Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now If your calendar for the week is essentially empty at this point on a Sunday night, you’re prepared to be reactive instead of proactive this week. Instead of working on your highest priorities, other people’s highest priorities are going to be working on you. Instead of working on what matters most, you’re going to end up distracted by nonsense and trivialities.If your calendar for the week has huge blank spaces all over the week on Sunday night, it’s unlikely that you’re prepared to make the investments in “who matters” most. It’s unlikely that you will spend time with your most important clients, and it is equally unlikely that you’re going to spend time with the most important members of your team. If they’re not on your calendar now, you’re not treating them like they are a priority.If you have not blocked off time to be proactive when it comes to prospecting and nurturing, it isn’t likely that you’re going to do that work this week. If I looked at last week’s calendar I imagine I would not find blocked off time for prospecting or nurturing there either. Prospecting never needs to be done with any urgency but it always needs to be urgently done.Sunday night is the night to plan. Investing an hour on Sunday night to map out your weekly priorities, to get them on your calendar, and to commit to keeping the promises you make to yourself will massively increase your productivity throughout the week.It’s true that things are going to come up. Sure there are going to be emergencies that require your attention. You can work around those. By having your calendar mapped out in advance you can deal with what comes up and then quickly get back on task.Spend an hour on Sunday night preparing for the week ahead. Get what’s important on your calendar, and get who is important on your calendar. Don’t let the world impose its priorities on you. Instead make sure you work on your highest priorities.QuestionsDo you plan your week in advance?When you make sure that you’ve got all your priorities for the week on your calendar and scheduled?Honestly, how much of your time is spent working on your highest priorities instead of someone else’s highest priorities for you?Have you scheduled time to prospect in nurture your dream clients?Do you have committed, scheduled time with your most important clients and dream clients?
Adapted from an old fable.A new salesperson beginning his first day of work turns and asks an old, veteran salesperson about his new job. He says, “What’s it really like here?” The veteran salesperson says, “What was it like where you sold before?” The new salesperson says, “It was awful. My sales manager was terrible. Our product had problems. Our target clients only cared about price. And our competitors beat us on price over and over again.” The veteran salesperson replied, “It’s pretty much the same here.”A few days later another new salesperson joined the company. As she is setting up her desk, she asks the veteran salesperson, “What’s it like here?” The veteran salesperson says, “What was it like where you sold before?” She says, “It was wonderful. My sales manager was a great leader and coach. We had a great product. We did great for clients that appreciated us. And we punched way above our weight class, beating our competitors for our dream clients.” The veteran salesperson replied, “It’s pretty much the same here.”It is what ever you believe it is. And what you put out is always what you get back. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now I just heard from some friends who attended what was supposed to be a big sales conference. They texted me from inside the conference to tell me that it was one giant commercial with the speakers pitching from the stage.Sadly, this isn’t at all unusual. What looks like a conference where real content will be delivered is nothing more than a facade to get potential customers into a room for a pitch—one they paid to attend. It’s a bait and switch.When my friends and I started the OutBound Conference three years ago, our number one value was that, without exception, no one would pitch from the stage, something each of us had seen before, believing it ruined the experience. Instead, the OutBound speakers and workshop facilitators would deliver pure, practical, tactical, and actionable content.Over the past few weeks, I’ve received emails from people who were interested in attending OutBound and bringing their teams, but they were afraid that OutBound would be like some other conferences, ones like the description of the one my friends attended. Rest assured, OutBound in no way resembles some of the conferences where “speakers” pitch from the stage. It doesn’t happen.No speaker or presenter on the OutBound stage needs you to hire them. They’re the very best in the business, and that is why they are on the bill at OutBound. They are the biggest names in sales development, and should you want to engage them, they aren’t hard to find.If you were concerned about the content, I hope I have resolved that concern for you. If you still have concerns, ask around on LinkedIn and see what attendees from the last two years have to say about OutBound.Use coupon code “iannarino100” for $100 off the main ticket.OutBound is the very best, content-driven sales conference on Earth. It takes place at the World Congress Center in the Georgia Ballroom on April 24th and 25th, with an Elite ticket that includes a full day of workshops on April 26th. If you want the VIP experience, you’ll need to show up in Atlanta on the 23rd for an experience you can’t find anywhere else.www.outboundconference.com
At least 12 people have died and 877 buildings destroyed in Mizoram due to landslide and flood triggered by incessant rains lashing the state since June 9, an official report said today.While 10 persons died in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district, one person each died in Aizawl and Serchhip districts during the past nine days, said the state Disaster Management and Rehabilitation department report.Altogether 165 buildings were destroyed and 299 houses damaged by landslide, mudslide and flood in Lunglei, followed by Lawngtlai district where 51 houses were destroyed.The flood also damaged 137 hectares of cultivated areas and 62 fish ponds.
When Tuhi Ram Jat left home on his motorcycle for a regular round of his agricultural field on the outskirts of the village on a sultry morning earlier this week, little did his two teenage sons realise that it was the last time they would see their father’s face. Their world was torn apart by the afternoon.The suicide by Tuhi Ram, 38, on Wednesday came as a rude shock to the residents of the small and dusty Sogar village in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan. The debt-ridden farmer hanged himself from a tree on his farmland with a rope made of old saris. The body was spotted by some women grazing cows.“Tuhi Ram was a thorough gentleman. He had no enemies in the village. The soft-spoken man never told us that he was in so much of trouble … We would have definitely helped him out,” his 62-year-old neighbour, Daryauv Singh, said on Saturday. Mr. Singh was among the villagers who went to meet the District Collector seeking help for the bereaved family.Tuhi Ram’s younger brother Yogesh Kumar told The Hindu at the family’s modest two-room house that the deceased was under intense pressure to repay a loan of ₹4 lakh taken by him from the Rural Cooperative Bank and through the Kisan Credit Card. He ran the risk of losing his ancestral agricultural land as well as the land registered in his two brothers’ names, totalling 12 bighas, which he had mortgaged.Mounting debtThe crop loan passbooks show no transactions after 2012 for the loans obtained in 2008, taking the penal interest to as high as 16% on the overdue amounts. The family members said the debts also included the money lent by private lenders, and loans obtained in the name of Tuhi Ram’s wife Babli from a women’s self-help group.The farmer had sown jowar crop on six bighas of his farmland last week, but it did not survive because of lack of rain. Sogar sarpanch Vikram Singh said the salinity of groundwater in the region makes it unfit for drinking and farming, forcing the farmers to depend on rain for agriculture.Even as Congress MLA from Deeg-Kumher Vishvendra Singh, who visited the village on Thursday, has demanded a compensation of ₹10 lakh, the district administration has maintained that there is no provision for financial assistance in a suicide case.
A female devotee, injured in the deadly militant attack on Amarnath pilgrims, succumbed at a hospital early on Sunday, taking the death toll in the incident to eight.Lalita, 47, succumbed to injuries at the SKIMS Hospital here, a police official said.With this, the death toll in the 10 July attack has climbed to eight.
Describing the Centre’s decision to withdraw forces from the Darjeeling hills as “contrary to common sense” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote “strong letters” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday. Speaking to journalists at the State Secretariat after a meeting with the political parties in the Darjeeling hills, Ms. Banerjee said that she had urged them not to withdraw forces.In a communication to the West Bengal government on Sunday, the Home Ministry informed that 10 of the 15 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) deployed in Darjeeling will be de-attached with effect from October 16. Ms. Banerjee said that she had spoken to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, after which it was decided that seven companies of the CAPF would be withdrawn.A fuming Ms Banerjee called the decision unfortunate and unconstitutional and said that the decision to withdraw forces at a time when normalcy was returning to the hills was “politically and administratively a bad decision”. “Does the Centre not want peace to return in Darjeeling?” Ms. Banerjee said.‘Constructive’The CM said that the third bilateral talks with the hill leaders held during the day were constructive, and the leaders emphasised the need to ensure that peace prevails in the region. Ms. Banerjee said that the issue of paying compensation to those killed in the violence was raised and the State government is examining the matter.
The Centre slashed GST rates to avoid a drubbing in the Gujarat polls, the Shiv Sena claimed on Monday while dubbing the BJP an “expert in gaining political mileage and publicity” from any issue. In the biggest Goods and Services Tax rejig yet, tax rates on over 200 items were cut on November 10 to provide relief to consumers and businesses. As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the top tax bracket of 28% to 18%, while a uniform 5% tax was prescribed for all restaurants. Questioning the timing, the Sena asked the Central government why it decided to “bow down” now. “These people are experts in gaining political mileage and publicity out of any issue,” it said in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ “Why did this government, which had said (it) won’t compromise on the issue (of GST) and would ignore protests, now bow down? The answer to this lies in the staunch opposition they are facing in Gujarat polls,” it said. The Sena claimed that BJP leaders are not being allowed to enter villages in Gujarat and conduct press conferences, and their posters are being removed. The NDA constituent added that chief ministers of various states along with central ministers will leave the country’s affairs in a lurch to participate in the campaigning in Gujarat. “There will be a lot of money spent as well.” The GST has increased inflation and upset the budgets of common people. “…people who are praising the troubled economy are enemies of the nation,” the Sena said. The GST has “broken the backs” of poor people and small traders, and this has increased anger in the country. Small traders have hit the streets in Gujarat and been beaten up with lathis, the editorial added.“The fear that it will have to bear the brunt of these lathis and that none of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s campaigns will work made the government bend on GST,” it claimed. Polling for the two-phase Assembly elections in Gujarat will take place on December 9 and 14, and votes will be counted on December 18.
Here is something to cheer for those who pine for a ride on the world famous toy train of Darjeeling. All the 14 steam engines of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR) — which runs toy train services between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling — will be revived and the coaches will be air conditioned.There’s more: all employees will turn up in the Raj era attire as per the direction of Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board, who visited the DHR earlier this week.“The steam engine is crucial to the heritage of the DHR. We will upgrade and use all the 14 steam engines We will also introduce air conditioned coaches modelled along the coaches in the Heritage Railways at Shimla,” Mr. Lohani said.The attempts to restore the heritage value of the DHR assume importance as it suffered serious damage during the 104-day-shut down in Darjeeling hills last year.
The Shiromani Akali Dal staged a statewide protest on Tuesday, demanding that the Congress government in Punjab cut down its share of taxes on petrol and diesel.The Akali Dal leaders and workers protested at almost all district headquarters, including Ludhiana, Tarn Taran, Rupnagar, Mansa, Pathankot, Jalandhar, Ferozepur and Amritsar, and later submitted a memorandum to the local authorities seeking immediate reduction in the VAT (value-added tax) levied on petrol and diesel by the State.Senior Akali Dal leader Daljeet Singh Cheema said the Punjab government was charging the highest VAT on petrol and diesel in the north region, while putting the blame for the surging fuel prices on the Central government.GST demand“The Congress government should pass a resolution in the Cabinet for putting petrol and diesel under the Goods and Services Tax and send its proposal to the GST Council immediately so that prices can be reduced,” said Mr. Cheema.He said the Centre had asked the State to reduce VAT on petroleum products but the Congress government in Punjab was not ready to give relief to people.Demanding that fuel prices in Punjab be matched with that in the Union Territory of Chandigarh, he said the State government was charging 35.14% VAT on petrol while Chandigarh was charging only 19.76%. “Similarly, 6% more VAT was being imposed on diesel in Punjab than in Chandigarh. The people of Punjab could get a huge relief if the government lowers its tax rates on petroleum items on par with Chandigarh,” he said. Mr. Cheema said the Akali Dal would keep fighting to safeguard the interests of people till the time the Congress government does not take pro-people decisions.
Odisha-born Indian Police Service officer Basant Rath, who has earned the sobriquet of Bollywood cop hero ‘Singham’ for his unconventional style of functioning and is sought after for selfies by the youth in the volatile Kashmir Valley, is facing flak over a video that has gone viral.The over 20-minute video shows him arguing with and slapping a pedestrian in Srinagar, sparking sharp reactions from traders, students and civil society groups.“We urge the government to take appropriate action against the officer concerned and ask him to restrain himself and work within the limits of etiquette and ethics. Such aggressive approach tends to cause unrest among people,” Muzaffar Majid Jan, joint secretary general of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said in a press statement.Mr. Rath, posted as the Inspector General (Traffic) in Srinagar, has found himself in trouble on several occasions of late. He asked the news anchor of the All India Radio “to do whatever they can” when asked about a compère being beaten up.In the latest video, he is shown slapping a pedestrian who is asking the officer to remove security posts from the roadside in Srinagar. In his response to the criticism over the video, Mr. Rath wrote on Facebook: “Friends, there is no question of me doing something that would make me lose the kind of affection I’ve got in J&K. This is the biggest achievement of my life. Life, not career. The guy, who posed to be a medical student from Delhi, asked me a lot of questions that were political in nature. I trusted him as a friend. And my answers were honest and politically incorrect. Ten odd minutes into our conversation, I realised that a couple of his friends were recording our conversation. When I asked them to stop it and delete the videos, they created a scene. That triggered the scuffle.”He said he regretted his decision to engage with the person.Mr. Rath, a Jawaharlal Nehru University student who qualified for the IPS in 2000, prefers to avoid uniform on duty. However, he remains available round the clock for the public and is seen issuing challans even to police and Army vehicles in Kashmir. Any complaint tweeted to him by a commuter or driver is responded to with an action on the ground, making him a hero among the young population.
Sachin Andure, the alleged shooter of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who was arrested by the CBI on Saturday, had updated his Facebook page on August 8. He celebrated the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, saying his passing meant this land was free of the “sin” of Tamil Nadu.“I have no ‘karuna’ [compassion] for Karunanidhi, who called Bhagwan Sri Ram a drunkard. Tamil Nadu’s sin has gone, land does not have to carry [his] weight now,” he had posted on his now-deleted Facebook profile. The Hindu is in possession of the screenshots of his Facebook page from 2011.He also posted: “Karunanidhi’s death in Chennai means that one leader who insulted Hindu dharma is reduced. Jai Sri Ram.” ‘Anti-Hindu leaders’Karunanidhi was not the only leader who was anti-Hindu, according to Andure’s Facebook posts. He had been posting hateful, inflammatory and violent messages for years on leaders such as Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, and on communism and socialism. Except for three photos of himself, his profile was full of photos of gods and communal photos circulated on social media, and offensive comments on leaders other than those of the BJP. His profile also indicated that he was a follower of the late Rajiv Dixit, one of the campaigners for Swadeshi and the safety of cows, and of Sambhaji Bhide of Shri Shivpratishthan.Bhide connectionMr. Bhide is accused of having incited riots at Koregaon-Bhima near Pune earlier this year. Sudhanwa Gondhalekar, an activist of Shri Shivpratisthan, was arrested last week by the Maharashtra anti-terrorist squad for possession of explosives, along with Vaibhav Raut and Sharad Kalaskar. Andure’s Facebook display picture was of Narasimha slaying Hiranyakashipu. In 2002, an identical photo was printed under the banner, ‘Hindu Jagruti’, where Hiranyakshipu was named as the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, founded by Dabholkar, who was killed on August 20, 2013.From 2011 to June 2013, Andure shared news articles from Sanatan Prabhat, the mouthpiece of the Sanatan Santha, a right-wing organisation, which is under the scanner in the murders of Dabholkar, Communist leader Govind Pansare, rationalist M.M. Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh.
Sikkim is the most peaceful State and the Centre should consider it for a peace bonus, Pawan Chamling, the State’s longest serving Chief Minister, who has been elected CM five times consecutively since December 1994, said in an interview.What are your thoughts on being the longest serving Chief Minister?I never thought I would join politics and come this far. When I became an MLA, I never thought I will become a Minister leave alone Chief Minister. During five consecutive terms as Chief Minister, I have always stood by the people of the State. All I can say is that I have never indulged in negative politics…targeted leaders of the Opposition. The people of Sikkim have blessed me with their support for so many years.You have worked with eight Prime Ministers, starting from P.V. Narashima Rao to Narendra Modi. Who do you think has been the best Prime Minister?Vajpayeeji (Atal Bihari Vajpayee), I think… I have great regard for him. When [I] spoke to him, it felt like you were speaking to a saint, not a politician. Once when he was visiting Sikkim, I was addressing a public meeting and raised a demand for ₹1,000 crore for the State, and asked that the Centre accommodate our demand yathasambhav [as much as it can]. When Vajpayeeji rose to speak, he thanked me publicly for using the word (yathasambhav) and said I understood his situation as well.What are your expectations from the Narendra Modi government?We have a lot of expectations and I cannot say that all our expectations are being fulfilled. We are getting support as much as is mandated in law, but nothing more than that.What more do you expect from the Centre?Sikkim is the most peaceful State of the country and you have to realise that it is a very sensitive State, considering its location, surrounded by Nepal, Bhutan and China. There were years of Maoist movement in Nepal. We insulated the State from that. The issue of Gorkhaland has been raging for 35 years in West Bengal and yet we were able to keep Sikkim peaceful. I have kept Sikkim insurgency-free for 24 years. This is my greatest achievement.Had Sikkim been an unstable State, imagine how much money and resources the Centre would have to pump in to counter insurgency. Considering this, the Centre should have given a peace bonus to Sikkim. I have raised the issue but do not have any response. The Centre does not give attention to States which do well.How are your relations with West Bengal?I have spoken to Mamataji, personally after the Gorkhaland agitation. She is a great leader, Chief Minister of such a large State and I admire her. I am with Mamata Banerjee on the development and peace of Darjeeling.Sikkim is known for its measures to control pollution and encourage environmental protection. Can you elaborate on this?We have taken a lot of steps for environmental protection and also tried some innovative means. You must be aware that the Sikkim government was the first to ban plastics. We have decided to allocate 1% of every project for environmental protection.In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, which side will you support, the BJP-led coalition or the one by Opposition parties?I am not with anyone. We have only one MP from Sikkim and that is of not much consequence at the national level. We believe in Ekla cholo re (walking alone).
The Indian High Commission in Ottawa has taken up the issue of denial of entry to two Punjab MLAs with the Canadian government, seeking to know the circumstances and reasons for the action by the immigration authorities.In a reply to Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana K.P. Singh, who had raised the issue of denial of entry of two AAP MLAs — Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Amarjit Singh Sandoa — at the Ottawa airport on July 21, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has disclosed that the office immediately contacted the High Commissioner in Ottawa to ascertain the facts.In the letter to the Speaker, Ms. Sushma Swaraj wrote, “We take all matters pertaining to members of our legislative bodies very seriously. In fact, the moment I was apprised of the treatment meted out to the two AAP MLAs by the Canadian authorities, my office immediately contacted the High Commissioner in Ottawa to ascertain the facts.”She further wrote, “I fully agree with you that elected members of our Assemblies deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect whenever they travel abroad. The Canadian foreign office has sent the mission an interim response stating that ‘consultations with the Canadian Border Services Agency are ongoing to determine a comprehensive response’. Our Mission will continue to pursue this issue with the Canadian side to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future.”The External Affairs Minister also said that Indian diplomats in Canada were unaware of the visit of these two MLAs. “Neither was the Indian External Affairs Ministry informed of the visit nor the requisite political clearance sought,” the letter added.
Reiterating his promise of resolving the Maratha quota issue within the next fortnight, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday urged the Maratha community to get ready for celebrations on December 1 instead of gearing up to launch fresh agitations against the State government. “The Maratha community has been importuning for a quota for the last several years. Our government is committed to granting them reservation. The State Backward Class Commission has today submitted its report to the government and I would like to assure the community that the quota issue, hanging fire for so long, will be resolved in the next 15 days. So, I urge the community to get ready to celebrate on December 1,” said Mr. Fadnavis in Ahmednagar district. The Chief Minister was speaking during the inauguration of a farmer-warkari conclave in Shani Shingnapur area, which was organised by the Maratha Mahasangh and the Maratha Shetkari Mahasangh.New agitationReferring to the fresh stir proposed to be launched by Maratha outfits in the form of the ‘Samwad Yatra’, Mr. Fadnavis said: “Some outfits are calling for a fresh stir on the quota issue and a march to Mumbai on November 26. To these people, I say that the time for launching agitations is passe and the moment for celebration has arrived.”He further appealed to the protesting Maratha groups, remarking that no one ought to make the Maratha reservation matter a prestige issue. “A community has united in large numbers to seek their rights. Our government is firmly behind them. Hence, the decision to grant reservation has gained momentum,” said the Chief Minister. At the same time, Mr. Fadnavis, in a bid to assuage the fears of other backward communities, said sections already availing of reservation benefits would not be affected owing to the quota that would be granted the Maratha community. However, the Maratha Kranti Morcha, the umbrella organisation spearheading the fight, is not impressed. “Several Chief Ministers from the Congress in the past, be it Ashok Chavan, Vilasrao Deshmukh or Sushilkumar Shinde had given us assurances. They kept dangling the ‘quota carrot’ without meaning to grant reservation. Such was the frustration within the community that an agitation in Shivneri fort led to the then Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s helicopter being damaged by agitators,” Shantaram Kunjir, a Morcha coordinator told The Hindu.In light of past experience, Mr. Fadnavis’ assurances will be taken with more than a pinch of salt, he remarked.At the same time, Mr. Kunjir demanded that if the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was indeed serious about granting the quota, then the decision to implement must be announced by Mr. Fadnavis before the end of the winter session of the State Legislature on November 26.“The Morcha is firm on its ‘Samwad Yatra’ which formally begins tomorrow. We will converge upon the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai on November 26 as announced. If the State government does not grant us a quota by then, we will not leave Mumbai,” said Mr. Kunjir.
A court here on Wednesday sentenced three members of a family, including an elderly couple, to life imprisonment in a dowry death case.Kendrapara Additional District and Sessions Judge Pragyan Panigrahi passed the order convicting the three persons to life imprisonment after finding them guilty of murdering Laxmi Mallik for dowry six years ago. They are the victim’s husband Sushant Mallik (35), father-in-law Agansti Mallik (67) and mother-in-law Mukta Mallik (60). The court also slapped a fine of ₹1,000 on each for destruction of evidence.
Two boys were booked in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Thursday for allegedly uploading “highly sensitive posts” on the social media, a senior police officer said. “The boys shared two separate posts on their Facebook timeline and used highly sensitive remarks in their appeal to voters of a particular community in view of the ongoing parliamentary elections,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Rajouri, Yougal Manhas said. He said the words used in their posts are having potential to disturb peaceful atmosphere of the district. “The words used by the duo were highly objectionable and sensitive in terms of law and order and the two behaved in a highly insensitive manner,” the SSP said. Taking strong note of it, the officer said police has registered a case under various sections of the Ranbir Penal Code and the Information Technology Act against them and teams have been formed to investigate the case and nab them. He appealed to the people to take healthy participation in democratic process of voting instead of using sensitive comments and warned that strict action under law would be taken against those trying to disturb the peaceful atmosphere. Mr. Manhas said the social media accounts of more than 20 people including those affiliated with political parties, especially from Rajouri town, are under surveillance.
Australia’s scientific community could be forgiven for thinking the country’s new conservative government isn’t keen on nonmedical research. Not only did it decline to appoint a science minister—the first time since the portfolio was created in 1931—but its first federal budget, released in Canberra on 13 May, contains major cuts to science funding outside of biomedical research.Overall, the budget released by Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s conservative government, elected this past September, is aimed at slashing the federal government’s long-term spending deficits. The budget represents “pain with a purpose,” Abbott has said. It cuts or slows the growth of spending in an array of areas, including education, social welfare programs, and staffing at government agencies.In science, the big losers will be Australia’s lead research agencies. Spending at five major agencies will be at least AU$420 million less than envisioned by previous government projections (called “forward estimates” in Australia). The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) would lose AU$111.4 million, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation AU$120 million, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation AU$27.6 million, and the Australian Institute of Marine Science AU$7.8 million.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Furthermore, the Cooperative Research Centres Program linking industry and science loses AU$80 million and the Australian Research Council, which funds nonmedical scientific research, faces a chop of AU$74.9 million over 3 years.The National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy—which supports major research infrastructure like telescopes and high-end computing facilities—survives, but will receive AU$150 million following the expiration of existing funding. That’s down from an anticipated AU$185.9 million in the 2013 to 2014 budget.All of the cuts come after an overall decline in the science budget of AU$470 million since 2011.The budget calls for the elimination of about a dozen agencies dealing with science and environmental matters, including the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), which supports early-stage startups. (Critics of the move note that the CEFC has been profitable.)One bit of good news for the scientific community is the announcement that the Future Fellowships program, which supports promising up-and-coming researchers, will continue for 4 years with spending of AU$139.5 millionThe big winner in the 2014 to 2015 budget is medical research. The government will establish a Medical Research Future Fund to provide additional funding for medical research. In a move expected to spur controversy, the funding will come from increased charges paid by patients to visit a doctor and for diagnostic procedures and will include AU$1 billion from the Health and Hospitals Fund. The goal is to provide AU$20 billion for the fund by 2019 to 2020.New funding of AU$42 million will be provided to expand the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University. And the government committed $95.9 million over 4 years to finalize Australia’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.“While the new Medical Research Future Fund provides a positive vision, the rest of Australian science is left substantially weakened,” says Australian Academy of Science President Suzanne Cory.It will take time to unravel details of all the budget measures. They’re spread over several government portfolios, from science and environment to education, and the positive spin the government is putting on some moves may be offset by less apparent moves likely to make science advocates unhappy.For instance, the government announced an “additional” AU$65.7 million over 4 years to operate a new marine research vessel, the RV Investigator. But some AU$21 million will come from the CSIRO’s existing funding. The government also announced that the National Environmental Research Program and the Australian Climate Change Science Programme will be folded into the new National Environmental Science Programme; the combined budgets, however, will AU$21.7 million less than existing funding.
Cora Marrett has been a jack-of-all-trades administrator at the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a good part of the past 2 decades, including two stints as acting director of the $7 billion agency. Yesterday, the 72-year-old sociologist announced she will retire next month, before the end of her term as NSF’s deputy director, and return home to Wisconsin.“I’m been commuting for 7 years, with my husband [Louis Marrett] in Madison,” she told ScienceInsider today. “As you know, the past year has been very challenging, with the shutdown and the effects of sequestration. And having seen that NSF was moving along and that the prospects looked very good, I thought this would be a good time to go home, as I had planned.”Marrett’s decision to leave on 24 August comes 4 months after France Córdova took up the reins as NSF’s 14th director. In addition to dealing with the government-wide funding crunch, NSF has spent the past year battling Republican legislators over how it manages its grants portfolio, including its funding of the social sciences. Some U.S. science policy observers say the agency was put at a disadvantage in that fight by Marrett’s status as acting director.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Córdova chose to look at the bright side of that ongoing battle, which has encompassed specific grants and NSF’s overall peer-review process, in a statement praising her departing deputy. “Cora’s unwavering support of NSF’s mission and her stewardship in challenging times are widely appreciated,” Córdova stated. The NSF director also credited her deputy with helping the agency navigate the 12-month gap at the top between the departure of Subra Suresh and her arrival. “On a personal note, Cora’s deep knowledge and insights were pivotal to my smooth transition to NSF Director. I cannot thank her enough for her advice and friendship.”A career academic, Marrett first came to NSF in 1992 to lead its newly formed social and behavioral sciences directorate—disciplines that have long been targets for legislators from both parties. After a decade as a university administrator, she returned to NSF in 2007 to head NSF’s programs in education and broadening participation, two long-standing areas of interest. At the start of the Obama administration she was promoted to deputy director, and since then she has served either in that capacity or as acting director. Cordova’s arrival marked the first time women have held both Senate-confirmed posts at NSF. The deputy director serves at the pleasure of the president, and Marrett acknowledged that rule means she is leaving more than 2 years ahead of schedule. “Technically, the deputy is co-terminus with the term of the president,” she said. “So it is early, since the president’s term isn’t over yet.Previous NSF directors were unanimous in applauding the job that Marrett has done at NSF. “She has performed magnificently, and I’m sorry that she’s leaving,” says Arden Bement, who served from 2004 to 2010 and who recommended that the incoming Obama administration tap her as his deputy. “The deputy runs the agency internally, so that the director can focus on dealing with Congress, the White House and other executive agencies, and international issues.”Adds Neal Lane, NSF’s director during Marrett’s first stint at the agency and a longtime friend, “I cannot think of anyone who’s done a better job of protecting the integrity of the agency and retaining the trust of the scientific community. And that trust is essential for the NSF to do its job.”Although the White House makes the final selection, the NSF director traditionally plays a major role in choosing the deputy director. Córdova may have already signaled her preference with the recent appointment of Richard Buckius as a senior science adviser within the director’s office. Buckius was head of NSF’s engineering directorate when Córdova, as president of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, recruited him in 2008 to be the school’s vice president for research.In a May interview with ScienceInsider, Córdova explained his role thusly: “I want to be everywhere at the same time. And so Richard will help me with that, keeping his eyes and ears to the ground. He understands how both NSF and universities work. And he’ll be a welcome sounding board for questions about how the university community might respond to a particular idea and an opportunity.” Photo by Sandy Schaeffer
One person’s trash is another person’s science. That’s the idea behind new research that uses litter left behind by extreme floods to help plan for similar hazards in the future. Once dumped into the environment, litter is subject to natural transportation processes and typically ends up in the sea, forming gyres of marine debris. While most of it ultimately sinks to the sea floor, a significant portion is washed up onshore, adding to the “wrack lines” of driftwood, kelp, and other natural flotsam deposited at high-tide marks. Extreme flooding events—such as those caused by tsunamis or storm surges—can also leave behind wrack lines. Now, researchers have proposed that these wrack lines could be used to identify past floods and map out their impact, thereby providing information on flooding in remote regions for which significant data are not usually available. Litter has an advantage over natural flotsam for this purpose, because trash often tells you how old it is: Just look for the production or expiration dates on discarded packaging. Because wrack lines containing trash must have formed after the most recent date found on the litter, scientists realized they could use that information to roughly date the flood that caused a particular wrack line. To demonstrate their idea, the researchers used GPS to map out litter deposits along the coastline near the city of Ras al Hadd in eastern Oman—a region vulnerable to both tsunamis and cyclone-induced storm surges. They identified two extensive wrack lines of litter (one of which is pictured) located as far as 900 meters inland. The youngest trash in each of the wrack lines was stamped with production dates of 9 January 2007 and 31 March 2010, respectively. That means the wrack lines likely originated in the floods caused by cyclones Gonu and Phet, which occurred slightly later in those same years, the researchers say. By knowing the maximum water level of past flooding episodes within a particular region—and how often floods occur—scientists can better predict the extent and impact of future floods, informing the development of worst-case scenarios, evacuation plans, and possible relief efforts.