House of Lords Member Criticized After Referring to Irish PM as ‘Typical Indian’

first_imgFormer Ulster Unionist Party MP John Taylor — now Lord John Kilclooney — is facing flak for calling Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar a “typical Indian” on the social media. Lord Kilclooney’s comments, labelled as racist by many, came after Varadkar’s visit to Northern Ireland.Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson criticized Varadkar following the visit, saying the Taoiseach showed “poor manners” by not informing a local representative about his visit to counties Armagh and Down on April 29. It was “outside of normal protocol,” Donaldson said, BBC reported.Lord Kilclooney commented on Twitter in response to this report.Typical Indian— Lord John Kilclooney (@KilclooneyJohn) April 30, 2018His comment was dubbed as “racist” or even “shameful” on Twitter.This really is an appalling comment John. Shameful— Jamie Kennedy (@JkUmisma) April 30, 2018Former Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt, in response to Lord Kilclooney’s comments, said that he could only interpret it as a “racist comment.” I engage positively in a SDLP event remembering John Hume, Lord Kilclooney refers to the Taoiseach in what I can only interpret as a racist comment, tweeting “typical Indian” #NotInMyName— Mike Nesbitt (@mikenesbittni) April 30, 2018Lord Kilclooney, however, tried to defend his comment on the social media.“I have great admiration for Indian people and am active member of British/Indian  All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). I help Indians very often. Indeed today I had a letter from 10 Downing St to acknowledge my representations to have visa restrictions on Indians relaxed,” the House of Lords member tweeted.In another tweet, Lord Kilclooney tried to justify why his comment was not racially abusive. “It is not racially abusive as he himself has confirmed he is half Indian. That is great and not to be dismissed as the Indians are a great race. However, he has damaged North/South relations by being continually offensive and provocative to the Unionist majority in Northern Ireland,” he posted on the social media.Following the criticism, Lord Kilclooney told the BBC that he did not intend to withdraw the tweet. He added that Varadkar had been “most provocative” regarding the negotiations for Brexit, and that he had “misunderstood the views of many unionists,” the report said. Varadkar had a “dismal lack of knowledge” about the happenings in Northern Ireland, Lord Kilclooney told the publication.Varadkar, who was born in Ireland to an Indian father and Irish mother, defended his trip, saying that he had informed the Northern Ireland Office about it. “I really just wanted to do something different. I can assure anyone that I am not an invader, I just want to be a good neighbor,” he said, adding that he received a very warm welcome in Northern Ireland, according to the report.Lord Kilclooney had also become a talking point in November 2017, when he took to Twitter, calling Varadkar “the Indian,” as he commented on a political story that involved Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney. “Simon Coveney is stirring things up. Very dangerous non statesman like role! Clearly hoping to undermine the Indian,” Lord Kilclooney had then said on the social media. He later withdrew his comment, saying that he accepts that “Varadkar is 100 percent Irish citizen.” Related ItemsIrelandLeo Varadkarlast_img read more

Scamster Poet?

first_imgRamalinga Raju, founder chairman of  Satyam Computers, currently imprisoned on chrages of masterminding India’s biggest corporate fraud, has published a book of Telugu poems, which include odes to morality and ethics. “Conscience is the sound of a bee’s wing. It’s a sound you cannot switch off.’’Another poem reflects on betrayal.“What’s the greatest betrayal of all?….The betrayal that beats all betrayalsis the one perpetrated by you upon yourself.At another stage he writes:Let me live in deed and thoughtHonestlyIn one poem he writes:Don’t ignore anythingDon’t belittle anyoneThe numbers you countAlways alter your calculationsThat is what the birds in cageAlways say about  youIn another poem, he gets metaphysical:…Oxygen, Carbon, HydrogenIron, Sulphur, Iodine, Copper, Zinc, FluorideBill all of them togetherAdd DNA, paste to tastePut a lid till all grind to a heavenly mixThat is Man.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Jewelers Struggle Since India Cash Ban

first_imgFor jewelers in the world’s second-largest gold market, business is yet to recover from the slump that followed India’s decision to ban high-value currency notes a year ago. Ask Bachhraj Bamalwa, who has spent four decades in the industry.As Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepared to address the nation last November to announce demonetization, Bamalwa was busy wrapping up a quiet and uneventful day. Recovering from heart surgery, the 57-year-old father of two was home by the time the premier finished his speech.What followed was a barrage of calls from his wealthiest customers, requesting Bamalwa to open his shop and sell his stock in exchange for their old notes, a risk he wasn’t willing to take.“It was a night we can never forget,” Bamalwa said by phone from Kolkata.A year back on Nov. 8, Modi decided to turn 86 percent of currency into worthless paper to curb corruption, crack down on unaccounted wealth and catch tax evaders. While liquidity has improved since, as Indians deposited 99 percent of the void bills, jewelers are still not happy as continuing efforts to curb the vast cash economy have hurt their business the most, they say.Add to it the drop in disposable incomes thanks to slowing economic growth, which is now at a three year-low, and a disruptive roll out of the goods and services tax, also known as GST, in July this year.“The 8th of November was the last day a jeweler may have smiled, after that he has been crying,” Ketan Shroff, joint secretary at the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd., said by phone from Mumbai. “It was a double hit for the industry with the demonetization and then the GST, so things will take more time, maybe a quarter or two to get streamlined.”Gold demand in India, which is next only to China, tumbled to the lowest in seven years in 2016 to 666.1 metric tons. It is unlikely to change this year too, according to the World Gold Council, which sees local purchases between 650 to 750 tons this year. Metals Focus Ltd., a London-based precious metals consultancy, pegs consumption at 700 tons in 2017.In the past year, the sector has also been hurt by tougher requirements for buyers to prove their identity before a purchase, and the capping of the amount of cash used in these transactions. Then, just when demand started to stabilize, the government introduced a new national sales tax in July and for a brief period brought jewelers under an anti money-laundering act in August, throwing the industry into turmoil.In the next two years, demand is unlikely to return to 846 tons, the average consumption in the five years through 2016. While sales are likely to pick up pace, “there will still be that hesitancy about buying gold under the transparent system that is now playing out,” the council said in August.Further measures such as mandatory hallmarking to ensure purity standards and a new purchase limit under the anti-money laundering act could bring short term hiccups next year, it said Thursday. In the short term, an uneven monsoon distribution could also damp demand in the rural areas.Rural residents were hurt the most by demonetization because they use cash almost exclusively, from buying clothes or food to paying for weddings. Those communities, dependent mostly on agriculture, account for about 60 percent of India’s jewelry purchases.The small and unorganized trade has borne the brunt of the changes as sales have dropped while costs have risen. They are now trying hard to woo consumers while complying with the new regulations that the government introduced in the last year, said Shroff. “I don’t think anybody will take a risk at this level. The way the government is moving, no jeweler would like to be blacklisted now.”Modi’s administration is trying to discourage the physical purchase of gold and that is affecting the industry as well, he said. During the Hindu festival of Diwali this year, the peak season for demand, the government introduced a new series of sovereign gold bonds that would attract more savvy investors as they would get exemptions like income tax benefits, he said.The one silver lining of the ban has been greater transparency with the shift to digital payments and the move to more organized jewelry retailers. In urban areas, cash payments have come down by about 40 percent in the past year, said Bamalwa, who was a former chairman of the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation.“The government must understand the very culture of this country and the people of this country. These habits cannot change overnight,” he said.© Bloomberg Related Itemslast_img read more

Unconventional Uniform

first_imgA C-17 pilot and a captain in the United States Air Force, Ravi Chaudhary had one critical mission to complete before heading off to serve alongside U.S. forces in Iraq. With the threat of imminent deployment looming large, Captain Chaudhary worked painstakingly to put together an “emergency kit” for his two-year-old son Krishan. Captain Varun Puri.The kit comprises video tapes of Ravi Chaudhary reading bedtime stories to his son, singing his favorite songs and talking to him. “It’s one way he can spend time with Krishan,” explains Ravi’s wife Uma. “Krishan understands that Ravi is gone. Unfortunately his whole life has been like this. But at bed time when he watches his dad read Goodnight Moon and Very Hungry Caterpillar it really helps.”Captain Chaudhary is one of a growing group of Indian Americans drawn to careers in the Armed Forces. Over the years, a number of young Indian Americans have been breaking the mould and opting for careers outside medicine, engineering, finance and even information and technology, professions that many Indian parents actively encourage their children to pursue.Captain Varun Puri’s parents didn’t know what to make of their son’s decision to join the U.S. Air Force.“My parents do not come from a military background,” explains Captain Puri. His father works in sales while his mother is a substitute teacher. “They were kind of surprised that I was so involved in the Air Force. They didn’t realize that me going to the Air Force Academy would ultimately mean a career flying planes!”The second of three children, Captain Puri got involved with the Air Force in high school. Pursuing his dreams to become an astronaut, he joined the Air Force Academy in Colorado. It wasn’t until he started flying that his parents realized what his career was all about. “After that they turned very supportive of my decision,” he says.  Anoop PrakashCaptain Puri now teaches aspiring pilots how to fly the F-15E – the Air Force’s Strike Eagle – at the Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night, and in inclement weather and perform its primary function as an air-to-ground attack aircraft.Captain Puri’s passion for flying is matched by First Lieutenant Biren Oberoi’s enthusiasm to be part of the Air Force.A resident of Alpharetta, Georgia, Madhu Oberoi says her son always wanted to join the Air Force and serve the nation. “Our friends are surprised when we tell them Biren is in the Air Force. They often remark that a career in the armed forces is a very unusual profession for a person of Indian descent,” she says laughing at the thought.First Lieutenant Biren Oberoi is a pilot with the Air Force flying KC10s – the Air Force’s hrefueling aircraft. He was commissioned in the Air Force in 2000, soon after graduating as a mechanical engineer from Georgia Tech.The Oberois moved to Georgia from New Delhi, India, 10 years ago. Joining the Air Force was Biren’s way of saying thank you to America for the opportunities this country has given him. “He says he can make a career in the corporate world at any time, but this is something he wants to do right now,” says his mother, adding, “Our family’s motto is that if you can find a job you can love, you don’t have to work for the rest of your life!”Madhu Oberoi says her son’s passion for flying has always been something that has allayed any concerns she may have had about his career choices. “As a family, we were very supportive of him getting ahead. And he knows that and feels very happy about it,” she says.In fact, just before being posted to the Middle East, First Lieutenant Biren Oberoi told his parents their acceptance of his career was a great source of comfort to him. “Before leaving he told us: ‘I am glad that you all support me, because then I can give my 100 percent to the job’,” recalls his mother.Madhu Oberoi’s acceptance of her son’s career is in stark contrast to Sarada Nair’s initial reaction on learning of her teenage son’s desire to join the Armed Forces. She panicked at the thought of the danger associated with a career in the Armed Forces. “I tried my best to dissuade him (from joining the force),” recalls Sarada Nair, adding, “But there is a limit up to which you can keep your children from doing what they are really passionate about.” Jimmy Paul Poor eyesight disqualified Sharad Nair from becoming a fighter pilot, but it did not stop him from promptly signing up with the Marines.After all her initial concerns about her son’s career choice, Sarada Nair now seldom tires of recounting a conversation she had with a colleague at her office in Manhattan. Employed at Tata Inc., Sarada Nair says a friend at work told her one day that most Indians in America were either doctors, engineers or computer professionals. “She informed me that not many Indian American parents could say their kid was a U.S. Marine,” Nair recalls proudly.Unlike most parents, Dr Panavelil Paul could very easily relate to his son Jimmy Paul’s ambition to become a U.S. Marine. As a young man growing up in India, Dr Paul was on the verge of signing up with the Indian Army before a successful attempt in the medical college entrance examination drew him to a career in medicine.“Just like me, Jimmy was keen to join the armed forces. For us it’s just another career. We’re not too anxious about his decision,” says Dr Paul, a resident of Silver Spring, Maryland.Corporal Paul’s mother Thankam, a teacher working in a pre-school program in Gaithersburg, Md, admits she is a little concerned. “He chose his career and I support his decision, but as a mother I am really worried,” she confides, adding, “We go to church every Sunday and pray for Jimmy. These days (during the war in Iraq) I also pray for the other young boys and girls who are out there fighting.”Thankam Paul’s concerns echo those of every parent who has a kid in battle.“It’s the younger people who usually end up going to the front,” says Dr Alex Alexander. “The families left behind go through an unimaginable time.”  Jimmy Paul with his army buddies. Originally working in the medical corps of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr Alexander volunteered as a reserve medical officer in the U.S. Military at a time it was short of doctors. He completed two tours of duty, one in Germany in 1989, and the second during Operation Desert Storm when he worked at Walter Reid Army Medical Center in Washington. Dr Alexander retired after completing 20 years of reserve-cum-active duty.While parents agonize every time their kid is called to duty, armed forces spouses face no less of an emotional roller coaster.The daughter of a professor at Ohio University, Uma Chaudhary has been married to Captain Ravi Chaudhary for six and a half years. “You would have thought I’d marry a doctor like everybody else,” jokes this vivacious young woman. Then in a more serious vein she adds, “Things have gotten much worse in the last couple of months (since the war). He’s away all the time.”A C-17 pilot, Captain Chaudhary is familiar with the strain his career puts on his family. “Uma is a true American patriot, and like so many other military spouses knew that carrying our family forward would fall upon her … alone at times,” he says knowingly.Currently based “somewhere in the Middle East,” Captain Chaudhary is full of stories about his experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Recounting one incident he says: “I remember landing at a forward operating base just hours after President Bush’s 48-hour deadline had passed. Our whole crew was asking our maintenance folks whether or not the war had started yet. Nothing new had developed so I stepped off the aircraft to file our return flight plan. Suddenly things got busy around the aircraft and I asked our ground maintenance what was going on. Apparently the war had started and Iraqi missiles were reported fired at Kuwait. Let’s just say that suddenly our number one priority was to start the engines and get our aircraft off the ground!” Captain Ravi Chaudhary with family. Captain Chaudhary admits that the long-drawn out debate in the United Nations Security Council and anti-war protests in the U.S. and around the world did affect his morale, when he had time to think about morale, that is!“As airlifters, we’ve been in high gear for the past four months. But when I did think about the lengthy debate and protests, it filled me with pride in the democratic system, and strengthened my resolve to attain a high level of mission readiness, should the call come to execute. Isn’t this what we are here for? There’s a reason this operation was named Iraqi Freedom,” he says.A year of working as an airlifter in the Afghanistan area taught Captain Chaudhary to always expect the unexpected. “Every day held something new, some additional challenge. But you learn to adapt as a team and get the goods to the fight.”Operation Iraqi Freedom has not been much different.As an airlifter, Captain Chaudhary has spent a period of time in required crew rest. “Then we typically are alerted and perform flying duties, and return from our mission. Overall it’s about a 24-hour duty day, then we re-enter crew rest, get some sleep, and start the sequence all over again! The days can be quite long, and you learn to appreciate your crew rest period,” he jokes. Back at home, Uma Chaudhary says, “With Ravi gone all the time I’m the dad and the mom! I’m the husband and the wife!”The delicate nature of his work prevents Captain Chaudhary from disclosing information about future missions to his wife. “We talk about things, but he can’t tell me much,” she says.When asked what prompted him to join the Air Force Captain Chaudhary replies: “For me it’s a pretty simple answer … I can’t really think back to a day when I haven’t wanted to be in the Air Force! I’ve had a burning desire to serve my country since I was a child.”“I’ve been building, tinkering, and flying airplanes (model or real) virtually my entire life. I regard aircraft in much the same way as others regard oxygen. Much needed for survival,” he jokes.Captain Chaudhary, whose brother Satveer Chaudhary is a Democratic State Senator in Minnesota, has had the “total and unwavering support” from his family. “It was pretty much accepted that my life would have something to do with the aerospace field. However, sending me off to the USAF Academy left a bit of the unknown for all of us to guess,” he says.His senator brother adds, “The main role of the family in times of war is to support each other and make sure that the gap is filled to all possible extents in terms of emotional as well as physical support which makes it even more difficult when you live half way across the country.” At times when his brother is out on a mission Senator Chaudhary makes it a point to visit his sister-in-law and help out with things. “He’s always been there for us,” Uma Chaudhary says appreciatively.For reservists and the troops, deployment can come at any time.“I take everything one day at a time,” says Uma Chaudhary. The young couple tries to make the most of time spent together. “When we sit down and talk we realize our relationship is stronger than other couples who do not have to go through such things. We have a real respect for each other,” she says, adding “We never try to leave angry or upset about anything. I know I don’t want him thinking about family issues while he’s flying his plane.”Spouses of armed forces personnel often form strong support systems. Uma Chaudhary has never met Captain Varun Puri’s wife Priya, but the two often correspond via email giving each other support in times of separation from their husbands.“I give her a little advice on how to get through the time when he’s gone. How to be independent. It’s not for people who are dependent,” says Uma Chaudhary.As a flight instructor, Captain Puri hasn’t had the opportunity to see action in Iraq. His last assignment was in England from where he was deployed to cover the no-fly zone over Iraq. “If there are people going, you want to go too. But that doesn’t mean we’re dying to go to war,” he says. “A lot of my friends have been deployed. There was a little bit of a feeling that I’m missing out, because my friends are going down range, but I’m also proud. We have some of the best trained people in the world.”He sees his job as providing a deterrent – “we’d like to see our role as preventing war rather than starting one.”His wife of a few years, Priya worries that her husband might be called up at any time. “Of course you don’t want them to go (into war). But if such a time comes we are mentally prepared for that,” she says.First Lieutenant Oberoi realizes that while his parents may accept his career choices, they will always be concerned for his well-being. During the war in Iraq family members were never given an exact location for their loved ones. “All we’re told is ‘somewhere in the Middle East!’ They are not allowed phone calls, but he does send us an email once a week,” says Ms Oberoi. Her son recently emailed home to let his parents know he was OK. “He knew we were going on a business trip and wanted us to be at ease. That’s the way he is.”A former captain in the Marine Corps, Anoop Prakash is well versed with the stresses and strains that come with war. He remembers a tense time from when he served in the Persian Gulf in the early 1990s, as an intelligence officer for Marine Helicopter Squadron with the 24th Expeditionary Unit on board the U.S.S. Guam.Operational mode brings limitations on communication between families. “You can only tell them how you’re doing. The most you can say about your location is, ‘Somewhere in the Gulf,’” says Captain Prakash. His parents learnt of their son’s deployment through television. “It was tough on them. Even my relatives in India were watching the news very carefully,” he says.“When things are in an operational mode, communicating with the family becomes difficult. There is always the danger that notes and emails could be intercepted,” says Prakash, adding that at the time of Operation Desert Storm email was only just becoming popular. Growing up in Minnesota, Prakash got interested in the military when a Marine recruiter visited his high school. He’s been greatly impressed by the Marines ever since. “I wanted nothing more than to gain that presence and strength of leadership,” he says. At first, his parents had their reservations about their son’s decision to join the Marines.Prakash’s mother is a physician, and his father is a retired chemist. “They were very supportive, but also very hesitant. They were not sure what it meant. Their thoughts were immediately about what sort of career I would have!” The Marine Corps is a very cosmopolitan group, says Prakash. Everyone is put through the same rigorous training. “We used to say we all have one color and that’s green! Not once did I feel any kind of difference for racial reasons. The only issue was to be able to pronounce everyone’s name correctly!”And while he admits the number of Indians in the armed forces is steadily growing, Prakash says he never ran into any while with the Marines. “There were at least three or four officers in the Marine Corps when I was in active duty. A lot of Indian Americans are now going straight to the Armed Forces after they finish their education,” he says, underscoring a growing interest among Indian Americans to be a part of the force.Captain Puri had the opportunity of getting to know Captain Chaudhary while in boot camp. “Ravi was a role model for me (during boot camp),” says Captain Puri. The two interacted for a year. “There were no other Hindus and Ravi made sure I had an opportunity to practice my religion. He even gifted me a copy of the Gita.”Captain Puri’s experiences in the Air Force have all been positive. “Here you serve your country first. Being a minority is not a disadvantage,” he says, adding he has never seen any racial discrimination on the force. “Obviously (as an Indian) you’re easy to recognize, but for the most part the Air Force has a fairly positive image of Indians. They’ve made a good name for themselves.”Captain Chaudhary agrees, adding, “It’s starting to get more and more commonplace for Indian Americans to be seen in the Armed Forces.”   Related Itemslast_img read more

British Sikh Lady Harassing Ex-Boyfriend and Family Gets Suspended Jail Term

first_imgA UK court has sentenced a British Sikh lady and her friend suspended jail terms of two years for harassing her Hindu ex-boyfriend and his family by sending beef at their doorstep and threatening them of raping the sisters and mother.Swindon Crown Court in United Kingdom sentenced Amandeep Mudhar (26) and her friend Sandeep Dogra (30), who pleaded guilty of racially aggravated harassment. She had launched a racial campaign against her ex-boyfriend and his family, which included intimidating them of rape and of blowing up their homes and cars, reported Swindon Advertiser.In another attempt to harass the family, she sent beef on their doorstep which was religiously offensive for the Hindu family.While awarding the sentence, Judge Robert Pawson said, “Most people from religious backgrounds seek to find a common ground on what they share, be it a faith in god or human nature. Not from you: your behavior was unrelenting, provocative and extremely frightening,” added the report.Prosecutor told the court that the lady had a brief relationship with ex-boyfriend in 2012, which was never fully intimate. The man had ended the relationship with Mudhar citing cultural differences between them. After that she started harassing him and his family with unwanted phone calls.On the complaint of the family, she got a harassment warning by the police in 2015. In an earlier order by court, she was also instructed to stay away from the victim’s family but she breached the orders many times and launched a campaign to harass the family.She breached the order merely two minutes before it was getting over. She took to the social media to  message one of the sister of her ex-boyfriend and wrote “now watch what happens,” says the report.She also took help of Dogra to send various offensive posts on Facebook and Instagram directed at the family and intimidate them of killing and rape. In one of such offensive comments, the family members were called “fat, like your elephant god.”These two offenders also went to a Hindu temple, where the family used to visit often. They harassed the man’s parents there, said the report.The court has awarded them suspended jail terms, which means that they can avoid the imprisonment following strict conditions. The court has imposed “a six months curfew, 100 hours of unpaid work, rehabilitation activity requirement days and £750 costs.”Both are banned from contacting the victims or even go to the Hindu temple or the road the family lives. Related Itemslast_img read more

Guiao admits he hasn’t fully gotten over departure from Rain or Shine

first_imgTrump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Nearly a year after parting ways with Rain or Shine, Guiao still feels strange being on the opposing bench and going against most of the players he shared a couple of championships and countless playoff games with.READ: NLEX coach Guiao: I won’t help dismantle Rain or ShineFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“To beat Rain or Shine is a testament to the progress that we’ve made,” said Guiao after the Road Warriors clipped the Elasto Painters, 122-114, in double overtime. “It’s also a weird and awkward feeling beating that team because sometimes I think I’m still the coach of that team. I haven’t really gotten over that 100%.”“I feel like that’s my team, they’re my boys but like I said, we’re on different sides now and I have to get used to that,” he added. MOST READ View comments Alas quick to atone for ‘stupid foul’ with crucial bucket Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Guiao was appointed as NLEX coach in October 2016 five months after steering Rain or Shine to its second title in the Commissioner’s Cup.READ: NLEX looking forward to Governor’s Cup, says GuiaoCaloy Garcia, who was Guiao’s deputy then, was promoted to head coach and up to now, he still tries to pick up a few things from the fiery mentor.“I miss coach Yeng. He was a good mentor. Until now, I still try to watch his games as much as possible and try to learn from him still,” said Garcia, who was 2-0 against Guiao coming into the game.After finishing dead last in the standings in the first two conferences, NLEX finds itself on top this time with a franchise-best start at 3-0.ADVERTISEMENT Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNLEX guard Kevin Alas caromed into his coach Yeng Guiao after getting bumped by Rain or Shine swingman Gabe Norwood late in the third quarter.Norwood quickly apologized to his former coach, who nearly lost his balance after Alas crashed into him near the officials table, and the two had a good laugh.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img READ: NLEX hikes win run to 3 But Guiao opted to downplay his team’s undefeated run so far.“It feels good to win this time, it’s the opposite feeling of the losing streak, which we felt, experienced before. Now we have a winning streak,” said Guiao, whose squad has now won five in a row dating back to last conference.“But again, it doesn’t make us a contender this conference. We’re not yet a contender, we’re not yet at that level of the competing teams. Not Rain or Shine, not even Alaska, who we beat. We’re just having a good run.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes LATEST STORIES Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plantlast_img read more

Thanks to Goran Dragic triple-double, Heat get crucial win over Mavs

first_imgDoncic scored 19 points for the Mavericks, but missed 12 of his 18 shots. Nowitzki scored 13 points for Dallas, as did Jalen Brunson. When it was over, Doncic and Dragic — teammates on the Slovenian team that won the European championship two summers ago — exchanged hugs and jerseys. Miami swept the season series from the Mavs, but Dragic didn’t play in the Heat win at Dallas.“It was great. Honestly maybe for the first time in my career I was nervous before the game,” Doncic said. “It was different for me, but it was a special night.”Dion Waiters scored 17 points for the Heat, who improved to just 4-29 in games where they trailed entering the fourth quarter. Dallas led 82-75 going into the final period, but the Heat outscored the Mavericks 30-17 in the last 12 minutes.Dallas led by 11 points in the first half, and took a 59-49 lead into the locker room after a tip dunk by Dorian Finney-Smith beat the halftime buzzer. But Wade hit a jumper with 1:11 left to put Miami on top for good, Doncic missed a long 3-pointer on the next Dallas trip down the floor and Dragic extended Miami’s lead to 100-97 with a nifty up-and-under move on the ensuing Heat possession.And with that, the building roared. The Miami fans might have even been drowned out. Countless Slovenia jerseys were spotted in the stands, along with scarves bearing the country’s name, all for very good reason.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments They were there for Dragic vs. Doncic.They got a show, too.“To buy a ticket, to fly from a different continent here and to stay here and support us, it’s something amazing,” Dragic said, before he went back out, addressed the crowd 30 minutes after the game and signed autographs.Dragic’s only other triple-double came in 2011 — 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for Houston over Minnesota in a season-finale. That was basically meaningless. This one meant plenty to the Heat, fighting to get into the playoffs in Wade’s final season, and a loss to the team that they faced in the 2006 and 2011 NBA Finals certainly would have hurt those postseason chances.Nowitzki had a chance to tie with a 3-pointer — shooting it over a closeout by Wade — with 59 seconds left. Nowitzki’s shot sailed long, and the Heat could finally exhale when Wade got a steal and laid it in to cap the scoring with seven seconds left.“He looks like he’s got a couple years left,” Nowitzki said about Wade. “He can still take games over, he’s making good decisions with the ball, he’s still athletic enough to get by people. So to me, he looks great.”It was the 35th and final time Wade and Nowitzki went head-to-head, including playoffs. Wade won the series, 18-17.“This was the most I’ve ever guarded Dirk,” Wade said. “It was cool.”TIP-INSMavericks: Dallas dealt with a couple injury scares early — Nowitzki rolled his ankle pregame but started the game, and Doncic left after 3 minutes following a knee-to-knee collision with Miami’s Derrick Jones Jr. Doncic returned later in the first quarter. … Mavs assistant Jenny Boucek was an assistant for the WNBA’s Miami Sol, under original Heat coach Ron Rothstein. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Raptors rout Knicks again, even without Kawhi Leonard Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Heat: Josh Richardson (bruised left heel) was out, joining Justise Winslow (sore right thigh) and Rodney McGruder (sore left knee) as Heat regulars out with injuries…. Friday is the 16th anniversary of Wade’s triple-double — 29 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists — in the NCAA tournament for Marquette against Kentucky, the game that sent him to the Final Four.DIRK IN MIAMIThis was the 27th time Nowitzki appeared in a game at Miami; the Mavs went 13-14 in those games, the most notable win being the title-clinching Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals. He says being in Miami brings back memories of both “the most epic collapse” in the 2006 finals, and the 2011 victory. “Little bit of mixed emotions, but usually, the good memories win,” Nowitzki said.HEAT LINEUPSThe Heat used their 25th starting lineup. That ties last season’s club for the third-most in franchise history behind 31 in 2014-15 and 30 in 2007-08. Entering Thursday only New Orleans (29), Cleveland (28) and Phoenix (26) have used more starting fives. The NBA average is just under 18, and Orlando — with only eight lineups so far — has used the fewest.UP NEXTMavericks: At Oklahoma City on Sunday.Heat: At New York on Saturday.center_img Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) drives the ball past Dallas Mavericks forward Justin Jackson (44) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Mavericks 105-99. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)MIAMI — The subplots were obvious: Goran Dragic vs. Luka Doncic for the first time, Dwyane Wade vs. Dirk Nowitzki for the last time.Miami got the better of both.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ With an estimated 2,000 Slovenian fans in the stands — most if not all of them staying and chanting for him long after the game — Dragic had 23 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his second career triple-double, Wade capped the win with a steal and score in the final seconds and the Heat moved back into eighth place in the Eastern Conference by topping the Dallas Mavericks 105-99 on Thursday night.“It felt like we were in Ljubljana,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, speaking of the Slovenian capital.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsWhatever it was, wherever it felt like, the Heat (37-38) got a much-needed win. They improved to just 4-29 in games where they trailed after three quarters and moved past Orlando (37-39) for the final playoff spot in the East standings — with Dragic outdueling Doncic in the first head-to-head meeting between the only two Slovenians currently in the NBA.“He’s the old Don and Luka is the new up-and-coming,” Wade said about Dragic. “So it was great to see him play that way.” Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Google Philippines names new country directorlast_img read more

Dileep Singh Bhuias statue unveiled

first_imgJhabua (MP), Jun 24 (PTI) A life-size statue of the late BJP leader Dileep Singh Bhuria was today unveiled here by the partys Madhya Pradesh unit chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan. Bhuria had represented the Ratlam-Jhabua constituency in the Lok Sabha. He passed away last June. “Bringing smile to the face of each and every tribal person will be the real tribute to Bhuria who worked relentlessly for their welfare,? Chauhan said. The statue stands at Dileep Gate Premises, where a park would be developed at a cost of Rs one crore, Urban Administration Minister Lal Singh Arya said on the occasion. PTI COR MAS LAL KRKlast_img

Sourav Ganguly advises Virat Kohli and Co to forget off-field matters and focus on cricket

first_imgThe victory at Eden Gardens was one of the sweetest for India as it secured the series win and the number 1 ranking in Test cricket at the cost of Pakistan. However former cricketer Nikhil Chopra believes the greater challenge lies ahead as the team is now going to be ‘hunted’.”When you become no.1 side in the world that means you are going to be hunted, you are the most wanted team around the world. The big question is can this team go to Australia, New Zealand, England and do well? If they get results in the next 11 Test matches then this team’s confidence is going to be sky high. No one or two players can make you no.1, it is a united collective team effort and I feel this team in terms of batting, in terms of bowling they have the arsenal to go out and be competitive in overseas conditions and also win Test matches abroad. For any team to be competitive around the world you need a settled side and this is a settled side,” Nikhil told India Today.Skipper Virat Kohli had made it his mission to reclaim the top spot early in his captaincy stint and he needs no reminder on how difficult the task is. “I mentioned this earlier, rankings are something that are just an incentive for what you do on the field. I didn’t even know how many points difference we had to get to No 1. We just want to win every game we play, it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t mean that we take the foot off the pedal in Indore. We don’t drop intensity there, we don’t drop our character, our vision is to win a Test match for the country”, Virat had said after the win at Eden. (Also read: India dethrone Pakistan, reclaim top spot in Test rankings)advertisementVirat’s focus has drawn praise from Sourav Ganguly. “He knows that this no.1 spot is not a fool-proof one. He needs to win in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England to be the No.1 side and he is looking forward to that and I think that is the right way to go. You got to be honest to yourself and you got to be honest to the Team and see how the team is progressing and I think that is the right way. Whether you are one or two you should not be bothered because that is only going to put pressure on yourself. You have just got to concentrate on your game and try and be better in that because that is the easiest way out,” said the former Indian captain.Despite BCCI President Anurag Thakur raising doubts over the India-NZ series after their face-off with the Lodha Panel over bank accounts, Indore is gearing up to host the final Test of the series. “We have not received any intimation from the BCCI till now and are going ahead with our preparations,” MPCA’s honorary secretary, Milind Kanmadikar, told PTI from Indore. (Also read: MPCA to carry on preparations for the third Test amidst cancellation reports)Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly also believes that the team should just focus on their cricket. “This has got nothing to do with them and don’t think they should be worried about it. The team gets picked completely on merit, it is a very good side and played outstanding cricket at Eden Gardens. It was not a typical subcontinent pitch where the ball has spun from Day 1, it had enough help for the fast bowlers. The New Zealand pacers got help on this surface and India came out on top on that surface. I think this win is a lot more creditable and I think this will give a lot of confidence to the team when they go abroad”, said Dada (Also read: Accounts freeze ruined BCCI reputation, says Anurag Thakur)Interestingly, while Indore is ready to host the final Test, the ODI series is scheduled to begin in the home association of the BCCI President Anurag Thakur. So will the President of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association roll out the red carpet for Team India & the Kiwis on October 16th in Dharamsala remains to be seen.last_img read more

5 Cancellation Notices You Should Ignore

first_imgIf you’ve received an email that your Facebook or PayPal account has been cancelled, you might want to give it a close look before trying to restore your service. It could be a scam.Cancellation scams, which send you to websites that collect your personal information like usernames, passwords and bank account numbers, are not new. But they’ve been getting more sophisticated in recent months, and even the savviest consumer could fall for it.I almost did. Just last week, I received an official-looking email, purportedly from PayPal, warning me of an impending cancellation. All I needed to do was log in  through the link, which was conveniently provided in the message, and I could get everything sorted out.I moused over the web address. It didn’t take me to PayPal.It was a scam.What if I had fallen for it? By now, the criminals perpetrating this rip-off might be siphoning off small amounts of money from my PayPal account, or they might have found a way to break into some of my other accounts.That’s how it goes.Remember, accounts are rarely “suspended” in the way these email notifications would have you believe. For example, when my YouTube account was taken offline late last year, Google’s language was decidedly undramatic and non-confrontational.“Upon review,” it said, “we have determined that the following video(s) contain content in violation of these guidelines, and have been disabled.” What it really meant to say was that all of my Google accounts, including my Gmail account, had been shut down. (By mistake, it turns out.)Here are five types of “cancellation” notices you might get, and how to recognize a fake.“You’ve been kicked off Facebook.”What would you do if you were cut off from a social media service like Facebook or Twitter? If you would be willing to do anything to restore your account access, then you could be the next victim. Here’s the latest bogus cancellation ploy.This one’s smart, because it looks like it’s coming from Facebook. In fact, it’s spoofing the Facebook site through clever coding. But real social media sites don’t operate like that. They’ll send you an email about a “terms of service” violation, and they’ll always offer a way to appeal whatever actions are being taken.“No more AOL for you.”While losing access to Twitter might be an inconvenience, having your email service terminated would be even worse for most of us. After all, we have our entire lives – contacts, phone numbers, appointments – in them. Scammers know that when you’re faced with that kind of threat, you can’t think straight, which means you often make bad decisions.I routinely get notifications that one of my accounts has been suspended. In almost every case, it’s easy to spot the fake: look for typos, bad formatting or bad grammar.If you think the notice may be legit, then log on to your account from a different screen – don’t follow the link.“Your PayPal account is frozen.”I get one of these every week. The latest one warned me: “We mailed you because our decomposition system security has detected several failed attempts to open your account. So, we have suspended it.” Do you see the problem? Apart from the awkward punctuation, of course. What the heck is a “decomposition system?” Yeah, I don’t know, either.Again, the best advice I can offer is, when in doubt, log in to your PayPal account under a new screen. Also, tag the email as spam and report it to PayPal, so others won’t fall for it.“Your card has been cancelled.”The fraudsters can turn up the heat by suggesting your credit card has been compromised. For instance, I just received a “fraud protection alert” email from American Express that said I’d bought $9,873 worth of tires. “For your security, we regularly monitor accounts for possible fraudulent activity,” it assured me.Oh, right. I might have jumped on this one, except I don’t have an American Express account.“You aren’t getting paid after all.”Here’s a particularly sinister form of cancellation: it says your electronic payment has been cancelled. “The ACH transfer, recently initiated from your bank account, was cancelled by The Electronic Payments Association (NACHA).” It’s deliberately vague. But again, the link will take you to a page that asks you to surrender information that could compromise your bank account.If you take just a minute to ask yourself if you’re expecting an ACH transfer, and whether any of your electronic payments haven’t come in as scheduled, then you’ll probably recognize the fraudulent nature of your “cancellation” notice.It’s easy to say you will use common sense when it comes to cancellation notices, but that’s not always practical. When you face the loss of email or a credit card, reason goes out the window and you’ll do anything to get it back – even if it means surrendering your password to a fraudster’s website.Instead, maybe the best remedy is to take a deep breath and try to independently verify the cancellation. That will protect you from every cancellation scam that’s out there now.Christopher Elliott is a consumer advocate who blogs about getting better customer service at On Your Side. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook or send him your questions by email. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigationlast_img read more

What to Do if You Inherit Money from an IRA

first_img—Hungry Monkey out now: this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related As of late 2009, Americans held over $4 billion in individual retirement arrangements, better known as IRAs and Roth IRAs.About 40% of American families have an IRA. (Numbers are from the Investment Company Institute.)The older you get, the more likely you are to have an IRA. That’s because older people are wiser and because they roll their 401(k)s over to IRAs when they retire.What am I getting at?If you inherit money from a relative, there’s a good chance that most or all of that money will be in an IRA.Because the rules about inherited IRAs are complicated, most people get confused and wind up paying enormous amounts of unnecessary taxes.I don’t want this to happen to you, so file this column away, just in case.You can put it in the file with the classic Ann Landers clippings Grandma sends you, so one day, when you’re remembering Grandma’s love of homespun advice, you can also remember to treat her IRA in a way that would have made her proud.The rulesFirst, a quick recap of how your own traditional IRA works (we’ll get to Roth IRAs later).When you contribute to a traditional IRA, you get a tax deduction.Later, when you withdraw the money in retirement, you pay income tax on it. With a few exceptions, if you take money out before age 59.5, you also pay a 10% penalty on that withdrawal.Now, let’s say you inherit Grandma’s IRA. The IRS still wants its share of the money. But you don’t have to pay all the tax at once, and that’s the mistake most people make.When you turn the entire IRA into income and blast yourself into a higher tax bracket, you get stuck with an insane tax bill.What NOT to doDon’t do anything until you have a plan. Duh. Read on.Don’t try to combine Grandma’s IRA with your own IRA. You’ll turn the whole inherited IRA into taxable income.Don’t try to contribute money towards Grandma’s IRA. It’s not allowed.If you want to move Grandma’s IRA to a different custodian, proceed with caution. A custodian is the investment company where an IRA lives.Say Grandma kept her IRA with Vanguard but you prefer Schwab.No problem: call Schwab, explain the situation, and tell them you want to make a trustee-to-trustee transfer. You will never personally touch the money.If it were your own IRA, you could withdraw the money from Vanguard, deposit it at Schwab within 60 days, and pay no tax or penalty. That won’t work with Grandma’s IRA.Don’t liquidate the whole account and go to Vegas. I mean, unless you’re one of those card-counting MIT students. And unless Grandma was into that sort of thing and it was her dying wish to see you blow it all in one weekend.Little tiny withdrawalsTo recap, you’re going have Grandma’s IRA transferred to your preferred custodian, if you like, but you’re not going to mix it with your own savings or withdraw the full amount yourself for any reason.It’s fine to adjust the investment options inside the IRA at any time. Was grandma really into utility stocks but you’d prefer a more diversified portfolio? Go for it.Here’s the last rule about inherited IRAs: you have to withdraw a little money from them every year.The IRS calls this Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs).If you inherit an IRA, you have to take RMDs based on your own age, not the age of the deceased. If you’re relatively young when you inherit the IRA, the RMDs will be tiny for many years.If you fail to take them, you’ll pay a penalty. (There is no early withdrawal penalty on inherited IRAs, so you can withdraw as much as you want, but not less than the RMD.)Your custodian can help you figure out the RMD, or you if you want to stay spry, like Grandma, try the mental workout known as IRS Publication 590.Other common questionsThat’s all you need to know about inheriting Grandma’s traditional IRA. Here are a couple of other scenarios you might be wondering about:What if Grandma had a Roth IRA?Withdrawals from Roth IRAs, as you know, are tax-free. Inherited Roth IRAs work like inherited traditional IRAs: no mixing, no new contributions, and you must take RMDs based on your own life expectancy.You won’t pay any tax or penalty on withdrawals from Grandma’s Roth IRA, unless she established the account less than five years ago.If she did, you’ll have to wait until the account is five years old.What if Grandma and Grandpa each left me an IRA? Can I combine them? No.What if I inherit an IRA from my spouse?A special rule applies:If you inherit your spouse’s IRA, you can go ahead and roll it into your own account and the money will be treated in every way as part of your own IRA.If you do this, you’ll lose the ability to make early withdrawals without penalty, but you won’t have to take RMDs until you turn 70.5.What if I inherit a 401(k)?It mostly works the same way as inheriting an IRA. Check with an estate lawyer or certified financial planner for the details.In fact, this is good advice if you inherit any significant amount of money.Finally, this would be a good time to check the beneficiaries on your own retirement accounts.Oh, and to answer another common question: no, you can’t leave an IRA to your cat.Matthew Amster-Burton is a personal finance columnist at Find him on Twitter @Mint_Mamster. Post navigationlast_img read more

Infographic: Which Countries are the Most Generous Gifters?

first_imgHas an organization or university offered you an opportunity with a stipend? Whether it’s an internship or apprenticeship, a stipend is a set amount of money that helps offset living expenses. This fixed amount is financial support provided while you’re… Full Story,Truth is, there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to college: new friends, a new routine, (college parties!), and more independence. But along with all these perks, it’s also time to start thinking about your finances…. Full Story,A routing number is a unique number that identifies a specific banking institution. Each routing number is made up of nine digits. Routing numbers are sometimes referred to as an American Banker’s Association routing transit number or an ABA RTN…. Full Story,It’s stressful enough having a car loan over your head and staying on top of your monthly payments. But what if you have an upside-down car loan — in other words, the amount you owe on your set of wheels… Full Story,When you’re trying to get your financial house in order, it’s easy to get lost in the specifics. You might stress about how to adjust your budget, where to find some extra cash for the holidays or what funds to… Full Story,Shortly after graduating from New York University with a Master’s degree, Melanie Lockert turned to food stamps, as she worked her way out of $81,000 in student loans. “There were a lot of emotions around carrying that debt. It caused… Full Story,Traveling is one of the best things in life, and luckily, low funds don’t have to dash your dreams of enjoying an epic adventure. A wealth of destinations—both in the U.S. and abroad—are so affordable that even hardcore penny pinchers… Full Story,While we don’t yet have flying cars that collapse to the size of a suitcase, pneumatic tubes that transport us from room to room or machines that automatically bathe and clothe us in the morning, every day we’re getting closer… Full Story,Times have changed since Grams and Gramps were your age, looking to settle down and buy their first home. But today the house with the white picket fence—or that trendy loft in downtown—isn’t completely out of the question if you… Full Story,We recently hosted a Twitter chat as part of our #RealTalkSeries. And let’s just say, things definitely got real. Many of you joined us to discuss “taboo” and cringe-worthy money questions such as how to improve a bad credit score,… Full Storylast_img read more

Why is My Credit Score Never the Same?

first_imgThe FICO credit score ranges from 300 to 850, with anything over 700 considered good or excellent. To qualify for a loan, you generally need a score of 600 or higher, although scores of 740 will get you the best interest rates.The Vantage score works on the same range, but the bands are just a bit different. Read more about these bands here.When to Check ItIf you’re about to apply for a mortgage or other major loan, it’s helpful to check your credit score. You want to know if you have a good enough score to take advantage of the best interest rates or if you need to hold off on any major purchases. I like to check mine every month through Mint to make sure I’m right on track.What’s Turbo and why are we talking about it?Turbo is part of the Intuit family of products, just like us. We work with Turbo, TurboTax and Quickbooks to get all our customers on the right track financially. While Mint provides free credit scores to our customers, Turbo combines the same score, plus other information like verified IRS filed income and debt to income ratio to create a broader financial health profile. Try out our sister app to see where you truly stand financially – beyond the credit score.Share this:TwitterFacebook Post navigation Checking your credit score can be a bit overwhelming and even anxiety-inducing. Where do you get your score? Should you pay for it? Should you get it for free through your bank or credit card issuer? Why is your score different everywhere you look?With all the questions you may have, I figured it might be best to just bring it back to the basics.Differences Between Credit ScoresIt’s a common complaint: you checked your credit score online and when you applied for a loan or new credit card, your score was different. What gives?Well, there isn’t just one main scoring model. In fact, there are several and sites, such as Turbo, that provide a free credit score that may use a different model than the particular bank, lender or credit card issuer that you contacted.For example, when you check your credit score for free on an app like Turbo, you’re using the new Vantage 3.0 model from TransUnion. Vantage 3.0 is the latest scoring vehicle that allows millions of people to access their credit scores. For instance, Vantage doesn’t require users to have at least six month’s worth of credit history or an update on their credit history every six months.The advantage of the Vantage 3.0 score is that it compiles more information from users, which means lenders have a better idea of what kind of borrower you might be. The better the predictive model is, the more likely it is that lenders will adapt it.Another change is that Vantage 3.0 doesn’t report any collections that have been paid in full, a boon to those who are working on repairing their credit history. There’s also more detailed information and scoring related to delinquency and default.Many people are aware of the FICO credit score which is popular with lenders. What they might not know is that scores for mortgages are factored differently than for credit cards. Because the lender is taking a bigger risk by approving you for a mortgage, they’ll scrutinize your account more carefully, sometimes resulting in a lower score.The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 stipulates what personal information can be gathered and used when determining your score. It also gives consumers certain rights as far as getting copies of their credit report and disputing inaccurate information.How to Check Your Credit ScoreYou can check your credit score directly through an app like Turbo once a month for no extra fee. The score is compiled from the TransUnion credit bureau’s report. You’ll also see advice on how to increase your score, as well as any derogatory marks that might be dragging your score down.If you want to check your credit report for more details, go to That’s the official site to pull your credit report from the three credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. You can check your report for free once a year.Consistently checking your credit report is important. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, mistakes are surprisingly common. The more often you check your credit score and report, the sooner you can see if there are any errors or negative marks. Worried checking your report will hurt your score? Read on Myth #1 in Farnoosh Torabi’s article on common misconceptions about credit.How a Credit Score Is CompiledYour score is calculated from several different factors. The percentages vary by credit bureau, here’s a breakdown of the FICO score and Vantage 3.0:last_img read more

How to Set Yourself Up for Success During the Holidays

first_img Post navigation The bottom line, when it comes to credit and holiday shopping is the same as it is throughout the year (with maybe just a little more cheer!). Make sure you can make all your payments on time, don’t overextend yourself debt-wise, and don’t apply for too many new accounts during too-short of a time period. What’s in store for your credit this holiday shopping season? Holiday shopping season is upon us. Whether you’re looking for a good deal on something you’ve wanted for a while or finalizing a list of gifts, there’s one thing you may not be paying enough attention to: your credit. Fortunately, we’re here to help with some pointers for you, whether your credit is in good shape or might need some work. If you already have good credit…If you already have good credit, congratulations. That’s a real achievement for which you should be proud. Here are a few things to consider as you approach holiday shopping: Consider rewards cards. These could be store cards, but also ones that offer flexible points, airline miles and more. Just make sure you’re not applying for too many cards at once, because too many credit inquiries may negatively affect your credit health.Keep an eye on your utilization rate. That’s how much you’re spending as a percentage of your credit limit. If you’re considering making a big holiday purchase, you may want to ask your credit card provider if you qualify for a credit limit increase.Don’t overextend yourself. Chances are, if you already have good credit, you’ve been paying your bills on time. Make sure to keep doing so. And even if you can only make minimum payments, be careful about carrying a balance. That could lead to quite a holiday hangover with interest charges coming due in January.If you don’t have good credit…If your credit health isn’t where it needs to be, that’s okay. There’s always plenty of time to improve. It also doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself during the holiday shopping season or feel bad. You just have to be disciplined and plan ahead. Here are a few ways you could do so: Draw up a holiday shopping budget. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but you should write down or type out how much you can afford to spend for everyone you’d like to get a gift for. That’ll help you avoid taking on debt you can’t pay back on time, which could put you in a tougher position down the road.Don’t close credit card accounts unless you really need to. You may think closing credit card accounts right before the holidays would be a good way to stay disciplined about your spending. After all, if you don’t have as many credit cards, you don’t have as many to spend with. The problem with this is if you close accounts, especially ones you’ve had for a long time, that will lower your average length of account, which may end up hurting your credit health.Treat your financial self. If you’re struggling with debt, missed payments or a credit blemish from the past, you can take significant steps to get to a better credit place. Take some (or all) of the money you might’ve spent on holiday shopping to pay down debts or save for a rainy day. Your future financial self will thank you, and you can still buy or make meaningful gifts for your family and friends.If you haven’t yet established a credit history at all…There’s a third and important credit category to discuss: those with a thin credit file or no credit at all! This is common for young people in high school or college who haven’t had a chance to build a credit file. Here are some holiday shopping credit tips for this group: Consider applying for a store card. Sometimes, retail credit cards have lower credit limits than others, which may make them easier to qualify for without a credit history. Plus, if you’re shopping at a store you really like, you could earn perks spending with the store’s card.Apply for a secured credit card. Secured credit cards typically require that you deposit some money to use the card. These types of cards can be a win-win for the first-time credit user and the creditor. The former gets to establish a credit history, while the latter doesn’t have to bear the risk that the account won’t be paid off on time.Ask to be an authorized user on a trusted family member’s card. This isn’t a license to become an authorized user on your parents’ cards and go on a shopping spree. Rather, it can be a nice way (assuming the main cardholder handles credit responsibly) for you to establish a credit file. Typically, what gets reported to the primary cardholder’s credit report also gets reported to any authorized-user reports. That means, as an authorized user, your report will start showing the primary cardholder’s credit behavior, helping you build a credit history. Just remember to make sure it’ll be good credit behavior!center_img The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of Intuit Inc, Mint or any affiliated organization. This blog post does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow Credit Cards Affect Credit HealthDecember 6, 2017In “Credit Info”How to Plan Your Budget for the HolidaysOctober 3, 2018In “Budgeting”How to Get Through Back to School Shopping on a BudgetAugust 16, 2018In “Student Finances” last_img read more

How to Size Up a Market in PPC

first_img Topics: This article is part of a 4-part series on Getting Started with Pay-Per-Click and Google AdWords. If you’d like to review these posts, click the links below: Getting Started with Pay-Per-Click and Google AdWords How to Size Up a Market in PPC How to Get Started with Google AdWords Tweaking Google AdWords for Higher PerformanceIn this second post of four on getting started with PPC and Google AdWords, we look at how to size up a market.  (If you missed the first post, read that one first – Getting Started with Pay-Per-Click and Google AdWords).  The goal today is to know whether there’s enough traffic to justify an invest PPC advertising.As such, not every market drives online volume comparable to its brick and mortar activity. So, to determine whether PPC makes sense for your niche, consider these 3 questions:How strong is demand for this product? How competitive is this market?How much will clicks cost?How strong is demand for this product?Come up with a keyword phrase you think people will use most often when searching for your product. Now go to the Google Traffic Estimator Sandbox and enter your keyword phrase.  If we leave the second field in #2 blank, Google will return traffic estimates based on a payout sufficient to yield the top position on the page 85% of the time.The tool gives a Google search volume estimate on a 1 to 5 scale, plus an estimate of the number of clicks you can get at a given bid price.  Now, we can see whether the search volume for a given product is healthy or anemic.  These are the traffic estimates for the terms we entered:How competitive is this market?At the Google homepage, you can get a fast and dirty idea of how competitive a market is. Figure if there are 50 or more bidders on a search term, it’s cutthroat but very lucrative for the winners. Fifteen or fewer, it’s relatively easy to compete although there may not be a big revenue base to go after.Enter the term weight loss. Thirty-three pages of paid ads turn up for about 327 bidders. Enter the term cockatoo. Only four bidders appear on the first page and that’s it.  But, the real measure of competition is the bid price per click, so let’s turn to that.How much will clicks cost?As we saw earlier, the Google Traffic Estimator Sandbox provides a way to check the price for various keywords without having to log into your AdWords account. Assume you’re selling a $50 weight loss supplement, the profit is $40, and the conversion rate is 1%. This means 99 of 100 clicks don’t buy. At the high end of $2.73 a click for the broadest version of the term weight loss, you’ll eat about $270 before you make your first sale. Moreover, this scenario would repeat itself 46 times a day! Ouch.For the exact term, weight loss, the high end runs $870 per day. At a $40 profit per sale, you need nearly 22 sales to break even. This would require an 8.6% conversion rate. By bidding for less competitive positions on the page (to reduce your outlays) and by improving ad copy and landing page effectiveness (to boost conversion rates), a profitable opportunity might exist with this keyword phrase, but you need to be careful.Conclusion In our next post, we’ll take you through the process of creating a Google AdWords account, delve deeper into the mindset needed to succeed and look at some advanced tools Google provides. Originally published Mar 20, 2008 11:32:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 PPC Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns That’ll Warm Your Heart

first_imgWell, these companies have figured out some creative ways to leverage the warm and fuzzies (or unadulterated rage and crushing loneliness … whatever) that Valentine’s Day instills in people. If you don’t have a marketing campaign planned for the 14th, maybe some of these will inspire you to get in on some last-minute Valentine’s Day action. Pun totally intended.UberOn-demand car service company Uber launched a Romance on Demand campaign in most of the cities where they operate. Take a look at the short, cute video they shot to explain the campaign:If you didn’t watch the video, the gist of the campaign is this: You can request roses be sent to a special someone by selecting the “rose” in their app. You set the delivery location, and a black car arrives at that location with a driver totally suited-up to deliver a bouquet of roses.Uber is a startup that’s figured out a way to create a campaign that delights its audience and drives additional revenue for its business — all without a tremendous resource investment. I mean, their drivers are already on the road, ready to take customers; but if there are Uber customers who don’t need a ride but totally need to send some flowers, and send them with style … well, let’s just say transporting roses at a premium price isn’t much different than transporting people. Except the margins are way better for Uber. Pretty impressive stuff.And even better, they’re using inbound tactics to get the word out there! They launched the Romance on Demand campaign on their blog, via social channels with the hashtag #romanceondemand, with that adorable video you might have watched up above, and even by establishing local partnerships in the cities where they’re running the campaign to enter participants into a drawing to win some extra goodies. This is a low cost, high return campaign for Uber that totally aligns with its customer persona — high convenience and high style.MegaRedMegaRed is a type of krill oil supplement sold in nutrition stores. If you don’t know already, fish oil is an excellent dietary supplement for those concerned with heart health, so it makes sense that its Valentine’s Day campaign theme is “Whose heart do you love?” Here’s how it works.MegaRed is relying heavily on Facebook to facilitate this campaign, in which visitors can request free samples of their supplements through their Facebook app. What’s totally endearing about this campaign is that you can request the supplement for “The heart of someone you love.” In other words, you can give someone you love — whose heart you want to keep in tip-top shape — a free sample of their product. Even better? If you choose to give the free sample to a loved on, MegaRed will give you a free sample, too. And the love doesn’t end there: If they can reach 100,000 free samples given away, they’ll donate $100,000 to the National Coalition for Women With Heart Disease.Aside from the great feeling this campaign instills — I mean, promoting heart health is kind of hard to argue with — I love their use of social media to get the word out there. For instance, on Twitter, MegaRed is seeing celebrities like Joy Bauer and Toni Braxton posting about the campaign. Pretty impressive. And on YouTube, there’s this fun, short, touching video that will, forgive me, but totally touch your heart:This campaign is being handled by an agency, but one thing that made my heart smile is a quote from MegaRed’s CMO, Jennifer Steeves-Kiss, to the New York Times. “We want to start making digital and social a significantly greater priority for us,” she said. “People are spending four to five hours a month online researching supplements if they’re supplement enthusiasts,” Steeves-Kiss shared, and additionally, they are in the middle of an acquisition by a company whose executive are “great proponents” of social and digital marketing.We can’t help but smile at seeing the adoption of inbound methods by brands that have millions to spend on traditional advertising methods!The State of New Jersey and the SBAThe State of New Jersey, along with the Small Business Association, are running a pro-business campaign called “Show Your Love for the Jersey Shore.” The call-to-action for the campaign? To spend your vacation dollars — particularly on Valentine’s Day — at the Jersey Shore. It’s being promoted on Facebook, Twitter, via email, and via live events in partnership with destination marketing organizations. Information about special promotions being offered by shore businesses will be shared socially, too, so if you’re looking for something to do tomorrow, check it out 😉 For instance, you might be interested in …Doo Wop with the one you love this Valentine’s Day at @countbasiethtr.— New Jersey Tourism (@Visit_NewJersey) February 9, 2013I know I sure would be!The goal of the campaign is to show that the Jersey Shore is open for business after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. The problem some shore businesses are facing is the perception that businesses aren’t recovered from the storm. While there’s still much more recovery to be done, there are some businesses that are, indeed, ready to accept tourists. They just need the word to get out there.Director of Jenkinson’s Aquarium, Cindy Claus, told, “I think so many people see on the news that we got hit by the storm. They see all the destruction, and yes, there’s a lot of destruction and a lot of sadness, but there’s a lot of businesses that were able to get opened. And you need to come back because that’s the only way these businesses are going to survive.” The aquarium was able to open back up on February 1, and is hoping this campaign will help get the word out there that they’re welcoming visitors with open arms.Whether the campaign works or not remains to be seen, but it’s fantastic to see federally funded institutions finding a way to, essentially, newsjack as a way to aid the shore community — particularly affected businesses — in attaining their previous levels of visitors.ScribblerScribbler, a UK-based personalized greeting card service, has won my heart because of its celebration of content in its Valentine’s Day campaign. Using their blog, they’ve asked their audience to share what their definition of “love” is. All you do is visit their blog, and answer these three questions:Or, you can tweet your response to the Scribbler Twitter account. The winner will get a free iPad mini, and the best answers will be compiled in their Valentine’s Day ebook. To inspire people, Scribbler is also using Facebook and Twitter to post some of the best answers that are coming their way. This campaign is fantastic for a few reasons:It’s a simple way to generate leads that can be nurtured later.It’s a simple way to get people aware of and engaged with their social channels to expand their reach.It’s a simple way to crowdsource content.This campaign is an excellent idea for anyone trying to expand the top of their funnel — campaigns with a low time commitment but high level of delight are great ways to make new fans that you can later nurture into customers.UncommonGoodsWhen I stumble across good email marketing, I get excited. When I stumble upon lovable email marketing, I swoon. Take a look at the lovely email ecommerce company UncommonGoods sent last week to remind/enable/capitalize on last-minute shoppers: Holiday Marketing Originally published Feb 13, 2013 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: First of all, one of the great things about all of UncommonGoods’ emails is their attention to detail. For instance, they tied the Valentine’s Day theme into more than just the design and theme of the email campaign: Take a look at the little tiny text at the top left of the email to see what I mean. Instead of just saying, “For an HTML version of this email, bla bla bla,” they said, “Email still a sweet nothing? Click here.” Love is in the details, as they say.But the layout of the email also makes taking action super easy for the recipient. Notice how they’ve divided up the gifts, essentially, by persona. “Whose heart are you aiming for?” they ask — at which point you can click on the person you need to shop for, and be brought to a landing page with content that aligns with your need.But you know what takes all this to the next level? The fact that UncommonGoods finds a way to incorporate blogging into all of this! If you visit UncommonGoods from this email, you’ll see the following (pay particular attention to the orange call-out):Not only does the design from the email align with design on the website, but when you click on the parts of that little box — let’s say you’re looking for gifts for your girlfriend — you get taken to a blog post of the top ten gifts for girlfriends, with a picture of that gift, a fun and well-written description of that gift, and a CTA to make the purchase next to each gift.Nothing like integrating your marketing channels to sweep a marketer off her (or his) feet!What other companies are running adorable Valentine’s Day campaigns? Your company, perhaps? Share them in the comments, and spread the love!Image credit: seyed mostafa zamani Love, flowers, chocolate, bla bla bla …Where are the marketing results?!Okay, probably not what your Valentine’s date cares about. But if you’re a marketer, you might be interested in merging the most lovey-dovey of days with your marketing. But how? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Who Should Own Your Content? Join the #GreatDebate

first_imgA few months ago, someone tweeted at me. It said, “Great article, @gsosk” with a link to a post I had written quite a long time ago for a company. I’m always deeply flattered when people share my content — especially if it’s something that’s come out a while ago. But this time, I didn’t know how to feel. See, this article was written by me and published long ago for another company … but it had been recently reposted by the company without my permission on a third party site under my name. The post was the same, but my bio wasn’t up to date.I felt icky about it. While I stand by everything I’ve written (I wouldn’t write it if I didn’t), the company had some tiny bit of control over my “personal brand” — that thing that helps me make connections with others in my industry, land future gigs, and you know, generally support myself. And that icky feeling got me thinking. Legally, the company has a right to use the content I created for them in any way they choose. They hired me and paid me to write it. It’s like with any other transaction — they paid for it, so they own it. But because my name is on the content, should I get some allowances in the whole ownership thing? In a world where your name or byline gets you your next gig, should companies completely own the content you’re creating?It’s a tricky situation that most of us will start to face as more people publish content for companies online. So, as the writer I am, I thought it’d be best to sort this whole shebang out through blogging. Introducing the Great DebateTo figure out this whole mess, we decided to host a day-long debate here on HubSpot’s Inbound Hub. Each post on the Marketing and Insiders sections will discuss the issue — but each post will be from a different perspective in the whole content ownership game. Here’s who will be joining us:Joe Chernov, future VP of Content at HubSpot, will weigh in from the employee perspective at 11:00 a.m. on the Marketing section. Check out Joe’s argument here and subscribe to the Marketing section here.John Bonini, Marketing Director at IMPACT, will argue from the company perspective at 11:00 a.m. on the Insiders section. Check out John’s perspective here and click here to subscribe to the Insiders section.Lisa Gulasy, Content Specialist at Kuno Creative, will weigh in at 2:00 p.m. with the ghostwriter perspective on the Insiders section. Check out Lisa’s argument here and click here to subscribe to the Insiders section.Barry Feldman, President of Feldman Creative, will give us the freelancer perspective on content ownership at 2:00 p.m. on the Marketing section. See Barry’s perspective on the whole debate by clicking here and subscribe to the Marketing section by clicking here.Pick a Side in the #GreatDebateWe don’t just want our contributors to weigh in on this issue — we want to hear what you think. How much ownership — if at all — should employees, freelancers, and ghostwriters have of the content they create? Have any of our contributors won you over? Leave a comment on one of the blog posts or tweet at us with the hashtag #greatdebate embedded within each post to let us know what you think. We’ll be doing a roundup at the end of the day featuring top comments, tweets, and blog posts about the issue as well as answers to some questions you may have for our contributors. So go on, weigh in! The Great Debate has begun.Tweets about “#greatdebate”Also be on the lookout for an additional post discussing this issue from the media’s perspective on Up and to the Right at 12 p.m. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Content Creation Originally published Dec 3, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more