Saturday, May 19, 2018

Meghan Markle married her prince today and became the Duchess of Sussex

Great Britain's Prince Harry wed American actor Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018. The couple tied the knot in a formal ceremony at Windsor Castle outside of London that was broadcast around the world. Every detail of the wedding was carefully considered, including the bouquet the bride carried. It consisted of forget-me-nots which had been hand-plucked by Harry in honor of his mother, Princess Diana.
  • Harry is 33 years old;he was born on September 15, 1984.
  • Markle is age 36; born on August 4, 1981.

1. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex

2. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

3. Queen Elizabeth II, grandmother of the groom

4. Prince Philip, grandfather of the groom

5. Doria Ragland, mother of the bride

6. Prince Charles, father of the groom

7. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, stepmother of the groom

8. Prince William, elder brother of the groom

9. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, sister-in-law of the couple

10. Princess Charlotte, 3, daughter of William and Catherine

11. Prince George, 4, eldest son of William and Catherine

12. Page boy Jasper Dyer, 6, godson of the groom

13. Page boy Brian Mulroney, 7, son of the bride's best friend

14. Bridesmaid Ivy Mulroney, 4, daughter of the bride's best friend

15. Bridesmaid Florence van Cutsem, 3, goddaughter of the groom

16. Bridesmaid Rylan Litt, 7, goddaughter of the bride

17. Page boy John Mulroney, 7, son of the bride's best friend

18. Bridesmaid Zalie Warren, 2, goddaughter of the groom

19. Bridesmaid Remi Litt, 6, goddaughter of the bride

The official photos were taken by fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski after the ceremony, which was widely celebrated for combining British and African American traditions. The Archbishop of Canterbury led the couple in their vows. Michael Curry, the first black leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States, delivered a 14-minute barnstorming address that people in Windsor and beyond were talking about long after the service.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Germany : Karl Marx hometown unveils huge statue on 200th birth anniversary

BERLIN (AP) — A larger than life statue of Communist philosopher Karl Marx was unveiled Saturday on the 200th anniversary of his birth in the western German town of Trier.

The celebratory uncovering of the 4.4-meter (14-foot) bronze statue of Marx, donated by China, sparked criticism by some who blame Marx for crimes committed by social revolutionaries in Russia, China and elsewhere in the name of Communism.

The Chinese leader’s Communist Party say they have drawn wisdom from the German philosopher, who co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Friedrich Engels in 1848. The pair are considered to be the founding fathers of communism, a political theory in which property and resources are owned by a classless society and not by individuals.


His comments coincided with a visit from EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who stopped by to open a series of exhibitions as part of Marx’s birthday celebrations.

He said in a speech: "Karl Marx was a philosopher, who thought into the future; had creative aspirations.

"Today he stands for things which he is not responsible for and which he didn't cause, because many of the things he wrote down were redrafted into the opposite."


Jean-Claude Juncker at the Trier cathedral  😃 
Unveiling a statue of Karl Marx in Trier, Germany — a gift from China to celebrate the bicentennial of the philosopher's birth — European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the prophet of communism has been misjudged. He "stands for things which he is not responsible for and which he didn't cause because many of the things he wrote down were redrafted into the opposite," the BBC reported Juncker as saying.

Traffic light with the image of Karl Marx in Trier, Germany. 

Souvenir shop

A car drives on the road named after Karl Marx in Trier, Germany, May 4, 2018.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Venice attempts to limit the massive flows of tourists

Mass tourism has taken its toll on the World Heritage-listed lagoon city
  • Some 22 million visitors flock to Venice annually, compared to its permanent population of 55,000. 
  • The crush has given rise to slogans such as such as "Tourists Go Home" and "Tourists Are Terrorists" being scrawled across the city and has even prompted UNESCO to consider placing Venice on its list of World Heritage Sites in danger.
  • The city of Venice on Saturday unveiled new turnstiles designed to limit the massive flows of tourists in its streets ahead of a busy long weekend.  City officials have installed them at access points to the historic city such as the Lista di Spagna-Strada Nuova-Rialto, towards alternative routes via Scalzi Bridge, San Polo then Rialto Bridge, or Santa Margherita.
  • With 120,000 visitors descending on the city during Easter alone it was decided that there should be some controls over pedestrians as well as water traffic.
  • Last year UNESCO told Venice that if it failed to manage the large number of tourists it would lose its status as a world heritage site.
  • Activists complain that mass tourism causes rents to soar, local shops to disappear, creates low wage jobs and generates pollution. Last year, Venice started the #EnjoyRespectVenezia campaign, which appealed to conscientious visitors.


Turnstiles installed in April 2018

Giant ships are to be banned from the Piazza San Marco
The association "NoGrandiNavi" (No Big Ships) voted in favor of banning large cruise ships from the lagoon

How the turnstiles operate
According to an official ordinance signed earlier this week.
  • Over the long weekend, tourists will be turned away from Piazzale Roma, parts of the Santa Lucia train station and Strada Nuova.
  • Access will only be granted to residents and regular visitors holding a Venezia Unica card.
  • Tourists heading to the Cannaregio district and to the part of the Castello district bordering San Giovanni e Paolo will be allowed to transit through.
  • The Ponte della Costituzione bridge will have gates to limit numbers. AP reported that by Saturday afternoon the gates remained open.
  • If crowds are too high, tourist boats cannot dock in front of St. Mark's Square.
  • Police can implement new restrictions if crowds become too heavy.

Chicago : McDonald's at the company's new HQ

McDonald's is about to move into its new global headquarters and, as a first step, the burger giant tomorrow will open a sleek, next-generation restaurant on the West Loop building's ground floor. 
  • This Fulton Market District McDonald's is open to the public.
  • The new nine-story building will house the company's global corporate and U.S. headquarters, along with its Hamburger University training center.
  • McDonald's signed a lease in June 2016 to move its headquarters to the former Harpo Studios site in the city's Fulton Market District from its longtime suburban perch in Oak Brook. The building was built by Sterling Bay, which bought Oprah Winfrey's former broadcast and production campus for $30.5 million in 2014. 
In addition to the modern design and technology upgrades that have trickled in to franchises over the past 18 months, this restaurant will have something else: international menu offerings not available anywhere else in the U.S.

Inside McDonald's new Fulton Market headquarters.



The menu, which will rotate every few months, will start off with loaded cheese and bacon fries from Australia, an Angus burger from Canada and a spicy chicken sandwich from Hong Kong, two salads from France and a "Prestigio McFlurry" from Brazil with strawberry sauce and chocolate-covered coconut bits. The entire McCafe coffee selection will come from Australia and be served by specially trained, full-time baristas.

A map of the world serves to remind customers that this McDonald's has international menu items. The menu will change every few months.


"We're weeks away from making this location the global headquarters for McDonald's, so it became clear we needed a unique, one-of-a-kind experience," said Robert Gibbs, the company's chief communications officer, at a press preview this morning. "Everything we've done to modernize the brand over the past several years is represented in the restaurant."


The approximately 6,000-square-foot restaurant features oak laminate-clad walls and small tables, plus longer communal steel tables with built-in laptop charging pads. The seating is a combination of leather and a proprietary leather-like material that McDonald's created for its modern stores. The building's original concrete pillars remain, and red-tinted glass at the entrance adds a pop of color to the mostly neutral space. One wall, etched with a map of the world, features small Golden Arches signs that move and illuminate when a country's menu item is available.

The company intends the location to serve as a showcase that other franchise owners from around the world can visit for inspiration as they begin the process of updating their own stores.

"It was really important to us to be aspirational yet attainable," said Juliana Strieff, the company's global creative design manager. The industrial-chic location, designed by Landini Associates in Sydney, is an example of one of 12 design prototypes that all U.S. restaurants will adopt by 2020. Previously, McDonald's franchisees used between 100 and 150 designers around the world, which made it tough to keep everything "on-brand."

Like other recently unveiled McDonald's, the restaurant on West Randolph Street will offer table service, self-service kiosks and mobile ordering. It doesn't have a drive-thru, but it does have two designated parking spots up at the front of the building on Randolph that will be dedicated to curbside pickup for mobile orders, and two others for Uber Eats drivers grabbing delivery orders.

The restaurant also includes an area with a long table and sliding glass doors that can be left open as regular seating or closed when reserved for private meetings. The space will be available free of charge to people in the community who want to hold meetings or brainstorming sessions.

McDonald's signed a lease in June 2016 to move its headquarters to the former Harpo Studios site in the city's Fulton Market District from its longtime suburban perch in Oak Brook. The new nine-story building will house the company's global corporate and U.S. headquarters, along with its Hamburger University training center.

The building was built by Sterling Bay, which bought Oprah Winfrey's former broadcast and production campus for $30.5 million in 2014. Sources say the company will start to take occupancy of the building at the end of this week. Gibbs, McDonald's communications chief, said the company will "move down in waves over the next few weeks."