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Telescope Group chooses Canary Islands as an alternative to Hawaii

The Canary Islands was selected as the site after the Hawaii Supreme Court blocked construction of the telescope on the Big Island.

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The Gran Telescopio Canarias, one of the the world's largest telescopes, is viewed at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain. The designation of the Canary Islands as an alternative site for the TMT comes nearly a year after the Hawaii Supreme Court blocked construction of the telescope on the Big Island. VOA
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November 1, 2016: The team behind a project to build one of the world’s largest telescopes said on Monday it has chosen Spain’s Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean as a possible alternative to Hawaii.

The decision follows opposition from Native Hawaiians and environmentalists to plans for constructing the so-called Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), which would cost $1.4 billion, at the Mauna Kea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

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Henry Yang, chair of the TMT International Observatory Board, said in a statement the board explored a number of alternative sites for the telescope.

Ultimately, the board selected La Palma, the most westerly of the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco, as the primary alternative to Hawaii, Yang said.

His statement did not say what made that particular site ideal for the project.

The designation of the Canary Islands as an alternative comes nearly a year after the Hawaii Supreme Court blocked construction of the telescope on the Big Island.

The court found state officials acted improperly when they issued a building permit without holding a process known as a contested case hearing where opponents could speak out.

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On Oct. 20, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources opened a new set of hearings on the project, with a retired judge overseeing those proceedings.

The New York Times reported a decision on the latest application to build the telescope in Hawaii could be made next year.

Yang said the Big Island continues to be the preferred choice of the team behind the telescope and the group will continue “intensive efforts to gain approval” for it in Hawaii.

The area around the summit of Mauna Kea, the volcano, already has 13 working telescopes, according to the website of the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy.

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Astronomers consider the site ideal for observing outer space because of the dry atmosphere above the volcano and because of its distance from urban lights.

Native Hawaiians who oppose the project have said the proposed site for the new telescope on the Big Island is considered a spiritual temple and also is a burial ground, adding the project could harm those sacred lands. (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)