first_img 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 Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:54 — 12.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSThere’s nobody more committed to the free enterprise system than Bob Burg. You can find him talking passionately about the subject in almost every setting he’s in. Why? Because he believes in the good that the free enterprise system makes in the world. On this episode you’re going to hear Bob define in detail what the free enterprise system is, how you can benefit from it, and why being a Go-Giver (the title of his newest book) is the only way you’ll build a long terms sales career in a free enterprise system. Bob’s passion is contagious and his wisdom is unmistakeable. Take the time to listen to this one.What IS free enterprise? Find out with Bob Burg on this episodeClick To TweetWhat IS free enterprise?There are all kinds of twisted notions about the system we call “free enterprise.” From greed and pushy sales techniques to those “evil rich” people, the philosophy of free enterprise has been colored in every shade but the truth. But it’s really not that complicated. The basic premise is that both parties in any monetary transaction are “free” to engage in the transaction (nobody is being coerced) and the transaction happens when each deems that the transaction would give them the value they are seeking. How does that happen? Bob Burg explains it as only he can, on this episode of In The Arena.Why a Go-Giver fits the free enterprise economic system.In Bob Burg’s most recent book, “The Go Giver,” he tells a modern parable highlighting 5 important principles that need to exist in any transaction in order for everyone involved to walk away with the value they were seeking in the first place. The main shift that most people need to make in order to be the kind of person who can make that happen is a mental shift. You have to adjust your focus from taking, to giving – and though it seems counterintuitive it will make perfect sense after you hear Bob explain it, so be sure you listen.Why a Go-Giver fits the free enterprise economic systemClick To TweetDo salespeople have a right to make a profit?When asked if those in professional sales have a right to profit from the work they do in bringing solutions to the problems their prospects have. Bob Burg says that it’s not so much an issue of “right” as it is an issue of what they deserve. Are they creating the level of value (or greater) that the prospect is looking for? If so, the prospect will gladly part with their money to receive the solution to their problem. If not, the salesperson has not made the case for why their solution is the one that is of greatest value to the prospect. It may sound confusing but it’s actually very simple, and Bob explains it clearly in this conversation.Do you have what it takes to be a Go-giver?One of the most beautiful things about the free enterprise system is that it rewards good behavior. Those who focus on adding maximum value to their prospects, customers, or clients are the ones who benefit the most. It’s a win-win scenario for both salesperson and customer. Bob Burg’s insight into this Go-giver philosophy is not to be missed, so set aside some time on your commute or during your workout to hear this conversation with Anthony. One little shift in your focus could exponentially grow your level of sales success.Do you have what it takes to be a Go-giver? Find out from Bob Burg on this episodeClick To TweetOutline of this great episode Anthony’s introduction of Bob Burg. What it means to be a Go-giver and why it matters in sales. Why the idea of being a Go-giver is being received more these days. Why low prices is not a good idea. Do salespeople have a right to make a profit from adding great value? The reasons people discount their inner value. Influence is an attraction, not a coercion. The key thing to do with Bob’s book, The Go-Giver.Resources & Links mentioned in this episodeBob Burg’s Website159184200X0071462074 03160179300671700758074326951914423457211442345721The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarino Tweets you can use to share this episodeDo salespeople have a right to make a profit? Bob Burg says “yes” under one conditionClick To TweetFind out how to be the most effective influencer on your sales team, on this episodeClick To Tweetlast_img read more

first_imgA teenager was shot dead allegedly by a retired head constable of CRPF after a heated argument in Dausa district of Rajasthan. The incident occurred on Sunday when a verbal spat broke out between Ravi Kumar Meena (18) and Laxminarayan Meena (68) over some issue. Laxminarayan took out his licensed gun and shot at Ravi, SHO Baswa police station Veer Singh said. The teen died on the way to the hospital. The retired constable was detained on Monday, the SHO said Ravi’s body was handed over to his family after a postmortem.last_img read more

first_imgThe special CBI court in Ranchi on Thursday deferred pronouncing the quantum of sentence against Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and 15 other accused in a fodder scam case for the second consecutive day and indicated that it could be done through video conference on Friday.Mr. Prasad said he has no problem appearing in court.In a crowded court-room the CBI court judge Shiv Pal Singh said he would deliver the sentence in alphabetical order and asked the RJD chief to leave the court as his number would come up on Friday. The judge also said that he would decide on Friday whether the sentence would be given over video conference or in court. Responding to him, Mr. Prasad said he was for personal appearance and gave an assurance there would be no slogans raised in the courtroom by his supporters.Agency reports said the CBI judge also said that he had received phone calls from the RJD chief’s well-wishers but he should not worry as he would only follow the law. The judge, however, did not elaborate from whom he had received the calls, said the reports.‘I am innocent’However, lawyers who were present in the courtroom told the media Mr. Prasad told the judge that he was innocent and should be acquitted. Mr. Prasad and the judge also exchanged a few sentences in a lighter vein, they said.Later, amid tight security Mr. Prasad returned to the Birsa Munda Central jail of Ranchi where he, along with the other convicts in the case, is lodged.The case, RC 64(A)/96, pertains to the fraudulent withdrawal of ₹84.5 crore from Deoghar (now in Jharkhand) treasury between 1991-1994.Like the last two days, a large number of RJD leaders and workers were present outside the jail gate and on the court premises.“We’ll stay here even on Friday…he (Lalu Prasad) is our leader…how can we leave him here all alone,” said RJD leader and party legislator Vijay Prakash.Senior party leader Raghuvansh Prasad too was present on the court premises giving bites to local news channels. However, no family member of Mr. Lalu Prasad was around. Party sources said they were busy offering prayers at temples in Patna.On Wednesday the court issued contempt notices to senior RJD leaders Raghuvansh Prasad, Shivanand Tiwari, leader of opposition Tejaswi Yadav and Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari for criticising the court verdict in the media on December 23. The RJD leaders said they would respond to the notice when they receive it.‘One to seven years’Meanwhile, legal luminaries told The Hindu that for the sections under which Mr. Prasad has been convicted, the quantum of imprisonment could be a minimum of one year to maximum seven years.“But, it all depends on the evidence collected by the court and how the judge observes and interprets it,” said Patna-based lawyer Y.V. Giri.In Patna, the RJD leaders have been saying, “Come what may, the party is ready for the next battle to chase away fascist forces from the country and the State as well.”last_img read more

first_imgNineteen people, including three children, were killed and six others were injured after a cement-laden truck they were travelling in overturned on a highway in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar. The victims were labourers from central Gujarat and were coming from Pipavav port.“Twenty-five people were in the open cement laden truck. The driver lost control while overtaking another vehicle on the highway and the truck turned turtle. Twelve women were among those killed,” a State government release said. The government has announced compensation of ₹4 lakh each for the victims.“My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives in the accident… I pray that those who have been injured in the accident recover at the earliest,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani asked the authorities to conduct an inquiry. The truck driver fled after the accident.last_img read more

first_imgGoa Congress president Girish Chodankar on Friday slammed the BJP-led coalition government for failing to protect Sidharth Kuncalienkar, the BJP’s candidate for Panaji bypoll. It also demanded that at least 100 police personnel should throw a permanent security cordon around Mr. Kuncalienkar.Mr. Chodankar was responding to a complaint by Mr. Kuncalienkar who on Thursday accused the Opposition of acting out of frustration, after two unknown persons on Thursday night flung a bottle at Mr. Kuncalienkar’s car while he was returning home.Mr. Chodankar also questioned the law and order situation in the city saying that the BJP-led coalition government had failed to provide security for its own candidate. “The Congress is not in power. If your candidate is not safe, then how can you safeguard people?,” asked Mr. Chodankar at a press conference here.“First of all, it is a shame for the government and the Chief Minister. Government is run by the Chief Minister and Home Ministry is also under him,” Mr. Chodankar said, emphasising that the police needs to arrest the culprit as soon as possible. A police complaint was registered at the Panaji town police station on Friday after the incident. Mr. Kuncalienkar was travelling along with a friend on Thursday night in Panaji’s Mala ward when unknown persons riding a two-wheeler flung a bottle at his car’s wind shield. Mr. Kuncalienkar said further in his complaint that the incident happened while passing through his constituency, after a public meeting addressed by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari was over on Thursday evening.“My opponents must have been rattled after the success of the meeting, which is why they resorted to this act in desperation,” Mr. Kuncalienkar said while speaking to the media persons. Mr. Kuncalienkar is facing Atanasio Monserrate of the Congress, Valmiki Naik of the Aam Aadmi Party and Subhash Velingkar of the Goa Suraksha Manch, among others in the May 19 bypoll for Panaji, which is taking place following the demise of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on March 17.last_img read more

first_imgThe four Lok Sabha seats of Himachal Pradesh witnessed a turnout of around 71% on Sunday, officials said. The voters turnout crossed the 2014 general election’s polling percentage of 64.45 in the State. Interestingly, 132% turnout has been recorded in the world’s highest polling station in Tashigang village of Himachal Pradesh’s tribal Lahaul and Spiti district, a district official said. There are total 49 registered voters in the Tashigang polling station. Of these, 33 voters cast their votes till 3 pm. Apart from the registered voters, 32 members of the poll staff deployed at the Tashigang polling station and several nearby booths cast their vote here after showing election duty certificate (EDCs) issued to them by concerned AROs, he added. The Tashigang polling station is situated at a height of 15,256 feet above the sea level, State’s Assistant Chief Electoral Officer Harbans Lal Dhiman said. The temperature was below freezing point at Tashigang when the polling began at 7 a.m. The voters came to the polling station while wearing their traditional attire for exercising their right to franchise. Vote before marriageA bridegroom exercised his right to franchise in Kothi polling station in Manali of Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district. Before proceeding to his bride’s village for his marriage, Anil, 28, of Kothi village near Manali, led his entire wedding procession to the polling booth number eight in the city and cast his vote, besides making his wedding companions to do the same. “Anil cast his vote before proceeding for his marriage,” a district election official said, adding the groom reached the polling with many of his wedding procession members. The first Indian voter, Shyam Saran Negi, 101, cast his vote at Kinnaur district’s Kalpa polling booth under Mandi Lok Sabha seat. He was given warm welcome by the election staff at the booth. However the voters of a village on the Sino-India border have boycotted the Lok Sabha poll as the government “failed” to find a permanent solution to frequent floods they face. Located at an altitude of 10,000 feet and around 350 km from state capital Shimla, voters at Geu village in Lahaul and Spiti district said they had been demanding their resettlement, but their demands remained unheard. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur along with his family members cast his vote at Bharari (Murhag) in Seraj Vidhan Sabha constituency of Mandi district. EVM snags delayed voting at nine polling stations, but it restarted after the faulty machines were replaced, a State election officer said. A total of 7,730 polling stations had been set up in 4 constituencies — Shimla (SC), Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra.last_img read more

first_imgThe U.S. Senate last night confirmed France Córdova to be director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). An astrophysicist and former university president, the 66-year-old Córdova succeeds Subra Suresh, who stepped down 1 year ago to become president of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Cordova was nominated last summer by President Barack Obama for a 6-year term. In the interim, Cora Marrett has served as acting director of the $7 billion agency. Marrett will now return to her Senate-confirmed position as deputy NSF director.You can read ScienceInsider’s coverage of Córdova’s nomination here. We also wrote about the Senate’s slow confirmation process and conducted an interview with Córdova on her decision to accept the nomination.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(*)last_img read more

first_imgA double whammy of weird ocean behavior washed over the world in 1997. The Pacific Ocean had already succumbed to an exceptionally strong El Niño, and then the Indian Ocean was hit fiercely by El Niño’s close cousin: the so-called Indian Ocean Dipole. Surface waters off the coast of Indonesia cooled and the ocean’s predominant westerly winds reversed, leading to catastrophic weather. Fires raged across a drought-stricken Indonesia, and floods across east African nations killed thousands.Climate change could make years like 1997 come more often, according to a new study of the Indian Ocean Dipole cycle, which alternates between two opposite extremes, positive and negative, just as El Niño does with La Niña. The study suggests that rising greenhouse gases will cause extreme positive dipole events—like the one that struck the Indian Ocean in 1997—to occur three times as often this century as they did in the 20th century, or about once every 6 years, as opposed to once every 17 years.“The Indian Ocean Dipole affects a lot of poor countries,” says lead author Wenju Cai, a climate modeler at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Aspendale, Australia, who published the study with his colleagues online today in Nature. “We really need to build our capacity to deal with these kinds of events.” In January, Cai led a study that found that extreme El Niño events—a warming of tropical waters off the coast of Peru—were likely to double in frequency this century.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(*)Shang-Ping Xie, a climate modeler at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, says he likes that the study team focused on providing information on a more local rather than global scale. “They took an important step in the direction of understanding regional climate extremes in a better way.”Cai and his colleagues examined 31 global climate models and found that 23 were able to model the rainfall conditions in the Indian Ocean that they used to define an extreme positive dipole event. As a control, they ran the models from 1900 to 1999 to see how well they reproduced extreme events in 1961, 1994, and 1997. Then they ran the models forward from 2000 to 2099 under the “business-as-usual” projections for rising greenhouse gases. Out of the 23 cases, only two did not show a rise in extreme dipole events. “We have a very strong intermodel agreement,” Cai says. Climate change, he says, causes the waters of the western Indian Ocean to warm more than other parts of the ocean, and this preconditions the area to more extreme dipole events.Lisa Goddard, director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University in Palisades, New York, does not necessarily disagree with the researchers’ conclusions, but she is concerned that they model the Indian Ocean Dipole as being completely independent of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Studies have shown how an El Niño event can trigger a dipole event, and Goddard notes that two out of the three extreme dipole events, in 1994 and 1997, were preceded by El Niño. “They’re downplaying the role of ENSO,” she says.Cai insists that the dipole can arise independently of El Niño. He points out that in 2007 and 2008 there was a moderate dipole event even though La Niña was occurring, which ought to squelch the dipole event if it were so dependent on ENSO.Regardless, the dipole has the attention of people in Australia, where it has been linked to major bushfires in 1982 to 1983 (Ash Wednesday) and 2009 (Black Saturday) that killed hundreds. “The Indian Ocean Dipole is arguably more important to us,” he says. “It can cause big damages to these economies.”last_img read more

first_imgHow stress can clog your arteriesChronic stress is suspected to increase the risk of a heart attack, but we don’t know why. Now, a new study of harried medical residents and harassed rats finally offers an explanation for how stress damages the heart—and it revolves around our immune system.Neandertals ate their veggies, their feces revealSign 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(*)Analysis of ancient human poop reveals the caveman diet wasn’t all about meat—Neandertals ate their vegetables, too. The discovery provides the first direct evidence that Neandertals in Europe cooked and ate plants about 50,000 years ago.Chemical weapons watchdog chief celebrates Syrian disarmamentTen months after news of a horrific chemical attack in Ghouta, near Damascus, shocked the world, the last 8% of Syria’s known chemical arsenal left the country on Monday. The shipment was a high point in an international mission launched in October 2013 to destroy the country’s stockpile, and a victory for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.Is prison contagious?Social scientists have long observed that imprisonment behaves like a contagious disease. Now, a new simulation suggests the longer prison sentences that African-Americans often receive accelerate the rate of “infection”—and might be just enough to tip a problem into an epidemic.last_img read more

first_imgThe 2014 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel goes to Jean Tirole, a French economist, for his work studying industries dominated by a few large, powerful firms.“The prize is about market power and regulation,” said Tore Ellingsen, chair of the prize committee, in a video interview after the announcement in Stockholm today. “What sort of regulations and competition policy do you want in place so that large and mighty firms will act in society’s best interest?”Until the 1980s, regulation researchers sought simple rules that could apply to every industry and dealt essentially with two extreme situations: single monopolies or perfect competition. On the contrary, Tirole’s research focuses on oligopolies—markets that are dominated by a few companies—and embraces their complexity and peculiarities, says Reinhilde Veugelers, an economics professor at the University of Leuven in Belgium and senior fellow at the Bruegel think tank in Brussels. He also provided tools to deal with so-called asymmetric information, when public authorities have less information than the firms they are trying to regulate.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(*)Although his work is theoretical, Tirole doesn’t shy away from providing practical policy recommendations, and his work still resonates with current debates about competition policies and the regulation of telecoms, banking, or energy markets, Veugelers tells ScienceInsider. “Some of Jean Tirole’s proposals, in particular in the field of banking regulation, might help reduce the probability that such crises occur again in the financial sector,” Ellingsen said, adding however that today’s award is “not really a political prize.” Observers agree that Tirole himself is hard to place on the political spectrum. “Like an engineer, he offers a toolkit for problem-solving that is applicable no matter your political preference,” Ellingsen said. According to Tyler Cowen, an economics professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, the prize rewards “theory” and “rigor.” Tirole follows the tradition of French 19th century theorists: “economics coming from a perspective with lots of math and maybe even some engineering,” Cowen wrote on his blog Marginal Revolution today. Tirole has two engineering degrees from some of France’s top schools, as well as two doctoral degrees from the Université Paris IX-Dauphine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he worked from 1984 to 1992. He is currently scientific director at the Industrial Economic Institute at the Toulouse School of Economics in France and still works as a visiting professor at MIT.Tirole has displayed broad interests, publishing books, essays, and op-eds on subjects ranging from France’s health insurance policies to Europe’s currency crisis. Some of Tirole’s research also focused on patent policies, research, and innovation. For example, one of his theories—drawn with Josh Lerner—seeks to explain why programmers develop open source software even though it doesn’t earn them any money: Contributing to open source software “signals” ability and expertise, which can in turn increase their professional prospects.Today, the prize committee also mentioned the contribution of Tirole’s colleague Jean-Jacques Laffont, who died in 2004. In an online statement, Tirole praised Laffont as “a mentor”: “I am more than aware of the key role he played in what is happening to me today,” the laureate said.last_img read more

first_imgMultiple copies of a four-armed peptide wrap around lipids to create particles that mimic the behavior of HDL, the “good” cholesterol. A new drug candidate designed to mimic the body’s “good” cholesterol shows a striking ability in mice to lower cholesterol levels in the blood and dissolve artery-clogging plaques. What’s more, the compound works when given orally, rather than as an injection. If the results hold true in humans—a big if, given past failures at transferring promising treatments from mice—it could provide a new way to combat atherosclerosis, the biggest killer in developed countries.Although doctors already have effective cholesterol-lowering agents, such as statins, at their disposal, there’s room for improvement. Statins have significant side effects in some people and don’t always reduce cholesterol enough in others. “There is still plenty of heart disease out there even among people who take statins,” says Godfrey Getz, an experimental pathologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois.For that reason, researchers around the globe are searching for novel drugs that affect cholesterol levels in one of two ways. The first has been to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly known as bad cholesterol, which has been associated with higher heart disease risk. This is the goal of statins, which block an enzyme involved in cholesterol production. The second strategy is to increase levels of good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which seems to boost heart health in people who have a lot of it. But producing HDL-raising drugs that prevent heart disease has proven difficult. In the body, a large protein called apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) wraps around fatty lipid molecules to create HDL particles that sop up LDL and ferry it to the liver where it is eliminated. So for several decades researchers have been designing and testing small protein fragments called peptides to see if they could mimic the behavior of apoA-I. One such peptide, known as 4F, did not reduce serum cholesterol levels, but it did shrink arterial plaques in mice, rabbits, and monkeys. And in an early clinical trial by researchers at Bruin Pharma Inc. in Beverly Hills, California, that was designed only to measure its safety in people, 4F didn’t appear to show any beneficial effect.  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(*)M. Reza Ghadiri, a chemist at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, and his colleagues took a slightly different tack, creating a peptide that mimics another part of the apoA-I protein than 4F does. Initial in vitro studies suggested the peptide formed HDL-like particles and sopped up LDL, an encouraging result that prompted them to push it further. Ghadiri and his Scripps colleagues have now tested their compound in mice that develop artery clogging plaques when fed a Western-style high-fat diet. One group of animals received the peptide intravenously. For another group, the researchers simply added the compound to the animals’ water, a strategy they considered unlikely to work, because the gut contains high amounts of proteases designed to chop proteins apart. To their surprise, in both groups, serum cholesterol levels dropped 40% from their previous levels within 2 weeks of starting to take the drug. And by 10 weeks, the number of artery-clogging lesions had been reduced by half, the team reports in the October issue of the Journal of Lipid Research. What remains puzzling, however, is that Ghadiri and his colleagues did not detect their peptides in the blood of their test animal. Ghadiri says this suggests that the new peptide may work by removing cholesterol precursors in the gut before they enter the bloodstream.“It’s a very interesting result,” Getz says. But he cautions that the work has been tested only in animals, and many therapies—including the closely related 4F peptide—fail to transfer to humans. That said, Getz notes that some of the initial promising results with this peptide and other apoA-I mimics offer hope that researchers may soon come up with novel drugs capable of dissolving artery-clogging plaques before they can wreak their havoc. Y.Zhao et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 135 (2013) last_img read more

first_imgThe Ebola vaccine furthest along in development has cleared a critical milestone and edged closer to entering large-scale efficacy trials in West African countries hard hit by the current epidemic.As reported online today in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), a U.S. study done in 20 healthy people at no risk of developing the disease found the vaccine caused no serious side effects and, as hoped, triggered immune responses against the Ebola virus. The vaccine, jointly developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), contains a gene for the Ebola surface protein stitched inside a harmless chimpanzee adenovirus. Researchers at NIAID in Bethesda, Maryland, began the trial on 2 September, and the super–fast-track development of the vaccine could move it into trials involving 15,000 people in Liberia and Sierra Leone at high risk of developing the disease as soon as mid-January, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told ScienceInsider.Other small studies of the vaccine, which, combined, involve 260 people, are under way in Mali, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland and should produce data by the end of next month. Ripley Ballou, who heads Ebola vaccine development for GSK, told ScienceInsider that the company needs these data before it can finalize plans for efficacy studies. In particular, Ballou says the ongoing trials should clarify which dose of the vaccine will trigger the most robust immune responses without side effects.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 report in NEJM describes results from two different doses: The higher one triggered more impressive antibody and T cell responses, but it also caused “transient fever” in two recipients. Fever is an early symptom of Ebola itself, and a vaccine that raises body temperature could lead recipients to needlessly worry they were developing the disease. “Clearly we want to select a dose that is both immunogenic and has an acceptable reactogenicity profile, including a low rate of fever,” says Ballou, who is based in Rixensart, Belgium. The ongoing trials are also evaluating a dose in between the two used in the NIAID trial.Fauci says he has no hesitation moving forward with the higher dose used in the NIAID study. “Obviously, we’d like to see no fevers, but the fact that we had two fevers that lasted less than 24 hours doesn’t bother me,” Fauci says. “We see transient fevers with other vaccines.”Similar small-scale tests of a second Ebola vaccine began in October; results are also expected by December that will determine whether to move it into efficacy trials, and at which dose. That vaccine, licensed by the Canadian government to NewLink Genetics of Ames, Iowa, contains the gene for Ebola’s surface protein stitched into a weakened version of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a pathogen that causes disease in livestock. NewLink, a small startup that focuses mainly on cancer drugs and has no products on the market, has been somewhat in the shadows of GSK, a big pharma. But on 24 November, NewLink and pharmaceutical giant Merck of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, announced that they had entered a licensing agreement to jointly research and develop the VSV Ebola vaccine.Results from those efficacy studies could be in by April 2015. If the vaccines protect people from Ebola and appear safe, a pressing question will surface: Will GSK and Merck have enough doses produced by then to vaccinate enough people—which could mean hundreds of thousands or even millions—to help bring this epidemic to an end?*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more

first_imgThink of it as solar wind on steroids. Powerful gales from supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies can blast gas and other raw materials right out of the galaxy, robbing it of the raw materials needed to make new stars, a new study suggests. Previously, astronomers have used x-ray telescopes to observe strong winds very near the massive black holes at galactic centers (artist’s concept, inset) and infrared wavelengths to detect the vast outflows of cool gas (bluish haze in artist’s concept, main image) from such galaxies as a whole, but they’ve never done so in the same galaxy. So the link between the two phenomena was supported only by astrophysical models. Now, for the first time, a team has actually seen both occurrences in a mass of stars—a galaxy dubbed IRAS F11119+3257, which formed from the collision of two smaller galaxies. Its central black hole is as massive as 16 million suns, and the region of space surrounding it shines with the strength of 1 trillion suns—energy derived, in part, from intense frictional heating within the disk of gas being sucked into the maw. Long-term observations of IRAS F11119+3257 suggest that winds near its central black hole blow outward at about 25% the speed of light, the researchers report today in Nature. Close to the galaxy’s center, the winds blast away only one solar mass worth of gas each year, the researchers say. But farther out from the center, the winds push away and remove about 800 solar masses of gas each year. Although in the short term strong stellar winds through gas clouds can instigate star formation, in this case the gas blown out of the galaxy’s inner regions will eventually strip the galaxy of the ingredients for future star growth. The new findings should help astronomers refine their models of how galaxies evolve, the researchers say.last_img read more

first_imgA last-minute injunction paused the removal of Nadesalingam and Priya, and their two Australian-born daughters.Their Queensland hometown of Biloela had been campaigning for their return ever since they were removed from their home early one morning.The family of four remain in detention, pending a hearing in early May.Read it at BBC Related Itemslast_img

first_imgAlthough Indians constitute only 8 percent of Singapore’s population, they have become a major ingredient in the mixed racial salad bowl of this city state – South East-Asia’s most hi-tech and wealthiest country. The flavors of the Indian curries, of Roti Prata, Thosai and Briyani, the festivities of Dipawali and Thaipusam, and the song and dance of Indian movies, are all an integral part of the socio-cultural landscape of Singapore. “Being a creative and entrepreneurial group, Indians are a great asset to our economy,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong once commented on the community.“Indians have fared brilliantly in Singapore,” says Deepika Shetty, a producer with Channel NewsAsia, a major television network. “You see them in the top echelons everywhere, right from journalism to entrepreneurs. Well, Singapore’s president is Indian. Need I say more?” Many Indians have indeed thrived in Singapore’s multi-racial, multi-religious and merit-driven society. After Singapore’s independence in 1965 many of them were propelled into senior political positions. The current president of Singapore, Sellapan Ram Nathan, is of Indian descent. Earlier, another Indian, C. V. Devan Nair served as president from 1981-1985. Singapore’s present Deputy Prime Minister, Professor Shunmugam Jayakumar is of Indian descent, as are two other cabinet ministers: Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister for Education, and Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Second Minister for Trade and Industry. Singaporean Indians have distinguished themselves as judges, doctors, civil servants, air force commanders, entrepreneurs, artists, union leaders, teachers, and academics. J.Y. Pillai has led Singaopore Airlines to world renown. A. Vijaratnam is the engineering brain behind the posh Changi International Airport and the Port Authority of Singapore. S. Dhanabalan is chairman of DBS Group Holdings and Tamasek Board of Directors, Singapore’s prime investment company managing a diversified portfolio of $60 billion. According to the Singapore government’s census figures, the proportion of Indians in professional, managerial, executive and technical occupations doubled in the last 10 years.Since the 1990s, the Singaporean Indians have been bolstered by their proximity with India, as Singapore has sought to ride on India’s economic growth. After India opened up its economy, bilateral trade between the two countries boomed, as did tourism and investments. Singapore signed a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with India this year, bringing the two countries closer than ever. Indian companies already see Singapore as a solid base; 1,400 have set up offices in Singapore, comprising the fourth largest contingent of foreign firms. “India’s economic progress has definitely helped us improve our image within Singapore,” says Anees Khan, a second generation Singaporean Indian. He was still a baby when his parents migrated to Singapore three decades ago. His father started a food business and the family thrived. Khan was educated in Singapore and now works as a programmer. “When Indians go to the job market today, especially in the IT field, India’s image as an IT powerhouse rubs on them. Getting a job then becomes a little easier.”Singapore is among the world’s tiniest countries with a total land area of just 266 square miles, about three times the size of Washington, D.C. It comprises of one main island and 63 tiny islands, most of which are uninhabited. This cosmopolitan city has a population of about 4.5 million, of which 77 percent are Chinese, 14 percent Malay and 8 percent Indian.The vast majority of the 350,000 Indians in Singapore, almost 64 percent, are Tamilian. They are followed by Punjabis, 8 percent; Malyalis, 8 percent; Sindhis 6 percent; and Gujaratis 2 percent. Almost a quarter of the Indian population, 90,000, are permanent residents – noncitizens who live and work in Singapore, mostly as financial services professionals, computer engineers, construction labor and domestic help. During the past decade, Singapore’s Indian community has been transformed by the invasion of high tech Indian professionals, similar to the impact these professionals had in the United States. Until the high tech boom, the Indian labor pool comprised principally of blue collar construction workers and domestic help. Fewer than 9 percent of Indian expats (permanent residents) in 1990 held a college degree. By contrast, in 2000 almost 51 percent of Indian permanent residents were college educated.Singapore’s Indian citizens have noticeably lower academic credentials: fewer than 8 percent of Singapore Indian citizens have a college degree, for example. Since expat Indians account for almost a quarter of Singapore’s Indian population, the new, educated, high income Indian professionals have altered the overall community demographics in dramatic ways. In the last ten years, the proportion of Indian blue collared workers has halved, from about 15 percent to 8 percent, while the proportion of the professionals and managerial workers has doubled from about 22 percent to 43 percent of the total Indian workforce, revolutionizing the image of Indians in the Singaporean society.Culture and Cuisine Indian migration to Singapore dates back two centuries and their impact on Singapore society is pervasive. Yoga, Indian dances and Indian cuisine are exceedingly popular among Singaporeans. Indian dances, mostly Bollywood-inspired, are taught in some community centers. The sight of Chinese children wearing ghaghra-choli performing perfect gyrations to Bollywood dance numbers on stage in community gatherings during the Chinese 7th month festivities is commonplace.Similarly, Indian food is as much part of Singaporean cuisine as Chinese or Malay food. In Little India, Singapore’s famous Indian enclave, large numbers of Chinese and Malay families can be seen enjoying Indian fare in restaurants and eateries on any given day. Over 100 Indian restaurants thrive in the city. In addition, any hawker center or food court offer one or more Indian food stalls.Komala Vilas, a favorite Indian haunt in Serangoon Road, dishes out all-you-can-eat Indian food for $3 (Singapore $5) to over 3,000 diners daily in two of its branches. “We are following the Indian tradition of providing good food at a reasonable price,” says Rajoo Gunasekaran, proprietor of Komala Vilas. Gunasekaran’s father, Raju Gunasekaran, came to Singapore at age 15 from Tanjor, Tamil Nadu, in 1937. “My father started working in this restaurant and later on, in 1947, he bought it,”Gunasekaran says. He and his brother now run a very successful chain of Indian restaurants in Singapore – the largest owned by an Indian in Singapore.Bollywood movies are a craze in Singapore, and not just among Indians. Shahrukh Khan is a household name among Malay families. Last year’s International Indian Film Awards (IIFA) attracted Singaporeans of all races; the show sold out within a few hours of the opening of the box office, weeks before the show.Bollywood aside, Indian traditional arts and culture have not quite fired the public imagination. “The young generation of Singaporean Indians has lost the culture,” bemoans Suren Pillai, an IT professional and a third generation Singaporean Indian. His grandfather came to Singapore as a police inspector from Tamil Nadu in the early 1890s. His father earned a law degree from England and married his physician mother. “The earlier generations were devout to their religious practices and culture. The new generation follows the westernized Hinduism – you do what you feel. Some even don’t mind eating beef!”The nature of Singapore society and their minority status imposes pressures on Indians to assimilate. Many have learned Chinese or Malay to advance in Singapore society. “My father advised me to study Malay in school and I think it was a wise decision,” says Khan. “It helps me communicate well with my Malay friends.”Contemporary politics and issues“The condition of Indians in Singapore, predominantly the Tamils,” says veteran journalist P N Balji, a third generation Indian Singaporean, “is the story of haves and have-nots.” Balji, who served as editor of the country’s two leading newspapers, The Straits Times and The New Paper, says: “There is a wide gap between the two classes of Indians. One the one hand, you have a class of highly successful Indians in politics, in business and in the professions. On the other, there is this group of Indians that forms the underbelly of Singapore society. Go to the 7-11s at night. Go to the petrol pumps at night. Who do find there manning them? Indian young men and women!”He points to other depressing social indicators. “Even in a small country like Singapore, if you looked at the statistics, Indians are over-represented in crime; their performance in schools is poor in comparison with the children of other communities.”Singapore’s Prime Minister has exhorted Singaporean Indians to help their less privileged members to catch up: “While the majority of Indian Singaporeans have done well, we must be careful not to leave behind a minority who are unable to take care of themselves or their families. We must continue to make sure that this group receives the help they need, so that they can get back on their feet, and their children can break out of the poverty trap.”Integration with other communitiesThe Singapore government has aggressively sought to integrate the races and Indians have assimilated into Singapore society. In the Housing Development Board (HDB) estates, a government-maintained housing scheme, many Indians are grassroots leaders, working together with other races and organizing community and cultural events.“I am more close to some of my Chinese and Malay friends than to my Indian friends,” says Rajesh Rai, a third-generation Indian Singaporean who teaches at the National University of Singapore and is an expert on the Indian diaspora in Singapore.. His grandfather came to Singapore from Uttar Pradesh and his father runs a Hindi-medium school. Rai’s family mirrors Singapore society. “My sister is married to a Chinese guy and my cousin is married to a Chinese girl and it is not a big deal,” he says.Not quite. Racial mixing is still a touchy subject within the community. “Inter-racial marriages are not looked at favorably,” says Khan. Nevertheless, inter-racial pairings are on the rise. “But today the trend is that more Indian boys are marrying outside their community in comparison to their female counterparts. It is the trend of the future,” Khan says. Dinesh Rai and Angela Rai are one such inter-racial couple. “When we decided to get married, what was on our mind was love,” says Dinesh. “Inter-racial marriage just happened.”Both Dinesh and Angela are self-employed. While Dinesh runs a company that deals with computer music products, Angela runs a children’s enrichment program. Did they face opposition to their marriage? “Alliances like this always create problem in families. People might think that they are open-minded, but to actually accept something like this was initially not easy for both the families,” he says. The Rais have a son now, who is being exposed to both Indian and Chinese cultures. “After we had our son, both the in-laws are treating each other well.”Do they encounter personal or social prejudice? “Not really. There is no problem in our day to day life. The fact that I am a Hindu and Angela a Buddhist helps, because both religions have some common factors. As far as the reaction of outsiders goes, we know that eyebrows will be raised in some particular places. We avoid going to those places.”Indian immigrants: The new vs. the oldAlthough the vast majority of Indians in Singapore are citizens, the demographics of the community have undergone a radical shift in the past decade with the invasion of Indian information technology professionals. Until recently, Indians dominated the construction labor and domestic help sectors. Deepika Shetty is among the new generation of Indian professionals in Singapore. She came to Singapore ten years ago and found success and serenity here. “It was one of those typical falling in love stories. I met my husband in India, he got a job in Singapore and the rest as they say is history. At that time I was working with India Today and was fairly well settled professionally, but when it came to choosing between my profession and my relationship, I settled for the latter and have absolutely no regrets.” How has she adjusted to her new home? “It was a bit hard adjusting to a new place with practically no friends,” she says. “I remember heading to Little India week after week to get over the initial bouts of home sickness. Just seeing the teeming crowds made me happy. I had lived and worked in Gujarat, where all your neighbors are one big happy family so the kind of emotional distancing hit me a bit hard. But over the next couple of months and years, I discovered so many beautiful Singaporeans, who are to this day people I would call on in times of dire need. Sometimes, I pinch myself to believe whether it really has been 10 long years here. Yes, it has. We have had two beautiful children here and as they everything seems to be shining nice and bright in sunny Singapore.”Sridhar Khambhampati, a computer hardware specialist from Hyderabad, migrated to Singapore in 1997. “I came to Singapore nine years ago when the IT boom was at its peak,” he says. He also worked in Australia for some time, but chose to return to Singapore. “At that time, the IT market was much better in Singapore. But after the Asian economic crisis, things began to change.”The vast majority of Indians in Singapore today are descendants of immigrants who arrived during the colonial period. The term “Indian,” in the context of Singapore is used as a generic category to refer to all people who originate from the Indian subcontinent – Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.Is Singapore “home” for them? For earlier generation, Singapore it was not; India was. After Singapore’s independence in 1965, however, the mental framework began to change for many Indians.“India is where our ancestors came from,” says Suren Pillai, “but we think of only Singapore as our home.”“Many factors such as the public school system and the mixed settlements in the HDB estates helped in fostering this idea of Singapore as the ‘home,’” says Rai. “Our housing policy encouraged us to move out of our so-called ghetto into HDB estates where some kind of racial mix was ensured. And because of public school system, the old institutions began to fade away.”“The new migrants, as compared to the old diaspora, are still not sure of their home,” he says. “However, Indians like me, second and third generation Indians, do not think of India as their home. They have some kind of cultural affinity with India, but they never think of returning to their roots. The notion of return is gone. That may not be the case with the new generation, many of whom are the professionals. Being new here, they are not able to assimilate well and they tend to group together. In most cases, they have been out of India for the first time and here, for the first time, they feel they are in a minority, and they feel insecure. So they think of either finally returning to India or to relocating to some other destination.”Adds Pillai: “The new immigrants see that this country has more to offer and they come here to benefit from it. Once they have achieved their goals, they go back to India.”“Some of the new Indian immigrants are opting to go back to India,” agrees Khambhampati. “Singapore, being a small country, offers one very limited options, in terms of work and livelihood. People who came here, say 10 years or 15 years ago, and have worked hard and somehow saved some money, they are choosing to go back to India. With their savings in dollars, they can live as millionaires in India. From a lower middle class life in Singapore to the life of a millionaire in India is a big transition. India is developing very fast and living there is inexpensive. That’s why many people are choosing to go back.”Until 1990, the professional Indian immigrants to Singapore mostly relocated from Hong Kong, where concerns over China’s takeover led to an exodus. In the 1990s, however, the Singapore government announced initiatives to attract new immigrants from India. “There was an excitement in the Indian community here about this new arrival of Indians,” Rai says. “But when the new immigrants actually came two things happened. Indians of the new diaspora were professionals and because of their arrival the image of the Indian community here went up in a multi-racial Singapore. However, the old diaspora also felt that there was little oneness between the new and the old.”“The new and the old Indian immigrants are often two segregated communities, with hardly any connections between them” Pillai says. “But some people act as bridges between the two communities. There are people like that, but they are rare.”Pillai even sees a sort of competition between the old and the new migrants. “The new migrants from India are well-educated and well-trained and are giving the old immigrants, who have been born and brought up here, a run for their money in the job market,” he says. “I have seen slogans on walls, which says ‘jobs for foreigners, national service for Singaporeans?’ I think the old immigrants need to face the competition from the new Indian immigrants.”Towards a bright future Indians have experienced significant growth in many sectors. The proportion of college educated Indians doubled to 17 percent in the past decade and they also experienced some of the fastest growth in household income. Although much of this was fueled by the new Indian immigrants, it also occurred across the board within the Singapore Indian citizen population as well. “I see many trends that will make the Indian community a much more significant community in Singapore in the time to come,” Rai says.“The future of the Indian diaspora is positive, very bright. You go down to the Serangoon Road, to Little India. I have not seen Little India so alive ever before. Mustafa Center in Little India was just a small alley shop in the 1980s. Rajiv Gandhi’s liberalization policy in 1990s made Mustafa rich. It is an incredible story.”Mustaq Ahmad started out with a small shop in Little India selling garments in 1973. It expanded into a bustling 150,000 sq ft Mustafa Center by 1995, a shopping paradise with 100,000 items, packing over 15,000 customers of all nationalities during weekends and an annual turnover of $302 million. The Mustafa Centre, which has become something of a trademark of the Indian community in Singapore, epitomizes the Indian success story in contemporary Singapore. Patterns of migrationIndian migration to Singapore dates back to the early 19th century when Sir Stamford Raffles established Singapore as a trading post. Malaya and Singapore were sparsely populated, so the British authorities encouraged the migration of Chinese and indentured Indian labor to meet the demands of the expanding colonial economy.The trading post also attracted Indian merchants and traders. The Chulias (Tamil Muslim traders from the coastal area) were the earliest Indian traders to come to Singapore. Another important group of migrant traders was led by Narayana Pillai, an influential figure among the old diaspora, who built the famous Sri Mariamman Temple in 1827. Next came the Chettiars, who were in the money-lending business, followed by Sindhi traders in 1860. English educated Malayalis also headed to Singapore, giving rise to a middle class of Indian professionals. The Sikh immigration started in 1870, mainly as part of the police force and as military personnel. By 1931, Indians in Malaya and Singapore numbered over 620,000 and comprised 14.3 percent of the population.In the 1940s, Indian nationalism in Singapore reached its peak. Indian Freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose came to Singapore in 1943 and many Indians joined his Azad Hind Fauj. “The impending Japanese invasion, the formation of the Indian National Army and a resurgence of nationalism among the Indians -this was quite amazing a phase in the life of Indians in Singapore” says Rajesh Rai, a visiting fellow at the South Asian Studies Program at the National University of Singapore.During the Emergency period (the 1948-60 communist insurgency in peninsular Malaya and Singapore; most active between 1948 and 1951), Singapore imposed strict restrictions on migration. Immigration for Indians was not fully opened until 1990. The new immigrants, members of Singapore’s new diaspora, are mainly professionals and have had major impact on the demographics of the Indian community.  Little India for TouristsTo capture the Little India experience in Singapore, head to Serangoon Road. Little India – the famous Indian enclave in Singapore – is situated around this road. At the head of the road, you have the Teka Mall and the Little India Arcade. You can shop for Indian clothes and other Indian items in the Teka Mall, and find tourist souvenirs, bolts of clothes, temple garlands, gold jewelery, and ayurvedic medicines and spices in the Little India Arcade. Walk further down the road to the Campbell Lane to see shop-houses selling traditional Indian goods, like musical instruments, furniture and brassware. On the right you will encounter the restaurants (including the famous Komala Vilas) and jewelers. On Syed Alvi Road you will find the well-known Mustafa Centre, Singapore’s largest Indian mall, stocking upto150,000 items under one roof. Temples serve as the most remarkable landmarks of Indian culture in Singapore. In Chinatown, on South Bridge Road, is located the monumental Sri Mriamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple, built in 1827 and rebuilt in 1843. It is dedicated to goddess Mariamman, the goddess of healing. If you are visiting Singapore in October, you can witness the Thimithi festival when penitents walk across a bed of hot embers.There are nearly two dozen other Hindu temples in Singapore, including in the Little sector alone: Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, and Sakaya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple.If you are tired of shopping and sightseeing, there are plenty of places to satisfy you appetite. Little India offers a ton of restaurants and eatries offering all kinds of India food such as Komala Vilas, Delhi Restaurant, Anand Bhawan and Raj. On Race Course Road, there are several north Indian and banana leaf restaurants, such as Muthu’s, Banana Leaf Apolo and Anjappar’s. If you would rather enjoy dining in the open air by the Singapore River, go to Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, where you can find many good Indian restaurant serving a dazzling variety of food by the promenade. If you have set your heart on savoring local dishes like Roti Prata, Murtabak, biryanis and fish-head curry, head to the Islamic Restaurant and Zam Zam in the North Bridge Road near the Sultan Mosque. Truly, the magic of Singapore is never ending.  Indians in Singapore (2000)Religion(%)Hinduism55.4Islam25.6Christianity12Buddhism/Taoism0.7Other Religions5.6No Religion0.6Education, Literacy & Language(%)General Literacy Rate95.1Non-student population by highest qualification attained No qualification13.9Primary24.5Secondary26.4Upper Secondary15.6Polytechnic3.1University16.5Language most frequently spoken at home English35.6Mandarin0.1Chinese dialects0.1Malay11.6Tamil42.9Others9.7Economic CharacteristicsLabor force participation rate63.6Home ownership86.8Median monthly household income $2005  Workforce by occupation19902000Professional, Technical, Managerial22.343.3Clerical, Sales & Services32.029.2Production & Related24.115.4Cleaners & Laborers15.28.0Others6.44.3Source: Singapore Department of Statistics Related Itemslast_img read more

first_imgIn herd-mentality-driven Bollywood, the LOC is distinct and clear: India and Bharat. The former represents the hi-tech, modern, sexy, uber cool life in the fast lane. The latter symbolizes timeless naivette of a fraternity frozen in a time-warp — trusting, innocent, unsophisticated to the ways of the world, frequently mesmerized by all that the dazzling, magical big cities promise and desperately eager to mosey in and croon “Saala Mein to Saab Ban Gaya!” Needless to say, the men and women belonging there are lip-smacking “soft targets” for the evil, conniving, exploitative and opportunistic Sheheri babu.   Peepli LiveIt is a stereotypical image that continues to be re-enforced by most Bollywood mainstream filmmakers, hooked and zapped by metro-centric themes and blown by exotic phoren locales. Seldom, if ever, have they displayed the vision, courage or desire to consider rural India as an interesting, dramatic backdrop to unspool fascinating, human-interest stories that entertain, enrich and empower.It takes a gutsy filmmaker to break new ground — and bingo, before you can say Kites or Raavan, there will be others to follow! The buzz is that hit-starved B-town could well be cozying up to small towns, following the success of films, such as Udaan, Peepli Live, Antardwand and Aakrosh. Far from the synthetic, exotic locales, violent intrigues of the underworld or Kashmir-centric offerings, these tales explored real causes and concerns (visible and subliminal) — sensitive, hard-hitting, relevant, laced with delicious irony and played out in unknown and unsung locales of Bharat.   DabanggMuch has been written about Producer Aamir Khan’s daring initiative to bankroll Peepli, a film located in an imaginary village in North India. A riveting satire on the subject of — excuse me! — farmers suicide, debutante Anusha Rizvi’s maiden offering focused totally on everything rural and resonated thumpingly with both the critics and the box-office…. Even more importantly, it got a shot at the Oscars! Young Vikram Motwani’s Udaan, located at Jamshedpur and produced by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, made big waves at Cannes and at festivals around the world and also garnered a decent take at the box office. Sushil Rajpal’s Antardwand, dealing with groom kidnapping, and Priyadarshan’s Aakrosh, highlighting honor killings, are set in Northern India. As everyone must know, the new, big hit of the day, Dabangg is also set in Uttar Pradesh.So what’s happening to the Swiss Alps, Holland, Australia and all those sexy, exotic spots, the desperately seeking B-town directors rush to when the substance quotient is zilch?Dabangg director Abhinav Kashyap is amused, but offers a reality check. “While it’s true that often foreign, exotic locales are ‘must have’ components for some filmmakers, too much is being made of this U.P.-Bihar thing. It’s a coincidence, boss, that all these films came together. For me, democratization of geographical boundaries is a good sign, because it indicates a genuine pan-India feel. Also it eliminates the idea of locales and settings as merely a trap or prop. It is as much a character as the characters themselves.”   AakroshDirector Rajpal agrees. He thinks that these films are made by gutsy, courageous and committed directors determined to take risks, refusing to compromise and passionately keen to offer new-age audiences a different, non-metro, emotional and visual experience. “Also these are navigated by guys who are totally familiar with the milieu of the place in terms of sights, sounds and basic culture. Isn’t Peepli a great example of this thinking? It worked, didn’t it? No prizes for what happened to Kites and Raavan! The bottom line is simple: if you have an interesting story to tell (with the rural backdrop as a natural fit) imbued with universal appeal and you have the ability to tell it in an engaging way, it is bound to find its audience.”Rajpal has a point. Come to think of it, this genre has no greater example than Satyajit Ray’s classic, timeless, masterpiece Pather Panchali — made in the mid-fifties — which swept away every major international award and also did a thumping box office business. It was set in a little known village in West Bengal.The small screen has been bitten by this bug as well. Tossing aside the done-to-death locales and costumes of Gujarat and Rajasthan, North India appears to be the new flavor of the day. Popular serials like Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo, Gunahon ka Devta and Sangini are set in this terrain. The much-awaited re-make of Humlog is also expected to be played out here…. So Shilpa Shetty was not too off the mark when she belted out”Main Aayi Hoon UP, Bihar lootne in Shool, right?    Related Itemslast_img read more

first_imgAmazon is on overdrive in India.Earlier this year, the world’s largest online retailer became the second-largest online marketplace in the country by shipments and gross merchandise value. (Flipkart remains number one in India.) It also announced an additional $3 billion investment, taking its total investment in India to $5 billion; it launched its popular subscription-based program Amazon Prime to drive customer loyalty; and it announced that it would be soon be introducing its Prime Video service. Recently, in October, the firm launched its “Global Store” for Indian customers enabling them to buy products sold on its U.S. website while paying in Indian currency. Prior to this, while customers from India could buy on Amazon’s U.S. website, they had to pay in dollars.Amit Agarwal, Amazon India’s vice president and country head, says that “enhancing shopping experience” for customers is “one of the key pillars” for the company. With the Global Store, customers in India will have direct access to thousands of international brands and a starting selection of over 4 million global products. While initially the Global Store will have products from the U.S., over time, products from other key markets such as the U.K., Germany and Japan are also expected to be listed. India, which is one of the fastest growing e-tail markets around the globe, is the third country after China and Mexico to get the Amazon Global Store. This move will no doubt help Amazon compete more vigorously against Flipkart.More importantly, perhaps, it will also help strengthen the company’s arsenal against the imminent entry of Walmart — the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer and its arch rival.Amazon, though, is silent on Walmart’s reported entry into this segment. “We are not competition-focused, but customer-obsessed,” says Agarwal. “Our goals and our targets are only focused on our building a better experience for our customers and sellers.Walmart’s Entry: A Matter of TimeAccording to media reports, Walmart is all set to join the Indian e-tail party soon. While the company is reported to be talking to several Indian e-tailers like Snapdeal and Shopclues, the strongest buzz is around Walmart entering into a strategic alliance with Flipkart or making an investment in the company, possibly to the tune of $1 billion. While both Walmart and Flipkart refuse to comment on what they term as “speculations,” Rajneesh Kumar, senior vice president and head of corporate affairs at Walmart India, says: “E-tail is undeniably a very big change and is here to stay. Understandably, that is where the consumer is going. We believe the next five years will belong to those who commit to provide an omni-channel experience to customers.”Walmart currently has 21 cash & carry wholesale format stores, called Best Price, across nine states in India. This number is expected to increase to 70 over the next three to five years. According to Kumar, currently all stores (which are open only to commercial and institutional customers) provide an omni-channel shopping experience to the members. “B2B e-commerce is a major driver of growth for us in India,” says Kumar. He adds: “For us, India is a long-term commitment. It is a growing economy and hence an important market. We continue to look at all opportunities and keep scanning the business environment on how wecan serve our business members better.”Industry observers and experts believe that it is only a matter of time before Walmart makes a foray into online retail in India through some kind of an investment or partnership with a leading Indian e-tailer. Kartik Hosanagar, Wharton’s professor of operations, information and decisions, whose research focuses on the digital economy, in particular Internet media, Internet marketing and e-commerce, notes: “Walmart has been interested in India for quite some time now. They explored a partnership with Bharti but that fell through. [In 2007, Walmart had entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Bharti Enterprises. The partnership broke off in 2013.] Internet companies that are more used to a different pace and greater transparency are a better partner for Walmart.”Hosanagar believes that Walmart’s India strategy will borrow heavily from its China experience: It will “partner with local companies that have better local knowledge.” He points out that in China, Walmart started with a small investment in Yihaodian. Later, it purchased Yihaodian in its entirety. And more recently, it has partnered with JD.com, including selling Yihaodian to JD.com. “This way, it has partnered with China’s second largest e-commerce company to take on Alibaba (the e-commerce leader in China). This also allows Walmart to focus on its offline stores and simply set up an online store on JD.com.”Hosanagar also points to Walmart’s recent acquisition of Jet.com in the U.S. for $3.3 billion. He notes that even though Jet.com is unproven, Walmart was willing to pay a considerable amount because “it finally found a proven [individual, Jet.com co-founder] Marc Lore, who is willing and capable of taking on Amazon.com.” A partnership with a player like Flipkart will seek to do the same in India, says Hosanagar. “Think of it as an alliance of the ‘Amazon-worrieds.’”Ankur Bisen, senior vice president for retail at Technopak Advisors, considers Walmart’s reported moves in India to be in line with its global strategy. He says: “With the acquisition of Jet.com in the U.S., Walmart has put e-commerce at the heart of its growth strategy. It wants to protect its status as a dominant global retailer and recognizes the need to align with the rapidly changing world of retail. It also signals that it will not shy away from either building this capability in-house or pursuing acquisition opportunities, or both.” In India, Bisen notes, Walmart has organically built a cash & carry business that has “grown reasonably well” and has also started piloting “multi-channel options” in this business. Says Bisen: “This is in line with Walmart’s global approach of re-modeling brick businesses into multi-channel businesses.”Rishikesha Krishnan, professor of corporate strategy and policy at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore and currently director of IIM Indore, sees Walmart partnering with Flipkart as a logical move. The current policy environment in India is not conducive for Walmart to make a direct entry into physical retail. But since the policy allows marketplace models in e-tail, Walmart can have a piece of the market via Flipkart. “There is a saying that an enemy’s enemy is a friend. Besides, Flipkart has shown the ability to compete strongly with Amazon for the Indian market. And India is the “next big thing” in retail. So it makes sense for Walmart to have a position in this market,” says Krishnan. S. Raghunath, professor of corporate strategy and policy at IIM Bangalore specializing in strategic alliances and strategic leadership, adds: “Walmart has been trying very hard to up the ante in online retail. The acquisition of Jet.com in the U.S. followed by the news about Walmart’s interest in acquiring a stake in Flipkart fits with the company’s thrust to increase its play in the online retail space and add to its competitive strength.”Power of Global SourcingThe big question is: What impact will the entry of the world’s largest retailer have on online retail in India?“The Indian e-tail ecosystem will have a superior supply chain and a wider variety of products than what is currently available,” says Sreedhar Prasad, partner-business consulting at KPMG India. Prasad notes that while players have been investing in the last mile, customer experience and so on in recent years, there has not been much action in terms of bringing in newer and different products to Indian customers; e-tailers are sourcing from the same suppliers or the same type of suppliers. Prasad believes that this is where global players like Walmart or Tesco can add a lot of value in India.“If it is just an investment by a global player in a big Indian e-tailer, then it is not of much interest. But if there is an alliance between two [big players], then I am very bullish about it because the global supply chain giants enabling Indian e-tail can be a very powerful trend in the sector. The power of global sourcing, including sourcing from India itself, can be a big impetus to the e-tail ecosystem in India,” says Prasad.Devangshu Dutta, chief executive of consulting firm Third Eyesight, notes that since its breakup with Bharti, Walmart in India has been restricted to its cash & carry wholesale business, Best Price, which primarily sells to small businesses. It has also been experimenting with overlaying e-commerce as an extension to the Best Price business. “An investment into an e-commerce platform could give it additional inroads into the consumer retail market by proxy. For a platform such as Flipkart, Walmart can provide additional product expertise and also allow it to diversify the merchant base as Flipkart needs to under the foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations.”IIMB’s Raghunath suggests that Walmart can use the Flipkart connection to turn its current B2B stores in India into online retail business opportunities and warehouse locations for delivery. “Flipkart data can be useful for Walmart to project buyer behavior and preferences. Flipkart can be the front end with Walmart at the back end,” says Raghunath, adding that if the relationship works out, Walmart may look at deepening it further and “become a major player” in the Indian online retail market. Krishnan believes that any alliance between Flipkart and Walmart would be a “win-win” for both. “We don’t know the terms of Walmart’s investment in Flipkart, but if [Walmart] can get access to Indian retail/consumer data through this association that would be invaluable to them should they re-enter conventional retail.”Third Time Lucky?But Walmart’s India foray has not created any big waves up to now. As noted earlier, its partnership with Bharti Enterprises broke off in 2013 and since then, while it has been growing its cash & carry business, Walmart has been a fairly low-key player in India. Dutta, however, feels that its new partnership could work out differently. “Partnerships are an outcome of the objectives and behavior of both partners being in sync. The Bharti-Walmart joint venture broke up because the two partners viewed the Indian market, growth plans and investment needs very differently, within the constraints placed by the FDI policy. Any other potential relationship Walmart creates will be driven by the dynamics of that specific relationship, and their respective leadership teams at the time,” he notes.Bisen adds that e-tail in India has matured to a level where entry barriers are significantly high for a new entrant to gain market leadership. Walmart will be looking to “get a foot in the door in [what is] perhaps the last significant market opportunity for e-commerce where the pecking order is yet to shape up.” According to Bisen, Technopak’s view is that 80% of the e-commerce market is almost always marketplace driven and most major e-commerce markets are dominated by two players. He believes that the Indian market will also evolve towards this direction in the next four to five years. He expects Flipkart, Amazon and Alibaba backed ecosystems to occupy 80% of the Indian e-commerce market. “Who among the three will lead is an interesting narrative that will unfold and will solely be dependent on the strategies of these individual players,” says Bisen. What role Walmart plays in this remains to be seen. According to the New York-based market research firm eMarketer, Walmart is the second largest online retailer in the U.S.after Amazon. However, while Amazon’s pure e-commerce revenue represents 74.1% of total sales, Walmart has e-commerce revenue of just 2.8% of its total sales.Can Walmart’s entry in Indian e-tail help it in its battle with Amazon worldwide? Not necessarily, says Dutta. “To my knowledge, there are no retail rivalries that are truly global in nature. While companies may be multinational, retail is a dynamic and intensely local business, and success in one market is no guarantor of success in another.” Related Itemslast_img read more