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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.

Lifestyle • Food
Mars plans to "evolve" Unlce Ben's brand
Uncle Ben's Logo
Uncle Ben's Logo Credit: Mars Inc

In a statement on Wednesday, Mars Inc announced it is planning to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand, including its visual brand identity to address racial bias and injustices. "Now as we continue to listen to people from around the world, look inward and continue to educate ourselves on how the elements of the brand are perceived, we recognize it is time for us to evolve, which we will do," so the company's statement.

Uncle Ben's was inspired by two black men: a black Texan farmer, known as Uncle Ben, "who was known for growing high-quality rice" and the logo image was inspired by Frank Brown, a "beloved Chicago chef and waiter".

The announcement came hours after Quaker Oats released a statement that it will rebrand Aunt Jemima.

Lifestyle • Food
Quaker Oats to remove Aunt Jemima brand, in effort to "make progress toward racial equality"
1951 ad for Aunt Jemima - America's Best-Loved Pancakes
1951 ad for Aunt Jemima - America's Best-Loved Pancakes Credit: Aunt Jemima / Public domain

In a statement on Wednesday, Quaker Oats announced the rebranding of their syrup and pancake mix brand as they recognised the image of Aunt Jemima as a racial stereotype. Aunt Jemima products feature an illustration of a black woman, first depicted as a minstrel and later as a "mammy" wearing a kerchief which was eventually removed.

Vice president and chief marketing officer Kristin Kroepfl said in a press release: "We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations."

Lifestyle • Travel
Carnival Corp. fined $20 million after dumping trash into ocean from cruise ship
Cruise Ship "Carnival Horzion"
Cruise Ship "Carnival Horzion" Credit: Elliott Bryson III / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The cruise company Carnival has been fined with a fine of $20 million after repeatedly dumping waste into the ocean. Carnival admitted that it violated the terms of a probation conviction from 2017 for improper waste disposal. The subsidiary company Princess Cruises has released food waste and plastic into the ocean in addition to not accurately documenting waste disposals and measures to fix issues on the ships before third-party inspections in order to prevent negative reports and without disclosing the fixes to such inspectors.

Lifestyle • Travel
United Airlines announces to ban travellers temporarily if they do not wear masks
United Airlines announces to ban travellers temporarily if they do not wear masks
Credit: Miguel Ángel Sanz

United Airlines has announced that passengers without a masks in flight will be asked by the flight attendants to put on a mask. If the passenger does not have one, the attendants will offer them a mask. If a passenger still does not comply the flight attendant will file a report after reaching the destination and the pessenger could be added to a "internal travel restriction list" effectively banning them from flying for an amount of time that has to be determined. The policy comes as United Airlines aims to create an envirement where people are protected as good as possible from Covid-19.

Lifestyle
6.000 people at illegal raves in England - one dead

The police are investigating after 4.000 attended an illegal rave in Droylsden in North-Western England. According to reports, one 20-year-old man has died from an overdose of drugs. At an illegal rave with 2.000 attendees in Carrington near Manchester, an 18-year-old woman has reportedly been raped and one 18-year-old has been seriously injured after been stabbed with a knife. One person was arrested due to suspected weapon carriage. The raves violated the Covid-19 contact restrictions.

Lifestyle • Travel
German tourists fined after swimming in Venice's Grand Canal
Tourist swimming under Rialto Bridge
Tourist swimming under Rialto Bridge Credit: Notizie.it (YouTube Reproduction)

A pair of German tourists who swam in Venice's Grand Canal on June 3 have been fined €450 each and removed from the city.

The men entered the water in the Erbaria area of the Grand Canal and got out at Riva del Vin, swimming under the city’s famed Rialto Bridge along the way.

Lifestyle • Religion
Pope Francis urges politicians to move funds from weapons to medical research to prevent future pandemic

During an outdoor prayer service with around 130 attendees, Pope Francis has urged politicians to move funds from weapons towards medical research in order to prevent the next pandemic. Most of the invited people were directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and most of them wore masks during the prayer service except when leading prayers at the microphone. The Pope himself sat separated from the others and did not wear a mask himself.

Lifestyle
Costa Rica legalizes same-sex marriage
Love is Love Mural
Love is Love Mural Credit: unsplash.com/Yoav Hornung

On Tuesday night, Costa Rica became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriages, after a ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2018 stating that "all of its signatory countries must allow same-sex marriage". The country has removed the sixth item of article 14 of Costa Rica's Family Code, which prohibited people of the same sex to get married, making marriage equality the law.

Lifestyle • Religion
Muslim community thanks IKEA for letting them pray in car park to keep physical distancing
Muslims praying in IKEA car park
Muslims praying in IKEA car park Credit: IGMG Wetzlar FATİH CAMİİ via Facebook

The Ikea store in Wetzlar near the German city of Frankfurt had agreed to let the local mosque use the car park for their prayers. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic distancing measures were required and in a Facebook post, the Muslim community IGMG Wetzlar FATİH CAMİİ thanked the local police and the store for their help in making the prayers possible.

Lifestyle • Religion
German authorities report over 40 Covid-19 infections after religious service

The health authorities of the German city Frankfurt am Main have reported over 40 new infected people after a church service was conducted. Church services had been permitted since the beginning of May under strict hygiene rules that mandate disinfectants and a minimum distance between the participants of 1,50 meters.

Lifestyle
Gym owner lets members check out equipment to train at home
Empty Gym
Empty Gym Credit: unsplash.com/Jelmer Assink

Drew Whitted, owner of Be Strong Gym in Illinois, told his members that they could pick up gym equipment free of charge so they could continue training at home during the Covid-19 shutdown. According to Whitted the members picked up equipment worth of $40,000 in under two hours with help from the gym's staff. While the stay-in-place-orders are still active, Be Strong Gym is offering online training to keep its staff employed.