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Indonesia furniture makers turn to new markets in face of EU deforestation rule

JAKARTA — Indonesia is looking to carve out new markets for its furniture and wooden goods as one of its top buyers, the European Union, is gearing up to implement a new rule to help preserve the world’s forests. The EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) requires importers of commodities such as palm oil, coffee and cocoa to generate a due diligence statement proving their products do not come from deforested land or have not led to forest degradation. Traders and other organizations selling products in the EU will have until late 2024 to comply with the EUDR. Micro and small enterprises, however, are exempt from the due diligence until mid-2025.

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Spring Travel: the Chaotic Scot on her car(e)-free sustainable ethos of exploring the islands

How did you get started? I’ve always loved to travel and to write, it just took me a while to find my readers. I started my travel blog in 2013 as a way to document my adventures and share my new-found love for Scotland. I’d been very complacent about what was on my own doorstep until that point. In the years since then, I’ve explored Scotland extensively and grown an online community who are inspired by my solo adventures and island-hopping escapades on public transport. ​What sparked your love of writing? As a child, I was obsessed with books, more so than toys. I’ve always enjoyed my own company and felt most content when lost in the pages of a book. It brought me adventure and escapism, and it nurtured my vivid imagination and the immersive writing style I have today. ​You don’t drive, so what problems does this present with irregular public transport services? In some places, local buses don’t run on Sundays, but it’s never affected my trips because I always plan in advance and create an itinerary which fits with the public transport. Friendly interactions, local stories and a bit of banter from the drivers is more common on bus services in rural areas than in big cities – particularly the West Coast! The bus drivers on the Citylink and West Coast Motors route between Glasgow and Campbeltown – here’s a shout-out to Drew and Jamie! – are absolute gems and will often give me a wave and a toot when they’re passing. ​Any big ideas on how to make tourism in Scotland more sustainable? I’m on a mission to inspire more car-free travel for both non-drivers and drivers, inspiring the latter to just leave the car for a day for a short break and experience Scotland by bus or train. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, it also encourages a slower pace oftravel – and I genuinely lovesitting and daydreaming over the passing scenery. I’m launching a new project this year to focus on all of the above… watch this space. A more even dispersal of visitors throughout the year could help ease peak season over-tourism in certain areas. I’m always shouting about the vibrant beauty of autumnal Scotland and the cosy vibes over winter. ​As a blogger, where is the most Insta-friendly place in Scotland?To me, Scotland is much more than a pretty face or perfect square on Instagram, but there’s certainly no shortage of picture perfect locations. Glen Coe is an obvious one, but I love the lesser-known locations – the West Highland peninsulas, mid-Argyll, the Moray Coast, the Isle of Coll, and Easdale Island. ​How do you go about devising an personalised travel itinerary? Is it different for visitors from overseas? I have a detailed questionnaire for my itinerary clients to help with that. I do my best to match the experiences they are looking for with the perfect locations, accommodation, eateries and activities, etc. It’s very much dictated by how much time they have, how they are planning to get around, and their style of travel. Overseas visitors tend to lean more towards the obvious tourist hotspots and will be travelling for longer, while people in Scotland are more inclined towards short breaks, unique places to stay, and the best places to eat. ​As a history geek, do you have a favourite figure from Scottish history, and do they loom large in your travels? It has to be Mary Queen of Scots, who became the Queen of Scotland at just six days old. She was considered charming and popular by many, but became a controversial character due to her religious beliefs… and choice of husbands. When I was a tour guide, I enjoyed telling her story, despite the sad and gruesome end to her life. Many places I’ve visited on my travels in Scotland have a Mary claim to fame – she definitely got about! ​You’re a fan of quirky glamping. What and where is your favourite so far, and what would be your ideal? I love staying in the Mongolian yurt on Gigha. The Boathouse on Arran is really special, beautifully hand-crafted by [renowned local furniture maker] Max Worthington – the roof is the former Holy Isle ferry. If there’s a wood-burning stove, fairy lights and sea views, I’m a happy lassie. ​ ​Your favourite island? And which one is next on your horizon? Iona is my favourite place in the whole world, it’s just so peaceful and idyllic. I have a three-night sailing trip around the Inner Hebrides planned with the luxury, family-run Majestic Line Cruises and I’m staying in a cottage on Muck for a whole week this summer. ​You once worked in a whisky shop. What is your favourite single malt, and where would be the ultimate Scottish location in which to enjoy a dram? Unsurprisingly, island whiskies are my favourite; I love a peaty dram. If I had to choose just one, it would be Lagavulin 16 and there’s nowhere better to drink it than on Islay itself. Although a close second would be an alfresco dram, sat on the sand dunes at the north of Iona, while the sun is setting over the sea. That’s all speaking from experience, of course. Life file Born and raised I’m an Edinburgh girl and I currently live in Leith, but I’m often travelling away around Scotland; The best of both worlds. Education I went to Holyrood High School, took a (five-year) gap year, then graduated with a first-class honours in tourism management and marketing. Family I have a very small immediate family; I’m an only child and an only grandchild, on my mum’s side. First job 6VT Youth Cafe on Victoria Street Edinburgh was one of my favourite haunts as a teenager, and they hired a few of us as waiting staff. Hobbies My life revolves around planning adventures and my next meal! Favourite holiday A girls’ holiday to Croatia (my favourite country after Scotland), when the international travel restrictions eased after lockdown. Being abroad had never felt so good. Personal motto Always be true to yourself and do what makes you happy.

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Spring Travel: enjoy a sporting break at the George and Abbotsford Hotel

The historic town of Melrose is a great base from which to explore the area, and not simply because of its location next to the triple peaks of the Eildon Hills – a most distinctive and beautiful landmark. Melrose is also famously the birthplace of Rugby Sevens, and this year the annual tournament – which features teams from around the world – takes place from Thursday, 11 to Saturday, 13 April. This sporting heritage is celebrated at the George and Abbotsford Hotel – a keen supporter of the Melrose Sevens, as evidenced by the magnificent selection of rugby memorabilia on display in its bar, pictured above. Popular both with visitors and the local community, this listed former coach house was taken under new management in 2018 and prides itself in exceptional service and fine locally sourced food. However, you don’t have to wait for rugby tournaments to pay them a visit. The generous facilities on offer make the hotel ideal for larger functions, such as weddings, birthdays and reunions, with a 10 per cent discount offered on bookings made directly through their website. www.georgeandabbotsfordmelrose.co.uk

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Daytona Beach T-shirt shops spark controversy amid spring break

T-Shirt shops in tourist areas of Daytona Beach have sparked some controversy this spring break season. ▶ WATCH CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS Visitors have told Eyewitness News the obscene material displayed outside of some stores isn’t sending the right message. For years, Daytona Beach has been known for its wild spring break parties, NASCAR and Bike Week. But tourism officials have been working hard to rebrand the area as a family-friendly beach town. We spotted shirts plastered on the outside of storefronts with insensitive slogans and inappropriate language. We blurred the images to block the words. “It screams more party beach town to me. I don’t want to have to explain that to her and I don’t want her repeating that,” said tourist Taylor Deconzo as she pointed at her daughter. “Just be mindful of the kids. Save a spot in the back of the shop for that,” said visitor Keith Allen. In a statement to Eyewitness News, the city explained regulating these stores comes with a lot of red tape. “This issue has been raised previously in Daytona Beach. While most reasonable adults agree those t-shirts are crude and in poor taste, the city’s ability to regulate their display and sales is limited by the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech. The U.S. Supreme Court has set a high bar for what qualifies as obscene material, requiring it to meet three criteria: appealing to prurient interests, depicting or describing sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and lacking serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. The display of the “F” word on a T-shirt does not meet all elements of the obscenity test.” Owner of Ocean Ave Gallery Louie Louizes sells the shirts, but said he has a specific location in the back of his store where they are on display. “There is a freedom of speech but there has to be some common sense too. They do sell, people laugh at them. This isn’t the 30′s and 40′s, little kids are cussing unfortunately,” said Louizes. Florida does have some obscenity laws that specifically prohibit the sale or display of obscene materials to minors. However, this still falls under First Amendment protection. Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

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Tennis: Macháč through to third round in Miami

Czech tennis player Tomáš Macháč has advanced to the third round in Miami, after defeatingRussia’s fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-4 on Friday, claiming his first Top 10 win. The Czech world No. 60, who advanced to the third round of an ATP Masters 1000 for the first time, will next meet the winner of a match between Andy Murray and Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

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Prague ferries resume operation after winter break

All of Prague’s six ferry lines are back in operation after the winter break. Four of the seasonal ferries on the Vltava River resumed operation on Saturday morning, while two operate all year round. The ferries, which run at roughly 20-minute intervals, are accessible with Prague public transport tickets and passes. Last year the service was used by nearly 6,000 people.

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New exhibit for Przewalski horses opens at Prague Zoo

The Prague Zoo opened a new habitat for Przewalski horses on Saturday. The Gobi exhibit is located in the upper part of the premises and besides the four Przewalski horses, one stallion and three mares, it will also feature the Pallas’s cats and some other small mammals and reptiles. The Przewalski horse is a rare subspecies native to Mongolia, which became extinct in the wild in the 1960s. Prague Zoo has played a major role in saving the horse, breeding it and returning it to its natural environment. To date, it has sent 38 horses to a nature reserve in the Mongolian steppe, where they have started breeding successfully.

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Australian GP qualifying result changes as Sergio Perez handed F1 grid penalty

Sergio Perez has been slapped with a grid penalty for the Australian Grand Prix. The Mexican was third quickest on the timesheets at the end of Q3. However, he was under investigation having been accused by race control of impeding Nico Hulkenberg in the first part of the session. After assessing the evidence, the stewards decided Perez was at fault for getting in the way of the Haas driver. He was given a grid penalty as punishment and will now start Sunday’s race sixth on the grid. The official decision document read: “Hulkenberg was on a fast lap when he approached turn 13. Perez, who was on an out lap was at the apex of the turn and Hulkenberg had to leave the racing line to drive around him. Hulkenberg was forced to lift the throttle early and brake early for that corner. “In reviewing the audio from Perez’s car, the Stewards observed that the team was focused on the car in front of Perez that had just slowed, and did not give Perez a warning that Hulkenberg was behind him until one second before Hulkenberg arrived, and significantly too late to avoid impeding Hulkenberg. “While the Stewards appreciate the dynamic situation facing the team and driver during the Q1 session, which was described in the hearing, the Stewards find that Perez unnecessarily impeded Hulkenberg and issue a three grid place drop, consistent with previous cases.” Lando Norris benefits from Perez’s misfortune, inheriting third place on the grid from the Mexican. Charles Leclerc moves up to fourth while Melbourne boy Oscar Piastri will now start his home race from fifth with the Red Bull on his tail. Red Bull can stull take comfort from having the quickest race car on the grid and Verstappen on pole. The Dutchman, who on Sunday is looking to match his own record of 10 consecutive Grand Prix victories, said after the session he was surprised with the result. He told reporters: “I think so far this weekend, it has been a bit tough to find a good balance in the car. Even throughout qualifying, Q1, Q2, I didn’t really feel like fighting for pole. “But then we made some little tickles on the car, and that seemed to help me in Q3 to really push it to the limit. And both of my laps, I felt quite happy with it. There’s always things that you can improve, but overall, I’m very satisfied with the performance.”

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Rare condition causes ‘electric shocks’ of pain so agonising it’s dubbed ‘the suicide disease

A little-understood nerve disorder causes so much pain it’s become known as “the suicide disease”. Trigeminal neuralgia is a rare condition that compresses a particular nerve in the skull. Eating, drinking, smiling, talking or brushing one’s teeth can all trigger an attack – a sharp shooting pain in the jaw, teeth or gums. This sensation can last from a few seconds to about two minutes at a time. Those with a more extreme version of TN can suffer hundreds of attacks a day when the illness is at its worst, such as during winter when cold air and wind can trigger the pain. The Mirror’s own Dr Miriam Stoppard has written of the disease: “Sufferers describe the pain as being like a vicious electric shock, or being tortured with a cattle prod in the face. TN can be so agonising that some people would rather kill themselves than face a future living in isolation and misery. “There have been eight ‘known’ suicides associated with the condition in recent years. Fear of another unpredictable attack, coupled with the debilitating effects of the drugs, causes victims to become withdrawn and isolated.” The NHS says: “The attacks of pain are usually brought on by activities that involve lightly touching the face, such as washing, eating and brushing the teeth, but they can also be triggered by wind – even a slight breeze or air conditioning – or movement of the face or head. Sometimes the pain can happen without a trigger.” It adds: “Living with trigeminal neuralgia can be very difficult. It can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, resulting in problems such as weight loss, isolation and depression.” There is no cure for TN, however sufferers can find some relief with drugs normally used to treat epilepsy. Carbamazepine, an anticonvulsant medication, can relieve the pain by slowing down electrical impulses in the nerves and reducing their ability to transmit pain messages. In rare cases surgery can be performed to open the skull and move blood vessels so that they are no longer compressing the trigeminal nerve. Research indicates this solution offers the most effective results for long-term pain relief but carries the risk of serious complications such as hearing loss or a stroke. In 2021 the Mirror reported on the story of Laura Cruz, a primary school teacher who was experiencing jolts of intense pain up to 25 times a day. She was 28 when she was diagnosed with TN after first noticing a tingling sensation in her lip, although the condition is more common in people over 50. Laura said at the time: “This disease has completely consumed my life; I can’t brush my hair or my teeth, eat, sleep, stand in the wind, or touch my face without feeling like I’m being electrocuted across my face. “The flare ups are so bad that I now understand why it’s called the ‘suicide disease’. I’m on medication that is supposed to suppress the pain but I’m still having breakthrough pain up to 25 times per day and it’s so bad that sometimes I scream out loud.” The Samaritans is available 24/7 if you need to talk. You can contact them for free by calling 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or head to the website to find your nearest branch. You matter.

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Stunning National Trust beach that’s ‘like a slice of Sardinia’ voted best in the UK

With spring about to kick off and the weather set to improve after months of gloom and rain, many Brits will be looking for weekend destinations to get out of town. Of the myriad options around England’s southwestern coast, one particular beach in Cornwall might catch your eye – especially after it was listed by Luxuryhotel.com as the very best in the whole country. Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula is just 200 metres long, but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in stunning surroundings. Described by EnjoyTravel as “like a slice of Sardinia” due to its striking blue waters, the beach has been enchangint coastal enthusiasts for hundreds of years. The waters off the beach are some of the warmest in the UK and are calmed to a gentle swell by the rocky walls of the cove. When the tide goes out little caves and rockpools that are perfect for exploring appear. The beach boasts eye-catching rock formations made up of red and green stones, with names such as the Asparagus Island, The Drawing Room and The Parlour. Although the beach is relatively cut off and remote feeling – note that no lifeguards operate in the area – situated just above it is the Kynance Cove Beach Cafe. It has been open here for nearly 100 years and is the perfect spot for a crab sandwich, Cornish pasty or cream tea after a hard day’s paddling in the surf. One potential downside to the excellence of Kynance is its growing popularity. After it featured in an episode of Poldark more and more people are making the trip there, which means it can become quite crowded here during the summer. To avoid potential difficulties finding somewhere to park, the lovely scenic coastal walk around from Lizard Point is less than two miles. “The car park was empty and the beach was practically unspoilt. We sat and had a coffee on the beach, dipped our toes in the sea and took in all the scenery,” one enthusiastic recent visitor to the beach wrote on Tripadvisor. “The walk down to the cove is quite steep, but worth the effort. The coastal walk to Lizard Point was equally as beautiful and we stopped there for a bite to eat before walking back to the car.” Another person added: “This really is a stunning place that you must visit!” A third wrote: “This place had been on our bucket list for years and OMG it did not disappoint. The views are out of this world, makes you appreciate how beautiful the UK can actually be, however you could mistake it for being abroad, the sea was that gorgeous in colour. Made it all more worth it as it was hot sunny day too.” Unlike many popular UK beaches, Kynance Cove still feels untouched and rugged, featuring epic rock stacks like Serpentine Rock and Asparagus Island – a tidal islet where, you guessed it, wild asparagus grows. When you’re done on the beach, the village of Lizard is 10 minutes up the road, or a 45-minute walk if you’re the outdoors-y type. Mainland Britain’s most southerly settlement, Lizard has its own charms with a picturesque parish church as well as Lizard Lighthouse, the oldest mainland light in the county which was the first to welcome ships returning to England.

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