Mar 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) –Indonesia vowed today not to share H5N1 avian influenza virus samples with the World Health Organization (WHO) until it has a “legally binding” guarantee that the samples won’t be used to develop vaccines that the country can’t afford, according to news services.Indonesian Health Minister Siti Failah Supari told reporters in Jakarta today,”We will not share our virus sample, without a change in the rules,” the Associated press (AP) reported. The statement signaled the continuation of a standoff that has lasted several weeks.Indonesia has not supplied any H5N1 samples to the WHO since the end of 2006, the WHO has said. Steps toward resolution of the problem have been reported twice in the past month, but no final agreement has been reached.Researchers need current H5N1 samples to trace changes in the virus, map its spread, and develop vaccines in preparation for the threat of a human flu pandemic.Supari complained that WHO regulations give countries no control over how their viral samples are used, according to a Bloomberg News report. “Vaccine makers will try to produce and sell them [vaccines] to us at high price,” she said. “Poorer countries shouldn’t become a commercial target.”The WHO announced early in February that Indonesia had stopped sharing H5N1 isolates. After a Feb 16 meeting, officials said they had agreed in principle that Indonesia would resume sharing samples while the WHO would work to ensure that developing countries have access to vaccines based on their samples.In a Feb 28 letter, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan promised Indonesia that its viral specimens would be used “for public health risk assessment purposes only,” the AP reported. She also promised that, pending a formal agreement, the WHO would obtain Indonesia’s permission before sending any samples to a vaccine producer.But Supari said the letter was not enough, according to the AP. “That’s just an agreement in principle,” she said. “We need one that is legally binding.”Supari said Asia-Pacific health ministers will meet in Jakarta Mar 27 and 28 to propose changes in the WHO’s virus-sharing system, the story said.According to a Reuters report today, Supari said the proposed changes also would need to be discussed at a WHO advisory board meeting in May. She suggested that would be the earliest that the country would resume providing samples.The WHO’s Southeast Asia director, Samlee Plianbangchang, voiced confidence that the meeting later this month in Jakarta would do much to resolve the problem, the AP reported.See also:Feb 16 CIDRAP News story “Indonesia to resume sharing H5N1 samples with WHO”
(CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing) – Business continuity planners say they’re talking to their employees and other stakeholders about pandemic preparedness. Is it really happening?At the start of CIDRAP’s February 2007 Business Preparedness for Pandemic Influenza: Second National Summit in Orlando, 45% of attendees said communication was the most important preparedness priority for their company “beyond health and safety.” That ranked it No. 1. By the end of the conference, communication was No.1 by an even wider margin—67%.I asked participants which of two kinds of communication took precedence. One priority is a standby crisis communication plan—developed now so you’re ready to roll if and when a pandemic materializes. The other priority is a pandemic precaution advocacy rollout—actual communications, now, aimed at alerting employees and others to the risk, telling them what the company is doing, and urging them to get ready. The pandemic precaution advocacy rollout eked out a narrow victory, 32% to 30%, with 38% saying the two were equally important. These are the answers I wanted to hear, but I don’t trust that they reflect what’s really happening.Just about every time I’m invited to give a speech or run a workshop on pandemic communication, I ask my client whether I should focus mostly on crisis communication (“when the virus hits the fan”) or precaution advocacy (“getting ready together”). The usual choice is crisis communication. I have to argue hard for some attention to the prepandemic communication task of sounding the alarm.When I have a chance to run a workshop that covers both, I have learned the hard way to start with crisis communication. If the group works on precaution advocacy first, the messages it comes up with tend to be awfully mild—largely because participants haven’t imagined their way into a serious pandemic yet. Working first on crisis communication gives people a sense of the horrific messages they would have to deliver in the middle of a catastrophic pandemic. That sets a very different context for the second half of the program: “What can we say to people beforehand to help prepare for the exercise we just went through?”Good pandemic precaution advocacy now, in other words, can make pandemic crisis communication later a less impossible task. Not much of it seems to be happening yet from companies.What’s happening, what’s notIn fairness, some pandemic precaution advocacy is happening for some stakeholders. In particular, many companies are talking to their suppliers about pandemic preparedness—mostly in search of promises (unenforceable though they may be) to keep the supply chain filled no matter what. I hope the dialogue will move to a more realistic level, something like this: “We can manage without X and Y if we have to. What can we do together to make you likelier to be able to keep us supplied with Z?” But at least a dialogue is happening.Companies are less interested in initiating pandemic conversations with customers. I assume this is because companies don’t have good news for customers and are in no hurry to offer up bad news. “Don’t expect us to be able to meet your needs” isn’t a fun message to deliver. But in many cases, these crucial conversations are happening anyway, initiated by the customers.So far I have seen virtually no pandemic communication between companies and their shareholders. But the investor community may finally have pandemic risk on its radar screen. For a while, articles speculating on the likely economic impact of a severe pandemic became commonplace. As the lead sidebar article in this issue points out, the business press has lost interest in the pandemic story, at least for the moment. We can only hope that investors got the message already, and will start asking companies how prepared they are. The sooner the better.At the Orlando conference, Michael Evangelides, principal of Deloitte Consulting, LLP, presented data showing that CFOs were a lot less interested in pandemic preparedness than were continuity managers. That would change fast if huge pension funds started asking hard questions. Imagine how companies might respond, for example, if they got a letter from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) indicating that CalPERS was planning to screen its investments for pandemic preparedness.Corporate pandemic communication aimed at neighbors or the general public still seems to be extremely rare. In fact, business leaders have been shockingly silent in the general-interest media about pandemic risk. Thanks to Google News, I am able to read a lot of media stories (local as well as national and international) about pandemic risk. The main sources are usually health officials, politicians, or academics, not companies. The companies that manufacture antivirals are an obvious exception, and I’ve seen other exceptions—articles on the preparedness efforts of the grocery, telecommunications, and banking industries, among others. But finding examples of corporate CEOs speaking out on pandemic preparedness is hard.In late 2006, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University sponsored a 3-day conference on pandemic news coverage. I asked a lot of participants what they were writing about business preparedness. “Not much,” reporter after reporter told me. “It’s hard to find a company willing to say anything on the record about its pandemic planning.”Are you talking to employees yet?The single most important audience for corporate pandemic precaution advocacy is, of course, employees. Are companies actually talking to their employees about pandemic preparedness?I don’t mean vague assurances that employees should “rest assured that your company is doing everything possible to be fully prepared in the unlikely event of a bird flu pandemic.” I’ve seen some of those. I mean detailed, vivid communications that aim at three key goals:Briefing employees on company preparedness effortsInvolving employees in those effortsPersuading employees to launch their own preparedness efforts at home and in the communityI haven’t seen many corporate efforts to achieve these three goals.Judging from my clients, getting top management’s okay to talk frankly with employees about pandemics is an uphill battle. I hear two basic reasons for not doing so:”We’re not ready yet”—As if it made sense to wait till your corporate pandemic planning were nearly done before asking employees to get involved, and before urging them to do some planning of their own.”We don’t want to unduly frighten people”—As if the looming possibility of a severe pandemic weren’t “duly” frightening . . . and as if it were more important to keep employees unconcerned than to get them prepared.There’s a better rationale for not communicating right now: “Employees aren’t interested in pandemics. Until they are, there’s not much point in trying to talk to them.” This is, of course, the exact opposite of the we-don’t-want-to-frighten-them rationale; it suggests waiting for a teachable moment when frightening your employees will be more feasible. If your company already has its pandemic employee precaution advocacy messaging done and you’re just waiting till employees are in a mood to listen, okay. Don’t wait too long.But I’d bet my mortgage that’s not what’s happening. If anything, companies will be even less willing to talk candidly and frighteningly about pandemics when their employees are already buzzing with pandemic anxiety.Go ahead, get startedSo what are companies really waiting for? I’m afraid they’re waiting for a pandemic. The votes at CIDRAP’s Orlando conference notwithstanding, it seems to me that most companies have not yet made communication a priority in their pandemic preparedness work. In particular, they have not yet done much employee pandemic precaution advocacy.It’s time to get started.An internationally renowned expert in risk communication and crisis communication, Peter Sandman speaks and consults widely on communication aspects of pandemic preparedness. Dr. Sandman, Deputy Editor, contributes an original column to CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing every other week. Most of his risk communication writing is available without charge at the Peter Sandman Risk Communication Web Site, which includes an index of pandemic-related writing on the site.
Greek oil company Energean Oil & Gas has received approval from the Israeli Petroleum Commissioner for its Field Development Plan (FDP) for the development of the Karish and Tanin natural gas fields, offshore Israel.Energean’s subsidiary, Energean Israel, holds 100% of Karish and Tanin, which combined have 2.7 TCF of natural gas and 41 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) of light hydrocarbon liquids, totaling 531 mmboe 2C resources. The FDP application was submitted on June 20, 2017.The Karish main development envisages drilling three wells, using a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit that will be located approximately 90 km offshore with a production capacity of 400 mmscf/day. The Tanin Area Development will follow the development of Karish and envisages drilling six wells connected to the same FPSO.Energean has already appointed TechnipFMC as the contractor for Concept and Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for the development.The next stage in the field development, which envisages first gas production in 2020, is to reach the final investment decision (FID) which is anticipated before the end of 2017. The company has appointed Morgan Stanley as Project Finance Advisor for the $1.3-1.5 billion investment required for the Karish development.Commenting on the approval, Energean CEO, Mathios Rigas, said: “The Israeli Government’s approval of the Field Development Plan is a major milestone and achievement for us and we are grateful for their swift handling of our submission. We are working at full speed to achieve the planned FID by year end and we have made significant progress in agreeing terms on the necessary gas sales contracts to this effect.“We have already signed agreements or MOUs for volumes exceeding 3 BCM per year. FDP approval takes us a significant step nearer to delivering a more competitive gas market to the benefit of the people and businesses of Israel.”
(REUTERS) – Boris Becker says younger players on the men’s tour do not have the right mindset to challenge the “big three” of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the Grand Slams.The trio have won every Grand Slam since 2017, with 33-year-old Nadal claiming the latest title at Roland Garros on Sunday, dispatching 25-year-old Austrian Dominic Thiem in the final for a second straight year.Becker, who won Wimbledon aged 17 and went on to win six Slams, said it was the mental aspect of the game more than anything that set Nadal, Federer (37) and Djokovic (32) apart.“I was just reading a stat that no active player outside the big three under 28, apart from Thiem, has been in a Grand Slam final,” Becker, a pundit with Eurosport, said looking ahead to Wimbledon which begins on July 1.“That’s not good, that’s not a compliment for anybody under 28. And don’t give me that ‘the others are too good’. We should question the quality and the attitude of everybody under 28; it just doesn’t make sense.”Other players to reach men’s Grand Slam finals in the past three years were Juan Martin del Potro, Kevin Anderson, Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka – all aged 30 and above.“As much as I respect Roger, Rafael and Novak, young players should show up,” Becker added. “Eventually, they will be too old, but you want to see the passing of the torch while they are still in their prime.“There’s a certain mentality that they (younger players) don’t have, that the three others do have. It’s not the forehands, it’s not the fitness. It’s mindset – attitude – that makes the difference between winning and losing.”
SEATTLE — The Angels are still hoping they can get Shohei Ohtani back this year.“We all feel the prognosis is good and hopefully in three or four weeks we can evaluate him and see where he can at least come back to hit, and what the prognosis is for when he can get back out there and pitch,” Manager Mike Scioscia said Monday.After Monday’s widespread repeating of a Sunday night report that Ohtani would “probably” need Tommy John surgery, General Manager Billy Eppler said such news is premature.Eppler said there has been no change in the diagnosis or the treatment plan for Ohtani since the team announced on Friday that he has a grade 2 sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. “I think Jaime definitely has pitched himself onto our depth chart, from spring and continuing to perform well here,” Scioscia said. “We’re encouraged at how much he’s grown and where he is right now, and how much he’ll help us this year. There is no doubt he’s pitched his way into more looks for us now.”The Angels have off days each of the next two weeks, so they can still have five starters and have the pitchers mostly get an extra day of rest. Scioscia said they still might periodically add a sixth starter in order to provide the extra day of the rest when there isn’t an off day.“There are definitely going to be times we would consider adding a guy because the rest of the guys have pitched at a higher level with the added rest here or there,” Scioscia said.The Angels have Parker Bridwell at Triple-A, although he has struggled to an 8.68 ERA in six starts. The best starter at Triple-A has been left-hander John Lamb, a former top prospect who is working his way back from multiple years of back injuries. Lamb has a 3.44 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 49-2/3 innings.ALSOJabari Blash was recalled from Triple-A and Michael Hermosillo was optioned. Blash was hitting .324 with 18 homers at Triple-A. “Jabari is swinging the bat very well down there,” Scioscia said. “We’re going to try to give him a look. We’ve got some left-handed pitchers coming up.” He was in the lineup on Monday night against left-hander Wade LeBlanc. The Mariners are scheduled to start another lefty, Marco Gonzales, on Wednesday. …Andrelton Simmons (sprained right ankle) has begun playing catch and hitting off a tee, Scioscia said. He has done some cardio on an elliptical trainer, but he hasn’t run yet. There is no timetable for Simmons’ return, but Scioscia said “he’s made a lot of improvement the last couple days.” …Kole Calhoun (strained oblique) is hitting in Arizona, at the Angels spring training complex. Scioscia said they’ll keep evaluating him to determine if he needs a rehab assignment. …The Angels signed second-round pick Jeremiah Jackson for a bonus of $1,196,500, which is the exact slot value for his pick. They have also reached agreements with first-round pick Jordyn Adams and fifth-round pick William English, but they aren’t finalized yet.UP NEXTAngels (Jaime Barría, 5-1, 2.48) at Mariners (Mike Leake, 6-3, 4.46), Tuesday, 7 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM) Ohtani underwent platelet-rich plasma and stem-cell injections, and the Angels are “hopeful,” Eppler said Friday, that those will be sufficient for Ohtani to avoid surgery. Scioscia said Ohtani has started undergoing therapy after a few days of rest.Historically, many pitchers who have grade 2 sprains of their UCL do end up having Tommy John surgery, so it remains a possibility.But they aren’t there yet.And, if Ohtani does avoid surgery, it’s possible the Angels could get him back as a hitter sometime this season, even if he’s not able to pitch.In the meantime, the Angels will fill the immediate void in the rotation by bringing back Jaime Barría to start on Tuesday. Barría had been on a shuttle between Triple-A and the majors, posting a 5-1 record with a 2.48 ERA in seven starts. He had been going back to Triple-A whenever the schedule provided an off day so the Angels didn’t need six starters. Now, it’s likely he will remain in the big leagues indefinitely. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Midwestern fruit and vegetable farmers are more likely than their counterparts in other regions to give up federal organic certification, according to a Purdue University study. Access to organic markets and consumers as well as the demands of obtaining and retaining certification seem to be the most significant drivers of their decisions.Obtaining U.S. Department of Agriculture organic certification can be an expensive, year-long process that requires changing management practices and working with certifiers who determine if farms meet the government’s extensive requirements. But that’s worth it for many farmers who can command higher prices for organic products since demand has been rising quickly over the last decade.In 2017, organic food sales topped $45 billion — up 6.4% from 2016, according to the Organic Trade Association. Sales have more than doubled since 2010. Fruits and vegetables are the top-selling category, making up nearly 37% of organic food sales.“Consumers are demanding more organic fruits and vegetables, so there is a push to certify more farmers,” said Ariana Torres, a Purdue assistant professor of agricultural economics and horticulture & landscape architecture and co-author of the study. “There’s been a lot of money invested from the federal and local governments to get more farmers organically certified. The decision to decertify can have an effect on those programs, organic food supply and the bottom lines of farmers who spend so much to get into the program in the first place.”Despite the boom in demand, the number of organic farms has declined from 14,540 in 2008 to 12,818 in 2015. Some of that is due to consolidation of small and medium farms into larger operations. But some operations are simply leaving the organic program.Torres and Maria Marshall, a Purdue professor of agricultural economics, published their findings in the journal HortScience. Data are based on more than 1,500 farmer surveys.Of the 234 farms that were or had been organic at some point, the authors find that 36% had dropped certification. Large- and medium-sized farms were less likely to decertify than small farms. These farms may be able to produce enough volume of fruits and vegetables to access high-value, high-volume markets.That may be because fewer of the smaller organic farms are located near markets that would purchase large quantities of organic produce. Transportation to larger population centers may be less cost-effective for small organic farms.Also, many farmers who decide to opt out are likely selling their organic produce directly to consumers through farmer’s markets or community-supported agriculture programs.The data show that 72% of farmers continued to use organic practices even after decertification. Those farmers seem to be committed to organic agriculture and might be able to obtain premium prices for continuing to use organic practices without the need for an official certification.“Your customers know how you farm in those situations,” Torres said. “The farmers don’t need that tag to say the farm is USDA certified. The farmers just need to have a good relationship with the buyers.”In California and the Northeast United States, where decertification rates are lower, access to large markets likely keeps farmers in the program because they need certification to obtain premium prices.“If you’re a larger operation or selling to supermarkets, that requires you to be certified organic,” Marshall said. “But if you’re selling close to home, directly to consumers, you’re probably more likely to decertify.”Organic farmers were also likely to opt out of certification if the process became too much of a hassle.“Farmers were more likely to decertify if they perceived that loss of freedom, paperwork, cost of certification, interaction with the certifier, and lack of information were barriers to remain certified. It seems that the requirements embedded in the certification process were detrimental to the decision to remain certified,” the authors wrote.Understanding the reasons why organic farmers decertify may help inform government decisions on certification rules and processes.“That may be something that lawmakers may want to keep in mind,” Marshall said. “We want to maintain as many organic farmers as possible. Maintaining them is a lot less costly than certifying new ones.”Torres added that improving access to markets, especially for small operations, might make a difference.“If we want to incentivize farmers to remain certified, we probably want to support the access to markets,” Torres said. “If you’re small enough and can’t reach the market, programs that group certified small farms together to get them better access to large markets could be helpful.”The USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture Organic Research and Education Initiative supported the research.
Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting kyle falkenhagen Tags:#cloud computing#enterprise Guest author Kyle Falkenhagen is director of product management at ServiceMesh.Business and IT leaders are bombarded with cloud computing hype and promotion. Yet very little is said about how the cloud affects the evolution of the IT organization itself. Enterprise cloud adoption is a transformative shift where the greatest implementation challenges are often more about people and process than technology integration.Agents of change, especially in large enterprises, must overcome various forms of resistance. This includes organizational fiefdoms and the IT silos that evolved with them. These four organizational change strategies can help IT departments fight fear and inertia as they move to cloud computing:IT Change Strategy #1: Use Tiger Teams To Break Down IT FiefdomsWhile no one is shocked that IT silos can hinder cloud adoption, you may be surprised how quickly you’ll encounter resistance. For example, setting up IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) offerings for your first private cloud will likely involve separate groups responsible for storage, computing, networking, platforms and security. Coordination among these groups is already difficult and you’ll quickly find that many cloud vendors have product interoperability issues that cause documentation gaps, integration problems and incompatibilities. Teams will have to escalate issues through multiple vendors, causing long delays and strains between IT fiefdoms not accustomed to relying on each other.The key is for siloed groups to share activities across traditional boundaries. To encourage this, leading companies have created Tiger Teams: small cross-functional groups of skilled, respected and entrepreneurial-minded workers. They should be experienced enough to navigate their home departments to accomplish needed tasks, politically astute enough to marshal resources and enterprising enough to push projects to completion. And they need a strong sponsor who can provide political cover and help break through entrenched resistance.IT Change Strategy #2: SWAT Away “Analysis Paralysis”One large financial institution implemented a cloud strategy with an incumbent vendor that claimed to offer the right strategy and products. The firm waited too long for proof points and had vastly disappointing results. When it tried to bring in other cloud vendors, they merely added confusion to the existing failed effort – leading to analysis paralysis and the inability to decide on the proper next steps.Unfortunately, this scenario is being played out in many large enterprises. If you can’t afford a year of paralysis, create a SWAT team.Smaller and more discreet than a Tiger Team, a SWAT team is quietly let loose to “get something done.” It emerges only when it has a concrete working model to integrate with the IT ecosystem for evaluation. Because it runs “small, fast and dark,” a SWAT team can be easier to initiate than a Tiger Team. A SWAT team’s goal is to break the paralysis and create a tangible model that everyone can improve. Building a SWAT team is relatively cost effective, especially compared to the opportunity cost of spending a year just trying to decide what to do.IT Change Strategy #3: Challenge Legacy ObstinacyMany organizations cling stubbornly to legacy applications and platforms, often including proprietary applications running on no longer supported platforms. While some groups may propose porting those applications to a modern, standardized, platform and as-a-Service offering, legacy zealots may claim that’s too risky.But there are many different techniques for cloud migration, including some require little to no re-architecture efforts. One size does not fit all when it comes to migrating applications to the cloud.That’s critical, because the benefits of eliminating non-standard platforms and infrastructure in favor of lower cost, cloud-based service offerings are too important to ignore. Because cloud computing promises automated processes that lower costs and speed cycle times for application provisioning, maintenance, patching and updating, cloud-based IT service costs will almost certainly decrease over time. Legacy system costs, meanwhile, typically continue to creep up. Many times, simply running numbers can help overcome emotional objections to changing the legacy status quo.IT Change Strategy #4: Challenge Habitual InefficiencyMost organizations existing IT processes and governance approaches are the result of years of layering of systems, technologies and process exceptions. Today’s cloud initiatives present a significant new opportunity to improve process automation and implement new governance best practices. That will likely breed resistance based on the idea of, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Don’t buy it. The process has likely been broken for years.Part of the resistance is political, as people within the IT organization understandably worry about positions being eliminated or particular fiefdoms losing prestige and power. The misperception may also exist that automation is fraught with risk.But the real risk lies in not doing anything.While some positions may in fact be eliminated and other roles may change with a move to the cloud, this is far better than the alternative. Sub-optimal IT efficiency can lead to lower enterprise productivity, a loss of competitiveness, lower profits and ultimately the risk of wholesale outsourcing of IT operations.Successful Organizational Change ManagementAddressing organizational change is vital to ensure the success of enterprise cloud-computing initiatives. By incorporating the right approach and building strong arguments to overcome resistance, you can help your organization make the changes necessary for successful implementation of enterprise cloud strategies. Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Related Posts
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He calls for targets, shoots them down with two quick bursts from his shotgun, then prepares for the next targets. Ronjan Singh Sodhi’s sport is just like his life now-a-days – there is no time to rest.Just a day after he returned home from Izmir, Turkey, where he shot the double trap gold at the ISSF World Cup Finals, Sodhi was back in action with his trusted Perazzi weapon at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range Wrestling in Tughlakabad.Speaking to MAIL TODAY while taking a break between practice rounds, Sodhi said his focus had not dwindled despite his big achievement.”I had said before I left for the Finals that I had three big competitions coming up and, for me, it’s just one down and two to go (Commonwealth Games and Asian Games). Yes, it was magnificent to win the gold medal, but my focus is very much in place, which is why I’m here practicing the day after I got back home,” Sodhi said.Reflecting on his performance in the Finals, Sodhi said the key to success had been confidence in himself. “It was pretty close at the end of the qualification round, but my competitors started falling behind early in the final. The best thing was the confidence that my training had given me, which was helped by the fact that I was hitting the targets right in the middle,” he said.”It has been a fantastic year for me – out of five ISSF competitions, I have shot well in three.advertisementBefore this gold, I had won the World Cup gold in Lonato ( Italy) and I had shot the world record ( 147 points) in Acapulco ( Mexico) in the first World Cup of the year. So I’m hoping to take this strong form forward with gold at the next two events as well.” On the contribution of shot gun coach Marcello Dradi of Italy, Sodhi said: ” Having somebody as experienced as Marcello around is really a big help. He travels to competitions with us and while he can’t change too much of the technical aspects at this stage, it is a tremendous boost to the mind to have him around and talking to you at the competitions.”His help has also reflected in the records this year – apart from my success, there’s been Manavjit [ Sandhu] winning a World Cup gold in trap, Asher [ Noria] has won the junior double trap at the World Championships and Seema Tomar has also won a silver medal – the first for an Indian woman shotgunner. Marcello has played a major role in taking the Indian shotgun team to an all- time high.” Sodhi also dismissed concerns over the form of Abhinav Bindra and Samaresh Jung, who are going through a lean patch.”Abhinav hasn’t shot in enough competitions since the Olympics to judge his form. I know that he is a big- game player and prepares himself with the mega events in mind. If you look at his past record, the bigger the stage, the better his performance gets.Be it the Olympic gold or the World Championships gold in 2006, he always succeeds on the big stage, so I have no doubt that come Games time, his performance will be at its peak,” he said.”As regards Samaresh Jung, the expectations had been heightened after he won five gold at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. He is not in bad form, it is just that other shooters have done better than him in some events. I have no doubts that these champions will underline their greatness,” he said. ” Having said that, I believe the man to watch out for will no doubt be Gagan Narang. Not only is he in the fray for multiple gold medals, he has also been the most consistent among all our shooters.” On the last- minute concerns about the athletes’ accommodation and other facilities at the Commonwealth Games Village, Sodhi said he wasn’t letting them cloud his mind.”There has been too much negative publicity about every aspect of the Games. Yes, there is a little bit of concern about the Village and I would be lying if I said there were no concerns. But my gut feeling says everything is going to be all right. Senior level people have intervened now and I think everything should be in order,” he said.