You Are Good Enough Now, and You Could Use Some Improving

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now All of you are perfect just as you are and you could use a little improvement. Shunryu Suzuki-roshi (1905 – 1971)Most of the blogs you read (including this humble blog) provide you with ideas as to how you can improve. The ideas that we share with each other introduce new ways of thinking and, if you are open to growth, allow you to shed old, unhealthy ideas and beliefs and form new and better ones.The truth of the matter is that you are already good enough to reach your goals and live your dreams right now, this very instant. And, you could also use some improving.You Are Good Enough NowHere’s the red pill: you already know enough to reach your goals and live your dream right now.You don’t need my blog or anyone else’s blog to win your dream client. You don’t need to read another book. You don’t need to take another training class. You don’t need to sit through yet another webinar.Right now, you are exactly as good as you need to be to accomplish whatever is you want to accomplish. The world is covered with people that know much less than you know, that aren’t nearly as capable as you are, and don’t have anywhere near the resources that you have, all of whom are producing the results that you want.You don’t have to be perfect before you can reach your goals. You don’t need to get any better. You just need to believe and take action.You are good enough right now.You Could Use Some ImprovingYou could use some improving.You could become an even better version of your already perfect self.You could learn more and gain the ability to create even more value than you already create. You could become even more and make an even greater difference in the lives of others. You could improve so much that you are able to produce the results you produce now in far less time than you ever dreamed possible.Even though you are good enough, there are areas in your life where good enough isn’t going to be good enough. There are always going to be areas of your life where you could produce an even greater result. Just because you are good enough now doesn’t mean you are no longer obligated to continue to grow and improve.There is always still work to be done.Do what you need to do grow. You could use some improving. But don’t let the need to improve stop you from taking action, reaching your goals, and living your dream now.QuestionsAren’t you already every bit of what you need to be to reach your goals and live your dream?Is the biggest gap between your present results and your goals really your beliefs and the actions that you are taking?Even in the areas where you are already outstanding, couldn’t you still improve and produce even greater results?Aren’t there some areas of your life that are out of balance? Neglected even? Couldn’t you use a little improving there?last_img read more

Two rape victims move HC, seek life imprisonment for Gurmeet Ram Rahim

first_imgTwo women followers raped by the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday, seeking life imprisonment for the sect head, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison. A special CBI court on August 28 had sentenced Ram Rahim to 20 years in prison after his conviction in two rape cases.“A revision petition has been filed today in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for the enhancement of sentence for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to life imprisonment in a rape case,” said victims’ counsel Navkiran Singh.“In this case, the Dera sect chief was considered as ’Pita Ji’ (father) by his followers. Victims were under emotional and physical custody of the Dera chief and he broke their trust and misused his position as a religious and spiritual leader. Therefore, we sought life imprisonment instead of 20-year sentence,” the counsel further said. CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh had pronounced two sentences of 10 years rigorous imprisonment in each of the two cases that date back to 2002. Besides, the court had also fined him Rs 15 lakh in each of the two cases. Ram Rahim was convicted by the special CBI court on August 25, following which violence and arson had erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa districts which left 41 people dead and scores injured. Ram Rahim is currently lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak district of Panchkula. In April 2002, an anonymous letter was written to the then Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, complaining about alleged sexual exploitation of women followers at Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa. Then in May 2002, the High Court directed the Sirsa district and session judge to probe the allegations in the letter. In September 2002, the High Court had handed over the matter to the CBI after a district court indicated possibility of sexual exploitation. In December 2002, the CBI registered a case of rape, criminal intimidation against Ram Rahim. The CBI had filed a chargesheet against the Dera head in Ambala court in July 2007. The chargesheet mentioned about sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ (women followers) between 1999 and 2001. In September 2008, the special CBI court framed charges against Ram Rahim under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC On August 17, 2017, the arguments of prosecution and defence concluded and the Special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh on August 25 convicted Ram Rahim in the rape case.last_img read more

Madha, Junnar desperate as drought tightens grip

first_imgWith no let-up in the water crisis that has gripped the State’s hinterland, residents of the drought-hit areas of Solapur and Pune districts are desperate.In Solapur’s Madha tehsil, farmers lament the condition of the smaller livestock like goats and sheep, while in tribal areas of Junnar in Pune district, water sources have all but dried up.“The government provides for bigger animals in fodder camps, but the smaller ones like goats and sheep are neglected. Their suffering is unbearable. The landscape is arid, with foliage wilting in the heat,” says Dipak Mali, a farmer from Upalai Budruk village in Madha. Calling the ground reality of the fodder camp dismal, he said it is a daily struggle for humans and animals alike to fight the crisis.Vidya Londhe, a resident of the same village, has to trudge more than 4 km every day in quest of water. “The water we receive from the tankers is invariably undrinkable. Even to get that, we have to queue up each morning. There is a great deal of jostling and frayed of tempers. It is only after several hours that we receive water, sometimes well past midnight, and even then, barely enough to fill a vessel,” she says.‘No efforts by leaders’According to Sachin Gadekar, a local journalist and analyst, the grim reality facing the populace of Madha and the rest of Solapur is ironic, given that the 40-odd sugar mills in the district were functional during the sugarcane crushing season.“Furthermore, there have been no efforts on part of Solapur’s Guardian Minister Subhash Deshmukh or important leaders in the district like Sushilkumar Shinde to provide relief for the drought hit. The Guardian Minister has made two brief tours of a couple of drought-hit taluks after the polls ended in the State,” he said.Expressing worry at the abysmal state of fodder camps and the utter lack of water, Shivajirao Patil-Chandajkar, a former director of the district milk association, observed that even water-abundant villages near the Ujani dam — Solapur’s potable water lifeline — were in dire straits this year.Meanwhile in Junnar, 90 km from Pune city, the tribal hamlets of Muthalne and Kopre are particularly hard hit, with their natural water reserves drying up. Residents say contaminated water has led to an outbreak of diseases like cholera and gastroenteritis. Stocks dipping in PuneMeanwhile, cumulative water stocks in the four major dams — Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar — that constitute Pune city’s drinking water sources are down to an alarming 4.43 TMC (thousand million cubic feet), a little over 15% of their total capacity.According to the State Irrigation Department, water consumption in the city in April was the highest over a six-month period beginning November 2018. “The city consumed 1.4 TMC water in March and April. Going by the pattern of consumption in May, the city may very well end up consuming water in excess of 1.4 TMC for the third consecutive month. This is bound to pose severe problems till the onset of the monsoon,” an official from the Irrigation Department said.last_img read more

Glasgow CWG: World No.1 shooter Jitu Rai not to take part in pistol event

first_imgShooter Jitu RaiIt’s another one of the supreme ironies that dot the landscape of Indian sport-the world No. 1 in an event will not compete in it at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.The saving grace for sports administrators in this instance is that it’s not their fault-Jitu Rai did not qualify for the 10m air pistol event before the cutoff date, as per the National Rifle Association of India’s score-based, transparent selection policy.It was only after the trials for the CWG had ended and the team selection had taken place on May 31 that Rai hit his stride.He won a gold and a silver medal in back- toback ISSF World Cups in Munich, Germany, and Maribor, Slovenia, thereby climbing to the world No. 1 spot in air pistol.In addition, he also clinched a silver in the 50m ‘free’ pistol event in Maribor to cap a tremendous run of form.Rai, who will compete in free pistol at the Dundee shooting range later this month, says he isn’t disappointed.”It’s amusing that I’m world No. 1 but not in the squad for air pistol. The [selection] policy was such that whoever shot the best up to the selection trial was selected, and I did well only after that. But it doesn’t matter, I’m going to compete there and I’m not disappointed,” Rai said.”I am very strong in free pistol too. I get a great feeling from shooting that event. Air pistol has only lately become my strongest event.” Asked what had stopped him from getting selected ahead of P. N. Prakash and Om Prakash in air pistol, armyman Rai had an interesting story to narrate.advertisement”I had shot well in the free pistol, and then did well on the first day of air pistol too. But on the second day, I was going on leave. Now being in the army, I hadn’t been home for a long time, so I was very excited and eager to finish up and leave. My mind got distracted because of that, and I could only shoot 576,” the 26-year-old shooter said.With the crucial World Championships coming up in September, Rai wants to keep calm and carry on the success.”Win or lose, I don’t like to take things to heart. Whether the event is small or big, I just want to do my job and shoot high scores.”I have trained well for the CWG and my ultimate focus is obviously on a medal at the World Championships in Granada, Spain,” he said.last_img read more

Naomi Osaka into Rome quarters, wraps up French Open top seeding

first_imgDA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Kyrgios disqualified as Federer, Nadal, Djokovic advance in Rome With a game often pigeon-holed as ideal for harder courts than clay, Osaka insists she is getting used to the slower European surface.“One of the biggest things is instead of complaining about it, I’m just trying to figure out how to adapt to it. This is, like, an inevitable part of the season.“This is the clay season, I can’t just skip this entire swing. I also feel like I want to be a player that’s great on all surfaces. I think one of the biggest steps is, of course, starting to do well on clay, learning how to adapt.” View comments Osaka beat the 29th-ranked Romanian in 78 minutes after earlier beating Slovak Dominika Cibulkova by the same scoreline in one hour and 42 minutes in the second round, as players doubled up after the previous day was washed out.At the start of the day, the 21-year-old had needed to make the quarterfinals to ensure Romanian Simona Halep could not swipe the number one ranking and with it top seeding in the French Open.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, logisticsBut Osaka’s top spot was guaranteed when reigning Roland Garros champion Halep fell to Czech Marketa Vondrousova 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the second round.“I have to think about winning tournaments. That’s sort of what I’ve been thinking about this entire tournament,” said Osaka. ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP 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 Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Of course, it’s a relief (to be top seed at Roland Garros) because that definitely was a very big goal of mine.”Osaka next meets Madrid Open champion and sixth seed Kiki Bertens for a place in the final four.The two players have met twice before, but never on clay, with Bertens winning at the WTA Finals last year to avenge a straight sets loss to the Japanese star in Acapulco in 2016.Osaka, who broke through by winning the US Open last year and Australian Open this year, did not survive the second round in her two previous appearances in Rome.Before this year Osaka had never made the last eight of any clay tournament, but has now also reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart and quarterfinals in Madrid as she warms up for the French Open start on May 26.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess MOST READ Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Japan’s Naomi Osaka returns the ball to Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May, 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)Japan’s Naomi Osaka won twice on Thursday to reach the Italian Open quarterfinals, retaining the world number one ranking ahead of the start of the French Open next week.She eased into the last eight in Rome with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Licence agreements for commercialisation of Ayush 64 & Ayush

first_img82New Delhi, Feb 19 (PTI) The government today entered into License Agreements with Dabur India Ltd for commercialisation of malaria and diabetes drug Ayush 64 and Ayush 82 respectively.Ayush-64 is an ayurvedic formulation for treatment of Malaria and while Ayush-82 is for management of diabetes .The agreement was signed between the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), an Enterprise of the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Ministry of Science & Technology and Dabur India Ltd.The drugs Ayush 64 and Ayush 82 were developed by Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), New Delhi, an autonomous body of the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy).The Ayurvedic Drug Ayush-64 is very effective for the treatment of Malaria.In view of its wide prevalence and drug resistant malarial parasite, a poly-herbal non-toxic drug has been developed by CCRAS after carrying out extensive pharmacological, toxicological and clinical studies.Ayush-82 is a combination of known and tested hypoglycemic drugs. PTI PR RGlast_img read more

IT hub to hold Yogathon to mark International Yoga Day

first_imgThiruvananthapuram, June 20 (PTI): IT hub Technopark here is all set to celebrate the International Yoga Day with a set of programmes, including a massive Yogathon tomorrow. Technopark, in association with Vivekananda Study Circle (VSC), is conducting the Yogathon at the Bhavani Building in its campus at Kazhakkoottam here. Vijay Goel, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Sports and Youth Affairs, would inaugurate the celebration, an official statement said. M (Mumtaz Ali Khan), Founder of Satsang Foundation, will deliver the keynote address. The Yogathon will be led by an instructor from Art of Living, Technopark Chapter. The Yogathon will be followed by a free Isha Upa Yoga session, organised by the Isha Yoga Foundation, at the Bhavani Atrium in the campus the same day in the evening. The theme for the 2017 celebration is Yoga for Health. The theme highlights the fact that yoga can contribute in a holistic way to achieving an equilibrium between mind and body. “Techies totalling around 75,000 working in the campus have a very stressful and hectic lifestyle and practicing Yoga regularly will help them to reduce the stress levels and practice a healthy lifestyle,” state IT Parks CEO Hrishikesh Nair said. “We at Technopark are continuously striving to help the techies working here strike a good work life balance and practicing Yoga is a step towards that,” he added. PTI LGK APR APRlast_img read more

IPL Auction: Gambhir surprised as Yuvraj goes unsold

first_imgJaipur, Dec 18 (IANS) Former India opener Gautam Gambhir was amazed as veteran Yuvraj Singh went unsold in the first round of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction on Tuesday, but believed the swashbuckling left-hander will surely be picked in the next round.For the first time this year, Yuvraj had reduced his base price to Rs 1 crore. However, no franchise showed interest in picking the sixer king. The 37-year-old cricketer will be brought back in the auction pool later in the evening.”I am surprised no team opted to pick him, he might not be able to do what he used to earlier or to perform the same way, but on a good day, Yuvraj can single-handedly win matches for his team,” Gambhir was quoted as saying by IPL’s official broadcaster Star Sports.”In my observation the teams are currently being safe and picking their first set of players, and I am confident he will be sold in the second round,” the former cricketer opined.Yuvraj, who has featured for four franchises — Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad — till now, was the most expensive player in the history of the IPL auctions when Delhi Capitals, earlier known as Delhi Daredevils, spent a whopping Rs 16 crore for the all-rounder in 2015.–IANSkk/tri/sedlast_img read more

Pep Guardiola’s flying full-backs expose Chelsea’s vulnerability

first_imgThis is what the Premier League has been waiting for since Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City. There had been hints of it before, most notably in the first half of the derby at Old Trafford last season, but City’s performance at Stamford Bridge on Saturday was the first time a Guardiola side in England has so thoroughly dominated another member of the elite from start to finish. All the familiar tropes were there – the domination of possession, the rapid transitions, the tenacity at winning the ball back; all that was missing was the scoreline. This was 1-0 going on 3– or 4-0. Share on Messenger Barney Ronay Antonio Conte perhaps saw what was coming. Gone was the familiar 3-4-2-1 and in its place the 3-5-1-1 that had been so effective in beating Atlético Madrid away the previous Wednesday. It was a system designed to sit deep, to absorb pressure and to use the passing of Cesc Fàbregas, protected by Tiémoué Bakayoko to his left and N’Golo Kanté to his right, to strike on the break. That was why, when Álvaro Morata was injured after 35 minutes, it was to Willian rather than Michy Batshuayi that Conte turned: what he needed in forward areas, he reasoned, was pace and discipline. Chelsea had undone City on the counter in both league meetings last season; here, though, the magenta waves just kept coming.The strength of Chelsea under Conte has always been the spine: the back three protected by two screening players forming a solid base for the two creators to perform upon. At Tottenham Hotspur on the second weekend of the season, he had similarly withdrawn a creator to add an extra body at the back of midfield. On that occasion it was David Luiz; here it was Fàbregas. The difference here was that City attack with much more natural width and were able to apply far more pressure on the flanks. Share on Pinterest Share via Email Chelsea Share on WhatsApp Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling stayed wide and high throughout. No team who play with a back three can ever be entirely comfortably facing opponents who constantly look to exploit the gap behind the wing-backs. Few sides can do that against Chelsea, though, because to sacrifice two players to patrolling the flanks is to risk being overwhelmed in the centre. That naturally forced Marcos Alonso and César Azpilicueta to restrict their forward sallies; that Azpilicueta was preferred to Victor Moses on the right suggested that Conte had foreseen the problem and, looking to avoid the sort of difficulties Burnley’s Robbie Brady had caused in that area, wanted a more defensive presence there.However, with the wing-backs sitting deep City’s full-backs, who are naturally attacking, were allowed to surge forward almost unchecked. Rather than overlapping, though, Kyle Walker and Fabian Delph kept coming inside their wide man. This is an increasing trend among attacking full-backs – Dani Alves, for instance, did it to great effect for Juventus against Monaco in the Champions League last season – and reflects the growing importance of the position. With a handful of notable exceptions, full-back was once a position for the energetic and the combative but – fulfilling the prophecy Jack Charlton made at the 1994 World Cup – they have become, particularly when burdened with as few defensive responsibilities as City’s were on Saturday, players who can exploit the space that often appears in front of them to shape a game. comment Football tactics The effect of those underlapping runs, particularly in the first half, was to probe at the seam between Chelsea’s wing-backs and their wide central defenders. That creates a huge problem for the defending team: if Alonso picks up Sterling and Bakayoko is dealing with Kevin De Bruyne, it can leave Gary Cahill facing a charging Walker, trying to combat a player who has already had tens of yards of acceleration room. There were times when Antonio Rüdiger would go to Sané and Azpilicueta would switch to pick up Delph but it was an issue with which Chelsea never seemed entirely comfortable.It was through that area of the pitch that the breakthrough eventually came. De Bruyne worked himself behind Bakayoko, who was perhaps wearied by being dragged about so much and was substituted soon after, which allowed him to get a run at and – after Gabriel Jesus had laid the ball off to him – behind Cahill, a rapid transition that took the ball from the centre circle to the back of the net in three passes.That could have repercussions. Not only were City excellent but a vulnerability in Chelsea’s back three has been exposed: hit the join between the wide central defenders and the wing-backs and they can be got at. Topics Gabriel Jesus stars to help Manchester City cope without Sergio Agüero Sportblog Play Video Pep Guardiola Antonio Conte Read more Reuse this content Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola: ‘We played with courage’ – video Read more Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Premier League 0:42 Manchester City Chelsea sunk by Kevin De Bruyne winner for Manchester Citylast_img read more

Ohio State Fans Will Love This Tate Martell Video From Practice

first_imgTate Martell at a practice.Ohio State’s football program is obviously dealing with some controversy at the moment, as head coach Urban Meyer is under investigation for how he handled domestic violence accusations against now-fired assistant coach Zach Smith, but the Buckeyes are still preparing for the 2018 season.OSU, ranked No. 3 in the preseason Coaches’ Poll, is set to open its season on Sept. 1 against Oregon State.The Buckeyes have been in practice since last Friday. Fall camp appears to be heating up.Today, Ohio State released a video on Twitter that Buckeye fans will surely enjoy watching.It’s freshman quarterback Tate Martell connecting with tight end Luke Farrell on a deep ball.Check it out:?‼️@TheTateMartell ➡️ @LukeFarrell89 #GoBucks #WinTheMoment— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) August 8, 2018That’ll work.Martell is entering the 2018 season as Dwayne Haskins’ backup, but the former top recruit is expected to make his way onto the field at some point this fall.Ohio State is set to open the 2018 season on Sept. 1.last_img read more

OOIL Sees Red Ink amid Difficult Markets

first_imgzoom Due to challenging market conditions, Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas International Limited (OOIL), owner of container transport businesses OOCL, suffered a full-year loss of USD 219.2 million in 2016, compared to a profit of USD 283.9 million seen a year earlier. The company’s operating loss stood at USD 138.2 million, against an operating profit of USD 353.1 million posted in 2015.“This past year has seen some of the most difficult markets in our industry’s history. A combination of steady but low growth in most regions and an overhang of excess supply built up in recent years led to extremely challenging conditions in many trade lanes for most of 2016,” Tung Chee Chen, Chairman of OOIL, commented.“As fuel prices rose in the second half of the year, industry performance was badly affected by freight rates that frequently sank below the levels seen in 2009,” Tung noted.Last year, the first phase of the company’s Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project in California was completed, with operations having commenced in April 2016. OOIL expects the second phase to be completed towards the end of this year.During the year, the firm didn’t take delivery of any newbuildings nor did it place any orders for new vessels in 2016.In 2016, four 13,200 TEU Mega Class vessels that had been chartered out to Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) were returned to OOCL.Tung said that OOCL continues to build its future on the “twin pillars of alliance membership.” The company has formed the Ocean Alliance with French CMA CGM, China’s COSCO and Taiwan’s Evergreen, which is scheduled to start operations in April 2017.From May 2017, OOCL expects to begin taking delivery of its six 20,000 TEU newbuildings.“Our 20,000 TEU class vessels enter service in 2017. Our investment in these vessels demonstrates our commitment to growing our business intelligently, and allows us to gain economies of scale in all our major East West trades. At the same time, we will maintain our focus on continuous cost improvement and further efficiency gains,” Tung pointed out.In the outlook for 2017, Tung said that the industry supply and demand balance remains one of the largest risk factors. Expectations for net growth in 2017 suggest improvement in the situation, but time may be needed to absorb the existing supply overhang, according to Tung.last_img read more

Exclusive Interview Sharif Atkins Talks Charity

first_imgActor Sharif Atkins is best known for his role as Dr. Michael Gallant on ER and his current role in USA Network’s hit series White Collar, but he is also known for his off-screen role as Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile.Sharif Atkins, with 4 month old cleft lip patient, Michael Andres Cevollos during the screening process at Operation Smile Surgical mission in Quito, EcuadorCredit/Copyright: Operation Smile Photo – Jasmin ShahSharif recently returned from Ecuador where he completed his first surgical mission with Operation Smile. As an official Smile Ambassador for the organization since 2011, he possesses a genuine interest in donating his time and efforts to ensure kids everywhere get to smile forever by supporting the organization’s global efforts to provide free surgeries for children born with facial deformities.Look to the Stars contributing partner, Delinda Lombardo, spoke with Atkins about spreading smiles, daily inspirations, his outlook on life and the ‘ripple effect’ of giving.Why did you get involved with Op-Smile?I’d been giving to Op Smile on a small scale for about 2-3 years after I saw a commercial of theirs that resonated with me. I was trying to figure out a way to give back – having been in the industry for as long as I have, I felt it was about time that I gave back in an official capacity, not just money, but time and effort. So after a conversation with my publicist Darren, we reached out to Operation Smile and about a year and a half ago I became an Ambassador for them, and peace, love and happiness followed.Several things you said make me believe that you put a lot of time into researching the organization before becoming involved: one is “Packets are not people” and the other, “It’s an organization that does what it says it does’?Philanthropy is a big thing these days – it’s not a bad thing – but I definitely didn’t want to be a “celebrity for hire” so to speak. I didn’t just want to get in my one good deed for the day and add it to my resume, there’s a lot of great organizations out there and you cant participate in all of them. For me, Operation Smile was one of those that tugged at my heart strings.Smile Ambassador, Sharif Atkins, jokes around with a child during the screening process at Operation Smile Surgical mission in Quito, Ecuador on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.Credit/Copyright: Operation Smile Photo – Jasmin ShahYou recently returned from your first mission with them, where you went to Quito, Ecuador?Yes, this was really to solidify my involvement with the organization, and yes, packets are not people and you learn that very quickly when you are actually in the throws of what’s going on and you see the effects that OpSmile is having on individuals, children and families. It’s pretty cool.I’m going to quote you again – “It’s about the long journey, not the 15 minutes of fame.” What have you learned from your journey so far?I’ve been blessed to be able to do this [acting] long enough to realize that there are plenty of ups and downs. Just stay the course, duck and dive the disappointments, rise to the occasion when you have the opportunity – all of that is real.Another quote from you: “It’s the stuff you’re doing when nobody’s paying attention that is significant.”The interesting thing about doing work with Operation Smile and another organization I recently started work with this year – Share Our Strength – I know part of my job description is to help them reach those they haven’t reached, that’s part of it. When I was in Ecuador, I never wanted to feel like I was posing for a photo op, I just wanted to be able to talk with the families, hold the kids – and if Jasmin, our photographer, got something great, great, but if not, lets move along. I know that’s part of it, but if I were a multi-multi millionaire I’d be moving in the shadows LOL dropping money here, helping kids there.A lot of celebrities are using social media to engage fans and raise awareness, you did this on Twitter a few years ago with the #SharifScavengerHunt?Yeah, a few years ago I did that as a way to raise awareness for OpSmile. Viewers were asked tweet when they saw my character smile during an episode of White Collar. Just trying creative ways to make people aware, it was a lot of fun.If you could ask your fans to do one thing to improve this world, what would it be?I wont be selfish and say donate to Operation Smile LOL! I would say – and I think most folks do it anyway – find a way to be nice to a stranger. I know its cliché, but if something nice is done for you, pay it forward. I look at a lot of thing like a pebble in the lake. You watch the ripples on a calm day by the lake, and they’re so beautiful… and you really do have an effect. You may not see that effect; you might not be rewarded for what it is that was done, but being able to have that larger perspective that the smile you give that person who was about to cut you off in traffic does have an affect. It’s infectious, plus you never know what people are going through in their personal lives.Sometimes people take things like being cut-off personally when it has nothing to do with them?Exactly, it has nothing at all to do with them.Do you want to be remembered as an actor or philanthropist?In terms of the legacy I want to leave behind, I’d probably say – can I be both? I definitely want to be respected as a solid actor, but in terms of philanthropy – absolutely someone who gave back what he could, in whatever capacity he could.Finally, if you had a theme song, what would it be?Wow… I need time to think about that, that’s a thesis question LOL! But I like Michael Jackson. I grew up in the hey day and I think ‘Man in the Mirror’ might be one, you may hear that creep up when I’m walking down the street, um, ‘You Want to be Starting Something’. Do my strut like Toby McGuire when he’s bad Spiderman LOL! But you know my faith is really important to me as well, it’s in my life. Amidst the ups and downs of my life and my journey it remains significant and important, so there’s a song by Forever Jones called ‘He Wants It All’, essentially saying this is your life, it’s something bigger than yourself, do it and live it with a higher purpose.Many thanks to Sharif Atkins and the good people at Operation Smile for making this interview possible.You can support Operation Smile and Sharif Atkins by visiting his personal Fundraising Campaign on Crowdrise at to help him raise $10,000, which can provide life-changing surgery for children around the world who are suffering from clefts.For more information on Operation Smile, please click hereCopyright ©2013Look to the Starslast_img read more

Controversy is familiar ground at TIFF Howell

first_img Login/Register With: Observing that the Toronto International Film Festival will be showing a potentially controversial film is like predicting that a politician will stretch the truth. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Facebookcenter_img Handling and his staff have stared down many protests during TIFF’s 41-year history. The most vociferous I’ve seen was the 2004 furor over a documentary called Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat, which merely described the fatal torturing of a cat on video by three Toronto men who were trying to pass themselves off as artists. To say that cat lovers were outraged is putting it mildly. It should go without saying, although it often has to be said, that TIFF exists to provide moviegoers with “Infinite Views,” to quote its pithy slogan for next month’s festival, which runs Sept. 8 to 18. It’s absolutely not the fest’s mandate to seek out the most bland and inoffensive cinema possible.Piers Handling, TIFF’s director and CEO, offered a timely reminder of this reality when I sought his reaction this week to the uproar over Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, a Sundance-lauded slave drama now burdened with rape allegations from Parker’s past.TIFF is standing by plans to screen the film three times, two of them on Sept. 9 as part of its international premiere, although there are no plans for a festival press conference for the film.“You never want the festival to turn into a safe festival that’s unafraid of controversy,” Handling said. Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Nexen fined 750K for huge pipeline spill in northern Alberta

first_img(THE CANADIAN PRESS) CALGARY, A.B. – A Calgary energy company has pleaded guilty to federal and provincial environmental charges over one of the largest pipeline spills in Alberta history.Nexen has been ordered to pay a total of $750,000 in fines for the Long Lake spill southeast of Fort McMurray that released five million litres of bitumen, sand and produced water over an area of 16,000 square metres of lake and muskeg in 2015.“A number of landbird, shorebird, waterbird and waterfowl species protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act use and were observed in the impacted area and adjacent unnamed lake,” said the agreed statement of facts. Nexen, a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned firm CNOOC Ltd., acknowledged the pipeline southeast of Fort McMurray was leaking for more than four weeks before it was discovered by workers in the area.The statement said the leak began June 13. Although the spill was visible from satellite imagery by July 3, it wasn’t until July 15 that Nexen realized there was a problem when two employees spotted it while doing work in the area.The double-walled pipeline, designed to carry raw bitumen from the ground to a processing plant had been installed a year earlier. The pipeline, which used a relatively new technology, operated at 100 degrees Celsius in order for the thick bitumen to flow.Nexen said the release went undetected because a computer failed to sound an alarm.“This failure was unknown to Nexen prior to the release,” says the statement. “Nexen had no written procedure in place to check for the type of failure that occurred.”The pipeline remains out of operation.center_img “Over the last three years, we’ve kept a close eye on Nexen’s operations to bring the company back into compliance,” Jim Ellis, head of the Alberta Energy Regulator, said in a release.“The pipeline responsible for this spill will remain suspended until Nexen can demonstrate to us that the company can operate it safely.”The total provincial fine is $460,000. About $450,00 of that will go into funds to help establish best practices on pipeline spills and to expand an environmental sciences degree program for Indigenous youth.The federal fine of $290,000 is to go into an environmental damages fund for migratory bird habitat.last_img read more

Regional District hosts meeting on Old Fort landslide update

first_imgMcQuarrie says changes in the landslide status depends on the weather conditions.“It will all come down to how much rain you will get in the Spring, how much snow you get over the Winter, and how things melt. That’s when the next risky period is going to be when it comes to Spring.”Highlighted in the report, the main elements at risk that will be monitored will be the southern part of the gravel pit, the temporary access road, and Old Fort Road.According to McQuarrie, they are still unsure as to how deep the landslide is and the rate of its movement.McQuarrie’s presentation ended as some residents continued to argue with him about the quarry and how they claim it is a contributing factor to the landslide.Following McQuarrie’s presentation Nikki Hogg, of Ministry of Transportation, gave an update on the current road status and the monitors that have been set up to watch the progress of the slide.Hogg says there are currently four thresholds that collect data that monitor slide activity.“We have four different thresholds, and that triggers different responses. They’re pretty conservative right now just because we want to see how the slide’s reacting. Since we’ve installed them since the slide has slowed down and has stopped moving, we haven’t seen any alerts from those monitoring systems and where they’re placed right now, right around five centimetres is when we will start to trigger an alert, and we will be sharing that information with the Regional District and other affected agencies to make some decisions on whether we need to close the road, increase patrol, how it’s affecting the road, and those types of things.”Hogg assured the residents that the Ministry would continue to monitor the condition of the road.Regional Chair, Brad Sperling, was on hand to report some resolutions that have been sent by the Regional District to the Provincial Government.Some of those resolutions include that the government takes full responsibility to monitor the landslide movement and that the Ministry of Public Safety should launch an investigation into the cause of the slide. Sperling feels this should not be PRRD’s responsibility.Some residents wanted to make sure that the Regional District is on board when it comes to them staying in there homes as long as possible.Sperling responded saying, “You will be, as long as it’s possible and if you’re not in danger, you will be staying there.”Sperling also assured residents that the Regional District has an evacuation plan set in place if any further sliding were to occur.At the end of the meeting, residents stated that they wish to be better informed when it comes to the releasing of information about the landslide status, as they feel they are the biggest stakeholders involved in this situation since it is they’re homes and livelihood that would ultimately be heavily affected by the landslide.The District says it will continue to improve ways of keeping residents informed on updates as they become available.The full geotechnical report can be viewed on the Regional District’s website. To present the completed geotechnical report was Eric McQuarrie of Westrek Geotechnical Services.McQuarrie says the movement of land has ceased for the time being in part to seasonal changes.“The movement has ceased, but it’s what we call suspended. We won’t call it inactive yet; it has to go through a full cycle where we don’t see any movement; have a little bit more confidence that it has stopped. This case here is just suspended because we got into the cold and we got into lower groundwater levels.”McQuarrie says a change in groundwater levels and pressures is a likely cause of the landslide and not the gravel pit alone.“Groundwater pressures are a significant contributing factor to most large landslides; therefore, the causes of the landslide would most likely be factors that increase groundwater levels or piezometric pressures. The removal of overburden soils as part of the gravel pit operation could have impacted the groundwater level by greatly reducing the volume of soil capable of absorbing groundwater within the vadose zone.”Some residents in attendance were pretty upset by the report as they say it does not list the gravel pit as a contributing factor to the landslide as they have large stockpiles of gravel on top of the hill. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District hosted a community meeting for the residents of Old Fort on Monday at the North Peace Cultural Centre.Many concerned and frustrated residents came out to listen to the updates on the landslide status.The meeting included a presentation of the completed geotechnical report, slope monitoring system, and discussions of the DRAFT evacuation plan.center_img McQuarrie says the weight of the gravel pit stockpiles is pretty minor in contributing to the landslide.“The weight of the stockpiles is pretty minor. Weight is not an issue, and the weight hasn’t changed. They haven’t really changed, what’s happened is the groundwater has changed.”McQuarrie adds that while most slides are caused by loading issues, he believes this is not the case in Old Fort, stressing that the purpose of this report is to determine imminent hazard and not the precise cause of the slide.“In most slides, the loading is an issue. In this one, we haven’t gone into enough detail, and that’s going to be a different report. You have to keep in mind that what we’re trying to deal with the imminent hazard.”last_img read more

Thousands of fish die in 3rd mass death in Australian river

CANBERRA, Australia — Hundreds of thousands of fish have died in the third mass kill on a stretch of a major Australian river in recent weeks that local officials blame on drought but critics say at least partly stems from water mismanagement.The latest deaths began Sunday night in the Darling River near the township of Menindee in western New South Wales state. That’s the same area where hundreds of thousands of fish were found floating dead in early January and shortly before Christmas.The suspected cause is hot weather leading to an algal bloom that has starved the water of oxygen.New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian blamed an extended drought. But Menindee Regional Tourist Association president Rob Gregory says officials let farmers take too much water for irrigation.The Associated Press read more

Loblaw shareholders reject living wage independent board chair proposals

Shareholders of Canada’s largest grocer rejected a proposal that Loblaw Companies Ltd. determine the feasibility of paying its employees a living wage — one that varies by location and is calculated by its cost of living.“Socially responsible companies contribute to the economic well-being of communities by providing direct and indirect employment preferably at rates that reflect the true cost of living. We believe the living wage reflects those costs,” said a speaker from Vancity Investment Management Ltd., which submitted the shareholder proposal at Loblaw’s annual general meeting of shareholders Thursday.The proposal called for Loblaw to review the feasibility, cost and benefits of implementing a living wage policy for its employees, suppliers and contractors. It asked for the company to report findings to shareholders by the end of the year.A living wage is an hourly rate set by looking at an area’s typical expenses such as food, housing, transportation, child care and other expenses. It is calculated annually.In Metro Vancouver, workers paid a living wage would receive $20.91 per hour, according to a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. If two adults worked full-time at that wage, they could support a family of four, according to the report.In comparison, the province’s minimum wage is currently $11.35 per hour, but will increase to $12.65 on June 1.Loblaw’s board of directors recommended shareholders vote against the proposal in its annual proxy circular. It reasoned the proposal over-simplifies compensation practices and won’t give the company the flexibility it needs, saying the board must ensure compensation practices “are flexible enough to allow the company to maintain its competitive position and adapt in an ever-changing retail landscape.”Additionally, the “enormous time and resources” it would take to undergo the review is an inefficient use of resources, it said, and the policy would not have any bearing on workers covered by collective bargaining agreements.The speaker countered some of these arguments when presenting the proposal at the meeting, saying the analysis would provide a factual basis for evaluating how fair the company’s compensation policies are and is an efficient use of resources as it would assure shareholders the company is a responsible employer.CEO Galen G. Weston pointed shareholders to the recommendation made in the proxy circular to vote against the proposal before adding that fair compensation and employment practices are central to Loblaw’s success, but the question of fair wages is both important and tremendously complex.While Loblaw encourages the debate, he said, “we believe that this important public policy issue is best considered by our public institutions as it is far wider in scope than one company, even one as large as Loblaw.”Ninety-seven per cent of proxies received in advance of Thursday’s meeting, which represent a majority of eligible votes, voted against the proposal, he said.At the meeting, the majority of shareholders followed suit. Though no final tally was immediately provided.One disgruntled shareholder further questioned Weston on the issue during the meeting’s question-and-answer period. He said he wasn’t clear on how many more resources it would take for Loblaw to conduct the analysis beyond the work it has already done around the impact rising minimum wages in some provinces would have on the company.“This is a national public policy question,” Weston responded, to which the shareholder retorted that it is not.Shareholders also rejected a second proposal at the meeting, asking the board to institute an independent chair of the board. Currently, Weston also serves as chairman.An independent chair would be particularly useful at the company, the proposal stated, where it was revealed last year it participated in an alleged industry-wide bread price-fixing scheme.The board recommended shareholders vote against the proposal, and the majority followed its directive. read more

UN rights expert welcomes abolishment of military tribunal in DR of Congo

In a statement issued yesterday in Geneva, Iulia Motoc, the Commission on Human Rights’ Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DRC, welcomed the Government’s decision to eliminate the military tribunal – la Cour d’Ordre Militaire – and court prosecutor’s office, military institutions which did not meet international fair trial standards. She said that this step represented important progress for the administration of justice in the DRC and encouraged the Government to continue in the same direction. read more