Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now The chain restaurant specializing in ribs in my neighborhood was struggling. Their business wasn’t doing well, the quality of experience started to decline, and the restaurant started to look shabby. In an attempt to increase the restaurant’s poor profitability, the owner switched to a new meat supplier. This meat supplier was cheaper, and that lower price point meant that there would be more profit.But the meat was inferior. It was of very poor quality. First, there was very little meat to speak of. Worse, the bones were thin and translucent. I only know what happened here because the manager told me the story—before the restaurant closed forever.By changing the meat supplier in an attempt to control costs, the owner made a bad experience worse.Solving the Wrong ProblemThe owner tried to solve the wrong problem. He believed his restaurant was struggling to make a profit because their costs were too high. The answer to that challenge was to lower his costs. But this wasn’t the problem. The real problem was that he was creating too little value.If you aren’t making enough money, cutting costs isn’t the answer (unless you are profligate). By cutting costs and lessening the experience, you only exacerbate your problems.The right way to grow your business and your profits is to create more value. The greater the value you create, the more attractive is your offer to your customers and prospects.
Video clips of policemen dragging and assaulting a 15-year-old boy and his father, a tempo driver, in broad daylight in north-west Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar drew the ire of the Delhi High Court, which described them as evidence of “police brutality”.“Why was the boy dragged along the street in broad daylight,” asked a Bench of Justices Jayant Nath and Najmi Waziri after watching video footage of the Sunday incident, which has since snowballed into a political issue.“How can you [Delhi police counsel] standing for the State justify the action of the five police officers who ran after a 15-year-old boy who had been trying to take his father away,” the Bench asked.“If this is not evidence of police brutality then what more do you need? This is a case of extensive disquiet in society. How can any uniformed force do this? This would scare the citizens,” the Bench added. Independent report The court also called for an independent report on the incident from an officer of the rank of Joint Commissioner of Police within a week.The Delhi police’s counsel submitted that cross FIRs have been lodged on the complaints of the two sides and the case transferred to the Crime Branch for a detailed investigation. The counsel further said that three officers involved in the incident have been suspended. To this, the Bench said, “There are eight to nine police personnel who can be clearly seen [in the videos]… Identify the five officers who dragged the boy along the street, all the while pelting him with sticks, and those who assaulted the father.”The High Court also issued notices to the police, the Centre and the city government on a petition filed in public interest seeking a CBI probe into the incident. It posted the matter for further hearing on July 2.One of the petitioners, advocate Seema Singhal, has sought framing of appropriate guidelines for police reforms to prevent such “violent acts of police brutality and excessive force”.“A service gun was pointed towards the minor boy by these policemen threatening him with dire consequences,” her petition stated, adding that “the atrocities committed by the police amount to violation of Section 4 of the Model Code of Conduct for the police”.
Virat Kohli continued to dominate the cricket chatter with his batting and brashness, the indomitable MC Mary Kom rolled back the years like very few can and, month after month, Indian sports also found new and younger heroes to raise a toast to as PTI writes in its year-ender.PV Sindhu’s perseverance on the badminton court, Neeraj Chopra’s obsessive pursuit of perfection every time he hurled the javelin, and the teenage shooting stars who refused to take their eyes off the target, made 2018 a year in which highs easily outnumbered the lows for Indian sports.Year in review for Indian sportsThere was a plethora of big-ticket sporting events this year and the country had lots to celebrate throughout.Whether it was the Commonwealth and the Asian Games or Youth Olympics, athletes pushed the boundaries and produced path-breaking performances.There were the usual administrative mess-ups occasionally and odd cases of dope shame as well, but they couldn’t make a dent to the overall sense of accomplishment.Captain Kohli for team IndiaOn the cricket field, the results weren’t encouraging in South Africa and England but Kohli the batsman again ruled the roost, making his craft look ridiculously easy even on the most challenging tracks.It was only fitting that he was bestowed the nation’s highest sporting honour — the Khel Ratna.For ‘Captain Kohli’, however, it was far more challenging as he grappled to get the combinations right.Biggest cricket scandal of 2018Team India did find a degree of redemption against Australia by retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to close the year on a high.advertisementOf course, it came against an Australian team weakened by the absence of banned batting mainstays Steve Smith and David Warner.The duo, along with Cameron Bancroft, combined for this year’s biggest cricket scandal — the ball-tampering saga that forced a review of Australia’s win at all cost’ culture: the same Australia which had the world mesmerised by its near-perfect hosting of the Commonwealth Games within weeks of the drama.Youngsters taking over weightlifting and shootingThe Commonwealth Games were memorable for India too, as the country logged it’s third-best ever medal haul, highlighted by a record-shattering weightlifting show. Spearheading it was the diminutive world champion Mirabai Chanu, who later shared the Khel Ratna with Kohli.Weightlifting also found another prospective star in Jeremy Lalrinnunga after the 16-year-old claimed an unprecedented gold at Youth Olympics.It was a comeback of sorts for shooting, after their flop-show at the 2016 Olympics.India’s gold medal-winners at the CWG shooting range included a 16-year-old Manu Bhaker and a 15-year-old Anish Bhanwala. The shooters hit the bull’s eye in the Asiad too and though Bhaker felt the pain of failure for the first time, new gold-winning stars emerged in 16-year-old Saurabh Choudhary and a 15-something Shardul Vihan.Bhaker and Chaudhary also won gold medals at Youth Olympics.Also read | Here’s how sports and education work well togetherBoxing: All about Mary KomIf shooting was about youngsters, boxing became all about an ageing but incomparable superstar in Mary Kom.The 36-year-old mother-of-three, who is also a Parliamentarian, picked up four gold medals — including a record sixth world title and the CWG top honours.”There won’t be another Mary Kom,” she declared and one look at her predominantly golden cabinet of medals would be enough to silence anyone who thinks otherwise.Badminton: Sindhu, NehwalSindhu lost five big finals, quietly took the criticism that labelled her a ‘choker’, but had the last laugh with a season-ending World Tour Finals title, beating world No 1 and familiar foe Tai Tzu Ying on her way to the summit clash.Not to be left behind was Saina Nehwal.The trailblazer started with a gold at CWG, picked up a bronze in Asian Games and began a new chapter in her personal life by marrying fellow shuttler P Kashyap.Wrestling: Phogat, Punia, SushilOn the wrestling mat, Vinesh Phogat became more than just a famous Phogat sister with gold medals at both the CWG and Asian Games and Bajrang Punia stepped out of the shadow of his mentor and London Olympics bronze-medallist Yogeshwar Dutt.Punia won gold at CWG and Asiad before a silver at World Championships positioned him as the biggest star.However, double Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar’s stock fell due to a string of sub-par performances. Vinesh Phogat became the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold at Asian Games this year.Tennis: Manika BatraThe big takeaway in table tennis was the rise of Manika Batra.The Delhiite claimed four medals, including two gold, in the CWG before combining with veteran Sharath Kamal for a historic mixed doubles bronze at the Asiad, where India delivered its best-ever medal haul.Athletics: Neeraj, HimaAnother star to make the year his own was NeerajThe 21-year-old won both the CWG and Asian Games with records to boot and is giving Indian athletics audacious Olympic medal hopes for Tokyo 2020.A sprint sensation also emerged in 18-year-old Hima Das, India’s first ever woman track-and-field world champion at any level after her under-20 400m gold.Billiards: Pankaj AdvaniAway from the spotlight, it was business as usual for ace cueist Pankaj Advani as he added a 21st world title to his trophy cabinet.Also read | Hockey game in the Himalayas becomes world’s highest altitude ice hockey game to be playedadvertisementGolf: Shubhankar SharmaA star rose on the golf course as well in Shubhankar Sharma, who won the Maybank Malaysia OpenHe also bagged Asian Tour Order of Merit title and European Tour Rookie of the Year awardDisappointments in Indian sports this yearThere were disappointments too — the men’s hockey team being the most prominent with no medal at CWG and an underwhelming third-place finish at Asiad.CWG champion weightlifter Sanjita Chanu flunked a dope test.And there was no end to the administrative mess that the BCCI has become.However, none of the negatives was big enough to come in the way of a stronger India emerging on the competitive field.Stay updated with everything about sports, both Indian and international by tuning in to this segmentInterested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? 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Related Filesgary_sonda_ntl_profile_2007-pdf The 2007 National Touch League is Australia’s most prestigious touch football tournament. In the lead-up to the NTL, Touch Football Australia will be profiling some of the biggest names in the game who will be in action at the showcase event.Today’s featured player under the NTL spotlight is Sydney Mets stalwart Gary Sonda. “GS7” has represented Mets in every National Touch League tournament since its inception in 1997.The dual World Cup champion has been a fixture in the Australian Open Men’s team since 2000 and is one of the most competitive players to have ever laced on a boot.Renowned for his intelligent ball playing ability, never say die attitude, leadership skills, and the occasional well-worded sledge, the Mets maestro is passion personified.A player who hates losing a game of marbles, his commitment to the cause and willingness to pay whatever price is necessary to secure victory for his team is legendary. Loved by teammates, and loathed by the opposition on the field, Sonda makes no apologies for his “playing for keeps” attitude in the heat of the battle.By his own admission, he plays hard on the field, but that is where the competitiveness and aggression stays. In the great tradition of Aussie sporting champions, the crafty middle plays hard but fair, and is always gracious and generous in his praise of opposition teams and players who might get the better of him occasionally.He is always one of the first players to outstretch the hand of friendship and have a drink with an opponent once when battle is done.The long serving champion was all set to take a break from the NTL in 2007, post World Cup, but answered an SOS call from his life-long NTL franchise when several other big names decided to rest from the tournament.The New South Wales Men’s Open Captain is one of the best students of the game and his passion for and knowledge of the sport is amazing.He has endured a hectic playing schedule around NTL for the last three years, playing both the Open Men’s, and then the NTL Senior tournament without missing a beat.He has annexed two NTL Open Men’s titles for Mets in 2002 and 2004, and a hat trick of Men’s 30’s titles from 2004-2006.He has had to build on a room to house the trophies that keep coming his way for his dominant work on the field for his beloved Mets at NTL level.“GS7” took home the Men’s Open Player of the Series in 2002, and has won a hat trick of Men’s 30s Player of the final awards in the Mets three-peat from 2004 – 2006.There have been some absolutely outstanding pieces of individual magic on field One at the Coffs Harbour International Sports Stadium on Finals day in a decade of NTL action, but few present will forget one moment from the 2006 NTL Men’s Open final that will be etched in NTL history forever.Despite his Mets team being on the end of a Drumayne Dayberg Muir and Nathan Jones inspired “Shark attack” in the final, Gary Sonda produced one of those moments that just make you stand and cheer, regardless of where your allegiances are.Under the pump to get a quick pass away, Sonda threw an instinctive no look flick through his legs to give his winger a saloon passage to the line to score a crucial touchdown.His side may have gone down to the rampaging South Queensland Sharks, but few present will ever forget Sonda’s inspired piece of wizardry.Click on the attachment and find out a little more about one of the most durable, hardworking, and talented players to have played the game as we put Gary Sonda under the NTL spotlight.
NEW YORK — One of France’s largest banks, Societe Generale, is paying $1.3 billion in penalties for violating U.S. trade sanctions on Cuba.U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in New York announced the deal Monday.He says it’s the second largest penalty ever imposed on a financial institution for violating U.S. economic sanctions.As part of the deal, prosecutors deferred criminal charges including conspiracy to violate the Trading with the Enemy Act. The charges would be dropped entirely after three years.Authorities say between 2004 and 2010, the bank facilitated the flow of $13 billion through Cuban businesses.The bank says it regrets “shortcomings” identified in the case.Berman says the bank has co-operated and promised to revamp internal controls so it doesn’t happen again.The Associated Press
New Delhi: The All India Football Federation President Praful Patel is set to become first Indian to be elected as a member in the FIFA Executive Council for a four-year term. According to AIFF sources, Patel is all but sure to be a part of the five FIFA Council members from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) when the regional body holds its elections in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on April 6. The election will be for the term 2019 to 2023 and will be held during the 29th AFC Congress. “Out of eight candidates, five will be selected and Patel is sure to be one of them. He has 90 per cent chance of becoming a FIFA Executive Council member. It will be the first time an Indian will be in the top committee of the world body,” a top AIFF official told PTI. December 6, 2018 was the deadline for the member associations to submit their nominations. The AFC Electoral Committee carried out eligibility checks on the candidates running for the positions and the FIFA Review Committee conducted eligibility checks on candidates running for FIFA Council positions. The AFC Electoral Committee will be responsible for all tasks relating to the organisation, running and supervision of the elections. The FIFA Governance Committee will nominate representatives to monitor the running of the elections for FIFA Council positions. FIFA Council Members Candidates: Saoud A.Aziz M A Al- Mohannadi (Qatar), Khalid Awad A. Althebity (Saudi Arabia), Mariano V. Araneta, Jr. (Philippines), Chung Mong Gyu (Korea Republic), Du Zhaocai (China PR), Praful Patel (India), Mehdi Taj (IR Iran), Kohzo Tashima (Japan).
NEW DELHI: Amid the continuing “flip-flop” over the tie-up for the Lok Sabha polls, the AAP on Sunday said the prospects of its alliance with the Congress are almost finished.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has “refused” to form an alliance with the Congress in Delhi alone. While the AAP is also keen on a pre-poll alliance in Haryana, which will vote on May 12, the Congress is only willing to discuss a tie-up in Delhi. With both the parties sticking to their demands, the alliance issue in Delhi is in a limbo. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderDelhi Unit Convenor Gopal Rai said they agreed to all seat sharing arrangements that the Congress proposed, but even after that Congress backtracked. Rai accused the Congress of “wasting” AAP’s time over the tie-up in Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh. Rai said the Congress was giving an impression that the AAP refused to form an alliance. “But the fact is whichever seat sharing formula the Congress proposed we agreed to it in Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh and even then they backtracked,” he said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsRai also announced that Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal would participate in two mega roadshows in Haryana. “After discussions with our alliance partner in Haryana, the JJP, we agreed to it, but the Congress refused and said they can’t give more than two seats to the JJP and proposed 7:2:1 formula,” said Sanjay Singh, who was negotiating with the Congress. Delhi’s seven parliamentary constituencies, which go to the polls on May 12 in the sixth phase, voted for the BJP in 2014, leaving the AAP in the second spot. However, the vote share of AAP and Congress in that election, together, was more than that of the BJP in six of the seven seats –despite the Modi wave.
Madrid- Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa defended his decision to represent Spain rather than his homeland Brazil, claiming it was the right thing to do.The 25-year-old’s choice to play for the world champions was confirmed on Tuesday and Costa is now expected to be named in Vicente del Bosque’s squad for two friendly fixtures in November next week.“It was quite a difficult decision to choose between the country where you were born and the country that has given you everything, which is Spain,” he said on Atletico’s website. “I looked at it, weighed it up and the correct thing is to play for Spain because here I have done everything, all that I have in my life and that I have been given has been in this country.“I feel a special love for this country, here I feel very valued for what I do every day and I feel the love of the people.”Costa had also been included in Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s preliminary squad for their two friendlies against Honduras and Chile next month.However, Scolari confirmed on Tuesday that Costa was no longer part of his plans and slammed the player’s decision to “turn his back on the dream of millions.”Costa had represented Brazil twice as recently as March in friendly games against Italy and Russia.However, as he hadn’t played a competitive international he was still able to switch his allegiance to Spain.“I want the people to understand that in no moment was I giving up on Brazil,” he added.“I don’t see it like that. Simply that here I feel very valued and played my whole career.“I have family in Brazil, it is where I was born and where, hopefully, I will live once I stop playing football. I hope that the people understand and respect that.”The demand for Costa’s services from two of the favourites to lift next year’s World Cup represents a huge turnaround in the career of a player that only became a first-team regular at Atletico last season.Although he came up through the youth ranks at Barcelona Esportivo Capela in Sao Paulo, his first professional contract was with Sporting Braga in Portugal, whom he joined in February 2006.After joining Los Rojiblancos in 2007, he was farmed out on loan to Celta Vigo, Albacete, Valladolid and finally Rayo Vallecano.However, on his return to Atletico from Rayo last July, he was imbedded into a side on the up since the arrival of coach Diego Simeone in December 2011.Costa struck up a fine partnership with Radamel Falcao and was the top scorer in the Copa del Rey as Atletico won the competition for the first time in 17 years.This season, with Falcao having left to join Monaco, he has become Atletico’s focal point and leads the league with 11 goals in 10 games, three more than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.And he also made a huge impact on his Champions League debut last week with a double, including one sensational solo effort, as Atletico continued their 100 percent record in the competition with a 3-0 win at Austria Vienna.
Fez- A rare picture of King Mohammed and Princess Lalla Salma is circulating on social media since Thursday. The picture, which probably dates back to 2002 or 2003, shows the Moroccan monarch and his spouse wearing casual clothes away from any royal protocol.The photo was posted on the page of Mehdi Benkirane, founder and president of Association “Enfantts du Coeur” (Children of the Hear) and CEO of VMM – Les Victoires de la Musique au Maroc (Victory of Music in Morocco). Last October, other pictures of the Moroccan head of state were taken in the United Arab Emirates in which he appeared laid back. The pictures went also viral on social media, especially Facebook. MWN could not verify whether the picture is real or photoshopped. © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
For the past 10 years, the Dayton region has held an annual appreciation effort to celebrate the military personnel serving at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Springfield Air National Guard Base in western Ohio.The “Hometown Heroes” program, spearheaded by the Dayton Development Coalition, provides thousands of tickets to military members to local sporting events and other entertainment. At a Dayton Dragons baseball game, airmen from Wright-Patterson are welcomed onto the field and recognized for their service.“This is a chance to celebrate the airmen of Wright-Patt,” Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of the coalition, told the Dayton Business Journal. “Every year we’re honored to do this. These airmen have made a lot of sacrifices for their country. We want to make them feel welcome when they come to Dayton.”The two bases are a significant part of the Miami Valley economy, supporting 60,000 jobs in the region and generating a $4.1 billion annual economic impact.“Hometown Heroes is more than the tickets donated to the airmen at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It is more than a series of sporting events, musicals and shows; it’s about the Dayton region’s belief in the importance of service,” Hoagland said.Last month, the Dayton region was honored by ADC as one of the Great American Defense Communities. In presenting the award, ADC President Mike Cooper cited the Hometown Heroes program as one of the reasons Dayton stood out.“You see a program like this that works so well that other installations want to follow it,” Cooper said. “Part of the award is how the community helps airmen find housing and living arrangements. But part of it is how it helps them feel welcomed, too.”ADC launched the Great American Defense Communities program to acknowledge the unique contributions cities, counties and regions that host installations make to improve quality of life for service members, veterans and their families. The inaugural class of 10 communities was selected by a panel of defense community advocates and experts from dozens of nominees based on the broad range of efforts they carry out on behalf of military personnel and their families, covering areas such as education, job opportunities, housing, family support during deployments and community appreciation. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled predominantly Buddhist Myanmar to Bangladesh since late August. Prothom Alo file photoMyanmar has blamed Bangladesh for delaying the start of a repatriation process for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees, saying it feared Dhaka could be stalling until it receives multi-million dollars of international aid money.More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled predominantly Buddhist Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh since late August to escape ethnic violence that accompanied a brutal military counter-insurgency operation after Rohingya militant attacks on security posts in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.Zaw Htay, a spokesman for Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, said Myanmar was ready to begin the repatriation process any time, based along the lines of an agreement that covered returns of Rohingya to Myanmar in the early 1990s.He said Bangladesh had yet to accept those terms.“We are ready to start, but the other side did not accept yet, and the process was delayed. This is the number one fact,” Zaw Htay, director-general of the ministry of the state counsellor’s office, told journalists on Tuesday.A memorandum of understanding on border liaison posts was signed with Bangladesh hme mnister Asaduzzaman Khan following talks in the Myanmar capital, Naypyitaw, last week, but there was no progress on reviving the old agreement.Zaw Htay linked the delay by Bangladesh to the money raised so far by the international community to help build gigantic refugee camps for the Rohingya.“Currently they have got $400 million. Over their receipt of this amount, we are now afraid of delaying the program of deporting the refugees,” he said in comments carried in a front-page article in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper on Wednesday.“They have got international subsidies. We are now afraid they would have another consideration as to repatriation,” he said.The Bangladesh government issued a statement on Thursday saying that Myanmar had not agreed to 10 points put forward by its minister at last week’s talks, including the full implementation of the recommendations of an Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, chaired by former UN scretary gneral Kofi Annan, for a sustainable return of Rohingya.Khan told Bangladesh media on Friday that the two sides were unable to form a joint working group but said it should be set up by the time freign mnister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali goes to Myanmar for talks on 30 November.The Myanmar government has said it would accept the Rohingya once it was established that they had lived in Myanmar.Zaw Htay said Myanmar was awaiting a list of Rohingya refugees from the Bangladesh side.
Some of the most memorable, enduring literature has been inspired by history’s bloodiest eras – the French Revolution, trench warfare in World War I, the Spanish Civil War, the Nazi killings, the partition of India and its dangerous dislocations, the Cambodian, the Rwandan genocides and so on. But these are not only intended as harrowing records of those turbulent times but a warning against their recurrence. So is it about the Stalin era with its pervasive paranoia and fear, violent purges, mass repression, ‘justice’ dealt on torture-achieved confessions and denunciations, historical manipulation – and an over-arching personality cult. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Stalin succeeded Lenin in 1924 but it was only a decade later that the terror began. The Great Purge, targeting all institutions and supplanting any rival, would continue till 1940, when perforce halted by World War II, resume afterwards – though in smaller scale – and end only with his death in 1953. Though it was first officially acknowledged in Khrushchev’s Secret Speech at the 20th Party Congress in 1956, some authors had brought some aspects to public attention much earlier. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThere are some indications in Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita but the first published record is Hungarian-born British writer Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon (1940), the account of an old Bolshevik’s arrest for ‘treason’, torture for ‘confession’ and eventual execution. Though the character is called Rubashov, he may well be named Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev or any other of Lenin’s old associates eliminated in the purges.George Orwell’s allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) is a sharp attack on Stalin’s rise and reign, while the more terrifying, dystopian 1984 (1949) has, as the state’s figurehead, the dark-eyed, heavy moustachioed Big Brother (an unmistakable description).Then there is Ilya Ehrenburg’s The Thaw (1954) – the first Russian work to allude to Stalinist terror, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962) influencing other books on gulag existence.Even well into the new century and far from Russia, the period still attracts authors and has led to some engrossing works which recapture the tense, perilous atmosphere. The pride of place must go to Simon Sebag-Montefiore’s Sashenka (2008) and One Night in Winter (2013), both loosely linked with some common characters, both real and fictional.Sashenka begins in Tsarist St Petersburg in 1916 when the eponymous heroine – a willful teenager – spurns her privileged background to join the Bolsheviks and ends up as a secretary to Lenin. In 1939, she is long married to a leading figure of the regime, who survived the purge and is so trusted that one night Stalin and his entourage drop in for dinner.But one moment of indiscretion is all needed to unravel her and her family’s life. In the third part set in the 1990s, some dedicated researchers, funded by an Russian oligarch, uncover her shocking fate and that of her two children.One Night in Winter, set in World War II’s aftermath, is no less stomach-wrenching as the escapades of a bunch of a privileged teenagers go tragically wrong and enmesh their parents – all members of the ruling elite – in a relentless witch-hunt, powered by a power struggle between rival intelligence chiefs – Beria and Abakumov. The teenagers have to inform on each other and their parents while their siblings as young as six and 10 years are also picked up and threatened. Meanwhile, the parents have to go on as nothing has happened.Another view of the claustrophobic times and the innumerable pitfalls – especially for a honest man – is offered in William Ryan’s series about a mid-1930s Moscow police captain, probing a range of criminal cases – all with sinister political ramifications and perils galore for the investigator. Debuting in The Holy Thief (2010) where a murder case grows complicated once it is found the woman victim is American, Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev is next sent to a film location in Ukraine (The Bloody Meadow, 2011) to probe the ‘suicide’ of a woman – reportedly in a relationship with then NKVD chief Yezhov. Then he has to investigate a killing of scientists right in view of the Kremlin in The Twelfth Department (2012), while trying to ensure the safety of his family from the state.Stalin prominently features in the Inspector Pekkala series by American author Paul Watkins (pen name Sam Eastland) but these deserve separate treatment for a most innovative treatment of the era and his depiction – ranging from almost reasonable to painfully paranoid and untrustworthy. On the other hand, readers interested in historical treatment could pick up Sebag-Montefiore’s Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (2005) and Orlando Figes’ The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia (2007).
Anton BykovRussian service provider VimpelCom, which operates as Beeline, has hired former CTC Media executive Anton Bykov in a senior legal affairs role. Bykov, who will be responsible for providing legal advance and support, is taking the new position of director of legal affairs and corporate relations. The company’s former vice-president for legal affairs, Marina Dumina, left in June.Bykov was previously directof of legal and corporate affairs at broadcaster CTC Media.Separately, VimpelCom has launched a new package deal for users of iPhone 4 8GB and iPhone 5s smartphones. The operator is providing a package of free calls, unlimited mobile internet and 32 mobile TV channels for RUB4,080.