Former Wimbledon finalists Kerber, Muguruza set to meet

first_imgGermany’s Angelique Kerber returns to Shelby Rogers of the United States during their Women’s Singles Match on day six at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)LONDON — Four of the remaining 16 women at Wimbledon have played in a final at the All England Club. One of them is certain to be eliminated in the fourth round.Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguzura, who have won titles at other Grand Slam tournaments, each lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final the last two years — Kerber in 2016, Muguruza in 2015. They meet Monday for a spot in the quarterfinals.ADVERTISEMENT Solar-powered barge a key ‘interceptor’ for plastic waste Not easy being green: Dog births unique puppy Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pornography greets commuters at Sweden bus stop Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite LATEST STORIES Harden signs extension, giving him richest NBA deal ever Jean-Paul Gaultier to retire as fashion designer MOST READ Venus Williams lost in the semifinals last year and is playing at the tournament for the 20th time.At 37, she is the oldest player left in the women’s draw. On Monday, she will play the youngest woman left, 19-year-old Ana Konjuh of Croatia.“Yeah, it’s interesting, for sure,” Williams said. “But I guess when you walk on the court, I don’t think either of us is thinking about the age. You’re thinking about, ‘How do I win?’”In other fourth-round matches, all on Monday, Radwanska meets two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka will play second-seeded Simona Halep, sixth-seeded Johanna Konta will face Caroline Garcia, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko goes against No. 4 Elina Svitolina, No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki plays No. 24 CoCo Vandeweghe, and Magdalena Rybarikova will meet Petra Martic.Konta has become the latest local hope at the All England Club. The last British woman to win Wimbledon was Virginia Wade in 1977.ADVERTISEMENT Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet The top-ranked Kerber has lost her past four matches against Muguruza.“I think I have to play from the first point good tennis against her,” Kerber said Saturday. “I have to be aggressive, as well, and trying to (play) my game from the first ball that we hit.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson SPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The other players with experience in the final at the grass-court major tournament are Williams’ older sister, Venus, and Agnieszka Radwanska.Venus Williams has five Wimbledon titles and lost in another three finals — each time to Serena. Radwanska was the runner-up at the All England Club in 2012 to — yes, that’s right — Serena Williams. End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Imee Marcos slams driver-cap on motorcycle taxis McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Painting found in Italian museum wall is stolen Klimt Kerber and Muguruza had their chances to win the last two years, but they ran into Serena Williams. That can’t happen this year — the defending champion is pregnant and taking the rest of the season off.“I have toughest rounds to come. I’m just looking forward for it,” said Muguruza, who won the French Open last year. “I’m not thinking that far, like most people do.“For me, it’s just more simple than that. I’m just going to take care of my next match and we see from there. It’s just like that.”That next opponent is the No. 1 player in the world — even if Kerber has been struggling at the major tournaments this season after winning the Australian Open and U.S. Open last year.On Saturday, she had a tough time early and was stretched to three sets in her 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over American Shelby Rogers.“It was for sure a really important win for me today, especially because it was a really up-and-down match, and I was down at least 2-4 in the second set,” Kerber said. “Maybe it is a turnaround. We will see.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more


APNU/AFC’s development blueprint – the stupidification of Guyana

first_imgEach day brings one or more stupid acts by this government and the people that they have placed in power. This is not by accident. APNU/AFC’s development blueprint for Guyana is the absolute stupidification of Guyana. They are clueless about how to move Guyana forward. They believe that if they succeed in making us all stupid, they can make us all believe that the naked emperor is indeed decked out in the most glorious outfits. Take the requirement that all minibuses must be painted green because the APNU’s colour is green. The joke is on them – we see the stupidity of their governance and we see it every time. Just in the last several days, we have some glaring examples.In the last two weeks, President David Granger has been travelling – first to India for a solar conference and, second, to Brazil to attend a water conference. I have no reservation about the President attending these meetings. But days prior to travelling to India for the solar conference, the President announced he was foregoing a Caricom Heads meeting because of the border crisis with Venezuela. What happened? Has the problem with Venezuela been solved and there is no more threat at our borders?The REO of Region Two flabbergasted us with the newest excuse for corruption – excitement to spend money. For almost three years now, the Region Two REO has ruled as if he is an emperor. He has committed one corrupt act after another and has spent taxpayers’ money as if it belongs to him. He has ignored warnings from the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. Called to explain himself, he arrogantly offered the excuse that he was “too excited” about spending the people’s money. This absurdity is enough to fire him, but in the halls of APNU/AFC the Region Two REO is embraced as a hero. In APNU/AFC’s stupidification posture, they expect we will overlook corruption and accept excitement as an excuse for abusing Guyana’s treasury.Over the last several weeks, we have looked with amazement at the incompetence of the Government as revealed by its handling of GuySuCo. Is there a new Board or not? We are told yes and then we are told no. There was even a whole-page advertisement announcing the new Board with the pictures of the new members. Then Minister of State, Joseph Harmon cautioned that this was not the case and the advertisement is a rogue one. Sheer incompetence, but they think we are too stupid to see it.Last week, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan visited Canje where recently unemployed sugar workers are confronting tough times. This is the same Ramjattan, who, during the campaign for the May 2015 election, promised sugar workers that all estates will be kept open and that sugar workers will be given a 20 per cent annual increase in wages and benefits. Now in March 2018, Ramjattan looked the workers in their eyes and lied again, insisting that APNU/AFC gave the Region Six RDC money in the 2018 Budget to purchase a bus to provide free transportation for the children of sugar workers in Canje. The Regional Chairman immediately slammed the barefaced lie. Ramjattan fully expects people to believe the lie, because he thinks we stupid. In the meanwhile, his Region Six sidekick, Charandass Persaud, is demanding that sugar workers be jailed for not being able to send their children to school.Agriculture Minister Noel Holder for more than two years ignored the US requirements for new fishery regulations, leading to America banning fish exports from Guyana. Hundreds of fishermen have already become unemployed because we lost one of the most important markets for fish. Instead of accepting blame and accelerating their efforts to resume the trade, the Minister demanded our sympathy because the loss of the market is simply a consequence of America’s protectionist policy. The truth is the Minister is derelict in his duty, AWOL, missing in action.President Granger’s favourite governance tool, the CoI, if enforced in this case, would reveal total, brazen and reckless incompetence on the part of one of the most inept Ministers in the Cabinet. Instead of President Granger holding him responsible, he is silent and expects us to blame America. The refusal for accountability is based on APNU/AFC’s stupidification strategy.last_img read more


Early screening encouraged as GTT’s Pinktober concludes

first_imgThe Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) on Wednesday concluded its month-long ‘Pinktober’ activities, honouring participants who assisted the organisation in spreading cancer awareness.Hosted at GTT’s head office, Brickdam, Georgetown, the event saw Guyana Cancer Foundation Chief Executive Office, Bibi Hassan, volunteers and donorsFirst Lady, Sandra Granger honoured for her participations bu GTT ambassadorsbeing appreciated for their awareness work throughout the month of October.Hassan was also presented with a cheque from GTT of over $4 million – proceeds from the 5K/10 walk-run held in October, which saw over 5000 persons participating.In her remarks, Hassan thanked GTT and pledged to continue supporting theBibi Hassan presented with the cheque from GTTtelephone giant in its efforts to the cause.“This was an activity that I have fought for for 12 years now. And finally I have had success, whatever I had visualised materialised for me. After working with another organisation, for years I wanted to be able to let off those balloons, over 2000 of them into the air and because of GTT, I was able to do that and I thank them,” the CEO said Hassan also revealed her vision for 2018 and that is to start the fight against prostate cancer in Guyana. Following her remarks, Kerwin Bollers of HitCandles lit in memory of those who lost the battle to cancerand Jams Entertainment, Robbie Singh of Pulse Entertainment and others were honoured for their support. Meanwhile, First Lady Sandra Granger in brief remarks reiterated calls for early screening, highlighting the importance.“To especially our younger people, you need to start having early annual check-ups because that is how you capture all the infirmities that you might have at an early stage. Very often, when people go to the cancer centre and or are diagnosed, they are at stage three or four and that is because they have waited until they cannot bear the pain anymore,” Granger cautioned.She further cautioned women in particular, who according to her always strive to put people first, to put themselves first and to be screened.“I urge you women, especially when it comes to breast and cervical cancer to put yourself first!”The event concluded with the attendees blowing out candles in memories of those lost to cancer and a mini concert of what is to be expected from GTT’s Mega Gospel concert to be held at the National Stadium on November 3.last_img read more


Exclusive: Former Wales coach warns against ‘exhausting’ likes of Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane

first_imgFormer Wales coach Raymond Verheijen has offered some words of advice to club coaches to help avoid burning out young players like Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling.The 42-year-old, who worked closely with the Welsh set up under Gary Speed’s stewardship, has written a book titled Complete Handbook for Conditioning for Soccer and is seen as an expert in developing youth players.Verheijen believes young players have to be given special considerations when they initially break into the first team, identifying Kane and Sterling as prime examples in recent years.“Unfortunately all these youth players are thrown in at the deep end. Not only does the speed go up, but the volume does at the same time and basically you are exhausting these young kids,” said the Dutchman.“The coaches need to reduce the volume in the beginning so they can keep up with the speed and then gradually increase the volume in training.”Kane took just 80 seconds to announce his arrival on the international scene on Friday evening against Lithuania after earning his first call up this week, and Verheijen says he can get even better with time.Verheijen said: “His body needs time and you cannot solve that with conditioning, he firstly needs time to adapt to play at this level and then secondly to get used to playing two or three times a week.“As long as his training is not exaggerated in the beginning then nature will take care of it.”The Dutch coach also said he was not surprised to see Wales performing so well in Euro 2016 qualifying so far and pointed to Swansea’s promotion to the Premier League in 2011 as a watershed moment for Welsh football.“I’m not surprised. It’s a great group of players – you could already see their potential under Speed in 2011,” said Verheijen.“When Swansea got promotion to the Premier League it was a turning point. Now all of a sudden seven or eight players are playing at the top level.”The Welsh national team are unbeaten from their opening four games in Group B and face a crunch clash against group leaders Israel in Haifa on Saturday evening.last_img read more


Wounded Kings fall

first_imgLOS ANGELES – No lightning strikes, falling trees or other acts of nature. Craig Conroy somehow made it to Tuesday night’s opening faceoff unscathed, which put him in the distinct minority among the Kings’ top scorers. What were the Kings missing Tuesday? Only three of their top four scorers: Pavol Demitra, Alexander Frolov and Lubomir Visnovsky, who had combined for 50 of the 159 goals the Kings had scored this season. Then, as only things can for the Kings, things managed to get worse once the game started. In a development that surprised nobody who has followed the team this season, the Kings lost goaltender Mathieu Garon to a bruised shoulder after the first period. Matters didn’t improve much from there, as the Kings lost to the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 before 17,017 at Staples Center. Injuries have become a way of life for the Kings, who also have been without Eric Belanger, Aaron Miller and Jeremy Roenick, and it seems that the attrition is catching up with the team. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded cardTampa Bay entered with losses in three of its last four games and the Lightning had failed to score a power-play goal in 2006, with an 0-for-40 skid that dated back to Dec. 26. But the Lightning scored two power-play goals on its first three chances Tuesday, and Ruslan Fetotenko added a goal late in the second period to give Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead. By that point, Jason LaBarbera had been pressed into duty. Garon played the entire first period and did not appear to be in distress at any point, but was replaced by LaBarbera to start the second period. It’s been a rough week for Garon, who was pulled in the first period of the Kings’ 10-1 loss to Buffalo on Saturday and has struggled of late after recently establishing himself as the Kings’ top goaltender. Tuesday’s first period wasn’t so kind to Garon either, as he allowed a soft, unusual goal. center_img With the way things have been going for the Kings recently, it rated as only a mild surprise when the Lightning broke their string of power-play futility seven minutes into the first period. Brad Richards faked a shot from the slot, then passed to Martin St. Louis, who was stationed to the side of the net. St. Louis flipped a shot toward the net, and the puck deflected off the back of Garon and into the net to break an eight-game power-play drought. The Kings couldn’t accomplish much, and it seemed that the highlight of the period would be the disco-dance routine of Jeremy Roenick, broadcast on the video screen. But with 4:04 left in the period, Dustin Brown came through with a real highlight when he stationed himself in front of the net and knocked in the rebound of a shot by Sean Avery. The goal served as something of a reward for Brown, who had played well of late and earned a promotion to the Kings’ top line with the injuries to Frolov and Demitra. Unfortunately for the Kings, however, further highlights were few and far between. The Kings recorded only three shots on goal in the second period and LaBarbera, without much defensive support, allowed two goals, to Vincent Lecavalier and Fedotenko, to put the Kings down 3-1. Lecavalier’s goal came with Tampa Bay on a 5-on-3 power play after Sean Avery’s high-sticking double minor. Early in the third period, the Kings had an excellent chance to get back in the game when Avery was taken down by Pavel Kubina and was awarded a penalty shot, but John Grahame easily made the save. Norman Milley scored his first NHL goal into an empty net with 1:10 remaining. rich.hammond@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


Around Whittier

first_img4 p.m. May 21 at the Whittier Community Center, 7630 Washington Ave. Admission is $3 per person and vendor spaces are still available. For more information, call (562) 698-1718 or (562) 945-3871. Singers to receive scholarships WHITTIER – The New Century Singers of Whittier will honor the 2006 vocal scholarship winners at its annual spring scholarship concert at 3 p.m. May 21 at 13205 Philadelphia St. Donations are welcome. For more information, call (562) 695-1785. Pizza dinner funds go to North Park PICO RIVERA – A North Park Middle School fundraiser will be held at Shakey’s Pizza Restaurant, 9290 E. Whittier Blvd. Twenty-five percent of all food purchases will go to the North Park Middle School Associated Student Body. For more information on the fundraiser, call (562) 801-5137. Youths invited to pajama dance LA MIRADA – Middle schoolers are invited to attend the Brickhouse Pajama Jam from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday May 19 at the La Mirada Community Gymnasium. Tickets are $5 and can be bought at the gymnasium, the La Mirada Resource Center or the La Mirada Activity Center. A waiver must be signed and a community services identification card purchased. For more information, call (562) 902-2938. Veterans to hold charity dinner SANTA FE SPRINGS – A red snapper dinner will be held by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3752 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday May 12 at the post, 11912 Rivera Road. Cost is $6.For more information, call (562) 698-9059. Come explore the magic of bubbles LA HABRA – The Children’s Museum at La Habra will present the interactive “Fun and Discovery with Bubbles” show at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 13, 301 S. Euclid St. General admission is $5 per person; children under 2 are admitted free. For more information, call (562) 905-9793. Stop smoking through hypnosis WHITTIER – The Whittier Community Services Department will offer a smoking cessation with hypnosis workshop from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 25 and Thursday, June 1, 7630 S. Washington Ave. The fee is $29 for two sessions. Additional CDs or cassettes are available at the class for $12. For more information, call (562) 464-3430. – From staff and wire reports160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! DOWNEY – Three teens were behind bars Tuesday after a robbery in the parking lot of a Downey restaurant, authorities said. The robbery was reported after 10 p.m. Monday in front of an Olive Garden at Woodruff Avenue and Firestone Boulevard, said Downey police Lt. Greg Griffin. The robbers, one of them armed with a handgun, demanded the wallets of three people as they left the restaurant, Griffin said. Two 17-year-olds and one 16-year-old were booked on suspicion of robbery, he said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsGet gardening tips from an expert LA MIRADA – A representative from Home Depot will offer a workshop on proper garden techniques at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the La Mirada Activity Center, 13810 La Mirada Blvd. For more information, call (562) 902-3160. Society plans chili cook-off WHITTIER – The Whittier Historical Society and Museum will present a chili cook-off from 10 a.m. to last_img read more


Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle: Premier League strugglers share points

first_img Luka Milivojevic’s penalty earned the hosts a draw 1 Newcastle resisted intense pressure from Crystal Palace to earn a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park that took them clear of the bottom three.They remain 16th but at kick-off had been level on 24 points with 19th-placed Huddersfield, Stoke and Swansea.Mohamed Diame’s first-half finish then took them into contention for victory against a rival for relegation, but Luka Milivojevic’s penalty instead earned the hosts a point that took them back up to 14th.Palace threatened almost from kick-off when a through-ball from Milivojevic sent Wilfried Zaha through on goal but his heavy touch took possession too close to Karl Darlow, who dived low to collect.Patrick van Aanholt then attacked from left-back and sent Christian Benteke similarly clear, but after another heavy touch the striker struggled for a convincing connection when shooting and Darlow comfortably saved.A right-wing cross from DeAndre Yedlin gave Newcastle their first sight of goal, through Ayoze Perez’s first-time, close-range shot that was on target but did not test Wayne Hennessey.An attack from Kenedy then led to the corner from which they scored the opening goal. When the Brazilian swung a low delivery into the penalty area that Milivojevic missed, Martin Kelly left Diame to run clear at the back post and routinely finish into the near-open goal.Some classy one-touch football created another chance for Zaha, whose close-range effort was blocked by Yedlin, and then Hennessey produced a fine double-save to stop shots from Kenedy and the follow-up from Perez.Towards the end of the first half Palace again worked their way into the visitors’ area, from where Yohan Cabaye backheeled to Zaha, the forward’s shot was brilliantly saved by Darlow, and Benteke then failed to control when the rebound fell to him in front of an open goal.That intensity resumed immediately in the second and after Andros Townsend had sent a header high and wide, Ciaran Clark conceded a penalty when impeding Benteke after the striker leaped to reach Zaha’s cross.Milivojevic showed a lack of conviction when shooting towards the bottom right corner but though Darlow guessed right and got a hand to the ball, he was unable to prevent it sailing behind him and into the back of the net.After further periods of pressure that included James McArthur hooking a rebound wide from in front of goal, the midfielder broke into space on the edge of Newcastle area with time and space but struck over the crossbar.With five minutes remaining the again-impressive Zaha found space in the area to shoot at goal but curled high and wide, and then crossed to Benteke when the visitors’ desperate defending again prevented a winning goal. The striker’s header beat Darlow but Clark blocked on the line, as he did once again after Benteke’s follow-up.Jonjo Shelvey was then fortunate not to concede a penalty for a blatant tug on McArthur’s shirt at a corner, as again the hosts held out and prevented Palace securing the points that would have taken them up to the relative safety of 11th.last_img read more


McLeish: Common sense should prevail after Costa Rica loss

first_imgAfter seeing chances spurned, McLeish wants the Scots to develop a greater cutting edge going forward.Asked where his side can improve, he added: “Finishing, for a start. We had chances but weren’t as clinical as the Costa Rica forward was.“We have to engage forwards when they come into the box and stay with them.“We’re Scottish and we have to show certain traits in our game that the opposition have difficulty with.” He said: “I would expect common sense to prevail, I was a bit disappointed about the first half but pleased by the second.“There were a lot of changes, five new caps, not a lot of rhythm and some of the guys missed a couple of days training.“Although we are five days together we need a lot longer to get a feel for each other like Costa Rica have.”Scotland threatened an equaliser in the second half but were unable to beat Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas. Scotland boss Alex McLeish implored for common sense to prevail after his new-look side lost 1-0 to Costa Rica.The Scots suffered defeat at Hampden after Marco Urena struck the only goal of the game for the Central American World Cup prospects.McLeish had named four debutants in his starting line-up, with the Scots looking disjointed during the first half as a consequence.The former Aston Villa and Birmingham manager agreed that his side lacked urgency in the opening period but felt it was understandable given the squad’s lack of matches together.last_img read more


Simplifying the BMC configuration on an Intel Server Platform

first_imgIntel® Server Board S5500BCX Intel Deployment Assistant CD – this setup CD has been around for some time, and many users like the refreshed interface – it’s a simple bootable ISO which allows for configuration of BIOS, Manageability, RAID and even OS preparation.  You can also save profiles to speed your deployment process across multiple servers. IPMI 2.xCompliant ipmitool – this is the most common tool used by system administrators to setup their BMC en mass.  Many end users have scripts in place to deploy and configure the BMC no matter which platform is being used.  The iBMC is IPMI 2.x compliant and will also accept the open-ipmi commands for configuation.  Shown below is a windows based version of ipmitool doing a simple chassis status query on the S5520UR platform. Customers have spoken, and Intel has listened – there are now three different methods to setting up the BMC (Baseboard Management Controller) on a Intel Xeon 5500 Series Server Platform to simplify your installation methods for these servers. Intel® Server Board S5500HVX Intel® Server Board S5500WBXX BIOS configuration – this is new as of BIOS40 on the 5500 series platforms, and a welcome change.  For many of you who often use the BIOS for configuration of platform technologies – you can now also add the manageability settings of the BMC in the BIOS as well.  Intel® Server Board S5520URXX Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager Intel® Server Board S5500HCVX Intel® Server Board S5520HCXX Let us know how your BMC setup process works – how do you do setup?  Do you have any recommendations or tips?  Thanks for reading!last_img read more


Predictions: A tongue-in-cheek look at 2005

first_imgIn our nanosecond world, reading tea leaves is risky-this year’s predictions could be next year’s stupidities. But here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at 2005.A.B. VajpayeeNovel Change of Course Much as he didn’t want to, brahmachari A.B. Vajpayee finds himself succumbing to women. Between Sonia Gandhi and Wangari Maathai, and Uma Bharati,In our nanosecond world, reading tea leaves is risky-this year’spredictions could be next year’s stupidities. But here’s atongue-in-cheek look at 2005.A.B. VajpayeeNovel Change of CourseMuch as he didn’t want to, brahmachari A.B. Vajpayee finds himself succumbing to women. Between Sonia Gandhi and Wangari Maathai, and Uma Bharati and Smriti Irani, it would have to be a toss to pick the one who made him cringe more. If one wrested the might of power from under his seat, er, feet, the other snatched the Nobel Peace Prize from right under his nose. But though the horizon might not exactly be shining for the vikas purush, he is not quite the one to quit. Instead, the grand old man of Indian politics will resolve for a bigger role and employ his preternatural talent to aim for a new Nobel-this one for literature. The autobiography, liberally interspersed with profound poetry, will be called Kya Khoya Kya Paya. If that were a question, we would provide the answer.Zaheera SheikhBattle of the MindLet’s see now: Zaheera Sheikh first turned hostile in court. Then she took her first U-turn and fast became the darling of the human-rights lobby. Barely eight months later, she again reversed her stand, shouting herself hoarse about a certain messiah turned-malicious bully.Whew! Almost makes one wish away the right to free speech. Since she has mastered the art of volte-face, we won’t dare presume which way she will swing next. But may we propose a new award for her-one for successfully drawing out her 15 seconds of fame to a 20-month-long saga.Uma BharatiDivided We FallWhile the ideal bahu leaves no stone unturned to embarrass the family, Uma Bharati, the original beti, threw one tantrum too many and was immediately banished. Among those left are L.K. Advani and a handful of one-time mascots like Narendra Modi. Not only is the BJP fast tarnishing its Hindu Undivided Family image, it is confused to boot-especially on the issue of ideology. If it continues like this the party will be on the road to perdition.More the MerrierNever mind jokes like “the captain wants each passenger to chip in for fuel”, the war of the sky foretells an influx of no-frills airlines like Air Deccan in the near future -at least 10 more if the industry buzz is to be believed. What we have now is bare-bones service, garish design, unappetising food which we have to pay for, and on-board entertainment that consists only of fellow passengers making impolite noises. The new year may even see the onset of no-frills chic where the low-cost revolution meets the boutique trend-think roomy, all-leather seats, free live satellite TV, et al. Sure will make planned spontaneity a lot more appealing.Taj Mahal not on the list of Seven WondersBack to the FutureIt must have come as a shock to quite a few people that the Taj Mahal was not really included in the original list of the Seven Wonders-after all, tourist brochures, websites and travellers’ tales loudly proclaim it as such. And there lies proof that the world’s most beautiful ode to love does not really need the ongoing publicity blitzkrieg- including a visit by India’s much touted “crossover” star-to ensure its place in the new list of wonders. The mausoleum in Agra will continue to be India’s USP, discoloured marble and tilting minarets notwithstanding.advertisementIndian hockey team on a makeoverField of VisionShaking off the bad press, Indian hockey is all set for a makeover with the Premier Hockey League. The good news is that it will present itself as the first sporting platform where Pakistani and Indian players will play in the same team.The glitch lies in the fact that it’s a one-month, one-venue deal so it can be reduced to what critics call a “media-created, media-sustained blip in the sporting season”. Will it end up as the Psuedo Hockey League?Bihar cannot be imagine without Lalu Prasad YadavUtopian Fantasy”Jab tak samose mein aaloo rahega, tab tak Bihar mein Laloo rahega.”Yes, that is the irrepressible RJD frontman at his grandiloquent best. Who but him would have the gall (and shall we say panache) to make such a statement? And be bang on target, where others would have been laughed out of the country. Indeed, to imagine Bihar polity without Laloo Prasad Yadav, his wife, his brother-in-law, his daughter, his uncle, his son, his son in-law or his niece is near impossible. Critics cry that the “buffoon” will remain till illiteracy exists in Bihar. Others explain that the man is a sure win on the plank of social justice-in many ways, a more crucial issue than development in the state. That itself should reassure those in the samosa business-no need to discover a new filling yet.A Lot of BullDalal Street is going giddy. Stocks are on a roll and the indices hit new highs with every passing day. Being one of Asia’s fastest growing economy, foreign capital is gushing in. The year 2004 ended with a bang. And 2005 promises to be even better. The Sensex may not have touched 7000 but we are getting there. So just invest and let the money do the talking.A Matter of Shock and Aw!When the going gets tough, the rough get cowing, inner voices, inner feelings and all. A certain epitome of bahu resolved that if a foreigner became prime minister, she would give up all the comforts of life. And just when Narendrabhai was beginning to find himself safely ensconced, along came a horrifying cameo from sometimes-bahu, saas-forever Smriti Z. Irani. She threatened a fast-unto-death but retracted sooner than the nation could gasp Hey Ram. With eccentricities looking to be on a geometrical progression, the most bizarre drohungen will cease to shock. A caveat: just don’t believe Ms Irani will ever get her way by threatening to quit saas-bahu serials. Kyunki … yeh ho nahin sakta.Rahul GandhiThe Wonder YearsWill Rahul Gandhi hold a party position in the coming year? Pondering over this one is actually quite pointless. Fact is that he is the de facto No. 2 in the Congress-just go and ask any party worker if you don’t believe us. Since coming to power, the heir apparent has been groomed in earnest but given his mother’s policy to keep the young ‘uns away from big jobs-perhaps to ensure that power does not go to their heads-it is most unlikely that Rahul will climb up the party hierarchy just yet. Most likely, he will continue to “learn the ropes”. He’d better do so diligently, considering that he might be at the helm in the near future-numerologists claim that he will be elected prime minister in 2008.Pecks, Lies & a VideotapeIf love knows no boundaries- man-made or laryngo-neither does voyeurism. Or so proved a recent tongue-twisted movie clip allegedly of actors Shahid Kapur and Kareena Kapoor, clicked on a Peeping Tom’s mobile. Though vehemently denied by the couple, the jury is still out on what constitutes public and private spaces, the case rests: anyone with a camera phone is a possible transgressor of privacy.Witness the rise and rise of Citizen Paparazzi. We could have many more Deep Throats in the coming year.Nuptials Sans a MatchWith his 30 million indulgence for his daughter’s nuptials, Lakshmi Mittal took the great Indian wedding jamboree to a new high. Will 2005 see some NRI set a new record? Sorry, but no. At No. 2 on the desi Richi Rich club is Azim H. Premji and opulent display is simply not his style.Most of the others with that kind of moolah won’t because their children are too young. So unless Mittal tries to outdo himself- round two for either of his children-this mother of all weddings is not likely to have a progeny.Pamella BordesRead Between the LinesIf booby-trapped diva Pamela Anderson could make Star, her autobiographical novel, a star seller with the introductory words, “When A-list meets D-cup…”, why can’t our own gutsy-busty Pamela-as in Bordes/ Singh-take a leaf out of it? The beauteous photographer, who rocked Britain’s Parliament with her sexcapades in the 1980s, is back in the see-me circuit. Imagine the images of the past she will manage to recreate and revive. She could put her writing skills, imbibed from Andrew Neil of course, to royal(ty) use, get the tag of “history sheeter” and call the tome Tar. Psst, it will also be itemised as the meeting of A-list with D-cup.Matter of TimeWho would have imagined that faith, instead of moving mountains, could propel a community towards fossilisation? But that’s the Parsi community’s predicament. They must either quit frowning upon interracial marriages-but harliners refuse to budge on it-or change India’s “hum do, hamare do” mantra to “hum do, hamare half-dozen”. The not-so distant future will pose one of the following scenarios: The Towers of Silence will see neither vultures nor Parsis (and we are taking bets on which one disappears first) or India will overtake China as the most populous country a lot sooner than the predicted 2050. Quite like the devil and the deep blue sea, isn’t it?Deja View on ShowYana Gupta can gyrate-oh! and how-but so can veteran Moushumi Chatterjee, even sans what she calls “buttocks” (botox for most). In fact, all the pretty, age-no-bar types soon might, thanks to one channel that zooms in on the chutzpah and oomph of all those in hibernation. In fact, all out-of-work stars already have the platform ready. Film nada? Join the channel, host a show. No KKK serials? Become an anchor. Invites dried up? Pilot a chat show. If lucky, the show could cross the 13-week mark. If very blessed, who knows, the channel might just surviveManmohan SinghTriumph and TrialDifficult, assertive, unruly- just some of the adjectives we can use to describe the coalition parties in power. The man at the helm-we said man, not woman-may have displayed unexpected steel in controlling allies bound together by little more than a strong dislike for the BJP, but how long can he hold fort?advertisementadvertisement The growing list of unreasonable demands from the allies, a persistent lack of cooperation from those who lost out on the top job, and a frustrated Opposition constantly snapping at his heels-can we blame Manmohan Singh if he throws in the towel for the sake of his own sanity? In fact, if rumours are to be believed, he has already threatened to do so-four times. Yeah, we never could master the art of holding on to a good thingBling It OnGiven that India is generally slow on the uptake, one particular global craze is only starting to take root at home-the growing demand for “life capturing” and storing devices.We are talking everything from memory sticks to cool camera phones.We’re talking Nokia, Samsung, Apple i-Pods and more. “Show your world” is the new mantra for Generation Digital and the new year will take it higher. How far? Just stretch your imagination.Aishwarya RaiRai of HopeAnew year belonging to the frosty beauty-her wax replica has more warmth-is a portent heard ad nauseam, but one whose time has come. Aishwarya Rai, despite the thanda response to her films of late, might just make it to Hollywood this year, armed with Roger Ebert’s praise, and Chaos, Jeannie andWindfall. Let the carpers snigger, if the dream credits start rolling, Rai will be giggling all the way to the banque in LA. Trust it won’t be a fame lasting 60 Minutes.RaghavSound of MusicAnother strain of Kabhi aar, kabhi paar and the entire paraphernalia-remixed beats, songs, albums and the accompanying skin fest-deserves to be blacklisted. In a dismal year capped by Disco 82, the stars that shone through were from the tribe that was given up for no good, the NRI bachcha brigade of Jay Sean and Raghav. Expect more of the same in the days to come.Now for a Big OneBy now we are used to two things: dreaming about a desi film winning an Oscar, and getting stiffed. But the new year could spring a surprise or two, thanks to the Marathi Shwaas. There is an equally strong cheering squad for Jamal, the Little Terrorist, in the short film category. Hark, Mother India, here it comes.last_img read more