Lifestyle

Sub-categories

Lifestyle • Religion
NXIVM sex cult leader Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison
NXIVM sex cult leader Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison
Credit: US Government, Eastern District of NY, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Keith Raniere, founder and leader of American multi-level marketing, cult-like company NXIVM, was convicted of racketeering, sex trafficking, child pornography possession and other crimes last year and has now been sentenced to 120 years in prison on October 27.

Lifestyle • Travel
"Very nice" catchphrase from Borat adopted by Kazakhstan for tourism campaign
"Very nice" catchphrase from Borat adopted by Kazakhstan for tourism campaign
Credit: User Skssoft on de.wikipedia; Michael Bulcik / SKS Soft GmbH Düsseldorf / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

After banning the first Borat movie featuring the fictional Kazakhstani journalist Borat in the country, Kazakhstan has now picked up the catchphrase "very nice", that the character uses repeatedly, for a tourism campaign to attract new people coming and visiting the country.

The deputy chairman of Kazakh Tourism, Kairat Sadvakassov, has stated that "Kazakhstan's nature is very nice. Its food is very nice. And its people, despite Borat's jokes to the contrary, are some of the nicest in the world,".

Lifestyle • Religion
Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions
Pope Francis
Pope Francis Credit: Long Thiên (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Pope Francis as made his most explicit endorsement of same-sex civil unions since becoming pontiff while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival.

"Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God," Francis said in one of his sit-down interviews for the film. "You can't kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered."

Lifestyle • Travel
Japanese tourist is the first visitor to Machu Picchu following the Covid-19 closure
Japanese tourist is the first visitor to Machu Picchu following the Covid-19 closure
Credit: Jesse Katayama (Instagram)

The Japanese Jesse Katayama was the first visitor on Machu Picchu, after months of Covid-19 closure.

Katayama had a entry ticket and permit to enter the UNESCO World Heritage site on March 16, the same day the Peruvian government opted to close the site. His original plan was to spend three days in the area, but with flights cancelled and movement limited by the virus, Katayama was stuck there for months.

"I thought that I wouldn’t be able to go, but thanks to all of you who pleaded with the mayor and the government, I was given this super special opportunity," he wrote on his Instagram account.

Lifestyle
Delphine Boël wins a lawsuit to be recognized as the daughter of former Belgium king
Delphine Boël wins a lawsuit to be recognized as the daughter of former Belgium king
Credit: Luc Van Braekel / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Delphine Boël has won a seven-year legal battle to be recognized as the daughter of the former king of Belgium, Albert II. She will now be called Delphine of Saxen-Coburg-Gotha, princess of Belgium, following a ruling of the Brussels Court of Appeal.

Lifestyle • Religion
Vatican official Cardinal Becciu resigns unexpectedly
Vatican official Cardinal Becciu resigns unexpectedly
Credit: Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The second most senior official in the Vatican's Secretariat of State, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, has unexpectedly resigned from office after being involved in a controversial deal to use church funds to invest in the purchase a London building. Becciu has denied any wrongdoings.

"Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and from the rights connected to the Cardinalate, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu," so the Holy See.

"An investment was made on a building. It was good and opportune occasion, which many people envy us for today," Becciu earlier this year.

Lifestyle • Travel
India: Taj Mahal reopens after six-motnh-long closure
India: Taj Mahal reopens after six-motnh-long closure
Credit: unsplash.com/Koushik Chowdavarapu

The Taj Mahal has reopened its doors to visitors after a six-month-long closure. To ensure people's safety, various Coronavirus measures have been implemented, e.g. reduced capacity, temperature checks and mandatory face masks.

Lifestyle • Citytrips
Cluj-Napoca, a city in Romania, in the finals for European Capital of Innovation
Cluj-Napoca, a city in Romania, in the finals for European Capital of Innovation
Credit: European Commission

The finals include the following cities: Espoo (Finland), Helsingborg (Sweden), Leuven (Belgium), Valencia (Spain), Vienna (Austria), and Cluj-Napoca (Romania).

The winner of the competition, to be announced on September 24, receives €1 million, which is to be used in consolidating activities which innovate the infrastructure. The five runners-up will receive  €100,000 each.

Lifestyle • Travel
India: Taj Mahal will reopen despite India's high Coronavirus cases
India: Taj Mahal will reopen despite India's high Coronavirus cases
Credit: unsplash.com/Koushik Chowdavarapu

The Taj Mahal will reopen on September 21st," mit Srivastava, deputy director of Uttar Pradesh state’s tourism department has announced. Masks, social distancing and other Covid-19 protocols will be required for visitors. Instead of the usual daily 20,000 visitors, only 5,000 will be allowed. Visitors will have to buy tickets only as no physical tickets will be sold.

Lifestyle • Food
NYC restaurant owners file $2b lawsuit against city and state officials
Financier Patisserie closed all its location due to mandated indoor dining shutdown
Financier Patisserie closed all its location due to mandated indoor dining shutdown Credit: Billie Grace Ward from New York, USA / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

New York City restaurant owners have filed a $2 billion class-action suit against city and state officials in Manhattan's Supreme Court, stating a violation of the constitutional rights of mover than 150,000 New York City restaurant owners.

"It’s been nearly six months since New York City restaurants were mandated to shutdown indoor dining, and Mayor de Blasio still does not have a reopening plan, even though the rest of the state has been dining indoors since June," so Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance.

Lifestyle • Travel
US Border Patrol Says They Can Create Central Repository Of Traveler Emails, Keep Them For 75 Years

The U.S. government has taken the opportunity during the global pandemic, when people aren’t traveling out of the country much, to roll out a new platform for storing information they believe they are entitled to take from people crossing the border. A new filing reveals how the U.S. Border Patrol will store data from traveler devices centrally, keeping it backed up and searchable for up to 75 years.

On July 30 the Department of Homeland Security published a privacy impact assessment detailing the electronic data that they may choose to collect from people crossing the border – and what happens to that data.

Lifestyle • Travel
Covid-19 causes huge losses for German travel giant TUI
Covid-19 causes huge losses for German travel giant TUI
Credit: Marco Verch (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

TUI, the world's largest travel operator, suffered a 98.5% drop in revenues due to Covid-19 restrictions. The group posted a €1.42 billion loss between April and June.

On Wednesday, TUI secured a second credit line from the German government, adding to a €1.8 billion loan taken on in April, and while the CEO said it might not need to use the latest line, the focus is now on debt.

In May the company stated it would need to cut 8,000 jobs and save €300 million a year to help it withstand the crisis.

Lifestyle • Cruises
Norway: Cruise line Hurtigruten halts cruises after Coronavirus outbreak
Norway: Cruise line Hurtigruten halts cruises after Coronavirus outbreak
Credit: Holger.Ellgaard / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

After a Coronavirus outbreak on the MS Roald Amundsen, Cruise line Hurtigruten has halted all "expedition" cruises until further notice. It's confirmed that 41 people on board of the MS Roald Amundsen were tested positive for Coronavirus, the rest of the crew and hundreds of passengers were urged to self-isolated.

Hurtigruten's Chief Executive Daniel Skjeldam: "Our own failure, as well as the recent rise in infections internationally, has led us to halt all expedition cruises in Norwegian and international waters."

Lifestyle • Cruises
Norwegian cruise ship: Four crew members hospitalized with Covid-19
MS Roald Amundsen
MS Roald Amundsen Credit: Hurtigruten

Four crew members of the Norwegian cruise ship Roald Amundsen have been hospitalized with Covid-19 after arriving in Tromsoe.

The scheduled trip to Spitzbergen has now been cancelled and all 160 crew members have been quarantined on the ship. The passengers of the Roald Amundsen had already left the ship when the cases were detected but are now being contacted by telephone with the order to self-isolate in order to stop a further spread of the virus.

Lifestyle • Travel
Croatia sees decline in tourists as pandemic worsens
Croatia sees decline in tourists as pandemic worsens
Credit: unsplash.com / Colton Jones

Tourism in Croatia is on the decline as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Croatian National Tourist Board, July saw 1.8 million tourists enter the country, 51 percent compared to last year's numbers. The most popular destinations were on the Dalmatian coast, with Rovinj, Umag and Split among them.

Tourism is a significant part of Croatia's GDP. Many businesses rely on the influx of tourists in the summer, with July being one of the busiest months.

Lifestyle • Religion
Volunteer admits to have started fire at Nantes cathedral
Organ in the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Nantes previous to the fire
Organ in the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Nantes previous to the fire Credit: Jordiferrer (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

After being questioned by the police and released without charges a volunteer at the cathedral in Nantes has confessed to arson. No motive has been given as to why the volunteer warden has started the fire, but his lawyer has stated that he felt "relief" after confessing to the police.

The fire has destroyed the cathedral's 17th Century organ and multiple historically valuable stained windows of stained glass, but the fire brigade has managed to put the fire out before the main structure could be destroyed.

Lifestyle • Food
UK sees an increased demand for vegan food products
UK sees an increased demand for vegan food products
Credit: unsplash.com/Creatv Eight

According to a research by trademark law firm EMW, there has been a significant increase of trademarks for vegan and plant-based food products in recent months. Magnum, Ben & Jerry's and Unilever are among the brands who filed trademarks for vegan products.

The Vegan Society has released a study that found that many British consumers reduced their meat and dairy consumption during the Covid-19 lockdown, either due to a lack of other products or for health reasons.

Lifestyle • Religion
Man questioned over Nantes cathedral fire
Man questioned over Nantes cathedral fire
Credit: Fx Bellamy via Twitter

A 39-year-old Rwandan refugee has been arrested in connection with a fire in the 15th century Nantes cathedral. The man worked as a volunteer at the cathedral being in charge of locking up the building on Friday night.

Prosecutor Pierre Sennes said that three fires had been started at the site and that there had been no signs of a break-in.

Lifestyle • Religion
French cathedral in Nantes on fire
French cathedral in Nantes on fire
Credit: Fx Bellamy via Twitter

The fire department of the Départements Loire-Atlantique has reported that the cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes is on fire. 60 fire fighters are combating the fire but according to the fire brigade "The fire is not under control, it is spreading".

Lifestyle • Citytrips
France: Disneyland Paris, Eiffel Tower reopen
View from the Eiffel Tower
View from the Eiffel Tower Credit: unsplash.com/Matt Boitor

Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios have partially reopened on Wednesday after almost four months. Other tourists attractions are also being reopened. The top floor of the Eiffel Tower is now open for visitors but is restricted to maximum of 250 people.

Lifestyle • Travel
Disney World Florida reopens despite record Covid-19 numbers
Fireworks at Magic Kingdom, Disney World.
Fireworks at Magic Kingdom, Disney World. Credit: unsplash.com/Jaime Creixems

Disney World Florida is set to reopen its doors to visitors. The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks will open on Saturday, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios will follow on July 15. Disney will implement strict safety measures, including reduced capacity and mandatory face masks. The reopening comes as Florida is reporting record numbers of new Covid-19 infections in the last days, reaching 10,000 daily cases on Tuesday.

Lifestyle • Religion
Dalai Lama celebrates 85th birthday, releases first album
Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama in 2021
Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama in 2021 Credit: Christopher Michel / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The 14th Dalai Lama has celebrated his 85th birthday on July 6 with releasing his debut album "Inner World". The album release was accompanied by a live stream which featured appearances from his long-time friend Richard Gere, actor Russell Brand and sitar player Anoushka Shankar.

"The best gift for me on my birthday, please keep your own mind, your own heart, more compassionate. And if possible serve others and help other people and animals," so the Dalai Lama at the end of the live stream.

Lifestyle
Vietnamese Company Creates World’s First Biodegradable Coffee Face Mask
AirX Mask
AirX Mask

Called the AirX, the new face mask from the Vietnam via Canada-based company is touted as “the world’s first ever coffee mask” and is reusable, 100% vegan, biodegradable, and antimicrobial.

It has obtained AATCC 100 certification, “the textile industry’s standard for antimicrobial fabric performance in the United States.”

Per Yahoo Finance, the coffee component of the mask comes in two forms: the coffee yarn using “Powerknit technology” that comprised the mask itself as well as the biodegradable air filter insert, made with “silver nanotechnology and coffee” and meant to withstand 30 days’ use.

Lifestyle • Travel
India: Taj Mahal and other Indian monuments to remain closed
Taj Mahal in Agra, India
Taj Mahal in Agra, India Credit: unsplash.com/Julian Yu

The Taj Mahal and other Indian monuments such as Agra Fort and Sikandra will stay shut. The national government had given permission to reopen attractions, local authorities in Agra decided to keep them closed to visitors.

"The Taj Mahal, which is in the Taj Ganj police station jurisdiction, is a 'containment zone'," so Agra's District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh.

Lifestyle • Travel
All Asia Disney parks have reopened after 4-month closure
Entrance of Disneyland Tokyo, Japan
Entrance of Disneyland Tokyo, Japan Credit: unsplash.com/Roméo A.

With the reopening of the Disney Resort in Tokyo, all of Disney's Asian parks have reopened as of July 1. Disneyland in Shanghai has opened its doors for visitors in May and Disneyland Hong Kong welcomed visitors back in June. Visitors have to follow social distancing rules and wear masks at all times. Disneyland Tokyo and Japan's DisneySea parks have introduced further safety guidelines such as mandatory temperature checks, advanced ticket bookings and no physical interaction with actors.

Lifestyle • Travel
Eiffel Tower reopens after longest closure since World War II
Eiffel Tower reopens after longest closure since World War II
Credit: Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE)

The Eiffel Tower reopened on Thursday after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the Paris landmark’s longest closure since World War II.

Access to the tower's first and second level is only possible via staircases until early July, while lifts are closed to ensure a safe distance between people to limit infection risk. The summit of the iconic monument will remain off-limits to the public for now.

Also, visitors over the age of 11 are required to wear face masks.

Lifestyle • Travel
Finland to remove Covid-19 restrictions for some European tourists
Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland Credit: Érico Andrei (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Finland’s Minister of Interior Maria Ohisal announced the country would remove, from July 13, restrictions for leisure travellers from European countries where infection rate remained at a maximum of 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a period of two weeks.

Lifestyle • Religion
Covid-19: Saudi Arabia has banned international pilgrims for Hajj this year
The Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque
The Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque Credit: Tahir mq (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Saudi Arabia authorities announced on Monday strong restrictions to the Islamic pilgrimage, or Hajj this year. Only citizens who are already resident in the country will be allowed to journey to Mecca.

The Saudi ministry of hajj said the decision was aimed at preserving global public health because of the risks associated with large gatherings.

Lifestyle • Religion
Dream City Church claims to have installed technology that "kills 99.9% of Covid-19"
Screenshots of @VaughnHillyard's Tweet, featuring the Dream City Church video
Screenshots of @VaughnHillyard's Tweet, featuring the Dream City Church video Credit: @VaughnHillyard via twitter

The Phoenix megachurch Dream City Church is set to host a Trump rally on Tuesday night. In a video shared by Vaughn Hillyard on Twitter, Pastor Barnett and CFO Brendon Zastrow claim that they had installed a technology in their church that "kills 99.9% of Covid-19 within 10 minutes". The technology named "Clean Air EXP", which was developed by members of the church, uses "ionization of the air" to take "particulates out". The church has since removed the video from its Instagram account.

Lifestyle • Travel
After a three-month lockdown, Spain is reopening its borders to tourists
Chueca neighborhood of Madrid, May 2020
Chueca neighborhood of Madrid, May 2020 Credit: Nemo / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Spain is reopening for tourism after a three-month strict lockdown. The country is welcoming back tourists, however, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez urges to uphold social distancing measures and the use of face masks. Sánchez said to remain "on our guard" as a second wave of Covid-19 "must be avoided at all costs". Portugal will keep its borders with Spain closed until July 1.