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EU power grab: Brussels demands flying EU flag at Tokyo 2020 Olympics ceremony

EU power grab: Brussels demands flying EU flag at Tokyo 2020 Olympics ceremony

European Commissioner Margaritis Schinas and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa wrote a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach asking for the Slovenian team to carry the EU flag.

Slovenia is currently holding the EU Council’s rotating presidency. The two chiefs said that carrying the EU flag at the Olympics opening ceremony would “render Slovenian athletes ambassadors for European unity and the values underpinning our Union, which match those of the Olympic movement”.

They wrote that the flag could stand as a “symbol of peaceful coexistence, tolerance and solidarity”.

They added: “We will fully support you in any way you see appropriate in introducing this special and historical gesture.”

They added that the gesture could “serve as a powerful representation of how unity and peace must be celebrated through this event, fundamental as they are to both the European and Olympic spirit”.

“We believe that, as two organisations united by these shared values, the European Union and the International Olympic Committee are uniquely positioned to promote peace and understanding at a time when the world needs it most”, Mr Jansa and Mr Schinas wrote.

The Olympic Games are scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo, Japan.

It is not the first time the EU has made such a demand.

In 2004, then European Commission President Romano Prodi called for athletes from EU member states to showcase the EU flag as well as their own national flag during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

The idea was praised by France’s Europe Affairs Minister Clement Beaune.

READ MORE: Farmer slammed for saying Brexit red tape has created labour shortage

He wrote: “Full support, dear Schinas.

“A beautiful symbol, in addition to our national flags.”

With just four days before the opening ceremony in Tokyo, 68 percent of respondents in an Asahi newspaper poll expressed doubt about the ability of Olympic organisers to control coronavirus infections, with 55 percent saying they were opposed to the Games going ahead.

Three-quarters of the 1,444 people in the telephone survey said they agreed with a decision to ban spectators from events.

As COVID-19 cases rise in Tokyo, which is under a fourth state of emergency, public concern has grown that hosting an event with tens of thousands of overseas athletes, officials and journalists could accelerate infection rates in Japan’s capital and introduce variants that are more infectious or deadlier.

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International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has said he hopes the Japanese public will warm to the Games once competition begins and as Japanese athletes begin winning medals.

“We will continue to co-operate and work closely with organisers such as Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020, and the IOC to ensure we have a safe and secure environment for the Games,” government spokesperson, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said at a regular briefing.

Games officials on Sunday reported the first COVID-19 case among competitors in the athletes’ village in Tokyo where 11,000 athletes are expected to stay during the Games.

Since July 2, Tokyo 2020 organisers have reported 58 positive cases among athletes, officials and journalists.

Any major outbreak in the village could wreak havoc on competitions because those either infected or isolating would not be able to compete.

Olympic officials and individual event organisers have contingency plans to deal with infections among athletes.

A Tokyo 2020 spokesperson said the village was a safe place to stay, adding the infection rate among athletes and other Games-related people visiting Japan was nearly 0.1 pct.

On Sunday six British track and field athletes along with two staff members were forced to isolate after someone on their flight to Japan tested positive for COVID-19.

“Many athletes may have parties or ceremonies before they go to Tokyo where there may be cheering or greeting. So they may also have a risk to get infected in their own countries,” said Koji Wada, a professor at Tokyo’s International University of Health and Welfare and an adviser on the government’s coronavirus response.

The latest surge in cases in Tokyo comes after four earlier waves, the deadliest of which was in January.

New COVID-19 cases in Tokyo reached 1,410 on Saturday, the most since the start of the year, with new infections exceeding 1,000 for five straight days.

Most of those new cases are among younger people, as Japan has succeeded in getting most of its vulnerable elderly population vaccinated with at least one shot, although only 32 percent of the overall population has so far received one.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: World Feed

Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Comes to Life in Microsoft Flight Simulator

Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Comes to Life in Microsoft Flight Simulator

We are delighted to announce today that we are partnering with Orbis International, a non-profit organization transforming lives through the treatment and prevention of avoidable blindness, to give flight simmers the chance to virtually explore the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital.

Orbis is making a profound impact on people’s lives and we’re proud to support their fight against avoidable blindness; a large but solvable problem that affects millions of people around the world who don’t have access to eyecare.  According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness there are 43 million people living with blindness, and 295 million with moderate-to-severe vision loss, 77% of which is completely avoidable.

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is a one-of-a-kind aircraft and an incredible feat of engineering. A converted MD-10 cargo plane, it’s now a fully accredited teaching hospital, equipped with a state-of-the-art operating room, laser treatment room, simulation center, classroom and AV suite, that conducts training programs across the globe.

We recognized an opportunity to raise awareness for Orbis’s cause by incorporating the Flying Eye Hospital into the Microsoft Flight Simulator experience.  

Microsoft Flight Simulator users can tour the Flying Eye Hospital in full hospital mode with stunningly authentic detail and learn more about Orbis’s mission to train and inspire local teams to save sight in their communities by accessing the plane free-of-charge through an in-game news link or directly via Microsoft Flight Simulator Marketplace. The plane, however, is not currently available for flight.

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital demonstrates how aviation can be a force for good in the world.  Since their first generation DC-8 took off in 1982, the Orbis plane has flown to 97 countries to carry out sight saving programs. This third generation MD-10 that Microsoft Flight Simulator users can experience was donated by FedEx employees and launched in 2016.

The aviation sector first pioneered simulation technology; now Orbis and the wider medical community are fast adopting it. Just as simulation has been teaching pilots how to fly for decades, it is now helping doctors, anesthesiologists and nurses to save sight and improve patient care. On board the plane, Orbis uses simulation to teach and train eye care teams around the world – using virtual reality, artificial eyes and mannequins. Simulation has proven even more vital during a global pandemic as opportunities for hands-on training have decreased.

A passion for aviation and realistic simulation are the threads that tie Orbis and Microsoft Flight Simulator together, so we’re proud to showcase this unique aircraft.

The Flying Eye Hospital is available as a free download for all Microsoft Flight Simulator users to tour beginning today and will be available as a free download in the Marketplace on Xbox Series X|S on July 27. The sky is calling!

Visit orbis.org to learn more about their mission or visit orbis.org/FlyingEyeHospital to learn more about the plane.

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This post originally posted here Xbox Wire

UFO sighting: Alien hunter claims to have '100% proof' of flying saucers over Florida

UFO sighting: Alien hunter claims to have '100% proof' of flying saucers over Florida

The person said: “Hmmm, so what’s the reason you sat on these for so long? Is it because of Occams razor? The easiest possibility is most likely to be the correct one?

“To me, the obvious candidate is rain droplets caught by the camera.

“But I too could be wrong for I wasn’t there to see one of these at the time the photos were taken either…”

There might be no telling what caused the UFOs – debris, raindrops or software glitches – but it is highly unlikely these are genuine UFOs.

But there is a well-understood psychological phenomenon that could explain Mr Waring’s interpretation of the images: pareidolia.

Pareidolia is a peculiar trick of the mind that causes people to see recognisable shapes and patterns where there are none.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Weird Feed

What are the rules for flying to and from Spain? Passengers sent home from airport

What are the rules for flying to and from Spain? Passengers sent home from airport
Despite it currently being on the amber list for travel, keen holidaymakers are already jetting off to Spain for their early summer holiday following restrictions being lifted on May 17. But some travellers have been turned away from their flights for not having the right documentation – so what do you need to travel to and from Spain?
Last week 31 travellers were turned away from a Ryanair flight leaving East Midlands airport for not having the right documentation.

An airport spokesman said: “On Friday, May 21, 31 passengers were refused boarding onto a flight to Malaga for not having a Spanish residency permit.

“The decision, taken by the airline’s handling agent, was in line with the requirements of the Spanish authorities at the time.

“We encourage anyone planning to travel overseas to familiarise themselves with what is required of both the destination country and the UK’s regulations prior to booking flights.”

While Spain has now reopened to UK tourists and does not require proof of residency for travel to the Mediterranean country, there are still a number of things you need to have in check before setting off on your holiday.

What do I need to do when I come back from Spain?

Take a PCR test 3 days before flying, that can cost at least £90, and show a negative result with your original test result certificate.

Complete a passenger locator form.

Two other tests must be carried out on the second and eighth day of being back in the UK.

UK travellers must isolate themselves for 10 days either in their own home or in a place they have chosen to stay.

These tests must be ordered and paid for before returning to the UK.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Elon Musk makes dramatic U-TURN on cryptocurrency – cryptic tweet sends stock flying

Elon Musk makes dramatic U-TURN on cryptocurrency – cryptic tweet sends stock flying
Announcing today on Twitter the Tesla boss suggested he would support cryptocurrencies over fiat currencies. This u-turn comes after the SpaceX CEO sent out contradictory messages for over a week that began with a declaration that Tesla would be halting their acceptance of bitcoin as a payment method. On Twitter this morning, Mr Musk said: “The true battle is between fiat and crypto.
“On balance, I support the latter.”

Mr Musk was responding to a Twitter follower who said: “Yo Elon what do you think about the peeps who are angry at you because of crypto?”

This was in reference to the recent contradictory tweets from Mr Musk that have brought such volatility to cryptocurrency markets.

Over one week ago Mr Musk tweeted a statement that read: “Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using bitcoin.

READ MORE: Why has the crypto market crashed? Experts weigh in

Mr Musk answered the tweet by simply saying, “indeed”.

However, now  Mr Musk has retracted these earlier statements.

Mr Musk then came out with a swift clarification to end speculation that Tesla might dump their bitcoin holdings.

He tweeted:”To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any bitcoin.”

Then there Elon Musk tweeted a “diamond hands” emoji amid bitcoin drop, implying that Tesla won’t sell their large holdings of the world’s preeminent cryptocurrency.

In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Mr Musk said that Tesla had “diamond hands” suggesting the company he heads would not be shedding its $ 1.5 billion (£1.06 billion) stake in bitcoin.

The head of Tesla also tweeted: “How much is that Doge in the window?”

In this tweet he attached a cryptic image of a US dollar bill that had been manipulated to look like it had a doge coin face on it. 

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Man set fire in Austin Driskill Hotel room before flying to Houston, AFD says

Man set fire in Austin Driskill Hotel room before flying to Houston, AFD says

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man who had been staying at the Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin is accused of setting a fire in his room and then getting on a flight to Houston, according to the Austin Fire Department. He was arrested once he landed.

William Oliver Nichols (Austin Police Department Photo)
William Oliver Nichols (Austin Police Department Photo)

The “small” fire happened Monday morning in a closet on the 10th floor and had been put out by the fire sprinkler. It caused about $ 5,100 in damage, according to an arrest affidavit.

AFD arson investigators and the Austin Police Department investigated, and found a blue bottle of lighter fluid in the room.

AFD identified William Oliver Nichols, 77, as a suspect. They say he had been at the hotel for 16 days and left around 7:06 a.m., shortly after the time investigators believe the fire was set. Nichols does not yet have an attorney listed who could provide comment.

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Officials detained Nichols in Houston and Austin official traveled there and arrested him.

“As to the why he did it, no one knows…Mr. Nichols was not interested in making conversation on his road trip back to Austin yesterday so his reasoning remains a mystery,” an AFD spokeswoman wrote.

Nichols faces a Felony 1 Arson/Habitation charge. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison or confinement of 5-99 years as well as a fine of as much as $ 10,000. He does not yet have an attorney listed.

Author: Kate Winkle
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

How Rocket Man Richard Browning got his 85mph flying machine off the ground

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Richard

Richard has turned his passion for flight into a business (Image: Steve Reigate Daily Express)

A mighty roar – like an F1 car leaving the pits – shatters the stillness of the First World War airfield near Stonehenge, and Richard’s smile is replaced by an expression of deep concentration. He carefully adjusts fingertip controls to gradually allow more fuel into the plastic tubes feeding the five engines. Almost immediately he rises slowly into the air, sending off waves of heat. I’m looking at a real-life Iron Man, hovering 10ft above my head, and suddenly he’s off – racing into the distance, before swooping in giant circles over a field of bright ­yellow rapeseed.

Then he opens up the throttle and flies directly back towards me at speed before rising slightly, slowing and dropping back on to his small launch platform as softly as a snowflake.

“That was a great way to spend 40 seconds,” says the 42-year-old former Royal Navy reservist, a huge smile spreading across his face. “It’s just like riding a bike, so easy when you get the hang of it.

“Honestly, there is no effort. It works by thrust. When you bring your arms down you go up, and you flare your arms out to come down. It’s that simple.”

No wonder stunt-loving superstar Tom Cruise is desperate to get a piece of this action – he’s in regular contact with Richard.

And don’t be surprised if it turns out that a certain 007 will also be licensed to fly because the producers of the Bond movies have also expressed an interest.

The thrust that propels Richard’s jetpack – named Daedalus after the mythical Greek flyer – is created when compressed air is mixed with ignited fuel, providing the equivalent of 1,000 horsepower, similar to an F1 racing car.

Richard Browning

Daily Express writer James Murray talks to Rocket Man Richard Browning (Image: Steve Reigate Daily Express)

He has perfected the skill of knowing how to control the awesome power that can take him up to 85mph with very small, smooth movements of his arms and body. “On a bike you are constantly making micro adjustments to keep your sense of gravity over the cracks in the road,” he says. “Your mind does it automatically. It’s the same with Daedalus.”

That’s not to say it hasn’t been a steep learning curve. One time he flew to an island off the coast of Wales. His friend Bear Grylls, the television presenter and adventurer, was making the crossing below him on a jet ski. But on the way back, the wind around some low cliffs on the mainland caught him by surprise.

“You should fly parallel to a cliff or wall, but I went straight at it,” he recalls. “I misjudged the momentum and smacked into the side of the cliff. I hit it at about 10mph and was fine, but I did wreck a lot of equipment. I rolled down a slope for about 15ft.

“You have to take risks to make progress, but I am very careful.”

Over the five years since his project began there have been a few burns and plenty of bumps and bruises but thankfully no serious accidents. Constant developmental tweaks reduce the risks.

Four micro jet engines

Four micro jet engines are attached to Richard’s arms and a fifth is strapped to his back (Image: Steve Reigate Daily Express)

As we chat, he shows me some astonishing moving images that look as though they were shot for a James Bond film.

Aerial footage shows Richard on a Special Boat Service-style speedboat which is pursuing what looks like a small frigate in fairly choppy seas. He takes off and within seconds swoops down on to the bridge of the frigate, tosses a rope ladder over the side to allow marines to climb on board and then flies back to the safety of the speedboat.

Mission accomplished, demonstrating why the military is every bit as interested in Daedalus as the film industry.

During lockdown he was flown to a friendly Middle Eastern country in a giant Boeing C-17 cargo plane for secret week-long exercises. He also helped train Dutch special forces units who are keen to see how to adapt Daedalus to meet maritime threats.

“There’s the fun, entertainment side to this and then there is the serious military potential,” says Richard, who started out as an oil trader at BP where he gained a reputation as an innovator of global technologies.He considered joining the Army, but rejected the chance to go to Sandhurst. His military ambitions were fulfilled when he won his green beret as a Royal Navy reservist.

Gravity Industries

Richard has been involved in secret missions to evaluate military uses of his invention (Image: Gravity Industries / SWNS)

Richard applies that training to the possibilities Daedalus offers. As he scans the picturesque Wiltshire scenery, he spots Old Sarum Castle, overlooking Salisbury.

Surveying the ruins high on a hill,
surrounded by a moat, Richard says: “If you had a unit of marines trained with this technology you could fly up and into the castle top in 90 seconds from here.

“Once seized, they could let other forces in. You probably wouldn’t need helicopters or a lot of infantry.” Although he cannot shoot a weapon while flying – his hands are too busy controlling the jetpack – he has flown with a machine gun strapped to his back, which could be deployed seconds after landing.

“The military world and the military see it as something that can be used in active operations,” he says, guardedly. “I have been involved in some pretty weird training ops, but I can’t say too much about all that.”

Richard

Stunt-loving superstar Tom Cruise is in regular contact with Richard (Image: Getty )

In his soon-to-be-released book – Taking on Gravity – he talks openly and honestly about his inspirational and at times frustrating journey, during which he has often been thankful for the support and understanding of wife Debbie, 41, and sons Oliver, 14, and Thomas, 13.

His own story, he admits, has parallels with the story of Marvel Comics’ superhero Tony Stark, the businessman in the Iron Man suit played by Robert Downey Jr.

Richard had a globe-trotting career with BP, was well off, but in his 30s found himself yearning for more. To learn the basics of flight he examined the wing of a dead bird of prey, then ordered a £4,000 model aircraft engine.

His garage soon began to look like Tony Stark’s workshop. He rigged up the engine to see how much thrust it generated and was pleasantly surprised when it nearly blew over his washing machine.

While out running he mapped out his plan for a suit using more of the small engines. His father Michael had been an amateur inventor with a passion for flight and engineering. Richard has a picture of his father riding a bike with a hang glider wing strapped to his back.

Tragically, Michael took his own life while his son was in his mid teens. It was a devastating blow, but Richard sees his project as a way of paying tribute to his father.

He has a handful of staff working for the firm he founded, Gravity Industries, from his home near Salisbury. The annexe has many prototypes. His latest project is an electricity powered jet suit, which he will unveil later in the year. It can only fly for a short time, but is silent, which is sure to increase its appeal.

“The latest fuel jet suit can fly for about six minutes and takes just 15 seconds to take off, so we are pleased with that as well.”

Richard met Mission Impossible actor Cruise on a Spanish chat show some years ago and they keep in touch by email. “He really loves the idea of being able to fly and I keep him updated with all the developments,” says Richard, who has taken his invention to China, Japan and many European countries for TV shows.

Unsurprisingly, there is a great deal of interest in California, where he has a small office. There have been “discussions but nothing firm” with the makers of the Bond films.

So the Daedalus project is all up in the air at the moment but you can be pretty sure that one day it will get off the ground… and fly.

  • Taking on Gravity: A Guide to Inventing the Impossible from the Man Who Learned to Fly by Richard Browning is published on May 6 (Bantam, £20)

Joe Biden Picks A Dandelion For Wife Jill Before Flying Off On Marine One: Watch Sweet, Romantic Gesture

Author: Emily Selleck
This post originally appeared on Hollywood Life

Joe Biden Picks A Dandelion For Wife Jill Before Flying Off On Marine One: Watch Sweet, Romantic Gesture

Joe Biden has proved he’s a true gentleman, surprising his wife of 43 years by picking her a flower while walking hand-in-hand across the lawn at The White House.

Jill Biden and Joe Biden may have been married for 43 years, but their romance is very much still alive! President Joe and Dr. Jill were seen walking hand-in-hand on April 29, when the POTUS surprised her with a sweet, romantic gesture. He bent down while strolling across the lawn at the White House to pick a dandelion from the grass. The couple then boarded Marine One, bound for Plains, Georgia, to meet with former president Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

The First Lady stunned in a blue dress with a yellow and green floral pattern, a matching protective face mask, and a yellow heels. She held onto the flower as she boarded the plane with her husband. Twitter users were quick to comment on how sweet Joe’s action was. “I’m glad we elected a president that cares for his wife as well as the American people,” one person wrote, while another joked, “I’ve already seen her hold her husband’s hand more times than Trump’s entire presidency.”

It comes just a few months after Joe opened up in a 2020 interview with CBS Sunday Morning about his enduring relationship, “I adore her,” he began. “I’m gonna sound so stupid — I was saying the other day, when she comes down the steps and I look at her, my heart still skips a beat.”

joe biden
Joe Biden picks a flower. Image: Shutterstock

Most recently, Joe confirmed he personally called the family of George Floyd to discuss the murder conviction of his killer, former Minneapolis Police cop Derek Chauvin. After just 10 hours of deliberations, a jury found the ex-police officer guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s May 25, 2020 death. Biden told his seven-year-old daughter Gianna that her father “did change the world,” as his death set off nationwide protests about police brutality and systematic racism.

“I just spoke with George Floyd’s family again. A remarkable family of extraordinary courage. Nothing can ever bring their brother, their father back. But this can be a giant step forward in the march towards justice in America,” he said in a statement, adding, “What I just discussed with the Floyd family, the guilty verdict, does not bring back, George. But, through the family’s pain they are finding purpose. So George’s legacy will not be just about his death, but about what we must do in his memory.”

Erling Haaland's reps flying to England 'soon' for meetings amid Man Utd and Chelsea links

Erling Haaland's reps flying to England 'soon' for meetings amid Man Utd and Chelsea links
Mina Raiola and Alf-Inge Haaland are set to travel to England in the next couple of weeks to sit down with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea over a potential transfer for Erling Haaland. The duo have met with both Barcelona and Real Madrid today to discuss a move as the race for the Borussia Dortmund talisman hots up.
The Bundesliga club told Raiola this week that they do not want to sell the player at any cost.

However, should Dortmund fail to qualify for the Champions League next season, their chances of keeping the striker are limited.

Haaland wants to continue playing in Europe’s elite club competition every season having become the youngest-ever player to hit 20 goals in the tournament.

Raiola and Haaland senior flew to Catalonia today, where they met with the Barca board to discuss a summer transfer.

New Barcelona president Joan Laporta is believed to be desperate to land the 20-year-old, in a bid to convince Lionel Messi to stay put.

EXCLUSIVE: Manchester United scouting Bayer Leverkusen star Edmond Tapsoba after tip-off

United are back in the running for Haaland, 15 months after they missed out on the striker during his time at RB Salzburg.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer previously coached the forward while at Molde and the pair have remained in close contact.

In December 2019, United cooled their interest in Haaland due to the agent fees involved in the deal.

It was a decision they soon lived to regret, as the Norwegian elevated his game to the next level at Borussia Dortmund.

The £18million they paid to Salzburg now looks like one of the greatest bargains of all time, with Dortmund now set to demand up to £150m.

Meanwhile, City need to find a new No 9 to replace Sergio Aguero, who has been their main man for the past 10 years.

The Argentine is due to leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires.

Chelsea are also in the fray though and Roman Abramovich is reportedly determined to win the race for ‘The Terminator’.

Kate Middleton must follow ‘elevated’ fashion rule when flying as a sign of ‘respect’

Kate Middleton must follow ‘elevated’ fashion rule when flying as a sign of ‘respect’

Renowned for her seemingly effortless glamour and fashion-forward ensembles, Kate is often pictured stepping off aeroplanes in an array of high-end outfits.

However, according to a royal expert, this is actually something which is expected of the mother-of-three.

While typical travellers may opt for a comfortable tracksuit or a casual T-shirt and jeans, this is reportedly not an option for Kate.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Anne Chertoff, Chief Operating Officer at New York-based Beautmont Etiquette, which currently runs a specialist online royal-themed etiquette course, explained her outfit choices can actually be seen as a mark of “respect”.

READ MORE: Portugal holidays: FCDO issues update on quarantine rule