1 Antoine Griezmann Chelsea and Manchester United target Antoine Griezmann has revealed he has no desire to play in the Premier League.The Atletico Madrid star was heavily linked with a move to England last summer but opted to stay in La Liga. Griezmann, 24, is under contract at the Vicente Calderon until 2020 and the Frenchman is in no mood to move elsewhere.“I do not feel the need to play in Ligue 1, nor in the Premier League or in Serie A.” he said on the Canal Football Club.“I am in Spain – I’m happy. Life here, football, I like it all.”
A very impressive architecturally designed split level detached residence is on the housing market in Donegal for €595,000Very intelligently designed to reflect the contours of the site with most of the bedroom accommodation at the garden and first-floor level whilst living accommodation is at ground floor level with access from a paved external parking area enjoying commanding views over the Golf Course, River Swilly and countryside in the distance. Located within 10 minutes walk of Letterkenny s 18 Hole Golf Course with modern clubhouse facilities including Brown s Restaurant offering both informal bar food and formal dining to a very high standard. Alcorn s Garden Centre with Thyme Out Restaurant is within 10/15 minutes walk and for those last-minute forgotten essentials Charlie s Container Shop, with Honesty box, is also situated nearby.The Silver Tassie Hotel is located within a short drive whilst the extensive shopping and leisure facilities available in Letterkenny including Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Marks and Spencer, Menary s, TK Maxx, Aura Leisure Centre etc. are also located within a short drive.Woodlands National School, Educate Together and Ballyraine National School are also situated within the immediate surrounding area.This superior residence is ideally located to enjoy the extensive natural amenities available within easy driving distance including golden sandy beaches at Rathmullan, Ballymastocker / Portsalon in the Fanad Peninsula and Downings / Rosapenna in the Rosguill Peninsula, both peninsulas being located on the renowned Wild Atlantic Way.Check out the full listing by Sherry Fitzgerald/Rainey and see some photos of the property below. An architecturally impressive detached house in Letterkenny on the market for €595,000 was last modified: June 30th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Bank of Ireland has warned customers to be aware of a fraudulent text message being sent to customers purporting to be from the bank.A spokesperson said the bank “is aware that fraudulent text messages are currently in circulation”.“These are not genuine and have not been sent by Bank of Ireland. “Bank of Ireland will never text a customer asking them to update or provide their online banking information.“Anyone receiving a text looking for these details should delete it from their mobile device immediately,” the spokesperson told TheJournal.ie.Yesterday evening (Sat), the bank sent customers a text which read: “BOI security alert. We’re aware of fraudulent text messages issuing. BOI will never text you asking you to update or provide your online banking information.”FraudSMART, a fraud awareness initiative set up by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, said that “while it’s normal for banks to text, they will only ever ask you to reply Y or N”. “They will never ask you to click on links or disclose personal information.”We are aware of a smishing/fraudulent SMS which has been sent. Bank of Ireland will never send an SMS asking for personal information. Please do not click any links and delete SMS. Thank you.— Bank of Ireland (@talktoBOI) August 8, 2019This warning comes following a warning issued by the bank in July after people reported receiving a text message telling them that their account had been “frozen”.On Twitter, several people said they received a message – claiming to be from Bank of Ireland – informing them that their account had been “frozen because we are unable to validate your information”.People – including people who weren’t Bank of Ireland customers – were invited to click on a website link to “avoid suspension”.A similar scam was circulating in 2017, when people were sent a text message telling them that their account had been “locked for security reasons”. More information can be found on the Bank of Ireland website.Warning issued to Bank of Ireland customers over ‘fraudulent text messages’ was last modified: August 18th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Once you recognize that someone on your team is negative, you have to begin the process of removing them. The longer you wait to remove that person, the more you risk the rest of your team. Negativity is the only cancer that spreads by contact, and leaving the person in their role is far too dangerous a risk.Proximity DeprivationA negative person has the ability to chip away at the people that surround them. The negative person gets to complain about their company, their manager, their compensation plan, their leads, how difficult their job is, how unfairly they are treated, and how stupid and short-sighted everyone is—everyone but them, that is.You are never around when the negative person is making their complaints to anyone and everyone who will listen. They make sure that you aren’t there so that they aren’t exposed–and so there is no rebuttal.Over time, a negative person will win people over to their view because they have the advantage of proximity. Positive people don’t turn negative people positive. The negative person’s cynicism spreads and infects others—unless the culture is strong enough to reject the negative person straightaway.Your job as a leader is to deny a negative person the advantage of proximity. This means that you remove negative people before they can do any damage.Negative Spiritual LeadersEvery sales organization has a spiritual leader. This is the person the salespeople follow, regardless of any formal hierarchy or structure. The sales force looks to this person to decide what they believe about sales and selling.If you allow a negative person to become the spiritual leader, they will change the sales force’s beliefs. First they will destroy the sales force’s belief in their own company, that they do good work, that they deserve to displace their competitors. Then they will work to infect the sales force with the belief that selling is easy, but that it is only difficult for them because of their company, their pricing, their management, and their target clients.Once the infection takes hold, it’s likely that you will lose salespeople who could have, should have, and would have succeeded were it not for the negative person being allowed to occupy the role of spiritual leader.It is tougher to remove a spiritual leader. It’s better to remove a negative person before they spread their infection.QuestionsHow do negative people win others over to their beliefs?Why don’t positive people change negative people?Who is the spiritual leader of your sales force?What is the risk of allowing a negative person to occupy the role of spiritual leader?
An exhausted but elated Davina McCall crossed the finish line of her BT Sport Relief Challenge: Davina – Beyond Breaking Point at 4.10pm on Friday… having run, swum and cycled over 450 miles from Edinburgh to London in just seven days.The challenge is sponsored by BT, a long-term supporter of Comic Relief challenges since 2009.So far, Davina has raised an incredible £760,026 but it’s not too late for the public to show their support – sponsor Davina at sportrelief.com/davina.Fighting against extreme fatigue, aching limbs and fearsome weather, Davina pushed through the pain barrier to run a marathon on the final day of her challenge. She took her final few strides to a triumphant finish at the Millennium Bridge by Tate Modern and was greeted by crowds of cheering supporters – including her husband Matthew, who put her wedding ring back on her finger as promised.As Davina celebrated completing her epic challenge, she said: “I can’t believe it was me! Thank you to anybody that’s donated, that’s why I did it.“The team that got me here, they just carried me through. And Matt and the doctors and the physios.“My kids – I just hugged them, it was amazing! I’ve just got to stop crying!”“This challenge was for Sport Relief, it was for women and children living really hard lives, not just here but all over the world. It was a really important cause for me to be able to help other women.”Speaking while draped in a Union Flag and after hearing the total raised so far for her incredible challenge, a humble Davina said: “Wearing this is like being an Olympian, but I don’t really feel like I should be allowed to wave the flag around!“Thank you all, it means the world to me. And if you can donate anything it would be even better.”Davina set off on the BT Sport Relief Challenge: Davina – Beyond Breaking Point from Edinburgh Castle on Saturday 8th February, tackling a punishing 130 mile cycle on day one – equivalent to some of the longest stages on the Tour De France. Over the next six days she battled brutal conditions including swimming the life-threateningly cold Lake Windermere, scaling the colossal Scafell Pike on foot in freezing snow, and today finished after seven tortuous days by running a full marathon into London.Davina’s challenge was all about girl power. She was joined by famous female friends along the route, including Claudia Winkleman, Denise Lewis, Jo Brand, Laura Whitmore, Sophie Raworth, Martina Navratilova and Victoria Pendleton, and was spurred along by her ultimate goal of helping projects that work to help women. In many developing countries, simply being born female can mean a lifetime of added dangers and challenges, and money raised from the challenge will be spent to help change the lives of thousands of women and girls in Kenya as well as transform lives in the UK and around the world.BT is today giving £40,000 to support Davina as part of the £350,000 it has committed to raise in support of The BT Sport Relief Challenges: Davina – Beyond Breaking Point.All the ups and downs of Davina’s challenge will be captured for a BBC documentary, to be broadcast in the run up to Sport Relief Weekend, which is taking place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March.
23 reasons Star Wars is better than Star Trek Commander Pyre is throwing his weight around on the Colossus. Lucasfilm Knocking out the bully leads to trouble… and opportunity.The 16th episode of CGI animated series Star Wars Resistance sees the First Order continuing its totalitarian tactics on the Colossus refueling platform.After lone Stormtrooper CS-515 (Steve Blum) gives fugitive children/First Order victims Eila (Nikki SooHoo) and Kel (Anthony Del Rio) a hard time, a brief tussle leaves him unconscious. The kids rush to Resistance spy Kazuda Xiono (aka Kaz, played by Christopher Sean) for help.Kaz ends up donning 515’s armor and takes the opportunity to learn more about the First Order’s plans for the platform.The First Order basically refuses to leaveCaptain Doza (Jason Hightower) confronts the First Order’s Commander Pyre (Liam McIntyre) about its continued presence on the platform after the escape of the pirate spy it came to find, but Pyre claims he intends to hunt down the spy’s accomplice and feigns deference to Doza’s authority (but later kicks him out of his own office).It’s pretty obvious that Doza doesn’t believe him… but when will he take action? The citizens of the Colossus are getting sick of the First Order too, as evidenced by their protest.Also, we got a tease about Doza’s time with the Empire — he tells Pyre that his decision to leave was a “personal choice.”Stealing a Stormtrooper’s armor… where have we seen that before? Lucasfilm It’s coming in full force… and now we know its planKaz manages to infiltrate Pyre’s briefing and before getting found out learns that a full garrison is on its way. He escapes after Pyre orders “a full mental wipe and reprogram,” which sounds pretty dark.He also discovers (via a stolen data rod) that the First Order is preparing its fleet for war — we must be getting very close to the events of The Force Awakens — and reasons that it plans to use the Colossus as a refueling point. Now playing: Watch this: Tags 5:26 23 Photos Kaz has some excellent comedic moments too. He tells janitor Opeepit, who’s scrubbing the floors by hand, that he’d have an easier time if he had a floor sweeper… even though he knows the First Order seized it from him (what a jerk!). He also has a fun confrontation with a First Order BB unit, and waves to an unknowing Torra Doza (Myrna Velasco) as he passes her room in full Stormtrooper armor.Star Wars Resistance airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the Disney Channel, DisneyNOW and Disney Channel VOD, and you can check out the official episode guide.. Sean also chatted about this episode on the excellent Ion Cannon podcast — give it a listen! TV and Movies Culture Post a comment Share your voice Tam’s getting a new perspectiveTam Ryvora (Suzie McGrath), Kaz’s fellow mechanic, was happy enough to see the First Order making the platform safer, but hearing Eila and Kel’s tale about the militant group wiping out their family gives her pause. She may yet see the truth about the group, and it’s likely she’ll end up joining the Resistance.Opeepit the janitor has a thankless role, and Kaz makes it even harder. Lucasfilm Neeku’s coming into his ownOverly literal mechanic Neeku Vozo (Josh Brener) is pretty great this episode, knocking out 515 several times.”Well, I didn’t want him to kill us, Kaz!” he says after hitting the trooper with a wrench.He also agrees with Tam that the First makes him feel safer, “in a threatened by the military kind of way” — sounds like the sentiment of a future Resistance member. Star Wars land: What to expect in Galaxy’s Edge 0 Disney Star Wars
By Tyra Wilkes, Special to the AFRONow eating fresh and healthy foods is even easier for those receiving government assistance. FRESHFARM Markets, the Washington Metropolitan based grocer, will match every dollar spent by recipients of nutrition benefit programs. SNAP (EBT/Food Stamps), WIC, and Senior Farmers Market benefits are accepted at all FRESHFARM locations, allowing recipients to double their spending power and bring home fresh fruits and vegetables to their families. Last year, they reached nearly $100,000 in matching dollars.Their Farmer’s Market community is a huge one, made up of fifteen locations throughout the Washington Metropolitan area, and provides consumers with locally produced goods. “On a broad scale, FRESHFARM is working to make sure that there’s fresh, local food available to the entire region across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia,” said FRESHFARM Executive Director Julia Feder.The giveback program is ideal for those interested in healthier eating but aren’t sure if they can afford it on their income. As the majority of the markets are located on metro lines, most low-income singles and families, or those living in shelters can easily access this nutritional resource.Along with their expansive community of markets, FRESHFARM gets up close and personal with the D.C. public school students through their FoodPrints program, where they educate children on the benefits of healthy eating, in addition to teaching them harvesting skills and culinary techniques. “The kids get so excited about eating kale and radishes and we’re able to introduce them to foods they otherwise wouldn’t be interested in,” said Feder.
Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Entanglement can help in classical communication (Phys.org)—As developed by Claude Shannon, information theory defines channel capacity as the maximum rate at which information can be sent through the channel. This capacity can be mathematically described using a graph associated with the channel. Specifically, a graph’s Shannon zero-error capacity is the maximum rate at which messages can be sent through a noisy channel with zero probability of error. However, the Shannon capacity does not reflect the fact that on atomic scales, nature behaves according to quantum mechanics. Recently, scientists studying asymptotic behavior in entangled sender-receiver quantum systems at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, The Netherlands have identified families of graphs for which entanglement allows the Shannon capacity to be exceeded. Therefore, Briët points out, in the above example the sender could send any one of ten different messages with zero probability of error. Moreover, he adds, their main result shows that this number can be larger than the average number of messages that can be sent with zero error if no entanglement was used, thereby exceeding the zero-error Shannon capacity.”To show that entanglement can sometimes allow a sender and receiver to communicate more efficiently,” Briët continues, “one needs to create a channel for which one can prove that the entanglement-assisted capacity is large, but the Shannon capacity is small. However, proving good bounds on these parameters is notoriously difficult. It took over two decades and a brilliant mathematician to compute the Shannon capacity of the pentagon, which is the graph associated with a particular channel that has only five inputs and outputs! Only for a very few special cases can we currently say something non-trivial about these parameters.”The challenge then, says Briët, was to find a “sweet spot” among these special cases where the researchers can prove good bounds on both the entanglement-assisted and Shannon capacities. They looked at a particular class of graphs often used in quantum computing and information theory – so-called orthogonality graphs – that show that entanglement or some other quantum resource can make some classical information processing task easier. (In an orthogonality graph, points in a two, three or higher-dimensional space are labeled by arrows; a pair of such points are labeled by a line if the associated arrows are orthogonal – that is, in perpendicular directions.) “In this sense,” Briët notes, “these graphs were natural candidates for the type of result we were after. Using available techniques it is a fairly straightforward calculation to show that the orthogonality graphs have very large entanglement-assisted capacity – but it was unknown, and it still is, if the Shannon capacity is any smaller.”Their key insight, Briët says, was that they could slightly morph the orthogonality graphs to end up a class of graphs that lie in the kind of the previously-mentioned sweet spot. “Essentially, what we did is take one of these graphs and throw away three-quarters of it, not just any, but such that we are left with a quarter that has enough structure for us to be able to bound the two capacities. In addition, to bound the two capacities we had to use two quite different techniques.” To show that their graphs had very high entanglement-assisted capacity, they borrowed ideas from geometry, while to show the graphs’ low Shannon capacity they tapped algebra.”To argue that entanglement should be used to speed up communication in practice, our results would need to be strengthened,” Briët acknowledges. “In our setting we made stronger assumptions on how tolerable a little noise is than is reasonable in real-world situations. A next step would be to weaken these assumptions, for example to one where the receiver is happy if he can narrow down what the sender was trying to transmit to a small list of possibilities, as opposed to receiving the messages without ambiguity.””There are close links between entanglement-assisted communication and physical experiments that are meant to test if quantum entanglement is actually a real phenomenon,” Briët notes. “It’s predicted to exist by quantum mechanics, but since that’s only a mathematical model of how nature could work, this doesn’t mean that it has to exist. Convincing experiments were already performed in the early eighties, but because experimental set-ups are bound to have small defects, skeptics argue that no hard conclusion can be drawn from them. Physicists are still trying to come up with ever-better and better experiments that are robust against such defects,” Briët concludes, “so that even if they are taken into account one cannot argue that the results could have been produced if entanglement wasn’t present in the experimental set-up.” Explore further Copyright 2013 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Phys.org. Citation: Never mind the noise: Quantum entanglement allows channel information rate to exceed Shannon zero-error capacity (2013, January 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-mind-noise-quantum-entanglement-channel.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Violating the Shannon capacity of metric graphs with entanglement, PNAS published online before print December 24, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1203857110Related: 1Entanglement-assisted capacity of a quantum channel and the reverse Shannon theorem, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory Volume: 48, Issue: 10 Page(s): 2637-2655 Oct 2002 Dr. Jop Briët discussed the challenges he and his colleagues, Dr. Dion Gijswijt and Prof. Harry Buhrman, encountered in determining if for a family of graphs, the entanglement-assisted capacity exceeds the Shannon capacity. (A graph has as many points as there are inputs to the channel. Such a graph is usually referred to as the channel’s confusability graph, because two points are connected by a line if they can be confused with each other when one of them is sent through the channel.) “The two parameters that we wanted to separate – the Shannon capacity and the entanglement-assisted capacity – are similar in the sense that they indicate how effectively one can communicate over a noisy communications channel,” Briët tells Phys.org. “In the entanglement-assisted case the sender and receiver have an extra resource – quantum entanglement – so the latter parameter is always at least as large as the former.” Briët points out that in the two extreme cases these parameters are actually equal: If the communications channel is perfect (i.e., noiseless), entanglement gives no advantage at all. On the other hand, entanglement cannot improve this situation if only a single message can be sent with zero error.In entanglement-assisted communication, Briët explains, there are two parties (sender and receiver) and two resources (a noisy communication channel and a pair of entangled quantum systems). The sender has one of the systems and the receiver the other, and the two parties can perform measurements (that is, experiments) on their respective quantum systems. While the outcomes of such experiments can usually not be predicted in advance, making measurements on entangled systems can still lead to useful results because outcomes of an experiment done by the sender and an experiment done by the receiver, though random, can be strongly correlated. “The entanglement-assisted communication protocol we consider,” Briët adds, “dates back at least as far as the work of Charles Bennett and others1 in 2002.”Suppose the sender can do ten different experiments, labeled with the numbers 1 to 10, and suppose that the possible inputs to the channel are the letters of the alphabet A to Z, Briët illustrates. The sender picks an experiment (for example, experiment number three), and depending on the outcome sends one of the letters – in this example, the letter P – through the channel to the receiver. Because the channel is noisy, the receiver gets a symbol that could be a P, B, D, or R. Based on this list of four letters the receiver chooses an experiment to perform on his quantum system and associates a number between 1 and 10 with each of the possible outcomes. “The punchline,” Briët says, “is that it’s sometimes possible to set things up so that the only possible outcome of the receiver’s experiment is the number of the experiment done by the sender – in this case the number three.” (i) Channel with five inputs (numbers) and five outputs (letters), where an input symbol x is connected to an output symbol a if P(a|x) > 0. Notice that none of the five pairs (0, 2), (1,4), (2,1). (3,3), (4,0) can be confused with one another, as either the first or the second two symbols are nonconfusable. (ii) Confusability graph of the channel, the five cycle C5. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1203857110
More information: Ivan Norscia et al. more than : gender bias supports the empathic nature of yawn contagion in , Royal Society Open Science (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150459AbstractPsychological, clinical and neurobiological findings endorse that empathic abilities are more developed in women than in men. Because there is growing evidence that yawn contagion is an empathy-based phenomenon, we expect that the female bias in the empathic abilities reflects on a gender skew in the responsiveness to others’ yawns. We verified this assumption by applying a linear model on a dataset gathered during a 5 year period of naturalistic observations on humans. Gender, age and social bond were included in the analysis as fixed factors. The social bond and the receiver’s gender remained in the best model. The rates of contagion were significantly lower between acquaintances than between friends and family members, and significantly higher in women than in men. These results not only confirm that yawn contagion is sensitive to social closeness, but also that the phenomenon is affected by the same gender bias affecting empathy. The sex skew, also found in other non-human species, fits with the female social roles which are likely to require higher empathic abilities (e.g. parental care, group cohesion maintenance, social mediation). The fact that female influence in social dynamics also relies on face-to-face emotional exchange raises concerns on the negative repercussions of having women’s facial expressions forcibly concealed. (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers with Università di Pisa, in Italy has found via observational study, that women are on average twice as likely to yawn after seeing someone else yawn, than are men. In their paper published in Royal Society Open Science the team describes how they carried out their five year study of yawing habits in people and what they learned as a result. Journal information: Royal Society Open Science Explore further Credit: Petr Kratochvil / public domain Citation: Women found to be more susceptible to contagious yawning than men (2016, February 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-02-women-susceptible-contagious-men.html Psychopaths may not yawn along with you Everyone knows that yawning is contagious—one person yawning spontaneously can cause another person in the vicinity to yawn even if they are not tired or sleepy. Scientists still do not know why this happens, but it has also been documented in other animals—dogs for example have been seen to yawn after viewing a human being yawn. In this new effort, the researchers found that there is a gender difference in contagious yawning, and they suggest it is related to empathy.The study consisted of the three researchers noting yawning occurrences in the people around them as they lived their daily lives; whether at work, on a train, or sitting next to a family member—every yawn and the contagion it caused was duly noted and added to a database—all told they recorded 1,461 instances of contagious yawning. After five years, the researchers looked at the data and found confirmation of some prior findings, e.g. that yawning contagion becomes more likely when the people involved have closer social bonds—seeing a friend yawn, for example, is more likely to cause mimicking yawns than seeing a stranger do it. But they also found something that had not been noted before, namely, that women are much more susceptible to yawning contagion than are men.The researchers theorize that the difference between genders is tied to empathic abilities—women, they say, are naturally more inclined to empathize with others, especially those that are close to them. Some have suggested that contagious yawning is based on empathy—seeing someone else yawn causes other people to “feel” their tiredness, which causes them to yawn in return. If women are more empathetic, the researchers point out, it stands to reason that they would be more susceptible to empathetic based human behaviors such as yawning. © 2016 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
What/who inspired you to write the book? Please quote personal instances, if any. Parliament of India has almost an infinite canvas to work on, domestically and internationally. While, what it does within its magnificent red stone building always gets much talked about, little is known of its performance in the international arena. Many people do not know that our Parliament, which is the nerve centre of the largest democracy in the world, is highly admired by other Parliaments. I have personal experience of many speakers, including those of advanced countries, coming to me to enquire what stand I was taking on a particular issue or who I was voting for so that they could do the same. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Although, our Parliamentary system is based on the Westminster model of U.K, yet over the years it has evolved so much that speakers of several Commonwealth counties have told me that in a difficult situation they invariably study the rulings given by the Indian speakers to find a solution. Such is the stature of our Speaker and our Parliament. Needless-to-say, a great deal of hard work goes into achieving and maintaining this position of eminence. I therefore felt the need to write this book and give a glimpse of how it is done. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHow do you define Parliamentary diplomacy? What role does it play in improving foreign relations?Parliamentary diplomacy is the fine art of a parliament engaging fruitfully with other parliaments. It has come of age the world over. In India too it is increasingly becoming an effective instrument of state craft. It is conducted by the Speaker who represents our Parliament in bilateral and multilateral forums, accompanied by members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The discussions are not only on parliamentary affairs but also, in fact and more, on bilateral, regional and global issues. It is a parallel function of the Speaker to strengthen our relationship with the world. The foreign policy pronouncements of our Speaker are the same as that of the Prime Minister, but the style and channels used are different. Parliamentary diplomacy, on its own, has the potential to generate abundant international goodwill. Do you think our Parliamentarian have broader understating of global concerns?Yes. The Constitution of India has empowered our Parliament to enact laws regarding our relation with any foreign country. Our parliamentarians therefore, have to be aware all the time, of international developments. Personally, I find that many of our members have a sound knowledge of the intricacies of foreign affairs.The decorum in the Indian Parliament is generally questioned by many. As a former speaker, don’t you think there needs to be some sort of moral conduct while discussing important issues like terrorism, internal security etc?There are rules in this regard but rules cannot always be effective. Member of Lok Sabha are elected representatives and, I am sure, most of them would want to get re-elected. Since the proceedings of the House are directly telecast, it is most likely that the members would do what their voters want. In my view, the demand for decorum, to be effective, should also come from the voters.Shouldn’t there be healthy meeting of minds when it comes to dealing with such important issues?Parliament of India has many beautiful traditions. One of them is that the political parties or independent members in both the Houses of Parliament never ever differ on foreign policy. This key institution of our polity firmly projects its view of the world in one voice.As the first women speaker of India and as an ex- IFS, how do you think India fares globally?As the first women Speaker of India I attended the 6th conference of the women speakers of the world in Berne and hosted the 7th conference in our Parliament. My interactions in a forum where my predecessors could not participate had its benefits. However, the fact remains that the work of a speaker is gender neutral. As a former foreign service officer who has worked at many levels to formulate the foreign policy, I think India commands respect globally and the Parliament is definitely looked up to.Beyond being an avenue for discussion, such networks can have a long-term impact on the avoidance of conflict. Do you agree?Certainly. Democracy and democratic temper always help in minimising conflict. Power of the ballot is far more than that of the bullet. Our commitment, tenacity and enduring faith in the sublime process of democracy contribute in no small measure to conflict avoidance and world peace.