Wednesday, June 28

World

Panda mania hits Germany as China’s cuddly envoys arrive

Panda mania hits Germany as China’s cuddly envoys arrive

World
Germany had its first taste of panda mania on Saturday  (June 24) as two furry ambassadors arrived from China to begin a new life as stars of Berlin’s premier zoo. The pair, named Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, jetted in on a special Lufthansa cargo plane, accompanied by two Chinese panda specialists, the Berlin Zoo’s chief vet and a tonne of bamboo. A crowd of journalists and officials on hand to welcome the VIPs let out an “ooooh” as Meng Meng raised a paw after flight LH8415 made an especially gentle touchdown at Schoenefeld airport. The black and white pair, clearly groggy after the 12 hour 20 minute flight from Chengdu in southern China, lay resting in their travelling crates during the welcome ceremony in a hangar. Until, that is, the Chinese ambassador to Berlin got a litt
Aveo: Exploitation of the elderly rife in retirement villages

Aveo: Exploitation of the elderly rife in retirement villages

News, World
Residents of the multi-billion-dollar retirement village industry have described buying into a retirement village as a "financial sinkhole". A joint investigation by the ABC's Four Corners and Fairfax Media into retirement village company Aveo has uncovered exorbitant fees and complex contracts. One former resident describes Aveo's business practices as "totally rapacious, I don't know how they get away with it". Fairfax Media and Four Corners spoke to current and former residents, their children, lawyers, former Aveo staff and lobby groups and found several alarming business practices at Aveo — including safety issues, misleading marketing and advertising and property sales. The joint investigation obtained numerous Aveo contracts, which included clauses some lawyers described a
Schoolboys, bus drivers skirt the rules to beat heat

Schoolboys, bus drivers skirt the rules to beat heat

News, World
It has got so hot this summer in some places in Europe that men and boys have decided to don skirts - because rules forbid shorts. Dozens of British schoolboys at the Isca Academy in Exeter have gone to class wearing girls' uniform skirts when the head teacher would not relax the dress code banning the more suitable option: shorts. In Nantes, France, some male bus drivers showed off similar feminine attire this week to protest against the bus company's "no shorts" policy, arguing that trousers were too hot during the heatwave. The bus company, Semitan, eventually gave in - saying the men could wear shorts while the dress code was being updated to make more permanent changes, according to a local newspaper. Meanwhile, the teenage boys at Isca Academy argued that it was too h...
What the Theresa May government proposes to do, and what it has shelved

What the Theresa May government proposes to do, and what it has shelved

News, World
British Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her government plan on Wednesday, promising to secure the best possible Brexit deal that secures the "maximum possible support" as the UK prepares to leave the European Union. However, a range of controversial and unpopular policies were omitted, as she attempts to pass the government plan without her own parliamentary majority. Below are some of the proposals mentioned - and omitted - in the government's policy plan: BREXIT As Britain departs the EU, the UK government plans the following: - "As we enter the negotiation phase, we will look to intensify this work in order to test and validate positions and to continue to build support from the business community as we move forward," the government said of Brexit. - A "Great Repea...
Facebook and Twitter bigger for retail in ME than globally

Facebook and Twitter bigger for retail in ME than globally

News, Technology, World
The new study surveyed over 1,000 people in the UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia DUBAI A retail report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Middle East shows that regionally, 25 per cent more people use Facebook and Twitter to find inspiration for purchases compared to globally. Approximately 64 per cent of residents in the Middle East use the social platforms for inspiration, compared to 39 per cent globally, according to the new report by the professional services firm. The latest edition of PwC’s Middle East Total Retail Survey for 2017 also showed that 51 per cent of shoppers surveyed have never used Amazon, ahead of the platform’s arrival in the UAE this year. PwC’s latest report, released on Monday, suggests that the retail sector is witnessing seismic developments with n
Dubai’s quest to join world’s fashion capitals gathers pace

Dubai’s quest to join world’s fashion capitals gathers pace

Entertainment, News, World
  Dubai's quest to join world's fashion capitals gathers pace Dubai: The first steps towards developing a full-scale “Dubai Fashion Week” and then turning it into a fixture on the international fashion calendar are on. The suggestions put forward by an expert panel are now with the higher authorities for a possible go ahead. If it does so, Dubai then stands more than a good chance of creating — and sustaining — a high-profile event that would do a world of good to the emerging fashion and design industry here and in the region, according to a senior source. “A framework for a possible DFW has been suggested and hopefully it will see the light,” said Patrick Chalhoub, member of the Board of Directors at Dubai Design and Fashion Council. “There is already a Dub
Portugal declares three days mourning as battle to contain deadly forest fire continues

Portugal declares three days mourning as battle to contain deadly forest fire continues

News, World
Portugal declared three days of national mourning on Sunday after a forest fire triggered by thunderstorms in the north of the country killed more than 60 people, many of them fleeing in their cars. At least 30 people died in vehicles, with more bodies found near cars on the side of a road and others in rural areas near Pedrogao Grande, Secretary of State for Internal Administration Jorge Gomes said in comments broadcast Sunday by RTP. According to an initial analysis by the Judicial Police, the fire was caused by a dry thunderstorm, Gomes said. Government officials said an assessment will be made of the cause. "So many deaths represent an almost unprecedented tragedy in the history of democratic Portugal,'' President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said in a televised speech on Sunda...
Cambridge University refuses to return Aboriginal artifacts to Australia

Cambridge University refuses to return Aboriginal artifacts to Australia

Education, World
The University of Cambridge has refused a request by an Australian man to return important Aboriginal artifacts taken by British explorer Captain James Cook nearly 250 years ago. Rodney Kelly is seeking the return of four spears from the university's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology on behalf of the Gweagal people, who traditionally inhabited southern parts of Sydney, Australia's largest city. According to the university, Cook took the spears following a violent first encounter between Aborigines and Europeans on the shores of Botany Bay in Sydney in 1770. He also took a shield, which is currently held by the British Museum and for which Kelly has also sought repatriation. The artifacts are recognised as a significant symbol of first contact between the British and indig...
John Avildsen, director of ‘Rocky’ and ‘Karate Kid,’ dies at 81

John Avildsen, director of ‘Rocky’ and ‘Karate Kid,’ dies at 81

Entertainment, World
John G. Avildsen, who directed "Rocky" and "The Karate Kid" -- two dark-horse, underdog favourites that went on to become Hollywood franchises -- died Friday at age 81. Anthony Avildsen said his father died Friday in Los Angeles from pancreatic cancer. "He was a pretty extraordinary man in my estimation. He was super talented and very driven and very stubborn and that was to his detriment but also often to his benefit," Anthony Avildsen said. "Rocky" was a huge success. It won Oscars for best picture, director (Avildsen) and editing and was nominated for seven others. No less a Hollywood eminence than Frank Capra loved it, telling The New York Times in 1977, "When I saw it, I said, 'Boy, that's a picture I wish I had made.' " For his part, Avildsen said Capra -- who also champion...
DEWA’s summer power saving campaign

DEWA’s summer power saving campaign

Entertainment, News, World
Set air conditioning to 24C, fix water leaks, and use energy efficient light bulbs, says utility body Dubai: The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is running a campaign to tell residents to save electricity and water this summer — the time of the year when usage soars. A graphic distributed by DEWA on social media channels gives five tips. The tips include instructions to switch to energy efficient light bulbs, fix water leaks, and to set your air conditioning to 24C. A DEWA team has been organising lectures and field visits to government organisations and departments, private companies, malls, and union centres. During the month of Ramadan, DEWA also organises events and workshops, in cooperation with the General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowment (GAIAE)