Klay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!MINNEAPOLIS — Plenty of NBA teams want to emulate the Warriors. And why not? They have won three NBA championships in the past four seasons. They might win another one in three months.Hence, it is not surprising the New Orleans Pelicans would like to interview a Warriors executive that the front office holds in high regard. The Warriors granted the Pelicans …
On backyard sustainability“This is not news to anyone, but clearly being green in a holistic sense has to involve getting more local and more solar (ala Michael Pollan) in many ways, and food is one of those ways. It’s also exploring community/CSAs [Community Supported Agriculture] vs. rugged individualism/homesteading.” On developing a solar strategy“The point is … even in a superinsulated house, heating is a big part of the overall energy use (if looking at heating, cooling, hot-water heating, cooking, lighting and appliance use in a household that is reasonably considerate of their usage.) So if you can cut this, even by 25% due to solar, you are going to be in much better shape. Some will argue that [it] is better to spend solar dollars on PVs that can be used year-round, but in cold climates with very efficient solar-thermal heating done on the cheap with the help of builditsolar.com and ‘simplysolar’ and ‘solarheat’ Yahoo group participants, the cost per KWh of energy saved is going to be much lower.” On meeting Passivhaus goals“There are some people who think the Passivhaus requirements are too difficult for New England, the upper Midwest, and maybe Phoenix I’ve heard (on the heating end of the spectrum). But I personally disagree. If people want to live in extreme environments, then I see no reason why they should be let off the hook. What I would say, is that it really is quite reasonable to take an 80% or 90% approach. Well, or 50% is good too! In other words, if one can get to within 90% of a Passivhaus, then gosh, that is quite an amazing house you’ve got there.” Erik Haugsjaa is a software engineer and Web consultant who lives in Stow, Massachusetts, in a house he says comes close to net-zero energy performance. Built in 2010, his 2 1/2-story, 1,650-square-foot. house is equipped with a 6.9-kW photovoltaic array and a ductless minisplit system for heating and air conditioning.Haugsjaa’s blog, Erik’s Blog, is a collection of observations about the house and its mechanical systems, with a variety of links to related sites and a lot of seemingly extraneous commentary. Haugsjaa doesn’t present himself as a master green builder or energy designer, so the language is approachable rather than authoritative. It’s as if you got a series of letters from an old friend about the house he was building which also touched on a variety of other topics.The archives go back to October 2008, long before he moved into his ultra-efficient house. Back then, Haugsjaa commented on a number of non-building but still green issues, such as what kinds of toys he liked to buy for his 4-year-old (Legos), or the wisdom of buying prepaid cell phone service (saves money), or advice on which of two similar products to choose when shopping (go for the lighter one).Later, the talk veers more toward meat-and-potatoes issues, such as the coefficient of performance for air-source heat pumps or comparing the heat potential of propane vs. electricity. There is plenty of hard data in those posts.If you’re looking for green building advice from the heights of Olympus, Erik’s Blog probably isn’t the place for you. If a more leisurely and conversational journey sounds appealing, you might check it out. On the cons of his Mitsubishi ductless minisplit“Unless I am missing something, the lowest the heat settings go on our Mitsubishi system goes is 59°F. What?!!!!! I would set back my house temp to 45°F if I were away if I could! Maybe (I can figure out a way to fool it, like one can with a typical thermostat with those 15°F setback timers you can control via X10.) What a hassle though!”And this one:“Wet clothes after playing in the snow. How do you get them dry? In a typical northern house, I would put them on a radiator or forced-hot-air vent, in the boiler room, in front of the wood stove, etc. Those don’t exist in this house! And we axed the clothes dryer too! I guess this is where one of those bathroom towel-dryers comes in handy. Or we use a typical dehumidifier in our big mudroom closet. Works OK. But still, just sayin’! You can get floor models for air-source heat pumps I guess. Maybe that would do the trick. But that takes up more space. “ On ‘holistic’ thinking“OK, so nice house. Do you eat meat? What MPG does your car get and how many miles do you drive? These things matter a lot too. Especially relative to a house operating very efficiently. A vegan driving a Prius (or living in the city and walking) maybe has a smaller carbon footprint more than someone living in a small Passivhaus. I don’t know! But it’s not too hard to run the numbers. Gary Reysa at builditsolar.com does this. See his ‘half’ project. Marc Rosenabaum at energysmiths.com does this if you are designing a house or co-housing community or fixing up an office building or dormitory, etc. If I buy a lot of stuff and fly in airplanes a lot, my Passivhaus doesn’t matter so much any more.”
The Twitter-owned microvideo service Vine has had better days. Earlier, Marketing Land revealed that user sharing of six-second Vine videos plummeted after Instagram debuted a competing service last week. But Vine isn’t Internet roadkill quite yet.Marketing Land conjured data from Twitter-metric firm Topsy, comparing how many times people shared instagram.com links on Twitter against the frequency of vine.co links. Its most stunning revelation: Sharing of Vine videos dropped by almost 40% on June 20, the day Instagram launched its video service. So far, there’s no turnaround in sight.Some other notable findings:On June 15, users shared almost 3 million Vine links.On June 19, Topsy reported 2.5 million shares of Vine videos.On June 20, that figured plunged to 1.5 million.On June 27, Vine sharing dipped below 900,000. Instagram sharing on Twitter has also edged up as Vine’s has waned, according to the Topsy data. Instagram sharing spiked by almost 250,000 links—a 17% jump —on June 20. Once that surge dissipated, Instagram sharing fell back significantly, but remained at a level slightly higher than the service had seen for much of the previous month. Another telling way of thinking about all this: As of yesterday, users were sharing twice as many Instagram links as Vine links, whereas on June 15 the reverse was true. (Recall that Instagram sharing includes photos—Instagram’s mainstay prior to June 20—as well as video.)Twitter, which hadn’t responded to my request for comment as of publication, is clearly aware of Vine’s predicament. Just this morning, in fact, Twitter sent out a mass email promoting Vine this morning—almost as if the company was eager to rekindle the interest of users who might be tempted away by Instagram.(See Twitter’s Vine promo below and to the right.) adriana lee Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#social media#social video#twitter#Vine Where Vine Goes From HereAlthough Twitter released Vine for Android earlier this month and recently added support for the front-facing camera, those moves clearly haven’t been enough to retain user interest over the past week. The first thing Vine can do? Don’t panic. “Instagram still has the novelty factor,” social media strategist Mari Smith told me. “All [Vine] may need to do is stay the course.”Technology in general—and social media in particular—is a tumultuous industry. If companies freaked out every time the metrics rose or fell, heart attacks would be the new rite of passage for Silicon Valley execs.Twitter CEO Dick Costolo seems to have taken that advice to heart. On Wednesday, he told an audience in Washington that he’s not worried about competition from Instagram:Other people can replicate that or take pieces of it if that’s what they want to do…. If we do what we want to do, and go where we want to go, we don’t have to worry about what that guy’s doing over there. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Vine, though, could definitely use a dramatic move to recapture the initiative. Twitter has already tipped that it has some “exciting new parts of Vine” to announce this summer. That’s a good start; the stakes for that rollout are now considerably higher than they were just two weeks ago.Whatever Twitter does, it’s now clear that it is really at war with Facebook. Both services are vying to establish themselves as preeminent repositories, or “sinks,” for the vast numbers of photos, video and status updates their users generate.(See also Twitter’s Vine App Officially Comes To Android)And they’re getting increasingly petty about inconveniencing their own users when it suits their business interests. Twitter, for instance, will display Vine videos directly within tweets, but forces users to click away to see Instagram video. Facebook, coincidentally enough, plays Instagram video directly within newsfeeds, but will only allow links to Vine videos.We’ve reached out to Twitter for comment. So far, no word yet, but we’ll update this post if they respond. Update: A representative from Twitter told us that the company doesn’t comment on third-party reports, but pointed us to a post Topsy wrote to clarify the data points in the Instagram vs. Vine chart. Marketing Land used a free account to obtain data, but Topsy explains that those numbers can vary from Pro (paid) accounts: So while the free service gives you a high-level snapshot of the momentum and direction of the social conversation around a topic or domain, Topsy Pro gives you the complete and unfiltered picture that accounts for every single tweet. Because influencers tend to move faster than the general social media population to try the newest things—which is part of what makes them influential—new trends or changes in the direction of trends can appear amplified in charts generated by our free service. It’s important to understand how this amplification effect works when using our free product, since there are occasionally topics that get a disproportionately large amount of attention from influencers. This is what’s been happening as the social conversation about Vine and Instagram has evolved. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit
Some of us probably remember sitting in awe as NASA scientists or astronauts came to our classrooms and wowed us with stories of space exploration. Now that wonder is making an impact on an even larger audience through social media. NASA’s long been known for planting flags on unexplored turf. It’s been quick to colonize social networks, including the launch of an Instagram account two weeks ago, where it quickly amassed almost 200,000 followers. The space agency’s long-established Twitter account has a following of almost five million. NASA also uses video platforms like Google+ Hangouts and YouTube to bring scientists and astronauts into classrooms and living rooms around the world.“We’ve never had this citizen science experience prior to social media,” said Jason Townsend, NASA’s deputy social media manager. “This is going to change how we perceive science and discovery and research in ways we just don’t know yet.”One big push for NASA is to find ways to reach more young people to encourage an interest in science and technology. Twitter has been a successful platform for engaging a younger audience, including megastar Justin Bieber and his almost 45 million followers. After tweeting an invitation to help the young musician take his act into space, NASA saw a huge uptick in its follower count, including many female fans whom it might have struggled to reach through traditional means.“If we can reach just one or two girls and get them interested because of him, then we’ve been successful,” said John Yembrick, a NASA social media manager.Turning Followers Into FundingFollowing NASA on Twitter is not an end in itself. The space agency hosts NASA Social meetups, events that allow followers to take part in behind-the-scenes events surrounding NASA’s milestones or important historical moments. NASA Social allows online followers to become more active members of the NASA community. In fact, these events are compelling attendees to become more involved in the community by organizing campaigns and lobbying the U.S. Congress for more funding—or, in the wake of the shutdown, any funding at all. One campaign, Penny 4 NASA, is a push to increase federal funding to one percent of the U.S. annual budget. As it stands, the space agency receives less than half a penny of every federal dollar spent—about 0.48 percent.And yesterday, Penny 4 NASA called for action on Twitter:Participants in the NASA Social events created the campaign on their own. But the people who run the agency are savvy enough to know that popular support for space programs is the only way to preserve their funding.No Really, It’s Okay To Be SmartJoe Hanson, host of PBS Digital Studio’s “It’s Okay To Be Smart,” makes it fun to learn about science, technology, history and art.At a time when scientific research seems most threatened, science is becoming trendy. And social media seems to be driving it.For example, why is Bill Nye, The Science Guy, winning votes on “Dancing with the Stars“? It’s not his sweet moves—it’s the organized campaigns by fans who love the awkward science educator. Likewise, “Cosmos” is coming to Fox TV, helmed by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist who made his name on Reddit.You see it everywhere online: Blogs use animated GIFs and humor to communicate groundbreaking advances in technology—and garner thousands of shares on social networks. The march of knowledge has become part of the pop-culture vernacular in a way we haven’t seen since the days of Sputnik or Schoolhouse Rock. Science and technology blogs that make science easily understood are likewise finding ways to generate excitement about discovery using social media. It’s Okay To Be Smart, a blog started by biologist Joe Hanson that turned into a PBS Digital Studios video series, has amassed a large following of users, many of whom are casual readers simply curious about the world. Hanson hosts his blog on Tumblr, a platform he found more effective than other platforms like WordPress, specifically because Tumblr—a blogging platform Yahoo recently acquired for $1.1 billion—has a more social aspect to it and is geared toward a younger, more social-savvy audience. “I felt there was a big audience that wasn’t being reached out to, mainly young people and laypeople that spend most of their time online on their social websites,” he said.See also: 10 Awesome Instagram Accounts That Science Geeks Should FollowHis blog, along with others like I F***ing Love Science (IFLS), explore discoveries in science and technology, but break them down in a way users can understand with a cursory glance at their news feeds. The increasing popularity of these blogs demonstrates a voracious curiosity among citizens who want to know more about how our world works. They just haven’t had science-related topics presented to them in a digestible, accessible manner before. Even the Discovery Channel is recognizing that large audiences following blogs like IFLS could translate into an attentive audience offline. The media company enlisted IFLS’s creator Elise Andrew to host regular video segments on the Science Channel and the Test Tube online network. “It’s easy for people to be cynical about science and how it’s accepted in the world today and how we’re on some great downward trend in society,” Hanson said. “It’s Okay To Be Smart is showing me that the interest is still there. There is a huge hunger for knowledge, but what’s been missing is an effective way to communicate it to people.”Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube are the solution, writers like Hanson believe. While Hanson doesn’t have any hard numbers on the impact his blog has had, he has plenty of personal anecdotes that reflect his followers’ excitement about science. “I get messages regularly that say, ‘I don’t have good science teachers, but because I can go online, I can fully embrace science,’” Hanson said. But Hanson doesn’t define success just by inspiring kids to become scientists. Hanson argues that it’s just as important that ordinary people value science, even if they don’t make a living out of it.People are fighting for Ph.D jobs, he observed, so on that level he believes we are doing well as a country. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… “There’s maybe a greater success in creating STEM citizens,” Hanson said, citing the example of actress Jenny McCarthy, who has advocated against vaccinating children, a stance that the scientific community largely views as ignorant of the science behind vaccines. “Having a nation that is science-literate and can weigh meaningful information from bad information, that can look for themselves at Jenny McCarthy and understand her anti-vaccine stances are dangerous for people.” Developing Social StructureYouTube is one social platform that recognizes the benefit of viral educational content. At this year’s VidCon, representatives from the Google-owned video network met with educational video creators and asked what features they could add to the platform that would benefit instructors.“YouTube continues to grow … educational content, and be supportive of educational creators,” Hanson said. “On YouTube, you can go online and spend hours digging through geology and particle physics.”Educational content gets a showcase on the YouTube EDU site. Users can find videos ranging from academic lectures to inspirational speeches. Many YouTube EDU hosts are creating programming that can be shown in classes and can supplement traditional classroom materials.So far, the site hosts over 700,000 educational videos from partners like Khan Academy, Stanford and TED-Ed.From Retweeting To Restoring FundingIt will take years to see if the Beliebers of today become the astronauts of tomorrow—or the science teachers, or citizens informed enough about science to weigh in on public debates. However, if the anecdotal evidence generated by NASA, YouTube, and science bloggers counts for anything, it’s clear there’s a shift afoot.“I want to inspire the next generation of scientists, but also the next generation of science citizens,” Hanson said. “And in that I would say we are making a difference.”Meanwhile, NASA remains shut. And while its shutdown message has been retweeted nearly 3,000 times, it’s far from clear how that will stop the partisan gridlock in Washington.Photos courtesy NASA and It’s Okay To Be Smart on YouTube. Related Posts Tags:#Instagram#nasa#social media#stem#twitter The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification selena larson NASA turns 55 today, and to celebrate, the government is shutting it down. Because the United States Congress has failed to authorize continued spending, the federal government stops providing all but “essential” services. Unfortunately, unlike the postal service, air traffic management and armed forces, NASA and a number of other government science endeavors aren’t considered essential.But a growing number of people who follow NASA on social media, read science blogs, and share scientific articles with friends might disagree.5 Million Space FansThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration—NASA to most of us—took to Twitter to announce its closure, and apologized to its nearly five million followers.NASA is one of the most popular science accounts on Twitter—and it’s now becoming recognized as one of the largest targets of the shutdown. According to the Washington Post, only 549 of NASA’s 18,250 employees will be expected to report to work.But this might be a great time for NASA’s huge social media following to turn their tweets into action and let Washington know: science is essential to them.The ease of passing around links and articles on social networks is driving a wave of renewed attention around science, technology, engineering, and math—or STEM, as it’s known in the education business. The dramatic NASA shutdown could be a test: Does interaction about these subjects on social media really translate into action offline?The answer is far from clear, but practitioners are hopeful.NASA’s Social Community A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit
by Dora Doss, M.S., SLP-CCCImage from Pixabay.com, CC0“No significant learning happens without a significant relationship.” James ComerMFLN’s 2017 webinar series, The Importance of Play could be summed up in one word, “relationship!” In this series, Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak stressed the importance of fostering relationships through play. Her illustration of the toothpaste theory was insightful when we consider all the things we debate as providers – What type of assessment should we use? What should we include on the IFSP? How do I include parents during the home visit? Should we take toys along during home visits? All of these are important ingredients to consider but none of them matter if we do not situate them within the context of building and supporting the relationship between the caregiver and the child.Relationships begin between the caregiver and child; then as the child grows, these relationships expand to include peers and others in their environment. In early intervention, significant relationships can be developed through play and caregiver coaching. Kristie challenged providers to grow in their own play skills while supporting military families to encourage and deepen their relationship with their children. In this series, Kristie highlighted how this is possible and that it can be done while targeting specific developmental skills within our respective disciplines.When a caregiver talks to an infant, reads a book to a toddler, or plays pretend with a preschooler; language is being used. Language  is the comprehension and/or use of a spoken, written, and/or other communication symbol system. Language is the means children use to indicate their wants and needs. Language, whether spoken, written, or symbolic, is the way we all communicate in order to build relationships with those in our family and community.Keeping this relationship in mind within the military family context, providers need to recognize both the strengths military families bring and stressors they experience that could affect this relationship. When children’s development do not follow the typical pattern, it can be especially stressful for the caregivers. This affects both the relationship between caregiver and child and the relationship among adult caregivers in the home environment. Building on caregiver strengths can alleviate stressors and at the same time, help children further develop their language and other developmental skills.Developing language and communication skills are critical as a children use them to let caregivers know what they need and what is important to them. Relationships are built on connections, which are made through language and communication.As providers, we are charged with building collaborative relationships with children and families, supporting child-caregiver relationships, and facilitating children’s developmental growth. This year’s webinar series centers on language development and ties in beautifully with the webinar series content from last year. With the intersection of these two topics, we are reminded that the use of play to create embedded learning opportunities with familiar people and things creates the dynamic for language development within the natural routine. Through natural routines and caregiver collaboration, we can better provide language-building opportunities for families and enhance the quality of the caregiver and child’s relationship.This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Amy Santos, Ph. D., members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn. Language In Brief. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Clinical-Topics/Spoken-Language-Disorders/Language-In–Brief/
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Mistakenly, some salespeople (and sales organizations) believe that their buyer’s process is actually their sales process. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of their prospective clients have a buying process that is inherently transactional—and inherently bad for value creation.Choosing the Buyer’s ProcessThe buying company determines what they need on their own. Then they develop their own idea of what a solution should look like. After they’ve done this work, they ask salespeople the salesperson to respond to a request for a proposal. The buying company evaluate the bids, often selecting the lowest bidder, and then they make a purchase.This process eliminates the ability for a salesperson or sales organization to create value for that buyer. By doing so, the purchase is “arm’s-length” and transactional.This is not a sales process. It’s not. It’s a buying process.Choosing a Value Creating Sales ProcessThe sales process begins when a salesperson helps their dream client discover and determine their needs together. This is part of what a salesperson does to create value. The salesperson then helps their dream client develop an effective solution, creating even more value. In a larger, more complex sale, the salesperson works inside the organization to help build consensus around that solution. This creates a tremendous amount of value for the salesperson’s prospective client.If the buyer does evaluate options, and many times when you follow a process like this is that they don’t, by creating value the salesperson has positioned themselves to win the opportunity. If it ever goes to purchasing or a pure economic buyer, the salesperson has the ability to combat a pure price discussion by leaning on the value that they created throughout the process.This is a sales process.The Difference Is the DifferenceBy mistakenly believing that a buying process—especially a transactional buying process—is a sales process, the sales organization and salespeople who subscribe to this belief end up competing on price in what is a pure transactional purchase. By believing that the buying process is a sales process the salesperson eliminates their ability to create value as well as any opportunity to capture value.As it turns out, you cannot capture value unless you create value first.The right answer is to push very hard to follow a sales process that allows you to create value instead of following the buyer process that eliminates the ability to create value.QuestionsHow does a transactional buying process destroy value creation?What is the difference between a buying process and a sales process?How does following your process allow you to create value?How does your process allow you to capture the value you need to deliver?
Tottenham defender Serge Aurier arrested before Man Utd defeatby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham defender Serge Aurier was arrested before defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.The Daily Mail reports the 26-year-old was held the night before Sunday’s defeat by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Wembley after an alleged argument with his partner. Aurier missed the clash against United.Aurier denies the accusations of assault and Hertfordshire Police released the full-back without charge. It remains to be seen whether Aurier will face internal disciplinary procedures from Tottenham following the incident.A Tottenham spokesman confirmed: “We are aware of an incident concerning Serge Aurier this weekend. The player was released without charge.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Solskjaer: Inside Man Utd we know we’re on right trackby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists the club knows they’re on the right track.Despite struggling to make it past Sky Bet League One side Rochdale on penalties in midweek and failing to impress as they meekly lost 2-0 at West Ham last week, Solskjaer says he believes in the principles they are trying to instil in the squad.He said, “I never said it was going to be easy this season. There is going to ups and downs and highs and lows.“When we lose a game, go through difficult periods it is time for us to trust what we are doing and keep working to the principles that we believe in. It’s not about changing direction every time you lose.“Every game in the Premier League is winnable, but also loseable. It’s fine margins.“Sometimes you’re happy and smiling because you’ve won a game and sometimes you are angry because you’ve lost a game. But deep down you know we are on the right way.”
supporting farmers and ranchers in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) to expand and diversify their businesses;helping new or young farmers become established on the land and in business; andensuring there is flexibility for residential options while prioritizing agriculture in the ALR.“Helping farmers, protecting farmland and increasing food production are top priorities for our government and we want to continue the momentum we’ve created – it’s driving the success of this sector in our province,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Our government is working hard to expand B.C.’s agriculture industry. We are increasing access to locally grown and raised food, and helping rural communities diversify their economies and create sustainable jobs.”Since there have been recent changes by the government to strengthen the ALR and Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), the ministry is hosting six in-person sessions, along with the ALC, throughout B.C. to discuss the purpose and context of the changes. The sessions will also focus on gathering input from people on the three stated challenges with the goal of supporting B.C. farmers and ranchers.In response to feedback heard at the 2019 Union of BC Municipalities Conference, the ministry will be adding additional sessions. When meeting details are confirmed, further information will be available online; CLICK HEREThe engagement period runs from Sept. 19th to Nov. 15, 2019. An engagement summary report will then be prepared and made public.If you miss the Dawson Creek session next is Prince George, Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 from 10:00 am – 2:30 pm at the Coast Prince George – 700 Brunswick Street – Prince George, BC“A healthy agriculture industry is critical to protecting a farmer’s most valuable resource – their land, now and for generations to come,” said Jennifer Dyson, chair of the ALC. “I look forward to continuing to hear from farmers and ranchers and everyone who cares about the incredible capacity of B.C.’s agricultural land base to produce a bounty of food and farm products on ways to do so.” DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Residents of the region are invited to an engagement session to have their say on how best to encourage farming and protect farmland throughout British Columbia.Being held today, Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 from 10:00 am – 2:30 pm at the Encana Events Centre, the Ministry of Agriculture is holding their engagement session.British Columbians are encouraged to share their insights and opinions on how to best address the following challenges;
Islamabad: Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umar abruptly quit the Cabinet on Thursday before securing a crucial multi-billion dollar IMF bailout package for the cash-strapped country, amid mounting criticism by the opposition and business community over the handling of the economic crisis. Umar, who recently returned from a trip to the US in which the details of Pakistan’s next International Monetary Fund bailout were finalised, said he has obtained Prime Minister Imran Khan’s consent “to not take any cabinet position”. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US “As part of a cabinet reshuffle, prime minister desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance,” said Umar, one of the close aides of the prime minister. “However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position.” Later, addressing a press conference here, Umar said that it was time to make some “difficult decisions” to stabilise the economy and that he hopes his replacement would be supported in their efforts. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls “I don’t know if there has been a conspiracy or not (to remove me) but all I know is that my ‘captain’ (Imran Khan) wanted to see me in the role of the energy minister. I did not think that would be a great idea so I refused,” a visibly upset Umar said. Prime Minister Khan-led government and Finance Minister Umar in particular have faced mounting criticism by opposition parties, members of the business community and citizens over the handling of the economic crisis. Cash-strapped Pakistan is seeking USD 8 billion from the IMF to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country’s economy. Pakistan has so far received a total of USD 9.1 billion in financial aid packages from friendly countries like China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the current fiscal year. “We have finalised the IMF agreement on much better terms than before. It is the time to take difficult decisions; I have made these decisions, I refused to take the decisions that would have crushed the nation,” Umar said. Responding to a question, the finance minister defended his performance and said “Who says that I have failed in achieving what I wanted to achieve?” He said the new team will look at things with fresh eyes and they can come up with better decisions. “I believe that this decision should be made as soon as possible … we are about to go to the IMF, we are about to present the budget. This is already too late, the next person should have come in earlier, at least a month ago,” Umar told reporters in response to a question on his replacement. It was immediately not clear who will replace Umar. The new finance minister’s first priority would be to finalise the much-needed bailout package with the IMF to overcome the financial crisis. Finance Minister Umar said earlier this month that a mission of the IMF would visit Islamabad soon after the spring meetings of the World Bank Group, which includes the IMF, and an agreement should be signed by the end of this month. On Monday, the Pakistani media reported that a major reshuffle was on the cards in the Finance Ministry. However, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry denied the reports of the reshuffle. “There is no truth in reports regarding changes in posts of federal ministers. The prime minister has the power to change ministers and the media should play a responsible role on this subject,” he tweeted.