Tag: 上海桑拿论坛

Tiktaalik: Evolution’s Newest Link in the Chain

first_imgResearchers have recently discovered a fossil on Ellesmere Island, located in the Canadian Arctic.  The creature is characteristic of tetrapods, four-legged organisms, and possesses a flattened body, fins, scales, ribs, and a neck.  James Owen (National Geographic News1) considers the species, Tiktaalik roseae, to be the connection between aquatic and land animals and prehistoric predecessor of the human population:Researchers say the fish shows how fins on freshwater species first began transforming into limbs some 380 million years ago.  The change was a huge evolutionary step that opened the way for vertebrates—animals with backbones—to emerge from the water.  “This animal represents the transition from water to land—the part of history that includes ourselves,” said paleontologist Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago.  Tiktaalik could become an icon of evolution in action, write paleontologists Per Ahlberg of Sweden’s Uppsala University and Jennifer A. Clack of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom in an accompanying commentary.  The paleontologists say the new fish form goes a long way toward filling the evolutionary gap between fish and the earliest amphibians.  “Our remote ancestors were large, flattish, predatory fishes,” they write.  “Strong limblike pectoral fins enabled them to haul themselves out of the water.”  Evolutionary scientists agree that all four-limbed land vertebrates, including dinosaurs and mammals, are descended from lobe-fins, a group of primitive fishes with fins suggesting limbs.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)1James Owen, “Fossil Fish With ‘Limbs’ Is Missing Link, Study Says,” National Geographic News. 04/05/2006.Shubin et al., “The pectoral fin of Tiktaalik roseae and the origin of the tetrapod limb,” Nature 440, 764-771 (6 April 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04637.John Roach, “Fins to Limbs: New Fossil Gives Evolution Insight,” National Geographic News, 04/01/2004.“Newly Found Species Fills Evolutionary Gap Between Fish And Land Animals,” Science Daily, 04/06/2006.Tiktaalik roseae is an important discovery for scientists and media alike.  However, evidence for a transition from water to land does not authenticate the so-called link between humans and their aquatic associates.  “The previously unknown creature is the closest known fish ancestor of land vertebrates,” said Shubin.  If researchers are so confident with Tiktaalik’s ability to hoist itself onto land and evolve into a land-dwelling organism, why have we discovered so few fossils that prove the existence of missing links and their transitions from water to land?  Ted Daeschler (Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia) said, “The transition wasn’t all or nothing.  It’s not that some animals were thrown on land.  There were certainly other functions intermediate.”  What exactly were those functions?  Also, how were the functions intermediate determined based upon evidence of fossils that have not been discovered?  How can researchers allude to the existence of numerous transitional species with a lack of data necessary to substantiate their conclusions?  Perhaps, we should answer these questions before we hoist ourselves onto the idea of human-fish relations.– Courtney N.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Press freedom in South Africa

first_imgSouth Africa ranks 52nd out of 179 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF’s) 2013 index of press freedom – down from 42nd position the year before.After the Arab Spring and other dramatic political movements, this year’s index “is a better reflection of the attitudes and intentions of governments towards media freedom in the medium or long term,’ said the organisation. (Image: Magharebia)Brand South Africa reporterReporters Without Borders’ (RSF) annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index – covering the period from December 2011 to end November 2012 – reflects the degree of freedom journalists and news organisations enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by each state to respect and ensure respect for this freedom.After the Arab Spring and other dramatic political movements, this year’s index “is a better reflection of the attitudes and intentions of governments towards media freedom in the medium or long term,’ said the organisation.Many criteria are considered, ranging from legislation to violence against journalists. While the political system is not considered, it is clear that democracies better protect the freedom to circulate accurate information.Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2013‘Secrecy bill’While South Africa is described as a country where freedom of expression is a reality, its ranking was affected by the threat posed by the Protection of State Information Bill to investigative journalism in the country.After a year of debate, the contentious, amended bill was passed by the National Assembly in April 2013.State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele told parliament that the bill was aimed at protecting sensitive state information and the information of ordinary people, such as marriage certificates and business registrations.The bill gives the minister control over the classification of information.The government insists that whistle-blowers would be protected and no one will be able to use the bill to hide corruption.Opponents to the bill, which include human rights and legal experts, opposition parties and civil society bodies, say it preferences state interests over transparency and freedom of expression.Read more:A guide to the Protection of State Information Bill, [PDF]Civil society opposition, led by Right2Know campaignBest and worstFinland followed by the Netherlands and Norway have no recorded censorship, threats, intimidation or physical reprisals towards members of the media. It is the third year that Finland is in the top spot.Turkmenistan (177th), North Korea (178th) and Eritrea (179th) occupy the last three spots as authorities there continued a clampdown on independent media activity.For the third year Finland,, which has no curbs on journalists rights, sat atop the report. (Image: Alisdare Hickson)RSF said in its 2013 press freedom report that Eritrea “continues to be a vast open prison for its people and lets journalists die in detention”, while neither Kim Jong-un’s arrival in Korea nor the reformist discourse of the Turkmen regime have lead to any easing up of the “totalitarian control of the media”.DownwardsOther countries that have slipped in the rankings are Israel, down 20 places to 112 because of its military targeting of reporters in Palestine’s territories.Malayasia (145th) has dropped 23 places due to the limitation on the access of information in the country.The biggest fall of the index was recorded by Mali (99th), which slumped 74 places after the turmoil of 2012, including a military coup in March.Japan’s sharp fall of 31 places to 53rd should “sound an alarm”, RSF says. The country’s rating has been affected by “a lack of transparency and almost zero respect for access to information on subjects directly or indirectly related to Fukushima”.Press freedom in AfricaWithin Africa, South Africa comes in sixth position, after Namibia (19th), Ghana (30th), Botswana (40th), Niger (43rd) and Burkina Faso (46th).Malawi, up by 71 places to 75th, “registered the biggest leap in the index, almost returning to the position it held before the excesses at the end of the [Bingu wa] Mutharika administration,’ reported the organisation.Ivory Coast (96th, up 63 places), has emerged from its post-electoral crisis between the supporters of Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara with its best position since 2003.Deadliest countryThe deadliest country for journalists in 2012 was Syria (176th), where “journalists and netizens are the victims of an information war waged by both the Assad regime, which stops at nothing in order to crack down and impose a news blackout, and by opposition factions that are increasingly intolerant of dissent”.RSF said 2012 was the “deadliest year ever registered”, with a high number of journalists and netizens killed in the course of their work.(Image: OPEN DAYS)How the index is compiledReporters Without Borders compiles its index by asking 18 freedom of expression organisations on five continents, 150 correspondents around the world, as well as journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists, to answer questions relating to the state of press freedom in 179 countries.The questions consider six general criteria: pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency and infrastructure.It also calculates a score to reflect the level of violence against journalists. The scores are combined to assess the state of press freedom.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

uQuery: A More Convenient Way to Search the App Store

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Even though Apple launched a major redesign of iTunes yesterday, searching the iTunes App Store is still a bit of a hassle, especially because iTunes lacks convenient options to filter apps by price, category, or release date. Given the amount of apps available in the store, even Apple’s new Genius feature for the App Store isn’t likely to make finding new apps much easier. UQuery, however, sets out to change all of this by indexing all the apps in the store and making this index available through a web-based search engine.What makes uQuery so useful is that it allows users to filter searches by price, release date, and category.  UQuery also indexes every app’s description and screenshots in the App Store. What’s sorely missing, however, is customer reviews. The ability to organize search results according to reviews would potentially make these search results a lot more valuable. Another caveat worth mentioning is that uQuery currently only indexes apps available in the US store. Tags:#Apple#Product Reviews#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting frederic lardinois Still, if you are looking for free recipe apps launched or updated in the last month, you would have a hard time finding these in iTunes. In uQuery, however, all it takes is two clicks to filter out older or more expensive apps. While search on uQuery is great, however, the service does not (yet?) provide users with a good way to simply browse the store. You can’t, for example, just look at all the new games published in the last week that are available for $0.99 or less.Earlier this year we wrote about App Engine, another web-based alternative to the App Store. App Engine, however, is currently offline. App Engine basically recreated the App Store on the web – including Apple’s layout. App Engine is now offline, making uQuery one of the best web-based alternatives to iTunes, though other alternatives like iphonexe.com are also worth a look.Tip of the hat to AppScout for bringing uQuery to our attention.last_img read more

Black vows to sort out Alapag-Nabong issue

first_imgMOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next LATEST STORIES Alapag opted to stay mum on the exchange as he excused himself out of the venue together with his pregnant wife LJ Moreno.Black knows that he needs the two to make amends quickly as the Bolts seek to go up 2-0 against the Hotshots on Tuesday at Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Complex in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Pingris: Hotshots ‘gave up’ in Game 1 loss to Bolts View comments The incident almost overshadowed Meralco’s 72-66 comeback win over Star to open their 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals series Sunday at Alonte Sports Arena here, where the Bolts fought back from 17-points down early and rallied from a 12 point hole early in the fourth.Eyewitnesses said Alapag and Nabong had a disagreement on the bench while Meralco was making a furious run in the final three minutes of the game. Alapag was pointing something out to Nabong late in the game, but the bruiser didn’t take one of the veteran guard’s points kindly as the two had to be separated by the Bolts staff.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 shutoutAlapag would later on join the team’s huddles as Black mapped out his game-winning plays, while Nabong refused to participate and stayed on the far end of the bench.The Fil-Am center rushed to the locker room after the game and was the first one out of Meralco’s dugout.center_img LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netBIÑAN — Meralco coach Norman Black offered little to shed light on the spat between assistant coach Jimmy Alapag and Bolts center Kelly Nabong, but promised he would get to the bottom of the issue and sort things out on Monday.“I really don’t know the whole story, but I’ll sort it out tomorrow (Monday) and I’ll take care of it. Believe me,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending Articles01:37PNP vows dismissal for cadets in alleged hazing at PNPA01:37Protesters 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 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHlast_img read more

SMB-Kia trade deal on hold

first_imgThe impending trade that would send the No. 1 overall Draft pick, who could be Christian Standhardinger, to San Miguel Beer has yet to gain approval from the Philippine Basketball Association.A league source on Monday said PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa would sit down with Kia Picanto board member Bobby Rosales and clarify the reason why they are trading away the top pick.ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Blackwater, which owned the top pick in the last two seasons, will be selecting third. Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 LATEST STORIEScenter_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch PLAY LIST 01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch01:07No. 1 pick Standhardinger’s monster game further fuels SMB debut hype01:28’Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel01:37Protesters 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 Read Next Generika out to bounce back from opening-day loss Rosales is out of the country on a business trip.The Draft is scheduled this Sunday at Robinsons Place Manila with the 6-foot-8 Filipino-German likely to be made the top pick and Kiefer Ravena, the former UAAP Most Valuable Player with Ateneo, second overall.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 shutoutStandhardinger will reportedly play for the Hong Kong Eastern Lions in the Asean Basketball League.NLEX, who holds the second pick, has made it no secret that they would go for Ravena in the event that Standhardinger is picked first. View commentslast_img read more

Goa gears up to host CHOGM delegates for week-end of relaxation and ‘retreat’

first_imgConstruction at the Aguada HermitageIn traquil, unhurried Goa, the customary siesta time between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. is being dispensed with. ‘Amanha’ (tomorrow) used to be the standard Goan plea for putting off any task and tomorrow never used to come.’Amanha’ is no longer acceptable: hordes of officials, technicians,Construction at the Aguada HermitageIn traquil, unhurried Goa, the customary siesta time between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. is being dispensed with. ‘Amanha’ (tomorrow) used to be the standard Goan plea for putting off any task and tomorrow never used to come.’Amanha’ is no longer acceptable: hordes of officials, technicians and engineers from Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka keep flying in to ensure that everything is ready when 46 Commonwealth heads of government arrive in November for a 48-hour retreat in this tiny coastal Union territory (population: 1 million) during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).No expense or trouble is being spared to ensure that the VIPs who come to enjoy the balmy climate and breathtakingly beautiful coconut-fringed beaches of Goa and picturesque Portuguese-style villages will have a holiday to remember, villages will have a holiday to remember.When all expenses are totted up it will have truly been a million-dollar vacation but government sources insist that it will be well worth it both in terms of international prestige and publicity for Goa. Most of the expenses are to be borne by the Central Government and a standard joke making the rounds in Goa is: “Don’t let this opportunity slip, Indira Gandhi will not deny us anything just now.”Speedy Improvement: So whether it is replacing a dilapidated milk booth, widening, a road or putting more street lights, hundreds of requests are pouring in in the name of beautification. Contracts and sub-contracts have been handed out liberally. The only stipulation seems to be that the work has to be in a locality which is close to the visitors’ itinerary. Just how CHOGM has hastened up things is illustrated by the completion this year of the 800 m Zuari bridge on the airport road: work on the bridge had been hanging fire since 1973.Of the expenses, Rs 8 crore to Rs 9 crore is to be borne by the Goa Government but Chief Minister Pratap Singh Rane is quick to point out that these are costs for such projects as road widening, jetty, building and street lighting which would have been taken up in due course. “It is just a case of accelerating the development process,” says he. Similarly, Sushil Prakash, Goa’s divisional engineer, telecommunications, points out that the Rs 21 crore being spent on increasing the capacity of the local exchanges is a long-term investment. But some of the other telecommunications inputs will have no further use for the Goans once the beach party is over.Even the exclusive Taj beach resort at Fort Aguada, where the CHOGM delegates are being put up, does not want to later rent the 400-line PABX exchange which is being imported for CHOGM. Entirely computer-controlled, it will offer temporarily – direct dialling to 60 countries.in addition to 20 hot lines abroad. The cost of the exchange is Rs 23 lakh, the laying of the UHF link Rs 25 lakh, the cost of the temporary air-conditioned structure which has to be put up to house the equipment Rs 10 lakh. Strong Links: To ensure that there is no communications breakdown strong supporting communigation links are being established with key departments. Hot lines from the air terminal at Dabolim to various state government control rooms, defence headquarters in Delhi and Bombay, the police and the press will cost an additional Rs 1.8 crore.advertisementRepainting an idol of St Francis Xavier: sprucing upIronically, although Goa will offer direct dialling to 60 countries, phone communications are in a mess. A new exchange was installed in April this year in Panaji but no air-conditioning was provided for the equipment. Underground cables which were newly laid were badly damaged with all the digging activity taken up by various agencies, a malady which also affected Delhi during the preparations for the Asiad.Says Prakash: “Earlier no one used to bother to inform before digging; now there is much better coordination between the municipality, the Public Works Department, and the electricity and telephone departments.” The Navhind Times daily, in fact, commented waspishly on the state of Goa’s telephones, saying that while it might now be possible to get London direct, it was no longer possible to dial from one number in Panaji to another, let alone Panaji to Vasco.The 40-Acre Fort Aguada atop the Sinquerim Hill to the Calangute beach is considered an ideal locale for private and informal discussions between leaders. 7-ft high wall is being erected around the premises to keep away both press and intruders. Fort Aguada was personally selected last November by the prime minister over such competition as Chandigarh, a helicopter to inspect the premises accompanied by the hotel group’s Managing Director Ajit Kerkar.The main hotel complex, a Portuguesestyle mansion done up in red laterite stone is each get a suite which includes a bedroom and a sitting-room. In the Aguada’s exotic tropical garden 20 new cottages are being built-the Aguada Hermitage. The suites for the VIPs are being furnished with antique Goan carved furniture of rosewood and sisam. Each suite has a separate colour scheme. Wooden rafters on the roof and terracotta pots will all add to the local touch. Strategically located on top of the hill are three cottages which stand out because of their commanding position.advertisementRepresentatives of various high commissions in Delhi, who have come down to Goa to look up the arrangements, invariably ask who is to be located where, to which the hotel’s standard diplomatic reply is that the Ministry of External Affairs will decide decide. After CHOOM the hotel plans to rent the cottages for Rs 2,000 a night. While the main guests, their wives and their aides will be housed at Fort Aguada, the CHOGM secretariat staff will be housed next door at the Taj Holiday Village in a slightly less opulent environment.Leisure Pursuits: With the shortage of time it is doubtful whether the much-talked of putting green will be completed but apart form golf almost every other game will be available, including water-skiing, windsurfing, para-sailing, sailing, rowing, fishing, squash and billiards. In honour of CHOGAM, the Taj is building a sports complex for tennis and volleyball and a health club.The hotel is stocking its deep freezes with exotica such as smoked oysters, pink salmon, caviar, T-boned steaks and baby corns, its cellars with fine imported wines, though the Ministery of External Affairs has drawn the lind at the import of vintage-year wines as an unnecessary extravagance.The only major excursion planned for the head of state is a river cruise to old Goa, the site of the former capital where some of the most renowed churches and convents of Goa are situated. Workers are busy with brushes giving a spring cleaning to the church of St Francis of Assisi across the road. A new floor to the museum building is being added. An embarrassing problem fro the Government is what to do with the statue of the 16th century Portuguese soldier-poet Luis De Camoes, which the Portuguese erected a year before their exit form Goa in December 1961 and placed prominently right in the centre of the main square of old Goa. A major controversy in Goa is whether is statue should remain.A newly-built VIP suite at the Aguada Hermitage: fit for kingsMeanwhile, the lighting and widening of Goa’s dangerously narrow streets is a major priority. Says Shaikh Hassan, minister for power, revenue and energy: “Goa will be lit up like a Christmas tree for our visitors.” Bright sodium and high-pressure mercury lamps are being installed all along the road from Panaji to Fort Aguada, the main promenades of Panaji and the causeway from Panaji to Raibander along the Mandovi river. The churches of old Goa and the national monuments are being floodlit as well as the ramparts of Fort Aguada which presently houses Goa’s jail. The cost of the new lighting arrangements is estimated at Rs 1.70 crore.The VIP visitors arrive at Dabolim Airport on November 25 and the present naval airfield is in for extensive renovation. The shabby shed which acts as the terminus is to be replaced with a Rs 2-crore two-storey building in Jaisalmer and Kota stone with typical Gaon wooden rafters for the roofs and air-conditioning. There are to be three large VIP lounges and Air-India Mulekar, Goa’s acrodrome officer: “Air-India will be taking away their fancy furniture afterwards. We cannot afford to keep it thereafter.”Extensive Arrangements: The Instrument Landing System and Visual Approach Slope Indicator are other new installations. Sex helipads at Rs 2 lakh each are being built so that the visitors can be airlifted to Fort Aguada lighthouse where helepads are also being constructed.A stand-by arrangement is to go by boat from the Goa Shipyard jetty to Fort Aguada or by road. Jetties are being constructed at old Goa and Aguada and a luxury launch (cost Rs 25 lakh) is being added to the existing fleet of two.One point which is irking the Goans is the way all decisions are being worked out in Delhi and by officials who keep flying in and out. A common refrain is that the chief minister and ministers hardly know what is happening and are merely told what to do.advertisementMost of the visiting technicians and engineers are outsiders, not because Goans have not taken up these professions but because those who do have preffered to leave Goa and earn a living by taking up lucrative jobs in Bombay and the Middle East. But the engineers and technicians are just a small advance party. As CHOGM draws near thousands of bureaucrats, policemen and soldiers will descend on Goa to make sure it’s a carnival fit for a queen.DISPUTES: TIGHT SQUEEZEMrs Lobo with her daughter, DominiqueThe spectacle of two elderly widows battling the combined might of the Government and a powerful hotel chain would evoke sympathy at any time. But the resistance put up by Josephine Lobo, 73, and Priciosa Menezes, 75, against the take-over of their coconut groves located strategically between the two Taj Hotel complexes in Goa – the Fort Aguada Beach Resort and the neighbouring Taj Holiday Village -has developed into one of the uglier side-shows of the CHOGM preparations.The widows are convinced that CHOGM is merely a pretext for the Indian Hotels Company Limited, better known as the Taj Hotel group, to swallow up their land holdings. Says Dominique Lobo, Josephine’s daughter: “Since 1976 the Taj had been pressing my late father to sell. But we don’t want to sell. This land was given to my Mummy by my granny as her dowry. My Mummy spent three years levelling the ground with her bare hands. She planted each coconut tree and they are like her children.”Dominique’s father, who worked as an accountant in the post office at Aden, regularly sent home his salary for developing the land. Priciosa Menezes is equally adamant: “I will not sell the land as long as I live. After my death my children can do whatever they want.”Crucial Letter: For its part, the Taj Hotel group protests that the land is being acquired by the Government for CHOGM and it does not come into the picture. This, however, might have been more convincing if it had not been for a letter written to Priciosa Menezes in 1976 by the then manager of the Taj, I. A. Menezes.In his letter Menezes stated that his company needed the land to expand the Beach Resort Hotel and was offering a price of Rs 10 per sq m (the present unofficial price is said to be Rs 200). The last paragraph is significant: “Looking forward for an early reply to save us from resorting to acquisition of the land under the Land Acquisition Act and thanking you in anticipation.”The widows first received land acquisition notices in March this year calling for the take-over of their entire holdings measuring 21,000 sq m, including Priciosa Menezes’s cottage. In tears they went to the Candolim village sarpanch Mazinho Cardozo for help. Cardozo who took up the matter on their behalf began asking some embarrassing questions about why the land was being acquired.Mrs Menezes: determined struggleAt the time the authorities said that it was wanted for a sports complex for volleyball, table tennis and cards but Cardozo pointed out that the Taj had enough land to build three sports complexes. And while Chief Minister P. S. Rane first insisted that nothing could be done, he later reduced the area to be acquired to 6,600 sq m after a blaze of adverse publicity.Purpose Unclear: Even now nobody is quite clear what the land will be used for. Some officials hint that it is wanted for security reasons. Rane believes that the External Affairs Ministry is keen on developing a putting-green, though he does not explain how an uneven, sandy coconut grove can be converted into one, in such a short time. He has also offered to give the land back after CHOGM but refuses to give a written assurance on this saying: “In Goa a gentleman’s word is enough.”Tourism Minister Wilfred D’Souza, however is under the impression that his ministry is acquiring the land to build cabanas and dressing-rooms. And after Rane’s statement that the land would be returned, D’Souza says that his ministry will not start construction.Meanwhile, relations between the villagers and the hotel have deteriorated to an all-time low. Both Lobo and Priciosa Menezes complain that Taj employees regularly trespass and dump rainwater and garbage on their plots.The village sarpanch also says that he will not sanction a sports complex unless there is a public approach to the main road. The panchayat has managed to successfully stall another proposal to acquire 4,20,000 sq m of land for a golf course on Sinquerim Hill. Panchayat officials also feel that the Taj’s house tax is too low at Rs 10.000.Lobo and Menezes are also waging a legal battle against the acquisition. With the help of opposition leaders they have hired a lawyer and filed a petition claiming that the land was not wanted for public purpose. So far they have not met with much success.The plea was rejected by the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court. Now they plan to appeal to the Supreme Court, Jagat Verma, director, operations, western region, of the Indian Hotels Company Limited feels: “We are being unnecessarily defamed. The matter is between the Government and the widows. We do not come into the picture.”Adds Asha Rishi, general manager of the Fort Aguada hotel: “In the Government’s master plan the coconut groves land is all classified for hotel use. The UNDP plan also shows this. What was desirable before-under the master plan became critical because of CHOGM.” But for all their protestations there is little doubt the Taj Hotels group has landed itself a fight that it did not bargain for.last_img read more

10 months agoDONE DEAL: Peterborough sign Brighton defender Ben White

first_imgTagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL: Peterborough sign Brighton defender Ben Whiteby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePeterborough United have signed defenders Ben White and Daniel Lafferty on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion and Sheffield United respectively.Both players have joined the League One side until the end of the campaign.White, 21, spent last term on loan with Newport County and has featured for the Seagulls’ Under-21 side in 2018-19.Seagulls boss Chris Hughton said, “This move is one which allows Ben to play regular first-team football at a good level for his development. At this stage of his career it’s important that he continues to gain as much match experience as possible.“He’s someone who we’ve had around the first-team squad for the first half of the campaign, but with competition for places increased with the return of Dan Burn from Wigan, this gives him the chance to go out and play regular football at a level higher than he experienced last season.” last_img read more

GIF: TCU Loses To West Virginia After Fouling Jevon Carter With 1 Second Remaining

first_imgBob Huggins sitting on a stool.SAN DIEGO, CA – MARCH 18: Head coach Bob Huggins of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts as they take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in the first half during the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Viejas Arena on March 18, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)TCU nearly landed a massive win in Morgantown against the No. 18 West Virginia Mountaineers, a game that would have given some legitimacy to TCU’s impressive early season record. Instead, the Horned Frogs will travel back to Fort Worth with a brutal loss. With under a second left in overtime, and his team up 85-84, TCU’s Kyan Anderson fouled West Virginia reserve guard Jevon Carter. Carter hit two clutch free throws to give West Virginia the late go-ahead lead. West Virginia goes to 16-3 with the win. The Mountaineers are definitely a factor in a very tough Big 12 this season.last_img read more

Video: Devin Gardner Responds To Teammate Devin Funchess’ Dunk Video With One Of His Own

first_imgView of a Michigan Wolverines football helmet before their game against the Utah Utes.SALT LAKE CITY, UT – SEPTEMBER 3: View of a Michigan Wolverines football helmet before their game against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)Apparently wide receiver Devin Funchess is not the only recent Michigan football player who can throw down. After seeing Funchess’ impressive dunk on Instagram on Sunday, quarterback Devin Gardner decided to make one of his own.Gardner’s dunks are definitely impressive, especially for someone who focuses on another sport, but we’ll have to award this impromptu Wolverine dunk contest to Funchess. That vertical leaping ability is sure to impress NFL scouts in the coming weeks during the combine and other draft preparation events.last_img read more