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World NGO Day 2024, EU Launches €50M Initiative to Protect Civil Society | -europeantimes.news-

Brussels, 27th February 2024 – On the occasion of World NGO Day, the European External Action Service (EEAS), spearheaded by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, has reaffirmed its unwavering support for civil society organizations (CSOs) worldwide. Amidst an alarming global trend of shrinking civic spaces and increasing hostility towards NGO workers, human rights defenders, and journalists, the EU has taken a stand to protect and empower these crucial pillars of democracy. Civil society, often the voice for the most vulnerable, faces unprecedented challenges. From being branded as “foreign agents” to facing excessive force during peaceful protests, the environment for NGOs and civil society actors is becoming increasingly restrictive. In light of these challenges, the EU’s condemnation of attacks on freedom of association and peaceful assembly has never been more pertinent. To combat these concerning trends, the EU is leveraging all tools at its disposal, including substantial financial support. A notable initiative is the EU System for Enabling Environment (EU SEE), launched in 2023 with a €50 million budget. This groundbreaking system aims to monitor and promote civic space in 86 partner countries, incorporating an EU SEE Monitoring Index, an early warning mechanism, and a rapid and flexible support mechanism (FSM). These tools are designed to bolster civil society’s resilience and swiftly respond to any deterioration or positive developments in civic freedoms. The EU’s commitment extends beyond the EU SEE. The Global Europe Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) programme, with a €1.5 billion budget for 2021-2027, supports civil society organizations outside the EU. This is complemented by other programmes and sources, including nine partnerships totaling €27 million focused on fundamental freedoms and independent media, and the ‘Team Europe Democracy’ initiative, which pools €19 million from 14 Member States to enhance democracy and civic space. Furthermore, the Protect Defenders.eu mechanism, with a €30 million budget until 2027, continues to offer vital support to Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) at risk, having assisted more than 70,000 individuals since its inception in 2015. Additionally, under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III), the EU has committed €219 million for civil society and media in the Western Balkans and Türkiye for 2021-2023. As the world prepares for the Summit of the Future, the EU emphasizes the importance of a robust role for civil society, including youth, in shaping the UN’s Pact for The Future. This engagement is crucial for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals and upholding human rights. On World NGO Day, the EU honors the invaluable contributions of civil society in fostering resilient and inclusive societies. The EU’s comprehensive support framework underscores its dedication to safeguarding a safe and open civic space worldwide, ensuring that the voices of the most vulnerable are heard and protected. The Crucial Role of NGOs in Protecting Freedom of Religion or Belief On World NGO Day, we take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the vital work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the globe, especially those dedicated to protecting the fundamental human right of Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB). This day serves as a reminder of the importance of supporting these organizations, as their efforts in safeguarding FoRB are not only pivotal in their own right but also facilitate a wide range of other humanitarian aid initiatives. Freedom of Religion or Belief is a cornerstone of human rights, enshrined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It ensures that individuals and communities can practice their religion or belief freely, without fear of discrimination or persecution. However, in many parts of the world, this right is under threat, with individuals facing violence, legal penalties, and social ostracization for their beliefs. In this context, NGOs working to protect FoRB play a critical role in advocating for the rights of these vulnerable populations, monitoring abuses, and providing support to victims. The protection of FoRB is intrinsically linked to the broader spectrum of humanitarian aid. When individuals and communities are free to practice their beliefs, it fosters an environment of tolerance and peace, which is essential for the effective delivery of aid. Moreover, NGOs focused on FoRB often work in collaboration with other humanitarian organizations to address complex crises that involve elements of religious persecution. By ensuring that FoRB is protected, these NGOs contribute to creating stable societies where other forms of humanitarian assistance, such as education, healthcare, and disaster relief, can be more effectively implemented. Furthermore, the work of these NGOs in protecting FoRB can lead to long-term societal benefits, including the promotion of pluralism, democracy, and human rights. By advocating for the rights of all individuals to practice their religion or belief freely, these organizations help to combat extremism and build resilient communities that are capable of withstanding and recovering from conflicts. On World NGO Day, it is crucial to recognize the interconnectedness of human rights and humanitarian aid. Supporting NGOs that focus on protecting Freedom of Religion or Belief is not only a commitment to upholding a fundamental human right but also a strategic investment in the broader humanitarian mission. As we honor the invaluable contributions of these organizations, let us also commit to further supporting their efforts, understanding that in doing so, we are helping to facilitate all other types of humanitarian aid and contributing to the creation of a more just and peaceful world.

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Almuñécar Traffic Diversions

There will be traffic restrictions on the San Cristóbal beach road starting tomorrow, reducing traffic flow to one-way only. The affected area will be between the Mar de Plata roundabout (the one for Mercadona) to Calle Guadix. However, this will only be in one direction; i.e. in the direction of the Peñón del Santo. The reason for the roadworks is because Aguas y Servicios workers will be accessing the sewage system next to the bridge over Río Seco and having wrestling matches with the alligators down there – just kidding! The good news is that it will only be for a couple of days, starting Thursday at 08.00h and concluding on Friday at 18.00h. The Town Hall assures that all will be duly signposted and if everything goes well, it could be finished a tad earlier. (News/Noticias: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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Which national symbols did countries choose for their Euro? | -europeantimes.news-

Croatia From January 1, 2023, Croatia adopted the Euro as its national currency. Thus, the country that entered the European Union last became the twentieth country to introduce the single currency. The country has chosen four designs for the national side of the euro coins, with the distinctive Croatian chess motif in the background. All coins also feature the 12 stars of the European flag. The 2 euro coin features a map of Croatia and the poem “Oh beautiful, oh dear, oh sweet freedom” by the poet Ivan Gundulić is written on the edge. A stylized image of the small predator zlatka adorns the 1 Euro coin (in Croatian the animal is called kuna). The face of Nikola Tesla can be found on the 50, 20 and 10 cent coins. The 5, 2 and 1 cent coins are inscribed with the letters “HR” in Glagolitic script. Greece The €2 coin depicts a mythological scene from a mosaic in Sparta (3rd century BC), showing the young princess Europa abducted by Zeus in the form of a bull. The inscription on the edge is ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ (REPUBLIC OF GREECE). The €1 coin reproduces the Athenian owl design that appears on the ancient 4 drachma coin (5th century BC). The 10, 20 and 50 cent coins depict three different Greek statesmen: 10 cents: Rigas-Ferreos (Velestinlis) (1757-1798), forerunner of the Greek Enlightenment and Confederation and visionary of the liberation of the Balkans from Ottoman rule; 50 cents: Ioannis Kapodistrias (1776-1831), the first governor of Greece (1830-1831) after the Greek War of Independence (1821-1827) (20 cents), and Eleftherios Venizelos (1864-1936), a pioneer of social reform who played a key role in the modernization of the Greek state. The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins depict typical Greek ships: the Athenian trireme (5th century BC) on the 1 cent coin; the corvette used during the Greek War of Independence (1821-1827) on the 2 cent coin and the modern tanker on the 5 cent coin. Austria Austria’s euro coins are designed around three main themes: flowers, architecture and famous historical figures. In addition to public consultation through opinion polls, a group of 13 experts selected the winning designs by the artist Josef Kaiser. The €2 coin features the portrait of Bertha von Suttner, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905. The €1 coin features the portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the famous Austrian composer, accompanied by his signature. The 10, 20 and 50 cent coins depict architectural works in Vienna: the towers of St. Stephen’s Cathedral (10 cent), a masterpiece of Viennese Gothic architecture; the Belvedere Palace (20 cents), a jewel of the Austrian Baroque style, and the Secession building in Vienna (50 cents), a symbol of Austrian modernism and the birth of a new era. The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins depict alpine flowers representing Austria’s obligations and commitment to the environment: gentian (1 cent); the edelweiss (2 cents), a traditional symbol of Austrian identity, and the primrose (5 cents). Austrian euro coins have the peculiarity of showing the nominal value on the national obverse as well. There are two different series of Spanish Euro coins in circulation. The €1 and €2 coins depict the image of the new head of state, His Majesty King Felipe VI, in profile to the left. To the left of the image, round and in capital letters, the name of the issuing country and the year of issue “ESPAÑA 2015”, and to the right the mint mark. Spain has updated the design of the Spanish national face on the €1 and €2 coins, which have been produced since 2015, to illustrate the change in the position of the head of state. The €1 and €2 coins from previous years with the old Spanish national face will remain valid. The 10, 20 and 50 cent coins depict the bust of Miguel de Cervantes, author of “Don Quixote of La Mancha”, a masterpiece of Spanish and world literature. The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins show the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a jewel of Spanish Romanesque art and one of the most famous places of worship in the world. From that point on, the year mark appears on the inside of a coin, along with the mint mark and the name of the issuing country. The twelve stars in the outer ring are depicted as on the European flag, without relief around them. Estonia The design of the national side of the Estonian euro coins was chosen after a public competition. A jury of experts pre-selected the 10 best designs. The winning design was chosen by telephone voting, which was open to all Estonians. It was created by the artist Lembit Lemos. All Estonian euro coins contain a geographical image of Estonia accompanied by the word “Eesti” and the year “2011”. The inscription on the edge of the €2 coin is “Eesti” repeated twice, once upright and once inverted. Estonian euro coins have been in circulation since 1 January 2011. Italy Italian euro coins carry a different design for each denomination, chosen from masterpieces of the country’s cultural heritage. The final choice was made by the public through a television program broadcast by RAI Uno, Italy’s largest television station. The €2 coin reproduces the portrait painted by Raphael of the poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), author of the Divine Comedy. The inscription on the edge repeats “2” six times, alternating upright and inverted numerals. The €1 coin features the Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing showing the ideal proportions of the human body. The 50 cent coin reproduces the pavement design of the Piazza del Campidoglio with the equestrian statue of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. The 20-cent coin features a sculpture by Umberto Boccioni, a master of the Italian Futurist movement. The 10-cent coin depicts a detail from The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli’s famous painting, and a triumph of Italian art. The 5 cent coin depicts the Colosseum in Rome, the famous amphitheater built by the emperors Vespasian and Titus, opened in AD 80. The 2 cent coin depicts the Mole Antonelliana tower in Turin. The 1 cent coin depicts “Castel del Monte” near Bari. In 2005, the Central Bank of Cyprus launched a competition to select the design of the Cypriot euro coins, which were to have three different motifs reflecting the specifics of the country in terms of culture, nature and the sea. The winning projects, approved by the Council of Ministers of Cyprus, were jointly created by Tatiana Soteropoulos and Eric Mael. The €1 and €2 coins reproduce the Pomos Idol, a cross-shaped idol dating from the Chalcolithic period (c. 3000 BC), representing the country’s contribution to civilization since prehistoric times. The 10-, 20-, and 50-cent coins depict the Kyrenia (4th century BC), a Greek merchant ship whose remains are believed to be the oldest of the Classical period discovered to date. It is a symbol of the insular nature of Cyprus and its historical importance as a commercial center. The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins feature the mouflon, a type of wild sheep representative of the island’s wildlife. Belgium There are two different series of Belgian Euro coins in circulation. All notes of the first series issued in 2002 show the face of His Majesty Albert II, King of the Belgians, surrounded by the twelve stars of the European Union with the royal monogram (capital ‘A’ and crown) to the right. The Belgian euro coins were designed by Jan Alphonse Koistermans, director of the Turnhout Municipal Academy of Fine Arts, and selected by a committee of high-ranking officials, numismatic experts and artists. In 2008, Belgium made a slight change in the design of its national sides to comply with the general guidelines recommended by the European Commission. The new national sides continue to bear the effigy of His Majesty Albert II, King of the Belgians, surrounded by twelve stars, but the royal monogram and date of issue are depicted on the inner part of the coin – not the outer ring – along with two new elements: the signs of the mint and the country name abbreviation (“BE”). From 2014, the second series of Belgian coins shows on each note the face of the new head of state, His Majesty Philippe, King of the Belgians, in profile to the right. To the left of the effigy, the Issuing Country designation ‘BE’ and the Royal monogram above. Below the statue, the mint master notes to the left and the mintmark to the right the year of issue. The outer ring of the coin features the 12 stars of the European flag. The inscription on the edge of the €2 coin “2” is repeated six times, alternately upright and inverted. Coins from previous years with the old Belgian national face remain valid. Luxembourg The national faces of Luxembourg were designed by Yvette Gastauer-Claire in agreement with the Royal Household and the national government. All Luxembourg coins bear the profile of His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri in three different styles: a new linear for the €1 and €2 coins; traditional linear for the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins and classic for the 1, 2 and 5 cent coins. The word “Luxembourg” is written in Luxembourgish (Lëtzebuerg). The inscription on the edge of the €2 coin is “2” repeated six times, alternately upright and inverted. Illustrative Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/pile-of-gold-round-coins-106152

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What the Different Results of the ITV Test Mean

Share FacebookTwitterWhatsAppLinkedinReddItEmail Last week we spoke specifically about what happens if your vehicle fails the ITV test, but there are other statuses that we need to know, as your vehicle might not be a complete failure. When you take your vehicle for the ITV test, the result will be one of three options, favorable, desfavorable, or negativa (favourable, unfavourable or negative), and although we all hope for a favourable pass, it is important to know the implications of the other results, and what we have to do about it. FAVORABLE If the ITV result is “favorable”, it is possible to continue driving safely and without the need to return until the next test is due. However, sometimes, when the Technical Inspection is favorable, some slight defects may have been detected. In this case, the owner of the vehicle must repair them as soon as possible, although it will not be necessary to return to the ITV station to submit the car to a new technical inspection. The equivalent to this in the UK MOT system would be a PASS. DESFAVORABLE If the report received from the ITV test shows that the technical inspection is “desfavorable”, this means that our vehicle has serious defects that put our safety and that of other road users at risk. Consequently, we will only be able to drive the vehicle to a workshop to repair the faults and return to the station to carry out a new inspection. The time that we have to correct the defects of our car is 2 months and we must return to the ITV station to verify that the detected defects have already been corrected within that time. Remember though, we are only allowed to drive to the workshop and back to the test centre in this case. Although it cannot be directly related to the UK MOT system, a similar standard here would be a PASS with MINOR defects. As a general rule, this second inspection is free if it is done within 2 months. If this is not the case, and we go to the ITV after that time, the vehicle will have to be inspected again, and we must pay again. NEGATIVA The technical inspection with a negative result, “negativa”, or what we would call the equivalent of a fail, for its part, is due to the fact that at least one defect is considered very serious because it constitutes a direct and immediate risk to road safety, or has an impact on the environment. In this case, the vehicle is no longer permitted to drive on public roads. The equivalent to this in the UK MOT system would be a FAIL. If this situation occurs, as we mentioned last week, we cannot even drive away from the test centre, and must contract a tow truck (grua) to transfer the vehicle to the workshop to be repaired. Once again, we have a period of 2 months to carry out the repairs and return to the test centre, but remember that the vehicle cannot be driven until the test has been completed successfully, and so not only must the tow truck take the vehicle from the test centre to the workshop, it must also be used to take the car back for the subsequent, and hopefully successful, inspection. The post What the Different Results of the ITV Test Mean first appeared on N332.es – Driving In Spain. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Classic Motors in Guardamar Traffic Police to Focus on Trucks and Buses This Week Illegal Car Workshop Shutdown in Guardamar

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Spring Events Planner for Things to Do

Share FacebookTwitterWhatsAppLinkedinReddItEmail This week, Andalusia Day, Dia de Andalucia, is celebrated on Wednesday, 28 February. A special concert is taking place in Torrevieja. International Flamenco Day is celebrated in Torrevieja with a concert on 2 March. You can then take a Trip to Oz, with the kids, on 15 March, assuming you survive Peter and the Wolf on 10 March. There is also the Magical world of Disney concert on 16. For runners, on 10 March, Elche has both as 7.2k and half marathon, Crevillente on 6 April has a 6 k race, and the Dama de Guardamar half marathon, which takes the form of both a 10k and 21k variant (10.5 and 21.1 kilometres, respectively, to be pedantic), and will take place in Guardamar del Segura on 14 April 2024. Aircraft fans can look forward to RACEFEST, Madrid, taking place on 16 March, where the Patrulla Aguila aerobatic team from San Javier will be taking part, before showcasing their skills locally in the San Javier Airshow, taking place from 3rd-5th May – Festival Aéreo San Javier – over the playas de Santiago de la Ribera, San Javier, Murcia. They are also at the DIFAS 2024, taking place in Oviedo on 1 June, and on 15th June, the 50º Aniversario del ALA 14, in Albacete, where a competition is open to design a Eurofighter livery. If your love of the sky means watching people jumping out of planes, then there´s good news for you too, as on 19th March – Fiestas Patronales de Puerto de Mazarrón 2024, in Murcia, sees the Patrulla Acrobática de Paracaidismo del Ejército del Aire (PAPEA) parachutists perform, and on 31st March they are at the Conmemoración de “El Encuentro” de Alcantarilla, also in Murcia, before the team head overseas in April to attend the 5th FAI World Indoor Skydiving Championship, in Macau, China. Musically, James Blunt is back in Alicante on 19 July, as is Tom Jones on 25. Other popular groups coming to Spain in the near future include AC/DC, Depeche Mode, and Simple Minds. A Black Music Festival is taking place in Salt until 9 March, and the Jerez Festival of Flamenco and art is on in Jerez de la Frontera also until 9 March. Down south, the Malaga Film Festival takes place from 1 to 10 March, followed by the Granada Tango Festival from 12 to 17 March. Fallas season is about to start, culminating in the celebrations around the middle of March, not forgetting of course we have San Jose, Spanish Father’s Day, a big event in the Spanish cultural calendar. The main fallas event is around Valencia, where this year the calendar is from 25 February to 19 March. We must also remember that Easter is earlier this year, and one of the big draws is Elche, and in particular Palm Sunday, on account of the history of the city in relation to palm trees. A huge Palm Sunday procession takes place in the city each year. One of the most unusual festivals takes place in the town of Mula, with the Night of the Drums, or Noche de los Tambores, where drumming begins at midnight on Holy Tuesday until 4 in the afternoon on Wednesday. Similar drum festivals take place in a few other towns too, but Mula is known as one of the best. Another unusual celebration takes place in Jerte, usually at the end of March and beginning of April, but it depends on the weather, and therefore could be earlier this year, but it is the Cherry Trees in Blossom festival, which beholds a beauty of colour and aroma that is definitely a feast for the senses. The post Spring Events Planner for Things to Do first appeared on This Is Torrevieja – Torrevieja news and events. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Torrevieja demands that telephone operators resolve aerial cable chaos Torrevieja puts out to tender 202 new bus shelters The Leader Newspaper 26 February 2024 – Edition 1012

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Recovering the “gateway” from Palma to the Tramuntana Mountains

A joint initiative by Palma, Calvia and Puigpunyent town halls has recovered an historic way that is described as the “gateway” to the Tramuntana Mountains from Palma. This is a track of just over ten kilometres that starts in La Vileta (Palma), passes through Calvia and ends in Puigpunyent, where it connects with the GR 221 Dry Stone Route. The recovery of this path, for which there is historical evidence, has been possible because of the cooperation of landowners. There is signage designed to ensure “correct” use by hikers. Lluís Rubí, the Council of Mallorca’s director for the environment, explains that the path is documented in archives and that the connection in Puigpunyent means that there is an uninterrupted route from Palma all the way to Pollensa. Palma’s director-general for the environment, Sebastià Pujol, says that the way offers “a great opportunity for hiking and outdoor activities”.

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Sunday’s weather in Mallorca – Outlook poor for a few days

A mainly cloudy Sunday with only occasional sunny spells in areas, but the probability of rain is very low. It will be windy and there are currently yellow alerts for high winds in the Tramuntana region and in the south – gusts up to 70km/h. There are also yellow alerts for coasts for the whole of the island – from noon to midnight for the east, south and Tramuntana and from 3pm for the north/northeast. Although there was rain and some hail as well as the odd thunderstorm on Saturday, the rain wasn’t generally that heavy. It may well be heavier from Monday to Wednesday, with weather stations forecasting thunderstorms for Monday and Tuesday. Things should pick up on Thursday, with temperatures on the rise, Forecast for Sunday as of Saturday 8pm (UV rating 2/3): Alcudia (7C) 19C, gentle southwest breeze; humidity 55%. Three-day forecast – Mon: 19, Tue: 17, Wed: 17. Andratx (9C) 17C, fresh west breeze; humidity 50%. Mon: 18, Tue: 16, Wed: 16. Binissalem (4C) 17C, fresh west breeze easing to gentle southwest; humidity 45%. Mon: 17, Tue: 16, Wed: 15. Deya (7C) 14C, moderate northwest breeze; humidity 55%. Mon: 16, Tue: 16, Wed: 17. Palma (8C) 16C, moderate southwest breeze; humidity 55%. Mon: 16, Tue: 14, Wed: 15. Pollensa (6C) 19C, moderate west breeze increasing to fresh; humidity 50%. Mon: 19, Tue: 17, Wed: 18. Porreres (4C) 16C, fresh west breeze; humidity 55%. Mon: 17, Tue: 16, Wed: 15. Sant Llorenç (5C) 17C, strong west breeze easing to moderate; humidity 55%. Mon: 18, Tue: 16, Wed: 15. Santanyi (6C) 17C, strong west breeze easing to moderate; humidity 55%. Mon: 18, Tue: 16, Wed: 15. Sineu (4C) 16C, fresh west breeze; humidity 55%. Mon: 17, Tue: 16, Wed: 15. * Light breeze to 11 km/h; gentle to 19; moderate to 28; fresh to 38; strong to 49. Saturday summary (as of 8pm) – Highs of 15.4 Cabrera, 15.3 Palma Port, 15.1 Cap Blanc (Llucmajor) and Puerto Soller, 15.0 Capdepera and Portocolom, 14.9 Sant Elm, 14.7 Salines Llevant (Campos), 14.5 Es Capdellà and Son Servera; Lows of 2.1 Son Torrella (Escorca), 3.5 Serra Alfabia (Bunyola), 5.4 Puerto Pollensa, 5.5 Lluc; Gusts of 79 km/h Serra Alfabia, 63 Cabrera, 53 Capdepera; Rainfall of 20 litres per square metre Puerto Pollensa, 7.2 Pollensa, 4.6 Son Torrella, 4.0 Salines Llevant.

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How much does it cost to clone pets? | -europeantimes.news-

In the state of Texas, USA, more and more people are making clones of their pets Owners will still have a copy of their pet to keep raising even after the original dies, citing Voice of America (VOA). “My first cat was named Chai. I can only describe him as my favorite animal in the entire world. I have never had such a bond with another living creature in my life as I have with this kitten,” says Kelly Anderson, animal trainer. Kelly’s bond with her cat was so strong that she decided to clone it. “I struggled with depression when she was by my side. The cat saved my life more times than I can count. So it was very hard for me when she died,” the woman adds. In her anguish, she turns to ViaGen Pets & Equine, a US company that clones pets – cats, dogs and horses. The cloning process begins with a visit to the vet’s office, where a biopsy sample is sent to the pet to be cloned. “Once we get the sample, we do cell culture. We use some of the saved cells to create cloned embryos. Then they’re transplanted into surrogate mothers. And from there, it’s a normal pregnancy,” says Cody Lamb, who works with the bereaved owners. The process of cloning Kelly’s cat took four years. But in the end she gets Bell – Chai’s clone. “When I got the call that they had indeed cloned her, I think I was in shock. But she has quite different markings and a different personality from the late original. I love her very much and she is definitely like my cat, but the connection between us is not the same. But I never expected or wanted exactly this,” says Kelly Anderson. “The feedback we get is that temperament and personality are quite similar, but the clones also have their own unique individualism,” the company added. Cloning isn’t cheap. Kelly paid $25,000 six years ago, and the price has since doubled to $50,000, Voice of America (VOA) reports. Some time ago, the hotel heiress Paris Hilton shared that she cloned her dog, from which she received two copies of him. Barbra Streisand also received two cloned dogs from her beloved Coton de Tulear. Illustrative Photo by Francesco Ungaro: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-tabby-cats-sleeping-on-red-textile-96428

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Eating out in Mallorca: UMI Coffee & More in Palma

This past weekend I felt more homesick than I felt in a long time. It is the time of the carnival in Palma, and I nostalgically thought of this time of the year back home. It would have been so nice to go to my mom’s in Croatia for a Sunday lunch and come back the next day in time for the next work meeting. Fast forward a couple of days and I am sitting at UMI Coffee & More, a stylish café on Via Argentina, popular with colleagues from Mallorca Bulletin and Ultima Hora. I was there to check out their menu del día. Imagine my surprise when I spot on the menu exactly what I would have had at my mom’s on any given Sunday: beef soup, roast chicken and apple strudel! By the time the efficient young waiter was telling me about their dessert options, I started thinking that someone was pranking me and that either one of my best friends from back home or my mom would come out of the kitchen… Before the soup, the waiter brought out a warm bread roll, made with integral flour and some sort of herby alioli. Alioli was slightly runnier than others I was used to, but still tasty. I smelled the beef soup even from several feet away. A generously sized bowl was filled with a clear soup, pulled beef, chunky carrots, leeks and fine egg noodles. It tasted like home, care and love. Next up, I had a big portion of roast chicken – a leg and a thigh – covered in a flavourful gravy with chunks of red pepper and onion and served with a couple of handfuls of French fries. The chicken was delicious and tender, falling off the bones as I picked it up. Another satisfying course… As I had a couple of columns to draft, I asked the waiter to hold off my dessert for a little while and had a coffee instead. This was also good, and I was happy to hear that they offer plant based “milks” as well as dairy. I heard from colleagues that breakfast was also excellent here with plenty of healthy and filling choices. Finally, I enjoyed a very generous slice of apple strudel served with vanilla sauce and decorated with a fresh raspberry, which added a burst of colour to this plain dessert. Normally, I am not a fan of vanilla sauce, but it was pretty tasty here, and went really well with the crunchy, not overly sweet strudel. By the end of the meal, I was still somewhat surprised that I found exactly what I craved from the Balkans in a random little café right in the centre of Palma. But, as my friend who believes in energies would say: “Manifest it, my friend!” Now, I just need to manifest some good, winning lottery numbers and life in Mallorca will be even better! Location UMI Coffee & More Avinguda de l’Argentina, 14, Palma Tel: 871 17 76 08 Instagram: @umicafepalma The Bill Menu del dia – 12.90 € Dessert – 3€ extra Opening hours Monday & Tuesday 9am to 4pm Wednesday to Saturday 9am to 6pm Sunday closed The Verdict Delicious, home-made menu del día that could have just as well come from your mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen. Stylish setting and efficient service. Brilliant value for money!

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Green light for Richard Branson’s second Mallorca hotel

Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition have been granted the licence to convert a second property in Banyalbufar into a luxury rural hotel. Banyalbufar town hall confirmed on Tuesday that the necessary licence was issued at the end of January. This will allow the conversion of Son Valentí, an estate that dates back to the fifteenth century and comes replete with a mediaeval defence tower. The estate occupies 464,560 square metres. It has protected status in a variety of ways – an asset in the cultural interest, a site within the Tramuntana Mountains natural area, and a site of regional community interest. Conversion will therefore be subject to heritage demands; emblematic features must be preserved. The process for converting Son Valentí started in 2016. Since then, administrative procedures have involved the Balearic government, the Council of Mallorca (which has responsibility for heritage preservation) and the town hall, which is the entity with the authority to issue building licences. Among these procedures was obtaining the approval of the Balearic Environment Commission, which was given in November 2020. The initial project for Son Valentí envisaged seventeen rooms with 34 beds. Under the terms of the licence, work must start within six months and take no longer than two years for completion, unless an extension is requested. In June last year, Virgin Limited Edition opened the Son Bunyola Hotel, which is next to Son Valentí.

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