<![CDATA[rss-Lifestyle]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Lifestyle]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Egypt to witness Venus Saturday ]]>
Besides a vision of Venus, Egypt will also witness the moon, below it Jupiter and the star, Spica, between them; Tadrous pointed out that the phenomenon will go on for about 59 minutes.

There is some information about the astronomical phenomenon:

- The phenomenon can be seen with the naked eye without the need for monitoring devices.

- Venus is the third brightest object in the dome of the sky after the sun and moon.

- Venus will appear as a bright white spot and as a half disk of light by sunlight.

- The best vision for Venus is through the telescope before the beginning of the night and before it becomes at the top of the brightness and affects the glow of light on the monitoring process.

- Sunday, Venus will begin to gradually move towards the sun.

8/18/2018 12:18:29 PM
<![CDATA[Tips to help you raise a future leader]]>
Parents must focus on teaching basic skills at the beginning of their lives such as courage, decision-making, self-confidence, positive self-image and self-acceptance.

In August 2017, Mustafa Abu Saad, a professor in Educational Psychology and a Global Trainer in NLP specialized in education, said in Arabiya Magazine that raising and preparing children to be successful, happy and beneficial to their community is a great challenge for every family in the presence of external influences that parents cannot control. These external influences affect the personality and background of the child.

Abu Saad added that parents must prepare a generation of leaders who trust in themselves and challenge the obstacles that stand in the way of their nation to teach them consistency and commitment, noting that the following are the most important qualities required in preparing a leading child:

1. Scientific excellence, intelligence, and promptitude.
2. Commitment to responsibilities of any kind.
3. Self-confidence.
4. Ambition and activeness.
5. Decisiveness.
6. Articulateness.
7. Wisdom.
8. Humility.
9. Tender and continued commitment.
10. Positive influence.
11. The ability to identify and reach objectives.
12. The ability to persuade and manage a group of students.
13. To be characterized by order and timeliness.
14. Honesty.
15. Thoughtfulness.
16. Open-mindedness.
17. To care about their general appearance.

How do we focus on the child in his/her early years to enable him/her to become a leader?

About 90 percent of a child’s personality is formed in the first seven years; where the child begins to form a self-image, according to Abu Saad. Abu Saad added that between 7 and 18 years of age, 10 percent of the child's personality is formed. The personalities of children must be restructured through persuasion, soft understanding, decision-making, power and time value.

TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that being emotional is responsible for 58 percent of a leader’s job performance. Some 90 percent of top-performing leaders have are to a degree emotional, Forbes reported in August 2015.

According to The Independent, children need love and a sense of safety to help them overcome hard exams; they will associate love and security with achievements and will enjoy their success more.

Furthermore, resilience with children is essential for learning. Martin Seligman, a professor of American psychology, said that resilience helps children to think more realistically and become more creative.

Parents should give their children the chance to choose an appropriate specialization in accordance with their personalities; they should allow them to study what they like and should refrain from choosing for them.

Research shows that parents have to develop the hobbies of the child such as drawing, dealing with others, competing with others, to develop in the child the love of leadership.

Problem-solving skills in children need to be developed without hesitation and reliance on others. According to Forbes, “Children who always have someone swooping in to rescue them spend their whole lives waiting for this to happen.” Leaders take action and they are responsible and accountable.

Important advice for parents

According to an article in Forbes magazine, children need to be praised for building a healthy sense of self-esteem to become successful leaders. Show your children how proud they are, it helps them understand the true meaning of leadership and will do so in turn when they do become leaders.

The article also added that parents must teach their children that every one makes mistakes; leaders need to be able to observe mistakes, learn from it, and move on to become better people.

Parents should not use cruelty with children. Children not treated with tenderness become unable to empathize, which in turn makes them unsuccessful because of their inability to connect to others, according to Amani Al-Omar, a psychologist at the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Omar added that children have to take responsibility early on, they have to practice hobbies. Parents must praise their successes to give them more confidence in themselves, noting that parents should teach children that violence does not make them successful leaders.

Parents mistakenly believe that the higher the IQ of the child, the better grades they will get, but it is not true, Omar assures. Emotional intelligence is more important than mental intelligence, the most powerful example of which are geniuses such as Einstein, Da Vinci and Edison who were expelled from school and were told that they were failures.

In August 2017, Khaled Mahmoud Abdel Latif, a writer, said that European and Asian countries such as Japan and China were able to rise because of teamwork and leadership, and the concept of strategic planning.

Finally, children must be encouraged to love challenges, since they will face many throughout their lives as they grow older.
8/15/2018 3:39:41 PM
<![CDATA[Greek town loves movie score maestro Morricone - and it shows]]>
The residents of Larissa have launched a fan club dedicated to the Italian maestro - known for his scores for classic movies “Once Upon a Time in America”, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “The Mission”.

Members of the Cultural Society of Friends of Ennio Morricone Music in Greece screen his films and broadcast his concerts live on screens at archaeological sites.

In the latest sign of their appreciation, they have commissioned a mural of Morricone’s bespectacled profile on a five-storey residential block, about 1,000 km (620 miles) away from his birthplace in Rome.

“It is very visible, we wanted a clear illustration of him, so it could always remain here in our town, magnificent, like him and his large body of work,” said society president Konstantinos Papakostas.

Papakostas set up the society in 2010 after seeing the Oscar-winning composer perform live in the Italian capital, then Assago, Milan.

He spread the word in Larissa and has since persuaded 1,080 fellow townspeople to sign up as members.

“I am completely in awe of him and his music,” Papakostas said.

Morricone, who turns 90 this year, is still composing music and has a series of performances lined up as part of “The 60 Years in Music” tour.]]>
8/14/2018 1:07:46 PM
<![CDATA[NASA launches historic probe to 'touch Sun']]>
"Three, two, one, and liftoff!" said a NASA commentator as the Parker Solar Probe lit up the dark night sky aboard a Delta IV-Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 3:31 am (0731 GMT).

The unmanned spacecraft aims to get closer than any human-made object in history to the center of our solar system.

The probe is designed to plunge into the Sun's atmosphere, known as the corona, during a seven-year mission.

It is protected by an ultra-powerful heat shield that can endure unprecedented levels of heat, and radiation 500 times that experienced on Earth.

- Strange veil -

NASA has billed the mission as the first spacecraft to "touch the Sun."

In reality, it should come within 3.83 million miles (6.16 million kilometers) of the Sun's surface, close enough to study the curious phenomenon of the solar wind and the Sun's atmosphere, known as the corona, which is 300 times hotter than its surface.

The car-sized probe is designed to give scientists a better understanding of solar wind and geomagnetic storms that risk wreaking chaos on Earth by knocking out the power grid.

These solar outbursts are poorly understood, but pack the potential to wipe out power to millions of people.

A worst-case scenario could cost up to two trillion dollars in the first year alone and take a decade to fully recover from, experts have warned.

"The Parker Solar Probe will help us do a much better job of predicting when a disturbance in the solar wind could hit Earth," said Justin Kasper, a project scientist and professor at the University of Michigan.

Knowing more about the solar wind and space storms will also help protect future deep space explorers as they journey toward the Moon or Mars.

- Heat shield -

The probe is guarded by an ultra-powerful heat shield that is just 4.5 inches (11.43 centimeters) thick, enabling the spacecraft to survive its close shave with the fiery star.

Even in a region where temperatures can reach more than a million degrees Fahrenheit, the sunlight is expected to heat the shield to just around 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,371 degrees Celsius).

If all works as planned, the inside of the spacecraft should stay at just 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The goal for the Parker Solar Probe is to make 24 passes through the corona during its seven-year mission.

"The sun is full of mysteries," said Nicky Fox, project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.

"We are ready. We have the perfect payload. We know the questions we want to answer."

- 91-year-old namesake -

The spacecraft is the only NASA probe in history to be named after a living person -- in this case, 91-year-old solar physicist Eugene Parker, who first described the solar wind in 1958.

Parker said last week that he was "impressed" by the Parker Solar Probe, calling it "a very complex machine."

NASA chief of the science mission directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, said Saturday that Parker is an "incredible hero of our scientific community," and called the probe one of NASA most "strategically important" missions.

Scientists have wanted to build a spacecraft like this for more than 60 years, but only in recent years did the heat shield technology advance enough to be capable of protecting sensitive instruments.

Tools on board will measure high-energy particles associated with flares and coronal mass ejections, as well as the changing magnetic field around the Sun.

A white light imager will take images of the atmosphere right in front of the Sun.

When it nears the Sun, the probe will travel rapidly enough to go from New York to Tokyo in one minute -- some 430,000 miles per hour, making it the fastest human-made object.]]>
8/12/2018 11:04:33 AM
<![CDATA[Partial solar eclipse to take place Saturday, unseen in Arab world]]>
The Association of Astronomy in Jeddah announced that this partial eclipse, celestial event in which the moon briefly lapses with the sun, will be visible from Northern and Eastern Europe, North America, and some northern and western locations in Asia, making it the most watched solar eclipse of 2018 especially in Russia; however, it will be totally invisible in the Arab region.

"Unlike the lunar eclipse, the solar eclipse needs special monitoring equipment such as special glasses or optical filters for telescopes and binoculars for eye safety," the report stated.

The eclipse will officially begin when the moon first appears to make contact with the sun's disk at 4:02 a.m. EDT 8:02 GMT. Maximum eclipse will occur at 5:46 a.m. EDT (9:46 GMT), when the eclipse is at magnitude 0.7361.

During the solar eclipse, the moon reaches the stage of conjugation, called the "giant helix", which is 358,491 kilometers from east to west, ending its cycle around Earth and starting its new cycle.

The report declared that the moon can be called a "giant” whether it is a full or partial moon, when the distance between the center of the moon and the center of the Earth lays within a distance of 362,146 kilometers.

According to the repost, such a description lacks accuracy; yet, it has been commonly used years ago.

Accordingly, the moon will be near “perigee”, the closest point to Earth in the moon's orbit.

Solar eclipses occur when the disk of the moon appears to cross in front of the disk of the sun, while a total solar eclipse, like the one that took place on Aug. 21, 2017, occurs when the disk of the moon blocks 100 percent the solar disk. A partial eclipse occurs when the moon covers only part of the sun’s disk.

As noticed, in 2018, sky watchers in the few selected locations on Earth did have three opportunities to observe a solar eclipse. The first solar eclipse of 2018 took place on Feb. 15 and was visible only from parts of Antarctica, the Atlantic Ocean and southern South America. The second one took place on July 13 and was visible primarily over the ocean between Australia and Antarctica. The third and last one is taking place on Aug. 11 and will swing over the North Pole.

Additional reporting by Ingy Rashed
8/11/2018 2:58:32 PM
<![CDATA[Sacre bleu! Blue wine makes a splash in southern France]]>
In the Mediterranean resort’s restaurants and beach bars, holidaymakers and local residents have drunk their way through the first 2,000-bottle consignment of the turquoise-colored chardonnay.

Now Rene Le Bail, the entrepreneur marketing the Spanish-made wine, has put in an order for up to 35,000 more bottles.

“It reminds me of something, I’m not sure which fruit but it makes me think of, I don’t know, maybe sweets from my childhood,” said a diner who identified himself as Frederic.

“I love the color, it’s perfect for the summer. It brings happiness, joy, I really like it,” said Nora, a tourist from Singapore while drinking in a beachfront restaurant.

The wine is filtered through a pulp of red grape skins which contain a natural pigment, anthocyanin, and gives the wine its electric blue color.

Le Bail turned to a vineyard in Spain’s southern Almeria region to find a blue wine that he says boasts aromas of cherry, raspberry and passion fruit.

It is not the first blue wine to come out of Spain. In 2016, Spanish startup Gik developed a wine with a deep sapphire hue. But because of its “vin bleu” label, it ran afoul of strict French labeling rules and suffered a short shelf-life in stores.

The entrepreneur has sidestepped the regulations with some clever naming, labeling the 12 euro bottles: ‘Vindigo’.

“I think the bottles we’ve ordered will go in two months. Everybody wants it,” Le Bail told Reuters.

Le Bail says he has been inundated with orders from across France, Belgium and Germany on the wine’s Facebook page and says demand for the wine stretches as far as Russia, the Caribbean and China.

“We’ve said no to all the big supermarkets. We want in France to sell the wine through small-scale wine merchants and grocers,” he said.

In a country where rosé wine was for decades seen as a poor cousin to red and white before becoming fashionable in recent years, not everyone shares Le Bail’s conviction that blue wine is here to last.

“It’s a bit heavy in its aromas,” said Philippe Delran, a bespectacled wine merchant in Sete who raised his eyebrows in thinly-concealed displeasure on judging the wine’s bouquet. “It needs more work.”]]>
8/11/2018 11:27:49 AM
<![CDATA[Want to be a dad? Wear boxers, not skin-tight briefs]]>
Compared to men who favor snug-fitting briefs, devotees of boxer shorts had a significantly higher count and concentration of sperm, researchers reported in the journal Human Reproduction.

The sperm were also more lively, and levels of a reproductive hormone were more favorable to generating offspring.

Researchers led by Lidia Minguez-Alarcon of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston examined 656 men of normal weight, aged 18 to 56, whose partners were seeking infertility treatment at a clinic.

Earlier research had come to the same conclusion, but with a smaller sample size. Corroborating data on the hormone, known as FSH, was also new.

Successful sperm production requires an environment three to four degrees Celsius (5.6 to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) below body temperature.

This explains the design of the free-hanging male scrotum, which is, in effect, a cooling system that places the sperm-making testes outside the main body cavity.

Anything that prevents this cooling is likely to impair both sperm output and quality.

- If in doubt... -

While the age-old locker-room debate among men -- boxers vs. briefs -- is more aesthetic than medical, the question has long been raised: do tight-fitting shorts overheat the family jewels?

The answer, it seems, is "a little bit, but it may not matter".

"The study provides reasonably strong supporting evidence that wearing tighter underwear might cause mild, but significant, impaired sperm production in men," noted Richard Sharpe, an honorary professor from the University of Edinburgh's MRC Centre for Reproductive Health who was not involved in the research.

Ashely Grossman, professor of endocrinology at Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, agreed, saying the results were robust enough to merit a small lifestyle change when in doubt.

"It is a simple measure to wear boxer shorts when there is uncertainty regarding fertility," he commented.

At the same time, experts noted a number of gaps in the new study that left room for uncertainty, and highlighted the need for follow up research.

While each participant provided a sperm and blood sample, sartorial habits were self-reported.

The study was also not a clinical trial -- the gold standard in health research -- but a search for statistically significant correlations, which can only point to possible causes.

Also, the study did not measure actual pregnancy outcomes, so it was unclear whether the differences in sperm count and quality uncovered actually made a bottom-line difference in the desired outcome.]]>
8/9/2018 12:49:20 PM
<![CDATA[Apple removes most of U.S. conspiracy theorist's podcasts from iTunes]]>
The move by Apple is the most sweeping of a recent crackdown on Jones's programs by Facebook and other online sites that have suspended or removed some of his conspiracy-driven content.

Apple told Buzzfeed that it had removed the entire library for five of Jones's six Infowars podcasts including the shows "War Room" and the daily "The Alex Jones Show."

Only one program provided by Infowars, "RealNews with David Knight" remained on Apple's platforms on Sunday, according to media accounts.

An Apple spokesperson was not available for comment early on Monday.

In other recent actions against Jones, Facebook suspended the radio and Internet host's personal profile for 30 days in late July from Facebook's site for what the company said was bullying and hate speech.

Facebook also announced on Monday that it had removed four pages belonging to Alex Jones for "repeatedly posting content over the past several days" that breaks its community standards.

The company said it removed the pages "for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies."

Also, Spotify, a music and podcast streaming company, said on Monday that it had now removed all of Jones's Infowars programs from its platform. Last week it removed just some specific programs.

“We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community," a spokesperson said Monday.

"Due to repeated violations of Spotify’s prohibited content policies, The Alex Jones Show has lost access to the Spotify platform,” the spokesperson said.

Since founding Infowars in 1999, Jones has built a vast audience. Among the theories he has promoted is that the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the government.

He has also promoted a theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was faked by left-wing forces to promote gun control. The shooting left 26 children and adults dead at a Connecticut elementary school.

Jones is being sued in Texas by two Sandy Hook parents, seeking at least $1 million, claiming that they have been the subject of harassment driven by his programs.

Neither Jones nor a representative for Infowars were available early on Monday for comment.]]>
8/6/2018 2:19:50 PM
<![CDATA[World's most-starred chef Joel Robuchon dead at 73]]>
Robuchon, who was hailed as one of four "chefs of the century" by the Gault Millau industry bible in 1990, founded a string of restaurants that revolutionised fine dining across three continents, ratcheting up a whopping 31 Michelin stars.

From Tokyo to Paris and Macao, foodies queue up for seats in his L'Atelier restaurants, where they can watch chefs in action, perched on high stools at a U-shaped bar.

According to Le Figaro newspaper he died of cancer in the Swiss city of Geneva.

His death was confirmed by government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux in a tweet.

"Joel Robuchon, a visionary chef who was the most starred in the world, leaves us today.

"From Paris to Shanghai, his savoir-faire was an art form that made French gastronomy shine and continues to inspire the next generation of chefs," Griveaux wrote.

As a youngster Robuchon's first vocation was the priesthood but while cooking for other seminarians he discovered a passion for food and at 15 entered the restaurant trade.

A perfectionist from the start, he quickly earned a name for himself in the rarefied world of Nouvelle Cuisine and by the age of 30 was running a 90-strong kitchen at the Concorde Lafayette hotel in Paris.

The accolades and Michelin stars came thick and fast and by the age of 50, after working himself to the bone, he decided to retire.

But a few years later he was back in action with his Atelier concept, which was inspired by Japanese sushi counters and intended to be more affordable than traditional three-star eateries.]]>
8/6/2018 1:39:11 PM
<![CDATA[Hundreds of Philippine mums in show of support for breast-feeding]]>
About 1,500 women, some of them wearing tiaras and superhero T-shirts, sat on the vast floor of a Manila stadium and let their babies suckle to the beat of dance music.

"Breastfeeding is love. It is difficult, but we do it for love," said Abegirl Limjap, a pregnant 38-year-old property manager in a "Super Mom" superhero costume as she nursed her two boys, one aged five and the other 11 months.

Mothers participate in a breastfeeding event in Manila on August 5, 2018. Hundreds of Philippine mothers simultaneously nursed their babies in public on Sunday, some of them two at a time, in a government-backed mass breastfeeding event aimed at combating child deaths. / AFP / NOEL CELIS

The annual event aims to draw public support for a government campaign to get more mothers to switch to breast milk from infant formula, organiser Rose Padua told AFP.

The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund recommend that children be given breast milk within the first hour of birth and be exclusively breastfed for their first six months.

Globally however, three in five babies are not breastfed early, putting them at higher risk of death and disease, the two UN agencies said in a report earlier this year.

Twenty-seven children out of every thousand died before the age of five in the Philippines in 2016, according to WHO data.

WHO and UNICEF estimate about half of Filipino babies were initiated into early breastfeeding in 2013, barely changed from 46 percent in 2003.

"It's an empowering moment," said first-time mother Joyce Balido, 29, as she cradled her four-month-old girl at the mass breastfeeding event.

"It was very difficult to establish a milk supply at first. I am sleep-starved but I committed myself to have my daughter exclusively breast-fed," added Balido, an engineer.

Sixty-one other mass breastfeeding events were held in other Philippine cities over the weekend, said Padua, the event organiser.

She said the country was on course to beat last year's attendance of 4,775 nursing mothers in 25 events.
8/5/2018 1:36:47 PM
<![CDATA[China's Huawei eyes smartphone summit after passing Apple]]>
The chief of Huawei's consumer division, Richard Yu, made the remark at the release of business results for the first half of 2018, during which unlisted Huawei said it shipped more than 95 million smartphones, an increase of about 30 percent.

"It's no question that we become the number two next year. In Q4 next year it's possible we become number one," Yu said in Shenzhen, the southern Chinese city where Huawei is based.

He added that "the past six months have been incredible".

Huawei took second place from Apple in a tightening global smartphone market during the second quarter, according to figures released Tuesday by tech-industry trackers International Data Corporation (IDC).

South Korean titan Samsung remained on top in April-June, shipping 71.5 million handsets for a 20.9 percent market share, IDC said.

But Huawei sold 54.2 million phones for a 15.8 percent market share, followed by Apple's 41.3 million iPhones that gave it 12.1 percent of the market.

It was the first time since early 2010 that Apple was not in the top two.

IDC said 342 million smartphones were shipped during the second quarter, down 1.8 percent from the same period of 2017 and the third consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines.

Market saturation and rising prices are among factors blamed for cooling growth rates.

The leader in global telecommunications equipment, Huawei is essentially blocked from selling phones in the United States on security grounds owing to suspicions of the company's links to the Chinese government.

Huawei has long disputed any such links.

Frozen out of the US phone market, Huawei has made inroads worldwide largely by shipping high volumes of its cheaper handsets in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Mo Jia, a Shanghai-based smartphone market analyst with Canalys, said achieving Yu's end-2019 goal would be "very challenging" given the market doldrums and competition.

"After all, it does not have the ability to enter the world?s third-largest market -- the US. This is an obvious shortcoming," Mo said.

"For Huawei to surpass Samsung, it depends on whether it can continue to carry out its current strategy of pursuing low-end product volume."]]>
8/3/2018 1:53:50 PM
<![CDATA[5 Tips to keep your skin fresh this summer]]>
Here are our top tips for staying on top of summer skin.

Skip the hot shower and moisturize right after showering

A hot shower is a stable go-to after a long day of work. Not only does the steam let one relax and breathe deeply, it also feels like it is cleansing you of the daytime’s difficulties and the long day’s work. But hot showers tend to be harsh on the skin, leaving it dry and patchy. Instead, you should shower with lukewarm water, this will not only make your skin ready for exfoliation, it will also lock the moisture within the skin and stop it from drying up.

“Showering can dry out your skin, but applying moisturizer right out of the shower or bath helps to lock in water molecules,” Gregory Papadeas, D.O., a Denver-based dermatologist and past president of the Colorado Dermatologic Society, told Massage Envy.

Turning to moisturizing, you should do so as soon as you get out of the shower; the reason behind this is twofold. First, it is known that tying a habit to another one that you regularly do increases the chances of one doing it. Second, moisturizers are designed to lock the water and the moisture into the skin, applying moisturiser while your skin is already moist from a lukewarm shower will make moisturizing more effective and will leave your skin softer than ever.

Facial cleansing

Spending time in the sun and putting on sunscreen after sunscreen can leave your skin breaking out or oily, making a proper cleansing routine a cornerstone to making sure that you retain a moist skin.

D’Anne Kleinsmith, M.D., a dermatologist at Bloomfield Dermatology Associates in West Bloomfield, told Massage Envy that she would recommend lighter and less intense cleansers and soaps during the summer season. “I prefer the liquid cleansers to the bar soaps, which can be more alkaline and harsher to the skin.”

Massage Envy also recommends washing your face regularly and well, and not being too harsh on your skin by excessively using strong exfoliating products.

Skip the chemical mask and opt for an oatmeal mask

“Colloidal oatmeal is a natural ingredient used in the formulation of a range of personal care products for relief of skin dryness and itchiness,” states a research piece titled ‘Safety and efficacy of personal care products containing colloidal oatmeal’. The article argues for the benefits that oatmeal has on skin, leaving it soft and reducing pore size, while also helping in the removal of dead skin.

To make an oatmeal mask, blend one tablespoon of whole rolled oats with two tablespoons of milk and half a teaspoon of coconut oil. Apply for twenty minutes, after cleansing face, every week during the summer season. Wash off with warm water and lock in the moisture using a non-alcoholic tonic and moisturizing cream.

Use all-natural sunscreen

Recently the Environmental Working Group (EWG) warned of the chemical ingredients in sunscreens, arguing that these chemicals could interfere with the thyroid gland, as well as other hormones in the body, and contribute to the reduction of sperm count in men and endometriosis in women, due to Oxybenzone—an endocrine distributing chemical—found in sunscreens. EWG warns that children and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not be using products with Oxybenzone, as it may have long-term side effects on children.

Thus, it is much safer to make your own sunscreen at home.

To do so, mix together one teaspoon of Coconut, vanilla or lavender extract, with two tablespoons of shea butter, two tablespoons of zinc oxide, quarter a cup of coconut oil, quarter a cup of beeswax pastilles and half a cup of almond oil. Store in a jar.

Apply the sunscreen half an hour prior to sun exposure, and reapply after swimming or every two hours. The best thing about this recipe is that it both protects you from the sun and also, moisturizes.

Drink cucumber water

The all too common answer to how to keep your skin soft: Water. However, we recommend cucumber water as it has vitamins A and C, which helps soothe skin and fight any damage that may have occurred due to sun exposure, and makes one feel fresh and contributes to increasing moisture in the body.

“Silica found in water-rich vegetables such as cucumbers can help increase moisture leading to increased skin elasticity,” says skincare expert Dr. Arleen Lamba told Bustle.

Drinking eight cups of water a day will keep the body feeling energetic and will keep skin elastic and young.
8/2/2018 5:20:37 PM
<![CDATA[Facebook, Instagram announce new time limit tool]]>
Technically speaking, users can view the amount of time they spent ‘scrolling’, put reminders when they exceed a certain amount of time and mute notifications, according to BBC News.

As addiction to social media increases, the new time limit tool on both apps can help users monitor their own social media activity in terms of how much time they’ve spent on the platform. Users can also choose to mute push notifications for certain amounts of time.

Both these tools can be accessed via settings; ‘Your Time on Facebook’ for Facebook and ‘Your Activity’ for Instagram.

One of the first attempts Instagram did to help limit screen time for users was the "you’re all caught up" feature. This message generally pops up at the top of the screen to notify users that they have seen all their followers’ posts and are up to date with the content.

Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom, thought that this would help users benefit positively from their time on social media.

“We’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram – any time should be positive and intentional,” tweeted Systrom on May 15, 2018.

Psychologists and multiple doctors have repeatedly expressed their concern over the harmful impact social media could have over mental health. This has gotten to a point where "internet addiction" is being compared to a drug.

Various medical sites argue that this so-called internet addiction is responsible for increasing levels of depression, stress and even suicide.

Seemingly, the fear of not being up to date is more serious that one can imagine. Hence the "you’re all caught up" feature was seemingly to relax users in that they haven’t missed anything.

In a Ted X Talk by Bailey Parnell in 2017, the award winning digital marketer explained that ‘F.O.M.O’, or rather the "fear of missing out" is “an actual social anxiety from the fear that you are missing a potential connection, event or opportunity.”

Parnell shared that the Canadian Associate of Mental Health discovered that children in middle to high school who spend approximately two hours online “reported higher levels of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.”

Although she expressed her own dependence on social media, that it is a tool and can be used positively, Parnell said “I don’t think absence [from social media] is an option anymore. But that doesn’t mean you can’t practice safe social.”

The debate as to whether or not spending too much time on social media is bad for us is almost never ending with respect to its increasing impact on our lives nowadays.

Director of Research and Research Scientist at Facebook, David Ginsberg and Moira Burke respectively, commented on this issue back in 2017 in an article titled "Hard Questions: Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us?" They explained Facebook’s goal is not to deter someone’s mental health but rather for “meaningful interactions with your friends and family.”

As a way to understand social media better, particularly its relationship with teens, who are most exposed, they added on to explain that Facebook pledged $1 million toward researching how technology is impacting the youth.
“We want the time people spend on Facebook to encourage meaningful social interactions,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Egypt is considerably reliant on social media with a majority of the youth exposed to it on a day to day basis.

According to Statista, a global provider of data and statistics, Egypt has 40 percent active social network penetration as of January 2018. This is the amount of internet users that visit social networking websites. Although Egypt does not top this list with the selected countries it is compared to, possibly due to population differences, the global average is at 42 percent.

However, in another set of statistics, as per Statista, Egypt ranks second at the number of internet users in selected African countries as of December 2017 with 49.23 million people. Nigeria ranked first with 98.39 million.
8/2/2018 12:21:42 PM
<![CDATA[Experience unique Cairo summer nights at Meza W Sahra]]>CAIRO – 1 August 2018: Enjoy the stunning summer nights at Meza W Sahra Lounge by Sheraton Cairo’s swimming pool where the luscious Lebanese food and dazzling entertainment awaits you.

Meza W Sahra is bringing its guests the traditional Arabian spirit in the heart of Cairo where belly dance shows, oriental music and more entertainment will sure make the summer nights experience a magical memory.

For more information or reservation, call: 002 0102 221 6883 / 02 3333 6112

8/1/2018 7:55:25 PM
<![CDATA[Handy engineering: Vietnam's 'Golden Bridge' has giant support]]>
“I feel like I’m walking on clouds,” said Vuong Thuy Linh, a tourist from Hanoi. “It’s so unique”.

Cau Vang or the “Golden Bridge” in Vietnam’s Ba Na Hills has attracted scores of tourists since it opened in June, eager to see a novel piece of architecture famed for its unusual design.

The pedestrian walkway, designed by TA Landscape Architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, sits at over 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) above sea level and extends over the treetops from the edge of a leafy cliff face, offering tourists uninterrupted views of the majestic landscape beneath.

The bridge was designed to evoke the image of the “giant hands of Gods, pulling a strip of gold out of the land,” said Vu Viet Anh, Design Principal at TA Landscape Architecture.

“It creates a walkway in the sky, among the foggy and fairy-like lands of Ba Na mountain,” said Anh, who added that he had been surprised at the level of attention his firm’s design had attracted both locally and internationally.

The Ba Na Hills, a popular getaway for the French during the colonial occupation of Vietnam, received over 2.7 million visitors last year, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

But it is the Golden Bridge and its supports - two huge stone-colored human hands styled in such a way that it looks as if the jungle is struggling to reclaim them - which have garnered the most attention from visitors.

“The two, smooth, giant hands look real,” said Truong Hoang Linh Thuy, another tourist.

“It makes me feel like humans can do anything”.]]>
8/1/2018 11:44:39 AM
<![CDATA['Sekketak Khadra' launched to spread cycling culture in Egypt]]> bic2
"Sekketak Khadra" encourages Egyptians to be bicycle commuters and leave their cars behind to decrease the pollution in Cairo and reduce traffic congestion- Sekketak Khadra’s official Facebook

A memorandum of understanding signed in April 2016 by Cairo’s governor, the Danish Embassy in Cairo, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and Nahdet El Mahrousa association to launch the initiative, which aims to install bicycle racks to spread the cycling culture among Egyptians as a mean of transportation instead of cars.

"Sekketak Khadra" encourages Egyptians to be bicycle commuters and leave their cars behind to decrease the pollution in Cairo and reduce traffic congestion- Sekketak Khadra’s official FacebookPage

Cyclists in Egypt are suffering due to the absence of bike lanes where they can move safely without being exposed to the risk of being hit by speeding cars.They struggle to find a place to safely park their bicycles;the initiative seeks to solve the problems cyclists face.

"Sekketak Khadra" encourages Egyptians to be bicycle commuters and leave their cars behind to decrease the pollution in Cairo and reduce traffic congestion- Sekketak Khadra’s official Facebook

The initiative chose the streets of Heliopolis and Downtown with cultural and historical background to install up to 100 bicycle racks whose places were determined in accordance with the cyclists' most frequent destinations.

To encourage using bicycles in the last few years, many Egyptian cyclists launched biking initiatives to change Egyptian misconceptions on the culture of biking. These initiatives coincided with the World Health Organization’s study on the world’s air pollution levels from 2011 to 2015.

The report referred that Cairo is the second most polluted city in the world.

Previously, Cairo Governor Atef Abdel Hamid and Rania Hedeya, the director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program, signed theLE 30 million ($1.6 million)contract of "Bescletta" project to activate the use of bicycles and promote it as an alternative means of transportation.

Abdel Hamid adds that encouraging citizens to use bicycles as a safe and inexpensive means is fully supported by the most prominent figures in Egypt.

The two sides agreed to work together to select a site for the implementation of "Bescletta" in Cairo and to manage and operate the project using special cycling routes in the selected area to enable the safe use of the bicycle sharing system, according to Abdel Hamid.

The governor pointed out that the construction of these stations will be studied in areas where cars are not permitted such as Al-Moez, Saray Al-Azbekiya, Al-Alfi, Ahmed Orabi and youth gatherings near the universities of Cairo and Ain Shams.

The governor demanded that the prices of using this systemwill be suitable for young people, adding that the state seeks to encourage citizens to reduce the use of private cars and to reduce pollution by providing appropriate public transportation.

Hedeya pointed out that the bicycle sharing system is the technology of placing bikes in stations throughout the city,enabling residents to rent bicycles from place (A) and then leave the bike in place (B).

Hedeya added that Cairo is seeking to benefit from international experiences in the field of transportation.

Additionally, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi participated in several cycling marathons to promote for using alternative means of transportation that reduce pollution.

In 2014, he participated in a marathon held by the Military Academy for 20 kilometers in which some ministers and public figures took part.

“Our objective is not just to promote exercising and activities, but to symbolize unity; our unity as a nation,” remarked President Sisi.

Sisi pointed out that the use of alternative transport solutions will save an average of LE 4 ($ 0.56) for citizens and LE 8 ($ 1.12) for the government per a 20 kilometer travel distance.]]>
7/31/2018 3:24:52 PM
<![CDATA[Mostar's youngest diver honors centuries of tradition]]>
At just 16, debutant Emil Petrovic is the youngest participant in this year’s contest, the 452nd held on the gravity-defying white bridge that arches over the Neretva River through a point 24 meters (79 feet) above the water.

“In this town, it’s an obligation for every boy my age to dive off the Stari Most,” he said.

The graceful Ottoman-era Old Bridge that gives the city its name was finished in 1566 or 1567 and stood until Bosnian Croat artillery destroyed it in 1993, during the Bosnian War. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was rebuilt in 2004.

The first written account of young men leaping off Stari Most into the rushing waters of the Neretva comes from the 17th century Ottoman explorer Mehmed Zilli, known as Evliya Celebi, who traveled the empire for 40 years, recording his observations in his Book of Travel.

Celebi wrote that, when seen from a distance, the bridge “looks round like a bow out of which an arrow has just flown, and the bow froze”.

He said that the divers “run up before jumping from the bridge, fall down into the river and fly through the air like birds performing tricks”.

To this day, the ‘swallow dive’ that Celebi celebrated is still performed by Mostar’s divers - although Petrovic took a safer option, jumping in feet-first.

Sunday’s contest drew 40 local and international competitors and an audience of several thousand.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” he said after emerging from the chilly emerald water to cheers of relief and admiration from the crowd.

“I wanted to preserve the tradition — but also to show that I’m grown-up and brave,” he said, adding that he had wanted to compete last year, but his mother said ‘no’.

“This time, my father persuaded her, and they are both proud.”]]>
7/30/2018 11:51:42 AM
<![CDATA[I’ve just turned 33. Here is what I want you to know about life!]]>
Listening to myself articulate “33” out loud did make me wonder “Is time fleeing so rapidly? God! Am I getting old?”

But luckily, I took a trip down my memory lane and felt better in a second. I’m everything I’ve ever dreamed to be. I couldn’t be more proud of the young lady – yes young- I’ve turned out to be. I’m my best friend and although I’ve known defeat, loss and heartbreak, I’ve also known happiness, warmth and satisfaction and can’t be more grateful.

My journey has been very fruitful so far. I might have learned a thing or two, and I’m eager to continue exploring its realms if God grants me a little bit more of life. And here is a list of what I’ve learned and hope to keep learning:

1- Life will humble you in so many ways. Stay strong.

2 – Jerks do exist. You will meet people who will exploit your hard times and use you weaknesses no matter how good you've been to them. Stand up for yourself, loose one battle, but not the war. It will be the hardest and bravest thing you could do. Keep the faith despite confusion.

3- Don't put all eggs in one basket. We all know this advice, but kind of forget it along the way. Investing in just one area of your life is WRONG, as life has many aspects; don't put off some plans or dreams because of work or a relationship. Learn to prioritize.

4- Be selfish. It’s OK to put yourself first sometimes as long as you don't hurt others, at least not on purpose. Some people need others in their journey; such people feed off your energy and drain you. Choose you. You deserve to be loved; do not settle.

5- Know your worth, powers and skills, acknowledge them and act upon it, so you wouldn’t allow yourself to be used. Earn your respect and accept no less from others

6- Keep on learning and investing in your growth. What makes our journeys interesting is exploring and experiencing new adventures. The world changes so fast and if you don’t keep pace with it, you will be left out. Keep up with the universality of the world. Take that course and learn this language you’ve been wanting to learn. Small steps towards a plan have a huge impact.

7- You'd fall upon the thorns of life; you'd bleed, as the English poet Percy Shelley once said. I’m sorry I can’t tell you otherwise, but life is hard and unfair sometimes. You’ll know failure, maybe in a relationship or a career, and it’ll change the way you perceive life. Take your time to lament your losses, then get up. It happens to all of us, you are not alone in this. Fail smartly, don’t take it to your heart rather train yourself to be flexible.

8- Love hurts. Only the very lucky few avert its curse, if you are one of them, appreciate it and be grateful. If not, then know despite the pain that cracked your heart open, it was still worth it. You will be frightened to put down your armor one more time, but forgive. Heal. Then fall in love again.

8- Develop your support group. When tides are low, having an inner circle of close friends or family members could work wonders. Invest in such relationships; be there for them first so they can be there for you in your time of need. Family should ALWAYS come first.

9- Financial stability. By the time you are in your 30s, it’s better to have a clear plan about your finances, especially during an economic crunch such as the one we are experiencing in Egypt at the moment. Yet, never put off a dream for the sole purpose of saving money. You will not be this young forever. Learn to work on a budget.

10- Know thy self. Being friends with yourself is step number one for peace of mind which is essential to leading a good life. Listen to your inner whispers, be kind towards yourself, little pampering every now and then hurts no one. Be alone so you train yourself to enjoy solitude, and in doing so you’d realize it’s your best company. Once you master this, all your relationships will be balanced as they wouldn’t be based on your need to be with others, but rather on your desire to have a compatible companionship.

Also, getting to know yourself better will stop you from being snared into conforming to someone else’s vision of you. People sometimes are so confused in their journeys that they would try to piece you together in a fashion that suits their idea of what a good person should be. Doubting yourself is almost impossible if you have a healthy relationship with yourself.

12- Set a goal. Be aware that when you don't have a clear plan, you allow yourself to be used as a tool to help someone else achieve their dreams. This one is on you. It's OK to align your dreams with others as long as you are working towards a clear plan that serves you.

13- We are all walking towards our death. Take it easy. Choose to be kind, and don’t regret it.

14- Don't trust time. It’s as Alfred Lord Tennyson described it ages ago “a maniac scattering dust”. Time will always outpace you no matter how hard you try - it’s one of those unequal battles we are destined to fight- so add life to your years. Take action now, do what your heart tells you NOW, you’ll have plenty of time to regret it later on your death bed. The problem about time is timing; our desires change and if you missed the opportunity of fulfilling them on the right time, something shuts off and it’s never the same again, like a late love confession, or an overdue trip to a dream destination.

15- Be a seeker. Seek knowledge, light and a meaning. We are all on a quest, search for faith. Faith will help you be less tense in a world falling victim to hatred and darkness. Be a light if you can. A smiley face and a kind heart will suffice.

16-We all have the ability to hurt. People don't always tend to be nasty and hurtful, sometimes we cross paths at a time when others -be it friends, family or lovers - are lost in their own journeys and they unintentionally break our hearts only to leave us wondering what we did wrong so we wake up one day with this huge pain in our chests and we are no longer the same. But we all get lost at times and can hurt just the same. Forgive and move on. Know that by forgiving, you're setting yourself free.

17- Take care of your health. This is the right time to start adapting healthy habits like eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking water, and exercising. Not as hard as it seems, I promise.

18- Apologize for your mistakes. Even if years go by, and you've done something wrong to someone, apologize and give those people the closure they deserve. How many unfinished stories haunted us for years; our lives and others' lives will be so much easier if we communicated better and let go of our ego. Have some guts and say you're sorry!

19- Never stop marveling. God has created wonders all around us that we tend to overlook such as the sky above our heads with its untold secrets, sunsets and sunrises and many more daily miracles. If you behold what others can't fathom, stick to it and explore some more.

20- Age is just truly a number. Believe it. Never make age an excuse for not trying, for not living, for not experiencing new things. We don't know when we are going to die which means here and now is the essence of life. Today we are the youngest we will ever be, carpe diem. Seize the day!

7/29/2018 4:41:47 PM
<![CDATA[Huawei CBG Adds Celebrated Arabic Music to its MENA Music Streaming Service ]]>
As a first milestone, Huawei Music Service is exclusively adding one of the latest and beautiful songs of renowned Arab singer Elissa - “Al Makhfi”, to its music library for all Huawei users for a week starting from July 18 till the official album’s release.

“We are delighted to launch Huawei Music Service for our MENA users. We aim to bring the latest and the best music experience to customers in the MENA region. The new service offers a fun, user-friendly and seamless music streaming service, allowing listeners to enjoy free high-quality music conveniently on their smartphones,” Justin Chen, Managing Director of Huawei MENA Consumer Cloud Service Dept said.

In addition to this exclusive song, Elissa has also recorded 15 songs that will be launched on Huawei Music Service on 26th July. The library will also include the late singer and actress Warda Al – Jazairia’s song “Wahashtony” for the one and only “Baligh Hamdy”. For the new albums, she has cooperated with several poets and composers including Amir Teima, Ramy Gamal, Nader Abdallah and Walid Said.

Keeping on top of regional music trends and taste, Huawei Music Service has partnered with Rotana, the leading Arabic Music content provider in the region, offering music from top and famous singers MENA market like Mohammad Abdo, Majid Al Muhandis, Elissa, Angham Wael Kfoury, Hatem Al Iraqi and more.

In addition to Rotana music, Huawei music has partnered with top local and international content providers such as Qanawat and Mazzika, to facilitate regional and international music collection for the region’s music enthusiast, which will bring famous international singers and master masterpiece songs to the user in the coming months.

During July, all MENA Huawei CBG consumers with system EMUI 5.0 and above may receive upgrade notification or system push notification. Users can also experience this exclusive service by visiting http://music.huaweimobilecloudservice.com/ar/ and downloading the App to enjoy their favorite songs.

Huawei Music Service plans to bring multiple activities and incentives for their listeners such as competitions to participate and win exciting surprises soon. Please follow our Facebook official account @HuaweiMobileServicesMENA to keep in touch with more newly songs and activities.

Huawei CBG Adds Celebrated Arabic Music to its MENA Music Streaming Serv
7/29/2018 3:18:09 PM
<![CDATA[Aspiring ninjas besiege Japanese city with job inquiries]]>
Iga, a small city in central Japan, has long dubbed itself the home of one style of the black-clad, throwing-star-wielding covert agents for hire, staging ninja shows and offering “ninja experiences” for tourists.

But a program aired last week on National Public Radio in the United States about Iga’s ninja-centered town promotion effort set off a frenzy of internet interest after its host said the city faced a shortage of ninja performers and even quoted potential salaries, giving the impression it might be hiring.

“That’s wrong, all wrong,” said Motoyoshi Shimai, an official of Iga’s tourism strategy division. “There was no discussion about that, and we didn’t mention money.”

Still, the city received volleys of telephone and email queries from 115 ninja wannabes in 23 countries, including Japan.

“Most were questions about whether we were really hiring, but there were a few that begged us to employ them and tried to promote themselves,” Shimai added. “Some had real confidence in their bodies and strength.”

Iga ultimately issued a statement in several languages saying it was not hiring and warning against fake news, but said plenty of other ninja fun was on offer.

“(The city) is the Iga-style ninja birthplace. We can feel breath of ninja at every turn of downtown,” it said.

City officials were surprised but not annoyed by the fuss, Shirai said.

“We were made to viscerally feel how high interest is in ninjas all around the world,” he added.]]>
7/29/2018 12:31:58 PM
<![CDATA['Girl Power' on show in London Spice Girls exhibition]]>
Spice Girls fan Alan Smith-Allison has gathered hundreds of the group’s stage costumes and pieces of merchandise he has collected since the 1990s and put them on display alongside other items on loan for “SPICEUP”, which kicks off on Saturday.

On show are “Girl Power” tops, Melanie Brown’s animal print outfits and Geri Horner’s (then Halliwell) Union Jack platform boots as well as Spice Girl themed biscuit boxes, dolls and crisps packets.

“It’s so iconic and so colorful and glittery and glamorous and important in music culture that it annoys me when it’s all kept in storage boxes in a dark place,” Smith-Allison told Reuters.

“It needs to be out on show for fans to come and appreciate it and there are millions and millions of Spice Girls fans around the world that would love to see them.”

The 37-year-old said he became a Spice Girls fan when the group’s “Wannabe” debut single stormed the charts in 1996.

He began collecting CDs and videos and bought his first Spice Girls costume in 2007 when Melanie Brown, known as Scary Spice, hosted a charity sale.


Soon other purchases followed and Smith-Allison, who says he has met three of the five Spice Girls, built up a collection he says has cost him “hundreds of thousands pounds”.

“(The collection) comes straight from the start, from the beginning, when these five girls came onto the pop music scene with just five incredible personalities, in your face, a lot of fun, a lot of kind of messages that can resonate,” he said.

The Spice Girls went on to sell more than 80 million records worldwide, winning legions of fans with their catchy tunes and messages of “Girl Power”.

In 2000 they said would be going on an indefinite break and would focus on their solo careers.

Earlier this week, Brown told a television talk show the group had agreed to a reunion, saying: “For sure we are getting back together”.

They performed together at the 2012 London Olympics and the exhibition has on-loan the red dress Geri wore for that. Smith-Allison says he hopes to one day own all the outfits worn for that performance.

“They’re my kind of dream now, but I don’t think the girls will ever part with them,” he said.

The exhibition runs in London until Aug. 20 then moves to Manchester.]]>
7/28/2018 11:33:19 AM
<![CDATA[HUAWEI P20 Pro: How Did the Beautiful Gradient Color Come into Being?]]>
But there’s something more to the HUAWEI P20 Pro—something that’s understandably piqued the interest of journalists, and seized the attention of consumers far and wide.

Of course, we’re talking about the “Twilight” gradient color scheme. Available exclusively to the HUAWEI P20 Pro, the shimmering finish has been the talk of the town ever since the color was first announced.

Featuring a gradient that smoothly transitions from purple to blue then to teal—in the same order laws of physics sort colors on the visible light spectrum—underneath a premium glass back, the Twilight variant of P20 Pro was sold out in its home court, China, almost immediately once it was made available, which is a good indication of its popularity among consumers.


So what inspired HUAWEI to create the popular color scheme? One needs only look out of the window for the answer. That’s right; it was nature, the world’s greatest artist of all time. From the very beginning of the design process, HUAWEI’s design team has been taking notes from the best of the best. For the Twilight color in particular, HUAWEI was inspired by the aurora borealis, or better known as the Northern Lights.

It does not take formal training for one to appreciate nature, for our ability to perceive nature as a thing of beauty is innate to all of us. Throughout history, nature has inspired countless great painters to create great masterpieces. In China, court painters through dynasties transposed their impressions of the natural landscape onto paper using ink, water and a brush. Towering mountains, rolling hills and narrow rivers were painted onto scrolls of paper with lively brushstrokes, dots and ink wash. This ancient art form, known today as guohua, is considered one of the most respected of all in classical Chinese art.

In the West, greats such as Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh were also no stranger to nature. Monet rejected the stylistic norms of his time and developed his own way to capture the beauty of nature, using his observations of changing lights to encapsulate the beauty he beheld. Van Gogh, the tragic genius that needs no introduction, once wrote to his brother “…if I felt no love for nature and my work, then I would be unhappy.” He featured objects of nature prominently in many of his works, and Sunflowers, Wheatfield with Crows, and Irises, were but a few from the prolific artist.

Just like some of the greatest artists throughout history, Joon Suh Kim, Chief Design Officer at Huawei, and his team were inspired by nature, and the gorgeous gradient color is their brain-child. According to Joon, “HUAWEI’s designers are not just designers, but dreamers as well. As designers, we get inspirations everywhere; as dreamers, we’re obliged to come up with ideas that the consumers themselves don’t yet know they love, such as the Twilight color.”

The dreamy color scheme was specifically developed to capture the magnificence and mysteriousness of the aurora. Careful decisions were made to ensure that when the gradient effect is shrunk to the size of a handheld device, the intensity of the natural phenomenal would retain its full glory.

To execute this unique effect, HUAWEI had gone through countless prototypes in order to get it just right. In the end, HUAWEI settled on using an optical non-conductive vacuum metalizing (NCVM) coating for the effect—and the results are some of the most natural expressions of the aurora seen on a smartphone back.

Recently, the HUAWEI P20 Pro was named “Best Smartphone of 2018” at European Hardware Awards 2018, an annual award organised by the European Hardware Association. The European Hardware Awards recognise and celebrate the best electronic products in the European market, as selected by experienced editors from around the world. This award further strengthens HUAWEI P20 Pro’s position as a market leader.]]>
7/25/2018 2:40:57 PM
<![CDATA[Longest lunar eclipse of 21st century occurs Friday in Egypt]]>
The statement issued by the institute added that the eclipse is considered the longest in the 21 st century.

The statement also pointed out that the moon will pass through all stages of the eclipse from beginning to end.

The total eclipse of the moon will last one hour and 43 minutes, the statement continued.]]>
7/25/2018 12:53:07 PM
<![CDATA[Yoga on the Danube as Budapest bridge transformed into urban park]]>
On four weekends this summer, Budapest’s 19th century Liberty Bridge is closed to traffic, becoming a free urban space for Hungarians and tourists to drink wine, relax in hammocks, and enjoy the balmy summer breeze over the river.

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People practice yoga on Liberty Bridge in Budapest, Hungary, July 22, 2018. Picture taken July 22, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

“There is a very special flow and dynamics here,” said Zita Demeter, a yoga teacher who taught one of the morning classes.

“People can connect to the flow of the Danube, the atmosphere of Budapest ... and the bridge as a symbol is also present in yoga as it helps to connect.”

After locals took over the closed bridge for days during a temporary construction work in the summer of 2016, a civil organization convinced the Budapest municipality to close it to traffic for a few days again last year.

This proved so popular with tourists and locals that the bridge festival has become a regular event.

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People practice yoga on Liberty Bridge in Budapest, Hungary, July 22, 2018. Picture taken July 22, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

“We thought let’s make a public space where nothing costs money,” said Benjamin Peter, the project’s coordinator. “Everybody can bring their own (food and drink) and they can share if they want.”

A few steps down the bridge, a small group set up their barbecue, grilling sausages.

“You see that there are so many people from Hungary and from around the world ... they are all enjoying themselves, drinking something, chilling, so this is why it’s a good place: a melting pot in the middle of the city,” said Peter Toth, 29, an accountant who came with his friends.

Later in the day, the bridge is transformed again, as a concert of swing music takes over, prompting several couples to dance, while others sit on the pillars, drinking wine and chatting.

“This is unique that we are on Liberty Bridge: we have this freedom that emanates from the Danube,” said Katalin Rakosi, 40, a financial advisor, who came with her mother as a birthday treat.
7/24/2018 9:40:29 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian women challenge social norms by practicing Parkour]]>
Founded in France in the 1980s as the Art du Deplacement and later taking its name from the French word ‘parcours’ (course or route), Parkour involves running, climbing and jumping acrobatically around buildings and over terrain.

The women have trained every week for the past six months with the eventual aim of forming the first professional Parkour team in Egypt.

Ten women took part in last Friday’s training, which focused on building upper body strength and different methods of dealing with surroundings.

Curious crowds, accustomed to women taking a low profile in Egypt, often congregate to watch the training, sometimes taking pictures and filming. But the women keep up the training unhindered, insisting that no sport is exclusive for men.

“It is natural that people did not accept it because they were not used to it,” said Zayneb Helal, one of the players.

“They did not accept the idea that girls could play sports, let alone on the street,” she added.

It is uncommon for women to play such sports on the streets in Egypt. A 2017 Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of experts on how women fared in mega cities rated Cairo as the world’s most dangerous megacity for women, while London came out as best.

Guided by coach Mohamed Omran, women train hard on climbing obstacles, landing correctly after jumps and seeing opportunities in buildings around them.

“Women are now training and more women are starting to come,” Omran said. “As the sport spreads the acceptance of women training increases and it is not unusual for women to have a team and train,” he added.

Parkour is played by men in Egypt but the sport is neglected and has no regulatory body. Parkour Egypt, a group that comprises men and women, has grown exponentially after starting off with a handful of players.

Last year Britain became the first country officially to recognize Parkour as a sport.

“It needs more time to evolve and the sport needs to spread more so that people would learn about it,” Helal said.

7/23/2018 11:10:14 AM
<![CDATA[Austrian mountains play host to classic car rally]]>
The three-day event is billed by organizers as providing a motoring experience “like 50 years ago”. Only cars built before 1972 can take part and no electronic devices are allowed, only mechanical ones to measure speed and distance.

“It’s like a huge family party... Wonderful people, wonderful landscape. It’s not about the competition, it’s not about winning, it’s about friendship and meeting great people,” said Florian, a former winner who is taking part in the rally for the sixth time and driving an Aston Martin built in 1960.

Participants have to observe speed limits and drive as closely as possible to a given time. If they miss it they receive penalty points.

The cars cover about 450 kilometers (280 miles) on each of the two driving days through picturesque alpine scenery, ending in the town of Groebming.

7/22/2018 11:33:32 AM
<![CDATA[Moon humpback associates with Jupiter Saturday]]>
Jeddah Astronomy Society reported that Jupiter will be visible as a red point of light, adding that through the use of a telescope, it is easy to see Jupiter’s disc and the main surface features of the moon.

The moon and Jupiter will be visible within the same frame through a telescope, but they are not close to each other in space.

Jeddah Astronomy Society further added that the moon is the nearest celestial body to us; it is about 243,000 kilometers away, while Jupiter is the fifth planet in terms of distance from the sun, which is located more than 1,900 times the distance of the moon to the Earth away.

The moon will also meet Saturn on July 24 and then move towards Mars on July 27 in conjunction with the lunar eclipse, Jeddah Astronomy Society reported.
7/21/2018 5:09:32 PM
<![CDATA[Bodysuits, boots and masks galore as Comic-Con opens in San Diego]]>
Highlights of this year’s Comic-Con include the introduction of the first female “Doctor Who”, played by British actress Jodie Whittaker, and a reunion for the cast of the U.S. television drama “Breaking Bad”.

Celebrations are also being held to mark a decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe media franchise and the 25th anniversaries of the sci-fi TV show “The X-Files”, stop-motion animated movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, and the blockbuster film “Jurassic Park”.

“We love the family feeling here,” said Miguel Capuchino, who was dressed as a male version of a female character from the “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

“It’s just a bunch of geeks getting together and there’s no judging, everybody’s just very supportive”.

The annual four-day event, started as a get-together for sci-fi fans to trade comic books in 1970, is now the largest comic book convention of its kind, with over 130,000 people attending guest panels and visiting the venues featuring paintings, comics, movies, TV shows and gaming programs.

7/21/2018 11:27:09 AM
<![CDATA[Zoya Ghazala Bay brings ultimate luxury, plush comfort to Egypt's North Coast and is guaranteed to impress!]]>
Zoya Ghazala Bay by Landmark Sabbour will be the latest significant addition to the fascinating region, offering contemporary elegance, profound simplicity, idyllic summer lifestyle and transcendent luxury all rolled into one.

Master planned by internationally-acclaimed I.ElHabrouk Architects, the exceptional 62-acre land area with a 420 square meter beachfront guarantees homeowners unmatched privacy and a celebration of individuality, offering unobstructed sea and lake views that allow each family to get their own piece of paradise.

A pool in a chalet at Zoya Ghazala Bay - press photo

Contemporary clean lines mark the architecture and construction of this glorious coastal haven, and the design of homes captures the gorgeous natural beauty and stunning vistas of the Mediterranean, with cascading levels, spacious terraces and lush gardens.

Situated along the pristine Ghazala Bay coastline, the premium vacation resort has a compelling collection of 360 units of first class accommodation quality, ranging from 100 sqm chalets all the way up to elegantly appointed 375 sqm standalone villas. Every home at Zoya Ghazala Bay is a private seafront retreat and a true testament to luxury living.

Abundant massive windows flood the units with natural light and afford the magnificent and glorious views of the Mediterranean and the lush green backdrop while spacious green patios and patterned outdoor terraces guarantee the perfect setting for relaxation and gatherings in complete privacy and serenity.

A diverse range of amenities and services completes this vacation setting: a world class spa and gym, fine dining restaurants, a deluxe 380-room hotel, a gourmet market and an entertainment venue.

Fully finished, air-conditioned units will also be on offer to bring owners a completely hassle-free experience.

The new project, located at 142 km Alex - Matrouh Road, is launching its residences with prices starting at EGP 2.65 million - 10 percent down payment and the rest installed over the span of 7 years, with delivery scheduled for 2022.

Zoya is Landmark Sabbour's latest project in Egypt. The company has been developing luxurious lifestyles and modern living spaces in prime locations around the world including Layan residential compound in New Cairo, two residential projects in Dubai including: Continental Tower in Dubai Marina and Rukan residential compound, as well as the historic-themed building Muntaner 91 in Barcelona.

For more information about Zoya Ghazala Bay and Landmark Sabbour’s latest projects, clients are urged to contact the company’s online website at: www.landmark-sabbour.com or dial the hotline number: 16295.

7/19/2018 11:31:05 AM
<![CDATA[In Pics: Egyptian - American woman celebrates her son's marriage in Egypt]]>
“When I was 4 years old, I traveled with my family to Saudi Arabia because of my parents' work then went back to Egypt to study at the American University. I traveled to study in England then in the U.S.A with a grant from the American University. I spent 22 years working in a pharmaceutical company, and as a professor at a university in America,” Mubasher said.


"God gave me my two sons; Omar Mubasher, 24, who studies medicine in America, and Youssef, 14. I was always keen to teach my sons the Egyptian values and the teachings of Islam,” She added.

She held a wedding party for her eldest son in America, but Mubasher wanted to have another wedding party in SharKia governorate to make her family happy and strengthen her son's love for Egypt.

Omar said he and his wife were very happy to have a second wedding in Egypt, stressing that his wife enjoyed fasting the holy month of Ramadan and baking kahk with the family.

Omar's wife said she was happy to spend her honeymoon in Alexandria, adding that she had visited the pyramids and El-Moez Street.

7/18/2018 11:03:32 AM
<![CDATA[Next stop, Gareth Southgate: London rail station renamed after England boss]]>
England enjoyed their best World Cup performance in 28 years under Southgate’s leadership, reaching the semi-finals and narrowly missing a spot in the final, losing to Croatia after extra-time.

Southgate proved popular with England’s fans for helping create a renewed sense of optimism and after the team returned home on Sunday Transport for London (TfL) rebranded Southgate underground station in North London as the “Gareth Southgate” station for 48 hours.

“We have to celebrate the achievement, it’s important,” said Patricia Gomez, 44, who traveled from Morden in south London on her day off on Monday to get a photograph with the new sign.

“(Gareth) was awesome, he gave the team motivation, he made them work as a family.”

After winning the tournament on Sunday, France also saw similar tributes on the Paris Metro, where six stops have been temporarily renamed.

Southgate’s popularity led many fans to copy his fashion style during matches of wearing a waistcoat as he watched from the dugout. One retailer said sales of waistcoats had soared during the tournament while the day of the semi-final clash with Croatia was dubbed “Waistcoat Wednesday”.

“Maybe we’ll get a statue next,” said Steve Ingall from TfL.]]>
7/17/2018 11:27:44 AM
<![CDATA[For parents: ways to deal with teenagers]]>

At this dangerous stage, teenagers are looking for ways to be independent, so they may be more rebellious than usual.

Your teenagers are not children anymore; parents should avoid things that might stand in the way of smooth communicate with their sons/ daughters.

Some facts you need to know when raising a teenager:

1. Parents should know that teens have a lot to learn and that learning has to be through failures and mistakes; they should get closer to their daughters/sons and let them express themselves.

2. Parents should hear them out, and never say no without discussion. Do not be a dictator; this behavior makes a teen more of a rebel.

3. Parents should give them some freedom to take responsibility for their actions and feel independent.

4. Parents should be calm; whenever parents feel angry, they should take a moment to gather themselves, especially that teens know how to push their parents' buttons.

5. Parents should always reward teens with an interesting journey or a special gift if they do something good.

6. Parents should handle conflicts with teens by monitoring their reactions, taking some time out before talking, and speaking calmly. If a teen does something they are not allowed to do, explain calmly and ask them why they broke the rules.

7. Parents should communicate with teenagers and try to understand their points of view to help build their characters through discussion and mutual understanding.

8. Parents should spend quality time with their teens, and do activities together like having a family game night, bearing in mind that teens might want to spend more time with their friends at that age.

9. Parents should respect teenagers’ opinions and teach them what respect looks like; this will boost their self-confidence and will let them know you trust them. Do not forget to praise them for what they do especially in front of people.

10. Parents should get to know their sons/daughters' friends, it will help them make sure they are safe.

11. Parents should not be shy to apologize to teenagers. Keep in mind that if parents do not apologize when they have to, their sons/daughters may be psychologically affected for the rest of their lives as it might impact their sense of self-worth.
7/16/2018 11:38:29 AM
<![CDATA[The impact of Careem bikes in Egypt's street]]>
The introduction of the scooter or bikes in the country has paved the way for a large potential market with a lower penalty from congestion, operating systems, and environmental impacts. According to the UN, 55 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68 per cent by 2050 - and commuting to and from those urban areas, there will be an incredible demand for various modes of transport.

Careem was the first private market entrant in this intelligent transport category, adding a bikes classification as a ride-hailing service in its application portfolio. This inevitably contributes to Egypt’s Vision 2030 objective of developing Egypt’s capital as a sustainable city and community for an efficient quality of life.

According to the World Bank, the economic costs of traffic congestion in Cairo could be as high as 4% of GDP annually, equivalent to EGP 50 billion a year[1]. The economic costs are beyond travel delays and they include wasted fuel, health impacts due to poor air quality and accidents, and impacts on economic productivity. Shared mobility could lead to an 80 per cent reduction in the number of vehicles by 2050.

In turn this reduces pollution and C02 emissions, congestion and need for parking and parking spaces. Around 50 hours per person every month are spent in traffic and 60 percent of trips only have one passenger per vehicle, and bikes have become an alternative transport method forming a solution to the traffic. With urban development at the top of the agenda for policy-makers in the country, there are growing challenges to tackle translated into possible solutions from the private sector. The influence of ride-hailing apps educating the population on the development of transportation alternatives is increasing in demand.


Car drivers are starting to realize that transport through bikes is saving them time and money, especially as rush hours create dramatic consequences for all road users in the fast-pace city life. With this in mind, people are embracing this upcoming trend by ride-hailing apps considering the boost to productivity and the reduction in duration of trips through traffic. Careem Egypt, pioneering this trend in the country with rides that start at 6 EGP that is affordable to the masses with security insurance on all trips. Bikes have been proven to be 3 times faster than passenger cars, and 50% more affordable in cities.

Ramy Kato, Careem Egypt Managing Director, commented on Careem’s efforts stating: “With different transport modes, we’ve been solving local problems with local solutions, but we are also creating a unifying platform. We look at what fits the distinct make-up of each location, and if you look at the markets where we are present, we have tried to reduce prices and make our service more affordable while doing so. This shared mobility could lead to an 80% reduction in the number of vehicles and CO2 emissions by 2050.”

Bikes should become an upcoming attractive alternative transport method, with many trips made by solo travelers such as driving to work. This should appeal to the masses who want the flexibility of driving with lower congestion and parking costs. This is in addition to the fact that the bikes are available and operate in urban areas that have limited accessibility to cars, achieving a more attractive demand for travelers that are constrained in travel options. Discomfort during poor weather conditions is less of an issue to worry about in Egypt with moderate weather conditions all year around, making bikes the most trendy transport option in Cairo.

Egypt’s Vision 2030 under the Urban Development Pillar evaluates the dependence on traditional technologies for provisions of facilities and services. The state’s follow up of traditional means to cover facilities instead of modern technologies or dependence on local resources results in unnecessary increases in the expenses of covering the services. Additionally, the quality deterioration in public transportation does not fulfill the needs of all citizens which limits the demand for using them. Careem’s services integrating bikes in Cairo’s streets assists in developing plausable solutions to these challenges using technology to empower choices of transportation and allows for a diversity of options for the masses to use different methods of transportation across private and public sectors.

Since launching, Careem has rapidly grown and created around 850,000 jobs and we are creating between 60,000 and 70,000 new jobs every month as the Careem model for moving people expands into more cities and countries across the region.

a ]]>
7/15/2018 4:05:05 PM
<![CDATA[WHO recognizes 'compulsive sexual behavior' as mental disorder]]>
The contentious term "sex addiction" has been around for decades but experts disagree over whether the condition exists.

In the latest update of its catalogue of diseases and injuries around the world, the WHO takes a step towards legitimising the concept, by acknowledging "compulsive sexual behaviour disorder", or CSBD, as a mental illness.

But the UN health body stops short of lumping the condition together with addictive behaviors like substance abuse or gambling, insisting more research is needed before describing the disorder as an addiction.

"Conservatively speaking, we don't feel that the evidence is there yet... that the process is equivalent to the process with alcohol or heroin," WHO expert Geoffrey Reed told AFP Saturday.

In the update of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), published last month, WHO said CSBD was "characterised by persistent failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges… that cause marked distress or impairment".

But it said the scientific debate was still ongoing as to "whether or not the compulsive sexual behaviour disorder constitutes the manifestation of a behavioural addiction".

Reed said it was important that the ICD register, which is widely used as a benchmark for diagnosis and health insurers, includes a concise definition of compulsive sexual behaviour disorder to ensure those affected can get help.

"There is a population of people who feel out of control with regards to their own sexual behaviour and who suffer because of that," he said pointing out that their sexual behaviour sometimes had "very severe consequences."

"This is a genuine clinical population of people who have a legitimate health condition and who can be provided services in a legitimate way," he said.

It remains unclear how many people suffer from the disorder, but Reed said the ICD listing would likely prompt more research into the condition and its prevalence, as well as into determining the most effective treatments.

"Maybe eventually we will say, yeah, it is an addiction, but that is just not where we are at this point," Reed said.

But even without the addiction label, he said he believed the new categorisation would be "reassuring", since it lets people know they have "a genuine condition" and can seek treatment.

- No excuse for rape -

Claims of "sex addiction" have increasingly been in the headlines in step with the #MeToo movement, which has seen people around the world coming forward with allegations sexual mistreatment.

The uprising has led to the downfall of powerful men across industries, including disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has reportedly spent months in treatment for sex addiction.

Reed said he did not believe there was reason to worry that the new CSBD listing could be used by people like Weinstein to excuse alleged criminal behaviours.

"It doesn't excuse sexual abuse or raping someone ... any more than being an alcoholic excuses you from driving a car when you are drunk. You have still made a decision to act," he said.

While it did not recognise sex addiction in the first update of its ICD catalogue since the 1990s, WHO did for the first time recognise video gaming as an addiction, listing it alongside addictions to gambling and drugs like cocaine.

The document, which member states will be asked to approve during the World Health Assembly in Geneva next May, will take effect from January 1, 2022 if it is adopted.]]>
7/15/2018 4:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Young Portuguese inmates sing Mozart opera on way to freedom]]>
This was the second performance outside of the prison in as many years for the four-year old project, which has helped a former inmate land a job in the Gulbenkian Foundation’s concert hall. Others hope to follow suit and launch a music career.

“That’s the best social reintegration we can do,” said Carla Pragosa, a director of the Leiria prison for young offenders.

The project brings together officers and inmates as well as their families and friends, who sing or work on scenic design.

Tiago Silva was among the 19 young inmates who got up on stage to sing in front of hundreds of people at the foundation’s concert hall, while accompanied by the acclaimed Gulbenkian Orchestra - an experience the 23-year-old will never forget.

“I don’t see my family often because they don’t have enough money to visit me in prison,” Silva, dressed like most other performers in a white tee-shirt and black jeans, told Reuters.

“But my two daughters are here to see the concert and I think they’ll be proud.”

Director Paulo Lameiro and his team introduced inmates to classical music, heard their stories and found a way to bring their experiences to the big stage.

During the concert, Silva, who is serving a seven-year sentence for a crime he would not reveal, also performed a rap song dedicated to his family, in which he apologized to his mother for his wrongs.

“These young people are very creative, they are resilient but the routines of our prison system make it hard for them to change,” Lameiro said.

The Council of Europe has criticized Portugal for not giving prisoners sufficient opportunities to “work or to engage in education or other purposeful activities”.

Prison director Pragosa said opera could help.

“Prison life is alien to those who have never been in jail so this project allows people to understand that inmates can change,” she said. “The idea is to give inmates the tools they need to reintegrate back into society.”]]>
7/14/2018 11:30:41 AM
<![CDATA[South Africa launches notes, coins for Mandela's 100th birthday]]>
The South African Reserve Bank said the notes depict Mandela's life including his upbringing in rural Eastern Cape as the son of a chief, his 27-year incarceration and the end of apartheid in 1994 when he became president. Mandela died in 2013 aged 95.

The launch forms part of events across the world, culminating locally in an annual Mandela Day lecture by former U.S. president Barack Obama next week.

The etching on the 1-ounce gold coin of a smiling middle-aged Mandela with his hair parted down the middle was designed by Zimbabwe-born Sindiso Nyoni, whose work includes stinging rebukes of former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe.

"Growing up and living most of my life under a dictatorship, we were not able to experience this feeling of democracy that South Africans have," Nyoni said. Mandela's face already graces all South Africa's banknotes.]]>
7/13/2018 2:30:14 PM
<![CDATA[UK's Harry and Meghan visit Dublin in first trip as married couple]]>
The pair arrived at Dublin airport, with Harry wearing a green tie and former Hollywood actress Meghan in a dark green Givenchy dress that appeared to have been chosen with Ireland’s national color in mind. They began their trip by visiting Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

Later, Harry greeted guests with a few words in the Irish language before giving a toast at a summer garden party at the British ambassador’s residence.

“Standing here with you on this beautiful evening, it is easy to see why Ireland has such a special place in the hearts of my family,” Prince Harry told guests.

“As each other’s closest neighbors, the UK and Ireland’s relationship is unique; our shared history is long and complex. There have of course been challenging, and at times tragic, periods of that relationship.”

Champagne in hand, he finished his speech with the traditional Irish toast “Slainte.”

Harry said he and Meghan hoped to reflect on some of the difficult passages in the neighboring islands’ history when they visit a memorial to Ireland’s Great Famine of the 1840’s and the Gaelic sports stadium Croke Park. British troops opened fire on a crowd there nearly a century ago, on a day known as Bloody Sunday during Ireland’s War of Independence.

Britain’s royal family has played an important role in developing Anglo-Irish relations in recent years, in particular in 2011 when Queen Elizabeth made the first state visit by a British monarch since Ireland won its independence from London in 1921.

The queen, whose husband’s uncle was killed by an Irish nationalist bomb in 1979, offered powerful gestures of reconciliation during her hugely successful four-day trip, made possible by a 1998 peace deal that ended a paramilitary war against British rule of Northern Ireland.

Harry said his grandmother has since spoken of the fantastic welcome she received.

Kensington Palace tweeted an update of Harry and Meghan’s arrival in both English and Irish.

They will meet Irish President Michael D. Higgins before visiting an Irish emigration museum, a technology startup hub and Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university.

Many Irish people have a gossipy interest in their nearest neighbor’s royal family. Ireland’s national broadcaster carried live coverage of the royal wedding, part of a global TV audience of many millions.

RSVP, one of Ireland’s most popular celebrity magazines, ran a live blog of the visit on Tuesday which was also the top story on the website of the Irish Independent, the country’s highest selling daily newspaper.]]>
7/11/2018 11:32:57 AM
<![CDATA[2018 World Cup: a quick buck for Egyptian Cafes]]>
This loss will affect the profit of the Qahwas (local coffee shops), which helped people who are not beIN Sports subscribers to watch the World Cup matches.

During the games, the prices of drinks such as tea, coffee or juice were increased by 20 percent; on a normal day, a cup of tea costs LE 2.5 ($ 0.14), which was increased to LE 3 at most of the Qahwas in the slum and blue-collar areas across Cairo and Giza during the matches. However, after the national team’s loss, Qahwas won’t be earning the same amount of money.

Egyptians staying at Zalat Coffee shop and resturant in Nasr City, Giza, watching the World Cup games - Egypt Today

Qahwa owners consider the World Cup a great season, offering extra seats to attract as many customers as possible. “We already have 150 chairs and the number was increased to 550 seats during the tournament,” said M. Gad, a waiter in a Qahwa in Wadi Hof, Helwan.

“This number could not be enough as the games are not broadcast on other channels,” he told Egypt Today. "Booking a chair with a drink will cost between LE 25 – LE 30," he continued. Gad added the number of clients was not as big as it was expected because the Egyptian games were broadcast on the free beIN sport channel.

“Normally, there are 100 seats, but it depends on the match being aired. For example, if the Egyptian National team is playing, the number of seats increases to almost 200 chairs,” Explained a regular customer at a Qahwa in Ain Shams. Booking a chair at a Qahwa in Ain Shams costs LE 10 without the drink, but with the drink will cost about LE 15. “If all 100 seats are booked, the owner will gain approximately LE 1,500 during one football game.”

Therefore, over the period of one football game, one Qahwa with reasonable prices can make a profit of more than LE 13,700. The World Cup, with a total of 64 games, is a profitable season for hundreds of thousands of Qahwas and cafes. "In 2015, the number of Qahwas and cafes in Cairo only reached 100,000 cafes, most of them unlicensed," said former Cairo Governor, Galal al-Saeed, in media remarks.

Egyptians staying at a Coffee shop in Giza, watching the World Cup games - Egypt Today

“Reserving a seat costs LE 5 and this doesn’t include a drink, even if the person is not going to order, he still has to pay for the seat. The owner of the coffee shop may earn almost LE 2,000 a day,” Ibrahim Khalil, a friend of a Qahwa owner in Giza, clarified.

The price of having a drink in a Qahwa varies from one area to another. There are coffee shops where reserving a seat can reach LE 100. Whenever you sit at a local coffee shop at an upscale district, the prices gets higher. However, many people, particularly the youth, prefer watching games at Qahwas.

“I personally prefer watching football matches in general in a local coffee shop because I feel free. I feel like home when I watch the games with people who are like family,” Physician Mohamed Sultan told Egypt Today.

“I prefer watching matches at local cafés of course. The atmosphere is indescribable; it’s like a mini stadium. The people watching with you will boost your enthusiasm,” a football fan said.

“Obviously, I prefer watching matches at Qahwas because you don’t have to be embarrassed if you get angry or swear, but at a café you have to be respectful and try not to disturb other people watching; you feel like you are tied to a chair,” Alaa Ahmed Omar commented.

“It’s a very complicated issue regarding the prices now at any Qahwa,” a 15 year old boy said. “In Ain Shams region the price of a drink is cheaper than reserving the seat,” he continued “I have to pay LE 10 for the seat and order a drink which costs less than LE 5. It’s very frustrating.”

After Egypt’s loss and poor performance in the world cup, some Egyptians stopped watching the World Cup at the Qahwa.

“I have been to several Qahwas around Cairo to watch the World Cup with my friends. However, after Egypt’s disappointing performance, it’s mostly the young ones who still watch the World Cup” Mahmoud Abdel Azim, a young football fan commented.

“I personally stopped going to watch the matches at the Qahwa; I only go when friends ask me to join them,” a 42 year old teacher stated.
Meanwhile, Mostafa Mohammed, an accountant in a private company, said that he goes to watch any match at the Qahwa, especially the highly-competitive games like the one between Argentina and Nigeria. “This was a very intense match even though Nigeria lost in the last minute,” he added.]]>
7/10/2018 12:47:44 PM
<![CDATA[From caviar to veal tongue, fans get true taste of Russia]]>
Russian food is often thought of as bland and heavy, and indeed many dishes seem geared towards getting people through the grueling winter rather than amusing their palates.

But 28 year-old Egyptian Ahmed Morsy has made it a point of trying a new Russian dish every day. Meat-filled pelmeni dumplings and Beef stroganoff rank among his favorites.

“I love it, honestly. It’s better than I expected. I don’t like spicy food myself so for me it was perfect,” said Morsy as he perused a restaurant menu in the sweltering southern city of Volgograd.

“The whole country has exceeded my expectations. I had never been to Russia before, I thought the people would be grumpy and the country not that organized,” he said.

Indeed, most fans have been impressed by Russians – some in remote or industrial towns where tourists rarely tread – bending over backwards to help, dispelling preconceptions and spreading an upbeat atmosphere.

“I thought Russian food might be weird. I haven’t found it weird. But I do prefer the Uzbek and Azerbaijani barbecue,” said Morsy’s university pal Mamdooh El Eleila, 29, who ordered Kiev chicken, a fillet that is either fried or baked.

Indeed, food from nearby countries - particularly spicier Georgian cuisine - has been particularly popular with fans looking for a little more piquancy in their plates. Caviar bars and vodka cocktails have also been prized.

Still, some fans from countries like India and Mexico, renowned for their succulent spicy fare, have not been impressed.

“The flavors here are quite salty. And of course we miss chili,” said Ricardo Garcia, a 32 year-old programmer decked out in the green Mexican football jersey.

“We brought hot sauce with us from Mexico but we forgot it in our last hostel and now were suffering a little. We found some ketchup with chili in a supermarket and that helps a little, but it’s not the same.”

His pal Heriberto Gonzalez, however, was far more upbeat.

“There are some soups that any Mexican mothers could prepare! Borscht, for example, because they use the potato in a very similar way. Of course, there’s a little bitter Russian flavor to it,” said Gonzalez, a 37 year-old who works in marketing.

“But if I wanted Mexican food, I would have stayed in Mexico!”

Some fans, however, have found temporary refuge in their own cuisine - like Egyptian physics student Ahmed Nasr, who was queuing for a shawarma.

But he said local waiters and chefs had also prodded him - via Google Translate - to try local fares including Russian lamb and buckwheat.

“I was at a buffet and the staff encouraged me to try Russian food. I liked it. I did not even know what they ate in Russia,” said Nasr, 31, who lives in Canada.

“In Canada we have Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern food, but I’ve never seen Russian. Maybe I will look for a Russian restaurant - hopefully I can find one!” he laughed, adding that in any case he planned to return to Russia as a tourist.

7/10/2018 11:18:11 AM
<![CDATA[Hundreds of shivering Australians get nude for U.S. photographer Tunick]]>
The participants, chosen from 12,000 eager applicants, posed standing and lying down on concrete, covered only in transparent red fabric, with the temperature hovering around 7 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit) in the wind.

“I saw it come up online and I was like, ‘Yes! Like I have to get involved.’ Spencer Tunick I feel is legendary for subversive art, nude subversive art. I feel like Melbourne could definitely do with a dose of that,” Jane Louise, one of the participants, told reporters.

Participants didn’t have their gear off for too long.

“I worked quickly in order to keep them not from freezing and I think I got some beautiful artworks,” Tunick told reporters.

Another participant, Belle Harvey, said: “Yeah, he was good fun. Every now and again we would laugh, and he would be like, ‘You need to be quiet. No smiling. Hands up’,”.

Woolworths, the owner of the suburban supermarket where the shots were taken, had at first refused to allow Tunick access to its car park, fearing it would inconvenience shoppers during busy weekend hours.

The retail giant relented when the artist agreed to take the shots on a quiet Monday morning instead.

Tunick was invited as part of a Melbourne arts festival.]]>
7/9/2018 10:39:08 AM
<![CDATA[Lithuanian couple win world wife-carrying championship title in Finland]]>
The World Wife-Carrying Championship, now in its 23rd year, draws thousands of visitors to the town of 4,200 and has gained followers across the world.

There are official qualifying competitions in countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden and Estonia. On Saturday, 53 couples from 13 countries joined the competition, organizers said.

The idea of wife-carrying as a sport was inspired by the 19th century legend of Ronkainen the Robber, who tested aspiring members of his gang by forcing them to carry sacks of grain or live pigs over a similar course.

The championship is also said to stem from an even earlier practice of wife-stealing - leading many present-day contestants to compete with someone else’s wife.

On Saturday, Lithuanian parents of two Vytautas Kirkliauskas and Neringa Kirkliauskiene won the race which involved running, wading through a slippery pool and getting through an obstacle course. The two defeated six times world champion Taisto Miettinen, a Finn.

“It’s my wife,” Kirkliauskas shouted happily after the race, “She’s the best.”

The couple first competed in Sonkajarvi in 2005.

Finland, which straddles the Arctic Circle and goes through long, dark winters, is no stranger to strange sports. It has also given the world the world boot throwing, air guitar and mobile phone throwing competitions, to name just a few.

“I think because we have only three months of light we need to come up with nice stuff to do during the summertime, and we want to show everyone we have a great sense of humor,” said Sanna-Mari Nuutinen, a volunteer at Saturday’s event.]]>
7/8/2018 11:25:40 AM
<![CDATA[One person gored on opening day of Pamplona bull runs]]>
The person was caught by a bull’s horn during the 875-metre run through the northern Spanish city. Four other people suffered minor injuries such as grazes after falling. All five were taken to hospital for treatment.

Around 2,000 people, most of them dressed in white and wearing red neck scarves, attend the sprint, running alongside six bulls and six bullocks on a narrow route that weaves through central Pamplona.

Lasting just under two and half minutes, and taking place on wet ground following rain the night before, this year’s sprint was slightly faster than average.

Saturdays are statistically the most dangerous day of the week-long San Fermin festival, leaving around seven people ]]>
7/7/2018 11:23:24 AM
<![CDATA[Hitting cancer early: AstraZeneca's bid to outmaneuver rivals]]>
Yet today two-thirds of analysts tracked by Thomson Reuters recommend the stock, making it one of the sector’s biggest consensus buys, and CEO Pascal Soriot says he is “absolutely” happy to carry on into the 2020s as he chases early use of modern cancer drugs.

“I don’t have any plans to retire anytime soon,” he told Reuters.Soriot and his team are increasingly confident that while AstraZeneca may have lost one part of the battle for cancer market dominance, it can still win elsewhere by targeting tumors before they have spread around the body.

That is the second element of a twin-track strategy to differentiate AstraZeneca in the hot area of immune system-boosting drugs, which has seen rivals - led by Merck & Co (MRK.N) - leap ahead in late-stage or metastatic disease.

The idea that immunotherapy may actually work best in less sick patients is logical, since the immune system’s natural role is to destroy nascent tumors. Indeed, some cancer doctors believe this could become the main battleground in future.

“It’s not yet prime time ... but in the long run I think we will move immunotherapy to a more front-line early disease situation and I hope we will be treating more patients in that setting than in late-stage disease,” said John Haanen, an oncologist at the Netherlands Cancer Institute.


AstraZeneca already has a jump-start here, since its Imfinzi immunotherapy is the new standard of care in treating early inoperable stage III lung cancer. That win follows a decision to run a study in this setting ahead of competitors.

“It was a smart move by AstraZeneca and they are now absolutely in business,” said Haanen.

Imfinzi sales will be a major focus for investors when the company reports half-year results on July 26.

Competitor Merck last month presented similar stage III results from a small study, but a larger trial using Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMY.N) Opdivo drug recently stopped recruiting patients, suggesting direct competition is not imminent.

AstraZeneca hopes to build on this lead in the so-called adjuvant setting, where drugs are given after surgery to keep the cancer from coming back.

Its BR.31 immunotherapy trial with Imfinzi was the first to start adjuvant therapy for lung cancer and the company thinks it could be the first to complete a major trial, with disease-free survival data due in 2020.

“We are certainly hopeful to be the first,” said David Berman, the group’s head of immuno-oncology.

Berman jumped ship from Bristol-Myers three years ago and believes his new employer has hit on a winning strategy. “By moving to early stage you can actually leapfrog competitors who are ahead of you in stage IV,” he said.

Still, the race is on in both the adjuvant and neoadjuvant setting, where treatment precedes surgery. With each trial taking several years, picking winners is not easy.

“If everyone is similar on timing, then it is going to come down to data,” said Liberum analyst Roger Franklin, who rates AstraZeneca a hold.

Lung cancer is by far the biggest killer among cancers and the top commercial opportunity for so-called PDx immunotherapy infusions expected to be worth $15 billion in sales this year, according to Thomson Reuters’ consensus forecasts.

AstraZeneca estimates the majority of lung cancer patients are being diagnosed relatively early in the disease, when there is a better chance of a cure.

One issue that concerns doctors is how long patients treated post-surgery should take immunotherapy drugs, especially given that they cost nearly $150,000 a year.

Most of the adjuvant trials now under way against various cancers are designed to give drugs for one year. Haanen is skeptical: “Do you really need a year’s treatment? Probably not.”

AstraZeneca is also pushing its early treatment mantra beyond immunotherapy with its lung cancer pill Tagrisso, which works is targeted at patients with specific genetic mutations that are particularly common in the booming Chinese market.

With a clear lead in this particular treatment area, AstraZeneca has time to build out its Tagrisso business in early disease through two big ongoing clinical trials.

Dan Mahony, a healthcare fund manager at Polar Capital, is bullish on AstraZeneca’s prospects but reluctant to predict how the fight will play out in the long term.

Still, he says: “There’s more going on at AstraZeneca than met the eye a year ago.”]]>
7/6/2018 4:52:06 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo Festival City Mall hosts Russian Summer Cheering Experience]]>
Not entirely, good news is you can still be part of the moment as CFCM has brought you piece of Russia straight to Tagamoa.

With the biggest and most lively screen in the entire country, measuring 16*9 meters, CFCM’s arena is everyone’s destination for an unprecedented experience for you, your family and friends. The arena can take up to 4000 fans in regular as well as VIP lounges where you are pampered under the umbrellas and enjoying a freezing drink, delicious food and the football and play station competitions that appealed to everyone.

For the overly enthusiast fans, sponsors of the Arena distribute cheering props to increase the feel of the stadium and bring more of Russia’s festivities to the Arena.
In the past confrontations of the Egyptian team, the Arena was always on fire despite the fact that Egypt did not make it to the next round but still achieved some exciting world records.

The hopes of Egypt to continue in the World Cup race are over but football lovers still have something to look forward to as this year’s competition carries many surprises for the whole world.

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Egyptian fans watching football at Cairo Festival City Mall. - Press Photo

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Egyptian fans watching football at Cairo Festival City Mall. - Press Photo

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CFCM’s arena is everyone’s destination for an unprecedented experience for you, your family and friends. - Press Photo

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The arena can take up to 4000 fans in regular, as well as VIP lounges. - Press Photo

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While watching, you can enjoy cold drinks and delicious foods. - Press Photo
7/4/2018 5:29:58 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. beats Belgium to win (Quidditch) World Cup]]>
More than 6,000 km away from Moscow, in the Italian city of Florence, the United States swept to victory on Sunday in a much more magical contest - the Quidditch World Cup, based on the game dreamt up in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books.

More than 800 players from as far afield as Iceland and Hong Kong took part in the tournament - the largest yet staged in the muggle universe.

In the real-life game, two teams of seven players run around with broomsticks between their legs and engage in a full-contact, co-ed contest with elements of rugby, dodgeball and wrestling.

In the early rounds it was favorites USA and Australia who set the pace in the groups stages, played in sweltering temperatures.

In the first semi-finals USA beat Britain for a place in the final for the fourth time. Belgium became first-time finalists after beating Turkey.

The USA won the match 120 to 70, after Harry Greenhouse grabbed the ‘snitch’ within minutes of it coming onto the field, tied to the back of another player.

The first World Cup was held in Oxford in England back in 2012, when the USA took top honors. The team took the title again in 2014, but Australia caught the snitch to snatch victory two years ago in Frankfurt, Germany.

7/3/2018 12:11:22 PM
<![CDATA[Hometown America drops due diligence condition for Gateway Lifestyle offer]]>
Hometown said its bid, at A$2.30 cash-per-share, was superior to an identically priced offer from Canadian private equity firm Brookfield Asset Management (BAMa.TO), because Gateway had promised to pay out a 5.35 Australian cents dividend during the bidding contest.

Hometown’s cash offer would slip to A$2.25-a-share if Gateway was unwilling to sign a bid implementation agreement at the higher price. Gateway said it was considering the offer.

The bid implementation deal would contain features including a unanimous commitment by Gateway’s board to recommend the bid, Hometown said.

Gateway agreed to an exclusive due diligence by Brookfield Property Group, a unit of Canadian alternative asset manager Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO), which made a non-binding A$2.30-a-share offer for Gateway on June 21.

Brookfield’s offer trumped an earlier offer from Hometown of A$2.10 per share.

Investing in the retirement sector is viewed by analysts as a means to profit from Australia’s aging population and tap generous government subsidies offered to pensioners.]]>
7/2/2018 1:22:36 PM
<![CDATA[In Pics: A bucket of red please: revellers battle it out with wine in Spain]]>

La Batalla de Vino is held each June in the town of Haro on the feast of St Peter, an event organisers say draws thousands of people.

On Friday, participants soaked each other with buckets and toy spray guns, turning their clothes a shade of purple.


7/1/2018 11:29:51 AM
<![CDATA[Blowing Off steam]]>
As tobacco use steadily and regularly decreases around the world due to rising prices, as a result of taxes, rigid regulations on tobacco companies and banning the marketing and advertising of tobacco products, the Middle East and Africa continues to be an anomaly. In fact, research has found that smokers are quickly on the rise in low- and middle-income countries on a global scale, and even more so in the Middle East and Africa due to weak, and sometime, non-existent, regulations and control measures.

According to CAPMAS 2015 survey linking smoking to income, expenditure and consumption, 23 million Egyptians are exposed to negative smoking, half of which are females. Moreover, 41.2 percent of employers smoke, and the average annual expenditure of an Egyptian household on smoking is LE 1,722 ($95.14).

“Egypt alone has seen its smoker population nearly double since 2000, reaching around 14.4 mn today. Water pipes known as shishas are popular in cafes, where smoking restrictions don’t apply,” according to Bloomberg.

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Taxation continues to be the least used strategy worldwide.

Aligned with these findings, the Shares of Easter Tobacco in Egypt, which holds a monopoly on cigarette production in Egypt, have hit successive record highs with a significant 161 percent increase in shares in the first half of 2018.

Although Khaled Sadek, head of consumer and healthcare research at CI Capital, believes that this increase is due to a rise in prices, evidence does suggest that this increase also comes as a result of an increase of number of users.

“They raised their ex-factory prices by about 40 percent compared to last year and they still have a big part of their inventory of raw tobacco from before the currency float which makes the cost low for them and the margins higher,” explains Sadek.

“Tobacco is marketed mainly to men [in the Middle East and Africa]. To reverse this [the rise of smokers in the region], governments need to more firmly confront the tobacco industry’s efforts to recruit the next generation of smokers,” recommend Bloomberg’s editors.

Agreeing with this Enterprise writes, “Tobacco companies in the Middle East and Africa need to be slapped with more taxes, restrictions.”

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Egypt alone has seen its smoker population nearly double since 2000, reaching around 14.4 mn today.

Cracking down on smoking

Experts have found that the most cost-effective and high impact move that leads to a decline in smokers are: raising tobacco taxes, abiding tobacco companies to print graphic health warnings on cigarette packs, banning tobacco advertisements and imposing laws that ban smoking in public areas.

Supporting this view, The World Bank has repeatedly advised of the importance of taxation, expressing its positive impact on decreasing the number of smokers; the Bank has actively worked on declining smokers by partners up with the World Health Organizations (WHO). Despite this, taxation continues to be the least used strategy worldwide.

Yet, not everyone agrees that an increase in prices leads to smokers quitting. “Historically, people don’t stop smoking,” Ahmed Hafez, the co-head of research at HC Brokerage in Cairo, tells Bloomberg, “What happens usually is that they cut the number of cigarettes they smoke per day, and then they usually divert to the normal habits again. But we haven’t seen a prolonged impact on demand since price increases.”

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Enterprise writes, “Tobacco companies in the Middle East and Africa need to be slapped with more taxes, restrictions.”

Egypt takes action

To crack down on tobacco use, the Egyptian government, in July 2014, increased the retail prices of cigarettes, to cost about LE 1 more per pack, following an increase in cigarette taxes.

Another 50 percent increase followed in February 2015, and in 2016, prices hiked by another 10 percent.

During 2018, as a way to raise its revenues and tackle smoking, raised taxes once more, leading the government to expect to raise LE 7.072 billion ($402 million) in the 2018-19 draft budget in revenues from this tax, a government document said.

Egypt targets collecting LE 58.524 billion ($3.33 billion) in revenues from tobacco taxes, according to the Ministry of Finance; it is expected that tobacco taxes will come to LE 51.452 billion ($2.93 billion) during this financial year, ending at the end of June.

6/30/2018 2:26:11 PM
<![CDATA[Pics, video: meet highly-trained penguins received by Egypt]]>
Their new home is Egypt’s makeshift, corporate version of the Artic located at the Mall of Egypt. The penguins are the Gentoo and Chinstrap species, two of the largest penguin types worldwide.

Ski Egypt has received 10 Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins of the Gentoo and Chinstrap which are two of the largest penguin species worldwide – Egypt Today/Amr Kandil

The male and female penguins welcomed to Egypt have been trained and prepared to meet visitors and perform before audiences as of July 1.

There are only about half a million Gentoo penguins in the world, with lengths that commonly range between 0.6 to 0.76 meter, making them the third-largest penguins after two giant species.

A long-tailed Gentoo penguin weighs between 5.5 to 6.5 kilograms approximately, with a lifespan that can exceed 20 years.

Meanwhile, the Chinstrap or bearded penguins are the fifth-largest penguin in size out of typically 17 species of penguins. There are about 7.5 million Chinstraps in the world inhabiting parts of the Antarctic Ocean and Southern Pacific.

Ski Egypt has received 10 Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins of the Gentoo and Chinstrap which are two of the largest penguin species worldwide – Egypt Today/Amr Kandil

The Chinstraps ordinarily range between 0.45 to 0.63 meter in length, with an average weight of about 3 kilograms.

Ski Egypt in Giza’s 6th of October city is keen on providing penguins with the suitable environment in terms of temperature and light conditions, within the framework guidelines from San Antonio’s SeaWorld, Texas.

Ski Egypt has received 10 Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins of the Gentoo and Chinstrap which are two of the largest penguin species worldwide – Egypt Today/Amr Kandil

6/30/2018 10:23:25 AM
<![CDATA[Model's nude pose above Jerusalem shrine sparks outrage]]>
The picture, published in Belgian newspaper HLN, shows 26-year-old Marisa Papen leaning back nude on a lounger, face raised to the sun.

Behind and below her worshippers can be seen at the ancient wall in the Old City, the most sacred site where Jews can pray.

The photo shoot was condemned in a statement by rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, as an "embarrassing, serious and saddening incident, which undermines the sanctity of the place and the feelings of those who visit it".

Last year Papen was detained for 24 hours in Egypt after posing naked in front of the Karnak Temple, according to her website, which is a travelogue of her nude poses shot around the world.

The Western Wall is adjacent to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

Jews believe the wall is the last remnant of the biblical Jewish temple.]]>
6/29/2018 1:09:30 PM
<![CDATA[Google Ads: Introducing simpler marketing solutions for advertisers, publishers]]>
Originally launched to ensure that make people with businesses connect faster with their consumer-base and other businesses, Google AdWords has had to develop and change to keep up with developments in different fields, as well as the usage habits of people.

“People quickly switch from searching for products, to watching videos, browsing content, playing games and more. As a result, marketers have more opportunities to reach consumers across channels, screens and formats,” writes Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce at Google, arguing that despite being complex, this development has the potential to lead to many exciting innovations.

Google ads have evolved from helping marketers connect with people on Google Search, to helping them connect at every step of the consumer journey through text, video, display and more.

To deal with these developments, Google has introduces simpler brands and solutions to match their advertising products, namely Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager. These brands are designed to ensure that it is easier for marketers to find solutions and marketing opportunities for their business; ones that are cost-effective. These solutions are also designed to create greater collaboration across teams.

Today, we are introducing simpler brands and solutions for our advertising products: Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager. - Press Photo

Google AdWords becomes Google Ads: Closer and stronger

Google Ads merges together all of Google’s advertising capabilities across Google.com, partner sites, applications and other properties, with the aim of connecting people to find answers to their questions, do research, browse for content, entertain themselves and much more.

For small businesses specifically, they are introducing a new campaign type in Google Ads that makes it easier than ever to get started with online advertising.

“It brings the machine learning technology of Google Ads to small businesses and helps them get results without any heavy lifting—so they can stay focused on running their businesses,” explains Ramaswamy.

Furthermore, by unifying their DoubleClick advertiser products and the Google Analytics 360 Suite under a single brand: Google Marketing Platform, Google will ensure stronger collaboration for enterprise marketing teams, leading to stronger analytical technology and more real benefits from Ad.

Integration between DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 will allos marketers to better plan, buy, measure and optimize digital media and customer experiences in one place.

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Introducing simpler brands and solutions for advertisers and publishers. - Press Photo

As part of Google Marketing Platform, Google have also announced Display & Video 360, a platform that brings together features from DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio and Audience Center to allow creative, agency, and media teams to collaborate and execute ad campaigns end-to-end in a single place.

“We recognize that the way publishers monetize their content has changed. With people accessing content on multiple screens, and with advertisers’ growing demand for programmatic access, publishers need to be able to manage their businesses more simply and efficiently. That’s why for the last three years, we’ve been working to bring together DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange in a complete and unified programmatic platform under a new name–Google Ad Manager,” explains Ramaswamy on why they are developing this new platform.

“With this evolution, we’re excited to do even more for our partners—earning them more money, more efficiently, wherever people are watching videos, playing games or engaging with content, and however advertisers are looking to work with them.”

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The platform helps marketers plan, buy, measure and optimize digital media and customer experiences in one place. - Press Photo

Despite being development-oriented, Google is still committed to its delivering products with the utmost transparency and controls that consumers and customers are able to trust.

“As always, our commitment is to ensure that all of our products and platforms set the industry’s highest standard in giving people transparency and choice in the ads they see. For example, we recently announced new Ads Settings and expanded Why this ad? across all of our services, and almost all websites and apps that partner with us to show ads,” assures Ramaswamy.

Google is expected to share more about these changes on Google Marketing Live on July 10, 9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET. To watch,

register here

6/28/2018 7:21:16 PM
<![CDATA[Industrial Workers of World Day: Celebrating SCZone, RIZ]]>
Previously, in a meeting between then Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) and the General Authority For Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Mohab Mamish to review available investments in the economic zone, Ismail pointed out the importance of the zone to the national economy and its role in creating jobs for youths.

In comments during the meeting, Mamish assured that demand from foreign investment is high and that sources of investment are diverse and numerous, suggesting that the zone will be able to positively contribute towards the national economy.

In detail: SCZone

The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) is a world-class free zone and trade hub along the banks of the newly-expanded Suez Canal, strategically located on the main trade route between Europe and Asia, with more than 8 percent of global trade passing through every year.

According to the SCZone’s official website, the vision of the project is: “To become a leading world class economic hub and a preferred destination for investment,” bringing together businesses from all over the Middle East, Africa and Asia, as well as internationally.

Egypt’s ability to become the new economic and energy hub, something that it currently on track to become, is supported by its access to regional markets and talents, as well as its vast labor pool, which, according to the zone’s official website, is “the largest labor pool in the region. … The workforce includes experienced accountants, lawyers, ICT specialists, engineers, technicians and designers, all available to work for SCZone companies at competitive prices.”

The flotation of the Egyptian pound has also played a positive role in securing relatively cheap labour for companies looking to come into the economic zone; the devaluation of the Egyptian Pound in the face of other currencies has made Egyptian labor and salaries even cheaper on a global scale, making it more competitive and attractive.

The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) covers 461 kilometers squared. Within the zone, there are: two integrated areas, Ain Sokhna with Ain Sokhna Port and East Port Said with East Port Said Port; two development areas, Qantara West and East Ismailia; and, four ports, West Port Said Port, Adabiya Port, Al Tor Port and Al Arish Port.

“Each integrated and development area provides investment opportunities in industrial and commercial enterprises, infrastructure and real estate development, logistics, amenities and state-of-the-art technology,” reads the zone’s official website.

Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) in SCZone

During the signing ceremony where Egypt and Russia signed an agreement for a $7 billion RIZ, then-Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil explained that this 50-year agreement will give Russian companies rights to develop a 5.25 million square meter stretch of land in the Suez Canal Economic Zone into an industrial zone for Russian companies that will be built over three phases, giving them a solid, strategically-located base in Egypt to export to the rest of the Middle East and Africa.

RIZ will be established in the East Port Said region.

Industrial projects and buildings will be built over a space of 2.8 million square meters, while the rest of the land will be used to build residential units as well as commercial and entrainment facilities for the zone’s staff. Stretching over 461 square kilometers, the zone extends through the three Suez Canal governorates of Suez, Port Said and Ismailia, and will include six maritime ports, to be completed by 2045.

Manufacturing air conditioners, motors, construction equipment, glass, ceramics, electronics, medical supplies and plastic are among the industries targeted by the RIZ.

Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov said in July that the RIZ will act as a platform for Russian products to enter the Egyptian and African markets. “I see it as a hub. I believe it is a first stage in shaping basic platforms for spreading Russian goods in African countries, “ Kalamanov had announced.

Building on Kabil’s comments, Denis Manturov, Acting Minister of Trade and Industry of the Russian Federation, stated, “The signing of this agreement comes as a culmination of intensive discussions between the two ministries of industry and trade in the two countries over the past two years.”

RIZ is expected to give Russian companies an edge over other international companies, as it will be easier and less costly for them to export to the Region, meaning that their prices are likely to be more competitive on a global level; they will also take less time to arrive at the intended importing country and will leave less carbon footprints.

Development works of the first phase, involving 1 million square meters, will start this year and will be carried out by a Russian developer who will also work on attracting Russian investors and companies during 2018 and 2019. This phase will create 7,300 jobs in the construction field, decreasing unemployment rates in Egypt.

The second phase will develop 1.6 million square meters and will be finished by 2022, creating 10,000 jobs, while the third phase will develop 2.65 million square meters and generate 17,000 jobs, once again, decreasing unemployment rates in the region.

The three phase is expected to be finished by 2031, when Russian companies will start operations, providing some 35,000 direct and indirect jobs, the statement said.

The Egyptian and Russian sides have agreed to establish a company under the name of Moscow Economic Zone to be responsible for the zone’s operations and construction works. The project, which will be supervised by the two governments, will be funded by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and a number of Egyptian banks.

Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Mohab Mamish said in the statement that the RIZ would help cover East Port Said’s needs for industries as well as the needs of the domestic market. He further added that the zone would serve as a gateway for Russian companies to European and African countries.

Mamish added that the land granted for the RIZ is on a usufruct basis and the condition for establishing projects and industrial complexes inside the Suez Canal Economic Zone is that 90 percent of the workforce is Egyptian. This would help the economic zone realize its target of creating 1 million jobs, according to the sustainable development strategy “Egypt Vision 2030,” Mamish said.

In October, Mamish announced that negotiations between Egypt and Russia on the industrial zone have been successful. Trade between Egypt and Russia increased to about $2.5 billion in the first seven months of 2017, from about $2.2 billion in the same period of 2016.

The project is part of ongoing efforts to encourage foreign and domestic investments in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which is set to include an international logistics hub and areas for light, medium and heavy industry, as well as commercial and residential developments.

In statements to Sputnik news agency Wednesday prior to the signing of the agreements, Kabil said, “Post the signing today they will start developing the contract between a Russian developer who will manage the development of the area and the economic zone of the Suez Canal. So that contract will include the details of the construction and power required, very nitty-gritty details. So probably I would expect in the neighborhood of six months to finish the contract and the approval of the parliament. After that then the developer is free to start preparation.”

Kabil further pointed out that he had the chance of meeting some 60 Russian companies who are interested in investing in the RIZ, including some big companies like Kamaz. “Between the developer and the companies, there are many companies who said yes we are interested. The good thing is that they’ve already studied the Egyptian market, the export opportunities out of that particular area. So it would be premature for companies,” stated Kabil.

The Russian Investment Zone is expected to be the first of many other zones established around the Suez Canal, with negotiations on-going between the Egyptian government and their Chinese and Italian counterparts.

Agility Logistics Company to establish a logistic center in East Port Said Governorate

The Suez Canal Authority signed a Cooperation protocol with Agility Logistics Company to establish a logistic center in East Port Said Governorate, investing up to $100 million.

The protocol was signed by Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Mohamed Mamesh, and Vice Chairman and CEO of Agility Tarik Sultan.

The protocol stipulates that Agility will establish a logistics hub in the current expansion of East Port Said Port, with industrial and logistic infrastructure promoting the import and storage of raw materials, and the export and distribution of cargos through the Suez Canal axis.

Agility will also work on providing international solutions for Egyptian customs, so as to contribute to the rapid circulation of goods, strengthen supply chains in a fast and secure manner, and to increase the value added.

Mamesh said that the establishment of this project in East Port Said area comes in line with the vision of Egypt 2030, and achieves Egypt's development goals by attaining sustainable and integrated economic growth through increasing the value added, creating new jobs and enhancing the status of the Suez Canal as a commercial and industrial center.

“The protocol aims to study investing in the development and promotion of logistics areas as well as the industrial zone, in addition to establishing an environmental green logistics center for value added services, and applying technological customs solutions to facilitate trade movement,” Mamesh announced.

For his part, Sultan said that Egypt's privileged location facilitates reaching the region's markets and trade routes and qualifies it as a regional distribution hub, adding that his company has invested in the African market due to the increased demand to access this promising market.

Sultan added that the existence of the economic zone of the Suez Canal and the work in the East Port Said area will enable companies to obtain high quality infrastructure and fast, easy and efficient logistic and customs services.

“The protocol aims to study the establishment of a partnership between the Economic Authority and Agility,” Deputy Chairman of the Economic Authority of Suez Canal for the Northern Sector, Abdel Kader Darwish said.

He clarified that the first stage of work between two parties includes the preparation of feasibility studies for the development of a logistics center and the provision of customs technology services for eight months.

The second stage includes the preparation of the detailed plans and the final and master plans of the logistic project, besides providing technical and financial studies of technological services for six months, while the third stage includes the establishment of a joint venture within six months.

On the right track

Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met May 26, 2018, with Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), Mohab Mamish, in the presence of the acting chief of the General Intelligence Service, Abbas Kamel.

During the meeting, Mamish said that the Suez Canal revenues increased 13.4 percent year-on-year in the first five months of 2018.

The international waterway's May revenues were the highest ever, recording 16 percent, compared with the same period a year earlier, he revealed.

Sisi issued directives to persist with the efforts exerted by the Suez Canal Authority and the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) with the aim of developing and improving the capabilities of the Suez Canal Authority, presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi said in a statement.

The president also underscored the importance of rallying the state institutions’ efforts in order to help complete ongoing projects in the SCZone and swiftly finalize infrastructure projects in the area.

Meanwhile, Mamish reviewed the latest developments with regard to developing the SCZone, Sokhna and Port Said ports, and building new tunnels under the canal, noting that the world's top-notch companies are keen to invest in the SCZone.

He also pointed out that Egypt and Russia signed on Wednesday an agreement to establish a Russian industrial zone on an area of 5.25 million square meters at the Suez Canal Corridor.

Additional Reporting:

Hanan Mohamed

6/27/2018 3:25:56 PM
<![CDATA[Making a livelihood out of begging]]>
A beggar, also known as a panhandler or a mendicant, often ask for money to buy essentials like food, medicine and clothes, as a favour. They often pray for you or tell you that nice things will happen to you if you give them money, in hopes that hearing this will make you generous and give them money. Street beggers can be found in public spaces; typically, near busy stations, malls and restaurants.

Although some of these people may actually need money, most people begging for money on the street have made a profession out of it.

Professional begging

“Begging has become a career in Egypt, so you are not sure whether a beggar really needs help or not; some beggars became rich through begging, and they prefer to continue begging and create new ways to deceive people,” Azza Koriem, a professor of sociology told Xinhua.

Agreeing with this, Monde Zitho Langa, from News 24, writes, “Some beggars come from comfortable beds, homes with bread and water to bathe, but because of laziness claim a corner of the streets. At that corner they do their pity-me-work, forgetting that real people who aren’t pretending to be homeless actually need that money.”

Today, in Cairo, a begger can make more than a civil servant or even a manager at a governmental institution through collecting LE 100-150, a figure that doubles and triples around religious events and festivals, as the spirit of giving spreads between people.

However, the problem with beggers today is that they affect the people who actually need money as people become more and more reluctant to give money to the poor, as they are scared that they are being robbed or that they are giving money away to someone who does not need it but is doing it as a profession.

“This kind of beggars affect the real poor people as donors do not trust any beggar at all and they don't give any of them money because it is hard to differentiate them,” Koriem told Xinhua.

Getting to know our beggers

Speaking to a child sat on the corner of a street, looking despairingly at passers-by, it became obvious that some of the children who beg where brought up to do so, while others merely have to abide by their parents, guardians or patrons’ decision.

“We come from out of Cairo. We ride a mini bus everyday from out of Cairo, though 6 October city and come to Nasr City,” nine-year-old Zainab told Egypt Today, refusing to say where she originally comes from. “I come with my aunt and mother, as well as my siblings and cousins. We work this street almost every day and each of us is expected to make at least LE 100.”

“Expected” rang loud and clear, a word that speaks volumes and warns of possible consequences.

Zainab and her family work a specific street every day and each of them knows exactly what to do and how to ask for money; it is as if they were trained to do this.

It is their job.

Working on a street can be dangerous, and when money is involved, an order is needed. “I work with a few people. We have teamed up and we work this street,” explains 15-year-old Mohamed, known as Zoka to his ‘collegues’.

When asked if others work this street too, Zoka explained that there is a system, “You are not just allowed to work any old street you want to work.” Aggressively speaking, he explains that there should be some kind of monopoly on the street. He explains that he has to split the money with the other three people he works the street with; anyone who enters the street will have to do the same, or pay them a monthly fee, for them to allow him or her to beg on their territory; almost like cutting up areas when selling drugs, beggers are not carving up territories.

Confirming this, Nashwa, a mother in her late twenties, told Egypt Today, “I have to pay a daily fee for the man responsible for this street. He tells us where to work and ensures that we do not work the same areas. This way, we can all get some money out of it. I know what you think, I should be working, but why should I work when begging makes me more money.”

Begging has become an alternative profession, a way of making money. But this is not to say that everyone who begs is not in need.
6/27/2018 1:20:36 PM
<![CDATA[Meghan's father: If Queen Elizabeth meets Trump, she should meet me too]]>
With a comment that is likely to bring unease to the British royal family, Markle appears to rebuke Elizabeth for planning to meet Trump when he visits Britain on July 13.

“If the queen is willing to meet our arrogant and insensitive president, she has no excuse not to meet me - I’m nowhere near as bad,” Markle told the U.S. celebrity website.

Markle missed his daughter’s wedding because he was ill but disclosed in an interview earlier this month that his new son-in-law had told him to give Trump a chance.

Markle said he felt the British royal family had put him in the “penalty box” after that interview. He said he had not spoken to his daughter or anyone else from the palace since the ITV interview.]]>
6/27/2018 11:05:39 AM
<![CDATA[Menswear in vogue for luxury brands with designs on growth]]>
Luxury brands are raising their game in menswear, which is expanding at a faster clip than women’s clothing as styles loosen up and streetwear like hoodies find a new audience.

Big fashion houses including French conglomerates LVMH and Kering are among those hiring eye-catching designers and investing in male attire.

LVMH’s Paris-based Louis Vuitton summed up the zeitgeist at the latest run of men’s fashion shows that closed last week with a collection by its new DJ-turned-designer Virgil Abloh.

This mixed casual anoraks, holster-style accessories and sleek trench coats, and drew hip hop royalty.

“It’s more than a buzz. It’s a deeper trend,” Sidney Toledano, head of LVMH’s fashion group, said on the sidelines of a fashion show.

“There’s strong demand across the men’s fashion industry, in all its shapes and forms, and which comes in part from a younger clientele. We see it very clearly in the sales.”

LVMH brands do not detail earnings, though analysts estimate that menswear at top money-spinner Vuitton is 5 to 7 percent of revenue. Vuitton did not respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile Kering’s fastest-growing brand Balenciaga, a one-time couture house which scored a hit with a line of chunky sneakers, says men are now among its biggest sales drivers along with millennials, or 20 to 35 year olds.

Womenswear still had the biggest share of the broader $1.7 trillion apparel and footwear market in 2017, with menswear less than a quarter, Euromonitor data shows.

Yet the market research firm forecasts men’s lines will outperform women’s between 2017 and 2022, with sales expanding by a compound annual growth rate of 2 percent.

“This is due to men placing a greater emphasis on their appearance, fueled by the rise of social media, and dress codes for men softening globally,” Marguerite Le Rolland, a consultant in beauty and fashion at Euromonitor, said.


Brands are taking note, expanding their reach with Instagram campaigns and famous faces such as ex soccer star David Beckham who is an ambassador for the British Fashion Council.

The growth of casualwear may entail some setbacks, with tailoring - usually items that are more expensive than sportswear - at risk of taking a hit.

Sales of men’s suits fell by $700 million between 2012 and 2017 in western Europe, Euromonitor data showed, contrasting with growth in premium jeans.

LVMH’s Toledano - who oversees LVMH labels like Celine, which is due to launch a men’s line - said tailored styles were still doing well, however, adding that sales growth was spreading to accessories and shoes.

Upstart labels are also keeping big brands on their toes.

“The men’s business has exploded in the last five years,” said Roopal Patel, fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue, adding that the U.S. department store was bringing in newer menswear-focused labels like France’s Ami, or Off-White, the streetwear brand founded by Vuitton’s Abloh.

“We’ve gone from just category addressing to really designers looking at how they’re going to wardrobe a man’s lifestyle, everything from work to evening to weekend to sport.”]]>
6/26/2018 11:22:13 AM
<![CDATA[Why Egyptian men view marriage today as regrettable choice]]>
With the emergence of the idea of creating Facebook closed groups to include men or women only, each of the two sexes started to feel freer to express themselves.

On Facebook groups for MEN ONLY, numerous posts can be published a day for a man whose wedding date is nearing, asking other experienced and inexperienced men for advice. It is widely recognized that most comments on these posts are scary for every unmarried man who may watch perhaps 90 percent of the replies warning him of marriage, with “DON’T EVER” on top of the list.

To be objective, disputes between married couples were always portrayed in Egyptian classic films, mainly in a funny way. However, there is one way to know whether what is happening nowadays between wives and husbands is normal; it is statistics.

Divorce rates in Egypt increased 83 percent from 1996, according to the statistics collected in 2016 by Egypt’s official Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

In a February report, CAPMAS found that divorce rates increased by 6.5 percent in December 2017, compared to December 2016. The number of divorce forms issued in December 2017 was 14,000, compared to 13,000 during the same month of 2016.

Marriage rates witnessed a relative increase as well, but the rate of separations was much more than any other measured by CAPMAS. Marriage rates increased by 4.3 percent in December 2017, compared to the rate measured in December 2016.

Perhaps this explains a widely adopted opinion that appears in the comments on the kind of posts mentioned above, stating that marriage, however, is inevitable; many men advise the youth to enjoy their lives first and then surrender for their final deadly destiny of marriage.

The problem is that Egyptian young men do not have the chance to enjoy their lives before marriage. They have to choose between enjoying their youth and marriage, that is what one of the men on a private group thinks about marriage.

Marriage is not bad, but life is hard. How would you bear the expenses of marriage and life after marriage? Another user said, complaining about the unsatisfying economic situation in the country and the continuous price hike.

One of the most significant traditions in Arab countries, including Egypt, is that many parents can reject a man who wants to marry their daughter, because he is poor, he does not own a luxurious apartment, he does not have a prestigious car, or he cannot offer a comparatively valuable “shabka.” It is jewelry granted by the man before he is affianced to the woman he wishes to marry. “Shabka" is claimed to be a gift. However, men find themselves obligated to buy them for their future fiancées in most cases.

Numerous Egyptian men have been spotted on public and private groups advising other men to marry Syrian women who have resorted to Egypt since the violent incidents in Syria, as they do not ask for “shabka” or other elusive expenses before and after marriage.

Marrying an Egyptian woman ends up in the court, another user said due to the high rate of divorce recently.

You should know that after marriage you become occupied by an inevitable enemy that would subsequently waste your youth. After marriage, you should work on securing your children’s future and make sure they do not repeat your mistake, another person sarcastically said.

Following marriage, you would find yourself saving money just to buy diapers, a user, apparently has children, said.

Recently a user has accessed the group and asked people who have been married about the things they miss the most after marriage? A considerable number of comments just said: “single life” and “divorce”.

Although most of the reasons are obviously related to financial issues, many men think that social problems between couples worsen the situation. Men complain that involving one of the parents in the couple's private problems is very common and disastrous.

Probably one of the weirdest reasons why Egyptian men hate marriage is that they claim that Egyptian women are “cranky”. Most men think that women are not burdened with financial responsibility and therefore they do not have a reason to be bad-tempered.

Not all the comments were pessimistic. Yet, perhaps the majority on social media now thinks that marriage wastes youth, money and is not good for psychological health.

Chatting with a girl on a private group for ladies only, she told Egypt Today that a similar phenomenon is not recognized in their groups. She said that girls frequently ask questions related to marriage. However, they ask for advice concerning body care and other similar issues.

Apparently, with the same token, girls do not find the same problems with marriage, as in the Middle East, women in general are not socially obliged to work in order to get money for the family members.

We cannot ignore that many Egyptian and Arab wives work in order to help their husbands financially. However, most of them think they would not be blamed if they decided to resign or if they lost their jobs. Both men and women in the Middle East know they do not have the same responsibilities.]]>
6/25/2018 12:19:30 PM
<![CDATA[Flower power takes hold at Dior in break from menswear past]]>
To a booming techno-pop soundtrack, models clad in pastel blues and pinks, with occasional splashes of acid yellow, sauntered round the larger-than-life sculpture by New-York based artist KAWS, known for his teddy-like toys.

Singers Lenny Kravitz and Lily Allen and actors Robert Pattinson and Gwendoline Christie were among celebrities hogging the front row at the hotly-anticipated show, which comes amid a period of upheaval for menswear fashion.

British designer Jones, formerly of LVMH stablemate Louis Vuitton, took the Dior job in March, in a merry-go-round of designer changes at the French conglomerate.

Top luxury brands are looking to renew their menswear offering and tap into a growing clientele drawn in part by a shift toward street-style, sportier looks.

Jones, known for infusing this urban edge into designs during his Vuitton tenure, including through a hit collaboration with skatewear brand Supreme, took a slightly different turn with his Dior reinvention.

Models wore tailored suits paired with sneakers, in a nod to Jones’ streetwear credentials, but looks also referenced more traditionally feminine styles, with flower motifs appearing on shiny raincoats and an array of delicate, see-through shirts.

The collection broke with a darker, more rock-and-roll style that had endured at Dior’s menswear collections since designer Hedi Slimane was at the helm in the early 2000s and brought in sharp, slim-cut silhouettes.

Jones took his inspiration from the label’s founder Christian Dior, according to show notes, including the designer’s love of nature.

The collection also featured accessories long associated with the womenswear collections at Dior, such as a handbags shaped as saddles, which models wore attached to belts or as saddle-style pockets stitched onto backpacks.]]>
6/25/2018 11:53:46 AM
<![CDATA[Millions gather as fireworks brighten St Petersburg's skies]]>
The tradition celebrates the end of the school year with a stunning fireworks display as a ship with scarlet sails makes its way slowly along the English and Admiralty Embankments to the Winter Palace.

Soccer fans who stayed behind after Friday’s clash between Brazil and Costa Rica as well as thousands more making their way into the city for the next game between Argentina and Nigeria swelled the crowds to more epic proportions than usual.

“This is the best atmosphere of celebration, there is both sport and this beauty, so everything is amazing,” Nadezhda from Tyumen told Reuters.

“It is always beautiful, always, but today is just marvelous. The mood is just... people have come for the World Cup with such positive attitudes. We welcome everyone.” said St Petersburg local Yevgeny Konatin.

For Argentina fan Claudio, his sight was a welcome distraction from his team’s struggles at the tournament.

“This is an amazing show, we came here to watch a soccer match and we are here and this is incredible,” he said.

“The night never comes, the light is always there and these fireworks went on for more than half an hour and we were very surprised. It was very beautiful.”]]>
6/24/2018 1:26:02 PM
<![CDATA[As numbers fall, Paris seeks UNESCO help for classic bistros]]>
Alain Fontaine, owner of Le Mesturet and founder of “Bistrots et Terrasses de Paris”, says an essential part of Parisian life will be lost unless a way can be found to preserve the classic cafe with zinc-topped bar, terrace and good food.

“They’re vibrant places, open to life and the city,” his group says on its website, which has launched a campaign to get recognition from UNESCO, the Paris-based U.N. cultural organization. “They’re threatened and need protection.”

Thirty years ago bistros and street cafes made up half the restaurants in Paris, according to Fontaine, but the figure has fallen to just 14 percent, with fast-food joints, coffee chains and snack bars steadily squeezing them out.

For Fontaine, UNESCO recognition would restore pride to bistro owners and put tradition back on the map.

“Tourists would know where to go in Paris,” he told Reuters.

“If they want to meet Parisians in bistros and on terraces, there would be a label, we will be in the guide, there will be signs in the windows reading ‘this establishment is recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO’.”

In some popular areas of the city, the absence of sidewalk cafes has begun to stand out.

On the Boulevard Saint-Michel on the Left Bank, near the Pantheon and the Luxembourg Gardens, Burger King and McDonald’s now occupy two corners where cafes once stood, and across the street a bistro recently shut down.

Tourists say they like the idea of a special status.

“There’s only a few cities where there’s really a cafe culture, a bistro culture, and Paris is one of them, and that’s really my favorite part about coming here,” said Holly, an American visitor having lunch with her partner.

“We’d be walking down the street and be like, ‘oh, let’s get a cup of coffee’, and it’s so easy for us to pop in anywhere. You can’t do that in most places.”

But bistros aren’t just for tourists. Many French drop in for a coffee or lunch at their local favorite, glad to get a meal of steak frites or confit de canard at a decent price.

“When you think of Paris, you think of gastronomy,” said local Mathieu Warnier. “Bistros, at least a large part of them... are places where you can get good traditional food without paying extortionate prices.”]]>
6/23/2018 10:45:18 AM
<![CDATA[Indian Embassy in Egypt celebrates International Day of Yoga]]>
The event has taken place for the fourth year in a row under the arrangement of the Chargé d'Affaires at the Indian Emabassy in Egypt, Vinod Bahade, to shed light on the importance of yoga and spread the Indian culture in Egypt.

The event was attended by Chargé d'Affaires at the Embassy of India Bahade, Deputy of Cairo’s governor Mohammed Sultan, and actress Dina Abdallah among other prominent figures.

In his speech delivered in the event, Bahade expressed his thanks to Cairo’s governor for his fruitful cooperation to host the International Day of Yoga in one of the oldest parks in Egypt, referring that 177 co-sponsoring countries at the United Nations General Assembly has supported the event since 2015.
The Indian Embassy in Cairo celebrated the fourth International Day of Yoga on Friday, through a public event taking place at El-Horriya Park, Zamalek-Press Photo

He further remarked that Yoga is one of the oldest human sciences that harmonizes body and mind.

In the same context, General Sultan praised the fruitful and constructive coordination between Cairo’s governor and Indian Embassy in Cairo, and expressed the wishes of Cairo’s governor for the success of the event.
Actress Abdallah expressed her appreciation to the Indian Embassy for honoring her as a Yoga lover, through which she managed to overcome a lot of pressure.

The Indian Embassy in Cairo celebrated the fourth International Day of Yoga on Friday, through a public event taking place at El-Horriya Park, Zamalek-Press Photo

During a press conference held on Tuesday, Bahade said that the Indian embassy also organizes events in Alexandria and Ismailia to celebrate International Yoga Day on June 23 and June 24.

“Yoga, the precious gift of ancient Indian tradition, provides a holistic approach to physical and mental health. Yoga is widely practiced in Egypt,” remarked Bahade.
To commemorate the International Day of Yoga, the World Health Organization announced in 2018-2030 action plan on physical activity that the routine practice of yoga – a 5,000-year-old tradition – is a valuable tool for people of all ages to make physical activity an integral part of life and reach the level needed to promote good health.

Yoga is a spiritual Hindu and ascetic discipline, which includes simple meditation and adoption of specific bodily postures. It is healthy and leads to relaxation.

Practicing yoga is much more than an exercise regime. It not only provides energy and helps build muscles and flexibility, it is also an entry point for a healthy and balanced life, according to the National.

Yoga is for kids and adults alike. Yoga helps people to express themselves in a safe, trusting environment. Yoga can help unite the body and the mind and can make it easier to handle the demands of daily life. Yoga helps the practitioner recover faster from gym workouts and it helps people feel much more relaxed.

Here are 5 benefits of yoga:

It protects your spine.

Yoga helps maintain the natural curvature of the spine through proper body alignment and good posture. It helps reduce lower back pain, as mentioned on peer-reviewed spine-health.com.

Increase blood flow.

The relaxing exercise in yoga helps blood circulation, especially in the hands and feet. It gets more oxygen to the body’s cells.

Makes people feel happy.

The University of Wisconsin found out that yoga is correlated with greater levels of happiness and better immune function.

Helps people to focus.

Yoga improves coordination, memory and IQ scores, according to Yoga Journal. People that practice yoga solve problems faster and recall information better.

Helps people to sleep deeper.

As stated in the Yoga Journal, yoga helps people to sleep because it makes them less stressed.]]>
6/22/2018 6:07:16 PM
<![CDATA[Music fans mark 70 years since first LP as vinyl enjoys revival]]>
Released in the United States in 1948, Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E minor, performed by violinist Nathan Milstein with the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, was the very first vinyl LP, or long playing record.

The 12 inch 33 1/3 rpm format allowed longer pieces to be recorded, changing the way listeners enjoyed their music.

“The fact that the long playing record came into existence was a huge step for music sound recording and for the listener,” Linehan, curator of popular music in the British Library sound archive, said.

“Previously you could only get 3 minutes or so onto one side of a record and now because you had a narrower groove and a slower speed, you could get up to 20 minutes, which meant you could get a whole classical piece on one side of a record ... you could get a whole package of songs together on one record.”

Thursday marks 70 years since Columbia Records introduced the LP, and British music retailer HMV and label Sony Classical recreated 500 copies of the concerto to give away to fans, with one replica donated to the British Library’s archive.

The record adds to the library’s 250,000 collection of LPs, usually commercial releases in Britain, and artifacts going back to the beginning of sound recording, such as wax cylinders, patented by Thomas Edison in 1877, the first way fans could buy music to listen to at home.

Thursday’s anniversary comes at a time when vinyl has been enjoying a revival. In Britain, while it still only accounting for 7 percent of album sales, it draws fans of all ages.

According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), vinyl LP sales rose to 4.1 million last year from 205,292 in 2007.

“Vinyl is popular because people see it more artifact rather than utility,” Gennaro Castaldo, BPI communications director, said. “They love the whole ritual around buying it and then playing it at home and also the sound quality is much warmer, richer and people appreciate that.”

Rock remains the best selling vinyl genre and last year, the biggest seller on the format in Britain was Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” album. Older titles such as Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” were also in the top 10.

“Our record stores are stocking more vinyl than we’ve ever stocked in terms of the last 10 years,” Simon Winter, PR and events manager at HMV, said.

At the flagship HMV store on Oxford Street, in central London, music aficionados buying vinyl records said they appreciated its sound quality.

“I grew up with mum and dad listening to a lot of Meat Loaf and a lot of heavy metal and rock and roll ... and a lot of that was done on vinyl,” Steve Pound said. “That recording is just very, very unique.”]]>
6/20/2018 4:40:28 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia's women drivers get ready to steer their lives]]>
“Sitting behind the wheel (means) that you are the one controlling the trip,” said the architect, dressed in a black veil, who has just finished learning to drive. “I would like to control every single detail of my trip. I will be the one to decide when to go, what to do, and when I will come back.”

Abdulgader is one of about 200 women at the state oil firm Aramco taking advantage of a company offer to teach female employees and their families at its driving academy in Dhahran to support the social revolution sweeping the kingdom.

"We need the car to do our daily activities. We are working, we are mothers, we have a lot of social networking, we need to go out - so we need transport," she said. "It will change my life." (Click for Wider Image picture essay reut.rs/2thn2qN )

Women make up about five percent of Aramco’s 66,000 staff, meaning that 3,000 more could eventually enroll in the driving school.

Last September, King Salman decreed an end to the world’s only ban on women drivers, maintained for decades by Saudi Arabia’s deeply conservative Muslim establishment.

But it is his son, 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the face of the wider social revolution.

Many young Saudis regard his ascent to power as proof that their generation is finally getting a share of control over a country whose patriarchal traditions have for decades made power the province of old men.

For Abdulgader, June 24 will be the day to celebrate that change, and there is only one person she wants to share it with.

“On June 24, I would like to go to my mother’s house and take her for a ride. This is my first plan actually, and I would like really to enjoy it with my mother. Just me and my mother, without anyone else.”]]>
6/19/2018 1:37:15 PM
<![CDATA[Fields of dreams: Texas project seeks new corn strains for whiskey]]>
Seth Murray, a top corn breeder at Texas A&M University, and Rob Arnold, working on a doctorate at the school while making whiskey for a Fort Worth distiller, are trying to develop commercially viable strains of corn with identifiable flavors, in the same way as specific grapes define the taste of wine from California’s Napa Valley or a Bordeaux produced in southwest France.

If the project proves successful, it might not be until the middle of the next decade that it will produce a commercial whiskey.

So far, Arnold and Murray have produced about 50 test products. In the next several months, they will plant thousands of non-genetically modified seeds on a commercial farm to ramp up production.

“‘Soon’ in the whiskey world is kind of relative. Everything for us is years and years down the road,” Arnold said.

Frank Coleman, a senior vice president at the Distilled Spirits Council, an industry group, is not quite ready to say the project is a game changer.

“But it is indicative of the innovations that are going on throughout the distilled spirits industry,” he said.

At present, most major American distillers make their whiskeys with similar types of yellow corn grown from seeds developed in the Midwest and designed to produce high yields.

“We were missing all the unique flavors that can live in corn varieties,” said Arnold, top distiller at Firestone & Robertson, which bills itself as the biggest whiskey distiller west of the Mississippi. The distiller is financing the project.

In 2017, over 23 million nine-liter cases of American whiskey were sold in the United States, generating over $3.4 billion in revenue for distillers, according to the spirits council.

Bourbon is one of the most popular kinds of American whiskey. Stored in charred oak barrels, bourbon is made from a grain mash that is at least 51 percent corn, though most brands are about 70 to 80 percent.

With similar strains of corn used in most mass-produced bourbons, most brands derive their distinct flavor from yeasts used in fermentation and ageing barrels.

Murray and Arnold are mixing and matching corn varieties from Latin America and heirlooms from North America.

Some small batch producers and even major distillers have already tried making whiskey from heirloom corns, grown from seeds of varieties that appeared generations ago.

But Murray said while heirlooms can produce interesting taste compounds, crop yields can be about an eighth of a modern hybrid, calling into question their commercial potential.]]>
6/18/2018 10:35:10 AM
<![CDATA[Naomi Campbell and Monica Bellucci light up Milan fashion week]]>
With an over-the-top gilt and baroque decor glittering in the background, the 48-year-old Campbell was a vision from top to bottom from her elegant black hat with a white band to her sparkling silver heels.

She wore a classic pinstripe suit with a carefully mismatched bow tie adorning her crisp white shirt.

The catwalk celebrated love in all shapes and sizes -- heterosexual, couples with children, cougars and sugar daddies -- sending women and men, women and women, men and men, women and toy boys and older men and their trophy conquests down the ramp in eye-popping colours screaming Florida.

(L-R) Italian fashion designer Stefano Gabbana, British model Naomi Campbell, Italian model and actress Monica Bellucci, Italian fashion designer Domenico Dolce and dutch Marpessa Hennink acknowledge the audience at the end of the Dolce & Gabbana men & women's spring/summer 2019 collection fashion show in Milan, on June 16, 2018. / AFP / MIGUEL MEDINA

Bellucci showed off a three-piece coal black suit with a wide lapel, teetering on vertiginous heels with her hands in her pockets.

Italian actress Monica Bellucci presents a creation by Dolce & Gabbana during the women's Spring collection fashion show in Milan, on June 16, 2018. / AFP / MIGUEL MEDINA

The younger models were heartthrobs of the Millennials -- a target group for the house -- including actor Cameron Dallas, Chinese singer and actor Karry Wang and Kailand Wander, the son of US music legend Stevie Wonder.

Apart from Campbell and Bellucci's suits, the other offerings bore the quirky, sassy D&G stamp: suits encrusted with precious stones or layered with dazzling silver and gold embroidery that the maison put down to a "Gothic inspiration."

- Snakes motifs and neon shades -
Versace also opted for full-blast -- but far younger -- star power, leading with current top model Bella Hadid. Both the boys and girls wore outfits bearing the brand's trademark snake motif, as well as head-to-toe fluorescent green and pink combinations.

Trousers were in plaid and shorts were both baggy or tight and some were asymmetrical. There were letter box red cardigans emblazoned with a crown and Donatella Versace said the collection catered to three kinds of men: a "street style" for stars, another for dandies and a third for "leaders."

"The Versace man is not ordinary, he is watched and spoken of," she said.

6/17/2018 12:06:24 PM
<![CDATA[Milan men's fashion week shows its feminine side]]>
After London Men's Fashion Week wrapped up on Monday, Milan picked up the reins, with 28 ready-to-wear shows to reveal the Spring-Summer 2019 lines.

But the women are muscling in to Milan men's week, with 13 co-ed catwalks and another two women-only shows.

A model presents a creation for fashion house M1992 during the Men's Spring/Summer 2019 fashion shows in Milan, on June 16, 2018. / AFP / MARCO BERTORELLO

"We are living in a huge evolutionary moment regarding the concept of men's and women's fashion," said Carlo Capasa, head of Italy's national chamber of fashion.

"That barrier doesn't exist any more, the fashion week calendar is responding to that reality," he told AFP.

"Out of affection we are keeping the idea of still calling it men's fashion week, but in reality, this barrier has already fallen."

After several difficult years for the Italian fashion industry, Milan has regained it's joie de mode.

The sector saw turnover grow by 3.2 percent last year, to 94 billion euros, according to the Confindustria Moda federation.

The growth rate was double that of Italy's GDP, Carpasa said.

The first show of men's week was by the Ermenegildo Zegna house, whose models paraded along a mirrored bridge and against the backdrop of a wonderful sunset outside the impressive Mondadori publishing house HQ.

6/16/2018 12:52:59 PM
<![CDATA[10 Tips or Staying Healthy Energetic this Ramadan]]>
While fasting is good for our mind and body, it can come with unpleasant side effects: feeling low in energy, bloated after eating, weight gain, constipation, poor concentration and headaches. Symptoms like these are usually a result of irregular eating habits. Whereas the headache is clearly linked to declined caffeine intake, bloating and weight gain are the results of overeating during iftar. The key is to create an “as-close-to-normal” eating schedule as possible to help manage the symptoms of fasting.

With that in mind, here are my 10 tips to help you to stay healthy and energetic during Ramadan:

1. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids—tea and coffee don’t count—during and between iftar and sohour to prevent dehydration. Don’t overload on water in one sitting, and try to continuously sip on water so you don’t overload your stomach.

2. Don’t overeat during iftar or sohour. While it may be tempting to try and stock up for the fast ahead, portion control is key to help regulate your food intake and keep you energized the right way. For the same reason, don’t skip sohour.

3. Stay away from processed and junk foods; try to eat well-balanced iftar and sohour meals. Spending your calorie intake on nutritionally dense, high-fiber foods like whole grains, vegetables and fruit will help curb cravings and keep you full.

4. By the same token, try to limit your intake of fried foods or high-fat and high-sugar foods. They may give you a temporary high, but you’ll feel the crash later. If you’re desperate for something sweet, try fruits.

5. Eat slowly and don’t over-indulge. The benefits of slow eating include better digestion, better hydration and easier weight loss or maintenance.

6. Avoid foods high in salt such as pickles, salty crackers, nuts and canned foods; these will make you excessively thirsty.

7. Try not to drink too much tea and coffee, especially for sohour, as they can act as diuretics.

8. Eat more protein, such as eggs, for sohour, which will help keep you feeling fuller for longer.

9. Exercise regularly during Ramadan. If you already exercise, try sticking to your regular routine, but modify your workout if it feels too taxing. Even a simple, half-hour walk after iftar can help keep you on the right track.

10. Despite all the festive gatherings, try not to neglect your sleep; disrupted nights can wreak havoc on your hunger hormones. Getting the right amount of sleep will keep you from being tired, helping regulate your mood and your food intake.

Sherif Elfadalay is an ISSA Certified Elite Trainer and a specialist in sports nutrition and execise therapy. He is also a member of the European and UK registry of exercise professionals, and holds workshops and lectures on fitness and nutrition.
Instagram: Sherif.elfadaly / Facebook: Sherif Fadaly ISSA Elite Trainer

6/13/2018 5:12:54 PM
<![CDATA[Jordan charity gathers hotel leftovers to feed poor]]>
Bandar Sharif began his ‘Family Kitchen’ initiative 10 years ago, angered by the amount of food thrown away by hotels during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, traditionally a period when consumption levels double across the region.

“What we do is eliminate this waste, we salvage the food and provide it to people who are in desperate need of it,” said Sharif, a 33-year-old teacher.

His team of volunteers now works all year round to collect unwanted food from large wedding parties, bakeries and restaurants.

This year the initiative has focused on the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqaa, one of the depressed areas in a country that has seen some of the biggest protests in years this month over steep price hikes, which are backed by the International Monetary Fund.

Critics say the price hikes are to blame for rising poverty in Jordan.

Family Kitchen’s initiative this year provides ‘iftar’ meals - eaten by Muslims after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan - to 500 families in the impoverished refugee camp on the outskirts of Amman.

A third of the camp’s 120,000 residents have an income below the national poverty line and around 17 percent are unemployed, the U.N refugee body says.

“Our families are very poor, there is a lot of poverty in the community, so they need this support, they need these meals in order to ensure that they have food the next day,” said Kifah Khamis, who runs a charity in the sprawling camp.

One camp resident, Um Thair, a mother of four, said she could not have coped without the meals delivered to her family.

“I was able to save money. During Ramadan I didn’t have to buy a lot of food or shop a lot, we got most of our meals from the charity, we would come everyday and get our iftar meal,” she said. ]]>
6/13/2018 11:35:03 AM
<![CDATA[Brazilians not so soccer mad after all, report suggests]]>
The United Arab Emirates came top of a table compiled by global information, data and measurement company Nielsen Sports which ranked 30 countries according to the percentage of the population who described themselves as interested in football.

The UAE, where the figure was 80 percent, was followed by Thailand (78 percent) and Chile, Portugal and Turkey (all 75) while five-times world champions Brazil ranked a modest 13th.

The Brazilian figure had dropped from 72 percent in 2013, the year before the country hosted the World Cup where the national team were humiliated 7-1 in the semi-finals by Germany.

Brazilians can be very fickle about football and attendances at games in the country fluctuate wildly, depending on the form of the teams involved, whether they are at a decisive stage of a competition, the kickoff time of the match and even the weather.

Last season’s Brazilian championship had a modest average attendance of 16,418.

The report said that the figure for China increased from 27 percent in 2013 to 32 percent in 2017, in India from 30 percent to 45 percent and in the U.S. from 28 percent to 32 percent.

The United Kingdom, despite boasting the English Premier League, was a modest 17th in the rankings with 51 percent.

The report also said that Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo dominated the use of social media by players, well ahead of his rival Lionel Messi.

His 570 million engagements across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the first five months of this year were well ahead of Neymar, with 294 million, and Messi with 201 million.

The report pointed out that engagements, rather than number of followers, were the key to understanding the value of a social media account, as they showed how many people interacted with the account and gave a better idea of impact and influence.

Social media success was not always linked to success on the pitch, the report added.

“A broader range of factors comes into play, such as the ability to project a likeable personality or enviable lifestyle,” it said.

Controversial Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos was fourth with 158 million engagements and Liverpool and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah fifth with 105.3 million.

In terms of social media followers, Ronaldo also led with 322.8 million across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook combined while Neymar had 194.2 million and Messi 181.9 million.]]>
6/12/2018 10:38:08 AM
<![CDATA[AI-powered smartphone cameras to reshape human experiences]]>

As smartphones have become increasingly similar in design and performance, manufacturers are turning to photography as a means to differentiate their devices from the competition. Nowadays, mobile experience is becoming increasingly visual with consumers, especially Millennials and Generation Z, who use their smartphones to take pictures and videos and tell their life stories on social media.

Always attentive to consumers’ needs, Huawei leveraged its own research and development in AI, and infused its new HUAWEI P20 Pro camera with AI capabilities to make professional photography available for everyone, even novice photographers.

An AI-powered camera that makes everyone a professional photographer

Using AI, the HUAWEI P20 Series smartphone camera can understand what it sees: thanks to Master AI, it is able to recognize more than 500 in 19 categories such as food, pets, texts, flowers, and it will select the right mode to capture amazing pictures.

Featuring a Leica triple camera that comprises a 40 MP RGB sensor, a 20 MP monochrome sensor and an 8 MP sensor with telephoto lens, the device also sports wide apertures of f/1.8, f/1.6 and f/2.4 to capture pictures with rich details. Besides, the HUAWEI P20 Pro uses Artificial AI Image Stabilization technology to shoot blur-free pictures and video footage of moving objects taken on handheld devices without using a tripod.

The 24MP front camera allows to capture shots with clear details and bright colors, even in low-light conditions; it uses AI beautification to provide 3D portrait lighting and make adjustments for delicately outlined face shapes, luminous skin tone adjustments and radiant selfies. In low light conditions, the camera offers an amazing experience as it is the most light-sensitive mobile camera in the industry; this means that it captures low light photos with up to ISO 102400 and produces pictures with clearer details, brighter colors and lower noise.

The HUAWEI P20 Pro is the first Huawei smartphone to use a brand new 3x telephoto (VARIO-SUMMILUX-H 1:1.6-2.4/27-80ASPH) lens to enhance its zoom capabilities up to 5 times and capture beautiful shots with vivid colors and clear details.

As a result, the HUAWEI P20 Pro achieved the highest score in history of well-known DxOMark, the leading source of independent image quality measurements and ratings for smartphone, camera and lens.

AI-driven smartphone cameras are the next big thing

While AI-driven photography is still in its nascent stage, it is starting to appeal to more consumers as it helps push the boundaries of what a smartphone camera is capable of doing. These breakthroughs will remain a significant driver of so many future experiences.


We will also see tools once reserved to professionals become democratized, and available to everyone. For example, Huawei has collaborated with prominent TV show ‘Aghla Min Aldahab’, a Ramadan show that showcases exclusive interviews with regional celebrities.

This season, elements of the show have been shot on the new HUAWEI P20 Pro smartphone – this is the first TV Show in the Arab world to be filmed using a smartphone camera. The show uses the HUAWEI P20 Pro’s exceptional 40 MP Leica triple camera powered by AI technology, AI Night Mode, 5X Hybrid Zoom and selfie 3D portrait lighting features to capture incredible shots with exceptional detail, clarity and vibrant color.

Smartphone cameras are getting brains, and hence becoming more intelligent. Their role is not limited anymore to just capturing beautiful shots. Using AI technology, smartphone cameras will be able to decipher the world, and bring about a new revolution in photography that will reshape our experiences and disrupt the way we live …]]>
6/11/2018 4:38:09 PM
<![CDATA[YouTube launches its third edition of the Lantern Award this Ramadan]]>
An algorithm will determine the winning video based on engagement and views a video will have received by the end of the month. The Website g.co/lanternaward , developed for the competition on the Think With Google hub , will rank the commercials and showcase the competing campaigns’ progress. The winning video, agencies, and advertiser will be announced after Ramadan.

“Ramadan is a pivotal moment for advertisers in our part of the world and we’re delighted that we were able to recognize and celebrate the region’s most impactful campaigns on YouTube through the Lantern Award. From powerful stories to hilarious songs, we’ve watched and learned from the finalists and winners of the last two editions of the Lantern and we cannot wait to see what the advertising community in the Arab world has in store this year,” said Alex Brunori, Head of Google’s Creative Impact Team in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Lantern will be awarded to each of the creative agency, media agency, and advertiser behind the winning campaign.

Egyptian telecom Orange won last year’s award with its “Nothing Gets Past Mohamed Henedi” campaign which featured the iconic comedian. Kuwaiti telecom Viva won the first edition of the Lantern in 2016.

This award will illustrate and highlight the region’s versatile creative works during one of the advertising industry’s most anticipated months of the year.

Submissions are now open for The Lantern and will close on June 21.]]>
6/11/2018 3:05:39 PM
<![CDATA[Astronauts give pope personalized space suit, add white cape]]>
“Since clothes make the man, we thought we’d have a flight suit like ours made for you,” Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli told the pope at a meeting in the Vatican also attended by four other Space Station veterans - three Americans and one Russian.

“OK, and you will plan my trip,” joked the 81-year-old pontiff, clearly enjoying the exchange.

Nespoli said the suit was identical to theirs and made of the same material. It bore the pope’s name at birth, Jorge Bergoglio, and the flag of his native country, Argentina.

“Then we decided that the outfit was good, but, since you are the Holy Father and the Holy Father has his own uniform, we made a cape,” the Italian astronaut added.

The small white cape bore the Vatican flag, the official NASA wings logo and “Pope Francis” embroidered on it.

Nespoli was one of the astronauts who were aboard the Space Station last year when the pope had a 20-minute video call with them from the Vatican.

In that conversation, he told them that the Earth is a fragile thing that could even destroy itself and that they were privileged to be able to see the planet “from the eyes of God”.]]>
6/10/2018 10:48:35 AM
<![CDATA[Blood test may predict premature birth]]>
While more research is needed before the test is ready for widespread use, experts say it has the potential to reduce fatalities and complications from the 15 million premature births per year worldwide.

The test can also be used to estimate the mother’s due date “as reliably as and less expensively than ultrasound,” said the report in the journal Science.

The test measures the activity of maternal, placental and fetal genes, assessing levels of cell-free RNA, which are messenger molecules that carry the body’s genetic instructions.

“We found that a handful of genes are very highly predictive of which women are at risk for preterm delivery,” said co-senior author Mads Melbye, a visiting professor at Stanford University and CEO of the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen.

“I’ve spent a lot of time over the years working to understand preterm delivery. This is the first real, significant scientific progress on this problem in a long time.”

Another top researcher was Stephen Quake, professor of bioengineering and of applied physics at Stanford University, who led a team that created a blood test for Down syndrome in 2008 – now used in more than three million pregnant women per year.

Defined as a baby arriving at least three weeks early, premature birth affects nine percent of US births and is the top cause of death before age five among children worldwide.

Until now, some tests for predicting premature birth were available but they tended to work only in women at high risk, and were accurate only about 20 percent of the time, according to the report.

To develop the test, researchers examined blood samples from 31 Danish women to identify which genes gave reliable signals about gestational age and prematurity risk.

After more research is done and the test eventually comes to market, researchers say it will likely be simple and inexpensive enough to use in poor areas.]]>
6/9/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Celebrity chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain dead at 61: CNN]]>
The cause of death was suicide, the network said in a statement. He was found dead in a hotel room in France where he had been working on an upcoming episode of his program, the network said.]]>
6/8/2018 1:48:54 PM
<![CDATA[US suicide rate on rise: health agency]]>
Suicide presents a "growing public health problem," with significant increases in 44 of the 50 states, said the report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Earlier this week, American handbag designer Kate Spade, 55, took her own life, sparking renewed calls for mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

Suicide is "a tragedy for families and communities across the country," said CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat.

"From individuals and communities to employers and healthcare professionals, everyone can play a role in efforts to help save lives and reverse this troubling rise in suicide."

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and is rarely caused by a single factor, experts say.

The study, which spanned 1999 to 2016, found that more than half of people who killed themselves did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death.

Contributing factors included "relationship problems or loss, substance misuse; physical health problems; and job, money, legal or housing stress," said the report.

The most common method of suicide involved firearms.

The highest suicide rate from 2014-2016 was in Montana, where 29.2 residents per 100,000 people took their own lives. It was lowest in the US capital, Washington, with 6.9 suicides per 100,000 residents per year.

The biggest spike in suicides since 1999 was in North Dakota, where suicides rose 57 percent.

A total of 25 states had suicide rate increases of more than 30 percent in that span.

The CDC, the top US public health agency, said individual states need to do more to boost suicide prevention "and address the range of factors contributing to suicide."

"This requires coordination and cooperation from every sector of society: government, public health, healthcare, employers, education, media and community organizations," it added, urging those interested in learning the warning signs to visit www.BeThe1to.com.]]>
6/8/2018 1:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Designer Kate Spade suffered depression for years, husband says]]>
Andy Spade said in a lengthy statement to the New York Times that he and his teenaged daughter Bea were "devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her."

Kate Spade, who with her husband built a fashion empire on the popularity of her colorful handbags, was found dead in her New York City apartment on Tuesday, an apparent suicide. She was 55.

Andy Spade said that his wife suffered from depression and anxiety for many years but there was "no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock."

"She was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last 5 years, seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety. There was no substance or alcohol abuse. There were no business problems," he said in his statement.

Spade said he also wanted to clear up rumors and speculation that have surfaced about the couple's personal life.

"For the past 10 months we had been living separately, but within a few blocks of each other. Bea was living with both of us and we saw each other or spoke every day.

"We were not legally separated, and never even discussed divorce. We were best friends trying to work through our problems in the best way we knew how. We were together for 35 years. We loved each other very much and simply needed a break," he said in his statement.

There were media reports that Kate Spade left a suicide note.

"I have yet to see any note left behind and am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media," Andy Spade said.

Kate and Andy Spade sold their last stake in the Kate Spade accessories brand in 2006 to focus on raising their daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade. In 2016, they launched a new footwear and accessories brand called Frances Valentine, naming it after their daughter, who is now 13.
6/7/2018 12:55:46 PM
<![CDATA[Flying car startup backed by Google founder offers test flights]]>
Kitty Hawk, funded by Page, unveiled a “Flyer” model it described as “an exciting first step to sharing the freedom of flight.”

The company was created last year in Google’s home town of Mountain View, California, and has been testing a prototype in New Zealand.

Images and details were available at a freshly launched website at flyer.aero, and CNN posted coverage of a reporter taking to the air in a Flyer over a lake at a test site near Las Vegas.

Kitty Hawk chief executive Sebastian Thrun, who founded the Google X lab devoted to “moonshots” such as self-driving cars and internet-synched eyewear, was quoted by CNN as saying piloting Flyer was as easy playing the video game “Minecraft.”

“Making Flyer accessible, which is what we do at our Lake Las Vegas training facility, helps more people experience the freedom and possibilities of vehicles of the future,” a Kitty Hawk spokeswoman told AFP.

“Our immediate priority is to invite small groups of people – customers, influencers, media and community members - to experience the freedom of flight here in our newly opened training facility.”

People interested in buying Flyers were invited at the website to apply for an invitation to do so, with no price specified.

An early version of Flyer was shown off last year.

The electric aircraft had 10 small lift rotors on its wings, making it capable of vertical take-off and landing like a helicopter.

Kitty Hawk said that at 15 meters (50 feet) away, it sounded about as lound as a lawn mower, while from 250 feet away the volume was on par with a loud conversation.

Test flights by first-timers were over water, with the top speed limited to 32 kilometers per hour (20 mph) and the altitude to no more than three meters.

The uncovered cockpit appeared big enough for one person, with their head poking out as it might from a go-kart.

“Flyer is designed to be easy to fly and flown for recreational purposes over water and uncongested areas,” the website said.

“Flyer is Kitty Hawk’s first personal flying vehicle and the first step to make flying part of everyday life.”

The new flying machine is one of several concept vehicles being testing, with Uber and others in the mix.

Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in 1998, starting out in a Silicon Valley garage and transforming into one of the world’s largest companies.

He remains chief executive of Google-parent Alphabet but the Kitty Hawk project is a personal pursuit, not part of the tech giant’s operations.]]>
6/7/2018 12:53:59 PM
<![CDATA[Grayson Perry opens 'rough and tumble' Royal Academy art show]]>
Dressed in an multicolored, over-sized onesie decorated with teddy bears, a pair of yellow platform shoes and a tiny orange plastic sombrero perched on his purple wig, Perry called his edition of the annual show a “celebration”.

“I’ve tried to channel the basic spirit of the summer show, which is one of a kind of democratic rough and tumble ... the great and the good - the established artists - have to hang next to Joe Bloggs who does it for a hobby,” the Turner Prize-winning ceramicist told Reuters.

“It’s a festival of art making ... It’s a celebration of all the different kinds of genres.”

The first art work visitors will see is “Symphony for a beloved daughter”, a giant red circle erected like a satellite dish in the courtyard of the grand Palladian mansion that houses the Royal Academy, near London’s Piccadilly Circus.

That is one of the more than 1,300 pieces on display in what the Academy calls the “largest and oldest open-submission art show in the world,” this year in its 250th edition.

Also on display at the show, which runs from June 12 to Aug. 19, are works by David Hockney, Wolfgang Tillmans and Tracey Emin.]]>
6/6/2018 11:30:18 AM
<![CDATA[Gospel choir leader says royal wedding song marked cultural shift]]>
With her luxuriant silver curls pinned to the top of her head, the Londoner is instantly recognizable for anyone who watched Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, and she is getting used to the attention.

“I have had people screaming at me from the car window,” Gibson told Reuters during a break in rehearsals with the Kingdom Choir.

“I do get stopped every time I go down the road - photos being taken - sometimes they’re trying to pap you (take paparazzi photos) on the sly when they think you’re not looking. It’s beautiful!”

The performance at Windsor Castle has been a massive boost for the choir: “I physically cannot even keep up with the emails and the messages - requests for interview and tours and weddings.”

But it was also part of a cultural shift as a woman of color married into the very top of British society - showcasing a part of black culture in what was once a very white establishment.

“Maybe it’s a big ask for one song from one choir,” Gibson said.

“What you have seen from the wedding is the coming together of two different cultures. I feel like there’s been a shift, I do.”

After the wedding, a mother told her that her four-year-old daughter watching the choir had said: “Look mummy - there’s people like me.”

“I didn’t realize that was still a thing for children that young in 2018,” Gibson said.

For many viewers, the choir, and an impassioned sermon by Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry, countered the stiff decorum expected of such a formal occasion. But Gibson says she and her singers had to rein in their usual exuberance.

“Normally with that kind of message, we would be joining in (with the sermon). As black, Pentecostal folk there will be the amens and hallelujahs. I could see them twitching,” she said of the choir members.

“They were wanting to move and we couldn’t. We just had to hold it all down.”]]>
6/5/2018 12:41:28 PM
<![CDATA[TEDxKakumaCamp, the first TEDx event from a refugee camp]]>
The TEDxKakumaCamp spots light on the reality of refugees’ lives and their resilience and creativity aside from the mainstreamed stories of devastation and suffering among refugees. It also highlights the need to increase the protection of refugees and to support the long term development needs of refugees and their families in the hosting communities.

The event is supported by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the World Bank, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the US Department of State and other nonprofit organizations. TEDxKakumaCamp is planned to take place in a tent at a school in Kakuma Camp, with an audience of refugees as well as a number of high-profile guests and will be live-streamed on large screens at Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps, allowing thousands more refugees to watch. Moreover, all talks will be filmed and released online.

Speakers at TEDxKakumaCamp include current and former Kakuma Camp refugees as well as international humanitarian and development experts and artists who want to create a better reality for people forced to flee their homes, giving voice to this cause.

To watch the event live on June 9 visit: http://tedxkakumacamp.org and follow the hashtag #TEDxKakumaCamp

Kakuma Camp is located in Northwestern Kenya. It was established in 1992 to serve Sudanese refugees and currently hosts people fleeing war from across Africa. The camp hosts around 185,000 refugees from South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi, the DRC, Eritrea, Uganda and Rwanda.

TED is a nonprofit that developed over the past ten years into one of the most important global platforms for spreading knowledge and ideas globally, in the form of high-profile events and filmed talks through its program TEDx. The program models short talks focused on ground breaking ideas across the world.
6/4/2018 10:44:43 AM
<![CDATA[Fish out of water: Algerian woman restaurateur makes living in a man's world]]>
When her husband was killed by jihadists in 1995, Daikhi had no choice but to enter the growing pool of female wage-earners in a country where, outside the largest cities, women were once expected to stay at home.

“I had to struggle and impose myself. I had no choice. Six children to feed, educate, and take care of,” Karima Daikhi told Reuters as she sold fish soup and “bourek”, a local specialty of fish wrapped in crispy pastry, at her stall on the quayside.

Daikhi is not alone, in a country where 200,000 people were killed in a civil war in the 1990s, leaving countless war widows.

The proportion of women in work was 13.6 percent in 2015, up from 10.2 percent a decade earlier, with around 2 million in work compared with 9 million men.

“The men here are also my suppliers, so you definitely must be present in the harbor, where there are no women,” the 52-year old said.

Daikhi closes her restaurant during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and sells her wares from the stall she started with in Bouharoun, a village 50 km (30 miles) west of the capital Algiers that is a tourist spot in summer, with small restaurants selling grilled sardines, squid, shrimps and bourek.

She makes a living, even if tourism remains underdeveloped in a country still reliant on oil and gas for more than 95 percent of its foreign earnings.]]>
6/3/2018 11:09:23 AM
<![CDATA[UK Vogue names 'campaigning feminist' Meghan Markle among top influential women]]>
Prince Harry’s wife Markle, now called the Duchess of Sussex, was named alongside Scottish politician Ruth Davidson, fashion designer Stella McCartney and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling in the fashion publication’s inaugural “The Vogue 25”.

It highlighted influential women working in sectors such as arts and entertainment, science, politics, media and law.

Markle, whose star-studded wedding celebrations at Windsor Castle this month were watched by millions of people around the globe, was described as “one of the most recognizable women in the world”.

“Her influence stretches far beyond the ceaseless coverage of her style – as a bi-racial campaigning feminist from America, she is helping to forge a new 21st-century identity for the monarchy,” British Vogue wrote on its website.

It hailed Scottish Conservative leader Davidson’s “relatable personality and progressive ideas” and said McCartney ran “one of the most forward-thinking and powerful independent houses in fashion”.

Other names to make the list of influential women, whose ages range from 22 to 73, include human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, singer Dua Lipa, models Adwoa Aboah and Edie Campbell and Manchester United Chief Operating Officer Collette Roche.]]>
6/2/2018 2:30:55 PM
<![CDATA[WHO diseases panel split on soft drink sugar tax to cut obesity]]>
Some countries, such as Mexico, France and Britain, are already taxing sugary drinks and the WHO made a non-binding recommendation in October 2016 that governments should impose a 20 percent tax.

While this was called "discriminatory" and "unproven" by the industry, activists had hoped for a strong endorsement from the panel, which includes heads of states and health ministers.

The panel on Friday called on governments to increase efforts to fight an explosive epidemic of non-communicable diseases in low and middle income countries which account for 71 percent of all deaths globally, or 41 million deaths a year.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus established the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases last year to provide advice on how to reduce premature deaths from such diseases by one-third by 2030.

To achieve progress, "governments should work with: food and non-alcoholic beverage companies in areas such as reformulation, labelling, and regulating marketing", its report, which goes to a United Nations summit in September, said.

The commission made six recommendations in its report, including for government heads to take responsibility for disease reduction and to increase regulation. It did not mention taxes specifically. The panel said that its 21 members represented "rich and diverse views", but that some views were "conflicting".

As a result, it said recommendations around sugar taxes and the accountability of the private sector could not be reflected in the report, despite broad support from many commissioners.

A WHO spokesman told Reuters that the report was from an independent commission, not the WHO, which he said still sees the benefits of using taxes to reduce consumption of harmful products including sugary drinks.

Britain's sugar tax on soft drinks came into effect in April and led manufacturers to reformulate their products beforehand to be below the levy's sugar threshold.

France and Hungary have imposed taxes on drinks with added sugar, while Ireland gained EU approval in April.]]>
6/1/2018 12:10:22 PM
<![CDATA[Huawei P20 Pro, the most-wanted travel companion for you]]>The new Huawei P20 Pro with its incredible features, as the battery life and sleek, refined design, sets out a new standard of what high-end users should expect from a smartphone.

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 14.35.11
Huawei moves up on Forbes Most Valuable Brands of 2018 - Press Photo

So What makes the Huawei P20 Pro as the most-wanted travel companion for you?

AI Photography

As you'd imagine, the Huawei P20 Pro offers one of the best smartphone AI-camera experiences available today, with the primary camera consistently able to produce outstanding images. The Huawei P20 Pro is the first phone to feature three imaging sensors, totaling 68MP: the 40MP primary camera RGB is joined by a 20MP monochrome sensor, and an 8MP telephoto lens with 3x lossless zoom.

The phone's party trick is its night mode, in which Huawei uses AI digital image stabilization and captures light for low light shots over a period of time. The result is that the low-light shots from the P20 Pro are the best you'll find on a phone today. In addition, there is a 24-megapixel front facing camera with support for various portrait modes.

You'll easily get all-day battery life

Nothing takes a toll on a phone's battery more than travel, but users are consistently able to get a day's worth of usage from the P20 Pro. The Huawei P20 Pro features the absolute best battery at a huge 4,000 mAh, it can last for up to 50 hours. Put that into perspective: an iPhone 8 Plus would die 5 times in the time it would take you to empty your P20 Pro’s battery, that equips also fast charging, reaching over half charge in under 30 minutes.

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 14.35.02
Press Photo - Huawei ranks 79th on the Forbes World's Most Valuable Brands List

No trouble using the P20 Pro in the sunlight

There is no need to shadow your phone in the outdoor to see the screen, because Huawei P20 Pro comes super-slimmed with a 6.1-inch FHD+ OLED, dubbed a Huawei FullView display, which means its colors should be crisper and bolder than conventional screens, and has an aspect ratio of 18.7:9 for an immersive viewing experience, that’s practically edge-to-edge in three of four directions, with only a thin bezel at the bottom to allow for a home button/fingerprint scanner.

Performance comes with innovative technology

To ensure smooth user experience, the Huawei P20 Pro is powered by a Kirin 970 processor with Neural Processing Unit. AI is used in the camera to identify your photo subject into one of 19 different categories designed to help you improve your photo skills and capture the best shot. The camera also offers intelligent layout suggestions to help you improve your composition. Also the device runs on Android 8.1 with Huawei’s EMUI 8.1 user interface, and with 6GB of Ram and a spacious 128GB of internal storage.

5/31/2018 2:40:15 PM
<![CDATA[UK Vogue names Meghan Markle among top influential women]]>
Prince Harry's wife Markle, now called the Duchess of Sussex, was named alongside Scottish politician Ruth Davidson, fashion designer Stella McCartney and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling in the fashion publication's inaugural "The Vogue 25".

It highlighted influential women working in sectors such as arts and entertainment, science, politics, media and law.

Markle, whose star-studden wedding celebrations at Windsor Castle this month were watched by millions of people around the globe, was described as "one of the most recognisable women in the world".

"Her influence stretches far beyond the ceaseless coverage of her style – as a bi-racial campaigning feminist from America, she is helping to forge a new 21st-century identity for the monarchy," British Vogue wrote on its website.

It hailed Scottish Conservative leader Davidson's "relatable personality and progressive ideas" and said McCartney ran "one of the most forward-thinking and powerful independent houses in fashion".

Other names to make the list of influential women, whose ages range from 22 to 73, include human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, singer Dua Lipa, models Adwoa Aboah and Edie Campbell and Manchester United Chief Operating Officer Collette Roche. ]]>
5/31/2018 12:13:36 PM
<![CDATA[Smoking down, but tobacco use still a major cause of death, disease ]]>
Three million people die prematurely each year due to tobacco use that causes cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and stroke, the world's leading killers, it said, marking World No Tobacco Day. They include 890,000 deaths through second-hand smoke exposure.

The WHO clinched a landmark treaty in 2005, now ratified by 180 countries, that calls for a ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, and taxes to discourage use.

"The worldwide prevalence of tobacco smoking has decreased from 27 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2016, so progress has been made," Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO's prevention of noncommunicable diseases department, told a news briefing.

Launching the WHO's global report on trends in prevalence of tobacco smoking, he said that industrialised countries are making faster progress than developing countries.

"One of the major factors impeding low- and middle-income countries certainly is countries face resistance by a tobacco industry who wishes to replace clients who die by freely marketing their products and keeping prices affordable for young people," he added.

Progress in kicking the habit is uneven, with the Americas the only region set to meet the target of a 30 percent reduction in tobacco use by 2025 compared to 2010, for both men and women, the WHO said.

However, the United States is currently not on track, bogged down by litigation over warnings on cigarette packaging and lags in taxation, said Vinayak Prasad of the WHO's tobacco control unit.

Parts of Western Europe have reached a "standstill", particularly due to a failure to get women to stop smoking, African men are lagging, and tobacco use in the Middle East is actually set to increase, the WHO said.

Overall, tobacco kills more than 7 million a year and many people know that it increases the risk of cancer, the WHO said.

But many tobacco users in China and India are unaware of their increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke, making it urgent to step up awareness campaigns, it said.

"The percentage of adults who do not believe smoking causes stroke are for example in China as high as 73 percent, for heart attacks 61 percent of adults in China are not aware that smoking increases the risk," Bettcher said. "We aim to close this gap."

China and India have the highest numbers of smokers worldwide, accounting for 307 million and 106 million, respectively, of the world's 1.1 billion adult smokers, followed by Indonesia with 74 million, WHO figures show. India also has 200 million of the world's 367 million smokeless tobacco users.]]>
5/31/2018 5:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Westminster Abbey unlocks hidden area to show off historical treasures]]>
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries are in the 13th-century triforium, some 16 meters (52 ft) above the floor of the church used for royal coronations and weddings as well as a resting place for famous Britons.

From the Westminster Retable altarpiece to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage license, the items are exhibited along four themes - “Building Westminster Abbey”, “Worship and Daily Life”, “Westminster Abbey and the Monarchy” and “The Abbey and National Memory”.

“It’s the first time that we’ve ever, in the history of the abbey, had the public up here,” Vanessa Simeoni, head conservator at Westminster Abbey, told Reuters. “Quite a few of the objects ... have never been displayed before.”

The galleries, from which visitors can look down into the abbey as well as outside at the nearby Houses of Parliament, open on June 11.]]>
5/30/2018 10:28:47 AM
<![CDATA[Huawei moves up on Forbes Most Valuable Brands of 2018]]>
Huawei entered the list for the first time in 2017 and ranked 88th with a brand value of $7.3 billion. After a year of rapid development, Huawei’s brand value increased by 15 percent year-on-year to $8.4 billion; its ranking went from 88th to 79th.

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Press Photo - Huawei ranks 79th on the Forbes World's Most Valuable Brands List

2017 saw Huawei achieve a rapid global development driven by the full range of its products featuring the Mate and P. The launch of the Huawei P10 and Mate10 series helped to raise its premium credentials and increased Huawei’s influence in the high-end market. Huawei Nova 2S in turn won acclaim among younger generation for its focus on the latest fashion consumer trends

Huawei officially launched Huawei P20 series in Paris in March, 2018. With its unique and innovative Leica Triple Camera, twilight body design and AI features, Huawei P20 series has been a global sales sensation. Huawei’s market share has increased by 13.8 percent to 11.7 percent, currently ranked third in the world in Q1 of 2018, according to IDC.

Huawei’s global brand awareness went up to 85 percent in 2017 whilst consideration of Huawei’s brands among overseas consumers has gone up significantly, with a year-on-year surge of 100 percent. According to the IPSOS, Huawei's brand awareness, consideration, and NPS rank No.1 in the Chinese market.

Meanwhile, Huawei also performed well in other major global brand rankings. Huawei ranked 70th in Interbrand’s “TOP100” most valuable brands released in September 2017, and in February 2018, Brand Finance unveiled the “Global TOP 500 Brand Values in 2018” report ranking Huawei at No. 25 with a brand value of $38 billion.

Huawei’s continuous growth in the global market and its increasing brand influence have benefited from its multi-year commitment to technology innovation and R&D investment. According to Huawei’s annual report, Huawei’s R&D investment for 2017 was RMB 89.7 billion, accounting for approximately 14.9 percent of the revenue, and the accumulated R&D expenses over the past ten years exceeded RMB 394 billion.

Technology companies continue to dominate the list by taking the top 5 spots, accounting for up to 20 percent of the TOP 100. Apple came No. 1 for the eighth straight year, followed by Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon. The TOP 100 brands have come from 16 countries and regions in the world, with the largest number from the U.S. taking 54 places, followed by 12 brands from Germany and seven brands from Japan and France respectively. Huawei is still the only Chinese brand on the list.

In terms of patents, as of December 31, 2017, Huawei accumulatively granted 74,307 patents, applied for 64,091 Chinese patents, and accumulated 48,758 foreign patent applications, of which more than 90 percent were invention patents.

In the future, Huawei will continue to innovate its products and technology whilst surprising consumers, with a commitment to make its brand truly loved by global consumers.

5/29/2018 2:34:36 PM
<![CDATA[Looking for new way to donate during Ramadan? London mosque now accepts bitcoin]]>
The Shacklewell Lane Mosque in Dalston, east London, has decided to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in a bid to widen its donor base and cut down on currency conversion fees, mosque leaders said.

“For a donor that already has a bitcoin or an ethereum account, the effort of converting cryptocurrency into say British pounds or dollars can be quite burdensome. The mosque effectively takes the burden on themselves,” said blockchain consultant Lukasz Musial, who helped the mosque set up the technology.

“For the donor, it’s just the click of a button to transfer to an account provided by the charity. From the mosque’s perspective, it opens a new stream of donations coming from all over the world,” Musial said.

Egypt’s Grand Mufti, the nation’s top Sunni Muslim official, said this year bitcoin was not permitted according to Islamic law, Egyptian media reported, but Shacklewell imam Abdalla Adeyemi defended the mosque’s decision.

“Bitcoin is like any other currency. It’s ... accepted by a group of people .... We ourselves are not trading. We are not involved ... we are a charity,” Adeyemi told Reuters.

The mosque says it is one of a handful to accept cryptocurrencies out of hundreds in London and its move is yielding results. It says it is on track to double its donations this year to more than £10,000 ($13,300).

Muslims with the means are religiously obliged to give alms, often calculated based on Islamic texts as being 2.5 percent of their wealth, and many do so during the holy month, a time when Muslim charities are most active.]]>
5/29/2018 10:53:59 AM
<![CDATA[To get rich would be glorious escape from pointless life, says young Chinese student]]>
A video clip widely shared on Chinese social media over the weekend showed the unnamed student, from the city of Hangzhou in the eastern province of Zhejiang, saying he has felt pressured and exhausted by life, and worried about growing up.

“You work hard but only see limited returns, like you’re in an endless loop,” he said.

The clip gave away little about his identity, though the student wore around his neck the red scarf signifying membership in the 100-million-plus strong Young Pioneers of China, a group that urges young people to be tough and fight for communism.

“I want to be rich to overcome the meaninglessness of life,” he said in his four-minute talk. “With money you can do whatever you want.”

A male voice in the background could be heard saying repeatedly, “We’re finished.”

The student’s pessimistic outlook contrasts with the optimism of his parents’ generation, which bore witness to China’s economic rise in the 1990s and 2000s.

It also runs counter to President Xi Jinping’s “China Dream” that urges young people to work hard and help rejuvenate the nation.

But defeatism is not unheard of in China, particularly among disillusioned millennials in big cities facing the pressure to survive in a country obsessed with marriage, home ownership and personal success as living costs rise.

The video clip provoked heated online debate, though its original publisher, Beijing News, has deleted it.

“What the boy wants is not just money, but freedom in life, to be able to get rid of the hollowness of life,” said one user of China’s Twitter-like Weibo.

“The pupil has figured out life at such an early age,” said another Weibo user. “It took me over three decades.”]]>
5/28/2018 10:53:31 AM
<![CDATA[American kids recreate royal wedding for photoshoot]]>
Tricia Messeroux, a New York photographer, has been capturing children in red carpet looks from the Oscars, Grammy and Golden Globe award ceremonies, and blockbuster movies ever since her idea of dressing up her daughter as a celebrity in 2008 gave birth to Toddlewood Studio in Baldwin, New York.

The biggest wedding of the year inspired her to recreate the cast, including Markle’s mother Doria Ragland, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, bishop Michael Bruce Curry and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

As the bride, Naiyah Otero, 7, wore a version of Markle’s boat-necked Givenchy wedding gown as interpreted by Esaie Couture.

“I think she’s pretty and it’s an honor to marry Prince Harry, like, dress up as her,” Otero said at the photoshoot on Tuesday.

Andrew Robert Joy, 6, embodied bearded Prince Harry with the help of eyebrow pencil on his smooth jawline that matched his close-cropped red hair.

Messeroux and her team give themselves only 48 hours to mimic the looks and set design for her big annual project.

“We had to spend all night creating this flower wall as best we possibly could,” Messeroux said. “And the gown for the priest, I literally glued that myself. Yes, I glued a whole gown together myself, with my friends, overnight last night.”

“Hopefully, it’s going to look good and hopefully nobody can tell but we’ll see,” she said.]]>
5/27/2018 11:50:43 AM
<![CDATA[Pacific Ocean features in new royal Markle's Coat of Arms]]>
Meghan, who is now officially the Duchess of Sussex, joined Britain’s royal family when she wed Harry at Queen Elizabeth’s Windsor Castle home last Saturday.

Harry’s office said on Friday the design for her Coat Of Arms had been approved by his grandmother Queen Elizabeth and Thomas Woodcock, the Senior Herald in England based at London’s College of Arms.

“Her Royal Highness worked closely with the College of Arms throughout the design process to create a Coat of Arms that was both personal and representative,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.

Meghan was born and raised in Los Angeles and the statement said the blue background of the shield on her arms represented the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast while two golden rays were symbolic of the state’s sunshine.

It also features three quills which represent communication and the power of words while beneath the shield are a collection of golden poppies, California’s state flower, and wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace where she now lives with her new husband, the palace said.

Next to the shield are two “Supporters”, one for her husband and one relating to her - a songbird with an open beak which also represents the power of communication.

“Good heraldic design is nearly always simple and the Arms of The Duchess of Sussex stand well beside the historic beauty of the quartered British Royal Arms,” Woodcock said.

The technical description of the arms is “Azure a Feather bendwise Argent quilled between two Bendlets Or all between two like Feathers Argent quilled Or”.]]>
5/26/2018 1:17:51 PM
<![CDATA[WHO warns against outbreak of Nipah virus]]>
“Nipah virus is an RNA virus that is part of the Paramyxovidae family that was first identified as a zoonotic pathogen after an outbreak involving severe respiratory illness in pigs and encephalitic disease in humans in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999,” according to the WHO’s website.

Time reports that during its first outbreak in Malaysia nearly 300 farmers became infected and more than 100 died. “To stop the outbreak, authorities had to euthanize over one million pigs. Since then, the virus has been identified in outbreaks in Bangladesh and India,” Time reports.
“In the Bangladesh and India outbreaks, consumption of fruits or fruit products (e.g. raw date palm juice) contaminated with urine or saliva from infected fruit bats was the most likely source of infection,” the WHO explains.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the disease occurs in Bangladesh on an annual basis, Time states.

Currently, the disease has broken out in Kerala, a southern state in India, and 10 deaths have been caused by it to date, according to Time.


The WHO reports that the symptoms usually take between five to 14 days to manifest.

“Infected people initially develop influenza-like symptoms of fever, headaches, myalgia (muscle pain), vomiting and sore throat. This can be followed by dizziness, drowsiness, altered consciousness, and neurological signs that indicate acute encephalitis. Some people can also experience atypical pneumonia and severe respiratory problems, including acute respiratory distress. Encephalitis and seizures occur in severe cases, progressing to coma within 24 to 48 hours,” WHO reports.

The WHO also states that most people make full recoveries from the disease, but 20 percent of survivors face a lifetime of neurological consequences such as seizures and personality changes.

The death rate is between 40 and 75 percent, depending on the outbreak, and local capabilities to deal with the outbreak.


There is no cure for the Nipah virus.

5/25/2018 7:30:30 PM
<![CDATA[Hawaii volcano belches new ash plume as geothermal wells secured from harm]]>
The latest back-to-back upheavals of ash from the main summit crater of Kilauea -- one before dawn and another several hours later -- came on the 21st day of what geologists rank as one of the biggest eruption cycles in a century from one of the world's most active volcanoes.

The earlier ash plume rose to a height of 8,000 feet (2,438 meters), while the later one reached about 5,000 feet (1,524 meters), authorities said.

Intermittent explosions of ash from the summit, believed to be driven by underground bursts of steam deep inside the throat of the crater vent, are continuing the occur about twice a day, with smaller blasts in between, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) vulcanologist Wendy Stovall told reporters.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense agency warned in its latest bulletin that residents downwind of Kilauea should take care to avoid exposure to ash, which can cause eye irritation and breathing difficulties, particularly in people with respiratory problems.

Authorities also said that emissions of sulfur dioxide gas, harmful if inhaled, remained at high levels from newly opened lava-spewing fissures in the ground running through populated areas on the eastern flank of the volcano.

"Residents in the affected area should be prepared to take leave of the area with little notice due to gas or lava inundation," the bulletin said.

One major potential hazard that appeared to have been brought under control was at the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) plant, which provides about a quarter of the Big Island's electricity.

Lava from an active fissure nearby had flowed onto the property early this week, posing the risk of toxic gases being released in the event the molten rock encroached into any of three pressurized deep-underground wells.

Utility crews racing to quench the wells with cold water and cap the well heads with iron plugs before lava could reach them managed to secure the site. The civil defense agency reported on Wednesday, "there is no immediate threat to any of the wells at PGV."

The facility also received a respite from Mother Nature. Accumulations of cooled, hardened lava created a thick, 30-foot (9.14-meter)-high wall of solid volcanic rock channeling fresh lava streams from fissures to the south, away from the PGV plant, USGS scientists said.

Authorities also were monitoring hazards from noxious clouds of acid fumes, steam and fine glass-like particles -- called laze -- emitted when lava flows pour into the ocean on the island's southern end.

Laze -- a term combining the words "lava" and "haze" -- is formed when molten lava, reaching temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 Celsius), reacts with sea water. Although potentially fatal if inhaled, Stovall said the danger was confined to the immediate vicinity of laze plumes themselves.

Kilauea rumbled back to life on May 3 as it began extruding lava and sulfur dioxide emissions through a series of fissures, marking the latest phase of an eruption cycle that has continued nearly nonstop for 35 years.

The occurrence of new lava vents, now numbering about two dozen, have been accompanied by earthquakes and periodic eruptions from the summit crater.

At least 44 homes and other structures have been destroyed, and a man was seriously injured on Saturday when a chunk of lava shot out of a fissure and struck him in the leg.

Some 2,000 people remain under evacuation orders due to lava flows and sulfur dioxide gas.]]>
5/24/2018 5:18:17 AM
<![CDATA[Managing diabetes while fasting Ramadan]]>
Here are some tips for diabetes patients who decide to fast:

Speak to your doctor first

If you are diagnosed with diabetes and you decide to fast Ramadan, speak to your doctor to ensure that you are taking care of your health. If your doctor approves your decision to fast, make sure you understand your doctor's directions on health risks before, during and after the fast and always keep your doctor informed of any food and exercise decision you make.

Then try fasting for a couple of days

Following your doctor's approval of fasting, try to fast for a couple of days first as a trial period. Measure your glucose levels three times a day (before starting, during the fast and after breaking the fast) and record how you feel. Communicate with your doctor to understand whether your body is reacting normally or not.

If your records are approved normal by your doctor, continue fasting while following these tips:

- Do not miss Sohour; it is the best meal during Ramadan. Do not skip this meal for any reason. Sohour ensures that your glucose levels do not drop or rise dramatically during the day. Drink a lot of water during Sohour and eat starchy foods that release carbs only like oatmeal, whole grain breads, starchy vegetables, legumes and pulse.

- At Iftar, avoid sugar in desserts and fried food that can affect your glucose levels. Following the same Sohour routine, concentrate on low starchy food and proteins. Also, drink a lot of water throughout the night.

- Closely monitor your glucose level by testing it at least twice every day. Make sure that you immediately check your sugar levels if your feel sick or tired.

- Immediately break your fast if you feel disoriented or faint; also if your glucose levels are too high or too low end the fast and do not risk your health.

- Always carry a glucose packet or a small candy with you.

5/22/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Huawei P20 Pro offers a triple camera powered by AI ]]>
2018 is the year of smartphone cameras, and in today’s smartphone war, smartphone manufacturers have gone all in on their camera capabilities. However, one smartphone has stood out from the crowd: the HUAWEI P20 Pro, with the world’s first triple camera co-engineered with Leica and powered by Artificial Intelligence. But most of all, it has achieved what is still a distant possibility for other manufacturers: superb low-light photography.

The ‘game changer’ of the smartphone camera industry and a new smartphone camera king is born. How did HUAWEI P20 Pro make this happen?

The 40MP Leica triple camera that’s making all the other cameras blush
Huawei’s flagship HUAWEI P Series devices are known for their design, cutting-edge technology and best-in-class camera. Continuing this illustrious tradition, the new HUAWEI P20 Pro fuses art with advanced mobile technology to offer a revolutionary, professional photography experience.

The HUAWEI P20 Pro is the first smartphone on the market to offer a triple camera including a 40MP telephoto sensor (f/1.8), a 20MP monochrome sensor (f/1.6) for depth and texture, and a standard 8MP image sensor (f/2.4). The latter has Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), while the first two sport Artificial Intelligence Stabilisation (AIS).

All three sensors are co-engineered by German optics giant Leica. Each sensor has a specific role. The 40MP sensor captures the colors in the scene, the 20MP monochrome sensor captures more detail, as well as texture and depth for a bokeh effect (if required), and the 8MP sensor is used for zooming. With the HUAWEI P20 Pro’s revolutionary Leica triple camera, Huawei is once again raising the bar for smartphone photography.

It boasts a record high DxOMark score of 109 points, scoring 114 for photo and 98 for video.

Artificial Intelligence to assist you in taking incredible pictures

Huawei has invested a lot to develop the Mate Series that debuted with the AI engine. The phone now recognizes 19 scenes and objects and adjusts the settings automatically to give you the best picture.


The HUAWEI P20 Pro provides an AI-powered camera experience that intelligently assists users to take great photos by automatically optimizing the camera settings on the backend.

Image shot on HUAWEI P20 Pro

The low-light photography champion

To shoot a proper photo in low-light conditions using a professional camera requires a keen eye and sometimes even tools such as a tripod. While smartphone cameras struggle with low-light photography, the HUAWEI P20 Pro comes to defy the norms. By packing hardware features such as large sensors and wide aperture lenses into the stylish, compact HUAWEI P20 Pro aims to lower the entry barrier for high quality photos, so anyone can capture professional-looking images.

Image shot on HUAWEI P20 Pro

The HUAWEI P20 Pro delivers better detail and less noise, making it the smartphone of choice for any kind of photo or video shooting in low-light.

The size of the aperture regulates how much light goes into the image sensor. The HUAWEI P20 Pro is equipped with f/1.8, f/1.6 and f/2.4 wide aperture Leica lenses, allowing more light to strike the sensor, and therefore, the brighter and clearer the image, even in low-light environments.

If you’re looking for the best camera smartphone existing in the market, then the HUAWEI P20 Pro should be your number one choice. Its advanced technology and unbelievable capabilities will definitely make you leave your DSLR at home.

5/21/2018 3:25:14 PM
<![CDATA[Meghan loved her veil embroidered with tribute to the Commonwealth: designer]]>
Recounting the discussions over Meghan’s dress and veil for Saturday’s groundbreaking wedding, designer Clare Waight Keller said the new Duchess of Sussex had welcomed the idea that her veil could be designed to hold extra significance.

“The veil was a huge part of the conversations that we had early on. We talked about what we wanted to do in terms of trying to embrace some of the royal connections in there,” said Waight Keller, who became the first female artistic director at famed French house Givenchy last year.

“And a lot of the work that she’s going to probably do in the future is going to be connected to the Commonwealth ... and I said ‘wouldn’t it be amazing if we took the 53 countries of the Commonwealth and embroidered a flower and some flora and fauna from each one of those and that they would go up the aisle, that journey up the aisle with you’.”

Keller said Meghan loved the idea of “all of those countries walking with her through the ceremony.”

Just last month, her now husband, Prince Harry, was appointed to his highest-profile public role to date as youth ambassador to the Commonwealth, the 53 nations bound together by the shared history of the now-defunct British Empire.

Those working on the hand-drawn veil spent hundreds of hours sewing the design, and had to keep washing their hands to keep the tulle and threads pristine.

Meghan’s choice of a sleek sculpted dress, and the five-meter long veil and sparkling diamond tiara, was praised by fashion experts.

Waight Keller said Harry had thanked her for her role in making his wife look “absolutely stunning” after the ceremony at the 15th-century St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which was watched by royals and celebrities up close, with millions of others tuning into television coverage.

“I saw her after the service. She was absolutely radiant,” said Waight Keller. “There was just a glow to her, you could tell they were so in love ... and she had just looked absolutely exquisite.”]]>
5/21/2018 11:40:59 AM
<![CDATA[3 conditions allow Muslims to break their fasting in Ramadan]]>
Islam permits a Muslim to abstain from fasting when certain conditions are present to alleviate their hardships. These conditions are divided into three categories as follows:

1- He who could not fast due to chronic and permanent diseases. So, he/she has to feed a poor person every day of Ramadan.

2- He/she who has the ability to fast but abstained from fasting due to traveling, temporary or curable diseases, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and/or menstruating. Thus, he/she should fast later to make up the days they missed.

3- Those who suffer from dementia or mental diseases. Those people are not commanded to fast.

5/20/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Meghan Markle picks sleek dress by Givenchy designer for wedding]]>
The long-sleeved dress with a boat neck had been eagerly anticipated by royal fans around the world for months, with speculation over which designer would have the coveted role of making the frock.


Waight Keller, who became the first female artistic director at famed French fashion brand Givenchy last year, met Markle in early 2018, Kensington Palace said.

"The focus of the dress is the graphic open bateau neckline that gracefully frames the shoulders and emphasises the slender sculpted waist," the palace said in a statement.


"The lines of the dress extend towards the back where the train flows in soft round folds cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza. The slim three-quarter sleeves add a note of refined modernity."


5/19/2018 1:32:40 PM
<![CDATA[Prince Harry wears frock-coat uniform of the Blues and Royals for wedding]]>
The 33-year-old grandson of Queen Elizabeth waved to well-wishers as he arrived at St George's Chapel in Windsor in the dark blue uniform with his brother and best man, Prince William, who was dressed the same.

"Her Majesty The Queen gave her permission for Prince Harry to get married in his uniform," according to a statement tweeted by Kensington Palace.

"Both uniforms were tailored at Dege & Skinner on Savile Row."]]>
5/19/2018 12:54:22 PM
<![CDATA[Avoid fasting if you are pregnant: doctors ]]>
In statements to Egypt Today, Inas Shaltout, professor of internal medicine, diabetes, and endocrinology at Cairo University, advised pregnant women to avoid fasting, saying that it could put her own life and her baby’s at risk.

Shaltout explained furthermore that fasting may lower or increase blood-sugar levels, which could harm the baby’s health. “The baby should be fed very well to avoid any distortions or complications,” she added.

Doctors, however, advised pregnant women to keep their bodies hydrated all the time by drinking water and juices. They also mentioned that pregnant women should not eat one large meal at one time, but divide meals in small quantities at close intervals. It was also advised to stay away from pickles, spices and peppers, and instead eat lots of vegetables and fruits.

As for diabetics, Ahmed Samir, professor of vascular surgery at Qasr al-Aini Hospital, confirmed in statements to Egypt Today on Friday that they should regulate their food in order to avoid side effects that may occur as a result of deterioration of the patient's health.

Samir added that diabetics are more likely to develop atherosclerosis; however, taking the right cautions, along with regulating food and medicine, will avoid patients’ risk.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind during this month:

- Drink water as much as you can between sunset and dawn.
- You can always manage to have a walk every day, even for 30 minutes, to avoid indigestion and speed up fat-burning ratios.
- Chew food well and don’t eat quickly to avoid feeling lazy and sleepy after finishing your meal.
- Always start with soup, and then proceed to salad after a while.
- Do not eat large amounts of carbohydrates and try to twice as many vegetables.
5/19/2018 10:22:30 AM
<![CDATA[New campaign launched to encourage youth donate blood in Ramadan]]>
As part of the initiative, Facebook partners, with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) across 12 countries in MENA, including Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Egypt, aim to enhance the culture of blood donation in those countries.
Facebook’s Hack for Good initiative aims to develop technological solutions to address real social challenges.

In a celebration of young creative talent in the region, Facebook invited five teams of young professionals from creative agencies across MENA to spend an entire day at the Facebook MENA HQ, brainstorming and preparing their proposed ideas. The teams then presented their campaigns to address the IFRC’s goal to boost blood donations in the Holy Month to a panel of judges, including key regional executives from Facebook and the IFRC.

In Ramadan, blood banks often are in short supply, creating a need to foster more voluntary blood donations. To urge more to donate their blood during Ramadan, "Giving is in your blood" aims to direct people to give blood at the authorized blood donating centers to step up blood donation during the summer season when a shortfall is expected. People who are fasting can donate blood, but only after they have broken their fast at sunset. This drive will give people the power to build more powerful and meaningful communities.

Speaking about the initiative, Christine Harb, regional head of marketing - MENAP, Facebook, said: “As we prepare to celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan with our community this year, we also wanted to shed light on the reality of decreased blood donations this month in the region, while using Facebook as a tool to bring people together for a good cause.”

“We hope this campaign will help fill the gap in blood donations that we normally see during Ramadan. We are encouraging people to donate blood after they have broken their fast at sunset. We are also hoping to recruit blood donors who might start donating in Ramadan and maybe continue throughout the year,” Rana Sidani Cassou, IFRC MENA head of communications stated.]]>
5/19/2018 9:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Prince Charles to walk Meghan Markle down the aisle at royal wedding]]>
Her father, Thomas, gave a host of contradictory statements about his intentions then finally told celebrity website TMZ he had undergone heart surgery and could not attend, in a family drama that has played out under the glare of media attention.

"Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George's Chapel on her Wedding Day," Harry's office Kensington Palace said in a statement.

"The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way."

Markle's African-American mother, Doria Ragland, was due to meet Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Harry's 92-year-old grandmother, for tea on Friday.

The yoga instructor charmed Charles, her daughter's future father-in-law, when they met on Wednesday, a source close to the royal family said.

Buckingham Palace confirmed that Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, 96, would be at the wedding despite undergoing hip replacement surgery last month.

Outside the ancient stone walls of Windsor Castle, home to the English royal family for nearly 1,000 years, well-wishers mingled with tourists and swarms of television crews under swathes of British and American flags.

Harry, 33, will marry Markle, 36, a star of the TV drama "Suits", in the castle's 15th-century St George's Chapel at a ceremony that begins about 1100 GMT on Saturday. The details of her dress, the ring and the order of service are still to be announced.

A former army officer and one-time royal wild child, Harry met his bride-to-be on a blind date in July 2016 after being set up through a mutual friend. Markle said she knew little about her royal date while Harry said he had never heard of Markle or watched her TV series.

However, it was love at first sight, and after just two dates, he whisked her off to Botswana for a holiday, camping under the stars.


After the schism of Brexit divided the United Kingdom and triggered a wave of doubt about its future place in the world, the glittering union of one of the most popular royals and an elegant U.S. divorcee may offer some distraction.

The British remain broadly supportive of the monarchy albeit with a sense of mild irony about the pomp and pageantry that accompanies it, though many have deep respect for the current monarch, Elizabeth, after 66 years of dutiful service.

For some black Britons, the prospect of a mixed-race royal princess has increased interest in the monarchy, which has so far been all white. A black American bishop will give the address at the wedding.

"Meghan will bring a new perspective to the royal family," royal biographer Claudia Joseph said. "Obviously she comes from a very different background and ... that’s hugely important to take the royal family into the future."

But for some other Britons, the event has as much relevance as the union of two distant superstars. Many will not even bother to watch the wedding despite massive media interest.

This wedding has drawn comparisons with some remarkable episodes of recent royal history: Edward VIII’s relationship with American divorcee Wallis Simpson, which led him to abdicate in 1936, and the queen’s late sister Margaret’s decision to call off her marriage to an equerry Peter Townsend.


Markle said she was sad her father could not make it but expressed hope he would be given the time to deal with his health problems.

The palace implied that Markle would still enter the chapel alone with her bridesmaids and page boys, before joining Charles at the Quire which is located about half-way down the ancient church.

After the hour-long ceremony, the couple will take part in a procession through the town's ancient streets on a 19th century Ascot Landau carriage pulled by four Windsor Grey horses.

Police are expecting more than 100,000 people to throng the streets outside the castle, the queen's home west of London and the oldest and largest inhabited fortress in the world, and have said there would be tight security for the event.

Harry, the younger son of the late Princess Diana, has always been a popular member of the royal family.

A cheeky child who stuck his tongue out at photographers, he left a lasting memory in the minds of many when aged just 12, he walked solemnly behind his mother's coffin as her funeral cortege made its way through London after her death in a car crash in 1997.

He has spoken publicly about the pain of the loss of his mother, supported campaigns for wounded veterans and has embraced campaigns for awareness about mental health.

“I remember Princess Diana dying," said Nick Lemin, 45 who grew up in Windsor but now lives in Brisbane, Australia. "I was here in the UK at the time and have never seen anything sweep a nation like that did."

"I think she’d be very, very proud of Prince Harry and the family and how they are living their lives," Lemin said.

Windsor Castle was badly damaged by a fire in 1992, a year Elizabeth famously described as an “annus horribilis” after three of her four children’s marriages failed, including Charles' marriage to Diana.

Fast forward 26 years: A reformed royal brand and a Windsor in party mood. The weather is forecast to be fine with blue skies on Saturday.

Sales of everything from flags and biscuits to tea towels emblazoned with the couple's pictures were brisk, while bands entertained the growing crowds amid a party atmosphere in the genteel town.

"I think it’s great. Meghan is an international star in her own right," said Lemin. "She’s just not the traditional princess."]]>
5/18/2018 2:48:31 PM
<![CDATA[Beat bad breath in Ramadan in 9 steps]]>
According to the British National Health Service (NHS), there is a number of possible causes of bad breath (halitosis), like poor oral hygiene, smoking, some foods with strong flavor, crash dieting, medications … and fasting.

In Ramadan most Muslims feel embarrassed due to the bad breath resulting from the lack of water, food or any breath freshener during the long fasting hours.

You can easily overcome this problem throughout the 30 days of Ramadan if you follow those steps:

1- Wash your mouth well after Suhur (the meal Muslims eat before dawn to help them fast).

2- Use a floss to remove all the food remnants that cause bad breath; brushing alone only cleans about 60 percent of the tooth's surface.

3- Brush the tongue.

4- Use a menthol gum before sleeping.

5- Gargle using rose water.

6- Don’t consume too much dairy products at Suhur.

7- Quit smoking.

8- Eat healthy, balanced diet and avoid eating strongly flavored or spicy food.

9- Cut down on sugary food and drinks as it can increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
5/18/2018 10:34:24 AM
<![CDATA[Try Palestinian Musakhan this Ramadan]]>
To add new flavor to your Ramadan experience, try mixing up your menus with a wide range of special and exceptional Ramadan recipes from around the world. This will add variety and color to your loved ones’ meals during the month while providing their daily dose of nutrition.

For a delicious Iftar, try one of the most popular and traditional Palestinian cuisine dishes, “Musakhan”, in Ramadan. The dish is composed of perfectly roasted chicken with caramelized onions, fresh bread, sumac, spices and fried pine nuts. It is usually prepared during the olive oil harvest and pressing season to celebrate freshly pressed olive oil.

To prepare four servings, you will need the following ingredients:

- 1 chicken, cut into 4 serving pieces
- ¼ cup dried sumac
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt, pepper and allspice to season
- ½ lemon
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 cups fresh olive oil
- 1 kg onions, peeled and chopped. Make sure that you do not chop the onions too fine, as they can lose texture with cooking.
- Two large loaves of Taboon bread. Palestinians use bread called shrak or marquq for this dish.
- Nuts for topping and decoration (pine nuts and almonds are the most commonly used ones)

Sumac is a spice that comes from dried and ground berries of the Rhus shrubs; it comes with a purplish deep red powder that is sour. Sumac is used to give a sour, lemony taste to chicken, salads and salad dressings in the Middle East.

Taboon bread is usually baked in a very hot oven lined with round smooth stones to give the bread a dimpled appearance. It can be replaced with flat bread as long as it is not too thin, because it needs to withstand holding the onions and chicken.


- In a bowl, mix the chicken, sumac, spices, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper. Marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or preferably for several hours.

- Heat the olive oil in a large pan or pot over medium-high flame. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown (20-30 minutes). Once the chicken is done, remove the pieces to a plate.

- Lower the heat and add the onions to the pan; make sure that there is enough olive oil to submerge the onions completely and stir until the onions are cooked down and begin to caramelize. Once the onions are done, place them in a colander to drain off any excessive oil.

- Sprinkle the onions with sumac, cinnamon, black pepper and allspice, and toss them until they are completely coated with the mix.

- Line the bottom of a baking dish with Taboon bread and brush it with some olive oil, then spread half the onions over it. Place chicken over the onions and top the chicken with the remaining onions.

- Place the baking dish in a preheated oven set to 180°C and bake for 10 minutes.

- Remove the dish from the oven and let it rest about 10 minutes.

- Top it with nuts and sprinkle with the sumac. You can serve the Musakhan with plain yogurt.

Musakhan - cc via flickr
Musakhan - cc via flickr

For children, you can roll the Musakhan into wraps. Follow the same steps mentioned before and then roll the bread after adding all the cooked ingredients inside. Brush with some olive old and heat the rolls in the oven or in a sandwich press.

Musakhan Rolls - cc via flickr
Musakhan Rolls - cc via flickr

5/16/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Battle for best smartphone camera ends Ended: HUAWEI P20 Pro with AI-Powered Triple Camera]]>
It does now! The ongoing battle for the best smartphone camera has finally come to an end, and it is all thanks to the new HUAWEI P20 Pro. A smartphone that has received rave reviews globally and has blown competition out of the water, this mobile has wowed even the most critical of experts, and will be coming to the region very soon.

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Huawei Phones - Press Photo

The HUAWEI P20 Pro is a device that has captured what consumers have been asking for – and has captured it in the best way possible: the camera. The smartphone has the World’s most advanced camera system, with the World’s first Leica 40 MP triple camera. And, it is all powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence) that intelligently assists users to take great photos. The HUAWEI P20 Pro offers features that are not available in any other smartphone on the market, and in fact, this smartphone camera is set to rival even the best professional DSLR cameras in terms of picture quality.

So how does the HUAWEI P20 Pro stand out from the crowd?

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Huawei Phones - Press Photo

World’s First Revolutionary AI: AI Photography Mastered by You

The HUAWEI P20 Pro has a masterful functionality – it is powered by AI. This means that the smartphone camera does the thinking for you, and automatically adjusts to give you the best picture results. AI-powered real-time scene and object recognition technology can recognize more than 500 scenarios in 19 categories for users to choose the right skills at the right moment, be it blue skies, people or a dog. It even adjusts the lighting and the optimal scene parameters. The AI Beautification for Selfies feature captures the smallest details even in low-light settings. With each selfie taken, AI beautification provides 3D portrait lighting, making adjustments to better match the users’ facial features, resulting in luminous skin-tone enhancements and radiant selfies even when backlit. The results are so stunning, it’s like having a personal beauty entourage or make-up artist with you. There is even an AI Smart Gallery, which automatically adjusts images and highlights users’ best shots in an auto-generated layout, supporting more than 100 tags for easy categorization and browsing.

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Huawei Phones - Press Photo

The Best Night Photography

One of the most exceptional features on the phone is its night time photography mode. The camera has the ability to capture objects and scenery at night that even the eye cannot see! Taking photos in low-light conditions usually requires a professional camera, a keen eye and sometimes even tools, such as a tripod. By packing hardware features such as large 40 MP sensors and wide aperture lenses into the device, the HUAWEI P20 Pro produces exquisite detail in every image to give you some of the most vibrant, clear and detailed shots taken with low light at night. In addition, the HUAWEI P20 Pro uses Huawei AIS (AI Image Stabilization) technology to recognize objects and correct images as a result of shifts and blurs caused by an unsteady hand holding the device. With this feature, you can capture steady, clear and detailed footage of even motion scenes, ensuring you never miss capturing a moment or taking incredible long exposure images without a tripod.

Huawei Phones - Press Photo

Incredible Hybrid Zoom

An incredible advancement in long-range photography, the HUAWEI P20 Pro includes a brand-new Leica telephoto lens with up to 5x Hybrid Zoom, capturing every single detail as if you’re standing right in front of the object. With such a powerful zoom lens packed into a compact mobile device, the smartphone is especially handy for travelers who need to take long-range photos, freeing them from the burden of heavy lens attachments and large, professional photography equipment.

Huawei Phones - Press Photo

5/15/2018 6:01:52 PM
<![CDATA[Update: U.N. agencies urge Sudan to pardon Noura Hussein]]>
In a joint statement, the three agencies said, "Reports indicate that she was forced against her will into marriage at the age of 16. She was raped by her husband while his three male relatives held her down."

"Speaking as the voices of women and girls of the world, we plead with the government of Sudan to save the life of Hussein," the statement added.

Hussein was forcibly married to her cousin in 2017 at 16 years of age. She ran away from home and sought refuge at her aunt’s house for three years until she was tricked into returning home by her family. Later, she was sent to her husband’s family, despite her father’s claims that the marriage was cancelled. Five days later, Hussein was raped by her husband with the assistance of his brother, a relative and a witness who held her down, according to the petition. When he tried to rape her again the following day, she stabbed him to death and escaped to her parents, who handed her to the police. Hussien’s husband’s family rejected the possibility of financial compensation and chose execution when the judge asked them what they want to happen, according to a supporter who attended the hearing and posted the details on the Twitter.

Hussien’s legal team is preparing to appeal the death penalty and they have until May 25 to do so. They will build their defense case on the fact that she is a victim of child marriage and that she acted in self-defense, having been mentally and psychologically disturbed as a result of rape. Hussein's team requested international media attention and the support of the United Nations.

The U.N., international rights groups and human rights activists called for Hussein's conviction to be overturned, as her case has attracted widespread attention on social media, with the hashtag #JusticeForNoura trending on Twitter since Thursday. Equality Now, a non-governmental organization established in 1992 to work for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls around the world, also prepared a letter to Sudan’s president on Hussein’s behalf, requesting that she be pardoned. “Noura Hussein’s death sentence violates her rights under the Sudanese constitution and international law,” Equality Now’s letter stated. Moreover, Change.org launched an online petition on her behalf that has attracted over 300,000 signatures.

In addition, Amnesty International started a campaign to appeal to Sudan’s Minister of Justice Idris Ibrahim Jamil. “The courts are saying Noura is guilty of premeditated murder – even though she was defending herself from being raped by a man she was forced to marry when she was just a young teenager,” said Amnesty International in a statement.

Sudan ranks 165 of 188 countries on the U.N. Gender Inequality Index 2017, which measures women’s access to resources and services compared to men. The country has not yet signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and it allows the marriage of children over the age of ten.

To support Noura Hussein, visit


and sign the petition.
5/14/2018 5:59:07 PM
<![CDATA[Families reunited in 'Hugs Not Walls' event at U.S.-Mexico border]]>
The undocumented migrant was at an event with hundreds of other families with mixed immigration status who were reunited with relatives in a “hugs not walls” meeting arranged by an El Paso, Texas-based advocacy group, Border Network for Human Rights.

Pizarro, 36, says he fled his homeland because of insecurity. He worked in a juvenile detention facility where he told Reuters he received death threats from inmates. A brother lost his life at the hands of an organized crime gang, he said.

“It was just part of life,” he said.

Pizarro has five children, two of whom live with him in El Paso where he now works odd jobs. One of his sons suffers from autism. His other children, including his 18-year-old daughter Fatima Paola, live in Mexico.

“I would see my friends, my cousins, all with their dads and I would get sad and cry. I wish he could have been here as I grew up,” said Fatima Pizarro, who now has a daughter of her own, Aitana, who her father met for the first time on Saturday.

At the event on the border, Pizarro and more than 300 other families all donned blue shirts, while their counterparts from the Juarez, Mexico side wore white shirts to ensure no one tried to slip across. The brief reunions are approved by U.S. government agencies since participants stay on the riverbed that marks the frontier.

After speeches from the organizers, both sides rushed together for three minutes of tearful hugs, embraces and excited face-to-face conversations.

“I wouldn’t trade anything for these moments. We have to enjoy them as long as we can,” Pizarro said as he carried his granddaughter in his arms.

His brother, Ramon Pizarro, 51, took the opportunity to tell the family some news: he would use his job as a taxi driver to petition for a visiting visa and be able to see his brother more often.

With many other families waiting, organizers soon told them time was up, and they said their goodbyes, not knowing when they might meet again.

“The hardest part is that it’s over,” Pizarro said. “We have to accept it, but it’s hard.”]]>
5/14/2018 10:30:31 AM
<![CDATA[The Secret Behind HUAWEI P20 Lite Notch on Full View Display]]>
In order to entice young consumers, Huawei had put enormous effort to achieve perfection with the HUAWEI P20 Lite, and its breakthrough notch design is an exceptional example of the handset maker’s attention to detail.

Since it was introduced to the market by iPhone X, the notch has since become a standard feature of today’s smartphones. Nestled on top of the screen, the notch looks deceptively insignificant, but its dimensions actually have a direct influence on the overall design of a smartphone. HUAWEI P20 Lite designers were thus meticulous when refining the notch design.

Notch width nearly halved

The notch will shrink with time as smartphone manufacturers become better with packing more technology into a smaller space. For HUAWEI’s P20 Lite, the design team at Huawei was able to confine all the incredible technology in notch that is only a 5mm thick. Even more impressively, the width of the notch is 47 percent smaller than that of the iPhone X. By achieving a tiny notch, Huawei gives consumers what is essentially a glimpse into the future of smartphone design with its new HUAWEI P20 Lite.

Huawei Phone - Press Photo

Behind the notch: perfect layout of cameras, sensors and speakers

The smaller the notch, the harder it is to cram the cameras, sensors and the earpiece into the space. To put everything inside the tiny notch on HUAWEI P20 Lite, Huawei made a few unique innovations for the device’s front camera. The dust-proof foam of the lens package has been shrunk by 0.2mm, and the earpiece was designed in the shape of the periscope in order to deliver incredible audio while using the minimal amount of space. These special customizations allowed Huawei to significantly cut down the size of the notch.

Unique antenna design optimizes space and performance

The antenna also proved to be a design challenge. To minimize the space, the antenna occupies while ensuring signal reception remains uncompromised, Huawei adopted a unique antenna design which allows it to cut the length of the part from 11.1 mm to 2.6 mm without affecting the antenna’s performance.

Huawei Phone - Press Photo

EMUI adapts to the notch

To make the most out of the FullView display, Huawei modified design elements of EMUI 8.0 so that HUAWEI P20 Lite’s status bar uses the space on both sides of the notch. An option to fully mask out the extra areas is also available for users who prefer to hide the notch.

The minimal notch design is but one of the many outcomes resulting from HUAWEI’s pursuit of perfection. From the overall design to its build quality, every facet of the HUAWEI P20 Lite exudes HUAWEI’s signature excellence. The FullView display-equipped Huawei has a very desirable cost-performance ratio and a low cost of entry, making it a very attractive option for younger consumers.

5/13/2018 5:18:40 PM
<![CDATA[Queen gives instrument of consent to Harry, Meghan's marriage]]>
Buckingham Palace shared an image of the handwritten document on Saturday, May 12. “NOW KNOW YE that We have consented and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, K.C.V.O., and Rachel Meghan Markle,” the Queen, 92, wrote.

The Instrument of Consent was drafted by the Crown Office and is sealed with the Great Seal of the Realm, and the Queen’s signature, “Elizabeth R,” is featured at the top right of the document.

The coronet for Prince Harry, 33, is on the lower left side and the Commonwealth symbol can be found on the lower right side of the document. The design to the right of the text also includes a rose, which is the national flower of the United States. Next to the rose, there are two golden poppies, the flower of California, where Markle, 36, was born. The document will be presented to the pair after the wedding.

The written approvals are part of the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, which legally requires all of King George II’s direct descendants to receive the monarch’s consent in marriage or the union is considered to be invalid. The Parliament act reads: “A person who (when the person marries) is one of the six persons next in line of succession to the crown must obtain the consent of Her Majesty before marrying.” Harry falls under this category since he is sixth in line for the throne, behind his father Prince Charles, brother Prince William, nephew Prince George, niece, Princess Charlotte, and newborn nephew Prince Louis.

The Queen previously gave her consent for her grandson to marry Markle after a meeting at Buckingham Palace in March. “I declare my consent to a contract of matrimony between my most dearly beloved grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which I consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the books of the Privy Council,” the Queen said in a statement at the time.

The royal and the Suits alum announced that they were engaged in November 2017 and will be tying the knot at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle next weekend. ]]>
5/13/2018 12:21:46 PM
<![CDATA[Pregnancy essentials every expectant mom should have]]>

Being pregnant is a battle of being excited about what is to come and trying to survive all the symptoms that accompany it. No matter how many babies you have, every pregnancy is different, but there are some common obstacles that women face and some must-haves that can help minimize the trouble of these obstacles.

Here are some items that can keep you on track and help ease your pregnancy experience

1. Pregnancy pillow

As you advance in your pregnancy, starting the second trimester, your belly will start to expand and get heavier, making it an impossible mission to sleep comfortably. To get a good night sleep, use a pregnancy pillow to support all your curves.

2. Maternity support belt

To lessen back pains, use a support belt with thick straps and place it under the stomach to assist your back. Lower back pains during pregnancy are typical, as the spine meets the pelvis in the sacroiliac joint. This belt is very helpful for women who enjoy working out and walking while pregnant.

3. Comfy maternity clothes

Aim for comfortable clothes made of cotton to allow your skin to breathe. Think of shoes, slippers, comfortable bras and loose maternity clothes. Invest in a belly belt, an adjustable elastic fabric band that fits around the belly to hold up your clothes once they can no longer be buttoned – it works like a fabric extension.

4. Pregnancy books

These books can help you understand each step of your pregnancy, and they contain many tips and pieces of advice on exercise and nutrition during pregnancy. Also, there are some books available to help men understand each step of pregnancy that their wives are going through.

5. Stretch-mark-fighting creams

Multiple pregnancies make you more prone to stretch marks. Use creams that contain vitamin E and shea butter to fight these stretch marks that develop as you advance in your pregnancy. Combine the mixture with coconut oil and keep your skin soft and smelling fantastic. The cream also helps control itching that results.

6. Organic lip balm

Hormones and body changes during pregnancy can lead to skin dryness. To defeat flaky and cracked lips, keep your organic lip balm with you and apply it whenever needed.

7. Essential all-in-one prenatal vitamins and Omega-3

Make sure you are getting all the nutrients that you and your baby need, especially during your first trimester, when you are too nauseous to keep your necessary intake of real food. These vitamins should contain Omega-3 and folic acid to reduce the risk of poor birth.

8. Antacid medication

Pregnant women experience heartburn as a result of hormonal and physical changes in their bodies. The release of progesterone from the placenta leads to the formation of gastric acids causing heartburn. This can be prevented by using antacids.

9. Water bottle

During the early months of pregnancy, you will constantly feel thirsty, and your need for water will be non-stop, especially with the frequent bathroom use. Keep a filled bottle of water with you to keep yourself hydrated whenever you need water and wherever you are.

10. Ginger Tea

Whenever you feel nauseous, especially in your first trimester, drink organic caffeine-free ginger tea to stay on top of the urge to vomit without harming your baby. This tea can also help you keep yourself full at night if you drink it before bedtime.
5/13/2018 11:34:26 AM
<![CDATA[Noura Hussein sentenced to death for killing rapist husband]]>

Hussien’s legal team has 15 days to appeal the sentence, as her husband’s family rejected the possibility of financial compensation and chose execution when the judge asked them what they want to happen, according to a supporter who attended the hearing and posted the details on the Twitter. Hussien’s team will reject and appeal the death penalty, as she was defending herself at the time of the killing and was mentally and psychologically disturbed as a result of rape, according to the Guardian. They requested international media attention and the support of the United Nations.

According to the “Justice for Noura” petition, in 2017, Hussein was forcibly married to her cousin at 16 years of age. She ran away from home and sought refuge at her aunt’s house for three years until she was tricked into returning home by her family. Later, she was sent to her husband’s family, despite her father’s claims that the marriage was cancelled. Five days later, Hussein was raped by her husband with the assistance of his brother, a relative and a witness who held her down, according to the petition. When he tried to rape her again the following day, she stabbed him to death and escaped to her parents, who handed her to the police.

Sudan ranks 165 of 188 countries on the United Nations Gender Inequality Index 2017, an index that measures women’s access to resources and services compared to men, and the country has not yet signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Hussien’s case highlights the issues of forced marriage, child marriage, and marital rape and violence, which are not considered crimes in many countries. In 2015, Tunisia became the only Arab country to take a formal stance against marital violence and rape.
5/12/2018 7:25:05 PM
<![CDATA[Cheese shops to day spas. A look at Meghan Markle’s Toronto haunts]]>
The city where she first met Harry was the backdrop for her TV series “Suits” and the subject of many of her now-deleted social media posts.

The Annex neighborhood where she lived was first alerted to the budding romance when Canadian police “started hanging out in their SUVs and they would just stay there, parked revving their vehicles all day and all night,” recalled one neighbor, Russell Leon.

In some of her official outings with Harry, Markle has worn outfits from Canadian casual fashion retailer Aritzia, leading to a “Markle effect” in sales for the store.

“We’re definitely seeing a direct correlation of interest from items that she is seen wearing, down to the exact color,” said the company’s product director, Verna Ursua Brown.

The store, Cheese Boutique, where Meghan Markle shopped according to local media is pictured in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

When Markle wanted a gourmet treat, she often visited fine foods shop, Cheese Boutique. Co-owner Afrim Pristine said he and Markle became friendly over the years, and he introduced the actress to a French butter, which she raved about on social media.

“This and bread was dinner for her, I know, a few nights,” said Pristine about the butter, called Beurre D’Isigny.

She also posted about treatments she received at W Skincare, including a cold laser treatment that claims to build collagen and increase cell turnover, and has no downtime.

“That’s why it’s so big with people who are filming and are on camera,” said owner Lorinda Zimmerman. “They can get a treatment and go straight to camera and work.”

Markle was not shy about sharing her Toronto love, and the city seems to have reciprocated.

“I think she’s a great representative for Toronto. And people love her. She’s so nice and she’s so lovely and ultimately that’s what Torontonians stand for,” said Mila Gaurilova.

The store, Cheese Boutique, where Meghan Markle
shopped according to local media is pictured in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May
11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

5/12/2018 11:23:11 AM
<![CDATA[The Four Biscuits: yes we can]]>
In the last few years, things have slowly begun to change and improve within the field of disability in the region, with numerous NGOs, organizations, charities and individuals all working towards raising awareness and integrating people living with disabilities into every aspect of life.

The Four Biscuits is one of those individualized efforts that aims to empower young people with Down's syndrome by providing them with training in baking skills and then selling their products at local markets and online.

The Egyptian initiative began when a group of sisters and parents of girls with Down's syndrome used to engage in social activities together, like outings to the cinema, swimming pool and restaurants, as the families believed that their daughters have the right to have a life like anyone else. The families also wanted to make a project by them and for them, so they initially thought about opening a bakery/café where they would be the employees, aiming to integrate into society by direct interaction with the public. But, as such a project needs great financial investment, the families decided to start small with a home-based bakery business, selling the products via social media such as Facebook and Instagram.

The Four Biscuits consists of four girls living with Down's syndrome. They all attended a special needs school where they met and become friends. The girls first sold their biscuits at a local school’s bazaar. The biscuits that they sell are based on a special Swiss recipe from Irene Salem, mother of one of the girls, and it proved to be so popular with people that the girls and their families decided to begin with baking and selling these biscuits. Although The Four Biscuits began as four girls, it did not continue with four, as the parents of one of the girls opted to send her to a special needs education center.

To remain true to their name, The Four Biscuits organized an open day last February to find their “fourth biscuit”. The day consisted of fun activities, baking and a big gathering of people with Down’s syndrome, where the fourth member of the team was then chosen.

The three original girls are Sherihane Salem, 20 years old, who loves handicrafts and socializing with friends; Heidi Adel, 20 years old, who loves singing, putting on make-up and doing housework; and finally Seba Ahmed, 21 years old, who is very passionate about swimming and photography. They all got to know each other at school three years ago. The newest member of the team is Mariam; she is an Olympic champion in horse riding and has travelled to many international competitions. She also works part-time as a teacher at a local NGO. In her spare time, Mariam loves playing music, especially the piano.

The Four Biscuits officially launched in August 2017 via their Facebook page and they soon started to receive orders from the page. People loved the idea instantly and encouraged the team to carry on and expand, but this clearly requires major funding.


Nada Ahmed, the PR specialist at The Four Biscuits, explained that the project was only made possible after an application that the team submitted to Idea Camp, an idea development camp organized by the European Cultural Foundation. The team's idea was chosen among 600 other ideas that had applied for the same camp. A member of the team travelled to Spain in March 2016 to attend a four-day training. Eventually, they were chosen among 50 ideas to receive both technical and financial support from the foundation for the research and development phase of the project.

At the start of their venture, the team sold and specialized in plain biscuits made by a secret traditional Swiss recipe that they won't openly share with anyone! "It is a secret!" the group said. The most popular product is the biscuit jar, which they usually sell as plain but have recently started to make with a sugar fondant on top. Their newest product is chocolate chip cookies, launched only a few weeks ago.

There are approximately 8.5-12 million people with disabilities in Egypt, according to a 2012 report titled “People with Disabilities in Egypt: Overlooked and underestimated” by Nancy Elshami, and they are often stigmatized, hidden away by their families, and denied work opportunities. These are all factors that contribute to the image and attitude that society has of people living with disabilities, which ultimately makes it harder to progress and succeed in Arab society on the whole and not just Egypt. This view is shared by Nada Ahmed, who is also one of the girls' sisters, as she acknowledges that societies find it "hard to accept any differences of any kind and no progress can be achieved unless people learn to accept each and every citizen regardless of gender, religion, appearance, color, race or disability. People with special needs have great potential that can push any society forward. They can, if empowered, bring so much innovation and success to their nations." When asked if the girls endured any discrimination or bullying living in the Arab region, she said that it’s "more discreet and indirect discrimination, like judgmental looks, but never amounting to bullying."

According to the team, the main message that they want to convey is that "disability is an illusion. We all have certain limitations, obstacles and challenges to overcome, but that is because we are simply human; these obstacles give us the energy to struggle and to fight back reaching our dreams." They believe that disability is the creation of society, because "we all lack something, so we are all disabled in some way. A chromosome less is just like any other human vulnerability.”

As for their future, The Four Biscuits aims to expand their team and let other youth with Down’s syndrome join the initiative. On the longer term, they wish to have multiple teams all across Egypt.

5/11/2018 11:59:18 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. court protects Adidas Stan Smith shoe from Skechers look]]>
By a 3-0 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction barring Skechers from selling its Onix shoe, which Adidas said looked like its white Stan Smith shoe, its all-time best-seller with more than 40 million pairs sold.

The same panel, in a 2-1 vote, also reversed a similar injunction barring Skechers from selling its Cross Court shoe, which has three stripes on its side, finding no proof Adidas would suffer irreparable harm.

Adidas and Skechers face a scheduled trial on June 4 before U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez in Portland, Oregon, who had issued an injunction covering both Skechers shoes in February 2016, court records show. The appeals court sat in Portland.

In a statement, Adidas said "we will not stand by and allow others to blatantly copy our products," and that it was "committed to bringing a complete end to Skechers' pattern of unlawful conduct" at trial.

Skechers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit is one of many by footwear makers seeking to protect their patent and trademark rights.

Many are filed by companies such as Adidas against companies such as Skechers whose products sell for lower prices.

Adidas has sued Skechers several times in the last two decades for alleged infringement of its three-stripe trademark.

In Thursday's decision, Circuit Judge Jacqueline Nguyen said the Stan Smith, named for the early 1970s American tennis star, has enjoyed "tremendous commercial success and market recognition," and Adidas might face irreparable harm if similar shoes flooded the market.

She also said evidence suggested that Skechers intended to confuse consumers by creating the "nearly identical" Onix, and then directing consumers who searched online for "adidas stan smith" to the Onix website.

In contrast, Nguyen said Adidas failed to show that consumers would associate it with Skechers' Cross Court, causing the dilution of Adidas' reputation as a "premium" brand.

Circuit Judge Richard Clifton would have upheld the entire injunction.

The case is Adidas America Inc et al v Skechers USA Inc, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 16-35204]]>
5/11/2018 5:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[et tips for a healthier menopause]]>
What happens during menopause?
Every woman is born with a fixed number of eggs stored in the ovaries. The ovaries are also responsible for producing both the estrogen and progesterone hormones that control menstruation and ovulation. When the ovaries stop releasing an egg every month and menstruation stops, the menopause starts.

Any woman that did not have a period for two years is considered menopausal; meaning that she is reaching an end for her reproductive period. While the symptoms of menopause vary from one woman to another, they generally include some common signs as a result of hormonal changes and declining estrogen levels. These symptoms include: irregular periods (closer and heavier), vaginal dryness, mood swings, night sweats, sleeping difficulties, hot flashes, joint pains and aching, changes to skin and hair, difficulty concentrating and anxiety or depression.

How to deal with menopause symptoms?
Maintaining a healthy life style supports your health in the lead-up to menopause and helps you better handle any physical and psychological changes. Here are some tips to enjoy a healthier menopause experience.

- Keep yourself in a good physical condition by exercising regularly to avoid menopausal weight gain, and to lift your mood. In addition, exercise can help you eliminate the toxins from your body through sweating and can also improve your blood circulation.

- Watch your diet to protect your bones, heart and blood vessels which can protect you against heart attacks and strokes that may increase during menopause. Cut back on high fat foods and use sugar and salt in moderation.

- Stay well hydrated and drink more water to overcome fatigue during menopause which can also lead to headaches.

- Make sure you get adequate amounts of calcium to prevent bone loss and to promote bone formation and vitamin D to enhance calcium absorption.

- Consider increasing your intake of protein, vitamin B, vitamin C and iron to prevent hair loss and hair breakage that might result from the drop in hormonal production during menopause.
- Prevent menopausal hot flashes through avoiding common triggers including; caffeine, spicy food, sugar, stress and heat.

- Consider taking hormone replacement medications, but discuss it with your doctor first.

- Keep an eye on your mental health as you are more prawn to the risk of experiencing depression and anxiety during menopause as a result of changes in the hormones levels that affect the production and breakdown of brain chemicals. Consider speaking to your doctor to get the needed support if you are having a tough time dealing with the process.

- Practice stress relief activities like yoga, stretching, deep breathing and meditation to ease your muscle tension.

- Improve your sleep routine by including a regular sleep schedule, avoiding heavy meals at the evening, adjusting light levels and bedroom temperature and avoiding alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.

- Have regular medical check-ups and screenings such as annual pap smears and pelvic exams, monthly self breast exams and mammogram, biannual vitamin D level checkup and bone mineral density tests. You should also follow your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and thyroid.

- Talk to your gynecologist to stay on top of any concerns that you may have regarding your menopause and also to ensure that any of the changes you are experiencing is natural.

5/10/2018 12:20:41 PM
<![CDATA[New Ebola cases confirmed in DR Congo]]>
DRC’s Ministry of Health gathered samples on May 3 from residents of Kinshasa (DRC’s capital and largest city) following reports of some 21 cases showing signs of a hemorrhagic fever in the village of Ikoko Impenge in northwest DRC, including 17 deaths, according to a statement by WHO and Congo's government.

WHO, in cooperation with DRC’s Ministry of Health, immediately scaled up its operations in the country to rapidly respond to this health emergency and stop the disease from spreading. The health organization assigned dedicated staff and resources to tackle the outbreak, building on the model of the successful response to a similar EVD outbreak in 2017. The model included prompt testing of new cases detected by local authorities and immediate notification of results to WHO and the Health Ministry’s team.

In a statement on Tuesday, WHO’s deputy director-general for emergency and preparedness response, said, “Our top priority is to get to Bikoro to work alongside the government and partners to reduce the loss of life and suffering related to this new Ebola virus disease outbreak.” He added, “Working with partners and responding early and in a coordinated way will be vital to containing this deadly disease.”

EVD is fatal in 50 percent of cases if untreated; it is transmitted to humans through contact with wild animals, including bats, and it can also be passed from one person to another through direct contact with bodily fluids or blood, according to WHO. In 2014 alone, the virus claimed the lives of more than 11,000 persons and infected some 28,600 persons across six countries in West Africa. Most people who have become infected with Ebola were living with or caring for ill patients. The first symptoms of EVD include sudden fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and, at an advanced stage, both internal and external bleeding.

A growing concern regarding this deadly disease is related to the fact that it could spread through the air, as one infected person can pass it on to passengers on a flight. Therefore, some countries might issue a travel warning for several countries in Africa to prevent the spread of the disease internationally. The U.S. was the first country to adopt this measure, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued warnings Thursday to avoid nonessential travel to three West African countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to CNN.

WHO, the international Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association are considering passenger screenings in airports as an effort to fight the spread of the disease. In addition, they are working on enhancing the awareness of crew members on EVD symptoms, so that they know what to do if they recognize a case, in addition to developing a response protocol.
5/9/2018 5:46:51 PM
<![CDATA[Learn more about the amazing beauty benefits of egg whites ]]>
If you are a fan of natural products, here are a few tips to incorporate egg whites in your beauty regime.

Egg whites benefits for your skin

Use an egg white mask to smooth and reduce wrinkles and fine lines around your eyes and the corners of your lips. All you need to do is to mix an egg white with a tablespoon of wheat flour and a tablespoon of honey until they form a sandy paste. Apply it on a clean face and leave it until it dries then rinse with warm water. Do not forget to apply a moisturizer.

Mix an egg white with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of honey and apply the mix in a circular movement on a clean face and neck at night before going to bed. Leave it for ten minutes then wash it thoroughly with warm water. Use this mask two times a week and do not forget to apply a moisturizer.

To reduce bags under your eyes, beat an egg white and apply a thin layer under your eye two to three times a week. Leave the mask for ten minutes or until it dries then rinse with lukewarm water. You can use the same mixture to improve your eyelids health, apply a thin layer on your eyelids to reduce skin looseness and to beat the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

To exfoliate your face naturally, mix one egg white with two tablespoons of lemon juice and half a tablespoon of honey and use the mix to exfoliate your face at night once a week. Apply the mask on clean dry skin and leave it for 15 minutes then remove it with warm water. The mix is ideal for removing impurities and spots caused by the sun.

Egg whites benefits for your hair

To improve the texture and volume of oily hair, whisk two egg whites with one tablespoon of olive oil and apply the mask on your hair and ensure that your hair is completely covered in the mixture. Leave it for 20 minutes and then wash your hair with cool water to get rid of the smell. Never use hot water; condition your hair as usual and let it air dry. You can use this mask twice a week.

To promote hair growth, mix two egg whites with two tablespoons of aloe vera gel and apply the mixture to your hair until it is completely covered. Leave the mask on your hair for 30-60 minutes then wash it with lukewarm water and condition your hair as usual. You can use this mask twice a week to boost your scalp health and promote hair growth.

To clean your scalp of excess oils and fight dandruff use egg white and coconut oil as a nutrient-rich mask. Whisk the whites of two eggs with two tablespoons of coconut oil and apply the mixture to moist hair from roots to tips and comb it through your hair. Leave it for 20 minutes then clean your hair with cool water and condition your hair as usual.
5/9/2018 11:50:14 AM
<![CDATA[Her Royal Likeness - Meghan Markle waxwork unveiled before wedding]]>
The wax figure wears a green dress like the one Markle wore on the day her engagement was announced, as well as a replica of her diamond engagement ring, designed for her by Harry.

The wax figure of the prince, originally created to mark his 30th birthday, has been updated with a new beard.

The couple’s waxworks will be accessible to the public the day before their wedding. Madame Tussauds is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, with people queuing to take selfies with wax figures of celebrities past and present.

The museum said visitors named Meghan or Harry would enjoy free entry on the day of the ceremony.

“Excitement ahead of the royal wedding is reaching fever pitch and we have been inundated with questions about when people can finally meet ‘Their Royal Likenesses’,” said Edward Fuller, general manager of Madame Tussauds.

Harry, the 33-year-old grandson of Queen Elizabeth and sixth-in-line to the throne, and Markle, 36, who starred in the U.S. TV legal drama “Suits”, will marry in Windsor on May 19.]]>
5/9/2018 11:31:34 AM
<![CDATA[Goddesses, angels and a pope rock Catholic-inspired Met Gala]]>
Bejeweled crosses, veils and halo-inspired headdresses ruled on the red carpet, dubbed the Oscars of the east Coast for its celebrity guest list and stunning outfits.

From saints to sinners, guests took to heart the 2018 theme of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute ball.

Although some commentators had feared the Catholic theme might yield the most controversial Met Gala ever, most of the actors, models and music stars stayed on the right side of propriety in colors of red, white, gold and black.

Rihanna, one of the Met Gala co-hosts, dressed like a pope, sporting a head-turning, jewel-encrusted mitre with matching mini-dress and a priestly-style cape designed by Maison Margiela.

Katy Perry wowed in enormous, feathered six foot high white wings teamed with a Versace gold mini-dress paired with thigh-high gold boots.

The invitation-only Met Gala is a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and also marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibition.

The 2018 exhibit shows how Catholicism has influenced fashion and designers through the decades and features more than 50 vestments and other religious items direct from the Vatican.

Madonna, a key religious provocateur early in her pop career, turned demure in a black, long-sleeved gown, with a huge gold crown, and a full face veil.

Kim Kardashian, appearing without husband Kanye West, kept it simple in a curve-hugging, gold metallic floor length dress with plunging neckline by Versace.

“Sex and the City” actress Sarah Jessica Parker opted for a gold Dolce & Gabbana gown embroidered with sacred hearts and a towering nativity scene headpiece.

Jennifer Lopez chose a Balmain dress, split to the hip, with a large cross across the breast and a black feathered train.

Model Bella Hadid was among those opting for the darker side of religion, wearing a Chrome Hearts black latex and leather outfit with long black gloves, and a black veil trailing to the floor.

Actors Olivia Munn, Zandaya and Priyanka Chopra went for Crusades-inspired chain-mail outfits, while “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman was among the few men going avant-garde in an ivory cape with gold beaded crosses, an embellished suit, and gold colored shoes.

Other guests chose looks ranging from heavenly white (Dakota Fanning) to angelic yellow (Amanda Seyfried) and skin-baring black lace (Zoe Kravitz).
5/8/2018 12:18:12 PM
<![CDATA[British royal family releases first official photographs of Prince Louis]]>
Louis, who is fifth in line to the British throne, was born on April 23 weighing 8lbs 7oz (3.83 kg).

Both the photographs were taken at Kensington Palace by Kate, the children’s mother and wife of Prince William, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson.

The first photograph, which the palace said was taken on April 26, shows Louis propped up against a white cushion, wearing a white jumper and trousers.

The second photograph, taken on May 2, Charlotte’s third birthday, shows the princess holding her sleeping younger brother affectionately.

Due to a 2013 change in the law, Charlotte is the first British princess for whom the arrival of a younger brother does not mean being demoted down the line of succession.

Palace officials said Louis would not join the rest of his family at the May 19 wedding of his uncle, Prince Harry, to U.S. actress Meghan Markle.
Britain's Princess Charlotte and her brother Prince Louis are seen in this photograph released by Kensington Palace, and taken by Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on Princess Charlotte's third birthday, at Kensington Palace in London, Britain May 2, 2018. Picture taken May 2, 2018. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge/Courtesy of Kensington Palace/Handout via REUTERS
5/7/2018 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Toasting UK royals with a 'Markle Sparkle?' It's an American thing]]>
Looking to give Americans a taste of something they rejected more than 240 years ago, a Washington bar is going with a British royal family theme in honor of the wedding.

“You know, we’re pretty excited as Americans,” said Andy Raibins as he waited in line outside the bar’s photo opportunity room. “You know, we have an American joining the royal family.”

Harry, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and sixth in line to the throne, will tie the knot with Markle on May 19 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years. The couple has attracted large cheering crowds in public appearances since their engagement was announced in November.

The “Royal Wedding Pub,” the latest persona of a bar with ever-shifting themes near Howard University, has been transformed to look like St. George’s Chapel, with vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows.

The makeover, which took “weeks and weeks” to complete, is “the next best thing to actually being there,” boasted Adriana Salame, designer and project manager of the bar, which is owned by The Drink Company.

“You get a little taste of space,” she said.

The crowd of mostly young women sported fascinators, the elegant headwear favored by British royalty, and summer dresses, and posed for pictures with life-size cardboard cut-outs of the soon-to-be newlyweds, the queen, as well as William and Kate, whose 2011 wedding also drew world attention.

Several patrons said they looked up to Los Angeles-born Markle, whose movies include “Horrible Bosses” and who appears in the television series, “Suits.”

“I think she’s a great example of a modern day woman, kind of taking on this very traditional role and really making it her own, and so I really admire her,” said Katlain Borows, who was dressed to resemble Markle.

The drink menu features cocktails with a British twist in ‘Harry and Meghan’ commemorative memorabilia mugs. Four bar tenders shake their stuff to a soundtrack of the Beatles and other British bands, creating specialized cocktails such as ‘When Harry met Meghan’ and ‘American Princess.’

And that ‘Markle Sparkle?’ It actually has real glitter in it, Kelly Horn explained as she took a sip.]]>
5/6/2018 11:32:33 AM
<![CDATA['Harry & Meghan' romance gets the Lifetime TV treatment]]>
In two weeks, the first scripts were written for “Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance,” a dramatization of their courtship that will premiere on May 13 as the jewel in the crown of a week of Lifetime programming ahead of the May 19 royal wedding in England.

Starring Scottish actor Murray Fraser as Harry and American Parisa Fitz-Henley as Markle, the television film is based on known events in the couple’s almost two-year romance, including their appearances together, Markle’s public speeches and entries from her former lifestyle blog The Tig.

It also weaves in imagined scenes, including their first blind date, an argument, a sex scene, Harry’s proposal and events with key members of Britain’s royal family, including the late Princess Diana; Harry’s brother, Prince William; William’s wife; Kate Middleton, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth.

“There is so much drama in the real story we didn’t have to make a lot up,” said co-writer Terrence Coli.

Shot mostly in Toronto, where Markle was based while shooting the TV series “Suits,” the makers say the TV film is motivated by warmth and admiration for the couple. It follows a Lifetime biopic made for the 2011 wedding of William and Kate.

“One of the reasons that we love them so much is because they are a unifying force in a very divisive time,” said co-writer Scarlett Lacey.

Fraser, who had to drop his broad Scottish accent to play Harry, said he did not want to do a mere copycat of the tall, ginger-haired prince.

“I really wanted to see him as a human being who just happens to be a prince,” Fraser said.

Fitz-Henley said she saw Markle as “a really great example of confidence.”

Markle and Harry were not consulted in the making of the film, but the producers say the couple are aware of it and the producers hope they will see it.

“We admire them as a couple, so we hope they watch it and they think it is funny and sweet,” said Michele Weiss, one of the executive producers.]]>
5/5/2018 10:58:43 AM
<![CDATA[Save room for dessert: British royal wedding cake slices to be sold]]>
The five cake slices from royal weddings are expected to fetch hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars each next month as memorabilia at the sale in Las Vegas, Julien’s Auctions said.

But for those looking to play royal taster, there is a word of caution.

“They’re not edible,” Darren Julien, the Los Angeles-based auction house’s chief executive, said ahead of the June 23 sale.

A slice from Charles and Diana’s wedding, presented in a white box with “CD Buckingham Palace 29th July 1981” in silver printing and wrapped in a paper doily, is estimated to fetch $800-$1,200, the auction house said.

“These come from people who attended the wedding and kept them in the freezer the entire time,” Julien said of all the cake slices, adding they have not been preserved by other means.

More than 600 guests have been invited to Harry and Meghan’s May 19 wedding, which will take place at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel, with a further 200 being invited for the reception.

The fruit cake made for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding comes in a tin presented to guests with an enclosure card saluting attendees that said: “With best wishes from TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in celebration of the wedding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.”

It is pegged to sell for $600-$800. Julien’s sold a slice of William and Kate’s cake for $7,500 in 2014.

Other cake slices include Charles’ 2005 wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s 1986 nuptials, which each are estimated to fetch $600-$800.

The piece of royal cake from Princess Anne’s 1973 marriage to her first husband, Captain Mark Philips, is expected to sell for $300-$500.

“It’s kind of hard to throw something out that has been given to you by the royals,” Julien said.]]>
5/4/2018 3:00:05 PM
<![CDATA[Poor diet delays pregnancy, curbs fertility: study]]>
A nearly no-fruit diet compared to one loaded with three or more pieces per day added about two weeks, on average, to the time of conception, researchers reported in the peer-reviewed journal Human Reproduction.

And women who consumed fast foods such as burgers, pizza and deep-fried chicken four or more times a week compared to those who never or rarely touched the stuff took an extra month to become pregnant.

"These findings show that eating a good quality diet that includes fruits and minimising fast food consumption improves fertility and reduces the time it takes to get pregnant," said lead researcher Claire Robers, a professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Earlier research on food and pregnancy has focused mostly on the diet of women diagnosed with, or receiving treatment for, infertility. The impact of maternal diet before conception among women more generally has received scant scientific attention.

To help fill that gap, Roberts and a dozen colleagues in Australia, Britain and New Zealand combed through data gathered through questionnaires by midwives between 2004 and 2011 in all three countries for the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) survey.

Detailed answers given by nearly 5600 women in the early phase of pregnancy focused on what they ate in the months preceeding conception.

All of the women were first-time mothers, and only a relative handful -- 340 -- had received any kind of fertility treatment before becoming pregnant.

The results showed a clear link between the avoidance of fruits or a fondness for fast-food fare, on the one hand, and a longer "time-to-pregnancy" or higher risk of infertility, on the other.

At the extremes, for example, lots of fast food as opposed to none at all increased the risk of not becoming pregnant by 41 percent.

"We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes toward national dietary recommendations for pregnancy," said lead author Jessica Grieger, a researchers at the University of Adelaide.

The results were adjusted to take into account the potentially adverse impact on fertility of advanced maternal age, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Information about the diet of the fathers was not collected.]]>
5/4/2018 6:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Frequent sauna use may cut stroke risk: study]]>
The report in the journal Neurology is the first to assess the relationship between saunas and strokes, and was based on more than 1,600 people who were followed for an average of 15 years.

Those who spent time in the sauna four to seven days a week showed a 61 percent lower risk of having a stroke than people who went just once a week, it said.

A benefit was also apparent for those who took saunas two or three times a week, with a 14 percent lower stroke risk than those who took saunas once per week.

Researchers found the benefits persisted even after adjusting for other factors that could affect stroke risk, including exercise, high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes.

"These results are exciting because they suggest that this activity that people use for relaxation and pleasure may also have beneficial effects on your vascular health," said study author Setor Kunutsor of the University of Bristol.

"Saunas appear to have a blood pressure lowering effect, which may underlie the beneficial effect on stroke risk."

Researchers cautioned that the study was observational in nature. Since it was based on questionnaire answers, it stopped short of proving cause and effect.

Previous studies have linked sauna use to a reduced risk of high blood pressure, dementia and death from cardiovascular disease.

The study enrolled people aged 53 to 74 years in the eastern part of Finland.

Since so few participants never took saunas, researchers could not compare sauna-goers to people who did not use them at all.

In Finland, saunas are so common that many people have them in their homes. Their relative humidity is usually 10-20 percent.

Experts say some people should avoid saunas, including those who recently had a heart attack, those with unstable angina, and elderly people with low blood pressure.]]>
5/3/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Facebook to play cupid in online dating debut]]>
The service, which Facebook had considered offering for over a decade and will launch soon, could help rebuild its popularity among younger consumers and make people visit the site more often, two key challenges for the business.

“There are 200 million people on Facebook that list themselves as single, so clearly there’s something to do here,” Zuckerberg told software developers at Facebook’s annual F8 conference.

Facebook shares rose 1.1 percent to close at $173.86 on the news, which sparked a sell-off of established online dating service providers.

Facebook users have been able to reveal their relationship status on the network since it first went live in February 2004.

Zuckerberg said Facebook was building the dating service with an emphasis on privacy, a sensitive subject for people who use dating websites and for Facebook as the company reels from a scandal over its handling of personal information.

A dating service could increase the time people spend on Facebook and be a “big problem” for competitors such as Match Group Inc, said James Cordwell, an analyst at Atlantic Equities. Match, the owner of popular mobile dating app Tinder and OkCupid, calls itself the “global leader in dating” on its website.

“But the initial functionality looks relatively basic compared to those offered by Match’s services, so the impact Facebook has on the dating space will be down to how well it executes in this area,” Cordwell said.

Facebook said in January that at the end of 2017 time spent by users had fallen by about 50 million hours a day, after changes designed to reduce passive video watching and stem the spread of sensationalism.

Facebook’s entry into the growing online dating market sent shares of industry leaders tumbling.

Match Group Inc shares closed down more than 22 percent. IAC, Match Group’s parent company, dropped more than 17 percent. Sparks Networks, owner of JDate and ChristianMingle, fell 7.3 percent before recovering and closing up 0.8 percent.

A prototype displayed on screens at the F8 conference showed a heart shape at the top-right corner of the Facebook app. Pressing on it will take people to their dating profile if they have set one up.

Potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common and mutual friends, Facebook said in a statement.

The prototype was built around local, in-person events, allowing people to browse other attendees and send them messages.

It did not appear to have a feature to “swipe” left or right on potential matches to signal interest, as Tinder and other established services have. But there were two buttons for “pass” and “interested.”

The optional feature will be for finding long-term relationships, “not just hook-ups,” Zuckerberg said. It will be launched soon, he added, without giving a specific date.

More details will be revealed over the next few months, Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said in a separate presentation.

Cox said he had been thinking about a Facebook dating feature since 2005, when he joined the company about a year after its founding.

The company began seriously considering adding a dating service in 2016, when Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook page a photo of a couple who had met on the network, Cox said.

Thousands of people responded to Zuckerberg’s post with similar stories about meeting partners on Facebook, Cox said. “That’s what got the gears turning,” he said.

People will be able to start a conversation with a potential match by commenting on one of their photos, but for safety reasons that Cox did not specify, the conversations will be text-only, he said. Unsolicited nude photos are a recurring worry on dating services.

Facebook executives were quick to highlight other features for safety and privacy, noting that dating activity would not show up in Facebook’s centerpiece News Feed.

Concerns about privacy on Facebook have grown since the social network’s admission in March that the data of millions of users was wrongly harvested by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Before building Facebook, Zuckerberg created a website called Facemash that allowed people to choose the more attractive of two women. Zuckerberg, 33, has described the website as a school prank when he was young.

A dating service “represents a potentially challenging situation if Facebook can’t fulfill its promise to offer dating services in a privacy-protected and safe way,” said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at eMarketer.

However, “I’m sure it will make good use of the data Facebook has been able to collect about its users,” she added.

Zuckerberg also said on Tuesday that Facebook was building a “clear history” privacy control to delete browsing history, similar to the option of clearing cookies in a browser.
5/2/2018 1:04:51 PM
<![CDATA[How old is 'Big Ben'? The trivia Meghan Markle must know to become British]]>
Markle plans to take the nationality of her new husband after their wedding on May 19 but, like tens of thousands of others wanting to become British every year, she will first have to demonstrate knowledge of some historical facts and obscure trivia that many Britons are oblivious to.

All would-be citizens must pass the “Life in the UK” test by successfully answering 18 out of 24 questions selected from some 3,000 facts, such as knowing the height of the London Eye Ferris wheel and how many lawmakers sit in the Scottish Parliament.

Even many Britons find the questions baffling. In a random survey carried out by Reuters, only 23 out of 41 Britons quizzed could correctly answer questions put to them, and many of those admitted they were guessing.

“I did history at school but some of them are just absolutely stupid,” said chef Tom Poston, 46, after failing a sample test shown to him by Reuters.

“I would have been kicked out, amazing,” said Poston, who lives in London. “I think she’s (Markle) going to have to do a lot of studying because I’m shocked.”

Britain has made the process of becoming a citizen more difficult in recent years as it struggles to cut annual net immigration to less than 100,000. Underlining the sensitivity of that issue, Amber Rudd quit as Home Secretary (interior minister) on Sunday over an immigration scandal.

Becoming a citizen requires a person to have lived in Britain for three years, to have good knowledge of English, to be of sound mind - and to pass the 50 pound ($69) test.

However, the additional requirement of earning a combined income of at least 18,600 pounds should not prove to be too burdensome for a prince of the realm and his new wife.

For many applicants, though, the citizenship test is a major stumbling block. The most recent official figures showed that 133,490 tests were taken in 2016 with 47,312 failures.

“It’s very divorced from what the normal experience is for people,” Thom Brooks, an academic and vocal critic of the test, told Reuters. “It’s the British citizenship test that very few British citizens can pass.”

Brooks, originally from the United States, sat the quiz himself in 2009 before becoming a UK citizen two years later.

“The general view is that it’s a money-making ruse by the Home Office,” said Brooks, adding that one applicant had failed it more than 60 times. “I haven’t really found anyone who found that the test was particularly beneficial for helping them settle in the country.”

Last month, a report by Britain’s House of Lords committee on citizenship agreed with Brooks and called for a review.

“The current test seems to be, and to be regarded as, a barrier to acquiring citizenship rather than a means of creating better citizens,” it said.

Among the possible questions are who opened Britain’s first Indian restaurant (Sake Dean Mahomed), the size of the Lake District natural park in northern England (885 sq miles or 2,292 km), and the age of the famous “Big Ben” bell in parliament’s clock tower (it came into operation in 1859).

Some of those quizzed by Reuters thought Markle might fare better than they had.

“I did terribly,” said retired engineer David Armstrong, 58. “She’s a bright girl, she might get half.”]]>
5/2/2018 11:23:26 AM
<![CDATA[et Tips: How to put up with heat waves]]>
Egypt Today presents a handy guide for staying cool in the hot weather.

1.Love your water!

Drink plenty of fluids; aim to drink a cup of water or your favorite juice every 30 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

To make your boring water taste like heaven, add a slice of lemon or cucumber and mint for a natural flavor.

Reduce your caffeine intake. Skip the next cup of coffee or tea and replace it with decaffeinated iced tea. Caffeine dehydrates your body faster.

2.Go for cooling food

Water is not your only option; drink natural juice and milk or eat fruits and vegetables rich in water.

Enjoy eating watermelon, oranges, grapefruit, leafy vegetables and zucchini.
Avoid using the oven and prepare some refreshing and cooling smoothies as meal replacements. Your smoothies can include coconuts, green apples, cucumber, celery and spinach.

Eat more spicy food; it will make you sweat and hence help your body cool off.

Avoid eating large, fried and oily meals.

3.Dress smart

Choose clothes made of breathable materials like cotton; avoid satin, silk or polyester.

Cover more skin and wear long-sleeved and looser clothes. It is also good to wear a straw hat.

Avoid dark colors like black, and stick to bright and lighter colors like white and creams to reflect the sun’s rays.

Wear open-toe or breathable shoes.

4.Get enough sleep

Follow the footsteps of the ancient Egyptians, who had adopted a very simple and efficient technique to fall asleep easily in hot weather; they soaked their blankets in cold water before going to bed. All you need to do is to soak a sheet or towel in water, then squeeze the water until it is damp but not dripping. Place a wet towel on top of you and sleep tight.

Dip your feet and wrists in cold water before going to sleep.

Place a bowl of ice in front of a blowing fan in your bedroom to make it cooler as the ice melts.

Give your bedding a light misting of water before going to sleep.
5/1/2018 10:59:30 AM
<![CDATA[Foods to avoid if with irritable bowel syndrome]]>
You are more likely to have IBS if you are under 50 year old, if you are a female (the risk is higher for females who have received estrogen therapy before or after menopause), and if you have a family history of IBS. If you have any mental health problems like anxiety or depression, IBS symptoms may be aggravated.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of this disorder vary, but the most common include abdomen cramping and pain usually in the lower half of the belly, belly discomfort, bloating and a belly that sticks out, excess gas, mucus in the stool, and trouble with bowel habits, including diarrhea and/or constipation. These signs and symptoms can be worse at times and disappear completely at other times.

Foods to avoid and others to consume

Diet can have a positive or negative effect on IBS symptoms. Many people have worse IBS symptoms when they eat or drink certain foods or beverages, like foods containing gluten (wheat, barley and rye), dairy products, raw and citrus fruits, beans, high-gas foods like cabbage and cauliflower, carbonated drinks, and caffeine (in coffee, teas and sodas).

On the other hand some, foods and drinks can help relieve the symptoms of IBS, including high-fiber foods, like whole grains, vegetables and nuts that help reduce constipation. It is also important to eat at regular times, not to skip any meals and to eat small meals. Some drinks also help reduce and relieve the abdominal pain and bloating, like anise and peppermint teas.


If the symptoms of IBS are mild, they can often be treated by managing stress and modifying diet and lifestyle. Also, try to avoid foods that trigger the symptoms, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, do not smoke and get enough sleep. In some cases, a doctor might suggest medications like fiber supplements and laxatives to control constipation, or anti-diarrheal medications, anticholinergic medications, tricycle antidepressants and pain medications.


To prevent IBS, ways should be found to deal with stress in order to ease the symptoms. These ways can include visiting a counselor who can help control and manage responses to stress, learning how to relax certain muscles through relaxation exercises, and meditating to help focus on being present in the moment and letting go of worries.
5/1/2018 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Beneath a baobab, Prince Harry and Meghan's love blossomed in Botswana]]>
Harry whisked the American actress away last year for a surprise holiday to celebrate her 36th birthday, hopping between luxury resorts in the sparsely populated southern African country renowned for its stunning wildlife and sweeping vistas.

The trip last August came a year into their relationship and a few months before they got engaged. Their wedding on May 19 is building up to be the social event of the year.

Harry sourced the diamond in Meghan’s engagement ring from Botswana, the world’s biggest producer.

The couple went to Botswana soon after they began dating in July 2016, a trip Harry described in a media interview last year as a “crucial” chance to get to know each other.

Their subsequent visit to the Okavango Delta last August has been kept a tight secret, with Kensington Palace and lodge managers declining to comment. But Reuters spoke to two local insiders who described the romantic escape.

At Mapula Lodge, an isolated $800-a-night retreat that translates as “mother of rain”, Harry and Meghan slept in a traditional thatched cabin with an outdoor shower, their carved wooden bed looking out over a pristine lagoon.

The couple enjoyed a sunset cruise along the creeks that wind through the vast grasslands, stopping to try their hand at fishing. Harry caught a sharped-toothed catfish as he and Meghan shared a joke, one onlooker said.

“They are like regular guys. They were just relaxed,” the person said. “You could see they were very happy together.”

On an early morning game drive, the couple scoured the horizon for the wild animals that are the primary draw for wealthy clients visiting the Okavango, one of the largest inland deltas in the world.

In the most romantic offering at the camp, Harry and Meghan were driven out at twilight to a deserted area of the bush to the foot of an ancient baobab tree where they were served a three-course meal beside a glowing fire.

When they departed, Harry dealt out generous tips and one staff member shed a tear while waving the couple off from the resort’s private airstrip, the sources said.

Botswana is popular with the rich and famous because of the privacy and isolation its top end lodges offer. Other recent visitors include former U.S. President George W. Bush, Saudi princes, Hollywood stars and millionaire footballers.

“They all come to Botswana because it’s still a nice destination to go to where you’re not bothered about paparazzi because you’re far away from anything and everything,” said Eric Muizebelt, manager of the nine-room Mapula Lodge.

“The people from Botswana are not like: ‘I want to have an autograph or a picture’. People can come here and have their complete rest and peacefulness.”

Before venturing into the Delta, Harry and Meghan spent a night at Meno a Kwena - meaning “teeth of the crocodile” - a camp of luxury tents overlooking the Boteti river where guests often hear the roar of lions during the night

Harry brought his then girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, to the same camp in 2007.

“It’s an extremely romantic destination,” said Hennie Rawlinson, owner of Meno a Kwena, where chefs prepare food over an open fire and guests dine al fresco.

“Almost every night we have a spectacular sunset. You find you are the only person in the wilderness.”

Botswana, a country of around 2 million spread over an area the size of France, has always been a place of solace for Harry.

He first visited when he was 13, two months after his mother Princess Diana died, and he has returned several times for leisure and charity work. This year he became a patron of Rhino Conservation Botswana, a long-held passion of his.]]>
4/30/2018 3:12:02 PM
<![CDATA[The Past, Present and Future of FullView Display]]>
HUAWEI P20 Lite is a new smartphone model primarily characterized by its HUAWEI FullView display 2.0, which offers a contemporary look and immersive viewing experience. This is all thanks to Huawei’s continued investment in research and development, which has allowed it to overcome a multitude of technology challenges to realize the latest in beautiful and high-performing FullView design.

Mate 10 to P20 Lite: FullView Display Technology for Everyone

Through its Mate and P Series of devices, Huawei offers smartphones with design benefits for business users, the fashion-conscious and aspiring youth respectively. Each product line has been created to deliver the design and features that its target market wants.

Huawei P20

In the latter half of 2017, bezel-less displays became a major talking point in the industry, driven by consumer demand for bigger screens and more immersive experiences. Huawei responded quickly to meet this demand by launching its first devices to incorporate FullView displays in the HUAWEI Mate 10 and HUAWEI Mate 10 Lite. This marked a tipping point, with FullView displays since growing to become a key selling point for customers, which in turn encouraged Huawei to further develop this technology and integrate it into a wider range of products.

With tailored apps and design features that make the most of its FullView display 2.0, the newly launched HUAWEI P20 Lite offers an even better user experience. But this isn’t the end-point for FullView display – Huawei is continuing to develop this technology to create an expanded range of devices that offer the benefits of bezel-less displays.

Advanced FullView Display = Advanced User Experience

The HUAWEI P20 Lite is much more than a collection of simple hardware upgrades. A multitude of FullView display-specific technologies has been included to provide a more modern, user-friendly style that is ideally suited to the needs of younger consumers.

Huawei P20

The HUAWEI P20 Lite features a smooth, rounded-corner design on the screen area and border edges, which increases the screen-body ratio and matches the device’s rounded-corner design ID. On the surface, this might seem a simple adjustment, but in practice, Huawei overcame significant engineering challenges to achieve it.

Additionally, the HUAWEI P20 Lite has adopted new design features, such as a notch that is just 18mm, a reduction of nearly 50% when compared with the 34.6mm notch on the iPhone X. This results in an overall screen aspect ratio of 19:9 and a screen that can display more at once, making for more immersive viewing experiences when gaming, reading, and watching videos.

As user habits continue towards consuming and creating more multimedia content, consumer demand for bigger screens will grow and vendors will ultimately equip all their products with FullView displays. Huawei’s commitment to staying at the forefront of display technology assures the company and its users a future as big, bright and clear as the FullView display 2.0 on the HUAWEI P20 Lite.
4/30/2018 2:55:44 PM
<![CDATA[Hydrate and protect your skin in the summer]]>
Follow these simple tips this season to avoid all hassle and look fresh and glowing:

1. Wear sunscreen with high SPF

Buy a sunscreen with SPF 50 or SPF 70 and never forget to use it frequently and to re-apply it every two to three hours if you are out in the sun. Remember to apply your sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out. Whenever you can; stay out of midday sun. According to your skin type; you can choose oil-free, gel, matte formulas or chemical free formulas.

2. Never forget your eyes

Wear sunscreen cream for your eyes and try to avoid eye makeup as much as you can in the summer. Also, always wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the heat.

3. Hydrate your body with body lotions and moisturizers

Use light and fast absorbing lotions with smells that makes your never forget to put them on, try fruity lotions like coconut. This will keep your skin hydrated and soft.

4. Protect your skin with makeup

Summer equals natural looks. Opt to using makeup with SPF, whether it is your foundation or face powder. Also, use a lip balm with an SPF of 15 to protect your lips and make them look fresher.

5. Exfoliate your skin regularly

If you do not get rid of dead skin cells, they will make you look dull and dry. For clearer and smoother skin; in addition to regular use of body lotions and moisturizers, always exfoliate. Use a body scrub and gently scrub your body in the shower to remove dead skin and improve moisturizers’ hydration. Try a scrub with the same scent of your body lotion, following circular movements from the shoulders to your finger toes and rinse clean. Apply your body lotion to seal moisture. You can repeat this scrub two to three times every week in the morning. You will need a facial scrub for your face and neck to improve blood circulation to the face.

6. Drink plenty of water

Drink at least eight glasses of water every day; water helps you feel fresh and prevent dehydration while washing out toxins. Your bottle of water is your best friend, keep it with you wherever you go and remember to drink every 30 minutes to fight internal dehydration. Triple your water intake if you drink caffeinated beverages. In addition, use a revitalizing toner spritz at work, in the car or even at the gym to refresh your skin.

7. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits

A well-balanced diet provides your body with necessary nutrients. Focus on foods like fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables as they are high in fluids, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Their high fluid content is absorbed more easily that drinking water.

Extra tip: use intensive hydrating overnight masks twice a week, and layer boosters underneath a moisturizer to even your skin’s porosity.
4/29/2018 12:41:46 PM
<![CDATA[Australia plans Captain Cook monument for anniversary of colonial landing]]>
The feature is to be built at the Botany Bay landing site where crew members of the British ship Endeavour first met Aboriginal people, changing the course of the nation’s history, in time for the 250th anniversary, in 2020.

Not everyone is happy about the Cook memorial in the Pacific nation which has seen recent conflict over whether commemorating the English colonialists is offensive to the country’s indigenous people.

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison stressed that the monument would be inclusive as they launched the memorial’s plan for community consultation on Saturday, saying the site marked a meeting of two cultures.

“This was the first encounter between Europeans and Aboriginal Australians here on the East Coast,” Turnbull said.

“What this offers us is the opportunity to show the view from the ship and the view from the shore.”

Pastor Ray Minniecon, an Aboriginal activist who has helped to organize “Invasion Day” protests on Australia Day, said it was upsetting.

“It’s still an invasion and it’s still an unwanted invasion,” he told Reuters by telephone on Sunday

Cook, best known by his later title as Captain Cook, claimed Australia as a British territory on Aug. 22, 1770, at Possession Island.

British colonization brought Australia into the modern world with a successful economy, new technology, an independent judiciary, a democratic parliament and a documented land-ownership system; but it also dispossessed the tribal first Australian people of their sovereignty.

Australia has had protests in recent years over its colonial past, similar to the furor over Confederate monuments in the United States.

A complaint was made last year over a Captain Cook statue erected in 1879 in Australia’s largest city Sydney, because the engraving on the monument’s base says: “Discovered this territory, 1770”.

Aboriginal people had lived on the continent for an estimated 60,000 years before Cook dropped anchor in Botany Bay.

The statue was vandalized along with those of other prominent early British settlers such as Lachlan Macquarie, the fifth governor of New South Wales.

The prime minister said at the time that calls to replace or modify statues of English colonists, including Captain Cook, were tantamount to a “Stalinist” rewrite of history.]]>
4/29/2018 11:13:19 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi Princess Noura: made to measure fashion ambassador]]>
Princess Noura bint Faisal Al-Saud, the great-granddaughter of Saudi Arabia's founder, was named honorary president of the Arab Fashion Council in December.

The royal, who turns 30 on Sunday, this month oversaw her country's first Arab Fashion Week, headlined by Jean Paul Gaultier and Roberto Cavalli.

With a shayla headscarf draped over her hair, the princess is warm, welcoming and eloquent, the exact image that fans have hailed as the future of Saudi Arabia and critics have dismissed as little more than window dressing in one of the most restrictive countries in the world.

"Absolutely I understand people's perspective," Princess Noura told AFP in an interview in Riyadh. "Saudi Arabia has strong ties with its culture. As a Saudi woman, I respect my culture, I respect my religion.

"Wearing the abaya or being if you would like to call it conservative in the way we dress is something that is part of who we are. It's part of our culture ... this is how our life is, even while travelling," she said.

Saudi Arabia has witnessed rapid policy change since the June appointment of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, son of the king and heir to his throne.

From this summer, women will be allowed to drive in the kingdom. The crown prince has also hinted that the abaya, the neck-to-toe robe worn by women, may no longer be compulsory.

- 'Safe couture' -

The first Saudi Arabian edition of Arab Fashion Week opened on April 11, two weeks behind schedule, under the eye of Princess Noura.

Organised by the Arab Fashion Council, the event drew international attention both as a watershed in Saudi Arabia and for its controversial configuration, which saw the shows restricted to women -- and banned to cameras.

The lineup included Saudi Arabia's own Arwa Banawi, whose The Suitable Woman range is adored by fashionistas across the region, and Mashael Alrajhi, the eponymous gender-inclusive label of a rarely seen Saudi sheikha.

Princess Noura said the limited access was "part of the restrictions that we have to follow as part of the culture. It was a women-only event and some women are coming to the event -- most of them, I would say -- feeling safe.

"I'm coming to see fashion without having to worry about anyone taking my picture. I want to enjoy it."

Pictures of the event were taken by the fashion council's photographers and released after the approval of Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority.

- 'Fashion for everyone' -

The princess graduated from Tokyo's Rikkyo University with a Masters degree in International Business with a Japanese Perspective.

She cites her time in Japan as a major influence on her approach to fashion, business and people at home.

"That's where the whole love of fashion started," she said. "So I think I bring back a lot of Japan to Saudi ... The respect of others, the respect of other people's culture, of other people's religion."

The cultural influence of Asia is visible in Riyadh, where the crossover between the kimono and abaya is growing in popularity among fashion-loving youth.

Ready-couture, the halfway point between haute-couture and ready-to-wear, has also skyrocketed in the region with the rise of social media and influencers, and Saudi Arabia has an eye on that market -- as a future manufacturing hub.

"Couture is no longer affordable to a lot of people," said Princess Noura. "It was something that was part of fashion and still is ... but these days people are focusing even more on ready-to-wear which is something that everyone can indulge in, everyone can wear, everyone can be part of."

The princess also has her eye on introducing textile manufacturing to Saudi Arabia, which is seeking to reduce the economy's dependence on oil.

"Even if it's just 10 percent of the production line, or the manufacturing line, we can have the finishing ... the last stages of assembly in Saudi Arabia," she said.

"I believe that we can do something great."]]>
4/28/2018 2:19:30 PM
<![CDATA[Prince Louis: British royals William and Kate name their baby]]>
The prince, who is fifth in line to the British throne, will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge, Kensington Palace said on Friday.

Prince Louis, the third child for William and Kate, was born at 1001 GMT on April 23 weighing 8 lbs 7oz.

Kensington Palace declined to speculate on the significance of the names though Louis is William’s fourth name as well as being that of Lord Mountbatten, to whom William’s father Prince Charles was particularly close.

Charles, the heir to the throne, once said Mountbatten was “the grandfather I never had”.

Mountbatten, who was known as “Dickie” by close friends, was the uncle of Prince Philip, 96, Queen Elizabeth’s husband and great-grandfather of the new prince. Mountbatten was killed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) who detonated a bomb on his boat in 1979.

The birth of the new prince has provided a welcome distraction for many in Britain where Brexit and political turmoil has dominated the headlines since the 2016 shock vote to leave the European Union.

Louis joins siblings Charlotte, 2, and George, 4, in the growing royal family, and the queen, Philip, Charles, and his wife, Camilla have all expressed delighted with the birth of the monarch’s sixth great-grandchild.

“It is a great joy to have another grandchild, the only trouble is I don’t know how I am going to keep up with them,” Charles said.

The name was a surprise, with the bookies’ favorites having been Albert, Arthur, Alexander, James and Philip. The betting odds indicated just a 5 percent chance of Louis.

Such was the excitement at the arrival of a new royal baby that Blackpool Zoo named a newly born double-humped Bactrian camel calf as Louis to honor the new prince.

A zoo spokeswoman said the camel’s name was simply Louis though some were already calling the camel “Prince Louis”.]]>
4/28/2018 1:30:58 PM
<![CDATA[Earth Day: What does it really mean to Egyptians?]]>
Egyptians are becoming more aware of the importance of this special occasion. Students gather together and paint pavements, and children are encouraged to water plants and clean public parks and gardens. Many people volunteer willingly, as it creates a very special experience for them and the younger generations.

The Nile River in Aswan - Egypt TodayKareem Abdulkareem
The Nile River in Aswan - Egypt Today/ Kareem Abdulkareem

In Hurghada, for example, an NGO organizes clean ups of the city and beaches, not only on that specific day, but throughout the year. This initiative encourages other entities, such as schools, foundations, universities and governmental entities, to participate on that special day and contribute each in their own unique way.

The American University in Cairo (AUC) takes that event very seriously every year, encouraging many positive activities, such as saving water and recycling within and outside the university campus.

On the other hand, Cairo American College (CAC) committed a whole week, arranging different activities and artwork for its students to participate in. The college planned a program in which students could adopt a tree and plant it at their home or school for a tiny sum of money.

The University of Alexandria also participated on that special day by organizing an event called “A drop of water can save your life”. In this initiative, the university encourages its students and professors to save water and only use as much water as a person may need. Water is a very precious resource and should never be taken for granted.

Qanater Gardens - Egypt TodayKareem Abdulkareem
Qanater Gardens - Egypt Today/ Kareem Abdulkareem

Moreover, on the level of governmental entities, the Ministry of Agriculture and many others made sure different activities and initiatives are taken to raise awareness within the Egyptian community about Earth Day. Different programs are applied in several governorates in Egypt.

In Port Said, clean-ups around the city are organized by an online website (www.PortSaid-online.com). The same activities are being held in Port Foad and Montaza Park.

Also, medical entities such as the Red Crescent foundation organized activities for that great day. A workshop, designed specifically for children, was held to encourage children to become creative and paint drawings regarding the earth and nature. These types of workshops raise children’s awareness at an early age.

Qanater Gardens in Monufia Governorate - Egypt TodayKareem Abdulkareem
Qanater Gardens in Monufia Governorate - Egypt Today/ Kareem Abdulkareem

In global terms, Google, the giant search engine, did not let that day pass quietly either. This was made possible in affiliation with Jane Gödel, an activist in wildlife and animal rights who dedicated her life defending their case and claiming their rights. Google, along with Gödel, designed Google’s banner specifically for that occasion, to further raise awareness about Earth Day globally.

Earth Day was founded by Gaylord Nelson almost 50 years ago. The event quickly spread around the world.

4/26/2018 4:58:20 PM
<![CDATA[Factbox: Commoners who have married into royal families]]>
Markle, 36, follows the likes of Kate Middleton, who married Harry’s elder brother William in 2011, and another American actress Grace Kelly who gave up her Hollywood career to become wife of Prince Rainier III of Monaco.

Here are some recent marriages involving royals and commoners:

Hollywood icon Grace Kelly, star of films such as “To Catch a Thief” and “Dial M for Murder”, retired from her acting career to marry Rainier, the sovereign of the principality, on April 18, 1956 after the pair met at the Cannes Film Festival a year earlier.

Kelly died in a car crash in 1982 and Rainier died in 2005.

Japan’s Princess Takako Suga, the youngest daughter of Japanese Emperor Hirohito, married financial analyst Hisanaga Shimazu in Tokyo in 1960.

She gave up her imperial title and relinquished her status to be a commoner, adopting her husband’s name to become Takako Shimazu.

American socialite Hope Cooke married Palden Thondup Namgyal, Crown Prince of Sikkim, on March 20, 1963. She went on a summer trip to India and met him in 1959 in the lounge of the Windamere Hotel in Darjeeling. He was a recent widower with two sons and a daughter and was nearly twice Cooke’s age.

She renounced her American citizenship after the marriage and Namgyal later ceased to be king after the region was absorbed as a state of India in 1975.

Sonja Haraldsen dated then-Crown Prince Harald of Norway for years before he told his father King Olav V he would never marry anyone but her, putting the throne in jeopardy as Harald was the sole heir.

They wed on Aug. 29, 1968, after King Olaf consulted the government and allowed the engagement.

Queen Silvia of Sweden was working as an educational host at the 1972 Olympics in Munich when she met the then-Crown Prince Carl Gustaf. She married the now King on June 19, 1976.


Doctor’s daughter Rania Al-Yassin, born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, met Jordan’s Crown Prince Abdullah II at a dinner party. She studied in Cairo, and worked for Citibank and Apple in Jordan. The couple married in 1993 and Abdullah assumed the throne in 1999.

Masenate Mohato Seeiso was the first commoner to marry into the Royal Family of Lesotho. She married King Letsie III in Maseru on Feb. 18, 2000.


Norwegian commoner and single mother, Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby, married Crown Prince Haakon of Norway on Aug. 25, 2001. They had met at a music festival in the late 1990s.


Maxima Zorreguieta, a former investment banker from Argentina, met Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander in April 1999 in Seville, Spain, during the city’s Spring Fair. Her father had served as Argentina’s Minister of Agriculture during the violent regime of General Jorge Rafael Videla.

They married on Feb. 2, 2002, and became King and Queen of the Netherlands in 2013 after Willem-Alexander’s mother Queen Beatrix abdicated. Maxima was the first Dutch queen consort since 1890.

Australian Mary Donaldson met Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark at the Slip Inn during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. They married in Copenhagen on May 14, 2014.

Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano was a divorced journalist and well-known news anchor before marrying Spain’s Prince Felipe on May 22, 2004. She became Spain’s first commoner queen in June, 2014, when her husband was sworn in as king.

Ortiz, daughter of a journalist and a nurse and the granddaughter of a taxi-driver, dated Felipe in secret before their engagement was announced in November 2003. They met at a dinner organized by a journalist friend.


Prince Joachim, fourth-in-line to the Danish throne, met French-born Marie Agathe Odile Cavallier at a private hunt in 2002. In 2005, Joachim divorced his Hong Kong-born wife Alexandra, with whom he has two sons, by mutual consent.

The prince proposed to Cavallier while they were on vacation in Turkey, and the pair married in May 2008, at a tradition-steeped ceremony in an ancient church in the tiny village of Moegeltoender. Cavallier became known as Her Royal Highness Princess Marie.

Tatiana Blatnik, born in Caracas, Venezuela, and raised in Switzerland, was an event planner for Diane von Furstenberg before marrying Prince Nikolaos, son of Greece’s deposed King Constantine, in 2010.

The couple married in a lavish wedding ceremony on the island of Spetses.


Charlene Lynette Wittstock was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in January 1978. She competed for South Africa at the 2000 Olympics before marrying Prince Albert II of Monaco on July 1, 2011.

The couple began dating in 2006 and married in an opulent ceremony in Monte Carlo attended by European royalty and the international elite. Prince Albert is the son of Grace Kelly.

Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck married young commoner Jetsun Pema in October 2011.

Jetsun Pema was just 21, when she married the 31-year-old Oxford University-educated king. She is viewed as a style icon across much of Asia and gave birth to their first son, the crown prince, in February 2016.

Sofia Hellqvist was a model and reality TV star before she became Princess of Sweden when she married Prince Carl Phillip on June 13, 2015

Kate Middleton, whose father is a pilot and mother an air stewardess who later set up a mail order business, met Britain’s Prince William while at St Andrews University in Scotland in 2001. They married on April 29, 2011, with Kate becoming the first commoner in more than 350 years to wed a prince in such close proximity to the British throne.
4/26/2018 1:42:57 PM
<![CDATA[World Malaria Day: Prevention tips for travelers]]>
Some countries carry a greater malaria risk than others, so for those who might be traveling, we round up some facts on the illness, and advice on how you can reduce the risk of contracting malaria and stay safe.

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. However, it is both preventable and curable.

In 2016, there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries.
Although malaria was eradicated from the United States in the 1950s, around 1,700 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the country each year. The majority of cases are found in recent travelers and immigrants returning from countries where malaria transmission occurs.

Travelers to sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have the greatest risk of contracting malaria, however all travelers to countries where malaria is present may be at risk for infection.

Before traveling, check your itinerary for all possible destinations to see if malaria transmission occurs in these locations. You can also check the Malaria Information by Country Table for more detailed information.

Contact a health professional to see how at risk you are for malaria, which will be based in part on your destination(s) as well as types of accommodation, the season and health conditions, such as pregnancy.

Based on this risk assessment, you can then plan which malaria prevention interventions to use, such as using insect repellents or insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent mosquito bites, or taking antimalarial drugs. Again, travelers should consult their physician to find out more, especially as recommendations and the availability of antimalarial drugs vary from country to country.

Although malaria interventions reduce your risk, none are 100 percent effective, so it is useful to know the symptoms of malaria so you can treat it quickly. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness, sometimes up to one year after returning home, and you will need to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any symptoms. Left untreated, individuals can develop more severe complications and malaria can be fatal.

Also remember that even if you followed all health advice and did not contract malaria, you may not be able to donate blood if you have recently traveled to a place where malaria transmission occurs.
4/25/2018 2:01:52 PM
<![CDATA[China's Lisu aim to save crossbow culture]]>
For Zhang and many other Lisu, a mostly Christian minority who inhabit the border region, the crossbow is an indispensable part of their culture dating back to 200 BC.

In a country that often bans the sale of kitchen knives during political summits, it’s still normal to see ethnic Lisu openly carrying the weapon in public.

Despite a decades-old hunting ban, law enforcement remains lax and Zhang and his friends still hunt birds and rodents for sport. Before the ban, Lisu hunters traditionally went for larger game such as bears and wild boar.

Lisu technically must have a crossbow license, which are regulated by district crossbow associations.

As more young people move to urban areas for work, Cha Hairong, head of the Liuku Township Crossbow Association of Lushui city, fears the crossbow is dying out.

Cha wants to preserve the tradition by promoting crossbow shooting as a sport and attract new enthusiasts far beyond the Nu River Valley.

“Our people’s crossbow culture must enter the National Games of China. It must enter the Asian Games. It must enter the Olympic Games! So that people all over world will understand our people’s culture,” said Cha.

The Lushui government has said it is committed to the preservation of the crossbow culture.

Crossbow tournaments offering cash prizes have been held in recent years in a bid to boost interest in the sport.

Some competitors simply enjoy the camaraderie at these events.

“This is just a time where we come here to chat and tell stories,” said Zuo Zhenfu, 27, who attended a crossbow tournament in late March.
4/25/2018 1:23:03 PM
<![CDATA[All dolled up for Britain's royal wedding]]>
Now she is selling to royal fans worldwide dolls dressed in outfits she designed and made that she thinks Prince Harry and his biracial bride might wear when they walk down the aisle at Windsor Castle in England on May 19.

Lee, 64, said that growing up as a black woman she had no royals to look up to.

“Fifty years ago, when I was a little girl of color, there were never princesses we saw, even though they existed. We didn’t see them. Meghan Markle opens up a whole world. She represents an empowered woman, an attractive woman, a smart woman,” the New Jersey computer scientist told Reuters Television.

Lee admits that Markle’s wedding dress is a well-kept secret and that her hand-sewn designs for the dolls are guesses at best.

”If you look at a lot of her outfits, she’s very trendy. I didn’t think she would be wearing a lot of poofy things. She seems to be more sophisticated. So I just kept mine an A-line design with lace,” she said.

Lee already had a line of dolls wearing historical outfits, as well as versions of pop culture characters like Elsa from the animated movie “Frozen,” that are sold on her “History Wearz” shop on e-commerce website Etsy.

“What inspired me to create my Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was seeing their (engagement) interview. I just thought them to be so sweet and in love,” said Lee.

Her Harry doll is dressed in a black Royal Marines dress uniform that the British prince has been seen wearing on formal occasions.

Lee’s 18-inch (45-cm) Prince Harry and Meghan Markle dolls retail for $89 each or $149 a pair. Lee already has sold a couple dozen of pairs to buyers in the United States, Britain and Japan, and she hopes to sell about 200 pairs this year.

Her designs for the Markle doll will not stop after the wedding.

“All her outfits I will be able to recreate and sell to my clients who’ve already purchased my dolls, who want her outfits, or who have other dolls,” she said.
4/24/2018 2:14:02 PM
<![CDATA[Coachella fashion edit ]]>
The headliners for 2018 were Beyoncé and Eminem who performed during the first and last weekends.

Every year the festival releases new boho inspired special outfits, hairstyles and makeup trends from the celebrities attending. This year the combat boots which have been trending since fall were spotted on Gigi Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, Joan Smalls, and Romee Strijd while being matched with denim shorts and cargo pants.

The beauty looks took a turn for the glittery (like every year) and every summer, at Coachella this year the flower crowns were combined with glitter.

We have gathered the best beauty and fashion trends that made us wish that we were parting in the desert:


4/23/2018 3:36:57 PM
<![CDATA[It's a boy: Kate, wife of UK's Prince William, gives birth to third child]]>
Kensington Palace said the baby was born at 1001 GMT and weighs 8 lbs 7oz (3.9 kg). William was present for the birth at St Mary’s Hospital in west London where their other two children, George and Charlotte, were also born, it added.

“The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news,” Kensington Palace said.

“Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.”

The new prince is Queen Elizabeth’s sixth great-grandchild and fifth-in-line to the British throne behind siblings George, 4, his two-year-old sister Charlotte, their father William, and grandfather and heir Prince Charles.

A 2013 change to the law means the boy will not supplant his older sister Charlotte in the line of succession. Before that change younger males would take precedence over older female siblings.

“That would in fact be the first time that has ever happened,” royal historian Hugo Vickers said.

William’s younger brother Harry, who marries U.S. actress Meghan Markle next month, falls to sixth on the list.

Kensington Palace said the name of the new royal would be announced in due course. Bookmakers have made Albert, Arthur, Jack and Fred the favourite names for a boy.

In keeping with tradition, the official announcement of the birth will be made by placing a notice on an easel in the forecourt of the queen’s London home, Buckingham Palace.

William and Kate met as students at St Andrews University in Scotland. They got married in a pageant-packed ceremony at Westminster Abbey in April 2011 and have since become well-known across the global stage.

The couple now live at Kensington Palace and last year William gave up his day job as an air ambulance pilot to concentrate full time on royal duties on behalf of his grandmother, having faced some criticism from British newspapers who dubbed him “workshy Wills”.

He has been determined to play a hands-on role in bringing up his children while also protecting their privacy, an issue close to his heart after the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in a 1997 Paris car crash as her limousine sped away from chasing paparazzi.

“I think he takes on a lot more engagements than he used to,” said royal biographer Claudia Joseph.

“But compared to members of the general public who have full-time jobs, he still has some time off to look after the children, to give them their baths, to put them to bed and I think he’ll continue to do that,” Joseph said.

The British royals are rarely out of the media glare, but the baby arrives at a time when the Windsors have particularly been in the limelight.

On Saturday William joined the queen and other senior royals, with the exception of Kate, as the monarch celebrated her 92nd birthday at a televised concert.

The queen also played a prominent role at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London last week, where it was announced that Charles would succeed her as head of the network of mainly former British colonies.

William and Kate’s wedding and the birth of Prince George, who is destined to be a future king, generated a worldwide media frenzy. While interest in their third child has been more muted, large numbers of photographers and broadcasters massed outside the hospital, along with some dedicated royal fans.

“We’ve been camped here outside the hospital for 15 days,” said John Loughrey, 63, from south London, who was wearing a Union Jack onesie and hat and holding a baby doll adorned with a crown that said ‘feed me mummy’ every few seconds.

“We’ve been coming out doing this for 21 years. We were here for George and Charlotte and we’ll be there for the royal wedding too,” he said, referring to Harry and Meghan Markle.

However, not everyone in Britain is so enamoured.

“The arrival of a new prince or princess highlights the unfairness of the hereditary principle – for the millions of children told they’ll never be good enough and for the baby whose life has been predetermined,” anti-monarchist group Republic said.

“The absurd media speculation ignores these serious questions while showing us the kind of intrusion the royal baby can expect for the rest of its life.”

The birth will give Kate’s own family another cause for celebration after it was reported by British media on Sunday that her sister Pippa was pregnant with her first child.

However, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday congratulated Prince William and his wife Kate on the birth of a boy.

Kensington Palace said the baby was born at 1001 GMT and weighs 8 lbs 7oz (3.8 kg). William was present for the birth at St Mary's Hospital in west London where their other two children, George and Charlotte, were also born, it added.

"My warmest congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their baby boy," May said. "I wish them great happiness for the future."]]>
4/23/2018 2:55:56 PM
<![CDATA[Fashion and the environment, an uncomfortable fit for McCartney]]>
McCartney, known for her understated designs and refusal to use fur or leather in her work, said that while demand for garments and shows had soared thanks to growing middle classes around the world, methods had stagnated.

“If you think about how much fashion there is, whether it be luxury or fast, it is sort of swamping the planet,” she told the BBC on Friday.

“We have been relying on an industry that is essentially medieval. It really is an amazing moment we are living in ... (with) change on everything, on energy, on architecture, this is the moment to look to the future for our children.”

McCartney, daughter of the Beatles’ Paul McCartney, was speaking ahead of the launch of an exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum on Saturday called “Fashioned from Nature”.

The exhibit demonstrates fashion’s history of plundering the environment for product and the attempts by designers to try and modernize, recycle and use different methods to ease the burden.

Pheasant feather hats from the 1940s sit alongside loud, multicolored trousers made from surplus yarn and a leather jacket produced with off cuts off material.

McCartney said designers needed to adopt cleaner methods.

“In fashion we only use about 10 materials, I’m trying to challenge that,” the London-born designer said.

“I’m trying to look at technology, I’m trying to grow silk in a lab, I’m trying to use dying in a whole new way and I don’t think you can tell the difference. It is science, but it is sexy science.”

Textile production was responsible for 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, according to a 2017 report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, more than the combined total of all international flights and maritime shipping.

The MacArthur report, which McCartney co-launched last year, said a lack of recycling meant around $500 billion was lost every year, while clothes released 500,000 tonnes of microfibers into the world’s oceans, equivalent to 50 billion plastic bottles.]]>
4/22/2018 12:13:20 PM
<![CDATA[Shadow-boxing tough guy should protect home-alone Japanese women]]>
The image is nothing more than a projected shadow but one that a Japanese apartment management company hopes will help protect and reassure women living by themselves.

Still in the prototype stage, “Man on the Curtain” uses a smartphone connected to a projector to throw a moving shadow of a man doing various energetic activities onto a curtain.

Customers can choose from a dozen different scenarios that show their man boxing, doing karate and even swinging a baseball bat.

To mix things up a bit, the man can calm down and do more mundane things like get dressed, chill out with a guitar or even do some vacuuming around the flat.

The system was developed for security at buildings run by Leopalace21 Corp,, said Keiichi Nakamura, manager of the firm’s advertising department.

Queries from the public prompted the company to think bigger and consider offering it for sale. But some people have had doubts about how effective it might be, said Nakamura.

In particular, criminals might sooner or later work out that a “man behind the curtain” who spends his whole time shadow boxing, actually means a woman is alone inside.

“If projecting a shadow makes a woman an easy target by showing criminals there’s nobody home, that would put the cart before the horse,” he said.

“So we’d like to commercialize it once we add variety, such as releasing a new video every day.”]]>
4/21/2018 12:58:13 PM
<![CDATA[Makeup courses for blind Brazilian women boost self-image]]>
Blind women are being taught makeup techniques and even how to put on false eyelashes in courses given by a Sao Paulo beauty salon, and it works wonders for their self-esteem.

“People say why do you put on makeup if you can’t see it. But I am so happy that I can do it confidently now,” said Ana Paula de Camargo, a 30-year-old housewife, as she asked the instructor to photograph her.

The free courses held at the Laramara association for blind people on the west side of Sao Paulo are offered by the Jacques Janine salon to help women overcome the challenges of doing their own makeup. Braille dots on the cosmetics allow them to find the shadow colors and brushes they need.

Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 6.56.40 PM
Blind women talk after their cosmetics class set up to help boost self-esteem at the Lamara association in Sao Paolo, Brazil, April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Not having to depend on someone else for their makeup and losing the fear of doing it wrong was awesome, said Alexandra da Silva, 47, as she put on violet lipstick.

“Who says I can’t see my face? Maybe not like other people. But I imagine my face and I believe I am beautiful,” said Maria Mirian Callange, a 44-year-old accupuncturist with failing vision. “Now I can increase my beauty.”

Reporting by Pablo Garcia and Nacho Doce; Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

4/20/2018 7:04:17 PM
<![CDATA[Brick-throwing China zoo-goers kill kangaroo, injure another]]>
A 12-year-old female kangaroo suffered a severely injured foot when it was struck by bricks and concrete chunks on February 28 at the Fuzhou Zoo in Fujian province, China Central Television reported.

The kangaroo died days later and an examination by a veterinarian revealed that the cause of death was likely a ruptured kidney caused by being struck by the projectiles.

A few weeks later, a five-year-old male kangaroo at the same zoo was slightly injured in a similar way, said the report posted on the network's website late on Thursday.

The report included pictures of the first kangaroo's smashed and nearly severed foot, and of the animal receiving treatment via intravenous drip before it died.

Visitors to the zoo were known to try to provoke the Australia marsupials to get them to display their signature hopping mode of locomotion using their powerful hind legs.

The report did not mention whether anyone was punished over the matter, but it said the dead female would be stuffed and put on display and the zoo would look to install security cameras to deter visitors from harming animals in future.

China's lightly regulated zoos and wildlife parks often make news for the wrong reasons, typically involving abysmal conditions in which animals are kept or insensitive actions by visitors in a country where the notion of animal rights is not deeply ingrained.

Among recent examples, horrified visitors to an animal park in eastern China's Jiangsu province last June watched as tigers killed a donkey that was released into their enclosure by investors angry over a business dispute related to the zoo, according to media reports.

A few months earlier, a zoo visitor died after he was mauled by tigers whose enclosure he entered in the city of Ningbo, south of Shanghai.]]>
4/20/2018 11:08:44 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to host 4th Miss Eco International pageant]]>
The finale night is scheduled to take place on Apr. 27 at the Cairo Opera House, where reigning queen, Canada’s Amber Bernachi, Miss Eco International 2017 is going to crown her successor and hand over her reign.

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-18 at 5.33.34 PM (1)
Competitors of Miss Eco International pageant are posing for a photo in front of Giza Pyramids on Wednesday April 18, 2018

Miss Eco International pageant started in 2015 by Egyptian entrepreneur Amaal Rezk, when Patricia Peklar of Slovenia bet 14 other candidates and was crowned as the first ever Miss Eco International pageant winner. Since its inception, the pageant has been going strong and is ready to step into its 4th ceremony.

The main objectives of Miss Eco International are to promote the importance of saving our planet environmentally and market tourism across the world. This competition focuses on the wellness of the mind, body and spirit of all candidates, who come from countries the world over.

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-18 at 5.33.34 PM (2)Competitors of Miss Eco International pageant are posing for a photo in front of Giza Pyramids on Wednesday April 18, 2018

Head of the Egyptian Tourist Authority Ahmed Youssef, one of those hosting the pageant, stressed on the pageant’s importance in promoting the touristic attractions, whether through the Eco International potential queens or the media outlets that will cover the pageant.

During their stay in Egypt, the candidates are expected to travel to four cities: Cairo, Marsa Alam, Alexandria and Luxor.
4/19/2018 4:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Famed UK royal biographer says Diana would approve of Meghan]]>
Like Diana’s union to heir-to the-throne Prince Charles in 1981, Markle and Harry’s wedding next month has captivated the world’s media and drawn inevitable comparisons between the two.

And there are indeed many similarities, said Andrew Morton whose explosive book about Diana in 1992 first blew apart the myth of a fairytale marriage and who has now penned “Meghan: A Hollywood Princess”, a biography of the new royal-to-be.

“Diana died at 36, Meghan comes into the scene at 36. In a way she’s picked up Diana’s baton - she’s both elegant, she’s glamorous and also she’s a humanitarian,” he told Reuters.

“So Diana would have very much have approved of Meghan and seen that kind of working of fate almost.”

Morton’s biography of Diana was an international best-seller, revealing her union with Prince Charles was broken beyond repair and that she had suffered eating disorders and been driven to suicide attempts by the misery of her life with Charles.

After her death in a Paris car crash in 1997, Morton revealed she had been his prime source and had smuggled tape recordings out of the palace to him.

In his latest book about Markle, which he describes as a snapshot, saying a fuller picture would probably emerge in 10 years’ time, he has had to rely on those who knew her growing up in California where he conveniently has a home, some family members and colleagues as well as people who work at the palace.

“I still have my ins there,” he said.

Extracts from the book include how Ninaki Priddy, a childhood friend of Markle said the actress had been fascinated by the royal family. “She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0,” Priddy is quoted as saying.

It’s not a description Morton shares.

“Her friend was rather exaggerating,” he said. “I think Meghan wants to be Meghan 1.0, that is to say known for being Meghan not for being in the shadow of somebody else.”

That is not to say she was unaware of Harry’s mother, who was described as the world’s most photographed woman before her death.

“She certainly knew about Diana, she watched the funeral, she was very affected by it, she and her friends collected toys to give to needy children in response,” Morton said.

In a TV interview given after their engagement was announced last November, Harry said Markle and his mother would have been best friends and as “thick as thieves”, disclosing that the ring he gave his fiancee and which he designed contained diamonds from jewelry once owned by Diana.


Extracts from Morton’s book published in the media have given the impression of Markle as a social climber who has turned her back on friends and even on her first husband in a quest for fame and success, even sending her wedding ring back in the mail.

“Some people have fallen out with her, some people adore her,” said Morton, who has also penned biographies of actor Tom Cruise, singer Madonna and Monica Lewinsky, The White House intern whose affair with Bill Clinton almost toppled the U.S. president.

“As people who’ve read the book say, she’s emerged with her halo relatively intact.”

Whereas Diana famously found adapting to royal life incredibly difficult, Morton thinks Markle will find the change much simpler. Being photographed on red carpets had prepared her for the royal walkabouts and meeting the public.

“I think the royal family has changed. I think the impact of Diana has been to make the royal family more accessible both inside and outside Buckingham Palace,” he said.

“Here is a woman who is camera-ready, not camera-shy, a woman who is very confident who is very assertive, who took control of the engagement interview for example.”

However, he suggests some royal protocol will be hard to get used to.

“This is a girl who was a gender equality advocate for the United Nations having to bow and courtesy to the queen and even Kate Middleton (wife of Harry’s elder brother William) in private occasions,” he said.

“I think Meghan will cope but she will find some of the flummery difficult to bear.”]]>
4/19/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[‘My Arms are a Red Line’: New Egyptian innovation for breast cancer patients]]>
After breast cancer patients undergo surgeries to remove tumors, doctors often warn them that the arm adjacent to the treated breast is at risk of becoming deformed. That arm, is not to be pressured or used negligently, as is often the case. Thus, the bracelet acts as a warning to sign to help others identify the problem and avoid it.

The innovation is catching fire in Egyptian society after being turned into a humane initiative titled "My Arm is a Red Line”. Nour explains to Egypt Today that her idea was based on creating a bracelet with a specific color for breast cancer patients, to be worn on the risked arm.

"As part of the protocol of such a surgery, it is strictly forbidden to carry heavy weights with that arm, and the arm should not be exposed to any possible wounds. The patient must not wear anything tight or any ornaments on that arm, in addition to not taking any blood samples from it either. For example, if a patient fainted in the street and was in a state of severe exhaustion and had to be admitted to a hospital, who would alert the nurses that this lady suffers from breast cancer, which might save one of her infected arms from having blood samples taken from it? The bracelet would,” Nour explains.

"My Arm is a Red Line", why?

“About a month ago I had a situation and I was having my last operation, and that situation almost caused my arm to become permanently handicapped. This is due to the fact that many people don't know that I have breast cancer. The situation happened after serum and a cannula were inserted in the arm next to the breast that was operated in. No one asked me which arm was the healthy one. After having a mastectomy there is a big list of forbidden things for the adjacent arm like getting wounded, burnt, measuring blood pressure, taking an injection, wearing tight clothes or carrying heavy weight. If these rules are not followed and the arm is wrongly used, the patient can easily contract a lividema; the infected arm swells and looks like an elephant's leg, and cannot be treated. The arm remains deformed forever,” Nour clarifies.

Nour elaborates on the matter further. She adds that due to exposure to radiation, the armpit basically swells. This happens because the lymph nodes and glands are removed, and their function is to remove excess fluid from the arm. “Sometimes the swelling is mild, in the first degree. The water collects under the skin and may be mild, but some other times it may be violent. The second degree is severe swelling; the tissue beneath the skin is thicker because in this case it is a mixture of water and proteins that could not be discharged from under the armpit to the circulatory system. The third degree is the hardest one and the tissue is dry under the skin and there is fibrosis as a result of all this swelling and there is not yet a cure for this.”

An anti-rust copper bracelet

Nour has ensured that her bracelet is long-lasting, and durable. The bracelet is rust-resistant, made of copper and plated either in silver or gold. This helps render the bracelet accessible to everyone and their colors are specific and harmless and do not react with the skin so as not to cause allergies.

“Nurses and doctors can then recognize the condition of the patient by seeing this bracelet. This innovation is mainstreamed in all governorates of Egypt, and all government and private hospitals, and cancer institutes and are at nominal prices to benefit both rich and poor,” Nour states.

The bracelet is for men too

“The initiative is not just about women, as men are can develop breast cancer as well," she explains. For every 100 women, there is one man infected, but many men are unaware of their injury. A thing which always leads to late discovery. Therefore, it should be warned that if a small block is felt under the armpit, they must consult with the competent physician in order to do the necessary tests,” Nour affirms.

Her bracelet is also available for men.
4/18/2018 3:50:26 PM
<![CDATA[Back hygge for happiness: Danes seek UNESCO recognition]]>
The Danish word hygge, which encompasses a mood and atmosphere of cosiness and comfort, has spread internationally in recent years. Many people credit it for Denmark’s top rankings in global surveys of wellbeing.

The Visit Denmark tourist campaign said on Wednesday that the country would make the application to UNESCO. If it is successful, UNESCO will recognize hygge as intangible cultural heritage alongside practices and traditions such as Belgium’s beer culture and the ancient Indian practice of yoga.

“With increasing societal pressures and the growing importance of wellbeing, hygge’s emphasis on togetherness and equality can have real and tangible benefits,” Meik Wiking, founder and CEO of The Happiness Research Institute, and a backer of the bid, said.

UNESCO lists not only monuments and works of art but also social practices, traditions and rituals.]]>
4/18/2018 3:00:38 PM
<![CDATA[Pasta, as part of a healthy diet, not tied to weight gain]]>
Although pasta is made from refined grains, it’s low on the glycemic index, a measure of how quickly a person’s blood sugar levels rise after a food is eaten, the authors write in BMJ Open.

They analyzed data from 32 previous trials that compared eating pasta as part of a diet based on other low-glycemic foods versus eating a high-glycemic diet without pasta. The researchers found that people lost more weight on the low-glycemic diet with pasta, and that pasta itself did not cause weight gain or increases in body fat.

“We work in the areas of carbohydrate quality, doing randomized trials on glycemic index and plant-based diets that are higher in carbohydrates,” said senior study author John Sievenpiper. “And we’re seeing a lot of anti-carbohydrate sentiment and a real attack on carbohydrates, in particular a lot of the staples, like rice and bread and pasta.

“So we wanted to test the question, ‘Does (pasta) have an adverse effect as suggested by the headlines and blog posts, and some of the expert opinions that you once find both in social and conventional media on this?’,” said Sievenpiper, a nutrition researcher at the University of Toronto.

The trials included in the review and analysis included a total of 2,448 participants, all overweight or obese, who were followed for at least 12 weeks, and in some cases up to 24 weeks. In addition to tracking weight, many of the trials assessed body fat as reflected by waist circumference, waist-hip ratio and body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight relative to height.

Overall, the study team found that people who ate low-glycemic-index diets with pasta did not gain weight. Rather, they lost 0.63 kilograms (1.39 pounds) more than those on the high-glycemic diets without pasta. There was also a slight decline in BMI with the low-glycemic diet, but no other measures of body fat changed.

The researchers also separately analyzed the 11 trials where pasta serving sizes and number were measured. They found those participants who ate an average of about three half-cup servings of pasta per week lost about 0.70 kg (1.54 lb) more than those who ate higher-glycemic diets.

“In the context of weight, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, in this case, a low-glycemic-index diet, (eating pasta) won’t sabotage or undo your goals and may even help you achieve them in terms of your weight,” Sievenpiper said in a telephone interview.

“I want to say, it’s almost quite ironic, in that pasta is an example - and there’s not too many - of a processed food and a highly refined carbohydrate, that has a low glycemic index, precisely because of it’s processing,” he added.

When flour and water are mixed then allowed to dry, it makes the starch less digestible, so it has a slower absorption rate and thus causes a slower and lower rise in blood glucose, Sievenpiper said.

The analysis is limited by the fact that the study team couldn’t find any studies that examined pasta alone, but only as part of an overall dietary pattern. They recommend that future studies also look at pasta’s role within other types of healthy diets, such as the Mediterranean diet.

Sandra Arevalo, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator for Montefiore Health System in New York who wasn’t involved in the analysis noted that the study did not differentiate between whole wheat and white pastas.

“Whole grains are always a better food choice because of the higher content of dietary fiber that helps to improve the function of the digestive system, helps to clean the inside of the body, helps with satiety and thus weight loss and to control blood sugars,” she said in an email.

“A healthy diet includes whole grains that cover a quarter (1/4) of our plate in each meal. When eating refined grains such as white rice, pasta or bread, we shouldn’t exceed this portion size either, but eat them no more than two or three times per week.”

Some sauces that are commonly added to pasta, such as carbonara and Alfredo are made with cream, butter, milk and other rich ingredients which, although they can taste really good, add hidden calories and fat, Arevalo noted.
4/17/2018 1:08:58 PM
<![CDATA[You too can support women to breastfeed anytime, anywhere]]>
According to the WebMD, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first six months gain the right amount of weight as they grow rather than becoming overweight or diabetic and they go to the hospital less frequently. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also highlight that breastfeeding plays a role in preventing sudden infant death syndrome.

As for the mother, breastfeeding helps in losing the pregnancy weight faster as you burn calories while you breastfeed. It also reduces the risk of breast cancer and helps in releasing the hormone oxytocin that helps the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size.
Despite knowing these facts, sometimes mothers choose not to breastfeed for a group of reasons but mainly it is because they do not feel comfortable to breastfeed in public and due to lack of support.

Earlier this week the United Nations Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) issued a ten-step guidance to increase support for breastfeeding. The two organizations explained that breastfeeding during the first two years of a newborn life can save more than 820,000 children under the age of five annually.

The recently issued guidance is part of the “Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative” that both organizations launched in 1991 and it aims to encourage new moms to breastfeed while informing health worker how best to support these moms.

The Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta H. Fore, said in a press release issued by the organization that,”breastfeeding saves lives. Its benefits help keep babies healthy in their first days and will last into adulthood. But breastfeeding requires support, encouragement and guidance. With these basic steps, implemented properly, we can significantly improve breastfeeding rates around the world and give children the best possible start in life."

The guidance provides examples and ideas of how people around mothers can provide them with the necessary support to promote breastfeeding.

Photo 1 what employers can do
Examples of how employers can support breastfeeding mothers – courtesy of WHO

Photo 2 what law makers can do
Examples of how law makers can support breastfeeding mothers - courtesy of WHO

photo 3 what can be done in the workplace
Examples of what can be done in the workplace to support breastfeeding mothers - courtesy of WHO

photo 4 what co-workers can do
Examples of what co-workers can do to support breastfeeding mothers – courtesy of WHO

Photo 5 what mums can do
Examples of what mums can do to ease their breastfeeding experience – courtesy of WHO

photo 6 what fathers can do
Examples of what fathers can do to ease their breastfeeding wives – courtesy of WHO

photo 7 what family and friends can do
Examples of how family and friends can support breastfeeding women – courtesy of WHO
4/16/2018 4:12:20 PM
<![CDATA[Google launches free program to develop digital skills in Arab world]]>
Events of the launch of ‘Maharat min Google’ - press photo/ Dubai/ Yousef Ayoub

The online platform – g.co/Maharat – has 100 lessons across 26 core topics in digital marketing, including: search engine marketing, social media, video, e-Commerce, geo-targeting, and data analytics, among others. Google will provide a certificate upon completion of the full course, which takes about nine hours to complete.

“We’re delighted to be bringing ‘Maharat Min Google’ to the Middle East and North Africa – our contribution to the future of the workforce in MENA. This program is free of charge, available in Arabic and accessible on any platform. ‘Maharat Min Google’ draws on our 20-year history of building products, platforms, and services that connect people and businesses, helping them grow and succeed online. We know how valuable digital tools are to MENA’s future and we at Google are proud to be an engine supporting their growth,” said Matt Brittin, Google’s president of business operations across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Events of the launch of ‘Maharat min Google’ - press photo/ Dubai/ Yousef Ayoub

Google also announced at the launch event that Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, is granting $1 million to INJAZ Al-Arab, a regional nonprofit organization, which will roll out in-person training to 100,000 students across 14 countries in the MENA region. The program will focus on youth development in underprivileged and rural areas.

Events of the launch of ‘Maharat min Google’ - press photo/ Dubai/ Yousef Ayoub

Akef Aqrabawi, CEO of INJAZ Al-Arab, said: “We are very happy with Google’s support to offer digital literacy skills across the MENA region and to expand the reach of a program like ‘Maharat min Google’. We share a common vision with Google and want to support the Arab youth, especially those in rural areas and underprivileged communities, in preparing them for future job opportunities and in empowering them to become successful entrepreneurs.”

Google also signed an agreement with the Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (MiSK), which will conduct in-person training with more than 100,000 students across Saudi Arabia. Both collaborations, with Injaz and MISK, will target 50 percent female participation. Google is looking for further local partnerships across the region with governments, universities, private-sector businesses and nonprofits to expand the reach of its ‘Maharat min Google’ program.

In a recent study by the World Economic Forum, 1 in 5 jobs in the Arab world will require digital skills that aren’t widely available today. 51% of the youth consider unemployment their biggest concern and only 38% believe their education gives them the skills they need to enter the workforce. In the MENA region, there are 30 million women educated, connected and of working age, which represents the largest economic opportunity in the region today. More than 50% of university graduates are female, yet only 25% participate in the workforce.

Events of the launch of ‘Maharat min Google’ - press photo/ Dubai/ Yousef Ayoub

Events of the launch of ‘Maharat min Google’ - press photo/ Dubai/ Yousef Ayoub

Events of the launch of ‘Maharat min Google’ - press photo/ Dubai/ Yousef Ayoub ]]>
4/16/2018 11:10:36 AM
<![CDATA[In daytime discos, South Korea's elderly find escape from anxiety]]>
Kim Sa-gyu, 85, calls it his “playground.”

“What else would I do all day? My family is busy with work. I hate going to senior centers cause all they do there is smoking,” said Kim, wearing a beret as he sat on a bench at the edge of a dance floor decorated with fairy lights and mirror balls.

Seven days a week, he gets up at 5 a.m., has breakfast with his son and two grandchildren, gets an hour of massage therapy to relieve knee pain, then hops on a bus. His destination is the daytime disco for the elderly in New Hyundai Core.

Kim, who has been jobless since retiring as a hospital administer 20 years ago, is among about 1,000 customers each weekday at the disco, called a colatec. It is one of nearly 1,000 such facilities around the country.

Almost 2,000 people visit on a weekend day, said owner Choi Jung-eun.

Colatecs, a portmanteau of cola and discotheque, have arisen to serve South Korea’s rapidly aging population, as a growing number of lonely, impoverished and ailing people rediscover ways to entertain themselves after decades of hard work.

Some are here because they simply don’t feel welcome at home.

“My wife yaps at me for breathing if I stay home. I love this music and no one minds me here,” a grey-haired man who identified himself only as ‘white boots’ said, after paying an entrance fee of 1,000 won (90 cents) - a fraction of what swanky clubs in Seoul’s affluent Gangnam charge their youthful clientele.

Well-dressed patrons can pay another 500 won for coat-check service. And despite the name, the disco’s best-selling beverage is 2,000 won probiotic yogurt, not cola.

(For a graphic on Poverty rate by age groups in South Korea click tmsnrt.rs/2qqn1iR)

The generation that helped rebuild Asia’s fourth-largest economy from the ruins of the 1950-1953 Korean War is now the poorest and most depressed among member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The relative poverty rate of South Korea’s elderly stood at 49.6 percent in 2013, four times the OECD average, according to the latest available data. The elderly suicide rate rose from 35 per 100,000 persons in 2000 to 82 in 2010, also far above the OECD average of 22.

South Korea is aging faster than any other developed country, yet there are few post-retirement jobs, or even cheap leisure, available for the elderly.

By 2050, there will be 71 people aged 65 and over for every 100 people aged 15-64 in South Korea, up from just 17.3 per 100 in 2014, according to OECD forecasts. That will make it the third-oldest country in the world about wealthy nations, behind Japan and Spain.

Heading to a colatec is now they only way many senior citizens can find room to breathe, several customers told Reuters.

Kim In-gil, still haunted by painful memories related to his failed businesses during the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, says two hours of dancing four times a week helps rid him of “suicidal thoughts” from time to time.

“If you have music and a partner, you can put all other thoughts out of your mind,” Kim said as beads of sweat dripped off his nose.

(For a graphic on South Korea's aging population in the OECD click tmsnrt.rs/2qrHEv8)

Colatecs began to spring up in the late 1990s as a no-alcohol dancing club for teens, but soon started to attract the elderly as their main customers.

Jitterbug instructor Song-ah’s online videos about how to dance at a colatec sparked interests after she appeared in a TV commercial for insurer LINA’s pension products.

A cable TV channel offering dancing tutorials for the elderly, called Silver-I, is also popular.

At the New Hyundai Core colatec, a dance instructor walked around the dance hall searching for dancers who looked lost or lonely. Three full-time matchmaking ladies helped dancers who were too shy to find a partner.

“Those helpers sometimes take me to new woman and put our hands together to dance. I buy them a bottle of Will during our tea breaks,” the 85-year-old Kim said, referring to the in-house cafe’s best-selling drink, a local probiotic yogurt.

Song-ah, the jitterbug dance instructor, says she is always on the lookout for dating-related elder fraud at colatecs.

“Sometimes I see young cougars in their 50s asking really old grandpas out for a dance. I report them to the owner and separate them,” she said, adding that lonely seniors can be taken advantage of by strangers.

But for the most part, colatecs do more good than harm, says Joo Won, an economist at the Hyundai Research Institute.

“We have one unhappy aging society that needs support both from the public and the government. Places like colatecs need to be nurtured,” Joo said.

Choi, the owner of New Hyundai Core colatec, said her business made her feel good too.

“My take from running this place is knowing that these old people have a place to go to when they wake up. They can’t afford to go travel abroad or play golf every day,” Choi said.

She added that she had some senior-friendly expansion plans.

“I also plan to open a acupuncture clinic upstairs, so that my customers can take care of their joints before and after dancing,” she said.]]>
4/16/2018 11:03:28 AM
<![CDATA[4 reasons why your hair and skin love carrots]]>
Here are four reasons why your skin and hair will be much happier if you eat more carrots:

1- It will make your skin glow
As it is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, carrots can make your skin a lot healthier.
Mix some carrots with honey, and you have got yourself a perfect mask for natural glowy skin.

2- It is a natural anti-aging solution
Vitamin C in carrots helps restore collagen in your skin naturally. Vitamin A also prevents wrinkles; rich in antioxidants, it attacks free radicals to avoid developing any wrinkles.

3- It saves you from unsolicited dry skin
Some of us have a deficiency in potassium, which may lead to dry skin. Carrots are actually full of potassium, thus drinking a daily cup of carrot juice is your secret for an all-time hydrated skin.

4- It is the secret for healthier hair
Rich in vitamin A, carrots will make your hair stronger, longer and thicker. Carrots help in improving blood circulation, which will give your hair the look of healthy 20s and prevent the growth of grey hair.

Not only are carrots amazing for your beauty, but for your overall health as well; carrots are rich in alphacarotene and bioflavonoid, which can reduce the risk of lung and breast cancer. They contain a lot of antioxidants, along with Vitamin C, which also boosts your immune system. And of course, carrots strengthen your vision, just like our mothers always said.

On April 4 of every year, the world celebrates the international day of carrots, with the main aim to spread knowledge about carrots and their many benefits. Carrot parties and festivities are held in many countries. You can check carrotday.com for more information.
4/15/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Riyadh hosts Fashion for first time ]]>

When the Dubai-based Arab Fashion Council (AFC), which organized the event, launched its regional office in Riyadh, with the appointment of Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud as honorary president, it was a milestone for the kingdom, as fashion is known to be an instrument for female empowerment and self-expression. Princess Noura explained to Vogue Arabia the power of fashion, saying, “A woman can be beautiful and strong, and all these values can be expressed through a personal sense of fashion and style.”

She continued, “With more women traveling and becoming more exposed, I see Saudi women finding their own fashion sense. They are becoming more confident and bold in their fashion choices, and giving their own personal touch that is very Saudi – and I love that.”

The reception area of the fashion week was open to men and cameras, but only women were permitted at catwalk events, where no abayas were featured and outside photography was barred, according to Reuters.

Layla Issa Abouzeid, AFC’s Saudi Arabia director, told Reuters that she “hopes the event will bring revenue into the kingdom and highlight local talent.”

She went on to explain, “[When] people go to Paris during the Paris Fashion Week, the hotels are completely booked,” adding, “I want to create the same demand in Saudi Arabia – twice a year. I want to create a platform for the local designers to go worldwide.”

The Arab Fashion Council is a not-for-profit organization that was established in London in 2014 with the license of the International Extraterritorial Authority to develop and regulate the fashion industry in the 22 Arab countries.

4/14/2018 12:17:45 PM
<![CDATA[Japanese engineer builds giant robot to realize 'Gundam' dream]]>
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Sakakibara Kikai's engineer Go Sakakibara poses with the bipedal robot Mononofu during its demonstration at its factory in Shinto Village, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Developed at Sakakibara Kikai, a maker of farming machinery, LW-Mononofu is an 8.5-meter (28-feet) tall, two-legged robot weighing in at more than 7 tonnes. It contains a cockpit with monitors and levers for the pilot to control the robot’s arms and legs.

“I think this can be turned into a business opportunity,” Nagumo, 44, told Reuters, noting the popularity of the iconic series that has spawned movies, manga, video games and more.

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Sakakibara Kikai's engineer Go Sakakibara poses with the bipedal robot Mononofu during its demonstration at its factory in Shinto Village, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Sakakibara Kikai has developed other robots and amusement machines alongside its main agriculture equipment business and rents them out for about 100,000 yen ($930) an hour, for kids’ birthday parties and other entertainment, he said.

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Sakakibara Kikai's engineer Go Sakakibara poses with the bipedal robot Mononofu during its demonstration at its factory in Shinto Village, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The company has created robots as varied as the 3.4-metre tall Landwalker, the smaller Kid’s Walker Cyclops and the MechBoxer boxing machine - but the mighty Mononofu towers over them all and executes more complex movements.

It can move its fingers and turn its upper body, and walk forward and backward. It is no speedster, however, moving at less than 1 km per hour.

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Sakakibara Kikai's engineer Go Sakakibara poses with the bipedal robot Mononofu during its demonstration at its factory in Shinto Village, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

But what it lacks in pace, it makes up for with power: the bazooka-like air gun on its right arm shoots sponge balls at around 140 kph (87 miles per hour).

“As an anime-inspired robot that one can ride, I think this is the biggest in the world,” said Nagumo.

Mononofu, however, might be a bit too large: it is unable to leave the factory without being dismantled because it was built taller than the entrance.

Reporting by Megumi Lim; Writing by Chris Gallagher

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Sakakibara Kikai's engineer Go Sakakibara poses with the bipedal robot Mononofu during its demonstration at its factory in Shinto Village, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
4/13/2018 5:43:19 PM
<![CDATA[Mary, Alice and Victoria are bookies' favorites for UK royal baby name]]>
The baby will take his or her place in the line of succession after grandfather Prince Charles, father William and elder siblings George and Charlotte.

Kate is widely expected to go into labor this month, just a few weeks before the marriage of William’s brother Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle on May 19.

The most popular name is Mary at 3/1, followed by Alice on 6/1 and Victoria on 8/1, William Hill said. For a boy, the leading bets are Albert, Arthur and Fred or Frederick, all on 12/1.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison]]>
4/13/2018 5:34:25 PM
<![CDATA[Fashionably late: Saudi Arabia hosts its first-ever fashion week]]>
Prized by buyers as much for their artistry as utility, carpets are still a chief export of the impoverished nation, but their share has shrunk to six percent from 27 percent within less than a decade.

War, poverty and the transport constraints of a landlocked country have shredded sales for an industry that experts say dates back at least 2,500 years. Legend holds that Alexander the Great sent a carpet from the area to his mother.

At a factory in Kabul, the capital, women weave on looms while men in dust-masks sort heaps of wool.

“We have invited a lot (of buyers),” said Diljam Manan Qassimy, a manager at the factory, Afghanistan Rugs and Carpet Center.

“But they say, ‘No, it is impossible to come, because of the blood and security problems.’ This is the sad tragedy.”

Violence has surged in Kabul, with attacks in the last year ranging from a truck bomb that killed at least 80 people and an ambulance bomb that killed 100, to a hotel raid that killed 20.

Carpets ranked fourth among Afghanistan’s legal exports at $38 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year, its Central Statistics Organization says. More than 85 percent went to Pakistan.

The export figure dropped by more than half from $89.5 million a year earlier. That in turn was a plunge from more peaceful times eight years earlier, when exports stood at $150 million.

Sales prospects are no brighter at home, as few Afghans can afford carpets that cost between $70 and $250 per square meter, outstripping the average monthly income.

Reliance on Pakistan and its seaports leaves Afghan sellers vulnerable to frequent border control changes over the neighbors’ mutual accusations of failing to rein in cross-border militant attacks.

Last year, a major border crossing at Torkham closed for 40 days, Qassimy said.

Traders from Pakistan can earn a premium ranging from 10 percent to 15 percent by buying Afghan carpets and re-exporting them, said Pervez Hussain, who owns a Pakistani retailer, Afghan Carpets.

“People don’t go to Afghanistan, and their washing methods are not that good, so the carpets come to Pakistan and are washed here and are exported from here,” he said.

Both countries’ industries benefit by working together, he added.

“There are a lot of big Afghan traders who are in Pakistan and they export directly from here,” he said.

Qassimy’s Kabul factory has found ways to sell carpets to Australian, British and German buyers by opening showrooms in those countries. But his costs for air transport are triple those of a typical Pakistani vendor, who can use his country’s seaports instead.

The disparity keeps margins tight, forcing him to charge higher prices and pay workers lower wages, Qassimy said.

The industry spans many Arabic and Asian nations. But most Afghan carpets, best-known for their dark red color, are hand-woven in dense knot patterns, and last longer than machine-made rugs using synthetic materials.

Ali Reza, 35, weaves at home, sharing 8,000 Afghani ($116) with three artisans for a carpet that takes a month to complete.

“It’s really difficult to meet the needs of your family with such amount,” he said.

In Kabul’s famed Chicken Street market, carpet merchant Ehsan, who goes by one name, has seen a steady decline in foreign shoppers.

“Ten years ago, business was good, eight years ago OK,” he said. “The last two years, it stopped.”

On sale in his Istalif Gallery are carpets hand-woven from sheep or camel wool, printed with elephant feet symbols or flowers. Some are 50 years old.

“Before, it was two, three, five sales every day. Now, every week maybe it’s one,” Ehsan said. “Nobody comes here, because of security.”

In Afghanistan’s latest effort to revive its carpet industry, the commerce ministry is preparing a plan to cut air transport costs to India and Dubai, offer financial help and boost marketing, ministry official Ahmad Zia SaydKhaili said.

An initiative announced in January will speed export customs procedures at Kabul airport.

Since buyers cannot risk coming to Afghanistan, boosting exports will be critical, Qassimy said.

“We can take our carpets there, and this market will be famous.”]]>
4/12/2018 2:44:04 PM
<![CDATA[Cycling in Jeddah: Saudi women embrace change]]>
“They told me, ‘What will you do with it in Jeddah, hang it on the wall?’” she laughed, referring to her hometown on the Red Sea coast.

Riding in public was unthinkable at the time in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom, where religious police patrolled public spaces to enforce modest dress, bans on music and alcohol, prayer-time store closures and the mixing of unrelated men and women.

Fast forward three years and Amirah is riding regularly on the seaside corniche, alone or with her husband and children.

On the bike, the 30-year-old wears an abaya, the loose-fitting, full-length robe symbolic of religious faith and still required public dress for Saudi women.

But instead of traditional black, she chooses from a range of pastels she designed herself, trimmed with lace and sporting patches of bright colors.

2018-04-09T130117Z_347636450_RC1795ED0DB0_RTRMADP_3_SAUDI-WOMAN (1)
Amirah al-Turkistani, a graphic design lecturer at Jeddah International College, wears a garment she designed as she plays with her son Dani at their home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Reem Baeshen SEARCH "BAESHEN WOMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.

“Jeddah today isn’t the same as Jeddah five, six years ago,” she said. “The scrutiny on clothes (has eased), there’s more places to go, working opportunities for women are the same as for men.”

Saudi Arabia, which for decades seemed irreparably stuck in the past, is now changing by the day.

Under a reform program aimed at modernizing the kingdom and transforming its economy away from oil, 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has eased social restrictions, clipping the wings of the religious police, sponsoring public concerts and ending a nearly 40-year ban on commercial cinemas.

The government has also announced plans to allow women to drive cars starting this summer, and Amirah is raring to hit the road.

“It’s not like I want to drive just because I want to drive,” she said. “It’s a need.”

The mother of two has a full-time job teaching graphic design at Jeddah International College and freelances on the side. Selling her homemade abayas brings her fulfillment and a little extra income.

Fluent in English, Arabic and Turkish and trained in ballet, Amirah is part of a young generation of Saudi women seizing new opportunities in spite of a guardianship system that still requires women to have a male relative’s approval for certain key decisions like traveling abroad.

In her spare time, she does yoga and trains at a Crossfit studio.

Yet she realizes that not all women in this country of 32 million have the same opportunities. Tribal customs, domineering male relatives and lingering religious conservatism keep many Saudi women from accessing basic rights.

“She can be (modern) but her family isn’t. She can be like this but her husband doesn’t allow it,” said Amirah, who believes some people still oppose the new reforms.

“There’s a change, that’s true, but I’m talking about something very miniscule,” she said. “I don’t know about other places, other cities. I’m just talking about Jeddah.”
4/10/2018 11:26:03 AM
<![CDATA[Box Office: 'A Quiet Place' Sounds Off With Huge $50 Million Debut]]>
Paramount Pictures' thriller directed by John Krasinski soared past estimates to a massive $50.3 million opening in 3,508 theaters. That's enough to land it the second highest domestic opening of the year to date behind "Black Panther," which opened in February with $202 million. Since its debut at South by Southwest, "A Quiet Place" has garnered rave reviews. It currently holds an solid 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with a B+ CinemaScore.

"This much bigger than expected debut comes in an era of ongoing popularity for the horror genre that in North America alone last year generated over $1 billion in box office," Paul Dergarabedian, a media analyst at comScore, said.

Paramount's president of domestic distribution Kyle Davies, attributed the film's success to positive word of mouth following SXSW.

"There was a lot of momentum going into the weekend that never stopped," Davies said. "John Krasinski has emerged as an incredible filmmaker with a story that's simple, but has clearly resonated with audiences." At No. 2, Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" made $25 million in 4,234 locations in its second weekend, bringing its total domestic grosses up to $97 million. The Warner Bros.' film has been a strong contender overseas, where it has made $294.4 million.

Another weekend release, "Blockers," secured third place at the box office. Universal's raunchy R-rated comedy -- directed by Kay Cannon and starring John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz -- released in line with projections for an impressive $21.4 million debut in 3,379 theaters. "Blockers" has been another buzzy title from SXSW, earning an 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes along with a B CinemaScore.

"We could not be more pleased with the result this weekend," Universal's head of distribution Jim Orr said. "Kay Cannon and her directorial debut knocked it out of the park. It really overperformed." Meanwhile, the eighth frame of "Black Panther" landed at No. 4 with $8.8 million in 2,747 locations. Domestically, the Marvel film earned $665.4 million, making it the third-biggest release of all time behind "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Avatar." Globally, "Black Panther" has grossed $1.29 billion.

Rounding out the top five is Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions' "I Can Only Imagine," with $8.4 million in 2,894 theaters. The faith-based film has been a force at the box office, making $69 million in four weeks.

Two other newcomers, "Chappaquiddick" and "The Miracle Season" premiered slightly above estimates. Entertainment Studios' "Chappaquiddick" opened with $5.9 million at 1,560 locations, while LD Entertainment's "The Miracle Season" saw $4 million at 1,707 locations.

While the 2018 box office is down 2.1 percent compared to 2017, this weekend is up 35 percent compared to the same weekend last year.]]>
4/9/2018 1:48:03 AM
<![CDATA[Ekhrestos Anesti, Alisos Anesti: Holy Saturday greetings]]>
Holy Saturday, or Easter Eve, is one of the most important holy days for Egyptian Christians. Holy Saturday is the name given to the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Some Christians recognize Holy Saturday, the seventh day of Holy Week, during which Christians prepare for Easter.

It commemorates the day that Jesus' body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell.

The head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and patriarch of the Saint Mark Episcopate and all Copts, said that it is known as the Feast of Passover, meaning passing from darkness to light. This is the night before the Resurrection Liturgy, the Apocalypse Night, where they enter the church in darkness and conclude with holy liturgy on Bright Saturday in the light.

On Easter Eve, or Holy Saturday, which falls this year on April 7, many churches hold services that are held as an official celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it is marked by the use of a wax candle.

Egyptian women, both Muslims and Christians, used to commemorate the day by putting “kohl” (oriental black eyeliner in the form of powder) in their eyelids.

4/7/2018 10:01:05 PM
<![CDATA[A dream comes true-Sarajevo cable car runs again after 26 years]]>
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The Trebevic cable car is seen above the city of Sarajevo during a test drive following the restoration of the line after 26 years, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 4, 2018. Picture taken April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

The brand new gondola brought joy to young and old alike and not least to Offermann, a wealthy Dutch-born American businessman and philanthropist who was a driving force behind the restoration project.

“This is a special feeling,” Offermann told Reuters aboard the cable car, peering down at the rugged, sometimes snow-capped scenery around and trying to recognize places he remembered from his last ride up in 1991, just before the war broke out.

“I am thrilled with this whole experience. I thought in 1998, when I first visited Sarajevo after the war, that a cable car had to come back.”

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The Trebevic cable car is seen above the city of Sarajevo during a test drive following the restoration of the line after 26 years, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 4, 2018. Picture taken April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

The cable car first went into operation nearly 60 years ago, ranking Sarajevo among the few cities where one could reach pine forests in just 10 minutes from an urban city center.

But during the 1992-95 war, when nationalist Serb forces besieged Sarajevo, often with artillery fire from the slopes of Trebevic, the once favored destination for recreation turned into a source of fear and terror.

For years after the war, fear of lingering land mines and a lack of usable roads meant that few Sarajevans dared to return to Trebevic for the walks, picnics and winter sports they enjoyed before the conflict. Trebevic, in fact, was the venue for the bobsleigh course in the 1984 Winter Olympics.

But more recently, after the last mines were removed, roads rebuilt, and new hotels, restaurants and a leisure park opened, demand for a restoration of the cable car surged.

On Friday, scores of people queued to ride up the mountain.

“This cable car was opened in 1959, when I was born, so both of us are of the same age,” joked Jasmin Geljo, a Bosnian actor who now lives in Canada. “I am so glad it will run again and people will experience what my generation and others did - to have in just 10 minutes the whole city lying beneath your feet.”

New York-based Offermann’s Sarajevo-born wife inspired him to do something for Sarajevo’s recovery from the war, and in 2008 he began looking into how to resurrect its famed cable car.

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The Trebevic cable car is seen above the city of Sarajevo during a test drive following the restoration of the line after 26 years, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 4, 2018. Picture taken April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

In 2012, with funding from the Swiss Embassy in Bosnia, he organized the transport of a dismantled cable car from Switzerland to Sarajevo and offered his own donation of $4 million to reassemble and launch it. But city authorities expressed little interest at the time and the project stalled.

Only after the election of Mayor Abdulah Skaka last year was the project dusted off and Offermann’s donation snapped up, according to his wife, Maja Serdarevic Offermann.

“I can’t believe this is happening, it took us an eternity,” she said, rejoicing at seeing the cable car running again just as during her childhood when it would have whisked her whole family up Mount Trebevic for a picnic.

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The Trebevic cable car is seen above the city of Sarajevo during a test drive following the restoration of the line after 26 years, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 4, 2018. Picture taken April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Skaka, 34, who grew up during the war in the vicinity of the cable car’s starting station, said the project became a priority for him after he took office and fulfilled a childhood dream.

“This is a great day for the city of Sarajevo,” Skaka said at the opening ceremony. “We have renovated the last destroyed symbol of Sarajevo. We are removing an invisible border line today. This is a monument to love.”

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Ivana Sekularac and Mark Heinrich
4/7/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Potholes as flower pots? Brussels protester brightens up damaged roads]]>
Armed with a bag full of flowers, soil and a small plastic watering can, Anton Schuurmans walks around town planting daffodils or geraniums in every pothole he finds, sometimes braving heavy traffic to reach the middle of busy crossings.

“Pedestrians, bicycles, people with their cars, everybody is being annoyed by these potholes,” said 29-year-old Schuurmans, standing outside Brussels’ gothic cathedral, where he had just planted several flowers.

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Brussels resident Anton Schuurmans waters flowers after planting them in an unrepaired pothole to draw attention to the bad state of public roads in Brussels, Belgium April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

People stopped and took pictures on their phones as they walked by the flowers, many agreeing that the potholes had become a problem.

“There are many potholes in the street in front of my house, so we hear a lot of noise every evening as people drive over them quickly,” said Mathieu Taziaux, who works in Brussels.

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Brussels resident Anton Schuurmans waters flowers after planting them in an unrepaired pothole to draw attention to the bad state of public roads in Brussels, Belgium April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Schuurmans, who moved to Belgium from the Netherlands seven years ago, said his floral protest had already had some success in persuading the council to act, pointing across the street to a newly repaired patch of road.

“At least one pothole has been repaired two days after I planted the flower in it,” he said. “I was quite happy to see that.”

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Robin Pomeroy

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Brussels resident Anton Schuurmans waters flowers after planting them in an unrepaired pothole to draw attention to the bad state of public roads in Brussels, Belgium April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

4/6/2018 6:08:47 PM
<![CDATA[Flawless white diamonds, among largest ever offered, to go on sale]]>
The diamonds, a 51.71 carat round brilliant-cut gemstone and a 50.39 carat oval, are the second-largest of their respective kinds ever to come to auction, Sotheby’s said.

The sale of the gemstones, discovered and purchased at tender in Botswana, comes after a 102 carat white diamond sold to an undisclosed buyer in February far exceeded the price paid per carat for any colourless diamond at auction, according to auctioneers, who did not reveal the price paid.

The record price previously paid was for a 118 carat diamond sold in Hong Kong in 2013, which fetched $260,000 a carat.

Sotheby’s also said it was auctioning “The Farnese Blue,” a roughly 6 carat blue diamond given to the Queen of Spain, Elisabeth Farnese, in 1715, which auctioneers said had been passed down through four European royal families since then.

All three of the diamonds are scheduled to be auctioned in Geneva in May.

Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London; Editing by David Holmes]]>
4/6/2018 6:04:31 PM
<![CDATA[Farnese blue diamond goes on sale after 300 years of royal history]]>
Expected to fetch between $3.7 and 5.3 million, the 6.1 carat, dark grey-blue stone from the Golconda diamond mines of India was first given to Elisabeth Farnese, daughter of the Duke of Parma, in 1715 when she married Philip V of Spain.

It was passed down through more than seven generations and, as their descendants married into other European families, it traveled from Spain to France, Italy and Austria.

“All this time, it was hidden away in a royal jewelry box. Except for close relatives, and of course the family jewelers, no one knew about its existence,” Sotheby’s said.

The stone will appear in Sotheby’s Geneva Jewellery sale on May 15.

Reporting by Olive Enokido-Lineham; editing by Stephen Addison/
4/6/2018 6:00:53 PM
<![CDATA[Middle East Comic Con kicks off in Dubai]]>
Dozens of youths turned up in their comic best for the seventh edition of the Middle East Film and Comic Con, which runs from Thursday to Saturday.

Headlining the event this year are Kristian Nairn -- Hodor from Game of Thrones -- alongside Ezra "The Flash" Miller and Doctor Who's Jenna Coleman.

Comic Con is expected to draw some 70,000 fans of geek culture, according to the organisers, all of whom are hoping to get a glimpse of their favourite stars.]]>
4/6/2018 12:09:06 AM
<![CDATA[New brain cells in the old? Study stokes debate]]>
The report by scientists at Columbia University in New York, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, runs directly counter to a different study published in Nature last month which found no evidence of new neurons are being created past the age of 13.

While neither study is seen as providing the definitive last word, the research is being closely watched as the world's population ages and scientists seek to better understand how the brain ages for clues to ward off dementia.

The focal point of the research is the hippocampus, the brain's center for learning and memory.

Specifically, researchers are looking for the foundations of new brain cells, including progenitor cells, or stem cells that would eventually become neurons.

Using autopsied brain samples from 28 people who died suddenly between the ages of 14-79, researchers looked at "newly formed neurons and the state of blood vessels within the entire human hippocampus soon after death," said the Cell Stem Cell study.

"We found that older people have similar ability to make thousands of hippocampal new neurons from progenitor cells as younger people do," said lead author Maura Boldrini, associate professor of neurobiology at Columbia University.

"We also found equivalent volumes of the hippocampus across ages."

The findings suggest that many seniors may retain more of their cognitive and emotional abilities longer than previously believed.

However, Boldrini cautioned that these new neurons might be less adept at making new connections in older people, due to aging blood vessels.

Animals like mice and monkeys tend to lose the ability to generate new brain cells in the hippocampus with age.

Just how the human brain reacts to aging has been controversial, though the widely held view is that the human brain does indeed continue to generate neurons into adulthood, and that this "neurogenesis" could one day help scientists tackle age-related brain degeneration.

- Study found opposite -

A study last month led by Arturo Alvarez-Buylla of the University of California in San Francisco found the opposite, however.

Looking at brain samples from 59 adults and children, "we found no evidence of young neurons or the dividing progenitors of new neurons" in the hippocampi of people older than 18, he told AFP when the study was published.

They did find some in children between birth and one year, "and a few at seven and 13 years of age," he said.

That study was described by experts as "sobering," because it indicated the human hippocampus is largely generated during fetal brain development.

Alvarez-Buylla's lab responded to the latest research in a statement, saying that they were unconvinced Columbia University had found conclusive evidence of adult neurogenesis.

"Based on the representative images they present, the cells they call new neurons in the adult hippocampus are very different in shape and appearance from what would be considered a young neuron in other species," their response, published by the Los Angeles Times, said.

Boldrini, for her part, said her team used flash-frozen brain samples, while the California researchers used samples that were chemically preserved in a process that may have obscured the detection of new neurons.]]>
4/6/2018 12:03:58 AM
<![CDATA[Chicken rendang snub stirs heated Southeast Asian recipe debate]]>
Malaysian-born Zaleha Kadir Olpin served the spicy chicken alongside her nasi lemak, a traditional Malaysian dish, in the quarter-final of the BBC’s MasterChef UK.

But judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace turned down the chicken accompaniment, saying the skin was not crispy, stirring fury on social media and a heated debate in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei.

“Saying chicken rendang should be crispy is like saying that hamburgers should be boiled,” KF Seetoh, founder of Makansutra and an Asian street food expert based in Singapore, said.

Torode and Wallace defended their comments, saying “crispy” was the wrong word for the dish, which is traditionally made with chicken or beef that is slow cooked with Asian herbs and coconut milk, but that they had reached the right verdict.

“What I meant was it wasn’t cooked. It simply wasn’t cooked. It was white and flabby,” Wallace told Good Morning Britain.

“She (Zaleha Kadir Olpin) didn’t go out because her (chicken) skin wasn’t crispy. She went out because the other cooks were better.”

Haikal Johari, 41, executive chef of Michelin-star restaurant Alma by Juan Amador in Singapore, said he had never heard of chicken rendang being crispy, echoing comments by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and veteran politician Mahathir Mohamad, who for once agreed with his arch rival.

While hashtags “gastrodiplomacy” and “rendanggate” cropped up online, Wallace and Torode defended their judgement.

“I did a whole series on Malaysia. Malaysian food is fantastic,” Australian-born Torode said. “But I said to her, it wasn’t cooked enough.”

However, Torode riled Malaysians by suggesting on Twitter that chicken rendang was from Indonesia. He later deleted the tweet, which ended with “namaste”, an Indian greeting.

However, the jury is still out on which country owns the dish, with neighboring Indonesia already claiming it. Some suggest the first version of rendang was cooked in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia, some 600 years ago.

Haikal from Alma said there were different versions.

“It is made by different people including Singaporeans, Malaysians, Indonesians, and even in Thailand, there is a dish called massaman, which actually tastes really similar to the chicken rendang too,” he said.
4/5/2018 12:19:12 PM
<![CDATA[Designer Van Assche to take over as Berluti's creative director]]>
The Belgian creator, who left Dior Homme a fortnight ago after 11 years in charge, steps into the shoes of Colombian Haider Ackermann, who parted company with the French brand on Friday after only three seasons.

But Van Assche has big ambitions for the label which under its CEO Antoine Arnault has morphed from an elite shoemaker that shod artist Andy Warhol and a fair smattering of European royalty into a luxury men's fashion label.

"Antoine Arnault spoke to me of his ambitions for Berluti and it is with great pleasure that I accept this new challenge which fits perfectly with my own will and vision," Van Assche said as his appointment was announced.

"I have always wanted to build bridges between the savoir-faire, the heritage of a house and my clear-cut contemporary vision," the 41-year-old added.

Van Assche will not show his first men's collection in Paris for the brand until January 2019, reflecting the major rethinking that is likely to go on.

Arnault, the son of French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault, said: "I have known him for several years, have always admired his work at Dior Homme and I am looking forward to working with him."

The men's arm of the LVMH group to which Berluti belongs has seen dramatic change in recent weeks with the departure of Ackermann, Hedi Slimane arriving as artistic director of Celine and British designer Kim Jones leaving Louis Vuitton for Dior Homme and being replaced by DJ, designer and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh.

Van Assche added a punkish street style influence to Dior's fine tailoring, and Berluti said he will be in charge of its shoes, leather goods and accessories as well as ready-to-wear collections.

He is another product of the famous Antwerp fashion school in Belgium which gave wings to the talent of Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Anne Demeulemeester and several other top creators.

4/3/2018 12:33:34 PM
<![CDATA[Supermodel Naomi Campbell urges Vogue to launch African edition]]>
Campbell, who was visiting Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, to appear on the runway at Arise Fashion Week, said there was a need for better representation of the continent.

“There should be a Vogue Africa,” she told Reuters in an interview. “We just had Vogue Arabia - it is the next progression. It has to be,” she said, referring to the edition of the magazine aimed at a readership in the Middle East that launched last year.

“Africa has never had the opportunity to be out there and their fabrics and their materials and their designs be accepted on the global platform ... it shouldn’t be that way,” said the British-born Campbell.

Condé Nast International, which publishes Vogue, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The global fashion industry has attracted criticism in the past few years because most models for major designers and fashion houses are white.

“People have come to realize it is not about the color of your skin to define if you can do the job or not,” said the model, adding she had seen signs that the fashion industry was becoming more diverse such as the appointment of Edward Enninful as British Vogue’s editor-in-chief in April last year.

The Ghanaian-born Enninful is the first black editor in the publication’s 100-year history and the first man to take up the role.

Last week, LVMH’s Louis Vuitton brand, the biggest revenue driver at the French luxury goods group, said it had hired Ghanaian-American Virgil Abloh to design its menswear collections.
4/2/2018 12:22:56 PM
<![CDATA[Stars turn out for Stephen Hawking's funeral]]>
The theoretical physicist who captured the imagination of millions around the world died on March 14 at the age of 76.

His death triggered a flood of tributes from Queen Elizabeth II to NASA, reflecting his impact both as a scientist and for his refusal to give up in the face of crippling motor neurone disease.

Hawking was famously an atheist but his children Lucy, Robert and Tim chose the church of St Mary the Great to say their farewell.

"Our father's life and work meant many things to many people, both religious and non-religious," they said, adding that for that reason the funeral was "both inclusive and traditional, reflecting the breadth and diversity of his life".

Hundreds packed the streets and applauded when Hawking's coffin arrived, carried by six porters from his university college, Gonville and Caius.

White lilies representing the universe and white roses for the polar star were placed on Hawking's oak coffin.

The church bell tolled 76 times, once for each year of his life.

- Legacy will live forever' -

Actor Eddie Redmayne, who played Hawking in the 2014 bio-pic "The Theory of Everything", read from the Bible at the service attended by around 500 people.

Queen guitarist Brian May, model Lily Cole, comic Dara O Briain and US film producer Barbara Broccoli, known for the James Bond movies, were among the mourners.

"He inspired people with the excitement and importance of pure scientific enquiry and was admired and revered for his devotion, as a scholar, to the pursuit of knowledge," Professor Fay Dowker, a former student, told mourners.

"His influence and legacy will live forever."

A thanksgiving service will be held at Westminster Abbey in London on June 15, when Hawking's remains will be buried near the grave of another legendary scientist, Isaac Newton.

- Visionary genius -

Among the well-wishers outside, many praised Hawking's achievement in expanding the boundaries of knowledge.

"He's made a major contribution to thinking about space, the black holes, to the whole atmosphere," lawyer Trevor Angle told AFP.

"He has had a major rethinking influence in the way people think about science and the wider world we live in."

Professor Chris Imafidon, who consulted Hawking in 2007 about encouraging higher level mathematics students, said: "He is not just a scientist; he is an inspiration.

"He was very humble, very modest, but his thinking is far, far ahead. Too far for this generation. He sees 100 years in the future.

"That's what is painful because there's nobody that can do that now."

Mike Meylan, a New Zealand mathematics professor visiting Cambridge University, brought his children to explain Hawking's genius.

"We live in a world where so much of what's celebrated is trivial and unimportant and it will pass away," he told AFP.

"But what he contributed will last so much longer."

- Robbed of mobility -

Hawking was confined to a wheelchair, almost completely paralysed and unable to speak except through his trademark voice synthesiser.

He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease aged 21 and defied predictions that he would only live for a few years, although his rare condition -- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- gradually robbed him of his mobility.

But the illness did nothing to dull his mind, and Hawking became one of the world's best-known and most inspiring scientists, known for his brilliance and his wit.

His work focused on bringing together relativity -- the nature of space and time -- and quantum theory -- how the smallest particles behave -- to explain the creation of the universe and how it is governed.

But he was also a global star -- his 1988 book "A Brief History of Time" was an unlikely worldwide bestseller, and he appeared as himself in television shows from "The Simpsons" to "Star Trek: The Next Generation".]]>
4/1/2018 12:17:17 AM
<![CDATA[Far from war, Basra's cats lap it up in their own hotel]]>
Veterinary student Ahmed Taher Maki has turned his home in the southern city into what he believes is Iraq’s first cat hotel.

Writing by Andrew Heavens; Editing by Peter Graff
Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 5.04.13 PM
A veterinary medicine student feeds cats in a cat hotel in Basra, Iraq, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Essam El-Sudani

For as little as 5,000 Iraqi dinars ($4.20) a night - or half that for long stays - the guests can enjoy beds, regular meals, health checkups and a mini playground, all under the cooling purr of an air conditioner.

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A veterinary medicine student carries a cat in a cat hotel in Basra, Iraq, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Essam El-Sudani

Maki said he was hoping to encourage more people to adopt cats in the city and give them a place to leave their pets when they are away on a trip.

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 5.04.46 PM
A veterinary medicine student plays with a cat in a cat hotel in Basra, Iraq, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Essam El-Sudani

Taking care of animals gives people a “merciful heart,” he said. “The hotel is a noble thing and unprecedented in the south of Iraq and Basra in particular.”

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A veterinary medicine student plays with cats in a cat hotel in Basra, Iraq, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Essam El-Sudani
3/31/2018 5:10:25 PM
<![CDATA[‘Blue Moon' to light Arab skies on Mar. 31]]>
Two Blue Moons in a year is indeed unique. We haven’t had a year with two Blue Moons since 1999 and won’t have one again until January and March, 2037.

A Blue Moon is the second full moon in a month, when generally every month witnesses only one full moon appearing every 29 days. However, NASA confirmed that since most months have 30 or 31 days it is possible to have two full moons appear in a single month.

It's nearly impossible to compare the apparent size of the supermoon with a micromoon from memory, but when seen side-by-side as in this graphic, it becomes clear. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Although it is known as a blue moon, the moon’s colors are usually pale gray and white. But, in 1883, the moon appeared bluish when the volcano Krakatoa in Indonesia erupted. The plumes of ash rose to the top of earth’s atmosphere turning the sunset and the moon to green and blue all over the world.

People also saw the Blue Moon after several incidents, such as after the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico in 1983.

The super moon phenomenon happens when the full moon coincides with the closest point of the moon's orbit to earth. The result is that the moon appears 30 percent brighter than usual and 14 percent bigger than a normal full moon, according to NASA Science Beta. The lastsuper moon phenomenon occurredon January 1.
Both the January and March 2018 Blue Moons are blue in name only.

3/31/2018 1:09:52 PM
<![CDATA[Tesla says crashed vehicle had been on autopilot prior to accident]]>
Tesla also said vehicle logs from the accident showed no action had been taken by the driver soon before the crash and that he had received earlier warnings to put his hands on the wheel.

“The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken,” Tesla said.

The statement did not say why the Autopilot system apparently did not detect the concrete divider.

The fatal crash and vehicle fire of the Tesla near Mountain View, California, involved two other cars and delayed traffic for hours. The 38-year-old Tesla driver died at a nearby hospital shortly after the crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which launched an investigation into the crash earlier this week, did not immediately comment late Friday. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the fatal crash.

Autopilot allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel for extended periods under certain conditions. Tesla requires users to agree to keep their hands on the wheel “at all times” before they can use autopilot, but users routinely tout the fact they can use the system to drive hands-free.

The NTSB faulted Tesla in a prior fatal autopilot crash.

In September, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said operational limitations in the Tesla Model S played a major role in a May 2016 crash that killed a driver using autopilot.

That death — the first fatality in a Tesla vehicle operating in Autopilot mode — raised questions about the safety of systems that can perform driving tasks for long stretches with little or no human intervention, but which cannot completely replace human drivers.

The NTSB said Tesla could have taken further steps to prevent the system’s misuse, and faulted the driver for not paying attention and for “overreliance on vehicle automation.”

In January, NHTSA and NTSB launched investigations into a Tesla vehicle, apparently traveling in semi-autonomous mode, that struck a fire truck in California. Neither agency nor Tesla has offered any update.

The government probes raise the risk for Tesla and automakers at a time when the industry is seeking federal legislation that would ease deployment of self driving cars.

The crash comes soon after an Uber vehicle in Arizona in self-driving mode struck and killed a pedestrian in the first death linked to an autonomous vehicle.

Tesla said late Friday that “Autopilot does not prevent all accidents – such a standard would be impossible – but it makes them much less likely to occur. It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists.”

Tesla said that in the United States “there is one automotive fatality every 86 million miles across all vehicles from all manufacturers. For Tesla, there is one fatality, including known pedestrian fatalities, every 320 million miles in vehicles equipped with Autopilot hardware.”

Tesla in September 2016 unveiled improvements to Autopilot, adding new limits on hands-off driving.

On Thursday, Tesla said it was recalling 123,000 Model S sedans built before April 2016 in order to replace bolts in the power steering component that can begin to corrode after contact in cold temperatures with road salt. No accidents or injuries were reported.]]>
3/31/2018 11:50:35 AM
<![CDATA[Huge chocolate statues spring up in Belgium]]>
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A chocolate sculpture of a pair of bunnies is seen during the chocolate sculpture festival in Durbuy, Belgium March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The animal creations, up to 3 meters tall, are the centerpiece of an exhibition in Belgium of around 50 chocolate pieces by 40 international artists.

The ChocoPalace festival, in the small city of Durbuy, southeast of Brussels, also features a chocolate river and stalls selling macaroons and boozy chocolate drinks.

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 5.12.52 PM
A chocolate sculpture of a gorilla is seen during the chocolate sculpture festival in Durbuy, Belgium March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The festival has already attracted more than 30,000 visitors and is set to draw in plenty more over the Easter holidays until it closes on April 8.

Durbuy, with a population of around 10,000, light-heartedly bills itself as “the smallest city in the world”, and attracts sightseers from nearby Brussels and Luxembourg.

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 5.13.00 PM
A chocolate sculpture of a gorilla is seen during the chocolate sculpture festival in Durbuy, Belgium March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

“The idea was to bring the biggest chocolate sculpture festival in the world to the smallest city in the world,” said Laura Trommelen, from PLG, the advertising group that has organised the festival.

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 5.13.17 PM
A chocolate sculpture of a koala is seen during the chocolate sculpture festival in Durbuy, Belgium March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Reporting by Natalie Rice; Writing by Samantha Koester; Editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Alison Williams

3/30/2018 5:20:09 PM
<![CDATA[Starbucks coffee in California must have cancer warning, judge says]]>
A little-known not-for-profit group sued some 90 coffee retailers, including Starbucks, on grounds they were violating a California law requiring companies to warn consumers of chemicals in their products that could cause cancer.

One of those chemicals is acrylamide, a byproduct of roasting coffee beans that is present in high levels in brewed coffee.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said in a decision dated Wednesday that Starbucks and other companies had failed to show there was no significant risk from a carcinogen produced in the coffee roasting process, court documents showed.

Starbucks and other defendants have until April 10 to file objections to the decision.

Starbucks declined to comment, referring reporters to a statement by the National Coffee Association (NCA) that said the industry was considering an appeal and further legal actions.

“Cancer warning labels on coffee would be misleading. The U.S. government’s own Dietary Guidelines state that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle,” the NCA statement said.

In his decision, Berle said: “Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health.”

Officials from Dunkin’ Donuts (DNKN.O), McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N), Peet’s and other big coffee sellers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT). It calls for fines as large as $2,500 per person for every exposure to the chemical since 2002 at the defendants’ shops in California. Any civil penalties, which will be decided in a third phase of the trial, could be huge in California, which has a population of nearly 40 million.

CERT’s lawyer Raphael Metzger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Starbucks lost the first phase of the trial in which it failed to show the level of acrylamide in coffee was below that which would pose a significant risk of cancer. In the second phase of the trial, defendants failed to prove there was an acceptable “alternative” risk level for the carcinogen, court documents showed.

Several defendants in the case settled before Wednesday’s decision, agreeing to post signage about the cancer-linked chemical and pay millions in fines, according to published reports.

Reporting by Nate Raymond; Additional reporting by Lisa Baertlein; Writing by Andrew Hay; Editing by Richard Chang and Leslie Adler]]>
3/30/2018 4:46:53 PM
<![CDATA[First women's yoga training center opens doors in Gaza]]>
The Gaza Strip, which is dominated by the Islamist Hamas faction, has experienced three wars with neighboring Israel in the past 11 years.

There are few recreational activities for women in the densely-populated enclave of two million people, which is under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt and has the highest unemployment rate on earth.

Amal Khayal, who teaches the class in a makeshift gym and also heads women’s activities for Italian charity Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud (CISS), said the project was aimed at training some 30 women to teach.

“We are trying to use physical activities to help release psychological pressures so that women here can form a support network for one another,” Khayal told Reuters during one of her classes.

Some of the participants are also involved in learning juggling. Nineteen will become yoga instructors and 13 will learn to teach circus tricks, Khayal said, adding that more women had expressed a wish to participate in future classes.

“Everyone in Gaza, specially women, needs yoga because we live in a tough place. There are no entertainment facilities where we can unload our depressions which come in addition to our daily life issues,” said Amina Al-Zraiay, a sports teacher and occupational therapist.
3/29/2018 12:48:17 PM
<![CDATA[Malala: global icon of girls' education]]>
The 20-year-old girls' education icon, who arrived in Pakistan on an unannounced visit Thursday for the first time since the desperate dash to a British hospital to save her life in 2012, is no ordinary young woman.

Few can lay claim to a Nobel Prize, or say they spent their 17th birthday lobbying Nigeria's president to do more to free hundreds of girls kidnapped by Islamist militants, or confronted US President Barack Obama in the White House over the drone war in Pakistan.

She had already been in the public eye for years when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus on October 9, 2012, asked "Who is Malala?", and shot her in the head.

Her father Ziauddin, a school principal, helped propel the precociously talented girl from the Swat valley in northwest Pakistan into the limelight.

At his encouragement, Malala started writing a blog for the BBC's Urdu service under a pseudonym in 2009, aged just 11, about life under the Taliban in Swat, which the Islamist militants had taken over in 2007.

Opponents were murdered, people were publicly flogged for supposed breaches of sharia law, women were banned from going to market, and girls were stopped from going to school.

Her blog, written anonymously with the clarity and frankness of a child, opened a window on the miseries being perpetrated in Pakistan.

But it was only after the shooting in 2012, and Malala's subsequent near-miraculous recovery in Britain, that she became a truly global figure -- a formidable and instantly recognisable force for human rights.

- Tea with the Queen -

She received a standing ovation for a 2013 address to the United Nations General Assembly in which she vowed never to be silenced.

That year she also won the European Union's prestigious Sakharov human rights prize, and challenged Obama in the White House over drones.

In 2014, at the age of 17, she became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, sharing the award with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian children's rights activist.

She has also published an autobiography and been invited to tea with Queen Elizabeth II, achieving a level of fame more akin to a movie star than an education campaigner.

Her autobiography "I am Malala" revealed a more girlish side -- she was a fan of Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber and the "Twilight" series of vampire romance novels. A documentary on her life released in 2015 also showed her soft spot for Brad Pitt.

But her activism has continued. On her 17th birthday in 2014 she was in Abuja, pushing President Goodluck Jonathan to meet with the parents of hundreds of girls who had been kidnapped by the Islamist group Boko Haram.

In 2014 she announced she would donate $50,000 (39,000 euros) to help rebuild United Nations schools in Gaza, then addressed a thousand schoolchildren in her home province via videolink, urging them to fight on for education.

She has also fought for Syrian refugees, declaring at the UN in 2015 that the world had "lost humanity" over their plight. On her 18th birthday she opened a school for Syrian girls in Lebanon.

She has criticised US President Donald Trump for his stance on refugees and Muslims, and fellow Nobel laureate Suu Kyi for her lack of action over the Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar.

- Controversial at home -

Her Nobel win was lauded by Pakistan's leaders, its liberal press and many girls and women in her native Swat who see her as an inspirational figure.

But she remains controversial among some conservatives at home, who view her as a Western agent on a mission to shame their country.

She remains undeterred, saying in 2013 that she hoped to become prime minister to "save" her nation.

In 2015 eight of the 10 men reportedly convicted and jailed for attempting to murder her were cleared and released. At the time, officials said they did not know where the men had gone.

Malala, meanwhile, has begun classes at Oxford University, where she has chosen to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics, a prestigious course that has produced many world leaders including late Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Earlier this month a school she used her Nobel Prize money to construct and fund opened its doors and began taking students in Swat, near where she was shot.
3/29/2018 12:34:44 PM
<![CDATA[Reading programs may teach parents and kids more than literacy]]>
Reading interventions have long been linked to improvements in language and literacy, especially among young children whose parents have limited income or education. But less is known about the benefits for more affluent families or the potential for these efforts to improve social, emotional or behavioral functioning for kids and their parents.

The current analysis examined data from 18 previously published studies that included 3,264 families from a variety of backgrounds. Results showed that kids who participated in reading programs had better social and emotional skills, behavior and literacy than children who didn’t.

Parents in the reading programs also had less stress and anxiety and more confidence in their parenting skills than parents who didn’t participate in these interventions, researchers report in Pediatrics.

“Reading to children is not only for having a smart child but also for having a happy child and a good parent-child relationship as well,” said lead study author Qian-Wen Xie, of the University of Hong Kong.

Some parents may not realize it’s important for them to read aloud with kids from a very young age, Xie said by email. Even when they know reading matters, parents might be pressed for time, unable to afford books, or unfamiliar with interactive reading techniques that can make the biggest impact on cognitive, social, emotional and behavioral development.

All of the studies included in the analysis randomly assigned some families to participate in reading programs and others to join control groups that didn’t receive this help. Some included free books.

Some programs targeted toddlers and preschoolers, while others focused on children in elementary school. Often, the reading interventions were provided to children at risk for behavior problems or language delays, or kids in low-income households with parents who had limited education.

The majority of programs gave parents structured training in how to read with children, with anywhere from 2 to 28 group or individual coaching sessions.

One limitation of the analysis was that the studies were too varied to test the effect of specific aspects of the reading programs. Researchers couldn’t tell, for example, whether free books or one-on-one coaching in families’ homes might influence how well the interventions worked.

Still, the results offer fresh evidence that early literacy programs have the potential to improve wellbeing for parents and children, regardless of race, income or gender, said Dr. Caroline Kistin, a pediatrics researcher at Boston University School of Medicine who wasn’t involved in the study.

“Shared reading supports child cognitive development, helps children develop the ability to pay attention and cooperate, and serves as a bonding opportunity for parents and children,” Kistin said by email.

“The shared experience - spending time together, sitting close to each other, making connections between the book and daily life - are critical,” Kistin added. “The findings from this study highlight that the time spent reading together also improves parents’ wellbeing and is associated with decreased stress, decreased depression, and increased markers of parental competence.”
3/28/2018 12:57:09 PM
<![CDATA[Are lonely hearts prone to cardiovascular disease?]]>
The alleged link between loneliness and heart disease essentially disappears once other well-known risk factors -- smoking, drinking, poor diet, lack of exercise -- are factored in, according to a study that monitored nearly 480,000 men and women in Britain for seven years.

Likewise the supposed impact of feeling friendless on premature death.

But even after dodgy lifestyle habits are taken into consideration, social isolation -- time actually spent alone -- boosted the risk of dying by about thirty percent in people who suffered a stroke or heart attack, according to the study, published in Heart, a medical journal.

"Social isolation, but not loneliness ... remained as an independent risk factor for mortality," the researchers, led by Christian Hakulinen, a professor at the University of Helsinki, concluded.

Earlier efforts to tease out the influence of a solitary existence on cardiovascular disease and heart-related mortality had produced mixed results, in part due to the relatively small number of people covered.

For the new study, Hakulinen and his team drew from the so-called Biobank cohort, in which 479,054 people aged 40 to 69 were monitored for seven years.

"To the best of our knowledge, our study is the largest on the topic," they wrote.

The participants provided detailed information on their ethnic background, education level, income and lifestyle, as well as any history of depression.

They were also asked to gauge their levels of loneliness -- a subjective feeling -- and social isolation, which measures the amount of time spent alone or in the company of others.

Nearly 10 percent of the respondents qualified as socially isolated, six percent as lonely, and one percent were both.

The researchers cross-checked this personal data with the people who suffered first-time strokes or heart attacks, as well as those who died.

But once health-wrecking lifestyle habits were accounted for, only the link with social isolation remained.

Earlier research has shown that people who live alone die younger, succumb more quickly when they get cancer, and are generally in poorer health.

A study from last November covering more than 800,000 people from a dozen nations found that walking through life alone also increases the chances of dementia, by about 40 percent.

Being widowed after extended co-habitation also took a toll, boosting the odds of mental slippage by about 20 percent.
3/27/2018 1:11:40 PM
<![CDATA[Kanye West's Abloh takes over Louis Vuitton menswear]]>
The appointment of rap star Kanye West's longtime creative director to the French luxury label shows the massive impact street style is now having on fashion.

Abloh, 37, a former architect, who has won plaudits for his own Off-White label, posted a picture of a vintage Louis Vuitton travel chest to his 1.6 million Instagram followers to announce the news.

"It is an honour for me to accept the position of men's artistic director for Louis Vuitton," he said in a statement released by the brand.

"I find the heritage and creative integrity of the house are key inspirations and will look to reference them both while drawing parallels to modern times," he added.

Abloh takes over from British designer Kim Jones, and will stage his first Vuitton show during Paris men's fashion week in June, the label said.

He looks set to continue Jones' high-profile hook-ups with street style labels, with Jones famously teaming up with New York street brand Supreme.

Abloh -- who has an address book full of celebrity friends that goes from the Kardashian clan to the art world -- is responsible for some of the most sought-after trainers of the moment.

The "Ten" design his Off-White label did for Nike has reportedly sold for as much as $2,000 (1,600 euros) a pair, with his Air Jordan 1s on sale for up to 950 euros on eBay.

3/26/2018 11:49:01 AM
<![CDATA[Pampered pooches take to the sky in travel niche]]>
The pampered pets and their owner, Zoe Man, 43, flew on a private plane from Hong Kong to Japan for a five-day holiday. The terriers tucked into an inflight meal of grilled salmon and tender chicken.

Man, vice president of a textile-and-apparel company in Hong Kong, plans two more trips by private jet this year, part of a growing number of owners indulging their pets on specialist holidays.

“I’ve asked myself why I spend so much money on them,” said Man, who spent over HK$240,000 ($30,600) taking Ding Dong and Fun Fun on the trip to Osaka, Japan last year.

“I’ve wondered whether they know the difference. But I think they do know - they must have known the air smelt different,” she said, sitting next to Fun Fun who was clad in a padded jacket.

Hong Kong travel company Life Travel, which organized Man’s trip, started flying pooches and their owners last year from Hong Kong to Japan, currently its only destination for these tours.

On commercial flights, pets are typically carried in the hold. On its private jets, small dogs sit on their owner’s lap, while bigger dogs can lie on the floor, Life Travel said.

Life Travel’s pet holidays start from around HK$70,000, for a week in Okinawa, Japan. It even offers “petmiles” as an added incentive.

Meals and water are served to both dogs and owners and after arriving at their destination, they are taken to designated pet-friendly accommodation.

Consumer spending on pets in China is growing at about 20 percent a year and will be a $7 billion market by 2022, market research firm Euromonitor International says. The pet market in the United States is growing around 2 percent a year.

Chinese airline Hainan Airlines, owned by HNA Group, said in January that it was testing a pilot scheme to allow travelers to bring small pets with them on certain domestic routes.

Life Travel organized three trips to Japan last year and is planning 13 in 2018 and 50 in 2019. It plans to offer trips to other countries, including the United States, this year but customs policies and quarantine requirements mean certain destinations, such as Australia, are off the cards.

Although the company has received requests to take cats, turtles, parrots, and even a hamster on its luxury trips, Life Travel founder Raymond Chung said that for now the company is sticking with dogs only.

“There is a huge market out there. We were just able to see the demand and start a little earlier than others,” Chung said.]]>
3/25/2018 1:18:00 PM
<![CDATA[Persons with disabilities to be represented with emoji]]>
In its proposal, the company explained, “Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but many do not represent the experiences of those with disabilities.” In the current set of emojis, there is just one character that represents disability – “a wheelchair-user sign” – that is often used as an accessible toiler sign.

Apple also said that emoji are a universal language and powerful form of self-expression that can represent the user’s own personal experience as well as their support for a loved one. In 2016, some disability charities advocated for developing emoji to represent persons with disabilities. The charities explained that there is an increased representation of women and races in emoji, but still persons with disabilities are missing. Celebrating World Emoji Day on July 17, the U.K.-based disability charity “Scope released in 2016 a set of 18 emoji featuring disabled persons and Paralympics sports. The charity also criticized the emoji update during the 2016 Rio Olympics, as it included medals and sports commemorating only the Olympics, while there was no recognition of the Paralympics.

Emojipedia announced Apple’s proposal through its official Twitter account and said that if the emojis are approved, they will be on phones next year.

The company thinks that the 13 proposed new emojis would make technology more accessible to persons with disabilities and would help foster a diverse culture that is inclusive of disability. The proposed emojis represent different skin tones and both genders; they include:

Blind and low vision: 285 million individuals are blind or have low vision worldwide. In addition to the existing magnifying glass and eye emoji, Apple proposes adding characters of persons walking with canes and service dogs in reference to trained dogs that help those with hidden disabilities.

Deaf and hard of hearing: 360 million individuals are deaf or hard of hearing. Apple proposes adding characters of persons signing that they are deaf (amongst 31 global sign languages, 18 use the index finger gesture to represent the deaf sign) and an ear with a hearing aid.

Physical and motor skills: The proposed characters include persons in manual and mechanical wheelchairs, and another character of prosthetic limbs.

Apple explained in its proposal to Unicode, “This new set of emoji that we are proposing aims to provide a wider array of options to represent basic categories for people with disabilities. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all possible depictions of disabilities, but to provide an initial starting for greater representation for diversity within the emoji universe.”

According to the company’s proposal, one in seven people around the world has some form of disability, whether that be a physical disability involving vision, hearing or loss of physical motor skills, or a more hidden, invisible disability.

“For this proposal, we have selected a set of emoji that are most inclusive to a large number of people in four main categories: Blind and Low Vision, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Physical Motor, and Hidden Disabilities. Developed in collaboration with internationally respected community organizations such as the American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and the National Association of the Deaf, we believe this proposal is a significant step forward in representing more diverse individuals, and we hope it will spark a global dialogue around better representation for people with disabilities,” read Apple’s proposal to Unicode.

Twitter users welcomed Apple’s initiative and expressed that it would support persons with disabilities.

Meanwhile, others expressed concern that there is a chance that people would misuse these emoji.

And others were totally against the idea, as they think it reminds people of their disability

3/24/2018 8:59:33 PM
<![CDATA[King Farouk’s timepiece sold at new record]]>
The historic timepiece had a pre-sale estimate of $400,000-800,000; on the back of the case it includes a personalized engraving of the Royal Crown of Egypt, with its three stars and half-moon (also found on the Egyptian flag), and the letter "F", which King Farouk's father considered his lucky letter, so that he chose names starting with the letter "F" for all of his six children.

“King Farouk’s Patek Phillipe, Reference 1518 is a crowning element of Christie’s Dubai watch sale next month – it is a storied piece with provenance from the Middle Eastern region and is already attracting tremendous interest from the region and beyond,” said Remy Julia, head of watches for Christie’s Middle East, India and Africa, said in a press release.

image (1)
King Farouk of Egypt’s personalized Patek Philippe - Photo courtesy of Christie’s

King Farouk was the tenth ruler from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty; he held his status for 16 years. King Farouk was the penultimate King of Egypt and Sudan and a renowned collector of fine watches, a passion that was passed down to him from his father.

He had commissioned many of the greatest watchmakers at the time to create for him a one-of-a-kind timepiece such as the Patek Philippe, Reference 1518, which was launched in 1941. The Patek Philippe, Reference 1518 is a timepiece that is celebrated as the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch to be produced in a series by any watch company. It is said that only 281 pieces were created.

The auction sales totaled $7.1 million, exceeding the original estimate of $5 million to $8 million.
3/24/2018 6:45:10 PM
<![CDATA[UK's Prince Harry and fiancee Meghan delight crowds in Belfast]]>
Britain's Prince Harry, and his fiancee Meghan Markle, leave after a visit to the Titanic tourist attraction in Belfast, Northern Ireland March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples
The couple were met by cheering crowds lining the street as they went for a pub lunch in the historic Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast’s city center during a day-long trip to the British province’s capital.

A Victorian gin palace dating back to 1849, the pub has a bar fitted out by Italian craftsmen in their off time after they were brought to Belfast by Protestant mill-owners to build churches for their growing Catholic workforces.

After lunch in a booth at the back of the bar the pair, who will marry on May 19, spent 30 minutes greeting hundreds of well-wishers who were undaunted by a sudden downpour of rain.

Three-year-old Thea Campbell shouted out “Happy Easter Meghan” and was rewarded with a chat with the bride-to-be who was wearing a pale Mackage coat, green skirt by Greta Constantine, cream Victoria Beckham sweater and carrying a tan Charlotte Elizabeth handbag.

After Thea handed over a bouquet of yellow roses, her grandfather, Nigel Grey said: “She loved it, she is made up. She said ‘Happy Easter Meghan’ and Meghan said ‘Happy Easter’ back”.

A fellow Californian to Markle, Susan James, had just got off the train from Dublin when she saw the crowds.

“Oh My, this is unreal,” she said “You don’t expect to take a holiday in Belfast and stumble on a member of the Royal family. Don’t they look great?”

Earlier the couple visited a peace building initiative, which Prince Harry launched last year to encourage young people across Northern Ireland to become ambassadors for peace within their communities.

Northern Ireland suffered through three decades of sectarian violence that was ended by a 1998 peace accord.

After the walkabout, it was on to a science park to meet some of the province’s young innovators before wrapping up the trip with a visit to Titanic Belfast, one of the leading attractions in the city’s now thriving tourist sector.

The interactive center - built beside the slipway from where the iconic liner was launched - charts the history of the Titanic from the laying of its keel in 1909 to its sinking on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in 1912.

Editing by Padraic Halpin]]>
3/23/2018 7:45:26 PM
<![CDATA[A Girl from Egypt: Breaking stereotypes about Muslims in hijab]]>CAIRO – 23 March 2018: “A Female, Arab, Muslim wearing hijab.” Every word of that sentence includes hundreds of stereotypes that are automatically related to any person with those characteristics.

Although Arab women have recently started to win ground in the prolonged battle to regain their rights to work, receive education and power, more obstacles are ahead to break taboos.

During their struggle for their rights, women also fight negative stereotypes demeaning their capabilities. Many have taken it upon themselves to defend their social roles, hopes and dreams.

This production is by Rehab Ismail from Egypt Today Magazine and was supported by OPEN Media Hub with funds provided by the European Union
DOP: Ahmed Hussein - Supervised by: Mohamed Abdel Baky

Egypt Today, in collaboration with Open Media Hub – part of the European Union Programme OPEN Neighbourhood – as part of the “Being 20” series, produced this video featuring Yara, a young Egyptian female who strongly believes in social change. She dedicated her time to volunteering and supporting social causes in the Arab world.

open media hub
Screenshot for ET video "A girl from Egypt" on Open Media hub website

Consistent with her desire to achieve good for the community, Yara has built upon her studies in media information literacy to create an initiative that basically focuses on developing simplified media curricula for children in the underprivileged areas of Cairo in order to ground them with the fundamentals of being critical thinkers and aware content producers.

Through social media, Yara has played an influential role in many Egyptian youths' lives, where she provides them with opportunities and advices to empower them; her followers on different social media platforms get inspired by her activities and wait for her advice in life, work and how to reach their goals.

Yara with Arab delegation participating in Media and Digital Literacy Academy 2017 – at the Lebanese American University Beirut (LAU)

Yara has also traveled to represent the Arab world in different international events, where she worked on building bridges of communication and commonalities between nations to understand and know more about the Arab world.

Meet young Egyptian delegate who ran into Vladimir Putin

Cairo- 21 October 2017: Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in the closing ceremony of the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi on Saturday. He gave a speech to a number of participants representing the delegations attending the festival.

Being 20: Profile of a generation

The “Being 20” series was developed by media professionals in the European neighborhood countries with OPEN Media Hub support. The series focuses on the views, perspectives and challenges facing young people in the countries neighboring Europe. OPEN Media hub Supports media professional among EU neighborhood area.

Being 20 - Egypt Today - A girl from Egypt - OPEN Media Hub

Details: Yara, a young Egyptian female who has a strong belief in social change, tells us her experience with travelling abroad and how people from different cultures received her as an Arab Muslim in Hijab. Language: Arabic Reporter: Rehab Ismail Camera: Ahmed Hussein Editor: Rehab Ismail Dateline: Cairo, Egypt - 15/01/2018 Source: Egypt Today< / ...

Open Media Hub

Screenshot from EU neighborhood south Facebook page

OPEN Media Hub supports media professionals across the EU Neighborhood area. It is part of the European Union Program OPEN Neighborhood: opportunities, participation, engagement and networking” and is implemented by a consortium led by Thomson Foundation.]]>
3/23/2018 7:42:00 PM
<![CDATA[Markle's wedding ring to follow royal tradition of Welsh gold]]>
His great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, was the first to use gold from Wales in her ring when, as Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, she married the future King George VI in 1923.

Her example was followed by the current Queen Elizabeth when she married Prince Philip in 1947 and then by royals through to Prince William’s wedding to Catherine Middleton in 2011.

For Markle’s wedding, the rare gold ring with the Welsh dragon stamp will probably be made by jeweler Wartski at their London workshop, said Ben Roberts, managing director of Clogau which has provided gold for the royal family for more than a century.

Roberts said he thought the ring would be a light shade of gold to match Markle’s engagement ring, which was designed by Prince Harry and features three diamonds.

“Looking at her engagement ring, it will probably have to match, so it will probably be yellow,” he told Reuters, rather than the distinctive rose-gold commonly used in the company’s jewellery designs.

In 1981, Clogau gave the queen an ingot of Welsh gold from one of its two mines, Clogau St David’s, to make the wedding rings of future royal brides.

The 24-carat Welsh gold has a higher percentage of pure gold than standard 18-carat gold, giving it a rich, warm color.

The company’s two mines, both in Bontddu, northwest Wales, are currently closed, having last operated in the late 1990s. As finite gold resources are running out, Roberts has plans to reopen Gwynfynydd in the near future and invite the queen’s son and heir Prince Charles to visit the mine.
3/22/2018 12:38:40 PM
<![CDATA[et Mother’s Day gifts guide]]>
1. Yves Rocher

The shop has packages readymade as gifts. They are also offering discounts for Mother’s Day.

2. The Body Shop

The all-body-care guru shop known for its blissful products also has a display of gifts lined up especially for mothers. Hit their stores and give your moms some of the most pampering gifts out there for women.

3. Mazaya

Nothing tops an expensive bottle of perfume that becomes a woman’s signature by time. Mazaya can now help you gift your mom one hell of a perfume bottle.

4. Bath and Body Works

Another all-body-care guru shop; this one offers some of the widest varieties of fragrances, lotions, scented candles, and more. Head there if your mom is into some serious tropical nostalgia.

5. Damas

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and your dad doesn’t have to be the only one to gift one to your mom. Damas have a special Mother’s Day collection that you should probably check out if your mother’s a jewel-fiend.

6. Azza Fahmy Jewelry

A brand specialized in statements; both literally and figuratively, Azza Fahmy is coming this year with some serious Mother’s Day statements. They have launched many pieces with statements just for mothers inscribed on them.

7. Nola Cupcakes

With a gift, a cake must come. Nola has your back.

8. Dukes

Another cake guru that has your back with a cake shaped like your mom’s high heels.

9. Debenhams

Another UK favorite; Debenhams, the shop where you can find anything ranging from luxurious Ted Baker pjs to evening gowns, is celebrating with you on Mother’s Day.

3/21/2018 4:29:30 PM
<![CDATA[Grit: The precious lesson I learned from my mother ]]>
It was not my first time to travel away from my family, I studied in Jordan and I participated in many international training opportunities as part of my job, but this experience was different. I was leaving my family and moving to get married, and therefore I knew I will not be able to see my family for a long time due to the complicated political situation of the Gaza Strip and the forced siege on the Strip since 2007. I was not wrong; I have not seen my family for two years. These two years represented a transformative experience that built my confidence and sense of self, although it didn’t seem that way at first.

During this period, my mother was my support system. Her wisdom was the only reason I pulled through to succeed instead of fail. She backed me up to continue, stay and invest in my marriage instead of returning back to Gaza, which I thought of many times.
My mother told me that I would face hardships and that strong women are not born, but they are built out of experiences “This is simply the way life is,” she advised me. “Consider every challenge an opportunity. That’s how you will do your best, and that’s all you can ever do,” she always said to me. She asked me to confront my choices, “you could be miserable, you could doubt yourself and let opportunities pass you by, or you could accept the difficulties thrown your way, and give it your all.”

In her TED Talk “The Key to Success? Grit”, American psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth said that grit is a sure predictor of success. At this moment I discovered that my mother had given me the most precious power in my life: the power of passion, perseverance, determination and inner strength – grit. Interestingly, child development researchers at Harvard University have proven that none of us are born with grit; it’s something we develop if we are shown how to handle life’s hardships and challenges.

This is exactly what my mother taught me every time I faced a challenge in my life. I also realized that grit is the most important lesson to pass on to our children and to model. My mother also modeled grit. She made the decision to learn to drive in Gaza in the mid-1950s, something unheard of for many women, who in that part of the world had far fewer privileges than men. She mastered her job as a kindergarten teacher when we were in Kuwait and raised four children while still spending quality time with my dad and us. Living in the unpredictable world of the Gaza Strip, she never let the frequent electrical blackouts plunge our lives and perspectives into darkness. In social gatherings, my mother enthusiastically participates in conversations about politics, culture and art. My mother encouraged my sister to study overseas while in her teens, and supported me to travel alone and spend four years to study in Jordan and she was happy when I decided to marry the love of my life and move to live with him in Egypt.

When I have kids, I am determined to pass on the gift of grit to them. I want them to take on all the adventures of life, to experience its beauty and rewards. I will do this by following my mother’s footsteps and teaching them the lessons of their grandmother.
3/21/2018 4:17:27 PM
<![CDATA[LVMH taps ex-Vuitton Jones for men's designs at Dior]]>
Jones designed men’s collections at Vuitton for seven years and developed a hit collaboration in 2017 with skatewear brand Supreme on a series of hoodies, bags and other goods. Streetwear has become a best-selling line for many luxury firms.

The overhaul at Dior coincides with reshuffles elsewhere at LVMH, as billionaire boss Bernard Arnault seeks to breathe new life into some labels and lift others to a new level by expanding product lines.

Fashion labels are increasingly catering to a younger clientele used to shopping online, and constantly in search of eye-catching new designs.

The latest switch comes from within LVMH’s ranks. Vuitton is a stablemate of Dior’s, and the two are the biggest fashion brands by revenue within the company, according to analysts. LVMH does not break out earnings by labels.

Menswear typically contributes less to sales than women’s collections.

Jones’ departure from Vuitton was announced in January, sparking speculation the Briton, a graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins design school, was head to Burberry.

The British brand has since signed on ex-Givenchy artistic director and celebrity favorite Riccardo Tisci.

Van Assche, meanwhile, in charge of Dior’s menswear for 11 years, will stay on at LVMH in an undisclosed position.

The changes coincide with a management rejig. Pietro Beccari, formerly chief executive of LVMH stablemate Fendi, took over as CEO of Dior in February.

LVMH, which reported record sales and profits for 2017 after demand from Chinese consumers rebounded, is priming other labels for stardom too.

Its French label Celine, which attracted a steady fanbase in the past 10 years with its understated, androgynous style designed by Phoebe Philo, aims to at least double revenues with her replacement Hedi Slimane.

Under Slimane - known initially for designing menswear at Dior where he introduced its hit skinny suits before heading to Kering’s Givenchy - Celine will push into men’s collections and perfume as well as expand online shopping.
3/20/2018 2:28:43 PM
<![CDATA[Au revoir, baguette! France goes mad for le burger]]>
Burgers were on the menu at 85 percent of restaurants in France last year with a whopping 1.5 billion units sold, according to a study by Paris-based restaurant consultants Gira Conseil.

More worryingly still for the defenders of French cuisine, just 30 percent of the burgers were sold in fast food joints, with the majority sold at restaurants with full table service.

Le burger has almost become French, often served with some of the country's most famous cheeses like Roquefort rather than plastic cheddar.

This is big news for a country that takes great pride in its national culinary culture, and which for years resisted the global burger onslaught.


"We've been talking about a burger frenzy for three years. This year, we don't know how to describe the phenomenon. It's just crazy," Gira Conseil director Bernard Boutboul told AFP.

There was a nine percent jump in burger sales last year. "That's phenomenal growth," Boutboul said.

In 2016, hamburger sales were on a par with the jambon-beurre, or ham-and-butter baguette -- which is still the most popular sandwich in France.

"But in 2017, for the first time, (burgers) overtook (the French classic) by a long way," Boutboul said, with jambon-beurre sales at 1.2 billion units.

"One wonders whether the burger might even overtake our famous steak frites in France," he said.

- 'Beating record upon record' -

There, Boutboul may have hit a nerve. While the French see their food culture as unique, the truth is a lot of it is based on meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- not a far cry from what makes up a US burger meal.

"Where is the country going to?" one Twitter user sighed at the news, with another raging that "we will all end up wearing Mickey Mouse ears in their rubbish theme parks," in a reference to Disneyland Paris.

The only silver lining for foodies was the gradual demise of junk food, with high quality, fresh alternatives on the rise in a growing number of French gourmet burger restaurants.

More broadly, however, fast food joint sales were "beating record upon record", Gira Conseil found, making 51 billion euros ($63 billion) in 2017.

But the big trend was for a more gastronomic experience, the consultants found, often using France's rich palette of traditional ingredients.

Despite a series of headline-grabbing attacks on its branches by angry farmers two decades ago, France is now McDonald's most profitable market outside the US, with more than 1,400 restaurants.

- 'I sold my soul' -

The Golden Arches has adapted to French tastes with the McCamembert and McBaguette burgers with emmental cheese, Dijon mustard, various French salads and even macarons for dessert. Customers can also drink beer with their meals.

Jean-Pierre Petit, the man credited with helping France fall in love with "McDo", is one of the brand's most influential executives, pioneering McDonald's attempts to adapt itself to local tastes.
In his 2013 book, "I Sold My Soul to McDonald's,", Petit admitted that he had not eaten his first hamburger until he was 30.

In 2005 Frenchman Denis Hennequin, who introduced the Parmesan burger in Italy and the Shrimp Burger to Germany, became the first non-American to lead the McDonalds brand in Europe.

But a lot of the fast food that does best in France is high quality -- and fairly pricey.

Food truck culture, another import from the US, has spawned a number of hip burger chains such as Le Camion Qui Fume (roughly translated as the Smoky Truck).

Some joints take pride in serving burgers made from premium quality beef, along with a glass of French red wine.

"Even the Americans are keeping an eye on what we're doing in our gastronomic fast food sector," Boutboul said.]]>
3/20/2018 2:09:29 PM
<![CDATA[UK royal wedding cake to be made by London-based California baker]]>
Harry and U.S. actress Markle will be married at his grandmother Queen Elizabeth's Windsor Castle home and picked Claire Ptak, who runs Violet Bakery, to bake the cake.

"It will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers," Kensington Palace said in a statement. "They are very much looking forward to sharing this cake with their wedding guests on May 19th."

Ptak is originally from California and worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley under chef Alice Waters before moving to London. She started her own business by cooking at home and selling cakes at a stall on east London's Broadway Market. She set up Violet Bakery in 2010.

"I can't tell you how delighted I am to be chosen to make Prince Harry and Ms. Markle's wedding cake," Ptak said in a statement.

"Knowing that they really share the same values as I do about food provenance, sustainability, seasonality and most importantly flavour, makes this the most exciting event to be a part of."

Markle had previously interviewed Ptak for her former food and lifestyle website The Tig, which she ran for three years before it closed last year as public interest in her relationship with Harry grew.]]>
3/20/2018 2:03:14 PM
<![CDATA[Zimbabwe holds Miss Albinism beauty pageant to fight stigma]]>
Friday's "Beauty Beyond the Skin" pageant was held in a Harare nightclub, making Zimbabwe the second African country after Kenya to host such an event.

Many African countries have a dark relationship with albinism -- a genetic disorder inherited from parents who both carry a faulty gene that prevents the skin from making melanin properly and thereby giving it colour.

They are hunted down in some African countries by witch doctors for their body parts which are used in potions to bring good luck or riches. Some are even kidnapped and sold by relatives out to make a fast buck.

Mutukura said she entered the pageant to raise awareness.

"The people with disabilities are always looked down upon even in schools. I have gone through a lot but I want people living with albinism to be brave and persevere in life," the social work student at the University of Zimbabwe told AFP after winning the crown.

"We must continue to advocate for our rights and I hope my win will empower the girl child. People with disabilities must not look down upon themselves."

The contestants sashayed down the catwalk in gowns and traditional African robes and were asked an array of questions to decide the winner.

Mutukura won a food hamper and $85 (70 euros) -- a fair bit of money in Zimbabwe.

Pageant organiser Brenda Mudzimu said she was happy to finally host the event as it was postponed last year due to a lack of funds.

- Global pageant -

"The pageant aims to instill confidence in girls living with albinism in Zimbabwe as well as reduce the stigma," Mudzimu said.

"People living with albinism are talented, beautiful and intelligent just like any other normal human being. My experience living with albinism was not easy.I learnt that in life living with albinism you have to persevere and survive in life."

Mudzimu said she hoped to organise a global contest.

"This will be an annual event which will later be advanced to Miss Albinism Africa and Miss Albinism World because we want to reach all corners of the world," she said.

The southern African country has about 39,000 people living with albinism, she said.

Tapuwa Muchemwa, a government representative who was the guest of honour, said Zimbabwean authorities were committed to uphold the rights of albinos.

"We as government strongly advocate that people with albinism deserve their right to life and security and to be protected as well as the right not to be subjected to torture and ill treatment," Muchemwa said.

Albinism groups say more than 90 percent of people with the condition in Africa die before they reach the age of 40. The rate of albinism in Africa is much higher than in other parts of the world.
3/19/2018 12:31:39 PM
<![CDATA[Americans are drinking a daily cup of coffee at the highest level in six years: survey]]>
Sixty-four percent of Americans age 18 or over said they had a cup of coffee the previous day in 2018. That compares with 62 percent in 2017 and was roughly on par with levels last seen in 2012, according to results of a survey commissioned by the National Coffee Association (NCA) released during the group’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

The survey underscores a strong U.S. market for the caffeinated beverage even as demand for soda and juice continues a yearslong decline. Coffee, bottled water and tea have been major growth categories in recent years, the survey showed.

The NCA survey asked about 3,000 respondents what they drank yesterday at different times of day.

Daily coffee consumption declined into the mid-1990s, when Americans drinking coffee on any given day fell below 50 percent, according to results presented at an industry conference in New Orleans.

Coffee is a bright spot for a global food industry facing stagnating demand growth for other products. In the United States, ready-to-drink products are boosting demand. In Brazil, pods and roast coffee are growing market.

“We see the cola industry is declining, (but) coffee is in the front row,” Roberto Vélez, head of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, said in a separate presentation.

Among the Americans surveyed, at-home preparation continues to be the dominant spot for demand, with 79 percent of those surveyed saying they had had a cup of coffee at home the previous day. Coffee consumed at cafes and other out-of-home locations totaled 36 percent.

Demand for gourmet coffee, which includes espresso-based beverages and ready-to-drink, was steady relative to 2017 levels. The segment continued to get a boost from younger drinkers, with 48 percent of millennials saying they had a cup of coffee they consider to be gourmet the day before.

“There’s been a huge shift toward gourmet in the U.S.,” market consultant Michael Edwards said in the presentation.

Gourmet represents over half the market, he said. Major coffee roasters have been trying to tap into it. Folgers maker JM Smucker is rolling out a new premium line this year and Nestle last year bought a majority stake in specialty chain Blue Bottle Coffee.

Use of smartphone apps and delivery services remains niche. Nine percent of Americans who drank coffee in the past week said they had ordered it through an app, the survey showed.
3/18/2018 5:50:21 PM
<![CDATA[ IX Special Olympics MENA Games kick off in dazzling ceremony]]>
Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali walked at the forefront of the Egyptian delegation, which comprises of 78 male athletes, 37 female athletes and 40 coaches. The whole parade was led by Special Olympics global ambassador and famous Egyptian actor Hussein Fahmy.

Following the colorful parade and in the midst of the cheers and applauds of the audience, Special Olympics International Chairman Timothy Shriver welcomed the attendees and “the best athletes in the world” in an inspiring speech. “When I look out at this crowd, I see people of openness, people of forgiveness, people of strength, people of compassion and skill. I don’t see people with disabilities. I see people of determination,” Shriver said.

“Athletes, this is your time to prove that you can go for the gold, that you can lead an inclusion revolution. For the rest of us, there is no option. The only question is what role will you play, how will you join, when will you become a part of this inclusion revolution,” he added.

Ayman Abdel Wahab, president and managing director of Special Olympics MENA, started his speech by asking all attendees to stand up in salute for H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

“Your presence means a great deal to all the athletes, their families and all of us in the region, and significantly [supports] our vision of a changing world, a world of common acceptance, inclusion and joyful celebration of the human potential,” he said to all the attendees, from families to volunteers and athletes. “It is our hope that our vision of acceptance will stem from Abu Dhabi and take root in all nations across the world,” Abdel Wahab concluded.

2- SO
Egypt Today/Yasmine Hassan

H.E. Shamma El Mazroue, UAE minister of state for youth affairs and chair of the Special Olympics UAE board, affirmed how getting into the preparation process for the games highlighted the many similarities between the vision and the message of Special Olympics movement and the UAE principles.

“Special Olympics carries the torch of a divine message that does not only empower athletes with intellectual disabilities to play but it empowers the character of the athlete and the entire eco system…to become all what they can be. And these are exactly the founding principles of the United Arab Emirates,” she said.

7 - SO
Egypt Today/Yasmine Hassan

Following the inspirational speeches, Special Olympics athletes lit the “flame of hope”, signaling the start of the regional games that will take place starting Sunday in 16 different sports.

The games will take place in eight different venues, including ADNEC, Zayed Sports City, Yas Marina Circuit, NYUAD, Officer’s Club, Mubadala IPC Arena, Al Jazira Sports Club and Al Forsan Club.

6 - SO
Egypt Today/Yasmine Hassan

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3/18/2018 12:42:57 AM
<![CDATA[Nestlé inspires the private sector in Egypt]]>
Dr. Nahla Kamal is the Corporate Affairs Head at Nestlé North East Africa Region, responsible for the corporate shared value initiatives. Dr. Kamal, explains the importance of the competition and its alignment with Nestlé’s vision and values to help developing communities across the country.

Dr. Kamal, may you please explain the importance of women empowerment in Nestlé and its impact in Egypt?

Nestlé’s vision is to enhance the quality of life and to contribute to a healthier future. With this in mind, there is continuous effort to support the sustainable development goals that is segregated into 3 main pillars: individuals and families, communities and environmental impact. Under community development values, we value women empowerment as an essential factor to improving communities’ livelihood and achieving economic prosperity in the country.

Adding to that, internally Nestlé is committed to being a diverse work place that respects equal opportunities for both genders. We adopt policies that promote women economic empowerment through positive measures including offering six months of paid maternity leave as well as adopting fair recruitment, promotion and compensation policies based on individual competencies.

Why is this competition an integral part to empowering women in Egypt?

Let’s talk about the Egyptian finalist as an example; “Mumm”, is a startup selling home-made food prepared by housewives and targeting the masses across Cairo. The project has been nominated amongst six finalists, and will compete on the final prize in Brazil. "Mumm" was selected for its social contribution as a platform that supports housewives and women who are unable to find proper job opportunities or have to stay at home due to family responsibilities. Thus, the project offers them an employment opportunity that suits their circumstances; they can work from home and also secure an income that supports them to become more independent. Through their website, the women sell the meals they prepared at reasonable prices and also deliver them to clients. Moreover, “Mumm” went the extra mile and the team was keen to engage female refugees living in Egypt in the project. The Syrian food on Mumm’s menu became very popular and the women can sustain their families and become more independent. With this in consideration, “Mumm” helps communities pursue healthier lifestyles in a time where junk food prevails.

How are Nestlé and “Mumm” working towards aligned goals?

We adopt a sustained community development approach in relation to nutrition, water and rural development. This approach complies with laws and business ethics that are reflected in our daily working routine. To enhance our business operations in the country, we defined and considered these values as core responsibilities that initiate projects to deliver those goals. One of these is the global competition that offers awards to start-ups internationally.

Relative to nutrition, health and wellness, we believe in continuously offering tastier and healthier choices for individuals and families. We have specialized departments in Nestlé that research and develop new and innovative scientific findings to enhance the nutritional value of products produced and sold internationally. With this in mind, we have a particular ambition to inspire people to lead healthier lives by building, sharing and applying nutritional knowledge in communities.

Hence, “Mumm” has goals that are aligned with Nestlé on this strategy specifically. By promoting a diverse set of nutritional options from home-cooked meals, they are collectively offering tastier and healthier choices to their customers to enhance their quality of life. Even though youth and various employees are constantly on-the-go, they are no longer limited with fast food options, and can have their very own home-cooked meal to a healthier lifestyle.

Improving youth employability and encouraging entrepreneurs is another priority in Nestlé, and that it is our company’s duty to play a significant role in addressing the youth unemployment rate, “Mumm” is sharing the same purpose, the owner himself is a young entrepreneur who is supporting the young startups by recruiting them and give them the needed platform through which they are able to grow their businesses.

Why do you think Mumm is offering a unique idea that enabled the project to earn its place as a finalist in the competition?

“Mumm” has employed more than 80 women and created more than 110 sustainable jobs in less than two years with minimal investment. Women working in the business became financially independent while working on a flexible schedule that suits their circumstances. The sustainability factor is quite attractive to any business investor, as they are continuously increasing capacity-building workshops and trainings to increase awareness of their food partners in management of Food &Beverages, pricing and marketing.

If they win the competition, they will be able to increase the capital and hence they can recruit more women and further develop the adopted operating technology in the business. "Mumm" is creating job opportunities for women which directly contributes to the prosperity of the economy in the country.

From this experience, how would you advise women to actively participate in communities from their homes?

I advise women to focus on offering a product or a service that can lead to the development of the entire family. Women should present themselves as role models to their children and teach them that hard work pays off. As a first step, women can make benefit of this modern technology era to enhance their personal capacity and acquire new skills set.

3/15/2018 8:49:39 PM
<![CDATA[Who will get the nod to design Meghan's dress for UK royal wedding?]]>
British newspapers have been rife with rumours that she has chosen the dress and already attended her first fitting, although royal officials are keeping such details a tightly guarded secret.

"We have not put out a statement, nor commented on the wedding dress," a spokeswoman for Harry's office said.

The choice of wedding gown designer has prompted much speculation in newspapers and magazines ever since Harry, the fifth-in-line to the throne, and Markle, 36, announced their engagement last November.

"I think she'll definitely wear a UK designer," Bojana Sentaler, founder and creative director of Canadian label Sentaler, told Reuters. "I'm not sure which one but I think it'll be a UK designer."

One of those whose name has been suggested is Stella McCartney, who was behind British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney's cream-coloured trouser suit for her civil marriage ceremony to U.S. actor George Clooney, as well as the coat Markle wore on a visit to Cardiff earlier this year.

"A wedding is a wedding, it's a beautiful honour and privilege to do anyone's wedding dress," a smiling McCartney told Reuters when asked if she would like to design Markle's outfit.

"I've always loved working on wedding dresses and they're always varied because you have to be really personal about it, you have to really look at the woman and the day," said McCartney, who shares Markle's ethical design and animal cruelty-free stance.

British-Australian brand Ralph & Russo is another that has been mentioned a possible contender for the job after Markle chose a dress made by the duo for her official engagement portraits with Harry.

That dress, and the location of the wedding, Queen Elizabeth's Windsor Castle home to the west of London, might also serve as a good indication of what's to be expected, said Anna McGregor, curator of the London luxury wedding department store, The Wedding Gallery.

"Well, you always have to think about the venue because the dress has to be appropriate for the venue that you're getting married in and of course she's getting married in the chapel at Windsor. So you need to find something that's going to work for that location," she said.

"I think that the Ralph & Russo she wore for the engagement shoot was such a perfect look on her."

For fashion brands, having apparel seen on a member of Britain's royal family can lead to a spike in sales. Prince William's wife Kate has become a fashion icon since she married Harry's elder brother in 2011, with huge interest in her choice of outfits for official engagements.

British retailer Marks & Spencer received a publicity boost in January when Markle was photographed wearing one of its 45-pound ($62) jumpers during a visit to a London radio station.

Similarly, Canadian luxury outerwear brand Sentaler got a lift from the actress in December 2017 when she was pictured wearing one of the label's coats to a Christmas church service attended by the royal family.

The public, and the fashion world, are expected to have to wait until May 19, the day of the wedding, to find out who the designer is. Whichever brand she chooses, nothing should steal the limelight from the bride said Chinese-born, London-based designer Huishan Zhang.

"The whole thing is really creating a relationship with you and the bride, no matter the bride who is she, right?" he said.

"You serve for the bride, for that occasion, it's her special day, you should just treat her as a person, as a bride, who is seeking for a beautiful dress for once in her lifetime."]]>
3/15/2018 1:51:12 PM
<![CDATA[Italy's top pastry chef sweetens visits to the bank]]>MILAN - 13 March 2018: Italy's top pastry chef, Iginio Massari, is banking on his latest patisserie to set a new trend, opening a shop full of sweet delights inside a branch of the country's biggest lender.

Massari, whose treats have been served to movie stars and politicians, has teamed up with Intesa Sanpaolo to add flavour and life to the grey experience of visiting a bank.

Steps from Milan's Duomo Cathedral, delicate pastries, rich fruit tarts and multi-coloured pates de fruits sweets sit side by side with counters and cash machines.

"A bank with cakes!" Massari told Reuters. "It's quite a challenge, but it's also a record as I am the first pastry chef to open in a bank." Italian lenders are cutting thousands of jobs and closing branches, but those that survive are being redesigned to appeal to clientele from a new generation.

"Having a patisserie in a bank is a great idea, it gives you a good reason to go the bank," said Milan resident Alfredo Gentili.

Intesa Sanpaolo's partnership with Massari is part of a 500-million-euro push to turn its branches into modern-day piazzas.

Andrea Lecce, Intesa Sanpaolo's head of marketing, said the aim was to welcome customers to a "homely and simple" space.

"Sweets and pastries are part of the world of dreams," Lecce said. "They evoke moments of joy and celebration, and we believe that we contribute to creating them too -- with home mortgages and student loans."

The pastry shop is Massari's second, after his outlet in the northern city of Brescia that has served delicacies since 1971.

Massari said he had been considering opening in Milan for a long time, and was finally convinced by this idea which he described as "unique"]]>
3/15/2018 1:44:34 PM
<![CDATA[Get to know them: MENA athletes in IX Special Olympics Regional Games]]>
It is time to start a long-term transformation in our attitude toward these special individuals who deserve respect and admiration. This can only be achieved by getting to know them, training them and training ourselves, which is in the core mission of Special Olympics International (SOI).

As we are approaching the 9th regional Special Olympics Games, an event that takes place every two years to celebrate accomplished athletes with intellectual disabilities in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region, here are five inspirational stories of Arab athletes who will be taking part in the upcoming games.

Amr Hassan: Egyptian swimming, hockey and football champion

One of our inspirational champions who will be representing Egypt in the upcoming games, Amr Hassan has already scored several national and international medals in more than one sport, including swimming, hockey and, most recently, football.

Amr Hassan - Photo courtesy of Special Olympics MENA

Born and raised in challenging conditions, with an intellectual disability and in a family with modest financial capacities, Hassan is a great example of perseverance and accomplishment. Apart from his sports achievements, he has also finished his studies at a school of special education. And hHaving lost his father a year ago, he is currently the bread-winner for his family, taking on two jobs, – at a wax workshop in the mornings and a factory in the afternoons.

Although he knew nothing about swimming when he first started, Hassan immediately caught the eyes of his coach when he first joined Special Olympics training centers in affiliation with his school. Seeing his talent and perseverance, the coach gave him special attention until he learned the four different swimming styles, and he would even delegate Hassan to manage the practice and help his colleagues.

DSC_0193 Amr Hassan - Photo courtesy of Special Olympics MENA

In no time, Hassan was winning medals in all kinds of national games and would impress everyone who saw him. In his first regional games in 2004, he won four gold medals. He then went on to represent Egypt in China and the regional games in Dubai, always holding high the Egyptian flag, with a smile of pride and accomplishment.

Taking on another challenge, he started playing hockey and led his team to victory in the Special Olympics Winter Games in Idaho, scoring 13 out of 15 goals in the game against the U.S. team.

Given Hassan’s strong physical build and his talents, he was recently chosen to join the football team. He participated in the summer games in Greece and won the golden medal with his team. He is now getting ready for another win in Abu Dhabi.

DSC_0198 Amr Hassan - Photo courtesy of Special Olympics MENA

Lobna Masfr (Morocco): “They say I have an intellectual disability… But I win medals.”

“They say I have an intellectual disability and I cannot see, but I have hands, ears, legs and a nose, and I win medals by participating in Special Olympics games,” says Lobna Masfr, another inspirational champion getting ready to participate in the regional games.

Masfr remembers how she had to go from school to school, then to workshops and music centers, but never felt bad or not at ease, as she always knew she was learning something new, from cooking to handicrafts, piano and even massage.

لبنى مسفر
Lobna Msfr - Photo courtesy of Special Olympics MENA

“My mom taught me to swim, play guitar and do math… Yes, I have a disability, but it doesn’t stop me and I can do a lot of things,” she recounts.

An international champion, Masfr has won many medals in regional and world games, including two silver medals that she won in 1995 in the world summer games, a golden medal in 1997 and more.

She also received recognition from King Mohammed VI, the Kingof Morocco as an international champion and great athlete.

“Everything around me is gloomy, but in my imagination I know all colors and I can see the beauty around me. I could see once, before I went blind at 20 years old,” Masfr says.

Masfr has participated in several exhibitions for handicrafts, she helps out in music workshops for persons with intellectual disabilities, and she has a diploma in massage… and a lot of clients.

Mohamed Khair Allah aims high at MENA games: a success story from Baghdad, Iraq

Growing up in Baghdad, Iraq, Mohamed Khair Allah had to deal with isolation and harsh stigma that often comes with having a visible intellectual disability. “I am different and I like being who I am and want people to accept this,” Khair Allah says.

Mohamed Kheir Allah- Iraq
Mohamed Kheir Allah - Photo courtesy of Special Olympics MENA

Having joined Special Olympics in 2001, Khair Allah started a new lifestyle. Following a new routine, he started to consume less calories and lose weight (losing about 9 kilograms). Soon he was able to participate in many Special Olympics competitions.

“Special Olympics gave me the chance to develop more confidence, and I am extremely fortunate, as I proudly represent my home country on the international scale,” he says proudly.

Super excited about the opportunity to be part of the Iraqi delegation to the regional games, Mohamed is training very hard to reach his best performance.

In addition to being an extraordinary swimming champion, Khair Allah also leads an independent social life and has a supportive wife with whom he is experiencing joy and happiness.

“I hope to bring home another gold medal to make my wife full of pride of my success. She deserves it, as she has never shown anything but support and motivation,” he adds.

Rabah Kino (Lebanon): An all-time champion, in one sport or another

A multisport athlete, Rabah Kino from Lebanon has excelled at both summer sports, including roller-skating and winter sports, mainly specializing in alpine skiing.

While training for the 2013 World Winter Games, Rabah fell hard and was badly injured. Doctors told him that he’d never ski again, which was tragic news, because for Kino, skiing was life.

However, Special Olympics coaches and volunteers, as well as his supportive family, helped Kino find new hope with a new sport.

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Rabah Kino - Photo courtesy Special Olympics MENA

Kino, who is now in his forties, started a new chapter in his life taking on open swimming. He started getting good, very good; and in no time, he joined Lebanon’s swim team and took part in the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles.

This March, Keno will be competing with talented swimmers from all across the Middle East and North Africa at the 2018 IX Special Olympics MENA Regional Games in Abu Dhabi.And the minute he returns from the 2018 MENA Games, he'll be looking ahead to the 2019 World Games.

Khadija Zein Al Abdeen: Mauritania’s first female tennis athlete in SO games

Twenty-three- year old Khadija Zein Al Abdeen joined Special Olympics Mauritania in 2006. Due to her remarkable performances and achievements, she was then selected to become a board member of Special Olympics Mauritania, where her role is to detect and understand the challenges and hopes of her fellow athletes and bring it all to the table of the board to discuss.

According to Zein Al Abdeen, her 12-year history with Special Olympics has definitely had a great impact on her life, changing her vision to life and expanding her friendships network. She even beats her friends without intellectual disabilities in some matches, Zein Al Abdeen feels they have accepted her, as they are now keen to mingle and chat with her a lot, she says.

Taking part as a table tennis player in IX MENA Regional Games in Abu Dhabi, Zein Al Abdeen is the first female participant from her country to compete in this sport, whether in the regional or world Games. Since table tennis games were restricted to male athletes in her country, Khadija believes her participation this year to be an unprecedented change in the Mauritanian society towards Special Olympics female athletes.

The Special Olympics Middle East/North Africa Regional Games are set to take place in Abu Dhabi between March 14 and 22. A total of 1,000 athletes from 32 Countries will be competing in 16 different Kind of sports including athletics, swimming, cycling, table tennis and basketball.

Athletes stories shared with Egypt Today by Special Olympics MENA

3/14/2018 8:57:11 PM