What UNESCO tag means for Ramappa Temple

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‘It will galvanise national and international tourism not historical sites in Telangana’

As the euphoria of inscription of Ramappa Temple as a UNESCO World Heritage Site spreads, it’s natural to question what the tag would mean. Will it lead to the world body giving the temple authorities more money? Will the UNESCO have a say in how the temple is run? Questions like this are being asked by lay people. But what is the truth?

“It will galvanise national and international tourism not only to Ramappa but other historical sites in Telangana,” says B.V. Papa Rao of Kakatiya Heritage Trust, who successfully steered the nomination of the Kakatiya-era temple to the coveted tag. A higher number of tourists automatically translates into better amenities and more money for the community where the heritage site is located.

According to a report, the number of foreign as well as domestic visitors has gone up by more than 10% after Ahmedabad clinched the World Heritage City tag in 2017.

“Once a site is inscribed on the World Heritage List, the resulting prestige often helps raise awareness among citizens and governments for heritage preservation. Greater awareness leads to a general rise in the level of the protection and conservation given to heritage properties. A country may also receive financial assistance and expert advice from the World Heritage Committee to support activities for the preservation of its sites,” reads a UNESCO statement.

The funding ranges from $75,000 received for a management plan for Hampi under World Heritage Site in Danger to $10,000 assistance for installing signage within the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway World Heritage site.

The inscribed site also gains protection under Geneva Convention against destruction during war.

But the prestige associated with a heritage tag can just as easily by stripped by the world body leading to a setback to local infrastructure. At this edition of the meeting, Liverpool was deleted from the world heritage list. “Due to the irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property,” said the world body about, ‘Liverpool — Maritime Mercantile City’.

License To Steal? Criminals Use Fake Paper Tags on Getaway Cars, NYPD Says

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What to Know The explosion in temporary paper tags across the tri-state is making getaway cars at crime scenes difficult to track, as well as enabling drivers to evade tolls at crossings across the tri-state area

In Queens, NBC New York saw dozens of paper tags on cars, many of them expired and many from Texas — a state officials said made it easy during the pandemic to obtain a registration online for a fee, few questions asked

The NYPD said their patrol cars armed with license plate readers often can’t determine if a paper tag on a parked car is legitimate or fake, and it’s time consuming for a traffic agent or police officer to research a single paper tag

Thousands of fake temporary license plates are being used by criminals to literally try to get away with murder and other crimes, according to NYPD officials.

Investigators said the explosion in temporary paper tags across the tri-state is making getaway cars at crime scenes difficult to track, as well as enabling drivers to evade tolls at crossings across the tri-state area.

“The use of fraudulent Paper Tags has become a common recourse for criminals looking to mask their identities. Current investigations of drug-traffickers, terrorists, gang members and organized theft rings have all seen a rise in the use of these fraudulent paper tags,” a statement released earlier this week by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s office stated.

NYPD officials point to two recent gang-land type shootings in Brooklyn as examples of how criminals use fake paper license plates. Last month, three men were targeted in a drive-by shootings in the Flatlands section. Although the shooter’s vehicle was caught on a surveillance camera with its plate visible, because the plate was a fake, it hindered police efforts to find the shooters.

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A similar case happened five days earlier along Brooklyn’s East 78th Street. A gunman in a white sedan opened fired on pedestrians and made his getaway. Video captured the car and earlier even showed him affixing the fake paper plate. But police said again, the fake plate makes tracking the car that much tougher.

“One reason it helps them is it is a ghost car,” said Detective Maureen Stefenelli with the NYPD’s Auto Crime Unit. “That’s what I call it – a ‘ghost car.’ Pretty much could be undetectable."

The NYPD says it began a fake license plate crackdown in late May. Since then they say they have made 243 arrests of people in vehicles with fake plates for a series of crimes including nine gun arrests. Some 54 were suspected gang members.

In all 207 vehicles have been seized.

Temporary or paper tags became easier to get during the pandemic where many Department of Motor Vehicle offices were closed. So temporary paper tags were made available for legitimate purposed like for people who needed to register their cars. But criminals saw an opportunity to order tags using fake information, or even just copying plates and affixing them to cars.

“They would put illegitimate information or not real information so it would not be traced back to them,” Detective Stefenelli said.

In Southeast Queens, NBC New York saw dozens and dozens of paper tags on cars, many of them from Texas, numerous of them expired. Texas is one state that officials said made it simple during the pandemic for people to obtain a registration online for a fee, few questions asked.

“You don’t need a middleman,” said veteran NYPD detective Thomas Burke. “You could just go to Texas DMV and say, ‘Hey listen, this is my vin number – can I get a temporary?’”

A recent federal criminal investigation in Houston accused three people of creating four fictitious car dealerships in order to sell temporary tags. In all, more than a half-million paper license plates were allegedly sold. The feds said many buyers had New York addresses.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles tells NBC 4 News, its working with state legislators and law enforcement to stop the improper use of temporary tags. Earlier this year, House Bill 3927 was passed, and includes a recommendation from the TxDMV Board to allow rule-making authority to set the maximum number of temporary tags licensed dealers can issue.

“Out on the street, these are (selling) up to $200, $300. Just look at the profit margin on this,” Burke said.

Investigators said fraudsters are making photocopies of a single legitimate plate and the fakes can be found for sale on social media. Officials said buyers are people who can’t get a registration, don’t want to pay for insurance or pay for tolls. One legitimate Honda Fit owner had her temporary tag copied and soon was receiving thousands in tolls and fines from others using her copied tag, including a Dodge Durango which racked up $4,000 in tolls and fines alone.

“In a lot of states there is this shift to cashless tolling. People are trying to bypass that. And they are bypassing that by using these plates that cannot be linked back,” said Owen McShane of the New York State DMV.

The Port Authority loses millions in tolls as a result of fake license plate scams. In one example, 28-year-old Eric Haye, of Roselle, New Jersey, was arrested for allegedly selling paper tags to motorists looking to beat the system. He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance on forgery charges, on August 18th.

As a result, on July 29, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey sent a letter to social media companies like eBay and Craigslist asking them to take action to try to help stop the sale of fake tags on their respective sites.

“The online offering of fake license tags described above appears to violate your platforms’ terms of service. And the use of your platforms to facilitate the referenced criminal activity imposes substantial burdens on the public,” wrote Michael Farbiarz, the Port Authority’s general counsel.

NYPD officials said their patrol cars armed with license plate readers often can’t determine if a paper tag on a parked car is legitimate or fake. And it is time consuming for a traffic agent or police officer to research a single paper tag.

Officials point to a New Jersey tag was photocopied and then used illegally on numerous other cars. Police said to date, the fakes associated with that one license plate number are connected to 35 arrests, 113 summonses, 48 different complaints and 11 9-1-1 calls.

The NYPD said it is training officers how to better spot fake plates. And any car with a temporary tag with any violation is automatically towed, not just ticketed, so the owner has the burden of proving the car and tag are legitimate in order to get the car released from the pound.

As of July 1st, NYPD has towed 3,892 vehicles with paper plates. And almost a quarter of them, 797, were never picked up by the vehicle owner.

Near the World Trade Center site, numerous cars were parked on side streets with temporary tags, with law enforcement always worried about ongoing terror threats. “The question you have to ask yourself is — why do they have a temporary plate? What are they hiding?” the NYPD’s Stefanelli said.

She added that too often fake paper tags are becoming a new weapon for criminals who increasingly use these plates as a license to steal.

Anthony Martial must shake forgotten man tag at Manchester United to earn his place back

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If you ask fans and pundits alike “what is Manchester United ’s strongest area of their squad?”, it’s very likely that the answer to that question will be their attack.

With Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba joined by Jadon Sancho this summer, they’ve gone from strength to strength and added depth to their already strongest position.

But one name left out there that you might not have even noticed is Anthony Martial - United’s top goalscorer just two seasons ago.

The Frenchman had a horrendous season last year, scoring just seven times from 36 appearances in all competitions, horrifically underperforming compared to his 23 goals in 48 appearances the season before. At 25-years-old, he isn’t a kid anymore and many fans have lost faith in him.

But it’s very easy to forget just how good he is when he’s on his game.

He’s got an excellent first touch and, among United’s centre-forward options, he is without a doubt the best at playing with his back to goal. He has great pace, good movement and is an excellent finisher too. An issue he’s always had, though, is that he doesn’t look like he’s working hard often enough, so when it’s going badly it looks much worse than it should.

Put that aside for a moment and look at his ability; you can see just how gifted this young man is when it comes to the beautiful game. A knee injury has scuppered his chances of making an impression during pre-season so far, but the way he’s been cast to the side by fans is pretty fickle.

United’s wide options are currently Rashford, Sancho, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Amad, Facundo Pellistri and Anthony Elanga. After the first two names, who will be the regular starters more often than not, there is a considerable drop in quality. Martial has the ability to play out on the left, where he essentially made his name at Old Trafford with electric performances.

Up front the options are slimmer, with Cavani and Greenwood pushing each other for the number nine role along with Martial. But let’s not forget that it’s the former Monaco man who has the shirt right now and has proven in the past that he can deliver over the course of a season.

Cavani is the big name and has the reputation, but he’s also 34-years-old and is yet to return for pre-season following his participation at Copa America with Uruguay. It must be remembered, however, that he had a very slow start to the season last year and only completed the full 90 minutes 13 times out of his 39 appearances for the club.

His fitness is not what it once was and being a year older makes it even harder to rely on him.

Greenwood, on the other hand, is at the opposite end of his career and looking to take the crown as the number one striker at the club. At just 19, he is still developing and learning the role in men’s football; Solskjaer has hinted that he could potentially continue to use him as a wide man until he stops growing physically.

Many are seeing this season as a passing of the torch from Cavani to Greenwood for the long-term number nine position. After two seasons of regular football, the England striker can kick on and make that spot his own.

Martial’s reputation has been thrown to the wolves simply because of one bad season, but United fans would do well to have some patience.

It’s almost impossible for the man with a song dedicated to him scoring again having another season in front of goal as he did last year. If he can rediscover the form that made him a fan favourite and United’s top goalscorer when the season ended in August 2020, then not only will the club be in a better place but Martial can make the number nine shirt he loves so much his own for the foreseeable future.

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