She has barely ever been in a car, and never eaten meat or flown. Now 31, she lives on the 15th floor of a city centre tower from where she can just see the ocean 500 yards away on one side and the suburbs and informal settlements sprawling as far as the eye can see on the other. Life is OK in this megacity. She earns the exact median income and is as green as she feels she can be: she has no children yet, her carbon footprint is negligible, and her apartment, built in the early 2000s, has been retrofitted for climate change with deep insulation, its own solar air-con and heating systems. It has a “living” wall of plants and a balcony where she grows a few vegetables. Waste is automatically sorted or composted. Outside it may be roasting, with temperatures often higher than 40C. Inside, she’s cool. She loves where she lives, even though the water tastes slightly salty sometimes and there are often electricity outages in the summer months because of the frequent … [Read more...] about The climate crisis in 2050: what happens if cities act but nations don’t?
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Dame Jacqueline Wilson pictured above So which destination is the best-selling author's most memorable? Here she talks about a holiday from hell in North Wales, reveals why Boston is her favourite city - and more... WHERE DID YOU HOLIDAY AS A CHILD? Clacton, and while it often rained, I have happy memories of sitting on the beach and having an old-fashioned picnic: boiled eggs and bread and butter. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST TRIP ABROAD? Bruges while at school, but I’m rather ashamed to admit that we kids were most interested in the chip stall in the market. When I go back now I always feel as if I’m in the middle of a medieval painting. ARE YOU A GOOD FLYER? I was terrified when I first went on a plane in my teens. I assumed we’d rise up into the sky like a helicopter, so when we took off diagonally, I thought: ‘Oh my gosh we’re going to crash.’ But I learnt to enjoy flying. WHAT ANNOYS YOU ABOUT TRAVELLING? I can’t see very well and … [Read more...] about ‘The cottage we rented out turned out to be more of a converted garage’: Author Dame Jacqueline Wilson recalls her best and worst holidays
On a hot August afternoon in 2000, four Americans arrived for a secret meeting at the central London penthouse flat of an Indian billionaire drug manufacturer named Yusuf Hamied. A sixth person would join them there, a French employee of the World Health Organisation, who was flying in from Geneva, having told his colleagues he was taking leave. Hamied took his guests into the dining room on the seventh floor. The room featured a view of the private gardens of Gloucester Square, Bayswater, for which only the residents possess a key. The six men sat round a glass dining table overlooked by a painting of galloping horses by a Mumbai artist (Hamied has racehorses stabled in three cities). The discussion, which went on all afternoon and through dinner that evening at the Bombay Palace restaurant nearby, would help change the course of medical history. The number of people living with HIV/Aids worldwide had topped 34 million, many of them in the developing world. Hamied and his guests were … [Read more...] about Big Pharma’s worst nightmare
Thirty-five foreign tourists were killed and four others injured when a bus collided with another heavy vehicle near the Muslim holy city of Medina, Saudi state media said on Thursday. The accident on Wednesday involved a collision between “a private chartered bus ... with a heavy vehicle (loader)“ near the western Saudi Arabian city, a spokesman for Medina police said, according to the official Saudi Press Agency. Those involved were Arab and Asian pilgrims, according to local media, which carried pictures of the bus engulfed in flames and with its windows blown out. The injured have been transferred to Al-Hamna Hospital, SPA added, and authorities have launched an investigation. The accident comes after four British pilgrims were killed and 12 others injured in Saudi Arabia when their bus collided with a fuel tanker in April 2018. They were on their way to the holy city of Mecca. In January 2017, six Britons, including a two-month-old baby, were killed in a minibus on … [Read more...] about Saudi bus crash kills 35 foreign tourists near holy city of Medina
Björn, the wicked barman I met in Finland, was cutting. “San Marino is like the Åland Islands having their own league. You only need two barely functional legs and to be aged 18 to 40.” I was now 41, but San Marino was surely my best chance of playing a match on my travels. San Marino was the lowest-ranked league based on club results in European competition over the previous five seasons. Only Kosovo, unable to accrue ranking points until they became a member of Uefa in 2016, had a lower coefficient. My chances of playing were improved further by watching the final round of matches in the regular league season. And I even chose a dead match, Murata against Virtus, involving the worst team in top‑division European football. Murata had drawn one and lost 18 of their league matches and had a goal difference of minus 50. I spoke to Matteo, an Italian follower of my travels who compiles San Marino statistics – appearances, goals and subjective attributes … [Read more...] about A dog, a cat and 22 fans: watching European football’s worst top-flight team