Tourism is booming in Manchester, with the number of overseas visitors rising by 10 per cent in just a year. The city saw a total of 1,319,000 foreign visitors in 2017, up from 1,191,000 the year before, official statistics show. The boost follows a flurry of publicity in recent years, with travel guide Lonely Planet and publications including the New York Times all hailing the city as a top tourist destination. Their praise only serves to remind us what we already knew - that out city is a brilliant place to live in and to visit. Here are just a few of the reasons why - so if you haven't already booked your trip here, what are you waiting for? Arts and culture Manchester's cultural offering has never been stronger since the opening of the £25m HOME arts centre in First Street and the £15m revamp of The Whitworth art gallery in recent years. The future for Manchester’s arts scene looks bright too. A £111m new arts centre The Factory - dubbed 'the Guggenheim of … [Read more...] about 10 reasons Manchester is one of the world’s top tourist destinations
Discovering our past a history of the world
On 22 June 2015, Xavier Justo, a 48-year-old retired Swiss banker, walked towards the front door of his brand new boutique hotel on Koh Samui, a tropical Thai island. He had spent the past three years building the luxurious white-stone complex of chalets and apartments overlooking the shimmering sea and was almost ready to open for business. All he needed was a licence. Justo had arrived in Thailand four years earlier, having fled the drab world of finance in London. In 2011, he and his girlfriend Laura toured the country on a motorbike and, two years later, they got married on a secluded beach. The couple eventually settled down in Koh Samui, a tourist hotspot, just an hour’s flight south of Bangkok. After trying out a couple of entrepreneurial ventures, Justo eventually decided that he would go into the hotel business. He bought a plot with an imposing house and began building: adding a gym, villas and a tennis court. That June afternoon, he was expecting a visit from the … [Read more...] about 1MDB: The inside story of the world’s biggest financial scandal
THE end is nigh, if some conspiracy theorists are to be believed. They clam that a mysterious planet known as Nibiru, or Planet X, is due to pass close to Earth - and it will bring all sorts of drama with it. Here's what the theory is all about... Is Nibiru home to aliens? Linguist Zecharia Sitchin's controversial 1976 book Twelfth Planet claims that Nibiru is inhabited by an alien race called the Anunnaki, who are referred to in the Bible as the Nephilim. He argued that ancient texts claimed that these mysterious space travellers had come to Earth looking for gold and other minerals. Controversially, he also writes that the Anunnaki were unwilling to do the hard work themselves, so create a new slave race by blending their DNA with humans'. His work forms the basis of many 'ancient astronaut' theories, that claim aliens visited the Earth and changed the path of human history - least of all by building the pyramids. Sitchin also claimed that Nibiru has an elongated orbit around the … [Read more...] about Is Planet X real, what does Nibiru mean, when was the world supposed to end and what is the SpaceX conspiracy theory?
So, you think Coventry has no culture? You are absolutely wrong. Our city is a place where dreams are made and great inventions crafted - and if you don't believe us, you soon will. Below are 20 of the best things Cov has given the world. Which do you rank highest? 20 things that Coventry gave the world View gallery 1. Phrases/language The only man to spy on Lady Godiva as she rode naked through Coventry was known as Peeping Tom and today that's a common English word for a voyeur. Other sayings originating in the city include 'sent to Coventry', which is said to refer to the hostile reception given to Royalist prisoners who were captured during the Civil War and imprisoned in Coventry, a Parliamentarian stronghold. According to some accounts, 'true blue' is also a Coventry phrase because of the high-quality blue cloth that was made in the city and retained its dye when washed - this certainly accounts for the similar local saying 'as true as Coventry blue.' 2. Music 2 Tone … [Read more...] about 20 amazing things that Coventry gave the world
“On Friday, my constituent Zac Olumegbon was murdered in a planned attack close to his school. He was just 15, and I know that the thoughts of the entire House will be with his family at this very difficult time. He was the 13th teenager to lose a life needlessly in our capital city. Can the Prime Minister tell me, the rest of the House and the country what his government is doing, and will be doing, to stop this happening in our communities?” That was the first question I ever asked at Prime Minister’s Questions, then with David Cameron, shortly after being elected in May 2010. Zac was stabbed to death in front of Park Campus School in our borough of Lambeth in July 2010. Only the day before, he had spoken at a “Youth Against Violence” conference and was trying to turn his own life around, having got involved with the wrong people at a young age. He was associated with TN1 (“Trust No One”) – often referred to as a … [Read more...] about If we really want to tackle youth violence on the streets of London, we can start by getting rid of the term ‘gang’