quick reads

The big news: Small, medium firms likely to benefit from GST Council meet, and 9 other top stories

Other headlines: Yashwant Sinha said lack of jobs will be a major factor in the 2019 elections, and seven military personnel died in an Air Force chopper crash.

A look at the headlines right now:

  1. GST council meeting begins, relief for small and medium business likely to be discussed: The panel is trying to ease difficulties that have risen from shifting to the new tax regime, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said.
  2. Yashwant Sinha says lack of employment will be a major factor in the 2019 election: The BJP leader said that the government had not responded to any of his criticisms, but was happy that the issues flagged by him were being debated.
  3. Seven military personnel killed after Indian Air Force helicopter crashes in Arunachal Pradesh: The chopper was on an air maintenance mission when it went down near the Chinese border, killing five air force officers and two armymen.
  4. VK Sasikala gets parole, Tamil Nadu BJP demands inquiry into transplant for AIADMK leader’s husband: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tamil Nadu President Tamilisai Soundararajan alleged that several rules were violated to help M Natarajan.
  5. ‘Never share personal details on phone’, IT minister responds to Scroll.in report on Aadhaar fraud: People need to ‘be more aware about safety in using financial transactions’, Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad’s office said. 
  6. India, European Union pledge to step up cooperation and fight terrorism: India, as a neighbour, ‘stood first in line to respond’ to the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar, said European Council President Donald Franciszek Tusk.
  7. Tropical storm Nate leaves 22 dead, several missing in Central America: At least 11 people were killed in Nicaragua, seven were missing and thousands had to evacuate their homes because of flooding.
  8. International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons receives Nobel Peace Prize 2017: Ican has achieved a treaty-based prohibition of nuclear weapons through international agreements, the committee said.  
  9. US gun lobby group calls for a review of ‘bump fire stocks’ after Las Vegas shooting: The device, when attached to a gun, allows the shooter to fire bullets rapidly.   
  10. Don’t expect restraint if our nuclear sites are struck, Pakistan’s foreign minister tells India: Khawaja Asif added that India was not responding to Pakistani efforts to improve the ties between the two nations.   
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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.