A former Police Constable was on Wednesday placed on 0,000 bail when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on a felony charge.Macurty Simpson, 23, of Number 28 Village, West Coast Berbice, pleaded guilty with explanation to the charge which stated that on September 11, 2015, at Georgetown, he stole one Browning semi-automatic pistol, property of George Edwards.Police Prosecutor Deniro Jones told the Court that on the day in question, the Virtual Complainant, a licensed firearm holder, went to the Tactical Services Unit (TSU) to have his firearm licence renewed when Simpson, while still being a serving member of the Guyana Police Force, was assigned to assist him.However, at the time, Edwards was unable to produce any form of identification and, as such, asked the accused to lodge the firearm at the TSU until he returned from the interior.Simpson failed to lodge the weapon and instead kept it in his possession.After he was questioned by Police, the defendant admitted to having the gun at his home.An investigation was carried out, and legal advice was sought before Simpson was charged.The defendant told the Court that it was his negligence that he failed to lodge the weapon, but it was his intention to return the weapon to Edwards.However, the weapon is still to be recovered.Defence Attorney Darren Wade requested reasonable bail, telling the court that his client was anxious to prove his innocence.The father of one will return to court on June 2, 2016 for statements.
Happy holidays!This year has been amazing and I’m grateful to all my followers and everyone who stopped by the blog to read a post, leave a comment, or simply say hi.I hope you all have a happy holiday with family and friends! For the coming year, I wish you the gifts of happiness, friendship, and good health.My weekly web design and development news post is taking a break over the holiday and will resume on Friday, January 4, 2019. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedWishing You Happy Holidays and the Best for the New YearHappy holidays! Thank you for all the comments, email messages, and tips you’ve shared this year. It’s been wonderful to meet you online as well as in person at the Detroit User Experience, Metro Detroit WordPress, and Refresh Detroit meetups. And I can’t forget everyone I’ve met at WordCamps and…In “Miscellaneous”Wishing You Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!Thank you for all the comments, email messages, and tips you’ve sent me this year. It’s been wonderful to meet you online as well as in person at Meetup groups, conferences, and networking events. I hope your holidays are filled with peace, joy, and happiness with your friends and family.…In “End of year”Celebrating Workers on Labor DayThank you to all the workers in the American and Canadian labor movements who worked to give us safe working conditions and a 40-hour work week. Hope you enjoy a safe and happy Labor Day! About the Image The image in today’s blog post depicts the 1882 labor festival held…In “Miscellaneous”
27 September 2012The percentage of South Africans with a bank account increased from 47% in 2005 to 63% in 2011 after the launch of the country’s first Financial Sector Charter in 2004, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.Addressing more than 350 delegates from over 70 countries at the opening of the 4th Global Policy Forum in Cape Town, Gordhan said South Africa’s experience of the Financial Sector Charter provided a lesson on how to confront the challenges of financial inclusion.The first charter was negotiated in 2004 and resulted in the Mzansi bank account, which has been taken up by three-million users, while banks also began rolling out more branches, he said.The second Financial Sector Charter was gazetted for comment by the Department of Trade and Industry in March.Gordhan said the long-term sustainability of financial systems hinged on the ability of these systems to serve all citizens.“The inequality, the social and political distrust of elites, and the neglect of the poor and the impoverishment of millions as a result of the financial crisis, that we still haven’t recovered from, poses serious challenges to the economic, political and social stability and progress of ourselves,” he said.He said the National Treasury was developing a “twin peaks” regulatory framework for financial services which would come into effect in the next 18 months.The new model would see the development of different regulatory focuses between prudential regulation and consumer protection, while the National Treasury would remain responsible for policy implementation, including one of encouraging greater financial access.He said an IMF report on financial stability released in April was concerning, as it indicated that innovative products were already being developed to sidestep the new financial regulations.The financial sector is faced with various challenges, include a disconnect from the real economy, said Gordhan, who pointed out that banks needed to serve more people and entrepreneurs to generate growth and create jobs.Another challenge was how multi-national banks were serving emerging markets, he said.It was also important to develop regulations to ensure that the poor were protected should new crises emerge.Central banks also needed to ensure that their respective banking sectors weren’t overly dominated by a few big banks, as this could stifle competition and the development of new and affordable financial products.Also addressing the conference on Wednesday, the deputy governor of the central bank of the Philippines, Nestor Espenilla, said the central bank’s policy of focusing of micro finance had led to 200 community banks providing financial services to almost a million micro entrepreneursEspenilla said that along with increasing micro finance, the Philippines government had also encouraged more financial education and consumer protection.Source: SANews.gov.za
Air New Zealand will defer aircraft deliveries worth $NZ750 million and introduce further cost-cutting initiatives as it adjusts to a lower growth environment in the immediate future.But passengers will see a new service to Seoul later this year, and frequencies to Taipei and Chicago boosted to up to five a week.There will also progressive introduction of an enhanced Business Premier product on long-haul routes later in 2019 and a more spacious long-haul economy offering from mid-2020.And the airline will offer free wi-fi on all capable international aircraft immediately“I want to be clear that although there will be changes to our business, Air New Zealand has always and will always keep the customer at the core of everything we do,’’ chief executive Christopher Luxon said.“ As such we have some exciting developments in the customer space to announce in the coming weeks and months, and we remain unequivocally committed to creating an exceptional travel experience that is the envy of airlines around the world.”The changes were announced as part of a business review announced when the Kiwi carrier revised its profit guidance for fiscal 2019 and designed to boost earnings despite lower growth prospects.READ: Fuel costs see Air New Zealand profit fall 34 percent.The airline is still planning network growth but says it will now average 3 to 5 percent over the next three years instead of the 5 to 7 percent it originally expected.Key foci will be ensuring aircraft are directed on profitable routes and ensuring growth stimulates tourism to, from and within New Zealand by tapping into new markets and increasing frequencies on others.This includes the launch of new direct service from Auckland to Seoul from November 2019, the increased frequency on Auckland-Taipei from the same month and on Auckland-Chicago services from December.The airline will fly three times a week to Seoul’s Incheon airport from November 23 andf up to five times a week during the peak December to mid-February peak holiday period.The new service will be operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with a flight time of around 12 hours northbound and just over 11 hours southbound.Services to Taipei will increase from three a week to up to to five during the Northern Winter flying season from December while Chicago wil move to up to five services a week over the New Zealand summer peak.Air New Zealand will also change the timing of Auckland-Hong Kong to free up an aircraft from late October.Luxon said the airline was putting extra effort into lifting the performance on routes not meeting their potential while directing assets to those performing ahead of expectations.“Our number one priority is optimizing our network mix to maximize profitable growth,’’ he said.“Therefore, it is terrific to be able to announce today that we will be increasing frequency into Taipei and Chicago.“I’m also excited to announce that we will start flying from Auckland to Seoul up to five days a week from late November 2019.”The airline will also continue to invest in product, starting with an enhanced version of its existing Business Premier seat towards the end of calendar 2019 with the rollout due to be complete by December 2020.“We have undertaken considerable customer research and testing over the past 12 months to come up with enhancements to the existing award-winning seat as well as a new food, beverage and service offering that reflects the essence of who we are as a nation,’’ Luxon said.“We are confident our Business Premier customers will love their Air New Zealand experience more than ever.”Ongoing is an $NZ50m upgrade of nine lounges across the next two years as part of a previously disclosed program.The aircraft deferrals will see the deliveries of three A321neo aircraft destined for the airline’s domestic network set back by a year and an A320neo earmarked for trans -Tasman services delayed by two years.Capital expenditure in the 2020-2023 financial years will be decreased by deferring by at least four years the delivery of two long-haul aircraft as part of a fleet replacement program to replace the airline’s B777-200 fleet.However, the airline plans no change for the delivery date of its 14th Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which will be leased from October 2019.A two-year cost reduction program designed to deliver more than $NZ60 million annually will benefit from the end of disruptions due to Rolls-Royce engine problems as well as reduction of about 5 percent in overheads.This will be in addition to an annual cost saving of $NZ50m a year that has enabled Air New Zealand to largely offset inflation over the past three years.“Our confidence in Air New Zealand’s long-term strategy, customer proposition and financial performance remains strong,’’ Luxon said.“The steps we are taking today will provide a strong foundation for future earnings growth.”
I spent much of the day Monday roaming the HUGE exhibit hall at the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference. This was by design as my previous venture to SHRM in Chicago ended before I could make it all the way through. For those thinking that I missed out on educational opportunities by not attending sessions, you are mistaken as the 2014 exhibition hall has numerous educational opportunities.First, there are some “official” learning opportunities at stages set up by SHRM with a set schedule of demonstrations and short talks. These are focused on technology and can provide a good overview of a product’s features and usability. This doesn’t even count the new “SmartStage” that made its debut this year with 20 minute talks on a variety of subjects with some of the best minds in HR.Several large booths have their own presentation spaces and also schedule times with industry leading speakers providing information on a variety of topics. These provide great opportunities to ask questions in a more intimate setting than can be found in the concurrent sessions at such a large conference.Finally, many vendors provide great education just through conversation. While having fun and creating conversation is intended to generate leads, the vendors who attend this conference are frequently well informed and willing to engage in information exchange. Even when not necessarily interested in a product or offering, a few minutes chatting with a vendor can provide information to take back to our organizations or prompt new thinking on an old problem. Don’t be afraid to talk, even if there no use for a product or service. I learned about a recruiting strategy for a large public school system from an immigration assistance group. Although I do not intend to reach out to foreign teachers, the information shared started me thinking about an approach that I could use for harder to fill teaching positions.A few other random thoughts that occurred to me while roaming: There are numerous companies offering to create employee engagement programs for your company. If you need an outside company to do this, you’re doing it wrong. Creativity with booth themes attracts attention. I see this at every conference I attend yet so few vendors are willing to go outside the traditional banners and information on a table. While budget can certainly play a role, a little bit of outside the box thinking can be cheaply and attract attention. Why was there a booth selling aloe cream? Yes, many booths had giveaways of Coach or Michael Kors purses. The target audience is clear and in many cases, disappointed that they didn’t win. Kudos to the SHRM booth for having extra padding under the carpet. Relief for the feet. If you’re going to use the scanner to collect leads, please take a few moments to learn how to use it. I showed two different vendors how to use their scanner. You’re welcome!The nice person at CareerBuilder asked me if I wanted my picture on their roller coaster. I laughed, said of course, and waited for a real coaster. I did come up with the staged picture below before referring them to RollerCoasterHR.com. To read the original blog post, please click here.
At some point in your retail loss prevention career, if you haven’t done so already, you will be called upon to help make procurement decisions on new technology, such as electronic article surveillance (EAS) or video surveillance. While you may be most interested in the features, functions, and benefits of the technologies, your CFO will be more interested in the oft-used cliché, “bang for the buck.” So, how do you calculate ROI in retail?This post explains the financial concepts required to conduct a cost vs. benefit analysis, as well as a full-fledged return-on-investment (ROI) analysis. It will also provide insight into the process by which your CFO decides the following key questions:What type of analysis (simple or complex) should be used?What are the costs and benefits associated with this project?How long will it take before the costs are recovered?Will the project turn a profit? If so, how much?How does the profitability of this project rank against all others?What Is ROI Analysis?Simply stated, an ROI analysis determines the amount and rate (percentage) of anticipated or earned profit, if any, from an investment. A pro forma analysis is conducted in the planning stages of a project using cost and benefits estimates. The idea is to calculate an expected or anticipated return based on well-reasoned assumptions. ROI analysis is also used after a project’s implementation in order to calculate the actual return and to see whether or not the investment met financial expectations.- Sponsor – There are basic and comprehensive analytical methods. The basic methods simply calculate a time horizon for cost recovery (payback) in months or years, or a simple return on investment percentage (what percentage of the cost will be, or has been, recovered). Payback ignores the concept of the time value of money, meaning a dollar that you have in your hands today is worth more than the promise or expectation that you will receive a dollar in the future. Payback also ignores any costs or benefits beyond the first year. Because of these limitations, we will not employ a payback calculation in this analysis.The more sophisticated and accurate calculations, often called discounted cash flow methods, try to encompass the following items and concepts:All fixed and variable costs and benefits, no matter when they occur,ROI measured against a prescribed time horizon, such as a five-year depreciation schedule,Taxes, opportunity costs, and the time value of money, andROI results compared to a benchmark or “hurdle” rate (a rate of return below which the project will be rejected).Net Present Value. Discounted cash flow analysis is a method of valuing a project using the concepts of the time value of money. All future cash flows (incoming [benefit] and outgoing [cost]) are estimated and discounted at a required rate of return to give their present value. The sum of all discounted cash flows covering the time horizon is the net present value (NPV). A zero NPV means the project repays the original investment and covers the required rate of return—essentially a breakeven. A positive NPV indicates a profit (over the required return), and a negative NPV indicates a loss. In capital budgeting, the discount rate used is called the “hurdle rate” and is usually equal to the incremental cost of capital. The ROI on a project must exceed the hurdle in order to be judged worthy of an investment. When choosing among a number of investments, the CFO looks for the highest NPV.Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is the rate promised by the project over its useful life. It is sometimes referred to as “yield on project.” The IRR is the discount rate that will cause the NPV of a project to be zero. Once the IRR has been calculated, it is compared to the company’s required (minimum acceptable) rate of return. If the IRR is equal to or greater than the required rate of return, then the project is acceptable. If not, it is rejected. Often, a retailer’s cost of capital is used as the required rate of return. The logic is that if a project cannot provide a return at least as large as the cost of the investment, then it is unprofitable.Both NPV and IRR are readily available formulas in spreadsheet programs. There is no need to calculate them by hand.Why Is ROI Analysis Important?First, an accurate return-on-investment analysis prohibits unprofitable decisions. A well-reasoned, thoroughly researched financial justification tends to inhibit emotional decisions, and promotes “buy-in” for the project, and helps the loss prevention department make a professional case to senior management for accepting and implementing new technology for retail stores.Quantifying Costs and BenefitsProper ROI analyses start with a thorough compilation of all costs and benefits that could possibly be associated with the proposed project. While each project may be different, the costs can be divided into three categories—investment, one-time preparation, and other.The main investment is the cost of any hardware or software licensing fees. These costs will most likely be depreciated (hardware) or amortized (software) over a fixed time horizon established in our generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).One-time preparation costs include sales taxes, freight charges, and the cost of site preparation and installation. These costs are added to the total investment for depreciation/amortization purposes.Other costs include such things as the labor required to operate or manage the project, maintenance, IT expenses, or any other incidental expenses. These costs may be one-time or annual, fixed or variable. Generally, they are not included in the investment, but are “expensed,” meaning they are accounted for in full when they are incurred.A “hard” cost, such as the cost of the EAS tags or other retail theft prevention system, is objective and easily acknowledged and quantified. All hard costs and benefits should be included in the ROI analysis. “Soft” costs/benefits are those that are more subjective estimates rather than precise calculations. For example, an anticipated improvement in labor productivity may not be as easily acknowledged and quantified. The most accurate ROI analyses rely upon “hard” costs as exclusively as possible and only include “soft” costs where the circumstances can be clearly understood and agreed upon by the project participants.Measuring the Major BenefitsThe “R” in ROI means return. A return is a tangible benefit, most often measured over time, which offsets some or all of the project’s costs. Each project has its own list of potential benefits. The most common benefit types in projects that implement new technology for retail stores are:Reduction in inventory shortage,Labor savings,Additional sales, andProductivity improvementA reduction in inventory shortage is usually the largest and most important potential benefit from loss prevention investments. If you think about it, we are making investments in security programs with the intention that shortage will be reduced from current levels, or that the countermeasures will keep shortage from rising to unprofitable levels. Shortage reduction and control is loss prevention’s raison d’être. We must be able to accurately estimate the impact that the project will have, or has had on shortage.The shortage performance graph below plots the inventory shortage results in a retail apparel store that had experienced a significant increase in shoplifting. After installing EAS, the results were measured after the first year, and future results were estimated over the balance of a five-year time horizon (years +2 through +5). In this example, EAS is the only countermeasure that was used, so any change in shortage can be directly attributed to its deterrent qualities. The horizontal (X) axis measures time, in years, and the vertical (Y) axis measures shortage as a percentage of sales. Under this scenario, shortage had been rising and the crisis point (year 0) was reached when shortage reached 5 percent of sales. EAS was installed at the end that fiscal year (year 0) directly after the annual inventory was taken. At the end of the first fiscal year of EAS usage (year +1), shortage dropped by 50 percent to 2.5 percent of sales. Management assumed that shortage would remain at the lower level over the rest of the time horizon.The dollar value of the reduction in shortage over the five-year time horizon is the financial benefit that will be entered into ROI calculation for the project. Assume that the store’s annual sales are $1 million. Assume further that shortage would have stayed at its crisis point of 5 percent (dotted red line) had EAS not been installed. Without EAS, annual shortage would be $50,000. Since the EAS installation, annual shortage dropped to 2.5 percent ($25,000), and with proper management, would remain at that lower level over the subsequent four years. So, the financial benefit gained by the use of EAS is the difference (at cost) between the shortage at the crisis point before the installation (5 percent) and the average rate of shortage after the installation (2.5 percent)—a savings of $25,000 at retail per year.To arrive at the cost of shortage, we must multiply by the cost of goods sold (COGS), in this case 55 percent. By “costing out” the change in shortage, we are treating it (accounting-wise) the same as we treat the cost of the EAS equipment, making the results “apples to apples.” This calculation will be shown later in the real-world example.Additional sales may be generated in other ways. If an EAS investment reduces shortage by 50 percent, there will be more merchandise available for sale than there was before EAS was installed. Will some of these items be sold? Without a doubt. The questions are:Can the amount of incremental sales be accurately estimated?How are incremental sales valued in the ROI analysis?Thanks to the work of retailers and academic researchers, studies have shown that there is an inverse relationship between item-level shortage and sales. In other words, statistics show that when shortage in certain items decreases, sales in those items increase. The range of the sales increase is wide, and at this point this type of benefit has to be considered “semi-soft,” meaning that while there is empirical proof that incremental sales occur, the estimate is still subjective, unless the retailer has conducted its own study. For this reason, an estimate of the impact of incremental sales will not be used in the real-world example analysis below.Calculating the financial benefit of an incremental sale, however, is straightforward. Doing so requires an additional piece of information—the “gross margin” percentage of the items in question. Suppose the EAS project results in provable incremental sales of $50,000 per year at retail, and the gross margin percentage of those items is 19 percent. To calculate the gross margin impact of the incremental sales, multiply them by the gross margin percentage ($50,000 x 19% = $9,500). This gross margin impact is the financial benefit that would be included in the ROI analysis.Labor savings can be included when an investment in technology results in a reduction in labor hours. Labor savings is a “hard” benefit that is calculated by multiplying a wage rate by the number of hours saved in the project. Typically, if labor hours are reduced, then employee benefits are reduced, as well. Often called a “benefits component,” it is usually expressed as a percentage of the base wage rate. Ask your human resources department for the rate.If the benefit component rate is 18 percent, and the hourly base wage rate is $10.00, then the benefit component is $1.80 per hour, and the “fully burdened” wage rate is $10.00 + $1.80 = $11.80. If the investment saves 120 hours of labor per year, then the labor savings benefitin the ROI analysis is $11.80 x 120 or $1,416 per year.Productivity improvement comes in many forms, but is not easily quantified. Suppose that an investment in video surveillance equipment allowed loss prevention agents to apprehend 15 percent more shoplifters per year than previously. Suppose further that the average value of each bust was $75.00, at retail, in recovered merchandise, and the number of annual cases had been 80 per year. A 15 percent increase in productivity allows the agent to work about twelve more cases, and results in an additional recovery of $900 at retail per year. Multiplying the amount of the recovery by the COGS of the items (55 percent) provides a benefit of $495 to the ROI analysis.How Do You Calculate ROI in Retail? A Real-World ExampleThe following simple real-world example will supply the data necessary to explain the analytical concepts discussed above.Suppose the management of the apparel chain mentioned above is trying to decide between installing EAS or video surveillance in a high-shortage store. The choice is between a simple EAS pedestal system with plastic tags and detachers versus an array of video domes interconnected to a monitor/switcher/recorder…nothing fancy. Suppose that the chain already used both countermeasures, and EAS has been proven to reduce inventory shortage by 50 percent and video by 35 percent. Assume, as we did above, that the store’s shortage is 5 percent of sales, and annual sales will be $1 million per year for each of the five years. The COGS for the protected items is 55 percent. The various costs have been identified and quantified in the chart:Shortage Reduction Benefit Calculation. In the EAS example, management expects shortage to decrease by 50 percent from 5.0 to 2.5 percent of sales and remain at the reduced level for the five-year time horizon of the project. The annual sales for the store is $1 million and the COGS for the protected items is 55 percent, so the annual ROI benefit from the estimated reduction in shortage is $13,750 per year.In the video surveillance example, management expects shortage to decrease by 35 percent from 5.0 to 3.25 percent of sales and remain at the reduced level for the five-year time horizon of the project. The annual sales and COGS are the same, so the annual ROI benefit from the estimated reduction in shortage is $9,625 per year.Choosing the Most Profitable Investment. Let’s calculate NPV and IRR for the competing technologies in our real-world example to answer the CFO’s questions from the opening paragraph:Will either countermeasure be profitable?Which one is more profitable?How long will it take to recover the investment?EAS—The annual benefit (at cost) from shortage reduction using the EAS technology is $13,750. From that we must account for all of the costs, beginning with the initial investment in EAS system, tags, and detachers, a total of $9,200. One-time preparation costs are $1,250. Both of these items must be depreciated. Annual costs include tagging and tag removal labor ($4,800) and tag replacement ($100). In years two through five there is an additional expense of $200 for maintenance. In addition, the impact of taxes (39%) and the cost of capital (8%) must be included. The results of these calculations are:Video Surveillance—The annual benefit (at cost) from shortage reduction using video technology is $9,625. From that we must account for all of the costs, beginning with the initial investment of $3,000 in the video domes, monitors, switchers, and recording device. One-time preparation costs are $1,010. Both of these items must be depreciated. Annual costs include system management labor ($6,000). In years two through five there is an additional expense of $100 for maintenance. In addition, the impact of taxes (39%) and the cost of capital (8%) must be included. The results of these calculations are:The Verdict Is EAS. Both countermeasures are profitable because the NPV calculations are greater than zero. The IRR calculations suggest that both generate a significant return over and above the 8 percent cost of capital used as the discount rate. Note, however, that the NPV for EAS ($15,400) is almost triple that of video ($5,900), and the IRR for EAS (65.08%) is almost 10 percentage points higher than that of video (55.12%).Based on these metrics, EAS is the countermeasure of choice. There are a couple of reasons. First, the assumed shortage reduction for EAS (50%) exceeded that of video (35%). Second, the annual costs for video in years two through five are higher.This article was originally published in 2010 and was updated February 19, 2018. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
By Lindzi WesselOct. 25, 2019 , 9:00 AM Argentine scientists rally behind favorite in Sunday’s presidential election Alberto Fernández Thousands of Argentine scientists are hoping the man expected to be the country’s next president will reverse deep cuts to research imposed by the conservative government of President Mauricio Macri. But the first priority for Alberto Fernández, the front-runner in Sunday’s election, will almost certainly be Argentina’s crumbling economy. And it’s not clear when—or how effectively—the concerns of scientists will be addressed.Fernández, a 60-year-old lawyer and political insider, worked for former President Nestor Kirchner and, for a short time, under Cristina Fernández de Kirchner after she succeeded her husband in 2007. Despite a decadeslong rift between Fernández and Cristina Kirchner, she is now his running mate, and the presidential candidate is expected to continue her brand of populism, whose roots go back almost 70 years to the rule of Juan Peron. Polls show Fernández leading Macri by a wide margin; Fernández will gain the presidency if he captures more than 45% of the vote in a six-person field, or wins 40% of the vote and leads by at least 10 percentage points.Kirchner won the support of many scientists by creating Argentina’s first Ministry of Science. She also increased the number of student scholarships and pledged to create more jobs within the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET). Elected in November 2015, Macri eliminated the science ministry and cut new CONICET jobs to less than one-third the level that Kirchner had targeted by this year. Other cuts have left research labs struggling to cover basic services such as routine maintenance and the cost of electricity and security.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Natacha Pisarenko/AP Photo Almost 11,000 self-identified members of the scientific community have signed their names to a pro-Fernández statement of support created by Science and Technology Argentina (CyTA), an advocacy group formed in 2016 to oppose Macri’s policies pertaining to science and research.“Four years of cuts combined with a very, very aggressive discourse against scientific work—especially against the social sciences—would be stopped with the government change,” says Rolando González-José, a biologist at the National Patagonian Center in Puerto Madryn and a member of CyTA.But although Fernández and Kirchner have voiced strong support for “the development of knowledge” and increased funding for research, the ticket is not without its problems. Kirchner faces corruption charges, including accusations that she solicited bribes and manipulated financial data during her time in office. And voters are split on which leader—Macri or Kirchner—deserves more blame for Argentina’s current economic crisis, which has sent the value of the peso plunging and inflation soaring.Argentine biologist Marina Simian was so desperate under Macri’s cuts that she famously turned to a local version of the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire to buy reagents for her lab’s cancer research at the National University of San Martin. Still, she plans to vote for Macri because she worries that a Fernández-Kirchner victory would mean a more authoritarian and less transparent government. And although Simian has criticized Macri’s view of science, she says scientists were protesting low salaries and a dearth of grants long before Macri took office.“We didn’t go from heaven to hell in 4 years,” she says. “We were in hell, and then we fell into a worse hell.”Mario Pecheny, a political science researcher at the University of Buenos Aires and vice president of scientific affairs at CONICET, expects Fernández will be hard-pressed to deliver on his promises, given the country’s economic woes. But he thinks a Fernández victory will be a positive step for research.“I’m not completely sure that the new government will do whatever we want them to,” he says. “But I think it will be much more friendly to science.”
Hughes has undergone a surgery and remains in critical condition at the St Vincent HospitalThe touring Indian cricket team extended its best wishes to injured Australian cricketer Phil Hughes and his family after the left-handed batsman suffered a vicious blow to his head during a Sheffield Shield game in Sydney on Tuesday.South Australia’s Hughes was hit on the head by a bouncer bowled by New South Wales fast bowler Sean Abbott during a Sheffield Shield game in Sydney, which was abandoned after that.Team India’s stand-in skipper Virat Kohli alongside his teammates including Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin took to Twitter to extend their support and wishes to the injured batsman.Thoughts and prayers with Phil Hughes all the way. Fight it out mate. You are a top man. All the strength goes out to you and your family. Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) November 25, 2014Really shocked to see what’s happened to Phil Hughes.Fight and get out of this one my friend.My thoughts and prayers are with you. Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) November 25, 2014Really shocked to hear about Phil Hughes. Fight it out buddy!! You are a champion!!! All our wishes with him and family. ajinkyarahane88 (@ajinkyarahane88) November 25, 2014Have a speedy recovery Hughes! Prayers# Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) November 25, 2014Here’s wishing Phil Hughes a speedy and full recovery. Get well soon, champ. BCCI (@BCCI) November 25, 2014Hughes has undergone a surgery and remains in critical condition at the St Vincent Hospital.”The touring Indian cricket team extends its best wishes to Phil Hughes and his family at this time. We join with the rest of the cricket community around the world to offer our support and prayers to Phil and his family as well as our friends within Australian Cricket,” Indian cricket team released a statement through Cricket Australia.advertisementHughes, who was wearing a protective batting helmet, reeled back and then bent forward momentarily after the impact of the short-pitch delivery before falling suddenly to the ground. He was treated and ventilated on the field by medical experts, including doctors who were flown by helicopter onto the Sydney Cricket Ground, before being taken to nearby St. Vincent’s Hospital by ambulance.South Australia Cricket Association high performance manager Tim Nielsen said the outcome of the surgery was unlikely to be known for one or two days, and he requested privacy for the Hughes family and friends who had gathered at the hospital.The 25-year-old Hughes was considered a strong contender to force his way back into Australia’s test team next week if injured skipper Michael Clarke was forced out of the series-opening match against India. He was batting confidently on 63 when he mistimed an attempted pull shot and was hit on the back, left side of the head by a regulation bouncer from New South Wales fast bowler Sean Abbott.Hughes has played 26 test matches for Australia since his debut in 2009 but hasn’t been able to cement a regular spot in the starting lineup. Australian and international players and officials were quick to react, sending messages of encouragement to Hughes via social networking sites.Cricketers didn’t start wearing protective helmets until the late 1970s, when batsmen decided it was necessary to protect themselves against a 156-gram (5 ounce) leather ball traveling at up to 160 kph (100 mph).Bouncers, where a fast bowler aims to push the batsman back toward the stumps with a ball that bounces above chest or head height, are still a regular and acceptable part of the game.The International Cricket Council revised its laws on short-pitch bowling in the early 1990s, putting restrictions on the number of short-pitch balls allowed per over to stamp out bowlers merely using the delivery to intimidate batsmen. Top-level batsmen can combat the short-pitch balls by either taking the defensive approach of trying to duck out of the way, or take the risk of hitting it to leg-side to score runs.
“People were making vacation plans for the next year and I wouldn’t even buy flight tickets for the next week,” says Gautami Tadimalla, 48, without losing her calm for a moment.”It took me time to accept the permanence of life and plan for the future,” she adds. Poise in the,”People were making vacation plans for the next year and I wouldn’t even buy flight tickets for the next week,” says Gautami Tadimalla, 48, without losing her calm for a moment.”It took me time to accept the permanence of life and plan for the future,” she adds. Poise in the time of grit is perhaps the most defining character she has been associated with, in the industry and outside. A breast cancer survivor, Gautami was diagnosed with the disease at 35. Now, 13 years later, she is back in the industry with renewed rigour, a new attitude to life and a more refined process to her craft.SCREEN BEGINNINGSIn a liberal family of doctors from Bengaluru, a radiation oncologist father and a radiologist mother, Gautami grew up with no dreams of being on the silver screen. Becoming a doctor was a natural career plan and deviated only when her father suggested taking up engineering instead. “It was a time when the medical field was in a state of flux and knowing my temperament, my father suggested I try something else,” she says. Fate had other plans and her first offer came while she was in Hyderabad for admission counselling, through a relative. “It was a film on the life of St Paul and Vijayachander thought I would be perfect for a small cameo role,” she says. However, the process was set in motion and before she knew it, 16-year-old Tadimalla had the industry calling for her.The pictures and footage was being seen in the labs during post-production and word had spread about the arrival of a new actor. People began asking and soon, offers began pouring in. After much deliberation, she decided to give the big bad world of Kollywood a shot and only because she liked the production house’s approach.advertisement”They told my mother that I could be on the first flight back home if I felt the slightest discomfort,” she says. The film was Guru Sishyan, 1988, and one that she is still remembered for even decades later. It was during her second film, Enga Ooru Kavalkaran, 1988, that she knew she had chosen a career path that was cut out for her.”There was something about the camera that lit me up. The places and the situations felt right,” she says. She was soon on set 18 to 20 hours a day, working double shifts and taking in hungrily, everything tinsel town had to offer. “Now that I think about it, acting is a very solitary job, where an actor takes full responsibility for the work they do. It is perhaps one of the reasons it appealed to me,” she says.A NEW WAVEAt the peak of her career, with several box office hits in her kitty and screen time with stars such as Rajinikanth to her credit, she took the next defining step in her career-experimental Malayalam films. “It was like the beginning of a new wave. The films there were what one would call multiplex cinema today and my interest was sparked. I did several interesting films such as His Highness Abdullah, Sukrutham, and Vidyarambham,” she says.It was a change in perception and craft and an awareness that crept into her work in commercial cinema too. “I started looking at commercial cinema differently. I would think about how I can make the characters look more relatable,” she says. Her characters looked real and spoke to the audience, something her fans still remember her for.THE PAUSE”I found the lump myself, so I wasn’t shattered or anything,” she says talking about the beginning of the trauma that was to span the next few years of her life. Her approach to the cancer was much like that to her career-practical and calm. “I had already had a few traumatic years by the time I got diagnosed. And I took the same approach, telling myself, this is the situation now, what next?” she says.The treatment, a lumpectomy surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation lasted six months. Subbulakshmi, her daughter was only five at the time, and with her at every step. “I didn’t want her to feel that Amma is here today and won’t be there tomorrow. I didn’t want my hair falling out suddenly, so I cut it off gradually. By the time chemotherapy started, I was bald,” she says. She has spoken of her battle with the disease many times over, yet the perfunctory tone gives away for a moment. She believes people who are diagnosed often don’t have their priorities in place. “Surgery usually has a logical conclusion, but chemotherapy is different. It is alright to be scared of chemotherapy, petrified even. But, your hair falling off cannot be the primary concern. I know it is a metaphor for death but it will grow back. I want to tell them, they will be fine,” she says.advertisementChemotherapy did bring fear with it and the experiences of other people that she had heard were often shocking, ranging from vomiting fits to weakness and more. “It is then that I had to stop myself and say, so what if I vomit. I will do so and get done with the treatment.” Never once does she dismiss the need of a positive attitude through it all, emphasising it is often half the battle won. “But to be ignorant and say there is nothing wrong with me is irresponsible. There is a lot of effort from people including yourself to save your life. After all, you are sick and your immune system is compromised. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions and diets,” she says.THE JOURNEY AND MOTHERHOODThe recuperation took a few years, but Tadimalla was already bouncing back, taking in her stride every realisation the cancer had brought. “It is unfortunate that it had to happen this way. But it put my life back on track. One of the things it did was to make me realise what kind of mother I want to be to my daughter,” she says talking about their bond. A single mother right from the beginning, she took to motherhood with a sense of discovery, both for herself and her daughter. “It was the first time I was seeing what being out there in the world as a woman feels like. With my own upbringing, I was never made conscious of the fact that I was a woman,” she says. “I’ve let my daughter discover things about herself and I now understand why she thinks the way she does about everything including feminism,” she adds.RETURN TO CINEMA”As cliched as it may sound, I’ve never been too bothered about money,” she says while talking about the process of selecting a film. While the character she essays is of primary importance, a strong screenplay and the director are important too. If it fits the bill, she takes up the project regardless of the budget it comes with. While the process remains quite the same, her approach to a role has become mature, she admits.”I’ve always been an instinctive actor, but now it is blended with a certain deliberate preparation too. Most of this is about being in the right mind space,” she says talking about the initial days of her return where she was marred by restlessness and preoccupation at not being able to disconnect from other parts of her life. Her stint as a technician and costume designer had also brought about a change in perception which needed to be re-examined. “As a technician, my perception of the film was panoramic. I had to start telescoping it down as an actor,” she says.advertisementActing remains on the cards as she juggles shoot schedules but Tadimalla is looking to announce her foray into production soon. “We will be looking at feature films and digital content too,” she says.LOOKING BACKThere is excitement in her voice as she speaks of cinema and it isn’t hard to tell the medium continues to charm her as it did when she first stepped into it as a college girl. “I still remember my mother used to say when I sat in a corner at home. ‘Bring in a few lights and then watch the sheer joy on her face,'” she says as she gleams.Survival Of The Strongest1 Don’t panic: It is important to not go into a downward spiral, something a lot of people do. If you have caught it early, breast cancer is the most treatable type of cancer.2 Find a good doctor: It is very important that you trust your oncologist. There is also no harm in going to several doctors for consulation before you find the doctor you trust.3 Follow instructions: It is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions and diet. Not taking precautions can mean you are not giving yourself the practical chances you need to survive.4 Commit to the treatment, all the way: Chemotherapy is usually a three-week cycle and your immunity levels take a hit. Even a common cold can become a complication.5 Be practical: Be aware that it can happen to anyone and you need not have done anything wrong. It could be a dormant gene that caused it.6 Be positive: It is the greatest weapon you can have.At A GlanceTwo of Tadimalla’s favourite filmsNee Pathi Naan Pathi, Tamil (1991)One of my favourite films where I play a character called Niveda. She is an illegitimate daughter of a respectable man in the society. Though the parents have had an enduring relationship, she is fiercely supportive of her mother. When Niveda falls in love, a crisis unfolds. The journey of how she finds herself and walks away with courage and peace was deeply interesting.Sukrutham, Malayalam (1994)Based on a novel by author MT Vasudevan Nair, the film is the story of a writer played by Mammootty who gets diagnosed with cancer. He goes into a spiral and wants to find someone for his wife while he is still alive. When he goes into a hospice, his wife turns to another man out of heartbreak and anger. There, he goes on to reminisce their time together. However, at the end of it, she is a different woman. It was one of those characters I took some time to snap out of.Photographer Sumanth KumarStylist Shruti Charan KodikalMake-up A IbrahimHair S Vijaya RaghavanLocation courtesy Intercontinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort”You Need To Fight For Your Life”Reva Kumar, 55Breast cancer survivor Founder, Sapphire Sourcing, Garment export company DelhiIt was in 2012 during her regular mammogram when Reva Kumar was diagnosed with breast cancer. A lesion was detected and she was asked to undergo the FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology) test, which turned out to be positive. “The first reaction was of denial and that cancer could not hit me. After the test reports came in, for a moment, I did feel it was the end. But then immediately, I knew I had to fight it,” says Kumar who is a fashion designer, and runs her garment export business catering to fashion houses in the US and UK.Putting up a brave front Being a fighter that Kumar is, she refused to let cancer pull her down and her business. The cancer was infiltrating duct carcinoma (NOS) grade 2, score 7, and her treatment started at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, Delhi, with a lumpectomy where the lump was surgically removed. What followed was six cycles of chemotherapy at an interval of three weeks. After 21 days of her last chemotherapy, she had to undergo 25 radiation sessions and six boosters of radiation. “I have a strong belief that God gives you only what you can handle. It was my family, my husband and son, who inspired me to get up each day and fight with all my might. They gave me hope when I felt embattled and so physically weak,” says Kumar, who was declared cancer-free after about nine months of treatment, and is now on hormonal therapy since 2013. She on her part tried to keep her life as normal as she could throughout the treatment. She kept herself involved with the business, went to work, and gave herself no time to think about the disease.A new lease of life Being a workaholic who always felt that if she would not concentrate on the work and finish tasks on hand, things wouldn’t happen, Kumar now refuses to stress about tomorrow. “I have become more positive after facing the C, and I am living thoroughly this second lease of life,” she says. Kumar now also volunteers with an NGO that helps cancer patients bounce back and counsels their families as well.By Shelly AnandStay Inspired1 Never give up. Attitude is everything, and your frame of mind will frame your world.2 You simply have two choices- sit, cry and moan, or be strong and positive3 Keep yourself busy and motivated all the time4 Don’t shy away from meeting people. Losing hair is only a temporary phase.5 If good times didn’t last, bad times will also not continue”Cancer Is A Rebirth”Nidhi Agarwal, 51Breast cancer survivor Founder, Bliss Foundation, NGO for support and counselling of cancer patients, DelhiJust when her husband had developed multiple system atrophy, Nidhi Agarwal detected a lump in her left breast during a casual self-examination in October 2014. Tests diagnosed it as stage 1, grade 2 malignant tumour.”My first reaction was why me,” says Agarwal. But the Delhi-based cosmetologist swiftly brushed aside fear and underwent a surgery within four days of the test results and followed it up with six cycles of chemotherapy. These took a toll on her health. “I had skin discolouration and lost my hair. But I decided to face it and come out of it for the sake of my family,” she says. Her zest for life made her wear make-up everyday and step out feeling good. “I lived my life to the fullest. I shaved off my hair which was thinning because of chemotherapy and acted in a play. I realised that I had a new chance to live my life,” she says.During her treatment, she met doctors and a support group from Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj, Delhi, where other cancer patients met and shared their problems. “It was here that I found my inspiration to help thousands of cancer survivors because what you need the most is support from family and friends,” she says. In November 2015, she was declared free of the deadly disease and Agarwal decided to set up Bliss, a breast foundation trust along with her son.”I decided that women need beauty therapy to live confidently. We helped them dress up, procure wigs and bras. We also started theatre therapy whereby women could act in skits and keep themselves busy and engrossed,” she says. While the trust is still in its nascent stages with limited funds, Agarwal recently organised a fund raiser that can help Bliss offer financial assistance for treatment.By Aditi PaiFace it1 Stay positive. It helps tackle the turmoil that comes with the disease.2 You have got a new lease of life so live it to the fullest. Pursue your hobbies.3 Be confident, dress well and feel good. It works on your mental make-up.”Accept Whatever Life Throws At You”Dr Ritu Biyani, 58Breast cancer survivor Dental surgeon and Founder, Highways Beyond Cancer, PuneAs a dental surgeon in the Indian Army Dental Corps, Dr (Capt) Ritu Biyani’s first posting was in Sikkim, the state where the mountaineering bug bit her. Inspired by the mountains, she did courses in basic and advance mountaineering, undertook two expeditions and went on to become the first woman paratrooper from the Indian Army Dental Corps. “The probation period was at par with men and there were no concessions. The training was to test physical and mental endurance so as to be prepared for any operational para drops in war, if required,” says Biyani. The rigorous training and her penchant for sports probably prepared her to face the emotional upheaval of being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000. “These activities inculcated tremendous physical and mental endurance both before and after cancer, subtly expanding and enriching my life hugely. My desire to achieve something was greater than the fear of failure,” she says.Biyani was 40 when she was detected with breast cancer-infiltrating ductal carcinoma. A visit to the doctor for check-up revealed a lump in her breast but was misdiagnosed as benign. Three months later, she developed another symptom and the biopsy test diagnosed it as cancer. It was undoubtedly a turbulent time. Her then eight-year-old daughter was worried that her mother would die of the disease. “Indeed this was an adventure but with a difference. I accepted the diagnosis without wasting time in denial or self-pity,” she says.In 2006, after she was cleared of the disease, Biyani and her daughter Tista Joseph, now 14, pioneered an initiative, Project Highways, which combined adventure sports with cancer awareness and motivational campaigns across India. “Don’t fear but be alert,” she says. Over the past 11 years, Biyani has driven alone over two lakh kilometres across 26 states and four union territories, conducted more than a thousand cancer awareness workshops with groups ranging from tribals to technocrats and reached out to more than three lakh people in urban and rural areas, sharing her experiences, assisting other patients in dealing with cancer and raising financial aid for needy cancer patients.By Aditi PaiReduce Your Risk1 Look for unusual changes in your breasts and armpits2 If you notice anything abnormal, don’t delay or avoid visiting your doctor for a check-up3 Early detection can improve your chances of survival and can help preserve the breast”Cancer Made Me The Woman I Am Today”Kanchan Daniel, 27Picture courtesy FB@KDANDTHEBGut cancer survivor, Lead singer, Kanchan Daniel and the Beards, MumbaiKanchan Daniel grew up listening to Boney M, The Mamas & the Papas and Janis Joplin, her biggest inspiration. “Nobody in my family is a musician but music is an integral part of our lives,” says Daniel.Vocalist of the blues rock band Kanchan Daniel and the Beards, she plays three instruments-keyboard, blues harp and didgeridoo and has a degree in clinical psychology. Tying her many talents together, is her approach to life, which is equal parts fierce and fearless, rational and inspiring. Ten years ago, she was diagnosed with stage-three cancer of the gut with no chance of survival. But she beat those odds with eight surgeries, three rounds of chemotherapy, good cheer and sheer strength.How and when were you diagnosed with cancer?I was learning to drive when I started getting an intense pain that would should shoot down my thigh. At first, we thought it was because of driving, however, I would also get a recurring fever. But none of these was a sign that would lead us to think it was cancer. One day, the fever was too intense and I had to be rushed to our family doctor, who suggested I get a sonography. It was revealed that I was carrying a tumour so big that it didn’t even fit in the screen of the sonogram. The same day we consulted another doctor and the next day, I was scheduled for surgery. My cancer had progressed to stage 3, we were unsure that I’d even make it out alive from the surgery. You fought the disease with humour and strength.Tell us about your approach?I did not jump into self-pity and go down the ‘why me?’ route. I didn’t even cry because my only aim at that point was to kick cancer out of my system because it had messed with the wrong girl. Apart from my own mental determination to battle and beat the illness, it has been the unstinting support of my entire family, my doctors, my faith in God, and the positive atmosphere that my family kept around me, which helped me sail through.By Asmita BakshiWords Of Wisdom1 You have been assigned this mountain to show others that it can be moved2 Never be ashamed of your scars. It means that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.3 Let your faith be bigger than your fear. This too shall pass.4 Always remember that you are not alone5 Cancer is so limited. It cannot corrode faith, it cannot silence courage or bring you down. Keep fighting.”Your Mind Is Your Final Frontier”Ananda Shankar Jayant, 56Breast cancer survivor Classical dancer, choreographer, bureaucrat, HyderabadPicture courtesy: Harsha VadlamaniOf the belief that dance is not only her spiritual journey, but also her greatest communication tool, and a weapon to deal with whatever life throws at her, Ananda Shankar Jayant, a trained Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi dancer, refused to bow down to cancer. An officer of the Indian Railway Traffic Service, 1987 batch, Jayant was about to travel overseas for a conference in 2008 when she discovered a lump in the left breast. After undergoing a mammogram, she left for the confe-rence and when she returned after two weeks, her husband broke the news to her about the lump being malignant. “Initially, it did upset me but only for a brief spell. I decided not to allow something as transient as an illness to take over me and my mind,” she says.Dancing away the blues Diagnosed with stage 2 grade 3 carcinoma of the breast, she underwent lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy, radiation and endocrine therapy for two years. But, she danced through it all. “Dance has always been my core strength. By bringing laser sharp focus to it, I shifted my mind from the clamour, clutter and melodrama that cancer comes with. I would go and get my chemotherapy, take three days rest that my body needed, and then, I would be back in the studio dancing and teaching,” she says. In remission now, she goes for regular check-ups and takes oral tablets for maintenance.Tapping into her inner strength It wasn’t easy but Jayant told herself that fear and tears are options she doesn’t have, and within three weeks of the surgery, she presented a five-day Sangeet Natak Akademi National Dance Festival. Throughout her treatment, she took inspiration from the shloka-Jaya Jaya He Mahishasura Mardini (Durga, the fearless one), learnt at her mother’s knee when she was four. “I owned that image, and made her every attribute my very own. Durga rode a lion. She was Simhanandini. My lion was my inner strength, my inner resilience, that all of us have,” she says. A TED speaker on her cancer journey, her story is the power of choice, of conquering cancer with her passion for dance.By Shelly AnandRising Up, Powefully1 Cancer is a mind game. Make the choice to deal with it and overcome it.2 Focus on something other than cancer; on what you love to do, what animates and inspires you3 Shift your mind and spirit away from the needy and attention seeking cancer4 It is only one page of the life. Don’t allow it to impact the rest of your life.
zoom Maersk Supply Service AS has taken delivery of its second of four Stingray vessels, Maersk Involver, from COSCO Dalian Shipyard.The delivery documents were signed by COSCO (Dalian) Shipyard Co. and Maersk Supply Service on November 28, 2017.The vessel boasts 400 ts AHC crane, dynamic positioning class 3 and measures 11 meters high, 27 meters wide and 137 meters long.In addition, the vessel integrates 1,925 m3 deck space and a 120 person single cabin accommodation.The delivery comes a month after the first Stingray ship joined Maersk’s fleet in October, Maersk Installer.The four Stingray class SSVs are scheduled for delivery in 2017 and 2018.“Maersk Supply Service’s new Stingray subsea support vessels are built to carry out a wide range of deep and shallow water operations in challenging offshore environments. The vessels have flexible features with a large free deck, a 400t crane and 120 … single-cabins,” Carsten Gran Haagensen, Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk Supply Service, said earlier.Maersk Supply Service reported an underlying loss of USD 12 million in the third quarter of 2017, plunging further into the red when compared to USD 11 million loss reported in Q3, 2016.The result was driven by challenging market conditions and low activity in the offshore industry. Approximately 30 percent of the global offshore industry’s vessels are in lay-up, including 12 Maersk Supply Service vessels.Due to the overall oversupply in the industry, the company divested 12 of its ships and it plans to divest five more ships.