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Katrina’s latest blow

first_imgNEW ORLEANS (AP) – Mayor Ray Nagin said Tuesday the city is laying off as many as 3,000 employees – or about half its workforce – because of the financial damage inflicted on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. Nagin announced with “great sadness” that he had been unable to find the money to keep the workers on the payroll. He said only non-essential workers will be laid off and that no firefighters or police will be among those let go. “I wish I didn’t have to do this. I wish we had the money, the resources to keep these people,” Nagin said. “The problem we have is we have no revenue streams.” Nagin described the layoffs as “pretty permanent” and said that the city will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to notify municipal employees who fled the city in the aftermath of Katrina, which struck about a month ago. The mayor said the move will save about $5 million to $8 million of the city’s monthly payroll of $20 million. The layoffs will take place over the next two weeks. “We talked to local banks and other financial institutions and we are just not able to put together the financing necessary to continue to maintain City Hall’s staffing at its current levels,” the mayor said. Meanwhile, former President Clinton met with dozens of New Orleans-area evacuees staying at a shelter in Baton Rouge’s convention center. And officials ended their door-to-door sweep for corpses in Louisiana with the death toll Tuesday at 972 – far fewer than the 10,000 the mayor had feared at one point. Mississippi’s Katrina death toll was 221. A company hired by the state to remove bodies will remain on call if any others are found. Clinton, working with former President Bush to raise money for victims, shook hands and chatted with the evacuees, some of whom have been sleeping on cots in the Rivercenter’s vast concrete hall for more than a month and complained of lack of showers, clean clothes, privacy and medical care. “My concern is to listen to you … and learn the best way to spend this money we’ve got,” Clinton said. Robert Warner, 51, of New Orleans said he and others have struggled to get private housing set up through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “We’ve been mired in the bureaucratic red tape since Day One,” he said. Clinton later was driven through New Orleans’ heavily damaged lower Ninth Ward, where houses were caved in or pushed off their foundations. “I saw things I’d never thought I’d see,” Clinton said later before a meeting with residents of the largely untouched Algiers neighborhood. Clinton told people at an Algiers high school that state officials are committed to creating a comprehensive plan to help Louisiana residents. “We’ve got a much better chance of giving people a fair shake in the long-term than we did in the short-term,” he said. Associated Press writers Amy Forliti in New Orleans and Doug Simpson in Baton Rouge contributed to this report. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Amazing Insects Defy Evolution

first_imgTwo recent articles about insects call for the ring buoy on the H.M.S. Darwin.  The first is about fossil amber from India, reported by the BBC News.  “We have complete, three-dimensionally preserved specimens that are 52 million years old,” one of the discoverers announced with astonishment, “and you can handle them almost like living ones.”  The insects are so perfectly preserved they look like they could crawl out if released from their gooey prison.    Several things about the discovery challenge conventional evolutionary wisdom.  One is that they contradict the theory of endemism, the notion that organisms living in isolation will tend to become more unique.  The insects found resemble those from other parts of the world.  Gondwana and Laurasia were supposed to have drifted apart slowly for 100 million years, but here in the Indian amber, the diversity of insects resembles specimens from Asia, Africa, and even South America.  “This means that, despite millions of years in isolation in the ocean, the region was a lot more biologically diverse that previously believed.”  To rescue the theory, the team envisioned insects flying long distances or drifting on ocean currents.    Another challenge from these fossils is that rain forests were not supposed to exist in this region 50 million years ago.  Finding evidence of a tropical environment twice as old as previously thought, the team had to say that they hadn’t found such environments before because “fossil deposits are simply very uncommon in tropical regions.”  A photo with the article shows where the amber samples were found in lignite mines in western India.    New Scientist also reported the story, underscoring the falsifying evidence that calls for theory revision: “India spent tens of millions of years as an island before colliding with Asia.  Yet the fossil record contains no evidence that unique species evolved on the subcontinent during this time, so India may not have been as isolated as it seemed to be.”    Living insects defy evolution, too.  The Guardian wrote a fascinating article about honeybees’ computational abilities.  “Bees can solve complex mathematical problems which keep computers busy for days, research has shown.”  One well-known puzzle, the so-called “traveling salesman” or “Chinese postman” problem, tries to solve for the optimal route between a number of points.  If computers had to calculate every route and then try to solve for the shortest one, it could take days.  “Bees,” however, “manage to reach the same solution using a brain the size of a grass seed.”  This is, in fact, their specialty: “Foraging bees solve travelling salesman problems every day.  They visit flowers at multiple locations and, because bees use lots of energy to fly, they find a route which keeps flying to a minimum.”  It’s unclear whether bees use a heuristic algorithm (by which computers could converge on solutions more rapidly, too), but the bee succeeds somehow, and with dramatically smaller hardware.  A team at the University of London thinks humans could learn from honeybees how to solve such problems more efficiently.  “Despite their tiny brains bees are capable of extraordinary feats of behaviour,” a researcher remarked, daring not explain how evolution could have produced a brain the size of a grass seed that can challenge our best computers.Darwinism is like the patient who has more bandages than skin, or the traveling salesman that lost money on every sale but thought he could make it up in volume.  In either case, the outcome will not be pretty.  Time for a body transplant and a new product.(Visited 116 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Vuvuzela: SA football’s beautiful noise

first_imgWhat’s plastic, a metre long, brightly coloured and sounds like an elephant? It’s the vuvuzela, the noise-making trumpet of South African football fans, and it’s come to symbolise the sport in the country.It’s an instrument, but not always a musical one. Describing the atmosphere in a stadium packed with thousands of fans blowing their vuvuzelas is difficult. Up close it’s an elephant, sure, but en masse the sound is more like a massive swarm of very angry bees.And when there’s action near the goal mouth, those bees go really crazy.To get that sound out requires lip flexibility and lung strength – in short, a fair amount of technique. So be sure to get in some practice before attending a South African football match, or you the sound you produce may cause some amusement in the seats around you!Vuvuzela supplier Boogieblast offers this advice: “Put your lips inside the mouthpiece and almost make a ‘farting’ sound. Relax your cheeks and let your lips vibrate inside the mouthpiece. As soon as you get that trumpeting sound, blow harder until you reach a ridiculously loud ‘boogying blast’.What should it sound like? Try this .wav file from www.boogieblast.co.zaDescendant of the kudu horn?The ancestor of the vuvuzela is said to be the kudu horn – ixilongo in isiXhosa, mhalamhala in Tshivenda – blown to summon African villagers to meetings. Later versions were made of tin.Boogieblast offers a somewhat different story.The trumpet became so popular at football matches in the late 1990s that a company, Masincedane Sport, was formed in 2001 to mass-produce it. Made of plastic, they come in a variety of colours – black or white for fans of Orlando Pirates, yellow for Kaizer Chiefs, and so on – with little drawings on the side warning against blowing in the ear!There’s uncertainty on the origin of the word “vuvuzela”. Some say it comes from the isiZulu for – wait for it – “making noise”. Others say it’s from township slang related to the word “shower”, because it “showers people with music” – or, more prosaically, looks a little like a shower head.The announcement, on 15 May 2004, that South Africa would host the 2010 Fifa World Cup gave the vuvuzela a huge boost, to say the least – some 20 000 were sold on the day by enterprising street vendors.It’s a noisy thing, so there’s no surprise some don’t like it. Journalist Jon Qwelane once quipped that he had taken to watching football matches at home – with the volume turned low – because of what he described as “an instrument of hell”.Viva the vuvuzela orchestra!Cape Town-based music educator Pedro Espi-Sanchis has a different view, however: to him the vuvuzela is a rousing instrument that can, when tuned correctly, play in an orchestra as easily as a flute, violin or cello.Espi-Sanchis says the vuvuzela is a “proudly South African instrument” with roots deep in local traditional music. He was introduced to it over 30 years ago by renowned South African ethnomusicologist Andrew Tracey.A fan of football himself, Espi-Sanchis came up with the idea of a vuvuzela orchestra after realising that crowds at a match could coordinate their trumpeting to make music. “I heard the vuvuzelas at soccer games and the sound was not musical at all,” he says. “Vuvuzelas need to play rhythms together to really show their power.”In 2006 Espi-Sanchis and Thandi Swartbooi, head of the South African traditional music group Woman Unite, launched a vuvuzela orchestra as part of the Cape Town-based uMoya Music organisation.Made up of a core group of seven people, with Espi-Sanchis as conductor and soloist on the lekgodilo flute and six musicians each playing a vuvuzela, the orchestra made its first public appearance at the Johannesburg Carnival in December 2006.Their first performance at a soccer match was at the Nelson Mandela Challenge match at Ellis Park stadium in November 2007, when Bafana Bafana took on the USA.Espi-Sanchis found an excellent local football fan base to accompany the vuvuzela orchestra. Supporters of Bloemfontein Celtic football club, based in the Free State, “form one of the best fan bases in South African soccer,” he says. “In November [2007], we taught 60 of these fans to play seven songs in just five days.“Each of our six musicians was responsible for 10 fans, and they taught them to play their parts. Celtic fans also taught us some of their wonderful songs, and together we supported Bafana Bafana at the Mandela Challenge by singing and dancing with the vuvuzela orchestra.”“Now we want to bring up a fan base to support our national team,” says Espi-Sanchis. “The vuvuzela music can be learnt very quickly … we want to use the Celtic supporters as models for a national fan base.”Whether or not Espi-Sanchis’ ambitions are realised, vuvezalas are bound to play an integral part in South Africa’s 2010 celebrations, and World Cup visitors are sure to go home with a vuvuzela or two tucked in their luggage – and a little ringing in their ears …Article last updated: May 2009SAinfo reporter and MediaClubSouthAfrica.comWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Young SA innovators shine in US

first_img29 June 2012A South African schoolgirl’s innovative device for eliminating bacteria on toothbrushes won her rave reviews, a first prize and R17 000 at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA in May.Seventeen-year-old Ladysmith High School scholar Chene Mostert was one of five young South African prize winners at the prestigious Fair, which draws the most promising student entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists from around the world every year.According to the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists website, finalists for the Fair are selected from hundreds of affiliated fairs, and their projects are evaluated onsite by more than 1 200 expert judges from every scientific discipline.How clean is your toothbrush?This week, Beeld newspaper reported that Mostert had won the American Dental Association’s first prize of R17 000, and an invitation to return to the US in December to patent her invention.Mostert told Beeld that, while brushing her teeth one night, “I noticed the toilet next to the basin, and remembered reading that cold, wet places are ideal breeding places for bacteria.”She then collected and tested 150 toothbrushes, and found more than 100 different types of bacteria growing on the bristles.“I realised there was nothing on the local market for cleaning toothbrushes, so I designed a plastic box with a rotation system in which toothbrushes can be stored and cleaned,” Mostert told Beeld.Other winnersSouth Africa’s other winners this year, according to the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists website, were:Sasha Holloway, a 15-year-old student from Cape Town’s Springfield Convent School, who received a second place in the marine category and R12 000 in prize money for a project focusing on how the activity rhythms of small crustaceans are linked to tidal patterns and other environmental factors. Sixteen-year-old student Vivienne Dames from Victoria Girls’ High School in Grahamstown, who placed third in the environmental management category, winning R8 000 for a project that offers an environmentally friendly cleaning textile dye safe for agricultural irrigation.  Eighteen-year old Hearn Johnson from Vereeniging in Gauteng province, who picked up a third place and R8 000 for a mechanical engineering project to manufacture functional prosthetic limbs more affordably.  Sixteen-year old Brandon Ramnath from Christian brothers College in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, who received a third place and R4 000 from the American Psychological Association for an educational board game that helps high school students to study and achieve better marks. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

De Ocampo jokes as challenge on LeBron goes viral: I made him popular

first_imgCatriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding PBA: San Miguel snaps skid, downs Rain or Shine Even de Ocampo’s former longtime teammate with TNT, Jimmy Alapag made fun out of it. Aside from the video that was shared by top websites in the US, a photo taken by the Inquirer’s Sherwin Vardeleon also made rounds on social media.Almost got it Del!!😂 @jutaca33 https://t.co/ZzfkDS0Ltg— Jimmy Alapag (@JAlapag3) September 2, 2017The picture appears to show de Ocampo mirroring James from behind as the three-time NBA champion went for lift off.ADVERTISEMENT INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonRanidel de Ocampo is already a household name in basketball crazy Philippines.Then he went global over the weekend after taking part in LeBron James’ highlight video during his Strive For Greatness Show in Manila.ADVERTISEMENT E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad center_img Read Next MOST READ LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary View comments “If you look at it, I made a lot of people laugh. I’m sure my face was able to reach different places in the world and I think I made LeBron popular,” De Ocampo added in jest. In the video that went viral, de Ocampo was seen trying to give James a dose of his own medicine as he attempted a chasedown block on the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar’s patented Statue-of-Liberty dunk during an exhibition game.“Actually, I really wanted to challenge him, but I had already jumped when I realized that I won’t be able to get to him. But at the same time, I was okay to be included on his poster,” said the veteran forward.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutlast_img read more

Prime minster Manmohan Singh speaks at India Today Conclave 2007

first_imgManmohan SinghMANMOHAN SINGHPRIME MINISTER I am happy that the Conclave began with the opening remarks of His Excellency, the former president of Iran, Mohammad Khatami. I have the highest regard for his wisdom, his scholarship and his statesmanship. He is a great citizen of the world, a great leader of,Manmohan SinghMANMOHAN SINGHPRIME MINISTER I am happy that the Conclave began with the opening remarks of His Excellency, the former president of Iran, Mohammad Khatami. I have the highest regard for his wisdom, his scholarship and his statesmanship. He is a great citizen of the world, a great leader of the Iranian people and a great friend of India. I recall his words at the UN”Conference on Dialogue amongst Civilisations” in September 2000. “The ultimate goal of dialogue among civilisations is not dialogue in itself, but attaining empathy and compassion.” I fully endorse these sentiments of our distinguished guest and today his sentiments have acquired renewed relevance in international affairs and we in India appreciate them more than any other people. Such a dialogue among civilisations has been the living reality for more than a millennium. India is home to all the great religions of the world, home to scores of languages, hundreds of dialects, dozens of cuisines, a medley of races, colours, landscapes and cultures. The idea of India is shaped by this notion of “unity in diversity”. That is why I often say that the success of the Indian experiment is vital to the survival of mankind as a whole.PEOPLE SAY INDIA IS AN OPEN SOCIETY WITH A CLOSED MINDSET. WE HAVE TO BE OPEN TO IDEAS FROM ACROSS THE WORLD. The Conclave theme this year is: “Challenges for the Brave New World: Can India Take the Lead?” I believe India is one of the forerunners in showing the world a way forward in dealing with one of the biggest challenges facing humankind in the modern world. This is the challenge of preventing the so-called “clash of civilisations” and enabling not just a “dialogue” between civilisations but creating a “confluence of civilisations”.India is indeed a confluence of civilisations. In building an open and pluralistic society within the framework of a liberal and secular democracy, we have shown the world a way to deal with the complex heterogeneity of the modern societies. Every nation must endeavour to be an open society in which the plurality of the human experience can find full and free expression. I am not talking of majorities tolerating minorities. I am talking of all groups, big and small, living together in harmony.advertisementIn seeking to build a democratic society, the leaders of our freedom movement grappled with the challenge of a brave new world they were forced to confront. Ours is an ancient civilisation, but we are a very young nation. The survival, growth and vibrancy of our nation has vindicated the faith of our founders in the democratic values of pluralism, liberalism and secularism. It has enabled us to show many embattled corners of the world a practical way forward in “enabling the confluence of civilisations”.If India has a message for the world, it is this: Humankind must shun all extremes and all forms of extremism. We must reject all ideologies of exclusion for nature’s way has been to be inclusive. Nature of course had willed the survival of the fittest, but human societies have come to accept the idea of live and let live. Our concept of an inclusive society is based on this very principle.This conference wishes us to focus on the challenge of dealing with a “brave new world”. Every generation would like to believe that it is entering a “brave new world”. That spirit is natural and welcomed. It inspires each generation to seek new horizons and find new answers to problems old and new. Many, however, will rest content reinventing the wheel and pouring old wines into new bottles. But some will strike out and truly find new paths. A society that encourages creativity, enterprise, innovation, and risk taking will be a vibrant society and the future belongs to such a society, which will be capable of dealing with the challenges of a brave new world. I believe we must do all that is possible to allow the full expression of such human creativity and ingenuity to flourish in our country. This we can do best within the framework of an open society. But such a society will have to be a literate and educated one. It will have to be healthy and caring. It will have to be a knowledgeempowered society. A free and egalitarian society functioning within the parameters of the rule of law and civilized conduct and discourse. Above all, it will have to be an inclusive society. It has been our endeavour to make ours such an inclusive society.advertisementBut we have a long way to go, there are unfortunately no shortcuts in history. The management of human affairs requires patience as well as effort, not just vision and leadership. Humanity has often been led astray by those who claimed a unique vision and offered bold leadership. We live in a highly interdependent and complex world where dialogue and patient consultation are required to deal with the challenges humanity faces today. To appreciate and participate in a honest and constructive dialogue is the most effective way to deal with the challenges we face today.I WANT OUR NEIGHBOURS TO FEEL SECURE AND CONFIDENT…..WE SEE THEIR PROSPERITY AS A GUARANTEE OF OUR PROSPERITY.I have often said, both in the context of domestic politics and international conflict that there is no issue that cannot be resolved through dialogue and discussion. The approach of seeking an eye for an eye, as Mahatma Gandhiji taught us, can only leave us all blind. Violence and force have never offered lasting solutions to human problems. This consultative and consensual approach is what has kept our diverse nation together.My friend Amartya Sen has written about the “Argumentative Indian”, but our real strength has always been our willingness to live and let live. It is not our argumentative nature that we must celebrate, but our assimilative nature, our consensual nature, our accommodative nature. That is what has contributed to the richness of our composite culture and durability of our civilisation. This is why I also believe that India can bring to the global high table, to institutions like the United Nations and its Security Council, it can bring a new approach in dealing with global challenges whether these be challenges of environment, energy security, food security or empowerment of the under privileged sections of society.Much is often made of our attitude to globalisation. Let me say that I sincerely believe that we Indians have always opened global influences and that ours will always be an open society. Even in the economic sphere, we are today as open as any free market democracy in the world. The numbers of course are there to tell the story. The share of foreign trade in our national income is today comparable to that of many developed market economies. But our openness is not just about these numbers. Our openness is defined by our attitudes and our confidence in ourselves. Our media is free and open. Our popular culture has always been welcoming of outside influences. Yet, we have stood securely on our feet. As Mahatma Gandhiji used to say, we have our doors and windows open to the free flow of ideas, yet we have confidence in ourselves that we will not be overwhelmed by any of them. I want more of our citizens to appreciate this reality. I am often surprised by the insular outlook of some of our political and intellectual leaders. Their narrow-mindedness betrays a lack of self-confidence. It is an attitude I do not associate with being an Indian.advertisementWe must make better use of the opportunities the world offers us. We must be more open to our own neighbourhood. India will be hosting the SAARC Summit on April 3-4 in Delhi.I want India to be more open to all our neighbours. I want our neighbours to feel secure and confident that in India they have a well-wisher. We see their prosperity as a guarantee of our own prosperity. The destiny of the people of South Asia is interlinked and inter-dependent.I see a similar mutually beneficial inter-dependence between India and the wider neighbourhood of the Indian Ocean and the Asia-Pacific regions. For centuries our forefathers sailed westwards and eastwards-as teachers and traders, as merchants and monks. That is how we should once again approach the world at large.We must rekindle this interest in the world outside and be willing to deal with the opportunities and challenges it presents. I do believe, however, that to be able to do so with greater confidence we must invest much more in our capabilities. This is the real challenge before us. We need a new revolution in education. It must equip us better to deal with an ever-changing world. We must harness the full potential offered by development in modern science and technology. We need world class academic and research institutions and infrastructure. We need a more competitive industry and a more dynamic agricultural economy.If we need to learn from each other and tread into unknown territory, we need an open mind. I am troubled when I hear people say that India is an open society with a closed mindset. That is not the India I know. The India I know and I cherish, has been open to ideas from across the world. The India I know values knowledge and creativity, respects learning and scholarship. If we can approach the world and our future with that self-confidence, we can also regain the glory of our wondrous past.I hope your Conclave and other such gatherings encourage us to be more open minded, more willing to learn, to be more creative, more enterprising and more courageous. In that lies the road to a brighter future for our children and our grandchildren.DiscussionQ. Mr. Prime Minister, you are in many ways the father of reforms in this country. But the economy has grown in areas where the government has nothing to do, be it telecom, civil aviation, IT industry. So my question is this: while politicians are accountable to the electorate, businessmen are accountable to the shareholders, the bureaucracy is not accountable to anybody. Do you have any plans of making the bureaucracy more responsive and more atuned to public needs? Manmohan: I do not want to claim that everything is right with our bureaucracy but having been a bureaucrat for a large part of my life, I sincerely believe that our bureaucracy is often unnecessarily maligned. What impresses me is that despite low salaries, they have such great commitment to national goals, national ethos in our bureaucracy. A year ago, I had appointed the Administrative Reforms Commission and they are in the process of looking at our administrative system, our administrative structures and I sincerely hope that before long we will have a blue print of action.Q. Two months back, at a conference on infrastructure, you had stated that we are going to spend in our next Five Year Plan, starting from April 1, about $350-360 billion. I think the growth of India is dependent on infrastructure. But our worry is that how you are going to finance it and will the policy framework of this infrastructure be made public as soon as possible. I would also like to ask you, since you talked about SAARC, can Asian countries create a Asian currency which could finance Asia? Manmohan: I do not believe that the time is right for an Asian currency like the Euro. I think, having a common currency requires a degree of coordination of domestic economic policies which is not clearly in sight in Asia today, but that is a dream, that is an ambition we all should have. As for your first question, a lot of good things are happening. Five years ago I could not have imagined that our investment rate would rise to 34 per cent of our GDP, that our savings rate would rise to about 32 per cent of our GDP. I am confident that if we continue to create an environment conducive to promotion of risk taking, lack of resources is not going to be a problem for financing the needs of infrastructure. I am hopeful that whether it is roads, telecommunications, airports, seaports or our Railways, there will be new experiments of private public participation.Q. The policy on Special Economic Zones (SEZ) was supposed to take India to the brave new world where we could take on the manufacturing might of China. But today there is a lot of controversy over it. Are there flaws in the SEZ policy and would you be overhauling it? Manmohan: Well, let me say that the SEZ, as an instrument of economic policy has come to stay. But its implementation has brought certain problems which cannot be dismissed. Our strength is that we have the mechanisms to correct those. There have been inadequacies in compensation for land acquisition. We will redress these concerns. India is a democracy, democracy sometimes seems to be fickle minded. But I do believe that it is our strength. These are the decisions which are in many ways irreversible and therefore it is very important that before we move on, we should check if there are any gaps in performance, gaps in design and implementation, we should halt a little bit even though it takes time but the cost of delay is going to be much less than the cost that would arise if wrong headed policies are bulldozed regardless of the social and economic consequences.Q. My question pertains to the demand for demilitarisation, troop reduction in Jammu and kashmir. How do you look at this? Secondly, we would like to have your assurance that professional advice on such matters will not be marginalised for political expediency. Manmohan: Let me say very unambiguously, professional advice, wherever relevant, will be given full scope. We are in the process of discussing these matters with Mufti saheb. He has come at my invitation and I would not like to conduct a dialogue with him through the media or a public platform.last_img read more

India secrets: Orissa

first_imgThe medicinal plant garden This lovely garden is home to some of the rarest plants in the country. Located around the sacred Bindusagar tank, this ground was once a wasteland but is now one of the finest parks in the city, with hundreds of species of medicinal plants. Apart from being a place where nature-lovers can admire flora and fauna, it is also a centre for biological research, and gives visitors an insight into plants which are used to make herbal Indian medicines. Near Bindusagar Tank.State institute for development of arts and craftsAlthough this started as a design development institute to equip scholarship holders from weaker sections of society with sustainable livelihoods, it has gone on to become a place that preserves, as well as showcases, all forms of folk art in the state. Located in the State Handicraft Complex at Gandamunda, this is one place where you can watch artists at work as they create various items. There is a small shop on the campus that stocks different handicrafts at reasonable prices. Gandamunda; Tel: (0674) 235 0298Kalinga stadiumThis national athletics ground is a good place to catch some live sporting action. The Kalinga Stadium also has an Olympic standard swimming pool for hosting international competitions. It is a great place to go for a swim, however you need to be a member for that. You will also need to take a test to convince the lifeguards that you will not drown while doing a 100-m lap and then you can swim away to your heart’s glory! Near Jaydev Vihar Square Flyover.advertisementRabindra mandapAt this grand dome-shaped building, watch Mangalacharan, Dasavatar and Abhinaya performances, traditional forms of classical Odissi dance. This dance form is known for its dramatic gestures and Rabindra Mandap is a good place to see some of the best performers in this state. If you want to pick up a few accessories related to Odissi dance or even costumes, then walk down to the Market Building in Ashok Nagar which is close by and fill those shopping bags. Located at Unit 4Lalchand jewellersWith elegant meshes and fragile threads interwoven into complex designs, delicate silver filigree jewellery is this silversmith’s forte. From broaches to earrings to hairpins, Lalchand Jewellers has a dazzling array of shining accessories to choose form. They can also design lovely little bespoke pieces to suit your taste. It is a place to pick up wonderful little things you have always wanted. Unit 3, Station Square; Tel: 253 4625PriyadarshiniWalk into this store and choose from a range of Orissa saris, famous for intricate woven designs and bold eye-catching borders. They range from the traditional Pasapalli or ‘chess’ saris with their distinct black and white boxes, to the Sambalpuri or ‘temple’ saris in cotton and silk with distinct, brightly coloured designs on their borders. Priyadarshini is definitely a dream destination for women travellers searching for their perfect Orissa-style drape. Western Tower of Unit 1 Market Building; Tel: 253 2140Odisha hotelNo trip to this city is complete without a taste of Oriya cuisine. One of the best places to sample some delicacies is Odisha Hotel. The food is served on a banana leaf. Try the local specialities. They range from Kakhaaru Phula Bada or deep-fried pumpkin-flower, Badi-Chura or powdered cakes of Urad Dal with green chillies, garlic and onion, Maacha Bihana or fish egg cakes in a spicy curry. Seafood and green veggies dominate. Top it off with a Chhena Gaja (deep fried cottage cheese in sugar syrup). C-18 Market Building, Sahid NagarMusical martThis music shop, run by a Bengali gentleman, is fondly called ‘Dada’s Shop’. This is a good place to pick up classical and folk music instruments from Orissa. The store will even custom make a special folk instrument.They have many of them including toori (a flute-like instrument) and the dhumsa (a large drum like instrument used in the folk dance of chhau). The Indian classical instruments range from the flutes, tanpuras, sitars, tabla, mridanga and pakhaawaj. Modern instruments like Spanish guitars, drum sets, keyboards are also available. Kharavel Nagar, Unit 4; Tel: (0) 94381 34865 Bhubaneswar: Anindita TripathyA copywriter and media consultant from Bhubaneswar, sheis also a Hindustani Classical vocalist, instructor and composer.Anindita attributes her artistic temperament to the city she comes from.Must do: OrissaStay: Toshali sands, PuriThis stunning resort is spread across 30 acres of beautiful greenery, and has its own private beach. At the cottages, you can sit out on your private verandah and smell the roses in your exclusive garden. By the sea, Puri; tel: (06752) 250 571-3; www.toshalisands.comEat: Mahaprasad, Jagannath templeIf over 400 cooks prepare something everyday, it has to be special. Add to it the fact that this food is cooked for none other than Lord Jagannath and you don’t need any more reasons to try the much blessed mahaprasad–rice, dal, vegetables, sweet.advertisementShop: SambalpurOne cannot claim to be an Indian and not have heard of Sambalpur sairs. Returning from Orissa without one in your bag is like coming away from Agra without seeing the Taj Mahal. Well, almost.The trademark double ikat designs of the cotton saris of Sambalpur can be bought in any state emporium, but for the largest and most unique collection, visit the source itself. In this town, artisans not only offer you saris, but also loose fabric, bedspreads and more.See: Sun temple, KonarkYou cannot skip a visit to this legendary temple that is devoted to worship the Sun God. A UNESCO World Heritage Monument, it was built by King Narasimhadeva in the 13th century, in the shape of a chariot drawn by seven horses that is supposedly carrying the sun across the heavens.Outside Bhubaneswar: Lotus eco village, KonarkThis beautiful resort tucked away in the untrammeled sands of Ramchandi beach will make you feel close to nature. You are greeted with the sound of a conch shell and a traditional tilak as you enter the earthy interiors. This is a fantastic place to unwind and escape the general bustle and rush of Konark.The resort advocates eco-friendliness from its choice of building materials (which includes straw, bamboo and other natural green materials) to handmade organic soaps and shampoos. It also has its own kitchen garden providing farm fresh veggies and an unlimited variety of fresh fish that is part of the daily catch from the sea.The sprawling property includes part of the backwaters of the Kusabhadra River (where you could go fishing and boating) and a wooded area where you can spot the occasional deer. At the Panchakarma spa, visitors can choose from rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments. Lotus Resort’s serene landscape, peaceful ambience, and rustic setting make it a perfect getaway for couples or families. Ramchandi Beach, Konark; Tel: (06758) 236 161; www.lotusresortkonark.comlast_img read more

9 months agoCrystal Palace down to single senior keeper for Liverpool clash

first_imgCrystal Palace down to single senior keeper for Liverpool clashby Freddie Taylor9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace are facing a goalkeeper crisis ahead of Saturday’s clash with Liverpool.With goalkeepers Vicente Guaita and Wayne Hennessey both injured, manager Roy Hodgson is set to hand Julian Speroni his first appearance since December 2017.Both Guaita and Hennessey were injured in last Saturday’s loss to Watford.They are both expected to miss a month of action, leaving Speroni as the only fit senior goalkeeperat Selhurst Park. About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Navig8 Chemical Secures Funds for Stainless Steel Duo

first_imgzoom Chemical shipping company Navig8 Chemical Tankers has secured financing for its remaining two 25,000 dwt stainless steel chemical tanker newbuildings.Namely, the company entered into a USD 54.3 million secured loan facility to finance the two vessels, which are currently under construction at Japan’s Kitanihon Shipbuilding.Navig8 Chemical Tankers said that the loan facility covers approximately 65% of the contract price of the vessels, and has been provided by a European bank.The company did not disclose any further details on the financing.According to data provided by VesselsValue, the new tankers, named Navig8 Saiph and Navig8 Sceptrum, are scheduled for delivery to their owner in February and April 2017, respectively.Featuring a length of 159 meters and a width of 25 meters, each of the ships has a capacity of 30,020 cubic meters.In late October, Navig8 Chemical Tankers took delivery of the fourth of six 25,000 dwt stainless steel chemical tankers contracted at Kitanihon Shipbuilding.Following delivery, Navig8 Stellar joined Japan-based financial services company SBI Holdings and was delivered back to the company under bareboat charter.The tanker subsequently started operating in Navig8 Group’s Stainless8 commercial pool.last_img read more

Womans phone snatched on train

first_imgKolkata: A woman West Bengal Civil Service officer’s mobile phone was snatched by a miscreant on a running train on Tuesday evening.According to sources, Nandakumar Block Land and Land Reforms Officer Sanjukta Pal boarded a downline Mecheda- Howrah train at 6. 10 pm. While the train was passing through Ghoraghat station at 7 pm, a man who was standing at the gate of ladies compartment snatched Sanjukta’s mobile phone. In defence, the woman also caught the miscreant’s hand and during the brawl the thief dragged the woman on the platform. The mobile snatcher ran away from the platform and Sanjukta suffred head injuries. Passengers at the railway station took her to the nearby hospital where she was given first aid and released. A passenger handed over her bag to RPF personnel at Dasnagar police station.last_img read more