By Carol ChurchIn part 1 of this series, we talked about what scammers are after and common warning signs of work-at-home scams. In part 2, we’ll talk about the questions to ask when pursuing a work-at-home opportunity, what to do if someone has been a victim, and multilevel marketing companies vs. pyramid schemes.Vitaliy Kytayko/PhotospinQuestions to AskAnyone considering a work-from-home opportunity needs to do their homework.First of all, google the company name plus “scam” and/or “reviews.” Of course, take it all with a grain of salt, but you’re likely to learn a great deal. You should also check the company’s reviews on the Better Business Bureau. Check their Scam Tracker as well.Second, check out the company and associated people on the Internet. Does everything seem legit? Are they who they say they are? Where is their physical office and can you call them up and speak to the person you’ve been dealing with?Finally, if still considering working for the company, one should find out more specifics about payment. Find out exactly how much and how often payment occurs, and if there is anything that will vary this. Ask what an average employee makes monthly. Ask to speak to some of these employees.If still feeling skeptical, ask to see proof that the claims they’re making about earnings are true. In fact, under the FTC’s Business Opportunity rule, consumers have the right to ask for a one-page disclosure document that offers important information about “jobs” that are really more “business opportunities” (often fraudulent). Learn more about this important consumer protection here.If You’ve Been a VictimUnfortunately, some will fall victim to one or another of these scams. If this is the case for you, or if you are helping someone who has been scammed, here are some resources that can help.If an identity has been stolen, it should be reported to the FTC at identitytheft.gov, which has many resources to assist in this scenario.File a complaint with the FTC about work-from home job scams here.Business-related scams can be reported to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.The attorney general’s office in each state can also assist with business-related scams. Find your state attorney general here.A Note on MLMs vs. Pyramid SchemesMulti-level marketing businesses (selling products from home through a distributor, such as Avon, Pampered Chef, Lularoe, Jamberry, etc) are a common way to make money “from home” in the US, and are especially popular for military spouses. They are legal in the United States and are a legitimate way to earn money, though it should be noted that they are not an easy way to make money, and that many people do not earn much in this business.Pyramid schemes, on the other hand, are illegal. Pyramid schemes may consist of “buying into” a product-based opportunity or may be just marketed as “investment opportunities” with no physical product involved. In a pyramid scheme, each “investor” MUST recruit multiple other investors, and the scheme is solely dependent on recruiting others. Pyramid schemes do not work unless the people at the bottom of the pyramid loseIt can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between an MLM and a product-based pyramid scheme, because in some ways, the two concepts are similar. However, they are not the same.MLM vs Pyramid SchemeMLM:Reasonable start-up costsThe focus is on the productThe training is about selling the product, not recruiting more sellersCompany supports its sellers in selling and marketing productCompany will buy back unsold inventory from the seller, although it may be at a discounted pricePyramid Scheme:High start-up costsMoney is earned through recruiting new members, not through selling productCompany does not back its products and is not interested in helping sellers market and sell productCompany refuses to buy back unsold inventoryCommissions are offered for recruiting new sellersFrequent pressure to “size up” your investment or pay more for additional trainingIf you’re interested in learning more about MLMs, the FTC has more info here. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0065-multilevel-marketingReferences:References:Brunelli, L. (2017). 7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Work-at-Home Scams. Retrieved from https://www.thespruce.com/protect-yourself-work-at-home-scams-4049387Kohler, C. (2016). Don’t Get Scammed: 4 Questions to Help You Land a Legit Work-From-Home Job. Retrieved from https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/make-money/how-to-detect-work-from-home-scams/Federal Trade Commission. (2011). Bogus business opportunities. Retrieved from https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/bogus-business-opportunitiesFederal Trade Commission. (2015). Work-at-home businesses. Retrieved from https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0175-work-home-businessesFederal Trade Commission. (2016). Multilevel marketing. Retrieved from https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0065-multilevel-marketingWang, J. (2013). 5 Signs that MLM “Opportunity” Might Be a Scam. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/5-signs-that-mlm-opportunity-might-be-a-scam-2013-1Ward, S. (2017). Learn to Distinguish Between MLM and Pyramid Schemes. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/is-it-multilevel-marketing-or-a-pyramid-scheme-2947159
What makes a good animation? Follow the 12 basic principles outlined by the Walt Disney Company. This video illustrates them beautifully!The early animators at Walt Disney Studios (during the 1930’s) developed a list of 12 basic animation principles to give their project’s character and personality.Professional motion designer Cento Lodigiani took these 12 principles and demonstrated them using basic shape animations. The resulting video is executed with a charming simplicity. Cento used shape layers in After Effects to create the animation. Here’s hoping he comes out with a tutorial video to show us his process!Visit Cento’s Tumblr “The 12 Principles” to check out GIF animations of each principle.This is quick and worthwhile viewing for anyone interested in animation, motion graphics or design. Great work, Cento!
Learn the best time to downscale in the following video tutorial by Dave Dugdale.If you want to make you computer run 4 times slower than necessary go ahead and edit 4K footage instead of 1080…or at least that’s what Dave Dugdale seems to say in the following video!The left side of this frame was edited in 1080 and the right side was edited in 4K.As cameras progress faster than broadcasters can keep up, downscaling 4K footage will continue to be an annoying yet necessary reality. With this new workflow comes new questions that need to be answered in regards to downscaling. Thankfully Dave Dugdale has created a helpful video answering one of the most basic downscaling questions, “When is the best time to downscale?” The video covers:Downscaling footageAnalyzing SharpnessRAW WorkflowsDave is using the popular Panasonic GH4. If you haven’t had a chance to see the test footage from the GH4, it’s really impressive! Check out our sharpness analysis post where the GH4 goes head to head with a Mark III and RED Epic.In short, the video surmises that while there isn’t a better way to downscale footage there is definitely a fast way. Instead of editing your entire project in 4K then exporting to 1080, you can save yourself a lot of time and RAM by setting your video editing sequence settings to HD.This video was first shared on Dave Dugdale’s YouTube Channel. Thanks for sharing Dave!Is Dave correct? Is there really no difference between downscaling during or after editing? Share in the comments below.
Performance Max Flight Distance: 100mMax Speed: 8m/sMax Flight Time: 13min Image via DJI. DJI, in my opinion, is the undisputed king of drones. They were one of the first competitors on the market and have held their position steadfastly for the past several years. With GoPro leaving the drone game after the lackluster performance of the Karma, DJI seems to keep its place on the top of the hill. One of DJI’s latest moves is the release of the Tello, DJI’s first low-cost consumer drone.DJI paired with the startup company Ryze Robotics, a tech up-and-comer specializing in drones, to release this one-of-a-kind piece of equipment. It features an intel processor for photo processing, along with image stabilization and the ability to capture 5mp pictures. It may only feature 720p transmission for its video function, but that’s not too bad for a drone under $100.Honestly, this drone isn’t built for capturing cinematic footage. But it has the potential to be the next gift your kid wants for their birthday. It comes with VR support for first-person flying, as well an app to connect a controller for even more precision and control. It even comes with Scratch, an MIT-developed coding system that allows you to learn more about programming and customizing your drone. Keep your eyes on this one, folks, because it’s going to be the hot new item when it (hopefully) releases in the next few weeks.Here are the specs: With the huge tech conference CES 2018 starting today, DJI has just rolled out some new products that are sure to turn heads.Cover image via Ryze Robotics.The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show is moving into full swing this week, which has all of the tech giants lined up to showcase their new gear and tech. Stabilizer and Drone company DJI certainly is rising to the challenge and decided to release all of its new gear a few days before CES even began. Their new lineup includes the successor to their Osmo mobile stabilization device, a Ronin-branded DSLR handheld stabilizer, and a surprising $99 consumer drone that pairs their technology with Ryze — a new robotics startup.Tello Weight: approximately 80 g (with propellers and battery)Dimensions: 98mm*92.5mm*41mmPropeller: 3-inchBuilt-In Functions: Range Finder, Barometer, LED, Vision System, WIFI 802.11n 2.4G, 720P Live ViewPort: micro USB charging portMax Flight Distance: 100mMax Speed: 8m/sMax Flight Time: 13minPhoto: 5MP (2,592×1,936)FOV: 82.6°Video: HD720P30Format: JPG(Photo); MP4(Video)Electronic Image Stabilization: Yes Osmo Mobile 2Previously, if you were looking for a quality mobile phone stabilizer, the usual go-to was the original Osmo Mobile. Unfortunately, the $200 price tag turned away the average consumer. With the release of the Osmo Mobile 2, DJI has upgraded a few features — as well as bringing that price point all the way down to $129.99. Pretty impressive.New features for this mobile stabilizer include full support for portrait recording, as well as simpler controls and a hefty 15-hour battery life. With the price drop from the original model and a few upgrades, this new piece of equipment is sure to be in the hands of every on-the-go cinematographer — or even your friendly neighborhood skate crew — in the upcoming months.Ronin-SI can’t express enough how impressed I am with this stabilizer. Being released into the already-industry-leading product line of the Ronin, the Ronin-S has compacted all of the features of the two-handed stabilizer into one. It has the impressive ability to handle the payload of a typical DSLR or mirrorless camera while providing top-grade DJI stabilization performance. It also provides a focus-assist that you can control from the base of the rig.This is DJI’s challenge to Zhiyun and Feiyu, who have a firm hold on the one-handed stabilization market, and once we get a closer look at it when the technical specs are released, it may unbalance the playing field substantially.Make sure to follow PremiumBeat on Facebook for more coverage of CES 2018.
Documentaries, as a form of journalism, often cover important, serious topics. But is this all that the genre is capable of?It can seem like documentary filmmaking solely focuses on serious issues or topics. While most of the documentaries that saw recent success have covered international espionage or outrageous crimes, documentary filmmaking also can also be funny. With documentaries now easier to access than ever, and consumption constantly increasing, we’re beginning to see a steady rise in this comedic documentary sub-genre — and the filmmakers creating it.In this article, we’ll take a quick look at some of the classic funny, quirky, and offbeat documentary comedies you should check out if you’re considering making one of your own.Vernon, FloridaThe first film by legendary documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, Vernon, Florida, follows the inhabitants of a small Florida town. It features such quirky residents as an obsessive turkey gobbler and an eccentric preacher.If you dive into the career of Errol Morris, you’ll discover that these quirky and offbeat documentaries are what made him a famous documentarian. Morris’s work proves that you can forge a career as a documentary filmmaker without focusing solely on serious issues. Air Guitar NationThis absurdly unique docu-comedy feels like the comedic sibling of the classic documentary and competition film, Spellbound. Air Guitar Nation follows a wide range of characters who compete in the first National Air Guitar Competition held in the U.S., which started above a strip club in New York City. American MovieThis classic documentary took home the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 1999. American Movie follows a young Wisconsinite on his quest to make his horror film, Coven, over a three-year period. With a $3,000 loan from his uncle and a Mastercard, this self-referential documentary follows the filmmakers as they try to finish the film while subjecting their actors to injury-inducing stunts and battling their own demons.While most documentaries are, indeed, serious, the genre can still hold up even when comedy is involved. These comedic films still follow the same story structures as their more serious counterparts — they all feature characters who must overcome something against all odds. While doing so, they undergo a change of character.If you’re a documentary filmmaker, you don’t need to feel pressured to always create something serious. If you find a quirky, offbeat, or strange subject, follow it. There have been many great comedic documentaries, and there will be many more to come.Cover image via Hajakely.Looking for more information on documentary filmmaking? Check out these articles.Interview: Filmmaker Bradley Olsen and His FCPX Documentary “Off the Tracks”7 Reasons You Should “Script” Your Documentary ProjectsTips from the Team Behind the Ruth Bader Ginsberg Sundance DocumentarySXSW Arts: Meet the Interactive Documentary Connecting the World 7 Run-and-Gun Production Tips for Documentary Filmmakers Winnebago ManBefore viral videos even existed, the footage behind Winnebago Man slid into pop culture thanks to his perverse language and demeanor. Through strong character development and a constantly unraveling plot, this comedic documentary comes recommended by most documentary lovers. The King of Kong: Fistful of QuartersThis classic comedic documentary follows two avid classic arcade Donkey Kong players who are competing for the title of world champion of the classic arcade version of Donkey Kong. The two meet at a competition in Florida to battle for the title. The strong characters of The King of Kong make it a memorable film and textbook example of this sub-genre.
Even if your viewers aren’t watching your content in 4K, there are still benefits to shooting at this resolution. Here are five things to keep in mind.Sure, not everybody watches your work in 4K, even if that’s how you intend viewers to see it. But that’s no reason to stop recording in 4K. Here are five reasons why.1. Reframe the ShotThe first and most obvious reason to use 4K footage in your 1080p projects is that you can reframe your shot. With 4K you have more than double the working space. This gives you room to scale up and move your shot around to fine-tune the composition. Use this to get your eye-line in the upper third, get rid of any unwanted headroom, or turn a medium shot into a close-up.2. Use One Take Multiple TimesBeing able to change the framing of your shot from a medium to a close-up is like having two cameras. This means you can use one take multiple times. Naturally, this gives you added versatility in the editing room, allowing you to create a sequence of shots from one angle. Simply cut the clip and then reframe one of the shots. You can also use this method to avoid jump cuts in interview shots.3. Create Camera MovesWhile you can reframe your shot with the scale, rotation, and position properties, remember that all of these attributes are also keyframable. So not only can you change the composition of your shot, you can also create zoom and pedestal moves. I recommend that you keep these moves subtle — if you push it too far, it will start to look fake.4. Stabilize Your FootageWhen you use the Warp Stabilizer effect, it will automatically stabilize, crop, and scale your clip. It scales the footage up so that you can’t see the cropped edges of the frame. The beauty of the 4K to 1080p workflow is that you can stabilize your footage inside a native 4K sequence and then nest it inside a 1080p sequence. This will keep those pesky cropped edges from showing up. (At the time of publication, you can only stabilize footage in Premiere Pro if the resolution of the clip matches the sequence.)5. Perfectly Position GraphicsWhen you’re adding text to a video, it can be quite difficult to make the text stand out. Graphics can easily blend into certain parts of a shot or just look out of place due to the framing. Working with a 4K high-resolution clip allows you to scale and reposition, giving you total control over the positioning of the background. Having such tight control over the background will make working with text and other graphic elements easier. Looking for more video production tutorials? Check these out.What Else Can You Do with Your 360° and VR Video Footage?Everything to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Blackmagic’s URSA Mini ProFree Practical Lighting Techniques for a Cinematic LookVideo Tutorial: What Does “Dirtying the Frame” Mean?
Every interaction with your clients (and dream clients) counts. It all matters.That first cold call matters. It matters that you sound like someone who creates value for their clients. Having ideas matters … a lot! It matters how you treat the gatekeepers. It matters how you persist after your request for time is rejected. Are you treating your prospecting interactions like they matters.Your first sales call matters. That interaction is a what your will determine whether or not you are someone worth spending more time with or whether you should be precluded from an opportunity. Are you preparing for sales calls and planning for them like the interaction matters?The way you develop your solutions matters (now more than ever). The way you develop solutions needs to be more collaborative. It needs to include more stakeholders from more diverse areas of the business. Less is probably just pitching. It’s probably features and benefits divorced from any real desired future state. Is the way that you work the middle of the sales process proof positive that you know it matters–and how much it matters when the votes are tallied?The way you negotiate value matters, too. You owe it to your client, your company, and yourself to not allow your client to underinvest in the result they need. Discounting means allowing your client to underinvest. It means depriving your company of the profit necessary to produce the results your client needs. It also discounts the value that you create. This interaction matters a whole bunch, and not treating all the previous sales interactions like they matter often results in poor creating and capturing of value.Every sales interaction matters. They all count. If you believe they count, then you have to prepare for each interaction in a way that ensures that you create value for your clients and that you obtain the sales interaction’s outcomes (usually an advance).Treat every interaction as if the whole deal rests on that single interaction. It just may.QuestionsHow do you prepare for sales interactions?How do you prepare for your first sales call?How do you ensure that your prep work helps you obtain the outcome you need?
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Human beings automatically grow older. But we don’t automatically grow up or wake up. These four things will prevent you from doing either.Only take in things that confirm your world view. The one thing that will prevent you from growing as an individual is to take in only information that confirms your existing worldview. You can pretend that there aren’t other ideas and other opinions, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other truths that are every bit as valid as yours (or maybe more valid). If you are never exposed to new ideas, you are never going to grow beyond where you are now.Defend your world view at all costs. Entrenching yourself in your beliefs is like allowing cement to set. The more you defend your beliefs, the more difficult it is for you to take in new ideas, new opinions, and new truths. The more vociferously you defend your worldview, the more difficult it is for you to change; it looks inconsistent, sketchy. Once set, it’s harder to break free of a worldview that doesn’t serve you.Don’t try to understand other beliefs and positions. There is a reason other people share different beliefs and opinions. The circumstances of their lives were different. They were infected by a different set of memes. They have had a very different set of experiences. You can only grow when you try to understand how others came to believe what they believe. If you had been born to the same circumstances and shared the same experiences, you would have the same beliefs. When you wake up, you will be able to take another’s point of view and understand why they have it.Be judgmental and show no compassion. Judging others for their beliefs, opinions, and ideas that differ from yours is a recipe for stagnation. That judgment can make you feel that you and your beliefs are superior. You grow when you give up being judgmental. You wake up when you are compassionate instead.The more open you are to understanding, the more you will grow. The willingness to explore another person’s beliefs and take their position allows you to develop a greater understanding of the world, and it provides you with more options for making a difference. This is how you wake up.You can grow older without ever really growing up, and you can grow older without developing the ability to take another’s position. If you can’t remember the last time you changed a long-held belief, you may need to focus on growing up and waking up.
Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now Your key performance indicators aren’t my key performance indicators. The activities and outcomes that might indicate that you are moving towards success can be wildly different from mine.Different StrategiesYour strategy might be to increase your revenue. New revenue might be an excellent indicator for proving that you are on course. If that is your strategic goal, then that is a significant key performance indicator, even if it is a lagging indicator.But let’s pretend that my strategy is to increase my margin. Revenue isn’t a good indicator for me. Of course, I am going to look at that number! But margin growth is a better indicator for me as to how I am progressing towards my strategic goals. In my case, I might trade higher margin business with lower revenue growth.Different ActivityYou might need very high activity when it comes to prospecting. You might need high activity because you don’t presently have enough. Or maybe it is because you are a startup, and customer acquisition is the key to profitability (and just maybe you are smart enough not to look at your burn rate to determine how well you are doing). The outcome of new opportunities created is an excellent indicator as to how you are doing.I might need less activity because I am focused on acquiring strategic accounts and because that is the only real way for me to reach my goals. For some businesses, smaller transactional clients don’t produce the necessary results and only divert attention from acquiring dream clients. I might take less activity for more concrete outcomes, like meetings with strategic prospects.Different NeedsYour company and my company might have very different needs. What you measure should be important to what you need to grow and improve your business. What I should measure should ensure my company’s growth and my improvement.Different businesses have different needs. And they have different needs at different times. You need to make your KPIs your own, whether they are activity or outcome metrics.
This post is 2,500th post I’ve written on this blog. Here is some of what I have learned writing and publishing every day. Well, almost every day. There was that one time . . .I didn’t need to take off time writing to visit Tibet. In 2010, less than a year after I started blogging, I had the chance to go to Lhasa. I decided not to blog while I was in-country. I soon discovered that if there was one thing I had, it was time to write. China Mobile was impeccable. It turns out, nomads don’t use a lot of mobile bandwidth. I had a clear signal from Basecamp 1 on Mt. Everest and could have hit publish from there. How cool would that have been?The discipline of writing has improved my thinking. Writing requires that you have a dialogue with yourself about your subject. You ask yourself questions, and you answer those questions. You also consider what your readers need to know and what questions they’ll ask. You don’t know what you really know or believe until you start writing.The act of writing a daily post has helped me become a better writer. I’m not sure anything else would have had the same effect. When I started writing, I wasn’t very good at it. I’m a bit better now. I was sloppy. I typed in WordPress (horrible idea). I wrote and edited at the same time, learning the hard way that those are two very different disciplines. Doing something every day brings improvement.Writing here has opened relationships with people around the world. I have spoken in 10 countries. I have friends in all of those countries, and more. I have relationships with businesses across the globe, and we found each other here. I’ve also made a lot of friends in the space where I play, some of whom are more like family now.This blog helped me with a publishing deal. I was going to self-publish my first book in January of this year. I wrote the book, paid to have it edited, and I was working with CreateSpace to publish it when Portfolio sent me a direct message on Twitter. How did they know me? Yes, this blog. At the end of last year, I signed a two-book deal, the first of which goes on sale October 11, 2016, with the second a year later. I wrote The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need.It has provided me with the opportunity to develop content that I am using in other places. It’s amazing how often content you create for one purpose ends up being useful for other projects and clients. It would take months and years to develop this content if you had to stop everything and create it from scratch. Big chunks of content were first created here, including some of what I believe to be my best ideas (along with some of my worst, no doubt). Ideas that started here also sparked content that I have never published here.Writing has produced way outsized business outcomes. On December 28, 2009, I decided to step onto this path. I told my wife I was going to write every day and within a year, I would be keynoting. I was delivering keynotes within ten months. Where’d that company find me? Right here. I even know which post caused them to pick up the phone and call me.Most of all, I’ve learned how much I appreciate the people who share their more precious resource with me: their time and attention.Thank you – sincerely,Anthony Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now What you are willing to be accountable for is a large part of how your client perceives you and the value you create. If you want to be considered something more than a vendor or supplier, increasing your accountability will move you up levels.Let’s say you want to be accountable for sharing products and their features and benefits. While product knowledge is important, being accountable for taking orders is such a low level of value that your clients are always going to be open to meeting with people who can create greater value for them. This low level of value now competes with the internet, which provides information and order-taking capabilities without any friction.Maybe you can do better. Maybe you really take care of your clients, holding yourself accountable for making sure things are just right. When they have a problem, you are Johnny or Janie on the spot, dealing with service and support issues. Even though your title suggests that you are a salesperson, your behavior indicates that you are really something is more accurately described as “glorified customer service rep.” You are going to have nice, but very limited relationships here, but not ones that allow you to hold a better position than customer service rep.Being accountable for solving bona fide business problems and challenges is a much better space to occupy. You have the ability to diagnose your client’s issues, make recommendations, and improve their results. This is a much higher level of accountability, and one that will move you up a level in your client’s eyes, knowing that you can help when there is an identified challenge or opportunity. While this good, it isn’t the very best space for you to occupy as it pertains to your accountability.What you want to be accountable for is the client’s strategic decision as it pertains to the areas where your business insects with theirs. You want to be the accountable for having a clear vision of the future decisions they need to make, as well as providing direction before there is a challenge to respond to at all. To do this, you need business acumen and situational knowledge. You also need to look like a peer, someone who could easily be a part of your client’s management team. This level of accountability differentiates from all the lower levels.The more you increase your level of responsibility, the more you are accountable for in the way of results, and the more valuable you are to your client.
The distance between buildings in Noida and Greater Noida has been reduced from 16 metres to nine metres with a change in building by-laws being introduced here. While the authorities say this will help increase green cover, experts say it will restrict the flow of natural light and lead occupants of flats to feel suffocated.According to officials, this change will apply only to utility buildings, like clubs, inside a housing project. “An amendment in the building by-laws has been approved by the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA). As per the amended rule, the distance between two towers has been reduced from 16 metres to nine metres. However, this will apply only to utility buildings in a project,” said Leenu Sehgal, GNIDA General Manager (Planning).A proposal in this regard was sent to the NCR Planning Board and the State government, which have reportedly approved the change.GNIDA officials have assured that green cover would not be compromised with, besides proper ventilation and flow of natural light being ensured, when permissions are granted to housing projects.Green cover“The authority conducts surveys and thoroughly checks that a building is developed as per building by-laws. We have told the developers that green cover and ventilation are not compromised with,” explained a senior official.Experts, however, said that the move would lead to suffocation inside flats and reduce space available for emergency operations. “Reducing distance between two buildings will lead to problems like suffocation and disruption of flow of natural light and air supply. The move will also limit space for rescue operations,” said Udai Singh, a construction expert.
Normal life on Saturday was paralysed in the Sabroom subdivision of South Tripura district after a dawn-to-dusk bandh was called by the ruling CPI(M) over the death of three tribals, allegedly in firing by the BSF.Villagers at the remote hamlet of Chitabari had, on Friday, clashed with the BSF alleging that three of its personnel had tried to molest a tribal woman. Three persons, including the woman, were killed and two others were injured when the security men opened fire.BSF, in a statement on Saturday, dismissed the molestation allegation and said its personnel had opened fire on “cattle smugglers” who tried to attack them.A senior police official said shops downed their shutters, markets remained closed and vehicles were off the roads. Government offices, banks and financial institutions did not register any attendance. Schools and the lone Sabroom College also remained closed.SP (Police Control), Bhanupada Chakraborty, quoting the FIR lodged by villagers, said three BSF jawans were accused of attempting to molest a young woman at Chitabari on her way back home last evening after working in a rubber plantation.When she raised an alarm, villagers rushed to the spot. A clash ensued and the BSF jawans opened fire, killing the woman and two other villagers on the spot, and injuring two others, the FIR said.The deceased were identified as Suralaxmi Tripura (20), Min Kumar Tripura (38) and Padma Kumar Tripura ((37).The injured, identified as Jiban Tripura and Shyam Chandra Tripura, were being treated at Sabroom hospital, the SP said.Chitabari is a remote tribal hamlet near the border which falls under Bhangagarh border outpost (BOP).IG K V Srijesh and SP Tapan Kumar Debbarma were camping in the area with a huge contingent of forces.Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar discussed the matter with DGP K Nagraj and Chief Secretary Sanjib Ranjan immediately after the incident and asked them to collect all relevant information pertaining to it.State Secretariat of the ruling CPI-M has condemned the incident as “heinous and barbaric” and “a clear attempt to molest the poor tribal woman“.The party demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident and exemplary punishment to the erring BSF personnel.Meanwhile, BSF DIG Hardeep Singh said on Saturday that when BSF personnel observed that 30 to 40 smugglers, including women, were trying to smuggle cattle to Bangladesh through the unfenced gap, they challenged them and opened two rounds of fire in the air as warning shots to disperse them.The villagers then encircled the BSF party and attacked them with machetes and lathis and sensing their life in danger, BSF opened fire killing three persons, the statement said.It said they seized ten cattle that were being smuggled from the spot. BSF also ordered an inquiry into the incident.
As part of the course correction that he spoke about after declaration of the panchayat election results, Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik interacted with his party’s newly elected panchayat representatives on Sunday and asked them to work hard for the cause of the people.The course correction exercise assumes significance as rumours of a split in the BJD were doing the rounds and the BJP was continuing to induct leaders from other parties ahead of its two-day national executive meet staring in Bhubaneswar on April 15.Suggestions presentedMr. Patnaik, who heard the BJD’s elected members at the party’s State headquarters here, said the representatives presented various suggestions that they want to be implemented.“I have also asked them to work honestly and hard for the people. We will meet again after six months to review the situation,” Mr. Patnaik told presspersons after the interaction session.While the BJD’s elected representatives from Koraput and Jajpur districts attended the first meeting, Mr. Patnaik will interact with representatives from other districts in a phased manner. BJD legislators and senior leaders from the two districts were present during the interaction.Senior leader Surya Narayan Patro said that Mr. Patnaik is likely to pay surprise visits to panchayats in the coming days to assess the ground situation.Even though the BJD won the majority of Zilla Parishad seats in the panchayat polls in February, the party had started worrying as the BJP had performed unexpectedly well, overtaking the Congress as the main challenger to the ruling party.Further, the BJP had started focusing on Odisha in a big way after it achieved its first target of moving ahead of the Congress and had its eyes set on the 2019 elections.
Jammu and Kashmir’s top policeman on Friday played down reports of former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Musa being named as the head of al-Qaeda cell in the state, saying “a terrorist was a terrorist” regardless of the terror outfit.Musa had recently broken ranks with Hizbul Mujahideen after terming Kashmir a political issue instead of Islamic struggle meant to enforce Shariah (Islamic rule) in the state.“A terrorist is a terrorist, whichever outfit he belongs to. Somebody who has picked up a gun is a terrorist for us,” DGP S P Vaid told reporters in Srinagar.He was responding to a question over naming of Musa as the chief of Jammu and Kashmir unit of al-Qaeda.Yesterday, United Jehad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin, in a video, had said the freedom movement of Jammu and Kashmir had no international agenda.“No international outfit, be it Daesh (ISIS) or al-Qaeda or anyone else, has any opportunity or is needed here,” Salahuddin had said.Asked about Salahuddin’s statement and the split in the militant ranks, the DGP said let them decide between themselves.The situation in Kashmir Valley was limping back to normalcy, he added.Responding to a query that militants were targeting families of policemen in south Kashmir, the DGP said it was their frustration.Mr. Vaid said all law enforcement agencies were supporting the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the role of separatists in funding subversive activities in the Valley.“All law enforcement agencies were in unison. We have no differences. We did support them. When the raids were conducted, the Jammu and Kashmir Police was with them,” he said.The state police chief said only time will tell whether the top three separatist leaders — chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik — would be questioned by the NIA.The press conference was called to announce Jammu and Kashmir State Marathon 2017, organised by police under civic action programme.Mr. Vaid said through the marathon, to be held on Sunday, the police wants to convey a message of peace in the Valley.“We are working with the people. Jammu and Kashmir police belongs to them,” he said.The DGP said such events would help in reducing stone-pelting in the Valley.“Yes, it will (reduce stone-pelting incidents). Marathons and sports activities will make children healthy and healthy brain exists in a healthy body, so they will think positive, he said.The marathon has been divided into five categories men full marathon, men half marathon, women half marathon, eight-km run for boys under 14 and six-km run for girls under 14.Total prize money of ₹ 3 lakhs would be given to the winners.
A student of a Industrial Training Institute (ITI) was admitted to hospital for his alleged involvement with the deadly online Blue Whale Challenge game, police said on Tuesday.On getting information from the principal of the government-run institution about abnormal behaviour of the student, police on Monday got the 17-year-old student admitted to hospital, a police official said.There was no sign of any self inflicted injury in his body, though he appeared to have been depressed, he said. His family had been informed.The youth, who hailed from Jaleswar area in Balasore district, was staying in a private accomodation. Some of his friends observing sudden changes in his behaviour for a couple of days and informed the principal about it. He was stated to have discussed with some his friends about the game, they said.
A car today skidded off a road and fell into a gorge in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district, killing a 23-year-old man and injuring two others, a police officer said. The incident took place around 4.30 a.m. when Arvind Singh, a teacher, was travelling from Kishtwar to Doda in the car along with Rajinder Parihar (60) and his son Amit Parihar (25), the officer said. Singh lost control over his car while negotiating a sharp curve near Sui Gwari in Bhadarwah, Deputy Superintendent of Police Iftkhar Ahmad said. They were rescued by army personnel and rushed to the district hospital, where Singh was declared brought dead, Ahmad said, adding the injured were undergoing treatment.
The Maharashtra government is conducting a sample survey of the Maratha community members in over 700 villages, ahead of the deadline set by the Maratha Kranti Morcha over its reservation demand.According to Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission Chairman, Justice (retired) M.G. Gaikwad, the sample survey has been undertaken for data collection to ascertain the economic backwardness within the community to justify its demand for quota in public service and educational institutions. The Maratha organisations in Maharashtra last month gave an ultimatum to the government saying it should address their demands — chief among them being reservations for the community — by February 10.They plan to revive the agitation after February 19, the birth anniversary of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.Mr. Gaikwad said the survey will focus on three main bases — the financial, educational and employment status of the Maratha community members.“The result of the survey would be assessed by the commission once it is completed,” Mr. Gaikwad said.Two villages from each of the 356 tehsils in Maharashtra and some municipal councils will be covered under the sample survey, he said. The selection of villages has been done by the regional members of the commission, he added. Quotas for Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30% of the State’s population, has been a hugely contentious issue.The Bombay High Court had in 2014 disallowed 16% reservation for them in government services and educational institutions. In 2003-04, National Commission for Backward Classes rejected the demand for including the Maratha community in the category of Other Backward Class (OBC) category.The Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission had held in 2008 that “Marathas are both economically and politically a forward caste. They never faced social stigma to invite the backward class status.”Various Maratha organisations held massive ‘silent marches’ last year at 58 places across the State, demanding reservations in jobs and education, among other things.
Two persons were injured when a parcel meant for delivery to the chief of a Pune-based NGO exploded in a private courier company’s office in Ahmednagar city on Tuesday night.They said the packagewas addressed to Sanjay Nahar, founder of NGO Sarhad, which works for the welfare of displaced Kashmiri students.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has written to the governments of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to file reports on the reasons behind the violence and deaths during the recent Bharat Bandh called by Dalit organisations against the alleged dilution in the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.The States have also been asked to find out if there was some “conspiracy” that led the protests to get out of hand.A senior functionary of the Commission told The Hindu on condition of anonymity that Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were going to the polls this year, leading to the suspicion that there could be a conspiracy angle.The protests came in the wake of the Supreme Court laying down some procedures like a preliminary police enquiry to ensure that a complaint under the Act was not frivolous. It also barred automatic arrest under the Act to balance the need to protect disadvantaged sections with the need to ensure that no innocent citizen was harassed.Seeking to project the Centre as being responsible for strengthening of the Act, Vice Chairman of the Commission L. Murugan told journalists on Wednesday that the Narendra Modi government had strengthened the SC/ST Act through an amendment.“In the old Act of 1989, if there was a murder, there was only ₹1 lakh compensation. But under the amended Act, there is compensation of ₹8.25 lakh, and also additional compensation. There is basic pension for the widow of the victim, and also free education up to the graduation level,” Mr. Murugan said. He added that there is provision for a government job to a member of the victim’s family, and a house and land under the new amendment. He added that officers found to be negligent in their duty were punishable under the amended Act.The Centre has filed a review plea in the SC seeking reconsideration of its decision to ban automatic arrests and registration of a criminal complaint under the Act.