Home » Page 439
Categorieslatest

Should we shower more than once a week?

TheWeek The Week US Edition US UK SUBSCRIBE & SAVE Less than $3 per week × Search Sign in View Profile Sign out The Explainer Talking Points The Week Recommends Newsletters Cartoons From the Magazine The Week Junior More Politics World News Business Health Science Food & Drink Travel Culture History Personal Finance Puzzles Photos All Categories Newsletter sign up Newsletter Home Culture & Life Talking Point Should we shower more than once a week? In this work-from-home era, some people are going full goblin mode’ Newsletter sign up Newsletter Jonathan Ross told a podcast that he sometimes goes ‘at least a week without showering’ (Image credit: Barry Phillips / Evening Standard / Shutterstock) By Chas Newkey-Burden, The Week UK published 4 April 2024 Jonathan Ross has courted controversy before but the chat-show host has sparked a particularly lively debate by admitting how rarely he showers. “I resent the fact that I have to shower,” he told the “Parenting Hell” podcast, and sometimes go “at least a week without showering”. Ross said his wife, Jane Goldman, is the same, leaving them “like a couple of hamsters in their own straw in that bed”. ‘Goblin mode’ Ross’s admission is “jaw-dropping” and “stomach churning” said The Mirror. After learning of his “grim hygiene standards”, some have “taken to social media to slam the television personality”. One “repulsed” commentator wrote: “Yuk. No wonder his TV show guests sit so far away from him.” Subscribe to The Week Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives. SUBSCRIBE & SAVE Sign up for The Week’s Free Newsletters From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox. From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox. Sign up But others have applauded Ross’s honesty. “Becoming a member of the great unwashed never felt so on-trend,” said Helen Coffey in The Independent, and I felt “secretly vindicated” after he spoke out. I used to be “more scrupulous” but now that I work from home three days a week, “it’s all too tempting to go full goblin mode” – defined by Oxford University Press as “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations”. Amid the “proliferation of wellness culture, clean living and more lotions and potions than any of us could ever need”, said Coffey, it’s “refreshing” to have “someone in the spotlight holding their hands up and saying that, hey, they’re happy to be just a little bit gross”. There are times when a shower is necessary, said Robert Crampton in The Times, “especially in the summer, or after a run, or if you work on the bins”. But mostly, some “judicious flannel work will suffice”, whereas “getting fully naked and fully wet is a faff”. ‘No hard and fast rules’ Ross has stirred up a long-running debate. In 2015, Professor Stephen Shumack, president of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, told The Sydney Morning Herald that “it’s only in the last 50 to 60 years” that the idea of a daily shower has “become commonplace”. And “the pressure to do that is actually social pressure rather than actual need”, she said. But the “much-touted theory” that if you stop washing your hair with shampoo it cleans itself may not be accurate, said Coffey. She quoted Anabel Kingsley, a trichologist from the Philip Kingsley clinic in London, who said that without regular washing, the hair and scalp “are likely to become coated in dirt, smelly, greasy and flaky”, with a “build-up of yeasts and bacteria”. There are “no hard and fast rules”, Coffey concluded, but showering less often, “provided you keep fundamentals clean (groin, face, underarms)”, shouldn’t do any harm. So “why not press pause on the judgement, embrace your inner hamster and go full goblin mode”. Of course, there are limits. Amou Haji, an Iranian hermit dubbed the “world’s dirtiest man”, died aged 94 in 2022 – after going 60 years without washing with water or soap. Explore More Jonathan Ross Water Tv To continue reading this article… Create a free account Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month. register for free Already have an account? Sign in Subscribe to The Week Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more. Subscribe & Save Cancel or pause at any time. Already a subscriber to The Week? Unlimited website access is included with Digital and Print + Digital subscriptions. Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access. Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us Sign up for Today’s Best Articles in your inbox A free daily email with the biggest news stories of the day – and the best features from TheWeek.com Contact me with news and offers from other Future brandsReceive email from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsorsBy submitting your information you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and are aged 16 or over. Chas Newkey-Burden, The Week UK Social Links Navigation Chas Newkey-Burden has been part of The Week Digital team for more than a decade and a journalist for 25 years, starting out on the irreverent football weekly 90 Minutes, before moving to lifestyle magazines Loaded and Attitude. He was a columnist for The Big Issue and landed a world exclusive with David Beckham that became the weekly magazine’s bestselling issue. He now writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Metro, FourFourTwo and the i new site. He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books. Latest Opening Night: musical adaptation of Cassavetes film a ‘travesty’ the week recommends An ‘unsalvageable’ disaster that ‘squanders the talents of all involved’ By The Week UK Published 4 April 24 Why the Moon is getting a new time zone The Explainer The creation of ‘coordinated lunar time’ is part of Nasa’s mission to establish a long-term presence on Earth’s only natural satellite By Richard Windsor, The Week UK Published 4 April 24 Why Russia is being linked to Havana Syndrome In The Spotlight A recent investigation connected the syndrome to a unit of the Russian intelligence agency GRU By Justin Klawans, The Week US Published 4 April 24 You might also like What does ‘Quiet on the Set’ mean for the future of kids’ TV? In the Spotlight A new documentary exposes the ‘dark underbelly’ of Nickelodeon productions By Joel Mathis, The Week US Published 27 March 24 Best sports documentaries The Week Recommends From the ‘best-attended women’s sports event in history’ to insider access to the pro golf world By Austin Chen, The Week UK Published 19 March 24 TV to watch in March, from ‘The Regime’ to ‘The 3 Body Problem’ The Week Recommends An authoritarian regime run by Kate Winslet, a sci-fi adaptation from the ‘Game of Thrones’ creators and more By Anya Jaremko-Greenwold Published 1 March 24 Saltburn’s mansion and the TV locations ‘invaded by selfie-hunters’ Talking Point Tourists flock to familiar sights from Saltburn, One Day and Emily in Paris, but locals are less than impressed By Chas Newkey-Burden, The Week UK Published 26 February 24 Best crime documentaries The Week Recommends From the shooting of John Lennon and the killing of Dr Brenda Page to the first high-profile fraud case of the crypto era By Adrienne Wyper, The Week UK Published 8 February 24 TV to watch in February, from ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ to ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ More reboots and a second chance at a live-action ‘Avatar’ By Theara Coleman, The Week US Published 5 February 24 Was Masters of the Air worth the wait? The Week Recommends Following 2001’s hit war drama Band of Brothers and The Pacific in 2010, the story shifts from land and water to sky By Adrienne Wyper Published 31 January 24 Gladiators reboot and the return of linear teatime TV In Depth Relaunch of the 90s hit show proves popular, despite non-bingeable, one-episode-a-week release By Adrienne Wyper Published 18 January 24 View More ▸ TheWeek About Us Contact Future’s experts Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Cookie Policy Advertise With Us The Week is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher.Visit our corporate site. © Future US, Inc. Full 7th Floor, 130 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036.

Categorieslatest

Texas counties, cities embrace new child care center tax credit

Sign up for The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news. As Texas’ child care centers struggle to stay open amid mounting post-pandemic financial woes, a lifeline thrown out by voters last year – a new tax credit for providers – is gaining traction in the state’s biggest metropolitan areas. Its reach is limited to just a fraction of the providers in the state, but the exemption will be a boon for owners who can take advantage of it, supporters say — so the push is on to make the tax credit available to “as many as possible, as quickly as possible” said Kim Kofron, senior director of education for Children at Risk, a nonprofit advocacy group in Texas. “We feel very good about the fact that the metros have adopted it, because that’s where the majority of our child care centers are,” she said. “But we don’t want to forget about the rural areas, too.” Counties and cities in the San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Houston areas have in recent months adopted the new property tax exemption for land used by child care centers that owners say will save them thousands of dollars each year at a time when they are struggling to keep up with staff and wages amid increasing costs. It’s the first of its kind in the U.S., supporters say. Missouri voters will consider a similar amendment in November. The exemption, known as Proposition 2, has also passed in El Paso County, the City of Denton, Hays County, and Aransas County. “I was so, so proud,” said Dianne Miller Nielsen, executive director Children’s Coalition of Aransas County, who will save $11,000 on the tax bill for her local center. “It’s a blessing to us, for sure.” San Antonio city council members are set to vote on it this week, while officials in Fort Worth and Lubbock County are in talks with advocates about the tax credit. The exemption allows the property owner to exempt from 50% to 100% of their property valuation when paying taxes. The law includes requirements that landlords of those properties pass the savings along to renters if the center owners don’t own the property, although questions remain about how it would be enforced. But its impact is limited to just a few thousand child care centers, even if all the locals participate. Only about 17% of the estimated 15,000 child care centers in Texas meet the requirements of the new law, and that total doesn’t include home-based child cares that are also not eligible. The exemption applies to those centers that receive state subsidies for lower income families for at least 20% of their enrollees. They also must be qualified to participate in the Texas Rising Star program, which ties funding to quality. “We can’t expect all parents to be able to pay tuition that fully funds the cost of quality care,” said Nielsen. “We receive donations, we receive grants from community organizations, and we are so grateful for them. But this tax break has helped us a lot.” The state’s child care industry was already strapped with rising costs when the pandemic forced them to either shutter altogether for a period of time in 2020 or reduce capacity while officials sought to stem the spread of COVID-19. Most of them came back with far fewer children in their care, which meant less money at a time when inflation was increasing costs and families were unable to pay higher tuition. Today, there are some 30% fewer centers than there were before the pandemic. A federal infusion of more than $4 billion to Texas for child care funding helped keep the centers afloat while Texans went back to work in the months after the pandemic. The funds went directly to 10,790 Texas child care providers in 85% of Texas counties to help cover costs for an estimated 836,000 children, according to the federal Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Child Care. But that funding ended late last year. An attempt during the last legislative session by state Rep. Armando Walle, D-Houston, to send $2.2 billion in state funds to child care centers to cushion that blow was unsuccessful. “Texas has money. There’s money, I know it,” said Jacqueline Reza, owner of Flowers in the Garden Child Development Centers in El Paso. “But we’re just not allocating the money in the correct way. We’re building the future taxpaying citizens. We’re building the future little citizens of the world, and quite frankly, these kiddos need more support.” Instead, Texas lawmakers passed the tax exemption. It was approved by voters in November and requires local approval to go into effect. The participation of the state’s population centers, which have the heaviest concentration of child care centers, is encouraging progress, but the work is not over, said State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, who sponsored the legislation. “I would like to see more cities and counties taking action on Prop 2, particularly rural areas,” he said via email. “Our Capitol office has had a number of calls from people in rural areas asking how they can also get this enacted locally.” Data from the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan policy institute, shows 63% of rural families in the Lone Star State live in a child care desert. The lack of access to child care already disproportionately affects women and people of color, who compose the majority of child-care facility owners and staff in Texas, said Tim Kaminski, director of operations for Gingerbread Kids Academy and Gingerbread After School Programs, which has seven Texas locations in Fort Bend County. Without funding to replace the federal relief dollars, up to 44% of child care centers in Texas are likely to close their doors within the next year, according to a survey by the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children. Child care facilities are struggling to meet rising costs — such as an average 37% increase in payroll — as families strapped by inflation are unable to pay higher tuition to meet those needs, owners and advocates say. An inability to pay staff adequately makes it hard to meet mandatory staff-to-child ratios with full enrollment, so about 79% of Texas child care providers aren’t running at capacity right now, even when there are waiting lists, the survey said. In 2020, the property value of one Gingerbread location in Fort Bend County increased by about half a million dollars in a single year, Kaminski said. Two years later, the valuation increased another $400,000, he said. Last year the tax bill for that single facility was $50,000, he said. But Kaminski, who has been a leading voice advocating for child-care funding and the tax exemption, himself won’t be able to take it this year because his centers haven’t hit the 20% subsidy enrollment threshold required by the law. The state reimbursements are so low, he said, that his budget won’t allow him to absorb that high a share without raising tuition — which of course his families can’t afford. The new law, while it offers relief to potentially a few thousand centers, leaves most of the state’s 15,061 facilities out of the benefit. Only about 45% of them — some 6,815 — accept subsidies. Only about 2,500 child care centers in Texas receive subsidies as well as being on the required Texas Rising Star program, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, and many of them — like Kaminski — don’t meet the 20% subsidy enrollment level required for the new credit. “The tax break in its current format will only impact a very small number of providers,” Kaminski said. “Most voters thought they were voting on property tax relief for all child care centers.” Next year, Kaminski plans to join other owners and advocates in pushing to broaden the credit to include centers regardless of their subsidy status, a change that would only need legislative approval but would help three times as many facilities. “Proposition 2 was a really important step forward,” said David Feigen of Texans Care for Children, an Austin child-welfare advocacy group. “It’s an acknowledgment that the state cares about this issue, and locals are taking it up as a way to stabilize our programs and help at-risk families. But we have a lot more to do across the board, and that begins with state investment.” At full capacity and full staff, Reza says she is managing to cover expenses at her facilities but that the situation is difficult in El Paso, where child care centers in Mexico and New Mexico are her direct competitors. Reza has two centers in El Paso, but the tax break will only help one of them because her newest center has been open less than a year — too short a time to qualify for the Texas Rising Star program. But the break at her flagship center, which has been open three years, can eventually help her raise staff pay by at least 20%, build playground equipment that will cost about $15,000, replace furniture and make other quality upgrades. Some day, she said, the money will help her save enough to buy the property she has her centers on, instead of renting them. She hopes the momentum will continue and that lawmakers will continue to help support child care centers both expand and add to their quality of service, she said. “This property tax exemption is going to be that first step to the bigger change that we need to do,” Reza said. Adoption by smaller counties and less populated areas is key to helping counteract so-called “child care deserts” by encouraging providers to open centers in those areas. But acceptance in those regions has been slower, Kofron said. Some are waiting to see how other counties and cities implement the exemption, and many are still trying to determine the impact such an exemption might have on their small budgets. In Dallas County, for example, the estimated $563,000 cost of the exemption makes a lighter impact on its $31.7 million budget — but much lower costs get dicier when budgets get smaller, Kofron said. It’s an easier sell once the locals catch wind of how much the issue impacts them, she said. “We’re starting to build our bench of local officials who care about child care and realize the connection with what that means to the city government,” she said. The biggest barrier to quick acceptance by those communities has been lack of awareness about either the credit itself or the seriousness of the issue, said Jason Sabo, who has lobbied in Austin for 25 years for nonprofits that advocate for better quality child care for low-income kids. “The communities where there has been an existing advocacy coalition, they’re passing it really fast, and the places where there’s a little more education that has to happen, I think they’ll pass there soon,” Sabo said. Kofron said that in some areas, locals are not accustomed to being called upon to support child care. “It’s not really something that has bubbled up until now,” she said. “It’s never been funded at the local level. As a state, we’re 100% reliant on our federal government to support child care, so there hasn’t been a mindset that the state should invest or the locals should invest. But this is something that we as a community should be asking: Are we making sure that there are places for our [age] 0-5 kids so that our families can work? It’s bringing that to their attention.” Aransas County passed its exemption within days of the constitutional amendment authorizing it passed last year — a testament to the very active pro-child-care advocates in the area, Nielsen said. It is also a signal, Sabo said, that the critical role of child care — and, more importantly, the cost to Texas businesses and residents when it’s not available — is finally getting the attention that it deserves. Last year business leaders from several industry sectors formed the Employers for Childcare Task Force to start pushing for reforms that would support child care services for their employees. The Texas service industry, for example, faces staffing challenges directly related to child care when employees can’t afford it or don’t have options that allow them to work evenings and weekends — a hallmark of service industry work. The Texas Restaurant Association, which has been vocal in the past year about the critical impact that shrinking child care options have on the restaurant industry, is engaged on the issue with local governments across Texas and helped push for the tax credit during the regular session, said spokesperson Kelsey Erickson Streufert. Local TRA chapters have participated in coalition meetings and sent letters of support to city and county elected officials, she said. State leadership also presented during a workshop earlier this year to help advocates and local officials get the exemptions adopted across the state. “For us, it’s a great opportunity to help child care providers reduce their costs so they can support more working families,” Streufert said. Public support was evident during the constitutional election in November. Proposition 2 passed in every single county in Texas — garnering 76% in liberal Travis County and 71% in the conservative Midland-Odessa area — except for one. The measure failed 412 to 413 in Kinney County. It lost by a single vote. “It’s just one of those weird issues that somehow has managed to transcend politics all these years,” Sabo said. “This is an issue that’s found its moment. And the question is, are we going to respond to what both working parents and their employers are telling us they want and need?” We can’t wait to welcome you to downtown Austin Sept. 5-7 for the 2024 Texas Tribune Festival! Join us at Texas’ breakout politics and policy event as we dig into the 2024 elections, state and national politics, the state of democracy, and so much more. When tickets go on sale this spring, Tribune members will save big. Donate to join or renew today.

Categorieslatest

Co-op warns shop crime has ‘consequences’ as incidents hit record high

The Co-op saw the highest ever levels of shoplifting last year, with more than 100 shop workers facing abuse from criminals every day, the retailer has revealed. The group revealed the scale of the issue in its annual report, which also showed a slump in its yearly profit after selling its petrol stations to Asda. Co-op said the level of retail crime incidents soared by 44% in 2023 compared with 2022. It recorded 336,270 incidents of shoplifting and anti-social behaviour at its food shops during the year, which is equivalent to 1,000 cases per day. Matt Hood, Co-op’s managing director of food retail, said repeat prolific offenders and organised criminal gangs are driving the spike in shop crime. He told the PA news agency: “Despite the extensive measures and the £200 million we have spent putting things in place to protect our colleagues, the reality is that every day four of our colleagues will be attacked and up to a further 116 will be seriously abused.” The group has invested in body cameras for staff and CCTV, and has also been trialling security measures including secure kiosks, locked doors on high-value products, dummy packaging, and automated CCTV. “The Retail Crime Action Plan that was announced last year by the Government with an intention to ensure police attendance at all incidents was welcomed by us,” Mr Hood said. “I’m hesitant when I say that because we have to now see it in action in our stores, so that the desperate calls from frontline colleagues to the police are responded to, and criminals do start to realise there are real consequences to their actions of shoplifting in our shops.” Meanwhile, the retail-to-funerals business revealed its pre-tax profit fell by £240 million to £28 million in 2023, compared with 2022. Co-op said 2022’s profit figure was skewed by a boost from the sale of its petrol forecourts business to Asda. The two supermarket giants reached a £600 million deal over the 132 petrol stations during the second half of the year. Co-op also revealed that revenues dipped to £11.3 billion in 2023, from £11.5 billion the previous year, partly driven by slipping food sales. Stripping out the impact of selling its petrol stations, food retail sales increased 4.3% year on year, it said. Co-op said its active members – who collectively own the business and get access to offers and discounted prices – grew to more than five million at the end of 2023. Members accounted for 37% of all purchases in its food shops, the highest level for four years. It came as the group invested £90 million across the year in lowering food prices and rolling out member-only pricing on everyday essentials, as consumers continued to be affected by the higher cost of living. Mr Hood told PA that this action had led to an increase in the volume of shoppers and the number of people choosing to become members. He also said there had been a resurgence in “food to go” sales, thanks to workers returning to city-centre offices following the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, the group said it was targeting new convenience shops and planning to rapidly grow its membership programme as part of a new growth strategy.

Categorieslatest

EPA awards $20 billion in green bank grants for clean energy projects nationwide

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday awarded $20 billion in federal “green bank” grants to eight community development banks and nonprofit organizations to use on projects combating climate change in disadvantaged communities and helping Americans save money and reduce their carbon footprints. The money could fund tens of thousands of eligible projects ranging from residential heat pumps and other energy-efficient home improvements to larger-scale projects such as electric vehicle charging stations and community cooling centers, according to senior administration officials. Vice President Kamala Harris, EPA Administrator Michael Regan and other officials planned to announce the grant selections during a visit to Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday. Recipients were awarded competitive grants from two of the three programs overseen by the “green bank” created in the Biden administration’s landmark climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, passed in 2022. Formally known as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, the $27 billion bank is one of many federal efforts to invest in solutions that cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions and address human-caused climate change, a topic President Joe Biden has emphasized in his presidency and reelection campaign. The bank’s goals are to reduce climate and air pollution and mobilize public and private capital in the communities that need it most. As part of Thursday’s news, the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund program granted money to three nonprofits that will partner with states and the private sector to provide affordable financing for projects across the country. The $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator also granted money to five institutions that will work with other groups to establish hubs that make funding and technical assistance accessible to community lenders. Recipients committed to spending $7 in private sector funding for each $1 from the federal investment money, to “reduce or avoid” 40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year and earmark 70% of the money for disadvantaged and low-income communities. These groups are often passed over by commercial banks and investors yet are disproportionately impacted by climate change. Among the eight funding recipients are: —Coalition for Green Capital, a nonprofit working with a nationwide network of state, local, and nonprofit green banks, received $5 billion. —Power Forward Communities, a nonprofit coalition formed by five housing, climate, and community investment groups, received $2 billion. —Appalachian Community Capital, a nonprofit community development financial institution working with lenders in Appalachia, received $500 million. Also part of the bank is the $7 billion Solar for All program, which will award states, tribes and municipalities money for a variety of residential and community solar projects at a later date. Specifics around the bank were outlined last February, with applications for the programs sought in July and due last fall. “I do think this is a really important part of our national strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and engage every community in the clean energy revolution,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen told The Associated Press in an interview. The Democrat first introduced legislation to create a national green bank 15 years ago. “Now we just need to work very hard on implementation,” he said. But the taxpayer-funded green bank has also faced opposition, notably from Republicans in Congress, who have called it a “slush fund” and voiced concern over accountability and transparency on how the money is used. House Republicans passed a bill last month to repeal the bank and other parts of the president’s climate agenda. At the state level, Connecticut’s Green Bank and others have been successful in tracking the impact of their programs. Through the national program, projects included could be larger, make more money and be more impactful. “The scale envisioned for these entities could model successful state green banks while supercharging the number of communities served,” Katherine Hamilton, chair of public policy firm 38 North Solutions and who worked on underlying legislation for the fund, said in an email. She said that would help the country move “more quickly through the energy transition.” ___ Alexa St. John is an Associated Press climate solutions reporter. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, @alexa_stjohn. Reach her at ast.john@ap.org. ___ The Associated Press’ climate and environmental coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at AP.org.

Categorieslatest

Want To Live Happily Every Day: Taapsee Pannu In Her FIRST Interview After Marrying Mathias Boe

Want To Live Happily Every Day’: Taapsee Pannu In Her FIRST Interview After Marrying Mathias Boe HomeEntertainment’Want To Live Happily Every Day’: Taapsee Pannu In Her FIRST Interview After Marrying Mathias Boe ‘Want To Live Happily Every Day’: Taapsee Pannu In Her FIRST Interview After Marrying Mathias Boe Taapsee Pannu added that she is not aiming to become the ‘biggest thing ever’ Sachin TUpdated: Thursday, April 04, 2024, 03:29 PM IST Bollywood actress Taapsee Pannu, who recently secretly got married to badminton player Mathias Boe in Udaipur, has stated that she wants to life happily everyday. In the first interview published after her marriage, the actress opened up about how she has started to enjoy life beyond her acting and film career. Sharing insights about her potential projects Taapsee told Elle that she does not wish to invest time in things that will not stand the test of time. “At this point, I feel my professional choices are driven by the value of my time. I want to be sure if taking up a certain project is worth my time because I want to enjoy life beyond work. The second factor is relevance. I would love to cherish my filmography years from now. So, I don’t want to,” the Dunki actress said. Read Also Taapsee Pannu Spotted Wearing Sindoor In UNSEEN Holi Pic With Mathias Boe, Others Amid Reports Of… Taapsee added that she is not aiming to become the ‘biggest thing ever’, however, she is looking forward to enjoying life to the fullest. “There will always be people around you who have more or less than you, and in the hustle to reach the top, we forget that there is no top. I’ve realised it is better to start enjoying life beyond my profession. I’m okay with not becoming the biggest thing ever, but I want to make sure I live happily every day of my life. You are not as significant as you think you are in your head,” Taapsee said. View this post on Instagram Meanwhile, the actress is currently spending quality time with her husband. Several videos of her intimate wedding have been doing the rounds on social media platforms. In one of the videos of their varmala ceremony, the bride is seen dancing her heart out as she walked towards Mathias, waiting for her on the ramp. Taapsee ditched lehenga and opted for a red salwar suit for her big day. On the other hand, Mathias wore an ivory sherwani. In another video, Taapsee and Mathias are seen grooving with each other during what appears to be their sangeet night. View this post on Instagram Taapsee and Mathias reportedly fell in love in 2013 and they had been in a steady relationship since then. Read Also Taapsee Pannu Says Had To Kiss ‘Many Frogs’ Before Finding Mathias Boe, Reacts To Wedding Rumours Follow us on RECENT STORIES ‘Want To Live Happily Every Day’: Taapsee Pannu In Her FIRST Interview After Marrying Mathias Boe ‘Life Mein Pehli Baar…’: Rubina Dilaik Feels Guilty For Leaving Newborn Twins At Home For Chal… Salman Khan To NOT Pursue Legal Action Against Kunal Kamra: Reports ‘Where Are You Zooming?’: Ayesha Khan LASHES OUT At Paps For Recording Actresses While Adjusting… Bade Miyan Chote Miyan: CBFC Asks Makers To Blur Footage Of 14 Seconds, Modify Liquor Consumption…

Categorieslatest

Death toll in Gaza Strip exceeds to 33,000 since tensions escalated — Health Ministry

CAIRO, April 4. /TASS/. The death toll in the Gaza Strip since the start of the Israeli military operation has exceeded to 33,000, more than 75,000 people having been injured, the Palestinian enclave’s Health Ministry said. “The number of victims as a result of Israeli aggression in Gaza since last October has increased to 33,037, with 75,668 people injured,” the ministry said in a statement on its Telegram channel. The Gaza Health Ministry also noted that “in the past 24 hours alone, 62 people have died in the enclave and 91 others have been injured.” Some of the deceased are buried under rubble, and medical personnel are unable to reach them at this time. The situation in the Middle East escalated sharply on October 7, 2023, after militants from the Palestinian radical movement Hamas breached into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip, resulting in the killing of residents of border towns and the capture of over 240 hostages. The radicals described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Israel announced a total blockade of Gaza and started carrying out airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave, as well as on certain areas in Lebanon and Syria, followed by a ground operation in the enclave. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank of the Jordan River.

Categorieslatest

Muslim women push Chicago community to join green Ramadan: ‘We are the caretakers of the Earth’

On a recent Sunday evening, a group of Muslim women huddled around a hot beverage dispenser. They watched as one woman mixed cardamom tea, anise seed, cinnamon, ginger and different kinds of milk. It would be easier to offer hot water and tea bags, Sam Bawamia said as she stirred the warm beverage. But she had recently read that tea bags contain countless microplastic particles and, horrified, had decided to prepare the drink from scratch. “We have to go green. You have to tell people — no plastics! Look at all these plastic bottles,” she said as she pointed to some shelves in the back of the kitchen stocked with single-use water bottles. “You have to say: ‘No, no, no.’” The Muslim Community Center where Bawamia champions green initiatives has mosques in Chicago and Morton Grove, two of many across the world that face an environmental challenge particular to the month of Ramadan. Providing a meal and water to hundreds of people who haven’t had anything to eat or drink all day requires straightforward, replicable solutions — usually in the shape of disposable plastic plates, utensils and cups — and can often result in food waste. “In our faith, in the Islamic faith, we are taught that we are the caretakers of the Earth,” Bawamia said, taking the podium for a short speech before sundown. “We humans use its resources, but we must maintain a balance. In the Quran … it says that (there’s) a delicate balance with which this world was set in motion. But our job is to correct our overuse of resources and address the injustices and effects of selfish change in the Earth.” Efforts toward a “Green Ramadan” in the Muslim Community Center began last year, Bawamia said, years after she first noticed the waste produced was “not in the spirit” of the holy month and its emphasis on self-restraint. “I think it’s ironic that we sacrifice hugely all day but then fill so many bins with plastic that is used once,” she said. Bawamia’s co-chair of the center’s Green Team committee, Anjum Ali, said in an earlier conversation with the Tribune that the women couldn’t sleep at night thinking about the waste produced in a single night of hosting dinner for hundreds of people during Ramadan. In the basement of the Morton Grove mosque, an inconspicuous box of paper cups stood by the kitchen door. A word had been scribbled on it upside down: “iftar,” the breaking of the fast. As the clock struck 7 p.m., families reached for plates of dates and glasses of water, ending their daily fast. On both sides of the room, long serving tables were mostly empty, awaiting dinnertime, which would commence after the sunset prayer. Paper plates, napkins and compostable utensils bookended the tables. Ali said that patience, or perseverance, constitutes a big concept in Islam. “It means enduring, and it also means doing your best, the best that you can given your circumstances,” she said. “So this concept of having tolerance for a little bit of discomfort because it’s for the greater good — that is, to me, the definition of what we call Sabr.” Now in their second year advocating for a green Ramadan, Ali and Bawamia have done away with styrofoam dinnerware and are selling stainless steel water bottles, which they encourage guests to refill from water fountains in the building. “Unfortunately, as you leave, you might still see plastic water bottles,” Bawamia told mosque attendees. “Overall, it’s a work in progress. It’s difficult for a whole community to change. But just as we have all gotten used to carrying our phones everywhere, we can remember to bring our reusable (bottles) too.” The mosque’s board, she said, has acknowledged the Green Team as a permanent committee since last year — a big step toward more sustainable practices within the faith community. As Ramadan comes to a close, Bawamia and Ali hope to carry on these initiatives of restraint and moderation, making their faith community friendlier to the environment. In years past, the women secured support from an imam, or mosque leader, to switch the lightbulbs in all the fixtures — even the elaborate chandeliers — to energy-efficient ones. The water fountains installed in the mosques are another of their proud accomplishments. In asking their fellow Muslims to join them in this journey, Ali said, they are asking them to nourish their mind, body, soul and the Earth, “because we can’t do anything outside that context.” “Observe how the buzzing bees are moving, and notice how much water you use when you turn on a faucet,” Bawamia said. “Let’s be more mindful. At times, when the world’s problems are so big, we can focus on the small actions that make an impact.”

Categorieslatest

Press review: IDF geared up for Rafah assault and Ukraine aid remains stuck in US Congress

After the US Congress approved the federal budget for the current fiscal year, the US media began actively discussing Johnson’s plans to put a bill on additional military aid to Ukraine up for a vote. Johnson’s chances of pushing a bill on Kiev aid through Congress right after a recess are low, however, because the speaker is not ready to discuss Ukraine aid unless the Democrats are ready to make concessions, Dmitry Suslov, deputy director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics (HSE University), pointed out. The Democrats, in turn, are not ready to make concessions as they hope to win some Republican lawmakers over. However, it would not help them much because only the speaker can put a bill up for a vote and it would be extremely difficult to circumvent him. Johnson also fears being accused of undermining US national security, which has likely prompted him to make public statements highlighting his readiness to approve aid to Ukraine, Vladimir Vasilyev, senior research fellow at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for US and Canadian Studies, noted. Meanwhile, Johnson is deliberately prolonging discussions of the aid package as he is reluctant to let Biden score a major win in Congress ahead of the November presidential election. With the US unable to achieve a domestic consensus on Ukraine aid, Washington’s allies have been preparing a Plan B. According to the Financial Times, the NATO foreign ministers meeting that is taking place on April 3-4 will consider a five-year Ukraine aid package worth $100 bln. All allies are expected to chip in to fund it. Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Washington seeking thaw in relations with Beijing US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen has arrived in China. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will also make a trip to the country soon. It is clear from what US President Joe Biden said in a recent phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping that it is critical for Washington to prevent military incidents and a rise in tensions ahead of the US presidential election in November, Nezavisimaya Gazeta notes. The Biden-Xi telephone conversation marked the first contact between the two leaders since their meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit in San Francisco in November. The White House’s statement highlighted the need to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and ensure freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, according to China’s Xinhua news agency, Xi pointed out that although China-US ties had started to stabilize, they still might “slide into conflict and confrontation.” Alexander Lomanov, deputy director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO RAS), noted that “the San Francisco meeting created a certain stability.” “However, some negative things have emerged in relations between the two powers since then. Reports of what Xi said make it clear that the US does not respect China’s red lines. This concerns Taiwan and US attempts to contain China’s development through sanctions. The Chinese president plainly said that Beijing would not tolerate it. In my view, such statements by the two leaders give no reason to expect relations to improve,” the analyst added. Alexander Lukin, research director at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of China and Contemporary Asia, pointed out that Biden and Xi had also talked about Ukraine. “Washington wanted Beijing to put pressure on Moscow to accept US or Ukrainian conditions for talks. Naturally, China won’t do that. It has its own position. It’s an important issue for China, but basically, it has nothing to discuss with the US. I think that the Chinese had even sought to avoid discussing this topic and focus on economic problems,” the expert said. Izvestia: Russia reduces foreign debt to record lows Russia’s foreign debt declined to $317 bln, the lowest level since 2007. Such a low debt burden increases the country’s resilience against sanctions, Izvestia writes. Restrictions introduced by unfriendly countries are the obvious reason behind the debt reduction. It has become significantly more difficult for Russia to borrow in foreign debt markets. However, Russia continues to pay on its obligations. Moscow’s external debt shrunk due to the scheduled payment of loans that were about to mature, while no new debt has been floated. Internal debt is slowly replacing external debt, Yekaterina Bezsmertnaya, head of the Economics and Business Department at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, pointed out. In general, Russia has little need for foreign borrowing, especially since the country’s own fiscal revenues are the funding source for budget expenditures. Domestic funding is more than enough. In addition, last year’s budget deficit was lower than predicted, Natalya Milchakova, lead analyst at Freedom Finance Global, emphasized. Today, Russia is successfully handling its public debt obligations, despite sanctions and adverse economic conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic. The public sector has managed to reduce its debt by $25.6 bln. The private sector, in turn, is also reducing its debt, mostly in the energy field. Russia’s foreign debt remains stable and safe, which has created a favorable situation for 2024, Vera Kalistratova, accounting consulting expert at the Prostye Resheniya (Simple Solutions) company, said. Kommersant: Middle East risks push oil prices up The global benchmark Brent crude oil price has passed the $90 per barrel level for the first time in six months. The price of Russia’s benchmark Urals oil blend exceeded the $78 per barrel mark. Rising geopolitical risks in the Middle East, created by the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria, are pushing prices toward multi-month highs. Analysts point to the increased risk of Iran getting actively involved in a conflict with Israel, which may reduce oil supplies to the global market and send prices soaring above $100 per barrel, Kommersant writes. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi vowed that the strike on the country’s consulate would not go unanswered. As a result, the risk has grown that Tehran will get fully involved in a conflict in the Middle East, Konstantin Samarin, senior analyst at SberCIB Investment Research, noted. Iran is one of the world’s largest oil exporters as it sells about 2 mln barrels per day, accounting for 2% of global demand. Even if half of the amount is gone, it would have a significant impact on global oil prices, Ronald Smith, senior analyst at BCS World of Investments, said. In addition, Iran could seriously complicate ship traffic in the Persian Gulf. About 20 mln barrels of oil pass through the Strait of Hormuz every day, which represents 20% of global demand for oil coming not only from Iran but also from Iraq, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, Smith pointed out. If Iran launches outright military operations, it may temporarily lead to a spike in oil prices to $100 per barrel, even if oil flows are not affected, the expert added. If the situation in the Middle East does not escalate further, however, the period of rising oil prices will not last long, analysts say. Still, Samarin expects the Brent price to settle at the level of $85-90 per barrel. TASS is not responsible for the material quoted in these press reviews

Verified by MonsterInsights