Indian Politician Targeted by Protesters During Kabaddi Event in Melbourne

first_imgFormer Punjab minister Sikander Singh Maluka was booed, and saw shoes and bottles hurled at him during a sports tournament in Melbourne on April 8, SBS Punjabi reported. Maluka has been involved in run-ins with the Sikh diaspora earlier, and was stopped by the Canadian police from entering a meeting venue in Abbotsford following protests by the Sikhs in 2015.The Shiromani Akali Dal politician from India, who was invited as the chief guest at the Kings International Kabaddi Cup at Errington Reserve in St Albans, Melbourne, was met by angry protesters at the venue once again. Videos of the incident posted on social media show demonstrators throwing shoes and water bottles towards the stage where Maluka was seated, asking him to “go back.”The fracas began during the semi final match between Australia and Pakistan. “The match was on when Sikh men began raising slogans against Maluka. Bottles were thrown towards the stage, someone also hurled a shoe in the direction [of Maluka],” Charanjit Singh, a journalist present at the site, told SBS Punjabi.The stage was covered with fence from all sides, Singh said. “But the most disturbing thing is, someone also threw a metal clamp used to hold the fence together towards the spectators and it could have caused very serious harm to anyone it struck,” he added.Maluka, who is the president of Punjab Kabaddi Association and chairman of All India Circle Style Kabaddi, was escorted out of the venue under police protection.The anger against Maluka stems from an incident in 2015, when he asked people to celebrate Diwali, after Sikh groups had called for a Black Diwali to protest against the alleged sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari in Kotkapura, Punjab. The anger against him gained more fuel when he attended a function in December 2016 at Rampura Phool where the  pattern of Sikh prayer was copied in a controversial manner.Maluka, however, denied that shoes were hurled at him during the event, and said that the protest was due to some fight between the kabaddi clubs. “No shoe was hurled on me, there was some sloganeering, but it had no political motive, rather two kabaddi clubs of Melbourne had some tussle with each other and hence persons from other club came to spoil the atmosphere,” he said, the Indian Express reported.The tournament organizers believe the protest was “preplanned,” according to SBS Punjabi.“There were just a handful of people who had planned this protest in advance and they filmed it as well,” Shammi Singh, one of the organizers, was quoted by the website as saying. “The start of the final match was delayed but Maluka stayed until it started and left as he had to be somewhere else,” he said.One man was detained by the police and later released, according to reports. Related ItemsMelbourneSikander Singh MalukaSikh diasporalast_img read more

Jennifer Reeder’s Signature Move

first_imgA Pakistani Muslim lesbian woman living in the United States and wrestling with her closeted identity; a matriarch (played by Shabana Azmi) who spends most her time watching Urdu soap operas and is hell bent on finding a suitable male match for her lesbian daughter. These are the central themes of the story line of American filmmaker Jennifer Reeder’s latest feature Signature Move.Set and shot in Chicago, the micro budget project, has been screened at international film circuits, as well as the Chicago South Asian Film Festival.While Reeder is known for her films that go beneath the surface to show the grim realities that impel a discomforting acknowledgement, this is the first time that the director has worked on a plot exploring the South Asian cultural demarcations.The director, who heads the arts and history department of the University of Illinois in Chicago, talks to Little India about casting Indian cinema veteran Shabana Azmi, her love for Bollywood and the under-representation of ethnic minorities in movies. Still from Signature Move.Your films have always spoken about marginalized groups and their struggles. Whether it was your first movie, White Trash Girl where you talked about the lower income white culture in the U.S. or your latest Signature Move, where you highlight how sexuality is a cultural marker in South Asia. Is it a conscious effort to speak the unspoken?Yes, I would say that it is a conscious effort. I like to make films as a form of social justice. So, in each of my films from White Trash Girl to Signature Move there is a planned trajectory, as I feel that it is important to know who we are seeing in front of the camera and what we are seeing. Of course, I want my films to engage the audience and be entertaining and funny, but I also want them to have a potential to bring in a dialogue and represent diversity. The movie is set in America, but it is about an immigrant South Asian family that struggles with alternate sexuality. Wasn’t it natural to set the film in South Asia instead?The film is written by Fawzia Mirza, who also plays the central character of Zaynab in it. The story is largely based on her experiences and events as they happened with her here in the U.S. As a director, I picked up from the storyline, but I must say it was an extremely gratifying and important experience to showcase two very vibrant ethnic neighborhoods in a big American city like Chicago. Devon Avenue and Roger Park in Chicago respectively represent the South Asian and Mexican culture in the city. I feel these areas that form such a lively part of a big, bustling city are so grossly underrepresented in American movies. The film has a South Asian protagonist and effectively also talks about what it means to be a South Asian in America. Shabana Azmi in Signature Move.How was it to cast Shabana Azmi, a much-respected name in Indian meaningful cinema in the movie? Was she a natural choice? When Fawzia and I were thinking about the possible actors who could play the important role of the protagonists’ mother in the movi,e we realized that we had such few choices in America. We needed a South Asian actress who could handle this sensitive yet funny role, could speak chaste Urdu and could play the mother of an adult. Both of us had loved Shabana in Fire, which had queer content and once when we knew that she was in the U.S. for a play we met her. While we narrated the role to her, she immediately told us that these are the dates that she was available on and the dates she was busy. For a moment Fawzia and I were like, what did she just accept our offer?Working with her was a great experience. She is an activist at heart who believes in telling impactful stories and supporting smaller films. At the same time she is so funny and has lent a unique character to her role through her comic timing in the movie. Do you think that for South Asians living in the West, an acceptance towards gender deviations comes more easily as compared to their counterparts living in their home country or the prejudices exist everywhere?For those who are living in the West, a realization towards existence of alternate realities may come more readily, but having said that there are many very conservative families too. For instance the film was screened at Inside Out Festival in Toronto, which is a LGBTQ festival. Toronto has a significant South Asian community and many of the audiences came because they loved Urdu and there was Shabana Azmi in the movie and it’s a love story. For many it was a shock to discover the subject and they may have gone expecting something else. But even if for the duration of film if they were able to understand the need of this dialogue then it serves our purpose.Also, it says a lot that Fawzia, who is a South Asian, chose to tell a story where the aspects are from her own life. The fact that she is out to tell her story is profoundly impactful on young people from that region and culture. Do you like watching Bollywood films? What are your thoughts on the Indian film industry?I am a big Bollywood fan and watch a lot of Hindi movies and even though this is not a Bollywood movie, it has a Bollywood actor and it is significant for me. I love the dance sequences in Bollywood and enjoy the entire colorful set up. During the making of this film particularly, I also got to discover a lot of Pakistani soap operas as Shabana’s character always has a TV drama playing in the background, so it was essential to understand the subtext and finer points of South Asian TV series too, which was also quite enjoyable. Related Itemslast_img read more

Sindoor Sold in US, India Could Have High Lead Levels, Shows Study

first_imgSindoor powder sold in the United States and India could contain unsafe levels of lead, a study conducted in the US has found. Results reveal that there is continued need for monitoring for lead in sindoor sold in the US and that is brought into the country by travelers from India, despite FDA warnings, according to the report published this month.Lead has been linked to poisoning, especially in children, when inadvertently ingested. The exposure to the heavy metal in children can lead to abdominal pain, learning disabilities, attention deficit, slowed growth, and behavioral issues.The study, conducted by Dr. Derek Shendell of Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, involved lead analysis of 95 samples of sindoor from 66 South Asian stores in New Jersey and 23 samples from India with atomic absorption spectrophotometry methods. The researchers found that 79 (83.2%) sindoor samples from the US and 18 (78.3%) samples bought in India contained 1.0 or more micrograms of lead per gram of powder. The maximum lead content detected in both US and India samples was more than 300,000 micrograms per gram. Of the US sindoor samples analysed, 19 per cent contained more than 20 micrograms per gram of lead, which is the limit set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while 43 per cent of the samples from India exceeded this limit.Sindoor, also known as kumkum or vermilion, is a red powder used by Hindus for religious and cultural purposes. Lead tetroxide, also called red lead, is often added to give the powder a darker red tinge.“We are diverse here with a lot of individuals who emigrate or travel from many parts of the world through airports on a weekly basis,” Dr. Shendell told Reuters. “If there is a product that could be contaminated with lead, it’s of public health interest. There’s possibility of spread through ingestion or inhalation.” He pointed out that there is no safe level of lead, and that it shouldn’t be in our bodies, especially for children under the age of 6 years.A study conducted by Children’s Hospital Boston, Wellesley College, and the Harvard School of Public Health in 2010 described four cases of pediatric lead poisoning in the US from Indian spices or cultural powders like sindoor. The study also mentioned cosmetics such as kohl and henna; contaminated Indian spices like brown mustard seed, asafoetida, and turmeric; and ayurvedic medicines as substances containing lead.Children, particularly infants, can get exposed to lead over long periods of time, through inadvertent exposure by hand-to-mouth transference of topically applied powders, or by the hands of parents who handle the powder and then prepare food, the study said. Infants can also get exposed to these products even before they are born, or through breastfeeding, inhalation of particles, or absorption through skin.A case of elevated levels of blood lead in an infant who was mostly breast-fed was published in the Journal of Clinical Toxicology in 2008. The case pertained to a 13-month-old boy with an elevated blood lead level of 57 µg/dL. It was found after investigations that the family was using sindoor as food colouring.Sindoor consumption can cause damage in adult bodies as well. The kidneys of a 35-year-old man in Mehsana, Gujarat, were found to have been affected because of prolonged consumption of sindoor. The man visited Civil Kidney Hospital in Ahmedabad in 2015, complaining of acute abdominal pain, vomiting, and facial puffiness, the Times of India had reported then. He later doctors that he had been consuming sindoor for 11 years considering it as prasad from temple.In the United States, the FDA issued general warnings about sindoor in 2007 after high lead content was found in a particular brand following a test by the Illinois Department of Health. The company then recalled the product. Related ItemsDr. Derek Shendell sindoorkumkum lead poisoninglead content Indian spiceslead poisoning Indian Americanlead poisoning Indian childrenlead poisoning symptomsLittle IndiaSindoor lead levelssindoor lead NRIsindoor lead USAvermilion lead contentlast_img read more

Telangana MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh Not Indian Citizen, Says Home Ministry

first_imgThe Ministry of Home Affairs issued orders on Sept. 5 to cancel the Indian citizenship of Telangana politician Chennamaneni Ramesh on the grounds  that he  had not fulfilled the required criteria while obtaining it in 2009. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) legislator, who has been facing allegations of being a German citizen, said he plans to seek a review of the decision.“I had forfeited my German citizenship while obtaining the Indian citizenship, as there is no dual citizenship system either in Germany or in India,” Ramesh, who is an MLA from Vemulawada constituency in Rajanna Siricilla district, told the Hindustan Times. “If my Indian citizenship is cancelled, where shall I go?”The order, issued by a joint secretary of the ministry, may be reviewed within 30 days. The home ministry’s decision came following the Supreme Court’s direction last week to inquire into and determine the dual citizenship issue of Ramesh within six weeks. The apex court was hearing a petition filed by Adi Srinivas, who contested election against Ramesh as the Congress candidate. Srinivas, the former chairman of Rajarajeswara Swamy Devasthanam, Vemulawada, had filed the petition against Ramesh in 2010.Ramesh is the nephew of Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao, and son of veteran politician Rajeshwar Rao, who was a five-time MLA. Ramesh was born in India, and renounced his Indian citizenship after moving to Germany in 1993. He later moved back to India to contest elections, and re-applied for Indian citizenship on March 31, 2008.Government guidelines require that the candidate should stay in India for at least 365 days before the application for citizenship is filed. Ramesh claims that he had lived in India for one year before he filed the application for citizenship, and got Indian citizenship on February 23, 2009. Srinivas, however, claims that Ramesh was in India only for 96 days before submitting his application in 2008, and that he had submitted fake documents to show his stay in India for one continuous year.Following Srinivas’ petition, the Hyderabad High Court had in 2013 set aside the election of Ramesh as MLA, ruling that he was not a citizen of India on the day the polling took place. The Supreme Court was hearing Ramesh’s appeal against the high court order. If the home ministry sets aside his appeal, Ramesh would be disqualified as a member of the legislative assembly.Chief electoral officer Bhanwarlal told the Times of India: “We have conducted the election in 2014 based on the citizenship of Ramesh at that time. If the Centre cancels that, then the Supreme Court has the power to decide the fate of the legislator.” Related ItemsChennamaneni Ramesh Adi SrinivasChennamaneni Ramesh citizenshipChennamaneni Ramesh controversyChennamaneni Ramesh Indian GermanLittle IndiaTelangana politician Indian citizenshiplast_img read more

Amitabh Bachchans old shoulder injury aggravated

first_imgMumbai, Dec 27 (PTI) Megastar Amitabh Bachchan says he is experiencing “unbearable pain” as an old shoulder injury has flared up again.The 75-year-old actor took to his personal blog, where he said that the injury recently got aggravated after some heavy-lifting on a films sets.Bachchan is currently under medication and applying ice compresses to his injury.”… Old injury to the left shoulder has through time and activity and age been giving nagging pain… That has recently got aggravated due some strong usage on set… and though the pain became unbearable, the medication and the Tunnel visit has shown that it is an extra tear on the rotor cup, but that it is not reached an alarming stage,” he wrote.The actor, who will next be seen in “Thugs of Hindostan” and “102 Not Out”, also shared some pictures from actor Anushka Sharma and Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli reception last night.Bachchan sported a black sling as he attended the high- profile event and was joined by daughter Shweta Bachchan Nanda, actors son and daughter-in-law, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.”So arrive in a somewhat state that could give undue attention to the issue… But really it is not as bad as it looks…,” Bachchan said about his look. PTI RDS BKlast_img read more

One Touch Enough for Ideye & Olympiacos

first_imgOlympiacos defeated Iraklis 1-2 in Thessaloniki despite falling behind early in the game through Perrone’s goal. Dominguez equalized from the penalty spot at the beginning of the second half and the substitute Ideye, with his first touch on the ball, completed the comeback in the 75th minute.The hosts sent their first warning in the 4th minute with Kouros’ free-kick that was well saved by Kapino. One minute later, Kouros’ cross was deflected onto the path of the Perrone, who beat Kapino to give Iraklis the 1-0 lead. Olympiacos failed to find a quick equalizer with Dominguez’s header in the 22nd minute and the visitors best chance of the half with Milivojevic (great save from Huanderson) 5 minutes later. Despite Olympiacos controlling possession of the first half, Iraklis comfortably held onto their lead and came close to second with Lambrou’s missed opportunity before the break.The life-line for Olympiacos came early in the second 45 minutes when Intzoglou’s handball in the box resulted in a penalty for the visitors. Dominguez made no mistake from the spot, equalizing for the Erythrolefki. Olympiacos continued to control the possession as Iraklis did not pose a threat in the second half. A great solo effort from Andre Martins, who stole the ball in the midfield and played a perfect through pass to Ideye, created the go-ahead goal for the visitors with Ideye’s shot beating Huanderson to give Olympiacos the 1-2 lead in the 75th minute. Ideye’s first touch on the ball, after being subbed onto the pitch 2 minutes before, proved to be the winner for Olympiacos who recorded their second win from two matches in League play.Although with difficulties, Olympiacos surpassed their first “tough” away test of the season in Thessaloniki. Next week they will play away to newly promoted side Larissa while Iraklis travels to AEK. Source: (Facebook – Instagram – Twitter)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Indian hockey captain Rani Rampal named flag bearer at Asian Games 2018 closing ceremony

first_imgIndia women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal will be leading the Indian contingent at the 2018 Asian Games closing ceremony at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta on Sunday.”Rani will be the flag-bearer for tomorrow’s ceremony,” Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra told PTI.Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was India’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony. Chopra went on to win the gold medal comfortably. Chopra managed a personal best throw of 88.06 to secure India’s first-ever gold medal in javelin throw at the Asian Games and the first medal in the sport since 1982, where India bagged bronze.ASIAN GAMES 2018 FULL COVERAGE | MEDALSMany of India’s 550-plus athletes have gone back home after the end of their respective events and the choice of the closing ceremony flag-bearer was based on the availability of the athletes at the Games Village.Its a matter of great pride for me to be the flag bearer of our contingent during the closing ceremony of Asian Games today. I would like to thank IOA @ioaindia @TheHockeyIndia for giving me this opportunity. Rani Rampal (@imranirampal) September 2, 2018Skipper Rani led India to silver in the women’s hockey event, after losing 1-2 in the final against Japan. She led India to their first final in 20 years, scoring three goals in the tournament.READ – India take silver after losing to JapanHockey India congratulates @imranirampal, the Captain of the Indian Womens Hockey Team, who will be holding up the tricolour for the Indian contingent during the closing ceremony of the @asiangames2018 in Jakarta & Palembang on 2nd September. #IndiaKaGame #AsianGames2018 India (@TheHockeyIndia) September 1, 2018India finished their Asian Games 2018 campaign with 69 medals including 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze. The 23-year-old, who is coming back from an injury, was in tears after the final even though it was not such a bad result considering the team had got bronze four years ago at Incheon.India surpassed their previous best ever performance at the Asian Games, of 65 medals, which they had achieved at Guangzhou in China back in 2010. India had won 14 gold, 17 silver and 34 bronze medals 8 years ago.READ – India sign off with best ever medal haul in their Asian Games historyIndia also equalled their best ever tally of gold medals by winning 15 yellow metals, emulating their 1951 New Delhi performance. Interestingly this was also India’s best in terms of silver medals won — 24. In the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, India had managed 19 silver medals.In the Incheon Games 2014, India had won 57 medals (11 gold, 10 silver and 36 bronze).READ- India record best-ever medal haul: All the medalsMany international and Indonesian superstars will be performing at the closing ceremony, just like the opening ceremony. Superstars like Isyana Sarasvati, iKon, Ran, Denada, GIGI, Dira Sugandi, will take the stage.More than 10,000 athletes gave their best at the Asian Games 2018, winning medals for their respective countries. 465 gold medals were won by the athletes of 28 countries. 37 out of 45 participating nations were able to win medals at the Asian Games 2018. China finished on top of the medal tally with 132 gold medals.The ceremony will be live from 17:30 IST.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

Here’s why Brisbane is Australia’s fastest growing destination

first_imgIndian summers are hot. Sweltering. So, when this side of the world is sweating it out, why not make a trip to the place where currently, it is winter? And no, not the shivering in your blanket because it is too cold to go out winter but a cool, balmy weather that is so pleasant, you just wouldn’t want to go home! Brisbane, Australia’s fastest growing tourist destination is calling.Being the capital of the state of Queensland, Brisbane is a bustling city, known for its charming vibe and 280 days of sunshine a year. It is a melting pot that offers a heady mix of a vibrant city life with quirky laneways, riverside dining, great nightlife, incredible food markets, world class hotels, and adventure.Here is what makes Brisbane the next big thing in Australia:1. The sunshine capital of Australia: Story Bridge ClimbIn Brisbane, every day is about vibrant shopping arcades, bustling bars bursting with happy people, beautiful, historical landmarks, and an exciting music and arts scene. If that is not enough, the fact that Brisbane has more sunny days per year than any other Australian city might give you enough ideas about how you can spend your weekends. Chilling at South Bank, enjoying the awe-inspiring view of the rising sun on an early morning climb on Story Bridge, getting the best instagrammable shots of the city from a vantage point at Mt Coo-tha, rock climbing or abseiling at Kangaroo Point depending upon your appetite for adventure or simply enjoying a picnic at the City Botanical Gardens.advertisement2. Brisbane’s swanky new hotels & developments: W HotelIn terms of development, Queensland’s River City is booming. 22 brand new hotels have opened in the past 5 years with hot new accommodation offerings that will make your stay worth its while. From glamping tents and riverside wharf residences to swanky five-star hotels, and a 1920s bank-cum -220-room hotel, you name it, Brisbane has it! The newest addition to the city has been Howard Smith Wharves, an entertainment and lifestyle destination on the riverfront that re-imagines the way you eat and drink. It even has picnic areas and indoor event spaces, apart from a host of restaurants where you can sample multiple cuisines. What would make a trip to the Howard Smith Wharves even more incredible is staying at the $100 million Art Series Hotel – a flagship, a stunning 6-storey structure that is inspired by acclaimed Australian painter Vincent Fantauzzo and is a master class in creativity and contemporary luxury.3. The super chilled out outdoor lifestyle: Brisbane river kayakingLiving in or visiting the river city’ means you get to kayak on Brisbane’s iconic waterways and see the city from a fresh perspective. Paddle under the Story Bridge or past South Bank and experience Brisbane like never before. Hop on a CityCat (the city’s famous ferries) especially during peak hours and take a unique tour. Get down at one of the many restaurants lining the riverfront and enjoy an evening of incredible food and drink, with gorgeous views of the river. (Recommendation: Watt Restaurant & Bar is a favourite among all. Housed inside the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse building, the restaurant is totally gorgeous and a minimalist’s dream.) Check out the many quirky laneways to get your fix of culture. Our favourites are Fish Lane (for a rocking nightlife), Bakery Lane (for some sumptuous desserts), and Burnett Lane (to sample the local wine selection and a slew of expertly crafted cocktails). For those with an appetite for adventure, Kangaroo Point with its rock climbing is THE place. You can thank us later!4. Lip smacking cuisine: Eat Street NorthshoreYou will find street food from around the world in Brisbane if you know just where to look. From an increasing fleet of food trucks to pop-up pavilions, tiny holes-in-the-wall, small markets, and bustling restaurants- all offer a sumptuous array of cuisines. Shanghai dumplings, Mexican tacos, Japanese gyoza, and the all-time fav Indian food- you can take your palate on a tour of the world! Oh, and honorary mention needs to be given to seafood like Moreton Bay bugs, king and tiger prawns, mud crabs, and sea scallops, etc. Check out Eat Street Northshore, the iconic riverfront shipping container eat precincts and markets that are a great place to mingle with the locals, absorb the aromas and sounds of the city as the sun sets on the river. Want to enjoy fresh local farm produce? Head out to Jan Powers Farmers Markets that will offer you an exotic array of bread, meat, fish, fowl, spices, oils and everything that your taste buds desire. Greenglass (George Street), Death Star Canteen (Queen Street), Botero (Creek Street), etc. Offer exceptional coffee and some fantastic breakfast options. And the emerging cafe scene has ensured that the outer suburbs of the city have some of the most incredible and aromatic coffee to de-stress you after a day of playing tourist. Places to not miss – Ill Centro Restaurant, Landmark Restaurant, Govinda’s and Post Office Food Court.advertisement5. Colourful, diverse events and entertainment: Brisbane FestivalBrisbane’s event calendar is over-flowing all year round with everything from home game matches to international sport clashes, community-led art shows to exclusive blockbuster exhibitions, live gigs to sold-out music festivals and everything in between. Brisbane is also a place where music, good food, and good vibes are aplenty. Check out the Brisbane Festival and award-winning productions at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). Brisbane Festival 2019 will explode across the city in September, featuring a thrilling program of theatre, music, dance, circus, opera, the return of Treasury Brisbane Arcadia and Sunsuper Riverfire. A premier international event, Brisbane Festival is the biggest event of its kind in Queensland with over a million people coming together to join the festivities. From the BriAsia Festival to the Spanish Film Festival, the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival, and the India Day Fair (yes!), Brisbane is big on multiculturalism. So much so, that the city has one whole month that celebrates the diverse communities that the city boasts. So, wherever you might be from, you will always feel included and welcome here.6. Unique wildlife encounters in and around Brisbane: Lone Pine Koala SanctuaryHome to koalas and kangaroos, Brisbane is a paradise for the nature junkie. Feed the rainbow lorikeets and kangaroos, cuddle a Koala, check out beautiful Australian fauna like Tasmanian devils and dingoes, hold slithery, beautiful snakes- all at the world’s largest koala sanctuary in Lone Pine, the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary. Take a ferry from Holt Street Wharf to Moreton Island and visit Tangalooma Island Resort for an adventurous rendezvous with vast sand dunes, shipwrecks, beautiful beaches, and the 600 bottlenose dolphins that have made the bay their home. You can also snorkel in the gorgeous waters. Day cruise packages offer the opportunity to wade into the water and feed these playful creatures. And when we are talking about Dolphins, how can we forget the magnificent whales that can be seen in the season starting June to October on the Tangalooma Whale Watching Cruises. If you want some serious wildlife action, we recommend the one and only Australia Zoo, an hour’s drive north of Brisbane. Go on a journey of discovery and adventure with giant snakes, colourful birds and prehistoric crocs in the world famous Crocoseum! The Crocoseum is the fulfillment of late Steve Irwin’s lifelong dreams to provide visitors to the Australia Zoo with the opportunity to see crocodiles in clear water ponds. This Zoo will, undoubtedly, deliver an animal experience, unlike anything you have ever had before.advertisement7. An expansive art and culture scene: Brisbane South BankBrisbane has a number of cultural institutions that you can immerse yourself in. The Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Museum, the Brisbane Powerhouse, and the Maritime Museum are all testimony to the rich history and incredible heritage that Australia is known to have. Brisbane’s own London’s Eye, the Wheel of Brisbane in South Bank offers an awe-inspiring 360-degree panoramic view. The Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts offers the regular theatre, cabaret, and musical events for those interested in the underground arts scene.8. Australia’s most sustainable city: Botanical GardensBrisbane boasts 2,000 green parks and over 2,500 species of plant life. No wonder the city is famous for its immense bio-diversity and is a paradise for those who are in love with Nature and want to stay close to it. The lush City Botanic Gardens right beneath the stunning Mt. Coot-tha is a green haven with its rainforest glades, bamboo groves and scenic lily ponds- ideal for those Saturdays when all you want to do is to sit with a book and relax.And if you get some too-good-to-be-true (and yet true!) flight offers from Malaysia Airlines, there is no reason to not start packing your bags immediately. The land of buzzing nightlife, sub-tropical climate, pub-hopping, hidden lanes, and immersive culture beckons you.Happy vacations!last_img read more

Use the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to Strengthen Your Donor Communications

first_imgDonor communications that connect—that appreciate, energize, and activate your prospects and donors—are the key to fundraising success. But you already know that.What you may not know, however, is that few organizations do donor communications well. Most have lots of room to improve, as evidenced by the focus on donor communications in conference agendas, e-newsletters, blog content in the field, Facebook chats, Twitter discussions, and more. If that’s your organization, you’re not alone!Now, with the release of Integrated Fundraising: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, by Mal Warwick/DonorDigital, we have proof of the ways most donor communications fail and the impact of those failures. If you’ve asked for resources to strengthen donor communications and have been turned down or just haven’t found the time to tackle them, this is the kick in the pants you need. These striking findings come from a six-month study of donor communications—both online and offline—from 16 large nonprofits, following online contributions to each organization. Since “multichannel donors are more loyal than single-channel donors,” researchers focused on how much and how well outreach is coordinated across channels for a consistent, recognizable, and satisfying donor experience.What I love about this report is that the researchers share what’s good, bad, and ugly in multiple dimensions so we get an idea of what’s working well (that is, what to strive for and what’s happening in organizations you’re competing with for donor dollars), as well as what’s not. Take a look at these findings:Thank you letters—a reliable cultivation tactic—arrive way too late or not at all. The quickest thank you letter, sent via USPS, arrived in 12 days. The slowest took 28 days. Eight organizations didn’t mail a thank you at all.Most donor communications content is inconsistent—in tone, message, and or/graphics—across channels, so it’s more likely to confuse and annoy recipients than to strengthen loyalty or motivate them to give. Most organizations do reach out to donors via multiple channels.Follow-up appeals via direct mail are frequently implemented, but that second ask can come months after the initial online gift, diminishing its success rate.Sustainer programs (aka monthly giving) provide a strong base of revenue, especially during economic dips, and “new online donors are highly responsive to monthly giving recruitment.” But only one organization integrated its monthly giving ask into mail and email, whereas four didn’t make monthly giving asks at all. There’s much more to learn in the full report, and I recommend that you download it now. Wherever your organization currently sits on the good, bad, and ugly continuum, there’s always room to do donor communications better.With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build the strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at read more

Great neighbors, but no casseroles.

first_imgMy peers and I are the Tweens of adulthood. We are old enough to remember the milkman delivering to the doorstep, and young enough to appreciate the poetry of rap music—at least some of it. We are the children of the baby boom, and the parents of Millennials.Growing up, we were defined by our neighborhoods. Our parents chose neighborhoods based on what today we call affinity groups: ethnicity, education, class, age of kids. Our social network was the neighborhood. Accomplishments were celebrated with neighbors, and challenges were tackled with neighbors, often accompanied by a casserole. Charity began at home.Networked NeighborhoodsBetween the 70s and today, neighborhoods ceased to be the centrifugal center of social networks. Yet the desire for connection remains. We 40- and 50-somethings watch our kids form “neighborhoods” on their Social Networks. Likes, status updates, and feedback have replaced the celebratory visit, but they reinforce the importance of celebration.And importantly, a neighbor in need can draw support from a city of virtual neighborhoods. In the Dragonfly Effect, Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith tell an illustrative story: Sameer and Vinay, both afflicted with late-stage leukemia, used their networks to register 24,611 South Asian bone marrow donors in 11 weeks. There was an authentic need, clearly communicated, and “neighbors” around the country responded.Networks will increasingly power nonprofits.I recently re-read the Networked Nonprofit, by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine. It brings the networked nonprofit to life in this reflection.Networked Nonprofits don’t work harder or longer than other organizations, they work differently. They engage in conversations with people beyond their walls — lots of conversations — to build relationships that spread their work through the network. Incorporating relationship building as a core responsibility of all staffers fundamentally changes their to-do lists.”Strong networks also support cultivation of major donors and passionate evangelists who provide the backbone for nonprofits as they grow. And through social networks, charities and community organizations can become ’causes’, moving digital citizens to fuel their missions with energy, engagement and – yes – money.Millennials, in particular, say the charities they support are one way they express themselves, and 87% of Millennials in a 2011 survey said “my priority is to look after my family and community; charity begins at home.” And the home that Millennials are most closely tied to is the one they have chosen, in their networked neighborhood.If causes can become authentic institutions of these networked neighborhoods, they will find a new group of supporters who will celebrate their successes and help them tackle their challenges…without the casseroles.Follow Jamie on LinkedIn to get more insights on giving and mobilizing your community.Photo credit: David K., plasticrevolver on Flickrlast_img read more

Every Newborn Action Plan Now Available for Comments

first_imgPosted on February 3, 2014August 10, 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)The WHO recently released a draft version of the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) for public comment. The ENAP addresses progress toward improving newborn survival in recent years, along with persistent challenges for accelerating progress. It also notes the opportunities presented by growing global commitments to improve health across the continuum of care for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Once finalized, the ENAP will be presented at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May 2014. From the draft: The Every Newborn: an action plan to end preventable deaths is a roadmap for change. It sets out a vision and proposes a goal and targets to end newborn deaths from preventable causes. Five guiding principles and five strategic objectives are at the core of the plan. The action plan is based on evidence and considers the main causes on newborn mortality and effective interventions to prevent and manage these. It builds on the intrinsic links between maternal and newborn health and promotes state-of-the-art knowledge of effective delivery approaches for the interventions and innovations to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage. The plan is also informed by a systematic review of the progress in addressing newborn survival globally in the last decade.The announcement  notes that the ENAP will be linked with “specific plans and targets for maternal health” that are now under development. To join the online consultation on the draft ENAP, submit comments using WHO’s online form by February 28. In addition to the online consultation, a public discussion of the draft will be held on February 12, in Washington, DC. For further details, visit MCHIP’s event announcement.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

‘A serious, serious player’ – Is Curtis Jones a future Liverpool captain?

first_imgAs one young Scouser prepares for a new life away from Liverpool, for another the hard work is just getting started.Bobby Duncan is off to Italy, having decided the route to the Reds first team was either too long, too arduous or simply non-existent. The teenage striker’s €2 million (£1.8m/$2.2m) switch to Fiorentina was confirmed on Monday. Curtis Jones, meanwhile, is staying on Merseyside. With a new five-year contract signed, the midfielder is now ready to kick on. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The 18-year-old Jones is just five months older than Duncan, with both players born in 2001, but in terms of first-team prospects the two are on very different paths.“My next step should be a big one,” Jones said upon penning his new Anfield deal last month. “Hopefully, I can get a [Premier League] debut and get a goal and give the fans what they deserve.“Longer-term, my dreams are of being the captain of Liverpool Football Club, playing every week and winning a trophy.”Big aims, you might say, given this is a player with just one senior appearance to date. That came in the FA Cup at Wolves in January, on a night when Rafa Camacho and Ki-Jana Hoever also made their professional bows.Curtis Jones Liverpool captain PSCamacho has since moved on – like Duncan, unhappy with the pathway on offer on Merseyside – but hopes are high for both Jones and Hoever, who were part of the senior setup in pre-season but have started the campaign with Neil Critchley’s Under-23 team.Jones, indeed, has taken on extra responsibility this term, handed the captain’s armband and challenged to burnish his natural talent with goals and assists. That has been identified as a key development area for some time.In April, Critchley held what was described as “a full and frank” meeting with the player, in which he made clear that his physical and technical skills would only take him so far. He now needed to show he had the mindset, the desire and the hunger to go and influence games on a consistent basis. Critchley says: “The things that we speak to him about and the things he is exceptional at, such as running forward with and without the ball – if he does those things, then he has an impact on the game. “So, when he is in full flight and he is driving towards the opponents’ goal, with and without the ball, he is a serious, serious player.”Speak to those who have coached Jones, or even those who are close to him away from football, and they will tell you he lacks nothing in confidence.As one source told  Goal  recently, he doesn’t view the likes of Naby Keita or Adam Lallana with any sense of fear; he sees them as competition he can overcome if he works hard and takes his chances. He relishes the challenge.Curtis Jones Liverpool PSIt is that belief which saw him decline the chance to depart on loan this summer.Fleetwood, of League One, were among the clubs keen to give him a taste of senior football, but Jones’ opinion is that he will, at some point, be given an opportunity by Liverpool. The Reds’ Carabao Cup third-round tie, which will see them visit League One side MK Dons, could provide that opportunity later this month.“I hope that our players would be looking at that draw and thinking that it is a possible opportunity for them,” says Critchley, who also suggests that Hoever, Rhian Brewster, Caoimhin Kelleher and Harvey Elliott could be in line for a first-team call.”Obviously, the manager has numerous other players he can choose from too, but I would hope that our players would see that potential opportunity.”Critchley believes Jones’ new contract has taken a weight off his shoulders. The player had entered the final year of his deal over the summer and had concerns over committing to a five-year deal at 18, but was reassured by those close to him, including his agent, that progress at Liverpool would be both encouraged and rewarded. The contrast with the advice given to Duncan, for example, appears clear.”I think anyone, when they have no distractions and they can just concentrate on their football, I think that helps,” Critchley says. “It has definitely helped him.“He seems a lot calmer about the situation. He now has a clear focus of where he wants to go and where he wants to be – and it’s our job to help him get there.”Whether he gets there, of course, only time will tell. But as others wonder if the grass might be greener elsewhere, Jones is ready to do everything to make his mark at Anfield.His progress will be watched with great interest. 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Video: Texas Holder Gives Oklahoma The Middle Finger On Field Goal Snap

first_img The Texas holder is childish 😂😂— Darryl Schroeder (@DarrylSchroeder) October 12, 2019This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Bujcevski do this in a game with Oklahoma either.As Saturday Down South points out, it happened during last year’s Big 12 Championship Game as well.@BarstoolBigCat— Coach Hartings (@CoachHartings) December 1, 2018You’d think someone would’ve noticed this, and that it would certainly violate the oft-remarked upon Big 12 taunting rules.Maybe if he really wants to get some attention, he’d throw a Horns Down to signal for the snap. Texas holder Ryan Bujcevski flips the bird ahead of a field goal.FOXNo one is going to be surprised to learn there is some serious animus between Oklahoma and Texas. The two sides have a tight one going in today’s Red River Showdown, midway through the third quarter. Oklahoma leads Texas 17-10 after an incredible CeeDee Lamb touchdown.That hatred flows all the way down from the teams’ top players to the special teamers who may only see the field a few times a game. Longhorns punter Ryan Bujcevski also serves as the team’s holder, and he may have a very specific way of greeting the Sooners when he’s in that role.During Texas’ first scoring play of the day, a 49-yard field goal by Cameron Dicker, Bujcevski appeared to give Oklahoma the middle finger as he was signaling for the snap. There’s a chance this is a normal thing for him, but we certainly haven’t seen him before, and if you toss in Oklahoma’s presence here, you can see how people are coming to that conclusion.Either that, or he’s trolling Texas’ long snapper. It’s hard to say, but either way, the gesture is hard to mistake.last_img read more

Jalen Hurts’ Stat Line Against West Virginia Is Absolutely Absurd

first_imgCurrent Heisman trophy favorite Jalen Hurts makes his debut at Oklahoma.NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 1: Quarterback Jalen Hurts #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners warms up before the game against the Houston Cougars at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 1, 2019 in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Cougars 49-31. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)Jalen Hurts was already considered one of the favorites to win this year’s Heisman Trophy entering Week 8. Once this weekend of college football wraps up, he might be well on his way to winning the award.There were a few question marks about how Hurts would perform in Lincoln Riley’s offense before the season began. Any doubt about the former Alabama quarterback has disappeared because of his production.Hurts struggled to take care of the football against Texas last weekend, but he’s bounced back in a big way this Saturday against West Virginia.It’s actually fair to say that Hurts is having a flawless game right now. He’s completed 11-of-11 pass attempts for 190 yards and two touchdowns. The dual-threat quarterback also has seven carries for 56 rushing yards and a touchdown.Hurts’ performance this afternoon has Oklahoma in full control against West Virginia.Jalen Hurts is LOCKED IN 🔒🏈 11/11🏈 246 Total Yards🏈 3 Total Touchdowns— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 19, 2019At this pace, Hurts could go for at least six total touchdowns this afternoon.It’ll be interesting to see how much longer Hurts can go without throwing an incomplete pass. The fact that he’s played almost the entire first half without one bad pass attempt is absurd.Oklahoma leads 28-7 over West Virginia in the second quarter.Fans can watch the rest of this Big 12 matchup on FOX.last_img read more