Leaders from the European Union's (EU) 27-member states came to together for a virtual summit on Thursday with the aim of solving pressing coronavirus-related health and logistical problems confronting the bloc. Member state politicians used the meeting to discuss approaches to speeding up the delivery of vaccines, the implementation and use of vaccine passports and the potential for conflict arising from national border closings. Perhaps the most important short-term announcement to emerge from the meeting was that of "convergence" around the concept of a vaccine passport. Speaking at a press conference alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel said Europeans and their leaders "need to face the truth" about the difficulty of the task at hand but said hope was on the horizon. Commission President von der Leyen, too, stressed progress made so far, noting that 8% of the bloc's adult population had already been … [Read more...] about EU coronavirus summit: Vaccine certificates expected by summer
All advertising is in some sense a form of falsification. But while once the message probably had an actual thing — a car or a hamburger, perhaps — to sell, today the message itself is often the product. "The source of value is the watching labor performed by the audience — this after all is the activity that produces audience attention, which is the good being sold," Zoe Sherman, a lecturer at Merrimack College, told DW. The audience's job is to watch and this work is paid in kind, with entertainment, rather than in monetary wages, Sherman suggests. "The media generates a surplus by generating revenues through the sale of advertising space that exceed the cost of generating the content that attracted the audience," she adds. Her explanation may also go some way to explaining rising obesity figures in the US. So, when business and politics become so closely entwined — as they did so egregiously during the presidency of Donald Trump — it can hardly come as a surprise that … [Read more...] about The conspiracy business: How to make money with fake news
A PREGNANT woman has issued a warning after her wax burner "exploded", set her hallway on fire and peeled her boyfriend's skin off. Shannon Valerie's carpet and mirror reportedly "melted" in the incident which saw her partner Sam severely burned. Sam suffered scalds to his arm and hand after he tried to remove the flammable items from the house. Their floor was also badly damaged and Shannon's three-year-old son Jaxon was left terrified by his mother's screams. Shannon, who is 39 weeks pregnant, claims she purchased the wax burner from a budget store in November 2020 but has only recently started using it. Now she is urging others to throw their cheap burners away. She said: "Please, please, please if you have this wax burner, throw it out – it could have ended a lot worse for us." Shannon had been watching TV when she heard a "big smashing noise". She said: "I looked into the hallway and the wax melt burner had exploded and shattered into pieces. "I got up … [Read more...] about Pregnant woman’s warning as wax burner ‘exploded’, set hallway on fire and peeled boyfriend’s skin off
Anyone who has bought a smartphone since 2015 could be entitled to a share of a £480m payout if a legal claim from watchdog Which? is successful. The consumer rights group is suing US chipmaker Qualcomm, accusing it of using its market dominance to inflate charges to manufacturers, which they have then passed on to millions of Britons in the form of higher smartphone prices. About 29 million people in the UK may be entitled to compensation of around £17 each. Qualcomm's technology can be found in a number of leading brands, including Apple and Samsung. Damages are being sought for all affected Apple and Samsung smartphones bought since 1 October 2015. Advertisement Anabel Hoult, chief executive of Which?, said: "We believe Qualcomm's practices are anti-competitive and have so far taken around £480m from UK consumers' pockets - this needs to stop. More from Apple Streaming inquiry: Spotify, Apple and Amazon bosses defend models but seem … [Read more...] about Qualcomm: UK smartphone owners are due £480m payout, claims Which?
Lockdown has been tough for all of our hairstyles but one plucky sheep has been given his first trim in what could have been many many years. The wild and struggling animal was found in a forest in Australia with a fleece that was so overgrown he could barely see. When it was fully removed his fleece weighed more than 35kg (77lbs). The sheep, which has been named Baarack, was found by a member of the public who contacted the Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary near Lancefield, Victoria, about 37 miles (60km) north of Melbourne. "It would appear Baarack was once an owned sheep," said the Mission's Kyle Behrend. Advertisement "He had at one time been ear-tagged, however these appear to have been torn out by the thick matted fleece around his face. More from Australia Facebook to lift block on news pages in Australia as standoff ends COVID-19: Australian Open fans criticised for 'disgusting' booing of vaccine rollout Why has … [Read more...] about Baarack the sheep loses 35kg of fleece in much-needed trip to the barbers