Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now I watched a group of salespeople make a sales call today. The prospective clients were very engaged throughout the sales call, including the presentation (which was, thankfully, more of a dialogue). The salespeople were successful, and the buyers committed to taking the next step in the process.While the call was wrapping up, one of the sales people ask the buyer the question: “What are the most important factors for you in determining who your partner will be for this project?” The buyers both sat quietly for a minute and look at each other. Then, the more senior of the two buyer said, “You know, we really don’t know what factors we’re going to use to decide.”This isn’t the buyers first time making this purchase. This group of buyers has a very good idea of what they need. There is plenty of information about this particular product available and easily accessible on the web. Companies in their space routinely receive calls from sales people who sell this particular product. Both of the buyers are smart, and they know their business.So, are we to assume that they’re 67 percent through the buying cycle? Are we to assume that sales people can add no value in helping them determine what they need and the trade-offs that they might make? Are we to assume that they know as much as a the salesperson and that information and ideas are no longer useful because they know as much or more?Generalizations are lies. Sometimes we confuse facts and statistics for absolute truths. Much of the information we hear about how buyers buy is based on how consumers buy, not how complex sales are made (even if some would push for complex sales to be made transactional).We take buyers as we find them. Despite any facts, figures, or research, we can find them anywhere along the buying journey. Working to understand where they are and how to create value for them is critical. It’s dangerous to make assumptions, especially when you could just as easily ask the questions necessary to uncover what a buyer really needs.QuestionsWhat assumptions do you make about what your prospects already know?What assumptions do you make about what your dream clients value and how they will decide?What questions do you ask to elicit where they are in their “process?”
You are more than comfortable selling to your prospective clients, or what I call dream clients. And when your prospective client wants something difficult to deliver, you are happy to sell your sales manager or leader on why you should do something different to win a complicated deal. But for too many in sales, you are completely oblivious when it comes to selling the team that delivers those results for your client. Let’s call that team “operations.”I get it. You want what you want. You need your operation team’s help delivering for the client. This begins when you need information to put a solution together and continues on into delivery of of that solution. So you badger, bully, and press them for what you need. You go over them, under them, or around them, anything to ratchet up the pressure and force your operations people to do more, faster, and perfect. You argue your case to anyone who will listen.But the one thing you don’t do is sell your operations team. And that is a fundamental mistake that only rookies make.The selling we do inside our own organizations is every bit as important to producing results as the selling we do outside our organization. Here is where to start selling inside.Lunch and learn: You would move Heaven and Earth for a lunch and learn with your dream client and their team. But you can produce an equally great effect by developing the relationships you need on your operations team. Take someone from operations (or a couple of someones) to lunch so that you can learn about their constraints. Go with the agenda of learning how you can help them with all of the things that make their job difficult, like unmanaged client expectations for example. Don’t ask for anything; just work on the relationship.Engage them in the sales process early: If you want your operations team to own the account once you’ve won it, engage them in the process of selling that account as early as possible. When you’ve done your first discovery visit, share all of the details of that meeting with your team. As early as you can, get them in front our dream client so they can hear for themselves what “our” new prospective client is going to need. The sooner that prospect becomes “ours,” the more willingly your operations team will take responsibility and own the outcome. You’ll be surprised at all the things they can do to create value for your prospective client if they get to listen to them speak about what they want.Be respectful of their role and their time. You sell. You don’t do operations. You can’t imagine their world unless you spend time learning what that world looks like. Your operations team is busy delivering for your company’s clients all day every day. They’re really busy, and they don’t have nearly as much freedom as you do in sales. That can make it difficult to give you what you need when you need it. You need to negotiate the commitments you need, being respectful of their role and their time.Get them help when they need it. You’re the salesperson. So sell. If your operations team can’t deliver for you because they don’t have the time or resources, go and sell management on giving them what they need. You want to make friends for life? You want your operations team to move your requests to the front of the line? Then dig in and help them. Even if you can’t get your operations team what they want, when they discover that you are their advocate, watch how fast your relationship changes.Show some appreciation. We started at lunch, and we’ll end there. Take some folks to lunch to say thank you for their support. Bring them breakfast. Send a personal thank you note. Send the director of operations of note to share with her the wonderful job her team did helping you win an account. Tell the stories of how valuable the team is to everyone who will listen and build them up. If you want to make serious deposits in the relationships you need to serve your clients, show appreciation.All things being equal, relationships win. All things being unequal, relationships still win. You know it is your job to make all things unequal when it comes to selling your dream client on you and your company. Now apply that same idea to the team that delivers those results to your clients once you win their business. 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
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 As far as I have been able to discern, the composition of sales forces hasn’t really changed all that much. For all the bad press the Millennial generation suffers, I’m having a tough time understanding how they’re different when it comes to the deep stuff of sales and success.There is a still a top 20 percent of every sales force, a 20 percent at the bottom, and the 60 percent that lies between the two poles. Some of that top 20 percent is made up of experienced, mature salespeople, and some of it is made up of folks from later generations, including the Millennials. The same is true for the rest of the bell curve, including the bottom 20 percent.Some people in sales roles have fast rapport skills, are gregarious by nature, and make selling look easy. There are plenty of confident Millennials who have no trouble creating new relationships. There are also people of every generation who are introverts and take a little more time to warm-up, which reminds me of a joke: “You know how you can tell an engineer is an extrovert? They look at your shoes when they’re talking to you.” I’ve seen research that suggests that ambiverts produce the best results in sales, but I’ve seen both introverts and extroverts succeed. Millennials look a lot like the rest of us when it comes building relationships, some easy and familiar, some a little more awkward.One of the more difficult deficiencies to coach in a salesperson is an aversion to conflict and difficult conversations. Being too deferential, or too fearful, eliminates the possibility of being a peer, and it is likely that person ends up being an order taker. That said, some people have a terrible time with conflict, some embrace it and use collaboration to defuse it, and some people relish a good fight, being sometimes too argumentative, and sometimes too combative. Millennials, as far as I can tell, seem to be spread across this spectrum, just like everyone else.Every generation is somewhat of a mystery to the generations that came before them. Eventually, they trade their version of idealism for the pragmatism that allows them to work, to support themselves, to take of their family, and to have whatever kind of life they want, most of which will look a lot like the lives of the generations before them.Millennials are going to be just fine. Remember the Baby Boomers grew up growing their hair, involved in all forms of shenanigans, and protesting against “the man.” Now they are “the man.”
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now There are a lot of generalizations about buyers being bandied about here on the internet. Here are some you should be aware of:You have no doubt read about buyers being 57 percent through their buying process before engaging with a salesperson (an idea that has been misinterpreted by frauds and phonies and charlatans).There is much lecturing about how much research buyers are doing before making a purchase, there being so much information available, the implication is that buyers know as much as salespeople.Ideas are put out, with such certainty, about what buyers value and what they resist, most of this coming from people who stand to gain from feeding you fear so they can gain financially.Then, there is the idea that buyers don’t accept phone calls.This is the platonic buyer. This is a theory about buyers in general, not the buyer. Even if there is research to back up these assertions about buyers, they are not likely accurate as it pertains to any one buyer.On average, a man is 5’10 inches tall. If you are a tailor or a retailer, you should stock suits for men of this height, that being the average and the point of greatest need—and profitability. Using this fact to make the decision as to what kind of suits to carry is to believe that a generalization is universally true.Your buyer may not be 5’10. They may be 6’4 or 5’3. One contact within your prospective client’s company may indeed be precisely 57 percent through the process of making a complex decision they only make twice in their lifetime. Meanwhile, the rest of their team may be far behind them, maybe at, say, something less than 5 percent through that same process. I am talking about real contacts here, not the platonic kind.Let’s assume the platonic buyer knows as much as you from surfing the internet (I know, this is difficult to imagine, but stay with me here). So, in a couple of hours of reading God knows what on the internet, your platonic buyer has gained all the insight and wisdom of someone who has worked with hundreds or thousands of clients over the course of their career? Let’s use something like Enterprise Resource Planning software as an example. The person who makes a decision to buy ERP might make that decision once or twice in their lifetime, hoping against hope that it will only be one time. How could they know what an experienced salesperson knows?The platonic buyer doesn’t take phone calls. In real life, many buyers do take phone calls, even if it isn’t easy to trade them enough value for them to agree to a meeting. But those are two different ideas. The refusal to meet is less about the medium and much more about the value of meeting.Don’t focus on trying to win the platonic buyer’s platonic business. Focus instead on serving the real people who work inside your dream client companies. They have very real challenges and opportunities, and they very much need your help.
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 The word “invest” means to put money into something expecting a return in the future. The results you want are very much like the return you expect from an investment of money, but most of what you might desire doesn’t require an investment of money. Instead, it requires an investment of time, attention, and effort.Are You Invested?If you make a minimal, one-time investment, you will receive an equally small return on that investment. If you make a reasonable investment, you might get a slightly higher return, having put more in. However, if you invest a large amount consistently, the performance will match your investment.What type of investment are you making in your goals and ambitions? As it pertains to the things you claim are important to you, how large is your investment and how consistently are you making it?Some Investments You Might ConsiderThe Investment in Your Health: There is no more significant investment than the one you make in your health. Every result you produce depends on this one, and that makes it an excellent choice for a substantial, consistent investment. Are you investing enough? Are you investing consistently?The Investment in Your Personal Growth: This bullet point is almost redundant, but it isn’t. If you are the most excellent resource you will ever have, and if you own that asset free and clear, why wouldn’t you invest in its improvement?The Investment in Your Soul: Soul. Spirit. Consciousness. That part of you that seems to live outside of yourself. The investment you make here multiplies all your other investments. This is another investment in your overall health.The Investment in Your Relationships: The reason to make the investments above is so you can maximize the investment you make in relationships, life’s most major currency and the one by which you are most likely to judge your success.The Investment in Your Business and Finances: If you want choices, freedom, and the ability to make a greater contribution, you need to invest in your business and financial results. Money isn’t everything, but it isn’t nothing either. It may not be most important, and you wouldn’t want to trade for anything above, but it’s worth investing in gaining enough—and then more than enough.When you put money in most investment vehicles, you may or may not realize a return, no matter how safe the bet seems, and no matter who else might be making the same investment. There is simply no vehicle more certain to provide a return that exceeds the investment you make in yourself.
There are 7.7 billion people on planet Earth. All of these people have beliefs that conflict with yours—all of them.While you might share a religious faith with some part of Earth’s population, you have conflicting beliefs about politics with approximately half of the community whose faith you share. You might also split from some significant part of that same population in their interpretation of the faith.You might share your politics with half the population of your country. That population would be made up of people who share other beliefs with you. Even when some people share your broad political views, you will find people who disagree with you on the issues of the day and how best to resolve them from a political perspective, even when they share your broader view. The media does its best to remind you of your differences every two years in the United States.There are factions with strongly-held beliefs about the way human beings organize themselves economically, with different ideas about how much companies and industries should be regulated and how much they should pay in taxes. Your belief lies somewhere on a continuum that contains a wide variety of ideas and opinions, with people occupying lots of different points between the extremes.Let’s look at something less divisive, but where there are still arguments over what is good and right and true.There is a large population of people with extreme opinions about what constitutes a healthy human diet. Some people believe you should not eat animals, some believe you should only eat animals (a few of whom Twitter banned for sharing images of carnivores eating their prey, as it offended some), and some who believe you should eat mostly fat. My grandmother would have been offended by all these positions, believing instead that you should eat whatever you want. Her diet consisted of fried foods, desserts, and she used bacon grease as salad dressing (she lived to be 92 years old, and drank a shot of Scotch before bed every night, and we suspect she sneaked a bit more than a single shot over her last few years).The categories and wide spectrum of beliefs and opinions are too great to be able to find consensus on any one thing–even in a population that agrees on much. If you have to be offended by beliefs that differ from yours, then you have to be offended by everyone on Earth, in all places, at all times, an idea that is exhausting even to write. If you do agree on everything with someone, the banality of the conversation must be be enough to cause the deepest of sleep.Why You Should Not Be OffendedThe very best reason not to be offended by what others believe is that it has no bearing on what you believe. Thankfully, your happiness does not require that the rest of the world share your views, nor does their happiness require you to share theirs. Ben & Jerry’s makes a variety of different flavors, and I am certain they have one that you will prefer.More still, there is a reason to avoid being offended by everything and everyone as it pertains to your mindset, and that is the fact that being constantly offended is infects you with negativity, scarcity, and a sense of cynicism. You may have noticed that people who watch only “outrage television” tend to always to be outraged. You may also notice that they view the world through a lens that splits people into “us” and “them,” and in doing so, defines an enemy. As my Jewish, liberal, atheist friend, Howard Bloom says, “Politics is permission to hate.”Being offended by others and believing them to be your enemy is a debilitating belief system that massive limits the quality of your life.And yet, there is still more to say about the benefits of not being offended by people, ideas, and beliefs with which you disagree. When you have to be offended by things with which you disagree, you cut yourself off from other ideas and insights and relationships. It is not only possible to have deep and rich relationships with people across the political spectrum without being offended by their beliefs, you may find it beneficial. Instead of being irritated, you could discover their opinions are interesting—and their perspective might even be enlightening—an outcome that is not possible if you are offended or outraged.How Not to Be OffendedRecognize you have different beliefs and opinions and preferences from everyone else on Earth, even people with whom you have some shared beliefs. Recognize that they have the same right to hold those beliefs that conflict with yours, as well as the right to express them. Be grateful you share that right.When there is no requirement that you share someone else’s beliefs, there is no harm to you when other people express theirs. It is only when one wishes to impose their beliefs on others, or acts on beliefs that harm others that should cause offense–or in the worst of cases, outrage. Wanting the world to conform to your beliefs in every area of life is the belief system of the totalitarian.While I hope you adopt the belief that you don’t have to be offended or outraged by other people’s beliefs and opinions, I won’t be offended if you don’t. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
Farmers and cattle traders in Punjab, who are yet to recover from the losses caused by the Central government’s demonetisation decision, are fearing yet another period of distress following the new rules on prevention of cruelty to animals framed by the Centre.At the Khanna cattle market (mandi), about 70km from the State capital Chandigarh, the anxiety of losing business is palpable among farmers, traders and cattle rearers, who strongly believe that if the new rules are implemented they will hit the farmers, while the traders would suffer eventually.“Cattle trade is already down by nearly 30% since the notification of new rule has come out. Last year, we had taken the annual tender for trading cattle across Punjab at Rs.51.57 crore, which will end this month. The new tenders have been invited, but with the business falling we are seriously thinking of opting out,” Amarjit Singh, a senior partner at the Rajpura Cattle Fair Traders, which manages the cattle trade business at nearly 62 big and small (mandis) markets in the State, told The Hindu.Drop in business“Today (June 15), nearly 2,200 buffaloes and cows have been brought to the mandi while during last two-three months the average figure was between 2,800 and 3,000. This itself is indicative of the drop in business,” he says, adding that many farmers and dairymen, especially those involved in inter-State cattle trade, are reluctant to continue with their business because of the growing number of vigilante groups.Delhi-based Raj Kumar, who has been in the dairy business for over 30 years, said travelling with cattle in a truck has become a risky affair these days. “Earlier I used to travel in the truck with the cattle, but now a days it’s only the driver who transports them (cattle). The so called “vigilante groups” misbehaved with me recently, when I was on my way to Delhi from Jaipur,” he said. “Since then I travel separately,” he added.Still unawareIn cattle trade for over four decades, Ikhlaq, hailing from Shamasabad in Agra, is unaware of the new cattle rules. “I don’t know anything about the new rules. I have hardly faced any problems in this business all these years, but for the harassment at the hands of the police at times,” he said as he loaded the nine buffaloes he bought from the mandi onto a truck.Punjab, one of the country’s leading States in cattle breeding and trade, has a flourishing Rs.2500 crore dairy business, according to the State government data.Manmohan Singh, a partner at Rajpura Cattle Fair Traders, said dairy farming is a big business in Punjab and it cannot be allowed to suffer as a result of the new rules.“The new rules would prove disastrous for farmers, who are already reeling under severe crisis as a result of the huge debt burden. The State government should, in fact, come to the rescue of farmers and traders. This year’s tender for managing cattle trading should be put on halt till the issue is resolved,” he added.The Ministry of Environment had on May 23 issued a notification pertaining to new rules on ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017’, under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.Prashant Govind, a farmer from Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar village, has already started to prepare himself for the new rules. “What can we do if the government will implement this decision? We will have to follow.” “I have been selling cattle in case of urgent need of money. If I am not able to sell it in future then it will only add to my distress,” he added.Sandeep Kumar, another trader, said that new rules such as making it compulsory for a person to possess farm land in order to buy and sell cattle would adversely hit the business. “There are so many landless farmers who are involved in dairy farming. Where will they go? They will be doomed,” he said.Ashok Kumar of Delhi-based Goyla Dairy, who returned empty-handed on Thursday, cited less number of cattle at the mandi as the reason for “no-deal”.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his younger son Tejaswi Yadav will address a rally in Bhagalpur on Sunday to “expose the involvement of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy in the cabinet Sushil Kumar Modi” in the multi-crore Srijan scam, which originated in Sabour block of Bhagalpur. The ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) responded by saying, “those who are convicted in a corruption case have no right to hold a rally on corruption”.Earlier, while addressing the ‘Prithvi Diwas’ programme in Patna on August 9, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had first made a reference to the Srijan scam, in which crores of rupees of government money has allegedly been siphoned off by an NGO in connivance with district government and bank officials. The RJD has been asserting that Mr. Kumar and his deputy, have links to the Srijan scam. “I wonder why Nitish has not resigned from his post yet ”, Mr. Lalu Prasad said.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached a farmhouse of RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti in a money laundering case involving shell companies. The Bijwasan farmhouse in Delhi had been bought in the name of Mishail Packers and Printers, in which Ms. Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar are directors. The farmhouse, according to the ED, was purchased using ₹ 1.2 crore — involved in money laundering — in 2008-09. The agency has already recorded the statements of Ms. Bharti and her husband to get details about their company and its operations.Earlier, the Serious Fraud Investigating Office had filed a criminal complaint against those running the shell companies providing accommodation entries, based on which the Directorate initiated the money-laundering probe.The accused persons laundered unaccounted cash through the process of placement of funds, layering of transactions and the final integration of the money into the banking channel camouflaged as legitimate share premium transactions. Funds in cash were brought in by the mediators on behalf of the ultimate beneficiaries through mediators. One such beneficiary company was identified by the ED as Mishail Packers and Printers, which allegedly got laundered ₹ 1.20 crore by taking accommodation entries in the form of share capital and share premium by various shell companies “controlled” by accused Surendra and Virendra Kumar Jain. The amount was used for buying the farm house, alleges the agency.The ED also alleges that 1.2 lakh shares of Mishail Packers and Printers were bought by four shell companies in 2007-08 and 2008-09, at ₹100 per unit.Three of the shell companies were registered in Delhi, while one operated from Kolkata.The same set of shares were later allegedly bought back by Ms. Bharti at ₹ 12 per unit in 2009. “Rajesh Agarwal, a Chartered Accountant and mediator, had provided Rs.90 lakh in cash to the Jain brothers in advance to invest in Mishail Packers and Printers as share premium,” said the agency. The ED has so far arrested the Jains and Mr. Agarwal in the case.
Punjab is gearing up to curtail stubble burning during the ensuing paddy harvesting season. The State government has asked its officials to ensure timely supply of subsidised farm equipment to the farmers or face disciplinary action. Punjab’s Agriculture Secretary Kahan Singh Pannu has instructed that agriculture equipments must be delivered to the farmers before the harvesting season begins, which is usually around September-end.Pointing out that the equipment manufacturers had already signed a MOU with the Centre to provide these implements to the farmers on time, he said “if these agencies fail to honour their commitment, then they could be blacklisted”.
A three-month pregnant woman died due to asphyxia after fire broke out in Tulip Orange Group housing society in Sector 69 here in the early hours of Monday.Assistant Divisional Fire Officer I.S. Kashyap told The Hindu that the woman, identified as Swati, was found unconscious on the top floor of the apartment outside the door to the terrace. She was declared brought dead at hospital.Mr. Kashyap said the woman tried to climb up to the terrace through the stairs when the fire broke out, but got stuck since the doors to the terrace were locked. She was suffocated due to smoke and died.“The door to the terrace cannot be locked. It is considered to be an escape route in the event of a fire and a source of fresh air. But we have found that in many societies and commercial establishments the doors to the terrace are locked. It is illegal,” said Mr. Kashyap.The fire broke out in an electrical meter on the ground floor around 2 a.m. and spread to the top of the nine floor building. “All electrical meters were installed in the shaft, but the smoke spread in the staircase area. Most of the residents were sleeping and did not notice the fire. But Swati came out in a bid to escape and died,” said Mr. Kashyap.The woman stayed on the fifth floor of the building. When the fire broke out, her husband and five-year-old son climbed down, while she went upstairs and was suffocated to death, said a local resident.
The BJP has won five of the seven mayoral seats and 34 of the 84 chairman and president posts in the Uttarakhand civic polls, while Independents sprang a surprise by grabbing 23 posts. The Congress won 25 of the chairman and president posts in the State’s civic bodies and the BSP won one post, according to information released by the State Election Commission here on Wednesday morning. Results for one post is yet to be declared, it said. The civic body poll was a high-stake battle for the ruling BJP that was looking to match its own impressive showing in the Uttarakhand elections last year when it had won 57 out of 70 assembly seats. It was also significant for the Congress that has been struggling to stage a comeback after its defeat in the Assembly polls. The BJP won five of the seven mayoral seats, including Dehradun, Rishikesh, Kashipur, Rudrapur and Haldwani, while the Congress won Haridwar and Kotdwar, the commission said. 84 urban local bodiesVoting was held for 84 urban local bodies, including seven municipal corporations, 39 municipal councils and 38 Nagar Panchayats in Uttarakhand on Nov 18. Counting for the polls began on Tuesday morning and went on till late in the afternoon on Wednesday. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat termed the result “historic” and said the people had reposed their faith in the saffron party. BJP’s mayoral candidate for Dehradun, Sunil Uniyal Gama, who is said to be very close to the Chief Minister defeated his nearest rival Dinesh Aggarwal of the Congress by over 35000 votes. Other victorious BJP mayoral candidates included Anita Mamgai (Rishikesh), Usha Chaudhry (Kashipur), Rampal Singh (Rudrapur) and Jogendra Rautela (Haldwani). Congress’s Anita Sharma won in Haridwar and Hemlata Negi in Kotdwar. Out of a total of 84 posts of municipal council chairmen and panchayat presidents, results of 83 have been declared. The BJP won 34, Congress 25, Independents 23 and BSP one posts.‘Historic results’ Mr. Rawat expressed his satisfaction at the results and termed them “encouraging” and “historic”, but said the party will review the loss of some key seats, including Doiwala, his own constituency. “Apparently it seems the equations went wrong in Doiwala. But we will definitely introspect and identify the factors which led to our defeat there,” Mr. Rawat told reporters on the sidelines of the celebrations.
Hitting out at the Congress, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday threw his weight behind the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Mamata Banejree-led TMC in West Bengal, the DMK in Tamil Nadu, and said only these parties can defeat the BJP in their respective States in the Lok Sabha elections. Similarly, Mr. Kejriwal added that only the Aam Aadmi Party can defeat the BJP in Delhi. ‘Cong. can’t win’He asserted that he was ready to leave all seven Lok Sabha seats in the city for the Congress, but the grand old party cannot win elections. Addressing a gathering at an event here for the inauguration of development works in the Mustafabad area, he sought votes for AAP in the general election. “In West Bengal, only Mamata Banerjee-led TMC can defeat the BJP (in 2019 Lok Sabha polls), not the Congress. In Uttar Pradesh too, only Akhilesh Yadav-Mayawati alliance can defeat the BJP, but not the Congress. Similarly, only the DMK can defeat the BJP in Tamil Nadu…,” Mr. Kejriwal said. Last month, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati announced the alliance between the SP and the BSP in Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. Ending months of speculation, AAP last month ruled out the possibility of any alliance with the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls, and added it would field candidates on all parliamentary constituencies in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. “If I would be sure that the Congress can defeat the BJP in Delhi, I would have given up all seven seats (Lok Sabha) for the Congress… the Congress cannot beat the BJP in Delhi. Only AAP can defeat the BJP in Delhi,” Mr. Kejriwal said. AAP chief alleged that if the BJP wins the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it would “ruin the country and change the Constitution”.
The mainstream as well as separatist parties on Friday questioned the Centre’s move to ban the separatist Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) headed by Yasin Malik.“Mr. Malik renounced violence as a way of resolving J&K issue a long time ago. He was treated as a stakeholder in a dialogue initiated by the then Prime Minister (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee ji. What will a ban on his organisation achieve? Detrimental steps like these will only turn Kashmir into an open-air prison,” said former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti.National Conference youth president Salman Sagar said the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami and JKLF “has weakened the idea of secular and federal India”.“Due to these events it’s difficult for the mainstream parties to plant the seeds of faith among masses regarding Indian democracy. May good sense prevail upon people at the helm,” said Mr. Sagar.Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said he strongly “denounced the ban”. “Such anti-Kashmir tactics will not change the reality of the Kashmir issue nor the urgency to resolve it,” said the Mirwaiz.
With the Congress announcing the names of six candidates for Punjab, the party has decided to step up its campaign across the State in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election.State unit president Sunil Jakhar said on Thursday that the party has already launched its ‘Mission 13’ campaign, aimed at winning all the 13 Lok Sabha seats. “The names of candidates for the remaining seven seats will be announced within a week,” he told The Hindu.Mr. Jakhar said leaders and party workers would be going to the voters with the State government’s achievements of the past two years and the party’s manifesto, which promises to launch a unique scheme to eradicate poverty from the country.“I along with senior party leaders will hold rallies across the State to convey the message to the people that the Congress believes in overall development of society and that is why it announced a minimum income for the poor,” he said.“The Ministers have been assigned duties in their constituencies to ensure that canvassing in support of the party candidate is undertaken aggressively. We will expose the real face of the BJP. Its promises such as depositing ₹15 lakh in the bank accounts of people, bringing back black money, more than two crore jobs every year and increase in the income of farmers have proved false,” he said.The Congress had earlier this week announced the names of six candidates for Punjab.Four renominated It renominated four of its sitting MPs — Sunil Jakhar from Gurdaspur, Gurjeet Singh Aujla from Amritsar, Ravneet Singh Bittu from Ludhiana and Santosh Singh Chaudhary from Jalandhar. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s wife and former Union Minister Preneet Kaur will be the party’s candidate from Patiala while MLA Raj Kumar Chabbewal will contest from Hoshiarpur.
The Congress in Goa on Saturday filed a complaint with the Election Commission (EC) demanding action against BJP national president Amit Shah for making a communal statement at a rally in West Bengal on Thursday. “We have promised in our manifesto that once Narendra Modi forms a government once again, we will implement National Register of Citizens in the entire country. We will remove every single infiltrator from the country, except Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs,” Mr. Shah is reported to have said during a poll campaign rally in West Bengal, the complaint notes.“This is a direct threat to Christians, Muslims and those communities who have not found mention in the BJP leader’s speech, who are living in Goa, and who fear the definition of infiltrators will be used against them to dislodge them from Goa and India,” Goa Congress chief spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar said in his complaint, demanding to file a criminal complaint against Mr. Shah.Mr. Kawthankar stated that the statement violated Article 25-28 of the Indian Constitution. The Congress spokesperson said minorities comprise over one-third of Goa’s population.
The reasons behind Doyle’s termination, first reported by the Center for Public Integrity, an investigative news service based in Washington, D.C., may never be clear. The lab’s official statement says “we do not publicly discuss the specifics of personnel matters. Likewise, it would be inappropriate to discuss specifics surrounding security classification.” A spokesperson for the Armed Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives says a staffer there only inquired about classification issues and did not raise objections to the article’s policy positions.Many outside arms control specialists are skeptical and believe Doyle’s downfall is the result of his airing of views that are unpopular among those opposing disarmament, including some of the panel’s Republican leaders and staff. Doyle himself believes the lab fired him because it decided he “was problematic and someone who had committed some type of misconduct.”Amid the murky circumstances, many nuclear security experts are sharply criticizing the lab’s actions. “It sends a chilling message not just to employees, but also those beyond the lab, that their ability to work on topics subject to classification could be restricted if they become too critical of policies that the lab holds dear,” says Frank von Hippel, a physicist at Princeton University. “It’s a very disturbing situation,” adds Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, D.C. “DOE leadership needs to reverse this decision.”An in-house criticDoyle’s article opens with President Barack Obama’s 2009 promise that the United States will “seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” It goes on to argue that nuclear deterrence is not effective and that nuclear weapons should be eliminated for a host of political, military, humanitarian, and environmental reasons.Doyle’s arguments are squarely in the mainstream of nuclear security debates, says George Perkovich, an arms control specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. “The only thing unusual about [the article] was that it came from somebody at a weapons lab,” which typically touts the merits of nuclear deterrence, he says. Nor does it represent a change of heart for Doyle, who until his dismissal was one of the few political scientists at a 10,000-person laboratory dedicated to maintaining the U.S. nuclear stockpile. “I probably decided that nuclear weapons didn’t make sense by the age of 21,” says Doyle, now 55.Despite his personal beliefs, Doyle has spent most of his career working on nuclear issues. After earning a master’s degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, where he grew up, he came to Washington, D.C., in 1987 to take a job with a defense contractor. In the mid-1990s he helped draft a U.S. government plan to track and safeguard nuclear material in the former Soviet Union. Upon completing his Ph.D. in 1997 at the University of Virginia, he was invited to Los Alamos as a postdoc by people he had met who were charged with helping implement that plan. Within a year he was hired to work on nonproliferation issues.“I thought working at Los Alamos full-time would be really exciting,” he explains. “I was also ready to move my family out of the relative bustle of the D.C. area and to a quieter place.”Over the past decade, Doyle has published numerous papers, opinion pieces, and a textbook, as well as spoken at conferences, without causing a stir. His Survival article, however, caught the eye of a staffer on the House Armed Services Committee. The staffer was concerned that it contained classified information and asked lab officials if it had been cleared for publication, according to a committee spokesperson.Soon after that inquiry, lab managers asked Doyle for copies of his other articles; he gave them about 20 publications. Security officials told him that the article contained classified material and later searched his office and home computers for copies. Doyle says he thought he had followed the proper rules for prior review of articles not intended as official lab publications. “I was confident I knew where the lines were drawn.”Even so, Doyle, who describes himself as “cautious,” took an extra step. Before submitting the article, he also had received approval from a classification analyst, Diana Hollis, who he called “the subject matter expert for national security information, who had done a number of similar reviews.” Hollis is one of dozens of lab employees designated to help out with classification reviews—a job that Doyle himself has performed many times.But Daniel Gerth, the lab’s chief classification officer, ultimately decided to classify the article, despite disagreement among lower ranking staff about whether it contained classified information. In a Catch-22, neither lab officials nor Doyle will discuss the paper, which is still on Survival’s website, because it is now classified. Reviews by lab officials backed the classification decision. But one, by David Clark of the lab’s research integrity office, concluded that the lab’s classification rules were “vague and confusing,” that implementation lacked “consistency and transparency,” and confirmed that reviewing officials had, in good faith, disagreed on whether Doyle disclosed secrets.Classification conundrumOne problem is that the lab has traditionally followed a different review process for articles like Doyle’s than for articles carrying the lab’s imprimatur. For articles by those not claiming to represent the lab, approval from “derivative classifiers” like Hollis was generally considered sufficient to make sure that the author wasn’t spilling any nuclear beans.In contrast, drafts of official lab publications typically trigger a two-part review. In addition to looking for secrets, officials may also weigh the overall content to determine whether it is consistent with lab policy positions. As Doyle explains, “in theory, management would have the option of saying, ‘There’s nothing classified in here, but we think your article needs to be more balanced.’ ” That process could take much longer, and, to Doyle’s mind, was likely to be more onerous: “I had reason to believe it would have been difficult,” he says.That bifurcated system may have contributed to Doyle’s confusion, Clark said. “How many [derivative classifier] opinions is a LANL staff member expected to obtain before he/she believes the result?” Clark asked rhetorically in his September 2013 report.The solution, Clark says, is a change in existing policy to make clear that employees are, in effect, always on the clock when writing for outside publications. “[W]hen an author is clearly identified as an employee of LANL, then the individual is considered a representative of the US Government,” Clark writes. The type of disclaimer used by Doyle and countless others is meaningless, Clark argues, because the public is not able to make the necessary distinction. Quoting Gerth without naming him, Clark writes approvingly about his opinion that “[w]hile a paper may not express a LANL or US Government opinion, if the author is clearly identified as an employee of LANL, it is inferred to express the knowledge gained as a cleared Government employee.”With respect to classification, outside experts—including several who have handled similar classified material—say they see nothing problematic in Doyle’s paper. But they speculate that two sections might have caught the attention of classification officers. One lists Israel as possessing nuclear weapons, which the United States has never officially confirmed. The other discusses documents related to a Cold War misunderstanding that some historians believe could have led to nuclear war.Siegfried Hecker, who created a Center for National Security Studies at Los Alamos that incorporated the work of nontechnical experts like Doyle after becoming lab director in 1986, thinks that lab officials overreacted. “Is it typical to fire someone who has made a classification mistake?” Hecker says. “The answer is no.”Hecker stepped down as director in 1997 and left the lab in 2005. But he and others worry that Los Alamos may be turning its back on contributions from political scientists like Doyle, who can bring a different perspective to its work. “I think his writing about these issues is beneficial to both the laboratory and the country,” says Hecker, a professor of engineering and management science at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. “The question is whether Los Alamos, in today’s world, still values their input.”Others believe Doyle got caught in the increasingly intense political crossfire over the future of the U.S. nuclear stockpile and the role of the DOE weapons laboratories. Massive cost overruns, technical glitches, and management missteps have plagued the nuclear weapons programs in recent years and delayed construction of expensive facilities at Los Alamos and elsewhere. An article questioning the need for nuclear weapons, say some weapons experts, could have been seen as giving those critics more ammunition. “He’s a pawn in this fight,” Perkovich believes.Doyle’s boss denies that he was fired as a result of the article. “I would like to assure you that this is not the case,” wrote division leader Michael Baker on 7 August, Doyle’s last day, in an e-mail to lab staff obtained by Science. Baker urges employees to continue publishing “thoughtful, articulate and technically sound work in the public domain, to the extent we can do so within laboratory policy.”But Doyle hears a different take-home message in Baker’s memo, which does not mention him by name. When congressional staff complained, Doyle argues, “What the lab could have said to the committee was, ‘We may not agree with Dr. Doyle’s article, but we stand by the right of our employees to express their opinion.’ That was certainly an option. But they chose not to take it. What the lab is really saying is that, if you work for the federal government or for a contractor, you might have restrictions on freedom of expression that haven’t been spelled out to you.”*Update, 15 August, 11:27 a.m.:After this article appeared, Los Alamos officials sent ScienceInsider the following statement:”James Doyle’s separation from Los Alamos National Laboratory was a layoff due to the lack of available or anticipated funding in his area of expertise. The separation was unrelated to his publications or professional writings. Political scientist James Doyle had spent almost 2 decades working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) on nonproliferation and nuclear security issues when he decided to write a scholarly article questioning the dogma of nuclear deterrence. Suspecting that his bosses at the Department of Energy (DOE) weapons lab in New Mexico might not agree with his analysis, Doyle researched and wrote the article in his free time and included a disclaimer saying the views were his own. And just to be safe, he got a lab colleague steeped in classification reviews to vet the article before he submitted it to a journal.The 27-page article—“Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?”—was published in the February-March 2013 issue of Survival: Global Politics and Strategy. And that’s when Doyle’s professional life was suddenly turned upside down.Within days of publication, congressional staff asked lab officials whether the article contained classified information. A week later, the head of the lab’s classification office decided that it did—a decision later backed by DOE. Doyle soon lost his top-level security clearance, and he says he became persona non grata among his co-workers after accusing lab officials of retaliation and impinging on his intellectual freedom. Those complaints were dismissed, and last week, after 17 years at the weapons lab, Doyle was laid off—the only victim within his 50-person group of what lab officials told him was a reduction in force due to budget cuts.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(*) “Laboratory policies fully support intellectual freedom and the publication of professional writing and scientific findings related to the work of the Laboratory, with certain restrictions for security. “Over the past 18 months, the laboratory has had several small layoffs due to unavailable funding.”With reporting by David Malakoff.*For the print version, see this week’s issue of Science.
When a 10-kilometer-wide object slammed into Earth about 66 million years ago, it created an ecological catastrophe. In the ensuing environmental chaos, dinosaurs died out but mammals survived, setting the stage for the modern world. Now, scientists have confirmed that the plant kingdom suffered similar disparities after the impact, losing many more flowering evergreen species than plants that drop their leaves each year. Researchers looked at more than 1000 fossilized leaves from rocks deposited in what is now southern North Dakota during a 2.2-million-year interval spanning the dino-killing impact. In the 1.4 million years prior to the impact, leaves from the various species of flowering plants in the ecosystem had, on average, thicker and heavier leaves with fewer veins than those that lived in the 800,000 years after the impact, the researchers report online today in PLOS Biology. Thin, veiny leaves are a signature of deciduous plants; even though such leaves must be replaced every year, they allow deciduous species to take up carbon more quickly than their evergreen cousins. This “live fast, die young” strategy enabled deciduous survivors to better take advantage of the extremely variable postimpact climate in which suitable conditions for growth—especially those steady conditions generally preferred by slow-growing evergreens—occurred less frequently, the researchers propose. They conclude that postapocalyptic forests were likely chock-full of fast-growing deciduous species such as extinct relatives of sycamores, walnuts, and palms (pictured above in an artist’s reconstruction), whereas thick-leaved, slow-growing evergreens similar to today’s hollies and ivies were much less common than they had been prior to the impact. Even today, the researchers note, few if any forests are dominated by flowering evergreens.
Not all reality TV is trash, you know? In a new episode of Khloe Kardashian’s television show Revenge Body, the reality star helps an Indian gay man not only lose some weight, but also come out to his parents.The man, named Mayank, revealed how he struggles with weight and body issues while also dealing with his parents who are pressuring him into marrying a woman.He said, “My parents bring up weddings and arranged marriages all the time.”Read it at Hornet Related Items
A group of approximately 800 Indian-Americans gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House last weekend to march — wait for it — in favour of U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. Apparently, there are some Indian-origin persons who do support Mr. Trump’s harsh rhetoric on securing America’s borders, not only through the southern border wall with Mexico, but also stricter enforcement of controls over legal migration.Read it at The Hindu Related Items