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Opinion | What Makes a Coincidence Meaningful?

There are two kinds of people in the world: People who say, “What a coincidence,” and people who say, “Just a coincidence.” Same facts, different reactions. Are you the “what a” kind or the “just a” kind? I want your emails. I’m a “just a coincidence” person. I attended an economics conference in the World Trade Center on Sept. 10, 2001, and decided not to go back for the second day. I read nothing into it. (The conference was below ground level, so everybody who stayed for Sept. 11 got out safely, for what it’s worth.) Coincidences are hard to define. It’s not just two things happening at once. There has to be an element of surprise. But what counts as surprising is subjective and squishy. For example, rolling a die and getting 6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6 seems more surprising than getting, say, 6-2-4-5-1-3-2-5-4-6, but the two are equally probable. If you live in Eldena, Ill., you’d be amazed to roll 6-1-3-2-4 because that’s your ZIP code. For everybody else, meh. How many people do you think need to enter a room before there’s a 50-50 chance that two of them will have the same birthday? Just 23. Remember that it’s any two people, not necessarily you and someone else, so there are many potential pairs.

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Parents ‘ditch’ eczema creams for natural £8 solution approved by dermatologists to clear up sore skin without chemicals

Mums and dads of little ones are raving over a ‘miracle’ cream that they say is the ‘only thing’ that works to soothe their children’s sore and eczema-riddled skin. The budget-friendly skin saviour has built up a loyal fanbase among parents who swear that it’s one of the ‘best products’ they’ve tried for sensitive skin, without any harsh chemicals or nasties. In fact, Balmond’s Skin Salvation, which costs just £7.99, has been formulated using 100% natural ingredients, free from any added fragrances, paraffin or synthetics that could cause further irritation on sensitive skin. The balm which is dermatologist-approved, works to lock in moisture using protective beeswax. The ingredients are all natural and derived from plants such as olives, hemp, chamomile and nettle. While it is suitable for all ages from just six weeks old, and all skin types, it is worth doing an allergy patch test to ensure it works. This is best behind the ear or in the crook of the elbow before using across the body. READ MORE: Amazon slashes price of ‘incredible’ 13p hair growth supplement with 3,300 five-star ratings claimed to ‘really work’ READ MORE: Beauty buffs ‘ditch’ anti-ageing moisturisers for £24 product claimed to tighten skin in 10-minutes It’s pulled in over 3040 reviews with parents swearing it was a ‘game changer’ for their children. One parent said: “My baby gets really bad eczema and this is the only cream we can put on her face. Everything else really irritates her skin. I think it’s a great product, my only qualm is that it runs out very quickly and not many shops stock it, so you have to order online.” A second wrote: “I used this on my baby’s cheeks when he started teething. They were dry and starting to flake from him rubbing his cheeks against everything. Within a day the dryness was gone and a couple of days later the redness, too.” A third penned: “I honestly can’t get over how fantastic and amazing this is on my baby’s skin. She gets dribble rash and such a sore face and neck, but this has saved her skin. The first time we used it, we noticed a massive difference overnight. I cannot sing it’s praises enough. The redness was gone and the skin felt much better. We use it whenever she gets flare ups (which with her teething at the moment is a lot) and it relieves her skin and makes her happy.” A fourth added: “I’m so beyond glad I found this product. Skin Salvation certainly has the right name! With each use, my skin looks better and better! When applying, it feels so heavenly as my dry, tight, and flaky skin absorbs all that goodness. My complexion has never looked so amazing! I get compliments all the time! Please don’t even think twice about this product, just purchase! It’s simply the best.” Despite the overall glowing ratings, one person did leave a negative review of the Balmond’s Skin Salvation because it ‘wasn’t effective’ on their skin. They wrote: “Sorry to say, but for my skin I did not find it effective. It left my skin with a layer of dry skin like it was peeling. It didn’t sting which was soothing but the layer of dry skin was odd. Really gutted as I do not know what else I can try. I have reverted back to just a straight oil.” But another shopper was more than happy with the product, adding: “Balmond’s Skin Salvation is a skincare essential. It effortlessly soothes and clears skin concerns, leaving it noticeably healthier. A natural remedy that’s simply indispensable. Highly recommended for overall skin wellbeing.” There are other balms on the market than can be used to soothe sore skin such as Jeunvie’s £34.99 balm or Bria’s £15.95 baby balm, but Balmond’s is one of the cheapest around. You can buy Balmond’s Skin Salvation from just £7.99 here.

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Official UK account issues statement on royal family rumours

The British embassy in Ukraine has issued a public statement on rumours surrounding King Charles’ death. The UK in Ukraine account posted a statement to X on Monday night (March 18) stating the reports were untrue. The brief statement read: “News about King Charles III death is fake”. The post was shared along with the caption: “We would like to inform you that the news about the death of King Charles III is fake.” The King has taken a step back from public duties after it was announced he had been diagnosed with cancer in February, which was picked up during his treatment for an enlarged prostate. READ MORE Kate Middleton seen for first time since surgery as she visits farm shop The latest statement comes after a Russian news organization shared an “announcement” that Charles, 75, had died earlier on Monday. The Russian media outlet’s original report replicated correspondence from the palace, also including the monarch’s official seal. The British embassy in Moscow then furiously posted on X in response: “Reports of the death of King Charles III of Great Britain are fake!” The latest announcement comes after conspiracy theories about Princess Kate’s absence from public life were shared across social media, following abdominal surgery on January 16. Details of the princess’s condition have not been revealed but Kensington Palace previously said it was not cancer-related and that Kate wished her personal medical information to remain private.

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Coventry City boss shares one-word reaction to FA Cup draw vs Manchester United

Mark Robins, the boss of Coventry City, was thrilled to find out his team will play against his former club Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final. In a simple, one-word verdict of the draw, Robins said it was, ‘Perfect!’ Robins started his football career at Old Trafford and even won the FA Cup with them under Sir Alex Ferguson. He’s been a fan ever since. But after being the manager of Coventry for seven years, he made it clear: “Coventry City are my team, one hundred percent!” When asked if Manchester United was his second favourite team, he laughed and said: “Yes, that would probably be fair.” READ MORE: I spotted what Alejandro Garnacho did after Manchester United goal vs Liverpool and it says a lot about the youngster READ MORE: I still can’t believe Manchester United sold two players – you need those types Robins watched United’s exciting win over Liverpool on Sunday. He thought the quarter-final match between Wolves and City on Saturday set the stage for a great weekend of football. Speaking to Coventry Live, he said: “I watched it and I thought the whole weekend was outstanding, the games were all entertaining and there were lots of goals. I thought ours set the tone and it was just incredible. The feeling everyone was left with is that it’s one of those games that you’ll never forget. It was brilliant.” He added: “Sunday’s game was an open game and Man United were brave. They had to make changes and put midfield players and forwards at full-back and went for it, and that paid off for them. And Amad Diallo’s goal topped it off for them. In the end United did enough to win it, but I think our game set the tone for all the others.” When asked which team he’d like to play against at Wembley, including Manchester City and Chelsea, he replied: “I honestly think that the teams that are left are just top, top sides, but my preference was United. At one point it looked like Liverpool were going to go through but then it just turned on its head. Obviously I wanted United to win the game and then we got drawn out first and they followed us out, so perfect!, “But it would be a great game whichever team you pull out. They have got top players and individuals but it’s a game we can look forward to. It’s a Wembley trip and it’s brilliant for the supporters, the players and the staff and everyone involved, and we can go and have a go at Wembley against a top team with a top manager.” He added: “They’ll be expected to win, 100 percent, and we want to try and go and give a really good account of ourselves again, and enjoy it. At the end of the day it’s a fantastic achievement just to get to this stage but it’s one of those things where you don’t want to just go and make up the numbers. You want to be part of the game but that is difficult because it’s a different level again, but we’ll obviously do the analysis around that. “But that’s for the future because we have got games coming up before that, starting with Huddersfield which is the most important game coming up.”

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7 Injured As Factional Transport Unions Clash Over Park Control In Ogun

No fewer than seven motor parks attendants working for the Ogun State Parks Management Board (OGSPAM) were on Monday critically injured during the violent clash that erupted among factional members of two transport unions over control of motor parks across the state. The clash, which started around 7.a.m, involved union members working for OGSPAM under the chairmanship of Alhaji Akeem Bodunrin, popularly referred to as “Iyeru” and his arch rival in the National Union of Road Transport Union (NURTW), one Mustapha Ismaila, who is popularly called “Yaro”. The fracas, which started from the popular Kuto Garage, later spread to the Lafenwa Market, Ita – Oshin and Obantoko Motor Parks, as well as Odeda township among other motor parks. Although no live was lost in the melee, LEADERSHIP however, gathered that the injured persons were mostly the OGSPAM attendants that resisted the Yaro-led NURTW leadership that allegedly enjoy the backing of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) of the Ogun State Police Command. Trouble started when members loyal to Yaro entered the motor parks across the state to enforce the state government’s directives, instructing it to resume operations after allegedly sacking the Iyeru-led OGSPAM board. Our correspondent further recalled that prior to the establishment of OGSPAM, there had been a no-love-lost relationship between Iyeru and Yaro, both of whom were members of the state chapter of the NURTW over the leadership of the union in Ogun. The Monday clash between loyalists of the two union leaders was however said to have been fueled by a directive originated from the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tokunbo Talabi, which ordered the Yaro-led NURTW to resume operations in the two other Senatorial districts of Ogun Central and West. The development was however said to have been resisted by the hitherto NURTW members now working for the Iyeru-led OGSPAM, who believed that Yaro forced on them by the SSG. While the palpable tension, which started since Monday morning lasted till late hours in the afternoon, LEADERSHIP observed that scores of stern-looking police operatives were deployed to strategic parks within the Abeokuta metropolis, while the new park attendants working for the NURTW were busy conducting their businesses unhindered. When contacted, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Omotola Odutola declined comment, maintaining that official statements would be released for the public at the appropriate time.

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Miami Beach merchants say spring break crackdown largely successful in stemming chaos

They put Miami Vice on ice. Miami Beach merchants told The Post Monday a strict crackdown on spring break chaos was largely successful in curbing disorder in the city. Local business owners said the glitzy town saw mostly calm streets over the past two weekends — and the cautious but steady return of stroller-pushing moms. Veteran Miami Beach restaurateur Sebastian Labno acknowledged that parking restrictions led to a wave of cancellations during the break’s first weekend — and that he even considered closing up shop due to a lack of business. But like many other local proprietors, Labno said he was willing to suffer a short-term loss for Miami Beach’s longterm commercial viability. “Once people saw that it was calm and that things were okay, they started coming back,” he said. “Last weekend business was good. You started seeing families on the streets again. It was totally different.” Last year, Labno said he saw tourists being assaulted in broad daylight, impromptu three-card monte tables, and brazen drug dealing in front of his eatery. Police also arrested almost 500 people, 105 guns were seized and there were two fatal shootings. But a heavy police presence and a lockdown on car traffic and local parking, he said, were effective in 2024. “I’m hoping they got the message,” Labno said of troublemakers who kept their distance. Several merchants stressed the vast majority of lawbreakers were not college students enjoying their recess, but older partiers bent on mischief. Others asserted that the measures were too draconian — and that the limitations on parking brought commerce to a crawl. “I get that they had to do something,” another restaurant owner said, noting that he closed for several days because of a lack of reservations. “But they have to take another look at parking. There’s a middle ground, we just have to find it. Because some businesses can handle it, others can’t.” That latter group included local nightclub owners who saw business kneecapped due to the crackdown. A trio of venue operators filed an emergency lawsuit last week seeking to stave off a curfew that limited their hours. A judge nixed the bid, asserting that the measures were necessary in light of last year’s violent upheaval. With revelers staying away, several large clubs were forced to cancel major events as a result. A local liquor store owners told The Post his business was down by at least half. “I think we’re being unfairly targeted,” he said. “We’re not the problem, it’s the people coming in and causing issues that are the problem.” Miami Beach Mayor Steven Meiner said his city’s spring break divorce was a triumph — and that business owners who previously saw segments of their clientele vanish were grateful. “This is the calmest spring break we’ve had in years,” he told Fox Business. “A number of restaurants that make their business, like traditional restaurants, are actually telling me thank you, that these measures have helped them, [that] it’s kept things safer, calmer and that they’re actually busier.” Meiner said the city risked becoming equated with lawlessness, a reputation that would exact year round damage to local tourism. While Miami Beach’s famed streets and avenues were far quieter this year, there were disturbances throughout the spring break stretch. Police reported more than 250 arrests from March 1 to March 16, according to Miami Beach Police Department spokesperson Christopher Bess. The Magic City implemented an array of new security measures, from random bag checks and DUI checkpoints to higher towing fees and early closures for liquor stores. Many stymied spring breakers rerouted to Fort Lauderdale in light of the clampdown, with officials there reporting roughly a dozen arrests thus far.

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Celtic star celebrated milestone anniversary with girlfriend

Paulo Bernardo marked two years with partner Viviana. The Portuguese midfielder shared a photo on Instagram of Viviana clutching a massive bouquet of roses. He wrote: “2 years with my love.” We previously reported that Bernardo was in awe of the ‘crazy’ Celtic fan atmosphere after he scored his first goal against city rivals Rangers back in December. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “The fans were crazy and pushed us on today. I never watched the last derby because I am in Celtic but it was really good and I enjoyed it a lot. “With the victory it is so much fun. My job is to do my best and it is nice to score goals and help the team to the victory.”

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Telegram secures $330 million in bond sales

Popular messaging platform Telegram raised $330 million through bond sales last week, founder and CEO Pavel Durov said on Monday. The offering was oversubscribed and terms of the bond were favorable for the company, Durov wrote on his own Telegram channel. “The increased demand for our bonds shows that global financial institutions value Telegram’s growth in audience and monetization,” he wrote. In an interview with the Financial Times last week, Durov said the company was “hoping to become profitable next year” as it moves closer to a stock market listing. Durov said on Monday the bond sale “will further solidify our position as an independent platform that is able to challenge the “Goliaths” of our industry”.

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Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner backs New York county’s ban on transgender female athletes

The ban doesn’t apply to men’s teams with transgender athletes. It covers all Nassau County-owned facilities, including ballfields, basketball and tennis courts, swimming pools and ice rinks. Jenner, 74, competed against men when she won the Olympic gold medal in the decathlon in 1976. She said she has “sympathy” for LGBTQ people and “understands their struggles” but argued that allowing transgender people to compete with women would undermine gains female athletes achieved under Title IX, a law banning sex discrimination in programs that receive federal funds. “All I’m trying to do is protect women,” Jenner said Monday. Jenner, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, has been a vocal opponent of transgender athletes competing in women’s sports. A New York native, she has long lived in the Los Angeles area and ran unsuccessfully for California governor as a Republican in 2021. Blakeman has argued the ban is intended to both foster fair play and protect girls and women from getting injured if they play against transgender women. His executive order, however, also covers sports like swimming, gymnastics, figure skating and track, where there is no physical contact between competitors.

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Telecom CEOs tell MPs Canadian cellphone plans are getting cheaper

“This country has very robust and healthy competition. Our consumers have choice here. Last year alone. 4.9 million Canadians switched their provider.” Staffieri said while prices are falling, Canadians are using their phones more than ever before which is why some people have seen their bills rise. “I think what you’re seeing is a massive increase in data consumption. Canadians are amongst the highest data consumers in the world. Telus CEO Darren Entwistle echoed his competitors on prices, but added that one of the factors that drives up costs in Canada is how the government divides up the market. The federal government holds regular spectrum auctions to license the bandwidth that cell phone companies need for their services. Entwistle pointed to a 2021 auction for the spectrum used for 5G services which brought in nearly $9 billion for the government. “In contrast, in Japan and South Korea, they gave away the spectrum. So that operators can concentrate their spend on deployment,” he said.

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