Designs on the past

first_imgEven before I actually saw the Park’s LEED Gold certified ‘7-star contemporary space’ in Hyderabad, I was overwhelmed. Names of designers were flying out of everywhere: Tarun Tahilliani, Rohit Bal, Subodh Gupta & Bharti Kher, Jean Francois Lesage, Rajiv Saini, Manish Arora and more. Radical rooms, stunning pool, edgy design, I had heard so many things about this space that I wondered if it will be the case of too much hype.Stunning spacesNot so, it turns out. I stared unbelievingly at what looked, from one angle, like floors of metal just thrown on top of each other in a casual fashion. Glass acted as gems on this metal necklace that expanded into the sky in front of me–an arresting, even overwhelming, sight. The fact that it is surrounded by fairly innocuous buildings and comes suddenly into view adds to the drama of the facade of The Park Hyderabad.Inside, design continues to dominate. The elevators are kept dark, almost blindingly so, to enhance the experience when you step in to the hotel lobby. What you see is an airy, open space, with a glass wall separating the lobby and Aqua, the poolside bar. Each chandelier in the lobby is a piece of art, each corridor demands attention. There are some five types of stylised chairs. It’s too much to take in at once.The pool is one of the centrepieces of the hotel, being an infinity edge pool, and it seems to be falling right into the Hussain Sagar, spread in front of the hotel. The pool’s going to take on a more dramatic role once the nightclub right below opens, and clubbers can see people swimming above. In case you are wondering, like me, why people will be swimming in the night–the hotel will hire swimmers especially for the effect! Unfortunately it is not yet ready for me to see, as a lot of other things. The Oriental restaurant, for one, which promises to be worth a visit.Corridors of glass lead me to another set of elevators that are surprisingly creaky for such a sleek hotel, and I go up my room to witness yet another example of smart design. I draw back the curtain and see the lake spread in front. A railway station adds quaintness to my picture window and I sink into my plush bed happily. The way the room is designed it seems, rather oddly, that the wardrobe is inside the bathroom. The best part, however, is the view from the room. That, and a new local sweet I am offered each day, instead of the regular chocolate.Sip and biteI step outside my room to take a walk around and find myself engulfed in perfumes of different sorts at each floor, each lobby area. Not being tolerant of strong perfume I find this is a nuisance, but clearly it is someone’s effort to make the hotel a complete sensory experience. As it happens, I end up with a headache, complaining about perfume to all and sundry and on my next venture out I find these to be, mercifully, subdued.I head to Aish, the Andhra food restaurant designed by Tarun Tahilliani. As you would expect, the restaurant’s decor is ethnic chic but it is no different from so many of such spaces we see nowadays. I am disappointed by the design, which is good without being dramatic. The food, however, is the whole point of visiting Aish, and I enjoy a four course meal of Hyderabadi dishes, including popular delicacies such as Kachche Gosht Ki Biryani and Double Ka Meetha. There is a lot to choose from and everything I tasted was delicious. There is an interestingly designed (of course) wine menu but unfortunately none of the wines I wanted to try was available by the glass. I much preferred the design of the all-day dining area Verandah, which has cheerful jaali work that lends the decor an openness without compromising on the designer factor. This and Sicca Bar next door, both done by Conran & Partners, are the two winners in terms of design for me. I eat the world’s best pancakes, light like air, at the Sunday brunch and prefer to eat my meals at Verandah rather than the swish Aish. Rest and UnwindThe Aura Spa is not ready but if the massage (in a room that functions as the spa) I tried is anything to go by, this one’s going to be a beauty. Crystal Therapy is your god old hot stone massage with polished gemstones, which is supposed to balance the chakras but only if you do several of them in a row. I was happy with round one though, the therapist was clearly an expert and it was as good a massage as anyone would expect. When Aura opens, the whole experience should get only better with all the spa frills thrown in. One person who deserves mention is Dr Harish, the spa manager, a sort of manager-at-large at the hotel. He took care of everything from my perfume complains, to my queries on food, decor, hotel and anything else. It’s people like him who make your stay at a hotel personalised and memorable. Dr Harish insisted that I try an ‘in room bath’; the khus khus and henna bath I opted for turned out to be well worth it–I could literally feel my tired muscles relax and it sent me into the sweetest sleep I have had in some time. It’s another matter that it was also time to head home and I almost missed the flight thanks to that!The Park Hyderabad; tel: (040) 2345 6789; www.theparkhotels.com ReviewThe Gateway Kozhikode”A few curry leaves. Two green chillies. A generous helping of that masala you have in your hands now and the most delicious chicken curry in the world is ready.” I smile at the speaker, an earnest store manager who has taken time off from his busy schedule to help me buy spices and condiments I can take back home from Kozhikode, erstwhile Calicut. Such is the hospitality I have been enjoying since my arrival at The Gateway Hotel–attention that goes beyond the premises of the hotel. I thank him profusely as I walk away triumphantly with a bag full of whole spices (fragrant cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, mace and all the works), prawn pickles, podis and poppadoms. Back in the comfort of my spacious, carpet-free (thank heavens for that!) Logan Suite I revel in the purchases before turning my attention to the deafening sound of the rain beating down on this colourful port, where Vasco da Gama dropped anchor in the 15th century. Rain plays spoilsport through my two-night stay at The Gateway Hotel, located a few minutes from the beach. I stick to my room mostly, except for two daily appointments at the spa. A team of doctors sweet-talk me into attending yoga sessions in the mornings. They also reward me for my newfound self-discipline with some ayurvedic treatments. At The Gateway Hotel in Kozhikode, ayurveda is more than just a relaxing oil massage. The Malayali-accented English my elderly massuese speaks in, is as gentle as the headbath she gives me after each session. When I emerge a new, invigorated self from the spa, there is some amazing food to tuck into. I am lucky to be offered samplers from a traditional sadya meal from an engagement ceremony the hotel is hosting. Or else there is some soul-satisfying Malabari Biryani, parottas and khorma or the healthy ayurvedic apple souffle from the special menu.The Gateway Hotel Beach Road, Kozhikode; tel: (0495) 276 5354; www.thegatewayhotels.com-Aditi SenguptaCourtyard by MarriottMumbai International AirportFour-star hotels have a tough task in India. The moment you pay upwards of Rs. 6,000 a night room rate, you expect discreet service, multiple dining options, spa, internet, aesthetic decor, the works. But then what separates four from a five-star? Courtyard is a brand known worldwide for smart and basic hotels, for the fleeting visit of a business traveller, but here in India, the smart is smarter and the basic is not so basic after all. So when Courtyard by Marriott launched in Mumbai recently, I would say they would have faced an identity crisis. Keeping that challenge in mind, I think this business hotel by the Marriott group has achieved the right balance. It provides ‘basic’ levels of luxury and comfort to the traveller pampered by Indian hospitality and makes for a simple stay option without being totally no-frills. How does the Courtyard achieves this? It has discreet service that almost matches the level of a five-star, but instead of multiple food option it has only two. World cuisine is available at MoMo cafÅ (which does not serve momos, though you’d be forgiven for assuming so) and Oriental, that cuisine we Indians cannot live without, at Red Zen. Both restaurants score on dÅcor: the cafe is airy and bright while Red Zen is more intimate with enclosed areas for additional privacy. The food is not of gourmet levels but try various streetfood delicacies from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia at Red Zen and you will come away satisfied.For the business traveller and corporate events, there are seven meeting rooms of all shapes and sizes, many of them occupied and busy when I visited, even though the hotel is so new. Of course, these are all fully equipped for meetings or events; and for exclusive meetings there is a lounge on the top floor that can be accessed if you stay at the higher category suites. There is no spa or salon, but plans are afoot to add this luxury that has become as common as the bathroom at every hotel these days. The rooms are not short of five-star standard–my Junior Suite was lovely and spacious, more like a studio and much larger than you’d expect of a business hotel. There are small intangibles that remind you that this is not a five-star hotel: there is no DVD list, the lifts don’t have a sensor, the check-in is not as quick as you’d want, but the effort that Courtyard has made to fit into the Indian scene is commendable. You pay slightly high four-star prices and you get what I can only call four-and-a-half star service. Good enough, I’d say.Tel: (022) 6136 9999; www.marriott.com/courtyard-Kalyani prasherSheraton UdaipurPassing through the massive triple arch that marks the main entrance of the Udaipur Sheraton Palace Resort and Spa, I enter a marble chessboard terrace. Rather simply named, Aangan, it’s a great spot to sip champagne as you observe the changing moods and colours of the lake at sunset. The 240-room resort, a fairytale white, sits right by the Fateh Sagar Lake. The plush deluxe suite we check into, one of seven, is spacious and contemporary with Rajasthani accents. Large windows offer lovely views of the terrace, landscaped gardens and the pool. Feeling a bit peckish, we order a classic Margherita pizza, which is delicious. Dinner is at Rudra. This Jain restaurant interestingly marries vegetarian food to local cuisine with a few surprises thrown in. We drool over the Achari Ker Sangri (the chef’s interpretation of the Rajasthani classic, Ker Sangri).There are plans to transform the smaller dome into a Club Lounge. The young could find nirvana at the poolside watering hole, H2O, which will be revved up with a dance floor.Sheraton Udaipur Palace Resort & Spa; tel: (0294) 305 0000-Vandana malhotraNewsZuri’s new resort in SikkimZuri Hotels & Resorts has opened its seventh property in India at Baiguney in Sikkim. The Retreat by Zuri, is more like an adventure sports destination and it will offer interesting options such as pargliding, river rafting, river camping, mountain camping, jungle hiking, village trekking and so on. The setting of the resort is picturesque. Located in the Himalayan foothills, it has River Rangit flowing alongside. It has a multi-cuisine lounge Papillon Cafe & Lounge, the Citrus Bar and the pool cafe Blue Lagoon. The hotel also has a spa. For more information, visit www.thezurihotels.comFalaknuma palace turns into Taj hotelAfter ten years of extensive renovation, the former residence of Nizam Mehboob Ali Khan of Hyderabad has opened as a Taj hotel. The palace has 60 rooms and suites including a Grand Presidential suite, two restaurants serving Italian and Mediterranean cuisine and Indian cuisine, an outdoor pool and a spa. The Dining Hall here has the world’s largest dining table that can seat 101 people. For more information, visit www.tajhotels.comGinger hotel opens in ChennaiThe Ginger hotel group has opened their first hotel in Tamil Nadu at IITM Research Park, next to IIT Madras campus. This 85-room budget hotel has a self check-in kiosk, meeting room and a gym. The hotel will soon have a food court serving local cuisines. The location of the hotel is perfect for business travellers as it only 10 km away from the airport. For more information, visit www.gingerhotels.comadvertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

PM holds meeting with senior ministers after Cabinet meet

first_imgNew Delhi, May 4 (PTI) Against the backdrop of developments in the Supreme Court on the Uttarakhand issue and the heated debate in Rajya Sabha on the AgustaWestland chopper scam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held a meeting with senior ministers of his Cabinet this evening.Soon after the meeting of the Union Cabinet, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stayed back to have a meeting with the PM.While Singh and Naidu left soon after, Parrikar and Prasad remained closetted with the Prime Minister in the conference room of Parliament Library Building.In fact, Parrikar was talking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting when he was asked to rush back to the Cabinet venue.The Supreme Court this morning accepted the plea of the Centre that two more days be given to it to respond to its suggestion about the feasibility of holding a floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly under its supervision.In the Rajya Sabha, Parrikar targeted the previous UPA government over the controversial AgustaWestland deal, saying the ongoing probe will focus on those named in the Italian Court judgement. PTI NAB PALlast_img read more

Star Sports channel plans comprehensive coverage of Olympics

first_imgMumbai, Jun 16 (PTI) Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe has been roped in as an expert commentator by Star Sports network which has planned an extensive coverage of the upcoming Rio Olympic Games for the Indian viewers. Thorpe, winner of five gold medals in two Olympic Games and clincher of 11 outdoor world titles, will be on the panel along with Indias badminton ace Prakash Padukone, former Commonwealth Games womens shooting champion Anjali Bhagwat, ex-international hockey player Viren Rasquinha and swimmer Rehan Poncha, it was announced at a media conference here today. The channel would show the Games, to be held from from August 5-21, round the clock on eight channels and the commentary will be in English and Hindi. “Star Sports is leaving no stone unturned to provide the most comprehensive access to Indian sports fans. We will provide unprecedented coverage by dedicating eight channels on a 24×7 basis across the entire duration of the event,” said Star Sports CEO Nitin Kukreja. Stars video streaming platform “Hotstar” would also roll out between 14 and 36 live feeds, “free of charge”, according to its CEO Ajit Mohan. PTI SSR RSY ATK ATKlast_img read more

Maloofs Bet $880K on Mayweather to Give Winnings to Charity

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) – Gavin and Joe Maloof are so confident Floyd Mayweather Jr. will beat Conor McGregor that they bet $880,000 on it.And if the Maloof brothers are big winners along with Mayweather on Aug. 26, they are giving the proceeds of their whopping wager to charity.The wealthy entrepreneurs and former Sacramento Kings owners revealed their extraordinary bet to The Associated Press on Sunday, two days after they placed the wager at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The bet is thought to be the biggest yet made on the fight, which is expected to be Vegas’ biggest spectacle in recent years.The Maloofs will make a $160,000 profit if Mayweather — a minus-550 favorite Friday — remains unbeaten against McGregor, the UFC champion making his pro boxing debut.“I know a family that’s going to be watching this fight very, very closely,” Maloof said with a laugh.Gavin Maloof told the AP that the family will donate the proceeds to multiple charities in Las Vegas and in Los Angeles, where sister Adrienne Maloof is active in charity work, in the name of Never Too Hungover, their widely distributed hangover prevention drink.“We have a huge opportunity to help a lot of people in charities, so we decided to do it,” Gavin Maloof said. “It’s a neat way to enjoy the fight, and it’s a fun way to promote our product.”Mayweather and Gavin Maloof are longtime neighbors, living down the street from each other in a tony Las Vegas suburb. Gavin went to a recent workout at Mayweather’s gym and emerged with overwhelming confidence that age hasn’t eroded the 40-year-old unbeaten champion’s skills, even after a two-year layoff.“So I called my brother, Joe, and said, ’We should put a wager on Floyd, because I don’t think he’s going to lose,’” Gavin said. “Not to take anything away from Conor. He’s good. But I just like Floyd a lot.”The Maloofs spoke to the South Point sportsbook and settled on an $880,000 bet — a number that was initially too big to display properly on a betting ticket. The casino rewrote the bet into two $440,000 tickets that will pay out a total of $1.04 million if Mayweather wins.The Maloofs are actually going against the betting trends on this potentially one-sided fight. Roughly 95 percent of the tickets and 85 percent of the money has been bet on McGregor in recent weeks, and Vegas sportsbooks likely are hoping many more bettors will follow the Maloofs’ lead to offset their extraordinary liability in the event of a shocking upset win by McGregor.Gavin has attended Mayweather’s last dozen fights in person and watched everything the champion has ever done, so he feels confident in his bet. Yet he also sees how an upset could happen — which only makes it more exciting.“Floyd is the greatest counterpuncher that probably ever lived,” Maloof said. “I know Conor is a great puncher, and I’m not taking anything away from the UFC. Conor is probably going to be the aggressor. Floyd will wait until he punches. You have a guy switching sports, and that’s not easy, and then you’re taking on the greatest boxer of all time. Now on the reverse side, you have Conor who’s much younger, and maybe that will affect Floyd. It’s a good fight.”The brothers conceived the bet purely for the gambling thrill of it, but quickly realized they could make it even more important. They decided to select several charities to distribute their profits to charity on behalf of Never Too Hungover.The Maloofs sold the Kings to Vivek Ranadive in 2013 for $534 million, an NBA record at the time. The brothers will be near the ring at T-Mobile Arena on Aug. 26 to see whether their big bet pays off.“It should be a great event for everybody,” Gavin Maloof said. “We’ll be able to do a lot of good things.”By GREG BEACHAMTweetPinShare11 Shareslast_img read more

10 months agoHuddersfield set to sign Crystal Palace winger Puncheon

first_imgHuddersfield set to sign Crystal Palace winger Puncheonby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield are set to sign Jason Puncheon from Crystal Palace.The winger will be on loan at David Wanger’s team for the rest of the season.The 32-year-old has not played much at Palace this season.But he has the type of experience that Wagner wants in his team, as Huddersfield look to stay in the top flight.Since Palace are also involved in that fight, it is a surprise they let Puncheon leave to a rival.The winger has not started a Premier League game this season. TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Clashes between prisoners in Brazil jail leave 15 dead

first_imgSao Paulo: Clashes between inmates have killed 15 people at a jail in Amazonas state in northern Brazil, the regional prison authority said. The clashes broke out around 11:00 am (local time) on Sunday during visiting hours at the facility, located some 28 kilometers (17 miles) from state capital Manaus. “It was a fight between the inmates. There had never been deaths during the visits,” Colonel Marcos Vinicius Almeida told a news conference. Some of the inmates were stabbed with sharpened toothbrushes, while others had been strangled, Almeida said, adding that an investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the fight. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’He emphasised that authorities had reacted within minutes to the Sunday violence, preventing a potentially worse result. The same facility was the scene of a prison rebellion that lasted almost 20 hours and left 56 people dead in January 2017. Brazil has the world’s third largest prison population, with 726,712 inmates as of June 2016, according to official statistics. The population is double the capacity of the nation’s prisons, which in the same year was estimated to be 368,049 inmates. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaAlong with severe overcrowding, Brazil’s prisons are plagued by gang violence, while riots and breakout attempts are not uncommon. In September, heavily armed men detonated explosives outside the gate of a prison in northeastern Brazil and then shot their way inside, killing a policeman and releasing 92 inmates, about half of whom were later recaptured. The previous April, a military-style battle erupted between guards and prisoners aided by outside associates, leaving 21 people dead at a prison in Belem, near the Amazon rainforest. read more

Police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing of Sikh man in US

first_imgWashington DC: Police in the US state of California have arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with the fatal stabbing of a 64-year-old Sikh grandfather from India, authorities said on Sunday. Parmjit Singh was attacked in Gretchen Talley Park in Tracy around 9 pm on August 25 while he was on his evening walk. He died from his injuries. Anthony Kreiter-Rhoads of Tracy was arrested Saturday and charged with homicide in the death of Singh. Singh’s death shocked the city of Tracy and and members of the Sikh community. A vigil was held Wednesday evening to remember Singh, who had immigrated to Tracy from India three years ago and was an active member of the Sikh community. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USDetectives from the Tracy Police Department on Friday presented evidence to a Judge of the San Joaquin County Superior Court, seeking an arrest warrant for Kreiter-Rhoads of Tracy for the homicide of Singh, police said in a statement. On Saturday, detectives arrested the suspect based on the warrant and also conducted a search of his residence, seeking additional evidence related to this investigation. There is no new information as to the motive of this crime at this time, but it remains a significant focus of the investigation, the statement said.last_img read more

One killed 11 injured at construction site in Narela

first_imgNew Delhi: A labourer died and 11 were injured at a construction site in Narela on Thursday after a trolley carrying construction material fell on them due to a “mechanical failure”, officials said. The Delhi Development Authority has ordered an inquiry into “safety lapses” at the site. Sandesh, 35, suffered head injuries in the incident and later succumbed at hospital, police said. The incident near Mata Mansa Devi road was reported to police around 9 am, police officials said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”On reaching the spot, it was found that a lift, meant to carry construction material, fell after one of its cables broke,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer-North) Gaurav Sharma said. The DDA in a statement, however, claimed that only seven labourers suffered injuries in the incident, out of which one died. “An accident occurred today around 8:30 am at the construction site of EWS Category-II houses of DDA at Sector A1-A4 at Narela, being executed by Ahluwalia Contracts (India) Ltd. A trolley meant for carrying labourers while preparing for paint jobs, outside of dwelling units, fell down due to some mechanical failure,” the DDA said in the statement. The DDA has directed the contractor to pay suitable compensation under relevant labour laws to the family of the deceased and injured.last_img read more

Kevin Hart Launches New 600000 Scholarship Program with UNCF and KIPP

first_imgFollowing on his generous $100,000 scholarship gift made in 2015 through UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) to four deserving college students, actor and comedian Kevin Hart has joined forces with UNCF and KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) to help 18 more KIPP students earn a college degree.Through a new UNCF scholarship program launched in partnership with Kevin Hart’s Help From The Hart Charity and KIPP Public Schools, the $600,000 scholarship will provide funding to support KIPP students from eight different cities who are attending 11 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).UNCF is the largest provider of college scholarships for students of color in the U.S., awarding more than $100 million in college scholarships annually to deserving students. The 18 Help From The Hart Charity Scholarship recipients have been selected based on their academic and personal accomplishments and may receive substantive renewable awards based on need.“The Help From The Hart Charity Scholarship will not only support students, but will also demonstrate support for HBCUs,” said UNCF CEO and President Michael L. Lomax. “Research shows that HBCUs matter, and that HBCU students are having a positive college experience, but they also have an unmet financial need. Together, Kevin and KIPP have made an investment that will have a significant impact. We can’t thank them enough for their support.”“Education and knowledge are powerful,” said Hart. “I just wanted to do my part in providing opportunities for our future leaders, especially from my Philly hometown, and show support for HBCUs. This is just the beginning; trust me when I tell you there are a lot more kids who want to go to college who don’t have the money to make it happen.”The 18 students receiving college scholarships are high school graduates who attended KIPP public charter schools in eight different communities: the Arkansas Delta, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. A recent survey of KIPP alumni across the country showed that the KIPP graduates who attend HBCUs reported a stronger sense of belonging, better mental health, and were more likely to have a mentor than those attending non-HBCUs.“Nothing brings me greater joy than to see the hard work of these 18 KIPP students recognized by Kevin Hart and UNCF through this generous scholarship program,” said John Fisher, chair of the KIPP Foundation Board of Directors. “Michael Lomax has been a longtime KIPP supporter and friend and a tireless champion for young people. We are incredibly grateful to both UNCF and Kevin Hart for their partnership and support to help our students thrive in college and achieve their dreams.”Hart’s gift to fund this new scholarship program puts him in line with many other renowned celebrities — like Lou Rawls, Ella Fitzgerald, Clifton Davis, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Anthony Anderson, Beyonce, Chris Rock, Usher, Pharrell Williams, Ray Charles, John Lennon, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis who, realizing the value of a quality education, have supported UNCF over the years. “Giving back to build better futures is the name of the game, and we hope that others like Kevin will understand why educational investments are so important, especially now, and step up to help more deserving students,” said Lomax.Lomax also added, “Over the last decade, UNCF has been building a relationship with the KIPP public school network, and we are so excited that KIPP’s board of directors and Chairman John Fisher are behind this outstanding new venture. There are more than 1,300 KIPPsters currently enrolled at HBCUs, and together, we are bringing resources and shining a spotlight on these students who are doing all they can to get a college education. This unique partnership will help UNCF continue to bridge the gap from high school success to college achievement and enables UNCF to help more students get to and through college.”last_img read more

Citing Hurricane Dean UN agency urges strengthening disaster early warning system

“Early warning systems allow populations to evacuate ahead of time and take shelter in emergency and safer buildings,” UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Director Salvano Briceño stressed in a statement. “They give Governments enough time to protect critical infrastructures such as power plants and water tanks which can create further disasters if they are not protected.” In Mexico, thousands of tourists were alerted in advance to evacuate the coastal area of the Yucatan peninsula and hundred of workers were removed from oil rigs in the Gulf to safer places. In Jamaica, electricity was turned off and shelters were organized all over the country ahead of Dean’s approach. Schools and churches were converted into refuge shelters in Haiti. “Communities are much better prepared than during hurricanes Ivan or Wilma which hit the same region [in 2004 and 2005]. People are learning from past experiences and are evacuating in time,” Mr. Briceño said. “The fear of being looted is still a huge trauma that needs to be better addressed in community-based risk reduction programmes organized by local communities.” Early warning systems are available for almost all types of hazards and the ISDR has been pushing for a worldwide contingency network, especially following the deadly 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that was spawned by an undersea earthquake. But warnings are much shorter for quakes and experts are currently working on developing systems based on one or two minutes time before a quake strikes. These two minutes will allow enough time to cut electricity power which often triggers fires. “In the case of earthquakes, what is essential is that construction codes need to be enforced, in which communities need to be involved as well,” Mr. Briceño said. “Awareness-raising at the community level is a top priority of risk reduction strategies.” Earthquakes like this month’s disaster in Peru cannot be prevented but their impact can be reduced by improving the structural resilience of key facilities such as houses, schools and hospitals and educating people on how to protect cities and villages against quake threats. The ISDR recommends that all Governments quickly implement the Hyogo Framework for Action endorsed in Kobe, Japan, by 168 States shortly after the 2004 tsunami, which offers a number of concrete steps to make communities and nations more resilient to any type of disaster, including storms, floods, droughts, heat and cold waves. The Framework is set to be implemented by 2015. 21 August 2007Early warning systems are the most efficient way to save lives in disasters such as Hurricane Dean now rampaging across Mexico and need to be further enhanced at local levels, the United Nations body seeking to mitigate their impact said today. read more

Ebola UN special envoy says combating stigma integral to overall crisis response

“It is really important that we all understand the roots of the stigma and work to address it,” Dr. Nabarro said, briefing to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at UN Headquarters. “We are all in this together.”“I think all of us have a role to try to reduce the stigmatization,” he said.The Special Envoy said that even UN people travelling from affected countries have been stranded in airports for 24 hours and “treated as criminals.”“What I am suggesting is to engage with those who are reacting in extreme ways,” the special envoy said. “Craig Spencer’s discharge was helpful in reducing that fear,” Dr. Nabarro said referring to the first and only person to be diagnosed with Ebola in New York City who was released from hospital yesterday and greeted with a hug by the New York City Mayor.Saying he was pleased to see on Facebook calling for donations, the special envoy said: “We need a second button – a button of solidarity” aimed at reducing stigmatization and discrimination.“Let’s try to use social media to express solidarity and to show we are anti-discrimination,” he said. “We have done it for HIV. We must do this for Ebola.”Dr. Nabarro was briefing NGOs the day before he and Anthony Banbury, the head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), brief the General Assembly on the public health crisis emanating from the Ebola outbreak. Together they will speak to reporters after they brief UN Member States.Also today at UN Headquarters, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, briefed the Security Council on the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), saying that there were no longer signs that security could seriously deteriorate in the country heavily-affected by Ebola. However, he said it would be appropriate to defer consideration of the drawdown of UN troops and police, until the Ebola crisis is over.“As an international community, we must seize the current moment, and see how best we may, collectively, help to transform [it] into one that is positively catalytic for the country,” he said, recalling that, as the Secretary-General noted in his August report, to “reimagine our engagement in Liberia.” Even as the international community scales up its response to the immediate challenge of defeating Ebola, “we must also consider how we may collectively support the rebuilding of Liberia post-Ebola,” said Mr. Ladsous. In his briefing today, Dr. Nabarro said that 2 or 3 million of the world’s population were now “emotionally engaged” in the issue with hundreds of thousands working on the Ebola response.”It’s becoming an issue that is deeply affecting societies, governments and many aspects of global affairs,” he said.Dr. Nabarro emphasized that “when everyone is fully involved, there is a slowing of the outbreak,” saying “that is a real source of inspiration.”And while noting “some signs of progress,” he cautioned that they are “small signs”, and that “there is not enough certainty to say that we know the trajectory toward the end of the outbreak.” He also drew attention to “the need to be working on post-Ebola now.”Meanwhile, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Mali’s Ministry of Health has confirmed the country’s second fatal case of Ebola virus disease. The case occurred in a nurse who worked at a privately-run clinic in the capital city, Bamako.Like Mali’s first case, this second is associated with the outbreak in Guinea, WHO said. Intensive contact tracing is under way in both countries, with support from WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) MSF, and other international partners.According to WHO’s latest statistics, there are more than 13,000 reported Ebola cases in eight countries since the outbreak began, with nearly 5,000 reported deaths.WHO is expected to release updated figures on the state of the outbreak later today. read more

Design for environment concept AClass above for MercedesBenz

Overall energy consumption has been reduced by eight per cent 26 components of the latest model are made from renewable raw materials CO2 emissions over the full lifecycle of the car are nine per cent below that of the outgoing model Emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and volatile hydrocarbons are down 17, six and eight per cent respectivelyImprovements in the manufacturing process, as well as the body, chassis and engine design, have seen overall emissions reduced. Modified petrol engines, for example, now have higher output, but consume up to 10 per cent less fuel. They also comply with Euro IV emission limits, a full two years ahead of the 2006 deadline.In terms of end of life recycling, the new A-Class already meets the target rate of 85 per cent by weight, the Europe-wide requirement from 2006. With further design changes in the future, it is set to meet the recycling target of 95 per cent from 2015.When it comes to preserving resources, Mercedes-Benz uses a range of high quality recycled plastics, and channels materials from end-of-life vehicles and scrapped car parts back into the production of new vehicles. A total of 54 recycled components with a combined weight of 34 kilograms are in the new A-Class. That’s 21 per cent of all the plastic parts used, more than three times that of the outgoing model. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) 21 per cent of all plastic components are produced from recycled plastics – three times higher than for the outgoing A-Class Mercedes-Benz has demonstrated their green design credentials with the new A-Class.The new car has been developed and re-designed around a total environmental concept covering the vehicle’s entire lifecycle, including its manufacture. An analysis of 40,000 individual processes was conducted, all of which were then optimised from an environmental standpoint.Environmental performance has been improved in the following areas: Emissions in the manufacture and use of the new A-Class have fallen 17 per cent, saving around 1,300 litres of petrol per vehicle read more

Everton moves up to 6th in EPL after beating Cardiff 10

LIVERPOOL, England — Everton climbed above Manchester United to sixth place in the Premier League after beating Cardiff 1-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday.The Welsh visitors made life difficult for the Toffees but Marco Silva’s team ultimately deserved the win given to them by Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 59th-minute goal, securing a fourth consecutive home success.Theo Walcott broke into the box on the right and saw his shot saved by Neil Etheridge but the rebound was a tap-in for former Swansea midfielder Sigurdsson.Silva stuck with the side that drew 0-0 with Chelsea two weeks ago, meaning no place for Kurt Zouma, who was ineligible to face his parent club, while Neil Warnock recalled Harry Arter following suspension.___More AP English soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/PremierLeague and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press read more

Ohio State womens volleyball set to open home schedule in DC Koehl

OSU women’s volleyball players get set for a serve during a game against Penn State on Oct. 31, 2014. Credit: Lantern File PhotoSt. John Arena is set to host the Ohio State women’s volleyball team for the first time this season during the 10th Annual Sports Import D.C. Koehl Classic.The 22nd-ranked Buckeyes (2-1) are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday, facing off against Northern Illinois (3-1) at noon and No. 14 Florida State (2-1) at 7 p.m., before playing the Seminoles again on Sunday at 7 p.m. OSU is coming off of a second-place finish at the Rumble in the Rockies tournament in Laramie, Wyoming. The Buckeyes fell to Wyoming in their opening game, but they bounced back to defeat both Butler and South Dakota in three sets.OSU coach Geoff Carlston said he’s happy with the way his team responded to the initial loss and is ready to be at home for the first time this season.“I’m excited for the team, especially our freshmen,” Carlston said. “We played in front of a huge crowd, actually, at Wyoming, but to play in front of a large crowd that’s your home and not at a mile high is going to be much better for us.”Setter Emily Ruetter, a senior transfer from Texas Tech, said she’s excited for her first home match in a Buckeyes uniform and thinks the home crowd will give the team a boost.“It’s so much better playing on your home floor,” Ruetter said. “Based off what I’ve heard, St. John brings in quite an awesome crowd, so it’s going to be even better having all of those people here.”Junior libero Valeria León, who, along with junior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe, was named to the all-tournament squad at the Rumble in the Rockies, is focused on helping her team more moving forward.“I don’t really care about the individual awards, I just try to make my team better,” León said. “So I’m going to keep working on that.”Team adjustmentsAs the team heads into this weekend’s games, OSU has been working on improving its blocking, shot selection and overall consistency on defense, Carlston said.“I think (in) the Wyoming match, we just sort of forgot the things that we can do, and that will happen when you’ve got people in your face,” he said. The Buckeyes had 21 shots blocked by the Cowgirls in their season-opening match.Carlston said the team has to go back to what is worked on in practice for the upcoming matches and improve overall confidence, trust and consistency.Injury reportJunior outside hitter Kylie Randall did not play in any of last weekend’s matches as she works her way back after suffering a season-ending ankle injury last season and an elbow injury that she sustained in the team’s first practices this year.There’s no timetable for Randall’s return to games, but she is practicing and Carlston is pleased with her progress.“She’s back, full-go and she’s looking pretty good, actually, for a kid who’s played six times over the last (year),” he said.The rest of the team is feeling well from a health standpoint, Carlston said.Looking aheadFollowing this weekend’s action in Columbus, OSU is set to head back out on the road for the Blackbird Invitational in Brooklyn, New York, on Sept. 11 and 12. read more

DNA breakthrough brings arrest in one of Britains longest unsolved child killings

Nikki’s mother, Sharon Henderson, 51, said: “It’s been a very emotional time.Credit:ncjMedia Ltd  Nikki’s mother, Sharon Henderson, 51, said: “It’s been a very emotional time. An arrest has been made in one of Britain’s longest unsolved child killings following a DNA breakthrough. Northumbria Police have detained a man in Stockton-on-Tees on suspicion of murdering Nikki Allan following a raid on a house in the town, 25 miles from where she died in Sunderland.Schoolgirl Nikki was just seven years old when she was found stabbed to death in a derelict building after vanishing from near her Sunderland home in October 1992. She had been stabbed 37 times.The force said the arrest, on Tuesday, was connected to a “historic ­offence”, and it confirmed on Friday that a man was held over the death of the seven-year-old. In a statement, a police spokesman said: “A man was arrested on suspicion of the murder of schoolgirl Nikki ­Allan. He has been released under investigation and enquiries are ongoing.”Nikki’s mother, Sharon Henderson, 51, said: “It’s been a very emotional time. When the police told me they had arrested someone it was such a shock I almost collapsed. Now he’s been ­released I don’t know what to think.” Last year, the 25th anniversary of Nikki’s murder, police revealed that they were examining new DNA evidence after a breakthrough in October. Nikki vanished on a Wednesday evening in October 1992 after leaving her grandparents’ in Sunderland’s Wear Garth. Neighbours formed search parties in a desperate bid to find the little girl but her body was later found in a derelict building a few hundred yards away, after her shoes were found outside.Breaking his silence about his daughter’s death last year, Nikki’s dad David Allan said: “I have remained quiet about Nikki’s death for 25 years but now is the time I need to speak out.“I can’t begin to describe how difficult life has been without my beautiful little girl. I would never want anyone to suffer the heartache we have suffered as parents.”In 1993, George Heron, then aged 24, stood trial for Nikki’s murder but was cleared by a jury at Leeds Crown Court.Then in 2014, Steven Grieveson, the serial killer known as “the Sunderland strangler”, was arrested and questioned on suspicion of Nikki’s murder. However, Grieveson was later told he would face no action.Crimestoppers had offered a reward of up to £10,000 for anyone with information that leads to the conviction of Nikki’s killer. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Self adjusting skirting for reduced conveyer belt maintenance

first_imgAn innovator of modern bulk material handling technology has introduced a novel conveyor belt skirting system with a streamlined design engineered to fit virtually any conveyor with less maintenance and more efficiency.  Martin® Self Adjusting Skirting prevents spillage and equipment breakdown caused by fugitive material by creating a constant tight seal to the belt.  The unit self adjusts to rubber skirt wear, regardless of material volume and size diversity, allowing it to be an adaptable solution for an entire bulk material processing system across many different industries. “As bulk material is processed, the conveyor belt speed, load and volume can change, which can affect the integrity of the skirting seal,” said Senior Product Specialist Dave Mueller.  “One skirting system across the whole line that adjusts automatically to these diverse variations dramatically cuts man hours needed to maintain it.”As the friction from the belt wears down the seal strip of standard skirting systems, workers have to shut down the conveyor and use tools to manually adjust it.  Without this type of regular maintenance, fugitive material escapes from the belt, getting into bearings and other components, which can cause expensive and unnecessary production delays.  Martin Engineering solves this problem by using a pressure arm attached to a clamp plate, which assures a constant belt seal, thus eliminating the need for manual adjustment.The skirt requires just 33 mm of free belt area, making it the ideal fit for conveyors with chutes close to the belt edge.  The durable EDPM rubber sealing strip is 19 mm wide and provides 51 mm of wear life, at speeds of up to 3.55 m/s.  The sealing strip is supplied in continuous lengths up to 30.48 m, reducing the chances of leaky joints.“Other skirts require manual adjustment, which means near constant monitoring,” Mueller said.  “Without monitoring — aside from the mechanical issues and product loss that accompany fugitive material — there are safety and regulatory problems that can arise, as well.  By designing a self-adjusting skirting system, customers not only save time and money on maintenance, but also mitigate the potential for injury and liability.”Changing the rubber sealing strip on most standard conveyor skirting systems typically requires multiple tools, and some need two workers, depending upon the size and position of the conveyor.  These maintenance requirements could demand conveyor systems to be placed farther apart, diminishing production space.  Martin Engineering designed a simple rubber clamp assembly requiring no tools to change the sealing strip.  The low profile skirting assembly needs 152 mm of clearance, allowing installation of skirts in restricted space areas.  The whole unit is compact, with the clamp assembly (wear strip and pressure plate) only 1,219 mm in length and each clamp section having built-in plug-weld guides to simplify installation.last_img read more

Northern Dynasty State of Alaska approves Pebble Project land use permit

first_imgNorthern Dynasty Minerals’ 100%-owned US subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership has received notice of approval of a Miscellaneous Land Use Permit (MLUP) from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for its ongoing activities at the Pebble project in southwest Alaska.Northern Dynasty’s principal asset, owned through its wholly-owned Alaska-based US subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership and other wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a 100% interest in a contiguous block of 2,402 mineral claims in southwest Alaska, including the Pebble deposit. The Pebble Partnership is the proponent of the Pebble Project, an initiative to develop one of the world’s most important mineral resources.“The Alaska Department of Natural Resources and other state agencies have had an active oversight presence at the Pebble Project site for more than a decade, and have confirmed that Pebble is a well-managed exploration project,” said Tom Collier, Pebble Partnership CEO. “We will continue our site operations in 2017 in full compliance with the State’s permit conditions, and in a manner that protects the broader public interest in the lands and resources surrounding the Pebble property.”The Pebble Partnership is in the process of reviewing in detail the state land use permit received. However, Collier confirmed Pebble will be advancing a program of work in Alaska in 2017 to prepare the project to initiate permitting under the Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act.Given the extensive work undertaken at the Pebble Project over the past decade or more, and anticipated future activity, the 2017 MLUP includes a requirement for a performance guaranty in the amount of $2 million related to any potential reclamation liability.The Pebble Partnership maintains an operations base in Iliamna, Alaska with full-time staff responsible for care and maintenance of Pebble Project equipment, facilities and installations. Each year, Pebble staff undertake a program of inspections, and where necessary make repairs to ensure public safety and enhance reclamation, at the 1,300+ borehole sites on the property.The Pebble deposit is one of the greatest stores of mineral wealth ever discovered. The current resource estimate includes 6,440 Mt in the measured and indicated categories containing 57 billion lb copper, 70 Moz gold, 3.4 billion lb molybdenum and 344 Moz silver; and 4,460 Mt in the inferred category, containing 24.5 billion lb copper, 37 Moz gold, 2.2 billion lb molybdenum and 170 Moz silver. Quantities of palladium and rhenium also occur in the deposit.Northern Dynasty reports key project strengths including:Mineral resource with the tonnes, grade, metallurgy and geometry to potentially support a modern, long-life mineOne of the most extensive environmental databases ever assembled for a resource development project in AmericaA stable and predictable regulatory environment in Alaska and the USBroad public support for responsible resource development in Alaska.last_img read more

HANDBALL QUEEN Anna Vyakhireva is YOUNG WORLD FEMALE PLAYER 201617

Handball-Planet.com is pleased to announce the results of Voting Contest for the Young World Female Handball Player 2016/2017 (generation 1995 and younger). The Russian youngstar, fantastic Anna Vyakhireva (1995), the Olympic champion from Rio has got the highest number of points based on cumulative votes of the international Jury members and Handball-Planet.com visitors. Oustanding performances  of the 22 years-old Vyakhireva, who scored 25 goals at EHF Cup winning campaign of Rostov Don, but also good matches for Russian national team, put her ahead in the race for the prestigious award.Vyakhireva won the award with 22 points, ahead of two Montenegrian girls, left wing Itana Grbic (17) and left back Djurdjina Jaukovic (16).In two weeks of voting period 18.466 votes for 28 nominated players have shown the outstanding interest for our project, who has the goal to present the future stars of our sport.COMPLETE RESULTS – BEST 7VOTING PROCESS – YOUR VOTESThe first two winners of Handball-Planet.com Contest were Danish right back Louise Burgaard (2014) and Russian playmaker Daria Dmitrieva (2015).Handball-Planet team want to thank all media, teams, TOP players, coaches and handball fans worlwide for making our project so big this year!JURY MEMBERS:Laura Agena (Argentina, HP Team)Zika Bogdanovic (Serbia, Balkan-Handball.com)Lojze Grčman (SIOL, Slovenia)Stig Nygard (TV 2, Norway)Sergei Novikov (PRESSBALL, Belarus)Sergey Prigolovkin (Rushandball.ru, Russia)Ibolya Szekeres (Time Out Magazine, Hungary-Norway)Jorge Dargel Amigo  (Marca, Spain)Amina Idrizi (24rakomet.mk, Macedonia)Jelena Bagarić (RTL, Croatia)Bjorn Pazen (Handball Woche, Germany)Vote for WORLD FEMALE YOUNG HANDBALL PLAYER 2016/2017 ← Previous Story EHF goes on market to sell rights for the next decade! Next Story → YOUNG FEMALE WORLD HANDBALL LINE-UP 2016/2017 read more

Bouris launches Guru

first_img“There is room for everyone in this trillion-dollar market,” Yellow Brick Road chairman Mark Bouris said whilst launching his new tech financial planning platform Guru on Wednesday.The financial calculation system – described as being half-way between “robo advice” and traditional financial planning, spits out forecasts for financial prospects based upon the user’s personal details and financial data.Targeted to appeal to the 80 per cent of consumers currently not serviced by a traditional financial planner, Guru promises to assist millions of Australians to keep track of their cash flow, obtain loan comparisons, plan their investments, and manage their superannuation.“We’re nakedly taking aim at the financial planning industry, spending more than we’ve ever done,” Mr Bouris told Business Insider.“We want to get to the millions of people who don’t think they need advice … the time is right. Financial planners and the [financial] industry is on the nose. Traditionally banks push products. This is turning that around and saying ‘we’ll give you the tools to determine your hopes and dreams, and then see if we fit into it’.”YBR spent 18 months developing the system. Many financial services comparison tools using data integration are available free online but Guru will only be available through YBR branches. Customers looking at their future retirement positions are seen as a key market for the system.While Gurus’ initial consultation is free, it costs $900 to implement Guru’s integrated plan, and a $600 fee annually thereafter. Users also have the option after the first consultation to take their Guru analysis to other advisors. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Greek MIT scientist creates model that may help predict precursor conditions to

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Themistoklis Sapsis, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has co-authored a Science Advances paper that might be able to use engineering models to plot a hurricane’s course with reasonable levels of accuracy.Using a series of engineering formulas, the research lead to the development of an algorithm for computing the precursors of extreme events, in complicated systems with lots of turbulence.“Currently, there is no method to explain when these extreme events occur,” said Sapsis in a news release clarifying that extreme weather events happen so rarely that there’s just not much data about them, at least not enough to come up with predictive technology.“We have applied this framework to turbulent fluid flows; which are the ‘Holy Grail’ of extreme events. If we can predict the occurrence of these extreme events, hopefully we can apply some control strategies to avoid them,” he continued.He says the best tools scientists have for predicting when turbulent fluid flows will form are equations meant to predict the behaviour of a complex system over time, but they simply don’t have enough data about extreme weather events to plug into them.An algorithm was created to replace the equations, combining exactly those equations previously used to predict the events with existing weather data to pinpoint conditions that qualify as “precursors” to turbulent flow. Sapsis and co-author Mohammad Faeazmand then tested its accuracy by running simulations of turbulent flows looking for the precursors that the algorithm had created. The precursors were accurate predictors of extreme events between 75 and 99 per cent of the time. Many extreme events, from a rogue wave that rises up from calm waters, to an instability inside a gas turbine, to the sudden extinction of a previously hardy wildlife species seem to occur without warning. It’s often impossible to predict when such bursts of instability will strike.Now, as Sapsis confirms, the framework of their study is generalisable enough to apply to a wide range of systems in which extreme events may occur, separating the exotic. He plans to apply the technique to scenarios in which fluid flows against a boundary or wall. Examples, he says, are air flows around jet planes, and ocean currents against oil risers.“This happens in random places around the world,” Sapsis says. “If you can predict where these things occur, maybe you can develop some control techniques to suppress them.”last_img read more