Lifestyle

Swiss Alps add hallal BBQ, Chinese pop, as high franc drives quest for new tourists

Switzerland’s strong franc has driven French and German skiers and hikers away. But in the Alpine resort of Interlaken, perched beneath Europe’s highest railway station on the Jungfraujoch glacier, a new kind of tourist has arrived from further afield. Chinese are buying Swiss watches. Emiratis are enjoying hallal barbecue cruises on the clear Alpine waters of Lake Thun. The top four sources of visitors after the Swiss themselves are now China, the Gulf countries, South Korea and India. European countries are out of the top five, probably for good, says ...

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Rare mark from biblical king's seal found in Jerusalem

Israeli archaeologists have discovered a mark from the seal of biblical King Hezekiah, who helped build Jerusalem into an ancient metropolis. The circular inscription, on a piece of clay less than a centimeter (0.4 inches) long, may very well have been made by the king himself, said Eilat Mazar of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University who directed the excavation where it was uncovered. Hezekiah ruled around 700 BC and was described in the Bible as a daring monarch – “There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either ...

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Facebook's Zuckerberg takes philanthropy into profit, politics

Mark Zuckerberg (R), founder and CEO of Facebook, and wife Priscilla Chan arrive on the red carpet during the 2nd annual Breakthrough Prize Award in Mountain View, California in this November 9, 2014 file photo. Reuters/Stephen Lam Mark Zuckerberg, who famously urged his company Facebook Inc (FB.O) to “move fast and break things,” is taking a similar approach to the staid world of philanthropy, indicating his new venture will get directly involved with politics and may even turn a profit. The project, called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is structured as ...

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Females and felines are top 2015 Instagram stars

Recording artist Taylor Swift arrives at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, August 30, 2015. Reuters/Danny Moloshok If you want to be an Instagram star, you had better be female and get a cat. Or be Taylor Swift. All of the Top 10 most-liked images of 2015 on the social media platform featured women, including pop stars Beyonce and Selena Gomez, according to an Instagram list released on Wednesday. But Swift captured five of the top spots with three photos of the 25-year-old country-pop star with ...

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Rare mark from biblical king's seal found in Jerusalem

A projected image of a clay imprint, known as a bulla, which was unearthed from excavations near Jerusalem’s Old City, and later discovered to be from the seal of the biblical King Hezekiah, is displayed during a news conference at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem December… Israeli archaeologists have discovered a mark from the seal of biblical King Hezekiah, who helped build Jerusalem into an ancient metropolis. The circular inscription, on a piece of clay less than a centimeter (0.4 inches) long, may very well have been made by the ...

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From curse to catfish: West Africa schools tackle stigma of disability

DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Working quietly in a classroom at a primary school in Dakar, nine-year-old blind boy Abdoulaye sits next to the star pupils, who watch and help him, and alert the teacher if he struggles. Even when the lesson ends and children spill into the dusty yard, gossiping and guzzling down water, a few stay behind with Abdoulaye as he slides the final Braille blocks into place. “At first there were worries and fears, it was an innovation to have all the children together in one class,” ...

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Facebook's CEO and wife to give 99 percent of shares to couple's foundation

Mark Zuckerberg will put 99 percent of his Facebook Inc (FB.O) shares, currently worth about $ 45 billion, into a new philanthropy project focusing on human potential and equality, he and his wife said Tuesday in a letter to their newborn daughter. The plan, which was posted on the Facebook founder and chief executive officer’s page, attracted more than 570,000 “likes,” including from singer Shakira, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The Gates and other high-profile billionaires such as Warren Buffett have ...

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Facebook's Zuckerberg to give 99 percent of shares to charity

Facebook Inc (FB.O) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and his wife said on Tuesday they will give away 99 percent of their Facebook shares, currently worth about $ 45 billion, to a new charity in a letter addressed to their daughter, Max, who was born last week. The plan mirrors a move by other high-profile billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, who have pledged and set up foundations to give away their fortunes to charity. On his Facebook page, Zuckerberg posted a photo of himself, his wife, ...

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Noodle restaurant wins Michelin star as Tokyo keeps gourmet crown

Mt. Fuji is seen beyond buildings in Tokyo July 21, 2015. Reuters/Toru Hanai A restaurant featuring ramen, a humble Japanese noodle dish, took its place among the more exalted gourmet restaurants as Tokyo kept its crown as the Michelin guide’s dining capital of the world for the ninth straight year on Tuesday. Among the establishments gaining three-star ratings in the 2016 Michelin guide to Japan’s capital was one serving blowfish that is poisonous if improperly prepared and a sushi restaurant whose master chef is in his late 80s. The guide ...

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With 'Star Wars' movie due to land, old toys go galactic

Vintage toys linked to the “Star Wars” film franchise are moving faster than a swirling lightsaber, sending prices of many of them soaring into hyperspace. With the latest in the series – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – due to open in December, auctioneers in the northeast England town of Thornaby have sold one for a colossal 18,000 pounds ($ 27,000), 35 years after it went for 1.50 pounds in the shops. This was not a historic piece of trivia like the movie-prop blockade-runner spaceship that California-based auctioneers Profiles in ...

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