Quicker access to Track OptionsVideo and audio clips in the Timeline now display an FX icon.Click on the FX to reveal fixed effect options for Video (Motion, Opacity, Time Remapping) & Audio (Volume, Channel Volume, Panner). This allows quick changes to these parameters from the timeline – can end up being a big timesaver.Link & LocateLink & Locate offers Improved Media Management. Right click on a offline clip and choose “Link Media”. This brings up the floating”Link Media” window. Check “Media Browser to Locate Files” which brings up the Media Browser, then click Locate to reconnect the media.Paste AttributesPaste Attributes in Premiere Pro is another feature that I will use constantly. Now when you Paste Attributes you can choose which video and audio effects to paste. In CS6 when you pasted effects it pasted all of them.Audio Clip MixerIn Premiere Pro CS6, the Audio Mixer worked with track audio. If you changed the volume with a track fader, you were changing the track volume, but you didn’t see the change in the Timeline (as the default was clip audio.) Premiere Pro Next adds the Audio Clip Mixer that is now part of the default workspace. Switching to the Audio Workspace brings up both the audio clip and audio track mixer.Lumetri LooksLumetri Looks adds handy presets for common looks like Bleach Bypass & Day for Night (great for adding a unique color grading style to your Premiere Pro project).These looks were created with Speedgrade. You can open Speedgrade and modify the presets to create your own custom looks. These looks will be a timesaver for editors looking to quickly create stylized looks (Sixties) or fix common problems (Warm Overall).Specify an AutoSave LocationPreviously in Premiere Pro, an Autosave folder was created where your project was saved.You can now specify a location for your Autosaves. This may seem like a small feature but this is definitely handy time saver.Adobe Anywhere (Bonus)Prelude & Premiere Pro both offer integration with Adobe Anywhere. Adobe Anywhere (separate purchase) lets editors in different locations collaborate.This could be huge for freelancers and large companies alike. Like many video editors I am looking forward to seeing this at NAB. Check out Abobe’s Reveal page to see details about all the new stuff!
Dipping your toes into professional video production? Learn the basics of camera sliders, jibs and Steadicam in this entertaining tutorial video.Using the right camera support can better tell your story. So you may be wondering what camera gear is best to compliment your project?The following video tutorial by Dave Wallace of British Columbia’s Innovate Imageworks delves into the basics of camera support systems in a delightfully entertaing way. Dave covers the basics of:Handheld ShootingHandheld Shooting with ViewfinderCamera SlidersJib SystemsSteadicamIn this quick rundown you’ll learn what gear is used to achieve what type of shot, as well as video examples of each method of shooting. Additionally, Dave touches a bit on lenses and how different lens types alter your shot.A great blend of humor and really informative video production info. Thanks for sharing, Dave!
ApertureDeclicked with Gear Ring Focus Distance1.5 Feet Lens MountsCanon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Sony E, & Micro 4/3 FocusManual with Gear Ring Preferred SensorFull Frame Aperture RangeT1.5-22 MarkingsAperture and Distance Rokinon has finally announced a 50mm Cine Lens. Goodbye 50mm DSLR lens!If you are an indie-filmmaker, odds are you own at least one Rokinon lens or one from Rokinon’s sister companies (Samyang & Bower). These lenses have revolutionized indie-filmmaking by offering all the things you could want in a cine lens at a relatively low price.By far, the most popular lenses in the Rokinon Cine lens line have been the 24mm, 35mm, and 85mm lenses which all feature an incredibly wide aperture at T1.5. However, a 50mm lens has always been missing in the Rokinon line, forcing filmmakers to use a non-cine 50mm lens or pay the big bucks to get a good 50mm cine lens. That is until Rokinon announced their brand new 50mm T1.5 Cine lens.The lens isn’t necessarily ground breaking, but it definitely solves the annoying dilemma of having to settle for an 85mm focal length when you really wanted something wider. As with the other lenses in the Rokinon Cine Lens line, the 50mm T1.5 is available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Micro 4/3, Sony A & Sony E Mounts.Each lens gives users the ability to use a follow focus for precise focusing. Along with a geared focus ring, the lenses also include a geared aperture ring, making it easier than ever to move seamlessly between lighting situations.Rokion 50mm T1.5 Specs Price and AvailabilityThe Rokinon 50mm T1.5 Cine Lens is currently available for pre-order online, with an expected availability date of September 5, 2014. Currently the lens is listed at $549 on B&H. However, the 85mm, 35mm, and 24mm Cine Lenses are available right now (and for less money) so if you are looking for a lens I’d recommend those first.If you’re a lens fanatic like I am than you should definitely check out our understanding lenses series where we take an in-depth look at exactly how lenses work.Looking forward to this new lens? Is the price to high? Let us know in the comments below!
Learn the basics of post-production audio in this free lesson from Filmmaker IQ.Filmmaking is just as much what is heard as it is what is seen, but unfortunately for most indie productions adequate attention is not given to the audio side of production or post production. Editing your audio should be as much of a priority as editing your video.In the video above, created by the always insightful John Hess of Filmmaker IQ, he covers many of the fundamentals of post-production sound. A few of the concepts covered include:EqualizersHight & Low Pass FiltersParametric EqualizerNotch Cut FiltersHow to boost a voiceDynamic RangeHow compressors workLimitersNoise GatesMultiband CompressorsWhile having the ability to fix audio in post is incredibly important, it’s much more helpful to record good audio on-set so you can keep your audio editing to a minimum.This video was first shared on Filmmaker I.Q.’s YouTube channel. Thanks for sharing guys. If you want to see more awesome video tutorials we highly recommend checking out Filmmaker I.Q.’s YouTube channel and website.Trying to get rid of unwanted noise? Check out our post on using the sound remover effect in Adobe Audition.Have any tips for getting better audio in post?Let us know in the comments below.
Speed up your footage and workflow with these powerful and simple Premiere Pro time-remapping keyboard shortcuts.To further build on things I learned at Adobe Video World 2016, these keyboard shortcuts weren’t even the focus of Luisa Winters’ presentation on advanced keyframing in Premiere Pro. That said, nearly the whole class asked her to stop her presentation to tell us how she quickly used time remapping on a clip in her presentation.I felt like such a knucklehead for not knowing these Premiere Pro shortcuts in the first place, and hopefully you will find them just as helpful as I did.Step 1. Show Clip Keyframes > Time Remapping > SpeedTo use these keyboard shortcuts effectively, you will need to be able to see the keyframes. First, adjust the size of the V1 layer (or whichever layer you are working on).Right-click on your clip, scroll down to Show Clip Keyframes. Go to Time Remapping and select Speed. The line you now see across the clip represents the clip’s speed. From here, you’ll be able to do a variety of adjustments like speed ramping, slow motion, reversing footage, or even making stills.Step 2. Create a KeyframeFind the point in the clip that you want to speed up or slow down. Drag the playhead to that position.Mac: Command + Click on the clipPC: Ctrl + Click on the clipThe keyframe you create will have an In point and Out point.Step 3: Adjust SpeedOnce you create a keyframe, you can move the In point and Out point with the mouse. Between the points, an adjustable Bezier curve will appear. These points and curve will represent the length of the ramp — essentially how long it will take to go from one speed to the other.Drag the line before the In point or after the Out point to adjust the speed of the clip. Drag up for faster, down for slower.Keyboard Shortcut: Freeze FrameYou can add a simple freeze frame to your clip with this Premiere Pro keyboard shortcut. With the keyframe in place, you will adjust the In point or Out point to create a still image within the clip.Mac: Command + Option + Drag the In point or Out pointPC: Ctrl + Alt + Drag the In point or Out pointKeyboard Shortcut: Reverse the ClipYou can add an instant rewind to your footage with this simple-to-use keyboard shortcut. You will only be able to use this shortcut by adjusting the Out point.Mac: Command + Drag the outpointPC: Ctrl + Drag the outpoint Hope these quick Premiere Pro keyboard shortcuts help you save some time down the line. Keep up with the PremiumBeat.com blog to learn more video editing tips and tricks.
Images via LiteGear.NAB 2019: Blackmagic Design Announces New Battery Grip for the BMPCC4KNAB 2019: SmallHD Announces Their Camera-Controlled 7″ MonitorNAB 2019: Sony Announces the Latest 4K Broadcast BeastNAB 2019: AVID Announces Stellar New Media ComposerNAB 2019: DaVinci Resolve 16 LiteGear brought their stunning, post-production-minded, color-changing light panel to NAB 2019, and it’s going to change the way you light a scene.NAB always brings out the most impressive lighting rigs and builds from all the major companies. LiteGear is no exception — they always bring innovative and boundary-pushing products to Las Vegas. With their announcement yesterday of the new LiteMat Spectrum, they’re making waves in the video production world with effects-based lighting for filmmakers of any scale. Let’s take a look at the LiteMat Spectrum’s features.The biggest selling point of this new light is bringing color to the LiteMat range, which gives users even more control over how their image looks during production — and in post-production during the color correction/grading process. So, with the color science in mind, here’s what they have to say about the “Kelvin Temperature Adjustment”:LiteMat Spectrum is built upon the solid foundation of the Cinema Series color-space found in thousands of existing LiteMat and LiteTile fixtures. We added red, green, blue, and amber to augment the cinema chips and extend the system’s CCT abilities from 2000K to 11,000K. The key here is the amber chip. It is simply not possible to achieve the best white-balanced color without it.Looking beyond how the light will help you in post-production, the LiteMat Spectrum also assists in color correction at the scene with its “Plus/Minus Green” feature, which casts a green light when unwanted magenta is spilling out (and vise versa).LiteMat Spectrum also helps with desaturating the colors you want to light with, but it does so in a new and innovative way:Building from the most accurate white point possible, we then developed a method that uses that white-point as the method of desaturating color. What is the best method of de-saturating a beautiful red, green, or blue chip? The very best full spectrum, color correct, and white-balanced white light color of your choosing.You can reserve yours here.The prices for the various sizes range from $2,500-$3,600, but that’s to be expected with equipment as advanced as this.No Film School interviewed Paul Royalty from LiteGear about the new light. Check it out.Here are the specs:~15,000 nit full color changing LED panelColor temperature adjustments from 2,000k to 11,000k+/- 8 points of tint variationChangeable white lightCertified color-space compliantSaturation control with 100 shades of depthPDX dimmingCompatible with all head-mounted accessories
Optimism is the most powerful mindset you can choose for yourself. It’s empowering. When you are optimistic, you are confident about the future.No Hope“Hope” is not optimistic.Hope isn’t confidence. The reason the optimist is long on the future is because they intend to take actions to bring that future to life. Optimism is the result of believing that you have the power to make a difference and then taking action.Hope is passive. People hope that they win the lottery. People who succeed don’t leave their success to chance. Hope is too passive, as is waiting.You hope your dream client finds you when they run a search on Google. You hope they actually search Google. You hope they have the sort of dissatisfaction that gives rise to changing. You hope they fill out your contact form, email you, or better yet, call you.If you are optimistic, you pick up the phone and call your dream client, confident that you can score an appointment.You hope that the market for your product or service picks up. You hope that the people you sell to place more orders. You hope that this year’s revenue tops last year’s revenue. You hope that what you are doing now works. Well, you hope it works eventually.If you are optimistic, you sell into a new market. You double down on your sales efforts to your existing clients. You win the accounts you need to beat last year’s number.Optimism Is ActionHope indicates that you are waiting for the world to act on you. It means that you are a bystander, simply going whichever way the current takes you, passively accepting whatever life doles out.Optimism is the confidence to actively write your own story. It is the confidence to direct your own life, doing what is necessary to generate the results you want for yourself and for others.Swap hope for optimism. Swap passivity for action.
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 Today I recorded a podcast with Jeffrey Gitomer. He asked me the question about how I set up my Three Words for 2016.Ken Wilber is likely the greatest mapmaker of all time, having created a map of the entire universe including human psychological and cultural development. If that sounds like an exaggerated claim, I assure you it isn’t.The last time I was with Ken Wilber, I asked him the secret of making maps.The following is what Ken told me to do. He told me to write everything I could think of as it pertained to a map I was creating. Then he told me to spend time bundling these ideas into the logical categories that present themselves. Once those categories were bundled together, move up a level and see if there are other natural ways to bundle things together. You want as few pieces as necessary, and as many as you need. It sounds easier than it is, especially after you have gone through the process a few times.And this is how I established my Three Words for 2016.I made a list of goals and gaps. I looked at my successes from the past year and decided to increase my goals massively in 2016. And then I looked at the differences between my current performance and my future goals. I started to bundle together ideas.Growth: As I looked at my work, I recognized that there were areas where I needed to develop and increase my skills and my results. As I bundled those together, the word “growth” was a common theme. It was in every category of goals. It made sense to start there.Multiplier: Recognizing that time is our only non-renewable resource, I acknowledged that there’s nothing I can do to add more hours to my day. To me, this meant I needed a “multiplier.” I still only have one hour a day to workout at the gym. Limited time, in this and other areas, requires that I do things that multiply the outcome of my efforts.Focus: There were some goals and gaps that I recognized needed more of my time and attention. There are so many things I want to do, but there is not enough time to do all of them. As I looked at these, the common theme was “focus.” Focus is a narrowing. It’s concentration of attention and energy. It also means eliminating some things that are outside of what’s most important.After I had finished developing these themes, I went back over my goals and outcomes for 2016 to work them through the Three Words framework. I applied these ideas to the revised vision of my 2016 plan. The iteration is important. It solidifies things.You can use this methodology in any area of your life. If you haven’t used the Three Words methodology, I recommend it. And if you’ve already chosen your three words, run back through your goals and dreams and make sure they’re all aligned with your themes.
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 Being productive with your time is critical to your success in sales, so you want to compress the sales cycle and close deals faster. You try to shorten the sales process by moving through discovery faster, rushing to a presentation and proposal, and asking for the business.The problem is that now that your decision to rush through your process has caused your prospective client to bring the process to a screeching halt. They’ve gone dark on you, even though you established a need, presented what you believed to be a compelling solution, and you asked for the business.Now you’re worried about your deal. You wonder why your prospective client is avoiding your calls and your emails. But this isn’t something your dream client is doing to you; it’s something that you’ve done to yourself.Why Your Prospect Slowed DownOne of the reasons your deals slow to a crawl is because you are going too fast by getting ahead of your prospect. You can’t cross the finish line without your prospect, so your speed has to match theirs. You can only go as fast they do.If your dream client doesn’t recognize that they have a compelling reason to change, then you don’t have an opportunity. Even if they would experience unimaginable gains by working with you, until you help them discover and convince them of a reason to change, you are going nowhere.You think that because you’ve done your discovery work that you can move forward on a solution. But you aren’t the only one who is “discovering.” You can’t move forward in your process until you have satisfied your prospect’s need to discover. Until they are satisfied that they know what they need to know to move forward, you are taking the next step without them.You want to move straight to your best solution. You’ve seen your prospect’s current situation before, and you know the answer. You want to move forward with the right answer, but they want to collaborate and make sure it fits their needs, their company, and that it serves their clients. Spend a little time exploring options and developing the right answer together, and you’ll move forward sooner.You may believe that the last thing you want to do is slow down the deal by bringing up the reasons your dream client might be concerned with making a decision to move forward. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have concerns, nor does it mean that they can—or will—move forward without having those concerns resolved to their satisfaction. The very thing you fear will slow your deal will kill it if ignored, and allow you to move forward if addressed.Know Where You AreYou know where you are in your sales process. But it’s equally important that you know where your dream client is in their process. Not their formal process, but the process where they have all the information, answers, and consensus they need to move forward. Going any faster than that means you may leave your prospective dream client–and your deal–behind.
Of all the observations I made in 2017, here are some of the ones I believe to be most important:Non-Linearity: Both the sales process and the buying process have always been perceived as if they are linear processes. They are not. Because they are both dominated by human beings, they are anything but linear. This will continue to challenge salespeople and their companies well into the future.Opportunity Creation: There has been, and there continues to be, too much of an emphasis on finding ways to create opportunities without having to prospect. This is now an epidemic, and it is one of the primary reasons companies are struggling now.Metrics: Data is important, but it does not speak for itself. It requires interpretation, context. Because we can count things, we believe that those are the things most worth counting. The dashboard has replaced the interactions that provide the context, the insight, and the opportunity for improvement.Efficiency: Thanks in large part to technology, we are focusing on efficiency at the expense of effectiveness. Because we can automate, we believe it is right to do so—even when the outcome is very different than the outcome we need. Human relationships and change management do not lend themselves to automation or technological solutions.Intangibles: Because we desperately want sales to be a process, making it repeatable and certain in a world of uncertainty, we ignore the intangibles. I’m not sure the world is more chaotic than it was during World War II, but I am certain that the attributes and character traits that provided the foundation for success the,n are the same as they are now.Deployment of Resources: You have limited time, limited energy, and limited financial resources with which to produce the results you want. When you allow those resources to be deployed against small things, things that don’t move the needle, you are giving up things that you can never get back. 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
A team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday questioned Nepalese businessman, Shamshul Hoda, alleged to be a prime suspect in recruiting Indians to plant explosives at railway tracks at the behest of Pakistan’s ISI.A two-member NIA team visited Nepal and quizzed Hoda, who was arrested at the Kathmandu international airport on his return from Dubai on February 2 in connection with a double murder.A source said that while Hoda admitted that he was asked by a Pakistani man identified as Shafi Sheikh to plant explosives on railway tracks in Ghorasahan and Nakardehi, both in Bihar, he did not admit to planting explosives at Pukhrayan, near Kanpur, and at Kuneru in Andhra Pradesh.Over 140 people died when the Indore-Patna Express derailed at Pukhrayan on November 20 last year and 41 persons were killed when the Jagadalpur-Bhuvanesewar Hirakhund Express derailed at Kuneru in Andhra Pradesh on January 21.While an IED, packed in a pressure cooker, which was planted at Ghorasahan on October 1 was defused, a low intensity explosion took place at Nakardehi without inflicting any damage.‘No role in derailments’“Hoda admits to knowing of a plan to plant IEDs at Ghorasahan and Nakardehi, both close to Nepal border, but feigned ignorance over Kanpur and Kuneru accidents. He said that Shafi Sheikh, whom he met in Dubai had only asked him to conduct a spectacular incident in India and send him newspaper clippings as a proof,” said a source.The NIA is yet to complete its investigations into three rail accidents — Ghorasan, Kanpur and Kuneru incidents.As reported earlier, Nepal police have been sceptical of claims by Indian agencies on Hoda’s links to the train derailments at Kanpur and Andhra Pradesh.The probe was handed over to the NIA after Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu shot off a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh alleging sabotage in at least six train accidents.Nepal police had told The Hindu that they were not sure of Indian agencies’ claims that Hoda was working on ISI’s behalf but they confirmed that the accused regularly met a Pakistani person Shafi Sheikh in Dubai.He told the Nepal police that he went to Karachi seven-months back were he met three other people.“Hoda has admitted his role in Ghorasan and Nakardehi incidents. When the explosion in Nakardehi did not cause any damage, he ordered the killing of two Nepalese men hired to do the job. Nepal police arrested three men- Braj Kishore Giri, Mojahir Ansari and Shambhu alias Laddu after an encounter and on the basis of their disclosure three others- Moti Paswan, Uma Shanker Patel and Mukesh Yadav were arrested by Bihar police. It was Paswan who told Bihar police that they had planted the bomb at Ghorasan at ISI’s instance, he also went on to add that ISI was behind the Kanpur train accidents. We are still verifying his claims,” said the source.Hoda has been arrested for his role in the double murder case.Paswan, the main accused arrested by Bihar Police had said that he and two others had travelled to Kanpur to place the IED.U.P DGP Javeed Ahmed had earlier told The Hindu that the claims of the accused could not be corroborated and the preliminary investigations conducted by U.P police did not find any trace of explosive at the tracks.Last week, NIA arrested another person identified as Ranjay Shah for allegedly assembling the bomb at Ghorasan.
Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Gujarat on Sunday on a two-day visit to attend a series of events in the State’s Surat and Saurashtra region.On the first day of his visit, Mr. Modi will hold an 11-km-long road show from the Surat airport to the Circuit House, where he will meet BJP leaders and workers.On Monday, he will inaugurate a hospital set up by a public trust of the Patidar community in Surat, and a diamond polishing unit of Hare Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd., owned by a diamond baron of the community.After the two events in Surat, the PM will visit Tapi district to inaugurate cattle feed and ice cream plants set up by the Surat District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union, a district unit associated with Amul. Mr. Modi will briefly address gatherings at both the locations.
Several farmers’ unions in Punjab are up in arms against the State government over the issue of stringent action against farmers who burn crop residue.The main Opposition party in the State, the Aam Aadmi Party, has also come out in support of the farmers, blaming the ruling Congress government for failing to secure the farmers’ interest.With harvesting of paddy in full swing, farmers have already started burning crop residue as they prepare their farms for the upcoming rabi crop. Farmers have warned that they will continue to burn paddy stubble unless the government suitably compensates them for the expenses incurred on alternative methods of disposing of crop residue.“The government should first come out with an alternative and then ask us [farmers] to refrain from burning crop residue. We should be given a bonus of ₹200 per quintal on paddy or paid ₹ 5,000 per acre in connection with ban on stubble burning,” Harinder Singh, general secretary of the Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal), told The Hindu.Mr. Singh said the BKU (Lakhowal) has decided to defy the ban on stubble burning and will not allow officials to enter villages while farmers burn crop residue.Govt cautionedLeader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Sukhpal Khaira on Sunday cautioned the State government against registering cases against farmers for burning paddy stubble.“The State government has failed to arrange for equipment and machinery required for ploughing the paddy straw back into the fields. Until the government makes alternative arrangements, it should refrain from taking action against farmers,” he said.Mr. Khaira claimed that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) while issuing directions to stop stubble burning for a cleaner environment had ordered the State government to provide equipment to farmers. “Instead of providing equipment and machinery to the farmers on rental basis, the Punjab government is penalising the farmers by registering cases against them,” he alleged.Punjab Pollution Control Board chairman K.S. Pannu had expressed hope that the problem of stubble burning in the State would be contained to a considerable extent this season.Penalty imposed “Farmers are more aware now and we have been taking steps against those who violate the ban. Till now out of the 300 cases of stubble burning reported in the State, penalty has been imposed in 100 cases,” he said.
Actor Anupam Kher, the newly appointed Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), staged a surprise entry on Monday as he entered the premises of his alma mater unannounced.Besides his dramatic appearance on the campus, Mr. Kher was also seen sharing a fraternal lunch with some students in the FTII canteen, while chatting informally with them.On his arrival, Mr. Kher met with students from the 2016 batch in the institute’s main theatre and heard out their myriad issues with the administration.“I deliberately did not give prior information about my visit as I wanted to revisit my alma mater as a student like I did 40 years ago,” said the 62-year-old Mr. Kher, remarking that he wanted to strike an optimistic note at the beginning of his tenure as Chairman.Soon after Mr. Kher’s appointment to the institute’s top job last week, the FTII students’ body, in an open letter, had sharply drawn his attention to issues ranging from poor infrastructure, new curriculum and lack of permanent faculty.It rebuked the administration for excluding student representatives from Academic Council discussions, claiming it was “against the constitution of the institute”.“I feel that the issues vexing students can be resolved and I am eager to solve them. Some of the points raised by students are reasonable and I will try to get the FTII Director to sort them out… I also believe that problems facing students in their learning process in any institute ought to be addressed,” Mr. Kher said after his freewheeling meet with the students.He is also expected to address the entire 2016 batch shortly as is to hold a special class for acting students in this week.Mr. Kher’s arrival could not have been in more starker contrast than that of his predecessor, TV actor and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hack Gajendra Chauhan.Mr. Chauhan’s appointment had transformed the institute into a raging storm centre, with a furious 139-day strike by the students paralyzing the functioning of India’s premier film education centre for the latter part of 2015. His contentious appointment had also drawn widespread criticism across the film fraternity.In contrast to Mr. Kher’s first day on the FTII campus, Mr. Chauhan’s ‘day one’ on the campus premises in January last year was marred by seething discontent, frenzied protests and lathicharges as 40 of the agitating students were allegedly manhandled and detained by the Pune police.Students continued to be resentful throughout Mr. Chauhan’s tenure which ended after only 15 months on March 3 this year.
Twelve lakh farmers have filed complaints with the Agriculture Department against 216 private seed companies for providing sub-standard cotton seeds. The farmers said that the seeds failed to counter the pink bollworm pest and led to drop in cotton production. They have sought compensation of ₹6,500 crore.The Agriculture Department reviewed the total crop loss due to pink bollworm infestation at Mantralaya on Wednesday. Kishore Tiwari, president, Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission, said, “For the first time, farmers have registered complaints against private seed firms. We have encouraged them to submit applications and seek compensation. This is a result of our campaigns in areas in Vidarbha and Marathwada that were hit by pink bollworm infestation.”During the winter session of the Assembly in Nagpur, the government had promised to compensate affected farmers as per the norms of the National Disaster Response Force. The government also announced that cotton farmers would receive separate compensation from private seed companies and crop insurance firms. Mr. Tiwari said, “The government had said that the NDRF would provide ₹18,000 as compensation for every affected hectare. This is the lower threshold, the compensation amount is expected to increase.” Mr. Tiwari said productivity had fallen drastically after farmers used seeds provided by private firms. He said, “This was a economic disaster for farmers. They need to be compensated.”Meanwhile, the Relief and Rehabilitation Department of the government has sought financial aid of ₹2,425 crore from the Centre to compensate farmers. The aid will be extended to farmers who have suffered 33% crop loss. NDRF norms extend aid of ₹6,800 per hectare for non-irrigated land, ₹13,500 for irrigated land and ₹18,000 for horticulture.
In a shocking incident, a group of people in Meerut first publicly warned a mother and son to not appear as witnesses in a murder case and then shot them dead. Three people barged inside the house of the elderly Nicchettar Kaur on Wednesday and fired ten rounds from a gun into her, killing her on the spot in the Partapur area of Meerut.Soon thereafter, the trio also killed Ms. Kaur’s son Balwinder. The CCTV recording of the ruthless murder of an old woman has gone viral. The mother and son were the main witnesses in the murder Ms. Kaur’s husband Narendra in October 2016 over a land dispute. The accused belong to the same locality of Partapur. While one of them, Malu, is in jail, the rest are absconding. Ms. Kaur and Mr. Balwinder were to testify in the ongoing trial in the coming days. The accused had threatened them that they would not be allowed to reach the court at any cost.The brazen double murder led to protests by residents of the area. Additional Director General (ADG)-law and order, Anand Kumar, told mediapersons that one accused has been arrested and administrative action was being taken immediately against negligent police personnel. Partapur Station House Officer (SHO) and four others have been suspended for administrative lapses.
The Goa Forward party(GFP), an alliance partner of the BJP-led coalition government on Thursday warned the BJP that it will rethink on its support to the government in Goa if it does not resolve the mining crisis in the state at the earliest.“If the BJP does not resume mining in Goa at the earliest, they will have trouble in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. I request them to resolve this crisis at the earliest. If they do not do it, we will rethink support to BJP in Lok Sabha election,” said president of GFP and Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai here at a press conference. The three-MLA strong regional outfit in the 40 members in the Goa legislative assembly is also a part of the National Democratic Alliance.Mr. Sardesai said that he would be forced to step out of the alliance if the mining crisis in Goa is not resolved. “One would have thought that after the debacle in Karnataka, the BJP would have acted quickly to solve the mining issue, but no steps are being taken towards that end, despite the fact that the BJP is in power in Goa and at the Centre,” lamented Mr. Sardesai and reiterated demand that the Central Government should issue an ordinance to resume mining in Goa. The BJP currently has 14 MLAs in the 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly and is leading the government with the help of three MLAs each from GFP, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and independents. Mr. Sardesai’s reference was to the prevailing mining ban in the State, which happened following the February 2018 order of the Supreme Court. The order scrapped the second renewal of 88 iron ore mining leases and directed the state government to re-issue the mining leases. Mining was first banned in 2012 following a series of bans by the State and the Centre, and the subsequent ban by the Supreme Court following the revelation of a ₹35,000 crore illegal mining scam unearthed by a judicial commission.
| Photo Credit: PETA Among the finalists is Stitch, whose guardian is Tania Rodrigues, a resident of Goa. When Tania found Stitch, he was hiding in a bush next to a highway, and his two siblings were playing on the road. She decided to keep Stitch and found homes for his siblings. “I fell in love with the third kitten because he slept next to me on my bed the whole night without moving. So, I kept him and named him Stitch,” says Ms. Rodrigues.“All rescued cats are already winners because their lives were saved by people who love them for who they are,” says PETA India CEO Manilal Valliyate.PETA holds the contest to encourage prospective guardians to adopt animals from the streets or shelters instead of buying them from pet shops or breeders, as these businesses often keep animals in dismal conditions. Animals in pet shops are also often bought on impulse and discarded when buyers get tired of them.The guardian of the lucky kitty who is named the cutest rescued cat will receive a certificate and gifts. The fur is about to fly. Animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has selected the 10 finalists for India’s ‘cutest rescued cat’ contest. The cats were selected after sifting through hundreds of photographs of lovable pets and reading through their rescue stories, a release from PETA, India, said. Public voting for the contest through the website ends on July 30. Stitch, left, and Tullu are among the finalists.