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Number of Illegal Indian Immigrants Arrested in U.S. Triples in 2018

first_imgIndians make up one of the largest groups arrested in the United States for entering the country illegally, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The number of Indians detained for entering the United States illegally has almost tripled in 2018 as compared to the 2017 figures, the federal law enforcement agency said. The CBP expects the figures for this fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, to show that around 9,000 Indian nationals were detained, Reuters reported, citing spokesman Salvador Zamora. The corresponding figure for fiscal year 2017 was 3,162, the report added. The high number of illegal Indian immigrants has placed them among citizens of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, who were the most likely to enter the United States illegally in 2018, according to the Border Patrol data. The number of El Salvadorans who entered America illegally during this fiscal year is about 30,000, the report added. The illegal immigrants pay smuggling rings, which charge them between $25,000 and $50,000 per person, to enter the country, Zamora told the news agency in an interview. While many claims filed before the U.S. government have merits, many of them are filed by economic migrants who present fraudulent petitions, he added. According to Zamora, a large number of such petitions swamps the system, which can, in turn, cause legitimate cases to be “washed out.”   It is common to find that the evidence presented by fraudulent asylum seekers is identical to that of other migrants. It often comes out to be a “cut and paste” evidence, he pointed out. The number of Indians illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and claiming asylum for alleged persecution in India has been growing, Zamora said. This year, around 4,000 Indians entered the United States illegally via a three-mile stretch of border fence at Mexicali. “The word got out that Mexicali is a safe border city which favors their crossing into the United States,” he was quoted as saying. “After being held in the United States, Indians are often bonded out of detention by human trafficking rings. They then enter indentured servitude in businesses ranging from hotels to convenience stores to pay off smuggling debts and bond fees.”    Related Itemsillegal immigrationUnited Stateslast_img read more

New U.S. Rule for Deporting Immigrants to Start from Oct. 1

first_imgThe United States administration will start from Oct.1 the first step of removal proceedings for immigrants who have been overstaying in the country even after being denied visa extension, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced.The new policy memorandum in this regard was announced in June this year, and will be implemented from Oct.1, the USCIS said on Sept. 26.The first step in the process of deportation will be issuing Notices to Appear (NTA) to people whose visa applications have been denied, or extension or any other kind of status change has been rejected, according to the recent USCIS statement.The federal agency will send denial letters for status-impacting applications that ensure benefit seekers are provided adequate notice when an application for a benefit is denied. If an applicant is no longer in a period of authorized stay and does not depart the United States, the USCIS may issue the notice to appear before an immigration judge.The USCIS will provide details on how applicants can review information regarding their period of authorized stay, check travel compliance, or validate departure from the United States.However, in what may come as a relief to H-1B visa holders, who are mostly Indian technology professionals, the USCIS said that the new rule would not be implemented with respect to employment-based petitions for the time being.“The June 2018 NTA Policy Memo will not be implemented with respect to employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications and petitions at this time. Existing guidance for these case types will remain in effect,” the statement said.It also made clear that USCIS will continue to use its discretion in issuing NTAs for individuals with criminal records, or those accused of fraud, or national security concerns.“There has been no change to the current processes for issuing NTAs on these case types, and USCIS will continue to use its discretion in issuing NTAs for these cases,” according to the statement.The notice issued on June 28, titled “Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens Policy Memorandum (PM)” said that USCIS will issue the immigrant a Notice to Appear (NTA) before an immigration court if, upon the denial of an application or petition, the applicant is “unlawfully present in the United States.”  A significant surge in the denial rate of  H1-B visa applications was shown in the latest data released by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP). It said that between July and  Sept.2017, the United States denied H-1B visas to 23.6 percent of Indian applicants, up from 16.6 percent in the previous three months.  Earlier this month, India asked the United States to take a balanced and sensitive view on the proposed changes in H-1B visa system as it affects citizens-to-citizens links, which are essential to bring energy into the Indo-U.S. relations.  Related ItemsH-1B visaUnited StatesUSCISlast_img read more

Mind Your Grill

first_imgSo you forgot to pick up that $1 tawa the last time you were in Delhi and the paratha you assemble on the Teflon frying pan is just not making the grade.  Williams-Sonoma, the specialty retailer, is offering you a break with a Le Creuset Tava – for $90.Forgot your karahi? They offer an oven-safe Calphalon One Indian wok “based on the karahi,” which, the catalog waxes, has “two beautifully shaped loop handles – inspired by graceful scrollwork on Indian architecture.”  Only thing is that you will have to pony up a very unIndian $125.The latest Williams-Sonoma catalog has a whole section dedicated to the Indian kitchen, with a handful of recipes to boot. A 10 oz bottle of Tandoori Grilling Paste will set you back $10 and – get this – a 9 oz spice kit will burn a hole in your wallet for $39. And you thought those MDH masalas for $1.99 were getting pricey!  Related Itemslast_img read more

Om Senate, Senate, Senate!

first_imgRajan Zed became the first Hindu priest ever to deliver the opening prayer in the U.S. Senate on July 12. During the 90 second invocation, Zed sprinkled ganga jal on the podium and recited passages from the Rig Veda: “We meditate on the transcendental glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the Earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of the heaven. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.”Three protestors from a right wing Christian group who screamed “this is an abomination” were ejected from the visiting gallery.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Putting Nazi to Bed

first_imgAn Indian home furnishing company has agreed to drop a line of bedspreads titled “The Nazi Collection” after an outcry from Indian Jews.  The collection, which includes a swastika beside the name, was originally defended by the company’s owner Kapil Kumar Todi, who claimed the acronym was not anti semitic and actually stood for “New Arrival Zone in India.”Oh yes, we can take that to bed.  Related Itemslast_img

Cignal sinks Marinerong Pilipino for 1-0 lead in D-League semis

first_imgPBA IMAGESCignal HD derailed Marinerong Pilipino’s dream voyage with an 86-67 rout Thursday to gain a 1-0 lead in their 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals series Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.Possibly playing his final game before leaving for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, Raymar Jose imposed his presence and uncorked 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench to lead his side to the win.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo “I’m really thankful for Raymar. I had to play him for the whole of the third quarter and he did his job for us,” said coach Boyet Fernandez.Jason Perkins provided the stability for the Hawkeyes as he scattered 13 markers, 18 boards, three assists, one steal, and one block, Byron Villarias had 13 points, four rebounds, and three dimes, and Oping Sumalinog got 12 markers and four boards as the Hawkeyes starters jumped to an early 34-14 first quarter lead and never looked back.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“I’m really happy that the starters stepped up on defense. We’re pressured enough to play at our best today given the fact that we haven’t played for a long while. But credit to my boys again. They really played their hearts out today,” said Fernandez.Showing no rust from their three-week layoff, Cignal controlled the tempo of the game and even led by high as 24, 62-38, at the 2:54 mark of the third quarter. CIGNAL HD 86 – Jose 17, Perkins 13, Villarias 13, Sumalinog 12, Arboleda 6, Bringas 6, Cahilig 6, Raymundo 5, Batino 4, Sara 4, Apinan 0, Uyloan 0.MARINERONG PILIPINO 67 – Javelona 11, Sargent 8, Subido 8, Moralde 7, Herndon 6, Lopez 6, Iñigo 5, Marata 5, Alabanza 3, Isip 3, Javillonar 3, Gabriel 2.Quarters: 34-14, 48-29, 65-45, 86-67.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Gamescenter_img Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lyceum escapes EAC for 7th straight win But as always, the Skippers woke up from their slumber late and made a huge push in the fourth period, cutting the deficit to as low as 12, 75-63, after a Julian Sargent bucket.Unfortunately, the Skippers’ late-game magic was no match for Cignal’s end game poise, with Jose, Sumalinog, and Villarias icing the game down the stretch.The Hawkeyes can close the deal out on Tuesday for Game 2, still at Ynares Sports Arena.Pao Javelona paced Marinerong Pilipino with 11 points, while Sargent and Renzo Subido both got eight markers apiece as they saw the end of the Skippers’ seven-game winning run.The Scores:ADVERTISEMENT Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers View commentslast_img read more

A lot more to offer

first_imgView comments Ancajas superb in title win over a somnambulist Magnolia coach Chito Victolero managed his expectations going into the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against “mighty” defending champion San Miguel Beer.“We’ll just [go] out there, trying and trying,” he said prior to the race-to-four series. “Nothing is impossible. What I know is my boys are ready.”ADVERTISEMENT Three games into the Finals, Victolero and the Hotshots are on the driver’s seat of a battle many pundits believed the Beermen would easily control.“We were more aggressive, we dictated the tempo,” Victolero said when asked about the keys to their 86-82 Game 3 victory last Sunday that gave Magnolia a 2-1 series lead.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsVictolero pointed out—and rightly so, most especially against a team that has already erased a 0-3 series deficit before—that it’s only a one-game lead.But it was built on something that Magnolia knows it can bring to the table every game: defense. “We dictated the defense and I think that has been the key,” he said.That Sunday night, Magnolia managed to clamp down on San Miguel—a club whose style of tormenting opponent is by scoring in bunches—and limit the reigning “four-peat” champions to just 82 points.“If we could limit them to under a hundred points, if we go to our game, which is a defensive kind, we have a fighting chance,” said Victolero, whose wards lost Game 2 after giving up 108 points to the Beermen.San Miguel struggled to knock down shots in Game 3 as Magnolia’s defensive teeth resurfaced and Beermen coach Leo Austria readily admitted: “Our shooting percentage was very low.”“I think that’s the culprit,” added Austria.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid “Their defense was clogging our big men in the post, and every entry pass was contested or denied,” he added.The Beermen need to remedy that for Wednesday night’s Game 4, which kicks off at 7 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Magnolia believes it has more to offer for that match.“We just have to stay true to our identity,” said Victolero. “So in the next games, we can’t afford to veer away from our strength—which is our defense. We’ve been the number one team in that category, so we just have to be a bit more consistent [as the series goes on].”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewlast_img read more

Score a High-Paying Job With These Two-Year Degrees

first_img Administartive Assistant Sentry Mechanical Pittsburgh, PA N/A 1. Master of Science – Physician AssistantThe Job: Physician AssistantMedian Base Salary: $104,097If you’ve got a passion for medicine, healthcare and helping others, but don’t want to spend the next four years of your life waiting to jump into the workforce, Physician Assistant is the perfect position for you. And you’ll have no trouble finding a position once you graduate — the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this hot job to grow by 30 percent between 2014 and 2024. The cherry on top? Physician Assistant cracked the top ten on our list of the Highest-Paying Jobs in America for 2018.Search Physician Assistant Jobs 23 hours ago 23h 7. Associate of Applied Science in Dental HygieneThe Job: Dental HygienistMedian Base Salary: $77,464While they may not get all the credit that dentists do, Dental Hygienists are the ones that do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to making your teeth squeaky clean when you stop in for your six-month check-up, in addition to screening for signs of oral diseases and coaching patients on proper dental care. You might call them real-life Tooth Fairies, but these dental professionals pull in much more than just a quarter under their pillows.your_label 23 hours ago 23h 5. Master of Science in Speech-Language PathologyThe Job: Speech-Language PathologistMedian Base Salary: $57,884Much more than just eliminating speech impediments or improving stutters, Speech-Language Pathologists diagnose and treat a variety of communication disorders so that patients can express themselves to the best of their abilities. After a two-year master’s degree, certification test and a paid, year-long clinical fellowship, Speech-Language Pathologists are on their way to change the world one patient at a time, with a respectable paycheck in tow.your_label Service Advisor Prime Motor Group Saco, ME 2.8★ Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and editorial staff of Glassdoor. The degrees and jobs highlighted in this article are curated by the editorial staff, listed in no particular order, and do not necessarily reflect the official methodology of Glassdoor’s official awards or honors. For more details about how companies and specific roles are considered for editorial coverage, please visit Glassdoor for Employers. Registered Nurse (RN) – Charge Nurse – $7,000 Sign On Bonus EmpRes Healthcare Management Gardnerville, NV View More Jobs 23 hours ago 23h 3.4★ 3. Master of Science in Occupational TherapyThe Job: Occupational TherapistMedian Base Salary: $90,182A challenging but rewarding career field, Occupational Therapists help guide disabled, ill or injured patients through the activities needed to function properly in everyday life. This can involve everything from eating to brushing one’s teeth to typing and more. No need to worry about fighting other candidates for an open position — the BLS estimates that this field will grow by 27 percent between 2014 and 2024, resulting in plenty of jobs to go around.your_label 23 hours ago 23h LCPC – Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center Chicago, IL 4.5★ 4. Associate of Applied Science – Nuclear MedicineThe Job: Nuclear Medicine TechnologistMedian Base Salary: $77,407Although it may sound otherwise, this job does not take place at a power plant (sorry, Homer Simpson). Nuclear Medicine Technologists administer radiopharmaceuticals and use medical equipment to see up-close images of patients’ bodies and assist in diagnosis. While it requires a lot of technical know-how, this position requires only two years of formal schooling in the form of an associate’s degree, and it can earn you over $20,000 above the nationwide median salary.your_label 23 hours ago 23h 3.1★ Interior Designer – St. Louis & Dallas Oculus Saint Louis, MO 2. Associate Degree in Aviation ManagementThe Job: Air Traffic ControllerMedian Base Salary: $129,963Associate’s degrees that can earn you six figures or more are few and far between, but an Associate Degree in Aviation Management is one of them. After this two-year degree, certification and some on-the-job training, you could be pulling in almost as much as the average attorney. If guiding and ensuring the safety of aircraft sounds like the career path for you, you can check out this list of programs from the Federal Aviation Association’s website.your_label 23 hours ago 23h As tuition prices skyrocket and student debt deepens, there’s been a lot of debate around what the value of a degree truly is. A bachelor’s degree no longer guarantees you a job, or even makes you stand out in the job market, while even many master’s degrees don’t always directly translate into gainful employment. And when you have to pour tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars and several years of your life into finishing those programs, it may just not be worth it in the eyes of many job seekers.However, there are a handful of programs out there that train students on highly in-demand skills, open a tremendous amount of job opportunities and offer a handsome paycheck to boot. There are even options for those who don’t have a bachelor’s degree! Read on to learn more about programs that provide a great return on your educational investment — all in just two years. Director, Advanced Technology Policy General Motors United States Registered Nurse Supervisor RN Waterbury Gardens Nursing and Rehab Waterbury, CT 4.7★ Deli Associate F&M Deli & Restaurant Mount Laurel, NJ Hot New Jobs For You 23 hours ago 23h 2.5★ 23 hours ago 23h RN, Registered Nurse – OP Chemotherapy CHRISTUS Health Houston, TX 5.0★ 3.5★ 6. Associate Degree in Construction ManagementThe Job: Construction Project ManagerMedian Base Salary: $117,786If you like using your head and your hands in equal measure, consider becoming a Construction Project Manager. A couple of years spent earning your Associate Degree in Construction Management can fast-track you towards a role in management, where you’ll not only oversee a team of construction workers but also manage budgets, collaborate with engineers and architects and interact directly with clients. Besides the appealing salary and steady job growth, Construction Project Managers tend to be highly satisfied with their jobs, earning a spot on last year’s Best Jobs in America for 2017 list.your_label N/A 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Pest Control Technician United Pest Solutions Seattle, WAlast_img read more

Real Madrid president Florentino in contact with Barcelona target Ousmane Dembele

first_imgReal Madrid president Florentino Perez is moving for Borussia Dortmund striker Ousmane Dembele.Independent of Cristiano Ronaldo’s situation, Perez is in the market for a young striker signing and has joined the battle for Dembele.Barcelona are also targeting the France international, with negotiations having accelerated over the past week.However, Okdiario says contact between Real and Dembele’s agents has been established and he’s welcomed the approach.Everything though will depend on Ronaldo’s future. Dembele will only leave BVB if he can be certain of regular football – something both Real and Barca currently cannot guarantee.last_img read more

Denis Suarez unsure if Everton winger Deulofeu wants Barcelona return

first_imgBarcelona midfielder Denis Suarez is unsure if Spain U21 teammate Gerard Deulofeu will be returning to the Nou Camp this summer.Barca have until Friday to trigger a buy-back option in Deulofeu’s Everton contract.Denis, ahead of tonight’s U21 Euros semifinal against Italy, declared: “Gerard Deulofeu has been for many years at FC Barcelona in La Masia. He had to leave to find playing time and got it at Everton and AC Milan.”At the end of the U21 Euros, he will decide his future and I hope that his decision will be the best for him.”last_img read more

Who is visiting your web site?

first_imgIf you don’t know, you should find out.Here is an EXCELLENT guide from TechSoup that explains how to find answers to questions like:How many people visit our Web site every day? What are visitors doing when they get there? Which features are most popular? Was that big redesign worth the money?last_img

The most important ‘F’ word

first_imgSpeechwriters make our living with words, so we’re not usually at a loss for them. But recently I turned a group of speechwriters into a slack-jawed, inarticulate mess when I threw the F-word into a conversation.No, not that F-word.I asked them how they have Fun. “What do you do when you’re not working?” Four in a row had the same response: Startled silence, nervous laughter.Finally one brave soul said he enjoys fly-fishing, “…though I haven’t had time to do it lately.”Now, I know our clients are Important People who deserve our best work. But I also know that I cannot deliver my best work if work is all I do. So for me, Fun is not optional; it’s an essential part of my schedule. Just as I boot up my computer every morning, I need to boot up my psyche regularly.It’s great to have a big hobby like fly-fishing (N.B.: the fish may disagree). But we can find plenty of joy in the smaller, less time-consuming things we do. My own list includes: Playing with the dog. Reading The New Yorker. Singing. Doing needlepoint. Going to the theatre. Watching a baseball game (preferably one my team wins). Hanging out with my sweetheart. Writing something just for myself, not my clients. Laughing.Incorporating these simple joys into my life makes me a happier, more creative person. And ultimately a much better writer.Where’s the fun in your life? And how does it feed you?last_img read more

Spring cleaning: 3 things to avoid as you ramp up your business

first_imgI love the springtime. There is something about watching nature shift from being dormant to being in full bloom that warms my heart. It also serves as a reminder that it’s time to start cleaning, but not just my yard and my home. Yes, proverbial spring cleaning can also apply to your freelancing business.Making a fresh startSpring is an excellent time to reflect, plan, purge, and forge ahead. As you evaluate your wheelhouse, you may discover that you want to change a few things or you may want to ramp up your freelancing services. This is an excellent opportunity to think about your marketing plan, to take some online classes and/or attend a few workshops, and it is also a great time to follow up with potential clients who may have previously inquired about your services.Just as this is an opportunity for you to plant metaphorical flowers, it is equally as important that you don’t create a breeding ground for weeds. In other words, you don’t want to do something this spring that will have a negative ripple effect throughout the rest of the year.Here are three things to avoid this spring and throughout the rest of your planning and planting season:Speaking negatively about the competitionThis may seem odd as the first item on my list, but I am seeing quite a bit of this, so I wanted to get it out of the way. This is the kind of weed that can kill even the strongest strains of grass. Putting someone else’s work down does not automatically mean that someone will see your work as being better. Instead, it can come across as unprofessional, brash, and even toxic. Most clients want great service, not drama.Even in an attempt to be helpful by pointing out someone else’s flaws, making disparaging comments about your competition, especially fellow freelancers, reflects poorly on you. Instead of highlighting or identifying what someone else is not good at, focus, instead, on what you can do and how your services are a good fit for a client.Pricing your services too low or too high“You charge too much.” “You don’t charge enough.” This may feel like a game of tug-of-war without a winner. It is highly probable that you have quoted two different clients the same price for the same service and their reactions were diametrically opposed. What’s a freelancer to do?When our prices are too high, someone may think that we are overpriced in order to create an outrageous profit margin. Conversely, if our prices are too low, a client may think that we are inexperienced or amateurs. The solution? Become familiar with your industry’s pricing standards.There are unions and professional organizations that will often openly share information about median wages or price points for services that are similar to the ones that you offer. Before you spike up your prices this spring, become familiar with wage guides and use them as starting points; obviously, allow some flexibility as geography often is a determining factor in what people are willing to pay for certain services.If you charge $100.00 an hour, but the going rate in your area for the same service is $50.00, just understand that you may be outpricing your services. No matter how good you are, you have to understand your market.Overselling and underpeformingI saved the best for last. If we are honest, freelancing can be highly competitive, especially in certain markets. As such, many of us are looking for something that makes us stand out or that gives us a slight advantage over our peers.Perhaps you have thought about offering a client an ancillary service for free, or you plan to guarantee that a product will be ready for a client in four days when it normally takes seven. Maybe you plan to create a price-matching program where you will honor or beat a quoted rate. These things all look great on paper.But, here’s the problem: Can you deliver? Do you have the capacity, resources, stamina, time, and availability to make good on the deliverables that you have promised? If the answer is no, then it’s best that you don’t overcommit or oversell.Trust is one of the most important components of building a freelancing business. Your clients depend upon you and trust you. Once a client no longer trusts you, it is incredibly difficult, if possible, to rebuild that trust.Instead, allow the natural progression or process to unfold and be transparent with your clients. That extra three days you were going to knock off are probably not that big of a deal, especially if the quality of work is compromised.These are just a few of the things that come to mind when I think about things to avoid while spring cleaning as a freelancer.last_img read more

9 Ways to Start a Spring Garden on the Cheap

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Spring will come eventually, and with it, the chance to save some money with your own home garden.The average family vegetable garden costs $70 a year, but produces an estimated $600 worth of vegetables, according the National Gardening Association.Plan it carefully, and you could shell out even less to cultivate a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs.“Begin
 by making a list of what you want to plant,” suggests nutrition coach Jenny Giblin. “Then, decide what it is that 
you spend the most on or consume the most of at the grocery store. Don’t 
grow anything just because it’s easy to grow if you don’t really use it.”9 ways to grow green, while spending less of it:Start small.“Seeds are less expensive than buying seedlings, and smaller seedlings, in 6-packs, are less expensive than buying larger plants in 1-gallon
 containers,” says Angela Price, owner of EdenCondensed.com.The trade-off: Your garden may take a little longer to bear fruit.Incorporate herbs.Considering you’ll spend $2 or more per pack of fresh herbs at the supermarket, growing your own is an endeavor that can quickly pay for itself.Container gardener Annabel Jones recommends basil (Italian and purple), mint, oregano, thyme, and Italian parsley.“Just make sure that your herbs get enough sunlight,” she says—even a windowsill will do fine for apartment dwellers.Swap seeds.Check listings on Craiglist, and on gardening forums.Many gardeners are willing to give away seedlings and seeds, if their garden is booming.It can also help to find friends or neighbors willing to split the cost of a flat of seedlings—you’ll get the bulk prices, without needing to create an expansive garden.Pick prolific plants.It’ll maximize your yield. John Forti, curator of historic landscapes at Strawbery
Banke Museum, recommends kale, chard, carrots, 
radishes, beets, spinach, lettuce, and cucumbers.As a bonus, they can be easily grown from seeds.“This not only diminishes costs but it helps children to 
understand the connection between seeds and food on their plates,” he says.Check locations.Not everything grows well in every region.Check your list of plants against growing zones to ensure you aren’t wasting money planting something that needs more sunlight or a warmer climate than you can provide.Stagger planting times.Plant one of the same vegetable every two or three weeks, if space allows, says a spokeswoman for EdwardsYards.com.It will ensure you have, say, salads all summer long instead of one big batch of greens that have to be used within a week.Use containers.It’s an easy and cost-effective way to plant your own veggies if you 
don’t have space for a garden, says Anne Lawton of Nutrucation.com.Fresh herbs grow easily that way, and so do tomatoes and peppers.Enhance the soil.“Seeds can be sown directly, but like people, they need a nutritious diet to 
grow healthy,” Forti says.A cheap way to do it: Use compost or composted manure. “The yield will be worth the investment,” he says.Check in.Make sure to monitor your garden daily, Price says.“Daily checking can alert you to pest problems that you can take care of right away,” she says.She continues, “Also, once your veggies 
and herbs are ready to harvest, regular picking usually encourages additional harvests.”Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie. Post navigationlast_img read more

Calculating Your Smart Home Investment

first_img Post navigation The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of Intuit Inc, Mint or any affiliated organization.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedSide Hustles for Teachers: The Complete GuideJuly 12, 2019In “Saving”Jessica Naziri of TechSesh on the New Mint for iOS LookSeptember 25, 2018In “Budgeting”How To Strike A Balance In Real Savings And Extreme Couponing To Save Time And MoneyJune 6, 2019In “Budgeting” With all of today’s home-based tech gadgets and virtual personal assistants, smart homes are quickly becoming ubiquitous. And with high demand for connected products, so too comes ease of use, accessibility and affordability.  But as with all expenses, it’s important to budget for smart tech upgrades to your abode. Luckily, it’s easier (and more affordable) than it’s ever been. Here, we explore some of the more common smart home tech investments, along with a few things to consider when deciding whether they’re worth the cash. Virtual Voice AssistantsThese devices use natural language processing (NLP) to match a user’s voice commands and execute an action, like “Turn off the lights.” Many of these voice assistants use a “wake word,” like the name of the device (“Hey Google,” for example) in order to alert the assistant so that it’s ready to listen to you.  From online shopping to reading your email for you, virtual voice assistants have the potential to do a myriad of helpful things around your home.  Major Brands: The top players in the virtual voice assistant arena are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Homepod, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s Home — but the list is growing. It’s been reported that Facebook may be working with Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri to create its own smart speaker in this burgeoning market. Average Price Range: The most basic versions, like Amazon’s Echo Dot, can start at as little as about $50, while more mid-range devices go for about $130 (Google’s Home) and high-range assistants like Apple’s Homepod go for $349. Life Expectancy: While it’s hard to predict how long these up-and-coming tech devices will last, it’s safe to say that there will be plenty of similar products for a long time to come. Not only that, but virtual assistants will likely continue to improve significantly when it comes to their capabilities, connectivity and affordability. To put things into perspective, it took 13 years for the television to reach 50 million Americans but only two for smart speakers to do the same thing.Is it Worth It? It depends on how (and how much) you’ll be using the device. If you call on your virtual voice assistant at every whim, the upfront cost may be well worth the convenience. On the other hand, a 2017 Ovum survey of both U.S. and U.K. residents said that about 50 percent of users don’t find virtual assistants useful. Though it’s difficult to narrow down the reasons why, it’s a clear message to manufacturers that they need to up their game to stay competitive. Smart ThermostatsIntelligent heating and cooling systems have taken the tech world by storm, particularly due to their affordability and savings potential. These smart thermostats learn users’ habits — when they leave for and come home — to optimize in-home temperatures in a way that traditional thermostats can’t. After all, if you’re going away on vacation, there’s no need to leave your AC on the whole time, but you might want to turn it up an hour or two before you return. Cue smart thermostats.Major Brands: There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to intelligent thermostat needs. Popular brands include Ecobee4, Nest Learning Thermostat, Lux/Geo Wi-Fi Thermostat, Lux Kono Smart Thermostat, Bosch Connected Control BCC100 Thermostat and Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat. Average Price Range: While you can find some smart thermostats for under $100, most range from about $170 to $260, depending on their uses and features. Some cost as much as $500. Life Expectancy: Intelligent thermostats have the potential to last just as long as traditional thermostats, as long as you maintain them correctly and don’t misuse them. However, it’s important to note that some smart thermostats are hardwired into your home while others aren’t. If yours operate on battery power, it could last a full two years before needing new batteries — but always pay attention when your thermostat alerts that its batteries are low. Is it Worth It? Not only are smart thermostats extremely convenient, they also have massive potential for saving you some cash on utilities. While the upfront cost may be a bit hefty, smart thermostats often pay for themselves in the long run. The Energy Star program states that homes equipped with smart thermostats can save up to $180 per year on heating and cooling. What’s more, intelligent thermostats can provide you with reports that show you how to optimize your heating and cooling settings to save even more money. Smart LightingYep, even light bulbs are getting smarter these days — and not just in the “clap on, clap off!” way, either. With smart LEDs, you can connect all the light fixtures in your home to your virtual voice assistant or smartphone to control individual lights in every room. Not only is this super handy, but it can also provide an extra layer of security if, say, you’re out of town and want to randomly turn lights on and off so it appears that someone’s home. Plus, color-changing bulbs make for great mood lighting and can even sync up to music and movies for extra effect. Major Brands: Though brand doesn’t matter as much when it comes to intelligent light bulbs, popular bulbs include the Philips Hue White, Philips Hue White and Color Ambience A19 Star, C by GE Starter Pack, Cree Connected Light Bulb, Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb White, LIFX Color 1000, Ikea Tradfri Gateway Kit and MiPow Playbulb Rainbow. Average Price Range: While you can find affordable options under $20, some intelligent light bulb kits cost upward of $200, depending on the number of bulbs and features included. Life Expectancy: Regardless of price, the vast majority of smart LEDs have a lifespan greater than 20 years. That’s anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 hours — or up to five times longer than any other light bulb in stores today. Compare that to the measly 1,200 hours of an average incandescent light bulb, or a CFL’s 8,000 hours. Is it Worth It? Even if you do decide to outfit your home with a $200 smart light bulb kit, it’s arguably still worth it. They last practically forever, they can help keep your home safer, you can control them from your smart device from anywhere you have internet access, and they’re better for the environment than traditional bulbs.  Even though the upfront cost of smart LEDs can be a little off-putting, you might consider this an investment purchase. Yes, they’re more expensive at first, but take a look at this calculation from Simple Family Finance, which added up the total costs of all three types of bulbs, plus 25,000 hours of electricity usage — this is how the expenses broke down:  Incandescent: $218.50 CFLs: $64.63 LEDs: $53.75 center_img Mark Simmonds brings 20 years of insurance industry experience to his role as managing director and chief product officer at Esurance. His diverse expertise in many areas of the business, including product, underwriting, finance, operations, and more, help shape his writing. Visit Esurance’s website to find out more about how certain smart home products can reduce your homeowners insurance.  That’s a lot less money over the long term, which means a lot more money in your wallet for making other awesome smart upgrades to your home. Smart garage door, anyone? (Yep, they have those, too.)last_img read more

Experts Say You Should Be Doing These 7 Things to Improve Your Marriage

first_imgWhether or not you were just married or have been together for years, even the best of marriages can sometimes feel like they have hit a rut. You still love each other, maybe passionately, but life gets in the way, and you start connecting less than you did before. Here’s how to give that marriage a bit of a boost, according to experts.1. Focus on the Positive Characteristics of Your PartnerIt is important to look for any positive qualities that you admire in your partner. “If you have experienced a lot of conflict in your relationship, this may pose more of a challenge initially,” said Afton Strate, M.S., LCMFT of Anchoring Peace Therapy, LLC. “I encourage couples to find even small things that they can appreciate about their partner. When you have identified something that you like about your partner (e.g., their patience), it can be helpful to connect the quality with an experience that you have had with them.” It could look like saying to them “I appreciate how you were patient when our car broke down because your patience helped us figure out how to solve the situation.” You can also reference qualities that initially attracted you to your partner or an aspect of their character that may have been demonstrated more recently.2. Respect Each OtherThis may sound like a given, but respect is truly key to a happy marriage. “Be more interested in taking responsibility and fixing whatever problem you have than avoiding the blame,” said Jentezen Franklin, author of Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt. Do you want to be reconciled, or do you want to be right?3. Do Something DifferentThe enemies of a creative and fun-sparked relationship are drudgery and routine. “Weekends are where people traditionally let their hair down, although this in itself can lead to stalemate when you end up doing the same things or can’t agree on some new pastime,” said Alex Reddle, a relationship expert.There’s an easy solution. Throw caution to the wind and do something you’ve never done together before. “The beauty of this suggestion is that the possibilities are endless, whether that’s booking an impulsive weekend stay in a hotel somewhere, embarking on salsa classes, or simply heading off towards the horizon in the car with overnight bags and only the vaguest idea about where your mystery tour might culminate,” Reddle said.4. Have Fun Nights InFor all the social activities or clubs you could participate in, there’s no better way to put some passion back into your love lives than doing so when there’s no one else around. “Why not clear the furniture aside, choose a playlist of your favorite tunes, mix some homemade cocktails, then while away the hours dancing together?” Reddle suggested.This will literally bring you closer together, since some of this music might be appropriate for the traditional slow dance section of any wedding. Perhaps it even featured in your own? “Lowering your inhibitions in this way will provoke laughter,” Reddle said. It is also guaranteed to set the pulses racing if you decide to take your fun and frolics upstairs.5. Get Flirtatious AgainFlirting should never stop just because you’re married. “This is something you should continue to do to one another,” Reddle said. “He’s standing in front of you in the checkout queue at your local supermarket. Give him a cheeky pat on his backside.”6. Appreciate the Magical MomentsDon’t focus on all the bad things going on that are causing you stress. Try focusing on the great times you’ve shared together and reminisce on them (over and over if you have to) during the not-so-magic moments. “When you habitually remind yourself of the good in your relationship, you create a new story in your mind that affirms your marriage and establishes a healthy foundation to build more happy memories upon,” said author Toure Roberts, who just launched his book, Wholeness: Winning at Life From the Inside Out.7. Become More “Mate Aware” Rather Than Just “Me Aware”It’s important to not be so obsessed with what we need from our spouse that we don’t take the time to consider what they need. “Learning to look at life from your spouse’s perspective helps you better understand how to love, support, and honor their needs. I’ve learned that when you do this, reciprocity undoubtedly follows. The best unions are the ones when you have two people doing everything in their power to make the other person happy,” Roberts said. It goes without saying that this doesn’t mean not considering your own happiness to be equally as important as your partner’s, but don’t forget to consider both sides!Sourcelast_img read more

Businesswoman who splashed $500,000 on surgery to look like Kim Kardashian

first_imgRecently she went under the knife again for her second nose job, to remove cheek fillers and had a face lift to closely resemble the star.The doppelganger has just recovered from the $30,000 (£21,000) procedures with Dr Bulent Cihantimur, in Turkey, that initially left her unable to smile.The entrepreneur already has future plans to increase the size of her extremely enlarged derriere further, despite doctors rejecting the idea. A woman has posed naked to celebrate completing her half a million dollar surgery to emulate her idol Kim Kardashian.Jennifer Pamplona, 25, from Sao Paolo, Brazil, showcased her curvaceous new figure covered in only glittery paint for a shoot inspired by the Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s star.She has spent a staggering $500,000 (£350,000) transforming close to every inch of her body, from having four ribs removed to four pints of fat injected into her buttocks. She believes she will be able to model way into her late 60s thanks to the alterations and finally likes posing naked, as seen in her shoot imitating Kim Kardashian-West’s photos for KKW Beauty.Jennifer said: ‘After all my surgery and procedures I’m pretty happy, sometimes I think all the money I spent could be in my bank account but at the same time I’m so happy.‘I have spent a lot of money, but I feel very confident with myself and have the power to make more money because of my looks.‘When you’re not happy with yourself, feeling upset and not great, you’re not going to succeed, now I love myself and I feel happy looking in the mirror.‘If I had to, I definitely would do it all again, all of the surgeries and procedures, but for now I know it’s time to focus more on my career, life and business.‘I chose this photoshoot style, because it’s similar to some of Kim Kardashian-West’s most famous photographs.‘I love when Kim Kardashian does these photoshoots, for me she looks beautiful and I feel like I look great too.Sourcelast_img read more

Is It Bad For Your Brain If You Literally Never Eat Fish?

first_imgEvery month, Women’s Health asks a panel of experts your biggest questions on nutrition, health, and everything between. Below, Keri Glassman, R.D., founder of NutritiousLife.com and author of The New You (and Improved!) Diet, answers the following: “I loathe the taste of all fish and seafood, so I’ve eaten maybe three bites in my whole life. Is my brain shriveling up?”Don’t panic. Responsible vegans, people who are healthy eaters with a varied diet, and people who live in a part of the world where there isn’t much fish available but who eat nuts and seeds are probably doing just fine—you can get the brain-boosting nutrients found in fish from other sources.Specifically, fish contains omega-3s and vitamin D. Omega-3s, which are essential fatty acids that our bodies can’t produce and must come from our diet, help control mood and cognition, as well as help prevent brain conditions like Alzheimer’s. They are also anti-inflammatory and therefore work to protect against heart disease.You can also get omega- 3s from walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, or supplements. Vitamin D—which regulates mood, fatigue, and bone health and supports your immune system—can also be found in egg yolks and fortified foods such as milk. Still, the advantage of just adding fish to your diet is that it contains all those nutrients in one shot—and they’re naturally occurring and present in generous amounts.So you can probably guess what I’m going to say next: It’s time for you to try fish again! Your taste buds change as you age, and you may find you like it now.I’m not saying that you have to slurp down raw oysters or eat oily, fishy fish like mackerel or cod. You can start with baby steps: a mild, flaky white fish like branzino or flounder, or a piece of grilled salmon for a nice charred flavor. Cook your fish the whole way through for a more palatable texture, or toss it in breadcrumbs and Parmesan. People who don’t like other seafood often enjoy shrimp. You may discover a whole new world of flavors you love!Sourcelast_img read more

Indonesia’s Last Forest Frontier: 3 Facts to Know About Papua

first_img2. Protecting Peatlands Means Lower Carbon EmissionsForest loss in peatlands has been lower than in non-peatlands, but more carbon is released when peatland forest is lost. As a result, emissions from forest loss in peatlands could surpass emissions from non-peatland forest—unless development policies are revised for this danger.For example, in West Papua Province, 2015 and 2016 emissions from degraded peatlands contributed about 50-55 percent more than emissions from forest clearing. Most of the deforestation in both Papua provinces occurred within Production Forest and Other Land Use areas, which can be considered planned deforestation. But even this permanently damages the forests’ rich ecosystems (PDF). 3. Protecting Papuan Forests Could Help Indonesia Fulfil Its Paris CommitmentsIf the Indonesian government can maintain at least 70 percent of Indonesian Papua (29 million hectares, almost 72 million acres) as a conservation areaand restore degraded lands in the protected areas, the government can avoid 2.8–3.3 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions. That means saving the Papuan forests would take Indonesia past its Paris target, which is to avoid 1.8-2.0 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2030.How to Develop the Provinces from Forest ProtectionThe provincial governments must focus the economic development that considers forest protection in it. How?Developing alternative sectors beyond the current practice of natural resource extraction could boost economic growth. For instance, ecotourism has huge potential for beautiful Indonesian Papua. Using integrated agroforestry to expand the production of non-timber forest goods, like rubber, cocoa, honey, orchids and fruits, could also be another source of livelihood.During the transition to these alternatives, rather than closing all opportunities for plantations, these concessions could be allocated to old plantations and to degraded and unproductive land, which surpassed 2 million hectares in 2013 in Indonesian Papua. However, relying on plantations must be done with caution. Economic benefits should funnel back to the people, instead of just enriching the elite and widening inequality.Customary forest schemes can also help. A study found that customary forest is the best scenario to be implemented in Papua. Indigenous people in Papua have for hundreds of years relied on forests as for food, medicine and cultural needs. They can play a key role today in protecting the forest against the encroachment. With declining forest cover in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Papua is the last frontier of intact forest in Indonesia. Indonesian Papua—which occupies the western half of New Guinea, the world’s second-largest island, and includes the provinces of Papua and West Papua—held 38 percent of Indonesia’s remaining primary forest in 2012. Home to one of the most biodiverse forests on Earth, as many as 20,000 plant species, 602 birds, 125 mammals and 223 reptiles live in Indonesian Papua. The forest also supports local people who rely on it for traditional sources of livelihood.Tree cover loss peaked in Papua in 2015—and regional leaders responded. In 2015 West Papua became the world’s first conservation province, a commitment echoed by the current governor in 2018. He also plans to review all forestry and plantations licenses across West Papua Province. Meanwhile, neighboring Papua Province has already established a roadmap document, Papua Province Vision by 2100, which aims to maintain 90 percent forest cover over the entire province while achieving low-carbon development objectives.These actions seem to be having an impact. With the provinces’ leaders politically committed to forest conservation, annual forest loss declined in 2016 and 2017. However, Papuan primary forests remain at risk. Not all government forces are as pro-conservation: the national government’s infrastructure development agenda in the provinces may involve forest clearing.center_img Meanwhile, in Papua Province, emissions from peatlands have never exceeded emissions from tree cover losses for 17 years. Here are three things to know about protecting Papua’s forests, which will be essential if Indonesia wants to meet its emissions targets and Papua to develop sustainably.1. Most—But Not All—Forest Loss is LegalSome deforestation is planned in legal concession boundaries. But sometimes, concession holders operate beyond the agreed permits, sometimes even within peat protection zones.(More on peat in a moment.)Forest loss took its biggest leap in West Papua in 2015, compared to other years. Only 3 percent of it occurred via illegal encroachment.last_img read more

4 SEO Tips to Instantly Take Advantage of Google Instant Preview

first_img Originally published Nov 11, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated October 01 2013 Topics: The verdict is still out on how Google Instant is going to affect SEO, but after playing around with Google Instant Preview for a while, I’ve come up with a list of SEO tips that will help you stay ahead of the game and take advantage of the ever-evolving search landscape. Fine Tune That Meta DescriptionEven with Google Instant Preview the searcher still needs to click on the magnifying glass in order to see a preview of your site.  Clicking on the preview button is less of a commitment than clicking on a link, but you are still going to need to convince the searcher that it is worth their time to preview your website.  Having an interesting well defined value proposition that fits within the allotted 150 characters is going to give you the best shot at having someone preview your site and that is half the battle. Get Rid of That FlashIt is already known that Flash is bad for SEO because it can’t be crawled by the search engines, but Google Instant Preview gives us one more reason to scorn the use of the flashy multimedia platform.  Not only is Flash not crawled on the actual webpage, but the flash portions don’t render in the Google Instant Preview making the pages look awkward, ugly, and/or distorted.   Fix Those Header TagsUnless you have the eyesight of a Bald Eagle it’s unlikely that you are going to be able to read all of the text displayed in the Google Instant Preview.  You will, however, most likely be able to make out the larger text items displayed in the banner and the header tags.  Much like what search engines have already been doing, humans will now be using information found in the title and header tags to determine the structure of a page, it’s relevance, and whether or not it’s worthy of an actual click so be sure to portray this to the searcher through your use of header tags and page title.   Don’t Forget That Alt TextOne idea that most people seem to agree on is that now looks matter .  Because of this it is likely that we are going to see a lot more webpages with sharp graphics, pretty charts, and other visual aids used to grab a searcher’s attention.  This makes it even more important than ever that your images are showing up for keywords they are relevant for and that means making sure that their filenames and alt text are descriptive and accurate. Instant Preview definitely mixes up the search game yet again, but in the end, good SEO fundamentals are what is going to get you found on the search engine results pages. Images Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more