Wanyama’s screamer against Liverpool wins EPL Goal of the Month

first_img🗣️ “One of the best goals I’ve ever scored!” @VictorWanyama discusses his award-winning strike 🔥#COYS pic.twitter.com/STKT7MwJBO— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 9, 2018The Harambee Stars captain said he was thrilled with the award especially coming after his team-mates had jokingly told him not to shoot following many off target attempts.Harry Kane then missed a penalty for Spurs before Mohamed Salah sensationally put Liverpool in front in injury time with an exquisite solo effort.That looked the end of the drama, but Spurs won a second penalty with their final attack when Virgil van Dijk fouled Erik Lamela in the box, which Kane put away.⚽ @VictorWanyama‘s rocket against Liverpool has been voted February’s @premierleague Goal of the Month! 🚀#COYS pic.twitter.com/pXPYEuDj2p— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 9, 2018Up against some tough competition, including Eden Hazard’s brilliant effort against Watford and Mario Lemina’s thunderbolt against West Brom at The Hawthorns, Wanyama, the Harambee Stars skipper emerged victorious.Wanyama, whose effort will be a strong contender for goal of the season as well, admits the strike was one of the best he has ever scored and says the decision to shoot from a speculative distance was purely instinctive.Liverpool’s Sadio Mane in action with Tottenham’s Victor Wanyama.PHOTO/Reuters“That was one of the best goals I’ve ever scored,’ he said. ‘I just reacted before the Liverpool players.“I thought I’d just let it go because the ball was bouncing and I didn’t want to think too much. And I just let it fly.”Very Happy to have won the February’s @premierleague goal of the month 🚀 #COYS 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/kByQgesXNO— Victor Wanyama (@VictorWanyama) March 9, 20180Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Up against some tough competition, including Eden Hazard’s brilliant effort against Watford and Mario Lemina’s thunderbolt against West Brom at The Hawthorns, Wanyama emerged victorious. Photo/CourtesyLONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 8 – Victor Wanyama has won the Premier League Goal of the Month for February for his thunderbolt  against Liverpool.Substitute Wanyama triggered a breathtaking end to Tottenham’s fixture with Liverpool, firing home a jaw-dropping half-volley into the top corner to draw the game level at 1-1.last_img read more


first_imgMICHAEL MURPHY has won the Ulster GAA Writers’ Association player of the month for June.Murphy produced a sensational display against Armagh in Donegal’s emphatic win in the Ulster SFC quarter-final clash at the Athletic Grounds.He followed that up with another excellent performance against Derry in a close battle in Clones a fortnight ago that edged Donegal into their FIFTH Ulster final in-a-row. Murphy has now received FIVE monthly merit awards from the Ulster GAA Writers’ Association in his career and is now just one off legendary Tyrone figure Peter Canavan who has SIX.It’s the perfect boost for Murphy ahead of Donegal’s Ulster SFC final clash with Monaghan in Clones next weekend.Murphy could yet win another award in the next few days, as he is one of THREE nominees for the GPA player of the month for June.For now Murphy will be focusing solely on lifting his FOURTH Ulster title as Donegal captain on Sunday week. MICHAEL MURPHY WINS ULSTER PLAYER OF THE MONTH AWARD was last modified: July 9th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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) Tags:Home-page Sportnewslast_img read more

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

Can Humans Scientifically Analyze One Another?

first_imgImagine an alien landing on Earth and trying to figure out two groups of people.  One group wields spears and arrows and decides that those who interfere with their traditions are enemies to be killed.  Another lives in penthouses and universities and explains the behavior of the other group as evolved tendencies from their animal past.  Would the alien necessarily agree that the latter group was more honorable?  The following two stories may enlighten the question.    Anthropologist Meredith Small wrote in Live Science about hunter-gatherer tribes in New Guinea and South America.  She seemed to echo the evolutionary view of researchers who denied that the warrior culture granted reproductive success: “Waorani warriors did worse in terms of reproductive success and their killing was for naught, in evolutionary terms,” they found.  Small noted that revenge seems to work and fail: “In one group, the Yanomamo, the killings resulted in times of peace and love and more babies, and in the other, the Waorani, endless revenge was leading to the end.  That gave her a morality lesson to end on.  Since evolution has produced tribal cultures that are successful within their own realms, who are white people to judge?  “Maybe people should be left on their own to live or die, to kill or be killed, left to live under their own rules and moral structures, regardless of how we judge them.”    Sometimes evolutionizing one’s fellow sentient earthlings can backfire.  Michael Balter reported in Science that popular evolutionary science author Jared Diamond is finding that out.1  Diamond recorded conversations with New Guinea tribespeople and wrote a piece for New Yorker magazine that explained their vengeance culture in evolutionary terms, “to draw an overall lesson about the human need for vengeance.”  Apparently, his subjects took offense at that characterization.  Some of them are not so primitive as he portrayed them; some have good-paying jobs and internet access.  Diamond found himself slapped with a lawsuit by a couple of these New Guinea tribesmen (see Balter’s Blog for a summary).  They are asking $10 million in damages.  In addition, Diamond has been investigated by Rhonda Roland Shearer, an artist and the widow of evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, whose website StinkyJournalism.org criticizes Diamond for bad anthropology and bad journalism.1.  Michael Balter, “Science and the Media: ‘Vengeance’ Bites Back at Jared Diamond,” Science, 15 May 2009: Vol. 324. no. 5929, pp. 872-874, DOI: 10.1126/science.324_872.It’s not “Coming of Age in Samoa” anymore.  Anthropologists can no longer evolutionize their fellow human beings with impunity.  The internet has changed things.  Evolutionists are now accountable to the people they label as primitive, less-evolved members of the human race.    In an evolutionary context, like Small writes, who is to say one culture is better than another?  Why not live and let die?  If she really believes that, she has no grounds to fight terrorism.  Notice that it’s Christian missionaries who bring medicine, healing, and peace to these people.  They believe that we are all of one blood, corrupted by sin, and in need of a Savior.  Choose which analysis you think produces good fruit.    It would be a shame if Jared Diamond loses his freedom to write candidly.  He has provided three of the best examples of evolutionary propaganda in our Baloney Detector.  Search on his name there and enjoy.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

New facility for aircraft engines

first_img29 November 2004Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin opened Turbomeca Africa’s new manufacturing and maintenance facility adjacent to Johannesburg International Airoport on Friday.The new facility will manufacture gearboxes and civil and military helicopter engines.Turbomeca Africa is a joint venture formed two years ago by South African arms manufacturer Denel and French group Turbomeca, a subsidiary of Snecma.The company manufacturers engines for both domestic firms and international companies such as Rolls-Royce and General Electric, and gives support to repairs and overhauls of civil and military helicopter engines in sub-Saharan Africa.Denel owns 49% of Turbomeca Africa, while the French group owns the remaining 51%.Turbomeca Group chairman Emeric d’Arcimoles said it was a vote of confidence that Turbomeca France was transferring its workload to Turbomeca Africa.He said that engines from the French and British ministries of defence would be overhauled in South Africa from 2005, and that engines for Swedish and Malaysian military aircraft would also be exported by Turbomeca Africa.“We are in the process of re-employing additional competency at the right place to support the growing 2005 demand from Snecma Group, international markets for manufacturing, repair and overhaul, and from the South African Air Force”, d’Arcimoles said.Erwin said the establishment of the new facility was in line with the government’s plan to expand South Africa’s aerospace capabilities and gain entry into the global environment.The venture was also part of the government’s initiative to restructure state-owned enterprises and strengthen their global competitiveness by allying them with foreign partners.“Its an important area for us … to begin to invest in new technology so that we develop our capacity to export”, Erwin said. “We are confident that once we form partnerships with foreign companies, we will attract more foreign partners.”Denel CEO Victor Moche said the new facility would be geared to become a “centre of excellence for engine manufacturing … We want to achieve a standard and be at a stage where the world knows that certain engines are made only in South Africa”.According to Business Day, Denel was recently awarded a US$2-million contract by European military aircraft manufacturer BAE Systems to supply aircraft components for the production of Hawk jets for India’s airforce.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast – August 7th, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A front is moving over the state today and tomorrow, and will spread good rain to most of us. and will bring more rain to the region. Rain and thunderstorm action nosed into NW Ohio late yesterday afternoon and evening, but we really saw rains ramp up overnight last night. We expect more through the day today and tomorrow, and we cant rule out thunderstorms. We will keep general rain totals at half to 1.5” over 90% of the state but will grant that some areas have a decent chance to exceed that. Today’s action takes on more of a scattered shower characteristic through the day, but there is a threat of thunderstorm action again this afternoon and evening. The progression of this storm back the past few days has been one of thunderstorms both ahead of and behind the front, so we expect that to continue here. Scattered showers and thunderstorms remain over Ohio through tomorrow as well , before falling apart tomorrow evening.  We are dry for Thursday and Friday morning as sunshine takes control. However, clouds are bay by late morning on Friday. We have a front that will slowly sag into northern Ohio Friday midday, coming out of southern Ontario and SE Michigan. The moisture stays mostly north of I-70 through Friday, but will be statewide in Ohio for Saturday. Moisture still does not look overly impressive with the front, and we are going to keep our thinking at a few hundredths to a few tenths. Coverage will be around 50% of the state.  Another wave arrives for Sunday, particularly in the afternoon, and continues through Monday. This system does look stronger this morning and has the potential for half to 1 inch of rain now in our forecast. This will boost our 10 day totals to well over 2 inches in many places. Coverage still looks good at 80% of the state or better. We move back to dry weather to finish the 10-day period next Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday, although some models are trying to bring in some scattered showers for late Wednesday. The map at right is a total of rain potential through the entire 10-day period The extended period is still rather unsettled. We continue to see models wide apart on a solution. WE are keeping a front moving across the state for next Friday, the 17th. This will trigger some .25”-1” rains over about 70% of the state. But, we are keeping our forecast drier behind that system, all the way into the 20th. The model that is the wettest, also is keeping the biggest rains south of I-70, and to do that we would be parking a high right on top of the great lakes. That seems a bit suspect at this point, given the large upper level ridge that will be building through the next 10 days in the plains. So, we are telling mother nature this morning to prove otherwise, and we are staying with a dry trend for a large part of the extended period.  Temperatures will be near normal for the balance of the 10-day period and may start to drift higher during the last part of our 11-16 day forecast window.last_img read more

Google Toolbar Explains Toolbar as Identity Tool, Not “Google +1”

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Last week, a new toolbar began appearing on Google for user and some took it as evidence of the ever-elusive “Google +1” or “Google Me” social network. Today, Google explained the appearance of this part of the bar as a simple method for users to keep track of what identity they’re using as they browse online and use Google services.In a blog post entitled “The freedom to be who you want to be…” the company explains that the toolbar help ensure users “know exactly what mode they’re in when using Google’s services.”According to Alma Whitten, director of privacy at Google, there are three basic forms of identity a user can assume when using Google’s services and they should be aware of which one they are assuming at any given time.We’ve been thinking about the different ways people choose to identify themselves (or not) when they’re using Google–in particular how identification can be helpful or even necessary for certain services, while optional or unnecessary for others. Attribution can be very important, but pseudonyms and anonymity are also an established part of many cultures — for good reason.When it comes to Google services, we support three types of use: unidentified, pseudonymous and identified. And each mode has its own particular user benefits.Whitten explains that unidentified is not fully anonymous, but rather tracked by IP. Nonetheless, Google doesn’t “link that information to an individual account when you are logged out.” Pseudonymous allows users a consistent identity, but “one that is not linked to their offline self.” Identified is just that. It’s for times when “you want to share information with people and have them know who you really are.”“Equally as important as giving users the freedom to be who they want to be is ensuring they know exactly what mode they’re in when using Google’s services,” writes Whitten. “So recently we updated the top navigation bar on many of our Google services to make this even clearer. In the upper right hand corner of these Google pages, you will see an indicator of which account, if any, you are signed into. “Could this be a step in the direction of the so-called “Google +1”? If, by that, we mean a social layer in Google, then certainly identity has something to do with a “social layer.” Beyond that, it seems like a responsible move by the Big G to make sure users realize how the actions they’re taking could be connected to their Google identity. Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market mike melansoncenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Google#Identity#news#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Kings shoot for 3-0 cushion

first_imgBSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “We still have a lot of work to do. We won two straight games and it only shows that they (Bolts) can also win two straight and tie this thing up,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said.“They still have a lot of punches to throw at us,” Cone said. “I think that extra [rest] day is valuable for the teams. They (Bolts) got the chance to refresh and come out and play a lot better and a lot harder.”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 shutoutMeralco actually played a lot better and as hard as it could in Game 2, leading by six going into the final six minutes before sputtering with just a free throw to show the rest of the way.Coach Norman Black has been pleased with the effort, but falling 0-2 behind against such a formidable opponent certainly puts them in a very uncomfortable place as the Bolts face a one-miss-you-die situation from hereon. Read Next MOST READ 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 Only six of 36 teams that have fallen 0-2 behind in a title series have won the crown.“Most of the teams down 0-2 have not won the championship,” Black admitted after an 86-76 loss Sunday night. “But we saw a team 0-3 down to win the championship. Until they (Gin Kings) win that fourth game, we will go out there fighting.”The key for Ginebra thus far in the series is being able to hold down Allen Durham from dominating, with LA Tenorio playing brilliantly in holding the Kings together offensively and coming up with big shots of his own.ADVERTISEMENT View comments LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentcenter_img Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netA Barangay Ginebra side that has momentum in the PBA Governors’ Cup title series tries to more or less put Meralco away when Game 3 gets off the ground Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.After winning the first two games in contrasting styles, the Gin Kings take the floor at 7 p.m. looking to sound the death knell on the hard-fighting Bolts and move closer to becoming just the fourth team to retain the season-ending championship.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES Meralco tries to ward off a blackoutlast_img read more

Madrid thrashes APOEL 6-0 to make Champions League last 16

first_imgRead Next Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Ronaldo has been struggling in the Spanish league with only one goal in 12 rounds, but he already has eight in the Champions League and is the competition’s leading scorer.The Spanish powerhouse is trying to become the first team since Bayern Munich in 1976 to win threeconsecutive European titles. Ajax did it in 1971-73, and Madrid won four in a row from 1956-60.APOEL hasn’t won a group stage match in the Champions League since 2012.“Today we’ve made so many mistakes that we haven’t made before,” APOEL coach Giorgos Donis said. “In the last game we’ll try to avoid those mistakes.” MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Grand Slams planning to cut seeds from 32 back to 16 in 2019 Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, center, celebrates after scoring the fifth goal of his team during the Champions League Group H soccer match between APOEL Nicosia and Real Madrid at GSP stadium, in Nicosia, on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)NICOSIA, Cyprus— With Karim Benzema finding its scoring touch and Cristiano Ronaldo adding to his tally, Real Madrid again made it to the knockout stages of the Champions League.Benzema scored twice in the first half and Ronaldo netted twice in the second as Madrid thrashed Cypriot team APOEL 6-0 to guarantee a spot in the last 16 on Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games00:40Trending Articles01:42Police: California school shooting took 16 seconds01:37Protesters 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’ boss LATEST STORIES Luka Modric and Nacho Fernandez also scored for the defending champions, who have made it past the group stage for 22 straight seasons.The result eliminated Borussia Dortmund, which lost to Tottenham 2-1 in Germany in the other Group H match.Tottenham heads into the final round leading Madrid by three points and has already secured first place. Dortmund and APOEL have no chance of advancing.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 shutoutMadrid also finished second in its group last season, to Dortmund, marking the first time the Spanish club has failed to advance in first place since the 2012-13 season.Tottenham hosts APOEL on Dec. 6, while Madrid hosts Dortmund. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa “We came here to qualify and we did it,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “It was a good night. We aresatisfied.”Madrid won only one of its last four matches in all competitions, but it found easy pickings in Nicosia to earn its biggest ever away win in the Champions league.Modric opened the scoring with a long-range shot midway through the first half and Benzema and Fernandez added their goals seven minutes apart just before halftime.Benzema hadn’t scored in six matches in all competitions.“Forwards aren’t always about scoring,” Benzema said. “If I can help my teammates with passes and movement, I will do (it). Today I was lucky enough to score two goals and do something good for my side.”ADVERTISEMENT Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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