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London continues to be a top tourist destination, and there was renewed interest and many more visitors with the Olympics being held there. Visitors are always anxious to tour famous attractions when they have spare time from other activities, and London is filled with amazing historical places of interest. Here are some best things to do in London. London is an exciting place to visit. With so many places to visit and numerous attractions to see, and exciting things to do, you will be spoiled for choice.

westminster.abbey_Westminster Abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a spectacular example of a Gothic church which has been the venue for almost every royal coronation since 1066 and included that of Queen Elizabeth II. Royal weddings, including that of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, have brought joy there. Burials of approximately 3300 honored people have occurred over the years including kings and queens as well as Charles Dickens, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and many others.

Theatre tickets for an outstanding London theatre should include the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The original open-air playhouse that housed Shakespeare’s plays was built in 1599 but was burned down in 1613 when a thatched roof caught fire from a cannon shot during a play. A new Globe was built on the same foundations before Shakespeare’s death and operated until 1642 when it was closed down and later razed by the Puritans. After discovery of the foundations in 1989, a new theater was completed and was officially opened in June, 1997 by Queen Elizabeth II.

hampton-court-palace1The Hampton Court Palace presents an actor portraying King Henry VIII who shows visitors what the Tudor world and royal residence living was like. Here you will see the world’s largest private art collection, the property of the current Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Victoria opened the apartments with their original furnishings, paintings and tapestries as well as 60 acres of formal gardens to the public in 1838.

The Churchill Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum include 90 years of Winston Churchill’s life. They must be entered through an entranceway on King Charles Street that did not originally exist when the underground bunker was eventually increased to 30,000 feet and housed the operations for World War II. On August 16, 1945 when the bunker was closed, workers went home and left desks, papers, blackboards and even Churchill’s swivel chair just as they were.

tower bridge crossing the thames river in london englandA Thames river cruise tops off a visit as it weaves through the city and past many of the main attractions including Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the House of Parliament, and many others.

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Soyak-Park-Apartments-for-sale-in-Halkali-Istanbul-r-31Make sure you are hiring the right real estate broker by checking their history. Have they made successful deals in the past? If they have no achievement to show, they probably do not have the skills or the network you are going to need. They should also be able to show you material they work with, such as charts and checklists.

When you are in the market to purchase commercial real estate it is very important to do some research so that you can find out what the crime rate in the area is. That is important because you will not be able to easily find tenants to lease space in a dangerous neighborhood.

If you are relatively inexperienced with commercial real estate investments, don’t forget that as with other investment types, there is a learning curve that will allow you to select and pursue properties with more confidence as you become increasingly familiar with the process. Don’t rush yourself. Be sure to take the time to absorb all of the details and processes involved.

If you are planning on investing in an apartment complex, think big. The more apartment spaces you have to rent, the greater your profit potential. Think of it this way as long as you have to take out a loan to finance the building, you may as well make it worth your while. Not only can you earn more money with a larger building, but in most cases it is no more difficult to manage than a smaller building. Turkey properties are affordable to buy in the places such as Marmaris, Istanbul, Alanya, Antalya, Kumluca of Turkey. Now, buying a property in Turkey is a pleasurable experience for real estate investors and there is huge Property for sale in Istanbul.

Commercial properties have a lifetime. One of largest mistakes you can make as an property investor is to ignore the fact, that over time, a building will need upkeep, and you will have to pay for it. Every property goes through phases where things will need to be updated, repaired, or replaced. It is best to have a long-term plan so you are able to handle such repairs. Expect to lose some money to due diligence. When you’re making deals, you should always be aware of how much money due diligence can cost you. For instance, if you’re making a small purchase and realize too late that you actually don’t want to buy it, then you don’t want to lose money that way.

You should consider commercial real estate to be a long term investment. Think about your decision thoroughly, take time to complete your transaction, and get your apartments ready before you rent them. You will be making money slowly at first, but once you have paid off your loan, you will be making huge profits.

Find out how up-to-date the structure is, inside and outside. If you are interested in buying a commercial property, it’s crucial that you know the age of the roof, the age of the hot water heater and things of that nature. This way you will be able to gauge how much more money you will need to spend on the property.

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Hyderabad Biodiversity Capital

XI Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

  • More than 8,000 delegates from 193 countries are expected to participate
  • Biodiversity Park, Museum & Pylon to be established for COP-11

United Nations Decade on Biodiversity logoThe eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is going to kick start in Hyderabad from 1 to 19 October 2012.  A national stakeholder consultative meeting was held that brought together the representatives of civil society, the scientific community, United Nations agencies and other donors as well as the representatives of the business community.

The Conference on Biodiversity at Hyderabad will be held from 1st-19th October 2012, in HICC. More than 8,000 delegates from 193 countries are expected to participate. The CoP-11 schedule is 1st to 5th October 2012 – meeting of parties (MoP) on Bio-safety Cartigena Protocol will be held. 8th – 19th October 2012 Conference of Parties (CoP-11) will be held. 17th – 19 October 2012, the High Level Segment will be held.

biodiversity Five themes identified for High Level Segment (HLS) are Biodiversity and Livelihoods, Integration of value of Biodiversity in National Planning and Accounting Process, Strategy for Resource Mobilisation, Coastal and Marine Biodiversity and Operationalization of Nagoya Protocol.

The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties will coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity as well with the Rio+20 meeting scheduled earlier in the year.  India has not hosted a meeting of a Conference of the Parties to a multilateral environmental agreement since 2002.  This will be the first meeting to assess the implementation of the Nagoya biodiversity compact.

By the time of the Hyderabad meeting, it is expected that all countries who are Parties to the Convention will have submitted their national biodiversity strategies and action plans, and many will also have updated them.

The Hyderabad meeting is also noteworthy, as it is widely expected that two new protocols to the  Convention will have entered into force:  the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources  and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, and the Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on  Biosafety will have force of law should both receive sufficient numbers of instruments of  ratification in the coming months. Currently, the Nagoya Protocol has 24 signatories and the Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol has 23.

Attending the ceremony, Mr Hideki Minamikawa, the Vice-Minister of the Environment of Japan  representing the President of the Conference of the Parties pledged the full support of Japan for  the success of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

After announcing that the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties will be held in Hyderabad, Jairam Ramesh, the Minister of the Environment and Forests of India, unveiled the logo of the Hyderabad biodiversity summit. The logo builds on the logo of the Nagoya biodiversity summit and symbolizes the cycle of life represented by a tiger and a whale and human being, with grain at the centre. In presenting the logo, the Minister stated that livelihoods and biodiversity should be at the centre of discussions at the summit, to be held under the slogan ― Prakruti Rakshati Rakshita‖ (―Nature Protects if She is Protected).

Logo:

bidiversity-logoThe CoP 11 to CBD logo has been developed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad for Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India.

The CoP 11 to CBD logo consists of three major motifs, the Royal Bengal Tiger on the upper part, a woman with a bird and a leaf at the centre and a dolphin on the lower part of the circle. On top is the slogan in Sanskrit with English translation ‘Nature Protects if She is Protected’

About The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 193 Parties, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address  all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through  scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of  technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders  including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community.  The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a subsidiary agreement to the Convention. It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 159 countries plus the European Union have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Secretariat of the Convention and its Cartagena Protocol is located in Montreal. For more information visit www.cbd.int

For additional information, please contact: David Ainsworth on +1 514 287 7025 or at

david.ainsworth@cbd.int  ; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at johan.hedlund@cbd.int .

Welcome to Hyderabad, India

Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh, India) will be host to  the  eleventh  meeting  of  the  Conference  of  the  Parties  to  the  Convention  on  Biological  Diversity.  Organised by Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, the Conference will be held from 1 to 19 October 2012 at HICC – HITEX Complex  in Hyderabad, India.

For further information and updates please visit:

www.cbdcop11india.in

Useful Stuff for foreign delegates:

Interactive fair for Biodiversity route mapXI Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

http://cbdcop11india.in/home.html

Interactive fair for Biodiversity

Science Express – Biodiversity Special- http://www.sciencexpress.in/

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India’s Western Ghats

India’s Western Ghats have been added to the prestigious list of the United Nation’s cultural agency, UNESCO’s world heritage sites.

The mountains cover an area of about 160,000 sq km (61,776 sq miles) stretching from India’s southern tip to Gujarat. The lush mountains are at risk of a biodiversity crisis due to rapidly increasing population, the BBC reports.

According to UNESCO, the forests include non-equatorial tropical evergreen forests and are home to at least 325 globally-threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species. The mountains are also recognised as one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity, and its forests influence the Indian monsoons.

Some interesting Facts:

  • The Western Ghats have 508 bird species, 16 of which are endemic.
  • Nearly 10,000 Asian elephants live here.
  • The rare nilgiri langur monkey lives here

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to add the Western Ghats — believed to have forests older than the Himalayas — to its World Heritage List, taking India’s tally of such sites to 29.

On July 1, the World Heritage committee, a 21-member body, met at St Petersburg, Russia, and included the Western Ghats on its list, along with 14 other sites around the world. About 17 nations, including Russia and Japan, participated in an elaborate discussion and backed the proposal to include the Ghats on this prestigious list.

Popularly known as ‘Sahyadri’ and ‘Malnad’ in local parlance, the Western Ghats mountain chain starts at the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra, and runs through the states of Maharashtra , Goa, Karnataka , Tamil Nadu and Kerala, ending at Kanyakumari . It is recognized as one of the world’s eight hottest hotspots of biological diversity that largely influences the Indian monsoon weather pattern.

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Viswanathan Anand contemplates his move against Boris Gelfand of Israel

World champion Viswanathan Anand triumphed in a series of rapid chess games against Boris Gelfand of Israel to clinch his world titlefor the 5th time on Wednesday May 30, 2012, at Moscow’s Tretyakovsky State Gallery, Russia.

After three weeks of regular play ended with the score tied at 6-6, Anand and Gelfand faced off in a series of tie-breakers. Anand will receive $1.5 million, while challenger Gelfand bags $1 million.

The 42-year-old Viswanathan Anand became the first Asian to win the FIDE world chess championship after defeating Latvian Alexei Shirov in Tehran in 2000. Anand’s triumph Wednesday was his 5th consecutive — he also won in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

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BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Leaders

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) represent over 40 per cent of the world’s population and the leaders of the five countries discussed ways to enhance intra-BRICS trade and review the situation in the region.

Addressing the 4th BRICS Summit in New Delhi on 29 March 12, Thursday,  India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the grouping has agreed to examine in “greater detail” a proposal to set up a South-South development bank, funded and managed by BRICS and other developing countries.

The Summit has been attended by Brazilian President Dilma Roussef, Chinese president Hu Jintao, South African president Jacob Zuma and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev besides Dr. Singh.

Dr. Singh said “We must avoid political disruptions that create volatilities in global energy markets and affect trade flow… We must ensure policy coordination to revive economic growth.  On UNSC reforms, Dr. Singh suggested that BRICS countries should speak in one voice on issues such as reforms of the international body. He also said in their restricted session, the grouping also discussed the ongoing turmoil in West Asia and agreed to work together for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

Touching upon the issue of terrorism, Dr. Singh said the countries should enhance cooperation against terrorism and other developing threats such as piracy, particularly emanating from Somalia”.

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World's largest Hindu temple -Angkor Wat

The Bihar Mahavir Mandir Trust (BMMT) is going to build a bigger temple in Bihar’s Vaishali district by replicating the world largest Hindu temple in Combodia’s Angkor Wat.

The Hindu temple will be built at a cost of Rs 100 crores, the five-storied and 222-feet tall temple will come up at a sprawling campus spread over 15 acres at a place near Ismailpur village on Hajipur-Bidupur road, which will be christened as Angkor Nagar, BMMT’s secretary and ex-IPS officer Acharya Kishore Kunal said. Land worth around Rs 30 crores has already been acquired for the purpose from locals, he said.

apsaras_angkorwat

The proposed temple will be named ‘Virat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir‘ and it will house the statues of Radha-Krishna, Shiva-Parvati, Ganesh, Surya, Vishnu and ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

It will take up to 5 years to construct the temple and another five years to give the final finishing touches to it, Kunal said. On selection of the specific site for construction of the world’s largest Hindu temple, he said the place has mythological significance as it was said that the deities Ram, Lakshman and Vishvamitra had set their foot on the village and were welcomed by the King Sumati of the Vaishali kingdom.

Aksharadam Temple

The ‘bhumi puja’ for the proposed temple will be held tomorrow, Kunal said adding the temple was being constructed to mark the centenary celebrations of the BMMTs. The Angkor Wat temple was built in Cambodia in the 12th century during the rule of the Cambodian king Suryavarman (1141-1152 AD)

Fury at plan for Indian replica of Angkor Wat

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