Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now It’s a good time to do a little introspective work. Here are ten questions to help you plan your next year.What did I do well this year? If you reached your goals, it’s smart to take a look at how you achieved them. If you didn’t reach your goals, what result are proud of? Maybe it was your effort. Perhaps it was a big, difficult outcome. It’s impossible to not have done anything noteworthy in a year. Your balance sheet is going to have debits and credits, and you need to look at both.In what area did I perform poorly? You missed some goal or target. You didn’t turn in your best performance—or maybe even the performance of which you are capable. Pretending that you aren’t doing a poor job doesn’t lead to future improvements; acknowledging the poor performance is the starting point for better results in the future.What was the root cause of my poor performance? You need to be honest with yourself about why you performed poorly in some area. Don’t look for external forces here. Look instead to take full responsibility for the poor performance, as the accountability empowers you (If it was your poor performance, it is also you who can improve it).How do I improve in this area? Was it a lack of skill? Or was it a lack of will? Was it the lack of knowledge, or was the cause a lack of self-discipline? If you are going to do better, you need to get real about the cause of the failure so you can address it. You need a plan and a commitment to do better here.What did I learn this year that will help me improve next year? Most of us don’t do an accounting of what we learned throughout a year, even though life seems to continuously dole out lessons. What lessons did you discover that you can apply to your future to produce better results?In what area do I need to improve my knowledge and skills to achieve the results I want? If you’re going to go from year to year producing greater and greater results, you are going to need a plan to continuously grow. You have to become the kind of person that produces the results you want for yourself—and for your people. What is your plan to improve? What new knowledge do you need? What new beliefs do you need? What new skills do you need?What do I need to differently next year? The difference between next year’s results and this year’s results is going to be made up of the changes you are willing to make. If you make positive changes (the very idea behind this exercise), you will produce better results. If you make negative changes (something we are trying to avoid here), your results will worsen. If you don’t take the time to write what you are going to different and why, you will likely repeat last year.What do I need to eliminate to produce better results? Maybe you need to eliminate a pessimistic attitude. Maybe you need to eliminate a lack of sleep. You might need to delete the destructive habit of opening your email first thing in the morning and giving up your chance to do purposeful, meaningful work (instead of looking for the make work that shows up in your inbox).What relationships do I need to build and improve? We spend a lot of time planning what to do, and when and how to do it. But “what” isn’t as important as “who?” If you look for a “why,” on the other end, you will find a “who?” Make a list of your relationships, starting with the most important and working your way down. Relationships have a price. They require time and energy. Start the year knowing where you need to make investments.What contribution do I want to make? How are you going to make a difference? What are you going to do that is going to serve others? What cause do you care about enough to give your time, your energy, and your money? If you want the best and fastest way to ensure you accomplish something worthwhile in the next year, start by doing something for someone who can never repay you—and without expectation of gaining anything other than knowing you made a difference.Do good work.
The set of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film “Padmavati” was vandalised by unidentified persons in Kolhapur district in the wee hours of Wednesday. They also torched the costumes and the animal feed kept there, said the police.The shooting of the Deepika Padukone-starrer film was underway at Mhasai Pathar, a rocky plateau in the western Maharashtra district, when a group of around 15-20 people came to the set between 1 AM and 2 AM on Wednesday, they said.They allegedly set on fire the costumes of the film and also torched the fodder kept for the horses, Senior Police Inspector, Panhala Police Station, Dhanya Kumar Godse said. The film’s crew members caught hold of two of the vandals. However, they were attacked by the other members in the group and managed to run away, Senior Police Inspector Godse said. The vandals also allegedly tried to set ablaze the vehicles of the crew members parked near the set. The reason behind the incident was not yet known, the police said. Godse said no formal complaint has been lodged so far in connection with the incident. The film’s producers were not available for comments. It is second such incident for the film. In January this year, some members of a Rajput community group, Karni Sena, had assaulted Bhansali in Jaipur for allegedly presenting “distorted facts” in “Padmavati“. Deepika plays the role of Rani Padmavati in the film, which also stars Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji and Shahid Kapoor as Raja Ratan Singh.
At least 46 people were killed when a Uttarakhand based private bus fell into the Tons river in Boldhar, about 15 km from Nerwa sub division of Chopal in Shimla district on Wednesday.The bus was coming to Tyuni in Chopal from Vikasnagar in Uttarakhand.There was just one survivor, the conductor of the bus who had jumped midway and saved his life.Most of the passengers belonged to Chopal tehsil of Himachal Pradesh. About 44 bodies have been fished out by the evening while the Police fear some bodies might have been washed away.Rescue teams, including doctors, paramedics, police and fire brigade staff were sent from Nerwa and Chopal. Rescue teams and disaster management personnel also came from Uttarakhand.Himachal Transport Minister G.S. Bali announced a financial assistance of Rs. 50,000 each to the family of the deceased. He also ordered to constitute a committee headed by Regional Transport Officer, Shimla, to ascertain the cause of the accident. The committee has been asked to submit its report within seven days. Bad roads and careless driving are believed to be the main cause in majority of bus accidents in the hills.Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh also visited the accident site and assured all help to the victims and their families. He announced an immediate relief of Rs. one lakh to the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured. Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Dev Vrat expressed grief over the accident. State Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh who had left for Delhi to attend his case of money laundering before the ED officials has also sent his condolences. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoling the loss of lives, announced announced ex gratia of Rs two lakhs for the next of kin of those killed, and Rs 50,000 for seriously injured.
The Congress will fight the 2018 Assembly elections in Rajasthan next year under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, said Avinash Pande, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge for the State. Mr. Pande, who was here to attend his first meeting of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), also put an end to speculations about organisational changes being made to the party at the State level. Instead, he said the Congress would focus on strengthening membership campaigns at the booth level, besides improving coordination between the frontal wings and holding training camps for the cadres.The executive meeting reportedly saw senior leaders highlighting that there was no place for factionalism in the party. The Congress workers are seemingly divided into camps owing allegiance to PCC president SachinPilot, former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, former Union Minister C.P. Joshi and Leader of Opposition Rameshwar Dudi.Mr. Pande affirmed that all senior leaders had told him that they had “no personal agenda”, and that their priority was to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. He hinted that no single leader would be projected as Chief Ministerial candidate, adding that a decision would be taken after the party wins the election.The AICC general secretary also said that Mr. Gandhi had emerged as the biggest challenge before the BJP. “That is why they go about maligning his image, misleading people and spreading rumours,” he said, adding that the BJP had failed to deliver on its promises made to people in Rajasthan.Campaign against BJPMr. Pilot, meanwhile, said the Congress functionaries would travel to remote areas in the State to apprise the people of the BJP’s failures. “It is only because of continuous protests and demonstrations by the Congress in favour of people’s interests that some of the schemes launched by the [previous] Congress regime are still being run,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday mocked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for visiting the families of the victims who died in the BRD Hospital, saying the yuvraj (prince) from Delhi should not be allowed to convert Gorakhpur into a “picnic spot.”The Congress however, shot back with Mr. Gandhi suggesting that the Chief Minister should resign for the controversial deaths of the children in the hospital.Under fire for the deaths of more than 100 children in the BRD Meidcal College hospital, Mr. Adityanath launched a week-long cleanliness drive in UP — Swachh Uttar Pradesh, Swaasth Uttar Pradesh.“The shehzada sitting in Lucknow [Akhilesh Yadav] will not know the importance of this cleanliness… the Yuvraj in Delhi will not understand the importance of this Swachhta Abhiyaan. They should not be permitted to come and convert Gorakhpur into a picnic spot,” Mr. Adityanath said in Gorakhpur.No Mixed-Media ItemsTH19 OMAR Yogi and Rahul attack each other in Gorakhpur.Rahul visits Gorakhpur victims’ familiesVice-President Rahul Gandhi on Friday visited the homes of families, whose children had died at the BRD Medical College Hospital last week, and termed the hospital incident a “government-made tragedy” and advised Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to stop trying to “cover up” the deaths, which he claimed were clearly due to lack of oxygen supply.Responding to Mr Adityanath’s statement on not making Gorapkhpur a ‘picnic spot’ Mr. Gandhi said, “If he has even a little bit of decency and honour” he “would have resigned” as Chief Minister given the “magnitude of the tragedy.”‘National tragedy’“It is not only an incident in Uttar Pradesh, rather it is a national tragedy Things don’t work like this. Modiji speaks about new India. We don’t want this kind of new India. We want a new India where the poor can take his/her child for treatment and they don’t die,” Mr. Gandhi told reporters.Congress leader Raj Babbar, who was part of the Congress team that visited Gorakhpur along with Mr. Gandhi, targeted Mr. Adityanath for his comments, saying that he was “insulting his position by talking in an undignified manner.”“He did not take any action [in the hospital incident] There is no empathy from his end. To question why Rahulji visited — Rahulji has come to share and ease the pain of the poor —shows his chotapan (pettiness) and ghabrahat (unease),” Mr. Babbar said.Mr. Gandhi visited the homes of Brahmdev Yadav in Baghagada village, Nitesh Shukla in Malanv and Rama Shankar in Basoli Khurd and expressed condolences for the loss of their children and listened to their grievances.On August 14, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav had also visited the families of the victims in Baghagada and Belwar villages in Rural Gorakhpur.Cleanliness driveMr. Adityanath started the cleanliness drive by garlanding a statue of B. R. Ambedkar before sweeping the streets of Andhiyari Bagh mohalla, a Dalit busty, with a broom.Mr. Adityanath said that there was a need to run a campaign against Encephalitis focusing on providing clean drinking water and eradicating open defecation. The government had conducted a vaccination drive of 93 lakh children from 38 districts in the state, he said.The government has issued a deadline of December 31 to make Gorakhpur open-defecation free and October 2, 2018 for the entire state.Our Delhi reporter adds:Amnesty calls for impartial probeAuthorities must ensure thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the deaths of 70 children at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, Amnesty International India (AII) said on Saturday.AII’s Programme Director Asmita Basu said, “The death of 70 children in a five-day period in a government hospital is nconscionable.The government has an obligation to ensure that investigations are carried out in an impartial manner,” she said.
NAGPUR: Two alleged members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) were killed and three others arrested in various parts of Bastar region of south Chhattisgarh on Monday.“An encounter took place between the Maoists and the District Reserve Guard (Special Anti-Maoist unit of Chhattisgarh police) in Rasatong forest between Gollapall and Bhejji village of Sukma district. It was an operation by the DRG team of Sukma. Two ‘uniformed’ male Maoists’ dead bodies were recovered after the encounter along with some weapons and ammunition,” a police officer said in a statement.The encounter took place when the DRG team reached the location of a Maoist camp in south Sukma forest. The DRG team have recovered one 12-bore rifle, one Bharmar (locally made gun), one wireless set, 13 detonators, codex wire, radio, solar plates and backpacks from the spot.Meanwhile, in two other incidents, two Maoists were arrested in Narayanpur district and one in Bijapur district of Bastar on Monday.“We have arrested two Maoists from Edka police station limits of Narayanpur,” said Naryanpur District Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh. He said they had warrants issued against them for murder of civilians, and damaging BSNL towers and hostels.The Maoist arrested in Basaguda area of Bijapur district was identified as Podium Mara. It was a joint operation of the Chhattisgarh police and the CRPF’s special anti-Maoist unit CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action).
Panic triggered after a woman and her daughter were found dead at their flat in the 11th Avenue of Gaur City-2, Greater Noida on Wednesday.Police said the deceased have been identified as Anjali Agarwal (42) and Kanika (11). The matter came to light after the calls of Anjali’s husband, Soumya Agarwal, went unanswered.Mr. Agarwal, a businessman who deals with tiles, had gone to Surat on December 3.Bisrakh police station in-charge Ajay Kumar Sharma said that Mr. Agarwal made several calls to his wife on Tuesday, but when no response received he contacted his cousin identified as Virat who reached the flat.When Virat reached the spot, he found that the house was locked. He called the police as there was no response from inside.A police team rushed to the spot and broke open the door. The mother-daughter duo were found lying on the bed in pool of blood. Police also found a cricket bat laced with blood stains near the body.Mr. Sharma said that the son of Agarwals is a key suspect, since he was captured in the CCTV footage while leaving the house. “He was also present at the house. No one entered or exited from the flat. The 16-year old is absconding and police has launched manhunt to nab him,” he said.
Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Sunday said that despite the Shiv Sena declaring that it would fight the 2019 polls alone, its current ally BJP would not allow it.“The BJP will use its political might to ensure that all its allies, including the Shiv Sena, stay with it. Now with TDP chief and Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu also speaking about charting his own course, the challenge before the BJP is to keep the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) flock together,” Mr. Chavan told PTI. Mr. Chavan said that the BJP’s strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls would be to keep its allies together and also ensure that there is no unity among the Opposition ranks.
The appointment of a regular director by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development after four years has not gone down well with the students of the North East Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST) in Arunachal Pradesh.The NERIST students have been on strike since February 27 demanding a regular director for the institute.A notification from the HRD Ministry’s Higher Education department on Monday said that Hardeo Singh Yadav has been appointed the director on a contract of five years.“We are very disappointed with the HRD Ministry for the appointment of Dr. Yadav. The Ministry clearly ignored our demand of appointing a director from outside Arunachal Pradesh,” NERIST Students’ Union president Banta Natung told The Hindu from Nirjuli, near Itanagar.Dr. Yadav is the senior-most professor of chemistry department in NERIST, a deemed university. He had served as the institute’s director in-charge from April 19, 2016, to March 26 last year, before being removed by the HRD Ministry. The State’s Rajiv Gandhi University Vice-Chancellor Tamo Mibang has been in charge since then.“We have not called off our agitation,” Mr. Natung said.The 34-year-old NERIST has not had a director since October 2014, forcing some engineering students to drop out and leaving many research scholars in the lurch.The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), expressing solidarity with some 1,800 agitating students, had on Monday called for a shutdown of higher education institutions across the State to exert pressure on the government. The AAPSU had also come down heavily on Kiren Rijiju, the local MP, for not doing enough for the institution that accommodates students from all eight north-eastern States as well as elsewhere in the country.Mr. Rijiju had in October last year promised to push the HRD Ministry for appointment of a regular director within a month.State Congress MP Ninong Ering had also written to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, urging him to “bring back education to life on the campus”.
The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday rapped the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) for not filing a compliance report pertaining to the steps taken by the authorities for cleaning the river.Coming down heavily on the NMCG for non-compliance of previous orders, the Bench, headed by NGT acting chairperson Jawad Rahim, said, “We had asked you to file an additional document on April 3 about steps taken by various authorities, including setting up of treatment plants. What did you do in this time? Why have you not complied with our order?”The Bench had earlier asked the NMCG to file a report on the steps taken by the State governments of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the Centre to clean the river in the stretch between Gomukh and Unnao.“We are not bothered about your meetings and impleadment. We are bothered about our order of compliance. We want compliance,” the Bench said.The green panel directed the NMCG to file the compliance report by May 23.Records summonedThe Bench has also summoned records from the Eastern Bench of the NGT to deal with a similar matter pertaining to the rejuvenation of the river between Bihar and West Bengal.Earlier, the panel had asked the NMCG to file an additional statement pertaining to the claims put forth by the Central Pollution Control Board and the U.P. Pollution Control Board.
Animal welfare organisation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), on Thursday announced its Hero to Animals Award for Assam-based Bollywood singer-actor Zubeen Garg.The award is for his call to end animal sacrifice at Guwahati’s Kamakhya temple at a Bihu function on May 28.“All religions call for compassion. No religion requires killing or eating animals, and hacking animals to death with weapons is just plain cruel,” Sachin Bangera, PETA-India’s associate director of celebrity and public relations, said.“We commend Zubeen for being a voice for animals and calling for an end to animal sacrifices,” he added.Mr. Garg is a member of People For Animals (PFA), another animal rights organisation.A PETA statement said it has previously given Hero to Animals Award to a few celebrities. They include actor Asin Thottumkal for saving a dog that was hit by a car, actor and TV personality Cyrus Broacha for refusing to perform a stunt that involved riding a bull, actor Zarine Khan for rescuing a cat from the street, actor Rani Mukerji for helping a dog in distress on her film set, and actor Dia Mirza’s production house for giving hope to homeless animals.One of PETA’s major successes, along with PFA, was influencing the Municipal Council of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh to issue an executive order refusing to grant permission for animal sacrifices on the last day of the Kullu Dussehra festival.PETA has also campaigned against animal sacrifice during Bakrid with a letter from the Animal Welfare Board of India to the States saying killing of animals outside licensed slaughterhouses is illegal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules of 2001.
A CRPF officer and a jawan were killed and two others were injured as militants ambushed their patrol in Anantnag’s Achabal area on Friday. One civilian was also injured.Initial reports suggest that the militants opened indiscriminate fire on the patrol at Achabal. The deceased CRPF officer was identified as Assistant Sub-inspector M.L. Meena.“The injured CRPF jawans were shifted to the Army’s 92 base hospital Badamibagh, Srinagar,” said an official.Security forces’ reinforcements were dispatched to the spot of the attack. An operation was launched to nab the attackers.The attack comes on a day when people in the State were observing ‘Martyrs Day’ in commemoration of the civilians killed in 1931 in an uprising against the Dogra monarchy.
Asom Gana Parishad, an ally of the ruling BJP in Assam, said on Monday that the ongoing updation process of the National Register of Citizens will be of no use if the Centre passes the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.AGP president and Assam Minister Atul Bora said The Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015, and the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015, are “back-handed means” of the Centre to grant citizenship to foreigners of “certain religions” staying in the country illegally.“If the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is passed, the exercise of updating the NRC will be of no use,” Mr. Bora alleged at a press conference here.“The Central government is trying to grant Indian citizenship to people of certain religions, claiming that they are facing religious persecution in their homelands. The AGP strongly protests any such attempt and we will stop such attempts at any cost,” he said.The AGP, Mr. Bora said, has been in talks with other parties like the Shiv Sena, who have presence in the Parliament, over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. “We will foil any attempt to make it into a law.”Mr. Bora, who is the State Agriculture Minister, said an AGP team, led by its working president and Water Resources Minister Keshav Mahanta, met the NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela and submitted a memorandum demanding an error-free NRC.“We want an error-free NRC in which name of no foreigner is included and name of no genuine citizen is excluded. The Supreme Court is monitoring the process and we are hopeful of such a genuine document,” he said.Asked to comment on the West Bengal Chief Minister’s strong opposition to the NRC complete draft, Mr. Bora said, “Politicians like Mamata Banerjee should refrain from trying to create a divide between the people for the sake of vote bank.”The Assam government should deal sternly with such people trying to create tension, he added.
At least nine people were killed and 25 injured when a bus fell from a bridge into a river in Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmaur district on Sunday, the police said. The accident took place near Khadri village on the Renuka-Dadahu-Nahan road, 168 km south of Shimla, at 4.30 p.m. The private bus was on its way from Renuka Ji to Nahan when the driver lost control, broke the railing of the Jalal bridge and fell 40-feet down into the Jalal river, said Additional Superintendent of Police Virender Singh Thakur. Four passengers, including three women, died on the spot, while five critically-injured persons succumbed to their injuries in a hospital. Twenty-five people are under treatment in the Nahan medical college and Dadahu sub-divisional hospital, the ASP said.Mr. Thakur, who reached the spot and supervised the rescue operation, said prima facie the accident happened due to the negligence of the bus driver. According to eyewitnesses, the bus was over-speeding when it was crossing the bridge. Another mishapIn another accident, as many as 21 people from Delhi were injured after their bus fell into a gorge near Kyari in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district on Sunday, the police said.The accident took place when the bus was returning to Delhi from a trip to Shimla and nearby tourist places, they said. Police are yet to verify the exact cause of the accident
Tripura resumed trade with Bangladesh on Monday following a two-day hiatus at the check posts in view of elections in the neighbouring country, an official said. Bangladesh went to polls on Sunday to elect a new Parliament, the results of which were declared on Monday morning. The ruling Awami League-led alliance cruised to victory, bagging 260 seats in the 300-member House. All seven land custom stations in the State, closed since Saturday, recommenced operations along the border, P.K. Joardar, Assistant Commissioner of Customs Department (Tripura circle), said. “There was no official communication from Bangladesh and we kept our offices open, but there was no trade along the Indo-Bangla border,” he said. Trucks carrying goods from Bangladesh entered India in the morning through Agartala-Akhaura Integrated Check Post, one of the largest trading points between the two countries, Khokan Bhowmick, spokesperson of a trade association, said. “We hope that export and import would begin in full swing from tomorrow. Much of the operations were withheld as truck drivers in Bangladesh had gone to their native places to cast their votes,” Mr. Bhowmick of Agartala Exporter Importer Entrepreneur Sangha said. Tripura imports fish, cement and plastic products from Bangladesh, while exporting rubber latex, bamboo-based products, broomstick and soybean seeds, CNG-run vehicles and maize to the country.
Before last week’s alleged nerve gassing in Syria, which the United States today said killed 1429 people, the worst such chemical weapons attack against civilians in history was the March 1988 bombing of Kurds in the village of Halabja in northern Iraq by Saddam Hussein. At least 3200 people are thought to have died from a combination of nerve agents and mustard gas. Because Iraq did not ask the United Nations to investigate, Iran and the Kurds invited the nonprofit organization Doctors Without Borders to send a team. They arrived a week after the attacks and stayed for 5 days.The investigators included Dirk Dons, a young assistant in a toxicology laboratory at the State University of Ghent in Belgium (now Ghent University). Dons spoke with ScienceInsider about his experiences, which may shed some light on the work of the U.N. chemical weapons inspectors now in Syria. (Although Dons now works for the Belgium military, he spoke as a private citizen.) The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.Q: What was the mission of your team? 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But at a certain moment they mentioned that a very important thing during this operation was the toxicology, especially the probable use of chemical weapons. They asked for assistance from the lab of toxicology of the State University of Ghent. At that moment, that lab was rather famous for chemical warfare analysis.Q: Can you describe your visit to Halabja?D.D.: I went with two doctors to Halabja. That was the 25th of March, so only 8 days later.We saw a lot of dead bodies. We did an estimation of the dead. We counted the streets, we counted bodies in some area, and then you made a calculation. We had a good estimation of the area because with a chopper [helicopter] we went over the area. This is not a scientific estimation. We calculated 5000. Iran said 5500, Human Rights Watch estimated 3500.We took samples from soil, vegetation, we took little dead animals, we took a lot of pictures. We took blank samples, too. Because we were following our own [Ghent] lab’s standard operating procedures. At that moment there were no procedures from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] or from United Nations. There was no accepted chain of custody protocol.The only thing that we took as detection equipment was a chemical agent monitor, a handheld ion mobility spectrometer. It was one of the first developed by [the company] Graseby Ionics. We could make a distinction between vesicants [blistering agents such as mustard gas] and neurotoxins [such as sarin]. We could detect the difference between G agents [such as tabun, sarin, and soman] and V agents [a class of nerve agents that includes VX], but we couldn’t tell the difference between the different G agents.Q: The bodies had not been moved yet? D.D.: It was not possible. It was a fighting area. When we were there, jets were flying over. We had a time slot of 2 hours and during this 2 hours we had to do everything on that spot. It’s very difficult to do the job as an inspector. You don’t know the place and you’ve got to get a quick impression and start.Q: Did you also visit survivors?D.D.: We took blood and urine samples from survivors in refugee camps and from people in the region who were in hospitals. Another part of the investigation was interviews. We went to hospitals where we could interview some victims if they were able to answer our questions. It was always with interpreters. You lose a lot of things during these interviews.We also talked to first responders and especially first responders with a lot of experience. They had a good triage system. During an attack, the doctors at the front knew very well what the symptoms were and they made classifications of patients. In Tehran we spoke with [toxicologists and physicians who] treated patients. They had a lot of experience with the treatment. At that moment in Iran it was very sophisticated. They used atropine, which is very normal, but they also used two oximes. Atropine acts against the symptoms, but oximes, they work as enzyme reactivators, the medical counter measure against acetylcholinesterase inhibition, the cause of the intoxication.Q: What was it like seeing victims of the attacks? D.D.: I was rather young, I was in my 20s. It was shocking. It was one of the most awful things that I have seen in my life. But I was accompanied by Dr. Reginald Moreels, president of Medecins Sans Frontieres Belgium, who was a surgeon with a lot of experience in war regions. He calmed me down. He said, “You’ve got to think, ‘You’ve got a job to do.’ ” At that moment you try to become rational. The empathy for the things you see stops. Then you only think, I’ve got to do this job collecting samples, make an estimation of the dead people. You stop looking at the children and the women who are the victims.Q: What happened after your visit? D.D.: I went back to Belgium and gave the samples to the people at the toxicology lab and they started to do the identification of the agents. We could give a direction due to the symptoms, the things that we had seen. Then you’ve got to find metabolites or residues or the real agent.Mustard gas is very easy. You see the blisters. A lot of the people who are affected by blistering agents, they survive if it is not too severe.The people with neurotoxicity, a lot died immediately. You could see it because people were sitting at the table, they were eating, and they fell down. People were walking in the street and maybe then went a few meters and they fell down.In the beginning we thought that it was cyanide because cyanide in high concentrations gives very fast in situ death. We always thought with neurotoxins, the first time it is used, you see the symptoms, pinpoint eyes, hypersalivations, convulsions, [then death]. But after the investigation we saw that it wasn’t cyanide but sarin [that killed immediately] due to the high concentration of the sarin bombardment. That is something we saw for the first time.We made our report from the visit. We tried to keep to the facts. That’s one thing I learned during that mission. You can’t say who is responsible when you only do interviews and you only take samples.Q: What happened with your report? D.D.: The report was sent to the U.N. secretary general, at that moment Perez de Cuellar. But there were no strikes against Iraq. The reaction of the Western world wasn’t so heavy as it is now.But there is a third part, the paperwork. A lot of papers came to the surface and then you could see using these papers that there was someone who sold a lot of precursor [chemicals] to Saddam. That was a Dutch engineer, Frans van Anraat. In 2007, he was convicted for crimes against humanity by the tribune of The Hague and jailed for 17 years.Q: How will the investigation in Syria compare to yours? D.D.: In the years since, the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention developed a kind of verification regime. The inspectors will send their evidence to OPCW reference labs. Ake Sellstrom, the chief investigator, he will give his report of this mission to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. There will be a preliminary report 72 hours after the mission. It will only be a report of the facts that they collected, interviews, the kinds of symptoms, the kinds of samples. That will be the first step. [Editor’s note: Because Syria has not signed the convention, the investigators have been sent by the United Nations, not OCPW. This means that the team is not obligated to follow OPCW procedures even though it includes OPCW experts.]They can make the distinction between an attack with chemical weapons or an accident. That’s a possibility, too, because when a rocket is smashing down on a depot with a lot of chemical agents in it, that can be the case, too. They can see where the impact of the rocket was, was it a rocket loaded with a chemical or a rocket loaded with TNT. But at that moment they still can’t say it is the Syrian army who is using these agents or the rebels.
There may be nothing new under the sun, but scientists have found something new under the moon. Several kilometers below the largest dark spot on our satellite’s near side, researchers have discovered a giant rectangle thought to be the remnants of a geological plumbing system that spilled lava across the moon about 3.5 billion years ago. The finding shows that the moon, early in its history, experienced tectonic and volcanic activity normally associated with large planets.6. How to survive a nuclear explosion Certainly our hairiest story of the year. Men seem to be growing beards in unprecedented numbers, but a recent study suggests that this look is becoming too popular for its own good. In fact, bushy faces may be on their way out.7. Ancient magma plumbing found buried below moon’s largest dark spot It’s been a big year for plastic, from researchers developing self-recycling plastic to discovering trillions of pieces of plastic trapped in Arctic ice. But our favorite plastic story is this one: scientists finding a new type of rock on Hawaiian shores, one cobbled together from beach sand, seashells, corals, and, yes, plastic.3. ‘Bigfoot’ samples analyzed in lab Run! A mathematical model of nuclear fallout suggests that sheltering in place (the first option above) is not always the best survival strategy. If you can reach higher quality shelter in less than 30 minutes (the second option), you sho CORBISThe Black Death may have decimated Europe nearly 700 years ago, but it’s still leaving an impact on people today. A new genetic analysis helps explain why Europeans respond differently from other people to some diseases and have different susceptibilities to autoimmune disorders. The story also left a mark on our readers, who made it our most popular of the year. Any time you can get both “vampire” and “fluffiest” into a headline, you know you’ve got a good story. This one is about the rare tufted ground squirrel, which is twice the size of most tree squirrels and reputedly has a taste for blood. Oh, yeah: It also has the bushiest tail of any mammal compared with its body size.4. Rocks made of plastic found on Hawaiian beach 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(*)One of the deadliest battles of the U.S. war in Afghanistan may have been caused by plasma bubbles. That’s the conclusion of this unusual study, which finds that the turbulent pockets of ionized gas may have deflected U.S. military satellite radio signals enough to cause temporary communications blackouts in the region. Be sure to check out the amazing artwork.9. Isolated tribe makes contact for the first time Here’s a bit of news we hope you never have to use. Scientists have figured out what you should do if deadly radioactive fallout is headed your way. Here’s a hint: You’ll need a watch and a good knowledge of your surroundings.5. ‘Vampire’ squirrel has world’s fluffiest tail Adapted from illustration by Michael Dillon/LLNL If you want to know about the most amazing science discoveries of 2014, check out our Breakthrough of the Year section. But if you want a list of our favorite science news stories of the past 12 months, you’ve come to the right place. Below are some of the highlights from 2014, a combination of staff picks and our most popular articles.10. ‘Space bubbles’ may have led to deadly battle in Afghanistan Beginning in early July, a few members of an isolated Amazonian tribe emerged from a dense rainforest in Brazil and approached a team of scientists—the first time the villagers had willingly made contact with the outside world. Officials suspect that the tribe fled illegal logging and drug trafficking in their traditional homelands in Peru. Anthropologists remain deeply concerned about the tribe’s future as it encounters novel diseases and resource-hungry outsiders.8. Are beards about to die out? Our favorite story of the year, this one is also among the most surprising. We all know that mice like to run on wheels in cages, but wild mice will do the same on a wheel placed outside. And not just mice—rats, shrews, and even frogs also gave the toy a spin. Many animals, it seems, were just born to run.1. Black Death left a mark on human genome We here at Science don’t spend a lot of time covering ghosts and UFOs, but we couldn’t resist this study—the first peer-reviewed, genetic survey of biological samples claimed to be from Bigfoot and his kin. The conclusions may not surprise you, but the reaction of Bigfoot hunters just might.2. Even in the wild, mice run on wheels
Bollywood is speaking to Chinese film-goers with a Hindi-language hit that’s outdrawing Star Wars in a market that Hollywood has staked out for making big-budget blockbusters pay.Secret Superstar, the tale of a 14-year-old Muslim-Indian girl who strives to become a singer, has topped China’s box office since its local release on 19 January, surpassing sales for Star Wars: Last Jedi, according to ticketing-data provider Maoyan.The second straight hit in China for Bollywood actor-producer Aamir Khan, Secret Superstar underscores how quickly the world’s second-biggest film market is evolving from franchise fare like Universal Pictures’ Fast & Furious instalments to a taste for films from all around the world. Based on results from the past 12 months alone, hits from India, Thailand and Spain show China’s box-office may already be less blockbuster-centric than America’s.Read it at Live Mint Related Items
The verdict is out! Google Trends has declared Cosmos-Maya’s hugely popular IP, Motu Patlu as the ninth most searched keyword in India for the year 2018. It is the only kids’ animation show to have featured in the top 10 search trends. This development comes on the back of consistent top television ratings for the show in the country, as Motu Patlu has retained its position in the weekly rankings of 2018.Read it at Animation Express Related Items