After the shocking incident of boiled rice and salt served to students in midday meal in a school in Hooghly district came to light, the West Bengal government has suspended two teachers of the institute and has also fixed a menu for the midday meal, an official said.‘Punish the guilty’Two teachers of the Chunchura Banimandir Balika Bidyalaya have been suspended after footage of the students being served rice and salt triggered an outrage on Monday last prompting Education Minister Partha Chatterjee to order a departmental probe into the incident and promise strict action.A School Education Department official said on Saturday that the two, one former teacher in-charge and the other present teacher in-charge, were placed under suspension on Tuesday, a day after the incident was reported on TV channels and BJP MP Locket Chatterjee rushed to the school demanding all those found to be guilty be punished. “We will take further action on the basis of probe which is still on,” said the official, but didn’t divulge identify of the two teachers. In the wake of the incident, the School Education Department on Thursday sent notification to all District Magistrates asking them to strictly maintain the menu and also gave a chart which specified on which date which type of food will be served.‘Visit all schools’ A copy of the notification to the DM of East Midnapore district specified — rice, dal, potato, vegetable curry will have to be served on Monday; rice, dal, egg/fish curry will be given on Tuesday; rice, dal, mixed vegetable will be given on Wednesday; rice, fish or egg curry, vegetables will be given on Thursday; rice dal, potato curry (posto) for Friday and rice dal, soyabean and potato curry on Saturday, it said. All officials in-charge of midday meals have been asked “to instruct all local level officers, education supervisors to visit cent per cent schools” (all the schools) from August 24 to August 31 to ensure that the midday meal is provided in a proper manner to the students and to send compiled report everyday to the School Education Department. Copies of the notifications were made available on Saturday.‘Zero tolerance’ The move was preceded by Education Minister Partha Chatterjee earlier asserting that the government will “do everything” to ensure children get the proper kind of midday meal and there will be “zero tolerance” to any attempt to deprive children of their prescribed meal.
A day after two disability rights activists alleged that they were “insulted and humiliated” by security personnel at Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, the airport authorities issued an apology on Twitter, and assured that steps would be taken to ensure such incidents do not occur again.“We would like to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to Ms Jeeja Ghosh & Ms Kuhu Das during check-in process at #KolkataAirport. The matter is being strongly taken up with concerned teams to ensure that such incidents does not happen again [sic],” read a tweet posted by the official Twitter handle of Kolkata Airport.When contacted by The Hindu, both activists said that the apology “meant nothing if airport officials did not train airlines and security staff to engage with persons with disabilities with respect”. Jeeja Ghosh, who has cerebral palsy, recounted that in 2012 she was deboarded from a flight at the same airport. She had taken the issue to the Supreme Court, which directed the airline to pay ₹10 lakh as damages to her.“They will do it again when I or anybody else with disability tries to travel,” said Ms. Ghosh, who was brand ambassador for West Bengal’s Chief Electoral Officer during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.The incident occurred on Sunday when Ms. Ghosh, along with Ms. Das, a polio survivor, was travelling to Delhi. While Ms. Ghosh was told she could not fly without an escort, Ms. Das was told to remove her calipers so that they could be put through the scanner.“I told her [the woman security officer] that to remove my calipers, I would have to take my trousers off. I have been wearing calipers with titanium rods for many years,” said Ms. Das. She recounted that the woman security officer called her colleague, who said they “had never encountered such a person” [in reference to Ms. Das]. Like Ms. Ghosh, Ms. Das said an apology was not enough, and that she would file an official complaint on the matter.“A tweet will not set things right. What we are seeking is a systemic change. We were allowed to travel after protests but an ordinary person with disability may not be allowed,” Ms. Das said.Four well-known disability right activists from Kolkata were travelling to Delhi to discuss recommendations made in the United Nations Country Report on Disability.Referring to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016, she said the law in the country has a rights-based approach for persons with disabilities, yet people are so “insensitive”.
Timely intervention by authorities and social activists have prevented 411 child marriages involving mostly minor girls in Odisha last year, said the State government here on Thursday.In Odisha, the risk of a girl marrying before her 18th birthday has dropped. The prevalence of child marriages among girls in the State was reported to be 21.3%, against the national average of 26.8%, whereas for boys it is only 11% against the national average of 20.3%.The State government on Thursday released a report on the status of child marriages and a strategic action plan to end child marriage.Decline recordedOdisha has witnessed a decline of nearly 16 and 11 percentage points between the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2005-06 and NFHS 2015-16 for girls and boys marrying before their legal permissible ages of 18 and 21, respectively. Odisha is ranked 15 in India for reported child marriages. Neighbouring States like West Bengal and Jharkhand are ahead of Odisha in this ranking.In Mayurbhhanj district, 75 minor girls were rescued just before their weddings were to be solemnised, while the marriages of 62 girls were stopped in southern Malkangiri district.“It is a matter of concern that Khurda, which is a developed district and has a high literacy rate, has recorded 18% child marriages. In Malkangiri, the percentage is very high at 39%,” said Deepa Prasad, State Programme Coordinator of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). There is no district where there is no child marriage. Caused by poverty Poverty was one of the main reasons cited in the western Odisha districts for families to opt for child marriage. Incidences of girls married in childhood are high in poor households. The high cost of marriage, dowry, tribal customs, and migration, are other factors that contribute to girls being forced to marry.The action plan envisages ending child marriage by 2030. The State intends to bring down incidence of child marriage among girls from 21.3% to 10%, and among boys from 11% to 6%, by 2024.Child marriages often lead to early motherhood and subsequently, health complications crop up. In Mayurbhanj, adolescence pregnancy was found to be as high as 16%. ‘Actual number high’ “The 16% appears to be a small number. When it comes to actual number, the number is very high. Close to 1.4 lakh adolescent girls get pregnant before the age of 19 in Mayurbhanj,” Dr. Prasad said. In Kalahandi, 48 maternal deaths were reported. Among the deceased, 12 mothers were below 18 and 19 years of age.
A proposal to allow cannabis cultivation for medicinal purposes in Odisha was rejected on Tuesday.“Many pharmaceutical industries were approaching us, seeking permission to undertake cannabis cultivation for medicinal use. They also wanted assured supply [of cannabis] from government agencies that can take up cannabis plantation,” said Sushil Kumar Lohani, State Excise Secretary. A high-level meeting was convened to take a call on the proposal at Lokseba Bhawan here.“We had referred the issue to the Law Department for its opinion on whethre cultivation of cannabis can be permitted. The Law Department has formally rejected the proposals, saying there is no such provision under existing laws to grow the illicit crop,” said Mr. Lohani.Clandestine produceaOdisha is one of the leading ganja (cannabis) producing States in India. Clandestine cultivation is flourishing in remote forested areas in the State. Officially, more than 4 crore hemp plants, whose value was estimated at approximately ₹4,000 crore, have been destroyed in the past five years. To curb the plantation of cannabis unlawfully, the State Police, the Excise Department and the Narcotics Control Bureau have intensified enforcement of the law. As many as 13,706,989 hemp plants, whose approximate market value could be estimated at ₹1,370 crore, were destroyed in 2018-19. Similarly, 7,932,006 illicit plants worth ₹793 crore were set on fire in 2017-18.On average, 1,500 hemp plants can be grown in an acre. Upon harvesting, each hemp plant produces least 500 gm of ganja. Locally, the ganja is sold at about ₹2,000 per kg. There is, however, no report on the production of charas, another by-product, by refining parts of hemp plants further, in Odisha.‘Stringent action’“We are taking stringent action against the persons involved in cannabis cultivation and booking them under the strict provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985,” Niranjan Pujari, State Excise Minister, told the Odisha Assembly on Monday.Cannabis plantations are widespread in districts such as Malkangiri, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Kandhamal, Boudh, Rayagada, Gajapati, Angul and Nayagarh. Law enforcement agencies have also stepped up action by arresting 1,822 persons and seizing close to 50,000 kg of ganja in the past five years.According to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, cannabis cultivation is illegal. However, many advocate that cannabis can be used in medicines and in the manufacture of fabric. Former Biju Janata Dal MP and editor of the Odia daily Dharitri, Tathagata Satpathy, backs commercial cultivation of crop. Mr. Satpathy even wore a hemp kurta on a visit to Parliament House.
LATEST STORIES WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Cleveland also picked up 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose and Jeff Green in the offseason. LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts against the Boston Celtics during Game Three of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on May 21, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFPLeBron James is set to return to Manila.James, who is arguably the best basketball player in the world today, is making his third visit to the Philippines.ADVERTISEMENT The 32-year-old James, who just led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their third straight NBA Finals two months ago, will be in the country on Sept. 2 for his “Strive for Greatness Show” which will be held at Mall of Asia Arena.James was supposed to visit Manila in September 2016 but cancelled the stop due to logistical reasons.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 shutoutThe two-time Olympic gold medalist is looking to bring another title in Cleveland in the coming season, but with a different-looking squad.The Cavaliers, who yielded the championship to the Golden State Warriors in five games, just swapped its All-Star guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for another stud in Isaiah Thomas, quality role player in Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and an unprotected 2018 first round pick from the Brooklyn Nets. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Woman gives birth at Manila North Cemetery on All Souls’ Day PLAY LIST 01:18Woman gives birth at Manila North Cemetery on All Souls’ Day01:151.108M crowd estimate at Manila North Cemetery since Oct. 30 to Nov. 201:22Manila police chief: Cops tolerating illegal street vendors to get ax01:37Protesters 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 MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Read Next Sharapova determined to prove point on Slam return Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Read Next “It was important to get this win because we turn around and play San Miguel Beer,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said, minutes after rallying for a 98-81 decision of Blackwater at Mall of Asia Arena. “The final score doesn’t give justice to the difficulty of this game.”Ginebra trailed early and needed one big spurt in the fourth period to put the Elite away and extend the tournament’s longest winning streak to seven after opening up with a loss and remain at No. 1.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 shutout“You don’t want to play San Miguel coming off a loss, you need to have high energy coming into that game to have a chance,” Cone went on, referring to their 6:45 p.m. clash with the powerhouse Beermen on Sunday, which could ultimately mean No. 1 seeding for his Kings.Blackwater dropped to 4-5, losing for just the second time in six games since Henry Walker arrived. The Elite would need to sweep their remaining two games to advance to the quarterfinals outright. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LATEST STORIES WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:08Ginebra planning for long series vs San Miguel01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Earlier, Alaska pulled off a second straight win Friday night, downing GlobalPort, 101-88, as the Aces stayed in the running for a playoff berth.With the franchise-worst 14-game losing streak now behind him and needing his team to win its last three games to advance scot-free, Aces coach Alex Compton has gone on to borrow a cliché and rewrite it a bit.“When it rains, it pours and when it rained, it rained on us pretty bad,” Compton saidLaDontae Henton scored 36 points and grabbed 21 rebounds, and Calvin Abueva scored all of his 12 points in the fourth period as the Aces wriggled out of a 67-all tie after three quarters to rise to 2-6.ADVERTISEMENT Bayron overtakes Lascuña Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Working extra hard against an enemy that has made turns in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Barangay Ginebra on Friday night got the perfect reward for its effort and got ready for a bigger battle that’s just around the corner.ADVERTISEMENT View comments
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ “San Miguel’s a pretty complete team and coming into this game, I was saying it’s not about the individual match-ups. It’s team-on-team.”The latest showdown between the Slaughter and Fajardo was the complete opposite of their previous encounter last year where the Gin Kings handily beat the Beermen, 110-86, in what was SMB’s worst defeat of their entire 2016 season.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 shutoutThis time, it was the Gin Kings who stared at a 26-point deficit in the third quarter before making a run that fell short in the end.Despite the result, Slaughter can take solace knowing that Ginebra never ceased fighting despite staring at a huge lead. LATEST STORIES LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “That’s our calling card, never say die. We play all the way to the last buzzer, and just didn’t have enough time to make that comeback tonight. But I know we’ll probably see them again maybe in the playoffs so it’s just some game we have to learn from,” he said.One factor that has been constantly brought up for the Gin Kings’ lackluster start was fatigue, as they were coming off a 98-81 win over Blackwater last Friday.But rather than dwell on the defeat, Slaughter shared that the loss to San Miguel should be an eye-opener for Ginebra as it sets its sights on the playoffs.“We can’t make any excuse because when it comes time for the playoffs, we’re going to have a schedule just like that, when we play Friday and then we play Sunday. So for us, no excuses,” he said.“We just have to recharge, refresh ourselves, and get ready for these playoffs which are coming up,” said Slaughter.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients PBA IMAGESFacing off against June Mar Fajardo was the least of Greg Slaughter’s concerns on Sunday.“I wouldn’t really think about individual match-ups because we got down pretty big,” Slaughter said, shunning talks about his much-awaited duel with his fellow Cebuano behemoth.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Ross, San Miguel put clamps on Ginebra import Brownlee E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:02Fajardo predicts there will be no sweep in PBA Finals00:59Old rivals Fajardo, Slaughter finally face off in the PBA Finals01:37Protesters 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 BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View comments
Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president PBA IMAGESTNT chalked up its third straight win in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the expense of Star, 104-99, Sunday at Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.The KaTropa improved to 7-3 to overtake defending champion San Miguel, which has a 6-3 card, for the fourth spot while the Hotshots stayed in sixth place. ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Consistent Ravena a steady force for Ateneo so far in Season 80 Then, Racela was called for a technical foul allowing Paul Lee to cut the deficit to six, 91-85, from as high as 16.Star was called for its first foul after Jio Jalalon hit Jayson Castro with 4:07 to go.Despite the foul situation, TNT managed to hold on to win with Rice hitting a dagger of a jumper with 26 seconds remaining that gave the KaTropa a 102-96 lead.Rice finished with a game-high 43 points to go along with 19 rebounds, and nine assists while Castro, Troy Rosario, and Roger Pogoy each had 12 points.Kristofer Acox led the Hotshots with 18 points and 18 boards.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary 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 Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa TNT head coach Nash Racela liked that his team was able to play through calls that didn’t go their way.“We’ve been going through ups and downs but I think the more important thing is us finding ways to win and that’s exactly the same message I had for Glen (Rice Jr.) during one of our timeouts because he was complaining about the non-calls,” said Racela.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 shutout“I just reminded them the refs won’t adjust for sure and the only we can do is find ways to win.”Rice had three quick fouls in a span of 10 seconds early in the fourth quarter. MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad
Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Pacquiao pulled out of a planned rematch in Australia later his year, with Horn close to finalizing another opponent to defend his World Boxing Organisation welterweight title.Englishman Gary Corcoran is shaping up as the most likely challenger, with the fight expected to be in Brisbane in December, local reports have said. Read Next Kings open title defense vs vengeance-seeking Bolts MOST READ BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LATEST STORIES READ: Horn stuns Pacquiao for unanimous decision winIn recognition, he walked away with ‘The Don’ award at the annual Sport Australia Hall Of Fame dinner in Melbourne on Thursday evening.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 shutoutNamed after cricketer Donald Bradman, prior winners of the prize include swimmer Ian Thorpe, runner Cathy Freeman, cyclist Cadel Evans, hurdler Sally Pearson, golfer Jason Day and last year’s recipient jockey Michelle Payne.“It is massive,” Horn said, calling it a career highlight. Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony PLAY LIST 00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:50Trending 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 View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “I can remember growing up being inspired by previous winners such as Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe.“To know I am potentially inspiring the future generation of athletes like these guys have done for me is an incredible feeling.”Horn said he still sometimes found it hard to believe he took down one of the world’s greatest ever fighters, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions.READ: Jeff Horn’s vision comes to fruition with win over Pacquiao“Many days I have thought to myself, did that really happen? It’s been very hectic since the win but recognition and awards like this certainly help,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Jeff Horn. PHOTO FROM SPORTS AUSTRALIA HALL OF FAME INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTSYDNEY—Boxer Jeff Horn’s stunning upset of Filipino great Manny Pacquiao has earned him one of Australia’s top sporting honors as the most inspirational athlete of the year.The unheralded 29-year-old stunned the boxing world with a unanimous 12-round decision over Pacquiao in Brisbane on July 2 in a hotly contested result that rattled the Philippines.ADVERTISEMENT
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It’s overwhelming and I really felt the nerves,” he admitted in Filipino. “But all I’m thinking about is I need to do this because it’s always been my dream to play in the PBA.”The 29-year-old knows his chances of getting drafted are slim, but there’s no harm in trying as he left his job as a sales agent in a car company a year ago to prepare for this draft.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 shutout“My coach in PUP told me that I’m already 29 so I should try getting drafted. I really had doubts, but I decided that I should give it a go,” he shared. “Since resigning for my job, all I did was to play basketball and have a better conditioning to be ready for the draft.”Geronimo’s skills were tested in the two-day 2017 Gatorade PBA Draft Combine as he shared the court with bluechip stalwarts. And although at times, he felt like he was out of place, he was satisfied to be able to keep up with the likes of Ravena and Herndon. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Christian Geronimo. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netLittle-known Christian Geronimo sees him joining the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft as his shot to make his dreams come true.Showcasing his talents alongside heralded counterparts, the PUP graduate admitted he was humbled to play with guys like Kiefer Ravena, Jason Perkins, Lervin Flores, and Robbie Herndon.ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion DOH drafting order to lower prices of expensive medicines PLAY LIST 02:03DOH drafting order to lower prices of expensive medicines00:50Trending 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 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Wall on Lonzo Ball: ‘His dad does all the talking for him’ LATEST STORIES “I was still feeling my way. I was nervous, but I’m happy that I was able to play alongside them,” he said.Whether or not he gets selected, Geronimo is already happy that he tried his best to make his dreams come true as he hopes to become an inspiration to fellow lesser-known players in terms of shooting for the stars.“I want to prove that I can play here and I can give inspiration to all who dreams to play in the PBA,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next View comments
For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. After watching their 65-49 lead dissipate to just five, 75-70, at the end of the third, the Blue Eagles responded soundly in the fourth and put the Growling Tigers in their place.Ateneo mounted a 17-7 run with Thirdy Ravena capping it off with the most vicious of finishes when he dunked home a tomahawk from just inside the circle to give the Blue Eagles a 92-77 lead with 2:22 left in the game.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 shutout“It’s a good thing we played well defensively in the fourth, and we really wanted to make sure that our defense was still there,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga. “Our offense was good, we had a lot of ball movement, a lot of assists, and we found our cutters and shooters.” Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion 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 Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Blatche, Fajardo lead 23-man Gilas pool for World Cup qualifiers Ateneo tallied 23 assists and only committed just 14 turnovers.Ravena filled the stat sheets with a game-high 20 points to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists, and two steals while Matt Nieto added 19 points with all of his field goals coming from deep.Oliver de Guzman had 19 points to lead UST while Jeepy Faundo finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAteneo stayed on track for an elimination round sweep after fending off University of Santo Tomas, 102-83, in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The Blue Eagles remained undefeated after 12 games while also sending the Growling Tigers to a 0-13 record. ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Foton downs Iriga, extends win run to 4 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 Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Far Eastern U goes up against National U at 2 p.m. in a match with huge playoff repercussions.A victory by the Tamaraws, coupled by an Ateneo win over UP in the second game, will seal fourth spot for FEU, which is a full game ahead of the Fighting Maroons with a 6-6 record.The Tamaraws are coming off a 79-63 over University of the East last Sunday, the same day the Maroons dropped a 70-86 decision to Adamson.“It was a good morale booster for us heading into the homestretch,” said FEU coach Olsen Racela, who got a big game from guard Jasper Parker against the Warriors.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Ateneo seeks to move within a victory of an elimination round sweep and an outright finals berth as it tangles with a desperate University of the Philippines squad on Wednesday in UAAP Season 93 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. The Blue Eagles are gunning for a 13th straight victory in the 4 p.m. clash with the Fighting Maroons, who are trying to stay alive in the Final Four race.It will be an uphill climb for the Maroons, who need to win their last two games and hope that FEU does not go beyond seven wins to force a playoff for the last postseasons spot.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 shutoutUP coach Bo Perasol is relishing the challenge for his squad, which could also see itself eliminated with a loss to Ateneo.“What a way for us to end our season with a win against a team without a loss,” said Perasol, who is looking to steer UP to the Final Four for the first time in 20 years. “That’s a very tall order, but then again, we have to play. Who knows, they might have a bad game against us.” John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ
Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Jazz center Rudy Gobert out 4 weeks with leg injury QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Johnson came to Phoenix last among the eight title contenders, 51 points out of mathematically qualifying. Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick already locked into next weekend’s championship finale next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, leaving Johnson among five drivers fighting for one spot.A four-time winner at Phoenix, Johnson started 12th and earned a point by finishing eighth in the first stage. He was running 11th when his right front tired blew right before the caution at the end of the race’s second stage.Johnson drove the car straight to the garage, his day and championship hopes over.“I didn’t know it was coming,” Johnson said. “Clearly just got the brakes too hot and popped that tire with like a lap to go or two laps to go before the stage was up. We weren’t leading, we were having a decent day, but we were going to need a great day today. I wish we were still out on track to still have a shot for it.”Now Johnson is left with trying to win at Homestead next week and spend the offseason trying to figure out what went wrong during his title defense.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Chase Elliott, left, and Jimmie Johnson talk inside the garage area before practice for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Phoenix International Raceway, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, in Avondale, Ariz. Both drivers are looking to fill the final spot for the Championship 4. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)AVONDALE, Ariz. — Jimmie Johnson’s bid for a record eighth NASCAR championship is over.Needing a win at Phoenix to make the final four in next weekend’s championship finale, Johnson saw his hopes crumple with a blown tire that sent his No. 48 Chevrolet into the wall with one lap remaining in the second stage Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT The crash eliminated the reigning and seven-time NASCAR champion from title contention.“I’m disappointed for sure,” Johnson said. “The last couple of months we’ve been staying alive and at this stage with the Round of 8 and then the Round of 4, you can’t just stay alive. You’ve got to be hitting on all cylinders and we just haven’t been there, unfortunately.”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 shutoutIt’s been a rough ride for Johnson since matching Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt with his seventh title a year ago.Johnson won three races this year, but those came during the first third of the season. He hasn’t won since Dover in June and has one top-five finish the last 21 races. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments MOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa
Rio’s Olympics 1 year later: The good, the bad and the ugly Jio Jalalon, Matthew Wright, and Roger Pogoy, all of whom were part of the 2017 Seaba Championship squad, were retained for the Asian championships.Also tabbe d in the roster were hardworking forward Carl Bryan Cruz and Fil-German big man Christian Standhardinger, who will replace Andray Blatche as the team’s naturalized player for the tournament.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsWith Gilas resuming practice on Thursday at Upper Deck Gym in Pasig, Romeo could only heap praises with the effort he saw from the young guns.“They are all hardworking and are focused on what they are doing. I can see that they can play good in this Fiba Asia,” he said. FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo View comments Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ At 25, though, Romeo, isn’t really that old compared to these guys and he relishes the chance to represent the country in what would be his second straight appearance in the continental tournament.“I’m happy. We’ll have another chance to represent the country so we’re thankful to coach Chot (Reyes) for the trust, as well as the management,” he said. “We vow to give our best and I can promise that I’ll do everything I could to help the team.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netTerrence Romeo believes that 2017 Jones Cup experience will be a huge asset for the cadets as they join the veterans in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup this August.“The experience is already there for them and I’m sure that they can perform well in this coming tournament,” he said in Filipino.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ LATEST STORIES National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes
International Cricket Council should impose life ban on the Pakistani players if they are found guilty of spot-fixing, Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan said here today.Muralitharan joined the likes of Shane Warne and Daniel Vettori in demanding life ban on the three Pakistan cricketers — Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir — if they are found guilty in the spot-fixing scandal to deter younger generation from such corrupt practices.”If they are guilty, they should get a life ban, that’s the most important thing,” Muralitharan, who recently retired from Test cricket, told ESPNcricinfo.”The younger generation should not follow that, so the punishment should be harsh if (players) are guilty,” said Muralitharan who is playing in the Champions League Twenty20 here for Chennai Super Kings.”The game has to be clean. If somebody gets a life ban doing these things, others will stop doing that. The ICC has to act a lot on this,” he added.Butt, Asif and Aamir were quizzed by Scotland Yard earlier this month after a sting operation by British tabloid ‘News of the World’ claimed they were involved in bowling deliberate no-balls during the fourth Test at Lord’s between England and Pakistan.The trio were provisionally suspended by the ICC but no charges were pressed against them as yet by Scotland Yard. A fourth Pakistan player, fast bowler Wahab Riaz, was also questioned by Scotland Yard.
These are bad times for Indian tennis. After the pullouts of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, who will be busy with the season-ending World Doubles ATP event, now Sania Mirza is fighting illness. She landed in Guangzhou on Friday and straightaway hit practice but is still on medication.Sania Mirza will be a star attraction.Coach Enrico Piperno says: “Sania is hitting the ball well and we need her against Indonesia in the team event on Saturday.”However, Sania has been battling an ear infection. “I was not well during the event in Taipei where I made it to the doubles final. I was also running fever and was put on heavy antibiotics in Hyderabad before coming here,” Sania told Mail Today.She did not win gold in the Commonwealth Games (CWG), but her efforts in the three events — singles, doubles and mixed doubles — was not a bad one. “I cherish my silver at the CWG,” she said.The team event apart, in singles and doubles, Sania faces a tough challenge here, with China keen to showcase their talent through Peng Shuai and Zhang Shuai. One cannot rule out Japan’s Kimiko Date Krumm, who has shown that age does not matter.In a team event, the bench strength does count and Sania needs support from Rushmi Chakravarthy in singles and veteran Nirupama Sanjeev as a doubles option.Somdev Devvarman will have to shoulder the load in the men’s section. He has had a good year with creditable performances in the Davis Cup, ATP Tour and CWG. As gold medallist at the CWG, Somdev knows he can do it on the big stage.advertisement
Even 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.comadvertisementadvertisementadvertisement
The CAG has questioned the deals between the CWG and certain media houses as the organising committee (OC) apparently resorted to pick-and-choose policy in the award of contracts worth over Rs 6.73 crore. The CAG, in its report, tabled in Parliament last week, has dubbed the process arbitrary and biased.The CAG is more severe in its observations on the contract for creating a Games Time website, meant to put out real time information on sporting events, given to HT-Hungama – a consortium comprising Hindustan Times and Hungama. It has lambasted the process of awarding the contract to the consortium and said their work was deficient.The website lacked speed and was not really updated with the latest information, the auditors said.The website named Korea, Japan, Philippines and the US among the nations participating in the Games – but none of them did – and Commonwealth Games Federation head Mike Fennell went on record, saying “there is certainly a big problem with the official Games Time website”. A benevolent OC overlooked the non-performance and did not encash the performance guarantee of Rs 0.29 crore. A contract tweaked in favour of HT-Hungama had no other provisions for penalties case of non-performance, the CAG said.It said the bidding process was squeezed and completed within two months, leading to several irregularities. Among the three bidders, HT-Hungama’s documentation was deficient but ignored by the technical committee. It led the CAG to conclude that the process was tailored in HT-Hungama’s favour.The contract for production and broadcasting of commercials was given to two news channels, CNN-IBN and NDTV. The CAG said the OC followed an arbitrary approach with no planning for specific channels, time slots and cost benefit analysis.advertisementThe OC considered proposals in an adhoc manner and as and when they were received.
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback is scheduled to be launched in September 2012 in Europe, will be offered with a choice of four diesel and three petrol engines mated to two different transmissions. According to reports, Mercedes-Benz is downsizing engines for its entry level cars for improved performance, economy and lower emissions. And its stop/start system will come as standard on all models; while a low drag coefficient of 0.27, turbocharging and improved fuel injectors will make them more efficient.The report published in The Telegraph said, “this new baby Merc is certainly attractive, especially at the front, where a wide grille feeds into the clamshell bonnet and into heavily scalloped sides. With a coefficient of drag of 0.27Cd, this is one of the slipperiest hatches in this class. The rear is not such a success, looking slabby from some angles.”The 1461cc engine in the A 180 CDI has a claimed output of 108PS and mileage of 26kmpl, and emits 98g/km of CO2, the lowest of any Mercedes-Benz. Renault-Nissan and Mercedes-Benz inked a pact in 2010 to develop engines for small cars. The diesel A200 CDI with a 1.8-litre engine has been made Euro VI compliant, emitting 111g/km of CO2. Its engine delivers 134PS and 300Nm of torque. Topping the diesel range is the A220 CDI, featuring a 168PS 2.1-litre engine with 350Nm of torque, and a 0-100km/h time of 7.8 seconds. All the diesel engines get new hydraulic mounts to reduce vibration and noise.In quality of materials and build, the A-class however doesnt quite match the class-leading standard of Audis new A3, but the quality of design surpasses the slightly dated Audi, especially the instrument binnacle with its small inset dials for fuel contents and coolant temperature. The A-Class will sport the basic 6-speed manual transmission, with a option of the semi-automatic 7-speed dual clutch 7G-DCT transmission. The top end A 250 only comes as an automatic, with three drive modes, Economy, Manual and Sport, and paddleshifters. The vice-president of compact cars at Mercedes, Jrg Prigl, claims that one of the reasons Mercedes has produced such a conventional hatchback is the requirement for it to be sporty, adding “The old A-class was far too functional and unemotional.”The A-class will sell by the bucketload purely on the strength of its provenance. The Volvo and the Audi have marginally better dynamics, but the Merc gives you a star on the bonnet and thats important in this badge-obsessed world.Theres nothing shy and retiring about this new Mercedes-Benz, it will appeal to the young and the young at heart in a big way. The A-Class isnt just about style. Under that shapely skin it has the features you just dont see in this class. Because in luxury, connectivity and safety its as well equipped as its big brothers.It has also fitted with a suite of crash avoidance items as in the more expensive Mercs. Lane departure, blind-spot and tailgating warnings are all offered on the new A-Class. With Agency inputsadvertisement