International Travel

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Five ways to make your holidays more sustainable

<p>COVID-19 has resulted in the most severe disruption to the global tourism industry in modern times. And although many countries have now reopened to visitors from overseas, the economic impact is likely to be felt for many years.</p> <p>Prior to the pandemic, awareness had been growing regarding the environmental sustainability of tourism. From over-consumption of precious resources to the destructive impact on natural habitats, tourism can put enormous strains on destination communities.</p> <p>Over-tourism has also been highlighted as an issue in many places. The Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, Mount Everest, Majorca, Barcelona and Venice have all felt the affects.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Greta Thunberg’s climate-change activism has added the term “flight shame” to our vocabulary. Her work has encouraged airlines to engage in tree planting or invest in wind farms to offset their carbon emissions, and travellers to think before they fly.</p> <p>As global restrictions begin to ease, now is a good time to think radically about the purpose of tourism and the way we all travel. This is a chance to reset everything we know – and not simply return to business as usual.</p> <p>Obviously, one of the difficulties is that many of us are used to going wherever we want, whenever we want – which is not sustainable. But a few changes to our travel plans can play a key role in shaping the future of the travel industry.</p> <p>Below are five suggestions to help you travel in a more purposeful way.</p> <p> </p> <ol> <li><strong> Choose carefully</strong></li> </ol> <p>Carefully consider your desired destination and avoid places impacted by over-tourism. Visiting during off-peak seasons will likely save you money and enhance your overall experience - and let you skip the queues.</p> <p>It’s also worth thinking about a different type of “holiday” or travel experience. You could volunteer for a local NGO or consider travel opportunities that support marginalised groups, for example.</p> <p> </p> <ol start="2"> <li><strong> Travel slowly</strong></li> </ol> <p>Travel like Greta to minimise your environmental impact. Travel less for longer, swapping the quantity of experiences for quality. Instead of taking three separate long weekends, why not take just one two-week holiday.</p> <p>Slow travel is a mindset. Rather than pursuing Instagram-worthy photos and trying to squeeze as many attractions into your trip as possible, leave your phone at home and explore each destination at your own pace.</p> <p>Keeping sustainability in mind, it’s also worth considering opportunities that allow you to slowly experience a certain city, country or region while supporting local projects. Try a walking tour that supports previously marginalised locals or rent a bike with purpose and help to fund educational programmes for local students.</p> <p> </p> <ol start="3"> <li><strong> Plan how you spend</strong></li> </ol> <p>Wherever you go, make sure you seek out local initiatives including local guides and local accommodation providers. This will make sure your money goes directly to people who will benefit from your support.</p> <p>Sites such as Good Travel list businesses that prioritise environmental action and support local communities. You can also find out about locally made products sold at local businesses employing local people. This helps to ensure positive impacts remain in the community.</p> <p>And if you’re thinking of heading to Africa, Fair trade tourism is also a great resource to find out about businesses recognised for promoting responsible practices. Certified businesses range from eco-lodges, resorts, safaris, educational centres, township tours, golf clubs and cruises – so there are a lot of different options to choose from.</p> <p> </p> <ol start="4"> <li><strong> Eat like a local</strong></li> </ol> <p>Food accounts for over a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, so it lies at the heart of tackling climate change, reducing water stress, pollution and restoring land.</p> <p>There are many ways to minimise your food miles when you travel. For a start, avoid eating at restaurant chains and instead, try to eat like a local. Visit markets, local neighbourhoods or local vendors for your foodie needs.</p> <p>You could even check out a food tour or meal-sharing host. Traveling Spoon has a whole host of online and in-person cooking classes with locals from around the world. Eating locally supports local jobs and can also teach you about new cuisines.</p> <p> </p> <ol start="5"> <li><strong> Immerse yourself</strong></li> </ol> <p>An immersive type of travel prioritises people over places and avoids overcrowded spaces. This allows you to make real connections and can also help you gain insights about local traditions, cultures and history. For example, you could go trekking with a local guide, enrol in a language course or attend a local festival or event.</p> <p>Ultimately, the pandemic has presented an opportunity to rethink and act radically and really consider the actual purpose of tourism. This is not only important from an environmental perspective, but travelling in a more purposeful way is more likely to help support local people in destination communities. And it also helps to contribute to a future where tourism is less harmful to people, places and the planet.</p> <p><em>Written by Misha Ketchell</em><em>. This article first appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/five-ways-to-make-your-holidays-more-sustainable-143379">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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Islands that will disappear in the next 80 years

<p>Sadly, rising sea levels present a serious danger to all sorts of natural features – including islands. And though it may seem like a slow process, it could very well cause several islands throughout the world to be completely gone before the 21st century is over. And rising water is just one of many scary things that could happen if the glaciers continue to melt.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Solomon Islands</strong></p> <p>The Solomon Islands, a group of nearly 1,000 islands and atolls in the South Pacific, are slowly being taken over by the sea. In fact, the sea level has risen by around 8 millimetres per year since 1993. It is rising so fast that the provincial capital of Choiseul is just over two metres about sea level, and a new town is being built for residents to relocate. According to a 2016 paper published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, five reef islands have already disappeared, and several villages that had stood since 1935 were destroyed on other islands with receding shorelines.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Maldives</strong></p> <p>The popular and beautiful Maldives, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean that’s home to many lush resorts and even a variety of underwater hotels, are also slowly being covered by the ocean. According to the CIA, the low elevation of the islands makes them sensitive to the sea level rising. The World Bank says that at the current projections of sea level rise, the entire country could be underwater by the year 2100. In 2009, the country’s president held a meeting under water in an attempt to bring attention to the impending disaster.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Palau</strong></p> <p>A paper published in collaboration between the Palau National Weather Service Office and the Pacific Climate Change Science Program says that the sea level has risen in Palau, located in the South Pacific, by about 9mm per year since 1993, about three times the global average. It is expected to continue to rise by up to 61cm by the year 2090. Public Radio International reports that residents say their yards are flooding during some full moon high tides and are considering moving to a new country. The island’s famous non-stinging jellyfish are even disappearing, which may also be due to climate change.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Micronesia</strong></p> <p>Micronesia is a country made up of 607 islands located 4025 kilometres southwest of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. Its mere 435 square kilometres of land are filled with mountains, mangroves, lagoons and beaches. Due to increasing sea levels, the nation has seen several islands disappear within recent memory, while others have been severely reduced in size, according to the Journal of Coastal Conservation.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Fiji</strong></p> <p>The Pacific Islands of Fiji are also low-lying and vulnerable to changes in ocean levels. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change says that the village of Vunidogoloa was the first to begin relocating because of the rapid sea level rise, which is continuing to worsen. A World Bank report says over the last few decades, some villages have reported a loss of 15-20 metres of shoreline due to loss of mangroves. Sea levels are expected to rise up to 43 centimetres by 2050, according to the report. Rises in ocean temperatures also affect the coral reefs, resulting in coral bleaching that turns the coral white and vulnerable to disease.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Tuvalu</strong></p> <p>The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, a remote South Pacific nation, has stated that “sea level rise and more severe weather events loom as a growing threat to our entire population.” The Tuvalu government says it’s one of the most vulnerable places on Earth to the impact of rising sea levels, which could bring complete disaster to its 10,000 residents.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Seychelles</strong></p> <p>Off the east coast of Africa, the Seychelles are experiencing an unprecedented rise in sea levels compared to the last 6,000 years, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. With around 85 percent of the country’s development sitting on coastlines, rising sea levels can be catastrophic. The Seychelles News Agency reports that just a one-metre rise could cover many of its low-lying islands and inhabited coastal areas, which would be a 70 percent loss of its land mass. Mangrove forests and coral reefs are also at severe risk.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Kiribati</strong></p> <p>There’s a plan to move everyone who lives on this island in the central Pacific completely off due to increasing water levels. The president of Kiribati, an independent republic, looked to buy land in Fiji in 2012 as “climate change insurance” for the island’s population. The president was quoted as saying, “moving won’t be a matter of choice. It’s basically going to be a matter of survival.” He has said his country will become uninhabitable by 2050.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Cook Islands</strong></p> <p>Described by its tourism board as “like Hawaii was 50 years ago,” the Cook Islands off of New Zealand are another set of islands affected by rising sea levels. With a predicted increase in ocean levels of up to 55 centimetres by the year 2090, the rising waters are expected to damage roads, bridges, ports and runways, which will affect residents and tourism.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>French Polynesia</strong></p> <p>Made up of popular tropical retreats like Bora Bora, Tahiti and the Society Islands, French Polynesia is on many a traveller’s bucket list. But in the next hundred years, it may no longer be an option. A paper published in Nature Conservation predicted that 30 percent of its islands will be overtaken by water by the end of the century. As an alternative to moving to a new country, the government is considering building “floating islands” for residents near Tahiti with the hopes of attracting tech companies to the concept.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Tangier Island, Virginia</strong></p> <p>Tangier Island, about 20 kilometres off the US east coast in Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay, is only accessible by boat or plane. Bikes and golf carts are main modes of transportation in this “soft crab capital of the nation,” and the island is made up of narrow streets, natural beaches, charming gift shops and ice cream stores. However, more than 60 percent of the island has been lost to the sea since 1850, according to Nature.com, with the remaining expected to be submerged within the next 25 to 50 years.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Marshall Islands</strong></p> <p>Water levels are rising on the Marshall Islands, a group of islands halfway between Hawaii and Australia known for their friendly locals and coral reefs, as well. Increasing at a rate of 7 millimetres per year, according to a brochure produced by the Marshall Islands National Weather Service Office and the Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning Program, the rise is about double the global average. The project estimates that water levels will continue to rise by almost 20 centimetres by 2030, increasing storm surge and coastal flooding.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Shishmaref, Alaska</strong></p> <p>This small island with a population of just 650 has slowly been disappearing into the sea over the last 50 years, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), losing 30 metres since 1997. The DOI says the entire island will be gone within the next 20 years. One resident, Esau Sinnok, says he’s had to move in and out of 13 houses due to the loss of land. Though residents voted to relocate from this island accessible only by plane, a lack of funding makes these efforts difficult.</p> <p> </p> <p>It all may seem scary and overwhelming, but luckily there are plenty of little things you can do every day to help the environment.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Written by Lyn Mettler. This article first appeared on </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/travel/destinations/13-islands-that-will-disappear-in-the-next-80-years?pages=1"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe"><em>here’s our best subscription offer</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Bizarre things that have been banned around the world

<p><strong>Baby walkers</strong></p> <p>Baby walkers are banned in Canada in an effort to keep children safe. They were banned in 2004, meaning babies can only crawl until they learn to walk on their own. If you’re caught with a baby walker in your possession (or you’re selling one), you can be fined up to $100,000.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Too much ketchup, mayo and vinaigrette</strong></p> <p>In France, these three condiments are limited in public schools. The rule was put in place in an effort to improve the dietary quality of the schools’ meals for the students. The rule states that, “all sauces (mayonnaise, ketchup and vinaigrette) must not be in free access but served according to the dish.”</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Valentine’s Day</strong></p> <p>Citizens of Pakistan, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are banned from celebrating Valentine’s Day. Pakistan banned the holiday in 2017 because it is not a Muslim tradition and it focuses on love that isn’t directed towards God.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Obesity</strong></p> <p>If you live in Japan and are in between the ages of 40 and 74, there’s a law that mandates the company you work for measure your waistline. If your waistline is larger than the government-mandated limits, you’re given “dietary guidance” and your company could be fined.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Mullets and ponytails</strong></p> <p>Men are not allowed to sport a mullet, ponytail or any long hair in Iran.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Lacy underwear</strong></p> <p>Lacy underwear is banned from being sold in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. In 2013, regulations were passed that require clothing that touches your skin to contain at least 6 percent cotton. This was put in place for health concerns that lace isn’t breathable fabric for the skin.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Reincarnation</strong></p> <p>Buddhist monks in Tibet can only be reincarnated with permission from the Chinese government. The law, which was passed in 2007, is pretty hard to enforce. Many people think the only reason it was put in place was to insult the Dalai Lama and have the public not think as highly of him.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Chewing gum</strong></p> <p>It’s illegal to import chewing gum into Singapore, with only certain gums allowed for medical reasons. The country takes it very seriously too – you can get fined up to $100,000 (SGD) and be put in prison.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Noise</strong></p> <p>In Victoria, Australia, you’re restricted from making any loud noises during certain times. More specifically, noise is banned at night, when people are most likely trying to fall asleep. On Good Friday, loud noises are banned all day long.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Goldfish</strong></p> <p>In Rome, while you are allowed to have goldfish, you’re not allowed to keep them in a glass bowl. It’s considered cruel since the bowl limits their oxygen flow and can cause them to go blind. A subsection of the law prohibits people from giving away goldfish, or any other animal, as a prize.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Not taking Fido for a walk</strong></p> <p>Rome has some strict animal rules: walking your dog is a requirement by law. If you don’t, you could be fined $700.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Running out of petrol</strong></p> <p>In Germany, you’re banned from stopping your vehicle on the Autobahn, so running out of petrol is a big no-no. You’re also not allowed to walk on the Autobahn. If you do, you can be fined $100 for putting other drivers in danger.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Chocolate eggs</strong></p> <p>In the United States, Kinder Surprise Candy Eggs are banned. Since these chocolate treats come with a little toy inside, they have been deemed a choking hazard. People have been detained in airports trying to smuggle in this confectionery from Canada.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>High heels</strong></p> <p>Ever since 2009, people in Greece have been banned from wearing heels at all historical sites. The point on high-heeled shoes puts too much pressure on the ground and it can chisel away at the architectural sites.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Coins</strong></p> <p>In Canada, you’re not allowed to use more than 25 pennies per transaction. This was one of the country’s laws to phase out the coin, which started in 2013.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Lip-syncing</strong></p> <p>In 2005, the president of Turkmenistan banned lip-syncing to preserve “true culture.” He also banned opera and ballet, saying that they were unnecessary.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Memes</strong></p> <p>Due to Australia’s strict copyright rules, it’s illegal to create and share memes. Section 132A part 2 of the Copyright Act says, “distributing an infringing article that prejudicially affects the copyright owner” is against the law.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Blue jeans</strong></p> <p>In North Korea, you aren’t allowed to wear blue jeans – but don’t worry, black jeans are still OK. The colour blue is associated with the United States, so North Korea doesn’t let their citizens wear them.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Written by M</em><em>organ Cutolo</em><em>. This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/culture/18-bizarre-things-that-have-been-banned-around-the-world?pages=1">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p>

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12 amazing swimming pools from around the world

<p>These pools aren’t your average run-of-the-mill rectangular hotel pools. With jaw-dropping views, unique concepts, and even terrifying experiences, curiosity will definitely get the better of you when it comes to pool time. Here are some of the most unique pools our world has to offer.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa</strong></p> <p>In Grindavik, Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is one of the most famous spots in the country because of its transcendent geothermal features. Heated water is vented naturally from the ground and remains at around 37 degrees Celsius. Some say that the water has healing powers for various skin diseases.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>San Alfonso del Mar</strong></p> <p>Chile’s San Alfonso del Mar is a private resort in the beachside city of Algarrobo, and boasts one of the world’s largest man-made swimming pools. Spanning over 1000 metres, the deep end plunges to 35 metres. The annual maintenance fee is said to be over US$3 million.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Ubud Hanging Gardens</strong></p> <p>Sharing its name with one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Hanging Gardens swimming pool in Ubud is located in a luxurious Balinese resort. The pool clings to a precipitous edge of the densely forested valley, allowing swimmers to overlook the trees from the elevated waters above.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>SkyPark, Singapore</strong></p> <p>Skypark at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore boasts an infinity pool 55 stories above ground. At the world’s most expensive hotel, the water flows over the edge of the building giving swimmers a jaw-dropping view of the city.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls, Africa</strong></p> <p>At the top of Victoria Falls in Africa, one of the largest waterfalls in the world, this natural formation called Devil’s Pool can safely hold swimmers and give them an amazing view of the natural wonder. A rock wall sits at the edge of the pool preventing the water from pulling swimmers over the side.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Pamukkale Pools, Turkey</strong></p> <p>The white calcium and limestone deposits of the Pamukkale Pools in Turkey serve as shelves in the water. The pools are known for their abundance of minerals, with many visitors believing they have healing powers.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Huvafen Fushi, Maldives</strong></p> <p>This resort in the Maldives is known as ‘sensory heaven’. The pool mimics the clear night sky and fireflies, making this a truly romantic spot.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Mona Vale Beach Rock Pool, Sydney</strong></p> <p>This pool on Sydney’s northern beaches is located at the tip of a sand spit at the northern end of Mona Vale Beach. At high tide the pool becomes surrounded by water, creating the illusion for swimmers of floating in the middle of the ocean.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Cave pools, Santorini</strong></p> <p>Carved into the mountains slopes of the Greek island of Santorini are villas and hotel suites – or ‘caves’. The cave hotels come in numerous shapes and sizes, many with their own stunning lagoons that provide jaw-dropping views across the Aegean Sea.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Gellert Baths, Budapest</strong></p> <p>Founded over 100 years ago and located in the Gellert Hotel in Budapest, the Gellert Baths has 10 pools of different sizes and temperatures, all in an Art Nouveau setting. With mosaic floors and stained-glass windows, this is one of Hungary’s most photogenic spots.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Ik Kil Cenote, Mexico</strong></p> <p>This stunning natural pool is in Ik Kil Archeological Park in Mexico. About 30 metres wide and 40 metres deep, the pool has waterfalls and wild jungle plants. And it only costs US$6 to swim here!</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Written by Emma Taubenfeld. This article first appeared on </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/travel/12-amazing-swimming-pools-from-around-the-world"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe"><em>here’s our best subscription offer</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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These are the official residences of the British royal family

<p>We’ll start at Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s London home. Situated by St. James’s Park, Buckingham Palace has been the monarch’s official London residence since 1837. It has 775 rooms, including 52 bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms.</p> <p>The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh live here, along with The Duke of York, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. Highlights at Buckingham Palace include the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which takes place most days at 11am, and the State Rooms that are open to the public every summer. Plus, there’s a rumour that the ghost of a monk in a brown cloak haunts the back terrace!</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Windsor Castle</strong></p> <p>Windsor Castle, situated just outside London, is the Queen’s weekend retreat. It’s the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. Over 39 monarchs have used Windsor Castle as their residence. St George’s Chapel is part of the castle and is the venue for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018. The castle is open all year round – it has a world-famous Royal dollhouse! – and there are also talks, performances, and activities for kids. In 1992, a fire at the castle caused close to $75,000,000 in damage.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Sandringham House</strong></p> <p>Sandringham House in Norfolk is one of the Queen’s private residences. It was brought into the family in 1862 by the future Edward VII, although a fire in 1891 destroyed much of the original building. It’s been passed down through the family into the Queen’s ownership. The house itself stands within nearly 8000 hectares, with 25 hectares of gardens. The rest is a park and uncultivated land, which is freely open to the public every day of the year.</p> <p>The British royal family spends Christmas at Sandringham, traditionally walking to church on Christmas morning and meeting the local people. Anmer Hall, a private residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is also part of the Sandringham estate.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Balmoral Castle</strong></p> <p>Who wouldn’t love to live in their own Scottish castle? Balmoral Castle is another of the Queen’s private residences, situated in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Bought by Prince Albert as a gift for Queen Victoria in 1852, they built a new castle before demolishing the old one. Other royal residences on the grounds are: Birkhall (a residence of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall), Craigowan Lodge, and Delnadamph Lodge.</p> <p>There are holiday cottages to rent on the estate, which also boasts a golf course and offers Land Rover safaris of the surrounding countryside. But watch out for the ghost of John Brown, Queen Victoria’s personal attendant, who is said to roam the grounds at night wearing a kilt.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Clarence House</strong></p> <p>Owned by the Crown, Clarence House was home to The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth for more 50 years. Designed by John Nash in 1825-27, it was built for George III’s son Clarence, hence its name. But it has since undergone extensive remodelling to make it suitable for modern living.</p> <p>Clarence House is attached to St James’s Palace and the two residences share the same gardens. Although other members of the British royal family visit, Clarence House is the official London residence of the Prince of Wales.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Kensington Palace</strong></p> <p>Originally bought by William III in 1689, Kensington Palace was the main residence for the British royal family until Queen Victoria moved into Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria was born and grew up here, and it was also Princess Diana’s home.</p> <p>Kensington Palace belongs to the Crown Estate, and is currently the official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (along with Princes George and Louis, and Princess Charlotte of course!). Historic parts of the building are open to the public, and the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection is housed here.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>St James's Palace</strong></p> <p>St James’s Palace also belongs to the Crown, and has been a residence for the British royal family for more than 300 years. It was originally built by Henry VIII in 1531-36 and has been used continuously since then. Queen Victoria’s wedding took place here.</p> <p>On the death of a monarch, the Accession Council meets at St James’s Palace, and the official announcement of the new sovereign is also made from here. It’s currently home to Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra, when she’s in London. The Princess Royal and her husband Sir Timothy Laurence also live here – their country residence is Gatcombe Park.</p> <p>St James’s Palace also hosts more than 100 charity events every year.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Palace of Holyrood House</strong></p> <p>Balmoral Castle is the Queen’s private residence, but when she’s in Scotland on an official visit, she stays at the Palace of Holyrood House. Situated at the end of Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile, it was founded first as a monastery in 1128. Rebuilt as a palace by James IV in 1501, this building has been the official residence of the monarchy in Scotland ever since.</p> <p>Mary Queen of Scots lived most of her life here and it was the scene of the famous murder of David Rizzio, her private secretary, in her bedroom. Seven months pregnant, Mary witnessed the murder, and it’s said that to this day, the blood stains can’t be removed from the floor.</p> <p>The Queen hosts around 4000 visitors during the annual Holyrood Week in June, and the palace is open to the public all year round.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Hillsborough Castle</strong></p> <p>When visiting Northern Ireland, the British royal family stays at Hillsborough Castle in County Down. It’s also the residence of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. But its name is misleading as the building is actually a Georgian country house built in the 18th century – the British government only bought it in 1922. Hillsborough Castle was the venue for several important negotiations during The Troubles, and it was here that the historic Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed, leading eventually to peace in Northern Ireland after decades of conflict.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Highgrove House</strong></p> <p>Prince Charles is also Duke of Cornwall, so properties owned by the Duchy of Cornwall are currently used by him. He first moved into Highgrove House in Gloucestershire in 1980, and has transformed the house and gardens into a model of sustainability. The gardens are open to the public on selected dates.</p> <p>There’s a reed bed sewage system, a collection of rare trees and plants, and also a heritage seed project on site to preserve rare seeds for future generations. There are solar lights, energy-saving bulbs, a composting system, and the house is warmed using heat pumps.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Tamarisk and Llewynywermod</strong></p> <p>The Duchy of Cornwall also owns two other properties for Prince Charles to use. Tamarisk is on the beautiful island of St Mary’s, one of the five inhabited islands in the Isles of Scilly. There are over 200 islands in the Scillies chain altogether, and the Duchy of Cornwall owns most of the land and around one-third of the houses. Tamarisk House is Prince Charles’ official residence when he’s in the Scillies, and when in Wales, the Prince of Wales’ residence is Llewynywermod in Carmarthenshire.</p> <p>The Scilly Isles are famous for their natural beauty and rare bird life. The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust manages the wildlife on the island. Their annual rent to the Duchy of Cornwall is one daffodil!</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Birkhall</strong></p> <p>Birkhall, situated within the grounds of Balmoral Castle, is a private residence of the Prince of Wales. Built in 1715, it became Queen Victoria’s when Prince Albert gifted her the Balmoral estate in 1849. It’s since been passed through the family to the Queen Mother and then Queen Elizabeth in 2002.</p> <p>The estate is famous for its beautiful scenery and country walks, as well as fishing and hunting. It’s a popular holiday haunt for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.</p> <p>Within the grounds, there’s a beautiful thatched playhouse, built for Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose when they were small, and since enjoyed by all the royal children.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Royal Lodge Windsor</strong></p> <p>Royal Lodge, Windsor (situated in Windsor Great Park), is leased by the Duke of York from the Crown, and was also home to the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie before they moved into St James’s Palace. This property also has a playhouse, built for Queen Elizabeth when she was six years old. Created by Welsh craftsmen, and given a Welsh name (Y Bwthyn Bach or The Little Cottage), the house has electricity and running water, as well as a gas stove.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Wren House</strong></p> <p>Wren House is part of Kensington Palace. It stands a little to the north of the main palace and overlooks a beautiful walled garden. It’s currently home to the Duke and Duchess of Kent.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Bagshot Park</strong></p> <p>Bagshot Park was built within Windsor Great Park, and is leased from the Crown. It was built in 1879 as the main residence of Prince Arthur, Queen Victoria’s son, and the design was influenced by Indian culture. Queen Victoria was also Empress of India at the time. Since 1998, the Earl of Wessex has leased Bagshot Park and has overseen extensive renovations on the property. It’s now the official residence of the Earl and Countess of Wessex.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Thatched House Lodge</strong></p> <p>Thatched House Lodge, in Richmond Park, is the residence of the Queen’s cousin, Princess Alexandra. It’s situated in one of the royal parks famous for its beautiful surroundings including wild deer, like those in this picture, taken in Richmond Park. Built in the 17th century, it also has a thatched summerhouse, a gardener’s cottage, stables, and gardens.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Written by the editors of The Family Handyman. This article first appeared on </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/culture/these-are-the-official-residences-of-the-british-royal-family"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe"><em>here’s our best subscription offer</em></a><em>.</em></p>

International Travel

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World in shock as man catches COVID twice

<p>The world is in shock as researchers in Hong Kong say they have "proved" the world's first known documented case of a human catching coronavirus twice despite a successful recovery.</p> <p>The case involved a 33-year-old man who was initially infected in April and recovered with only mild symptoms. Researchers from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Hong Kong said that he has been reinfected within just under five months.</p> <p>The man's second infection was detected after an airport screening after his return to Hong Kong from Spain earlier this month.</p> <p>Researchers described the strains as "clearly different".</p> <p>The scientists hypothesised the asymptomatic symptom might indicate "subsequent infections may be milder".</p> <p>"An apparently young and healthy patient had a second case of COVID-19 infection which was diagnosed 4.5 months after the first episode," University of Hong Kong researchers said in a statement.</p> <p>The findings are equally alarming because it suggests the threat of reinfection to coronavirus exists "even if patients have acquired immunity via natural infection or via vaccination," they said.</p> <p>"Many believe that recovered COVID-19 patients have immunity against reinfection because most developed a serum neutralising antibody response.</p> <p>"However, there is evidence that some patients have waning antibody level after a few months.</p> <p>"Our findings suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 may persist in the global human population as is the case for other common cold-associated human coronaviruses, even if patients have acquired immunity via natural infection," they said.</p> <p>"Since the immunity can be short-lasting after natural infection, vaccination should also be considered for those with one episode of infection," they said.</p> <p>The IT worker was asymptomatic initially but genomic sequencing shows that he has been infected by two virus strains.</p> <p>The second strain was a close match to the one travelling across Europes in July and August.</p> <p>What the findings mean for potential vaccines is yet to be seen, but the World Health Organisation's technical lead on COVID-19 Maria von Kerkhove said that there isn't enough data to understand the implications and urged people to not "jump to any conclusions".</p> <p>"It's very important that we document this and that any countries that do this, if sequencing can be done, that would be very, very, helpful," she said.</p> <p>"But we need to not jump to any conclusions, to say even if this is the first documented case of reinfection, it is possible, of course."</p> <p>More than 24 million people have been infected worldwide with coronavirus.</p>

International Travel

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The world's 26 best toy stores

<p><span>There’s nothing quite like exploring a new city and stumbling upon a gem of a toy store. But finding the good ones is a challenge in itself.</span><span> <br /><br /></span><span>Think LEGO city models and rare collectables, doll doctors and carousels. <br /><br /></span><span>Here are the world's 26 best toy stores. </span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>HAMLEYS, LONDON</span></p> <p><span>If you’ve ever been to Hamleys, you know why it tops the list. This magical multi-level toy emporium is something straight out of a fantasy novel. Flying planes, robots, giant bubbles and kid-sized remote controlled cars are buzzing across the store. Try colour changing nail polish and metallic make-your own stickers. Score a bedroom-sized sweet dispenser and some snow that never melts. Interactive toy exhibitions run throughout the day - and there’s even a waffle stand.<br /><br /><br /></span>M&amp;M STORE, LAS VEGAS</p> <p>If you are going to visit an MNM store - shouldn’t be questionable - you may as well visit the best one. This chocolate button extravaganza has just about everything MNM related that you could imagine. Design your own MNMs or shop for you favourite characters and MNM clothes.<br /><br /><br /><span>POKÉMON CENTRE, MINATO MIRAI, JAPAN</span></p> <p><span>It’s hard not to be a diehard fan when you enter this Pokemon world. Exclusive merchandise is sold here. You will also get the chance to test your video game skills by battling in out against other customers.<br /><br /><br /></span><span>HOBBY CO, SYDNEY</span></p> <p><span>Australia’s biggest hobby shop is known as a kids dream and a grown ups heaven. This age inclusive toy store stocks everything from plastic model kits and radio controlled models, to collectable figurines and giant jigsaws. This multiple level gem is really worth the space.<br /><br /><br /></span><span>LEGO STORE PEOPLE’S SQUARE, SHANGHAI, CHINA</span></p> <p><span>Shanghai’s Lego Store is pretty much the future of toy stores. With learning as a tangible aim, the concept store offers four different spaces for visitors to build their vision of a future city. It’s also home to the “</span>Mosaic Maker”: an opportunity to purchase your very own personalised LEGO mosaic portrait. The store features giant 3D models, including Pearl Tower of Shanghai and a skyline mosaic of the city. They took approximately four million bricks and 19,000 hours to create.<br /><br /><br />BUILD A BEAR,NEW YORK</p> <p>Of course Build A Bear is still one of the most popular toy store concepts to date. And there’s a good reason the NY store is one of the most popular attractions for families in the city. Get hands-on by stuffing your own personalised bear. Put a name on its birth certificate and fit it with a voice and beating heart beat. You can then personalise your bear with many outfits and accessories.<br /><br /><br />LARK TOYS, MINNESOTA</p> <p>This enchanting store is not just about teddy bears a dolls. Lark Toys is home to a hand crafted carousel, a bookstre and an 18 hole mini gold course. They have pretty much everything: marbles, tea sets, tops, trolls, rubber ducks, tin lunch boxes, wind-ups, puppets, Jacks-in-the-box, blocks, kites, cars, games, puzzles. The choices are endless. Waltz down Memory Lane’s antique collection hall and enjoy thousands of toys from the past. Make sure to stop at the cafe for a fudge or jelly treat, before saying hello to the pet llamas Francis, Irving and George.<br /><br /><br />NEW CHINA CHILDREN’S STORE</p> <p>This six-floor toy store is dedicated to everything kids. There’s books, fashion, stationary, baby items and most importantly - toys. There’s even a whole floor dedicated to toys that are affordable for everyone. You might even score a budget drone!<br /><br /><br />FAO SCHWARZ, NYC</p> <p>Not only is Fao Schwarz the largest toy store in NYC, it’s also the oldest. They’re renowned for spectacular, classical, and often expensive toys. It shut down a couple of years ago due to rental expenses, but they’re back and better than ever. At Fao Schwarz, you can experience the toy making process in store. There’s also the opportunity to create yourself in doll form at the Madame Alexander Doll Factory, or design an authentic muppet at the Muppet Whatnot Workshop. <br /><span><br /><br />TOYMATE, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA</span></p> <p><span>After Toys R Us hit the haystack, TOYMATE took over their top locations. Their Sydney superstore has rapidly gained popularity due to its colourful interiors and 1000s of toys. </span></p> <p><br /><br />SI TU VEUX, PARIS</p> <p>Tucked away in the passages of Galerie Vivienne, is Paris’ prettiest boutique toy store. Si Tu Veux is a boutique toy store full of gadgets, trick toys and other eccentric little gems. The store prides itself with hand made and quality toys including wooden trinkets, learning toys, crafts and birthday party games and supplies with a Parisian twist.</p> <p> </p> <p>DISNEY STORE, NYC</p> <p>It’s time to watch your fantasy world become reality. A flying Mickey and Mini welcome you to the wonderland of the New York Disney store. This kids paradise has everything Disney themed, from character toys, to clothes and collectables.</p> <p> </p> <p>HOSPITAL DE BONECAS, LISBON</p> <p>This family run toy store is not quite like the rest. They aren’t here to sell dolls, so much as they are to fix them. Bring your broken or damaged toys to Praça Figueira for a thorough assesment by the doll doctors. Careful precision sees your toys healed of their wounds - arms are reattached, eyes are replaced and cherished toys are returned to their owners.</p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>HAMLEYS, BEIJING</span></p> <p><span>Of course the success of the London paradise means the demand for Hamleys has gone global. Welcome to Hamleys Beijing. Inside the 10,700 square metre paradise, childhood classics such as </span>Peppa Pig, Nerf, Disney and My Little Pony can be found. Of course the store is in Beijing, so we have to expect more than just toys. There’s a 240 square metre Lego exhibition, a VR experience, a Nerf shooting range and even a ball pit. Really, it’s five floors of kid-heaven.</p> <p> </p> <p>AMERICAN GIRL, CHICAGO</p> <p>Welcome to the largest and arguably the best American Girl store. Explore the home of your favourite doll characters: American Doll stocks Girl of the Year, Bitty Baby and other classic doll lines. Buy doll accessories, clothing, posters and books, and design your own matching doll and girl t-shirts. Head to the Doll Hair Salon to pamper your own doll or feature on the cover of a souvenir American Girl magazine issue.<br /><br /><br /></p> <p>TOYS “R” US, HONG KONG</p> <p>TOYS “R” US Hong Kong is the ultimate destination for all kids; big and small. This colourful toy store stocks just about every action figure, building toy and doll you can think of. And if you’re lucky, you might fine your favourite character as a life-sized figurine.</p> <p> </p> <p>LEGO STORE NYC</p> <p>This two-storey wonderland is home to the largest LEGO brick wall in the world. It holds 116 bubble, each with a different lego piece inside. From rare coloured bricks to har-to-find collectables, this store has it all. You can play LEGO inspired videos games and design your very own master builder kit. There’s also 50 NYC lego scenes around the shop to check out.</p> <p> </p> <p>STEIFF MUSEUM, GIENGEN, GERMANY</p> <p>It’s easy to lose hours to this interactive toy shop and museum. It’s just about as weird and wacky as it gets. This weird and wacky knick-knack paradise includes a stuffed toy hunt and ‘petting zoo’, a workshop and a giant slide.</p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span>KIDS CAVERN, MACAU</span></p> <p><span>This 35,000 square foot toy store is the largest theme store in Macau. It’s recognisable by its quirky Willy Wonka style interiors, and has a giant candy store inside. It’s also home to the Princess Beauty House and Toy’s Kingdom.</span></p> <p> </p> <p>BARBIE STORE, BUENOS AIRES ARGENTINA</p> <p>The world’s first official Barbie store finds its home in Argentina. The Palermo district toy store is home to the Pink Palace, Barbie Dream House and a Barbie Tea House - the perfect stop for an exhausted mum. The store has Barbie jewellery, outfits, CDS and of course - Barbie dolls. Just about every one there is. There’s also Barbie’s life sized bedroom, and the opportunity to get Barbie manicures, makeup demonstrations and hairstyles.<br /><br /></p> <p><br />KIDDY LAND, BANGKOK</p> <p>The famous Japanese toy chain sees its ultimate location reside in Bangkok, Thailand. THis super toy store is jsut about as good as it gets. It’s the place where dreams are made, and made in to. Kiddy Land is home to anything and everything: mascots, dolls, cuddle toys, stuffed fur animals, action figures, Disney, Hello Kitty, Doraemon, Godzilla and a whole lot more. <br /><br /></p> <p>ENTERTAINER LONDON</p> <p>Refurbishments of Entertainer London mean the famous toy store chain is back with bang. The new store include animated window screens, interactive floor projections and immersive reality mirrors. There’s also kid-friendly Launch Pad Tech Tables and counter steps at each till.</p> <p> </p> <p>CHARLES RO SUPPLY COMPANY, MASSACHUSETTS</p> <p>Welcome to America’s largest train store. Family run Charles Ro stocks just about everything train related. This 5,000 square foot train spectacular has all the hard to find train sets, locomotives, box cars and classics. They stock products by Lionel, American Flyer, Bridgeworks, USA Trains and Thomas the Tank Engine.</p> <p> </p> <p>DETSKY MIR, RUSSIA</p> <p>A literal translation to<em> Children’s World,</em> this Russian toy store is just about as big and bold as they come. The children’s goods retailer currently has over 300 stores, so it’s not a surprise that they are good at what they do. The Moscow Detsky Mir is the largest toy store in its city, and stocks everything from stuffed toys to baby food. It’s said to be comparable to London’s <em>Hamleys</em> and New York’s<em> FAO Schwarz. <br /><br /></em><br />DISNEY STORE, LONDON</p> <p>It’s time for another toy store rival. Oxford Streets Disney store is home to a giant Cinderella Pumpkin and it’s own movie screen with kids tables and colouring in. Welcomed by Mickey and Mini mouse - there’s a British twist to this store. Your favourite Disney characters are dressed in Buckingham Palace Guard uniforms, and there’s a map display of Disney in London. Pinpoint Peter Pan, Mary Poppings and the cast of Cars 2 at Big Ben, St. Pauls Cathedral and St. James Park. The London Disney Store also hosts free interactive events including  animation classes, storytelling, trivia quizzes and parades. <br /><br /><br />HAKUHINKAN</p> <p><span>This multi level emporium is one of Tokyo’s biggest toy stores. It’s a classic, but with a Japanese twist. It feels more like your inside a bag of lollies than a shop, and it has everything from Hello Kitty’s and Transformers to Nerf Guns and Gundams. It’s also home to a giant toy car race track and the Licca-chan Club - headquarters of the Japanese Barbie equivalent.</span></p>

International Travel

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Tips for tips: How to pay when you’re in the US

<p><span>For us Aussies, the concept of tipping is quite foreign. An extra, ambiguous amount of money on top of the bill just seems absurd. But there’s a lot more to it than just coughing up some extra cash.</span></p> <p><span>In the US, it’s actually completely legal (with the exception of a few states) to <em>underpay</em> your employees - granted they make it up in tips. This means that as of 2018, the average bar job paid <em>$8 US dollars an hour</em>. Some wages are as low as<em> $3.</em></span></p> <p><span>A $20/hour bar job doesn’t seem so heinous anymore. </span></p> <p><span>This means two things. One: the level of customer service is outstanding. The wait staff are super efficient and the taxi drivers don’t stop grinning. You didn’t know it was possible to get a suitcase up a staircase so goddamn fast.</span></p> <p><span>You can also imagine how shocked people from the US are when they go overseas. Getting suitcases up staircases suddenly becomes a slower process. At the end of the day, we still get paid.</span></p> <p><span>The second thing it results in is a wacky tipping etiquette system. Americans tend to tip on a combination of the quality of the service and a percentage of the total bill. The system works, for those who know how to use it.</span></p> <p><span> </span><span>But when you throw us tourists in the mix, things become a little more complicated.</span></p> <p><span> </span><span>It’s time to get tipping.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Percentages and Tipping Standards <br /></strong><span>All tipping recommendations and percentages are in <strong>US DOLLARS.</strong></span></p> <p><span>The Golden Rule: Tipping is not expected, but <em>appreciated</em>.</span></p> <p><span> </span><span>At a restaurant, 15% of the bill is a standard. But do remember that tips make up most of the pay in hospitality, so 20% is a more solid amount. If you’re in a more upmarket restaurant, a 25% tip is fine. </span></p> <p><span> </span><span>20% tips are also easier for you to work out. 10% of the bill, times two. Simple.</span></p> <p><span>Taxi drivers expect a similar 15% - 20%. For smaller jobs, low dollars tend to be acceptable. Hotel porters, a dollar per bag. Food delivery, round up the total. Simple.</span></p> <p><span>If all else fails, use this as a rough guide:</span></p> <p><strong><span>Long service (taxis, restaurants, hairdressers): </span></strong><span>15 - 20% </span></p> <p><strong><span>Short service (drinks, bags, valet and food delivery): </span></strong><span>$1 - 5</span></p> <p><span>Don’t think of tipping so much as an exact number, but a reward for the given service.</span></p> <p><span>Here are our 10 tips for tipping in the US.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Dollar Bills and Envelopes</strong></p> <p><span>There’s a reason that the US still has $1 notes. Chances are, at some point you’ll stumble across a tipping conundrum. Be sure to keep dollar bills on you throughout your trip, and don’t be afraid to ask the hotel front desk for change. </span></p> <p><span>You also might chose to carry envelopes to ensure your tips get to the right people. Perhaps your hotel maid went above and beyond - a clearly labelled envelope will get your tips to where they belong.</span></p> <p><span> </span><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Delivery: Are they bringing it to you?</strong></p> <p><span>If you’re struggling with when to tip, look at how much the person you’re tipping is doing for you. In Australia, we tend to order food from the bar or counter, whereas the US tend to use table service. When tipping the standard 15% - 20%, it’s important to consider what lengths they have gone to to make sure you have had an enjoyable meal.</span></p> <p><span>The same goes for at home food delivery. If you’re staying in for a takeaway, a couple of dollars for delivery will suffice. It’s also common to round it up; for a $26.50 meal you might pay $30. </span></p> <p><span>Hotel room service is also considered food delivery. The same goes for home delivered groceries. </span></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>What’s new? Uber, Lyft and Airbnb.</strong></p> <p><span>The concept of tipping is old, but new ways to travel are popping up everywhere.</span></p> <p><span>Tipping your taxi driver is important: it tends to be the same amount as you would in a restaurant (15% - 20%). This also applies to Uber and Lyft drivers. There have been recent reports of reduced fares, so tips are often what compensate for working longer hours. </span></p> <p><span>Any ride-hailing drivers should be tipped, this includes Limousines. Like any US tipping, it is not expected, but appreciated. If you are visiting America, it’s important to follow their social etiquette.</span></p> <p>While it’s hotel staff tipping is often a debate, tipping your Airbnb is not standard. Hosts will rarely interact with guests as Airbnb is considered a house <em>share</em> more than a <em>service</em>.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Drinks at the bar</strong></p> <p><span>This one is easy: $1 per drink.</span></p> <p><span>This being said, America does tend to have table service. 10% of the bill at the end of the night is a good tip.</span></p> <p><span> </span><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>You don’t HAVE to tip.</strong></p> <p><span>You don’t. But if you aren’t, make sure there's a reason. If your food was cold and the service was slow, and your driver took you in the completely wrong direction you don’t need to tip. You are tipping for a service which they may not have provided.</span></p> <p><span>You also don’t need to tip <em>everyone</em>. Sometimes it seems daunting and the default is to reward anyone for basic human decency. A concierge at the front desk, or doorman who simply opens the door. They are just doing their job. </span></p> <p><span>If someone goes out of their way to help, perhaps to secure you a difficult reservation or itinerary, a $5 - $10 tip makes a nice thank you. </span></p> <p><span> </span><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Fast Food</strong></p> <p>Maybe it’s the reason that fast food is so popular in the US. Large chain stores such as McDonald’s don’t expect tips. There is often a jar on the counter, but don’t feel inclined.</p> <p>Supermarkets may also be a confusing place when it comes to tips. There is no need to tip the checkout employees when you are doing your grocery shop.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Beauty</strong></p> <p>This one is easy to forget. Hairdressers, manicurists, eyelash technicians and beauty therapists: these professions all expect a tip. It’s up to you, but 15% - 20% is a safe bet.</p> <p>Also, remember the apprentices. Often whoever is making your tea and washing your hair is being paid the least. A low dollar tip is fine.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Check the bill</strong></p> <p>You don’t want to tip more than you need. Check the bill for <em>service charge</em> or <em>gratuity already included</em> - sometimes restaurants include the tip for you. You don’t have to accept it if the service wasn’t up to your standard, but often it’s a good indication of what’s expected.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Coffee</strong></p> <p>Coffee doesn’t expect a tip, so it’s up to you. Baristas generally make minimum wage - so if you’re feeling generous - tip away.</p> <p>A recent survey from INSIDER found around 70% of people tip when they pick up their coffee. A couple of dollars for a cup of coffee is quite steep, so perhaps stick to rounding up to the nearest dollar if you feel obliged.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>The extras</strong></p> <p>There are a whole lot of unexpected tip-ees you might come across on your ventures. Tour guides, drivers, valet staff, spa workers and bathroom attendants should be tipped. Use your judgement: the greater level of service, the greater the tip. If you’re ever feeling lost, take note of how much those around you are paying, or ask a local. The process isn’t as daunting as it seems.</p> <p><strong> </strong><span> </span></p> <p><strong>To summarise:</strong></p> <p><strong><span>Restaurants: </span></strong><span>15 - 20%</span></p> <p><strong><span>Upmarket Restaurants: </span></strong><span>25%</span></p> <p><strong><span>Hotel Porter/Bags: </span></strong><span>A dollar per bag. Two if heavy.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Bars:</span></strong><span> A dollar per drink. If it’s table service, 10% of your total.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Coffee:</span></strong><span> No tip. Small change if you feel obliged.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Taxis: </span></strong><span>15 - 20% percent. You may consider more if they have gone out of their way to get you somewhere on time.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Tour guides: </span></strong><span>No tip. $5 - 10 if you feel obliged.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Hotel receptions: </span></strong><span>No tip. Transport advice and directions are a given. Tip if you feel obliged.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Valet: </span></strong><span>$1 - 5</span></p> <p><strong><span>Fast food:</span></strong><span> No tip</span></p> <p><strong><span>Supermarkets: </span></strong><span>No tip</span></p> <p><strong><span>Takeaway food delivery: </span></strong><span>$2 - 4 or round it up.</span></p>

International Travel

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Golf fans go wild over shot of Tiger caddying for his son

<p>Tiger Woods’ son, Charlie, is dominating the junior field at just 11 years of age.</p> <p>Charlie played at a US Kids Gold-sanctioned event at Hammock Creek Golf Club recently, resulting in a mind-blowing final score.</p> <p>Woods has commended his son in the past for his natural knack on the golf course, and his scorecard has proven exactly that.</p> <p>Charlie won the nine-hole event in the boys 11-year-old division with a three-under 33.</p> <p>He finished with no bogeys and three birdies.</p> <p>But fans went wild after seeing photos of the golfing legend helping his son carry his golf clubs.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">It’s happening. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheSecondComing?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheSecondComing</a> <a href="https://t.co/YmtPEP4lOx">pic.twitter.com/YmtPEP4lOx</a></p> — Riggs (@RiggsBarstool) <a href="https://twitter.com/RiggsBarstool/status/1295165776098361345?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 17, 2020</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Looks like we found the next Tiger Woods. I would of never guessed his son. 🤣 <a href="https://t.co/Z0bxE52Jvr">https://t.co/Z0bxE52Jvr</a></p> — Titus Conrad (@KCSportsfan18) <a href="https://twitter.com/KCSportsfan18/status/1295232348620029959?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 17, 2020</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Imagine playing in a junior tournament and the caddie for your opponent is Tiger Woods <a href="https://t.co/1lUSZP8SUb">https://t.co/1lUSZP8SUb</a></p> — Jordan (@JordanStarley1) <a href="https://twitter.com/JordanStarley1/status/1295169730530234371?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 17, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Last month, Tiger said playing with his son took him back to his childhood.</p> <p>“He’s starting to get into it,” Woods said to Golf Digest.</p> <p>“He’s starting to understand how to play. He’s asking me the right questions. I’ve kept it competitive with his par, so it’s been just an absolute blast to go out there and just, you know, be with him. It reminds me so much of me and my dad growing up.”</p> <p>Woods even said he hoped he could replicate his son’s swing, but is unable to due to injuries sustained from his career.</p> <p>“I wish I had his move,” Woods added. "I analyse his swing all the time. I wish I could rotate like that and turn my head like that and do some of those positions, but those days are long gone, and I have to relive them through him.”</p>

International Travel

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This is why you should consider retirement in Thailand

<p>Picture a more tanned version of yourself, with a slightly wider smile. Perched on a motorbike, riding from beach to beach through an endless summer. Fuelled by pad thai and panang gai, the magical sunsets guide your sunny poolside days into lazy luxurious evenings.</p> <p>As much as we want to escape the sunburnt, expatriate retiree look, it’s inevitable. Here are the reasons you should consider retirement in Thailand.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>THAILAND</strong></p> <p><em>The Country of Smiles<br /><br /></em>Whether you’re after spiritual development, tropical island bliss or just a really good massaman, Thailand has something for you.</p> <p><br /><br />This Southeast Asian gem has a population of just under 70 million people and is known for its magical island clusters such as the <strong>Phi Phi Islands, </strong>and its culture rich capital <strong>Bangkok</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p>Infinity pools and crystal clear beaches wrap around Thailand’s coastline. Limestone cliffs and mountainous jungle retreats are abundant. Luxury is an everyday feat in this glorious country. With some of the most beautiful resorts in the world and year round good weather, there’s a reason it tops the list.</p> <p> </p> <p>Not to mention – its ridiculously cheap. Treat yourself to a five star meal or a rose petal massage. Or just do it everyday. In Thailand, living in comfort is easy. What better solution to remove the financial stress of retiring.</p> <p> </p> <p>Most people from Thailand speak English, and they are among the most friendly in the world. It is estimated that there are currently 4-5 million expats living in Thailand, and it’s only a 7 hour flight from Australia. It’s authentic mix of Western comfort and traditional Southeast Asian culture means you’ll never feel to far from home. About 100,000 of Thailand’s expats are on retirement visas, and they’ve got the right idea.</p> <p> </p> <p>It’s also not difficult to travel, with the super affordable and accessible transport around the country. <strong>Bangkok</strong> to <strong>Phuket</strong> or <strong>Chiang Mai;</strong> hopping on a first class train is more convenient than ever. It also makes it that much easier to visit some of Thailand’s spectacular neighbours; Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia.</p> <p> </p> <p>Living in style isn’t difficult with Thailand’s world class shopping, where silks and knock-off designers cost next to nothing.  Or you could adopt the Buddhist attitudes and reject materialism and desire.</p> <p> </p> <p>Even if you aren’t religious, it’s hard not to adapt to the peaceful spiritual climate in Thailand. The promotion of simplicity and health encourages a very serene way of life. Happiness is a priority in this tropical country, and it’s all about living in the moment.</p> <p> </p> <p>For the more adventurous, the diving industry is growing rapidly and hosts some of the most spectacular locations. Mountain and jungle exploration is plentiful, with Thailand hosting some of the most extraordinary wildlife. Spot wild gibbons and wash an elephant, or visit the tigers at the <strong>Huai Kha Khaeng</strong> conservation.</p> <p> </p> <p>Whether it’s the tropical weather, a longing for personal spiritual development, the pink lotus lakes or the cheap pad thai, Thailand probably has what you’ve been searching for. It’s time to embark on the adventures you’ve been waiting your whole life for.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Written by Jemma Newlyn.</em></p>

International Travel

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Introvert or extrovert: What kind of traveller are you?

<p>Do you find bliss in big city lights, buzzing crowds and endless hustle and bustle?</p> <p>Or are you stimulated by the undisturbed, by the secluded corners and fleeting moments of peace? </p> <p>Introvert or extrovert: there’s a destination for you.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>London for Cornwall<br /></u></strong>Extrovert: <strong>London: </strong>Year round, London is an incredible city. It’s the heart of England in art, history, shopping and gastronomy. Incredibly diverse, the city is home to the London Eye, Borough Market, The Tate, Hyde Park and the Queen.<br /><strong>Cornwall</strong>: For those tired of the big-city chaos. This rugged coastal county is home to quaint harbour villages, towering cliffs, fresh produce and an english surf culture.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Rio De Janeiro for Morro de S</u></strong><strong><u>ão Paulo<br /></u></strong>Extrovert: <strong>Rio De Janeiro:</strong> Vibrant carnival parades and a general zest for life: Rio is a destination for the socialite. The city has no shortage of beaches, rolling hills, lively restaurants and samba.<br /><strong>Introvert: Morro de São Paulo: </strong>Located on Tinharé Island, this village is completely car free. The coastal town is known for its glorious palm fringed shores, surf breaks and local beach culture. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Tokyo for Tottori<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Tokyo</strong>: This unique capital is buzzing with culture, fashion, incredible cuisine and scenic temples and shrines. Let’s be honest, there isn’t much to deter.<br /><strong>Introvert: Tottori</strong>: This picturesque seaside city is relatively untouched by tourists. It’s Japan’s least populated district and is buzzing with rock formations, temples, gardens and sand dunes.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Los Angeles and Yosemite<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Los Angeles:</strong> This sunny Californian city is home to Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Hollywood and all things film industry. Head to LA to see what life is like for the stars.<br /><strong>Introvert: Yosemite:</strong> Sierra Nevada’s Yosemite National Park is known for its granite cliffs and sweeping valleys. Head to Yosemite for a scenic nature escape exploring waterfalls and mountainsides.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Paris for Epernay<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Paris: </strong>Boulangerie breakfasts and bistro dinners. For some, Paris will always be the dream. Meandering cobblestone streets, incredible historic architecture, premier boutique shopping and a vibrant arts culture. It is, after all, the City of Light.<br /><strong>Introvert: Epernay:</strong> Of course Paris isn’t everyone’s <em>cafe au lait</em>. If champagne tasting, rolling vineyards, quaint villages and hidden castles are more your thing, head to Epernay.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Bali for Lombok<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Bali: </strong>An Australian favourite; Bali is known for its rice paddies, beaches, and mountainous scenery.<br /><strong>Introvert: Lombok</strong>: If the chaos and inflated western prices of Bali don’t appeal, check out Lombok. This introvert paradise has similarly spectacular beaches and volcanic mountains, some (such as the Gili Islands) are motor vehicle-free. <br /><br /></p> <p><strong>New York City for Finger Lakes<br /></strong><strong>Extrovert: New York City:</strong> This thriving city is home to the famous Empire State Building, Central Park and Time Square. If you’re after a massive array of tourist experiences in a lively city, head to NYC.<br /><strong>Introvert: Finger Lakes:</strong> This New York region is known for its sweeping lakes, valleys and vineyards. It’s a great place to relax without the crowds whilst enjoying scenic state parks, wine country and some spectacular waterfalls.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Madrid for Porto<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Madrid:</strong> Packed with a world-class arts culture, a rich history, mouthwatering tapas, gothic architecture and incredible shopping: this lively city is a destination for the extroverts.<br /><strong>Introvert: Porto: </strong>A quiet coastal city in Portugal’s North, Porto is a one hour flight from Madrid. It’s known for its narrow cobbled streets, port wine production, merchants’ houses and boutique cafes. Built for the introverts, Porto is a perfect balance of culture and quiet.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Kathmandu for Pokhara<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Kathmandu: </strong>Kathmandu is the hub of Nepal. There are endless things to do and it’s the easiest and most accessible city in Nepal. It’s well worth the visit. <br /><strong>Introvert: Pokhara</strong>: As any capital city, Kathmandu can be chaotic. Head to Pokhara for waterfalls, spectacular scenery, clear lakes, hiking, caves and yoga retreats.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Rome for Tuscany<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Rome: </strong>Cobbled streets and piazzas, ancient columns and architecture, a fascinating history and fantastic cuisine. And of course; gelato. This charming city is impossible not to fall in love with. <br /><strong>Introvert: Tuscany</strong>: Rome can be overwhelming for some. If you’re still after an authentic Italian experience, head to Tuscany. The picturesque region is overflowing with lush landscapes, wineries, enchanting architecture and Italian renaissance. It’s also home to the cobblestone streets and terracotta cafes of Florence.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Byron Bay for Brunswick Heads<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Byron Bay:</strong> Famous for its incredible beaches, Byron Bay is a popular summer destination with Aussies and foreign visitors. Byron is also home to an animated local community, holding regular festivals and markets, and boasting great family orientated organisations such as The Farm.<br /><strong>Introvert: Brunswick Heads:</strong> Byron tends to get a little busy at the best of times. Only 15-minutes drive away is Brunswick Heads. The small beachside town boasts trendy cafes, boutique patisseries and lots of family friendly to-do’s. You can check out the highlights of Byron, but it serves as a great excuse to escape the crowds and explore secluded beaches, winding creeks and wildlife reserves. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Amsterdam for Utrecht<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Amsterdam</strong>: This culture-packed capital is home to a massive array of museums and galleries, delightful architecture, a lively arts culture and some pretty incredible Dutch food. <br /><strong>Introvert: Utrecht</strong>: Previously titled <em>‘the happiest place in the world</em>’, Utrecht is only 40 minutes drive from Amsterdam. Less touristy than its counterpart, the city is laced with winding walkways and medieval architecture. The Old Town is also home to the famous two-level canals.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Haridwar for Rishikesh<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Haridwar: </strong>This popular pilgrimage spot receives hundreds and thousands of tourists every year. It’s one of the central destinations for the Kumbh Mela (Holy Dip), and is full of heritage, charm, peaceful ashrams and a laid-back lifestyle.<br /><strong>Introvert: Rishikesh</strong>: Swap Haridwar for Rishikesh for a more relaxed getaway. The birthplace of yoga, Rishikesh is situated in the Himilayan foothills beside the Ganges and was a favourite destination of the Beatles.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Perisher and Thredbo for Charlotte Pass<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Perisher or Thredbo: </strong>Skiing in NSW. Let’s be honest, we aren’t spoilt for choice. The hustle and bustle of Perisher and Thredbo consistently cater for the crowd-happy extroverts.<br /><strong>Introvert: Charlotte Pass: </strong>But if you’re dying to hit the slopes but hate the chaos of Friday Flat, check out Charlotte Pass. The snow village is Australia’s highest resort, and offers a quiet alternative to Thredbo/Perisher.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Mykonos for </u></strong><strong><u>Antiparos<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: </strong><strong>Mykonos</strong>: This picturesque coastal town is known for its lively summer parties and dance clubs.<br /><strong>Introvert: Antiparos</strong>: For a secluded alternative, head to Antiparos. This little island is accessible by ferry, so you won’t bump into too many crowds.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Machu Picchu for </u></strong><strong><u>Choquequirao<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: </strong><strong>Machu Picchu:</strong> This ancient Incan citadel is high (excuse the pun) on every extrovert bucket list. The historic site is situated in Peru’s Andes Mountains, and the city skeleton is famous for its intriguing architectural history and panoramic backdrop.<br /><strong>Introvert</strong>: <strong>Choquequirao</strong>: The crowds in Machu Picchu are conspicuous. Choquequirao sits a little lower, and is similar in both structure and history. It also tends to be much less crowded than its sister citadel, and still provides a rewarding hike.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Positano for Sant'Agnello<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Positano</strong>: This vibrant cliffside town is one of the Amalfi Coast’s most well-known destinations. The steep streets are lined with lively cafes and shops, and during Summer tourists flock to the colourful village.<br /><strong>Introvert</strong>: <strong>Sant'Agnello</strong>: This beautiful antique town is a neighbour of Sorrento, and tends to accommodate those after a less touristy experience. It’s a perfect spot for the history buffs, and a great base for those keen to explore the Sorrento Coast. You can also score a B&amp;B in an authentic Sorrento lemon grove.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Bangkok for Chaing Mai<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Bangkok: </strong>Bangkok comes to life after dark especially when the city fills with night markets.<br /><strong>Introvert: Chaing Mai: </strong>This mountainous city is located in northern Thailand, and tends to be a little cooler than Bangkok. It’s famous for its beautiful natural scenery, relaxed living pace, calm temples and some of the best Thai food in the country. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Vienna for Salzburg<br /></strong><strong>Extrovert: Vienna: </strong>Check out the influence of residents Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt and Mozart, or get lost in the twists and turns of Vienna’s baroque style streets. Be it for art, culture, food or history; this haven of a city is well worth the visit.<br /><strong>Introvert</strong>: <strong>Salzburg: </strong>Home of the von Trapp family, the rolling hills and ornate palaces in Salzburg provide a serene alternative to Vienna. The city shares the magnificent architecture and culture of its counterpart, but on a much smaller and more accessible scale.</p>

International Travel

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Prince Philip steps out of retirement to make rare public appearance

<p><span>Prince Philip made a brief comeback from retirement as he took part in a rare official public engagement.</span></p> <p><span>The Duke transferred his role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles to the Duchess of Cornwall, but the 99-year-old, who has been keeping a low profile since his retirement in 2017, made sure to stick to social distancing measures.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CC8pI6BHZRK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CC8pI6BHZRK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Today, The Duke of Edinburgh has been succeeded as Colonel-in-Chief of @rifles_regiment by The Duchess of Cornwall, in a ceremony which took place at both Windsor Castle and Highgrove House. . The Duke has been Colonel-in-Chief of successive Regiments that have made up The Rifles since 1953, and today, they are the largest infantry Regiment in the British Army. . The Duke of Edinburgh’s arrival was marked by four Buglers, who are members of The Rifles’ military band. . The Duke was thanked for his 67 years of service and support to the Regiment, before the Buglers sounded the ‘No More Parades’ call, marking HRH’s final ceremony as The Rifles’ Colonel-in-Chief. . At Highgrove House, The Duchess of Cornwall was greeted by a Bugle call, and was welcomed by the Regiment’s Colonel Commandant as The Rifles’ new Colonel-in-Chief. . The Duchess has close links with the Regiment, and has served as Royal Colonel of its fourth Battalion since 2007.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/theroyalfamily/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> The Royal Family</a> (@theroyalfamily) on Jul 22, 2020 at 7:22am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>He remained 100 miles apart from his daughter-in-law Camilla, as they both carried out ceremonies to mark the historic occasion. </span></p> <p><span>Philip was at Windsor Castle in Berkshire, while the Duchess was at her home in Gloucestershire.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">The Duke of Edinburgh’s arrival was marked by four Buglers, who are members of The Rifles’ military band. <a href="https://t.co/gbybzsqzp8">pic.twitter.com/gbybzsqzp8</a></p> — The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) <a href="https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1285931236788183040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 22, 2020</a></blockquote> <p><span>The Duke has been colonel-in-chief of The Rifles since it was established in 2007, but his association goes back further, as he had served colonel-in-chief to successive regiments that have made up The Rifles since 1953.</span></p> <p><span>Camilla had previously been the royal colonel of the 4th Battalion The Rifles, a post she had held since 2007.</span></p>

International Travel

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The Catlins: Ending the roadtrip

<p><em>Lighthouses and sea lions act as bookends to Justine and Chris <span class="markvx0ob4paj" data-markjs="true" data-ogac="" data-ogab="" data-ogsc="" data-ogsb="">Tyerman</span>’s Easter road trip in the Catlins where they drove the Southern Scenic Route.</em></p> <p><span>Remote Jack’s Bay with its pristine white sands is unbelievably beautiful, especially on a calm, sunny autumn morning. I envied the 20-30 bach owners with their properties right on the beach in this remote south-eastern corner of New Zealand’s South Island.</span></p> <p><span>It was Day 3 of our Catlins roadtrip on the Southern Scenic Route and we were brimming with excitement at the adventures that lay ahead. First up was Jack’s Blowhole at the end of a scenic coastal walkway, about one hour return. It’s a giant gash in the earth, 55m deep, 144m long, 68m wide and 200m from the sea. Even on a calm day, the force of the water swirling and churning far below was riveting. I’d love to see it spouting in a southerly storm with a big sea running.</span></p> <p><span>After brewing a quick cuppa in our handy little <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.jucy.com/nz/en/" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">JUCY Cabana</a> kitchen, we drove to pretty Purakaunui Falls, a very popular spot. The lovely ten-minute walk alongside the stream that feeds the falls is through a lush forest of totara, tawhai, matai and kotukutuku with native birds flitting among the branches.</span></p> <p><span>At the foot of the exquisite three-tiered falls, there were dozens of tourists and photographers with tripods and extremely long lenses, trying to capture the perfect image. It’s one of the most photographed waterfalls in New Zealand so if you want time alone here, get up early or stay late.</span></p> <p><span>The track to the 22m high McLean Falls, the tallest waterfall in the Catlins, was closed by a rock fall so we consoled ourselves with lunch at the award-winning Whistling Frog Restaurant. The blue cod was the best fish I’ve ever tasted, washed down with an ice cold Monteith’s crushed pear cider. The restaurant is the hub of a substantial accommodation complex with cabins, motels, chalets and tent sites.</span></p> <p><span>Well-fortified, we set off towards Cathedral Caves, stopping at Florence Hill lookout with sweeping views of perfectly-curved Tautuku Beach to the south and Tahakopa Bay and Long Point to the north. This is the only area left in the South Island where native forest covers the land from the hilltops to the sea. Some trees are over 1000 years old. There’s an abundance of wildlife with native birds, New Zealand sea lions, yellow-eyed and little-blue penguins and albatross frequenting the area.</span></p> <p><span>Access to Cathedral Caves is across private Maori land so there’s a charge of $5 per adult and $1 per child. The 1.5km track through kamahi/podocarp forest drops 100m to Waipati Beach and then there’s a 10-minute walk along the sand to the caves. Our timing of the tides was accidentally perfect. We were able to explore the entire sea cave system which has two huge entrances joined by a V-shaped passage. It’s one of the finest in New Zealand, and at 199m, among the longest in the world.</span></p> <p><span>In contrast to limestone caves, which form by the chemical action of water dissolving calcite in the rock, sea caves are formed by the action of the waves eroding or collapsing the rock.  </span></p> <p><span>We took a torch so we could examine the ceiling, up to 30m high, and deep recesses of the Jurassic sandstone which dates back about 160 million years. Just inside the west or first entrance, the ceiling is much higher, indicating an area of roof collapse. Over time, such features create skylights like Jack’s Blowhole.</span></p> <p><span>To avoid disappointment, make sure you check the tides and the closing time of the track. The caves are outstanding and well worth the fee and the one-hour hike down and back up.</span></p> <p><span>The petrified forests at Curio Bay had long fascinated me and again our timing was spot on. The tide was well out allowing us to explore this rare phenomenon.</span></p> <p><span>The incredible story of how the forest was formed is recorded on a series of excellent information boards overlooking the rock platform where the tree trunks and stumps are lying, set in stone.</span></p> <p><span> A lush forest stood here about 170 million years ago with ash-covered volcanoes nearby. After heavy rain, a great flood occurred submerging hundreds of kilometres of land under mud, ash and rocks washed down from the volcanoes.</span></p> <p><span>The ash in the floodwaters was rich in silica which impregnated the trees, turning them to stone. Thousands of years of pounding by the sea have worn away the soil to reveal the fossilised trees.</span></p> <p><span>I lost track of time as I wandered around the tree trunks and stumps, frozen forever in time, trying to imagine the forces of nature that could bring about such an event. The fallen tree trunks still look like timber but when you touch them, they are hard, cold stone. You can even see the growth rings in the stumps. The forest was alive when New Zealand was part of Gondwanaland - and we’re able to see the remnants of it today.</span></p> <p><span>At the southern edge of the platform, waves of kelp were surging and swirling up and down a narrow channel in the rock. I stood there transfixed until the incoming tide began to lap at my feet and the kelp threatened to envelop me like a thousand slimy eels.</span></p> <p><span>Hoping for a glimpse of the rare yellow-eyed penguins at this location, we found the perfect spot to park our JUCY campervan overnight, at a camping ground right on the seashore.  But Curio Bay’s penguins were in hiding, along with the endangered Hector’s dolphins... so a return trip is definitely on the cards.</span></p> <p><span>The recently-opened Tumu Toka CurioScape at Curio Bay has a café and outstanding interactive museum with a wealth of information about the region.</span></p> <p><span>Before heading south, we climbed to the top of a headland where the views were stunning. An information board there said that by 1840, with 1000 whalers operating in New Zealand waters, the southern right whale was already becoming scarce. The invention of the explosive-tipped harpoon in the 1860s made other species of whale harvestable because the device caused whales to float when dead. I was horrified to read that 65,966 whales were killed worldwide during the 1961-62 season.</span></p> <p><span>Twenty minutes south, we reached Slope Point, the southern-most tip of the South Island. A ten-minute walk through private farmland, the point is a windswept, ruggedly-beautiful headland where the trees grow horizontal to the land and the waves of the southern ocean crash onto rocks sending walls of spray high into the air.</span></p> <p><span>A signpost marks the exact spot as Latitude 46 40min 40 sec South; Longitude 169 00min 11 sec East. From here, the Equator is 5140km north and the South Pole is 4803km south. It was blowing a freezing cold gale but photos just had to be taken at the signpost and on the cliff edge above the pounding surf.</span></p> <p><span>Our last stop on the Southern Scenic Route was the Waipapa Point lighthouse, at the far southwest corner of the Catlins. It’s the site of New Zealand’s worst shipping disaster. In April 1881, 131 of the 151 passengers onboard the ‘S.S.Tararua’ lost their lives when the steamer was wrecked on the reef just offshore.</span></p> <p><span>A short walk takes you to the cemetery where many of the victims were buried. In response to this tragedy a lighthouse was built and become operational in 1884. Automated in 1976, it remains active today.</span></p> <p><span>I read with great interest the Instructions to Lightkeepers in 1866.</span></p> <p><span>‘Keepers are required to act as signalmen, telephonists, and undertake such duties as may be required of them, without receiving any extra remuneration.’</span></p> <p><span>Other duties included cleaning, routine maintenance, gardening and tending the ‘Tararua Acre’ gravesite.</span></p> <p><span>A couple of sea lions were cavorting in the turbulent surf near the lighthouse. It seemed fitting that our Catlins odyssey began and ended with lighthouses and sea lions. They are quintessential images of the Catlins and my enduring memories of this remote and beautiful corner of Aotearoa.</span></p> <p><em><span>See part <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/travel/international-travel/exploring-our-own-backyard" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">one</a>, <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/travel/international-travel/driving-along-central-otago-highway" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">two</a> and <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/travel/international-travel/traversing-the-coastline-of-the-catlins" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">three</a> of Justine’s road trip.</span></em></p> <p><em>Justine <span class="markvx0ob4paj" data-markjs="true" data-ogac="" data-ogab="" data-ogsc="" data-ogsb="">Tyerman</span> travelled courtesy of JUCY Rentals. </em><span></span><em>Pick up a vehicle from <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.jucy.co.nz/" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">JUCY Rentals</a> at Queenstown, Christchurch or Auckland Airport. You can also explore magnificent Milford Sound with <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.jucycruise.co.nz/" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">JUCY Cruise</a> and stay at <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.jucysnooze.co.nz/" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">JUCY Snooze</a> in Queenstown, Christchurch and Auckland.</em></p>

International Travel

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Positive COVID test for "Most beautiful woman in the world"

<p>Iconic Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter, Aaradhy, have both tested positive for coronavirus following reports that her husband and father-in-law were hospitalised with the virus.</p> <p>Rai Bachchan, who had once been dubbed “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” and winner of the 1994 Miss World pageant, married into Bollywood’s most famous family back in 2007 by wedding Abhishek Bachchan.</p> <p>The star announced via his verified Twitter account on Sunday that his wife and their eight-year-old daughter have coronavirus.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836890/bollywood-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a771ebaba59a4fdbb53aeb3323c7a464" /></p> <p>“Aishwarya and Aaradhya have also tested COVID-19 positive. They will be self quarantining at home,” Abhishek Bachchan tweeted.</p> <p>“The BMC has been updated of their situation and are doing the needful. The rest of the family including my Mother have tested negative. Thank you all for your wishes and prayers.”</p> <p>Abhishek had also shared on social media earlier that he and his father Amitabh Bachchan had been taken to the hospital after receiving a positive test.</p> <p>“My father and I remain in hospital till the doctors decide otherwise,” he wrote on Sunday to his 15 million followers.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CCj9gLFhlBV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CCj9gLFhlBV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by ravisara (@ravisara7)</a> on Jul 12, 2020 at 5:19pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Everyone please remain cautious and safe. Please follow all rules!”</p> <p>Bachchan and Rai Bachchan are among Bollywood’s most famous couples and have been referred to as the “Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie” of India back when the latter were still a Hollywood couple.</p> <p>However, Rai Bachchan was a mega star long before her marriage.</p> <p>The actress had multiple Bollywood hit movies and was the holder of the title of the number one box office star in the world.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CCjWdPIppAx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CCjWdPIppAx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Bollywood Tashan (@bollywood_tashan)</a> on Jul 12, 2020 at 11:59am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>She had also been earning millions of dollars in endorsements for major companies including L’Oréal, Coca-Cola and De Beers diamonds.</p> <p>Time magazine named her one of the most influential people in the world in 2004.</p> <p>In America, she is best known for starring in the 2004 film “Bride And Prejudice” as well as the 2005 film “Mistress Of Spices.”</p>

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​The sad truth behind Archie's christening photo

<p>There are not many family events the Queen will miss out on; however, it seems duty comes first especially when considering the royal’s absence at great grandson, Archie’s christening.</p> <p>Royal christenings are deeply symbolic affairs and each event sees the tiny tot donning the Lily Font and the replica Honiton christening gown that has become an iron-clad tradition.</p> <p>When photographs of little Archie’ christening were released, many were surprised to see one familiar face missing, and that was the Queen who could not be present.</p> <p> The official reason given was that her Majesty had a conflicting commitment, but questions arose why the royal’s diary was not called upon when planning Archie’s first significant event.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzlHhZylvwT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzlHhZylvwT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal)</a> on Jul 6, 2019 at 8:14am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>A recent book, Royals At War offered an alternative perspective. Journalists Dylan Howard and Andy Tillett said: “Pointedly, the Queen and Prince Philip stayed away. They had been generous and understanding at their best.</p> <p>“But they simply now felt publicly embarrassed by Meghan’s controlling behaviour, said a well-placed Palace insider.”</p> <p>Over a year on since Archie’s christening, it appears there was more than what meets the eye after court documents filed as part of Meghan’s privacy lawsuit revealed she was left feeling “undefended by the institution” while pregnant and that she had been “prohibited from defending herself” against negative false press coverage.</p> <p>Meghan and Harry announced their intention to step down as senior royals of January 2020, much to the surprise of the rest of the royal family.</p> <p>On April 1, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex officially ceased all their duties and began a financially independent life in Los Angeles, U.S.</p> <p> </p>

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Duchess Meghan teams up with Michelle Obama for important role

<p><span>Meghan Markle has just been announced to be a speaker at an upcoming virtual summit, alongside her friends Michelle Obama and Priyanka Chopra.</span><br /><br /><span>The Duchess of Sussex will be keynote speaker at the 2020 Global Leadership Summit as part of its Girl Up campaign.</span><br /><br /><span>"The present is female! But don't take our word for it. Hear from our keynote speaker Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, as she takes the stage at our 2020 Leadership Summit, happening virtually July 13-15!" the announcement resd.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CCXTeCmn2Ek/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CCXTeCmn2Ek/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Eugenia Garavani (@eugeniagaravani)</a> on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:20pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>The Girl Up Global Leadership Summit was created by the United Nations, and notes that it is "dedicated to securing equal opportunities for underprivileged adolescent girls in developing countries such as Ethiopia, Malawi, Guatemala, and India".</span><br /><br /><span>Meghan has been a long-time supporter and campaigner for equality for women and girls.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CCW9Jzkg5mG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CCW9Jzkg5mG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Megan markel fans (@besexy79)</a> on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:05pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>In January 2020 she visited Vancouver-based social justice charity Justice For Girls, which later shared photos on Twitter of Meghan enjoying a cup of tea and conversation with members of its team.</span><br /><br /><span>"Yesterday, The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle visited to discuss climate justice for girls and the rights of Indigenous peoples," the organisation wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>"Was great to talk about the importance of a holistic approach to social justice, and the power of young women's leadership."</span><br /><br /><span>The royal mum also visited the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre to discuss "issues affecting women in the community."</span><br /><br /><span>"Look who we had tea with today!" the organisation posted on social media, along with a photo of a beaming Meghan with staff members.</span><br /><br /><span>The Global Leadership Summit was originally meant to take place in Washington DC.</span><br /><br /><span>However it has since been moved to an online format due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.</span></p>

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“Acknowledge the past”: Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan call on the Commonwealth

<p>Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have called on the Commonwealth to “acknowledge” its colonial past, even if it is “uncomfortable”.</p> <p>Speaking in a video-link discussion on institutional and systemic racism with young leaders from the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, Harry said the UK has to reckon with its historic involvement in other countries that now make up the Commonwealth.</p> <p>“When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past,” he said.</p> <p>“So many people have done such an amazing incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge on there is so much more still to do.</p> <p>“It’s not going to be easy and in some cases it’s not going to be comfortable but it needs to be done, because guess what, everybody benefits.”</p> <p>The Commonwealth consists of 54 member states, nearly all of which were previously ruled by the British Empire.</p> <p>Meghan added: “We’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now, because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this and find the place where a high tide raises all ships.</p> <p>“Equality does not put anyone on the back foot, it puts us all on the same footing – which is a fundamental human right.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Watch the discussion now and share your thoughts on the actions we can take to create a fairer and more just world: <a href="https://t.co/WR7grpu9fG">https://t.co/WR7grpu9fG</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamQCT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamQCT</a></p> — The Queen's Commonwealth Trust (@queenscomtrust) <a href="https://twitter.com/queenscomtrust/status/1280109784042217472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 6, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>The pair also spoke about unconscious bias and the role it plays in people’s lives.</p> <p>“We can’t deny or ignore the fact that all of us have been educated to see the world differently,” Harry said.</p> <p>“However, once you start to realize that there is that bias there, then you need to acknowledge it, you need to do the work to become more aware.”</p> <p>Meghan reflected on her personal experience with unconscious bias and racism.</p> <p>“It’s not just in the big moments, it’s in the quiet moments where racism and unconscious bias lies and thrives. It makes it confusing for a lot of people to understand the role that they play in that, either passively and actively,” she said.</p> <p>“So much of what I’ve come to the understanding of, especially in learning even more about it of late and obviously having had personal experience with it as well, but in people’s complacency they’re complicit, and that I think is the shift that we’re seeing.”</p> <p>The conversation came as the Black Lives Matter movement continues in the US, where the royal couple is residing.</p> <p>Last week, Harry said he regretted not having done enough to “<a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/02/europe/prince-harry-institutional-racism-endemic-intl-scli/index.html">right the wrongs</a>” of the “endemic” institutional racism in society for young people.</p> <p>Last month Meghan <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/beauty-style/meghan-markle-addresses-black-lives-matter-movement-in-new-video-the-only-wrong-thing-to-say-is-to-say-nothing">addressed the killing of George Floyd</a> in a video message to her old high school, saying: “The only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.”</p>

International Travel

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How coronavirus self-isolation fatigue may lead to more beach drownings this summer

<p>The easing of physical distancing restrictions can’t come soon enough for those tired of self-isolation, and for many the beach represents a welcome therapy after an extended time indoors and alone.</p> <p>In Australia, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-26/coronavirus-crowds-sydney-beaches-again-despite-covid-19-risks/12185926">popular beaches in Sydney</a>, including the iconic Bondi Beach, were completely closed to public access during the government-imposed lockdown period. When they reopened under restricted conditions in late April (fall in the southern hemisphere), the unexpectedly large crowds led authorities to close them again.</p> <p>More recently, crowded beaches in the <a href="https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-premier-shocked-by-packed-toronto-beaches-warns-covid-19-fight-is-not-over-1.4995033">Great Lakes</a>, <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/coronavirus-comes-spring-break-locals-close-florida-beaches-after-governor-n1163741">Florida</a>, <a href="https://www.khou.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/galveston-beaches-see-uptick-in-crowds-as-city-takes-additional-measures-to-protect-visitors-from-covid-19/285-6bc76e6b-a076-40ac-8a22-a714e8ba0dfc">Texas</a>, <a href="https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-26/crowds-masks-venice-beach-memorial-day-weekend">California</a> and the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/brits-flock-to-the-beach-amid-medics-warning-of-second-wave-20200625-p555y7.html">United Kingdom</a> show that people are eager to find their spot on the sand.</p> <p>While going to the beach to bathe or swim is seen as an enjoyable recreational experience, aside from social distancing concerns, beaches can be dangerous environments and it is <a href="http://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-19-389-2019">not uncommon for drownings</a> to occur. Unfortunately, there are several COVID-19-related factors that have the potential to significantly increase the number of beach drownings and rescues.</p> <p><strong>Beach hazards in a time of COVID-19</strong></p> <p>First, many of those people seeking out beaches may be infrequent beachgoers, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.10.011">unfamiliar with beach hazards, such as rip currents, and safety practices</a>, including strategies on how to react when caught in a rip current as recommended by the <a href="http://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-17-1003-2017">Break the Grip of the Rip campaign</a> in the United States.</p> <p>Second, summer travel plans have been altered for many, meaning local and non-holiday beaches — many of which are not patrolled by lifeguards — may see larger crowds and could put <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0212349">bystanders who attempt rescues</a> at greater risk.</p> <p>Third, and most important, in normal years, lifeguard services would intervene to ensure that people don’t put themselves into dangerous situations. This year is different.</p> <p>Several jurisdictions from the <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-52038489">U.K.</a> and the <a href="https://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/20200608/covid-furloughs-meant-no-warning-flags-on-holland-beach-as-two-boys-drowned">Great Lakes</a> have cancelled their lifesaving programs due to COVID-19-related budget and health concern restraints.</p> <p>Coronavirus-related staff cuts and furloughs prevented Holland State Park in Michigan from setting up the flags to warn swimmers of the daily hazard along that section of Lake Michigan. The <a href="https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2020/06/double-drowning-tragedy-underscores-danger-of-great-lakes.html">lack of warning flags and lifeguards has already been blamed for the drownings</a> of a six-year-old and a 17-year-old on June 6. This is just but one example of how cutting funding to beach safety programs could cost lives.</p> <p><strong>Masking the truth about the surf hazard</strong></p> <p>There are interesting parallels between drowning prevention and efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve.</p> <p>Many people do not wear a mask in public despite evidence that masks reduce the <a href="https://today.tamu.edu/2020/06/12/texas-am-study-face-masks-critical-in-preventing-spread-of-covid-19/">potential for COVID-19 transmission</a>. For example, if you have gone grocery shopping and avoided infection, you may become complacent and feel that masks and hand-washing are unnecessary. Or you may bend to peer pressure if you meet up with friends who are not wearing masks or social distancing.</p> <p>These same behaviours come into play with drownings. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-018-3424-7">Evidence suggests</a> that if you didn’t drown on your last visit to the beach, you’ll be confident that you won’t drown on your next visit — despite changing waves, tides and other conditions.</p> <p>Or if you are with a group of friends who are better swimmers, there is a greater chance that you will venture into deeper water to avoid the social cost of staying close to shore. You may also mirror the risky behaviours of other beachgoers.</p> <p><strong>Ignoring the warning signs</strong></p> <p>The time and financial investment made in travelling to the beach after being limited by stay-at-home orders for weeks and months means that more people may enter the water, even if the conditions aren’t ideal.</p> <p>Beach users escaping self-isolation at home may be tired of warnings and further restrictions on the beach and may ignore them, particularly if they believe that lifeguards are being <a href="https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-19-2541-2019">overly cautious</a>. This was the greatest concern expressed at a recent (virtual) conference to celebrate the creation of a legislated lifesaving program in <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-015-1626-9">Costa Rica</a>.</p> <p>In the Great Lakes, the problem is made worse by the high-water levels that have <a href="https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/environment/ct-lake-michigan-record-water-levels-20200619-ntztvazvynf7bgbro3cgkp2diy-story.html">limited the amount of beach available</a>. Even where lifeguard services are still provided, the limited beach width means that people will either crowd together on the beach or move away from others, increasing the lifeguard’s patrol area — and the risk that someone will need rescue or will drown.</p> <p><a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/famous-sydney-beaches-closed-after-crowds-flout-coronavirus-restrictions">Restricting access to beaches</a> to limit crowds and the <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/15/us/covid-19-second-shutdown/index.html">potential for a second wave of COVID-19 cases</a>, will in turn limit the number of drownings as long as people <a href="https://abc7chicago.com/lake-michigan-chicago-beach-beaches-open/6265505">heed those closures</a>.</p> <p>COVID-19 has created a perfect storm that could make beaches more popular than ever before and raise the risk of drowning. So far, most of the concern has focused on the lack of social distancing and the looming threat of a second COVID-19 wave, but that focus may soon shift to drowning. Are we going to love our beaches to death?<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/141491/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chris-houser-688101">Chris Houser</a>, Professor of Earth and Environmental Science, and Dean of Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-windsor-3044">University of Windsor</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rob-brander-111027">Rob Brander</a>, Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-1414">UNSW</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-coronavirus-self-isolation-fatigue-may-lead-to-more-beach-drownings-this-summer-141491">original article</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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Queen Elizabeth speaks with US President Donald Trump ahead of Independence Day

<p>Queen Elizabeth has spoken with US President Donald Trump via phone ahead of Independence Day in America.</p> <p>The Queen spoke with Trump on Tuesday by phone from Windsor Castle, where she has remained with Prince Philip since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown in the UK.</p> <p>The call to Trump was “the latest in a series Her Majesty has held with world leaders in recent months, including President [Emmanuel] Macron, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Scott Morrison”, the royal family said on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">The telephone call is the latest in a series Her Majesty has held with world leaders in recent months, including President Macron, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.</p> — The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) <a href="https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1278006235074383872?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 30, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>The two heads of state discussed the coronavirus pandemic and “reopening global economies”, according to White House spokesman Judd Deere.</p> <p>“The President and the Queen also reaffirmed that the United States and United Kingdom stand together in our Special Relationship and will emerge from this trying time stronger than ever before,” Deere said.</p> <p>Deere said Trump also wished the Queen a belated happy 94th birthday, two months after the monarch’s birthday in April.</p> <p>Trump has met with the Queen three times as president. Their last in-person meeting was at a Buckingham Palace reception marking the 70th anniversary of NATO in December 2019.</p> <p>Since Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne on February 6, 1952, she has met with all elected US presidents <a rel="noopener" href="https://people.com/royals/queen-elizabeth-phone-call-president-donald-trump-july-4/" target="_blank">with the exception of Lyndon B Johnson</a>.</p>

International Travel

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The TranzAlpine returns

<p><em>One of the world’s greatest train journeys, the TranzAlpine in New Zealand’s South Island, is to reopen on July 4 after being closed due to Covid-19. A veteran of many train trips overseas, this is Justine Tyerman’s first such journey in her own country.</em></p> <p><span>New Zealand is such a tall, slim-waisted country, you can travel across it in leisurely style and comfort by train in just five hours. The TranzAlpine travels from the garden city of Christchurch and the golden sands of the Pacific Ocean on the East Coast, to the old gold mining town of Greymouth and the black sands of the Tasman Sea on the wild West Coast.</span></p> <p><span>The breath-taking and infinitely-varied TranzAlpine, justifiably known as one of the world’s great train journeys, takes passengers across the fertile, lush, green Canterbury Plains, into the spectacular Waimakariri River gorge, crossing the aqua-turquoise river on vertiginously-high viaducts, and over the magnificent, snowy Southern Alps by way of Arthurs Pass (739m).</span></p> <p><span>The train then descends through the 8.5km Otira Tunnel to the West Coast where the landscape again changes dramatically, skirting beautiful Lake Brunner and meandering along a series of river valleys amid rain forest before emerging at Greymouth on the banks of the mighty Grey River.</span></p> <p><span>Many travellers disembark at Arthurs Pass to explore the multitudinous hiking and climbing trails in the region, rejoining the train to Greymouth, the gateway to the magnificent glaciers and beaches of the West Coast, when they are ready.</span></p> <p><span>A veteran of many train trips overseas, this was my first such journey in New Zealand and as one of the few Kiwis onboard, I felt inordinately proud of my own land. My Kiwi heart soared when I heard a group of Australians saying they had never experienced such a ‘bonzer’ train trip.</span></p> <p><span>If you are short of time, you can travel from Christchurch to Greymouth and back in a day, departing at 8.15am and arriving back at 6.30pm.</span></p> <p><em>Book your trip on the TranzAlpine through international rail specialists, <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.railplus.co.nz/new-zealand-by-rail/tranzalpine/prices-book.htm" target="_blank">Rail Europe</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Read a detailed account of Justine’s TranzAlpine trip <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/travel/domestic-travel/a-day-on-the-tranzalpine" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">here.</a></em></p>

International Travel