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...This Brazilian-style greeting is infectious. You get to hear this everywhere—at the Main Press Centre, in the market place, at eateries, or while standing by the roadside waiting for a taxi. It is often followed by a thumbs up sign and a big smile. Ola! Your heart gets a lift and opens up to this beautiful, charming, enticing and warm city, which the locals refer to as a ‘cidade maravilhosa’—the marvellous city. “God has given Rio everything—beautiful beaches, alluring mountains, lakes, forests and lovely people. Where do you get all of this in one place? Just the perfect place to celebrate life,” said a visitor on Wednesday night. The setting is indeed perfect. The celebrations have already begun at the Copacabana and Ipanema or the Barra area where the main stadiums have been built and where the athletes and the media persons are based. Rio is ready to give a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘celebration of life’ as the curtain goes up on South America’s first Olympic Games on Friday (Saturday IST). There is little talk of economic slowdown, political uncertainty and an impending crisis on the horizon. All that can surely wait. The Games numbers are staggering. ...TOI on Aug. 5, 2016, 12:20 p.m.
...She brushes back her long, wiry locks, carelessly, and smiles again.”Welcome to Rio!” “Thank you, very much madam.” A long, long journey is coming to an end, but a voice inside your head is ringing in a reminder this is just the beginning my friend. After 26 hours of nonstop travel, the body is craving for a bath and nice, warm bed. But the mind is in overdrive, battling the jet lag, trying to get a feel and a sense of what the biggest sporting spectacle is bringing to this part of Latin America. Maria and her friends have been working overtime at the airport, greeting guests and helping athletes get through immigration with minimum of fuss. The first thing that strikes you in the special line is a small group of men and women, dressed in green, the word ‘Syria’ emblazoned on their T-shirts. In front is a tall, wiry man, sporting a neat beard. You smile, he smiles back. A small conversation is revealing. He is the high jumper Majededdin Ghazal, who has the best leap of the year 2.36m. ...TOI on Aug. 4, 2016, 6:49 p.m.
...The cane farming and sugar mill industry in India is irregular: it is neither decontrolled nor fully controlled, and is not guided by well-thought out rules.In UP, it is even more skewed, shaped by a series of ad hoc decisions to appease both cane growers (who influence rural voting) and the sugar industry (which can be a source for political donations).Till the beginning of the 21st century, most sugar mills in UP were state-owned.Pandering to the cane grower's lobby, successive state governments kept increasing the price to be paid by these mills to the growers.Rising cane prices led to mounting losses for the sugar mills, which the state government dutifully absorbed.The few private sugar mills fell in line, though some of them also had to close down.These losses led to cane price payments arrears, which were paid off after a delay. ...Indian Express on Dec. 9, 2013, 2:40 a.m.