Last week I presented a private webinar on Me Management. Me Management is different than Time Management. Time ticks away relentlessly, no matter what you do. The only thing you control is what you do between the ticks on the clock. You are what you have to manage.Here are five things you can do now to be super-productive.Plan Your Weeks and Your DaysIf you don’t know what you need to do, you can fall into reactive mode, doing little things that don’t move the needle for you. If you show up to work without knowing what you need to do, even if work is your home office, hours can go by without you doing anything meaningful. This is why so many get so little done.By planning your weeks and your days, you know what you need to do, and you can start on it right away. Without having to make a list, and without having to clean your desk first. Having a plan as to what work you are going to do eliminates the wasted time deciding what to do, and it reduces the likelihood that you are distracted by small things.Prioritize Your Three Most Important ProjectsIf everything is a priority, you have no priority. Priority is singular. If you have two, you have competing priorities. What is the most important priority for you now?Your number one priority should dominate your calendar. Your calendar is evidence as to what your priorities are, and if your priority doesn’t have large blocks of time dedicated to that priority, you will never be productive. You’ll just be busy.It isn’t likely that too many of us are fortunate enough to work on only one priority. So let’s make it three. What are your second and third most important outcomes, initiatives, or projects? This is where your time and energy should be invested, and in the order of importance.Choose Three Tasks Each Day and Block TimeIn my experience, I can get three major tasks done each day. That means blocking 90 minutes per task for my three major tasks. That’s four and half hours of time, not much of your twenty-four hours, but more than most people dedicate to their primary outcomes in a week.Choose the most important task that will move your most important priority forward and block time to do this first. Block time for your second most important task and do that task only after you have completed the most important task. Then, block time for the third.Productivity isn’t how much work you do, or how busy you are. It’s a measurement of your results. By doing what is most important, you are going to be super productive.Negotiate for Time with No DistractionsWhat can make this difficult is all the people and things that can distract you from your real work. You may need to negotiate with the people at work for time that you can work without distractions. You may also have to negotiate with your family. You will almost certainly have to negotiate with yourself.The time you spend working without distraction is worth ten times the time you spend distracted. As I am writing these words, by phone is far enough away from me that I can’t reach it. I saw the screen light up when a text message came in. It will be there when I finish my work. The only software program open on my computer is Ulysses, the text editor I use for all my writing. Nothing else will command my attention before I finish writing this and reviewing the editor’s notes on my second book, The Lost Art of Closing.Focus and energy are what allows you to do quality work.Wake Up EarlyA half a dozen of my friends are now waking up at 5:00 AM. At first, they were unhappy with me for sharing this recommendation with them. It’s easy to be grouchy when you haven’t had enough sleep. But, they are adjusting, and they are more productive. I have moved my wake-up time to 4:30 AM from 5:00 AM, which wasn’t that difficult of an adjustment.Your first two hours can win the whole day. You can get so much done in the first two hours of the day that it is almost impossible not to be super productive. It’s quiet. There are no distractions. For me, my brain is much fresher, especially for work that requires me to think.If you haven’t tried waking up early, you are missing out on one of the keys to getting more done. Yes, you will feel tired for a few days or weeks. Yes, you will go to bed earlier (like 9:30 PM, in my case). And yes, you will get more done faster.Time is your single, finite, non-renewable resource. Anything so precious should be treated with the greatest care. That means you should invest it in what’s most important and not fritter it away.What deserves your time and attention? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now You may think that going faster speeds things up, compresses sales cycle times, and gets things done. When it comes to human relationships and complex decisions, going faster will mostly work against you, bringing the results you want to a screeching halt.If you want to close deals faster, you need to do impeccably good work at every stage of the sales conversation, controlling the process, and delivering enough value to secure the next commitment. You are training value every step of the way. When you skip steps and fail to take care of your prospective client’s need in a race to the finish line, you disconnect from them and leave them behind.Fast is slow.You want your sales force to get better, but you don’t want to spend your time training, developing, and coaching them to their best performance. Instead, you tell them to go close deals, and you go and close their big deals for them. Actually, you are closing those deals for you. In doing so, you never develop your salespeople, they never improve, and you never make the difference you might have made.Haste, meet waste.You have time for whatever you believe is important. It is easy to believe that you don’t have time to do what is right and necessary, believing that you can bend the rules of the universe to your will, if you act with great urgency, and if you want something badly enough. This is to misunderstand nature, which has some fairly rigid rules. Reality is rather persistent, and your desire for fast results does not prevent the need to plant seeds in the Spring in order to produce a harvest in the Fall.I once heard it said that “Nine pregnant women cannot produce a baby in one month.” Most of the results you need require an investment of time, and without that investment being paid in full, those results are not forthcoming. There is no substitute for doing the work necessary, and the truth of the matter is, you don’t have time not to.
The Allahabad High Court’s order directing the Uttar Pradesh government to issue new licences for meat shops and slaughterhouses and renew old ones has come as a “relief” for those involved in the meat business in the State.Meat traders are now preparing to go to court to demand relaxation of norms in the Food Safety Act under which they are to be issued licences. They want mosques to be excluded from the list of religious places less than 50 metres of which meat shops are prohibited from functioning.Apart from the clause of “minimum distance” of 50 metres, the FSA guidelines prevent meat shops from running within 100 metres of the main gate of religious places. The norms are as per clause 8 (1) of the Food Safety & Standard Administration India Act, 2011.Meat traders say the specific clause is hindering them from getting their licences renewed. Their licences expired on March 31. Saleem Qureshi, the Bareilly district president of the All India Jamiatul Quresh (AIJQ), would soon file a petition in the Allahabad High Court making this demand.Denied licenceAs hundreds of meat traders across U.P. are facing the issue, the AIJQ would raise in court the predicament of Bareilly resident Sharif Qureshi, who despite completing all formalities, was denied licence for his meat shop as it was situated near the Ansariyan Masjid Zakhira Qila mosque.Shakeel Quresh, UP vice-president of the All India Jamiatul Quresh, said “since most of the meat shops in U.P. are located in dense Muslim areas with mosques in proximity,” meat traders are being denied licences for this reason. “Our religion does not prohibit us from selling meat near mosques or eating it there.Many shops are located in mosques complexes. We will fully abide by the sanctity of other religious sites like temples, churches, gurudwaras but only demand a relaxation for mosques,” Mr. Shakeel Qureshi told The Hindu.He further said that meat shops had also obtained no objection letters from the trustees of the mosques. “The High Court order is a relief measure for us. But we would be filing a separate petition praying for the exclusion of mosques from the prohibited places,” he said.Ramzan approachingThe AIJQ, a representative body of the Qureshis, the Muslim community traditionally associated with the meat trade, also hopes that State officials will start issuing licences to slaughterhouses and meat shops soon as the Muslim holy month of Ramzan is approaching.“The demand will shoot up and it could even lead to a law and order problem,” Mr. Shakeel Qureshi said.He also expressed disappointment with the “hotchpotch” functioning of local bodies in U.P. and said it was posing a hurdle for meat traders to obtain licences. “The CM had promised us that he would get our licences done soon but the officials have hardly cared. They push us from one door to another. So far, not a single licence has been issued for meat shops in Lucknow. There have been only ten in Kanpur, and only 50 out of 550 in Bareilly,” Mr. Shakeel Qureshi said.He added that the officials rejected meat sellers requesting licences citing the pending case in the court, whereas the case had no bearing on the issuance of licences if meat traders followed norms.AIJQ national president Siraj Qureshi is also expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath to put forward the inconveniences and livelihood crisis faced by the State’s meat traders since March.The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday directed the State government to start issuing fresh licences and no-objection certificates (NOC) to meat traders while also renewing their old licences.The court also rejected the government’s contention that slaughterhouses were not the responsibility of the State and said that the responsibility of constructing slaughter houses was that of the local municipal corporations.
The 39-year-old Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president, Sachin Pilot, talks to The Hindu about his party’s prospects in the Assembly elections in 2018 and the state of the minorities. Excerpts: On the Congress’s prospects in RajasthanIn 2013, we came down to 21 MLAs, the lowest ever score for the Congress since Independence. Post that debacle, Sonia Gandhiji and Rahulji asked me to become State president in end-2014. … the Congress has very strong roots in Rajasthan. The organisational structure is vibrant and ready to take on a political challenge. In the last three-and-a-half years, we have won three of four Assembly byelections, setting the trend for the Congress’s revival. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress polled 30% votes, the BJP 56%. A year-and-a-half later in the panchayat elections, we polled 45.5%, the BJP 47%. The Chief Minister belongs to Jhalawar, but after the nagarpalika elections, the Jhalawar Corporation has a Congress chairman, Dholpur municipality has a Congress chairman, Barah — from where the Chief Minister’s son is MP — has a Congress chairman. We captured areas people thought we won’t be able to win … The Congress is rejuvenated because we went to the people not just to criticise the BJP but to present an alternative model of governance.On former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s public criticism of the failure to win the Dholpur byelectionNot at all. He spent six days in Dholpur, campaigning. The BJP candidate was from the same community as Mr. Gehlot, the community of Malis; so he tried hard to make sure that part of that vote should come to the Congress. We fought a really good election, our votes increased from last time but … One Dholpur byelection fought with the State machinery’s brute force is not indicative of the public mood. Incidentally, just after this bypoll, the Congress won two byelections in the panchayat and nagarpalika, both in Dholpur, as soon as the government machinery was withdrawn. On the Congress’s strategy for Rajasthan Rajasthan ranks number one for atrocities against Scheduled Tribes, number two against Scheduled Castes, and number three for rapes. The BJP government [talks of] Resurgent Rajasthan, investment, etc., [but it’s] all propaganda. The farming community, rural-urban, young, old, women all know the government has spectacularly failed.We won’t bank upon anti-incumbency but present a better governance model, which includes everything from labour laws to education to investment to healthcare to poverty alleviation to increasing industrial output… we’ll enshrine a stakeholdership connecting with the youth, farmers, members of all religions.On the Congress’s face for Rajasthan, especially after Ashok Gehlot has been made general secretary for Gujarat We’ll fight this election collectively. [as State president] it would be foolish not to take advantage of people who have 30 or 40 years of experience; I need their assets, talent and experience to steer the party to victory. I don’t think we need to present one, two or four faces but what the Congress stands for. None of us is bothered about who will be chief minister, but about Congress getting a clear majority. Whether the Congress is wary of talking about minorities, now that the BJP is in power Whether churches are being attacked, Pehlu Khan is killed in Rajasthan, Dalits are attacked in Saharanpur or there is a mob lynching in Dadri, it is there for the world to see. All are equal in our eyes. I will defend anyone who is weak, who is being attacked, male, female, Dalit, Muslim, Christian. There is an invisible reign of terror unleashed by the invisible hand of the government through so-called gaurakshaks. This medieval justice mentality has seeped in because they know that the powers high up will protect them.
The J&K government is unlikely to meet the deadline of July 1 to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in the face of opposition from mainstream parties, traders and separatists.Sources said the special session of the Assembly called by the PDP-BJP government on Saturday was “unlikely to take a final call immediately”.A senior PDP leader told The Hindu that CM Mehbooba Mufti intended to take all the stakeholders, especially the legislators, on board and “will not hurry up enforcing GST”. He said one of the options before the government remained an all-party committee to “find means and ways to implement the GST”.If the GST issue goes to an all-party committee, there is every likelihood that it will seek more time. The registration of traders under the GST regime has also failed to take off. Protests against GST Kashmir-based traders have already called for a shutdown on Saturday. A Hurriyat spokesman said several demonstrations were held after Friday prayers against National Investigating Agency (NIA) raids and implementation of GST against business community. Separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, have described GST “a plot to cripple J&K’s trade and economy”.Drabu defends GSTDefending GST, State Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said, “A false bogey of dilution of the State’s fiscal autonomy has been raised by vested interests. Never before in the history of J&K has the extension of a Constitutional Amendment of the Constitution of India to J&K been taken to the State Assembly for deliberations.”He asked the opposition parties “to come up with a constructive roadmap on how they would like to go about implementing the new tax regime while safeguarding J&K’s fiscal autonomy.”If former finance minister and National Conference (NC) leader Abdul Rahim Rather had a blue print then what prevented him from placing it before the empowered committee of GST of which he was the chairman, asked Mr. Drabu.
The RSS on Tuesday alleged that a State-owned auditorium here where its chief Mohan Bhagwat was scheduled to attend a programme on October 3 has cancelled the booking for the event. The move to cancel the booking was condemned by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) but the auditorium authorities said renovation and repair work would be undertaken around that time and therefore the facility cannot be provided due to “safety and security reasons.” “This is not the first time that such a move was taken. Earlier also the state (West Bengal) government had done it. We condemn this move,” Jishnu Basu, RSS spokesperson in the State, alleged.A spokesman of the Sister Nivedita 150th birth anniversary celebrations committee, which had booked Mahajati Sadan for the programme, claimed that the auditorium authorities had accepted the booking in June. “But last week, officials of the auditorium first said that we need police permission. When we informed them that we have already informed the police about the programme, they said that renovation work will be undertaken in the auditorium during the time and our programme could not take place there,” said Rantidev Sengupta, the general secretary of the celebration committee. Sources in the auditorium said that renovation and repair work would be undertaken and therefore the facility cannot be provided for the event due to “safety and security reasons.” The bookings for other organisations during that time have also been cancelled, the sources said.
Around half-a-dozen Muslim men were allegedly beaten up and a mosque was vandalised by the locals protesting against the volume of the loud-speaker during Namaz in Haryana’s Karnal district on Wednesday. A case has been registered under different sections of the Indian Penal Code in this connection.A group of young men in Karnal’s Newal village allegedly barged inside the mosque around 9 p.m., beat up the people offering Namaz and also destroyed the loud speakers. The young men also issued threats to the the ones offering prayer. “Those offering Namaz were beaten up without any provocation. It is not the first incident in Karnal. Many such incidents of attack on Muslim community have happened in the past. We don’t get much help from the police on several occasions,” said local leader Inaam Khan.Station House Officer, Kunjpura Police Station, Inspector Raj Kumar, said that a case was registered on charges of voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation, unlawful assembly and rioting. He said that it was a “minor altercation” over loud speaker and that no arrests were made so far.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday announced that all shelter homes in the State will now be run by the government.“Now no shelter home will be run by NGOs and the government will provide building and other infrastructure to run them”, Mr. Kumar told journalists at his weekly ”Lok Samvad” (public interaction) programme.He reiterated that those involved in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes case would not be spared at any cost and would be sent to jail.“If someone at the minister level is found to be involved, they too will be punished”, he said.BJP leader wants Minister to goSenior State BJP leader C.P. Thakur had demanded the resignation of State Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma in connection with the case.“The scandal points to huge lapses on the part of the social welfare department… how could the department be unaware of such a huge racket taking place right under its nose?”, he said.Ms. Verma’s husband was accused by the wife of one those arrested in the case of frequently visiting the shelter home. But the Minister has denied the charge.On the continuous protest of the Opposition parties on the issue, Mr. Kumar said that “it was held to scuttle the debate on corruption. The political leaders protesting against the incident are not concerned about girls but only want to change the debate.”When asked why the main accused, Brajesh Thakur, was shifted to hospital after his arrest, Mr. Kumar said, “Why are you asking me this? Ask the secretary in charge of the social service and the police department…please call the Home Secretary.”High Court’s directiveMeanwhile, hearing a petition, the Patna High Court ordered that the court would monitor the CBI inquiry into the case. Accepting the request of Advocate General Lalit Kishore, the Chief Justice Rajendra Menon instructed CBI SP to submit documents related to the inquiry to the court.The Advocate General requested the Patna High Court for a speedy trial for the accused persons in the case, and the court said there would be a special court designated to monitor the case.
Accusing the Haryana government of misleading the Jat community on the issue of reservation and presenting wrong facts before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Akhil Bharatiya Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti on Wednesday decided to intensify its agitation.Road blockadeReferring to alleged detention of several workers in Hisar earlier this month while trying to boycott the official programme of State’s Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu, ABJASS national president Yashpal Malik, at a meeting in Rohtak, told the office-bearers and the district chiefs of the committee to be prepared to even block the roads if the government committed atrocities on the demonstrators.Mr. Malik said the agitation, kicked-off in nine districts of the State a fortnight ago, would be intensified and all villages in these districts would remain on alert.Reaching outThe Jat leader said the second phase of the agitation would be announced soon and the Samiti would also reach out to the people in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where the elections are due later this year. He said events have been planned in all districts of Haryana and also the Jat-dominated States to mark the martyrdom of Sunil Sheoran, who had died during reservation agitation on September 13, 2010.Mr. Malik alleged that the Haryana government was delaying the issue of Jat reservation and also resorting to illegal methods to curb the peaceful agitation by the Samiti.‘Govt. defaming Jats’ He also accused the BJP government of inciting violence during the reservation agitation in 2016 through its Ministers and MLAs to defame the Jat community.
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the pleas of Bihar and Punjab seeking modification of an earlier order directing the States to mandatorily take assistance of the Union Public Service Commission in shortlisting names for appointing Director General of Police (DGP).The top court, on July 3 this year, passed a slew of directions on police reforms in the country and chronicled the steps for appointment of regular DGPs.It stated that the States will have to send a list of senior police officers to the UPSC at least three months prior to the retirement of the incumbent. The commission will then prepare a panel and intimate to the States, which in turn will immediately appoint one of the persons from that list.A Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S.K. Kaul was on Friday told by the governments of Bihar and Punjab that the July 3 order needed to be modified as they have already come out with State laws to deal with the issue of appointment of DGP.Lawyer Shoeb Alam, appearing for Bihar, said the State has already framed a comprehensive law, dealing with various aspects including the procedures to appoint the DGP, in pursuance of the 2006 apex court verdict on police reforms. He said the apex court’s direction on appointment of the DGP needed to be modified.Senior lawyer P. Chidambaram appeared for the Punjab government.The apex court has now fixed the pleas of both States for hearing on December 7.The West Bengal government has also filed a similar plea.Earlier, the apex court had passed a slew of directions on police reforms in the country and had restrained all States and Union Territories from appointing any police officer as acting DGP.The top court’s direction had come on an application filed by the Centre in which it claimed that certain States have been appointing acting DGPs and then making them permanent just before the date of their superannuation to enable them get the benefit of an additional two-year tenure till the age of 62 years.The Bench had ordered keeping in abeyance any rule or legislation framed by any of the States or the Centre running counter to the earlier direction of the court.The court, however, had said that if any State has a grievance with regard to the directions, then they may approach it for modification of the order.The apex court, on September 8 last year, had agreed to hear a clutch of pleas observing that its historic 2006 verdict on police reforms, recommending steps like fixed tenures for DGPs and SPs, has not yet been implemented by States and Union territories.The apex court, while deciding the PIL filed by two former DGPs Prakash Singh and N.K. Singh in 2006, had issued several directions, including setting up of a State Security Commission, to ensure that the government does not exercise unwarranted influence on the police.It had said the appointment of DGPs and police officers should be merit-based and transparent and officers like DGPs and Superintendents of Police should have a minimum fixed tenure of two years.
The Meghalaya High Court has asked the Central government to bring in law to let people of religious and ethnic minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan get citizenship without any cut-off year or any questions asked.Justice S.R. Sen said: “I am confident that only this government under Shri Narendra Modiji will understand the gravity, and will do the needful as requested above.”The Modi government had introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in Parliament.It seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, and provide citizenship to migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian extraction. Several parties and organisations in the Northeast are protesting against this Bill.Writ petitionAllowing a writ petition file by Amon Rana, an Army recruit who was denied domicile certificate by the Meghalaya government, Justice Sen said that the Centre should have a law allowing Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians, Khasis, Jaintias and Garos from neighbouring countries to live in India “with full dignity without making any cut-off year and be given citizenship without any question or production of any document”.In a 37-page judgment, he said that such people “may be allowed to come at any point of time to settle in India and the government may provide rehabilitation properly and declare them citizens of India”. He also said that Hindus and Sikhs residing elsewhere should be automatically considered for citizenship in India.’Hindus, Sikhs tortured’“Pakistan declared itself an Islamic country and India, since it was divided on the basis of religion, should have also been declared a Hindu country but it remained a secular country. Even today, in Pakistan, Bangaldesh and Afghanistan, the Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Chrstians, Parsis, Khasis, Jaintias and Garos are tortured and they have no place to go and those Hindus who entered India during Partition are still considered foreigners, which in my understanding is illogical, illegal and against the principle of natural justice,” he said.Justice Sen, however, clarified he was not “against my Muslim brothers and sisters residing in India for generations and abiding [by] India laws”. “They should also be allowed to live peacefully,” he said. Nobody should try to make India another Islamic country, “otherwise it will be a doomsday for India and the world,” he noted.The judge also found fault with the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. “The present NRC process in my view is defective as many foreigners became Indians and original Indians were left out, which is very sad,” he said.
With a few days left for the Union Budget 2019 to be presented, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday expressed concern over non-receipt of Central funds to the tune of ₹6,400 crore in the current fiscal. “Only about two months are left for the current financial year to come to an end, the State is yet to receive over ₹6,400 crore from the Central government,” said Mr. Patnaik after reviewing the status of release of central funds to Odisha during 2018-19, in New Delhi.“A large amount of funds pertaining to agriculture, housing, rural development, health, education, women and child development, roads, irrigation and drinking water are still pending for release,” Mr. Patnaik told reporters.More than ₹1,000 crore for housing, over ₹375 crore in health, more than ₹400 crore under MGNREGA and over ₹650 crore under agriculture are still to be released by the Union government, he said.“The Odisha government is spending more than ₹3,000 crore on drinking water from the State budget. The Centre has allocated a meagre amount of ₹180 crore, out of which they have released just about ₹80 crore. Similarly, under Smart City Poverty Alleviation, out of ₹200 crore, the State has received only ₹6 crore till date,” said the Chief Minister.He asked senior officials to follow up with different Ministries about release of pending Central funds.On a recent statement by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, accusing the Naveen Patnaik government of being remote-controlled by the Narendra Modi government, Mr. Patnaik termed it “bilkul bakwas” (completely rubbish).
Comity on the science committee of the U.S. House of Representatives reached a new low today.Twenty-two minutes after the committee’s energy panel convened to start the process of debating and approving a bill to reauthorize the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) research and development programs, Representative Cynthia Lummis (R–WY) gaveled the session to a close without taking any votes on the proposed legislation. It was the latest—and most graphic—illustration of how partisan distrust has crippled the committee’s ability to do its job.The subject at hand was the DOE Research and Development Act of 2014 to provide guidance to DOE’s sprawling research programs, which are the major source of funding for the U.S. physical sciences and energy studies. Its controversial provisions include sharp cuts to climate change research and restrictions on how findings from that research can be used to shape federal environmental policies. At the same time, it proposes a 5.1% spending increase next year for DOE’s Office of Science, well above the administration’s 0.8% request for 2015.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The bill is designed to be a follow-on to the now-expired America COMPETES Act, which set policy for an array of U.S. science agencies, including DOE and the National Science Foundation (NSF). But instead of tweaking COMPETES, which expired last year, the science committee’s Republican majority opted to write two separate bills: one covering DOE; and a second bill, known as FIRST (Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology), covering NSF and the other research agencies. Both are “authorizing” bills, which mean they can set policy and suggest spending levels, but don’t actually appropriate funding (authorized funding levels are often higher than what Congress actually approves).Republicans have made no secret of their plans to do a separate energy reauthorization, which had been called the EINSTEIN (Enabling Innovation for Science, Technology, and Energy in America) Act. But panel Democrats today complained that the final draft of the 102-page bill, which includes provisions from EINSTEIN, wasn’t actually circulated until late Friday. On Monday, the full committee announced Lummis’s subcommittee would “mark up” that draft today; such markups usually involve lawmakers offering and voting on proposed changes to the draft before sending it to the full committee.Democrats immediately objected to what they considered inadequate notice, and at a closed meeting yesterday urged the majority to postpone the scheduled markup. When that request was denied, they came to today’s public session loaded for bear. The brief meeting was punctuated by a series of parliamentary maneuvers that allowed each side to claim victory—and resulted in a colossal defeat for the legislative process itself.The markup, scheduled for noon, began at 12:11 p.m., and Representative Alan Grayson (D–FL) immediately complained that such a tardy start was a violation of House rules and should invalidate the proceeding. His point of order was ultimately rejected by a vote of 4 to 2. But it signaled what was to come.In her opening statement, Lummis said the bill would foster innovation by boosting DOE’s science budget, set needed priorities by shifting money from redundant areas to those of greater national need, and reduce the country’s deficit by cutting DOE’s “bottom line” for R&D by $230 million. The bill, she said, would return the agency to a “common sense, sustainable path” and reverse the “unchecked” growth in alternative energy programs by the Obama administration.The panel’s top Democrat, Representative Eric Swalwell (D–CA), saw things quite differently. The bill, he said, would “decimate” the budget for renewable energy, “slash” funding for biological and environmental research, and apply “ideological considerations, not science,” to the type of research DOE could support. But he saved his strongest language for the process itself. “There are plenty of ways that you and I, Madam Chair, could have worked together in a thoughtful and deliberative way to create legislation that would lay out a bipartisan framework to secure our country’s energy future,” he stated. “[U]nfortunately, that is not how the Majority has chosen to proceed.”After hearing additional criticism from the full committee’s ranking member, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX), Lummis set the stage for debate on the bill by asking for unanimous consent to waive a required reading of the full text. Normally, such requests are approved unanimously. This time, however, Democrats withheld their approval, a move that could have tied up the subcommittee for hours as the clerk read aloud the long bill.“I think we should use our time to discuss our differences,” Lummis pleaded. But Swalwell insisted that the bill deserved “to see the light of Congress.” In a drastic response to the Democratic ploy, Representative Randy Weber (R–TX) moved that the markup be adjourned, a motion that passed by a party line vote of 6 to 4. At 12:33 p.m. Lummis called it a day.With that action, Democrats could claim success in obstructing what they labeled a “dysfunctional process” on a bill that they viewed as “a step backwards” for DOE research. But Lummis appeared unfazed. The bill, she noted, will now simply move on to the full committee without debate or action by the subcommittee, at a date to be determined.*Clarification, 11 June, 3:24 p.m.: This story clarifies that the name of the bill is now the DOE Research and Development Act of 2014.
How does Ebola spread? Hard facts from key studiesThis week, the United States confirmed its first case of Ebola, and the outbreak continues to rage on in West Africa. But how does the virus actually spread? Hard data are scant, but here’s what we do know: Ebola is not airborne; it is mainly transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids, and infection is unlikely to come from a fateful encounter with a doorknob or from a handshake. See all of Science’s coverage of the Ebola outbreak, including stories from survivors Nancy Writebol and Senga Omeonga, why vaccine testing is being delayed, and the first Ebola case in the United States. 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The features are similar to rift valleys on Earth—regions where the crust is cooling, contracting, and ripping apart. Their existence shows that the moon, early in its history, experienced tectonic and volcanic activity normally associated with much bigger planets.Australia’s 2013 heat waves linked to human-caused climate change, studies concludeAustralia has suffered through two back-to-back sweltering summers, with a record-setting heat wave sweeping across the country at the end of 2013 and into 2014. Now, five separate studies conclude that the blazing summer was linked to human-caused climate change.Satellites reveal hidden features at the bottom of Earth’s seasUsing data from satellites that measure variations in Earth’s gravitational field, researchers have found a new and more accurate way to map the sea floor, 80% of which remains uncharted. The improved resolution has already allowed them to identify previously hidden features—including thousands of extinct volcanoes more than 1000 meters tall.Just how big is Google Scholar? Ummm …Figuring out exactly how many papers are covered by Google Scholar isn’t easy, recent research shows—in part because of the company’s secretive, tightlipped nature. And some scholars warn that the service may be inflating citation counts, although that may not necessarily be a bad thing.Sounds you can’t hear can still hurt your earsJust because you can’t hear sounds doesn’t mean they have no effect on your ears. Listening to just 90 seconds of low-frequency sound can change the way your inner ear works for minutes after the noise ends, a new study shows. Tanning Addiction, Veggie-Eating Neanderthals, and More 00:0000:0000:00
New observations confirm that interstellar dust can come from explosions known as supernovae, an idea that has been controversial. The big bang gave us a universe filled with pristine gases—mostly hydrogen—from which the first stars and galaxies formed. But astronomers looking back at those early galaxies see signs of lots of dust, and they don’t know what produced it. Within stars, hydrogen nuclei fuse into heavier elements, just what you need to create dust. Models suggest that supernovae—massive explosions that occur when stars run out of fuel and collapse—generate dust, ejecting it out into space in an expanding sphere of material called a supernova remnant. But there’s a catch: When an expanding supernova remnant hits the cooler gas between stars, known as the interstellar medium, it creates a shock wave that propagates inward through the remnant and could potentially break up the dust particles. Observations of recent supernovae suggest they may be destroying more dust than they create. Now, a team of astronomers using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, a telescope mounted in a Boeing 747, has studied a 10,000-year-old supernova remnant near the center of the Milky Way called Sagittarius A East and concluded that between 7% and 20% of the dust it originally created has survived the shock wave, they report online today in Science. If that’s the case, untidiness in the early universe can be blamed on supernovae after all.
A songbird that easily fits in the palm of your hand still piles on enough fat each fall to fly nonstop over the ocean from Canada to the Caribbean islands. Some ornithologists have long suspected that the blackpoll warbler, common in North America’s subarctic evergreen forests, takes a direct route over the Atlantic Ocean to South America, where it spends the winter. But others were not so sure a bird so small—it weighs just 12 grams, slightly more than a U.S. half dollar—could make that journey. Instead, they suggested the bird traveled south over land, perhaps using the same route it takes when traveling north come spring. Two years ago, researchers got a chance to solve the mystery when dime-sized “geolocators”—devices that can simultaneously record daylight and time data, enabling researchers to track an animal’s approximate route—became available. Independently, in 2013, a U.S. team and a Canadian group each outfitted about 20 blackpolls with geolocator backpacks. A year later, the U.S. team recaught three of these birds, and the Canadians found two more. The researchers found that blackpolls do indeed fly between 2270 and 2770 kilometers over the ocean. The birds take 2 to 3 days to reach either Hispaniola or Puerto Rico, a stopping point en route to Venezuela and thereabouts, the two teams report online today in a joint paper in Biology Letters. That’s a remarkable feat for a bird the blackpoll’s weight, the researchers say. But an even smaller bird, the ruby-throated hummingbird, which is one-third the warbler’s size, could ultimately beat the warbler’s record, they add. But even the tiniest geolocators are too big for the hummingbird, so researchers have yet to track the hummingbird’s migration over the Gulf of Mexico.
Applications from India for EB-5 visas — which give immigrants a green card if they invest $500,000 and create 10 jobs in the United States — have surged in recent months.The US government issued 174 such visas to Indians in the year ended September 2017, an increase of about 17% over the previous year, according to State Department data.Read it at CNN Related Items