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NC warns JK govt of bad consequences over passage of GST bill

first_imgThe Jammu and Kashmir government was warned by the main opposition party in the state, the National Conference (NC) of severe consequences if it implemented the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in its present form, saying the party would not accept the new tax regime till adequate safeguards were put in place. “Our position is that till we get the constitutional, administrative and economic safeguards, NC will not accept the GST…They (government) should not do it (implement GST in its present form). But if they still do it, they will have to face the consequences,” said senior NC leader, Abdul Rahim Rather. Rather, accompanied by party state spokesperson Junaid Mattu, was addressing a press conference. Mattu said the party would safeguard the special status of Jammu and Kashmir as guaranteed under Article 370 of the Constitution. “We will do everything we can to safeguard it. If they (government) still are adamant to apply GST in its present form), we will explore other options to fight,” he said. Hitting out at Finance Minister, Haseeb Drabu’s statement that the state Assembly was likely to pass the GST bill by July 6, Rather asked if the government had made up its mind, adding, “what is the fun of calling a special session of the legislature?”last_img read more

Maharashtra govt formation: An ‘illegitimate formation’ that would ‘self-destruct,’ says Ahmed Patel

first_imgCongress leader Ahmed Patel on Saturday called the early-morning swearing-in of the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister and NCP’s Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra an “illegitimate formation” that would “self-destruct”.The Congress was in for a surprise when, after negotiations between the three allies till late in the night, Mr Pawar joined hands with the BJP. The three sides were scheduled to meet on Saturday to tie up the last remaining loose ends. Mr Patel, along with general secretary in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge and general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal, was holding the negotiations on behalf of the Congress. “Illegal and evil manoeuvres take place in the secrecy of midnight. Such was the shame that they had to do the swearing-in in hiding. This illegitimate formation will self-destruct,” Mr Patel said in a tweet. A candid admission of the Congress’s cluelessness was made by party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi. “Surreal, what I read about Maharashtra. Thought it was fake news,” he said, within minutes of the announcement. He added that his personal view was that the tripartite negotiations should not have gone on for more than three days. Congress communication in-charge Randeep Surjewala called it a blatant betrayal of the mandate.last_img read more

PLDT scores Grand Prix stunner over F2 Logistics

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPLDT Home Fibr pulled the rug from under F2 Logistics, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, Saturday night in a stunning result that underscored its intention in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.Kendra Dahlke and Grace Lazard finally got the hang of their teammates and joined hands to lift the Power Hitters, who registered their sixth win in 10 games and moved third in the standings.ADVERTISEMENT PLDT setter Jasmine Nabor said her teammates have started to blend well, especially the two imports, after struggling early in the conference.“I think now we are starting to trust each other and that makes us execute our game plans better,” said Nabor in Filipino. “That’s the difference in this game; we knew that we could rely on each other.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsDahlke had 19 points, while Lazard had 18, but they were far from the sole contributors for the squad. Aiko Urdas and Joyce Sta. Rita contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, for PLDT.F2 Logistics relied on Lindsay Stalzer, who had 21 points and Ara Galang and Becky Perry who made 11 and 10, respectively. But a lethargic start prevented the Cargo Movers from getting their rhythm as the Power Hitters dealt them their second defeat in nine matches.Tied at one set apiece, PLDT regrouped and regained composure to take an 8-0 lead en route to a key third set victory.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Google Philippines names new country director PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Lakay’s Loman wipes out foe’s smile; Dy triumphs View commentslast_img read more

3 can-bombs recovered in Jharkhand

first_imgKhunti (Jharkhand), Mar 16 (PTI) Security personnel today recovered three can-bombs from Bokod village under Rania police station in naxal-hit Khunti district.The bombs were found hidden in a road side ditch, Superintendent of Police Anish Gupta said.The recovery was made during a search operation launched jointly by CRPF and district armed police force in the naxal-affected areas.Gupta said the explosives, weighing 20 kgs each, have been defused by the bomb disposal squad. PTI COR BS NN SMNlast_img read more

Jack Dorsey Named Twitter CEO; Employees Approve

first_imgToday Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced he will permanently lead the company once again as CEO. Dorsey has been acting as interim CEO for the past three months after former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down amidst frustration from Wall Street with his leadership.In the short time that Dorsey served as interim CEO, he has gained support from employees. In fact, Dorsey received an impressive 100% CEO approval rating from Twitter employees who had shared their opinions on Glassdoor (rating based on 37 reviews, as of 10/5/15).After founding Twitter in 2006, Dorsey left the company in 2009 to found Square, the popular mobile payment app. As of now, he also remains the CEO of Square with a 97% approval rate, according to Square employees (based on 117 reviews, as of 10/5/15).Below are some of the recent company reviews Twitter employees left on Glassdoor prior to Dorsey’s move from interim CEO to permanent CEO. While many employees praise Dorsey for his transparent and motivational leadership, others have noted the impact of lackluster senior leadership within the company. “After Dick C.’s departure, management seems to have really rallied around one another, which is my view is 100 percent attributable to Jack’s leadership and moral authority.” – Twitter Director (San Francisco, CA)  “The hardest part is actually fighting the media’s portrayal of Twitter, our MAU, and our leadership. I feel like they’re trying to undermine a good thing, but ultimately, the open communication within the company helps dispel the lies.” – Twitter Solutions Engineer (San Francisco, CA)“I have watched Twitter flap for over a year with little progress, and now, understandably, investors are becoming angry. Costolo served as a scapegoat for Wall Street, but the truth is that he was very capable, and will be difficulty to replace.” –Twitter Software Engineer (San Francisco, CA)“Residual chaos from the early days (Ev and Jack management). Some really terrible bad apples still in the company.” – Twitter Employee (location, n/a)“Would like to see Jack have a much more public presence, he’s a cool guy and can do a lot to promote Twitter.” – Twitter Data Scientist (San Francisco, CA)“Figure out the CEO situation, but make sure it’s someone that can keep employees motivated as well as Jack Dorsey. An internal source may be preferable to an external source in that respect.” – Twitter Software Engineer (San Francisco, CA)For comparison, below are insights from Square employees about Dorsey and the senior leadership team:“Jack’s passion for helping businesses and changing commerce. It can be very inspiring.” – Square Employee (location, n/a)“Jack’s leadership is inspiring. I trust him to have clear intention for the business, but also care what’s happening inside the company. I feel like I can approach him and question how decisions were made, or why we do things the way we do.” – Square Employee (location, n/a)“Executive team leadership is disorganized and lacks the vision and innovation that made this company what it is. They are running Square as if it was Google and they can’t seem to understand they are two totally different types of companies.” – Square Employee (San Francisco, CA)“Immature leadership has been an ongoing theme for my entire tenure. It’s been a problem at every level of leadership from executive on down at some point or another. On the other hand – I think this is to be expected of a company this age and size, and is usually course-corrected eventually.” – Square Software Engineer (San Francisco, CA)It’s also important to note that well over the majority of Twitter employees (77%) and Square employees (84%) believe business will improve in the next six months (as of 10/5/15).What do you think about Dorsey as a leader of both Twitter and Square?Do you work at Twitter or Square? Share a company review.last_img read more

How to Explain Your Reasons for Leaving a Job

first_img How to Answer Honestly — Without Losing the Opportunity Learn More! What if you’re leaving because you got fired? If this is the case, first, you must know exactly what you can and can’t say per your arrangement with your former employer. Check with your HR department to see how the company will represent the situation and what policies it may have in place for disclosing any information; you can’t violate those policies at all, or else you risk financial penalty.Then, be honest — but not to a fault. For example, instead of saying “I was fired,” you can use a softer phrase such as “I was let go” or “the company and I decided to part ways.” Then, make sure you have a brief explanation of what happened.Consider saying something like the following in an interview:“Unfortunately, I couldn’t live and breathe the product line, and it made it difficult for me to translate the value to new customers. I now understand that wasn’t the right fit for me, and what I’m really interested in is XYZ.”“I did not have the right skill set to succeed in that kind of role, so now I’m considering opportunities that would play better to my strengths — such as XYZ.”Whatever the issue, you must be able to explain the problem, highlight what you’ve learned and assure the hiring manager that it won’t happen again.In any situation, it doesn’t benefit you at all to speak ill of your past employer. You still need to come off as grateful for your opportunities and show that you left with strong relationships and a good attitude. Be careful with your language, as words can be a delicate yet powerful tool! The question of why you’re leaving your job might seem invasive or unnecessary, but there are actually very good reasons that hiring managers ask it. For one, hiring managers want to see if your answer aligns with what else you’ve revealed during your interview. For example, if you say you’re leaving in order to make more money, but later on say that you’re not motivated by your salary, an employer will see that your answers don’t align — and that you might have a tendency to stretch the truth.Of course, a hiring manager is also asking to see if you’re a fit for the job. For example, if you say you left your company because the schedule was inflexible, but the position for which you’re applying doesn’t offer any flexibility, you may not be a fit for this exact job.And finally, interviewers are often looking for red flags when they ask this question. Someone saying they left their job because their boss was a total jerk could be an indicator that they are difficult to work with or, at the very least, a bit crude in their communications. Keep It Short and Sweet 5 Good Reasons for Leaving a Job — and 5 Bad Ones How to Explain Being Fired Being “laid off” is often circumstantial, as business cycles and trends will dictate the workforce. Whether you’ve been laid off after three months, or 30 years, the same principles still apply!Be factual: If the facts are credible, you should be able to easily articulate them. “Don’t get too emotional, show frustration or villainize someone,” says Alan Zel of Zel Human Capital. Rather, focus on what you’ve learned from your past, and how you can apply that successfully to your future. Say something along these lines as a jumping-off point for your conversation:“There was a restructure within the organization and unfortunately, my role was impacted.”“The business was going through changes, and there was no longer enough work to sustain my position.”Layoffs are an unfortunate reality beyond our control, and most hiring managers will be understanding of that.center_img Why Interviewers Want to Know Your Reasons for Leaving a Job How to Explain a Layoff Whatever you do, you don’t want to ramble when you answer this question. There may be multiple answers to this question, but by going on and on, you could lose your potential employer’s attention, or worse, accidentally say the wrong thing because you got caught up.Instead, practice a short and sweet response to this question ahead of time. Practice it until it becomes second nature. By rehearsing a response, you can deliver it with confidence and convey that you’ve invested ample time preparing for the interview. As long as you don’t sound robotic in your recitation, you’ll be fine. Looking for some more examples of what you should — and shouldn’t — say? Look no further.Good Reasons for Leaving a JobRelocation: “My partner got an incredible job offer in Denver, and while I enjoy my current job, I want to move with her to allow her to explore this new opportunity.”Following your passion: “I’ve always wanted to join an innovative, early-stage startup like this one, so when I saw you had a relevant role opening up, I knew I had to apply!”Upward mobility: “After five years and a couple of promotions at my current company, I’ve realized that the growth opportunities from here on out are limited. I’m hoping to find a new job that will help me develop new skills and move into a management position.”Transitioning roles: “I’ve worked in sales for some time now, but I’ve realized in the last year that what I’m most interested in is marketing. I’m looking for a company that will help support this career transition.”Culture fit: “Working at a Fortune 500 company has given me incredible experience, but it’s also made me realize that I prefer to work at a smaller organization where I can have more of a direct impact.”Bad Reasons for Leaving a JobInsults or complaints: “My boss is a total control freak.”Boredom: “To be honest, I get pretty antsy any time I stay at a company for more than a couple of years.”Want an easier job: “My current job is pretty intense. I’m looking forward to a job where I won’t have to work so hard all the time.”Want more money: “My boyfriend and I are moving to a nice new apartment which my current salary can’t support.”Poor performance: “I missed quota the past couple of quarters in a row, so I’m trying to find a new job before they let me go.” If you’re not leaving your job because you can’t wait to escape your current boss or because you hate your company, you have little to fear. In this case, you might say, “I really like the company I’m with, but they know I’m looking to pivot my career in a different direction, and they don’t have any relevant openings.” Why? This answer sends the message that you’ve addressed your career aspirations to your employer, which shows a potential employer you are communicative and transparent — two plusses!But if you’re leaving your position because there isn’t enough money in the world to make you stay — whatever the problem may be — you have to find a way to answer the question honestly without coming off as a complainer, or someone quick to jump ship. So, instead of pointing out what you hate about your current company, consider framing your answer as, “my goals and the company’s goals aren’t aligned.” It’s honest, but vague enough to be safe. If pushed, you can share an anecdote about a difference you had with your employer, but be sure to communicate that you and your boss maintain a civil, respectful relationship.And no matter what you do, don’t trash your previous company or your boss — if you do, the interviewer might suspect that you would do the same thing to them! Now that you can answer this question with confidence, here are some other resources that will help you as you leave your job and search for a new one.How to Quit Your JobHow to Address Being Fired or Laid Off in Your Next Interview6 Anecdotes You Need to Rehearse Before Your Next Interview4 Good Reasons to Quit Your JobAvoid a High-Stress Job By Asking These 3 Interview Questions6 Ways To Leave Your Job On Good TermsThe 8 Questions You’ll Be Asked in Nearly Every Job Interview11 Things To Never Say in a Job Interviewlast_img read more

AC Milan legend Sacchi: Donnarumma lost my respect

first_imgAC Milan legend Arrigo Sacchi is shocked by the attitude of Gigio Donnarumma.Donnarumma rejected Milan’s contract offer last week.”I used to respect Donnarumma as a lad and as a player, but I was stunned by the lack of gratitude towards Milan,” wrote Sacchi in La Gazzetta dello Sport.“This decision makes me doubt not just his personal integrity, but also what his future career will hold.“I want to remind him of all those who put money before all else, for example Kaka and Shevchenko, who left Milan for Real Madrid and Chelsea only to later bitterly regret it.”last_img read more

Neymar admits he’d welcome Marco Verratti to Barcelona

first_imgNeymar admits he’d welcome PSG midfielder Marco Verratti to Barcelona.Only an agreement between Barca and PSG is reportedly standing in the way of Verratti moving to Camp Nou.“Verratti? I’d like to see him at Barcelona, he’s a great player with incredible technical quality,” he told Sport.“He has the right profile and characteristics to play with us at Barca.“If the deal was to go through, I’m sure the whole team would welcome him because he’s an impressive player.”last_img read more

Liverpool legend Johnston: Coutinho just pure perfection

first_imgLiverpool legend Craig Johnston is a big fan of Philippe Coutinho.Coutinho, who is readying himself for his fifth full season at Anfield, has cemented himself as a key man for Jürgen Klopp’s team.Discussing the No.10, Johnston told Liverpoolfc.com: “Philippe Coutinho is an absolute jewel in the crown.”Not only does he have the clever bits, the genius, but he has the running mentality – he keeps running and keeps running.”He’s the best of both worlds. This boy is so nice off the field as well, I met him in America when Brazil were playing.”He’s just perfection, there’s nothing wrong with any of his make-up. He’s as good as it gets in a football package [because of] his mentality as well.”last_img read more

​Stoke chairman Coates backs ‘resilent’ Hughes

first_imgStoke City chief Peter Coates backs manager Mark Hughes to guide the Potters to another productive campaign.City claimed a decent 13th place finish in the Premier League last season but Mark Hughes’ side did come under a lot of criticism from the fans for their poor end to the campaign.But Coates is in no doubt that the Welsh manager remains the right man to guide the Potters towards further progression during the upcoming campaign.Coates told The Sentinel: “He’s a resilient and experienced guy, he knows what this game is about. I’ve no doubt that he will want to show Stoke City supporters, and football in general, what he can do.”He’s a highly professional, proud man, one who is very committed to his job, and he wants to do well, like we all do. These were the qualities that attracted us to him in the first place four years ago and we’ve seen nothing since to change that view.”He’s been a manager for a long time now, so he’s been round the block and he knows as well as anyone that you get ups and downs in football.”last_img read more

Aquadots and Oil Spills: “Packaging” your message this holiday

first_imgThis is a great photo from the Dogwood Alliance.Here’s the story behind it. During the MarketingProfs Book Club, I posed this question to all the savvy marketers in the club:One of the points I made in the book is that good marketers seek open-minded moments for delivering their message — moments when people are in a time, place or state of mind when our message is most relevant and attractive. Nonprofits, because of their limited budgets, can make their promotion dollars go further if they spend them on open-minded moments. Better to concentrate and inundate with a message than to “spray and pray.”So here’s my question. It seems this holiday, we might have some kind of open-minded moment for charities that protect our health, products and environment. Aquadots, toxic Barbies, Bay Area oil spills and global warming are prompting consumers to think more consciously about how they spend their money in the store. How can charities also gain attention at a time like this?I got a great response from Scot from the Dogwood Alliance:An example from our organization during the holiday season… We are currently running a campaign to tackle the packaging problem. The average American throws out 300 lbs of packaging per year. We our wasting our natural resources and degrading our environment to make packaging that is not even an integral part of the actual product.So this holiday season, we are running a contest asking people to submit photos of over-packaging during the holidays. We will create a slide show of the photos that we post on line and ask our audience to vote on the best ones.For us, this is a great way to raise awareness about an important issue, tap into the holidays and have fun… a win-win-win combo (we hope!).The above picture is last year’s winner. And it’s a winning example of using open-minded moments.This holiday, if your organization has anything to do with safety, health or the environment, tap into consumer and media attention to these issues with some timely tie-ins. As I like to say, it’s easier to attach your cause to something that has buzz rather than trying to generate buzz for your cause.last_img read more

How to Check Your Website on Different Browsers

first_imgCross-browser compatibility has long been a frustration for website designers. What looks fine in one browser may be more or less “broken” in another, with sidebars shifted and elements overlapping… But does it really matter, how your website looks in different browsers, in the big picture of what your organization is trying to accomplish with an online presence?Yes.Browser compatibility is about much more than a pretty presentation, although the importance of a professional-looking design should not be downplayed. Sometimes, the effects of how different browsers interpret the code for a web page are so pronounced that your website can be difficult to navigate for users of one browser or another. It can become less inviting, if not downright unusable, for a whole section of your potential audience.Ensuring that your website works for the maximum number of visitors is always a priority. That’s why Wild Apricot software was just updated to be compatible with the newly released Firefox version 3 – which recorded a stunning 8 million downloads in 24 hours – and why usability guru Jakob Neilsen keeps a sharp eye on browser adoption trends since 1999.To check how your website will perform on different operating systems, at different screen resolutions, and in various version of each available web browser – if that seems like a daunting task, it can be! Fortunately, we’ve come a long way from the days of asking friends with different browsers to check a website for us.Browsershots.org is a free open-source online service for testing your website design in different browsers and on different operating systems. You enter the web address of your site, select the browsers for which you’d like to see screenshots, and join the job queue.Bookmark the page – there’s no option for getting the results by email – and you can reload it later to view your screenshots online and/or download the created screenshot images as a (compressed) zip file.Tip: It may be tempting to select All for testing at Browsershots, but I’d advise against it – it’s a considerable drain on the service’s resources, takes a lot of time, runs the risk of creating errors or timing out in mid-job… and more to the point, for most purposes it isn’t necessary to test your site in every permutation. Use a good free web stats tracker such as Google Analytics to look at which operating systems, screen resolutions, and browser versions are actually in use by your visitors, and start your testing there. You can always run more browser checks later, if you determine that SeaMonkey 1.1 is a hot browser with your particular audience.Browsershots is arguably the most comprehensive free tool of its kind – thanks to volunteers who run more than 100 computers to create the screenshots. If the time taken to create screenshots is more than you can spare, $15 can buy you a month of priority processing which bumps your job to the head of the job queue.Total Validator is a good free HTML validation service that has proved itself useful to catch coding errors, broken links, and so on – and now includes the option to check your page in any of 32 browsers across Windows, Linux and OS/X. When I tested Total Validator’s browser check feature this week, however, I received an error message on three of four tries. It is a relatively new feature, so perhaps there are still a few bugs to be worked out – or perhaps I simply hit a time of peak load on the service. And I have not yet tested the desktop version of the tool.There are also a number of excellent commercial services for testing your website’s cross-browser compatibility.LitmusApp, for one, comes highly recommended by several designers I know who use it for checking email newsletters as well as website designs. There is a free plan, but it only includes Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2. To test your site in all 23 browsers supported by the service, you’ll need to move up to a 24-hour pass ($24) or single-user subscription ($49 per month).Browsercam does an excellent job of checking the cross-browser functioning of any dynamic elements of your website – forms, javascript navigation, etc. – and the 24-hour free trial will give you up to a maximum of 200 screen captures. Basic “web capture” plans start at $20 for one day, or $60 per month; another $10 per month adds “device capture” for checking how your site appears on web-enabled mobiles and PDAs.And here’s a real bargain if you’re primarily interested in ensuring compatibility for Mac OS/X users who come to your website, $3 will buy 2 days of Browsrcamp service. “This is the easiest way to test every aspect of your website on Mac, including Javascript, DHTML, Ajax, Flash, etc.,” the service says, with 11 Mac browsers supported. Apple Safari screenshots of your website are free.When you know how your website looks and works for all of your visitors – not just those who use the same browser – you can better decide what steps to take to correct any discrepancies. Which cross-browser differences are mission-critical errors, and which are merely cosmetic? If Internet Explorer 6 doesn’t render your web page exactly as you see it in Opera 9.5, that may be okay. The question is whether your audience can use your website as intended, regardless of the technology they use to view it.Source: This is article is taken from the Wild Apricot nonprofit technology blog, and can also be viewed on their website.last_img read more

Mother’s Day: Save the Children Publishes the Eleventh State of the World’s Mother’s Report

first_imgPosted on May 10, 2010Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In honor of Mother’s Day, Save the Children published the eleventh State of the World’s Mothers report. The focus of the report is on the shortage of health workers around the world who are needed to improve the health and save the lives of mothers, newborns and children in developing countries. The report focuses specifically on the shortage of female health workers—and points out that many women in developing countries cite lack of female health care providers as the main reason they choose not to seek care.Click here to read the announcement of the report with several highlights–including country comparisons across various maternal and child health indicators.Click here for the interactive version of the report.Click here to watch a video summary of the report.Click here to read the full report.Click here for the executive summary of the report.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

USAID Maternal Health Technical Series: The Effects of Removing User Fees on Caesareans in Mali

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: All are invited. More details and RSVP information are available here.Share this: Marianne El-Khoury, MPA, MA, Associate/Economist, USAID/Health Systems 20/20 ProjectLaurel Hatt, MPH, PhD, Senior Associate/Health Economist, USAID/Health Systems 20/20 Project Wednesday, April 27 201112:30-1:30 PMRonald Reagan Building R. 2.09 d/e Despite more than a decade of health sector reforms, Mali’s maternal mortality ratio remains high, with 464 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. In an effort to increase access to skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetric care, the government of Mali in 2005 removed user fees for caesareans in all public sector facilities. This study examines the effects of the policy on access to caesareans, assesses equity of utilization of caesarean services across socioeconomic groups, and identifies important remaining access barriers.The authors find that while caesarean rates have increased since 2005, about 24% of women receiving caesareans belong to the poorest third of the population while as high as 49% belong to the wealthiest third, suggesting that barriers to access remain among the most economically disadvantaged population. Transportation barriers and drug costs are among the most significant remaining obstacles.The paper is available here. The effects of removing user fees on access to life-saving maternal health services: The case of caesareans in Mali Posted on April 18, 2011August 17, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)You are invited to the USAID Maternal Health Technical Series:last_img read more

State of the World’s Mothers Report: The “Best” and “Worst” Places To Be a Mother

first_imgPosted on May 9, 2012June 21, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Save the Children‘s thirteenth State of the World’s Mothers report was released yesterday–providing a ranking of the “best” and “worst” places to be a mother, based on various indicators such as lifetime risk of maternal death, number of years of formal schooling, maternity leave benefits, access to safe water, under 5 mortality rate, and many others. The report, titled Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days: The State of the World’s Mothers 2012, takes a close look at the role of nutrition during the period from the start of a mother’s pregnancy through her child’s second birthday, the first 1,000 days.Save the Children’s thirteenth State of the World’s Mothers report shows Niger as the worst place to be a mother in the world — replacing Afghanistan for the first time in two years. Norway comes in at first place. The Best and Worst Places to Be a Mom ranking, which compares 165 countries around the globe, looks at factors such as a mother’s health, education and economic status, as well as critical child indicators such as health and nutrition. This year, the United States ranks 25th.While the ranking is fascinating, it is worth digging deeper into this report–where you will uncover surprise success stories that don’t show up in the “best” and “worst” lists. For example:Solomon Islands is one of the least developed countries in the world, yet it performs very well on early nutrition indicators, demonstrating that a strong policy environment and individual adoption of lifesaving nutrition practices can matter more than national wealth when it comes to saving children’s lives. Within an hour after birth, 75 percent of babies in Solomon Islands are put to the breast.Read more about the case of Solomon Islands on Page 29 in the report.Be sure to also take a look at the section on the state of maternal malnutrition. (Page 16)Many children are born undernourished because their mothers are undernourished. As much as half of all child stunting occurs in utero, underscoring the critical importance of better nutrition for women and girls. In most developing countries, the nutritional status of women and girls is compromised by the cumulative and synergistic effects of many risk factors. These include: limited access to food, lack of power at the household level, traditions and customs that limit women’s consumption of certain nutrient-rich foods, the energy demands of heavy physical labor, the nutritional demands of frequent pregnancies and breastfeeding, and the toll of frequent infections with limited access to health care.Read the full report here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Can Women Deliver a New Development Agenda in 2015?

first_imgPosted on June 4, 2013March 6, 2017By: Schuyler Null, Editor, New Security BeatClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is part of a series of posts about the recent Women Deliver 2013 conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.The disempowerment of women and girls is the single biggest driver of inequality today, said Helen Clark, administrator of the UN Development Program, during a plenary on the final day here at the Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, where more than 4,500 people from 149 countries and 2,200 organizations gathered to discuss women’s health, equity, and international development.But there has been significant progress in the last 20 years: “Millions of lives have been improved, and millions of lives have been saved” due to the sexual and reproductive health and rights framework established by the first International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994, said Crown Princess Mary of Denmark speaking during the morning plenary.Kavita Ramdas, the Ford Foundation’s representative in New Delhi, called the global struggle for gender equality the largest and most consequential in history. Women and girls should ensure that in striving for equality, they approach the world differently – shape it to your vision, she urged the attendees.The Drive to 2015So where should advocates for women focus their energies going forward? Clark hammered home the importance of speaking up to shape the new global development agenda that will replace the Millennium Developments Goals (MDGs) in 2015. The process has three tracks: a high-level UN working group appointed by the Secretary-General, which just launched a new report; an open UN working group that meets regularly in New York; and of course input from the member states, which will ultimately approve or reject any proposal.“Thus, advocacy for sexual and reproductive health rights, gender equality, and girls’ and women’s empowerment will need to be maintained at a high level for close to two more years,” Clark said. “I hope that the energy emanating from this conference will help make that possible.”Fortunately, said Clark paraphrasing Hillary Clinton, “investing in women is not only the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do.” As Karen Grépin and Jeni Klugman made clear in their report launched at Women Deliver, investing in girls and women can pay huge economic dividends for families and societies.“We need to convince decision-makers, especially in this time of financial constraints, that it’s something that they should and can do,” said panelist Tarja Halonen, former president of Finland and co-chair of the UN’s high-level task force on the follow-up to the 1994 ICPD. “You don’t need to choose whether you do right or do smart, you can do both.”Re-Thinking the Framework: A More Holistic, Innovative Agenda“When the evidence is so clear, why is this agenda so far from being completed?” asked Princess Mary, pointing out that globally, the targets of MDG 5 – improve maternal health – are unlikely to be met. The answer lies in part, that “we’ve been using largely the same arguments and rhetoric since Cairo,” she said, “which begs the question of scalability…how can we effectively reach larger targets?”“There has also been a strong call for a more transformational, universal, and holistic agenda which does not place challenges in silos but, rather, recognizes the links between them,” said Clark. For example, under the worst case climate change scenarios, human development will slow and perhaps even reverse in some parts of the world, she said, and the poor and marginalized – of which girls and women represent a disproportionate number – are the most vulnerable to these effects.Similarly, “adolescents and youth are largely missing from the current MDGs,” said Princess Mary, but “we cannot afford to leave this resource untapped.” The freedom to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights allows young people to plan their lives, she said, as expressed in the Bali youth declaration.Many of us feel like we came late to the MDGs and didn’t have a voice in their creation, said Theo Sowa, chief executive officer of the African Women’s Development Fund.“But the real danger will be if we drop the MDGs entirely and start over with a whole new framework,” she continued. “Let’s remember what works, and let’s build on that.”“Let’s be bold,” Sowa urged, pointing out that when you talk to someone making $1 a day, they don’t want to make $2 a day – they want much more. “Let’s be imaginative, let’s be innovative, and let’s work together.”Panelist Karl Hofmann, president and CEO of PSI, emphasized the need to work with those outside the normal audience for gender issues. In order to change people, he said, you have to understand where they’re coming from and connect with them.“I think the vision needs to be ‘this can be done,’” Clark said. “You can help – you can be part of something that brings transformational change.”“We live in important times,” said Halonen, and it’s incumbent on us to, as Ghandi said, “be the change you want to see in the world.”Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

What to do about health care? The conversation on both sides of the aisle

first_imgAccess to quality, affordable health insurance has always been a headline issue for independent workers. In our report, Freelancing in America 2016, we found that despite the Affordable Care Act’s mandate for health insurance, 20% of full-time freelancers are still uninsured.Our study revealed that not only does health insurance remain a top concern, but 67% of freelance workers likely to vote would support a candidate who believes all workers should have benefits regardless of employment status and full-time freelancers rate having health care as the most important benefit to support their work and lifestyle.The next president will have to address the flaws in the Affordable Care Act – including the rising cost for healthcare among individual purchasers. This November, candidates now have the opportunity to court the freelance vote by laying out their plans for a better system.Unfortunately, thus far, candidates and policy makers have not directly addressed the freelance workforce, but, the topic of healthcare has come up. In fact, it was one of the first questions from the audience in the second debate:The Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare, it is not affordable. Premiums have gone up, deductibles have gone up, copays has gone up, prescriptions have gone up and the coverage has gone down. What will you do to bring the cost down and make coverage better?The candidates’ responses represented the party line divide on what to do about the ailing system – and though the direction suggested by each party is different, both perspectives agree that the Affordable Care Act can’t remain in its current iteration.Secretary Clinton noted that, despite its flaws, the Affordable Care Act has made key/ game-changing/ important gains in national healthcare. An additional 20 million Americans are now insured under the ACA – bringing national health insurance coverage to 90% of the population, an all-time high. The ACA has made it illegal to refuse an individual health insurance based on a pre-existing condition, to impose lifetime limits on individuals with serious health problems, and to charge women more for health insurance. Finally, under the ACA, young adults may stay on their parents plan until the age of 26.But, Secretary Clinton agreed that health care for individuals and small businesses above the subsidy level – like many freelancers – is still far too expensive for the kind of coverage it buys. At the debate, she proposed that we “keep what works” from the ACA, and work on improving the rest.One of the ways this could happen is the public option. About one-third of the senate currently supports a government-sponsored health plan, meaning every citizen would have access to a basic level of care – and then be able to purchase customized plans atop that. This would essentially detach the insurance market from employment status and even the playing field for independent workers.On the other side of the aisle, Donald Trump and many conservatives advocate repealing the Affordable Care Act altogether. In scaling back government regulation, the idea is that insurance companies will have more incentive to compete. Donald Trump would strike the requirement that most Americans must health care, open up the sale of insurance across state lines, and encourage the use of health savings accounts among consumers. This strategy would put the health insurance system back in the hands of for-profit companies and undo the above gains of the ACA.One thing is clear, for the majority of freelancers, the current system isn’t working. Health insurance is still too expensive for what it covers and the system forces us to buy one-size-fits all packages that don’t fully meet our needs.At Freelancers Union, we advocate for a portable benefits option that could allow freelancers to have the security they need while moving from job to job and gig to gig. This means delivering affordability, choice, and value to all freelancers when selecting health insurance plans, and continuing to provide subsidies to those who need it.From experience, we know that freelancers benefit from pooling resources and shaping marketplaces to meet their needs. At Freelancers Union, we work to bring members together to help them find the right plans and to build power in markets – and collectively advocate for better health insurance options together. With 55 million Americans freelancing today, we have the power to influence the political conversation and build better systems for the future.If you are seeking new health care during Open Enrollment this fall, please consider purchasing through us. Our site features plans handpicked for freelancers in the New York area from providers like Emblem, Oscar, and CareConnect. When you buy through us, a portion of your purchase goes back to the freelance workforce – at no additional cost to you. That means, the health insurance you have to buy anyway helps to fund a better solution for independent workers like you.A new soul and media geek, Laura writes about community, poetry and pop culture. Find her @Pennyscientist or on Freelancers Union.last_img read more

Updates to the 2017 Tax Code

first_imgResearch & Development Tax Credit — Starting in 2017, businesses with less than $50 million in gross receipts are able to use this credit to offset alternative minimum tax. Certain start-up businesses that might not have any income tax liability will be able to offset payroll taxes with the credit as well. 9. Business tax credit and deduction updates include: Earned Income Tax Credit —For tax year 2017, the maximum earned income tax credit (EITC) for low and moderate income workers and working families rises to $6,318, up from $6,269 in 2016. Every year the tax code changes and for 2017, there are a number of important updates that may affect you and your freelance business. To help you get a handle on them, check out this handy Freelancer Tax Checklist.1. Tax deadlines are changing and they may affect your freelance business. There are new filing dates for certain business entities including:March 15 – Tax returns for partnerships, LLPs or multi-member LLCs are due.April 18 – C-corporation tax returns are due and the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) is, too. There is also a new six month extension for FBAR filings.2. You may have to provide identification with your tax return. In an effort to combat tax-related identity theft, some states are requiring that taxpayers provide either their driver license information or other state-issued identification with their tax return. Although the requirements vary from state to state, don’t be surprised if you need to provide proof of your identity in order to file taxes this year.3. Tax Day remains April 18.This isn’t a change, but just a reminder that you have until April 18 to file your 2016 individual returns and to make your first 2017 estimated tax payment.4. Social Security threshold amounts are rising dramatically for the self-employed.The IRS has raised the “wage base” (a.k.a. the maximum amount of earnings) that will be subject to Social Security taxes in 2017. Compared to the $118,500 cap in 2016 this represents an increase of 7.3%. Self-employed freelancers with $127,200 or more in earnings will be paying more tax—$1,078.80 more, to be exact. For W-2 employees the increase is only half of this amount, since employers pick up half of the Social Security tax bill.5. Take note of these standard deduction changes:The standard deduction for married filing jointly rises to $12,700 for tax year 2017, up $100 from the prior year.For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, the standard deduction rises to $6,350 in 2017, up from $6,300 in 2016.For heads of households, the standard deduction will be $9,350 for tax year 2017, up from $9,300 for tax year 2016.The personal exemption for tax year 2017 remains as it was for 2016: $4,050. However, the exemption is subject to a phase-out that begins with adjusted gross incomes of $261,500 ($313,800 for married couples filing jointly). It phases out completely at $384,000 ($436,300 for married couples filing jointly.)6. The penalty for not maintaining Minimum Essential Health Coverage remains the same.For calendar year 2017, the dollar amount used to determine the penalty for not maintaining minimum essential health coverage is still $695.7. Individual tax credit and deduction updates include: The 50 percent bonus depreciation has been extended through 2019 – Businesses are able to depreciate 50 percent of the cost of equipment acquired and placed in service during 2015, 2016, and 2017. However, the bonus depreciation is reduced to 40 percent in 2018 and 30 percent in 2019. Interest on Educational Loans– In 2017 (as in 2016), the $2,500 maximum deduction for interest paid on student loans is no longer limited to interest paid during the first 60 months of repayment. The deduction is phased out for higher-income taxpayers with modified AGI of more than $65,000 ($135,000 for joint filers). Standard Mileage Rates decrease – The rate for business miles driven is 53.5 cents per mile for 2017, down from 54 cents per mile in 2016. Jonathan Medows is a New York City based CPA specializing in taxes and business issues for freelancers and self-­employed individuals. He offers a free monthly email newsletter covering tax, accounting and business issues via his website, www.cpaforfreelancers.com, which also features a blog, how-­to articles, and a comprehensive tax guide for freelancers. Section 179 Expensing — The Section 179 expense deduction was made permanent at $500,000 by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2016 (PATH). For equipment purchases, the maximum deduction is $510,000 of the first $2,030,000 million of qualifying equipment placed in service during the current tax year. The deduction is phased out dollar for dollar on amounts exceeding the $2 million threshold (adjusted for inflation beginning in tax year 2017) amount and eliminated above amounts exceeding $2.5 million. In addition, Section 179 is now indexed to inflation in increments of $10,000 for future tax years.last_img read more

Working from home? Don’t make this mistake

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.“Can you come and help me with…”It’s a common thing you hear from people around you. In their minds, you’re a freelancer with all the time in the world so why not spending some on their needs, right? You’re screwing around on that stupid laptop anyway.I bet the following conversation will sound familiar to every freelancer who has worked from home:“Hey man! Where have you been? What you’re doing?”“At home, working.”“C’mon…stop being ridiculous. You said it yourself that you are now free as a bird. Who you’re kiddin’?”THUS, THE PREMISEA freelancer’s appearance as available at all freakin’ times to his or her closest social environment has been created by that same freelancer.In our arrogance to show how much smarter we are than those who are still busting their backs from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, we brag about our flexible schedule, incomes that far exceed even the most lucrative salaries, and the abundance of free time.All people hear is FREE TIME!In reality, we have far less free time than our peers who are still a 9-5 employee.How come?Because we are always seeking for something more! Aside from the never-ending search for new contracts, we are always on a lookout for the gold mine(s) which will ultimately set us free and automate our incomes once and for all.That spells extended working hours and extremely tight schedule. In that reality, there’s a little room for family and friends. Pretty soon, all hell breaks loose.When s* * * hits the fan and you realize that you’re gonna miss the deadline, you slam your fist on the table once and some disturbance appears. But it’s short-lived. Then you slam the desk for the second time, only this time you put some force in it. Wrinkles in the atmosphere around you start taking the shape of the waves now and people around you suddenly stand frozen.“What the hell is going on with him? He was OK while he was working same as the rest of us. Look at him now. Arrogant bastard… no time for anyone anymore…”THUS, THE ADVICE!When you decide to go pro with freelancing, don’t make this same mistake. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to waste time and energy making things right and teaching people how the fact that you’re in your own freakin’ living room, at your own freakin’ laptop, typing or designing stuff, doesn’t automatically mean that you’re available!On the contrary, you’re extremely busy and focused because unlike most people in your closest social environment, you have little to no room for errors.Try the following approach instead:“What you do for a living now Joe? I heard you quit? What the hell man?”“I started my own company, Mike.”“What’s the business?”“Marketing/Graphic Design/Software Engineering….”“Good money?”“Sure. But then again, 10-hour shift on my old job was a blessing from the skies for this, my man. I hardly catch time to take a whizz, if you know what I mean.”Another thing to considerLease the space! Get yourself an office if in any way possible.It’s gonna A) boost your productivity, and B) minimalize distractions.The problem with living rooms as “offices” is their very nature and the purpose. It’s the space intended to be used by every resident without any restrictions. A place to retreat to after a long and exhausting day at work.By utilizing the living room, or any other space in your home for that matter, for any kind of a professional occupation, you’re changing the paradigm of the home. In other words, there is a strong possibility that you will lose that one place where you can relax and forget about everything. Your own safe haven.And it’s not just you who will suffer the consequences.If you decide to operate from your living room, don’t be surprised when the rest of the household labels you as the usurper. In their minds, you are illegally occupying the main space.Quarrels with the family members and spouse, in particular, are definitely not something that will help boost your professional freelancing career. I know this for a fact.To concludeProfessional freelancing shouldn’t be perceived as some side gig. It’s a full-scale entrepreneurship if you want to make a living out of it. As such, it must obey the paradigm and rules of engagement of every business.Just think about it for a second. There isn’t a boss anymore to supply you with the work. There isn’t a boss anymore to organize your working schedule. You’re on your own same as every other business owner out there.Then again, when you set the environment right and adjust your own perception, no other occupation comes even near the pro freelancing.Igor Katusic is a former detective, behavioral specialist, geopolitical and business analyst, entrepreneur, columnist and ghostwriter. Working as a pro freelancer for over a decade now.last_img read more

Olympic Committee Protests Funding Cut

first_imgATHENS – Angered by deep cuts in the amateur athletic program, the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) said it plans to suspend operations for two days this month in protest.The federations say they are struggling to survive following a new round of cuts in state funding for 2014.“HOC decided unanimously to recommend to all federations to suspend competitive activities on the weekend of April 12-13 after the state’s continued refusal to provide solutions not only to the huge economic issues but also to institutional problems,” the committee said in a statement, Reuters reported.“The recommendation represents a first measure to show our stance against the continued inaction and indifference shown by the state towards the country’s youth which risks being deprived of such an important social good as sport,” it added.It is now up to the amateur sports to decide whether to take part in the protest move. Greek athletes participating in international competition will be excluded from the ban if it goes through.State funding has been halved this year, one of the latest results of the country’s continuing financial crisis.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more