Even days before the giant spectacle, Hamburg's Hafencity is illuminated in a magical dark blue. Light artist Michael Batz has been staging the buildings and bridges of the metropolis on the Elbe for years. His project "Blue Port Hamburg" is intended to prepare residents and tourists alike for one of the biggest events Hamburg has to offer: The Hamburg Cruise Days. This weekend (September 13-15) is the seventh time that the large-scale party of the cruise ship industry will take place. And just like the industry itself, the event is also growing. Twelve ships will be present this weekend — a new record. The absolute highlight of the Cruise Days is the big parade on Saturday evening, during which five cruise ships in succession, together with numerous accompanying ships, will sail past the edge of the harbor under a grandiose firework display. About half a million visitors are expected to attend. And if you can't be in Hamburg, you can watch the ocean giants live on TV. … [Read more...] about Hamburg Cruise Days festival: Is it really necessary?
Chances of war between the US and Iran are low, despite the fact that Washington has sent a carrier group to the Persian Gulf, and that Tehran has given European partners 60 days to save the nuclear deal. Sure, tensions between the two countries are mounting, but the naval hardware that was already on its way to the Indian Ocean only to be redirected to the Gulf is not enough for a major operation. At the same time, Iran is sticking to its desire to negotiate. It's likely Iran's President Hassan Rouhani will grant an extension to his 60-day ultimatum. Neither side wants war Taking both sides' interests into account, war seems even less probable. US President Donald Trump has tied himself to a promise of bringing home US troops from the Middle East. It seems he has learned from his predecessors and isn't ready to oversee a new war that has no clear exit without sustaining major losses. That's why he has stuck to a strategy of threats — at times excessive ones … [Read more...] about Opinion: US-Iran escalation a threat, but war unlikely
On Monday morning, a flurry of Hollywood trade-paper headlines greeted the news that Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite had, in its fifth weekend of release, crossed the $10m threshold: at this time of writing, its American gross stands at $11.3m, steadily rising as its screen count expands across the country. Ordinarily, that is hardly a figure that would have champagne corks popping in Tinseltown, but the current market is a tough one for subtitled cinema: Parasite’s current haul is the year’s highest for any non-English-language film in the US. (For the sake of comparison, last year’s critically beloved, Cannes-approved Korean thriller, Lee Chang-dong’s Burning, made a paltry $719,000 stateside; even Park Chan-wook’s more broadly accessible The Handmaiden barely scraped $2m in 2016.) That may not make it anything close to a threat for the all-time record – held by Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with $128m, distantly trailed by Roberto … [Read more...] about How Parasite became the most talked about foreign language film of 2019
Seven people were killed and seven injured when a car bomb detonated near the airport and the Afghan Interior Ministry headquarters in Afghanistan's capital of Kabul on Wednesday. Photos shared on social media showed a giant white plume of smoke rising from the area of the explosion. What we know so far: Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the interior ministry, said the blast occured in the Qasaba area in city police district 15. Rahimi said the number of casualties could rise. The target of the attack was not immediately clear. An investigation is underway at the scene. No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Fragile peace The blast came one day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that Kabul would release three high-ranking Taliban prisoners in an apparent prisoner swap with Western hostages who were kidnapped by the insurgents in 2016. The Taliban prisoners include Anas Haqqani, who was seized in 2014 and whose older brother is the deputy Taliban leader … [Read more...] about Afghanistan: Several dead after Kabul car bomb blast
THE grieving wife of a man charged over the deaths of their one-year-old twins has told of the crushing moment he revealed they'd been left in his car for eight hours. Heartbroken Marissa Rodriquez tells TV host Dr Phil how her war veteran husband Juan called her in a fit of panic after he found their lifeless bodies in the Bronx, New York City. Tragic toddlers Luna and Phoenix had been locked in Juan's 107F (42C) car while he was at work in the height of summer in July this year. The devastated dad, 39, mistakenly believed he had dropped them off at day care on his way to work, he later told cops.But the helpless twins died of heatstroke after being left in the stifling vehicle all day - while temperatures outside soared to 86F (30C). In a clip released ahead of her Dr Phil interview, which is being aired on Thursday, Marissa explained how she was in work when Juan called her to give her the shattering news. I got off the phone and I heard him say that they were goneMarissa … [Read more...] about Mom of twins who died in roasting car tells Dr Phil of crushing moment husband told her he’d left them there for 8 hours