You breathe it every minute, but there’s hardly any molecular oxygen—otherwise known as O2—in space. In 1998, NASA even launched a satellite that was supposed to find lots of molecular oxygen but never did—except when scientists, worried that the instrument was faulty, aimed it at Earth. Now, a ground-based experiment has revealed why this life-giving molecule is so rare in the cosmos: because oxygen atoms cling tightly to stardust, preventing them from joining together to form oxygen molecules. The discovery should yield insight into the chemical conditions that prevail when stars and planets arise.Oxygen is the third most common element in the universe, after hydrogen and helium, and in the 1970s astronomers predicted that molecular oxygen would be the third most common interstellar molecule, after molecular hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO). It obviously isn’t. In fact, astronomers have detected interstellar molecular oxygen in only two places: the Orion Nebula and the Rho Ophiuchi cloud. But even there the molecule is much rarer than theory predicts. For example, hydrogen molecules in the Orion Nebula outnumber oxygen molecules a million to one.To explain the scarcity, astronomers recently proposed that oxygen atoms bind tightly to the dust particles that pepper space clouds. “Everybody knows that the binding energy of atomic oxygen is very important,” says Jiao He, an experimental astrophysicist at Syracuse University in New York. “But there was no experimental measurement of this parameter.”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(*)Now, He and his colleagues have measured this number. The scientists heated two types of solids that make up interstellar dust grains—water ice and silicate—to see how readily oxygen atoms escape. As they recently reported in The Astrophysical Journal, the binding energy of oxygen is more than twice what scientists had calculated decades ago: 0.14 electron volts for water ice and 0.16 electron volts for silicate. That’s high enough to keep oxygen atoms stuck to stardust without the minimal heat of cold interstellar clouds dislodging them. The Orion Nebula may owe its small quantity of molecular oxygen to a shock wave that ripped atoms from the dust grains; Earth’s air abounds with oxygen because trees and other plants put it there.”It’s a very valuable measurement,” says Gary Melnick, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who recently predicted a binding energy about that high. “It explains a lot.”Oxygen atoms that float away from interstellar dust grains can join to make molecular oxygen. But when they stay stuck to the grains, hydrogen atoms combine with the oxygen to create water ice (H2O) instead. The water can then become part of asteroids, comets, and planets, setting the stage for the creation of life.Paul Goldsmith, an astronomer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, spent more than a quarter-century seeking interstellar molecular oxygen before finally succeeding when Europe’s Herschel Space Observatory examined the Orion Nebula in 2010 and detected the elusive molecule. “I may have been misguided in spending so many years searching for it, but in a way, with this laboratory data and all the Herschel data, we can really say well, we do understand it now.”
Do you have a great idea for a study that you want to share with the world? A new journal will gladly publish it. Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) will also publish papers on your methods, workflows, data, reports, and software—in short, “all outputs of the research cycle.” RIO, an open-access (OA) journal, was officially launched today and will start accepting submissions in November.“We’re interested in making the full process of science open,” says RIO founding editor Ross Mounce, a researcher at the Natural History Museum in London. Many good research proposals fall by the wayside because funding agencies have limited budgets, Mounce says; RIO is a way to give them another chance. Mounce hopes that funders will use the journal to spot interesting new projects.Publishing proposals can also help create links between research teams, Mounce says. “Let’s say you’re going to Madagascar for 6 months to sample turtle DNA,” he suggests. ”If you can let other researchers know ahead of time, you can agree to do things together.”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(*)RIO’s idea to publish research proposals is “exactly what we need if we really want to have open science,” says Iryna Kuchma, the OA program manager at the nonprofit organization Electronic Information for Libraries in Rome. Pensoft, the publishing company behind RIO, is a “strong open-access publishing venue” that has proven its worth with more than a dozen journals in the biodiversity field, Kuchma says.The big question is, of course: Will researchers want to share promising ideas, at the risk that rivals run with them? Jeffrey Beall, a scholarly communications librarian at the University of Colorado, Denver, doesn’t think so. “I don’t see people sharing their research proposals,” Beall says. “Research is competitive and you want to keep your secrets close to your chest.” Mounce says scientists shouldn’t be too concerned about that—on the contrary, by putting out an idea early, scientists can get credit for it, as well as valuable feedback from colleagues, he says.Others are more worried about RIO’s optional peer-review model. The journal will publish papers “almost straight away” after “basic technical checks to make sure the paper is not deeply unethical or a spoof,” Mounce says. For some output types, RIO also asks authors to get a presubmission review of their manuscript “from an appropriate colleague.” But “formal peer review” will be optional, at the author’s request—and for an extra fee. That makes the journal a “mishmash … neither an unrefereed proposal platform nor a refereed journal,” says OA advocate Stevan Harnad, a cognitive scientist at the University of Quebec, Montreal, in Canada.Harnad is not a fan of OA journals that charge publishing fees in general. Authors don’t need to pay a platform or a journal to host their papers or ideas, he says: “All they need do is post it on the Web or deposit it in their institutional repository.” “Firms like this favor people and ideas with money behind them,” Beall adds. “If you have money you can get your idea published and get a [digital object identifier] that makes it look more legitimate.”Mounce says that RIO is a for-profit operation, but not a profiteering one. Article submission fees will be affordable, ranging between 50 and a few hundred euros depending on the article type, size, and submission format, according to the journal. They will be waived for those who can’t afford them, such as scientists in developing countries.
India’s legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar has been voted the ‘Best Test player’ of the 21st century in an online poll conducted by Cricket Australia’s website.The former India skipper got the highest number of votes to emerge on top of the list of the 100 best Test players since 2000, in a poll conducted by cricket.com.au.Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara received the second highest votes, followed by Adam Gilchrist of Australia in the third position. Currently the ‘Icon’ of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians, Tendulkar earned 23 per cent of votes, with more than 16,000 fans participating in the survey.Sangakkara got 14 per cent votes after CA released the top-100 Test players’ list since 2000 on its website. Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket in 2013 after playing his 200th Test, is the lone Indian player to be figuring in the top-10 list, while there are four Australian, three South African and two Sri Lankan cricketers.”After 10 days of counting down and no end of deliberations, cricket.com.au released its final countdown of the 100 best Test players since 2000 a couple of days ago.”Readers debated the top 10, just as you did players 11 through 100, but we also provided an opportunity for you to decide your No.1 Test player of the century,” CA’s website stated.”Tendulkar, the Little Master who remains an iconic figure in the sport, was a runaway winner, jumping four places from where cricket.com.au had him placed, while batting giants Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis were separated on countback, with the Australian just edging out his Proteas counterpart,” it further said.advertisementThe 42-year-old Tendulkar, who is the only batsman to have hit 100 international centuries, holds the record for highest run scorer in both Tests and One-Day Internationals.Poll result: 1. Sachin Tendulkar (Ind) 23 per cent, 2. Kumar Sangakkara (SL) 14 per cent, 3. Adam Gilchrist (Aus) 13 per cent, 4. Ricky Ponting (Aus) 11 per cent, 5. Jacques Kallis (SA) 11 per cent, 6. AB de Villiers (SA) 10 per cent, 7. Shane Warne (Aus) 9 per cent, 8. Glenn McGrath (Aus) 5 per cent, 9. Muttiah Muralitharan (SL) 3 per cent, 10. Dale Steyn (SA) 1 per cent.
Link Building Originally published Mar 29, 2011 1:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack I’ve recently seen a lot of chirping and discussion on the value of nofollow links for search optimization, with some people saying that there was value to having them. I asked three industry leaders in search engine optimization what their take was on nofollow links. Specifically: “What’s your take on no follow links? Is it still valuable to get them when you can, such as from social media sites or Wikipedia? Under what circumstances do you pursue links from Wikipedia? Is their huge reach and audience worth it, even without SEO value?”Answers From The ExpertsTom Critchlow works for the SEO Company Distilled as VP Operations NYC (office opening in June!) but is currently working alongside the web’s most popular SEO Software provider; SEOmoz to help them with their SEO:There is a lot of debate around nofollow links and their impact on SEO. Will wrote a great post on the weight and authority that nofollowed links can carry. As SEOs I think that we shouldn’t be so obsessed with only getting “followed” links. If a link is from a strong site and will pass traffic then I think you should go and get it. Search engines these days are paying attention to social signals like tweets, Facebook shares (both nofollowed) and traffic data (from toolbar & browser usage) so if you’re really trying to build your brand online you shouldn’t obsess over whether a specific link is relevant for SEO – you should be thinking about whether a link is good for your brand, because you can be sure this is what Google is trying to reward. In particular, I’ve seen Wikipedia drive significant amounts of traffic even for niche terms without huge search volume. I would urge businesses to look at the Wikipedia pages for their niche and consider whether they can provide a resource of such value that you can get a Wikipedia link. If you can, you can be sure it’ll drive good volume of high converting traffic.Gianluca Fiorelli, SEO, IloveSEO:When it comes to links, I personally don’t think at first if they are going to be followed or not. Even though, from a pure classic SEO perspective, any backlink should have to be a followed one in order to increment the PageRank of your linked page, I consider that actually a link is not just about PageRank anymore, but trust and brand awareness. In fact, even though search engines do not carry PR through the no followed link to your site, they record it and they take notice that your site has been cited in a site. If that site is an authoritative one or a trusted seed, somehow its aura will reflect on your own web site, which will gain trust and relevance to the eyes of the search engines, therefore better rankings. Just for this reason it is good to be linked by Wikipedia or any authoritative social media site, and I include in this definition sites like forums, blogs and Q&A sites, which are social by nature. Obviously, they can directly send good traffic to your web site: just think at Quora and the traffic a link in a voted or most useful answer can lead to your site. Under what circumstances can you pursue links from Wikipedia? First of all you must have great great content or very specific and unique. Wikipedia folks are very picky about what sites to cite as external sources for any voice. If you have that content, then you can suggest it for the right Wikipedia voice. Example: during an competitive research about travel to Patagonia related web sites, I saw that the one that was ranking first in Google.it had a link from Wikipedia. I dug into that link and discovered that it was to a post about the Welsh immigration in Patagonia present in that site’s blog. Is that link sending traffic to the site? Probably not at all, but it was noticed by someone in the BBC website, who finally linked to that same post citing Wikipedia. Boom, now that travel site not only as one link from Wikipedia, but it has also an important backlink from another trusted seed: the BBC. Moral of the story: Wikipedia maybe won’t send you directly great traffic, but to have a link in it gives authority to your site, therefore others will tend to cite your site and link to it.Barry Schwartz, Executive Editor, Search Engine Roundtable:Nofollowed links do not pass any search engine ranking value for most of the search engines, including Google and Bing. You can have a nofollowed link on Wikipedia or even Google’s main blog and it won’t count in terms of improving your rankings. That doesn’t mean the link is not valuable. Sites with lots of traffic with links on them, even if they are nofollowed, still can send traffic. That traffic can help with leads, conversions and even encourage other sites to link to you without a nofollow attribute on the link. When it comes to getting links and social media, it is more about creating awareness about your content or product. That awareness will lead to more link building opportunities and create even more awareness for your content.What’s your take? Have you seen value from nofollow links to your blog or website, or none at all? Let us know in the comments.Photo Credit: Dawn Huczek
Originally published May 15, 2013 7:16:49 PM, updated February 01 2017 Google’s big I/O conference launched today, with a raft of product rollouts and introductions, including a new music service and improvements to its Maps app and Google+ social network. But the big-picture takeaway, to me anyway, was that Google, across almost every part of its business, is trying to create a world where websites know more and more about us and where marketers can deliver better, more tailored information and content.Case in point: Google announced it is making its Google Now service available on the desktop via its Chrome browser. Google Now is a voice-recognizing smart assistant. It has been available on Android smartphones since last year, and it lets you ask questions with voice commands. (It’s sort of like Apple’s Siri, if Siri actually worked.)To activate Google Now on the desktop, you just say, “Okay, Google,” then ask your question. If you have Google Now working on desktop and mobile devices, you’ll be able to do things like tell your computer at work, “Remind me to take out the garbage when I get home,” and when you pull into your driveway and your smartphone senses you’re at home, you’ll get a spoken reminder. Google Now brings together information from your calendar, Gmail, and other Google apps, and combines it with GPS and Maps. People who sat through the demo at Google I/O today described it as mind-blowing. “This is the future,” wrote Steve Kovach at Business Insider. Predictive Information and the Importance of ContextThe coolest thing about Google Now is its ability to give you predictive, contextual information — for example, when you’re sitting here at your office, it will tell you how long it will take you to drive home, based on current traffic conditions.Google’s long-term goal is to create a system that gives you information before you even ask for it — and maybe even before you know you need it. And with the technologies announced today, Google took another step toward it.This is all of special relevance for marketers. As Forrester Research analyst Anthony Mullen pointed out in a blog post today, “The Future of Marketing is (Better) Context.” Mullen points out that context means more than just location. It will involve sifting signals from multiple sources, understanding people as individuals, and using that information at every stage of the marketing funnel.Google’s emphasis on context — delivering the right information to the right people at the right time — is one of the main reasons we’re excited about Google Now. As a marketer, when you leverage contextual information to decide what content to share with your visitor next (such as that visitor’s past interactions with your website, their particular interests, and their stage in the buying process), your marketing becomes much more relevant, catering to your audience at an individual level. As a result, it also becomes much more effective, since your prospects are much more likely to click through to a piece of content that speaks to their particular needs.Not only that — it makes your marketing more lovable, too.What do you think about Google’s I/O announcements? Topics: Mobile Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Guy in back: “Umm … guys? Is there room for me and my pitcher of ice water?”3) The perfectly patriotic pose.4) Diverse American teenager flag fail.All American. Not all smart.5) Chihuahuas: the epitome of American patriotism. 6) This one’s called “Family laughing at 4th of July barbecue.” It should’ve been called “Family terrorizing crying baby.”7) “American Dream”I wonder how long she’s been standing like that.8) Watermelon Snafu”Hey mom? I think you accidentally gave us slices from the watermelon that was soaked in vodka.”9) Doesn’t this American flag look great with my outfit?10) Why don’t we ask our panel of “Yanky doodle doggie” judges ….11) And among an entire genre of patriotically provocative stock photos, this one’s called “American Grrrl!””Don’t tell my parents I pose nude for awful, patriotic stock photography porn, or else I’ll poke you with this patriotic toothpick.”12) Not to be upstaged by her male counterpart, “American Boy Butt” …American Boy Butt’s photo description: “A fit young muscular man wearing shiny blue briefs with an American flag in them.” So accurate. Wouldn’t it be great if that was someone’s actual search term? Quite the long-tail keyword.13) This guy should take some advice from the girl in #9 about the right way to accessorize with a flag.14) How many stars and stripes are there on the American flag, you ask? Let me count! One …. two …. three …. 15) Don’t stare at her for too long, or Uncle Vito back there will totally mess you up.16) Description for this one: “Patriotic clown with beer and flag. Don’t forget to doodle your Yankee … or Yankee your doodle.” Is that some kind of innuendo?The only thing worse than a clown is a patriotic clown.We hope this gave you a chuckle today. Which stock photo did you find most ridiculous? Have a happy 4th of July! The 4th of the July. Independence Day. The day we Americans fire up the grill, crack open a few cold ones, watch fireworks displays, and laugh at ridiculous 4th of July-themed stock photos.No? Well, there’s always room for a new tradition. We wanted to give you something light and fun today, since it’s a day for celebration. And since our first foray into the exposure of awful stock photography was so well received, this seemed like a slam dunk. So without further ado, here are some of our favorite examples of truly absurd 4th of July-themed stock photography. Just please don’t misconstrue this as us being unpatriotic ;-)16 Examples of Ridiculous 4th of July Stock Photography1) You know what I like to eat with my apple pie a la mode? Confetti.2) Let’s see how much food and people we can cram into this teeny tiny table!Woman sitting at right: “Those hot dogs totally aren’t going to fit on this teeny tiny table.” Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jul 4, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Holiday Marketing Topics:
When it comes to growing and scaling your blog, there are three critical things you need to think about: how you’re going to get new visitors to discover your blog, how you’re going to convert those visitors into quality subscribers, and how you’re going to leverage your most dedicated subscribers to share your content and attract new audiences.Subscribers are a very, very important part of this whole process — especially if you’re in the early stages of blogging.You’re already pouring time and resources into creating awesome blog content, but you’ll never get significant business results from that content without readers.And each time you publish a new blog post, it’s your subscribers who’ll provide you with that initial surge of traffic — which, in turn, will propel those posts’ long-term success. The key to getting more blog traffic (and, eventually, leads and customers) all starts with growing subscribers.So, how do you get the folks who are reading your blog to stick around and keep coming back? Here are seven creative ways to increase your blog subscriptions.Note: In order for the ideas below (and any other ideas) to work, you’ll need to make sure you’re frequently and consistently publishing new blog posts. You can’t expect visitors to subscribe to your content if you don’t publish anything new for them to read, do you? If you really want to scale your blog, start with making a commitment to boosting your blogging frequency.How to Get Subscribers for Your Blog: 7 Fresh Ideas1) Optimize your top blog posts for subscriptions.If your main goal is increasing email subscribers, then one of the first things you might consider doing is optimizing your top blog posts for subscriptions. This isn’t super time-consuming and can give you a large boost of subscriptions that’ll compound over time.Why? Because your top blog posts might be garnering a lot more traffic (from organic search and other sources) than your average blog post, and you can reap the benefits of that traffic by adding subscription CTAs — if that’s your main goal.For example, here at HubSpot, we recently found that 76% of our monthly blog views came from “old” posts (meaning posts published prior to that month). Why not take advantage of this by getting recurring, lasting value from old content? That, after all, is one of the main benefits of blogging.First, identify your top blog posts for traffic. If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can do this on your Blog Dashboard by sorting your blog posts by number of visits. Non-HubSpot customers can use a free tool like BuzzSumo to identify your top posts.Once you’ve figured out which blog posts get the most traffic, start optimizing those posts one by one for subscribers. You can do this in a number of ways: by adding a smart subscription CTA to the post, adding a slide-in CTA, and so on. Read on for more ideas, and experiment to see what works best with your audience.2) Add opt-in checkboxes your landing pages.Back in 2012, we were able to boost our newsletter subscribers by 128% in just three months’ time. How? We simply added a new checkbox field to all our landing page forms so people could subscribe to our blog with just one click.In other words, when people filled out a form on a HubSpot landing page to get one of our gated offers (like an ebook), they could also opt in to receive emails about new content on the HubSpot Blog. Years later, and we still have that check box on our landing pages:Adding opt-in check boxes on your landing pages is an easy way to capture more subscribers because all the person has to do to subscribe is check a box. This could be especially lucrative if you have a lot of landing pages to add this to.(HubSpot customers: If you are a Professional- or Enterprise-level customer, you can easily set this up right in HubSpot and start boosting your email subscribers. Click here to learn how to create a subscribe checkbox field on your HubSpot landing pages.)Why not make the checkbox selected by default? Because you want it to be an opt in, not an opt out. The latter definitely isn’t as lovable. Plus, if you auto-check that box, you can look forward to a whole lot of low-quality subscribers. And low-quality subscribers are bad for email deliverability because it can lead to really low engagement rates on your emails and land you a pot in recipients’ “junk” folders.(Read this blog post to learn more about why low-quality subscribers are bad for business and why HubSpot unsubscribed 250,000 people from our Marketing Blog and started sending less email.)3) Offer something extra to brand new subscribers.One way to encourage subscription is to provide something extra for people who sign up for your emails — something that’s usually reserved for people who complete a much longer form.For example, the folks over at HubSpot Partner IMPACT place a “smart” subscribe call-to-action (CTA) right under the header image and headline of their blog posts. When a CTA is “smart,” it means that if you’re already a blog subscriber, you won’t see that CTA at all — the header image will transition right into the blog post. (HubSpot Customers: Click here to learn how to create Smart CTAs like this for your own website.)Here’s another example from General Assembly, which offers a 25% discount from a class or workshop for new subscribers:If you choose to go this route, keep an eye on the engagement rates of your emails to make sure your offers are bringing in quality subscribers. If people are just giving over their emails to get coupons and discounts, it’s possible they’re doing so for a one-off purchase — and will end up getting emails from you that don’t interest them.4) Add smart subscribe CTAs to your blog, homepage, and “About” page.Speaking of smart CTAs, there are a number of strategic places to place smart CTAs on your website. These CTAs will only show up to website visitors who aren’t already subscribed to your blog. (Learn more about smart CTAs here.)When you create these CTAs, be sure to make them as clear and easy to fill out as possible. Don’t make people fill out a long form — if all you need is an email address, only ask for the email address. When you make this process as painless as possible for your blog visitors, you’ll increase the chance they’ll actually fill out the form.You’ll want to test out where on your website they work best for you depending on your business and your goals, but three great places to consider adding smart CTAs are your blog, your homepage, and your “About” page.Your BlogPeople who are already reading your blog might already be interested in your content — so why not see if they want to subscribe to your blog posts by email while they’re already in the thick of it?Create subscription CTAs and place them directly within each of your blog posts.They don’t have to replace your posts’ lead-gen CTAs if blog subscribers isn’t your #1 goal. Instead, you can simply insert them into your posts as a secondary CTA directly below the one you’re using for lead generation.Here’s an example of a CTA at the bottom of a blog post from Help Scout’s blog:Why place these secondary CTAs on the bottom of blog posts instead of the sidebar? We’ll cover that in the next section.Your HomepageIf increasing your blog subscribers is a major goal of yours, consider adding a subscription CTA to your homepage for a period of time. If you make it a smart CTA, it could show up as a short banner that runs the width of the webpage in between two other modules, for example.If it’s not a smart CTA, you could add it to a number of different places depending on your goals. Is increasing your subscribers a top goal of yours? Then place the CTA somewhere prominent on your homepage, like Noah Kagan does on his blog, Okdork:If it’s not a top goal, you might consider sticking a subscription CTA in the footer of your website, like the folks from Lynton Web did on their homepage:Your “About” PageFor many sites, the “About” page is one of the most-visited pages. It also happens to be one of the most commonly overlooked pages, especially for lead gen opportunities. Adding opt-in forms on this page could convert a good chunk of that high traffic into subscribers.For example, Backlinko reported that their “About” page converts visitors into subscribers at 5.81%: 5) Remove distractions, and put subscription CTAs where people are paying attention.When you look at your website think about what might be distracting people from filling out your calls-to-action. Remember: The more distractions you give them, the less action they’re going to take.If you have a sidebar on your blog, for example, how is that affecting your conversion rate? What about user experience? Marketers at a number of different companies — including here at HubSpot — have reported that sidebars on their blogs are actually a big distraction for their readers.For example, the folks at IMPACT removed the sidebar on their blog experienced a 71% increase in conversion over the performance of their standard calls-to-action on the old blog that included a sidebar.Here’s what their blog looked like before the switch. Notice the subscription CTA on the right-hand side, indicated by the red arrow:Image Credit: IMPACTInstead, they removed the sidebar, and moved their subscription CTA under the featured image (as shown in #3).Here are HubSpot, we recently removed our blog’s sidebar as well, mainly because we found that no one was really using it. Heat maps showed very little engagement with the sidebar, and the user testing we did revealed that people didn’t interact with it. Some even said that it actually interfered with their reading experience.When we removed the sidebar, we instead kept the smart subscription CTAs at the bottom of our blog posts, which look like this:… As well as the subscription CTA in our blog’s header, which moves along as users scroll through our posts:Who else has removed their sidebar? How about Google? Google removed sidebar ads in February 2016 to mainly improve user experience.If you currently have a sidebar on your blog, you’ll want to test conversion rates and user experience for yourself. But what we found is that it reduces friction, makes for a cleaner user experience, and helps mobile experience both in design and by lowering page load time. (Given that Google reacts favorably to pages that load quickly, removing sidebars and other distractions could have a noticeable impact on the rankings of your blog content or overall organic search traffic to your blog.)6) Launch a course via email.While ebooks, whitepapers, and other lead gen content can be really effective parts of your inbound marketing playbook, the truth is, certain types of lead gen content are perceived as more valuable than others. Think about it: In terms of value, is an ebook really on par with something like a certification course?Probably not. The perceived value of courses is significantly higher than that of an ebook — a point Kagan made in his presentation with HubSpot on how to increase your email subscribers. Plus, by educating your customers, you’ll be building relationships with them that’ll help build trust and get them excited to engage with you — and even buy from you.After hearing from a friend who created a course via email and got 30,000 new subscribers, Kagan decided to do the same by creating and launching his own 12-week course called Email1K. Here’s what his CTA looks like:(Very meta, we know.)Of course, creating an email course from scratch will require time and resources. To deliver on your promises for a valuable use of your visitors’ time, you’ll want the course to be really high quality. That means beautiful design, flawless user experience, and making every email actionable and important. You might need to hire a freelancer for some of these things.The good news is that, in terms of content, you don’t have to start from scratch: You can recycle content you’ve already written by reorganizing it, cleaning it up, and making it even more actionable than it was when you originally wrote it.The result? You can bring in high quality subscribers from nothing. Plus, adding that “limited time” aspect is a great way to encourage people to sign up before it’s too late.Just make sure you have your promotion all lined up in advance, Kagan warns. Have experts confirmed to promote the course when it goes live, get partners in on it, perhaps arrange advertisements on social media, and write a few emails to let your current subscribers know what you’re delivering.7) Ask nicely.How aggressively should you be asking people for their emails? Sure, you want to grab people’s attention with compelling and specific copy. But at the same time, you run the risk of rubbing people the wrong way if your copy comes off as overly aggressive or pushy.Ever seen one of those subscription CTAs where the “No” option makes you feel bad about yourself? I’ve seen quite a few of them, and let me tell you: They don’t make me want to convert. In fact, in most cases, they make me scowl and want to leave the website immediately.Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here are a few examples:”Yes! I want to save money.” // “No, I have enough money.””Yes! I’d like to receive updates.” // “No, I love being out of the loop.””Yes! I need help losing weight!” // “No thanks, I already have a bikini body.”Ultimately, you’ll need to figure out where that balance is for your business, depending on your brand voice. For example, Tipsy Elves’ brand voice is funny and a little sassy, making the “No” option in their CTA below (“Sorry, I have to check with my mom first”) funny instead of insulting for those familiar with their brand. But it could come at a cost when it comes to newcomers who could take it the wrong way.Get creative with your copy, and experiment with different wording to see how it affects conversions by running an A/B test.Our recommendation, though? Ask nicely, like the folks at Search Engine Watch did in their subscription CTA below. Newcomers to your website may not be familiar with your brand voice, and brands that don’t guilt-trip users who don’t want to take action are more lovable overall.So, there you have it. While there’s no one-size-fits-all plan to get more subscribers for your blog, we hope this post gives you some ideas for what to try with your audience. Hopefully, some of them will stick.What other creative ways to increase blog subscribers can you add to this list? Share with us in the comments. Topics: Growing Readership Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jun 16, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017
Texas Southern is a long way from Indiana, in distance and college basketball program stature. But for Mike Davis, going from one of the storied programs in the country to a school in the SWAC in six years, well, it’s just fine. The one-time coach of Indiana after legendary Bobby Knight was fired has since gone through the gamut of success and trials and finds himself at an HBCU on an interim basis. Still, if you take him at his word, it’s all good.“It’s a great opportunity for me to get back into coaching,” Davis said in an interview with KRIV-TV in Houston. “I’ve researched Texas Southern’s program.”Davis, who led Indiana to the 2002 Final Four and was 2010-11 Conference USA Coach of the Year at Alabama-Birmingham, was offered the job after Tony Harvey resigned for personal reasons, KRIV reported.“I think Harvey left some real good players there. They had a good program and it’s one of the better jobs in the (SWAC) conference, and I’m excited to get back working and teaching,” Davis said to the station.After resigning from Indiana in 2006, he signed on with UAB and had success early and struggles late. He said personal tragedies impacted him on his job.“My mom passed away and I had two nephews pass away in a three-month period before the season started, and that kind of got me off key a little bit,” he told KRIV. “I got it back at the end of the year, but by that time we were already in conference play. I have my focus and my drive back and I’m ready to get back into the flow.””I think Harvey left some real good players there. They had a good program and it’s one of the better jobs in the (SWAC) conference, and I’m excited to get back working and teaching,” Davis said.When Davis took over for Knight in 2000, he was a coaching phenom. The Hoosiers went21–13 his first year. In 2002, Davisn led Hoosiers the NCAA championship game. From there, expectations rose, but wins leveled off. Finally, he departed Indiana and faded after a good start at UAB.An HBCU landing an accomplished coach like Davis is a huge deal. Before long, he will shed the “interim” tag and, with good recruiting, lead Texas Southern to some good places.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Providenciales, TCI, June 30, 2016 – A 21 year old will spend the next 21 months of his life in jail for striking someone in the face with brass knuckles. Turks and Caicos is now inundated with these horrible court results where young men are being tossed into prison for committing crimes that are not only taking lives, maiming lives but damaging their own lives.Conrad Thomas Jr not only caused tremendous pain to his victim, but now, say Police that person has a dislocated jaw and a speech impediment. Conrad Thomas Jr was on Tuesday found guilty of the crime which happened in March 2015.
KUSI Newsroom, February 27, 2019 KUSI Newsroom Fatal crash involving semi truck on SR-78 in San Marcos Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitter Posted: February 27, 2019 Updated: 6:31 PM 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN MARCOS (CNS) – At least one person was killed in a multi-vehicle crash Wednesday morning involving a semi truck on state Route 78 in San Marcos, authorities said.A semi truck was reportedly disabled around 12:15 a.m. in the left lane of eastbound state Route 78 west of Twin Oaks Valley Road, according to a California Highway Patrol incident log.Around 12:55 a.m., a person told dispatchers that a vehicle crashed into the back of the semi truck and the vehicle was totaled.It was not immediately clear how many people were inside the vehicle that struck the semi truck.As of 5:45 a.m., the right lane of eastbound SR-78 west of Twin Oaks Valley Road remained closed, the CHP said.CHP officers were investigating the circumstances leading up to the crash.
The lackluster market debut of SecureWorks Corp, the cyber unit of Dell Inc, failed to rally the battered technology U.S. IPO market on Friday, a reminder that Wall Street does not welcome cash-burning companies without profits.”I don’t think it encourages anybody to hop on the bandwagon and go public,” said Robert Thomas, CEO of San Francisco-based security startup CloudPassage.SecureWorks priced below its indicated range and opened the day even lower; it also cut the number of shares it was offering from 9 million to 8 million. The shares closed Friday at $14, slightly up from their opening price of $13.89.In the first U.S. technology IPO this year, ending the longest drought in seven years, many investors and cyber security entrepreneurs hoped SecureWorks would reinvigorate the market and instill confidence in cyber firms.Stock market volatility last year and early this year may have scared off some listings. Cyber security companies that have put IPO plans on hold include Carbon Black, Veracode, Blue Coat and Zscaler, according to venture capitalists.The recipient of billions of dollars of venture capital, both private and public cyber security companies have come under heightened scrutiny. Share of cyber firm FireEye, Barracuda Networks, and Rapid7, the most recent high-profile cyber security IPO, are all down by at least half.”It’s pretty tough sledding out there,” said Matthew Prince, CEO of CloudFlare, who has rejected weekly solicitations from investment bankers encouraging him to take his company public.By this time last year, six technology companies had priced IPOs, raising a total of $1.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data. In the first half of 2014, 23 technology IPOs had raised $3.7 billion, according to market intelligence firm Ipreo.Demand for SecureWorks shares was hurt by factors unique to the company – growing losses and an “overhang” of unsold shares from its parent Dell, which is not publicly traded.SecureWorks’ operating loss nearly doubled to $72.4 million in fiscal 2015 as revenue climbed 30 percent $339.5 million, SecureWorks said in a U.S. regulatory filing.Investors have an appetite for cyber security IPOs but are looking to buy into companies that are more profitable than SecureWorks, said Enrique Salem, managing director of Bain Capital Ventures.SecureWorks President and CEO Mike Cote said the mounting losses are the result of investing heavily over the last two years, and the company would begin to see gains from that spending this year.Hope for a popping SecureWorks IPO dimmed late Thursday, when the company priced shares at $14, below their indicated range of $15.50-$17.50.”It’s a busted IPO,” said Tim Ghriskey, who helps manage $1.5 billion as chief investment officer with Solaris Asset Management.At its closing share price, SecureWorks was valued at more than $1 billion, a bit more than half the valuation it eyed when it filed for an IPO in December, but still well above what Dell paid for the company in 2011.Still, “this doesn’t mean that there won’t be more tech IPOs, or they will all be weak, ” Ghriskey said.Indeed, SecureWorks has little in common with other tech IPO contenders. The company is not backed by venture capitalists; it is based in Atlanta, rather than Silicon Valley; and it was founded nearly two decades ago.Also, the IPO was to some extent forced by Dell’s expensive merger with EMC. Dell, however, won’t have access to the proceeds from the IPO.”SecureWorks was an anomaly with the pricing and with the timing and why they went out when they did,” said Sean Cunningham, managing director of Trident Capital Cybersecurity.
The Matrix, FacebookKeanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are all geared up to return to the world of The Matrix with the forthcoming instalment. As per several confirmed reports, John Wick 3 superstar will reprise his role of Thomas Anderson aka Neo in Matrix 4.As per a report by Variety, Lana Wachowski is all set to write and direct Matrix 4 movie that will feature the original cast from the trilogy. There have been several rumours linked with The Matrix reboot but they were all speculations by fans. But now we have a confirmed report from the inside sources that Matrix 4 is officially happening.In a released statement, Lana Wachowski talked about the original trilogy and how their ideas are more relevant now while adding that, “I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends.”In addition to this, Warner Bros. Picture chairman announced that everyone is excited as Lana is re-entering the world of The Matrix. He also noted and confirmed that Lana is going to write, direct, and even produce the new chapter in The Matrix universe. Keanu Reeves as John WickTwitterThe original Matrix movie series depicts a dystopian future where humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality which is created by artificial beings. These beings have created this Matrix to distract the entire human race while they consume their bodies as an energy source. The movie featured Keanu Reeves as Thomas Anderson, who goes by the name of Neo and his extraordinary journey to uncover the truth along with other people who have been freed from the Matrix.The Matrix, first part in the series, was initially released in 1991 and instantly became a box-office success. The movie went on to win four Academy Awards and till this date, it is being considered as one of the best sci-fi movies of all time. The movie was praised for its visual effects, cinematography, and how it used several philosophical references to convey a complex story.As of now, the plot details of The Matrix 4 are not revealed to the fans as it is in a very early stage of pre-production. In addition to this, it is also not disclosed whether Laurence Fishburne will return as Morpheus or not. Several are predicting that the studio is going to cast a younger actor to play the iconic role.
Shamsun Nahar (L), 60, a Rohingya widow who fled from Kha Maung Seik village of Myanmar to Bangladesh alone, whose 30-year-old son is missing, tells her story at Kutupalang Makeshift Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on 4 September 2017. Photo: ReutersEthnic Rohingya Muslims fleeing security forces in Myanmar’s Rakhine State have described killings, shelling, and arson in their villages that have all the hallmarks of a campaign of “ethnic cleansing,” Human Rights Watch said today, Friday.Myanmarese army, police, and ethnic Rakhine armed groups have carried out operations against predominantly Rohingya villages since the 25 August 2017 attacks by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) militants against about 30 police posts and an army base, said a release of the New York-based rights body.Myanmarese army commander Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing told the media that the government-approved military clearance operations in Rakhine State was “unfinished business” dating back to the Second World War.The United Nations Security Council should hold a public emergency meeting and warn the Myanmarese authorities that they will face severe sanctions unless they put an end to the brutal campaign against the Rohingya population, said the HRW in the release published on its website.“Rohingya refugees have harrowing accounts of fleeing Myanmarese army attacks and watching their villages be destroyed,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW’s South Asia director. “Lawful operations against armed groups do not involve burning the local population out of their homes.”In early September, Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 50 Rohingya refugees who had fled across the border to Bangladesh and obtained detailed accounts from about a dozen people. The Rohingya told Human Rights Watch that Myanmarese government security forces had carried out armed attacks on villagers, inflicting bullet and shrapnel injuries, and burned down their homes. They described the military’s use of small arms, mortars, and armed helicopters in the attacks.Human Rights Watch obtained satellite data and images that are consistent with widespread burnings in northern Rakhine State, encompassing the townships of Rathedaung, Buthidaung, and Maungdaw. To date, Human Rights Watch has found 21 unique locations where heat sensing technology on satellites identified significant, large fires, said the HRW release.Knowledgeable sources in Bangladesh told Human Rights Watch that they heard the distinctive sounds of heavy and light machine gun fire and mortar shelling in villages just across the border in Burma, and spotted smoke arising from these villages shortly afterward.The Myanmarese government has denied security force abuses, claiming that it is engaged in a counterterrorism operation in which nearly 400 people have been killed, most of them suspected militants. The Myanmarese authorities assert, without substantiating their claims, that militants and Rohingya villagers have burned 6,845 houses across 60 villages in northern Rakhine State. Refugee accounts contradict the claims of Myanmarese officials, added the release.For example, Momena, a 32-year-old Rohingya woman from Maungdaw Township, said that she fled to Bangladesh on 26 August, a day after security forces attacked her village. She first hid with her children when the soldiers arrived, but returning to the village she said she saw 40 to 50 villagers dead, including some children and elderly people: “All had knife wounds or bullet wounds, some had both. My father was among the dead; his neck had been cut open. I was unable to do last rites for my father – I just fled.”At the Cox’s Bazar hospital, Human Right Watch interviewed several Rohingya with bullet wounds. Some said they were hit while at home, others said they were shot when running for safety from their villages, or while hiding in the fields or hills from Myanmarese soldiers.Usman Goni, 20, said that he and five friends were in the hills outside their village, tending cattle, when they were attacked. He saw a helicopter flying overhead and then something fall out of it. He later realized he had been hit by whatever the helicopter dropped. Four of his friends died from fragment injuries while villagers transported Goni to Bangladesh for treatment. The fragments in his torso had not yet been removed when Human Rights Watch met him in the hospital.Human Rights Watch’s initial investigations of the current situation in Rakhine State are indicative of an ethnic cleansing campaign. Although “ethnic cleansing” is not formally defined under international law, a UN commission of experts has defined the term as a “purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas… This purpose appears to be the occupation of territory to the exclusion of the purged group or groups.”“There is no indication that the horrors we and others are uncovering in Rakhine State are letting up,” Ganguly said. “The United Nations and concerned governments need to press Myanmar right now to end these horrific abuses against the Rohingya as a first step toward restoring Rohingya to their homes.”Attacks on villages in Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State, based on interviews with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, 30 August 2017 to 5 September 2017Yasin AliYasin Ali, 25, said that Myanmarese security forces attacked his village of Reka Para on 27 August. Prior to the attack, tensions had been building in Reka Para and neighbouring Rohingya villages as local Rakhine harassed and abused them for months. Ali said: “They would come around to us and say, ‘This is not your land. Don’t cultivate this land, and don’t dare take the food growing on it.’ If we went near their lands, they would beat us with sticks.”During the 27 August attack, all the villagers went into hiding. Ali said the women and children were sent further away to seek shelter, while the men stayed close by to wait out the attack in the hopes that they could quickly return to the village after the soldiers left. He said he hid by the roadside, about half a kilometre from where the soldiers made their approach. He heard what sounded like mortar shells hitting the village: “I heard boom boom boom, and then I saw the houses just collapse.” After a while, he saw the soldiers advance towards the village, and from his vantage point, he saw that they were carrying small arms and what looked like light machine guns. He also said he saw a mortar system on the shoulder of a soldier, and some apparent mortar rounds the size of a grapefruit.Ali said that when the soldiers entered the village, they started shooting indiscriminately. He and the other men from the village then decided to run away into the hills for shelter. From the hills, he saw a helicopter painted olive green circle his village four times, and saw something being dropped from the helicopter after which the houses in the village caught fire.Ali and his family walked to Bangladesh and were allowed to enter by the border guards. They arrived on 31 August, and at the time Ali spoke with Human Rights Watch, they were waiting outside trying to sort out where they could get shelter.MomenaMomena, 32, fled her village of Kirgari Para on 26 August with two of her three children. She said that soldiers had previously attacked the village during the military operations in late 2016, but the situation in her village had settled down since then. She described the events that prompted her to flee:“I heard the sounds of fighting around 4pm on Friday [25 August]. There was a lot of noise, worse than before. I saw them [the soldiers] myself as they entered my village. I don’t know how many there were but it looked like a lot to me. I fled with the other villagers and we sheltered in the jungle overnight. When I returned to the village the next morning, after the soldiers had left, I saw about 40 to 50 villagers dead, including some children and some elderly. All had knife wounds or bullet wounds – some had both. My father was among the dead; his neck had been cut open. I was unable to do last rites for my father, I just fled.”From her vantage point while hiding in the jungle, Momena said she could see some of the houses in her village burning at night. She believes soldiers set fire to the houses as a warning to the villagers.Momena said she did not know of any armed Rohingya militants in the village. She had heard some youths in the village talking about resisting, but she never saw anyone take any action on this, there was just talk. She said many young Rohingya men fled into the jungle after the attack.In addition to bodies found in her village, Momena said she saw several bodies of children in the Naf River at one of the crossing points into Bangladesh.Momena said that when she and others fleeing with her crossed into Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Border Guards stopped them and said: “We have to stop you but if you shout and insist on entering, we’ll let you in.” She understood this as the guards pretending to obey their orders to refuse refugees entry to Bangladesh, but in practice helping the refugees enter the country.Khatija KhatunKhatija Khatun, a widow, lived in the village of Ashikha Mushi with her four children. She said that on 25 August, an armed group of ethnic Rakhine youth came to her house and issued vague threats. She recognised them from previous encounters because most of them had been involved in the violence against her community in October 2016.Khatun said she had never reported previous threats because “We don’t trust the police, we just escape, that’s our only solution.”The youth were armed with rifles and slingshots. She heard periodic gunshots, and other villagers said that the army was helping the Rakhine youth, but she did not see any evidence of that herself.After seeing the armed Rakhine group kill a young Rohingya man, a 22-year-old called Rahim, she decided to leave her village that day after Friday noon prayers. She said that initially the Rohingya youth in the village responded to the Rakhine group’s show of armed strength and threats by protesting with bamboo poles, but the Rakhine group opened fire on them:“Jumma prayers were just over that Friday, and the men and boys were outside the mosque when the Rakhine armed men came up to them. Rahim and others took up bamboo poles, that’s all they had, but Rahim panicked when they began to shoot. He started running away. I saw them shoot him – the bullet went through his cheek, right by his cheekbone under his eye. He died from that wound.”After witnessing that shooting, Khatun panicked and fled into the hills with her three teenage daughters, ages 13, 15, and 18, whose safety she most feared for. She left her 5-year-old son behind – many Rohingya thought younger children might be safe from attack – but since then, she has no news of him.She learned that the armed Rakhine group had returned to attack her village in the early hours of 26 August. While hiding in the hills, Khatun said she saw several helicopters. She also said she heard bombs being dropped near and around her village: “It was a constant boom boom boom.” She saw her village mosque and one house in her village burning.Khatun and her daughters had no trouble entering Bangladesh, but she remains concerned about the security of her daughters, and is troubled by uncertainty and guilt for her young son left behind.Nurus SafaNurus Safa, about 40, fled from Fahira Bazar in the village tract of Kha Maung Seik on 29 August. She appeared to be in a state of shock when Human Rights Watch met her less than 24 hours after she arrived Bangladesh.“Many people were killed by knives, houses burned,” she said. “We were threatened, people were wounded, so I just fled.”Safa said her village was attacked on 25 August by men in uniform whom she assumes were Myanmarese army soldiers. She and other villagers ran from the village and hid in the nearby hills for a few days and nights. She had heard rumours that some Rohingya youth in her village had been arming themselves and organizing protests, but she did not know this directly and had seen no signs of it.In her panic to leave, Safa left behind the three eldest of her six children, ages 7, 8, and 15. She has received no news about them or her husband, Shafique Ahmed. She said that when she crossed the Naf River, the water level was up to her neck because of heavy monsoon rains. She said she saw many wounded people crossing the river into Bangladesh, but does not know who they were or how they were injured.Safa says she and her younger children did not have any trouble from the Bangladeshi border guards when entering Bangladesh.Mohammad YunusMohammad Yunus, 26, said his village of Sikadir Para in Tat U Chaung village tract, close to the border with Bangladesh, was attacked on 26 August. Although the villagers had had no prior warning of the attack, they were nervous because other people had come to his village fleeing attacks on their own villages further inland. He described the attack on the neighbouring village of Falinga Ziri:“I remember army helicopters, olive green in colour, flying around. I was standing on the other side of a canal, watching all this happen directly across from me. I was very close and saw it all myself. The soldiers were using guns that shoot fire, or something that explodes and sets fire.” Yunus was not sure how many soldiers were involved in the operation, but he thinks there might have been over 250. He said he saw about 25 to 30 houses set on fire in Falinga Kiri from his vantage point. He said that at the time of the attack, it looked to him like there were no villagers left; they had all fled earlier.Yunus and his fellow villagers quickly decided to flee their village as well. The next day, 27 August, as they were heading towards shelter in neighbouring hills, he saw soldiers and police shooting at villagers fleeing. He learned later that one woman had been killed.Yunus said that he did not know of any Rohingya men who had been training or arming themselves, or had engaged in any militant activity.Begum BaharBegum Bahar said that soldiers attacked her village of Kun Thee Pyin on 25 August. They wore olive green uniforms and she believes they were Myanmarese army. She along with seven of her children and other villagers fled in panic when they saw the soldiers and heard gunfire. They ran into the jungle to cross the border into Bangladesh for safety, a two-hour walk away.Bahar said she saw at least three bodies as she fled to the border crossing. One had a cut on the back of the neck and two suffered from bullet wounds. She heard the “boom boom boom” of large weapons firing all day 26 and 27 August, as she was attempting to cross the Naf River into Bangladesh. During the river crossing, she lost contact with her 12-year-old son and does not know if he survived.Begum Bahar said she was unaware of Rohingya militant training or anti-government activities. She said that the authorities had ordered all Rohingya villages to deposit sharp weapons to local leaders to turn over to the police, so any kind of resistance would be difficult. She did admit that her 22-year-old son had opposed her decision to leave and stayed behind when she left with her other children.Tabarak HusseinHussein, 19, said that on 27 August at about 9:00am, about 200 to 300 Myanmarese security forces in uniform along with local Rakhine men arrived at his village of Kun Thee Pyun (Kwashong in Rohingya). He said they were all armed, but was too frightened to have a proper look at their weapons. They began a spree of indiscriminate shooting in the village.Hussein said that before the attack, tensions had been running high:“The local police had been harassing us, mistreating us for at least six months before this. They would take away our cows, for example. We were angry about this but we didn’t protest; we knew protesting would come to nothing. Then on the Friday [25 August] before the attack, four people were killed in my village [by the police]. I don’t know exactly how it happened. They were all Rohingya men. We left the village that day and hid in the hills, but came back because the police seemed to back down and leave. We thought it was all over, but it was not.”Hussein said that when the 27 August attack began, he and the other villagers fled into the hills. From atop one hill, he saw a helicopter flying over Kun Thee Pyun village, and then almost immediately after he saw houses in the village catch on fire. He doesn’t know what caused the houses to catch fire.He said that none of the villagers in his village were killed or injured during the 27 August attack. He walked for two days and on 29 August arrived at the Bangladeshi border. He said the Bangladesh border guards stopped his group at the border for a while, and then instructed them to take another route to enter Bangladesh. The group did that and they were allowed in.Anwar ShahAnwar Shah, 17, said that on the morning of 27 August, Myanmarese security forces in uniform opened fire on a crowd in his village of Let Ya Chaung, killing three Rohingya men and a boy, and wounding 18 others. He said he didn’t know the circumstances of the shooting, but there had been tensions between the authorities and local Rakhine and Rohingya villagers for some time. He didn’t think the four were armed or posed any security threat. The dead included Shah’s brother, Abdu Satter, 22, Abdu Shukur, about 50, Nur Alam, about 15, and Haroun, about 25. Their families buried them in the neighbouring village of Kum Para because they were too frightened to bury them in their own village.Shah said that after the attack he saw the local village mosque was on fire. He heard that the local police were responsible setting the blaze but did not witness that.Shah said that following his brother’s death, he fled to Bangladesh. He learned that there was a big attack on his village the next day, 28 August, and that all houses were set on fire.
DU students queue for casting their vote in DUCSU election on Monday. Photo: UNBThe voting of the much awaited Dhaka University’s central students’ union, known as DUCSU (Dhaka University Central Students’ Union) and hall unions polls began on Monday morning, reports UNB.The voting has begun at 8:00am which will continue until 2:00pm without any break.A total of 43,256 DU students, including 16,292 females and 26,964 males, will exercise their right to franchise in the six-hour voting.The university authorities have already taken all the necessary steps to conduct the polls in a festive manner after a frantic electioneering by all the major student organisations.A total of 229 candidates are vying for the 25 posts of DUCSU.Among them, 21 are vying for vice president while 14 for general secretary, and 13 for assistant general secretary.Besides, 11 candidates are vying for the Liberation War secretary post, while nine each for the science and technology secretary and common room and cafeteria secretary posts, 11 for the international affairs secretary post, 8 for the literary secretary post, 12 for the cultural secretary post, 11 for the sports secretary post, 10 for the student transport secretary post, 14 for the social welfare secretary post, and 86 for aspirants for the member posts.In the hall union elections, a total of 509 aspirants are in race for 13 positions in each of 18 residential halls of the university.According to the university administration a total of 508 polling booths have been set in 18 residential dorms for the voting.Among them, 25 polling booths have been set up at Jagannath Hall while 20 at Dr Muhammad Shahidullah Hal, 30 at Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall, 35 each at Shamsunnahar Hall, Salimullah Muslim Hall and Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall, 32 at Master Da Surja Sen Hall, 22 at Zahurul Haq Hall, 20 at Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall, 50 at Ruqayyah Hall, 20 each at Kabi Jasimuddin Hall, Amar Ekushey Hall and Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall , 16 at AF Rahman Hall, 24 at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall, 19 at Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall, 45 at Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall and 40 at Bijoy Ekattar Hall.Meanwhile, Dhaka Metropolitan Police imposed a restriction on movement of outsiders and vehicles on DU campus for 24 hours from 6:00pm on Sunday ahead of the pollsThe last election to DUCSU was held on 6 July, 1990. In the last 28 years, the Dhaka University students could not cast their votes for selecting their representatives as the election process was closed.
Listen at WEAA Live Stream:http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uA review of some of the top news stories of the week directly from the pages of the AFRO with managing editor Kamau High. Plus, The Mod Squad, Taya Graham and Stephen Janis of The Real News Network, report on law enforcement and politics.These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.