Chadvin ka Chand

first_imgShe is my best actress. She has a certain guileless look in her face, a feminine grace and Indianness. Her beauty is something soft… and not easily defined. My greatest influences in acting are Waheeda Rehman and Dilip Kumar.” – Amitabh Bachchan. I’d love to do a Summer of ’42 opposite her. She is the ultimate combination of talent, beauty and feminine charm.” – Abhishek BachchanThe poet Shakeel Badayuni claimed that he was inspired to pen the lines “Chaudvin Ka Chand ho ya aftaab ho, Jo bhi ho tum Khuda ki Kasam lajawab ho,” (Are you the moon at its lustrous best, or are you the sun/ whatever you are, you are without compare) after being blown away by her exquisite looks. You ask her and she blushes, and laughingly says she has heard that too, but may be it is a myth. Having enthralled generations with her beauty, amazing histrionics, ethereal dancing, a voice that is still nectar sweet, Waheeda Rehman, 40 years later still retains the olde world charm, the grace and elegance that made her perhaps the most adored actress among actors and audience of all ages, to this day.But life was not a fairy tale for this princess of celluloid and in an exclusive interview, with Little India, Waheeda Rehman goes down memory lane to share her life’s story and why her involvement with Pratham (an NGO started in 1994 to eradicate illiteracy among slum dwellers and underprivileged children in India) as their good will ambassador is so important to her.You are a Tamilian Muslim, who learnt Bharat Natyam and made her debut in Telugu films. In the 1940s and 50s when you came of age, that must have been quite an exception to the rule?Leave alone a Muslim girl, even Hindu girls were not permitted to learn dance, but my father who was an IAS officer was exceedingly liberal and way ahead of his times. We were four sisters and I was a very sickly child. So when my sisters went to school, I used to be left behind and would often stand in front of the mirror and keep making faces. My father would say to my mother, this girl is going mad since she is at home all the time. Why does she keep on making these faces? What is wrong with her? I told my father, “Look daddy, one day I am going to make people laugh and also make them cry. I am going to be an actress and one day you will see my pictures in the paper.”He obviously didn’t take me seriously, and he died when I was only 13, but he did live to see my picture in the papers. You see at that time he was posted in Vishakapatnam and Mr. C. Rajagopalachari, India’s first Viceroy came to Vizag. Usually a cultural program would be organized to honor the dignitary, and they were trying to get M.S. Subbulakshmi and Kamlalakshmi to perform, but they received a telegram, which said that Shri Rajagopalchari wanted to see only local talent, and suddenly every one was in a flap, as to who to fetch, what to do. Then daddy’s superior said, your daughter is a Bharat natyam dancer why don’t you get her to perform? He said she is just learning and is not a professional dancer. They said so what. After all, they want to see local talent. Therefore, daddy asked my sister and me, and we did go on stage and perform. The viceroy was very surprised when he heard the names Waheeda and Saeeda Rehman being announced and said to somebody, these names sound Muslim. He was then introduced to my father, who was the commissioner there. Mr. Rajagopalachari congratulated my father and said it’s amazing, I have never ever in my life heard of Muslim girls being exponents of Bharatnatyam and their abhinaya is outstanding. They performed with such astute understanding of the dance form. He came on stage and gave us medals, my picture made it to the front page, and I said to my father, look I told you, my face will be in the papers. That really made news and then I started getting offers from people in the south especially from the Telugu and Tamil film industry, but my father said she is not a baby and at the same time is still too young to be doing lead roles, so what can she really do in a film? In addition, we are not considering this as a profession, just a hobby. After my father passed away, my sisters got married, but I told my mother I didn’t want to get married so soon. She said what are you going to do? Around that time, I got an offer to do a dance item in a Telugu film, which became a big hit. And around the same time I met Guru Dutt ji.And he offered you, of all things, a vamp’s role in the film C.I.D.!Yes, that is right though Guru Dutt ji was considering Madhubala and Nargis for the roles and Dilip Kumar was supposed to be the hero, but there were some date problems so Guru Dutt ji did the hero’s role himself and chose Mala Sinha and gave me the vampish Gulabo’s role.Do you remember the first day you faced the camera? Considering you were still in your teens and from a non-filmi background, it must have been baptism by fire!Yes it was with Dev Anand in C.I.D and I was very excited, since I had been a big fan of his. As a child I had my tonsils removed and someone had teased me that now my voice was ruined forever and that just stuck in my head so I was very self-conscious and would not speak up. I kept saying my voice is bad what can I do, but good or bad I had to speak, and so I did! Dev was very cooperative and friendly. He never made me feel even once that I was a raw newcomer and that was very nice of him. Most people thought the vamp’s role didn’t go with my personality, and my face was more suited for sensitive, emotional roles, but then simultaneously Pyaasa started, where I played a golden hearted prostitute and that established me as a serious artist, and I started getting really good roles with depth and substance.Is it true that in the film when you come to know of Guru Dutt’s death you were supposed to scream out in grief, but you kept opening your mouth and nothing came out, not even a squeak, much to Guru Dutt’s amazement and he had to change the entire shot?Very true! I tried but there was a mental block still about having a bad voice and I’m not a loud person by nature. Guru Dutt ji said this is amazing. Girls scream at the drop of a hat, so much that you have to ask them to stop and here you are, the first girl who is unable to do just that! His greatest quality as a director was that he never made an actor do anything he or she was uncomfortable with and would come up with an alternative so in the end he told me to just hold the paper and slide down with closed eyes to convey my pain, and I think it worked pretty well.What are your memories of Guru Dutt?Gurudutt was truly an actor’s director and apart from acting, he had learnt dance in Uday Shankar’s school in Almora. He would show me how to emote, but at the same time tell me, don’t copy me verbatim, since I’m a man. Both my dance teacher and Guru Dutt would say to me, we can create the skeleton for you, but you are the one who has to put the soul in it. And of course having knowledge of abhinaya thanks to my training in Bharat Natyam made it easy to emote. For example in the song “Jaane Kya Tune kahi,” there was no dance but the mischief, the expressions, the seductiveness were easy to portray because of my dance background. But I did find it very difficult to speak dialogues for a while. We didn’t have any acting schools in those days and in the early years, I felt my dialogue delivery left much to be desired and that my voice sounded raw and not well modulated Guru Dutt ji was a perfectionist and was willing to do as many retakes as needed to perfect a shot. He would insist that I still come and watch the shooting even if I was not required on the sets. To see people like Mala Sinha, Rehman at one time canning a scene after 55 retakes made me feel a lot better about myself and taught me a lot. You can learn the technique of how to face the camera, how to throw your voice and how to look good, but unless you put the feelings into it, it doesn’t count. It is inborn to some extent, but it is also always helpful to watch others. I always thought Gurudutt was a better director than actor and he acted only under pressure. Like in Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, he wanted to take Shashi Kapoor for Bhootnath’s role but wanted a chunk of dates which he could not get and so he acted in it as a last resort.Which movies by Guru Dutt stand out in your memory and are there any particular scenes that were tough to perform?In Pyaasa, I was very raw. I really didn’t know what I was doing so the credit for my performance must go to Guru Dutt ji. In Kagaz Ke Phool there was a scene where Guru Dutt ji’s daughter played by Naaz, comes to me and says, “Because of you our family is breaking up. I have to tell her, ‘Well at least you have a father and a mother even though they are separated and it is not because of me. But I have no body.’” A month and a half before that shoot my mother had passed away too. I was 13 when I lost my father and 19 when I lost my mother and so every time I would say I have no one, I would burst out crying. The cinematographer noticed my anguish and realized what was happening and he spoke to Guru Dutt ji who immediately ordered pack up pretending he had an urgent appointment. I liked my role in Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam as well. Here I played a woman who really liked Bhootnath, but didn’t know how to express it other than by nagging him constantly.You attended a Retrospective of Guru Dutt’s films in Tokyo. How do you find international audiences?Their knowledge and interest in Indian films is amazing. At one point of time my daughter and I were squirming in our seats getting bored, but couldn’t leave out of courtesy, but the Japanese were glued to their seats and the President of the Festival Committee kept singing Hindi songs at the drop of a hat! It was quite an experience!You branched out to other directors in the 1960s. Tell me about Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar?Raj Kapoor was very cooperative, but he always came late. You won’t believe this but all throughout Teesri Kasam, which is considered one of our best films, most of the scenes where Raj ji and I are supposed to be together were shot separately, since he would come late or was busy shooting for Sangam or Mera Naam Joker! No body believes me when I tell them that the movie was shot with him missing most of the times. While I got along with everyone my favorite co-star was Dilip Kumar. He used to take interest in helping other artists and would stay back to offer suggestions and support. We did not have mobile phones to distract us, the make up rooms were lousy, so we used to all sit together and eat together most of the time and talk to each other, narrating stories, sharing thoughts and had a lot of rapport and camaraderie, till pack up was announced. That is sadly missing today.Khamoshi, the story of a nurse who cures two patients in a mental institution, falling in love with both, and becoming mentally ill herself in the end, was a very unorthodox role to begin with. Did you expect it to be as successful as it was, and how emotionally taxing is it to do roles like that?I saw the Bengali version with Suchitra Sen and was so moved by it, I would ask all my directors to remake it in Hindi, but they would say you always choose really heavy subjects and a film like will not do well at the box office. One day I asked Hemant Kumar after working with him for Bees Saal Baad, if he would give it a shot. He said if you will do it I will make it and the very next film that he made was Khamoshi. He even retained the same director Ashit Sen who had directed the Bengali version and he was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed that role, but I was so emotionally involved with it that it really affected me deeply. After Khamoshi was completed I started shooting a movie with Nirupa Roy. We were both considered superb in emotional scenes, but we went through bottles and bottles of glycerin and just couldn’t emote. I realized then that the after effects of Khamoshi were still lingering and had drained me out. Unless you feel the pain you cannot show it and both of us were so flat, empty and drained out. She too had been doing several roles that had been emotionally draining. We had to call the shoot off.I think the toughest scene, and one that took a lot out of me was where Rajesh Khanna keeps banging at the door asking her to open it. She is silent trying to control herself because the doctor has already reprimanded her and told her she cannot get involved with her patients, but deep within her she knows she is already involved and he is involved too and the silent struggle was very very tough to emote.Guide was another extremely challenging role, that of a married woman who has an extra marital relationship with her tourist guide and breaks tradition to follow her own dreams instead of remaining the self-sacrificing marty. To go for a role like that in the sixties must have been quite a risque thing to do!I was never image conscious ever. I wanted to explore a variety of situations and do roles that excited me as an actor. In fact Dev Anand was having second thoughts. He said what will this do to my image? I said to Dev what do you mean your image? Its not Waheeda or Dev that are doing this – it’s Rosie and Raju. Fortunately R.K. Narayan had already written the story and the characters had been etched very clearly and were already recognized by readers. I was also making Neel Kamal simultaneously and the film director was afraid his film would flop because of my scandalous role in Guide. I told him I can opt out of Neel Kamal, but I’m not willing to give up on Guide. I am really happy at the acclaim it eventually got.Well I guess you did something right, since you won the Filmfare award for best actress for Neel Kamal. You have been considered one of the most elegant and accomplished dancers on the screen. Yet very few know that you suffered from spondylitis for decades and a lot of those dances were performed under excruciating pain and heavy doses of medication.Indeed, but what really saved my life when medication stopped working was yoga and I attribute my health totally to yoga and meditation.Considering your long reign on the screen what made you stand out when there were many actresses who were as beautiful and talented?Raj Kapoor said there are so many brilliant actors, but there is a thin line between the actor and audience where some actors can walk on screen and just touch the heart of the audience, while others cannot create that chemistry. Why that happens nobody knows. I guess I was fortunate to be able to create that affinity with my audience.You got married to former actor turned businessman Shashi Rekhi and totally quit the film scene and moved to Bangalore to farming and creating an amazingly successful cereal business. You had acted in a movie called Shagun many years prior to that with him. So was there any chemistry between you two?No none whatsoever. He later said he was very much in awe since I was such a big star and never approached me then, but that he had always liked me and my work. Later he quit films, moved to Canada, got into business and finally felt brave enough to ask me to marry him. I moved to Bangalore and got busy with my children. I did not want them to be brought up in the filmi atmosphere of Bombay. And yes I also got involved in creating a cereal, which did very well in spite of the advent of Kellogs in India, and after my husband passed away a little over two years ago, I moved back to Bombay. My son wants to be a journalist and my daughter is also writing scripts.You have said you will only act with directors you are comfortable with. You returned to films with the multi-starrer Om Jai Jagdish, directed by Anupam Kher whom you knew but the film really didn’t do justice to your acting skills. What kind of changes do you see in the industry?Unfortunately the film lost its sense of direction. A lot of time they get a lot of actors together without a proper script. I’m keeping myself open to options but not really looking to do meaningless roles of the “Beta main teri ma hoon” variety.Technically there has been a tremendous improvement in the quality of films, but its all so mechanical and fast. We used to be so involved in the film, and would stay there long after our own shots were taken, to watch, cue and bond with the other actors. Today people often speak to the empty space in front of them instead of their co actor who is shooting somewhere else and leave themselves for their next shift. I asked Abhishek Bachchan, the other day if I could cue him in to his dialogues and he was feeling shy and saying no auntie it’s okay, but when I stayed back and spoke my lines with emotion, his response and performance was that much better.Let’s talk about your current passion, Pratham. How did you get involved in it?I have always been interested in education. Earlier, there were times I would get fan mail, where someone would write to me and say I need money for higher education and I would promptly send the money, but then one day I got a letter from a shopkeeper telling me about a boy who would come to his shop and say today Waheeda Rehman sent me money for my studies, but I am going to have a party! It was very kind of the shopkeeper to take the trouble to send me that letter, and with that I became smarter and would tell any one who wrote asking for money for school to have a letter sent from their school principal to me, and only then would I reciprocate. Though I had been involved in charitable work of different kinds, I had always wanted, more than anything else, to contribute to the education of underprivileged kids. But then I got married and got busy with my own family. Two years ago as luck would have it I was approached by Pratham to help them in their mission to provide education for underprivileged and slum children. I was asked to be their good will ambassador and I have been doing that for two years, traveling in India as well as abroad. I have helped raise funds as well as met with the children, the teachers and the parents of these underprivileged children. It is so gratifying to see the joy in their eyes when they see their kids actually learn to spell and write words they already know how to speak.The response from the NRI community has been great. A lot of them have gone and seen for themselves how their dollars are being utilized. Many of them have also gone to India and worked as volunteers for several months and its not just Indians but even Americans who have come and helped out.I have realized that as a celebrity you can use your clout to make things happen. Initially I was hesitant to come forward. I didn’t want people to think I am doing this to get publicity for myself but then I was told by some political leaders that when a politician comes to talk to the masses a lot of the time people have been rounded up by local leaders to show up so they have not come there of their own free will, but when a film star comes or a superstar like Sachin Tendulkar comes, the public shows up happily and the message becomes a lot easier to convey. The masses tend to believe you more than they would believe a politician who will be perceived as doing it for votes…. While not every one will become a doctor or an engineer, I feel everyone, rich or poor, able or disabled has the right to education, and to dream of a better life. And I hope if ever you want to make a gift to someone needy, it will be the gift of education.  Related Itemslast_img read more

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HP CM honours woman cricketer Sushma Verma

first_imgShimla, Aug 8 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today honoured wicket-keeper of the Indian women cricket team Sushma Verma with a cash award of Rs 5 lakh and a job of DSP for her exploits in the ICC Womens World Cup. The CM lauded Sushma for bringing laurels to the state and said that it was duty of the state government to honour and encourage such achievers in field of sports. Sushma was part of the Indian team that finished runner- up in the World Cup after having lost to England in the title clash. Hailing from village Himri in Shimla (Rural) assembly constituency represented by Virbhadra, Sushma said she was grateful to the CM for giving her cash prize and offering her the job of DSP. She said that she always wanted to serve in police department and this opportunity has come to her as a gift from the CM. PTI PCL SSC SSClast_img read more

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first_imgLife of a StarThe death of actor Robin Williams was one that shook the world of entertainment and deeply saddened those who had witnessed the star work his magic on the silver screen. Paying a special tribute to the talented actor, Sotheby’s will offer works from the collection that Robin,Life of a StarThe death of actor Robin Williams was one that shook the world of entertainment and deeply saddened those who had witnessed the star work his magic on the silver screen. Paying a special tribute to the talented actor, Sotheby’s will offer works from the collection that Robin Williams and his wife of over 20 years, film producer and philanthropist Marsha Garces Williams put together. The auction will take place in New York on October 4, 2018. Creating a Stage: The Collection of Marsha and Robin Williamswill offer works spanning Marsha’s and Robin’s diverse interests and careers, all reflecting their shared passion for collecting fine art. The autumn auction will showcase film and entertainment memorabilia including autographed scripts, awards, props and wardrobes associated with projects across their careers. Contemporary art pieces, including sculpture by Niki de Saint-Phalle and street art by Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Invader, and more than 40 watches from Robin’s personal collection will also be included in the auction along with a selection of bicycles and sports memorabilia; furniture and decorative art from their residences will also go under the hammer. The sale will be preceded by a public exhibition in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries that opens on September 29.For more information log on to www.sothebys.comRobin Williams Hollywood Ha of Fame star(Compiled by Jahnavi Chakravarty) Slumber Party One of the best remedies for getting a good night’s sleep is to retire in silk pyjamas. This pair from Derek Rose features colourful koi fish and lily pads.Price $850Availabilitywww.mrporter.comadvertisement En Garde This La Martina jacket is the last word in military chic. Pair with distressed jeans and black brogues.Price Rs 1.3 lakhAvailability DLF Emporio, New Delhi Short Story These patterned Maison Flaneur cotton shorts are for you if you can’t quite say goodbye to sum mer yet. Pair with a chambray shirt and flip flops.Price $ Bag and Baggage Function and style come together in this Mansur Gavriel classic leather briefcase bag that is designed for maximum utility. It features separate pockets for your laptop, phone and wallet.Price $1,238Availability Sweat it Out A sweatshirt in a bright colour s just what the fashion doctor rdered to brighten up this glum weather. Pair this red Moschino piece with anything neutral.Price $391Availability Eye Catcher These blue porcelain Villeroy and Boch dishes are a must have for the on-trend host. The cobalt blue colour adds a style edge to any place setting.Price On requestAvailability Brand boutiques Raise the Bar This bar stool from Idus will double up as a statement chair in your living space. The horizontal brass finish connecting the wooden legs make for a unique design element.Price Rs 28,000AvailabilityIdus, New Delhi Dining In The best times involve memorable meals at home. Visionnaire’s Breath collection transforms the way one views their dining space. This console is the perfect accent piece for the dining room.Price On requestAvailability Brand boutiques Spring Sorbet This armchair from Altus Interio brings home the bloom of spring. Featuring a whimsical pattern, it is the ideal chair to curl up with a book in.Price On requestAvailability Altus Interio, Gurgaon Glam Glow Add a little flair to your entertainment space with this Whiteteak Company floor lamp. The lamp has three dramatic lights and a black and gold colour scheme to enhance the theatrical experience.Price Rs 34,990Availability Brand boutiquesNew Delhi Wearing Legacy Like the bride who is a blend of contemporary and traditional, this Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri neck piece is a fusion of gold and kundan in a design that defies trends and is very wearable. Definitely a piece worth having in your trousseau.Price On requestAvailability Brand boutiques in India Heavenly Body This ring from the Space Odyssey collection from Minawala is crafted from rose gold, diamonds and onyx and has a statement amber that will be the cynosure of all eyes.Price On requestAvailability Brand boutiques in India Nailed It Give your heavy jewellery a rest and slip into this sleek bracelet by Ghanasingh Be True. Pair this diamond-encrusted beauty with everything from a LBD to classic jeans and an oversized white shirt.Price On requestAvailability Floral Fantasy Nature comes to your jewellery box with Chopard Haute Joaillerie’s red carpet collection. Crafted to mimic the beauty of orchids, these earrings are aesthetic perfection.Price On request Availability Brand boutiques Lotus Love Inspired by the centuries-old opulence of Delhi, Birdhichand Ghanshyam Das’s Delhi Durbar collection is an ode to old-world luxury. Pair these earrings with your traditional best to evoke the romance of a bygone era.advertisementPrice On requestAvailability Brand boutiques in Delhi and Jaipurlast_img read more

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Chalk Talk: Mason Rudolph’s Biggest Weakness

first_imgOn paper, Mason Rudolph has been excellent this season. He has already thrown for over 2,200 yards and has 14 touchdowns this season. He logged 220 yards and a touchdown in a solid passing performance against Kansas.But while Rudolph is an efficient passer, he is by no means perfect. His biggest weakness actually has nothing to do with his passing ability; rather, it’s completely mental. Rudolph’s biggest weakness is his indecisiveness, and it showed in the Cowboys’ 44-20 win against the Jayhawks on Saturday.Watch this play, for example:sl_cross_sackThe Cowboys are running play action with a slot cross concept flooding the right side of the field. This particular play is known as a triangle read, as it has three receivers making a triangle on the strong side of the field.122-sl-crossTriangle concepts are designed to allow the quarterback to make quick decisions with all three receivers in his vision. And the play itself works — both McCleskey (on the slot cross) and Chris Carson (on the flat release) are open.openRudolph should have immediately looked to the cross and hit McCleskey as soon as he stepped foot on the Jayhawk logo. But Rudolph doesn’t properly go through his progressions and, because of his indecisiveness, gets sacked.Here’s another example, this time in the red zone:double_sackRudolph has an open receiver, but because he waits too long, he is forced to dance around in the pocket and is eventually sacked. The Cowboys are running what’s known as a double under or double china concept.double-chinaThe inside slot receiver runs a corner route, which is often taken advantage of in goal line situations to ensure one-on-one coverage (it was in fact used in this fashion by OSU in the fourth quarter on the goal line.)The other slot receiver is running an under route and can “climb” the open field to avoid the weak-side linebacker. The outside receiver is also running an under and is trailing the first under route (hence the term double under).midshotNotice in both the gif and the picture above how McCleskey is setting up his cornerback to beat him to the inside. Also notice in the gif how there is only one high safety and James Washington (inside slot) has one-on-one coverage on the outside-breaking route.Rudolph could have either passed it to McCleskey coming out of his break or made the pre-snap decision to lob it to Washington in the corner of the end zone. Instead, he held it and got sacked.These were not the only examples of Rudolph being indecisive. Sometimes, on third downs especially, he waits too long for a route to develop instead of pinpointing a receiver or taking his check down.throwHe also occasionally misses his windows in the progression of the play, which then forces him to sit longer in the pocket.quads_sackIt is important to reiterate that Rudolph is by no means an average quarterback. He consistently makes impressive throws and has been a huge factor in the Cowboys’ recent offensive success.He has also already recorded 41 career touchdowns and will leave OSU as one of the best quarterbacks in recent memory. But he still has his flaws, and this is his biggest one.The positive is that it isn’t because of a lack of physical ability and can be coached. Let’s hope that Rudolph can improve his decisiveness for this week’s game, because all eyes will be on him against West Virginia.What do you think Rudolph’s biggest weakness is? Leave your message below in the comments!If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

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Crazy Arrest Details Emerge From Saturday’s Ohio State-Penn State Game

first_imgPenn State fans during whiteout game against Michigan.STATE COLLEGE, PA – OCTOBER 21: Penn State students cheer against the Michigan Wolverines on October 21, 2017 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)Saturday night’s Ohio State-Penn State game was one of the craziest of the college football season, with the Buckeyes rallying from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to remain undefeated on the season, handing the Nittany Lions their first loss.The craziness wasn’t limited to the field, apparently.New details have emerged regarding a pregame arrest. A Penn State student allegedly struck a horse.From Onward State:A Penn State student allegedly struck a police horse and resisted arrest at a large tailgate on Saturday outside Beaver Stadium.State police eventually used a low-flying helicopter to break up the party after it got out of hand and the tailgaters ignored commands to disperse, police said on Monday.Before the helicopter was called in, state police deployed a tactical mounted unit to move people out of the area. According to a criminal complaint filed by Penn State police on Tuesday, 21-year-old Joseph Oleynik, of Derwood, Maryland, approached a state police horse three times and struck the animal in the side with his hand.That doesn’t sound great.You can view the full arrest details here.last_img read more

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Public Speaking Tips: Everything You Need to Know to Nail the Big Speech

first_img Editors’ Recommendations The Ultimate Pillow Guide: The 6 Best Pillows for All Sleepers Smart Practices for Drinking With the Environment in Mind How to Use a French Press Coffee Maker How to Keep Your Audience EngagedOne of the biggest challenges in delivering a quality public speech is keeping your audience engaged, especially if you’re nervous. Practicing beforehand will help you feel more relaxed in front of a crowd, but there are a few things you should have in mind while you’re honing your skills:Speak with passion. Even if you’re presenting information that isn’t particularly exhilarating to you, remember that your audience is there because they are interested in it. Appearing disengaged undermines your credibility and gives the audience a signal that they don’t need to pay much attention. Plus, finding a passion for your topic can help reduce your fear. As Dr. Mathews points out, “one key way to overcome anxiety is to become passionate about what you want to share with the world.”Use movement and gestures to engage the audience, but don’t use them as a crutch. Moving around on stage when you change topics or approaching the audience when making a point or posing a question will give your presentation energy. But just as standing stiff as a board comes off as awkward and creates a wall between you and the audience, so can too much movement. Make movements intentional and pepper them with moments of planting yourself as you elaborate on points.Inject some personality into your presentation. Of course you want to keep things professional, but letting the audience get to know your personality a little makes them more invested in what you’re saying. If you’re a funny guy, inject a little humor where appropriate. If you have a lot of experience with the topic, include a personal story.Make eye contact. Focusing on the audience as a whole is intimidating, and gazing over their heads to avoid seeing them will disconnect you. Focus on making eye contact with individual audience members as you talk. Make sure you’re not ignoring one side of the room or the other, which can be easy to do unintentionally if you’re speaking to a larger group. Shift your eye contact around the room as you talk. Eye contact displays confidence, keeps everyone engaged, and can help you feel more like you’re talking one-on-one.Be a presenter, not a salesman. The point of your presentation may very well be to sell something, but that doesn’t mean the audience wants to listen to a blatant sales pitch. People see right through a slick salesman exterior, and if your speech comes off as pressuring them into giving you money, they’ll become alienated quickly. Build your presentation around offering them something genuinely valuable, even if they aren’t going to buy anything.Other Helpful ResourcesThe advice we’ve gathered here will have you well on your way to conquering a fear of public speaking, but you may find yourself wanting to dive even deeper into the topic. Here are some resources for additional advice and information:Anxietyhub.orgArticles and information on public speaking anxiety and anxiety in general, including tips for coping with it and resources for improving your communication skills.Videos and Tips on Public Speaking from TEDVideos from one of the foremost resources for great public speakers. Includes talks on topics ranging from inspiring action and effective body language to presenting complex information in a relatable way and overcoming stage fright.Free In-Depth Public Speaking Course from Saylor AcademyThis completely free course takes a super deep dive into what makes an effective speech. It covers topics like how to speak confidently, audience analysis, selecting a topic, performing research, being persuasive, and presentation aids. It also includes a free text book and exams to help you test your understanding.Toastmasters InternationalToastmasters International is an organization dedicated entirely to helping people become better communicators and leaders. They have over 16,000 clubs around the world where members meet to learn and practice public speaking and leadership skills.center_img Public speaking. For a lot of people, it’s a gut-wrenching phrase that is often accompanied by stress and anxiety. Even if you’ve had some experience speaking publicly, it can be intimidating to step in front of an audience. You’re not alone, though: studies done over the last several decades show that anywhere from 28.4 – 45% of people have some level of public speaking anxiety. How can you temper your fear and deliver a powerful, confident speech? In this guide, we’ll share tips to help you get comfortable in front of a crowd and tackle your next speaking gig whether you’re stepping behind a podium or leading a meeting.Why Public Speaking is So ScaryAs with any fear, understanding the source of public speaking anxiety can help you recognize and overcome your concerns. What is it about public speaking that fills many people with dread? Public speaking anxiety stems from a combination of negative self-thought and fear of judgement from others. When the pressure is on, it can be all-too-easy to convince ourselves that we’re unqualified to discuss the topic, haven’t done enough preparation, or that the audience is just waiting for their moment to turn on us, nightmare-style. How can you overcome this detrimental thinking and deliver great presentations?First, recognize that these fears are common. As isolated as you may feel when you’re speaking solo in front of a group, your anxiety surrounding it actually connects you to many other people. Dr. Cheryl Mathews — who has a doctorate in Psychology and is a blogger, online course creator, eBook author, and coach who specializes in social anxiety and public speaking phobia — recently did a Reddit AMA where she discussed the prevalence of public speaking anxiety. “Everyone has some social anxiety,” says Dr. Mathews, “Thinking that you’re going to completely eliminate it actually keeps you stuck in it.” Even seasoned public speakers experience anxiety before they step out on stage. The trick is not eliminating your fear entirely, but, according to Dr. Mathews, “reducing your anxiety to a manageable level and…recognizing, managing, [and] coping with the anxiety at that level.”To do this, it’s crucial to confront – and then work to contradict –  your own habitual thoughts. It’s easy to start spiraling in your own mind, convincing yourself that the audience is going to get bored, disagree with every word you say, or just downright dislike you. “Practice and gradual desensitization are key,” explains Dr. Mathews, “Public speaking anxiety is caused by a fear of negative judgement and scrutiny, so the more you can increase your tolerance of scrutiny, the better.” To gain more comfort in speaking publicly, Mathews recommends finding “a safe group where you can slowly and gradually desensitize.” She recommends joining a Toastmasters International group or something similar, like the SpeakMeister Public Speaking Practice Club she manages. She also suggests doing simple exercises in your daily life to increase your tolerance of scrutiny. “Try sing[ing] happy birthday to a friend on a street outside a store, or hum in a store while shopping. Notice that nothing bad happens. One of the things you want to teach your brain is that scrutiny does not have horrible consequences. Tell yourself, ‘Yes, some people looked at me, but did anything really bad happen? Am I really paying a price for this?’ Start off doing…something you can handle, but is slightly uncomfortable. Then go to the next challenging situation.”Being able to confront fearful thoughts enables you to counteract them. “Public speaking is actually a safe situation,” Dr. Mathews explains, “but when you add fearful thoughts, your brain interprets it as unsafe, and…has a harder time going through its natural process of desensitizing.” Here are a few examples Dr. Mathews gives of fearful thoughts and how to counter them:Fearful thought: ‘Fear is bad and fear symptoms are bad.’ Counter-thought: First fear is natural and I should expect it. I will get some adrenaline in my body and I will experience some symptoms. If I don’t add fearful thoughts on top of first fear, I can keep fear to a minimum.Fearful thought: ‘Social standards are high and I have to be perfect.’ Counter-thought: Actually, social standards are not as exacting as I think, and most people are friendly and supportive.Fearful thought: ‘I can read minds.’ Do you jump to conclusions and assume people are thinking negative things about you? Counter-thought: People with public speaking fear tend to think of social situations as more competitive or hostile than they really are. In many cases, people are thinking neutral or positive things, and are much more supportive than you might think.Fearful thought: Focusing on the negative. Research has found that those with public speaking fear tend to focus on the negative, like focusing on the one person in the audience who is not smiling. Counter-thought: Instead, focus on the positive, like all the other audience members who areFearful thought: Having unclear goals like ‘I want everyone to like me.’ This is unattainable because there’s no way to know if you achieved it or not. Counter-thought: It’s more helpful to focus on goals such as ‘I want to get my message across clearly.’Fearful thought: Overestimating negative consequences and the likelihood that something horrible will happen. Counter-thought: It’s unlikely that something horrible will happen, and the consequences of making a mistake are usually not that bad.Your goal is not to be the most charismatic speaker to ever step in front of a crowd, it’s to provide your audience with information in an engaging way. No one else will be comparing you to viral TED Talk-ers, so you shouldn’t do so internally. Once you’re able to recognize the irrationality of this negative thinking you can start to turn public speaking anxiety into excitement and, over time, you just might surprise yourself at how good you become at it.How to Prepare Your PresentationOne of the best antidotes for anxiety is preparation. Thoroughly researching your topic and practicing your speech will help you feel calm and in control.Get to Know Your AudienceTo speak effectively, get to know the group you’ll be speaking to. While you may not have the luxury of one-on-one time with each audience member, you can still tailor your speech to the crowd. Think about how they might talk to each other about the topic, and what questions they may be seeking answers to. Instead of focusing on your own insecurities and what you might gain (or lose) from giving the speech, keep your attention on the benefit you’re offering the audience.Get to Know Your Venue and TechKnowing your venue and practicing with any tech you’ll be using can help you avoid any unforeseen (and embarrassing) complications during your speech.If you can, visit the venue (whether stage, conference room, or corner office) before presentation day. Having a sense of the space will give you a sense of comfort and familiarity with the location and can help you determine the most effective ways to move around while you’re presenting. If you can practice your speech in the location beforehand, all the better.Getting bogged down by technical difficulties can frazzle you, especially if it happens in the middle of a high-pressure situation. If you’ll be using a slideshow or other visual aids, make sure you’re including them in your practice sessions. It will help you identify aids or props that aren’t worth the hassle, and can help you strategize a back-up plan if something goes wrong.Start with an OutlineBefore you dive into the bulk of your research process, create an outline to establish your main points. Like a great story, a well-crafted speech needs three basic sections: a compelling opener, a thorough body, and an impactful conclusion.A compelling opener might be a surprising statistic, a personal story, or even a joke, depending on your topic and audience. If you have the benefit of knowing your audience well (if you’re presenting to a group of co-workers, for example), you can make your topic poignant and tangible by recounting conversations you’ve had with them about the content you’ll be covering. If you have a lot of hands-on experience with the topic, a personal anecdote helps establish your expertise and engage the audience. If it’s appropriate for your topic, humor establishes a conversational tone and puts you at ease before you dive into the body of your presentation.The body of your speech should be the longest section, where you present your main points and supporting research. Give as much valuable information to the crowd as possible, but keep in mind that no one wants to listen to a single presentation for hours on end. Make sure you organize the information effectively, avoid redundant points, and keep things as succinct as possible without sacrificing quality.A great conclusion should summarize everything in a way that will have an impact on the crowd. Just like with your opener, statistics, stories, and humor can go a long way in making the difference between a ho-hum conclusion and a powerful one.Watch Other Public Speakers for InspirationYou certainly don’t want to rip off someone else’s style or language, but watching how other speakers organize and present their information can help you focus effective strategies. Watching videos can help you see how other people use visual aids and body language, and reading transcripts can help you see how they organize their points.Practice A LOTIf you only take one tip away from this guide, it should be this one: practice, practice, practice! No matter how confident you feel, you can’t give your best delivery if you don’t practice your speech several times. It helps you become intimately familiar with the information you’re presenting, which will do wonders for your comfort level once you’re in front of a crowd. The more you’ve done the speech already, the less overwhelming it will feel when it counts.Your body language and presence are just as much a part of public speaking as the speech itself. Record yourself delivering the presentation so you can watch back and identify any nervous gestures – both physically and verbally – that you’re unknowingly making. Standing as still as a statue isn’t compelling either, so if you tend to freeze up when you’re nervous, this will give you an opportunity to incorporate movement into your delivery.Practice the speech in front of friends or family as much as possible, too. This helps you practice things you can’t target just by recording yourself, like eye contact. Practicing in front of people you’re already comfortable with lets you gather feedback without getting self-conscious. Practice audiences can help you to identify points that struck them as well as points they’d like to see reduced, eliminated, or addressed in more detail. They’ll also be able to tell you how well any visual aids you’re using are working. If they know you well, they may even be able to offer suggestions for personal stories you can incorporate.When practicing your speech, always time yourself. Your presentation may or may not have an official time limit. Either way, it’s important that you’re not talking at such length that you lose the audience’s attention or talking so quickly that the crowd can’t retain the points you’re making. People tend to talk quickly when they’re nervous, so this is another thing you may be doing without even realizing it.Tips for Preparing Visual Aids and PropsVisual aids are a boon to any presentation and, quite frankly, unless there’s a specific restriction, you should use them. Here are a few crucial tips for choosing and preparing your visual aids:Visual aids should emphasize your points, not make them for you. Keep in mind that you’re giving a speech, not just clicking through slides or handing out pamphlets for your audience to read.Keep text in slide presentations concise. Use bullet points, not lengthy chunks of text. Don’t deliver slide text verbatim in your speech – if your slides say everything for you, why are you even there? Your text should summarize or emphasize points, but your speech is where you will fully flesh them out.Make graphics, photos, and charts colorful and unique, but don’t go so over-the-top that they become distracting. Generic-looking stock photos aren’t compelling, but layer after layer of flashy custom imagery runs the risk of overshadowing your speech.When presenting graphs or charts, stand to the side of the image. You want to make sure the entire audience can see the information you’re discussing, but don’t wander so far away from the screen that they forget you’re there.Keep props limited and effective. Don’t roll out with a trunk full of props like Carrot Top. Physical props add an extra layer of complication to your speech preparation and delivery, so make sure they’re effective and serve to emphasize information in ways you can’t achieve otherwise. Remember the golden rule: all visual aids are there to reinforce your points, not make them for you.If you have handouts for your audience, pass them out before or after your speech, not during. Fussing with papers while you’re talking can draw audience attention away from you during important moments in your speech. Tuxedo Tips: Your Guide to Nailing Black-Tie Attire How to Smoke Meat: Everything You Need to Know last_img read more

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Where have all the people been over all the years our women

first_imgAPTN National NewsAPTN National News host Cheryl McKenzie was at a vigil in Winnipeg held in support of the victims of alleged serial killer Shawn Lamb.McKenzie spoke with some of the people there to find out what people are thinking and saying about a case that has brought a lot of pain to the community.last_img

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AAP deliberately delaying Kanhaiyas prosecution

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari on Thursday launched a fresh attack on the AAP government, following the Delhi government’s request of one month’s time in granting permission to authorities in moving the JNU sedition case forward.In a statement, Tiwari alleged that the state government in the Capital is misusing its position to deliberately shield Kanhaiya Kumar, the prime accused in the case and that this goes to show where the Kejriwal government’s sympathies truly lie. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAccusing the AAP government of siding with anti-national forces, the MP from North-East Delhi said that it is disrespecting the judiciary by asking for more time in granting requisite permissions. Tiwari also connected Congress’ promise of scrapping sedition laws to the Delhi government’s stance on Kumar’s ongoing sedition. He added that the people of the country have a choice between a nationalistic party like the BJP and the opposition in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. “Aam Aadmi Party is deliberately delaying permission to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar and Kejriwal is also ready to campaign for Kumar. We will have to watch in which direction the politics of the country is going.”last_img read more

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Mahinda Deshapriya threatens to resign

Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya has threatened to resign from his post if the Provincials Council elections are not held before the 9th of November this year.Deshapriya told reporters that he has been under pressure over the delay to hold the elections. He said that as a citizen he is also keen to ensure the Provincials Council elections are held soon.Deshapriya said that if the elections are not held by November he will resign as the Chairman of the Elections Commission and remain as a member only. (Colombo Gazette)

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Sierra Leone special court releases rebel leader Sankohs body to family members

The Special Court for Sierra Leone has released the body of former rebel leader and indicted war criminal Foday Sankoh to members of his family, after first performing an autopsy to determine his cause of death. A statement released over the weekend by the Freetown-based Court investigating war crimes committed during Sierra Leone’s 10-year civil war, said the post-mortem examination found that Mr. Sankoh died from respiratory failure due to a massive pulmonary embolism. Mr. Sankoh’s body was subsequently released to members of his family and was due to be buried on Sunday. The former leader of the Revolutionary United Front, indicted last March by the Special Court for war crimes, atrocities and human rights violations committed in Sierra Leone, died last Tuesday at Freetown’s Choithram Hospital, where he had been receiving medical treatment and was under 24-hour observation. He was 66. Mr. Sankoh had been experiencing major health problems after a stroke in August last year. He was taken into custody on 10 March and subsequently transferred from the detention facility to the hospital on 29 March. read more

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In wake of Tropical Storm Isaac UN steps up Haiti humanitarian response

Tropical Storm Isaac raised considerable concern early last week as it looked set to turn into a hurricane before barrelling down upon the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, shared by both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Though the storm never fully transformed into a full-blown hurricane, it lashed Haiti with heavy rains and winds causing severe damage to the beleaguered nation, which is still recovering from the devastation of the 2010 earthquake. According to media reports, eight people were killed in Haiti alone and more than 14,000 people had left their homes, while another 13,500 had sought refuge in temporary shelters. Initial reports also indicate that the West and Southeastern Departments were the most affected by the storm, with flooding and mudslides causing extensive damage to bridges, roads and temporary shelters, such as tents and tarps. In a news release, the UN announced that it had begun responding to the humanitarian needs of the local population, providing stocks of food and drinking water to the evacuation centres in the West, South East, Grande Anse and Artibonite Departments. “In support of the Government’s coordination mechanisms, and depending on the scope of the needs, the humanitarian community is ready to provide further assistance for the distribution of potable water, Aquatabs, non-food and food items, therapeutic nutrition supply, hygiene kits, and cholera response kits, among others,” the Organization noted in the news release, which also said that the Government of Haiti was being closely assisted by UN agencies such as the UN Development Programme. The release also pointed out that UNICEF was closely assisting the Government of Haiti’s Child Protection agency staff their call centre for vulnerable children. Along with addressing the more immediate needs of the Haitian population, the UN also emphasized that it was prepared to help the Government with long-term recovery efforts, such as providing seeds and tools to farmers whose crops were damaged by the storm. Meanwhile, speaking from UN Headquarters in New York, a spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly said President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser had voiced his sadness at the loss of life in Haiti and at the destruction caused by Tropical Storm Isaac. “The President extends his condolences to the people and Government of Haiti and especially the families of those who have been killed in this storm,” a spokesperson for Mr. Al-Nasser said. “He also wishes to express his support for the efforts provided by the Government of Haiti with the assistance of the UN and other international organizations,” the statement added, further noting Mr. Al-Nasser’s call for all UN Member States to “re-double their efforts” in disaster prevention and response. read more

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Interview with former UN official Brian Urquhart Part 1

The first UN Secretary-General, Trygve Lie of Norway, addresses a meeting. Seated behind him is Sir Brian, then serving as his personal assistant. Credit: UNTV Archives Secretary-General Kofi Annan (right) meets with Sir Brian Urquhart. (4 April 2002) UN Photo/Evan Schneider Major General E.L.M. Burns of Canada – the head of the UN Emergency International Force which was set up in relation to the Suez Crisis – holds a meeting with military representatives from various nations at UN Headquarters concerning the organization of the force. Those present include Sir Brian Urquhart on behalf of the Secretary-General’s office. (16 November 1956) Sir Brian’s parachuting came to end in August 1942, when his parachute failed to open properly during a training jump. His plummet to the ground left him with broken bones, compacted vertebrae and internal injuries. Asides from agonizing pain, his recuperation included being found to have no pulse following three separate, unrecorded and maximum doses of morphine during a hospital transfer; and, being immobile, except for his head and arms, during months spent on his back and head down in a traction bed positioned at a 30 degree angle. After months spent convalescing, he returned to the Airborne Forces in April 1943.UN News: Your extensive injuries didn’t make you want to reconsider returning to the Airborne Forces?Sir Brian Urquhart: It made me want to go back! I was absolutely heartbroken because I thought I was going to miss one of the main events, which was actually the Dieppe Raid [a 1942 Allied forces attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe in northern France], which was one of England’s best and most total disasters. I was quite lucky to miss that. But no, I was interested in getting back to it.As a junior officer, Sir Brian was involved in helping plan Operation Market Garden – one of the largest airborne battles in history. Taking place in September 1944, the operation involved British and American airborne troops capturing key bridges at Arnhem, Nijmegen and Grave in the Netherlands, as part of a push to bring the war in Europe to a quick end. Sir Brian considered the plan to be “strategically unsound,” with the landscape where the parachutists landing in intersected by canals and causeways which would make support from relieving ground forces difficult to obtain. His views led to his being left out of the operation’s execution on medical grounds. Accompanied by the Editor of UN News, Ari Gaitanis (right), Sir Brian Urquhart is walked through the UN Headquarters complex, which was still-under renovations at the time. (16 September 2011) UN Photo/J. Jiji US troops that landed behind German lines in Holland examine what is left of a glider damaged during the airborne operation. Photo Courtesy of US Army On a visit to the Middle East to meet with the leaders of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Jordan, Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim addresses staff at the UN Development Programme office in Amman, Jordan. At Mr. Waldheim’s left is the Assistant Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, Brian Urquhart. (3 September 1973) UN Photo/G. Nehmeh During a brief visit to the Middle East to discuss with the implementation of a Security Council resolution, Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim holds talks with Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin. Seated to his right is Sir Brian Urquhart, then serving as the UN Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs. (18 April 1978) UN Photo/John Isaac In his role as Secretary to the General Assembly’s Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds, Sir Brian (seated far right) takes part in a meeting on the financial situation of the UN Korean Reconstruction Agency. Seated near him is Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld (second from left). (15 February 1955) UN Photo/AF The Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations, Gladwyn Jebb (standing), addresses one of the body’s first meetings. Sitting behind him is Sir Brian, then serving as Mr. Jebb’s private secretary. Credit: UNTV Archives In the Syrian capital of Damascus, Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim and the-then Assistant Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, Sir Brian Urquhart, take part in a group with colleagues from the UN Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine (UNTSO). (28 August 1973) UN Photo/George Nehmeh Serving as the Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, Sir Brian Urquhart (left), accompanied Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar on an official visit to Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Here, Mr. Perez de Cuellar and Sir Brian meet with Jordan’s King Hussein in Amman. (11 June 1984) UN Photo/John Isaac UN News: The use of airborne troops as a fighting force was still in its infancy, with old airplanes and fairly rough training involved at that stage in its development. You have said that, deep down, you actually hated jumping out of airplanes. Yet, it led to a chance meeting with General Dwight ‘Ike’ Eisenhower when winds dragged you and other parachutists through a line of VIPs. What happened?Sir Brian Urquhart: It was a big eye-opener for me. Eisenhower then was a completely unknown major-general. He was the first general officer of the United States to arrive in England. Churchill wanted to display what the London Daily Mail insisted on calling “Britain’s airborne might” – which was about 2,000 somewhat disoriented people like me jumping out of very old aeroplanes, obsolete bombers in fact. Everything was so weird in those days… what I reckoned without [was that] I was carrying two carrier pigeons in a cardboard carton around my neck, because they were our form of communication – we didn’t have radios because radios had all these valves and everything, and we couldn’t carry them in those days, it was not possible. We [Sir Brian and other parachutists] went straight through the line of [watching dignitaries] and then I managed to disengage from my parachute and I couldn’t think what, so I stood up and saluted. The British were all furious. They said “bloody poor show” and that kind of thing, as if it was my fault that the wind was blowing at 45 miles an hour! The general came running over. He said, “Are you alright, son?” I said yes. He said, “Why are you jumping in this wind!?” I said, “General, it was all laid on.”And then he said, “What on earth is that thing around your neck?” I pulled one of these damned pigeons out and I said “this is to communicate to our headquarters that we’ve dropped safely.” I threw it in the air. The pigeon had definitely been air-sick because it fluttered to a nearby bush and sat there, looking at me and General Eisenhower with that awful way pigeons have and occasionally making rather awful noises and I burst out laughing – it was too much. And the general burst out laughing and then said, “I think the United States will have to do something about your communications” and left.I never met him again, but what a guy! Everybody else was muttering about jolly poor show – it was sort of wonderful, very refreshing. UN News: You wrote that Westminster School left you with the ingrained idea on the concept of service. How is that?Sir Brian Urquhart: Well, that was true, you know, almost across the whole British public school system, because the system, as such, was designed to staff a very large empire run by a small, off-shore island. I mean the idea was that unless you were some sort of kind of a genius, like a musician or a painter or a poet or something, you should concentrate on the idea of serving. And it wasn’t a priggish idea – it seems to be not a bad idea really – and I think we were very much brought up to think that unless we displayed some fantastic genius for something, we would be lucky to be in public service, or indeed earlier on, to go into the church – the Church after all is a state religion in England, unbelievably – or to go into the army, to come to that. These were the main sources of public service. I wanted to be a civilian. And, you know, I think it wasn’t a bad idea – although bad luck on all those people we were going to rule over in the colonies – so you trained a whole group of people who would do that, and, incidentally, who would go to some distant part of the world and stay there their whole working life.UN News: What kind of a student were you?Sir Brian Urquhart: Well, I had to be very good because otherwise I, first of all, wouldn’t have gotten a scholarship to a public school and then I wouldn’t have gotten a scholarship to Oxford, in which case I would have gone and worked in a bank. So I was quite a good student! Ahead of a Security Council meeting on its role in the pacific settlement of disputes, Council members heard from Secretary-General Kofi Annan and three eminent persons – one of those was Sir Brian Urquhart, seen here delivering his speech. (13 May 2003) UN Photo/Evan Schneider ‹ Previous Next › Ari Gaitanis of UN News listens as Sir Brian Urquhart shares his experiences and views during an interview. (16 September 2011) UN Photo/Mark Garten Soon after the end of World War II, the Cold War set in, affecting the United Nations. Here, Sir Brian speaks about its impact on staff in the late 1940s. Credit: UNTV Archives The UN was a very cynical organization by that time. The Russians had “excommunicated” Trygve Lie over Korea. They wouldn’t talk to him. The McCarthy people [investigators looking into claims of Communist spies and sympathizers in the US federal government and elsewhere, as voiced by people such as US Senator Joseph Raymond “Joe” McCarthy] were running around the [UN] Secretariat trying to nail all the American members of the Secretariat as communists, which was very depressing, because people were frightened of them. A lot of people simply lost their jobs for no reason whatsoever. And I was disgusted by that. I thought it was terrible. And it was all very well for me to be supporting them, but it didn’t help very much – well, we could go into that at great length, but we won’t.I actually became very sceptical about the UN at that point and then I, unfortunately, had a rather considerable disagreement with the first Secretary-General, whose personal assistant I was – we had a temperamental disconnect, we didn’t fit well together. And I left him in 1948 over various disagreements, including about the Middle East. I really was in limbo for three or four years and was seriously thinking about leaving and then, miraculously, out of the blue, this young Swede arrived. ► See also Character Sketches by Brian Urquhart There, he was assigned to the newly established ‘T’ Force, set up to accompany advancing Allied troops into Germany and secure strategic intelligence assets such as industrial plants, laboratories and eminent German scientists. In this role, Sir Brian happened to be one of the first Allied troops to liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in north-western Germany.Towards the end of combat operations in Europe, Sir Brian discovered that because of his young age but long service, he could not be transferred to the theatre of operations in Asia and faced little chance of being demobilized soon.Thanks to renowned historian Professor Arnold J. Toynbee – whom Sir Brian knew after having attended Oxford University with his son Philip – Sir Brian managed to secure a transfer to the Foreign Office Research Branch in London, which Professor Toynbee headed during the war. Professor Toynbee recalled that Sir Brian had once spoken of his pre-war ambition to work for the League of Nations and told him that a friend of his – Gladwyn Jebb, a British civil servant and diplomat – had been appointed the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations and was now recruiting.Sir Brian lost no time in visiting Mr. Jebb, who soon appointed him as his private secretary – in the process becoming the United Nations’ second recruit.Meeting in London between 16 August – 24 November 1945, the Preparatory Commission was charged with setting up the new body in accordance with the UN Charter, which was signed on 26 June 1945 in San Francisco, and came into force on 24 October that year.Following his service on the commission, Gladwyn Jebb went on to serve as Acting UN Secretary-General from October 1945 to February 1946, until the appointment of the first Secretary-General, Trygve Lie. UN News: “Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deservest; To give, and not to count the cost, to fight, and not to heed the wounds, to toil, and not to seek for rest, to labor, and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do thy will.” You wrote that even though you are not religious, these words drilled into your mind during your time at Westminster have provided you comfort in times of stress. How so?Sir Brian Urquhart: I think it is the most brilliant description of something you ought to try to live up to – it’s the Jesuit prayer. The fact that one fails all the time is neither here nor there. You know, if you have an idea that there’s an enormous good in humanity and you need to do your best to help that along – well, that I suppose is a sort of religion in a way, it’s a faith anyway – and if you want to know how to do it, then that’s a very good prescription.In 1939, in the wake of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s announcement of war against Germany, following its failure to respond to the ultimatum over Poland from Great Britain and France, Sir Brian went to a recruiting office and signed up to join the navy. Ten days later he discovered that the papers he had signed were not for the navy – they were for the army. Sir Brian speaks about the mood of delegates at the creation of the world body at the meetings of the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations, held in London in 1945. Credit: UNTV Archives Since the end of World War II, there has been some controversy over the battle and its failure to succeed in its objectives.Sir Brian was portrayed in the well-known 1977 film ‘A Bridge Too Far,’ based on the operation, although his name was changed to Major Fuller in order to prevent viewer confusion due to another personage with the same name of Urquhart.UN News: How did Operation Market Garden affect you personally?Sir Brian Urquhart: This was a hugely ambitious proposition. It had the most number of aircraft ever put into the air at one time, dealing with parachute tugs, fighter escorts and bombing sorties. It was, I forget, five or six thousand aircraft – it was enormous, it had never been done before. The Germans had learnt not to do it in Crete. The Germans thought Crete was a disaster, even though they won, because they killed so many of their own people. And this was exactly what we did. I was certainly mindful of Crete when we were planning that operation.Well, I’m sorry to say… before Market Garden, I was fairly arrogant, fairly opinionated and had great confidence in the higher authorities. After that, I lost all of these feelings. I thought I had not handled it very well, in persuading them to change the plan, which I failed to do. I certainly was not impressed by the British generals involved, mostly General (Bernard) Montgomery, who came into this plan out of the blue to finish the war in one fell swoop.Any fool could see that it wouldn’t work – but we won’t go into that now, it’s very long. I just felt very badly that I had not managed… I was 26 years old and it was extremely unlikely that I was going to turn over a plan which had been approved by Churchill and (US President Franklin Delano) Roosevelt and everybody else. The euphoria of the early days soon changed as the rivalries of the Cold War started to make themselves felt. In his autobiography, Sir Brian wrote that “the statesmanlike attitudes of the early meetings soon gave way to competitive point-scoring, and on many critical issues the level of debate sank to name-calling, polemics, and abuse, rendering a positive outcome precarious if not impossible. In 1946 these depressing tendencies were only just becoming to become apparent.”UN News: Given the excitement of those early days, how did it feel to see this change come over the still-forming organization?Sir Brian Urquhart: It was a terrible shock, actually. I have to say that I and my contemporaries were on the whole rather naïve. We really thought that – since we’d had no civilian experience in our adult life at all – that if governments said they were going to change and to do things differently in the future, then they would. Of course they didn’t. We went right back to square one. In fact, worse than square one because we were in a nuclear arms race by 1948, which was extremely dangerous. The New York City Building, at the old World’s Fair grounds in Flushing Meadows, served temporarily as the location for the General Assembly between 1946 and 1950, until the completion of the UN Headquarters complex in Manhattan. UN Photo UN News: That was your first brush with international diplomacy? Sir Brian Urquhart: Absolutely, and it was successful too – unlike most of the others!UN News: The late 1930s were a heady time with the dark clouds of World War II starting to gather. What comes to mind when you look back on your time at Oxford University?Sir Brian Urquhart: Well, we spent most of our time demonstrating in one way or another. I nearly joined the Oxford Communist Party in 1937 because it seemed to me that – this was before the Soviet show trials – the Soviets had done a better job of looking after the people of the Soviet Union. But I very, very soon lost… well, I giggled during the briefings, so that did it. It was called “bourgeois dilettantism” and I was shot out – that was good. But then, we were also demonstrating about Ethiopia – Abyssinia, rather, as it was called back then – as well as the Spanish civil war, the total failure to react to Hitler and the persecution of the Jews. During Operation Market Garden, Allied soldiers move past a knocked-out German 88mm gun near a bridge over the Meuse-Escaut Canal in Belgium. Photo: No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit UN News: You were a top student, being awarded scholarships throughout much of your education, but surely it wasn’t all work and no play, was it? Sir Brian Urquhart: [In 1937] we had at school one son of Joachim von Ribbentrop, who was the German ambassador in London [and Foreign Minister for Germany from 1938 onwards]. My single, most successful political effort was as follows: von Ribbentrop’s son took to arriving at Westminster, which is about 1,000 years old and has lots of stone arches, in two plum-coloured Mercedes Benz motorcars.The object of the two cars was so that the two chauffeurs can get out and make a triumphal arch and say “Heil Hitler!” I got the boys who lived outside the school to arrive 20 minutes earlier and we used to greet this every morning with tremendous laughter and cries and whistles and everything. It got out of hand and became a famous event in London and I got summoned and I was told that it was an insult to a “friendly power.” So I had a little bit of trouble talking to the headmaster about the Nazis being a friendly power. But in the end, I realized that he always got everything wrong and I said, “do you realize that the German Embassy cars are painted the colour of the royal family’s cars, which are all purple?” He said, “My dear boy, why didn’t you tell me before?!” and sent off an absolute sizzler to the ambassador saying this was outrageous. In his autobiography, Sir Brian wrote how the operation ended up with “more than 17,000 Allied soldiers killed, wounded or missing in nine days of fighting, no possible reckoning of civilian casualties, and all for nothing or worse than nothing.” In Jerusalem as part of a Middle East visit, and accompanied by the Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, Sir Brian Urquhart (third from left) and others, Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, pays a courtesy call on the President of Israel, Ephraim Katzir. (5 June 1974) UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata UN News: As a child, you had dreamed about working for the League of Nations. You managed to become one of the first staff members of its successor, the United Nations. How did you feel about that?Sir Brian Urquhart: I felt fantastically lucky. In the first place, it was literally three weeks after I got out of the army, thanks to Arnold Toynbee. I was working for a superb person to learn from: Gladwyn Jebb of the British Foreign Office, who was the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission. He was really the first Secretary-General and he was absolutely outstanding. So I simply sat back for six months and learned. I was lucky – incredibly lucky.UN News: What was the atmosphere like during those early days of the United Nations’ birth?Sir Brian Urquhart: This is what most of us had been waiting for, for six years, and suddenly one was lucky enough to be working for this new world organization. A lot of people there had been much worse off than I was during the war. They’d been in the resistance in their own countries, had lost people in the war. It was a sort of bitter-sweet occasion in some ways. London was a mess. It was a very grey, dismal, bashed-about city – food rationing and all that. It was very un-cheerful physical surroundings, [but] the atmosphere at the UN was very upbeat. I mean, [the Soviet Union’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Andrei Andreyevich] Gromyko was the life and soul of the party; he made these wonderful jokes all the time. He was 37 years old. We had an outstanding group of people. I mean, we had Adlai Stevenson from the United States, [and Edwin R.] Stettinius, we had Ernest Bevin from the United Kingdom, we had Gromyko from the Soviet Union… a very distinguished group and there were still more or less under the spell of San Francisco – more or less. All of these easily amount to a front-row seat on history. But Sir Brian’s links to history go even further. As a youth, his experiences include attending a lecture given by Indian independence leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi while in primary school and taking part in the coronation of King George VI.I had a wonderful time working for the UN. It was quite difficult sometimes, but it was what I wanted to do… I loved the job, I believed in it. I still believe in it.As a soldier in World War II, he was involved in the surrender of German scientists working in nuclear research; he was one of the first Allied troops to liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp; and he even helped Danish author Karen Blixen, of ‘Out of Africa’ fame, out of a predicament at the end of the war. To top it off, his role in ‘Operation Market Garden’ – one of the most well-known military actions of the later stages of the war – was immortalized in an epic film.As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a tribute message on the occasion of Sir Brian’s 90th birthday four years ago, “You have had an enormous influence on every Secretary-General. Even today, staffers everywhere seek to live up to your example. And you remain one of our wisest and staunchest advocates.”Here, in the first installment of a two-part feature, UN News spotlights the experiences and views of Sir Brian leading up to the creation of the United Nations.Sir Brian Urquhart was born in his grandfather’s house in 1919, in Bridport, Dorset, on the southern coast of England, the younger of two sons. Due to a lack of money, between the ages of six and eight, he was enrolled at a school in Bristol at which his mother taught: the Badminton School for Girls. In his autobiography, Sir Brian wrote that international affairs formed a large part of the school’s teaching, describing it as “an excellent school with some very un-English characteristics. Of these one of the most important was a passionate anti-xenophobia.” The school was founded by the sister of Sir Brian’s mother and her partner – Aunt Lucy and Ms. Beatrice M. Bake, two ladies who supported the work of the United Nations’ forerunner, the League of Nations. Sir Brian during his service with the Office of the UN Under-Secretaries Without Department in 1956. UN Photo UN News: What impact did not joining the navy have on your life? Sir Brian Urquhart: I evidently had too much to drink for lunch and I got the wrong form! I had a kind of romantic idea that the navy was the thing to be in, but it didn’t really make much difference. I was happy to be in anything by that time. In September 1939, one just felt that, you know, we were in such a pathetic position in comparison to Nazi Germany militarily, that the sooner one got into something as such the better, because if everybody did that we might have a hope in the end… I’ve always wondered how it was that we managed not to lose the war in 1940 – I think we should have, but we didn’t. Sir Brian was ordered to report to the 164th Officer Cadet Training Unit at barracks in Colchester, before joining the Dorset Regiment as a second lieutenant and being posted to its 5th Battalion in the town of Frome in Somerset. In 1941, after time spent on home guard duties, which included surviving the sinking of a minesweeper escort while on patrol and a dive-bombing attack while having lunch, Sir Brian was asked to be an intelligence officer with the newly-formed Airborne Forces, which aimed to develop the British Army’s parachute and glider-borne troops. British paratroopers moving through a damaged house in which they had sought shelter amidst the combat of Operation Market Garden. Photo: Army Film and Photographic Unit Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld (second from right) holds an informal conference with some high officials of his Executive Office. Amongst those taking part is Sir Brian Urquhart (right), in his role as Secretary of the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. (12 April 1955) UN News: The thrust of your early education seems to have foreshadowed the international path your life has taken. What influence do you think your Aunt Lucy and Ms. Bake had on you? Sir Brian Urquhart: Absolutely enormous. They were formidable ladies, as was my mother actually. They had a civil belief that the League of Nations ought to work. They didn’t think it would work, because governments weren’t capable of making it work, but they thought something like that had to work. They had a huge influence. Then, of course, we got into World War II, and it collapsed. But I had always wanted to work at the League of Nations. By the time I got there, anywhere near it, of course we had the war so I was in the army instead. Following an eventual transfer to a preparatory school for boys, at the age of 11 and at the insistence of his headmaster who knew of the financial situation of Sir Brian’s family, he sat for what was then known as the King’s Scholarship exam for Westminster School in London. UN Secretary-General, Trygve Lie, confers with the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations, Gladwyn Jebb. Sir Brian Urquhart worked for both men. (1 January 1946) UN Photo/Marcel Bolomey Sir Brian Urquhart listen as Secretary-General Kofi Annan speaks at the first in a series of lectures and conversations – entitled ‘Dag Hammarskjöld’s Legacy and its Relevance to the UN Today” – to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the world body’s second leader. (4 April 2005) UN Photo/Evan Schneider On a visit to Egypt In his role as the Assistant Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, Brian Urquhart (second from left), confers with senior officers from the UN Emergency Force in Suez City. (13 January 1974) UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata Carried out in September 1944, Operation Market Garden was an Allied military airborne operation – the largest of its kind up until then – which involved combat in the Netherlands and Germany. Sir Brian’s opposition to the operation led to him being left out of its execution on medical grounds. Here, he reflects on the experience. Credit: UNTV Archives He described passing the exam as a “turning point because it gave me affordable access to an ancient and civilized school for the next six years.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) shakes hands with Sir Brian Urquhart at a special dedication ceremony of the ‘Brian Urquhart Room,’ at UN Headquarters in New York City. (12 March 2009) UN Photo/Evan Schneider Given his stance on Operation Market Garden, Sir Brian was shortly afterwards posted out of the Airborne Corps – at his request – and joined the chemical warfare branch of 21 Army Group Headquarters, then located in Brussels. With Secretary-General Lie at his side, H.V Evatt of Australia addresses a meeting at the United Nations. Mr. Evatt played a leading role in the founding of the world body. In the background, seen conferring with a colleague is Sir Brian. Credit: UNTV Archives UN News: About your experience in the British schooling system in the 1920s and 1930s, you wrote that “if you were very lucky you received that intellectual stimulus, the essential shot-in-the-arm, that changes the way you think and look at life” and that you fell into that category. Just how important was education for your development? Sir Brian Urquhart: My father was an extremely unsuccessful painter, actually a rather good painter but he didn’t make any money. So I had to get scholarships, which in those days you got on merit, and I managed to do that.I went to Westminster which gave a traditional, classical education – that is to say that you learned Greek, Latin and philosophy. My mother thought that was a mistake, so I did foreign languages. I got to the top of that at the age of 15 and I had two years to go [to finish school].I was lucky I transferred to the history part of the school, which was run by a school-master straight out of Evelyn Waugh: John Edward Bowle. He was an absolutely brilliant, extremely eccentric person who was able, in some extraordinary way; to get one to write; to get one to think about contemporary problems; to read history in a rather personal way and to see how it all came together. I’m very grateful to this remarkable teacher.Sir Brian’s six years at Westminster School were formative. His schoolmaster, John Edward Bowle, had his students read and discuss contemporary books, and would bring in the authors to address the 16-year-old students. Some of those who spent afternoons engaging the students in discussion on their books included Bertrand Russell, Arnold Toynbee and H.G. Wells. After finishing high school, Sir Brian attended Oxford University as a Hinchcliffe Scholar at Christ Church College. His time at the university coincided with various events in Europe and the world in general, from the Spanish Civil War to the Italian conquest of Abyssinia, which preceded World War II. Following his interview with UN News, Sir Brian Urquhart is stopped by a member of the UN press corps for some questions. (16 September 2011) UN Photo/A. Gaitanis The first session of the United Nations General Assembly opened on 10 January 1946 at Central Hall in London. Here, Secretary-General Trygve, speaks at his installation ceremony. (2 February 1946) UN Photo/Marcel Bolomey Sir Brian Urquhart. (16 September 2011) UN Photo/Mark Garten read more

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Tackling impacts of land degradation vital to achieving Global Goals – senior

Monique Barbut, the Executive Secretary of the Convention, known by its acronym UNCCD, opened meeting by stressing: “Ignoring land degradation neutrality (LDN) could be political suicide.” Moreover, she stressed that LDN remains a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target – under Goal 15 – and populations will experience real benefits in terms of climate change, rural employment and food security. The Committee for the Review of Implementation of the Convention was established as a subsidiary body to the Conference of the Parties (COP). LDN will constitute a part within the CRIC15 Strategic Framework, under the Convention from 2018-2030. It is scheduled to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD next year. “Ten billion people on earth by 2050 will require food production to increase by 70 per cent, and that means expansion and exploitation of at least four million hectares of new land each year,” she said. However, there are only two billion hectares of degraded land at our disposal, 500 million of which can be restored, she added. In order to recover the ecosystems and feed the entire population, just 300 million hectares need to be restored. “We would be able to sequester a significant amount of CO2 as well. It is the fastest and most cost-effective way to do so.” Ms. Barbut said. read more

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Blue Jays trade pitcher Marcus Stroman to Mets

The rebuilding Toronto Blue Jays have traded top starter Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets for a pair of pitching prospects.Stroman posted messages on his Twitter account on Sunday expressing his excitement at the news.“NEW YORK! Where I was born. Where my heart lies. Where my family resides. Crazy excited for this part of my journey. Some things were meant to be! @Mets #HDMH.”He also tweeted his appreciation for the city of Toronto.“CANADA. TORONTO. Words can’t really explain the extent of my appreciation and love. Beyond thankful and blessed to have played for this unbelievable nation. Thank you for your constant support, love, and loyalty. I’ll be back plenty in the future!”The Blue Jays will receive pitching left-handed prospect Anthony Kay, 24, and right-handed Simeon Woods Richardson, 18, in return.Stroman was 6-11 in 21 starts with an ERA of 2.96 this year with Toronto. He was named to the American League All-Star squad for the first time in his career this season.Stro many memories. @MStrooo6— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 29, 2019Right-hander Sean Reid-Foley is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to replace Stroman in the rotation.It was the second trade the Blue Jays completed on Sunday. Earlier they sent infielder Eric Sogard to the Tampa Bay Rays.The Blue Jays have also called up shortstop Bo Bichette from Triple-A Buffalo. In 59 games at triple-A this season, Bichette is hitting .290 with eight home runs and 33 RBI.The 21-year-old is the next top prospect to join Toronto this season after Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Cavan Biggio were called up earlier in the year.NEW YORK! Where I was born. Where my heart lies. Where my family resides. Crazy excited for this part of my journey. Some things were meant to be! @Mets #HDMH— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) July 29, 2019 read more

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In response to 14 VAT on private education outcry Jordan says

…it remains a choice of the parentFinance Minister Winston Jordan“VAT is not a cure for social ills; it is first and foremost a fiscal tool. I said we are aiming to reduce VAT but in doing so we will seek to broaden the base as wide as possible. There is no VAT on public education, it remains a choice of the parent. Government is not making that choice for them.”These were the words of Finance Minister Winston Jordan, who was quoted in other sections of the media signaling Government’s position on the 14 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) that was applied to the private education on February 1, 2017.Since its application, Government’s 14 per cent tax on private education has received widespread condemnation.School of the Nations, a private educational institute, has been at the forefront of the calls for the ‘burdensome’ 14 per cent VAT to be alleviated.The Director of the private institution, Dr Brian O’Toole, had penned a letter, which was published by Inews, outlining the constraints that this additional 14 per cent tax would have on the specified education sector.He had noted that while the tax might not affect the affluent in society the poorer parents who struggle to send their kids to the same school will be severely affected.However, Minister Jordan’s contentions surmises that if the parents ‘choose’ to send their children to private schools then they should afford the price as there is no VAT on public education.O’Toole in the introduction of his letter to Inews had said that “I am neither a politician nor am I an Economist. I am simply an Educator. Having lived in Guyana for the past 38 years, my wife and I started School of Nations more than twenty years ago.  We began School of Nations for very simple reasons, our two sons attended one of the leading Secondary schools in Georgetown. Each evening, when we sat down to eat and asked about their day at school, they said they had two or three classes with no teacher. We visited the school, met the Head Mistress and were casually informed, ‘don’t worry … we may get a Maths teacher next year.’  That was motivation enough to try and offer an alternative.”Following the Director’s pronouncements, a petition named “Education is a Necessity, Let it be VAT free” was implemented calling for an appeal to the recent imposition of 14 per cent VAT on education-related expenses.The petition which can be found at has in its preamble that their appeal “is not presented with any political agenda nor is it presented as an appeal on behalf of private schools. Rather it is presented as an issue which affects us all in Guyana.”It goes on further to state that “the imposition of the 14% VAT on private schools however will, of course, impact very heavily on the children and youth attending those schools. For some, the perception is that anyone who attends a private school must be wealthy. That perception may be true for a certain percentage but, for the majority, attendance at such schools often represents a real sacrifice by a family member…The students have been informed, a few days ago, that with immediate effect, their fees have now been increased by 14%. A number of these students pay the fees in G$100 bills, this new imposition may simply mean they stop the course, stay home and lose hope and add to the growing numbers of the unemployed and unemployable.”The goal of the petition which is to get 20,000 signatures has since garnered 2,476 signatures from its recent inception. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAgainst public outcry: President says 14% VAT on private education remainsMarch 2, 2017In “Business”Govt sounds warning to private schools over payment of taxesMarch 2, 2017In “latest news”Revised Education Act to regulate private schools-GovtMarch 6, 2017In “latest news” read more

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FLSmidth acidbake kiln for rare earths processing in Western Australia

first_imgFLSmidth has been chosen as the supplier of an acid-bake rotary kiln to the Hastings Technology Metals Yangibana rare earths project in Australia. FLSmidth will design and supply the kiln and provide technical assistance for this essential component in rare earths processing.The acid-bake rotary kiln incorporates concentrate mixing and feeding equipment, directs waste gas to a separate scrubbing facility, and provides a natural gas fired heating system essential for the processing of rare earths. Following receipt of tender submissions, Hastings awarded the contract to FLSmidth.The deal is significant strategically for FLSmidth as it recognises the depth of pyrometallurgical processing technology the company can provide for rare earths production of neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr). NdPr is a key ingredient in the production of permanent magnets which are widely used in electric vehicle (EV) motors, direct drive wind turbines, medical equipment-MRI, and high-end electronics.“The order of an acid-bake rotary kiln to the Hastings Technology Metals Yangibana rare earths project in Australia is significant for FLSmidth on a global perspective. It recognizes the ability of FLSmidth to provide technology for the processing of rare earths. The general growth in demand for battery minerals has allowed us to use pyrometallurgical processing experience to facilitate the needs of our fast-growing customers – but now it has also allowed us to expand our business into neodymium and praseodymium production,” comments Laurie Barlow, Head of Mining, Australia at FLSmidth.Yangibana currently covers some 650 km2 in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, some 250 km northeast of Carnarvon. The project is comprised of significant deposits across the tenement holdings – Bald Hill, Frasers, Yangibana West, Yangibana and Auer – all 100% owned by Hastings (the areas mentioned herein represents approximately 50 km2 out of the total of 650 km2). In addition, Hastings holds a controlling 70% stake in other tenements held in a Joint Venture arrangement in the greater Yangibana area, although these have not been considered in this DFS study.The project deposits have one of the highest rare earth basket values in the world when compared to other projects. Whilst the Mineral Resources contains 16 rare earth elements, Hastings has identified a combination of four elements (neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium) as having most significant economic value in relation to growth expectations in the near and medium term. In particular, Nd and Pr account for approximately 85% of rare earth basket value.The DFS evaluates the development of the mine, process plant (incorporating beneficiation and hydrometallurgy) and supporting infrastructure. The project is designed to mine 1 Mt/y of ore and a process plant is planned to produce up to 15,000 t/y of Mixed Rare Earths Carbonate (MREC) from the Bald Hill and Frasers deposits. In addition to the DFS Probable Reserves Production Target comprising the first six years of mine life, Hastings has also evaluated the economic benefit of mining an Additional Production Target comprising of the Yangibana, Auer, Auer-North and Yangibana West deposits, which will increase mine life to eight years.The picture shows a typical kiln section being installed on another project.last_img read more

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Ranking All The Telltale Games

first_imgIf you grew up in a certain era of personal computing, you probably have a soft spot for adventure games. As innovated by developers like Sierra On-Line, they dropped us into worlds filled with quirky characters, devious puzzles and detail-filled scenes to explore. Sure, they could also be insanely frustrating and full of obnoxious unsolvable problems, but you can’t have everything.Telltale Games is far and away the modern master of adventure gaming, as they’ve discovered a way to streamline the game flow and remove a lot of the aggravation. In addition, their trademark memory system makes it very clear when you take an action that can affect the story, opening their games up for multiple playthroughs. If you’re looking to jump into their catalog, take a second and grind through this list first. In it, we rank every single Telltale game from worst to best so you don’t waste valuable gaming time. Click on, old friend.AdChoices广告Minecraft: Story ModeThat special brand of Telltale magic comes from the feeling of dropping into a fictional universe and thrilling to the familiar personalities and locations. The thing about Minecraft, though, is that those “personalities” are as low-res as the blocks they’re stamped on. We can’t fault Telltale for wanting to cash in on the gravy train, but Story Mode is easily the worst game they’ve made. A weak script sinks games like this, and tacking on three more bits with the “Adventure Pass” didn’t help.Jurassic Park: The GameWe’re going to see a lot of Telltale’s early efforts in this chunk of the list. The company was still finding its footing in 2011, getting some licenses that weren’t hot at the moment and building games around them. Jurassic Park is a completely competent adventure that just doesn’t stand out in any real way, with paper-thin characters and dull puzzles. Even worse, it feels like you’re not really in control of the narrative, which is unusual for Telltale.CSIWe’re going to lump all four of Telltale’s CSI games into one spot on this list because, frankly, they’re just not all that good. The hyper-realistic art style is unpleasant and each “case” is too short and simple. If you’re a big fan of the show they might be worth playing but otherwise feel free to skip them.Law & Order: LegaciesSee the entry for CSI above. This one maybe looks better in hindsight because you can’t even buy this game anymore – Telltale let the license lapse, so it’s lost to the mists of time. This one at least looked better thanks to a more stylized visual approach.Poker Night At The InventoryThis game (and the sequel) deserve a spot on the list for Telltale ably blending fictional universes including the worlds of webcomic Penny Arcade, TV show The Venture Brothers and more, but let’s be frank: there are better poker games out there, and once you’ve heard all of the funny dialogue at the table there’s not much else here. It’s fun and charming but definitely outside of the must-buy zone.Back To The Future: The GameThis was definitely a sort of transitional game for Telltale, as they had the license but weren’t 100% sure of how to make the best possible experience out of it. Christopher Lloyd even went into the studio to record new lines as Doc Brown, which gave the game a little more connection to the source material. The storyline is good and feels appropriate, the puzzles are there and this is where conversations start to get more interesting and meaningful.Wallace & Gromit’s Grand AdventuresSort of the epitome of mid-tier Telltale, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures does a serviceable job of aping the Claymation world of Aardman’s odd dog and man couple, but doesn’t bring anything particularly spectacular or novel to the tale. Some good laughs, some solid puzzles, but nothing you can’t live without.BoneIn their early days, Telltale made a pair of games based on Jeff Smith’s hit all-ages comic series Bone. They’re perfectly competent but the first one came out twelve years ago so they’re more than a little dated. Fun for fans of the series and younger players, but easily skipped.Game Of ThronesThis one suffers from the gap between expectations and delivery. When it was announced that Telltale would take on the Game of Thrones universe, we salivated at the idea of being a part of the conflict for the Iron Throne. Unfortunately, the same sprawl that’s affected the HBO show hurt the game as well, as players were relegated to the sidelines to wait for cameo appearances from characters like Dany and Jon Snow. Throw in a staggering number of graphical glitches and weird slowdown and you got an experience that just didn’t hang together.Sam & MaxBased on Steve Purcell’s indie comic darlings, the Sam & Max trilogy are all worth playing, especially if you have a high tolerance for capital W wackiness. The titular detectives are a bipedal dog and some sort of rabbit creature, and they get up to all sorts of shenanigans. The Sam & Max games get better as they go, and definitely were the fire in which many modern Telltale tropes were forged.Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive PeopleGames based on webcomics and other online culture detritus usually don’t work out so well, but Telltale managed to get something pretty solid out of the Homestar Runner universe with Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People. If you’re not a Homestar fan, some of the random access humor in this one can fall a little flat, but it’s definitely a solid recreation of what made it a “thing” in the early days of Flash animation.Tales Of Monkey IslandThe most notable bridge between the golden era of adventure gaming and the modern day, Telltale’s take on Monkey Island delivers some of the company’s best puzzle-centric adventure over five solid episodes. The graphics look more than a little dated, but if you’re into the genre these are worth playing.Puzzle Agent</h2<The utmost of rarities – a Telltale game with an original universe that didn’t come from another media property. With art by cartoonist Graham Annable, the duo of Puzzle Agent games are quirky experiments that meld adventure game style dialogue and exploration with a variety of brain-teasers. It’s definitely charming and will give your noggin something to chew on.The Walking DeadBefore Telltale dropped the first installment of their Walking Dead game, the general market consensus was that adventure games were a niche genre. This blew that out of the water, demonstrating that a tight narrative experience with real moral and ethical choices could carry a game. The anything-can-happen world of the zombie apocalypse lent real tension to every choice the player made, and adding young girl Clementine to the mix – and then making her the POV character – was a potent spin. Sadly, the Michonne spin-off didn’t keep the streak alive, as it was just too short.The Wolf Among UsThe company’s first new property after The Walking Dead hit big didn’t start off on the right foot, but once completed The Wolf Among Us showed the value of an episodic structure for adventure games. Set in the world of comic book series Fable, where storybook characters live among us, the player controls detective Bigby Wolf as he tries to get to the bottom of a grisly mystery. A sequel is on the way in 2018.Tales From The BorderlandsThe frantic shooting action of the Borderlands series often felt like it was just an excuse for the writers at Gearbox to let loose with the comedy, so it made sense for Telltale to jump in with both feet and go wild. Unfortunately, this wasn’t as profitable a project as some of the other franchises, so it doesn’t look like we’re going to get any more of it soon.BatmanFor our money, this series is the apotheosis of Telltale design. It perfectly recreates one of our favorite fictional universes – the dark alleys and society galas of Gotham City – and then makes us feel like everything we do there matters. While other Batman games position him as the ultimate badass, taking down crooks with ease, Telltale focuses on the detective part of Detective Comics, requiring you to navigate Gotham as both Batman and Bruce Wayne to solve the mystery. It’s an exceptional game. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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Signs the AdSupported Print Model Has Failed

first_imgThose were the respective reasons given when Rodale shuttered Best Life, Hallmark Cards killed Hallmark and Condé Nast folded Domino.The commonality among these magazines—besides that they are no longer being published—is that they were some of the few titles to deliver seemingly solid performances in 2008. Best Life’s ad pages increased 6.6 percent last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Total circulation was up 6.1 percent, according FAS-FAX figures. Hallmark’s ad pages were up 11 percent and total circ skyrocketed 27.2 percent. While ad pages ad pages fell 4.1 percent last year at Domino, total circ soared 54.6 percent.It’s no secret that 2008 was a brutal year in magazines. On the consumer side, ad pages dropped 11.7 percent in 2008 when compared to 2007, according to PIB. Of the more than 230 magazines tracked only 42—or about 18 percent—saw ad pages increase for the year.So why are publishers walking away from titles that appear to be growing? “The problem is the publishing model,” University of Mississippi professor Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni told FOLIO: recently. “It’s one that’s served us well since World War II, when we switched from a circulation-driven publishing model to an advertising-driven model. That’s when magazines got into the business of counting numbers, not finding customers that actually count. So, when the economy declines, and ad revenues disappear, magazines begin to show less ‘real’ growth.”Some publishers, however, say oversaturation is a key reason magazines are going out of business. “Most publishers have the same problems as car dealers or home builders—that is, they have too much inventory and not enough buyers,” said Hanley Wood CEO Frank Anton. “There are too many magazines, too many Web sites, too many conferences—not enough advertising/marketing spend to support them. So just as stores close and auto dealerships disappear, media properties get shut down. It’s not really about costs or expectations; it’s about revenue, or lack thereof.”No GuaranteesEven after publishers make cutbacks and layoffs, there’s no guarantee of survival.“We did see some great growth in terms of circ and ad pages but the business still fell short of our plan,” said Hallmark spokesperson Julie O’Dell. “We looked at a number of business models and options but were not able to put together the type of structure we needed. It was not an easy decision, but we have to focus our efforts on our other products.”“I don’t think it’s fair to say the print model is broken,” said Dan Woods, associate publisher at O’Reilly Media’s Make, which pulled the plug on the print edition of sister title Craft in February. “If you’ve been all but giving away the book and taking up a big chunk of your EBITDA and spending it on direct mail to build circ for advertisers, I can see that it’s hard to find a way out. On the other hand, those magazines that are built around blended business models that balance circulation and ad revenue seem to have a far better chance of coming through the storm prepared for growth.”Husni said the combination of technological advancements (primarily online) coupled with the down economy has killed the ad-driven print model. “The engine is dead and we need to rebuild it.”In order for magazines to survive, he said, publishers need to stop “devaluing their content” by selling annual subscriptions for the price of—or less than—a single issue. One recent example of this is Condé Nast, which lowered Glamour’s subscription price to $1.50 in recognition of the magazine’s 70th anniversary. “How can we change an audience that is so used to getting their content virtually for free?” Scott Crystal, president of TV Guide, agrees. “The obsession with advertising was supposed to continue to buoy losses elsewhere and we’d continue to plod forward and think everything was working. Well, it’s not,” Crystal said. “We need to charge consumers more for a better product and to take costs out of inflated rate bases due to advertising desires. We’re all looking at our business models and cost structures, making tough decisions that perhaps should have been made a long time ago.” The magazine “could not reach our internal benchmarks.”“We cannot justify continued investment.”“We have concluded that this economic market will not support our business expectations.”last_img read more

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RBI to Shut Down Remaining 23 Magazines

first_imgRELATED: Did Reed Ever Really Plan to Sell the Titles it Closed?About nine months after putting the brands published under  the U.S. arm of Reed Business Information on the block again, Reed Elsevier announced today that it is closing down the magazines  it has not been able to sell or does not intend to keep. In total, the number of magazines to be closed down is 23.The affected titles include: Building Design+Construction, Chain Leader, Construction Bulletin, Construction Equipment, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Control Engineering, Converting, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies, Graphic Arts Blue Book, Graphic Arts Monthly, HOTELS, Logistics Management, Material Handling Product News, Modern Materials Handling, Plant Engineering, Professional Builder, Professional Remodeler, Purchasing, Restaurant & Institutions, Semiconductor International, Spec Check, Supply Chain Management Review and Tradeshow Week. The news was announced internally at RBI by a memo from RBI Global CEO Keith Jones. Since late last July, when the RBI magazines went back on the block, the company has been able to sell off several titles, the most recent the sale of Publishers Weekly. According to the announcement, the titles that were sold made up approximately two thirds of the revenue of the portfolio it was attempting to divest.UPDATE: When contacted by FOLIO:, a Reed Elsevier spokesperson declined to say how many positions will be eliminated as a result of the closings, which should take effect by the end of the month. He says Reed would be open to discussions with potential purchasers of the intellectual property associated with any of the closed down brands.In January, RBI shuttered Video Business, Manufacturing Business Technology and Industrial Distribution.As previously announced, Reed intends to keep Variety, Marketcast and 411 Publishing, Reed Construction Data and the Buyerzone lead generation business.Check back to for updates to this story.last_img read more

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Alaska News Nightly December 2 2014

first_imgStories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprnDownload AudioNOAA Proposes Critical Habitat For Ringed Seals Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage & The Associated PressA federal agency has proposed about 350,000 square miles of ocean off Alaska’s north and west coasts as critical habitat for the seal that’s the main prey of polar bears.BOEM Report Says Chukchi Sea Drilling Runs Heightened Risk Of Large Spill Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DCThe Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is holding hearings around the state on lease sale 193, in the Chukchi Sea. In its latest Environmental Impact Statement, BOEM says there’s likely more oil there, but also more risk of a large oil spill.ASD Seeking Solutions To Staff Morale, Hiring And Retention Problems Anne Hillman, KSKA – AnchorageFinancial uncertainty at the Anchorage School District is leading to morale problems and an inability to attract qualified teachers. The School Board is looking for solutions.Iditarod Boosts Payout to $70k for 2015 Winner Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – AnchorageIditarod 2015 will have the highest winner’s payout in the race’s history.   Stan Hooley, Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race CEO, says the first to Nome will receive $70,000, that’s almost $20,000 more than the winner earned last yearCaribou, Reindeer Compete For Space On The Seward Peninsula Francesca Fenzi, KNOM – NomeFor decades, caribou have posed a threat to reindeer herders on the Seward Peninsula – their numbers swelling, even as the reindeer population shrinks.State Releases Design Study For Tustumena Ferry Replacement Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – HomerThe ferry Tustumena (tuss-tah-MEE-nah) is getting old. The state is looking into options for repairing or replacing the aging vessel, which serves parts of southcentral and southwestern Alaska, Kodiak Island, and the Aleutian chain. On Dec. 2, the Department of Transportation released the design study report for replacement with an estimated construction cost of $237 million.Burst Water Pipe, Flood Temporarily Shut Down Juneau Homeless Shelter Casey Kelly, KTOO – JuneauThe Glory Hole, Juneau’s emergency homeless shelter and soup kitchen, is temporarily out of commission following a burst water pipe and flood at the downtown facility Sunday evening.Compliance Ordered for Ketchikan Water Supply Leila Kheiry, KRBD – KetchikanA compliance order from the state Department of Environmental Conservation spells out what Ketchikan is required to do over the next couple of years to address ongoing concerns over the city’s drinking water.Artists Flock To Juneau’s Public Market Kayla Desroches, KTOO – JuneauArtists and vendors from all over Alaska and some from the Lower 48 landed in Juneau last weekend for The Public Market. It’s part Christmas craft fair and part gallery.last_img read more

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