Tags:#Alphabet#Apple#Autonomous#Avis#car rental#driverless#Google#Hertz#Self-Driving#Waymo Related Posts David Curry IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Waymo, the self-driving division inside of Alphabet, has partnered with car rental company Avis to manage its fleet of autonomous cars in Phoenix, Arizona.Avis will be responsible for cleaning the car, managing oil and tire changes, and performing regular safety inspections. It will not manage the specialized hardware, like Waymo’s Lidar sensors.See Also: Waymo picks ex-Tesla engineering chief to build them a driverless carWaymo expects to send the bulk of its 600 Chrysler Pacifica minivans to Phoenix. The city will be the first place for members of the public to experience Waymo’s self-driving cars, having previously been tested by engineers and other Google employees.Previously, Waymo has had less than 200 cars on the road at any one time. The minivan expansion is a major point in the timeline for Alphabet’s car project, which is now focused on vehicles that can be mass produced.Even though the partnership is only for managing the self-driving fleet, pundits suspect that it could turn into a more fruitful agreement in the next few years. Avis owns Zipcar, an on-demand rental service that has around one million members, mostly in urban areas, according to Bloomberg.It is easy to see a time where Zipcar could offer self-driving options for customers, either by the hour or day. Waymo is already rumored to be in talks with Lyft about a similar arrangement, where it would use the ride-sharing service to offer self-driving options.Waymo is not the first to work with a car rental service for self-driving cars, Apple partnered with The Hertz Corporation to manage its three Lexus RX450h vehicles, according to the Chicago Tribune.Car rental services have taken a kicking from the stock market in the past year, as worries over autonomous cars plague the future of these companies. The agreements with Apple and Waymo suggest that there may be light at the end of the tunnel, as shown by the spikes in both companies stock after the announcement. 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…
If you were among the 167 participants in Dr. Victor Harris’ June 26th web conference, we thank you for joining in. For the first time Military Families Learning Network hosted our conference on the DOD/DCA web conferencing system and we were thrilled to see such a large turn out.Dr. Harris shared with participants the 9 important communication skills curriculum based on Dr. John Gottman’s work with couples and communication within relationships. Of note were the “4 Don’ts of Communication,” which include:CriticismDefensivenessContemptWithdrawingDr. Harris discussed alternatives to these emotions by detailing 5 skills to use in tense situations:Calm downSpeak non-defensivelyUse specific complaintsValidateOverlearn the 9 skillsDiscussion of financial topics can frequently lead to arguments and stress among couples; adopting these skills will assist families to effectively discuss and manage their finances.Dr. Harris and many participants shared some of their favorite resources for communication and financial topics. If you have others to share, please leave them in the comments section.Money HabitudesReal Families Real Answers9 Important Communication Skills for Every Relationship10 Rules for Constructive ConflictLeadership and Self-Deception (book)Dr. John Gottman’s “Four Don’ts of Communication” videoEric Tyson; Author, “Personal Finance for Dummies”John Gottman 20/20 “Fair Fighting” available on AmazonThe DOD/DCA web conference hosting system requires the installation of security certificates on computers not located on military installations. If this prevented you from joining this conference, please review these instructions for installation on a PC. If you are using a Mac, or if you need assistance in installing the certificates on a PC, please email Anne Adrian at email@example.com. We hope all interested participants will be able to make the installation in advance of our upcoming retirement series in July.However, you still have the opportunity to earn the 1.5 CEUs from the 9 Important $kills for Talking About Money web conference by reviewing the archived recording of the presentation and taking a short quiz. Instructions for registering for the quiz website can be found here.Please check out information about upcoming July retirement series. The first, on July 10 at 2 p.m. ET, will cover the wide variety of options for retirement savings. The second, on July 25 at 1 p.m. ET, will focus on the Thrift Savings Plan. Please save the dates for this wonderful series. We hope to see you there!
Why do some military families bounce back after stressful transitions (e.g., transitioning into civilian life), while others struggle to readjust?Cover image and logo– used with permission from the MilitaryTimes.com Below are practical applications for strengthening individual and family processes for resilience. These implications are a collection of examples from various researchers who have studied resilience and military families (2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12). Implications for Building Resilience in Military Families Assist family members in drawing upon various strengths. For example, the ability to reduce conflict during a taxing deployment.Help families adapt to a new normal. Assist them in providing clear information for adapting to the change; helping them to accept the things they cannot change.Support connectedness through fostering nurturing and loving relationships among all family members and by making community support available and accessible.Invite all family members to engage in joint participation and shared decision making. For example, deciding as a family where to vacation when the service member returns from training.Help identify potential triggers that may evoke stressful memories. This is especially important to consider in service members with posttraumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries.Enhance shared meaning making and making meaning of adversity. For example, allow family members to share personal perspectives on challenges and successes experienced during deployment.Allow family members to openly share positive and negative emotions experienced throughout various military transitions. This could be done by reaching out to family members at several time points during each transition.Aid in identifying and anticipating stressful transitions or situations. For example, have families create a list of the potential challenges (or joys) they may experience when relocating (e.g., PCSing overseas).Coach families to develop a shared method for checking in on one another’s emotional or stress status. For instance, parents can check in with their children by asking them to share their fears and joys during deployments.Support military families in utilizing healthy coping strategies, such as relaxation or distraction; diverging away from drinking alcohol or spending excessive amounts of money as a means of coping.Foster a positive outlook through hope, faith, or optimism. For example, help family members gain a sense of personal perspective that their life has meaning and purpose.Encourage the reestablishment of individual and family routines and rituals while the service member is away. This might include the continuation of family game night or reassigning household responsibilities.Finally, we can teach family members how to create and set forth on personal goals in hopes of fostering self-efficacy and a sense of purpose.For more resources on helping military families maintain resilience and overcome transition-related challenges, be sure to head on over to our Family Transitions page! Also, be sure to take a look at our upcoming Resilience Series which will focus on promoting protective factors to support personal, family and community resilience. This three-part webinar series will take place on August 20th, 22nd, and 27th, so be sure to RSVP today! This article was written by Jennifer Rea, PhD and military spouse to an Active Duty Marine. Jenny consults with the MFLN Family Transitions team to support professional development for military family service providers. You may find more blogs, podcasts and webinars from Family Transitions here. We invite you to engage with Family Transitions on Twitter @MFLNFT and with MFLN on Facebook @MilitaryFamilies.References 1. Masten, A. S. (2013). Competence, risk, and resilience in military families: Conceptual commentary. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 16(3), 278-281.2. Walsh, F. (2016). Applying a family resilience framework in training, practice, and research: Mastering the art of the possible. Family Process, 55(4), 616-632.3. Mancini, J. A., O’Neal, C. W., Martin, J. A., & Bowen, G. L. (2018). Community social organization and military families: Theoretical perspectives on transitions, contexts, and resilience. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10(3), 550-565.4. Meadows, S. O., Beckett, M. K., Bowling, K., Golinelli, D., Fisher, M. P., Martin, L. T., … & Osilla, K. C. (2016). Family resilience in the military: Definitions, models, and policies. Rand Health Quarterly, 5(3),12.5. Masten, A. S. (2018). Resilience theory and research on children and families: Past, present, and promise. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10(1), 12-31.6. Masten, A. S., & Cicchetti, D. (2016). Resilience in development: Progress and transformation. Developmental Psychopathology, 1-63.7. Ungar, M. (2018). Systemic resilience: principles and processes for a science of change in contexts of adversity. Ecology and Society, 23(4):34.8. Clark, M., O’Neal, C. W., Conley, K., & Mancini, J. A. (2018). Resilient family processes, personal reintegration, and subjective well-being outcomes for military personnel and their family members. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 88(1), 99–111. https://.org/10.1037/ort00002789. Saltzman, W. R., Lester, P., Beardslee, W. R., Layne, C. M., Woodward, K., & Nash, W. P. (2011). Mechanisms of risk and resilience in military families: Theoretical and empirical basis of a family-focused resilience enhancement program. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14(3), 213-230.10. Gewirtz, A. H., Pinna, K. L., Hanson, S. K., & Brockberg, D. (2014). Promoting parenting to support reintegrating military families: After deployment, adaptive parenting tools. Psychological Services, 11(1), 31.11. Cox, K., Grand-Clement, S., Galai, K., Flint, R., & Hall, A. (2018). Understanding resilience as it affects the transition from the UK Armed Forces to civilian life. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2436.html.12. Wright, K. M., Riviere, L. A., Merrill, J. C., & Cabrera, O. A. (2013). Resilience in military families: A review of programs and empirical evidence. Building Psychological Resilience in Military Personnel: Theory and Practice, 167-191. doi: 10.1037/14190‐008 by Jennifer Rea, PhD Military life is dynamic and interrelated with its own life challenges (1). Service members and their families face unique stressors in the various transitions they face (e.g., frequent moves). While, many have the ability to cope with and overcome transition difficulties, other military families may need additional support.As military families face more stressors and hurdles, they often emerge stronger, more loving and more purposeful in their lives (2). Through each transitional challenge, many military families are expected to maintain resilience all the while minimize family vulnerabilities (3).What is Resilience?Resilience “occurs in the face of adversity and is reflected in individuals and families ‘bouncing back’ after hardship”(2,3). As a “process that occurs over the life course” (4). resilience is the capacity to adapt to several new transitions and challenges (5).Resilient Individuals and Families are not Islands unto Themselves.Individuals are embedded in families and families are embedded in communities (6). That is, individual resilience is dependent upon the systems the individual interacts with, including one’s family and their community (7). For example, military unit support and community connectedness have been found to be related to family well-being and adaptation to transitions (3).Tools for Building Individual and Family ResilienceFamily processes; things families do (e.g., effective communication), are important to identify as they influence individual and family resilience (8). As overlooked tools, some family processes are qualities an individual (or family) possesses allowing them to flourish during adversity (9).To build resilience among military families, we must help them recognize their untapped capabilities and reconnect them to sources of sustenance and nurturance. By doing so, we can scaffold their way to becoming more resilient through successfully navigating military life transitions (9).Cover image and logo– used with permission from the U.S. Dept of Defense.
Give your projects style and flair with FREE light leaks from CreativeDojo.net!Light leaks are a quick way to add visual interest to your projects. Give your footage an edgy, vintage feeling or use them as cool transitions between shots! Great for live action or animation projects. High quality light leaks usually come with a price, but CreativeDojo.net is graciously giving away their own light leaks package for FREE!The Creative Dojo pack includes 16 free light leak effects that are rendered in 1080P HD. Each of the 16 leaks are individual clips, so they can be brought into any non-linear video editing application including Premiere, Avid or Final Cut Pro. VihnSon at Creative Dojo offers up some advice for customizing these free light leaks – such as applying blending modes and adding filters to create totally unique effects!Download the free light leak effects from CreativeDojo.com and while you’re there be sure to check out their extensive motion graphics and visual effects tutorials. The download is a bit large (500 mb) so be patient! Thanks CreativeDojo.com for sharing these free light leak effects!Video Example of the Light Leak Effects
3 and 4 point edits are a way to get a higher degree of control and precision in your Premiere Pro video editing. Here’s how!Premiere Pro has many great tools to help editors get the right clip in the right place at the right length – three point editing is one of them. That said, I don’t tend to use three point edits a great deal but when I do I find them to be very helpful especially when using the OUT point in the timeline.What is a 3 point edit?A three point edit requires you to specify 3 points in your project to make an edit. These points may well include the IN point and the OUT point of a clip in your project or source panel as 2 of the 3 points.IN and OUT Points of a Clip in the Project PanelBut that still leaves 1 more point to be specified, and this is done in the TIMELINE.The Timeline with an IN Point SpecifiedYou can either create an IN point in your timeline by simply selecting your timeline and going to the place where you want the edit to start and hitting the ‘I’ key to get the results shown above. Or use the OUT point method…The Timeline with and OUT Point SpecifiedYou can park your playhead in the Premiere Pro timeline at the point you want the clip to END and hit the ‘o’ key again as shown above.If you get the IN point or the OUT point in the wrong place, don’t worry, just right-click where you see the blue area indicating an IN or OUT point has been created and you will get an option to clear IN, OUT or both.So, you’ve set 3 points. The first 2 happen to be on the actual clip you want to insert and the third is on the Premiere Pro timeline. At this point you’re ready to insert your clip by selecting it and hitting the ‘point’ or ‘full-stop’ (.) key. This will create an overwrite or overlay edit with the the clip behaving as follows:If you have selected an IN point in your timeline then the IN point of the clip will match the IN point you have specified in the timeline. The clip will overwrite into the timeline and its length will be the same length as you specified for the clip, potentially overwriting clips AFTER the place of insertion.If you have selected an OUT point in your timeline then the OUT point of the clip will match the OUT point you have specified in the timeline and the clip will over-write into the timeline from its OUT point FORWARDS – potentially overwriting the clips BEFORE the place of insertion.Inserted Clip Overwriting the Following Clip Because an IN Point Was SpecifiedFor me, I tend to use this more for inserting clips which have to end at a specific point (in other words by specifying an OUT point in the timeline) than for clips that need to start at a specific point.NOTE: You can also do three point editing in reverse of the above explanation. Set an IN point and an OUT point in the TIMELINE and just an IN point OR an OUT point on the clip. The clip would start at the IN point of the clip and end at the OUT point set in the Premiere Pro timeline.4 Point Editing in Premiere ProWell, a four point edit will have IN and OUT points on both the clip AND the timeline. However, as you can image it is highly improbable that the length of the clip from IN to OUT and the length of the space in the timeline from IN to OUT will be the same.Timeline AND Clip with IN and OUT Points SpecifiedThus, because of this mismatch, when you hit the point or full-stop key (.) to overwrite the clip into the timeline you get the following ‘Fit Clip’ options box.Fit Clip Option BoxThis box is basically telling you, ‘OK, the clip IN and OUT points won’t match the IN and OUT you’ve specified in your timeline so what do you want me to do about it? The default setting is simply to ignore the sequence (timeline) OUT point and let the clip flow along down the timeline, but what do you want?’As you can see the options include ignoring both clip and sequence (timeline) IN or OUT points or – at the very top – ‘Change Clip Speed (Fit to Fill)’. This option will either speed the clip up to fit into a space smaller than the length of the clip OR slow the clip down if the clip is shorter than the space you want it to fit into – which can be a really useful option. One note though, this option will affect the audio of the clip. So, if you end up speeding up the clip the audio will get higher pitched and, if you slow it down, the audio will get lower pitched which may not be what you want to do (however, you can always strip out the audio after the fact).Use 3 and 4 point editing in your Premiere Pro timeline to get precise control over your edits!
MiscSamsung 32 inch TV at B&H for $197 (was $320)Lens Rentals is offering 25% off all rentals and 10% off used equipment.Ripple Training 20% off3 or more tutorials.Camera lens mugs at Amazon for $8 (was $56) LightsGenaray Spectro LED Light at B&H for $249 (was $499) LensesSigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Canon Mount at B&H for $349 (was $549)Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 (all mounts) at B&H for $1,199 (was $1,399) AccessoriesImpact 5-in-1 Reflector at B&H for $27 (was $38)Vanguard Tripod Legs at B&H for $149 (was $349)Buy an Atomos Ninja Star, Get 50% Off 64GB CFast Card You don’t need stay up all night to get these Black Friday deals.It’s that special time of year again where advertisers try to lure customers to their stores by offering incredibly cheap products to a limited number of people. However, this year instead of facing the crowds, check out these awesome Black Friday deals that you can get online from the comfort of your home. So whether you’re a filmmaker looking for a good deal or looking for a present to give your filmmaking family members, these deals could save you a ton of money.CamerasCanonCanon Rebel T3i w/ 18-55mm IS Lens at Radioshack for $399.99 (was $499)Canon EOS Rebel T5i w/ 18-135mm IS STM Lens & B&H for $849 (was $1,049)Canon EOS 70D (body only) at B&H for $999 (was $1,199)Canon 60D (body only) at B&H for $699 (was $899)Canon EOS 7D SLR Digital Camera with 28-135mm IS USM Lens at B&H for $1,099 (was $1,699)NikonNikon D5300 w/ 18-140mm Lens at B&H for $996 (was $1,296)Nikon D610 w/ 16gb card, bag, and battery at B&H for $1,596 (was $1,999)Nikon D7100 (body only) at B&H for $946 (was $1,196)PanasonicGH4 (body only) at B&H for $1,497 (was $1,697) with a free $50 gift card SoftwareCreative Cloud Subscription at Adobe for $39.99 a month (was $49.99)Creative Cloud Subscription for Students at Adobe from $15.99 a month (was $19.99)Sony Vegas 13 at B&H for $299 (was $399)All Red Giant Products including Trapcode Particular 40% offTriune Films is offering 50% off all digital assets.Boris FX is offering 30% off their entire store. Storage1.5 TB Passport at B&H for $69 (was $89)3TB WD External Hard Drive at B&H for $90 (was $200)8TB MyBook Raid Storage at B&H for $379.99 (was $449)500GB WD Portable Hard Drive at B&H for $49 (was $62)WD 4TB My Book Desktop HDD at B&H for $139 (was $159) Know other awesome deals? Share in the comments below.
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Too Little Activity: If your results this year are not what you wanted them to be, it is likely that you did too little activity to generate those results. The results that you wanted would have required that you take massive action (and still do). Dabbling here and there isn’t how you generate transformational, breakthrough, and breakout results. Too little activity is how you fail.Taken Too Inconsistently: You sometimes took the action you needed to take, for sure. On some days you did what would was required of you in order to reach your goals. That was some days, not every day. Taking action inconsistently doesn’t produce inconsistent results; it produces no results. That is the real difference between sometimes and always.For Too Long: This year is over. But there isn’t anything you can do to produce a better result now. As much as it pains me to tell you this, the first quarter of next year is already over, too. The better results you want in the first quarter of next year would have to have been built over the last two quarters. Too little activity, taken to inconsistently, for too long equals missed goals.Your recipe for next year is massive action, taken consistently, throughout the entire year. Start today. Start right now. It’s not too late to start working on next year.QuestionsLook at your biggest and most important goal. Have you taken massive action?Have you pursued that goal with a fervor that borders on religious?Have you taken that action over a long period of time?What part of this recipe needs to change?
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday set aside the Uttar Pradesh government’s order in which it had waived about ₹2000 crore of interest amount which the sugar mills owed to farmers due to delayed payment of cane arrears. The court order came in response to a petition filed by farmer-activist V.M. Singh challenging the waiver of interest amount which the mill owners were supposed to pay to the farmers for the years 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15.Sugar mill owners are supposed to pay interest on cane arrears to the farmers in case of delay in payment.The interest amount for 2012-13 and 2013-14 of over ₹1,300 crore was waived by the State government on May 22, 2015, by accepting the request of mill owners that they were not in a position to pay interest for delay in payment of cane price to the farmers as they incurred losses allegedly due to reduction in the price of sugar. The State government, through an order in Oct. 2016, further waived over ₹700 crore for interest payment.
PANAJI: The Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), a leading consumer rights’ organisation, is working towards a movement where corporations, manufacturers and retailers become corporate members of CERS, and all these stakeholders serve consumers together.Talking to The Hindu on the sidelines of an event organised by consumer rights body GOACAN on Sunday, Walter Vieira, chairman of the Ahmedabad-based CERS, said, “I want to start this movement because I firmly believe that corporates, manufacturers and organisations like CERS are not enemies, but are on the same side of the table to serve the consumers.” Consumer-centricHe added, “If the consumer is the centre of business, as it should be in any business, then what is the conflict? You want to give them the best, value for money. And these corporates should then be able to say on their letterheads, ‘we are a consumer-centric company and that we are members of CERS’.”“My second thing is to reach out to retailers. [For instance,] in Singapore, they have a placard on the counter saying ‘we are approved by the consumer union of Singapore. If you have any complaint, contact here’. It shows it is consumer-centric and compliant,” said Mr. Vieira.He said that in developed countries, consumer unions are able mobilise huge funds through magazine subscriptions. He recalled how CERS had to close down its magazine Insight, which was losing ₹1 lakh a month as it could not get more than 1,800 subscribers. At present, the CERS runs a Hindi magazine called Grahak Sathi with funds from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. It expects to get grants from the Gujarat and Telangana governments for Gujarati and Telugu issues.Govt. support lackingMr. Vieira admits that the consumer movement has failed to take off in the country because organisations have not been able to get masses involved. But he laments that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has been giving huge grants to organisations like FICCI and CII for consumer protection, but not even one-tenth of the amount to consumer organisations. “Does it make any sense? Six months ago, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan announced huge grants to the Advertising Standards Council of India. You are giving them a couple of crores, to do what? To protect the ad agencies?” he asked. Mr. Vieira said he was not not happy with the consumer courts in the country. “The idea is fine, but the government is not supporting it. Not giving enough money to support it — infrastructure for courts, personnel, nothing,” he said.
The video images of two youths — suspected to have stolen five plastic chairs — tied with ropes, hung upside down from a tree and beaten up brutally by some baton-wielding men in a village of Bihar’s Kaimur district have shocked the State. Four accused persons were arrested on Monday while two remained absconding.The incident took place in Sonbarsa village on Saturday after the wedding ceremony of Mahangu Bind’s daughter. After the baraat (groom’s relatives) left for Ballia district of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh with the bride the next day, five plastic chairs and some other goods were found missing. Suspecting that Raj Kumar Bind and Birbal Bind, both in their early 20s, had stolen the stuff, Mahangu Bind called them to his house, had them tied up, hung them upside down from a tree branch and beat them with batons. They released the duo only after their family paid them ₹3,000 as compensation for the missing goods. The victims were, initially, reluctant to lodge a complaint but when district officials assured them of security, they filed a case.
Over 50,000 voters in Panaji and Valpoi Assembly constituencies of North Goa are likely to cast their vote at 76 polling stations on Wednesday. North Goa Collector Nila Mohanan said here on Tuesday that 30 polling stations in Panaji and 46 in Valpoi will remain open for voting from 8 a.m. and the polling process will be webcast. About 1,000 police personnel from Goa police, Indian Reserve Battalion and Central Para Military Forces will be deployed at ensure smooth conduct of bypolls in the Assembly constituencies.Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail will be used and there will be two model Pink Polling Booths managed by women, one in each constituency. There are seven candidates in the fray, four in Panaji and three in Valpoi.The Congress has fielded AICC Secretary Girish Chodankar against Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in Panaji. Anand Shirodkar of Goa Suraksha Manch and Independent Kenneth Silveira are the other candidates in the fray.In Valpoi, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane of the BJP is contesting against Roy Naik of the Congress and Independent candidate Rohidas Gaonkar. Votes will be counted on August 28.Notices have issued to 418 people by the law and order agencies ahead of polling as precautionary measures.
The Punjab government will not give any compensation to the lawbreakers killed in the Panchkula violence, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Sunday.He was talking to presspersons while touring some areas in the Malwa region which witnessed violence after the Dera Sacha Sauda chief was convicted in a rape case on Friday. He said it was for the Union government to decide on an investigation into the collapse of law and order that led to the violence. He reiterated that the main cause was allowing such a large crowd to gather at Panchkula ahead of the verdict. Captain Amarinder Singh said 23 FIRs were registered and 30 arrests made in connection with the violence. The police seized 62 petrol bombs and recovered a 12 bore gun with a dozen cartridges and a .22 revolver with 28 cartridges, he said.
Jyoti Amge, 23, the world’s smallest woman according to Guinness World Records, on Monday lodged a complaint against a person of Indian origin from the U.S. for circulating pictures of his alleged marriage with her.Ms. Amge and her family members lodged a complaint against the person at the Cyber Crime Wing of Nagpur police on Monday. In 2011, at 62.8 cm, Ms. Amge was declared shorter than the previous title holder, Bridgette Jordan of the U.S.Archana, Ms. Amge’s sister, said, “For two-three days, some pictures have been circulated on social media about the alleged marriage of my sister to a person of Indian origin in the U.S. We don’t even know his name. He is misusing those pictures. We want to clarify that Jyoti is unmarried.”Ms. Archana said the pictures were clicked by the man during one of her sister’s tours to the U.S.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh continued his four-day “outreach” visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, vowing to “turn Kashmir into a heaven (jannat), even as a delegation of the Congress party led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh landed in Jammu as part of a similar outreach to several other areas of the State this week.Mr. Rajnath Singh, who visited Anantnag in south Kashmir on Sunday, praised the role of the Jammu and Kashmir police as well as paramilitary forces for their “unassailable and unmatched courage.”“Kashmir will be free from terror and no force in the world will be able to stop it from becoming heaven again,” said Mr. Singh, during his interactions with the police and CRPF in Anantnag, one of the Valley’s most volatile areas.Police role laudedOn his second day in the State, Mr. Rajnath Singh lauded the role of the police force, which lost 25 personnel this year in militant attacks, the highest in the past four years.He promised more bullet-proof vehicles, bullet-proof vests and a trauma centre for the police, as well as helicopter services for security forces in J&K. Monmohan Singh arrives for a meeting with party leaders, in Jammu on Sunday. “This is not an ordinary sacrifice, this is the supreme sacrifice. Even the Prime Minister has praised your courage. Not only J&K but the whole nation is proud of your bravery and valour in facing terrorism sponsored by the neighbouring country,” said Mr. Singh.Paying tribute to constable Imtiyaz Ahmad, killed on Saturday in a militant attack, Mr. Singh said he “can’t bear the tears” of families of policemen killed.“J&K police are giving their sacrifice for Kashmir, for the country and for Kashmiris, but it is unfortunate that people are not ready to understand it,” he added.Congress delegationThe high-level Congress group, headed by Dr. Manmohan Singh, met a number of delegations in Jammu, which included groups representing women, minorities, migrants from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, besides prominent civil society members.The Congress delegation, which is planning to visit the Kashmir Valley next week, is holding a wide-ranging interaction with civil society groups to “understand the changing ground realities.” It will later apprise the party at the executive meeting being held on Kashmir.Senior Congress leader Dr. Karan Singh, former Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, and AICC general secretary Ambika Soni are also part of the group.“This visit is aimed at holding talks with a cross section of society in J&K to know about issues confronting the State. We had announced our visit much earlier than him (Union Minister). However, it’s good if any engagement has started with Kashmir,” said Mr. Azad.Omar meets MinisterNational Conference working president Omar Abdullah led a party delegation to meet Mr. Rajnath Singh and raised the issue of J&K’s special status. Referring to the “deteriorating situation” in the Valley, Mr. Abdullah sought a sustained and open-ended political engagement with the stakeholders in Kashmir “irrespective of their ideology.” He also urged New Delhi and Islamabad to make sincere and sustained efforts towards resumption of a comprehensive dialogue on all outstanding issues including that of Kashmir.As a result of the VIP visits to the State, heavy security arrangements have been made in Jammu, Srinagar and Anantnag.“The shutdown during Mr. Singh’s visit once again proved that Kashmir is not a law and order issue or an internal matter of Delhi but a human and political issue which needs to be resolved by accepting its disputed nature,” said Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.However, another Hurriyat faction chairman Syed Ali Geelani said, “It’s meaningless to talk about development as people are being mercilessly killed and properties vandalised.”
Unfazed by the fact that his father and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief, Lalu Prasad, is in jail after being convicted in a fodder scam case, Leader of the Opposition in Bihar Tejashwi Yadav on Monday met Kaukab Quadri, president of the State unit of the Congress, the RJD’s alliance partner, to chalk out the future political strategy.Mr. Quadri drove to 10 Circular Road to meet Mr. Yadav and they had a long closed-door meeting. Party sources said the leaders discussed the political situation in view of the Lok Sabha election next year. “Mr. Quadri met Mr. Tejaswi with a message from party chief Rahul Gandhi,” a Congress source said. Mr. Yadav and the elder son of Mr. Prasad, Tej Pratap, are scheduled to embark on a State-wide Nyay Yatra (journey for justice) after the Makar Sankranti festival on January 14. “We will take the message of Lalu Prasad he had conveyed in a letter before going to jail to the people of the State and let them know how he has been victimised by the conspiracy of the BJP and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar,” Mr. Yadav said. At a meeting on Saturday party leaders were handed over copies of the two-page letter for use in the RJD campaign.
Students of two departments of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday boycotted classes against the administration’s compulsory attendance order.Students from the School of International Studies and School of Languages did not turn up for classes after the JNU Students Union gave a call for boycotting lectures. “Students boycotted their classes and attendance to give a firm message to teachers who are coercing students to give attendance and the JNU Vice-Chancellor, who is trying to impose an illegal policy measure which was never part of or was discussed in the Academic Council meeting,” the union said in a statement.The union has called for boycott of classes in the other departments on Wednesday, which include School of Social Sciences, Arts and Aesthetics and those of the science department. “Students complied on their own with the strike. Barring one or two, no one attended classes. The boycott was observed throughout,” Yashaswani Sehrawat, an international studies scholar at the varsity, told IANS. The students’ protest is over an administration order which mandated minimum 75 per cent attendance for all students to qualify for exams. Scholars are refusing to comply with the order calling it against the JNU culture and arguing that making them lecture-bound would hamper the otherwise free flow of knowledge.
At an all-party meeting called to seek the opinion of political representatives on Jammu and Kashmir governance, Governor N.N. Vohra was advised by regional parties against any “hot pursuit policy.”Mr. Vohra, who chaired the meeting in Srinagar on Friday, in turn, asked the parties to play a role in “motivating the youth to shun the path of violence.”Vijay Kumar reviews securityThe day also saw retired IPS officer K. Vijay Kumar, who assumed office as adviser to Mr. Vohra, reviewing the security situation in the Valley at a meeting attended by Director General of Police S.P. Vaid, the Director-General of Prisons, the special DG and other officers, an official spokesman said.A Raj Bhawan spokesman said the issues of internal security, law and order, development, educational problems, Amarnath Yatra and the current political scenario were discussed at the all-party meeting.Also Read Jaitley defends Centre’s ‘muscular’ policy in J&K Reviewing the security situation, Mr. Vijay Kumar stressed on close synergy between security agencies for maintaining peace and called for better security management of prisons viz-a-viz modern gadgetry and infrastructure, the official spokesman said.Mr. Kumar, a 1975 batch IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, had served in the Kashmir Valley as Inspector General of the Border Security Force in 1998-2001 when the force was actively involved in counter-militancy operations.He was till recently holding the post of senior security adviser in the Ministry of Home Affairs.(with inputs from PTI ) Democratic Nationalist Party chief G.H. Mir said the main aim of the all-party meeting was to find ways to improve the situation in the State and all political parties gave inputs on how to do it.“The parties suggested measures to restore peace and offered to support any initiative towards achieving this goal. Violence and killings will not achieve anything,” he said.Other leaders who attended the meeting included BJP State president Sat Sharma, PDP’s Dilawar Mir and CPI(M) State secretary Ghulam Nabi Malik. Independent MLA Engineer Rashid claimed he was not invited.Mehbooba on KathuaFormer Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who also had a separate meeting with Mr. Vohra, raised the issues of Article 35(A) and the Kathua rape and murder case.In her first meeting with Mr. Vohra since demitting the office earlier this week, Ms. Mufti reportedly told Mr. Vohra that she hoped cases related to the 35-A and Article 370, pending before the courts, “will be pursued with the same zest”.“The Kathua case should be followed seriously and professionally so that the culprits are punished as per the law ,” she requested Mr. Vohra.“My party is hopeful that under Mr. Vohra’s command, the things in the State will not be allowed to go out of control and the situation will be approached with care and caution,” said Ms. Mufti.Also Read Mr. Vohra sought the cooperation of all stakeholders for the restoration of peace and tranquillity, the spokesman said.Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, representing his party, the National Conference, and other parties, including the Panthers Party, called for an immediate dissolution of the Assembly and a conducive atmosphere for early elections, sources said.Mr. Abdullah urged the Governor to take confidence-building measures and ensure that there was zero-tolerance towards human rights violations.Panthers Party’s Harsh Dev Singh said, “No political party or political combination has the number to stake claim to power. Therefore, the Assembly should be dissolved.”However, both the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with 28 seats and the BJP with 25 seats in the 87-seat Assembly maintained silence on the issue.Congress alleges misrule by BJP and PDPThe Congress alleged that the ‘misrule’ due to “the unholy alliance between the PDP and the BJP had caused damage to the State,” the sources said.However, while the Congress favoured fresh elections, the party lhas eft the decision to the Governor, Pradesh Congress Committee president G.A. Mir said.Also Read No mercy for Kashmir stone throwers: Centre Militants killed in Anantnag just a small gang of Islamic State-inspired men: J&K police officer
A headmaster in Odisha’s Kandhamal district was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by Phulbani special vigilance court on Wednesday for misappropriating public money meant for construction of a school building.The vigilance court also slapped a fine of ₹5.5 lakh on the headmaster, Naresh Digal. If he fails to deposit this amount he would have to serve one more year in prison.The convict had misappropriated public money in 2009-10 while he was posted as headmaster of Project Upper Primary School at Jagadi in Tumudibandh block of Kandhamal district. Residents complainAccording to prosecution lawyer Suresh Kumar Mohapatra, during 2009-10, the government had sanctioned ₹9,96,400 for construction of new classrooms in the school. The construction work had been taken up under the supervision of the headmaster. However, after some days the construction work was stopped with the plea that the sanctioned money had been spent.The villagers complained that the entire money was not spent on the construction of the school building. The Berhampur vigilance division initiated an investigation into the allegations. A technical enquiry proved that of the total government grant, ₹4,09,192 had been spent on construction of the half-finished building, while the remaining ₹4,87,208 had been misappropriated, said Mr. Mohapatra. Based on this report, a case was filed against Digal by the vigilance department in 2014.Mr. Mohapatra said Digal’s conviction will surely lead to more transparency and less corruption in construction works at rural schools in the district.In July 2015, another headmaster, Sarat Chandra Rana, was sentenced to one-year imprisonment by Phulbani special vigilance court for misappropriation of ₹1,61,985 meant for construction of new classrooms.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday inaugurated a skywalk at the famous Dakshineswar temple on the northern fringes of Kolkata, a move aimed at reducing congestion on the roads leading to the 19th-century shrine.“The Dakshineswar temple is an international site for religious tourism. Whenever I came to the temple, I found the roads very congested,” Ms. Banerjee said after inaugurating the bridge, recalling the initial opposition to the project and how it took years for construction of the structure and how the matter at one point had reached the Calcutta High Court.Constructed by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, the skywalk, named after Rani Rashmoni, who had built the temple in 1847, is 340 metres long and 10 metres wide. There are 14 escalators and four elevators to the skywalk, making the access of pedestrians to the temple much easier. The Chief Minister assured hawkers, who feared loss of livelihood, that they will be allocated shops on the skywalk.“All the 137 shops on the skywalk will be given to the hawkers but you will have to promise to keep it clean,” Ms. Banerjee said. She also announced that the KMDA had been asked to consider a similar skywalk at the busy Kalighat temple. “I want to assure you that like Dakshineswar, no shopkeeper will be affected at Kalighat temple too,” she said.She added that the State government had plans for a light and sound show at the Dakshineswar temple, highlighting the history of the place, and added that a tender had been floated for the same.
Union Minister for Textiles and Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leader Smriti Irani on Wednesday said that it was fear of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that had brought leaders of the different Opposition parties together on one stage in Kolkata.“Recently, West Bengal witnessed a peculiar political development. Leaders who have nothing to do with the development and welfare of the people shared the dais only because of their fear of Narendra Modi,” Ms. Irani said at a public meeting at Jhargram. The speech was webcast by the BJP on various social media. BJP president Amit Shah, who was scheduled to address the rally, however, left the State after addressing a rally at Malda on Tuesday owing to ill health.Interspersing her speech with Bengali, Ms. Irani reminded Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of her differences with the Congress and the Left parties.“Didi have you forgotten how you were once assaulted by Congress and CPI(M). And today you want to form an alliance with them. How could you forget it,” she asked. The Left parties were not present at the January 19 rally at the Brigade Parade Grounds in Kolkata. Meanwhile, the helicopter woes of the BJP continued in the State with the party alleging that the State administration had not given them permission to land near the venue. Ms. Irani, who was scheduled to address another rally at Suri in Birbhum, had to skip the event as dusk had descended and the helicopter she was travelling by could not land there.“It is State administration’s conspiracy to disrupt our rallies,” asserted BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha. “They did not give permission for the helicopter to land near the venue in Jhargram but instead asked it to land in Kalaikunda in West Medinipur district. This delay in reaching Jhargram from Kalaikunda is the reason why she could not come to the Suri rally,” he said.