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Plus de 5 millions de jeunes Turcs votent pour la première fois

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de notre envoyé spécial à Istanbul – Quelque 5,2 millions de jeunes Turcs voteront pour la première fois lors des élections présidentielles et législatives du 14 mai, et ils pourraient jouer un rôle clé dans l’avenir du pays. À environ 20 ans, ils ne se souviennent pas d’avoir vécu avant le président Recep Tayyip Erdogan, qui a été au pouvoir en tant que président ou Premier ministre pendant deux décennies. FRANCE 24 est allée à la rencontre de certains d’entre eux.

Ils s’appellent la Génération Z et n’ont connu qu’un seul leader : Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Alors que certains espèrent un changement de direction, d’autres souhaitent voir Erdogan et son Parti islamo-conservateur de la justice et du développement (AKP) revenir au pouvoir. Ils devront choisir le 14 mai entre Erdogan et trois challengers : le candidat de l’alliance de l’opposition Kemal Kilicdaroglu ; Muharrem Ince, qui s’est présenté contre Erdogan aux élections de 2018 ; et le candidat d’extrême droite Sinan Ogan.

Erdogan rêvait autrefois d’élever une “génération pieuse”. Mais de nombreux jeunes Turcs cherchent à se libérer du carcan de la religion et à jouir de plus de libertés civiques. Selon un récent sondage cité par l’AFP, seuls 20% des 18-25 ans -les anciens envisagent de voter pour le président et son parti AKP lors des élections présidentielles et législatives du 14 mai.

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Mais le titulaire sait aussi jouer sur le sentiment nationaliste – et le ressentiment occidental – en se présentant comme le précurseur d’une Turquie qui pourrait être une superpuissance mondiale, une Turquie à la fois respectée et redoutée.

« Chez une partie de la jeunesse, il y a un ressentiment envers l’Occident sur lequel Erdogan capitalise souvent : ‘les Occidentaux nous méprisent, ils ne nous accordent pas de visas’ », explique Ahmet Insel, éditeur et politologue. “Cela galvanise l’identité religieuse, l’identité sunnite-turque.”

En espérant un changement

Fatma Reyyan Ince et Izot recherchent un changement de direction qui raviverait les espoirs d’une Turquie plus ouverte et plus démocratique.

Fatma Reyyan Ince, 19 ans, Kahramanmaras dans le sud-est de la Turquie

Fatma Reyyan Ince espère fréquenter une école de droit à Antalya.
Fatma Reyyan Ince espère fréquenter une école de droit à Antalya. © Assiya Hamza, FRANCE 24

Assise à la terrasse d’un café avec une amie, Fatma Reyyan Ince prend une petite pause pendant qu’elle étudie pour les examens d’entrée à l’université ; le lycéen espère un jour étudier le droit à l’Université internationale d’Antalya.

“Je suis très content à l’idée de voter pour la première fois mais aussi stressé par les examens. Depuis trois mois, vu ce qui s’est passé (Note de l’éditeur: les tremblements de terre dévastateurs de février), je me suis davantage intéressé à la politique. Ce sont des moments difficiles.”

“Je sais pour qui je voterai : Muharrem Ince (aucun lien de parenté). S’il y a un second tour, Inshallah (Si Dieu le veut), ce sera Kilicdaroglu.

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Mon père est pro-AKP, ma grand-mère maternelle l’est aussi. Mais ma mère et moi ressentons la même chose. Il y a aussi une grande différence entre les générations : nous sommes très ouverts d’esprit, contrairement aux personnes âgées, et nous réfléchissons aux conséquences de chaque décision.

C’est très dur d’avoir 20 ans aujourd’hui en Turquie. L’économie va mal. Il faut penser à nos études. Je veux rester ici; il est impossible d’envisager de quitter le pays. Même si en 10 ans rien n’a changé, je n’irai nulle part. Mais je rêve d’un pays libre.

Je pense qu’Erdogan est au pouvoir depuis si longtemps parce que les gens lui font confiance. Il a fait ce qu’il avait promis. Si les gens pensent qu’il peut redresser l’économie, il a de bonnes chances d’être réélu.

La Turquie est un beau pays. Si nous parvenons à relancer l’économie, nous connaîtrons un nouveau succès.

Izot, 20 ans, Istanbul

Izot est un militant des droits LGBT.
Izot est un militant des droits LGBT. © Assiya Hamza, FRANCE 24

Izot se décrit comme un militant de la cause LGBT. Bien que décriminalisée depuis 1858 en Turquie, l’homosexualité reste un sujet tabou dans une société majoritairement musulmane et conservatrice. Izot aspire à réaliser des documentaires politiques qui pourront un jour changer le monde.

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“C’est la première fois que je participerai à une élection présidentielle. C’est très important. Je ne sais pas encore pour quel parti je voterai aux législatives mais je voterai pour Kilicdaroglu comme président.”

“Être LGBT et en parler ouvertement, c’est très difficile en Turquie. Dans les grandes villes, c’est plus facile, mais on a peur même quand on est avec des amis dans un café. Il faut utiliser un vocabulaire secret pour que les gens ne le sachent pas.” nous comprendre. Nous l’appelons ‘Lubunca‘.

Nous avons toujours peur. Il y a beaucoup de suicides, des gens sont tués. Pendant Nowruz, la fête du printemps, à Diyarbakir, certains ont été agressés par des gens qui criaient : « On ne veut pas de pédés ici !

Les attaques verbales et les menaces se sont multipliées sur les réseaux sociaux. Si vous avez un drapeau arc-en-ciel sur votre photo de profil, vous êtes insulté.

Je veux vivre dans un monde où l’on peut marcher sans avoir peur, où l’on peut affirmer son identité. Je voudrais que la Turquie devienne une démocratie moderne. Je sais que ce ne sera pas facile, mais nous voulons les mêmes droits que tout le monde. Nous voulons marcher main dans la main avec nos partenaires. Nous voulons que les partis politiques tiennent compte de la communauté LGBT, intègrent les droits LGBT à leurs plateformes.

Mes parents connaissent mon militantisme, pas mon identité. Mais je suis prêt à leur en parler. Ils sont ma famille; Je suis leur fils. Je veux croire qu’ils l’accepteront.”

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Garder le cap

Abdulkadir Ciftci et Zeynep Sude Canakcioglu notez les progrès qui ont été réalisés au cours des 20 dernières années et pensez qu’Erdogan continuera à faire avancer la Turquie vers un avenir meilleur.

Abdulkadir Ciftci, 19 ans, Adiyaman dans le sud-est de la Turquie

Abdulkadir Ciftci, 19 ans, d'Adiyaman.
Abdulkadir Ciftci, 19 ans, d’Adiyaman. © Assiya Hamza, FRANCE 24

Assis derrière le bureau de son père dans un magasin d’Adiyaman, le visage innocent d’Abdulkadir rayonne d’une assurance enviable. Lycéen de 19 ans, il rêve d’une carrière dans la justice.

“Depuis que je suis petit, je rêvais d’étudier le droit. Je voulais devenir avocat, avoir mon propre cabinet. Maintenant, je veux devenir procureur, Inshallah. Je veux demander justice. La justice existe en Turquie et le gouvernement s’emploie à l’améliorer. Il y a vingt ans, il y avait une vraie division entre les Turcs et les Kurdes. Aujourd’hui, cela n’existe plus. Je peux chanter en kurde dans la rue Istiqlal à Istanbul sans que personne ne me dérange.”

“Je suis très investi dans cette élection parce que je dois assurer mon avenir. Que ce soit un parti ou l’autre, je voterai pour celui qui remet l’industrie sur le devant de la scène. Nous fabriquons nos propres voitures, nos propres drones, nous avons notre propre secteur agricole, je veux que les gens vivent mieux.

La Turquie a connu un âge d’or avec Erdogan, le deuxième après l’Empire ottoman. Il a construit des ponts, des bâtiments. Il a permis aux gens de vivre en paix. Même si ça va un peu moins bien aujourd’hui – je ne sais pas pourquoi – je veux que la Turquie retrouve sa force, comme sous l’Empire ottoman. Je veux que le turc devienne une langue universelle.”

Zeynep Sude Canakçioglu, 19 ans, Istanbul

Zeynep Sude Canakcioglu, 19 ans, d'Istanbul.
Zeynep Sude Canakcioglu, 19 ans, d’Istanbul. © Assiya Hamza, FRANCE 24

Coupe de cheveux courte, veste sur mesure et œil pétillant, Zeynep est étudiante dans le secteur des assurances à Istanbul. Elle sourit largement lorsqu’elle parle de son soutien au président Erdogan.

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“Comme beaucoup d’autres jeunes, c’est ma première élection et j’ai hâte d’y participer. Je suis content de vivre en Turquie. Je suis libre, et même si ce n’est pas toujours facile, j’ai beaucoup de rêves.”

“La seule chose à laquelle je pense en ce moment, c’est mon avenir. Je me demande ce qui va se passer après les élections et quelle sera ma carrière. C’est la seule chose qui compte pour les jeunes.

Erdogan est mon candidat. Je voterai pour lui car il attache une grande importance à la jeunesse ; il se soucie de notre avenir. Je crois aussi à l’héritage de [the founder of modern day Turkey, Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk et le chemin qu’il a tracé pour nous.

En tant que jeune Turc, j’apprécie mon pays et ma nationalité. Je ne veux pas voter pour ceux [opposition figures] qui serrent la main des ennemis de l’état (Note de l’éditeur: le Parti démocratique des peuples, ou HDP, et le Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan, ou PKK) et l’armée. C’est inacceptable. Beaucoup de gens sont ingrats – ils devraient reconnaître les progrès qui ont été réalisés au cours des 20 dernières années.

Je pense qu’Erdogan remportera cette élection au premier tour. Nous avons eu 20 ans, et j’espère que nous en aurons 20 de plus. Inshallah.”

Cet article a été traduit de l’original en français.

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Fasting IS good for you… but don’t copy Rishi Sunak! Scientists find health benefits of starving yourself only kick in after three days

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Fasting like Rishi Sunak can have multiple health benefits, scientists have confirmed — but only if you do it for at least three days straight. 

New findings reveal that prolonged fasting sheds unhealthy fat — with the weight staying off — and gives multiple organs, including the brain, a ‘significant’ boost.

But researchers at Queen Mary University in London found the benefits only kick in after at least 72 hours without food.

It means the PM — who only drinks water, tea or black coffee from 5pm Sunday to 5am Tuesday, may not be benefitting from his weekly 36-hour fast.

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Researchers at Queen Mary University in London found the benefits only kick in after at least 72 hours without food. It means the PM — who only drinks water, tea or black coffee from 5pm Sunday to 5am Tuesday, may not be benefitting from his weekly 36-hour fast

Researchers at Queen Mary University in London found the benefits only kick in after at least 72 hours without food. It means the PM — who only drinks water, tea or black coffee from 5pm Sunday to 5am Tuesday, may not be benefitting from his weekly 36-hour fast

Researchers at Queen Mary University in London found the benefits only kick in after at least 72 hours without food. It means the PM — who only drinks water, tea or black coffee from 5pm Sunday to 5am Tuesday, may not be benefitting from his weekly 36-hour fast

Many celebrities have also touted the benefits of intermittent fasting, including Hugh Jackman (pictured in February 2023). The study found that protein levels in several organs change after about three days of fasting, indicating that the whole body is responding to the fast

Many celebrities have also touted the benefits of intermittent fasting, including Hugh Jackman (pictured in February 2023). The study found that protein levels in several organs change after about three days of fasting, indicating that the whole body is responding to the fast

Many celebrities have also touted the benefits of intermittent fasting, including Hugh Jackman (pictured in February 2023). The study found that protein levels in several organs change after about three days of fasting, indicating that the whole body is responding to the fast

Many celebrities have also touted the benefits of intermittent fasting, including Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Mark Wahlberg, Chris Hemsworth and Kourtney Kardashian.

Professor Claudia Langenberg said: ‘Fasting, when done safely, is an effective weight loss intervention. Popular diets that incorporate fasting claim to have health benefits beyond weight loss.

‘Our results provide evidence for the health benefits of fasting beyond weight loss, but these were only visible after three days of total caloric restriction — later than we previously thought.

‘For the first time, we’re able to see what’s happening on a molecular level across the body when we fast.’

The study found that protein levels in several organs change after about three days of fasting, indicating that the whole body is responding to the fast.

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These proteins, including ones that make up the supportive structure for neurons in the brain, help organs operate more effectively.

These proteins, including ones that make up the supportive structure for neurons in the brain, help organs operate more effectively. Pictured, Kourtney Kardashian in 2019. The oldest Kardashian sibling has previously touted the benefits of intermittent fasting

These proteins, including ones that make up the supportive structure for neurons in the brain, help organs operate more effectively. Pictured, Kourtney Kardashian in 2019. The oldest Kardashian sibling has previously touted the benefits of intermittent fasting

These proteins, including ones that make up the supportive structure for neurons in the brain, help organs operate more effectively. Pictured, Kourtney Kardashian in 2019. The oldest Kardashian sibling has previously touted the benefits of intermittent fasting

The study's test subjects, who fasted for seven days straight, lost an average of 5.7kg. The weight stayed off even three days after fasting ended. Fasting is practised by millions of people throughout the world for different medical and cultural purposes, including health benefits and weight loss. The Prime Minister's (pictured on Wednesday) mother-in-law, Sudha Murty, last year also revealed her family have long observed a fast every Thursday

The study's test subjects, who fasted for seven days straight, lost an average of 5.7kg. The weight stayed off even three days after fasting ended. Fasting is practised by millions of people throughout the world for different medical and cultural purposes, including health benefits and weight loss. The Prime Minister's (pictured on Wednesday) mother-in-law, Sudha Murty, last year also revealed her family have long observed a fast every Thursday

The study’s test subjects, who fasted for seven days straight, lost an average of 5.7kg. The weight stayed off even three days after fasting ended. Fasting is practised by millions of people throughout the world for different medical and cultural purposes, including health benefits and weight loss. The Prime Minister’s (pictured on Wednesday) mother-in-law, Sudha Murty, last year also revealed her family have long observed a fast every Thursday

The body also changes its source and type of energy, switching from glucose calories that come from food to its own fat stores.

The study’s test subjects, who fasted for seven days straight, lost an average of 5.7kg. The weight stayed off even three days after fasting ended.

Fasting is practised by millions of people throughout the world for different medical and cultural purposes, including health benefits and weight loss.

Historically, fasting was used to treat diseases such as epilepsy and rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers said the protein changes may explain why it had a positive effect on these and other conditions.

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They hope their findings lead to new treatments for people who cannot undergo prolonged fasting.

Dr Maik Pietzner said: ‘While fasting may be beneficial for treating some conditions, often fasting won’t be an option to patients suffering from ill health. We hope these findings can be used to develop treatments that patients are able to use.’

WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count

• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain

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• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts

• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day

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• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide 

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Christian Horner latest: Red Bull team principal to return to paddock after alleged text messages and photos leaked

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So, as we’ve discussed today, Horner was cleared by a KC-led investigation into allegations of ‘inappropritate behaviour’ before reports yesterday emerged that alleged text messages from the Red Bull boss had been leaked.

Below, we’ve got a complete timeline of the investigation, leading all the way up to yesterday’s seismic reports…

February 5 – Red Bull Racing’s parent company GmbH confirms Horner is under investigation following an accusation of ‘inappropriate behaviour’. The company says it ‘takes these matters extremely seriously and the investigation will be completed as soon as practically possible’.

February 9 – Horner is questioned by a lawyer for eight hours at a secret London location. There is no immediate resolution.

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February 15 – Horner appears at Red Bull’s car launch – his first appearance in public since news of the allegations emerged. He vows to be in his role as Red Bull team principal for the first race of the season, and says: ‘For me, it is business as normal.’

February 18 – F1 makes its first public comment on the matter, calling for Horner’s future to be ‘clarified at the earliest opportunity’.

February 20 – Despite the ongoing investigation, Horner flies to Bahrain for three days of testing ahead of the new season.

February 21 – Horner takes his position on the Red Bull pit wall for the opening day of the test. Rival Mercedes boss Toto Wolff demands transparency from Red Bull’s investigation, and says the controversy is ‘an issue for all of Formula One’.

February 22 – Horner appears in a press conference alongside four other F1 team principals. He refuses to comment on the investigation, but says ‘everybody would like a conclusion as soon as possible’.

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February 23 – Red Bull’s triple world champion Max Verstappen says ‘it will be nice for everyone’ when the investigation into Horner is concluded. Horner heads back to England following the conclusion of the test.

February 28 – Red Bull GmbH announces the ‘independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr Horner is complete and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed’, clearing Horner to remain in his position.

February 29 – Text messages and photographs allegedly sent by Horner to a female employee are leaked, just hours after the Red Bull boss broke his silence on the investigation.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner ahead of Practice 3 at the Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir. Picture date: Friday March 1, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story AUTO Bahrain. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire.RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner ahead of Practice 3 at the Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir. Picture date: Friday March 1, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story AUTO Bahrain. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire.RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner looks on during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

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Wedding wipeout! Bride’s dream day turns into a nightmare after she faints at the altar seconds after saying ‘I do’

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A bride’s dream wedding day turned into a nightmare after she fainted at the altar, just seconds after saying ‘I do’. 

A TikTok clip shows Catherine Franks was collapsing at the church altar moments after marrying her husband, which she put down to heat exhaustion and dehydration.

The 28-year-old had been enduring 37C temperatures under ‘all the lights’ for more than 40 minutes when her head began to spin after exchanging her vows.

As the couple were pronounced man and wife, the speech therapist tumbled to the ground during the ceremony, while her concerned fiancé Alex Franks rushed to her side.

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Shocking wedding footage captures the moment Catherine slumps to the ground three times as the bridesmaids and groom try to keep her upright.

Catherine Frnaks, 28, passed out on her own wedding day after enduring 37C heat at the altar under the lights where she said 'I do'

Catherine Frnaks, 28, passed out on her own wedding day after enduring 37C heat at the altar under the lights where she said 'I do'

Catherine Frnaks, 28, passed out on her own wedding day after enduring 37C heat at the altar under the lights where she said ‘I do’

More footage then reveals her lay prostrate across the floor of the alter as everyone frantically fans the horizontal bride.

Catherine said she passed out from dehydration – a moment which was shared on TikTok and racked up more than 500,000 views.

Catherine said: ‘We get to the wedding and get to the ceremony and I start feeling a bit light-headed at the altar with everyone watching.

After Catherine spectacularly collapsed at the altar her husband Alex rushed to her aid, along with other guests

After Catherine spectacularly collapsed at the altar her husband Alex rushed to her aid, along with other guests

After Catherine spectacularly collapsed at the altar her husband Alex rushed to her aid, along with other guests

‘I think we had just said ‘I do’ and were waiting on the final prayer so we were technically married. We’d been standing there for about 40 minutes.

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‘My husband knew something was wrong and kept looking at me, and I said ‘I think I’m going to pass out’. I started getting tunnel vision and feeling really light-headed.

‘The next thing I knew, I woke up and just saw boots around me because my dad and husband wore cowboy boots.’

Catherine, who met her husband on the dating app Hinge before becoming engaged in August 2022, said she managed to compose herself after the incident when her new husband helped calm her down.

Despite the couple's strange start to married life, they looked like a match made in heaven as they beamed in front of their guests

Despite the couple's strange start to married life, they looked like a match made in heaven as they beamed in front of their guests

Despite the couple’s strange start to married life, they looked like a match made in heaven as they beamed in front of their guests 

After Catherine collapsed she was helped onto a chair by her husband and other wedding guests, including a bridesmaid

After Catherine collapsed she was helped onto a chair by her husband and other wedding guests, including a bridesmaid

After Catherine collapsed she was helped onto a chair by her husband and other wedding guests, including a bridesmaid

Catherine said: ‘I was trying to get myself together and gather myself because all these people were here and watching me.

‘I thought ‘I just need to get up and finish’. It was so hot on the altar with all the lights.

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‘My husband was really worried about me. I heard people say ‘is she okay?’ ‘get her some water’.

‘He said to me ‘it’s okay, you’ll be fine’, he really talked me down from freaking out too much.

‘I’m a pretty clumsy person so I’m kind of used to things like that happening to me.

‘Lots of people came up to me at the reception and asked if I was okay.’

Catherine, who married 26-year-old teacher Alex in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, US, on July 7th 2023, said the moment has become a ‘family joke’ among her nearest and dearest.

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She ended up going to the ER the following day due to dehydration – but admits the debacle will be a funny tale to tell her daughter in years to come.

Catherine, who is expecting a baby girl in April, said: ‘I didn’t faint again but I got sick. We took a school bus from the church to our reception and I got sick on the bus and then I was fine for the rest of the night.

‘I actually went to the emergency room the next day because we think I had a little virus and I was so dehydrated.

‘At the time it was distressing, but now we look back and laugh. It’s funny now. It made the day very memorable! It’s now a family joke.

‘This will be a funny moment we can share with our daughter in years to come!’

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New sci-fi movie replaces The Shawshank Redemption as IMDb’s highest-rated film of all time

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A new sci-fit movie has overtaken The Shawshank Redemption as the number one highest-rated film on IMDB – and it hasn’t even been released.

The Shawshank Redemption has held the number one best film spot on IMDB since 2008 when it knocked The Godfather out of its long-standing ranking of nearly 20 years.

The 1994 flick has lost its crown Dune: Part Two, which has been deemed ‘visually thrilling’ and ‘narratively epic’ by critics days before its official release on March 1.

The Warner Bros movie has a 9.4 rating on IMDB from viewers who went to an early screening of the Sci-Fi epic on Sunday, along with a 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Dune: Part Two overtook The Shawshank Redemption's number one spot on IMDB days before it's release

Dune: Part Two overtook The Shawshank Redemption's number one spot on IMDB days before it's release

Dune: Part Two overtook The Shawshank Redemption’s number one spot on IMDB days before it’s release

Dune: Part Two is the second park in the film adaptation of Frank Herbert's first book of the same name

Dune: Part Two is the second park in the film adaptation of Frank Herbert's first book of the same name

Dune: Part Two is the second park in the film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s first book of the same name

Dune: Part Two’s sudden rise in popularity is in direct contrast to The Shawshank Redemption, which was a slow burn for viewers after it tanked at the box office.

The cult classic didn’t reach the heart of viewers until it was released on VHS a year later but it still took another 12 years before it reached IMDB’s top 250 list.

Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi vision, Dune: Part Two, has seemed to have no such issue, with viewers calling it the movie Hollywood needed and the ‘Sci-Fi/Fantasy epic of our Generation,’ while some compared it to The Lord of The Rings trilogy’s success in the early 2000s.

The majority of reviewers gave Dune: Part Two a 10-star rating with only five reviews ranking it below five stars, with many complimenting its blend of ‘visual splendor and narrative depth.’

The film’s IMDB rating has beaten out the top highest-grossing films of all time including Marvel’s Avengers: End Game and James Cameron’s Avatar and The Titanic which have all garnered roughly 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Rotten Tomatoes is considered to be a more accurate depiction of a film’s success because it focuses on critics reviews.

Dune: Part Two beat out The Shawshank Redemption's top spot on IMDB nearly 20 years after the film took The Godfather's place on the site

Dune: Part Two beat out The Shawshank Redemption's top spot on IMDB nearly 20 years after the film took The Godfather's place on the site

Dune: Part Two beat out The Shawshank Redemption’s top spot on IMDB nearly 20 years after the film took The Godfather’s place on the site

Dune: Part Two cost $190 million to make and will need to gross $470 million in the box office to make a profit

Dune: Part Two cost $190 million to make and will need to gross $470 million in the box office to make a profit

Dune: Part Two cost $190 million to make and will need to gross $470 million in the box office to make a profit

Filmmakers hope to make $70 to $80 million in Dune: Part Two's opening weekend

Filmmakers hope to make $70 to $80 million in Dune: Part Two's opening weekend

Filmmakers hope to make $70 to $80 million in Dune: Part Two’s opening weekend

Dune: Part Two hosts an all-star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Austin Butler and Christopher Walken

Dune: Part Two hosts an all-star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Austin Butler and Christopher Walken

Dune: Part Two hosts an all-star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Austin Butler and Christopher Walken

Yet its surge in popularity is giving other viewers pause, with one asking: ‘It hasn’t been released yet and it’s already the highest-rated film of all-time on IMDb. How is that even possible?’

Another person wrote that people are judging the film too early.

Critics are likewise jumping on the Dune bandwagon, reporting that the second installment of the film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s book of the same name did not disappoint.

Part one handled ‘the world-building and … expositional heavy lifting,’ according to film critic Austin Goslin, as it followed Paul and the Atreides family’s acquisition of controlling the universe’s one planet, Arakis, that produced a valuable resource called spice.

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Viewers raved about the film after seeing an early screening, calling it the movie Hollywood needed

Viewers raved about the film after seeing an early screening, calling it the movie Hollywood needed

Viewers raved about the film after seeing an early screening, calling it the movie Hollywood needed

'It's a fantastic piece of filmmaking, rarely seen in modern-day cinema,' one viewer said

'It's a fantastic piece of filmmaking, rarely seen in modern-day cinema,' one viewer said

‘It’s a fantastic piece of filmmaking, rarely seen in modern-day cinema,’ one viewer said

When the Harkonnens family overruns House Atreides and kills their patriarch, Duke Leto Atreides to take back the sand-ridden planet, Paul (played by Timothée Chalamet) and his mother Jessica (played by Rebecca Ferguson) were among the few who survived the assault, escaping to the desert after their family was nearly obliterated.

The second adaptation reportedly wastes no time on a recap, but instead jumps into Paul and Jessica’s attempts to avenge their family.

The film had a much higher budget than the first, with filmmakers spending $190 million, up from $165 million spent to create its predecessor.

To break even, the film will need to reel in $380 million and $475 million to make a profit, but Villeneuve is reportedly hoping to bring in $70 to $80 million in box office sales in the opening weekend, Variety reported.

Dune: Part Two boasts an all-star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, and Christopher Walken that brings the story to life. 

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Austin Butler – known for his debut role as Elvis in the cinematic adaptation of the rock-and-roll star’s life – ‘steals the show as Feyd-Rautha,’ according to one viewer who watched the film’s early release in Imax.

‘Overall, Dune: Part Two is an inspiring, visually stunning sci-fi spectacle and an incredible collision of myth, adventure, and destiny on a galactic scale,’ the viewer wrote. 

They added: ‘It’s a fantastic piece of filmmaking, rarely seen in modern-day cinema.’

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New sci-fi movie replaces The Shawshank Redemption as IMDb’s highest-rated film of all time

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A new sci-fit movie has overtaken The Shawshank Redemption as the number one highest-rated film on IMDB – and it hasn’t even been released.

The Shawshank Redemption has held the number one best film spot on IMDB since 2008 when it knocked The Godfather out of its long-standing ranking of nearly 20 years.

The 1994 flick has lost its crown Dune: Part Two, which has been deemed ‘visually thrilling’ and ‘narratively epic’ by critics days before its official release on March 1.

The Warner Bros movie has a 9.4 rating on IMDB from viewers who went to an early screening of the Sci-Fi epic on Sunday, along with a 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Dune: Part Two overtook The Shawshank Redemption's number one spot on IMDB days before it's release

Dune: Part Two overtook The Shawshank Redemption's number one spot on IMDB days before it's release

Dune: Part Two overtook The Shawshank Redemption’s number one spot on IMDB days before it’s release

Dune: Part Two is the second park in the film adaptation of Frank Herbert's first book of the same name

Dune: Part Two is the second park in the film adaptation of Frank Herbert's first book of the same name

Dune: Part Two is the second park in the film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s first book of the same name

Dune: Part Two’s sudden rise in popularity is in direct contrast to The Shawshank Redemption, which was a slow burn for viewers after it tanked at the box office.

The cult classic didn’t reach the heart of viewers until it was released on VHS a year later but it still took another 12 years before it reached IMDB’s top 250 list.

Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi vision, Dune: Part Two, has seemed to have no such issue, with viewers calling it the movie Hollywood needed and the ‘Sci-Fi/Fantasy epic of our Generation,’ while some compared it to The Lord of The Rings trilogy’s success in the early 2000s.

The majority of reviewers gave Dune: Part Two a 10-star rating with only five reviews ranking it below five stars, with many complimenting its blend of ‘visual splendor and narrative depth.’

The film’s IMDB rating has beaten out the top highest-grossing films of all time including Marvel’s Avengers: End Game and James Cameron’s Avatar and The Titanic which have all garnered roughly 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Rotten Tomatoes is considered to be a more accurate depiction of a film’s success because it focuses on critics reviews.

Dune: Part Two beat out The Shawshank Redemption's top spot on IMDB nearly 20 years after the film took The Godfather's place on the site

Dune: Part Two beat out The Shawshank Redemption's top spot on IMDB nearly 20 years after the film took The Godfather's place on the site

Dune: Part Two beat out The Shawshank Redemption’s top spot on IMDB nearly 20 years after the film took The Godfather’s place on the site

Dune: Part Two cost $190 million to make and will need to gross $470 million in the box office to make a profit

Dune: Part Two cost $190 million to make and will need to gross $470 million in the box office to make a profit

Dune: Part Two cost $190 million to make and will need to gross $470 million in the box office to make a profit

Filmmakers hope to make $70 to $80 million in Dune: Part Two's opening weekend

Filmmakers hope to make $70 to $80 million in Dune: Part Two's opening weekend

Filmmakers hope to make $70 to $80 million in Dune: Part Two’s opening weekend

Dune: Part Two hosts an all-star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Austin Butler and Christopher Walken

Dune: Part Two hosts an all-star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Austin Butler and Christopher Walken

Dune: Part Two hosts an all-star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Austin Butler and Christopher Walken

Yet its surge in popularity is giving other viewers pause, with one asking: ‘It hasn’t been released yet and it’s already the highest-rated film of all-time on IMDb. How is that even possible?’

Another person wrote that people are judging the film too early.

Critics are likewise jumping on the Dune bandwagon, reporting that the second installment of the film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s book of the same name did not disappoint.

Part one handled ‘the world-building and … expositional heavy lifting,’ according to film critic Austin Goslin, as it followed Paul and the Atreides family’s acquisition of controlling the universe’s one planet, Arakis, that produced a valuable resource called spice.

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Viewers raved about the film after seeing an early screening, calling it the movie Hollywood needed

Viewers raved about the film after seeing an early screening, calling it the movie Hollywood needed

Viewers raved about the film after seeing an early screening, calling it the movie Hollywood needed

'It's a fantastic piece of filmmaking, rarely seen in modern-day cinema,' one viewer said

'It's a fantastic piece of filmmaking, rarely seen in modern-day cinema,' one viewer said

‘It’s a fantastic piece of filmmaking, rarely seen in modern-day cinema,’ one viewer said

When the Harkonnens family overruns House Atreides and kills their patriarch, Duke Leto Atreides to take back the sand-ridden planet, Paul (played by Timothée Chalamet) and his mother Jessica (played by Rebecca Ferguson) were among the few who survived the assault, escaping to the desert after their family was nearly obliterated.

The second adaptation reportedly wastes no time on a recap, but instead jumps into Paul and Jessica’s attempts to avenge their family.

The film had a much higher budget than the first, with filmmakers spending $190 million, up from $165 million spent to create its predecessor.

To break even, the film will need to reel in $380 million and $475 million to make a profit, but Villeneuve is reportedly hoping to bring in $70 to $80 million in box office sales in the opening weekend, Variety reported.

Dune: Part Two boasts an all-star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, and Christopher Walken that brings the story to life. 

Advertisement

Austin Butler – known for his debut role as Elvis in the cinematic adaptation of the rock-and-roll star’s life – ‘steals the show as Feyd-Rautha,’ according to one viewer who watched the film’s early release in Imax.

‘Overall, Dune: Part Two is an inspiring, visually stunning sci-fi spectacle and an incredible collision of myth, adventure, and destiny on a galactic scale,’ the viewer wrote. 

They added: ‘It’s a fantastic piece of filmmaking, rarely seen in modern-day cinema.’

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International

Police arrest more than 60 at farmers’ protest on the Champs-Élysées in Paris

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French police said Friday they had arrested 66 people at a farmers’ protest on the Champs-Elysees in central Paris that blocked traffic during the morning rush hour.

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Using tractors and bales of hay, farmers briefly brought traffic to a halt on the famed avenue near the Arc de Triomphe monument, only a short distance from President Emmanuel Macron’s office, the Elysee.

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The protesters, who held up banners on the avenue, said their action was aimed “at saving French agriculture”.

Farmers across Europe have been protesting for weeks over what they say are excessively restrictive environmental rules, competition from cheap imports from outside the European Union and low incomes.

Farmer Axel Masson said about 100 of his peers had gathered at the arterial roundabout from 3:00 am (0200 GMT) “in a peaceful and law-abiding manner”. 

Some of the protesters handed out bags of potatoes to motorists stuck in crawling traffic around the Arc de Triomphe, AFP reporters at the scene said.

Several were seen chatting with police officers before the arrests.

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“The Rural Coordination takes over the Arc de Triomphe symbolically and peacefully,” the farmers’ union said earlier in a statement on social media platform X, adding that it was a cry to “save” agriculture in France.

It said it “wants quick action to save 45 percent of our farms which are in financial distress”.

Masson said the farmers laid a wreath in memory of their colleagues who had been driven to suicide by financial woes, adding: “The state has never heard us”.

French farmers have continued to block roads, set fire to tyres and lay siege to supermarkets, saying they need more measures, even after the government promised reforms. 

(AFP) 

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House prices rose in February, says Nationwide: Annual growth up for first time in 13 months

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Property prices rose in February due to lower mortgage rates, according to the latest Nationwide house price index.

Britain’s biggest building society recorded a 0.7 per cent increase in the average house price after taking account of seasonal effects.

It means house prices are up 1.2 per cent since this time last year, the first time Nationwide has recorded a positive annual reading since January 2023.

But prices are still around 3 per cent below the all-time highs recorded in the summer of 2022.

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Yearly rise: Nationwide recorded a year-on-year house price rise for the first time in 13 months

Yearly rise: Nationwide recorded a year-on-year house price rise for the first time in 13 months

Yearly rise: Nationwide recorded a year-on-year house price rise for the first time in 13 months

Average house prices hit a high of £273,751 in August 2022, according to Nationwide. They are currently at £260,420 as of February. 

The recent uptick in prices is being put down to lower mortgage rates. Although rates went up last month, this came after five consecutive months in which mortgage rates fell.

The average two-year fix has fallen from a high of 6.86 per cent to 5.75 per cent, according to Moneyfacts, while the average five-year fix has fallen from a high of 6.37 per cent to 5.33 per cent.

For home buyers with the biggest deposits, it is now possible to secure a five year fix at 4.09 per cent and a two-year fix at 4.39 per cent.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist said: ‘The decline in borrowing costs around the turn of the year appears to have prompted an uptick in the housing market. 

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‘Indeed, industry data sources point to a noticeable increase in mortgage applications at the start of the year, while surveyors also reported a rise in new buyer enquiries.’

More affordable? Mortgage rates have fallen from the highs recorded in summer 2023

More affordable? Mortgage rates have fallen from the highs recorded in summer 2023

More affordable? Mortgage rates have fallen from the highs recorded in summer 2023

Yesterday, Zoopla’s house price index reported an uptick in the number of buyers and sellers in the market which resulted in more sales during the start of 2024.

Many across the property sector have welcomed Nationwide’s figures as evidence that the property market is rallying.

Nicky Stevenson, managing director at national estate agent group Fine & Country said: ‘Positive signs for the property market are turning from a trickle to a flood this year, with annual house price change increasing for the first time in 13 months.

‘Demand is building as lower mortgage rates have encouraged buyers to restart their property search, and plunging inflation suggests better news is to come.

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‘We’re heading into one of the prime seasons for home sales, and sellers should look at this as a great time to get their home on the market.’

Warming up? Zoopla reported that buyer demand is 11% higher than a year ago, while the number of agreed sales is up 15% year-on-year

Warming up? Zoopla reported that buyer demand is 11% higher than a year ago, while the number of agreed sales is up 15% year-on-year

Warming up? Zoopla reported that buyer demand is 11% higher than a year ago, while the number of agreed sales is up 15% year-on-year

Jonathan Hopper, chief executive of Garrington Property Finders, added: ‘It’s a bounce back, not a blip. Nationwide’s data shows house prices have risen in four out of the past five months, and the upward momentum is now so strong that prices are up on this time last year.

‘Crucially the market has also become more free-flowing. For sale signs are starting to sprout from homes across the country, and estate agents report a steady uptick in interest from both buyers and sellers.

‘Increasing numbers of buyers who sat on their hands last year are deciding that now is the time to strike, before prices start to accelerate upwards.’

Rising: But Nationwide says house prices remain around 3% below the all time highs recorded in the summer of 2022

Rising: But Nationwide says house prices remain around 3% below the all time highs recorded in the summer of 2022

Rising: But Nationwide says house prices remain around 3% below the all time highs recorded in the summer of 2022

Further rises ‘will depend on mortgage rates’ 

Nationwide’s chief economist had a word of caution over future interest rates.

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‘Near-term prospects remain highly uncertain in part due to ongoing uncertainty about the future path of interest rates. 

‘Borrowing costs remain well below the highs recorded last summer but, if the recent upward trend is sustained, it threatens to restrain the pace of any housing market recovery.’

While house price indexes show the general trend across the country, the picture varies depending on where you live in the UK.  

Nationwide’s house price index relates to its own approved mortgage applications and therefore doesn’t include cash buyers or mortgage data from other lenders. 

Another lender which also tracks house prices based on its own mortgage applications is Halifax. It said that average prices rose by 2.5 per cent in the 12 months to January.

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The house price figures from the ONS are widely viewed as the most comprehensive and accurate index. This is because the report by the UK’s official statisticians uses Land Registry data and is based on average sold prices. 

However, property transactions often take months to complete, meaning the ONS figures don’t necessarily reflect what is happening in the housing market right now. 

Earlier this month, the ONS revealed the average UK house price slipped 1.4 per cent in the year to December 2023.

Another monthly index comes from Rightmove. This tracks newly listed asking prices each month, which can give a more immediate picture of what is happening in the market, but doesn’t measure what houses are ultimately selling for.

Rightmove reported average asking prices rose by 0.9 per cent in February to £362,839, according to the latest data from the firm, following a 1.3 per cent rise in January.

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International

In-flight theft: Is it on the rise, how can you avoid having your valuables pilfered mid-flight, and what should you do if you get robbed on a plane?

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Is airline theft on the rise? The simplest answer is we don’t know.

Airlines don’t divulge their statistics on in-flight theft. However, recent events have bought the issue into the headlines.

In December 2023 a man was charged with stealing USD $23,000 (£18,200) cash from three fellow passengers on a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore, while in October police arrested a man en route from Taipei to Tokyo suspected of serial in-flight thefts.

Do these high-profile cases correlate to an overall increase in light-fingered passengers in-flight?

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Not necessarily, according to Jonathan Frankham, General Manager UK at World Nomads Travel Insurance. However, they do provide a reminder to be careful with your belongings on a flight.

While there are no concrete statistics for in-flight theft to indicate whether or not they are on the rise, several high-profile cases recently have brought the issue into the headlines

While there are no concrete statistics for in-flight theft to indicate whether or not they are on the rise, several high-profile cases recently have brought the issue into the headlines

While there are no concrete statistics for in-flight theft to indicate whether or not they are on the rise, several high-profile cases recently have brought the issue into the headlines

Jonathan said: ‘While we’ve observed no discernible trend in claims submitted to suggest in-flight luggage theft is historically prevalent or on the rise in recent years, it’s still crucial to be vigilant and take steps to ensure the security of possessions and important documents.’

Most people have multiple high-value items on them when flying. In addition to a wallet and phone, it’s not unusual to be carrying a passport, laptop, cash, and maybe a camera or other valuables. This, Jonathan warns, can provide easy pickings for thieves.

He said: ‘It’s a calculated gamble on the part [of the thieves], exploiting travellers’ sense of security once snugly seated on board. Yet, it’s during these moments – the buzz of mealtimes, the dimming of lights, or those quick dashes to the loo – that thieves might try their luck.’

In the case of the Tokyo arrest, reports said the 51-year-old suspect would pretend to be checking his own luggage in the overhead compartment, but instead stealing US dollars, Euros, and Yen from fellow travellers’ bags. The cash was swapped with lower-value small denomination Cambodian riel or Indonesian rupiah, to maintain the wallets’ weights and sizes.

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It’s not just cash or valuables that can be targeted. Passports continue to fetch a sizeable price on the black market.

So, how do you ensure you don’t become a target for plane-based pilfering?

Pack smartly and keep your valuables on you

Avoid leaving high-value items such as passports, cash, or phones unattended

Avoid leaving high-value items such as passports, cash, or phones unattended

Avoid leaving high-value items such as passports, cash, or phones unattended 

This is your first line of defence. Jonathan said: ‘Packing smartly is crucial. Opt for a sturdy backpack, preferably one that can be securely locked and marked with colourful zip ties for easy identification. [If] the zip tie is missing or tampered with, it’s important to alert a staff member immediately.

‘Store larger bags in overhead lockers to keep them safe. If the space is available, it can be useful to place them across the aisle so you can easily see if anyone is foraging through them who shouldn’t be.’

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For high-value items like passports, cash, and phones, Jonathan advised: ‘The best practice is to use a secure waist pouch or carry them in your pocket. Avoid leaving them unattended altogether and always keep them in sight. This not only minimises the risk of theft but also ensures that insurance claims are not negatively impacted due to negligence.’

What should travellers do if they fall victim to inflight thefts?

Report the incident to the airline as soon as you realise something is missing, in accordance with the Montreal Convention’s guidelines.

Jonathan explained: ‘This international treaty requires airlines to offer compensation for lost or damaged luggage on international flights. Although the treaty’s stance on stolen luggage is less explicit, it’s crucial to notify the airline as soon as possible.

‘Secondly, travellers should obtain all necessary documentation to support their case. This includes requesting a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) from the airline. Additionally, it’s vital to keep all related documents such as tickets, luggage tags, and receipts for any emergency purchases, as these form an essential part of any subsequent insurance claims.

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‘It’s important to also involve the local police. Reporting the theft to the police and securing a police report is a critical step, as it provides official documentation of the theft, which is often necessary for insurance claims.’

What should travellers do if they need to make an insurance claim?

Mealtimes, sleeping, or trips to the toilet offer opportunistic thieves the perfect time to strike

Mealtimes, sleeping, or trips to the toilet offer opportunistic thieves the perfect time to strike

Mealtimes, sleeping, or trips to the toilet offer opportunistic thieves the perfect time to strike 

Once you’ve advised the airline and the police Jonathan says it’s vital to thoroughly review your travel insurance policy. ‘Even though it typically covers such incidents, it’s essential to understand the policy’s limits and exclusions, and additional premiums may be required for high-value items,’ he added. 

‘Next, gather all necessary evidence, including proof of ownership, age, and value of the stolen items, which are crucial for the claim process.

‘It’s also important for travellers to assess their responsibility in the situation. Ensuring that valuables were secured, and that luggage was not left unattended is key, as negligence can impact the viability of a claim.

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‘If there are any doubts or questions, travellers should not hesitate to contact their insurance provider.’

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Navalny’s family to hold Moscow funeral for the late Russian opposition leader

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Relatives and supporters of Alexei Navalny are bidding farewell to the opposition leader at a funeral Friday in southeastern Moscow, following a battle with authorities over the release of his body after his still-unexplained death in an Arctic penal colony.

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His supporters say several churches in Moscow refused to hold the service before Navalny’s team got permission from one in the capital’s Maryino district, where he once lived before his 2020 poisoning, treatment in Germany and subsequent arrest on his return to Russia.

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The Church of the Icon of the Mother of God Soothe My Sorrows, which agreed to hold the service, did not mention it on its social media page. Police on Thursday were seen putting crowd-control barriers at the church.

Burial was to follow in the nearby Borisovskoye Cemetery, where police also were seen Thursday.

His mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, spent eight days trying to get authorities to release the body following his Feb. 16 death at Penal Colony No. 3 in the town of Kharp, in the Yamalo-Nenets region about 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) northeast of Moscow.

Authorities originally said they couldn’t turn over the body because they needed to conduct post-mortem tests. Navalnaya, 69, made a video appeal to President Vladimir Putin to release the body so she could bury her son with dignity.

Once it was released, at least one funeral director said he had been “forbidden” to work with Navalny’s supporters, the spokeswoman for Navalny’s team, Kira Yarmysh, said on social media. They also were unable to find a hearse for the funeral.

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“Unknown people are calling up people and threatening them not to take Alexei’s body anywhere,” Yarmysh said Thursday.

Russian authorities haven’t announced the cause of death for Navalny, 47, who crusaded against official corruption and organized big protests as Putin’s fiercest political foe. Many Western leaders blamed the death on the Russian leader, which the Kremlin rejected.

It was not immediately clear who among Navalny’s family or allies would attend the funeral, with many of his associates in exile abroad due to fear of prosecution in Russia. Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and his regional offices were designated as “extremist organizations” by the Russian government in 2021.

The politician’s team said the funeral would be streamed live on Navalny’s YouTube channel.

His widow, Yulia Navalnaya, accused Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin of trying to block a public funeral.

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“We don’t want any special treatment — just to give people the opportunity to say farewell to Alexei in a normal way,” Yulia Navalnaya wrote on X. In a speech to European lawmakers Wednesday in Strasbourg, France, she also expressed fears that police might interfere with the gathering or would “arrest those who have come to say goodbye to my husband.”

Moscow authorities refused permission for a separate memorial event for Navalny and slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov on Friday, citing COVID-19 restrictions, politician Yekaterina Duntsova said Thursday. Nemtsov, a 55-year-old former deputy prime minister, was shot to death as he walked on a bridge adjacent to the Kremlin on the night of Feb. 27, 2015.

Yarmysh also urged Navalny’s supporters around the world to lay flowers in his honor Friday.

“Everyone who knew Alexei says what a cheerful, courageous and honest person he was,” Yarmysh said Thursday. “But the greater truth is that even if you never met Alexei, you knew what he was like, too. You shared his investigations, you went to rallies with him, you read his posts from prison. His example showed many people what to do when even when things were scary and difficult.”

Ivan Zhdanov, director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, said that his funeral had initially been planned for Thursday — the day of Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation address — but no venue agreed to hold it then.

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In an interview with the independent Russian news site Meduza, Zhdanov said authorities had pressured Navalny’s relatives to “have a quiet family funeral.”

(AP) 

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Health service initiative offers patients a chance to see a GP on the same day – but they only have a one in 15 chance of actually seeing a doctor

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  • North Londoners will have their access to NHS professionals boosted
  • But they will only be given this if they have a small chance of seeing a doctor
  • The new service will be boosted with AI to prioritise pressing cases 

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A health service initiative promises ‘same-day access’ to GPs – even though patients have only a one in 15 chance of actually seeing a doctor.

Health officials said the plans, which affect around 2.8million residents in north London, will boost access to medical professionals and improve care.

Patients who select ‘same-day’ when phoning their GP practice will be directed to a new ‘hub’, with artificial intelligence helping to prioritise the most pressing cases.

However, documents produced by North West London Integrated Care Board suggest that each hub could be staffed by just one GP, with most of the work done by less qualified members of the team. The briefing pack, seen by Pulse magazine, suggests that of the 146 appointments every day, just ten would be staffed by GPs.

The remainder will be carried out by pharmacists, advanced nurse practitioners – and controversial physician associates who have just two years of medical training.

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Health officials said the plans, which affect around 2.8million residents in north London, will boost access to medical professionals and improve care (Stock Image)

Health officials said the plans, which affect around 2.8million residents in north London, will boost access to medical professionals and improve care (Stock Image)

Health officials said the plans, which affect around 2.8million residents in north London, will boost access to medical professionals and improve care (Stock Image)

Officials said patients seeking same-day care may need to travel further to be seen or accept a remote appointment over the phone or video (Stock Image)

Officials said patients seeking same-day care may need to travel further to be seen or accept a remote appointment over the phone or video (Stock Image)

Officials said patients seeking same-day care may need to travel further to be seen or accept a remote appointment over the phone or video (Stock Image)

Officials said patients seeking same-day care may need to travel further to be seen or accept a remote appointment over the phone or video.

A letter from medical committees across London, which represent the capital’s GPs, raises concerns about patient safety associated with the hub scheme.

It warns that the model will undermine ‘continuity of care’ and suggests that arrangements for one GP to supervise a host of other staff are ‘unsafe’.

Meanwhile, campaign group Save Our NHS Hammersmith And Fulham said the plans ‘would exclude GPs from almost all provision of ‘same day’ GP care for over 2million people’. And Dennis Reed, from Silver Voices, a campaign group for the over-60s, said he was concerned that such a step would end up ‘abandoning the GP system altogether’.

Dr Genevieve Small, Harrow GP and medical director for Primary Care NHS North West London, said: ‘Patients consistently tell us that getting a GP appointment can be difficult. We have developed a plan that will increase same-day access to GPs, community pharmacists and other primary care professionals for those patients who need it.

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‘This approach will be introduced gradually across north-west London from April 2024. It will ensure that GPs have more time to pro-actively care for their patients who most need their expertise, including those with long-term conditions.’

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said family doctors were open to ways of improving access, which could involve new hubs.

But she added: ‘We do have concerns about how this model could impact continuity of care, which research consistently shows is beneficial for both patients and the NHS.’

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