<![CDATA[rss-Lifestyle]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Lifestyle]]>]]> 100 29 <![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]]>
Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.36.28 PM
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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.36.21 PM
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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.36.14 PM
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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 5.36.07 PM
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]]>
Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 6.56.28 PM
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.”

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 6.55.11 PM
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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 6.56.19 PM
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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 6.56.10 PM
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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 6.05.42 PM
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

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 6.06.03 PM
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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

رباح (1)
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
<![CDATA[I am a proud feminist: Antonio Guterres]]>
Guterres praised the vital role of the CSW as one of the most dynamic intergovernmental bodies to erase stereotypes and fight discrimination limiting women’s and girls’ opportunities.

The U.N. chief said that changing “the unequal power dynamics” underpinning discrimination and violence against women is “the greatest human rights challenge of our time” and a goal that is “in everyone’s interest.”

“Discrimination against women damages communities, organizations, companies, economies and societies,” he added, explaining that such attacks of fundamental rights of women and girls can fuel radicalization and extremism.

On steps taken by the U.N. to mainstream gender, the U.N. chief said that the international organization already reached gender parity in the senior management group for the first time in the U.N. history. He also said that women now fill one-third of positions as heads and deputy heads of peacekeeping missions, and that the organization will continue to work to meet the targets. Moreover, he highlighted the zero tolerance of sexual harassment that he introduced upon his appointment to improve reporting and accountability.

The CSW session of 2018 focuses on “challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment of rural women and girls.” It aims to change existing social norms and prevent violence against rural women and girls. Guterres said that lifting up marginalized women, especially women in rural communities, refugees and migrants, will ensure that no one is left behind and is essential to fulfilling the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to eradicate poverty and create a safer, more sustainable world on a healthy planet. He added that girls born in poverty are at higher risk of dropping out of school, marrying as children, suffering complications during birth, experiencing violence and also passing the legacy to their children.

Photo 1

Rural women and girls play a critical role in ensuring both food and social security for their families and communities, and they represent the largest source of untapped potential; however, they also face multiple forms of discrimination and violence. This is particularly the case for agricultural workers, indigenous and tribal women, fisherwomen, and informal workers.

They have limited access to and control of land and productive resources, they do most of the unpaid and unrecognized household care, they lack access to information and communications technologies, suffer from legislation that limits their ability to take loans and achieve economic independence, and they are heavily impacted by poor infrastructure, unregulated migration and climate disasters resulting from climate change. This vulnerability is exacerbated by intersecting inequalities against young women and girls, older women, heads of households, women with disabilities, migrants, refugees and internally displaced women.

Photo 2

Challenges facing rural women and girls include threats to their sexual and reproductive health and rights as a result of cultural and religious norms, leading to unintended pregnancies and complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Gender-based violence (GBV) and other harmful practices, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and forced marriages of child girls, threaten their well-being. The changing climate further limits their access to land, water and energy, and it increases the time and effort spent by women to secure water and fuel for their families. This is in addition to already limited access to formal and informal education, which leads girls to miss out on education and income-generating opportunities. ]]>
3/13/2018 10:00:50 PM
<![CDATA[Givenchy; his history and impact on the world]]>
Hubert James Taffin de Givenchy was born on February 21, 1927, in Beauvais, Oise in northern France. At the age of 17, he would then move to Paris to pursue his dream as a fashion designer. He took part in an apprenticeship at a couture house, while studying at the École des Beaux-Arts. He would then become Artistic Director of the Schiaparelli boutique the Place Vendôme and is the one responsible for the 1950s and 1960s classical fashion trends while dressing everyone from princesses and first ladies to actors.

Early on in his career, he would work alongside some of fashion’s greatest icons, like Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior, in order to perfect his craft. He would then go on to open his namesake fashion house in 1952 at the age of 25, when he was named the youngest designer in Paris at the time.

His first collection was named “Separates” as it consisted of pieced together classical blouses, polished skirts and tailored lines. He tended to opt for cheaper fabrics to create his creations at the beginning of his career due to finances, but what he lacked in material he made up for in design. Later his creations would earn him a submission into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970.

Photos via Givenchy official website

When Hubert met Audrey Hepburn in 1957, both of their careers would be set in motion on the big screen and on the runway. Givenchy was the creator of many of Hepburn’s most iconic looks that include the “little black dress” that was worn in the opening scene of “Breakfast at Tiffany's”. Hepburn was not only his muse but also a close friend who was in attendance at his final show in 1995. "His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier; he is a creator of personality," she once said about the late designer. Hepburn was also the face of Givenchy’s first fragrance L’Interdit.

Givenchy L'Interdit via Parfumo

In 1969, he created the “Givenchy Gentleman” his men’s ready-to-wear line, which was known as “a balance between classicism and casualness”. The line came after he created two men fragrances; the “Eau de Vetyver” and “Monsieur de Givenchy” in 1959. “I intend to stay classic. My personal taste leans toward structured clothing: I like that rigor. But [structured] often slips into rigidity; I think it should be tempered by casualness — which can also tip into excess. You have to take the best from each style.” (L’Orient – Le Jour, 1982)

The “Givenchy Gentleman” perfume that was created for the collection in 1975 is still available today.

Fashion industry giants LVMH group bought Givenchy in 1988, and in Hubert de Givenchy retired. His successors were some of the youngest, most talented, creative minds that have worked in the fashion industry with the likes of John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Julien MacDonald, and Riccardo Tisci, and currently Clare Waight Keller.

Known for his exquisite style and chic designs, the fashion icon passed away in his sleep on Saturday. According to a statement from the Givenchy fashion house website, “The House of Givenchy is sad to report the passing of its founder Hubert de Givenchy, a major personality of the world of French Haute Couture and a gentleman who symbolized Parisian chic and elegance for more than half a century. He will be greatly missed.”

]]>3/13/2018 4:00:41 PM<![CDATA[Hepburn and Givenchy, the friendship that changed fashion]]>
The aristocratic French creator, whose death at 91 was announced Monday, at first refused to dress the young Belgian-born actress when they met in 1953, he told AFP.

Only when she took him to dinner and charmed him, did he relent.

"When Audrey came to me to ask me to make her dresses for the film 'Sabrina', I didn't know who she was and I thought she was Katharine Hepburn," he said.

"Then she arrived, so graceful, young and bubbly and dressed like a young girl would be today," he said of her two years ago as an exhibition about their friendship, "To Audrey with love", opened in the Dutch capital, The Hague.

"She was wearing cotton trousers, ballerinas and a T-shirt revealing her belly button, with a Venetian gondolier hat in her hand," he recalled.

Having only launched his own label the previous year, "I was in no position to take on such a big wardrobe for 'Sabrina' and I told her that I couldn't dress her," saying that he did not have enough "petites mains" seamstresses in his studio.

But Hepburn would not take no for an answer, and invited him to dinner, "which was a really surprising thing for a young well-brought-up woman to do in those days."

- Final gift -

Then over the course of the meal, Givenchy, who was only two years her senior, fell under her charm and he ended up asking her to drop round to his Paris studio the next morning.

"She persuaded me and how wise I was to accept," Givenchy told AFP.

Opposite Humphrey Bogart and William Holden in "Sabrina" Hepburn wore a Givenchy ivory ball gown with black embroidered flowers that has gone down in film history.

From then on she asked the designer to make all the clothes for her films, and in 1954, the year "Sabrina" was released, she wore one of Givenchy's dresses to accept her best actress Oscar for "Roman Holiday".

"Audrey's style came with a really different silhouette, really of the moment," Givenchy said of his muse, who he dressed right up to her death in 1993.

Their friendship was based on much more than clothes, however, and Givenchy said he never tried persuade her to wear anything other than "what she liked and what she could wear."

"His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality," Hepburn once said of her friend, who was at her bedside at the end of her life in Switzerland.

In those final days he gave her a navy quilted coat, telling her, "When you are unhappy, wear this and it will give you courage."

3/13/2018 1:22:15 PM
<![CDATA[Convicted 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' dies aged 96]]>
Oskar Groening was among the last former Nazis to face trial for their roles in World War II, more than 70 years after the conflict, thanks to a landmark case allowing prosecution for aiding and abetting the German killing machine.

He worked as an accountant at Auschwitz, sorting and counting the money taken from those killed or used as slave labour, and shipping it back to his Nazi superiors in Berlin.

He was also on several occasions assigned to "ramp duty", processing deportees as they arrived by rail in cattle cars at the Nazi German death camp in occupied Poland.

Groening was found guilty in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murders of 300,000 Jews at the camp and sentenced to four years in prison.

Germany's constitutional court ruled in late December that he must serve out his sentence, rejecting defenders' argument that imprisonment at such an advanced age would violate his "right to life".

A court doctor determined that he was able to serve his sentence on condition he was given appropriate nursing and medical care but he was never jailed.

As of the time of his death at a German hospital on Friday, according to the weekly Der Spiegel, there had been no response to a formal "request for mercy" filed in January in a last-ditch bid to avoid jail.

One million European Jews died between 1940 and 1945 at Auschwitz before it was liberated by Soviet forces.

- 'Moral guilt' -

Yet, of the camp's 6,500 SS personnel who survived the war, fewer than 50 were ever convicted.

The legal basis for prosecuting former Nazis changed in 2011 with Germany's landmark conviction of former death camp guard John Demjanjuk.

He was sentenced not for atrocities he was known to have committed, but on the basis that he served at the Sobibor camp in occupied Poland -- for having been a cog in the Nazis' killing machine.

This argument also led to Groening's conviction.

During his trial, Groening acknowledged "moral guilt" but said it was up to the court to rule on his legal culpability.

He said he was "very sorry" for his actions. "No one should have taken part in Auschwitz," he said. "I know that. I sincerely regret not having lived up to this realisation earlier and more consistently."]]>
3/13/2018 4:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Legend Hubert de Givenchy dies aged 91]]>
Known for his exquisite style and chic designs, the fashion icon passed away in his sleep on Saturday. According to the news agency AFP, a statement from the Givenchy fashion house announced, "It is with huge sadness that we inform you that Hubert Taffin de Givenchy has died."

Hubert James Taffin de Givenchy was born on February 21, 1927, in Beauvais, Oise in northern France. At the age of 17, he would move to Paris to pursue his dream as a fashion designer at the École des Beaux-Arts, only to become the one responsible for the 1950s and 1960s classical fashion trends while dressing everyone from princesses and first ladies to actors.

Early on in his career, he would work alongside some of fashion’s greatest icons, like Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior, to perfect his craft. He would then go on to open his own fashion house in 1952 at the age of 25, when he was named the youngest designer in Paris at the time. He tended to opt for cheaper fabrics to create his creation in the beginning of his career due to finances, but what he lacked in material he made up for in design. Later his creations would earn him a submission into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970.

When Hubert met Audrey Hepburn in 1957, both of their careers would be set in motion on the big screen and on the runway. Givenchy was the creator of many of Hepburn’s most iconic looks that include the “little black dress” that was worn in the opening scene of “Breakfast at Tiffany's”. Hepburn was not only his muse but also a close friend who was in attendance at his final show in 1995. "His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier; he is a creator of personality," she once said about the late designer.

Quotes by the late designer:

“The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.” – Hubert de Givenchy

“All a woman needs to be chic is a raincoat, two suits, a pair of trousers and a cashmere sweater.” – Hubert de Givenchy

“I absolutely believe my talent is God-given. I ask God for a lot, but I also thank Him. I'm a very demanding believer.” – Hubert de Givenchy

3/12/2018 7:09:16 PM
<![CDATA[Women's Day campaigns that inspire ]]>

The region’s fastest growing ride hailing app, that has spread across 100 cities in the region, with more than 500,000 captains is fighting the regional stigma that women cannot be drivers. Careem has proven that Pakistan has the largest number of female captains. In Saudi Arabia, Careem signed up 2,000 female captains and launched a female only training and call center. They have now decided to launch a regional campaign #SheDrivesChange in order to change the public's way of thinking, challenge gender stereotypes and create an equal opportunity for men and women. All this while working to achieve their goal of having 20,000 female captains by 2020.


As for the beauty industry, Avon, the company for women, they released a song created by Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop that presents Avon’s #Stand4Her movement, which was created to encourage women and endorse social change. The campaign serves as a platform for voices of empowerment.

Avon Egypt celebrated the release of the song on International Women's Day by hosting some of Egypt’s most inspirational women who have broken boundaries and achieved their dreams in different male driven industries. Among the inspirational guests was Egypt’s first ever female bodyguard Hind Wajih who is the first female to become an officially certified bodyguard, she wishes that one day she’ll be able to protect the president himself. She spoke at the event saying that she always aims to be the first in whatever she puts her mind to.

Jude Benhalim

Jude Benhalim recreated selected pieces from her latest collection the

‘Digital Citizen’

in the color red and showcased it in a photoshoot that represents modern day womanhood. The collection was modeled by mothers, sisters, artists, athletes, and poets showing diversity and presence in a male dominated society. In true giving back fashion, Benhalim collaborated with Banati (Abnaa El Ghad), an Egypt based NGO that supports young girls living on the streets of Cairo; 15 percent of all proceeds go to benefit the cause.


Vodafone launched an adorable campaign featuring children questioning everyday gender stereotypes that women go through every day.

“It takes courage and strength to face the enormous hurdles Egyptian women face every day in making a decent living, caring for their children and their elderly, being the source of comfort and refuge for their families, managing households, all the time while negotiating promotions, fending off discrimination, dealing with harassment, and having to work twice as hard to earn the respect they deserve in the workplace. I am inspired by Egyptian women, and women everywhere around the world, who selflessly stay the course and make it easier for all of us to do the same.” —

Shaden Khallaf

3/10/2018 5:19:20 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt struggles to end female genital mutilation]]>
“The midwife came to the house, my mother took off my underwear and the lady said ‘hang in there’,” said Shamekh who grew up in the village of Awlad Serag.

“I felt the razor-blade, and when I saw the blood on the midwife’s hands I was going to die. I spent around a month unable to go to the bathroom because the wound hurt very much if it came in contact with water.”

Genital cutting of girls was banned in Egypt in 2008 and criminalized in 2016. But the practise often referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM) or circumcision remains a rite of passage and is often viewed as a way to promote chastity.

Villagers say husbands prefer wives to be cut and often ask young brides to undergo the procedure before their wedding.

“Every girl must be circumcised so she can get married,” said Amany’s mother Zeinab, who is 51. “It’s our ... tradition.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 6.14.48 PM
Esraa Salah, 15, looks on at her home in Alwasata village of Assiut Governorate, south of Cairo, Egypt, February 8, 2018. Picture taken February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Hayam Adel

Esraa Salah, 15, looks on at her home in Alwasata village of Assiut Governorate, south of Cairo, Egypt, February 8, 2018. Picture taken February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Hayam Adel
The procedure is performed on both Muslim and Christian girls in Egypt and Sudan, but is rare elsewhere in the Arab world. It is also common in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.

A 2016 survey by the U.N. Children’s Fund showed that 87 percent of women and girls aged 15-49 in Egypt have undergone the procedure.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 200 million girls and women have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

In the neighboring village of El-Wasata, Esraa Salah, 15, said her only memories of the night she was circumcised were the embarrassment at being naked before the doctor, fear when her mother and grandmother held her legs apart and extreme pain.

“A girl’s refusal of circumcision is useless because the decision is made since she is born. All a girl can do is to pray that god eases the pain of the operation,” Nada Salah, Esraa’s 14-year-old sister said.

Their grandmother, Mageda, said the practise cannot be stopped because it protects a girl’s chastity.

One of Mageda’s daughters contracted an infection after she was circumcised and cannot bear children. When asked about why she would allow the same to happen to her granddaughters Mageda said: “My dear, it’s all fate”.

Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Patrick Johnston and Matthew Mpoke Bigg]]>
3/9/2018 6:19:48 PM
<![CDATA[Indian acid attack survivors sparkle at fashion show to spotlight equality]]>
Scarred faces held high, 11 members of a non-profit group showcased colorful Indian and Western garments, spoke about confidence and posed for photographs on Wednesday, a day ahead of International Women’s Day.

Laxmi, attacked in 2005 at the age of 15 by a 32-year-old man whose marriage proposal she rejected, was the showstopper of the event, held near India’s financial capital of Mumbai.

“I swept aside notions about the face, which society spoke of, and moved forward in life,” said Laxmi, whose plea against acid attacks prompted India’s Supreme Court to order regulations on the sale of acid in 2013.

“We don’t want respect, we want equality.”

Acid attack survivors walk on the runway during a fashion show to mark International Women's Day in Thane on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, March 7, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
More than two-thirds of the 1,500 acid attacks worldwide each year are estimated to take place in India, many by enraged family members or jilted partners.

Few victims report the attacks, for fear of reprisals by abusers, even though the resulting disfigurement often brings isolation and rejection.

“What others think about us does not have relevance, what we think about ourselves is only what matters,” said one participant, Deepmala Tiwary, an attack survivor and member of the nonprofit Acid Survivors and Women Welfare Foundation.]]>
3/9/2018 3:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi women celebrate Women's Day with a jog in Jeddah]]>
Saudi women have had a momentous year as the young, reform-minded Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman lifted a number of key restrictions on their rights. Women can now attend football matches, partake in sports themselves and by the summer will be allowed to drive cars.

Saudi Arabia is still one of the most restrictive countries for women in the world. The deeply conservative kingdom has no women ministers and retains a guardianship system requiring women to have a male relative’s approval for important decisions.

But with even that being chipped away, it is hard to overstate how much Saudi women’s lives are being transformed.

In Jeddah’s historic district, smiling women wearing traditional full-length robes adapted for sports cheered and one even skipped with joy as they pounded through the sleepy alleys past puzzled shopowners.

The government introduced physical education for girls last year and began licensing women’s sports clubs, but Saudis are still coming around to women running in public.

“This is just the beginning of a revolution for women in Saudi Arabia. In jobs, in our lives, in society, everything is going to change for Saudi women,” said one of the joggers, university student Sama Kinsara.

Kinsara is studying film, a major she will be able to use at home this year as Saudi Arabia lifts a 35-year-old ban on cinemas.

Yasmine Hassan, a member of the Bliss Runners group organizing the event, said it was aimed at empowering women.

“This is a message that we would like to send them and say, ‘Come, you’re not alone, we will do this together and the time is now’”.

“Hopefully by next year there are going to be way more rights given to Saudi women, the ones that we deserve,” she said.]]>
3/9/2018 1:23:33 PM
<![CDATA[Op-ed: In celebration of Egyptian women]]>
This year, however, the one year-old reporter in me has decided to celebrate the greatness of Egyptian women in a different way, by doing my best to bring together an overdose of achievement and power in one article, all inspired by stunning female figures, whom I had the chance to meet, interview and admire in 2017.

In most, if not all, stories I took on this past year, at least one mind-blowing female figure would turn it all upside down, overshadowing all other aspects with her own success story or touching experience.

From inspirational young women who have overcome all barriers - from poverty to illiteracy, disability, social barriers - to accomplished Egyptian leaders in international organizations and governmental positions, amazing ladies who have been contributing to the development of underserved areas for decades, athletes who have come to shine as international women champions, young girls working hard in community service organizations, ladies behind renowned brands, programs and initiatives, inspirational scientists who are destined to change the whole world with their discoveries, Egyptian mothers who would fight the whole globe for the sake of their children; and I cannot leave out the beautiful Syrian ladies who came from their war-torn country to join the open community of amazing Egyptian women, mothers and leaders.

It is almost impossible to convey all of the lessons I learned from these ladies in one article, and not even one book; and I honestly really want you to know them all and meet them all. Therefore, I put together all of the clips, photos and messages I found in my archive in this “moderately” short video; so that you can get to know “very few” of the amazing females I had the chance to interview in 2017.

Each of these amazing ladies has inspired me in more than one way; and some of their quotes have become lessons that I ended up adopting as a mission in my life. But since it is almost impossible to sum-it all up in one article, I will leave you with this quote from UNHCR senior policy advisor for the MENA bureau, Shaden Khallaf, who has put together in one paragraph most of the messages I would like to send to all Egyptian women.

“It takes courage and strength to face the enormous hurdles Egyptian women face every day in making a decent living, caring for their children and their elderly, being the source of comfort and refuge for their families, managing households, all the time while negotiating promotions, fending off discrimination, dealing with harassment, and having to work twice as hard to earn the respect they deserve in the workplace. I am inspired by Egyptian women, and women everywhere around the world, who selflessly stay the course and make it easier for all of us to do the same.” — Shaden Khallaf

Happy International Women’s Day!
3/8/2018 6:08:21 PM
<![CDATA[Learn the facts about rural women and girls]]>
The 2018 theme spots the light on the importance of empowering and voicing the needs of rural women across the globe. It highlights the critical role these women and girls play to ensure both food and social security for their families and communities. It also discusses the multiple forms of discrimination and violence that they face, particularly women farmers and agricultural workers, indigenous women, tribal women, fisherwomen and informal women workers.

Rural women and girls have limited access to and control on land and productive resources, they do most of the unpaid and unrecognized household care, they lack access to information and communication technologies, they suffer from legislations that limit their ability to take loans and achieve economic independence, and they are heavily impacted by poor infrastructure, unregulated migration and climate disasters resulting from climate change. This vulnerability is further exacerbated by intersecting inequalities against young women and girls, older women, heads of households, women with disabilities, migrants, refugees and internally displaced women. The status of rural women and girls becomes more vulnerable in contexts of displacement, armed conflict,
militarization and extremism as they create greater opportunities for kidnappings and sexual exploitation.

The UNWOMEN published the following facts on the status of rural women and the challenges they face in labor market, education and health building on several reports published by U.N. organizations and the U.N. Secretary General’s report: Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.

The share of women working in agriculture by region

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

According to UNWOMEN, agriculture is the main employment sector for women in developing countries and rural areas. This sector falls within the informal economy leading to little social protection and labor rights. Therefore, these women endure lower life standards, poorer wages and health conditions, limited access to social services, restricted mobility and a lack of voice and agency.

Only 13 percent of agricultural landholders are women

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

This fact leads to less income security, less decision making power in private and public spaces, inability to access credit to start a business or improve agricultural productivity.

A rural woman is 38 percent less likely to give birth with a health care worker than an urban woman in low-income countries

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

This leads to increased chances of life-threatening complications, severe bleeding, infection and maternal mortality.

Rural women and girls are often responsible for fetching water

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

Sixty eight percent of the population in urban areas has access to safe and clean drinking water compared to 20 percent in rural areas. This situation increases the burden on women and girls to fetch clean water for the family, leading to barriers to education and employment, more unpaid domestic work, higher risk of maternal mortality and violence as well as psychosocial stress.

A rural girl is two times more likely to get married as a child compared to urban girls

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

Child brides face barriers to education and employment, greater risk for intimate partner violence and domestic violence, early pregnancy that can lead to maternal complications and vulnerability to STDs including HIV.

More than half of all poor rural women lack basic literacy skills

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

This leads to lower-quality jobs and decreased personal well-being.

The majority of rural women and girls are not connected to the internet

Photo credit - UNWOMEN

This leads to limited opportunities to learn new skills and obtain information and knowledge as well as limited economic opportunities.

The UNWOMEN also suggests a group of recommendations to empower rural women and girls including creating decent work opportunities, establishing social protection mechanisms, providing clean waterand sanitation, combating harmful practices and increasing women’s resilience to climate change.

3/8/2018 3:29:06 PM
<![CDATA[Happy International Women’s Day: Lets all press for progress]]>
"Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.” – United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General António Guterres

Despite notable progress since 1909, the year of the first IWD, celebrating this day remains necessary and relevant, as many challenges and struggles still stand in the way of full gender parity, especially since the original aim of the day has not been realized. The World Economic Forum reported in its Global Gender Gap report that gender parity is some 200 years away and the gender gap will not close until 2086.

Inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the feminist agenda has gone further and is no longer affiliated with any one group, ethnicity, color, background or gender. Women from all over the world are voicing to the world that everyone should act upon issues that continue to stand in the way of gender equality, and that equality benefits everyone in society. The theme for IWD 2018 is “Women Too: Press on to Progress as Game Changers”, aiming to encourage people to take strong action and be vocal to press forward and progress gender parity.

This theme is supported by corporate and non-governmental organizations, while the U.N. supports the theme “Time is Now: Rural and Women’s Activists Transforming Women’s Lives”, connecting women’s struggle to the Sustainable Development Goals (


) and specifically


on Gender Equality.

Global figures on women’s education and health are still worse than that for men

Each year, gender equality advocates and activists come together to coordinate an array of activities that include arts, discussions, rallies, protests and marches to celebrate the achievements of amazing women around the world who inspired generations to overcome gender barriers and say no to deeply rooted inequalities that hold women back, including the gender glass ceiling, gender pay gap, sexual harassment, violence and abuse of power. They also come together to say yes for gender parity and full representation of women in all aspects of life; they say yes for women’s full control over their bodies, minds, choices and future.

How did IWD start?

The roots of IWD can be traced to 1908 when more than 15,000 women marched in

New York City

and struggled for women’s suffrage and economic rights. Later in 1909, the first National Women’s Day was celebrated in the U.S. on February 28. One year later, a woman from Germany named Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of an international Women’s Day and suggested that each country should celebrate women on one day every year to push for their demands.

In 1911, more than 100 women from 17 countries gathered in a conference and agreed on Zetkin’s idea. The day was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. In 1913, the day was transferred to March 8 and has been celebrated on that day ever since. It was not until 1975 when the U.N. recognized the day and created an annual theme for the celebration. Ever since, IWD has grown and been celebrated in over 100 countries, having been declared an official holiday in more than 25 countries by 2014.

The annual IWD is just the start of a year-round campaign adopting the annual theme as a direction to guide all groups’ and countries’ collective actions and gender-focused initiatives. There are many ways to celebrate the day and show your support for women’s rights and gender equality. Consider these inspiring examples of positive behaviors proposed by the International Women’s Day website:

• Maintain a gender parity mindset: Question any lack of women’s participation, identify alternatives that are more inclusive, nominate women for opportunities, always include and support women, and think 50/50 as the goal.

• Challenge stereotypes and bias: Question assumptions about women, challenge statements that limit women, always use inclusive language, work to remove barriers to women's progress and buy from retailers who position women in positive ways.

• Forge positive visibility of women: Identify ways to make women more visible, extend opportunities to women first, assume women want opportunities until declined, select women as spokespeople and leaders, and support visible women.

• Influence others’ beliefs/actions: Sportively call-out inappropriate behavior, campaign for equality in meaningful ways, lead by example via inclusive actions, be a role model for equality and actively contribute to changing the status quo.

• Celebrate women’s achievements: Believe achievement comes in many forms, value women's individual and collective success, ensure credit is given for women's contributions, celebrate women role models and their journeys, and support awards showcasing women's success.
3/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[King Farouk’s timepiece up for auction in Dubai ]]>
The historic timepiece has a pre-sale estimate of $400,000 - 800,000; it includes a personalized engraving on the back of the case 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 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.

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.

“Having previously found a home for this watch at auction several years ago, Christie’s is delighted to be trusted again to offer King Farouk’s timepiece to a new generation of collectors,” Julia added.

King Farouk of Egypt’s personalized Patek Philippe - Photo courtesy of Christie’s

3/8/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Models take a walk through wintry woods for Chanel]]>
On the final day of Paris Fashion Week, the Chanel show featured some impractical attire for a winter’s hike, from golden over-the-knee boots to a little black slip dress worn by 16-year-old model-of-the-moment Kaia Gerber.

But the storied French brand’s latest autumn/winter collection also included more cozy looks, from quilted trousers and fur ponchos to coats with feathered cuffs, and even a chic balaclava - a recurring item on catwalks from Milan to New York in recent weeks.

Chanel’s famed tweed suits made an appearance, some with longer, narrow skirts for the winter months. And long coats with leafy patterns in combinations of blues and pinks, and others in green with hints of orange, were among the show stealers.

Guests including actress Keira Knightley and singer Lilly Allen crouched on benches cut from logs in the glass-domed Grand Palais exhibition hall, which was made to resemble a forest complete with musty smelling leaves and moss on the runway.

The privately owned label is known for its over-the-top displays, which have included a mini-Eiffel tower, a set featuring cliffs and a waterfall, and a Chanel-branded rocket which lifted off from the catwalk.

Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, sporting a full white beard along with his trademark ponytail and sunglasses, made a brief appearance to wave to the crowd on Tuesday.

The prolific 84-year-old also collaborates with Italian label Fendi, part of the LVMH stable of brands, which presented its show in February.

Paris Fashion Week closes the season of style presentations that have whipped through New York, London and Milan.

February shows are predominantly focused on womenswear for the coming autumn to winter season, though some brands are experimenting by showing menswear at the same time, or offering spring clothes for immediate sale as they try to chase younger customers used to shopping online.

Long the capital of the fashion world, Paris also got a fresh fashion boost on Monday from French President Emmanuel Macron, who invited established designers and up and coming figures to a gala and appealed to more foreign brands to move to France.
3/7/2018 12:41:53 PM
<![CDATA[National anti-HCV campaign resumes, reaps fruit]]>
By the year of 2022, Egypt will be HCV-free, announced Yehiya el-Shazly, president of the National Committee for Fighting Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infections, about a year ago.

The epidemic prevalence of HIV boils down to the use of improperly discharged syringe needles during state-led campaigns launched in the 1960s and 1970s against bilharzia.

Under the directives of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the Health Ministry announced a comprehensive strategy to eliminate HCV after infection rates were at their highest in Egypt by 2014, according to the World Health Organization, which cited that HCV kills 400,000 Egyptians a year.

Challenges remain:

Infection rates increase by around 150,000 every year, says Gamal Esmat, a professor of hepatology and endemic medicine and member of the National Committee for Liver Disease Control. He attributed such increase to the lack of awareness among Egypt’s population, as most patients are usually unaware that they carry the virus, outward symptoms of which can materialize long after infection occurs.

“We are working on three aspects. First is about offering intensive walk-in campaigns in all governorates. Secondly, there are nation-wide medical centers, labs and NGOs helping citizens figure out whether or not they carry the hepatitis C virus. The third aspect is prompting workers and staff at every workplace across Egypt to get the test,” Esmat stated.

He further illustrated that HCV tends to spread by blood-to-blood contact through shared toothbrushes or equipment used in hair salons and barber shops, like razors, confirming that HCV can rarely be transmitted through direct sexual activities and that infections caused by that reason account for only two percent.

The campaign’s 1st and 2nd phases:

In late February, the Ministry of Health announced the launch of hepatitis C field inspections in the remaining 10 governorates under the ministry’s nation-wide initiative to eliminate the spread of HCV by 2020.

Last week, the ministry announced that 17 governorates have been targeted by the ministry’s walk-in HCV testing.

During a meeting on Thursday, Minister of Health Ahmed Emad el-Din discussed with the ministry’s leaders the progress made thus far in the campaign and the cluster of medical conveys in the new target governorates.

The minister also announced that 79,400 citizens have already been tested by 56 medical convoys during the first phase in 17 governorates.

He also confirmed that remaining governorates include Qalyubia, Kafr el-Sheikh, Alexandria, Matrouh, Ismailia, Suez, South and North Sinai, and New Valley, explaining that there will be 31 walk-in points established and distributed to thoroughly cover the said governorates, along with a total 124 mobile medical vehicles for testing opportunities.

The medical examinations are conducted through the analysis of ELISA screening for hepatitis C using dried blood samples; those found to be HCV-positive are immediately directed to undergo the medical treatment program offered by the ministry that only costs LE 1,500 ($85).

Shazly announced in February 2017 that the ministry was providing alterative treatment courses for 45,000 patients reinfected with the virus.

As for medications, Egyptian pharmaceutical company Pharco managed to develop a new sofosbuvir-based treatment to flush out HCV, which was tested and found to be safe and successful.

International momentum gained:

Argentinean footballer Lionel Messi, during his tour to Egypt last February, prompted the state’s nation-wide campaign against HCV as under the health tourism campaign launched by the Egyptian government called “Tour n' Cure.”

Messi praised Egypt as “the leading example in fighting HCV.”

“Medication against hepatitis C saves lives; let's put an end to the waiting lists,” read a caption of an Instagram picture of Messi at the Pyramids.

“It’s such a success story. The whole thing is something the Egyptians can be really proud of,” said Tim Coleman, an English documentary filmmaker who was fully cured from HCV after taking part in the government’s “Tour and Cure” program.

Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom on Tuesday, February 27 hailed the major efforts and achievements realized by Egypt in its wide-scale campaign to fight hepatitis C.

Brazilian footballer Roberto Carlos accompanied the medical convoy sent out to Cairo’s largest slum, Ezbet el-Hagana, to spread awareness about hepatitis C and conduct inspections.

In press remarks, Carlos said that he loves being in Egypt and that his current visit will not be the last, extending his thanks to the Egyptian leadership for its efforts to end the spread of hepatitis C.
3/7/2018 10:46:28 AM
<![CDATA[Mulling buyback, Stella McCartney unveils deconstructed suits]]>
McCartney, known for her understated designs and commitment not to use fur or leather, has an option until March 31 to buy back the 50 percent of her label owned by Kering, according to the terms of their joint venture.

McCartney said she was examining a possible purchase but that nothing was set.

“I have an opportunity to buy 50 percent that Kering have of the Stella McCartney house, it’s an option that I have that I’m looking at, but it’s not defined and it’s not something I can talk about right now,” McCartney said after the show at Paris’ sumptious Opera Garnier.

Kering has confirmed holding talks about its Stella McCartney stake but dismissed reports of a split in the works as speculative, saying the two regularly discussed their partnership.

The conglomerate, controlled by its founding Pinault family and run by scion Francois-Henri Pinault, has had a 50/50 joint venture with the British label since 2001.

After March 31, McCartney has the right to sell her stake, according to company filings.

The label’s latest runway show - the first to mix men and women’s clothing - featured an edgy take on suits, with waistcoasts revealing a bare back, layered shorts over trousers cut from the same cloth, and linings worn as sleeves.

“The inside of things sometimes has a more sensual relationship with the wearer,” McCartney said of the looks, adding she had mixed pieces from men and women’s wardrobes.

“The linings have so much character to them, you never seen them and they’re always so incredible,” the designer, who partly trained with a Savile Row tailor, added.

Looks for next winter included knitwear, such as a chunky striped poncho with layers of different yarns, and dresses in stretchy velour etched with prints from 20th century British artist J.H. Lynch, known for his paintings of sultry women.

The brand does not publish earnings. Kering’s latest financial report said revenue growth at Stella McCartney - a much smaller contributor to its sales than Italy’s Gucci and French label Saint Laurent - was buoyant but had slowed in 2017 compared to previous years.
3/6/2018 12:33:11 PM
<![CDATA[Oscars red carpet glitters in anything-goes fashion attitude]]>
Instead, the film world’s glitterati chose what made them feel best in a celebration of fashion diversity, whether classic shapes or edgier, flesh-baring looks.

From the Louis Vuitton black trousers worn by Emma Stone to the electric pink Michael Kors gown wrapped around Viola Davis, this year’s Oscar runway was a study in contrasts that celebrated individual flair.

The #Metoo movement against sexual harassment did not appear to be taking away from “having fun with fashion,” said Leslie Price, digital director for Instyle, noting: “The two aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Many of the stars wore “Time’s Up” buttons, in solidarity with victims of the sexual abuse that has roiled the entertainment industry.

“There is diversity everywhere - there is no formula anymore,” said Rickie De Sole, W magazine’s fashion director. “It looks like people are embracing personal style more than just wearing a typical dress. It’s kind of whatever goes.”

Presenter Salma Hayek, wearing a lilac Gucci dress with tiers of sequins and rhinestones worthy of “One Thousand and One Arabian Nights,” cited the female solidarity that was changing how Hollywood was run.

“Here we are to celebrate the fact that women will not have to struggle as hard together,” said Hayek. “I know that future generations will have it easier.”

Celebrating her first Oscar nod for her performance in “I, Tonya,” Allison Janney, who went on to win the award for best supporting actress, made a statement in a scarlet red gown from Reem Acra with a deep V neckline and dramatic flared sleeves.

“Get Out” star Allison Williams chose dusty pink with sparkles, a decidedly demure princessy look amid the sea of low-cut gowns. Her co-star Betty Gabriel’s teal Tony Ward bodice left little to the imagination.

Threatened by possible showers, the red carpet instead proceeded under sunny skies, where a host of bold colors in emerald, purple and shocking pink appeared to glow.

Jennifer Garner and Nicole Kidman opted for royal blue, and Ashley Judd wore a strapless amethyst dress. Best-director nominee Greta Gerwig chose orangey-mustard, while Meryl Streep wore classic vermillion.

“I’m humbled by the whole thing,” said Mary J. Blige, nominated for two Oscars for “Mudbound,” wearing a form-fitting white gown with cap sleeves and sequins.

The first Hispanic actress to garner an Academy Award, 86-year-old Rita Moreno returned to the red carpet on Sunday, wearing the same strapless black gown with a ballooning skirt that she wore in 1962 when she won for “West Side Story.”

Celebrating her African heritage was actress Tiffany Haddish, who appeared on the red carpet in an ivory dress embroidered with a geometric pattern and black jacket she described as an “Eritrean authentic princess dress.”

“My father is from Eritrea. He passed away last year and he said one day I would end up here, and if I ever end up at the Oscars, to honor my people, so I’m honoring my fellow Eritreans,” Haddish told ABC, before beginning to ululate.

U.S. skaters Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu brought Olympic flair to the runway, with Rippon giving a nod to bondage with his Moschino tuxedo with leather straps. Neutralizing his edgy look was Nagasu on his arm in a light blue romantic lace look.
3/6/2018 12:26:08 PM
<![CDATA[et Best Dressed: 90th Academy Awards]]>
Abbie Cornish wears an Elie Saab dress, Bulgari jewelry and carries a Roger Vivier clutch. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Abbie Cornish wears an Elie Saab dress, Bulgari jewelry and carries a Roger Vivier clutch - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Alexandra Borbely. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Alexandra Borbely - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Allison Janney wears Reem Acra with a Roger Vivier bag. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Allison Janney wears Reem Acra with a Roger Vivier bag. -
Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Allison Williams wears Armani Prive and Brian Atwood shoes. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Allison Williams wears Armani Prive and Brian Atwood shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Andra Day wears Zac Posen. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Andra Day wears Zac Posen - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri.

Ashley Judd in custom Badgley Mischka and Bulgari jewelry with Mira Sorvino in Romona Keveža. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Ashley Judd in custom Badgley Mischka and Bulgari jewelry with Mira Sorvino in Romona Keveža - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Betty Gabriel wears Tony Ward Couture. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Betty Gabriel wears Tony Ward Couture - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Elisabeth Moss wears  Christian Dior, Roger Vivier bag and Brian Atwood shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Elisabeth Moss wears Christian Dior, Roger Vivier bag and Brian Atwood shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Emily Blunt wears Schiaparelli Haute Couture with Chopard jewelry. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Emily Blunt wears Schiaparelli Haute Couture with Chopard jewelry - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Emma Stone wears Louis Vuitton. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Emma Stone wears Louis Vuitton - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Gina Rodriguez Zuhair Murad Couture. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Gina Rodriguez Zuhair Murad Couture - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Haley Bennett wears Christian Dior. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Haley Bennett wears Christian Dior - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Helen Mirren wears Reem Acra. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Helen Mirren wears Reem Acra - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Jane Fonda wears custom Balmain, Chopard jewelry, Perrin bag and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Jane Fonda wears custom Balmain, Chopard jewelry, Perrin bag and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Janet Mock wears Christian Siriano. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Janet Mock wears Christian Siriano - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Jennifer Garner wears Versace and Piaget jewelry. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Jennifer Garner wears Versace and Piaget jewelry - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri.

Jennifer Lawrence wears Christian Dior. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Jennifer Lawrence wears Christian Dior - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Jordan Peele in Calvin Klein and Jimmy Choo shoes with his wife Chelsea Peretti. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Jordan Peele in Calvin Klein and Jimmy Choo shoes with his wife Chelsea Peretti - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.j

Kelly Marie Tran  in Jenny Packham, Chopard jewelry and Brian Atwood shoes. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Kelly Marie Tran in Jenny Packham, Chopard jewelry and Brian Atwood shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri.

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine Bryant. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine Bryant - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Kumail Nanjiani in Ermenegildo Zegna Couture with Emily V. Gordon. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Kumail Nanjiani in Ermenegildo Zegna Couture with Emily V. Gordon - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Laura Dern  in Calvin Klein by Appointment. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Laura Dern in Calvin Klein by Appointment - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Lesley Manville. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Lesley Manville - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Lupita Nyong'o in custom Atelier Versace, Versace bag, Niwaka jewelry and Alexandre Birman shoes, with Winston Duke and Danai Gurira (L to R). REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Lupita Nyong'o in custom Atelier Versace, Versace bag, Niwaka jewelry and Alexandre Birman shoes, with Winston Duke and Danai Gurira (L to R) - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Margot Robbie wears Chanel Haute Couture and Roger Vivier shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Margot Robbie wears Chanel Haute Couture and Roger Vivier shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Mary J. Blige wears Atelier Versace and with a Roger Vivier bag. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Mary J. Blige wears Atelier Versace and with a Roger Vivier bag - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.jpg

Meryl Streep wears Christian Dior Haute Couture, Christian Louboutin bag, Fred Leighton jewelry, and Stuart Weitzman shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Meryl Streep wears Christian Dior Haute Couture, Christian Louboutin bag, Fred Leighton jewelry, and Stuart Weitzman shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Nazanin Mandi and Miguel. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Nazanin Mandi and Miguel - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Nicole Kidman wears Armani Armani Privé, Harry Winston jewelry and Christian Louboutin shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Nicole Kidman wears Armani Armani Privé, Harry Winston jewelry and Christian Louboutin shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Paz Vega wears Christopher Bu and Chopard jewelry. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Paz Vega wears Christopher Bu and Chopard jewelry - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Phoebe Waller-Bridge wears Vionnet. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Phoebe Waller-Bridge wears Vionnet - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Producer James Ivory. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Producer James Ivory - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Rita Moreno wears the same dress she wore at the Oscars in 1962 REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Rita Moreno wears the same dress she wore at the Oscars in 1962 - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Salma Hayek in custom Gucci. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Salma Hayek in custom Gucci - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Samara Weaving wears Schiaparelli Couture. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Samara Weaving wears Schiaparelli Couture - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Saoirse Ronan wearsCalvin Klein by Appointment, Cartier jewelry and Christian Louboutin shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Saoirse Ronan wearsCalvin Klein by Appointment, Cartier jewelry and Christian Louboutin shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Skier Lindsey Vonn wears a Christian Siriano dress and Bulgari jewelry. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Skier Lindsey Vonn wears a Christian Siriano dress and Bulgari jewelry - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Sofia Carson wears Giambattista Valli Resort, Chopard jewelry and Jimmy Choo shoes. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Sofia Carson wears Giambattista Valli Resort, Chopard jewelry and Jimmy Choo shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

St. Vincent wears Saint Laurent. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
St. Vincent wears Saint Laurent - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Taraji P. Henson wears custom Vera Wang. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Taraji P. Henson wears custom Vera Wang - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Timothee Chalamet in Berluti. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Timothee Chalamet in Berluti - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Viola Davis wears Michael Kors Collection and with a Roger Vivier bag. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Viola Davis wears Michael Kors Collection and with a Roger Vivier bag - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Wendi McLendon-Covey. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Wendi McLendon-Covey - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Whoopi Goldberg wears Christian Siriano. REUTERSCarlo Allegri
Whoopi Goldberg wears Christian Siriano - Photo Via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Zendaya wears a Giambattista Valli Haute Couture, BVLGARI jewelry and Brian Atwood shoes. REUTERSMario Anzuoni
Zendaya wears a Giambattista Valli Haute Couture, BVLGARI jewelry and Brian Atwood shoes - Photo Via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
3/5/2018 6:38:08 PM
<![CDATA[The Arab designers to watch at the 90th Academy Awards tonight]]>
Tonight the fashion and Arab world’s will be watching the 90th Academy Awards red carpet closely in anticipation of having their favorite Arab designers worn by Hollywood royalty. We have gathered the ultimate guide of Arabs that have been ruling the red carpet this past year and awards season.

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3/4/2018 9:00:20 PM
<![CDATA[Why has the global fashion scene not yet recognized Egypt?]]>
As for here in Egypt, we have an ever growing fashion and design scene where on a daily basis we see an emerging designer or brand announcing their launch. As for Egypt’s representation in the regional or global fashion scene we saw Kojak take his bold taste to the runway at season 10 of Fashion Forward Dubai. As for the accessories, there isn’t one person left that hasn’t heard about Okhetin. They have managed to accessorize Queen B herself (Beyoncé) and Egypt’s first lady.

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Their achievements and industry recognition is simply owed to their social media strategies, networking and collaborations with some of the best and well-connected stylists there are, all the while without any consulting from official organizations. Yet, not many have knowledge of a select group of five people who have formed our very own homegrown EFDC.

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The council members are Fatma Ghali, daughter of Azza Fahmy and the Managing Director of Azza Fahmy Jewellery, Susan Sabet the editor-in-chief of Pashion Magazine a quarterly luxury bilingual fashion magazine, Paul Antaki the man that brought Converse and Daniel Hatcher to Egypt, fashion designer Marie Louis and Abdelmalek Shamsi.

With the background of Saudi getting the opportunity to host Arab Fashion Week, we reached out to the EFDC and asked them why Egypt has never had the opportunity to host an official calendar fashion week despite them following the fashion calendar regionally and globally just as the other fashion councils and organizations have.

As for their goals and objectives, the Council commented saying, “Our goal, as the Egyptian Fashion and Design Council, is to develop and grow our designers to eventually establish the Cairo Fashion Week that will showcase a sufficient number of Egyptian designers to a local and international audience of buyers and press.” They continue to explain, “Those designers will not only be competitive on an international level of quality and creativity but will also be capable of having their collections ready a season ahead and fulfill orders on time.”

In response to why we don’t have any official fashion calendar shows or showcases, they explained that “in order to attract, satisfy and guarantee the return of top international buyers and press requires a lot of funding. To guarantee such funding we have to be able to show our sponsors and a selection of professional Egyptian designers that will represent our industry with international standards.”

The Council had their first meeting around three years ago; it was initially formed by Ghali and Sabet who then gathered the rest of the members. However, three years is a long time for the council to still be in the phase of seeking finances.

There have been many homegrown fashion events held in Cairo over the past couple of years and according to their backdrops, they have no shortage of financing or sponsors.

“There are a lot of other steps that need to be taken to truly support the [Egyptian fashion] industry. Education, mentoring and creating strong networks are the necessary steps to establish a whole ecosystem that truly supports the whole industry. So it’s an important step with hopefully many to follow…The EFDC is creating a healthy ecosystem for the design and fashion industry in Egypt."

We only hope to see the Egyptian fashion industry take a step forward with it's everyday increase in talent and the ever growing need for luxury.
3/4/2018 3:01:23 PM
<![CDATA[Husband's Paris catwalk love letter to 'Queen of Punk' Westwood]]>
The flamboyant Austrian creator -- who many including himself believe is the basis for comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's 2009 fashion satire "Bruno" -- pulled out all the stops in a joyous romp of a collection that put his spin on the Queen of Punk's iconoclastic career.

"I don't like looking back, it's not my way," Kronthaler, who took the reins of the brand two years ago, told AFP.

"But looking at our time together and how many things she has inspired in me and taught me... I just thought, how wonderful."

His notes for the show was a love letter to his wife, citing her golden rule, "When in doubt, dress up!"

"One should never see the brain working in what you wear, and one dresses to be eventually naked... These mantras of yours and so much more became part of my life and work," he wrote.

"I still think to this day you are the best dressed woman in any room. Love you forever," said the designer who met Westwood as a student when he was 25 and she 50.

Westwood, now 76, cheered her husband -- who she has called "the world's greatest designer" -- after the show along with American actress Rose McGowan, who helped launch the #MeToo movement accusing the disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape.

- Impossibly high platform boots -

"That is what (fashion) should be. It was great," she told AFP.

The collection ranged over Westwood's career from the 1970s with lots of feathers and frills to counter its gender fluid side, with three male go-go dancers in impossibly high platform boots and eight male models walking the catwalk along with 20 women.

Kronthaler said he copied two pieces in the collection, a mohair punk sweater that Westwood knitted for herself -- "which says so much about you, and the other is the catsuit which you used to wear when I first met you."

Meanwhile, French designer Veronique Leroy had earlier shown her collection on the screen of a Champs Elysees cinema.

She told AFP her wool-rich autumn-winter range that featured Harris tweed coats and jackets was inspired by country weekends and that she shot the film in rural Burgundy.

"I have been thinking of showing my work for ages in another way other than on the catwalk," she said.

"I said to myself I just can't go on doing the same repetition thing... and in the end I think we showed the clothes and how I came with them better than we could have in a show."

3/4/2018 12:40:02 PM
<![CDATA[Pet cloning is not just for celebrities anymore]]>
Last year, as the 10th anniversary of her daughter's death approached, the dog was nearing 13 and becoming increasingly frail.

"I knew that I was falling apart," said Must.

"The thought of Billy dying was just more than I could handle."

So she decided to clone her.

She paid more than $50,000 for what is essentially an identical twin of Billy, born at a later date.

"I have three other daughters and they thought I had completely lost my mind," Must said.

Cloning animals is hardly new. The first major success was Dolly the sheep, born in 1996 as the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. In 2005, researchers in South Korea cloned the first dog.

But the news this week that singer Barbra Streisand had cloned her dog grabbed international headlines, and sparked fresh outrage from animal rights groups.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) president Ingrid Newkirk issued a statement saying she would "love to have talked her out of cloning," noting that "millions of wonderful adoptable dogs are languishing in animal shelters every year or dying in terrifying ways when abandoned."

Vicki Katrinak, program manager for animal research issues at the Humane Society of the United States, agreed.

Companies that clone animals are "preying on grieving pet owners, giving them a false promise that they are going to replicate their beloved pet," she told AFP.

"Pet cloning doesn't replicate a pet's personality," she said, adding there is "no justification" for the practice.

- Clients rich and poor -

Just how many pets are cloned each year is unclear. The main US company engaged in the practice, ViaGen Pets, declined AFP's requests for comment.

"We have produced thousands of happy, healthy cloned cows and hundreds of cloned horses," says its website, adding that company scientists "have been developing successful animal cloning and reproductive technology for over 15 years."

A former employee of ViaGen, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, estimated that the Texas-based company has cloned around 100 cats and dogs.

The other main source for cloned pets is the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul, South Korea, which says it has cloned some 800 pets and charges $100,000 each.

Many companies have tried and failed to make the pet cloning business work.

Ron Gillespie, a former cattle semen salesman, owns a company called PerPETuate, which collects pet DNA for $1,300 plus a storage fee.

They used to do pet cloning, but now farm it out to other companies like ViaGen Pets, he said.

His client list runs the gamut from rich to poor, he said.

"I have a homeless man and I have a celebrity," said Gillespie, adding that the homeless man was not out on the street when he paid for to have his dog's DNA frozen, but fell into dire financial straits afterward.

Now, he desperately wants "to get his dog back," but is unsure if he will ever be able to pay for a clone, Gillespie said.

- How it works -

Dogs can be cloned up to five days after they die and cats up to three, as long as the corpses are kept cool, Gillespie said.

Ideally, though, the pet should be alive when the veterinarian takes a tissue biopsy, a chunk of skin and muscle about the size of a pencil eraser.

The next step is to take an egg cell from a donor dog, remove the egg's nucleus, and insert DNA from the pet to be cloned.

When an embryo develops, it is transplanted in the womb of a surrogate dog.

Animal rights groups say the process causes undue suffering to the dogs that provide the egg cells and carry the embryos.

"Because cloning has a high failure rate, many dogs are caged and tormented for every birth that actually occurs," said Newkirk.

Traits that will carry over can include temperament, physical characteristics and genetic flaws. Coat patterns may differ, and the cloned animal will have no awareness of the life its predecessor lived.

According to Must, the puppy that was cloned from Billy is playful and fearless, like her. They also share the same petite frame, shiny coat and big paws.

"They look exactly alike for sure. She will do things like Billy does, like putting her head down and rolling into your lap," said Must.

She named the puppy Gunni, after the town in Colorado, Gunnison, where her daughter lived, and is grateful for the respite from grief the canine has provided.

She was born the same week as the anniversary of her daughter's passing. The puppy's first ultrasound took place -- coincidentally -- on Miya's birthday.

"It was singularly one of the best decisions that I have made," Must said.

"It has given me a new lease on life."

3/3/2018 12:57:00 PM
<![CDATA[Sweet-toothed fashionistas delight in chocolate clothes]]>
choco 3
A model dressed in an outfit made with chocolate presents a creation at the Brussels chocolate fair, Belgium, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The fashion show, which teams designers with chocolatiers and pastry chefs from more than 15 countries, kicked off the annual three-day“Salon du Chocolat” chocolate fair in Belgium’s capital on Thursday evening.

A model dressed in an outfit made with chocolate presents a creation at the Brussels chocolate fair, Belgium, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Chocolate was molded into whimsical designs from evening gowns to cocktail dresses to hats.

A model dressed in an outfit made with chocolate presents a creation at the Brussels chocolate fair, Belgium, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The international fair, where visitors can sample sweets from more than 130 participants, plays to Belgium’s reputation as a leading chocolate maker.

A model dressed in an outfit made with chocolate presents a creation at the Brussels chocolate fair, Belgium, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

“Once again, it’s a dream that becomes reality and we are salivating already,” Brussels city mayor Philippe Close said in a statement.

A model dressed in an outfit made with chocolate presents a creation at the Brussels chocolate fair, Belgium, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Reporting by Francois Lenoir; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Peter Graff

3/2/2018 8:37:25 PM
<![CDATA[Facebook ends six-country test that split News Feed in two]]>
The test created two streaming series of posts. One was focused on photos and other updates from friends and family, and a second was called an "explore feed." It was dedicated to material from Facebook pages that the user had liked, such as media outlets or sports teams.

The social media network decided to end the test and maintain one feed because people told the company in surveys they did not like the change, Adam Mosseri, head of the News Feed at Facebook, said in a statement.

"People told us they were less satisfied with the posts they were seeing, and having two separate feeds didn't actually help them connect more with friends and family," Mosseri said.

The test began in October and took place in Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka. It quickly affected website traffic for smaller media outlets.

Mosseri said the company had also "received feedback that we made it harder for people in the test countries to access important information, and that we didn't communicate the test clearly."

He said Facebook would, in response, revise how it tests product changes although he did not say how. A Facebook representative did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.

"I hope Facebook will have more interest in what is happening inside its test countries," Slovakian journalist Filip Struhárik, who had earlier criticized the test, said on Twitter on Thursday.

Struhárik said news media websites are stronger now by not relying on Facebook for traffic, and he expects traffic from Facebook to fall further in the long term because of other changes to the News Feed that deemphasize media overall.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled other changes to the Facebook News Feed in the past two months to fight sensationalism and prioritize posts from friends and family.

The world's largest social network and its competitors are under pressure from users and government authorities to make their services less addictive and to stem the spread of false news stories and hoaxes. ]]>
3/2/2018 5:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Burberry picks Riccardo Tisci as new creative officer]]>
The 43-year-old Italian, who was creative director at the famed French fashion house from 2005 to 2017, will take over the reins at Burberry on March 12.

He is credited with reviving Givenchy by cultivating links with celebrities, including by designing stage outfits for the tours of Madonna, Beyonce and Rihanna, and directing the artwork for an album by Jay Z and Kanye West.

Tisci will be based in London and direct all Burberry's collections, presenting his first in September, the company said.

Chief executive Marco Gobbetti said he was "delighted" at the appointment, adding: "Riccardo is one of the most talented designers of our time.

"His designs have an elegance that is contemporary and his skill in blending streetwear with high fashion is highly relevant to today's luxury consumer.

"Riccardo's creative vision will reinforce the ambitions we have for Burberry and position the brand firmly in luxury."

Tisci said he was honoured to take over and pleased to be reuniting with Gobbetti, who was chief executive of Givenchy between 2004 and 2008.

"I have an enormous respect for Burberry's British heritage and global appeal and I am excited about the potential of this exceptional brand," he said.

Bailey presented his final show at last month's London Fashion Week, bowing out after 17 years.

3/1/2018 1:08:44 PM
<![CDATA[Careem and Uber share funniest passenger stories ]]>
Well, we were curious enough to reach out to Careem and Uber and ask their drivers to share with us their funniest passenger stories. From the forgetful parents to the grocery shoppers and the “Mahshy” lunchtime snacks; here they are.


Missing Butter:

“Customer forgot four kilograms of butter in the captain's car, as she was grocery shopping and got out and forgot her butter. The captain offered to pay the customer the price of those four kilograms to be satisfied as he cooked with it in his house, but Careem ended refunding the customer for them instead.”

Baby’s Day Out:

“Captain found a baby in his car’s backseat after dropping a customer off. He was freaked out and called the call center, at the same moment the woman realized she forgot her baby and was calling the call center in hysterics as the captain was not answering, (he was on a call with the call center to call the customer as she took all her bags and forgot her baby in the car). We called the customer and the captain delivered her child safely to her. All of this happened within a very stressful five minutes.”

The Grocery Shopper:

“A ride was booked to a hypermarket, and the captain offered to go to the hypermarket with the customer and drive her back. He got some stuff for himself, helped her carry all the bags to the car, and when she arrived at her drop off location she pretended that she didn’t have enough money to pay him for the trip and took her stuff and the stuff he got for himself as well and just got into her house.”


The Mother:

“A female customer with three kids got in an Uber on a hot summer day. The Uber driver had his AC on and suddenly he smells something weird coming from the backseat. Apparently, the mother started feeding her three kids from a big pot of stuffed cabbage, Mahshy. The driver calmly told the rider to stop doing so as the smell would stick to the car (he had to open the windows to let in some air). She offered him some mahshy and after several discussions she finally put away the mahshy.”

The Conspiracy Theory:

“The Uber driver reached the assigned location but couldn’t find the rider. When he calls her stating the location he’s in, she furiously says “Why did you go to my house? I’m not there now, how did you go to this location? Did Om Mohamed tell you to come here?” After various attempts from the driver to calm her down, stating she mistakenly picked this location, he asked her to order another ride to her current location. Before ending the call she forced the driver to swear that Om Mohamed isn’t involved in this misunderstanding. Obviously, she’s on bad terms with Om Mohamed.”

3/1/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Short shorts lead the way at Saint Laurent's Eiffel Tower display]]>
Spectators and models were shielded from the worst of the freezing weather at the Paris Fashion Week event on Tuesday.

But the styles, by house designer Anthony Vaccarello, featured plenty of bare legs, as mini black leather shorts were paired with sleek jackets and sheer tops for a chic, rock-and-roll look.

Thigh-grazing dresses in an array of flowery patterns, some with structured shoulders and billowing sleeves, closed the catwalk show. Elsewhere, shaggy coats and longer gowns made an appearance, including some with spectacular curved necklines.

Men donned capes and leather jackets; others wore close-cut suits, in black or deep blue velvet, and echoed the sexy, party feel of the collection with sparkling jackets.

The French label - named after its founder Yves Saint Laurent and owned by luxury conglomerate Kering - unveiled its collection on the first full day of Paris Fashion Week, which runs until March 6.

Other stalwarts of the French fashion calendar, including LVMH couture house Dior, are also showcasing their latest looks.

2/28/2018 1:17:42 PM
<![CDATA[et Bites: a quick tour of Egyptian dishes and recipes ]]>
Egyptian cuisine is the most perfect illustration of this fact! Every occasion, feasts and memories are associated with certain foods that have evolved throughout Egyptian history.

In celebration of our rich Egyptian cuisine, I will be taking you on a quick tour of some of our signature appetizers, main dishes and desserts, along with some easy quick recipes for you to taste our must-try Egyptian dishes.

Start off with the appetizers

Egyptian cuisine offers plenty of delicious appetizers, such as tasty pickles, our famous Baladi (Arabic for local) salad, Goulash and Rokak (Arabic for minced meat pies) and many more.

Since it is one of my all-time favourites, I would advise you to try out the Rokak. It is made of very thin bread slices stuffed with minced meat, drizzled by meat broth and baked in the oven until golden and crispy on the outside and very tender in the inside.
If you feel the need for a heart-warming soup, I would also recommend Egyptian lentil soup with some tasty crispy bread, as one amazing dish to start off your meal.

Check the video for a very easy and delicious recipe:

Now to the MAIN dish

Out of so many main dishes in Egyptian cuisine, no one would pass out on some delicious white rice and “Molokhia” the leaves of Corchorus olitorius); and with some crispy chicken, it gets even tastier! Although many Arab countries have it in their cuisines, the Egyptian way is still very unique, and tremendously delicious.
My mother has always told me that it was the first meal I tried at two years old; and since then, I have become addicted. I do not only make it at home, I even order it whenever I am at any Egyptian restaurant!

Another signature dish in Egyptian Cuisine is the taro. Most Egyptians eat it with white rice or Baladi bread and meat but I actually prefer it - or this is how I was raised - with red pasta sauce! I love to mix the green and red sauce together! The taste is beyond delicious and irresistible. Try it! You won’t regret it!

Despite the misconceptions, Egyptian food is not just about fatty and meaty dishes; we also have a lot of vegetarian plates, such as falafel, which is famous worldwide, “Bussara” made of fava beans and greens, aubergine with assorted styles, potatoes in all forms and finally “Kushari”, a vegetarian meal of high nutrition value that contains 13 ingredients.

Signature desserts

Oriental desserts are quite common among Arab cuisines but each country has its own twist and unique taste, and we also have our pure Egyptian dishes like “Om Ali,” made of puff pastry and nuts soaked in milk, covered with fresh cream and baked until golden! The true meaning of comfort food!

As for the Egyptian version of rice pudding, it is way creamier with less rice, topped with cinnamon and nuts and sometimes we add a scoop of fresh cream on top! A GAME CHANGER!

Another one of our signature dishes is the Egyptian version of pumpkin pie; a paste of pumpkin, cinnamon, coconut flakes and raisins, topped with sweet béchamel sauce.

Egyptian cuisine is rich and tasty, and it certainly deserves to be on the must-try cuisines list.

From vegetarian dishes to fatty foods, street foods, fine dining, and finally the recent trends of modernising and adapting different dishes to our own culture, Egyptian cuisine is very unique and matches all tastes.

Follow Dina Hamdy @dinainthekitchen for more ideas, easy recipes and tips about Egyptian cuisine.
2/28/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[MyBeautyFest coming back in March]]>

A soft launching event was held on Tuesday in Dubai; and it was attended by two Egyptian makeup artists, Zeina El Naggar and Logina Salah.

“I’m very excited about the event … don’t miss it; a lot of bloggers will be there, stay tuned” Salah said in a statement posted on My Beauty Fest Instagram account. A gorgeous makeup artist from Alexandria, Salah graduated, and got her professional license, from Beverly international beauty school in New York. With her philosophy that all women are beautiful, she has become an inspirational figure and was featured in Dubai news this year, giving skin tips.

My Beauty Fest’s second edition will be taking place in Dubai between March 9 and 10, while featuring the globally recognized brands and beauty celebrities; including Hrush Achemyan, makeup artist for the Kardashian’s; Fouz, the Middle East most influential makeup artist ; as well as beauty and lifestyle bloggers Sonia and Fayza Ali.

My Beauty Fest event was held for the first time in October 2016, launched in Dubai, with the main aim to celebrate the spirit of beauty and transformation.

Tickets are available on MyBeautyFest official website.

2/27/2018 5:39:02 PM
<![CDATA[Catholic 'fashion' items to be displayed in New York]]>
Items such as papal rings and crowns worn by various popes from the 18th and 19th centuries will go on display, including precious treasures from the famous Sistine Chapel "never seen outside of the Vatican," organisers said.

The exhibition "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" will feature items spanning a period of more than 15 papacies.

Andrew Bolton, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, said fashion and religion have always inspired and influenced each other.

Designer Donatella Versace and Vogue's Anna Wintour were among those to attend a presentation of the exhibition on Monday in Rome, as well as Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican's culture minister.

The exhibition at the Met is due to open to the public from May 10 until October 8.
2/27/2018 1:33:05 PM
<![CDATA[Cuban cigar sales hit record as China demand surges]]>
Habanos S.A., a 50-50 joint venture between the Cuban state and Britain's Imperial Brands Plc, said sales in China, its third export market after Spain and France, jumped 33 percent in value in 2017.

"Without doubt, there is potential for China to become the biggest market at a global level," Habanos Vice President of Development Jose María Lopez told Reuters after the company's annual news conference, while puffing on a smoke.

The Cuban monopoly cigar company's hand-rolled cigars, which include brands such as Cohiba, Montecristo and Partagas, are considered by many as the best in the world, and the festival attracts wealthy tobacco aficionados and retailers from all over for a week of extravagant parties and tours of plantations and factories.

Lopez said that growth in global sales of Cuban cigars last year outpaced the luxury goods market, which expanded 5 percent, according to consultancy Bain & Co. He put sales growth down to several good tobacco harvests and new products.

The Habanos executive said the outlook was also positive, given solid demand and "excellent" climatic conditions. Hurricane Irma, which wrought havoc throughout much of Cuba last year, left the western, prime tobacco-growing state of Pinar del Rio mostly unscathed.

Cigars are one of the top exports for the Cuban economy, which is otherwise struggling with decreasing aid from key ally Venezuela, a cash crunch and a pushback against market reforms.

However, the Caribbean island cannot sell its signature export to the biggest market worldwide for cigars, the United States, due to the decades-old U.S. trade embargo.

Improved U.S.-Cuba relations under former U.S. President Barack Obama stoked a boom in international travel to Cuba and boosted cigar sales on the island, with American visitors able to take home as many cigars as they wanted.

Lopez said U.S. President Donald Trump's more hostile policy toward Cuba, including tighter restrictions on U.S. travel, did not appear to have impacted sales so far. Domestic revenue rose around 15 percent last year.

"We trust that despite Trump's measures the Cuban market will continue to grow in 2018," he said.

Cigars have been Cuba's signature product ever since Christopher Columbus saw natives smoking rolled up tobacco leaves when he first sailed to the Caribbean island in 1492.

Late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro was often seen puffing on his favored kind, the long and thin 'lancero', until he quit in 1985.]]>
2/27/2018 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Dolce & Gabbana opens the gates of fashion heaven in Milan show]]>
Church chants welcomed guests with the gates of heaven used as a background to the catwalk. “Fashion Devotion” read a golden sign over golden gates and a flurry of angels and clouds.

At the show’s start, bells chimed, the gates opened and drones flew out, carrying the brand’s handbags down the catwalk.

In previous shows the famous designer duo had asked young so-called influencers to showcase their designs, turning to bloggers and Instagrammers who have millions of followers and are seen as style icons by their fans. But this time Dolce & Gabbana returned to professional models.

The collection, rich and opulent as usual by Dolce & Gabbana, featured church-influenced designs such as a big black cape draped over a white t-shirt, a priest collar combined with an elegant damasked tuxedo and a cassock-looking dress with red finishes paired with high-heeled red sandals.

Other references to heaven included cartoon-esque angels wearing sunglasses, which were on skirts and on a ornate bronze bomber jacket, with wings coming out of the model’s back.

“Fashion sinner”, “D&G devotion” and “Santa moda ora pro nobis” – Holy fashion pray for us - read some of the clothes, with reference to prayers.

The fall-winter 2018/19 collection also intertwined all of the fashion house’s iconic traits such as black lace, tight-fitting black dresses, veils, references to Italy’s southern traditions and costumes as well as flowers.

Other designs were bright and glittered and paired with exuberant accessories, such as a big pink wig, glass frames with cartoon exclamations and neon green fur stilettos.

2/26/2018 11:26:28 AM
<![CDATA[Huawei launches new tablet in flagship phone hiatus]]>
The laptop, the Matebook X Pro, and the tablet, the MediaPad M5, were presented on the eve of the opening of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona -- the scene of previous major Huawei launches.

But this year the company will instead present its new flagship smartphone -- the P20 -- on March 27 in Paris, in what is seen as a bid not to be eclipsed by Samsung's launch of its new top end phone later Sunday.

"By launching the new P20 smartphones only a month later in Paris, Huawei will be able to fine tune its marketing message based on how the new Samsung S9 devices are perceived by consumers," said Forrester analyst Thomas Husson.

Both the new Huawei laptop and tablet feature long lasting batteries and quicker charge times and are available in grey and silver.

The laptop's power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which Huawei says will start and securely log into Windows in under eight seconds.

Huawei also unveiled what it said is the world's first commercial chipset that meets the standards of the super-fast 5G wireless networks which are poised to start being rolled out.

The company said the chipset can hit download speeds of 2.3 gigabits per second, significantly faster than speeds reached in current 4G networks.

Huawei remained the world's third biggest seller of smartphones in 2017, behind Samsung and Apple.

It boasted a 10.4 percent market share, up from 9.5 percent, according to research firm IDC.

Samsung had a 21.6 percent share while Apple held 14.7 percent.]]>
2/26/2018 6:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Paul Andrew makes elegant Ferragamo debut in Milan]]>
Andrew became creative director of the Florence-based company in October after just over a year as design director for women’s footwear, a mainstay for the brand whose shoes have been worn by Hollywood stars including Audrey Hepburn.

The 90-year old brand is aiming to be more contemporary and is refreshing its look to appeal to a younger clientele, which now represents a third of the global luxury market.

But since launching a new business plan last year, the luxury group’s core profit margins have been falling year-on-year. In December the group said it could not confirm its medium-term targets.

The collection, combining women’s designs with those by the group’s menswear designer Guillaume Meilland, used plush leather, wool and rich silk, to showcase Italian craftsmanship.

Different types of leather was used to clad models from head to toe, in coats, boots, trousers and shoes.

“Familiar forms are stripped back, loosened and elongated with ease and elevated functionality,” a style note said.

Designs were long, bare and smooth, dresses were flared and flowed. The clothes came in shades of green, burgundy, mustard yellow and deep blue, interspersed at times by nude and beige.

Men carried oversize bags and had boots with a golden Ferragamo logo on the heel.

Women wore leather boots and open-heeled shoes with squared golden heels, matched with thick socks. The bold heels echoed Ferragamo’s 1930s styles.]]>
2/25/2018 11:44:33 AM
<![CDATA[Versace rocks Milan's fashion week with loud college style]]>
The loud and colorful looks by creative director Donatella Versace were part of “The Versace clan” collection, showcased in a palazzo overlooking the city’s Duomo cathedral, and picked up on the menswear designs presented in January.

In the first part of the collection, models wore tartan skirts and matching tops, cardigans, berets and football scarves, like college students coming out of classes.

Long brown leather coats were worn with high heeled shoes and camel trousers paired with short leather jackets.

Models strutted in what was once a ballroom on platform shoes, zippered loose boots and stiletto shoes worn with colorful socks.

The fashion house, known for its bold and glamorous designs, did not fail to impress with bright tasseled dresses with matching earrings and short black outfits worn with tight belts with golden buckles.

“The Versace clan dares and says what it believes and sets itself apart from the crowds thanks to its style choices ... there are no in-betweens, no compromises,” a style note by the brand said.
2/24/2018 12:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Prada brings Milan to its feet, with a collection of bold lines and colors]]>
Prada, who is also co-chief executive of the eponymous luxury group, used Milan Fashion Week to continue her exploration of different facets of femininity, with designs that stood out with their bold colors and stark lines.

Clad in fluorescent pink, orange and green, Prada models danced on a shiny black floor to the rhythm of Blondie. Neon light installations of monkeys, dinosaurs, bananas and aliens playfully displayed outside the building could be seen from the floor to ceiling windows.

Prada hosted the show in the “Torre” building, a modern tower which will be the latest addition to the group’s “Fondazione Prada” art foundation project. The existing Fondazione buildings, once a gin distillery, were turned in the early 1990s into a space dedicated to contemporary art and culture.

“I wanted to have a little revenge on the artwork, occupying the space of the Fondazione with fashion,” Prada told reporters at the end of her show.

The new building will officially open during Milan’s design week, held annually in April, and will be used as an exhibition space.

Models walked with the city skyline and train tracks as a backdrop, wearing oversize nylon and neoprene coats with wide shoulders from which delicate transparent dresses and tulle skirts peeped. All the models wore brightly colored tulle bows around their necks.

“The idea is the constant struggle women have - a duality, between strength and having to protect yourself and what you like as a woman, such as sweetness and femininity,” the designer said.

She explained that the big sporty pieces wanted to symbolically defend the women wearing them while the light details were included for them to be able to express their womanhood.

Black technical material was juxtaposed with fuchsia, yellow and blue. Black stilettos and white boots were paired with fluorescent socks and gaiter-like legwarmers.

Transparent black tulle, decorated with sparkling beading or bright plastic flowers, gently covered tight sheath dresses, while plastic fringed mini-dresses in lime green and white glowed in the night-time setting.

“It’s about women being able to go out at night, even wearing super sexy clothes, without fear,” Prada said.

The collection was well-received by the public on Thursday evening, with the audience bursting into loud applause as the designer reached the runway at the end of the show.

But Prada also voiced concern about the high expectations set on fashion, which she said pushed designers “beyond their job” by the perceived need to engage in political and social issues through their clothes.

2/24/2018 12:09:15 PM
<![CDATA[8 Perfect spring nail polish colors ]]>

Baby blue:

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This color that best fits the ocean and caresses the spirit of the beaches and seas is best recommended to give that sense of calmness. It is perfect for that little spring getaway you have been planning for a while.


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Similar to baby blue, that tropical color instantly transfers you to your favorite beach as you reminisce of the turquoise color of the sea and its waves and that sense of tranquility.

Hot pink:

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Leaning toward the bold and edgy, this color is screaming of fun, summer shenanigans and femininity. It is perfect for a night out with the girls or is a great choice for date night!

Daring red:

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Red has always been the number one choice in lipsticks and nail polish. This spring opt for a more daring red that is guaranteed to make you stand out and shine.

Nude pink:

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Not only does it match almost every outfit there is, it is also classy, chic and elegant. It is perfect for work days or for a simple touch up on formal looks or events.


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Yellow, a spring basic, is guaranteed to put a spring in your step - pun intended, and make you shine more.


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Purple is this year’s Pantone color, making it trendier than ever. Purple, like yellow, is one of the spring favorites, reminding those who see your nails of beautiful flowers and, of course, elegance.


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That warm shade of purple is perfect for those who like faint colors on their nails. It suits all skin tones and matches almost all outfits too.

2/24/2018 11:35:25 AM
<![CDATA[Chocolate and coffee will soon be extinct]]>

As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states, cacao can only grow if a stringent set of requirements is met. Cocoa can only grow within around 20 degrees north and south of the equator, the humidity needs to be high and the soil has to be rich; otherwise, the cocoa withers.

A study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) suggests that farmers will begin to experience an immense decrease in cocoa production by 2030, as most cocoa farms are falling within a volatile temperature region. The constant and unexpected change in temperature will lead to plants’ death.

A new disease has also been spreading and damaging the cocoa harvests in West Africa, which produces 70 percent of the total cocoa production. In addition, the area is facing severe drought.

Thus, it is estimated that by 2050 there will be no more chocolate.


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Caffeine, the world’s most popular psychoactive drug, is expected to go extinct. As the temperatures continue to rise, the quality and quantity of coffee beans produced will gradually decrease. It is expected that by 2080 there will be no more coffee beans available for consumption. Latin America, home to some of the best coffee producing countries in the world, is also expected to have an 88 percent decline in its coffee-growth-suitable fields by 2015.

A 2017 study, published in proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrates that climate change threatens areas where coffee crops grow and also threatens bees, which are responsible for about 25 percent of coffee bean production.

Climate change has led to rising temperatures and volatile weather, which is set to repel bees with lower heat tolerance from pollinating coffee crops. The issue lies in the importance of bees pollinating coffee beans, as them doing so not only widens the yield of the crops but also increases their quality.]]>
2/23/2018 6:50:45 PM
<![CDATA[et Skin Series: Vitamin B5]]>
It plays many roles regarding your health, such as converting nutrients from food into energy, balancing blood sugar, reducing bad cholesterol, lowering high blood pressure, preventing nerve damage and pain, and preventing heart failure. It also helps maintaining and regulating your metabolism.

Salmon is a good source of vitamin B5. Via CC/Pexels.

A deficiency in vitamin B5 can manifest itself as fatigue, depression, irritability and insomnia, among other symptoms. People at a greater risk of developing a vitamin B5 deficiency include alcoholics, women on oral contraceptives/birth control pills and people with severe malnutrition.

When used in skincare, vitamin B5 is converted to provitamin B5, which is called Panthenol. Panthenol is a fantastic skincare ingredient, as it can help to heal, protect and hydrate the skin. It is a humectant, meaning it can bind water to the skin to increase hydration, and also improve its softness and elasticity. It offers relief from itchiness and pain, and it reduces redness. Wounds treated with provitamin B5 have resulted in regenerated tissue that is more solid and elastic. These properties make it an excellent ingredient for anyone with dry, tight, dehydrated or acneic skin.
2/23/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Saudis promised double the fun in drive to lure back tourist dollars]]>
The state wants to capture up to a quarter of the $20 billion currently spent overseas every year by Saudis seeking entertainment, lifting a ban on cinemas and putting on shows by Western artists.

U.S. rapper Nelly performed in Jeddah in December, albeit to a men-only crowd, and Greek musician Yanni played to a mixed-gender audience.

The gradual relaxing of gender segregation risks causing a backlash from religious conservatives, but public objections to a wider programme of reforms have been more muted in recent months after several critics were arrested.

At an event to launch the 2018 entertainment calendar, Ahmed al-Khatib, chairman of the state-run General Entertainment Authority (GEA), said infrastructure investments over the next decade would reach 240 billion riyals ($64 billion), including an opera house to be completed around 2022.

That will contribute 18 billion riyals to annual GDP and generate 224,000 new jobs by 2030, the GEA said.

"The bridge is starting to reverse," Khatib said, referring to the causeway linking Saudi Arabia with more liberal Bahrain where many Saudis flock for weekend getaways.

"And I promise you that we will reverse this migration, and people from Dubai, Kuwait and Bahrain will come to Saudi."

However, on Thursday night, the Minister of Culture and Information said Khatib's opera plans were an infringement of the role of the General Authority for Culture, a separate government body, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The entertainment plans are largely motivated by economics, part of a reform programme to diversify the economy away from oil and create jobs for young Saudis.

The Vision 2030 plan aims to increase household spending on cultural and entertainment events inside the kingdom to 6 percent by 2030 from 2.9 percent.

"We are bringing the most exciting and famous events to Saudi Arabia this year," Khatib told Reuters in an interview, adding that state-sponsored entertainment events would be staged in 56 cities.

"We are creating new local events with local content," he said. "Almost 80 percent of the calendar (events) are for families."

Saudi Arabia lifted a 35-year ban on cinemas late last year, with plans for regional and global chains to open more than 300 movie theatres by 2030. The first cinemas are expected to start showing films from March.

Last year, the country announced plans to develop resorts on some 50 islands off the Red Sea coast and an entertainment city south of Riyadh featuring golf courses, car racing tracks and a Six Flags theme park. ($1 = 3.7502 riyals)]]>
2/23/2018 5:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[What does your handwriting say about you?]]>
In an interview with Business Insider, McKnight revealed, “Just from analyzing your handwriting, experts can find over 5,000 personality traits.” Egypt Today presents some of these factors and their correlated aspects that you may not have considered before.


Large letters usually indicate that one has a love for attention and self-expression, according to Bright Side. They enjoy socializing, and are people-oriented. They also may tend to put up this fake façade of confidence in order to protect themselves and their feelings. They seek mutual understanding and companionship.

Conversely, Bright Side notes, as does Cosmopolitan’s Kerry Ward, that small letters mean that one can be quite shy, intellectual and reserved. They have this passion for being precise and doing things accurately. They are very diligent, focused and concentrated. Most of the people with small-sized letters might be introverted.

Average letters, as per Ward, on the other hand, show how you have the ability to adapt to any situation, overcome any rough patches in your life, and even turn it to work in your favor. People with average sized handwriting are quite levelheaded and grounded; they know how to make quick decisions.


According to a research carried out by the National Pen Company in the U.S., writing with no slants means that one is probably ruled by logic. People with un-slanted handwriting are usually emotionally stable, pragmatic and practical. They tend to have full control of their emotions.

If one writes with a slant, then one is either an introvert or extrovert, depending on which side their slants favor. Right slants indicate that one is open, sociable and friendly. They can be quite impulsive, but heart-centered; and, they value personal relationships and appreciate close friends and family.

The research suggests that left slants are on the other side of the spectrum. Those who favor the left side are usually those who work behind the scenes. They are introspective and patient. If you are left-handed and write in left slants you might be expressing rebellion.

S p a c I n g:

The study also shows, as does MailOnline’s Victoria Woollaston, that wide spacing reveals one’s love for freedom and their deep hatred for crowds. Interestingly, those with narrow spacing usually do not have the best time management skills. They are afraid of being alone and always want to be in a crowd.

Even spacing in handwriting is usually attributed to those who are levelheaded and aware of boundaries. They also do not like to be overwhelmed with too many events or issues at the same time.


Cosmopolitan, Bright Side, MailOnline and the National Pen Company agree that those who write with heavy pressure usually take things quite seriously and to heart. They usually feel pressured by small incidents, which they later realize should not have pressured them as much as it did. They feel deeply and react quickly.

Those who write with light pressure, on the other hand, usually are very empathetic and active. They want to finish writing quickly so that they can go out and experience the world. They really enjoy moving from one place to another.

2/22/2018 3:13:52 PM
<![CDATA[Pizza is healthier for breakfast than cereal]]>
According to recent research, we are better off eating pizza for breakfast than cereal. Pizza is packed with protein and way less fats and sugar than cereal, making it a healthier alternative for breakfast. Remarkable and shocking, but absolutely true!

Dietitian Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, CDN, told The Daily Meal that a slice of pizza actually has the same calories as a bowl of cereal. Hence, it is acceptable and even nutritious to substitute cereal for pizza. Since cereals are full of sugars and no fibers, they can cause a sugar crash after a couple of hours of consumption, making you lazy and unproductive throughout your day. Pizza, on the other hand, has more fibers, carbohydrates and less sugar, which will make you active and less likely to feel hungry quickly.

“Because eating a slice of pizza for breakfast when you really want it will prevent you from binging on an entire pie later,” Amer wrote in her blog.

Aligned with Amer’s view, a 2014 study found that people eat up to 132 percent more than the recommended serving of cereal, in turn surpassing the recommended daily sugar intake. Not only that, the study also revealed that this excess amount of cereal is often consumed simply during breakfast or, in other words, in one serving. On the other hand, pizza contains grains, vegetables and proteins, all of which are needed daily food groups.

Still, research reveals that it somewhat depends on the types of pizza and cereal one is consuming, meaning there are cereals that are packed with important and nutritious fibers that would keep you full and are beneficial for your digestive tract. Of course, there are greasy pizzas that are high in fat percentages and result in instant weight gain, in which case cereal would be healthier. In short, eating a healthy cereal is always healthier than pizza, but one is better off eating pizza than sugary cereals.

When the pizza is well-balanced and not too greasy, it is just the right start to the day. However, as mentioned, “Pizzas can be a healthy balance of carbs, fats and protein; so, as long as it doesn’t contain unhealthy additives, who’s to say we can’t eat pizza for breakfast?” Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert explained to The Independent.
2/22/2018 12:26:20 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia is hosting Arab Fashion Week ]]>
This comes as part of the partnership between the British Fashion Council and AFC, which was announced during London Fashion Week.

The AFC launched its regional office in Riyadh with the appointment of H.H. Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud as Honorary President. She commented on the historic announcement, saying, “This is a new era that we are witnessing, an era where ‘only dreamers are welcome to join,’ to use the words of HRH Prince Mohamed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The Arab Fashion Council was established in 2014 in London, with the license of the International Extraterritorial Authority to develop and regulate the fashion industry in the 22 Arab countries. Arab Fashion Week will be held in Riyadh at the Apex Center, which was designed by the late Dame Zaha Hadid.

Caroline Rush, Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud, Ms Layla Issa Abu Zeid and @jacobabrian in the announcement of the strategic partnership between the Arab Fashion Council and the @britishfashioncouncil in London today, and the launch of the first ever fashion week in the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. جاكوب ابريان والسيدة ليلى عيسى أبو زيد وسمو الأميرة نورة بنت فيصل آل سعود والسيدة كارولين رش بعيد إعلان اتفاقية التعاون بين مجلس الأزياء العربي ومجلس الأزياء البريطاني في لندن اليوم وانطلاق اول أسبوع عربي للموضة في الرياض. #jacobabrian #RAFW #AFC #arabfashionweek #arabfashioncouncil #britishfashioncouncil

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Layla Issa Abuzaid, AFC country director for Saudi Arabia, explained that this historic event “will be more than a world-class event; it is a catalyst through which we believe the fashion sector will lead other economic sectors, such as tourism, hospitality, travel and trade.”

The main player that will be showcasing at the event has been announced to be Roberto Cavalli.

Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority stated, “Saudi Arabia’s artistic community has been growing in size and in confidence for a number of years now, and the General Entertainment Authority believes that such an event will allow a proper platform to showcase their fashion and art talents. As the vehicle for a comprehensive range of entertainment options in Saudi Arabia, the General Entertainment Authority is proud to support an event that seeks to bring people together in a mutual appreciation of the power of fashion and art.”

“The launch of the Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh is an unprecedented step for the Arab Fashion Council. This historic move will propel the fashion sector in the Arab world to new heights,” commented Jacob Abrian, founder and chief executive of the Arab Fashion Council, adding, “Today, we are a step forward towards achieving our goals of establishing a solid infrastructure for our regional fashion industry and providing prosperous opportunities for the future generation of Arab designers.”

During the last season of Arab Fashion Week, Tony Ward showcased the spring/summer 2018 Ready-Couture collection at City Walk Dubai.

We only hope to see the Egyptian fashion industry take a step forward such as this, due to its everyday increase in talent and the ever growing need for luxury.

2/21/2018 6:39:02 PM
<![CDATA[Tips to curb water use and protect future generations ]]>
Both governments and communities have an obligation to protect the available water resources. Statistics from the World Bank show that industry and agriculture consume more water than the domestic sector. However, it remains every person’s responsibility to protect the water sources and secure the future of the coming human generations.

According to “Friends of the Earth” association, the average amount of water each human uses every day to wash, cook and clean is about 150 liters. In 2017, the World Health Organization “WHO” and the United Nations Organization for Children “UNICEF” published the results of the first global assessment of safely managed drinking water and sanitation services, which revealed that some three in ten people worldwide lack access to safe, readily available water at home while six in ten people lack safely managed sanitation. The report also reveals that with the current consumption rate, by 2025 two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages as the water systems that keep the ecosystems thriving and feed the growing human population will become very stressed as a result of climate change and pollution.

Following very simple daily habits can contribute to saving water even though water doesn’t appear in short supply in Egypt. These habits include:

1. Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth or shave to save up to six liters of water a minute.

2. Fill your kettle with the amount of water you need to save water, energy and money.

3. Reduce the volume of water you flush every time you use the toilet by using a dual-flush device to flush less than the 13 liters for old flushes.

4. Take shorter showers to lower your use of water; every minute you spend in a shower uses up to 17 liters of water. Try using an efficient shower head that combines water and air to save water and money as well.

5. Cut out unnecessary washes by using full machine loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.

6. Fix any leaky taps or pipes and never leave them dripping to stop wasting around 15 liters of water a day.

7. Water your garden with a watering can or a drip irrigation system rather than a hosepipe and water your plants in the early morning and late afternoon to reduce evaporation and save water. And do not water on rainy days.

8. Steam your food to cut water usage. If you prefer to boil, use the remaining water as a stock for soups or to water plants.

9. Use a pool cover to prevent water evaporation.

10. Use a bucket instead of a hose to wash your car, and a broom to clean sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.

11. Defrost food in the fridge or at room temperature, rather than placing it under hot running water.

12. Choose a proper sized pot for cooking, larger pots require more water.

13. Use less dish-washing liquid because the more you use the more water you will need to rinse.

2/21/2018 4:45:27 PM
<![CDATA[Queen Elizabeth makes surprise appearance at London fashion catwalk]]>
The 91-year-old monarch, dressed in a pale blue suit, sat next to Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue magazine, as models displayed a series of bold and brightly colored designs at the end of London Fashion Week.

She later presented the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to Quinn.

The Award has been initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

It will be given annually to an emerging British fashion designer who shows exceptional talent and originality, whilst demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies, the statement added.

London-born designer Quinn established his namesake label in 2016. The London Fashion Week website said of him: ”Specialising in womenswear and textiles his collections are bold and emotive creating a forward-thinking, unafraid vision.

“Richard creates garments with attention to innovative fabrications, focusing on his ability to combine unique handcrafted skill with a refined high fashion sensibility.”

On Monday, the Queen invited fashion designers and models to a reception at Buckingham Palace, her London home.
2/21/2018 3:37:09 PM
<![CDATA[Moncler bids farewell to catwalk with eight new collections]]>
The Italian clothing designer wowed the fashion crowd on Tuesday with a big reveal of the eight collections, hidden in silver-clad cave-like spaces inside a warehouse on the outskirts of Milan and draped on mannequins, hung from the ceiling, and projected on giant mirrors, rather than worn down a catwalk.

“The concept of the catwalk show doesn’t exist any more for us, it’s a new way of working from now on,” chairman and Chief Executive Remo Ruffini told reporters.

In November, Moncler said it would break with its tradition of presenting two collections a year on catwalks in Milan and Paris.

Last week, it said it would start rolling out clothes and accessories at a faster pace.

Ruffini said that the new strategy, with a collection released to the public each month, was an adaption to the digital age, though he ruled out Moncler turning to the ‘see now, buy now’ model - delivering clothes to shops straight after their presentation.

“We must release new energy each month. The world has changed, people travel, they don’t buy in March and September only like they once did,” Ruffini said.

With a younger and fickle clientele, whose tastes change at the speed of a social media post, fashion houses are being asked to deliver more than just two collections per year.

But the timing of placing products in stores is becoming an experimental battlefield, as the labels have to juggle the constant demand for novelty with the lengthy manufacturing cycles needed to make their high-end clothes and accessories.

Ruffini, credited for turning the traditional French skiwear group into a trendy fashion label, said Moncler would not focus only on young and digital savvy clients - now a third of the luxury market - but had to “chat with different generations”.

From June 15, the brand will launch a collection approximately once per month, with clothes and accessories from its different lines available in boutiques, multi-brand stores and temporary pop-ups.

The collections vary from monastic long looks by Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, to preppy and more sporty items by Japan’s Hiroshi Fujiwara, to ruffled and layered looks from Simone Rocha.

Under the new strategy, dubbed “Genius”, the group is working with eight different creative directors, including Piccioli, former Gucci menswear designer Sandro Mandrino, and Moncler’s own artistic director Francesco Ragazzi.

Moncler will start off with the “Fragments” collection by Fujiwara.

“It’s a brave and daring project, stylistically challenging. Each designer tells a different story, perspective ... it’s total creative freedom,” Piccioli told Reuters.

Ruffini did not rule out taking on new creative directors, though he suggested that the group was not planning frequent changes.

Milan Fashion Week will run until Feb. 26, with Italy’s biggest names in fashion - such as Prada, Armani, Versace, Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana - showcasing their products for fall and winter 2018/19.

The six-day extravaganza will see almost 160 new collections and 64 catwalk shows.
2/21/2018 3:32:12 PM
<![CDATA[As China's Year of the Dog begins, imperial Pekingese breed is scarce]]>
After years of turmoil and the 1911 revolution that established China as a republic, however, the dog named after the Chinese capital became available to the masses, and by the 1990s, they were so common that the streets of Beijing, formerly Romanised as Peking, were teaming with strays.

But as the Lunar Year of the Dog begins this month, the most distinctive Chinese canine is almost nowhere to be found. Local pet owners today prefer foreign breeds such as poodles and Chihuahuas.

“Now there really are too few local Pekingese,” said Zhang Lei, a breeder in Beijing.

“If you want a local Pekingese then the only option is to crossbreed them with a foreign Pekingese. A lot of people don’t have them. I think the local Pekingese are now facing a crisis”.

In 2003, Zhang adopted a few stray Pekingese and since then has bred them, mostly as a hobby. Some are for sale, ranging from 1,000-2,500 yuan ($157-$394) each, but he said there are few buyers.


Pekingese were first introduced to Europe when Western armies pillaged the Summer Palace in Beijing and stole several of the Qing court’s dogs during the Second Opium War in the late 1850s. The breed was seen in the West as an exotic luxury and a favorite at dog shows.

Although the local breed is fading from view, some Chinese pet owners are buying longer-haired imported Pekingese because of their perceived purity.

“They have aristocratic mannerisms,” said Beijing native Qian Hao, who takes his four long-haired imported Pekingese on daily walks in a stroller.

A foreign Pekingese can cost as much as 100,000 yuan.

While there are no official statistics on domestic Pekingese ownership, Zhang Xuesong, who has bred imported Pekingese for 26 years, said that the breed’s “bad genes” and a general lack of interest have kept pet owners away from the animal.

After years of inbreeding, local Pekingese are perceived as having an array of health and other issues, including constant shedding, a lack of intelligence, and a susceptibility for slipped spinal discs.

Wang Fei, who owns a four-year-old white local Pekingese named Jianjian, said the breed became a victim of its own popularity.

“In the past, there were way too many local Pekingese. Everyone wants to raise something different. And now there are fewer and fewer local Pekingese. But I think they’ll rise again in popularity,” said Wang Fei.
2/20/2018 1:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[New guard steal the show at London Fashion Week]]>
The designers may not share the same nationality, age or style but they all have one thing in common: all three are alumni of prestigious London fashion school Central Saint Martins.

- Roksanda, abstract elegance -

Since arriving on the scene in 2005, Serbian Roksanda Ilincic has enjoyed uninterrupted success in the British capital.

She now has a presence in 40 countries, a children's line called "Blossom", and regularly dresses famous women from Kate Middleton and Melania Trump to Lady Gaga.

Her show this week was inspired by graphic artist Caroline Denervaud, drawing from her minimalist forms to create a collection full of elegance and fluidity.

The show, on the penultimate day of Fashion Week, was marked by long and luminous dresses, tightly gathered by wide waistbands, decorated with abstract motifs.

There were also striped ponchos, wide, mid-calf length cashmere coats with padded textures and scarves covering the chest.

The palette offered vibrancy and pastels from yellow to flamboyant pink; electric blue to gold and tan.

"I'm a designer that always cares about women and how to dress and how to protect them," she explained backstage.

- Koma, sexy geometry -

Georgian-born David Koma was just 15 years old when he presented his first collection, before moving to London in 2003 and making a name as a specialist in the little evening dress

He then became creative director at Mugler from 2013 to 2017.

His show in a central London church was a magnet for the stars, with models Lara Stone and Jourdan Dunn in the front row.

Faithful to his roots, the designer presented a glamorous and sexy wardrobe for the twilight hours.

The dresses were short and skimpy; tight at the waist and flared on the hips; made from leather, silk and cotton and adorned with feathers and sequins.

Drawing on the work of ethnologist and photographer Edward Curtis, who spent nearly 30 years with the Indian nations of North America, Koma contrasted the sharp cuts of the black, red and indigo dominated garments with black-and-white feather-like fringes.

- Kane, daring in silk and lace -

Considered one of the driving forces behind the new British wave, young Scottish designer Christopher Kane created his own brand in 2006, which became known for its audacious, postmodernist collections.

The designer chose art gallery Tate Britain to present his daring collection.

Kane's models strode the catwalk wearing red mini-dresses made of exquisite lace, exposing their silhouettes, or sleeveless tops adorned with prints showing women in states of ecstasy.

Kane combined lace with silk, decorated with floral prints to create barely-there dresses matched with black boots.

He occasionally veered towards the more sober and enigmatic, and other items seemed inspired by the Milky Way with long, straight black robes smattered with white dots, like stars in the night sky.

2/20/2018 1:41:18 PM
<![CDATA[Spanish cheesemakers defend Manchego from Mexican 'copy']]>
But local producers there are furious with Mexico which they accuse of "crude plagiarism" of their cheese, an issue so touchy it has become a point of discord in drawn-out talks for a new trade deal between the EU and the Latin American country.

"We have to defend our Manchego tooth and nail," says Francisco Tejado, walking through the factory of Spain's biggest cheese producer, Garcia Baquero, in the small town of Alcazar de San Juan, some 150 kilometres (90 miles) south of Madrid.

Tejado, in charge of the ripening stage of the cheese-making process, says he comes to the plant every day to "watch, touch, pamper these cheeses, these living foods" that are maturing in air-conditioned rooms.

- Two different cheeses -

Manchego is an EU Protected Designation of Origin (AOC) product, which is respected within the bloc but not always further afield.

And in Mexico, in particular, manufacturers have used the names of several "European cheeses, including Manchego, to reap profit from crude plagiarism", complains Santiago Altares, head of the group that gives out AOC labels to Manchego producers.

The original and the copy, he stresses, are completely different.

"The Mexican Manchego is made from cow's milk within seven days, and the authentic Manchego with the milk of ewes of 'Manchega' race, is ripened for at least a month."

Such is the controversy over the matter that it has been one of the issues in talks aimed at sealing a new version of an 18-year-old trade deal between the EU and Mexico.

The Europeans want exclusive right to the "Manchego" name, along with other products.

But that is a problem for cheese producers in Latin America's second-largest economy, where Mexican Manchego represents nearly 15 percent of total cheese sales.

So the National Chamber of Dairy Industries in Mexico has said it will continue using Manchego as a name, which it says is "generic".

- Struggling region -

Under the portrait of his late father Hersilio who ventured into producing Manchego in 1962, the head of Garcia Baquero tries to be conciliatory, saying the conflict "is one of the small elements of friction that mark the globalisation process".

"But for us, this protection of Manchego as an AOC product is of utmost importance in a semi-arid, austere, under-populated region," says Miguel Angel Garcia Baquero.

"We can't lose the little we have."

The birthplace of Spain's celebrated film director Pedro Almodovar, La Mancha is known first and foremost for being the scene of the adventures of Don Quixote, the delusional wanna-be knight who stars in Miguel de Cervantes' 1605 novel, in which he eats a lot of cheese.

The Manchego AOC label even includes the silhouette of the wandering knight.

More than 700 Spanish farmers and 65 producers depend on the cheese for their livelihood.

Every year, more than 15,000 tonnes of Manchego are produced -- 60 percent of which is exported.

But "when the $7 Mexican cheese and Spain's $14 Manchego hit the American market, the consumer buys the cheapest", says Altares, denouncing "unfair competition".

- Export to Turkmenistan -

In the town of La Solana, round cheese blocs weighing one, two or three kilos bathe in vats of salt water belonging to the La Caseta family business.

"Our Manchego is 'artisanal' because it is made from unpasteurised milk" in machines, says the owner, Paqui Diaz Pintado Borja, 55.

With its 10 employees, La Caseta is a small structure that exports its cheese to Germany, Britain and even Turkmenistan.

In the afternoon, seven workers are busy milking the 1,500 "Manchega" ewes of their farm.

"They have less wool than the others, no horns, but provide a better quality milk, rich in protein," says one of Paqui's sons, Antonio Araque.

In the name of all such producers, Altares wants a ban on using the name Manchego in Mexico.

"But it's going to be complicated because there are many interests at play in give-and-take negotiations" between the EU and Mexico, he says.]]>
2/18/2018 11:39:39 AM
<![CDATA[Top 6 superstitions you may encounter in Egypt]]>
Whether an occurrence of bad luck is mere coincidence or fate, myths of misfortune are a part of our cultural history. Ancient Egyptian culture held many beliefs related to superstitions that affected their daily lives.

1 - Drink until last drop

This is considered one of the most important Egyptian beliefs, even if there was no clear evidence about their speculation. If you enter an Egyptian house, you must finish your beverage until the last drop, particularly if this house has a single girl – the belief is the bad luck would chase this girl and she would never get married.

Tea during sunset in Aswan July 11, 2008 - CC via Flick/ S J Pinkney
Tea during sunset in Aswan July 11, 2008 - CC via Flick, S J Pinkney

2 - Leaving scissors open brings bad luck

There are Egyptian myths about leaving scissors open, or opening and closing them again without cutting anything; these actions would change happiness into inevitable sadness. The myth depended on scissors’ function – to cut and separate things – hence the relationships would tear and disperse until you close the scissors again.

Open scissors - CC via Pixabay
Open scissors - CC via Pixabay

3 - Black animals

The majority of Egyptian people are afraid of black animals, especially from black cats and crows. They consider black cats as evil creatures because devils live and exist in cats’ bodies.

A crow - CC via Pixabay
A crow - CC via Pixabay

Crows have a complicated relationship with people, as they considered an omen of bad luck. If crows are heard or seen, sickness or death are nearby due to the superstition that says God sent crows to teach Cain how to bury Abel’s body. Therefore, some interpretation made this bird a source and sign of pessimism because they linked crows to unfortunate events that occur to humans.

4 - Footwear can’t be turned upside down

Ancient Egyptian superstition warned that leaving shoes and flip-flops upside down would bring inauspicious events to you, as they considered this as a way of insulting God. However, another explanation for the superstition is that some people are said to have used inverted shoes in black magic and addressing devils.

Upside down footwear - CC via Flick, Mikecogh
Upside-down footwear - CC via Flick/ Mikecogh

5 - Eye twitching

According to belief, if one's right eye twitches, the person would receive happy news, as the right side symbolizes peace and angels. On the other hand, if the left eye twitches, the person would receive unpleasant news, as the thought goes that evils exist in any left side.

Mr. Crabby's eye twitching - Youtube still image
Mr. Crabby's eye twitching - Youtube still image

6 - Don’t cut your nails at night

Egyptians believe that it’s inauspicious act to cut your nails at night, leading to the loss of precious belongings or loved ones.

Clipping nails - CC via Public Domain Pictures
Clipping nails - CC via Public Domain Pictures

2/16/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[et Skin Series: Caffeine ]]>
It terms of the health benefits of consuming caffeine internally, it detoxifies the liver, cleanses the colon, and may also help in reducing fatty liver in those who have the condition. Caffeine can reduce the risk of developing diabetes due to the high level of antioxidants found in it. A daily dose of caffeine may also aid cardiovascular health, as research at Brooklyn College found that men who consumed 4 cups of a caffeinated beverage daily are less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who never took a sip. However, excess caffeine intake can make one feel restless, irritable and anxious, so moderation is key, as with all things.

1 (2)
Green tea leaves are a good source of caffeine - Via CC/Pixabay

In addition to all the advantages that caffeine has internally, it’s also a skincare savior with many benefits. The antioxidants contained in caffeine can attack free radicals, which are caused by environmental stressors such as pollution and sun exposure. They are also the cause of wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation among other skin concerns, and eliminate them. This will improve the overall appearance of your skin. Because of this, caffeine is widely used in anti-ageing day and night creams. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce skin inflammation and redness, therefore helping to even out one’s skin tone and give it a firmer appearance.

One of the most common uses of caffeine is in eye creams reducing dark circles. The substance reduces the accumulation of blood under one’s eyes, which contribute to dark shadows, by constricting the blood vessels. It also stimulates blood flow, preserving vibrant, glowing skin.

2/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[et Guide: Valentine’s Day Perfect Gift]]>
The clock is ticking, and before you know, it’ll be Valentine’s Day. Picking the perfect gift for your loved one can be confusing, and quite crucial; you don’t want to see that gift hidden in the back of a closet or exchanged. So if you haven’t picked a gift yet, worry not, Egypt Today has your back; we have assembled some of the best keepsakes in the market that we guarantee will be cherished.

via Egypt Today

2/13/2018 8:10:57 PM
<![CDATA[et Guide: What to wear on date night]]>
A Valentine’s date is a special night, and picking out the perfect outfit can be a daunting task. Whether you’ll be heading out for a night full of dancing, or opting for a quiet, romantic dinner, we have picked out some inspirations for your outfit and hairdo to cut down on the hours spent staring at your closet.

via Egypt Today

2/13/2018 7:54:26 PM
<![CDATA[Interview: Queen of Elegance gives priority to intellectual, cultural elegance]]>
What are the differences between Egypt’s Queen of Elegance Competition and the rest of the world’s beauty contests?

Since the competition was launched three years ago, we have tried to set special and motivational conditions for the female participants to deserve winning the title. The competition gives priority to intellectual, cultural and humanitarian elegance along with the ability to serve the community than the criteria of elegant appearance. Hence, elegance in the competition is a comprehensive concept.

On what basis the competitors are chosen?

They should be intellectual and have a university degree, and should not exceed 33 years old with suitable weight and height. Additionally, having participated in a voluntary work as well as social and sports activities makes them special.

Is it obligatory to be without hijab?

No, the competition is open for every girl and woman, and there are many hijab-wearing women participating in the competition.

How many women participants who reached the competitions’ final round until now?

More than 500 women have participated in the competition for the title and, after being knocked out, they has reached 10 girls who were selected with difficulty after they had been subjected to personal, psychological and cultural tests. The ten girls are Sara Mustafa Hamam, Fatima Basiouni Nasr, Iman Adel Awad, Samar Fouad Mohamed, Heba Alaa Mohamed, Mona Mohamed Abdel Hamid, Nour el-Hoda Abdel Rahman, Alaa Alaa Sherif, Sherihan Wagih Mohamed, Sahar Shehata Hussein.

caption 1
The ten female participants in the festival – Press Photo

What happens after selecting the ten finalists?

They will attend various training courses, including human development, nutrition, fashion, etiquette, positive psychology and care for hair and skin, given by specialized experts. Then, they will undergo other tests to choose miss elegant and four maids for the closing ceremony, which will be held on March 2 after playing off the others.

What characterizes the third season?

Every season has certain changes that differentiate it from previous season. What characterizes this season is that the free training courses have been extended for six months for the participant to benefit from them; in the first and second seasons the training courses were given in only a month. Also, in the first and second seasons, only two maids were chosen; however, four maids will be selected in the third edition.

Tell me more about the judges committee.

In third season, the committee includes famous TV hosts such as Leila Shandoul, Bossy al-Tayyar, the fashion designer Sherif Nasr and a Lebanese beauty expert. During the closing ceremony, fashion shows of famous fashion designers will be presented.

caption 3
Judges Committee of Queen of Elegance Competition – Press Photo

What are the awards given to miss elegant in the competition?

She will be awarded with the Miss Elegance Shield and the four maids will be given valuable gifts such as luxury houses. Besides, many news agencies, newspapers, artists and famous TV hosts will attend the closing ceremony in addition to awarding many artists and fashion designers.

Additional reporting by

Marina Gamil

2/13/2018 9:55:57 AM
<![CDATA[Less-cool Facebook losing youth at fast pace: survey]]>
A report by eMarketer said Snapchat is drawing youths away from Facebook at a quicker clip than Facebook-owned Instagram.

Facebook is still growing in the US market, according to research firm, mainly due to increases in usage by older age groups.

The report is the latest to highlight Facebook's problem with attracting and keeping young people, who have long been a core user base for the world's biggest social network.

The research firm said it expected the first-ever decline in the 18-24 age group in the US, a drop of 5.8 percent this year.

It also said that for the first time since its research began, less than half of the 12-17 age group in the United States would be on Facebook, with a 5.6 percent drop in that segment.

The under-12 age group meanwhile will see a decline of 9.3 percent this year, eMarketer said.

The same trend is expected to continue into 2019 and 2020, with declines in all segments of US users under 25, the report added.

Facebook will lose an estimated two million users under 25 this year, with Snapchat and Instagram the main beneficiaries.

The report said Snapchat will add 1.9 million users under 25 in 2018 and Instagram will add 1.6 million.

Snapchat, which is known for its disappearing messages, will continue to have more users aged 12 to 24 than Instagram, the researchers said.

But Snapchat could end up facing a similar problem as it seeks to increase its user base and reach all ages.

"Snapchat could eventually experience more growth in older age groups, since it's redesigning its platform to be easier to use," eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said.

"The question will be whether younger users will still find Snapchat cool if more of their parents and grandparents are on it. That's the predicament Facebook is in."

Facebook remains the most popular social network in the US market with an estimated 169.5 million users this year, according to eMarketer.

But faster-growing Instagram will be used by 104.7 million Americans and Snapchat will reach 86.5 million users, according to the forecast.

Last year, eMarketer predicted Facebook would see declines among some youths for the first time in its history.

A report last year by investment firm Piper Jaffray showed Snapchat is the preferred social network for US teens, with 47 percent using the platform.]]>
2/13/2018 3:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[A new take on the French manicure]]>
The French Fade:


Love the ongoing ombre trend? How about you try an ombre French? The French Fade is a great twist on the traditional French manicure, giving you the nude base with a light or white tip albeit with a creative, on trend adaptation.

The Double Line:


Although it only adds a minimalistic extra line to the design, The Double Line gives the conventional French manicure a futuristic, yet elegant feel that makes it a great new adaptation.

The Upside Down:


A post shared by Elena (@nails_gel_lounge) on

Yes, the French manicure can look just as good, maybe even better, upside down. Add a little white polish near your cuticles and get a modern chic look; add a splash of color to the combination and get tasteful, sophisticated design.

The Colored Version:


Using bolder, brighter colors instead of just your plain, old white can breathe back the life into the unadventurous original French. You can really get a contrast by adding colors like black or red, or stay simple and modest with a baby pink.

The Dressed Up Version


It can be achieved by using a glittery polish as opposed to your normal white, adding beads or small sparkles, or even utilizing different designs. This can really indicate your character and be used more as an alternate form of expression.]]>
2/13/2018 1:47:32 AM
<![CDATA[et Bites: Battaw wholesome Egyptian cuisine ]]>
In a cozy yet traditional setting, Battaw has managed to remix the modern day millennial style with an authentic atmosphere in its interior design. While serving traditional Egyptian cuisine, they always add that Battaw touch that fuses their identity with the Egyptian foodie scene.

We all love Egyptian food for all its flaws. We know that it’s fatty but Battaw’s chef Alaa Mohamed has made it healthy and light so that you won’t enter a food coma. We sat down with chef Mohamed to talk about everything foodie and delicious that makes Battaw and Egyptian food special, while also taking a tour of the kitchen and a sneak peek into the magic that goes on behind the stove.

2/12/2018 5:35:47 PM
<![CDATA[Back to basics: Taiwan's industrial chic]]>
The style reflects the island's sprawling cities and aims to breathe new life into mundane materials more often found on building sites or in workshops.

Jewellery and watchmaker Sean Yu uses concrete for his products, starting out by making rings from the material.

After experimenting with different types of concrete, he now uses a mix similar to the formula used to construct buildings.

His latest top-selling item is a mechanical watch with a concrete surface in the shape of a spiral staircase. It launched last year and set a sales record on crowd-funding website Zeczec, raising over Tw$12 million ($400,000) in pre-orders.

Yu says his style is inspired by acclaimed Japanese architect Tadao Ando, known for his masterly use of concrete.

"I design for myself and for like-minded people who are avant-garde and rebellious, and who like novel things," Yu told AFP.

"What attracts me most about concrete is that when you treat an ordinary material well, you can deliver new values."

His products are also on sale in Britain, Japan and the United States.

Plumber-turned-interior designer Daniel Cheng uses iron piping to create everything from lights to shelves and sofa frames.

Cheng branched out into furniture design when he was seeking to expand his business and also uses steel bars, tyres, truck wheel rims and car seats for his creations.

"My inspirations are simple. I was a plumber and it's something I worked with everyday," he said.

"I want to use my imagination to make something interesting and meaningful."

Cheng says most of his clients order custom-made products, with local celebrities among his fans, as well as businesses that have hired him to decorate restaurants, cafes and clothes shops.

Ginger Chang of the Taiwan Design Centre, which promotes local designers and brands, said the industrial look featuring cement, brass, aluminium and granite is increasingly popular as an interior design trend on the island.

"The public like fresh things and they are looking for something special in terms of materials. They like the one-of-a-kind feel," Chang told AFP.

Consumers are also drawn by a green element to some of the industrial chic products.

Balance Wu says he wants to prevent motorcycle seat-pads and scrap leather from ending up as garbage, so uses them to create wallets, bags and accessories.

There's no shortage of material -- Taiwan's cities are clogged with mopeds -- and Wu's creations are now sold in design shops from Taipei to New York.

"Motorcycle leather is a humble and durable material that has to withhold wind, rain and sun every day," says Wu, who co-designs the products with his wife Chin Yang.

"We are turning this durable material into products that can be used for a long time."

2/12/2018 1:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Oppa Gangneung style! - fashion on show at the Games]]>
With Pyeongchang shaping up to be the coldest Games in decades, furry hats, thick puffer coats and neck warmers are a necessity, but can be stylish too.

Canadian short track speed skater Jamie Macdonald is very happy with her red and black parka which has “Canada” emblazoned across the chest and a white maple leaf on the back.

“I feel like it really embodies the Canadian spirit and I think we all look really good too, so that’s a huge plus,” she told Reuters Television.

Other athletes say comfort is as important as looking good.

“I think it works well,” said Sarah Forster, a Swiss ice hockey player wearing black track pants and a red and white parka with the Swiss cross.

“Usually we always wear jeans to go to work. To be able to walk around in a tracksuit for three weeks, that’s good too,” she said.

At Friday’s icy opening ceremony where teams marched in colorful uniforms in the parade of nations, few could match Tonga’s topless flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua.

The 34-year-old cross-country skier was cheered when he emerged from the tunnel covered in body oil and wearing a grass skirt, sandals and a huge smile.

"Tonga's shirtless flag bearer has done it again," said a headline on Twitter.

By far the most common outfit is the pink and gray worn by the army of volunteers deployed across the venues in Pyeongchang and the coastal town of Gangneung.

Yoon Gun-woo, a South Korean volunteer at the Gangneung Olympic Park, said he liked the job but the uniform was a bit too garish for his taste.

“It’s the colour of meat. It feels a bit strange,” he said.
2/12/2018 12:58:20 PM
<![CDATA[et Guide: Where to go this Valentine’s Day ]]>
Eish & Malh dinner and live music

Conrad Cairo jazz and dance night

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza


Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo

Sane Egypt

Fairmont Nile City – Cairo

Hilton Pyramids Golf

JW Marriott Hotel Cairo

Marriott Mena House,Cairo

Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino

Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo Heliopolis

Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski

Le Méridien Heliopolis

Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino

The Westin Cairo Golf Resort & Spa

Renaissance Cairo Mirage City Hotel

Smart Art

InterContinental Cairo Semiramis

Shakespeare and Co. Egypt

Omar Khairat

Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Anti-Valentin’s day party at Live Sports Bar

Escape all the romance this valentine as Live Sports Bar is celebrating those charming single ladies, gather your friends and Party the night away with live performance of Hisham Tiba and enjoy a complementary welcome drink specially prepared for single ladies.

No hearts. No hugs. No flowers and get ready to smash the heart!
For reservation and more information: +202 22659600

Anti-Valentin’s day party3
Photo Via Le Meridien Cairo Airport


Unlock Romance at Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Spark romance and savor the moment this valentine at EVOO, pamper your significant other with a romantic buffet dinner for 300++ and give your better half a heart-warming experience to remember.

For more info and reservations: +20 2 22659600

wes49rf-226025-Valentines day at PanEVO Restaurant-High
Photo Via Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Last minute reservation at Grand Nile Tower

Grand Nile Tower invites you to the most spectacular and highest restaurant in the Middle East, the Revolving Restaurant, where you can enjoy a memorable candle lit dinner with overwhelming atmosphere of romance, while the music melodies will make it an exceptional romantic night. This entire exquisite experience with an astonishing 360-degree panorama of the Nile and city of Cairo makes the Revolving Restaurant Cairo’s most romantic meeting place this Valentine.

Marquise yacht serves up an intimate dinner with live entertainment while cruising the Nile. Make it an unforgettable night and book a luxurious Nile View room and enjoy the ultimate Valentine experience.

Revolving Restaurant
Photo Via Grand Nile Tower

2/12/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[SHE CAN’18 for Women Entrepreneurship]]>
With the cooperation of The National Council for Women, the summit covers four different industries: Education, Media, Technology and Creative.

With over 40 speakers, several panel discussions, an exhibition area and live music, SHE CAN’18 is setting the bar for women empowerment events in the region. The event will include interactive activities that include one-to-one mentorship clinics provided by over 40 mentors from different fields who will share their experience and answer the attendee’s questions.

The event highlights successful women who have conquered personal, career and gender related obstacles who will share their stories to encourage the next generation. SHE CAN’18 will provide the much-needed networking opportunities for young women, while providing workshops and mentorship clinics that are essential for every woman who wants to start a new business, as well as workshops and mentorship clinics that are essential for a female entrepreneur.

For entertainment, there will be live music, also a kids area, an exhibition area and some tasty food to keep you going during the two days.

“The main idea behind SHE CAN is to help women and girls understand what entrepreneurship is, the opportunities that lie ahead of them in different fields, and how to transform their ideas into real projects having the required knowledge and experience,” Entreprenelle Founder Rania Ayman stated in a press release. “One of the biggest issues that cause a gap in the entrepreneurship field is that women are unaware of the available resources in the market, that’s why Entreprenelle acts as the link connecting women to all available resources in one place.”

2/11/2018 8:53:42 PM
<![CDATA[Bottega Veneta at home on New York runway]]>
The Italian luxury label's Big Apple show, to celebrate the opening of its largest boutique in the world on Madison Avenue, was one of the most coveted tickets in an otherwise flailing Fashion Week as top US talent decamps to Europe.

It was the first runway show in the historic Renaissance Revival building, the ex-headquarters of the American Stock Exchange, reimagined as a cozy chic luxury apartment that advertised understated Italian elegance -- precisely the wares now on sale on Madison.

"The Italian art of living begins and ends in the home," advised the program notes. Guests were given a fake newspaper feting the new store, referred to as "Maison," just to make sure they got the point.

The set was complete with fireplace, easy chairs and elegant dining room, where at the end of the show, models poured into the living area, chatting and sipping wine.

The show itself pulled out all the stops, sending out 65 models in different looks, headlined by Kaia Gerber and Gigi Hadid.

Actresses Priyanka Chopra and Julianne Moore sat front row, Moore making it a fashion hat trick after attending Tom Ford and Tory Burch.

The fall/winter 2018 collection was very sleek, sophisticated and luxurious -- a masterclass in understated European elegance at the expense of headline-grabbing bling with not a puffer coat in sight.

- Herrera farewell -

There were silk pajamas in sumptuous jewel colors worn under exquisitely tailored winter coats. There was animal print and patchworks of color blocks, yet it was never gaudy, never kitsch.

It was an explosion of color -- warm tones for winter, yellow, red and orange, with pointy ankle boots and a copious amount of bags to highlight a mainstay of their global business empire.

CEO Claus-Dietrich Lahrs played down talk of any crisis at Fashion Week, although the relocation to New York was one-time only.

"New York has its place, Milan has its place and Paris has its place," he told AFP.

With 270 shops around the world and another due to open later this year in Tokyo, Lahrs was also confident that bricks-and-mortar shops would survive the e-commerce revolution.

"In the luxury market, the client wants to be known personally," he explained.

Earlier in the day, first lady favorite Carolina Herrera signaled the end of an era, announcing that she would step down from her four-decade-old label and after her own runway show on Monday.

The Venezuelan-born 79-year-old said she had appointed US designer Wes Gordon to take over as creative director after she takes the bow at her fall/winter 2018 fashion show at the Museum of Modern Art.

The London-trained Gordon, who from 2010 to 2016 presented his eponymous womenswear collection in New York, has been creative consultant at Carolina Herrera for a year.

- 'Optimism' -

Tory Burch, the doyenne of preppy chic meets boho insouciance, showcased breezy optimism in a field of pink carnations for a post-#MeToo world.

The stunning set transformed a space under a flyover into a field of 14,000 flowers sprouting from springy moss, light streaming through the windows and the Chamber Orchestra of New York playing Vivaldi.

Her fall/winter 2018 collection was romantic, whimsical and partly inspired by Lee Radziwill, the 84-year-old indomitable American socialite and younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

And if there was a hot pink bow blouse and matching skirt, any allusion to the pink pussy hats worn by women marching against the Trump administration was pure coincidence: turns out Radziwill has a hot pink couch in her Paris living room.

"I promise that wasn't in my mind. It really wasn't," laughed 51-year-old Burch, worth an estimated $600 million according to Forbes.

"I'm a big supporter of women and women's issues but that is probably not how I would demonstrate that," she added. "I love the color and pink, we were referencing Lee Radziwill... she had a pink couch."

But Burch is only too happy to see positivity blowing in the winds as the United States navigates the sexual harassment watershed.

"You can read optimism into the whole mood of the collection," she told AFP. "That is a definite direction," she said.
2/11/2018 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Herrera to bow out, sea of pink carnations at Tory Burch]]>
The Venezuelan-born 79-year-old Herrera said she had appointed US designer Wes Gordon to take over as creative director after she takes the bow at her fall/winter 2018 fashion show at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan on Monday.

But if she's waving goodbye to the runway, she insisted in an interview with The New York Times that she was not retiring. Instead she will become a global brand ambassador for her fashion label, which has a reported $1.4 billion in annual sales.

"I am so pleased Wes is now part of the Herrera House -- he's the right one for this position to further build on our great momentum," she said in a statement.

Gordon, who studied in London, and from 2010 to 2016 presented his eponymous womenswear collection in New York, has been creative consultant at Carolina Herrera for a year.

Herrera founded her namesake fashion house in 1981, going on to dress first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Michelle Obama and Melania Trump, as well as Hollywood actresses like Renee Zellweger, not to mention generations of society women.

"Fashion has changed a lot," Herrera told the Times.

"Women dress in a very strange way. Like clowns. There is a lot of pressure to change all the time. But it's better to wear what suits you."

Tory Burch also knows what suits her, transforming a market space under a flyover into a field of pink carnations sprouting from springy moss, light streaming through the windows and the Chamber Orchestra of New York playing Vivaldi.

Her fall/winter 2018 collection was romantic, whimsical and partly inspired by Lee Radziwill, the 84-year-old indomitable American socialite and younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

And if there was a hot pink pussy bow blouse and matching skirt, any allusion to the pink pussy hats worn by women marching against the Trump administration was pure coincidence: turns out Radziwill has a hot pink couch in her Paris living room.

- China market -

"I promise that wasn't in my mind. It really wasn't," laughed 51-year-old Burch, worth an estimated $600 million according to Forbes.

"I'm a big supporter of women and women's issues but that is probably not how I would demonstrate that," she added. "I love the color and pink, we were referencing Lee Radziwill... she had a pink couch."

But she is only too happy to see positivity blowing in the winds as the United States navigates the sexual harassment watershed.

"You can read optimism into the whole mood of the collection," she told AFP. "That is a definite direction," she said.

"Women's rights is the reason I started my company... this has been ingrained in our conversation for 14 years so to see a sea change is pretty spectacular."

Her collection showcased feminine layers mixed with classic tailoring, chintz reimagined and made modern into a floaty dress, scarf hemlines paired with clean-cut tomboy jackets and a blanket poncho reflecting the boho vibe of the label.

There was a handbag named after Lee. Colors were ivory, pale pink, green and navy, with patchworks of florals and stripes, delicate lace and organza, pointy-toed booties.

If New York Fashion Week is struggling to excite buyers and editors as big names sit out the schedule or flee to Europe, Burch is not one of those to defect.

"I love showing in New York," she said. But she is thinking about "more seasonless dressing" -- reflected in the layering, making the clothes wearable in any clime.

It's very useful for a global business: "They're very interested in fashion and also they're traveling a lot," said Burch of the Chinese client. "The China market is very important for us."
2/11/2018 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Britain's Kate facing BAFTA black dress 'dilemma']]>
If the red carpet "blackout" at last month's Golden Globes is copied at the February 18 ceremony in London, Prince William's wife Kate may have to decide whether to be seen to be joining in or standing apart.

Royal women traditionally do not wear all-black unless in mourning, and the monarchy avoids public protest.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said Kate "will be left in a diplomatic minefield... a trickier dilemma than ever" when she accompanies William, the president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, to the BAFTA bash.

Kate, 36, who is expecting her third child in April, wore a black dress with white flowers at last year's ceremony.

Her Kensington Palace office declined to comment.

The Hollywood Reporter magazine said it had seen a letter addressed to BAFTA guests inviting them to wear black like "our sisters" at the Golden Globes in Los Angeles.

"We feel it is important to make a statement to show global solidarity and that the issue is not being forgotten," it said.

"Wearing black is a strong, unifying and simple statement -- a physical and visual representation of our solidarity with people across all industries who have experienced sexual harassment and abuse."

At the Globes, Hollywood's A-listers turned out en masse wearing black outfits, with only the slightest hints of colour.

It was a sartorial show of force to draw attention to the issue in show business and beyond, a culture of abuse revealed in the downfall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and others.

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper described the reported BAFTA plan as "virtue signalling, the sequel".

The best actress nominees are Annette Bening, Sally Hawkins, Frances McDormand, Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan.

Allison Janney, Lesley Manville, Laurie Metcalf, Kristin Scott Thomas and Octavia Spencer have been shortlisted for the best supporting actress gong.

"The Shape of Water" leads the BAFTA nominations with 12 nods, ahead of "Darkest Hour" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" with nine.
2/10/2018 12:40:00 PM
<![CDATA[New revolution of technology: Token rings ]]>
The ring also acts as a transit card and access card, meaning you can enter your office without the hassle of looking for that sign-in card. In order to produce the ring, Token is collaborating with MasterCard, Microsoft, Visa, HID, FitPay and the FIDO Alliance.

The company produced an elegant and simple design that is capable of keeping your password and security codes secure, while also remaining stylish and easy to handle. The product also aims to increase security, while ensuring that consumers do not waste more time on resetting their passwords constantly and turning on two-factor authentication.

The sterling silver ring contains a fingerprint censor and optical proximity that will not allow any other party to access the user’s biometric information.

Speaking rather fondly about the ring and the increased security standards that it offers, Kiki Del Valle, Senior Vice President, Commerce for Every Device, commented on the device, “at MasterCard, the purpose of our Commerce for Every Device Program is to enable secure payments to a whole new generation of devices — giving consumers more choice in how they pay.”

For Valle, the Token ring is a safe alternative for cash and credit cards, “the Token device provides our card holders a personalized lifestyle accessory that can make simple and safe contactless transactions at millions of merchant locations in 96 countries around the globe.”

Melanie Shaprio, the co-founder and CEO of the company, said in the launching statement, “the way we prove who we are is broken. Token allows you to prove who you are — from your front door to your office to the grocery store — while simultaneously protecting your information with advanced cryptography.” Shaprio spoke about how the internet is an amazing place that almost everyone uses today for free, expressing that many people are fighting for our right for free access.

Still, she pointed out that, as did the Token website, it is not enough to have free access, the internet should also be safe for all that use it. Otherwise, according to the Token website, “the internet can be a place of incredible risk, which limits how comfortable we feel connecting more of our lives to the internet.”
Still, we did have our doubts about the ring: can’t someone steal it and access our information? According to the Token website, it is not possible because there is a series of steps that must be followed to ensure that the identity of the ring matches yours, including the fingerprint censor previously mentioned.

The ring costs $250 and is available in white, black and rose gold, in addition to its original silver color that costs an additional $50.

2/10/2018 12:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[#MeToo NY Fashion show spotlights sexual harassment]]>
Far from the bright lights of the most coveted fashion tickets in town, none of the women were famous. The venue was a room practically given for free by an affordable hotel close to Times Square.

Instead it was an overtly political show organized by advocate and entrepreneur Myriam Chalek, who has made a name for herself by putting marginalized models on the runway during events such as a dwarf show in Dubai.

If labels such as Tom Ford have also referenced women empowerment this week -- the Texan-born designer turned director showcased "Pussy Power" purses -- Chalek says it is the entire point of her show.

"I feel like every woman has some kind of responsibility to do something and contribute to change," she told AFP. "If you are saying it's time to change or time's up, then do something about it."

The clothes were not the star of the show, although the 30-year-old said the mix of fur and leather on the one hand, with silk and tulle on the other aimed to show both the strength and femininity of women.

"The difference with this fashion show is that one of the criteria (for models) is that you had to be a victim of sexual misconduct to take part in this show," she explained.

- Pig's mask -

After walking the runway before the roughly 200 assembled guests, the eight models each took to the microphone in turn, standing next to a man dressed entirely in black, his face covered with a pig's mask.

In a few minutes, they told their story, often years old of how a friend of the family, a boyfriend or an online predator had harassed them, assaulted or even raped them, their voices often breaking.

"I am a little shaken," said one, after recounting in detail how she was raped by a date and didn't dare tell her mother for weeks.

"Standing here and talking about this is so important... I'm really sorry to say 'me too,' but I am really glad we are doing something about it finally," she added to huge applause.

After their remarks, came a period of heavy silence. "I like the silence because I feel you felt it... how they became vulnerable one more time in front of you, a room full of strangers," said Chalek.

"I am not going to say this fashion show is going to change things overnight," she admitted. "But I'm hopeful you are going to leave this room talking about it and being more educated."

"If we can even get just one woman to come out and not repress her feelings anymore, that's already an accomplishment," she said.]]>
2/10/2018 12:15:00 PM
<![CDATA[Why you should drink more tea?]]>

1. Tea keeps your body hydrated

Tea is 99% water and is considered a means of hydration. Drinking on average three to four cups of tea a day positively contributes to daily fluid requirements, helping to promote health and well-being.

2. Tea helps to refresh body and mind

The consumption of tea, both green and black, has been associated with refreshment, relaxation and feelings of satisfaction.

3. Drinking tea increases metabolism

This, in turn, may aid weight loss. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation, as well as the rate by which the body turns food into calories.

4. Green tea helps regulate glucose levels

This slows the rise of blood sugar after eating and can prevent high insulin spikes.

5. Protects against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart disease

Scientists have found that Green Tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping keep them stay relaxed and better able to withstand changes to blood pressure levels. Regular green tea consumption is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

6. Green Tea helps lower cholesterol

It lowers the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and raises the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.

7. Helps to protect brain cells

Tea is said to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Studies show that green tea helped protect brain cells from dying and restored damaged brain cells.

8. Oral Health

Studies suggest that the chemical antioxidant “catechin” in tea can help destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental cavities and other dental conditions.

9. Relaxing

Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. This substance is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect, serving as a potential great benefit to tea drinkers.

10. Antibacterial and antiviral

Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents, which make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer. In some studies, green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of many diseases.

11. Anti-aging

Green tea can also slow the appearance of signs of aging, which is due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have demonstrated that green tea, applied topically, can reduce sun damage.

2/10/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Stuart Weitzman steps out in chunky heels for New York Fashion Week]]>
The fashion world’s first major runway show for the year opened in New York on Thursday, with more than 100 designers expected to present their visions across New York City.

Along with a new location, in downtown Manhattan, this year’s Fashion Week is also expected to be dramatically changed by the #Metoo movement and the ongoing discussion about gender equality, sexual harassment and sexual abuse. Already, the men’s shows that traditionally precede the week opened with a show featuring models who identify as non-binary, that is neither male nor female.

One of the most anticipated runway shows, on Friday, will be dedicated entirely to the #MeToo campaign. The not-for-profit runway show will feature survivors of sexual abuse on the runway.

On Thursday, Weitzman’s new creative director, Giovanni Morelli, the first to succeed the brand’s namesake who stepped down last year, had his eyes firmly on the fashion.

“We believe in the casualization of the shoes,” Morelli said. “I really believe very firmly that our brand should have different kind of shoes for different kind of women.”

Under Morelli’s direction, the high-end footwear company, which is owned by Tapestry Inc, is expanding into more casual flats, sandals, loafers and sneakers.

“We’re not the kind of brand that believes only in the high heel,” Morelli said.

The first day of New York Fashion Week saw red carpet staple Tadashi Shoji delight with sequined gowns, thigh-revealing long slits and bold colors. Juicy Couture, known for its velour tracksuits, was also set to make its return to the runway in New York.

Marvel is also getting in on the fashion game with a show on Monday expected to reveal designs inspired by “Black Panther,” the first black standalone superhero movie by the franchise. Other designers will include Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera and Victoria Beckham for the week.

2/10/2018 11:45:01 AM
<![CDATA[et Skin Series: Niacinamide]]>
It is a water-soluble vitamin that can help improve your skin visibly by improving the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, and a weakened surface. It can also reduce the damage that environmental attack can cause.

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Mushrooms are a good source of niacinamide. Via CC/Pexels.

What makes niacinamide so versatile is that it is uniquely compatible with any of the products in your skincare routine, including those that contain retinol, peptides, hyaluronic acid, AHAs BHA, and all types of antioxidants. This means it can be used as an ingredient in any step in the routine.

Another helpful benefit of niacinamide is that it can help renew and restore the surface of skin against moisture loss and dehydration. In fact, niacinamide has been shown to boost the hydrating ability of moisturizers, so the skin’s surface learns to resist moisture loss better, meaning less dryness and tightness occurs in your skin. Niacinamide is also an antioxidant, and while many antioxidants prevent damage caused by oxidative stress and environmental factors, niacinamide goes one step further and reverses the visible signs brought about by the onslaught.
2/9/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Chinese police don high-tech glasses to nab suspects]]>
In a scene reminiscent of the dystopian sci-fi television show "Black Mirror", officers in the central city of Zhengzhou are wearing the digital shades amid the crush of travellers heading home during Chinese New Year, the busiest time for the country's transit system.

So far, the technology has allowed police to nab seven suspects accused of crimes ranging from human trafficking to hit and runs, as well as another 26 people who were using fake IDs, according to the state-owned People's Daily, quoting the city's police department.

The system is part of China's efforts to build a digital surveillance system able to use a variety of biometric data -- from photos and iris scans to fingerprints -- to keep close tabs on the movements of the entire population.

The rapid development of the technology has triggered a demand for commercial applications of the technology as well, with gyms, restaurants and even public toilets getting in on the facial recognition game.

The special glasses are being used by four officers positioned at the entrances to Zhengzhou's east station, according to the People's Daily.

The glasses have a camera connected to a smartphone-like device that allows the officers to take mugshots of suspicious individuals and compare them to a database back at headquarters.

The app brings up the suspect's vital information, including name, ethnicity, gender and address.

It also tells officers whether the possible perps are on the run from the law, the address of the hotel where they are staying and information related to their internet usage.

Experts say China is racing ahead of Western countries in deploying facial scanners owing to its comparatively lax privacy laws and because Chinese are used to having their pictures, fingerprints and other personal details taken.

Banks are beginning to use facial recognition instead of cards at cash machines while the travel and leisure industry also sees opportunities -- China Southern Airlines this year began doing away with boarding passes in favour of the scheme.

But the programmes have drawn fierce criticism from human rights organisations and privacy advocates, who are concerned by their potential for abuse.

2/8/2018 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[6 things I expect from a man]]>
Today, I share with you the six most important things I expect from my significant other (SO) in hopes of inspiring some, helping others and to be frank, getting it off my chest.

1. Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty…

Loyalty is key in any relationship. It is the fundamental cornerstone on which any relationship is built. I would expect my partner to be loyal to me and true to me, as I would be to him. In an age where technology has made it easier than ever to cheat on you SO or do something behind their back that would upset them without them finding out, loyalty and the feeling of trust has become more important than ever. In short, I need to know and feel my partner's loyalty. Voila, mystery unraveled.

2. Be my best friend:

Make me feel that I can tell you anything and everything. Don’t get all grumpy and bored when I speak to you about my day or how upset I am about the silly coffee spill on my jumper. I know it is silly but I want to share it with you. I want you to listen and share with me. I want to be there for you all the time, like I expect you to be there for me. You will be the first person I think of when I get upset, excited, happy and so on, I would like the same from you.

Being my best friend will certainly make me feel loved without you having to say it. After all, saying 'I love you' a lot takes the meaning out of it. Instead, you can express our love by doing the things that I love with me, and, of course, I will do the same.

Let me know that you love me through your actions. Watch my favorite TV show with me instead of that football match, and expect me to get excited for that football match that you want to watch so much, even if I do not really like football.

3. Balancing honesty and being complementary:

Just because I love compliments doesn’t mean I want to be lied to. I expect my significant other to be honest but kind, truthful my mindful of my feelings, as I would be to him. Moderation is your best friend here. I want you to tell me if I have gained weight or if I do not necessarily look good in this color but I want you to be respectful while telling me and I need you to choose the time and the place to do it. Telling me in the middle of a gathering that yellow is not my color will do nothing but upset me and, frankly, piss me off.

Also, know that I do not need the compliments to survive, I am my own person. I want them. There is a big difference. I want you to notice that I have put in the effort to look good, or wear that article of clothing you like so much. I will do the same to you. Compliments make us feel noticed, that is why I believe in them.

4. Be responsive:

Ever heard of eye contact? Look at my eyes when I speak to you, react when I say something and for the love of God, do not zone out! It is not that hard; trust me. I want to feel that my SO is engaged with me and that they want to listen to me, just like they would want.

5. Safety:

Make me feel safe. Be there for me. You are my shoulder to cry on and the person I will run to when I need help or when someone upsets/hurts me. And no, you are not the only person who would/could help me, but I want YOU to be the one to help me, just like I would want my SO to come to me when they want me.

6. Tend to her:

I needs to know that my SO cares and that he is giving me his all. Our relationship will be a give and take. I will compromise when I need to but they also need to compromise when there is a need to. I need to know that my SO will be there when I am in doubt or a little bit off. I need to know that they won’t walk away.

So, there you have it, the six most important things I want from my significant other. Remember though, every woman is different and wants/needs different things. Simplest way to understand your woman/man? Ask them, speak to them, communicate.
2/7/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[In the battle over his sole, Louboutin loses a round]]>
The French designer went to court in The Netherlands to prevent the Dutch high street chain Van Haren from selling its own versions of his distinctive footwear, a favorite on celebrity red carpets.

But an advocate general at the European Court of Justice advised the court that Louboutin’s trademark protection on the shade of red used on his soles, dating from 2010 and 2013, might be invalid. The judges usually, though not always, follow such advice.

“A trademark combining color and shape may be refused or declared invalid on the grounds set out under EU trademark law,” the ECJ said in a statement, outlining Maciej Szpunar’s advice to the judges hearing the case, which was referred by a Dutch court.

The red color could not be considered apart from the shape of the sole, Szpunar advised, and shapes are usually not protected under EU trade mark law.

Szpunar “expresses doubts as to whether the color red can perform the essential function of a trade mark, that of identifying its proprietor, when that color is used out of context, that is to say, separately from the shape of a sole,” the ECJ said.

Szpunar said his analysis focused exclusively on the issue of the shape of soles and not on the value of the branding of the shoes - he took “no account of (the) attractiveness of the goods flowing from the reputation of the mark or its proprietor”.

“Whilst relevant consumers may instantly recognize a red sole shoe being uniquely associated with Louboutin, trying to persuade the courts to grant monopoly rights with such a ‘badge of origin’ may well be an insurmountable hurdle,” said Sanjay Kapur, partner at intellectual property firm Potter Clarkson LLP.

Kapur said that if the ECJ were to follow Szpunar’s opinion “then this could mean that Louboutin would not be able to stop its competitors, including haute couture fashion houses, from offering shoes with red soles.”

Once the ECJ reaches its verdict, it will be up to the Dutch court that referred the case to take the final decision on whether Louboutin’s red sole can be a trademark.
2/7/2018 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Hot tea tied to higher cancer risk for smokers and drinkers]]>
Among Chinese adults who drank at least one beer, cocktail or glass of wine daily, those who also consumed burning hot tea every day were 5 times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than people who drank tea at any temperature less than once a week, the study found.

For current smokers, drinking scalding hot tea every day was associated with roughly twice the risk of esophageal cancer as consuming tea less than weekly.

“Keeping away from both tobacco and excessive alcohol use is the most important means for esophageal cancer prevention,” said study coauthor Dr. Jun Lv of Peking University Health Science Center in China.

“Under this increased risk of esophageal cancer from smoking and drinking alcohol, if people like drinking very hot tea, the risk of developing cancer will be synergistically higher,” Lv said by email.

But by itself, drinking hot tea doesn’t increase cancer risk, Lv said.

China is among the countries with the highest incidence of esophageal cancer, researchers note in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Because tea drinkers in China, especially men, are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke, previous studies haven’t offered a clear picture or whether burning hot tea might be an independent risk factor for esophageal tumors.

While some prior research has suggested tea may help protect against tumors in the digestive tract, other studies have shown repeated consumption of very hot food or drink might damage the esophagus and help tumors take hold, the researchers note.

For the current study, researchers examined data on 456,155 adults ages 30 to 79 who completed questionnaires about their smoking, alcohol and tea habits.

At the start of the study, none of the participants had cancer. Researchers followed half of the participants for at least 9 years. During the study, 1,731 people developed esophageal tumors.

People who drank scalding hot tea, consumed excessive amounts of alcohol and also smoked had more than five times the risk of esophageal cancer than individuals who didn’t do any of these things.

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how the temperature of tea might impact the risk of esophageal tumors.

Another limitation is that study participants reported on their own smoking and drinking habits, and their reports could be unreliable. Researchers also only had data on tea consumption from one point in time, when people joined the study, making it impossible to know how changing habits might have impacted the cancer risk.

“People probably do not estimate their tea temperature perfectly, and this is one of the main limitations of the study,” said Neal Freedman, author of an accompanying editorial and a researcher with the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

“Drinking tea at a lower temperature should not be considered as a replacement for smoking cessation and limiting alcohol intake,” Freedman said by email. “Nevertheless, accumulating data suggest that drinking very hot tea may also increase the risk of esophageal cancer, and it may be prudent for people who drink very hot beverages to wait until it cools down a bit before drinking, whether or not they also smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol.”
2/7/2018 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[5 things in your kitchen that can tackle large pores]]>
Aloe Vera Gel:

A post shared by MJ Kakuna (@mjkakuna) on

Ancient Egypt called this plant the “plant of immortality” and for good reasons. Aloe Vera has been known to act as a great skin moisturizer, pore and stretch mark eliminator, acne and sun damage healer, and anti-aging agent. Simply by applying it to your face, you’ll see how it soothingly reduces the size of any visible pores. Quick hint: It can be used as a makeup primer, as it leaves a slightly tacky finish, which can help make your makeup last longer.


Yes, it’s as simple as that! Ice is renowned for its tightening effects on skin. It also reduces pimples and inflammations, boosts blood circulation, relieves puffy eyes, delays the appearance of wrinkles and stimulates collagen. Just simply run an ice cube on your face and see its miraculous effects.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

A post shared by Pipkin (@pipkinuk) on

The raw, organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is the one to look out for; it’s the one that will give you the greatest and purest results. It helps reduce fine lines, remove pimples, tighten and clear your skin, minimize large pores, and restore the skin’s pH balance. It is best used when diluted in water, so mix equal amounts of water and vinegar, soak a cotton ball, and smoothly run it all over your face to obtain results. Quick hint: Try directly applying a small undiluted amount of it on unwanted pimples and blemishes.

Egg Whites:

A post shared by MAMMAL (@mammalcreams) on

It was used long ago by ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians, Chinese and Arabs, to achieve radiant skin and hair. It has amazing properties, such as tightening pores, lifting and tightening saggy skin, reducing excess oils, fighting and preventing both acne and its scars, reducing eye puffiness, eliminating blackheads, and delaying fine lines and wrinkles. Simply whisk an egg white and spread it evenly on your face, cover your skin with pieces of tissue paper and peel them off when the mixture dries. Do this once or twice a week on a regular basis to acquire the greatest results.


Through different masks, sugar can do anything from removing pigmentation marks, dark spots, age spots and freckles to making your skin smooth and flawless. You can use it to exfoliate, hydrate and even tone your skin.

To remove spots and pigmentation:

• Mix 2 spoons of sugar and 4 spoons of lemon juice.
• Rub this mix on your face using your fingertips in an upward motion.
• Rub till sugar granules dissolve completely.
• Wash off with water.

To exfoliate:

• Mix sugar and a heavy face moisturizer, where the amount of sugar granules is suitable for both your liking and your face sensitivity.
• Rub this mixture in an upwards motion for five minutes.
• Wash and cleanse with a face wash and some water until all traces of the mixture is gone.
• Apply a layer of moisturizer (Note: this step is extremely important for your skin’s health, so please don’t skip it).
• Use this a maximum of once a week and a minimum of once every two weeks for the greatest results.

For smooth and radiant skin:

• Mix 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of honey and ½ cup organic sugar (Note: this will be enough to fill a small container).
• Wash your face and make sure your makeup is completely removed.
• Scoop a little amount and apply all over your face.
• Scrub in a broad, circular motion.
• Rinse off the mixture after about one minute.
• Pat dry your face.
• Apply moisturizer if needed.
• Use this a maximum of once a week and a minimum of once every two weeks for the greatest results.

Hint: this mixture lasts for about 30 days and should not be refrigerated.

2/6/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[World says no to violating girls’ bodies]]>
Feb. 6 marks the annual International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, a practice that has harmed about 200 million girls and women alive today around the world, according to the U.N. Unfortunately, despite being globally condemned, girls are still at risk of going through this painful and humiliating procedure unless a positive momentum is built to intensify global action against this human rights violation for the sake of the future of all generations.

This year, the #MeToo campaign against sexual abuse urged people to come forward and use the hashtag #MeTooFGM on Tuesday to raise awareness about the ritual and to call for FGM to be included as a form of abuse against women.

The international day was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012. Later in 2014, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a new resolution to intensify global efforts for the elimination of FGM. Moreover, in 2015, upon the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals


, the U.N. member states agreed to include a target calling for “the elimination of all harmful practices, such as FGM and child marriage.”

On this day, activists and human rights defenders from around the world come together to send a message calling for a systematic, coordinated and inclusive process to promote the abandonment of FGM. They also call for actions that focus on human rights and gender equality to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls who suffer from FGM consequences or are at risk of going under the procedure.

Global calls are launched on this day to urge governments to enact and enforce laws and policies that protect the rights of girls and women and prevent FGM, to create a healthier, better world for all people. Activists also call for more research to be conducted to show people that there are others around the world who reject the practice.

What is FGM ?

FGM is a ritual that involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia. The practice denies females their dignity, endangers their health, and causes needless pain and emotional trauma with consequences that endure for a lifetime and can even be fatal. The practice reflects deep-rooted inequality between sexes, constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls and denying them of ownership of their bodies. The practice also violates their rights to health, security and physical integrity; their right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; and their right to life when the procedure results in death.

In 2017, the executive director of U.N. Women wrote a blog on the occasion of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, saying, “The cutting and sewing of a young child's private parts so that she is substantially damaged for the rest of her life, has no sensation during sex except probably pain, and may well face further damage when she gives birth, is to many an obvious and horrifying violation of that child's rights.”

She continued, “It makes a mockery of the idea of any part being truly private and underlines the institutionalized way in which decisions over her own body have been taken from that girl – one of some 200 million currently.”

FGM is regularly carried out on minors and young girls between infancy and age 15. It is classified into four major types, according to the UN:

• Clitoridectomy: Partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).
• Excision: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are "the lips" that surround the vagina).
• Infibulation: Narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner or outer labia with or without removal of the clitoris.
• Other: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.

The phenomenon is a universal problem, despite its significant spread in Africa – especially the western, eastern and northeastern regions of Africa. It is also practiced in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Furthermore, the practice persists amongst immigrant populations living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Causes for FGM practice?

According to the 2016 report by the UN Secretary-General, the main reason that FGM continues is “out of a desire for social acceptance and to avoid social stigma.” FGM is often justified for a mix of cultural, religious and social reasons within families and communities. These reasons include social pressure to conform to what the community has been doing; considering FGM as a necessary part of raising a girl properly and a way to prepare her for adulthood and marriage; cultural ideals of modesty; and the power and authority of local structures, such as community leaders, religious leaders, circumcisers and even some medical personnel, who can contribute to upholding the practice.

Status of FGM in Egypt:

Egyptians inherited FGM from the pharaohs and are still practicing it. In 2006, Egypt launched its national anti-FGM strategy. One year later, the country recognized June 14 as the national day to combat FGM; the date was established to honor the 12-year-old “Bodour Shaker”, who died on the same date as a result of an FGM procedure.

In 2008, the FGM procedure was legally criminalized, while the FGM law was toughened in 2016, increasing its degree of crime from a misdemeanor to a felony, punishable by up to five to seven years in prison. According to a report published by the anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) national program sponsored by the National Population Council, the percentage of married women aged 15-49 who have been subjected to FGM dropped to 92 percent in 2014, while it was 97 percent in 2000 as a result of national campaigns and community initiatives to end FGM. The study and statistics from UNICEF also revealed that prevalence of FGM amongst the younger age groups is rather low, reaching 61 percent amongst females aged 15 - 17.

The government in Egypt has followed a holistic approach to end FGM, adopting a prevention and response agenda. On the prevention level, the Ministry of Health is heavily involved, as data from the Demographic and Health Survey revealed that 72 percent of the practice is conducted by medical doctors. The ministry launched a crackdown campaign on physicians proven to be complicit in performing FGM. Such medical practitioners faced intensified prison sentences. In addition, the government constantly works to bring on board all relevant actors to the fight to end FGM. These actors include education institutions and sensitizing curriculums to call for the abandonment of FGM and encourage community members and policymakers to abandon the practice.

Furthermore, for the first time in the history of Egypt, the Ministry of Health dedicated two hotlines for reporting FGM. The ministry also launched a campaign to distribute awareness cards about the dangers of FGM along with female vaccination cards throughout Egypt.
2/6/2018 11:44:12 AM
<![CDATA[Safer Internet Day: Keeping your child safe online]]>
Start discussing online safety at an early age

According to David Emm, the senior security researcher at internet security company Kaspersky Lab, one of the key ways to ensure your children’s safety online is by discussing online safety with them as soon as they start using the internet. Emm assures that making your children aware of what could be out there gives them a better opportunity to evaluate content well, meaning they are less likely to fall prey for the hurtful, damaging content out there.

In a similar vein, Michai Shulman, CTO of network security firm Imperva, suggests that there is a need to teach children to be aware of the “strangers bearing gifts.” In an interview with The Guardian, Shulman expressed his deep concern about children’s vulnerability to cyber attacks.

“My basic belief is that adults have proven once and again vulnerable to cyber attacks and therefore we cannot expect children to be any better – especially given that their sense of curiosity is far more developed and their sense of caution is far less mature.”

Teach them how to behave online

Shulman explained that he has explained to his children that they should not behave online any differently than they do in the real world. The internet expert also explained to his children “about hackers being a type of criminal that breaks into your house through the computer rather than through the window.” Using this analogy makes it easier for them to understand, Shulman explained.

“I also teach them to beware of strangers bearing gifts much like they should in the physical world. For example, I don’t allow my children to open a mail package if they don’t know who sent it (or got my permission to do so) – much the same way, I don’t allow them to open unsolicited email attachments.”

Similarly, Emm suggests that perhaps using the computer with their parents first makes children able to assess content better and offers both parents and children a chance to discuss the things that are there to protect us, like passwords, and how they should not share them with anyone. When it comes time for them to have a little more privacy, Emm suggests that parents should help their children “create a sensible password and explain why they should use different passwords for each account and the possible consequences of not doing so.”

Be careful of what you say online or post

David Robinson, chief security officer at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, perfectly summed up this point to The Guardian, “Once you’ve written something, you can’t delete it.”

“The Internet is a fantastic place,” explained Robinson, “but you have to be careful what you do and say when you are there. Don’t say things which you wouldn’t talk about in conversations with your family, think about what you do and say, you may well regret what you do by hurting someone or being hurt yourself.”

Robinson explains that it is important to caution your children against writing things online because they may not be able to delete them later on. It is true that Google in Europe has blessed internet users with the right to be forgotten, however, this right does not apply everywhere. Something one posts today could possibly harm them or their loved ones years on. “If what you do or say is controversial it will be copied many times and will always come back and bite you, even later inlife when you apply to go to college, university or even a job.”

In an important message to all internet users, Robinson stresses that children should always ask for help when they are uncertain. “Don’t be frightened to ask for help either; there are lots of places and people who can show you what to do and how to behave such as Get Safe On-line, friends and teachers.”

Previously, Chris Hoff, vice president of strategic planning and security at Juniper Networks, has also spoken out about the permanency of things posted or said online.

Monitor their usage

Samantha Humphries-Swift, product manager at cyber security firm McAfee Labs, stresses the importance of educating children“early and often.”

Involvement is everything for Humphries-Swift. In an interview with The Guardian, she spoke about how she monitors the sites that her daughter uses and vets all the applications she downloads personally. “This way, I can keep an eye on security settings and make a judgement on whether I think it’s safe and appropriate for her to use.”

“Communication is key – I like to be open, approachable and understanding about what my daughter is getting up to online. This way it makes it easier for her to come to me with any problems she’s experiencing online, and she’s happy to ask for advice,” she continued.

The McAfee Labs professional also stressed the importance for parents to take a look at resources, online or otherwise, available out there for parents to support their children against all harms online.

Similarly, Tracy Hulver, senior identity specialist for telecom firm Verizon, has expressed his concern regarding people trying to “contact kids by masking as people they are not and ‘infiltrating’ the child’s ‘inner circle’.”

As a parent, she believes that it is your role to monitor your kids and evaluate the people they connect with online. “Ask to see [your child’s] mobile devices periodically. Some children, especially the older they get, will not want Mom and Dad looking at their messages to their friends and that’s OK if the parent doesn’t want to do that. … But if nothing else, look to see what apps are installed, take a mental inventory, and if the parent is not familiar with the app, go online and do investigation. That way you at least know the types of social media services your child is using and to the point earlier, you should at least sign up for that service to see what it’s all about.”

These methods combined ensure that children will be able to stay safe online, protecting them against possible cyber attacks and increasing their awareness of the dangers out there.

2/6/2018 11:14:10 AM
<![CDATA[Why are we scared to be happy?]]>
Cherophobia is different to depression. Depression is characterized is being extremely sad and a feeling of emptiness, while cherophobia is avoiding or dismissing activities that would make you happy or be fun. Individuals suffering from cherophobia gave four reasons: happiness is a waste of time and effort, being happy means something bad will happen shortly after, happiness makes you a bad person, and it is unfair to show happiness while others are suffering.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology has proved that there’s a strong correlation between fear and happiness. It has been also found that this fear of happiness is promoted in fourteen cultures and is passed down from generation to generation. It mainly depends on how those cultures conceive happiness and their beliefs around the idea.

These cultures support beliefs such as: “with the very desire for happiness, out of delusion they destroy their own well-being as if it were their enemy,” from the point of view of Buddhists.

Furthermore, it is commonly believed in Russia that people who pursue success and happiness commonly have immoral goals and seek other’s envy and resentment; hence, Russians believe that it is best not to show happiness.

Due to cherophobia not being yet studied in great detail, it only has a few treatments. The ones available at the moment include relaxation strategies such as deep breathing, cognitive behavioral therapy which helps in identifying and changing faulty lines of thinking, and finally consistent exposure to happiness as mean to prove that misfortune is not always round the corner.
2/6/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Why it’s better to sleep than go to the gym!]]>

Insufficient sleep has been linked to higher body fat percentage, according to Dr. Guy Meadow’s comments to Cosmopolitan. "Sleeping less than seven to eight hours per night is linked to higher percent body fat. Research suggests that people who [sleep] six hours per night [on average] are 27 percent more likely to be overweight," he says. "Those who [sleep] five hours per night [on average] are 73 percent more likely to be overweight," the doctor adds.

The weight gain process is also related to two hormones: Ghrelin which regulates the appetite, and Leptin which tells us when to stop eating. Little and poor sleep causes Ghrelin to increase and Leptin levels to decrease which results into constantly feeling hungry and eating more which leads to weight gain and eventually higher body fat.

“Research suggests that poor sleep causes us to choose higher calorific food. Scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden demonstrated that sleep deprived individuals select foods that are on average nine percent higher in calories than when in a rested state," stated Dr. Meadows. It has also been found that the lack of sleep increases belly fat the most.

"During sleep, muscle tissue repairs and new cells are regenerated, therefore sleep deprivation is the enemy of building that all-important fat burning muscle mass," adds nutritionist Lily Soutter.

Sleep has to be a priority since it is more important than working out. Actually, poor sleep doesn’t only motivate us to eat junk food; it affects our decision-making abilities; leading us to take poor or harmful decisions. Studies have also found that lack of sleep eventually lowers IQ levels and generally impairs the daily learning process.

Sleep deprivation counts as one of the biggest problems among teens and young adults. It also leads to serious health problems including strokes, diabetes, heart attacks, hypertension, and many others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that more than 100,000 car accidents and 1,250 auto-related deaths have been related to sleep deprivation.
2/5/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Beauty standards around the world ]]>
Scars in Ethiopia:

It is believed that scars make a woman more pretty and attract husband-material men in Ethiopia’s Karo tribe. These scars are created at childhood on the girl’s stomach and body and are seen as extremely beautiful. This ritual is practiced because tolerating pain shows a girl's maturity and her ability to take responsibility of her children. Another reason is that men of the tribe believe that bare skin is ''ugly''.

Pale skin in Japan, China, and Thailand:

A post shared by @cuteasians.official on

In many parts of Asia, pale skin is considered a beauty asset. Therefore, whitening creams are abundant in Japan, China, and Thailand and some there avoid sunlight at any cost. Nowadays, however, these countries are now embracing their natural skin and are confident in it.

Facial tattoos in New Zealand:

A post shared by Geoff Hedley (@hedleyphoto) on

Ta-moko tattoos of lips and chins for women are considered beautiful to the Maori people of New Zealand. Blue lips and decorated chins are most prominent.

Brass necks of Thailand and Burma:

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Women of the Kayan Lahwi tribe start wearing those heavy coils as young as five years old. By the time they have matured, these coils can be as much as twenty-five fitted into their necks! The rings make it look as if their necks got taller; however, it creates an illusion since it only creates a load on to the shoulders and collar bone pushing them down.

Full figures of Mauritania:

In the past, women were force-fed up to 16,000 calories a day to help them reach that desirable full figure. Girls were sent to “fat farms” that would fatten them up. Thankfully, the government now prevents force-feeding.

Iran’s surgical bandages:

Pioneers of rhinoplasty in the world are proud to show that they have gone under the knife by wearing surgical bandages sometimes for longer than needed. Both men and women are not scared to show it because it shows that come from a high social status. Even those who haven’t had a rhinoplasty purchase the surgical tape and wear it.

Decorated skin in India:

Henna, nose rings, and bindis are used to decorate women’s skin, as well as red dots of red powder, called kumkum, for brides to adorn them. Henna rituals are sacred and consistent; they aren't just limited to weddings. Henna is applied to the palms, hands, feet, and legs.

Crooked teeth of Japan:

Normally, straight teeth are what people all over the world thrive to have; however, the opposite is the case in Japan since women pay a generous amount of money to have crooked teeth. It is known as ''yaeba'' which translates to ''double tooth''. It had only been practiced in recent years but is spreading to the rest of the world. The procedure is normally done to one or two teeth and is supposed to make the women seem less perfect seeming more ''approachable''. A similar trend with growing popularity in the U.S. is known as ''tooth crowding''.

Foot binding of China:

Foot binding was believed to make a better wife out of the girl as she won't complain too much. Though it was banned in the 1940's, you could still find older women especially in rural areas with misshaped feet. This procedure was done by breaking the child's toes and binding them to the foot and tightening the foot with a cloth around it.

Sharpened teeth of Bali and Indonesia:

This painful practice is called teeth chiseling and women of Indonesian tribes endure it because it shows a higher social status. In Bali, it is believed that teeth represent anger and hatred and sharpening or cutting your teeth can alleviate those negative emotions. Other cultures like the African tribe of Wapare file their teeth to make the warriors look more fearful.
2/5/2018 9:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[How to dress well on a budget]]>
Tip#1: Try to always go for solid colors over prints

Ever wondered why full looks in one color are considered chic and elegant? One of the main reasons is that solid colors have the ability to make any fabric look amazing and clean. They tend to also be a great tool in your closet as you can basically style it any way and with almost anything. While on the other hand, prints may exaggerate the flaws of cheap fabrics, and look extremely off-putting as they tend to attract attention.

Tip#2: Choose simple, clean designs

Clothes that have ruffles, fishnets, or even fancy closures are usually considered fashion pieces which makes them go out of fashion easily. In order to avoid that and get the most out of your money, you should go for cleaner leaner designs that are known to stand the test of time.

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Tip#3: Look for garments that you can combine or layer

Clothes that can be combined with different flannels, cardigans or accessories are a great investment and a huge money saver. You get to spend money on only a few items that in the end can give you endless outfits and boundless possibilities to choose from.

Tip#4: Vary your textures not just your colors

We all get to that time where we get extremely bored and notice that we’ve been wearing the same colors again and again every day. At that point, some of you might hit the shops and invest in a newly colored piece that of course won’t go with your current wardrobe. Consequently, you’ll end up buying more and more of the color to try and fit it in.

This will not only cost you money, but also add to the problem as it’s again the same thing over and over again. Let me suggest sticking to your color pattern, but investing in different textures as they can look extremely different and give you various looks even with them all being the same color.

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Tip#5: Spend more on accessories

Accessories are the reason why you can obtain several looks from the same outfit. You can dress an outfit up with some heels and a nice bag, or dress it down with a cardigan, a backpack, and some sneakers. They are the core of any closet and, in this case, your best friend if you need to look stylish on a budget. Accessories can help you style a basic outfit to fit the never-ending trends.

2/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Top 7 Cancer-Fighting Foods]]>
Berries :

Berries are incredibly rich in antioxidants; they supply vitamins such as C, A and Gallic acid. Gallic acid is a natural stimulator for the immune system which is incredibly beneficial when fighting diseases including cancer. It can be of any kind such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries even cherries. Whether in normal, dried or powder form, berries are still able to maintain their protecting powers.

Bright orange fruits and vegetables :

They include citrus fruits, sweet potato, squash and many more. Their bright colors are a clear tell that they are full phytochemicals especially carotenoid antioxidants. These carotenoids are derivatives of vitamin A. One of the most important carotenoids is the infamous beta-carotene which is significantly important for the immune system. It helps in the immune functioning, maintaining liver health and protecting against cancer in the skin, eyes and organs.

Herbs and spices :

These include fresh garlic, thyme, ginger, cayenne pepper, oregano and many more, but most importantly out of them all is turmeric as it has been proven to have a certain ingredient called curcumin. Curcumin has shown to decrease tumor sizes and help prevent and fight breast and colon cancer. It’s well worthy to add that black pepper aids tremendously in turmeric’s absorption, so they’re best taken together for the greatest effect.

Nuts and Seeds :

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Nuts and seeds are full of rich fatty acids, fibers, and a range of important minerals that help you balance your nutritional intake every day which is an important step to fight cancer. Out of the many nuts and seeds out there chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds stand out the most for their nutrient-dense ingredients. They can be a part of any recipe and incorporated in smoothies.


Although there are many types of mushrooms out there, they’ve all proven to be immune-system-enhancers. However, Reishi, maitake and cordyceps particularly showed properties that helped improve the immune system and fight growing tumors. You can find these particular types of mushrooms in tablets or you can even add to some of your at home dishes.

Traditional teas :

Those winter days ❄️ ☕️ #greentea & 🍓#sundaymood #home

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A great reason why most cancer patients die is because of a phase in cancer called Metastasis where the tumor cell begins to migrate and invade surrounding tissue. This is where green tea supposedly helps as it contains major polyphenolic compounds, including epigallocatechin-3-gallate, that inhibit the essential invasion of tumor cells and decrease cancer risks. Although other teas such as black or oolong tea have been reported to have positive effects too, green tea still outshines them with its greatest impact and percentage of polyphenolic compounds, catechin, gallocatechin and EGCG.

Wild caught fish :

It has been proven that wild and especially small fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel have high omega-3 levels that exert high levels of anti-inflammatory ingredients that aid in cancer prevention and in natural enhancement of antitumor therapies. It has also been shown to reduce the side effects usually obtained by receiving chemotherapy as well as preserving muscle mass.
2/4/2018 7:07:11 PM
<![CDATA[World Cancer Day]]>
We all know that catching cancer in its early stages is crucial, yet many people around the world today are not aware of this and seek diagnoses too late rendering the chances of full recovery lower. Governments around the globe are helping in the fight against cancer by placing higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol while campaigning for the public to take on healthy diets and lifestyles. An estimate of 30-50 percent of cancers can be prevented if these are followed, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“All countries can do more to prevent and treat cancer, we know the main causes. Acting upon them will avoid that many cases occuring in the first place. By strengthening the health system response, we can also ensure earlier diagnosis and better access to affordable treatment by qualified personnel, thereby saving millions of lives,” stated Dr. Etienne Krug, WHO Director for the Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention.

Early detection is important to beating cancer but also financially it is cheaper and one can continue living their daily lives by seeking treatment in the early stages. With 8.8 million people dying because of cancer worldwide every year, 4 million die prematurely (30-69 years of age).

World Cancer Day

Cancer is a multifaceted disease, and while medical care forms a big chunk of treatment, nutrition is also key to defeating the disease, dealing with the side effects of the treatment, as well as safeguarding against it.

Nutritionist Dr. Shady Labib

clarifies that while researchers admit that nutrition can’t actually cure the disease, a healthy diet is key to maintaining patients’ strength and weight. With good nutrients, cancer patients manage to defeat the pain and nausea.

While breast cancer is often incorrectly thought to only affect females and the majority of information, awareness campaigns and research on this disease tends to focus on females, breast cancer can also affect males. The month of October is dedicated to breast cancer awareness, and yet, most activities are focused on women. This has led to one of the most common breast cancer myths: that it only affects women.

Accordingly, most males fail to recognize and look for signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and those who do, struggle with feeling ashamed of being associated with a disease perceived as feminine.

Male breast cancer (MBC)

is most common in older males, although it can occur at any age. It is also more common among males with family history of breast cancer, as one in every five males diagnosed with MBC has a first degree male relative who also has a history of breast cancer.

2/4/2018 4:04:50 PM
<![CDATA[Cheating encouraged in new Monopoly version]]>
A new version of the decades-old board game Monopoly encourages players to cheat, but plastic handcuffs will leave them "locked up" if they are caught.

The aim of the game remains as it has been since its creation in 1935: to become the richest player through buying properties and collecting rent.

But a recent study "revealed that nearly half of game players attempt to cheat during Monopoly games, so in 2018, Hasbro decided it was time to give fans what they've been craving all along," a statement from Monopoly's manufacturer said.

The "Cheaters Edition" will be available this autumn.

It adds 15 cheat cards covering the most common types of traditionally unsportsmanlike play such as moving tokens more spaces than allowed by the dice, avoiding rent, or stealing money from the bank.

If they can get away with it before the next players' turn, the "cheaters" will be rewarded with Monopoly money, a hotel, or $200 from the bank.

"But get caught and you'll pay the consequences! Pretend handcuffs will leave offenders "chained" to the board until they are released," Hasbro says.

In another change, there is no longer a designated banker. Each player controls the central money pool during his or her turn -- making it easier to pull off a heist.

While Hasbro says it "has finally decided to embrace our less-than-honest fans by encouraging them to partake in those iconic (yet sometimes unspoken) Monopoly moments," the new version has its detractors.

"Monopoly is a horrible game," and a cheaters' monopoly would be even more so, Edward Castronova, a specialist in media and games at the University of Indiana, told AFP on Friday.

More broadly, the game is "is a completely inaccurate simulation of real economies. If Monopoly's model were accurate, there would only be one company in the world, instead of billions and billions."

More than 275 million copies of Monopoly, in various versions, have been distributed in 114 countries.
2/4/2018 1:40:32 PM
<![CDATA[Jude Benhalim goes digital ]]>Wires, springs, and the revolving hoops show how tangled the world that we live in is. The statement one’s jewelry makes can say a lot about how that person lives their life.

Photo courtesy of Jude Benhalim

The 23-year-old Syrian-Libyan designer said in a previous interview with Egypt Today that her jewelry is not for everyone and because of that, the typical Jude Benhalim woman is someone who wants to stand out by being edgy. Her pieces are a mixture of Arabic calligraphy and modern, sharp designs, combining crescent shapes with tribal, geometric lines.

Her designs also have a feminist touch, as she says she’s inspired by women who wear her jewelry and the strong women she surrounds herself with.

Photo courtesy of Jude Benhalim

The collection is created from 925 sterling silver and gold-plated brass pieces put together by the hands of local craftsmanship, ensuring its high quality.
“Tangled wires, spirals, and hoops, are all fused with jewelry to become an artistic statement about the hold technology has over the human race,” Benhalim stated in a press release about the collection’s inspiration.

2/4/2018 12:41:37 PM
<![CDATA[What does the way you sleep say about you?]]>
Turns out, you don’t sleep in a certain position because you only feel comfortable in it but it is actually that your subconscious guides you into doing that. Be ready to learn a little bit about yourself and see through those unclear and confused emotions you have.

The fetal position:

The fetal position - Photo Via Maxpixel/ CC0 Public Domain

It counts as one of the most common sleeping positions; it is when you sleep with your legs curled inside. It has been found that women sleep that way more than men. People who sleep this way have a strong personality. They tend to be hard on the outside, but soft on the inside; they are shy, but eventually loosen up and become really fun and outgoing, according to a study by Chris Idizikwozski, the director of the UK’s Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service.

Sticking your knees out:

If you sleep on your side with your knees sticking out, it means you are an optimist, a trusting and calm individual who’s able to dodge and deal with any problem thrown at them.

Lying on your stomach:

Lying on your stomach - Photo Via Pxhere/ CC0 Public Domain

If you sleep like this, it means you are a leader, somewhat impulsive, and not scared to take opportunities. You like an organized life and are not a fan of surprises.

Arms stretched out:

If you sleep as if you are reaching out for something, your personality is quite contradicting. You are open-minded and resilient yet extremely sarcastic, cautious when taking decisions yet abiding by them whatever the outcome is.

The log:

Sleeping baby boy - Photo Via CC0/Officer

This sleeping position is when you lie on your side with your arms straight on the side of your body. People who sleep this way tend to be really outgoing, adventurous, trustworthy, and a bit gullible.

Lying on your back:

You are life-loving and like to be the center of attention, a hard worker and stubborn. Your friends are definitely a priority in your life and you tend to be a carefree person.

The pillow huggers:

They value any relationship in their lives the most, whether it is a significant other, a family member or a friend. They swing towards being emotional most of time and they feel things deeply.
2/4/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[How colors define personalities ]]>
How you feel about certain colors evoke from previous experiences that you have had. Mainly in your childhood years as these are years what continue to have an impact on your life. Even if you don’t remember those experiences and events they lie within you subconsciously. Even though, colors evoke subjective feelings, they tend to have universal meanings and interpretations too, according to Very Well website.


Photo Via CC0 Public Domain

Black is interpreted as evil or a sign of death and mourning. Moreover, it depicts superstitious and maleficent characters such witches. In ancient Egypt however, it was a sign of life and rebirth.


Photo Via CC0 Public Domain

White gives a sense of innocence and purity. It is used in rooms to give a sense that the room is spacious but it gives a sense of hostility and emptiness. It is used to paint hospitals as it gives a sense of cleanliness and sterility.


Photo Via Maxpixel/ CC0 Public Domain

Red and warm colors in general give a spectrum of feelings ranging from love to aggression. Red is usually seen as the color of love and evokes very strong feelings to people.


Photo Via CC0 Public Domain

Blue is typically men’s favorite and it is a symbol of calmness and serenity. Blue can also emit sadness and indifference. Don’t use blue to ask if someone is sad ‘’why are you so blue?’’. But research shows that people are most productive in rooms painted blue. Therefore, it is recommended that offices and other work facilities get painted blue.


Photo Via Maxpixel/ CC0 Public Domain

Green symbolizes good luck, health, and fertility. It has an instant calming effect and is said to help in the healing process.


Photo Via Maxpixel/ CC0 Public Domain

It is the most contradicting color you will see as it is considered a happy and cheerful color and attention-grabbing, people often lose their tempers and feel frustrated in it and babies cry more in yellow rooms. I think we conclude to never paint a child’s room yellow.


Photo Via Pixabay/ CC0 License

It is a divine color that is a sign of wisdom and spirituality. Long ago, it signified wealth as it was very hard to dye fabric into purple since there weren’t many things in nature that give off that color.


Photo Via Skitterphoto/ CC0 License

It is the color of Earth (the soil). It is described as natural, humble, can also be seen as sophisticated.
2/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Tips all curly-heads should know]]>
Hack#1: Deep Condition

You know how they say nothing some moisture can’t fix, well it’s totally true. By deep conditioning your hair you provide your hair with the moisture it needs to attain a perfect curl pattern, remain knot and frizz free, and be the softest and shiniest it has ever been. Now I know what some of you guys might say how it can be so much work and take so much of your time, as much as I would’ve agreed with you in the past, I think I’ve found a perfect short routine that if done once a week it could transform your hair.

• Cleanse, condition, and detangle your hair at least two hours before you are going to bed
• Apply the deep conditioner to your hair
• Go to bed normally
• Rinse it the next day and style as you normally would

Hack#2: Finish your shower with cold water

I can’t tell you how much this step made a difference to my hair. By just ending my shower with some cold water, even if just a small rinse to my hair, I noticed my hair attains this radiant glow and this clear definition that it didn’t had before.

Hack#3: Never brush when dry

I have put this in here as I still personally meet curly-headed girls that ruin any chance of getting supper defined curls by brushing or detangling their hair when dry. Curly hair is meant to be softly detangled and styled when it’s 50 percent wet or even very gently in the shower. In addition, brushes are extremely terrible for your hair as it causes split ends and breakage; try using a wide tooth comb instead.

Hack#4: Finger comb

Speaking of detangling, how about you try finger combing. Which is basically you running your fingers through your hair very gently from the very ends to the roots, checking for any knots, and softly detangling them. The greatest thing about this is that you can never be too forceful or harsh to your hair as you get to personally feel each strand.

Hack#5: The Pineapple

To avoid waking up with a tousled mess every day and to preserve your curls from the day before, try putting your hair in what is called “The Pineapple”. The Pineapple is a low manipulation hairstyle where you basically take all your hair, put it at the top of your head, and run it through your hair tie once. It keeps the hair away from your face at night and protects your hair from getting all tangled up.

Hack#6: Consider purchasing a diffuser

If you don’t have the time or the patience to air-dry your hair, a great way to do so, without using heat, is by using a diffuser. Just set it on the cold air setting and scrunch your hair till dry.

Hack#7: Stop using a towel to dry your hair

Due to its rough surface, a regular towel can create a great deal of friction with your hair which in turn causes frizz. To combat that you can use anything made of cotton or even a microfiber towel to do the job.
2/3/2018 9:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[High levels of cellphone radiation linked to tumors in rats - U.S. study]]>
Female rats and mice exposed in the same way did not develop tumors, according to the preliminary report from the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), a part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The findings add to years of research meant to help settle the debate over whether cellphone radiation is harmful.

However, NTP scientists and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were quick to say the findings could not be extrapolated to humans and that current safety limits on cellphone radiation are protective.

The 10-year, $25 million studies - the most comprehensive assessments of health effects and exposure to radiofrequency radiation in rats and mice to date - do raise new questions about exposure to the ubiquitous devices.

John Bucher, a senior scientist with NTP, said the tumors seen in the studies are "similar to tumors previously reported in some studies of frequent cellphone users."

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, noted that the studies were negative for common tumors.

“These draft reports are bound to create a lot of concern, but in fact they won’t change what I tell people: the evidence for an association between cellphones and cancer is weak, and so far, we have not seen a higher cancer risk in people," he said in a statement on Twitter.

Brawley said if cellphone users are concerned about this data in animals they should wear an earpiece.

Unlike ionizing radiation such as that from gamma rays, radon and X-rays, which can break chemical bonds in the body and are known to cause cancer, radiofrequency devices such as cellphones and microwaves emit radiofrequency energy, a form of non-ionizing radiation.

The concern with this type of radiation is that it produces energy in the form of heat, and frequent exposure against the skin could alter brain cell activity, as some studies have suggested.

In the NTP study, rats and mice were exposed to higher levels of radiation for longer periods of time than what people experience with even the highest level of cellphone use, and their entire bodies were exposed all at once, according to the draft report.

Cellphones typically emit lower levels of radiation than maximum levels allowed, the draft report said.

NTP, a part of the National Institutes of Health, will hold an external expert review of its complete findings from these rodent studies on March 26-28.

Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, head of the FDA's radiological health division, said there is not enough evidence to say cellphone use poses health risks to people.

"Even with frequent daily use by the vast majority of adults, we have not seen an increase in events like brain tumors," he said in a statement. "We believe the current safety limits for cellphones are acceptable for protecting the public health."

Nevertheless, the findings are potentially a concern for device makers, especially the world's three biggest smartphone sellers, Apple Inc, Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and China's Huawei Technologies.

The CTIA, the trade association representing AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, Apple Inc, Sprint Corp, DISH Network Corp, and others, said on Friday that previous studies have shown cellphone RF energy emissions have no known heath risks.

"We understand that the NTP draft reports for its mice and rat studies will be put out for comment and peer review so that their significance can be assessed,” the group said.

Samsung and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment. ]]>
2/3/2018 6:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Rihanna vows to 'never stop' fight to put children back in school]]>
Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador.

"We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way to go, and this is a fight we are never going to stop fighting, until every boy and every girl has access to education," she told the crowd.

At ease with the African heads of state gathered onstage, Rihanna put her arm around Malian leader Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and joked around with Senegal's President Sall.

Macron spoke with Rihanna on the sidelines of the event after she challenged him to contribute more to the project in a tweet on Thursday, before announcing 200 million euros ($249 million) for the partnership's activities.

The French leader told delegates that countries where the world had witnessed "democracy being rolled back", were also where "girls were being pushed out of school."

The funding promise represents a massive increase on the 17 million euros pledged at the last conference in 2014. It brings France closer to Britain, which contributes $430 million, and the European Union, which gives $400 million.

It is not the first time the young French leader and the singer of "Umbrella" fame have met: she visited the Elysee Palace in July after tweeting him on the same issue.

The Dakar conference, which brings together governments and the private sector, aims to raise $3.1 billion (2.5 billion euros) over the coming three years to support education for 870 million children around the world.

The French presidency said the partnership was "well on the way" to reaching this goal on Friday afternoon.

- Children's futures at stake -

Some 264 million school-age children and youths are living without any education owing to poverty, conflict and social barriers including bias against girls, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).

"This is one of the, if not the, largest gatherings of its kind to really demonstrate political will, financial investment, the urgency of the education crisis," Alice Albright, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education told AFP.

"We are here to raise money; we are here to build political will; we are here to draw attention to the urgency of the problem," she added.

Partner countries in the GPE scheme are required to earmark 20 percent of their national budgets to education -- a tough goal for developing nations battling jihadists or civil conflicts.

Literacy in sub-Saharan Africa hovers around 65 percent, according to UNESCO, the UN's culture and education agency, and girls lose out disproportionately.

"People feel education is not that important because you are not losing lives", Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore told AFP on Friday.

"But education must be seen with the same urgency," she added. Without it, "you lose a child's future".

- Development and security -

Ahead of the conference, Macron met Sall at the presidential palace in the Senegalese capital and signed agreements on the sale of two Airbus planes for $214 million (171 million euros) and the creation of a Franco-Senegalese university campus.

Senegalese police made several arrests on Friday afternoon when dispersing a protest march by "France Degage", a group which wants the former colonial power to reduce its role in Senegal.

Macron has visited Africa six times already in his nine months as president, spending time in several former French colonies and reaffirming support for the Barkhane counter-terror force rooting out jihadists across the Sahel region.

A rapid reaction force of Senegalese troops was recently deployed to Mali as part of a UN peacekeeping mission with France's blessing, as the international community attempts to contain Al-Qaeda-linked groups wreaking havoc in the unstable desert nation.

Macron will visit the northern Senegalese city of Saint Louis on Saturday, which is threatened by coastal erosion.

He will be accompanied by President Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank, which along with France is financing protective measures for the former capital of what was known until 1902 as French West Africa.]]>
2/3/2018 3:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[et Skin Series: Zinc]]>
Zinc is used for treatment and prevention of zinc deficiency and its consequences, including stunted growth and acute diarrhea in children, and slow wound healing. It is also used for boosting the immune system, treating the common cold and recurrent ear infections, and preventing lower respiratory infections. It is also used for malaria and other diseases caused by parasites.

Dark chocolate is a source of zinc. Via CC/Pixabay

Zinc acts as a regulator for many mechanisms in the body, such as your insulin levels, and, in addition to that, it also helps to regulate your sebum production. This is the oil produced by your skin to keep it moisturized, but overproduction of it can lead to acne and an oily complexion, so zinc helps to moderate that. It is a key mineral in the production of collagen, and it also acts as an anti-inflammatory and healing agent. Zinc aids in healing the skin and prevents acne by regulating the activity of the oil glands. It is also an antioxidant, helping to fight and prevent the formation of free radicals.

Zinc is known to encourage the production of collagen fibers and elastin. Both of these elements help to support the underlying structure of the skin, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of ageing, and as an aid to collagen production; therefore, zinc has been linked with the treatment of burns and the reduction of scar tissue for many years.
2/2/2018 10:00:00 AM