Three Deadly Sins

first_imgThese three sins are deadly. They completely destroy your ability to succeed in sales.The Sin That Is a Lack of Self DisciplineThere is nothing that will damage your results more than a lack of self-discipline. You can read this as “laziness” if you like. Selling requires that you effectively take action. You need to be smart and, more so now than ever, you need to be thoughtful. You need to understand the principles and theories of effective selling so that you can develop strategies and tactics to win new business. But all the strategies and tactics are useless unless you take action.The lack of action is really a lack of self-discipline. It the inability to will yourself to do the work. And it’s a deadly sin.The Sin of NegativityThe second deadly sin is a negative attitude. Selling isn’t easy. It never has been. You can’t succeed in sales without a positive, optimistic attitude. You have to believe you can win. You have to believe that no matter how long the odds, no matter how much the deck is stacked against you, that you have the ability to create value, that you have the ability to make a difference, and that you have the ability to win (eventually, anyway).Not many things will do more to ruin your ability to sell than a poor attitude. A deadly and highly contagious sin.The Sin of Avoiding AccountabilityThe third deadly sin is a lack of accountability. You own your results. Any attempt to make excuses, to blame your lack of results on something or someone else, or an unwillingness to accept that you are the only one that can make the changes necessary to produce a different result will destroy your ability to succeed in sales.It is not your pricing. It’s not your territory. It’s not your competition. It’s not your sales manager. And it’s not your customers. Only you can change, and only the changes you make will produce the results you want. You own it.These three sins will destroy your ability to produce sales results. Engage in them at your peril.QuestionsHow does lack of discipline destroy sales results?Why is negativity so detrimental to producing results in sales or in business?How do you own your results? How do you hold yourself accountable for the results you alone can produce? Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

You Are Upset Because You Care

first_imgYour client is not getting the outcome that you promised them when they made the decision to buy from you. Your team is struggling to produce those outcomes, and you are upset that things aren’t going well. You are right to be upset, and you are right to care about the outcomes you promised. You are, in fact, accountable for the results you sell, and this is how you build lifelong relationships. You are almost wrong to start trying to make change from that negative state.Breath. Compose yourself. Put yourself in the positive, optimistic, empowered and empowering state, and go work with your team to help them acquire the resources they need or make the changes necessary to succeed. You will not get greater outcomes from having this conversation from a negative emotional state.One of the main reasons that your client isn’t producing the outcomes you promised is because they are not doing what they need to do on their side. Your team is now picking up their end of the stick, and now you need your client to pick up their end of the stick. The upset feeling you have is based on your telling yourself that this is their fault, and that you are being unfairly accused of failing. You care about your client, their outcomes, and your reputation.Sit for a minute (or ten, but no more than that). Decide not to be defensive and not to do or say anything to cause your client to feel the need to defend themselves. Take responsibility for not preparing them better, and ask them how you can help them do what they need to do. If you want help with the language you need to have this conversation, look to Chapter 13 in The Lost Art of Closing.You don’t produce better results by being upset. You produce better results by transforming that negative emotional state into a more resourceful state, and then taking positive actions with a positive attitude to change things. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Breaking the Addiction to the Social Apps

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Two weeks ago, I removed all the social apps from my iPhone.This meant deleting my favorite, even if troll-infested, social platform, Twitter. I also removed Facebook, a primary source of negativity and divisiveness for many, especially around politics and cultural issues. Instagram, the perfectly manicured version of life, and also the polar opposite of Facebook in that its content is far more positive. I also deleted LinkedIn and YouTube. I would have deleted Snapchat, but it never made sense to me, even when the social crowd make-believed it was a B2B platform.All of the apps I deleted now reside on my backup iPhone. That phone lives in the very back of the bag I carry, and I have never had cause to use it. As it turns out, I still don’t.The first day without social apps, I found myself picking up the phone without reason. There were no notifications other than text messages from my children and updates about my flights. I must have picked up the phone a half a dozen times, each time being reminded there was nothing there for me.The second day, I picked up the second phone again. Because I had powered down the phone, I had to wait for it to boot up before I could look at the social apps. By the time the apps launched, the moment had passed. I shut the phone down, and was forced to start the process over again when I went to update the social apps later in the day.The third day, I never took the backup iPhone out of bag at all. Nor did I take it out to look at the social apps on the fourth day or the fifth day. On the sixth day, I went to my main phone to look at social sites and remembered I deleted them. When I picked up the backup phone, it was dead. I had thought I turned it off, but I must have turned it on when I placed it in my bag.And by then, I was cured. I no longer reach for my phone, as there is little reason to do so. The social app phone is still in my bag, and it now has no power over me. On Saturday night, I had dinner with one of my friends from law school and his lovely spouse, and the only time I looked at the phone was to update the table on the score of the football game. Other than that, no one touched their phones.It took almost no time at all for the small screen of infinite distractions to lose any power it held over my behavior. As quickly as you can become its slave, in that same time, you can liberate yourself from its grasp.Right now, the phone with the social app is across the room in the back of a bag where it now resides.As a side note, I also deleted my email. But being stuck on a tarmac for 90 minutes, I found it valuable to be able to scan and delete in moments when there is little else to do. The mail application is reinstalled.last_img read more

Cycle tracks to be set up in 10 cities

first_imgThe Maharashtra government is planning to implement its Streets with Cycle Track project in 10 cities to help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.A Government Resolution (GR) was recently issued naming Amaravati, Nagpur, Chandrapur, Kolhapur, Pune, Solapur, Nasik, Latur, Aurangabad and Jalgaon as the 10 cities where the Public Works Department (PWD) will lay cycle tracks on roads. A committee of four comprising the Additional Director General of Police (Traffic), Secretary PWD (Roads), and two members of NGO Mission Olympics will study the project and provide technical inputs. The committee will choose the roads for implementing the project and suggest modifications to the road design if necessary. It will also have the power to seek the help of organisations that promote cycling.Dedicated lanesThe GR stated, “It has been observed that people do not use cycles due to the absence of dedicated lanes. In several industrial towns, employees travel a distance of seven to eight kilometres to get to work. Setting up dedicated tracks would encourage them to cycle to work, leading to easing of traffic congestion and reducing of pollution levels.”The project will be implemented in other cities in the State based on the success of the project in the 10 cities. However, Mumbai and Thane, which witness the worst traffic snarl-ups, have been omitted from the first stage of implementation. A senior PWD official said clogged roads and ongoing infrastructure work in the cities led the department to omit them from the project for now. “It will be difficult to set up dedicated cycle tracks in these cities now. Roads are overflowing with traffic with ongoing metro work.”last_img read more

CPI (Maoist) commander Hidma promoted to Central Committee

first_imgA slim tribal boy from Puvarti village in Sukma district of South Chhattisgarh joined the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) of the CPI Maoist as a lower rung cadre in the late 90s when the banned outfit was not considered “the biggest internal security threat”.He quickly rose to the rank of Area Commander and senior Maoist leaders began entrusting him with big responsibilities, and he delivered beyond expectations. With setbacks in other parts of the country, the Maoists eyed Bastar region of Chhattisgarh as their core area and dominated this area of the size of Kerala until recently.However, in recent years, the security forces have managed to weaken the Maoists’s control in many parts of Bastar except Abujhmad area and southern part of Sukma district. It is in South Sukma that the security forces have suffered the maximum casualties, but the area still remains a Maoist bastion. The youngest everThe person standing like a wall to the security forces is that slim tribal boy, Hidma. He’s now 36 and the youngest chief of a Maoist battalion. Hidma is also one of the youngest to become a member of the Danda Karanya Special Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist). Hidma has reportedly been promoted to the CPI (Maoist) central committee and become the youngest central committee member. Security agencies and the Maoists are still to confirm it officially, but some reliable sources have told The Hindu that Hidma was made a Central Committee member a month ago during a “meeting” in Abujhmadh. Hidma has become the first person from Bastar to be inducted in the CPI (Maoist) Central Committee and the second tribal. An officer involved in anti-Maoist operations in Bastar said that Hidma’s reported induction in the top Maoist body could act as a morale booster for the rebels who have suffered heavy losses almost everywhere in the country except Abujhmad and South Sukma.The officer said, “Hidma is junior to many leaders who were expecting induction in the central committee like Venkatesh and Ganesh Uike. It will be interesting to see how they take his out of turn promotion. The Maoists’ maximum domination is in tribal areas like Bastar or tribal areas in Jharkhand. They want to create dominant zones on State tri-junctions and needed a tribal face. The tribal faceHe added, “The way Milind Teltumbde has been used as a Dalit face by the Maoists, Hidma is being projected as the tribal face. With increasing pressure of security forces in Bastar, the Maoist battalion needed encouragement and Hidma’s battalion has been exceptionally successful in combat against the security forces. It has less than 10% casualty ratio in every combat compared to the security forces and its morale is extremely high. To maintain a large formation like battalion is a tough job and Hidma has successfully managed that.”Master strategist Hidma could hardly complete his primary education when he joined the Maoists, but now he is an avid reader and even reads English books. His close associates say within two three years, their leader will be fluent in English. A cool headed and soft spoken Hidma had answered each and every question from this reporter during a meeting in South Sukma forest in February 2015. Known to be a master strategist, he sits with a notebook whenever he meets anyone and takes notes. He also asks for newspaper clipping of local and national newspapers every week.Head of Battalion No.1As the head of the Maoists’s Battalion No.1, Hidma planned and executed many attacks and inflicted heavy damages on the security forces in Sukma including the recent killing of 37 CRPF men in two back to back attacks within a month.Sources said that it was the Burkapal attack on the CRPF, in which 25 CRPF men were gunned down by Hidma’s men, which gave the final push to his elevation to the central committee.Apart from his combat expertise, the tribal background of Himda could be a headache for the security forces, as it is likely to be used to by the Maoists to counter the State’s propaganda of “tribals not being given senior posts and only used as foot soldiers in the Maoist organisation”.last_img read more

Provide security to Minister: AAP

first_imgThe Goa unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday demanded that the State government provide security to Minister for Water Resources Vinod Paliekar, who took on the drug mafia in his constituency, Siolim.The Minister had claimed that he sensed a threat to his life and was scared of going out for a morning walk. Ashley do Rosario, Goa spokesperson of AAP, demanded that the government open an investigation into the threats received by the Minister following his recent outbursts against the rampant drug mafia in Siolim.Mr. Rosario said, “If a Minister feels threatened, then what will be the fate of ordinary citizens of Goa? Mr. Palyekar should be provided the highest personal security.”last_img read more

U.P. to get cow protection panels soon

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh government has decided to set up cow protection committees in all districts of the State.The ‘Gau Sanrakshan Samiti’ would be headed by the district magistrate and it would ensure that cow sheds in the region operate efficiently, said a statement issued by the State government here on Tuesday.“The committee will be headed by the district magistrate, while the superintendent of police and the district’s chief development officer will be its vice-chairmen. The chief veterinary officer will be its member secretary,” Principal Secretary (Animal Husbandry) Sudhir M. Bobde said.To make the committees self-reliant, various cow-related products such as biogas, compost, soaps, incense sticks, mosquito repellant coil, phenyl made from cow’s urine would be sold, he added.last_img read more

Muzaffarnagar riots case: Court quashes warrants against BJP legislators

first_imgA Muzaffarnagar court on Saturday quashed non-bailable warrants against Uttar Pradesh Minister Suresh Rana, BJP MLA Sangit Som and party MP Bhartendu Singh in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case.The court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Madhu Gupta on December 12 issued the warrants after the accused repeatedly did not turn up when charges were to be framed against them.Mr. Rana and six others were booked for inciting violence through their speeches in a mahapanchayat (public meeting) at Nagla Mandaur on August 30, 2013, ahead of the riots. They were charged under Sections 188 (violating prohibitory orders), 354 (assault or criminal force to deter public servants from discharging his duty) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code. The Nagla Mandaur mahapanchayat was one of the first public meetings which led to mobilisation for the riots in the first week of September 2013.Angry with their repeated absence during the trial, the court asked the senior BJP leaders to be present in the court on January 19. But on Saturday, the court quashed the warrants.Nearly 60 people were killed and 40,000 displaced in the riots communal clashes in the aftermath of angry and retaliatory mahapanchayats held by Muslims and Hindus in the area in August 2013.The BJP leaders rejected the charges as “politically motivated” and “vendetta politics” of the then Samajwadi Party government which slapped the hate speech case against them.last_img read more

Noapara bypoll: BJP candidate denies association with party

first_imgIn a major embarrassment to the BJP, a former Trinamool Congress MLA in West Bengal denied any association with the party within hours of her being named as its candidate for an Assembly byelection in the State.Manju Basu was to be the BJP’s candidate in the Noapara Assembly constituency in North 24 Paraganas district, where polling is scheduled for January 29.“I have no idea how the BJP announced my name. I have not received any communication from the BJP State leadership about this and came to know about it from the media,” Ms. Basu told The Hindu. She, however, admitted that she had held several meetings with BJP leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya, national general secretary, and Mukul Roy.Following the gaffe, the BJP declared that Sandeep Banerjee, the party’s president in the district, would be its candidate in Noapara. The Assembly seat fell vacant following the death of Congress MLA Madhusudhan Ghosh last year.Mukul Roy in a spotThe development has put Mr. Roy in a spot as the State BJP leadership made it clear that it was he who approached the former Trinamool MLA to contest. “Ms. Basu is an old acquaintance of Mr. Roy. He persuaded her to join the BJP and contest the bypolls. I do not know anything about her,” BJP State president Dilip Ghosh said. He alleged that it was “Trinamool’s intimidation” that forced Ms. Basu to suddenly “back track”.Accepting responsibility, Mr. Roy said “the incident was perhaps the outcome of his adventurism”. A senior BJP leader admitted that there had been a “serious miscommunication” between the Central and the State leaderships.Trinamool leadership denied the allegation of intimidation. “Mukul Roy tried to break the Trinamool, but ended up losing his credibility,” said Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipryo Mullick.last_img read more

Rain may delay olive ridley hatchings

first_imgHatching of olive ridley eggs at Rushikulya rookery, a major mass nesting site of the endangered marine turtles, may get delayed by a few days because of the sudden drizzle on the coast on Sunday night.Mass hatching of olive ridley eggs was expected to start at Rushikulya from April 7 or 8. “Because of the rain the sand temperature has come down and this may delay the mass hatching of eggs by a few days. It may start from April 10 or 11,” said Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer Ashis Behera.Buried under the sand, the olive ridley eggs incubate on their own in the ambient heat of the beach. The sudden rain has dampened the sand and also reduced the temperature of the eggs in the olive ridley nests. “This drop in sand temperature is expected to extend the incubation period of the olive ridley eggs. But nothing can be said for sure,” said the DFO.Nests safeThe rain has also tightened the sand covering the eggs in the nests. But as the rainfall was not very heavy, the olive ridley nests have not been affected by the rainwater or the sea waves. Tight sand cover becomes a hindrance for the hatchlings trying to come out of the nest. “The sun will surely dry up the sand in the next few days and the newborn turtles will have no problem when they will hatch after almost a week,” said Mr. Behera.Unlike 2017, the rainfall during the incubation period in 2018 is not going to have any major impact on the sex determination of the olive ridley hatchlings. In reptiles like turtles, sex determination of the offspring within the eggs happens during thermo-sensitive period (TSP). Average incubation period of olive ridley eggs is 45 days. Fall in temperature during TSP usually leads to birth of male hatchlings. This year, the rain has occurred at the end of the TSP, so it will have little impact on the sex determination. In 2017, rainfall had occurred during TSP due to which most hatchlings were males.The mass nesting of olive ridleys at Rushikulya rookery coast ended on February 27. According to the Forest Department, this year a record 4,45,091 mother olive ridleys laid their eggs at this coast during the seven-day-long mass nesting period. The figure surpassed the 2017 mass nesting number of around 3,65,000 turtles. Each nest contains around 80 to 100 eggs.last_img read more

12 killed in Odisha landslip

first_imgTwelve persons, including five children, were killed and four went missing after heavy rain in the wake of cyclone Titli triggered a landslip in Gangabada panchayat of Gajapati district of Odisha, reports reaching here on Friday said.The 12 bodies have been recovered from the spot by locals. The deceased were members of five families. The 16 persons from Baraghar village, around 50 km from district headquarters town, Paralakhemundi, had taken shelter in a cave atop a nearby hill. As communication lines were down in the district due to the cyclone and the road to the village blocked by fallen trees, news about this incident did not come out till Friday evening. Even the administration had no news about it, till a local news channel reached the spot. The Gajapati Superintendent of Police (SP) has since left for the spot.last_img read more

Probe in Dussehra tragedy complete

first_imgThe magisterial probe, ordered by the Punjab government into the Amritsar train accident in which 60 people died, has recorded statements of more than 150 people, including railway officials and Navjot Kaur Sidhu, the chief guest at the Dussehra event. “The report is complete and it will be submitted on Tuesday to the Punjab Home Secretary N.S. Kalsi,” said Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner B. Purushartha, who was appointed Special Executive Magistrate by the government to probe the October 19 accident. He said statements of more than 150 people including Railway officials and eyewitnesses were recorded. Statements of Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, and the Dussehra event organiser Saurabh Madan were also recorded. Navjot Singh Sidhu has submitted his statement in writing, Mr. Purushartha said.The Opposition, the Akali Dal, has rejected the institution of the magisterial probe and sought registration of case against Ms. Sidhu and the event organiser. Sixty people were mowed down by a passing train while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy in Amritsar as they could not see the train approaching them. The Railways had initially refused to order a probe, saying it was a case of trespassing and not negligence by its officials or the loco-pilot. But two weeks after the accident it said the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety will probe the tragedy.last_img read more

Cyclone Fani: Food distribution on track in Puri

first_imgLong wait for power in Odisha after Cyclone Fani snapped transmission lines  According to officials, the breakdown in the mobile phone connectivity had caused confusion in relief distribution from Puri; however, the distribution improved as the link was being restored.With little access to food, the people had blocked roads in Puri town. Some slum-dwellers had alleged that they had not received any food since the cyclone hit the coast. There were reports of food materials having been snatched from trucks in Puri and Bhubaneswar. But officials attributed such incidents to the handiwork of criminals.Taking suo motu cognizance of the report in The Hindu that the people were resorting to agitation for food, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday served notice on the Chief Secretary, asking him to redress their grievances. The Odisha government has appeared to have overcome the initial hiccups in delivering food to the cyclone-hit villages and slums in urban areas, especially in Puri district.Five hundred and three kitchens are working full time, and the people are given 50 kg of rice from fair price shops, as promised by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The police have joined relief distribution, preparing food at Talabania in Puri.Voluntary organisations, such as Spandan, Khalsa Aid and Maa Hingula Temple Trust, have been serving food in Puri and on the outskirts.“We have no shortage of food materials. At distribution points, there could be some instances of favouritism. This happens everywhere in the country. We will immediately send food materials wherever there is a shortage,” Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said.As many as 14,889 packets of relief materials, including flattened rice, biscuits, candle and salt, have been delivered to Puri and 4,632 packets to Khordha.Also Readlast_img read more

U.N. Experts Find Convincing Evidence of Large-Scale Sarin Attack in Syria

first_imgA team of U.N. inspectors has found “clear and convincing evidence” that a chemical weapons attack using the nerve agent sarin killed a large number of civilians near Damascus on 21 August. Although the team’s report does not discuss who was responsible for the attack, it includes information on the rockets used to deliver the sarin that some countries say implicates the Syrian government.U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who received the report yesterday from team leader and Swedish scientist Åke Sellström, said today at a press conference: “The findings are beyond doubt and beyond the pale. This is a war crime. … It is the most significant confirmed use of chemical weapons against civilians since Saddam Hussein used them in Halabja in 1988,” an attack that killed at least 3200 Kurds. (U.S. officials say 1400 people died in the recent Syrian attack.) But Ban stopped short of assigning blame, saying that was not the mission of the U.N. team.The group, which included experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, visited the Ghouta suburb of Damascus between 26 August and 29 August. Their 38-page report (including appendices) contains sections on environmental samples such as soil and swipes from rockets; interviews with more than 50 survivors and with medical staff members; and blood, urine, and hair samples from survivors. Chemical testing on the biological and environmental samples was done by four OPCW-designated labs in Finland, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland.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 survivors’ symptoms, sometimes still evident up to a week after the attack, included those typical of exposure to organophosphates such as sarin: loss of consciousness, shortness of breath, and blurred vision, for example. Tests of biological samples from survivors showed “definitive evidence of exposure to sarin” for most. And the majority of environmental samples, including rocket fragments, tested positive for sarin or its degradation products.The team’s conclusion: “Chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, also against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale. In particular, the environmental, chemical and medical samples we have collected, provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used … in the Ghouta area of Damascus. This result leaves us with the deepest concern.”The report’s appendices include drawings and photos of rockets used to deliver the sarin. At the press conference, ambassadors to the United Nations from the United Kingdom, the United States, and France said that these details, and others described by Sellström in a briefing to the U.N. Security Council this morning, reinforce their previous assertions that only the Syrian regime could have launched the attack. For example, a single warhead could hold 56 liters of nerve agent, a large amount; the quality of the sarin was higher than Saddam Hussein’s sarin; and the rocket type had apparently been used in the past by the regime but not by the Syrian rebels.Ralf Trapp, an arms control expert in Chessenaz, France, says that he finds the combination of weapons evidence convincing, too, as well as the fact—noted in the U.N. inspector’s report—that the rockets were launched early on a morning when the air was moving toward the ground, which meant the gas sank to the bottom of buildings and had greater effect. “That all points to a weapon that came from a military program, used by units that understand and have training in chemical warfare operations,” Trapp says. “On balance,” he adds, a scenario involving Syrian government use of the weapons “is the more likely.”Russia and the United States agreed over the weekend to a plan to allow U.N. inspectors to secure Syria’s chemical weapons and destroy them by the middle of next year, a process that would be overseen by the OPCW.last_img read more

Bats May Be Carrying the Next SARS Pandemic

first_imgIn November 2002, a deadly new virus emerged suddenly in the south of China. In less than a year, the disease it caused, known as SARS, spread to 33 countries, sickening more than 8000 people and killing more than 700. Then it disappeared. Now, researchers say, they have for the first time isolated a closely related virus from bats in China that can infect human cells. “This shows, that right now in China, there are bats carrying a virus that can directly infect people, and cause another SARS pandemic,” says Peter Daszak, one of the authors and president of EcoHealth Alliance in New York City.Scientists have long suspected bats to be the natural reservoir for coronaviruses such as the one responsible for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). The animals have been identified as the source of many dangerous viruses, such as Nipah and Hendra, and have also been linked to Ebola and the new coronavirus causing a SARS-like illness, dubbed MERS. In 2005, Daszak and others found viral DNA closely resembling the SARS virus in three species of Chinese horseshoe bats. However, while the sequences of those viral genomes were 88% to 92% identical with that of the SARS coronavirus, they showed marked differences in a region coding for the so-called spike protein. In the SARS virus, this protein binds to a receptor on the surface of human cells mediating its entry. The differences meant that the bat viruses would not be able to infect human cells. And because some palm civets were found to carry a virus almost identical to the human SARS virus, most researchers have come to believe that SARS spread from bats to civets—probably in a Chinese market, where these and other animals come into close contact—and then to humans.Now, new research suggests that civets may not be necessary to start a SARS pandemic. For more than a year, scientists from China, Australia, and the United States collected anal swabs or fecal samples from horseshoe bats at a cave in Kunming, in the south of China. They found coronavirus RNA in 27 of 117 sampled animals. Among the viruses were two new strains of coronavirus that resemble the SARS strain more closely than those previously identified in bats, especially in the part of the genome coding for the important spike protein. The scientists also managed to isolate live virus from one of the animals. In experiments, reported online today in Nature, they showed that the virus infected pig and bat kidney cells, and perhaps more important, cells lining the human lung.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 new results cannot resolve whether the original SARS virus moved directly from bats into humans or via an intermediate host, says Columbia University virologist Ian Lipkin, who was not involved in the work. But it shows that a similar coronavirus “has the potential to infect people without an intermediate host.”That should be a warning to everyone, Daszak says. Even if the SARS virus did jump to humans via civets, that intermediate stop was not necessary, he argues. Bats are still hunted and eaten in large numbers in China, he notes with concern. “I think people should stop hunting bats and stop eating bats.”But Michael Osterholm, director at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, says scientists should be careful to distinguish between what is possible and what is likely in nature. Bat rabies, for instance, readily infects human tissue, and many bats carry the virus, he says. “If that was enough for transmission we should all be dying of bat rabies in the U.S.” But the virus can be transmitted only if an infected bat bites a human. That rarely happens and there are very few cases of bat rabies in the United States.Christian Drosten, a coronavirus expert at the University of Bonn in Germany, also cautions against overinterpreting the results. Laboratory experiments do not necessarily mean that the virus can actually infect human beings, he says. “Receptor studies and cell culture aren’t everything. You would have to take this virus and see in an animal experiment whether it can, for instance, infect a primate.”What fascinates Drosten most about the paper is a parallel to the coronavirus causing MERS, an illness that was first reported in the Middle East in 2012 and has killed 62 people so far. That virus has also been shown to infect various species’ cells in cell culture. “We thought that was a special characteristic of MERS, but now this virus shows a similar pattern,” Drosten says. That suggests that the coronaviruses present in bats and other animals differ in ways that may make them more or less likely to jump to humans. In trying to predict future pandemics, such characteristics may guide virologists to the pathogens most likely to cause a pandemic, he hopes, and may one day help prevent another SARS pandemic from happening.last_img read more

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, hospital join forces to develop cancer drugs

first_imgThe famed Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) on Long Island, New York, a bastion of basic biomedical research, is making a major foray into more applied drug development. Today the lab and North Shore-LIJ Health System, a local hospital system, announced a new alliance and a more than $120 million investment aimed at moving basic cancer discoveries into the clinic.The alliance does not mean that CSHL is moving away from basic research, says Bruce Stillman, CSHL CEO and President. “Our discovery science has placed us as one of the leading research institutions in the world,” and “I want to keep it at that level,” he says. But the lab also wants to turn those discoveries into drugs. It found an “ideal marriage” with North Shore-LIJ, which has 16,000 new cancer patients each year in the New York City area and wanted to expand its academic clinical research, he says. “This will provide a substantial amount of funding to do the translational cancer research that we have been doing on a shoestring budget,” Stillman says.The not-for profit CSHL, which turns 125 this year, has a $145 million budget and 600 researchers and technical staff who study cancer, neuroscience, plant biology, and quantitative biology. The lab has long had a National Cancer Institute–designated Cancer Center where work using genomics, RNAi screens, and mouse models has yielded important cancer drug targets. But until now the lab has relied largely on pharmaceutical companies to develop those findings into treatments. “This will take it to a different level” with the alliance’s researchers validating targets, developing protocols, and conducting early stage clinical trials, Stillman says.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(*)However, “we’re not pretending we’re going to become a full-service pharmaceutical company,” Stillman says. The lab expects to use outside contracting research organizations for steps such as screening small molecules and conducting medical chemistry.North Shore-LIJ will recruit a new head for its cancer institute, who will also be on the faculty of CSHL. The lab also plans to hire more clinician-scientists like David Tuveson, a pancreatic cancer researcher recruited 4 years ago from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute in the United Kingdom, who is now deputy director of CSHL’s Cancer Center. Tuveson and Stillman say the new venture aims to emulate the Institute of Cancer Research in London, where basic and clinical researchers worked together on the early development of drugs such as PARP inhibitors, which target cancers with defects in DNA repair, and abiraterone, used to treat prostate cancer. “The idea is to take our scientific approach into early stage clinical studies,” an area that is not well supported by either federal funding or drug companies, Tuveson says.The two partners are not disclosing the source of the initial $120 million. But Stillman notes that private donors and foundations contributed $22 million for a preclinical therapeutics development facility that CSHL began building in 2013.Stillman says the new venture will not compromise CSHL’s basic research. Despite more than a decade of flat budgets at the National Institutes of Health, CSHL’s federal funding is up and the lab is two-thirds of the way toward a goal of raising $250 million largely for its endowment to support basic research. Nor does the lab have any plans to trim its meetings and courses program that hosts gatherings such as The Biology of Genomes, one of the genomics field’s most important meetings. “Cold Spring Harbor’s identity is not going to change,” Stillman says.*Correction, 2 April, 1:25 p.m.: David Tuveson’s previous affiliation has been corrected.last_img read more

India’s cricket stars aghast at Smith punishment

first_imgIndia’s star cricketers have been astounded at the treatment meted out to former Australian captain Steve Smith that left him tearfully apologising for cheating in a Test match.The cricket establishment in India, the sport’s financial powerhouse, has avoided any public comment about the scandal engulfing Australia. “Fears run deep about any potential changes to the game that earns so much,” said one official.Read it at Sports24 Related Itemslast_img

Crackdown on illegal firework units in Punjab

first_imgDays after 23 lives were lost at an illegal fire-cracker unit in Batala, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered a state-wide crackdown on all illegal fire cracker manufacturing units operating in congested areas.The CM directed the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police to take immediate steps to close such illegal units and also take precautionary measures to ensure that such unfortunate accidents do no occur in future. Capt. Amarinder, said the government will not allow anyone to carry on such illegal activities in densely populated areas. risking lives and property. Talking to journalists, he said that he had already ordered a magisterial probe. When asked about a similar event in 2017, he said that since the incident had happened two months before he took over in March 2017, a separate enquiry will be initiated simultaneously.last_img read more