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Vacances en Turquie : l’Orient rencontre l’Occident dans l’irrésistible Istanbul

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L’odeur vous frappe en premier. Avant même de franchir l’une des 21 portes d’entrée décoratives du Grand Bazar d’Istanbul datant du XVe siècle, je suis accueilli par une odeur capiteuse de safran, de rose et de cuir, mêlée au riche parfum du café turc fort.

“Les dix premières minutes à l’intérieur seront incroyables”, me conseille mon guide Koray Yalkut, alors que nous nous faufilons entre les foules qui se dirigent dans la même direction. « Ensuite, les dix secondes suivantes sont écrasantes. Et après une demi-heure, vous aurez envie de partir.

De toute évidence, il sous-estime mon engagement à négocier.

L’un des plus grands marchés couverts au monde s’étendant sur 62 rues, le bazar attire jusqu’à un demi-million de visiteurs chaque jour dans plus de 2 000 magasins, dont certains sont toujours gérés par la 15e génération de la même famille.

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En quelques minutes, je suis perdu dans les ruelles ornées, fasciné par des rangées de loukoums, de pashminas aux couleurs de l’arc-en-ciel et de grenades. À l’intérieur d’une boutique nommée Aladdin, le personnel présente des bols de pistaches et de baklava pendant que je choisis entre des flacons de parfums à l’huile de fleurs et des paquets géants de fruits secs. Ils m’envoient sur mon chemin avec des adieux effusifs et un sac gratuit d’épices parfumées.

Historique : lors d'un voyage à Istanbul, Siobhan Grogan visite la basilique Sainte-Sophie, une grande église construite par les Romains qui est maintenant une mosquée

Historique : lors d'un voyage à Istanbul, Siobhan Grogan visite la basilique Sainte-Sophie, une grande église construite par les Romains qui est maintenant une mosquée

Historique : lors d’un voyage à Istanbul, Siobhan Grogan visite la basilique Sainte-Sophie, une grande église construite par les Romains qui est maintenant une mosquée

C’est pareil partout à Istanbul. On me propose du chocolat artisanal dans la bijouterie haut de gamme Begum Khan, et du thé aux pommes dans une boutique de Besiktas vendant de la céramique et des cristaux. Tout le monde est accueillant.

Pourtant, en novembre dernier, une bombe terroriste a tué six personnes dans une rue principale de la ville, mettant en évidence le régime politique hostile de la Turquie, en particulier envers la population kurde.

De nombreux habitants pensent que le président Erdogan, qui divise le pays et est de plus en plus autocratique (qui fait face à des élections aujourd’hui), finira par faire de la Turquie une superpuissance, mais tous ceux que je rencontre roulent des yeux à son nom. Personne ne dira grand-chose sur lui directement, mais tous tiennent à ce qu’Istanbul reste une ville laïque, progressiste et sûre. Après tout, c’était un point de rencontre ouvert des cultures et des continents bien avant Erdogan. À cheval sur l’Europe et l’Asie à travers le détroit du Bosphore, elle a été la capitale de trois empires, a survécu à de nombreuses attaques et tremblements de terre et a été une plaque tournante majeure sur la route commerciale de la route de la soie d’est en ouest.

C’est maintenant la ville la plus peuplée d’Europe avec près de 16 millions d’habitants. Pourtant, cette métropole chaotique et charismatique est souvent négligée alors que les touristes se précipitent vers les stations balnéaires du pays. Il leur manque une ville aussi captivante que Rome ou Athènes, avec autant de merveilles historiques, ainsi que des bars animés et des restaurants gastronomiques.

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Pour le meilleur accès aux deux, je reste au Shangri-La Bosphorus, un entrepôt de tabac des années 1920 magnifiquement converti près du musée maritime et de l’extravagant palais de Dolmabahce. Il y a un ferry juste à l’extérieur pour traverser les continents en quelques minutes, ou l’hôtel peut organiser une croisière petit-déjeuner pour naviguer devant les mosquées en forme de dôme, les châteaux ottomans et, si vous êtes chanceux, les dauphins sautant de l’eau alors que le soleil se lève sur l’Asie.

Aux heures de pointe, c’est aussi le moyen le plus rapide d’éviter les embouteillages interminables et de se diriger vers la vieille ville de Sultanahmet, du côté européen d’Istanbul.

Ici, les traces des empires romain, byzantin et ottoman font de chaque rue un musée, mais avec des chiens qui somnolent au soleil et des étals à rayures de bonbons vendant des simit (bagels turcs) aux employés de bureau qui déjeunent.

Les principaux sites touristiques sont regroupés autour des fontaines de la place Sultanahmet, notamment la mosquée Sultanahmet – surnommée la mosquée bleue pour son intérieur carrelé coloré – et la basilique Sainte-Sophie.

Siobhan aime se perdre dans le Grand Bazar, l'un des plus grands marchés couverts du monde (image d'archive)

Siobhan aime se perdre dans le Grand Bazar, l'un des plus grands marchés couverts du monde (image d'archive)

Siobhan aime se perdre dans le Grand Bazar, l’un des plus grands marchés couverts du monde (image d’archive)

INFORMATIONS SUR LE VOYAGE

Les chambres du Shangri-La Bosphorus commencent à partir de 438 £ b & b, (shangri-la.com). Turkish Airlines dessert Istanbul depuis Heathrow, Gatwick, Édimbourg, Birmingham et Manchester (turkishairlines.com). Pour plus d’informations, voir visit.istanbul/en.

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Cette dernière est une ancienne église du Ve siècle construite par l’empereur romain Justinien Ier et transformée en mosquée par l’invasion des Ottomans en 1453.

C’est un musée depuis 1935, bien qu’Erdogan l’ait à nouveau déclarée mosquée en 2020. Les femmes doivent désormais se couvrir les cheveux pour entrer, mais cela reste une merveille architecturale avec un dôme de 55 m de haut qui scintille de minuscules mosaïques dorées. À côté se trouve l’étrange Citerne Basilique souterraine qui alimentait autrefois en eau les palais byzantins.

Il a été découvert en 1545 lorsque les habitants ont révélé qu’ils pouvaient abaisser des seaux sous leurs sous-sols pour attraper du poisson. Maintenant, l’eau s’égoutte encore par intermittence du plafond dans ses bassins peu profonds où les carpes se précipitent entre les ombres.

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Plus tard, je retourne au Grand Bazar – et pas seulement pour une dernière virée shopping. Yalkut me conduit dans un escalier branlant à l’arrière d’un magasin de sari pour traverser les toits en terre cuite du bazar, une zone accessible uniquement avec un guide privé.

Déserté malgré des milliers d’acheteurs en contrebas, c’est le meilleur endroit pour une vue imprenable sur la ville, et je le reconnais comme l’endroit où Daniel Craig a traversé l’horizon à moto dans la scène d’ouverture de Skyfall. Faites confiance à James Bond pour connaître le meilleur moyen d’éviter le trafic.

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International

Biden says ‘hoping’ for Gaza ceasefire deal by Ramadan

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Gaza’s health ministry collects data from the enclave’s hospitals and the Palestinian Red Crescent.

The health ministry does not report how Palestinians were killed, whether from Israeli airstrikes and artillery barrages or errant Palestinian rocket fire. It describes all casualties as victims of “Israeli aggression”.

The ministry also does not distinguish between civilians and combatants. 

Throughout four wars and numerous skirmishes between Israel and Hamas, UN agencies have cited the Hamas-run health ministry’s death tolls in regular reports. The International Committee of the Red Cross and Palestinian Red Crescent also use the numbers.

In the aftermath of war, the UN humanitarian office has published final death tolls based on its own research into medical records. The UN’s counts have largely been consistent with the Gaza health ministry’s, with small discrepancies. 

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For more on the Gaza health ministry’s tolls, click here.

(FRANCE 24 with AP) 

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Discovering the true history behind St Patrick’s Day on an 82-mile hike that honours Ireland’s patron saint

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St Patrick’s Day is an excuse for craic. My mother’s Irish and on March 17, like many, I raise a glass to the man who rid the Emerald Isle of snakes. But that is my only knowledge of Ireland’s patron saint.

So, I decided to explore the Saint Patrick’s Way, an 82-mile hiking trail from Armagh to Downpatrick in Northern Ireland.

I begin with a Guinness in Rafferty’s Bar.

‘You know St Patrick was one of your lot,’ the barman says, quietly adding. ‘English.’

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‘English?’

Pilgrim’s quest: Lizzie Enfield walks the Saint Patrick’s Way in Northern Ireland, which passes the Mourne Mountains (pictured)

Pilgrim’s quest: Lizzie Enfield walks the Saint Patrick’s Way in Northern Ireland, which passes the Mourne Mountains (pictured)

Pilgrim’s quest: Lizzie Enfield walks the Saint Patrick’s Way in Northern Ireland, which passes the Mourne Mountains (pictured)

He nods.

St Patrick was born in Roman Britain, kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery before escaping to France, where he studied religion and eventually returned to Ireland as a missionary.

One of his early converts was Chieftain Daire, who gave him land to build a church on a hill outside Armagh.

The Saint Patrick’s Way begins at this Church of Ireland St Patrick’s cathedral. I will encounter many more churches bearing his name.

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They’re like Murphy’s bars, but without the Guinness.

The route winds through Armagh’s orchard country, source of tangy cider and crisp apple tarts, before passing through linen-weaving centre Bainbridge and beside the Newry Canal.

The 82-mile route begins at St Patrick’s cathedral (pictured) in Armagh

The 82-mile route begins at St Patrick’s cathedral (pictured) in Armagh

The 82-mile route begins at St Patrick’s cathedral (pictured) in Armagh

Above, a stained-glass image of St Patrick

Above, a stained-glass image of St Patrick

Above, a stained-glass image of St Patrick

From Newry to 18th-century Rostrevor, I stroll country lanes with views of sparkling Carlingford Lough.

Rostrevor sits on its shores, the birthplace of Robert Ross, the British major-general who burned down the White House during the war between Britain and the U.S. in 1814.

It was also a favourite spot of Belfast-born C.S. Lewis, whose inspiration for Narnia was the snow-covered Mourne Mountains, backdrop to the town.

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In Kilbroney Park, I find I am not the only one looking for the wardrobe door, the starting point of a Narnia Trail through the forest.

When I reach the lamppost, a small girl asks, “Have you seen Mr Tumnus?”

I head for the mountains. These imposing masses of slate and Silurian greywacke (a coarse sandstone) are where Saint Patrick converted local hill folk.

Wild, windy and wet, this part of the route requires good navigation skills – but you needn’t fear snakes.

Along the way, Lizzie passes through Tollymore Forest (pictured), familiar as a setting in TV’s Game Of Thrones

Along the way, Lizzie passes through Tollymore Forest (pictured), familiar as a setting in TV’s Game Of Thrones

Along the way, Lizzie passes through Tollymore Forest (pictured), familiar as a setting in TV’s Game Of Thrones 

A hiker I meet on the summit of Butter Mountain, said Patrick never drove out any. It was a metaphor for purging Ireland of its pagan ways.

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I head down through the beautiful beech Tollymore Forest, familiar as a setting in TV’s Game Of Thrones, to the seaside resort of Newcastle. I know a proper pilgrim would dine on a potato, but why make do when there are langoustines, turbot and plaice on the menu?

Next day, I continued to Down Cathedral, in Downpatrick, where the saint is buried beneath a hefty slab of granite carved with the single word ‘Patrick’.

In Downpatrick, Lizzie visits St Patrick's grave (pictured) at Down Cathedral

In Downpatrick, Lizzie visits St Patrick's grave (pictured) at Down Cathedral

In Downpatrick, Lizzie visits St Patrick’s grave (pictured) at Down Cathedral 

At the nearby glass Saint Patrick Centre, I learn that Patrick was never officially canonised.

So, Ireland’s patron saint was neither Irish, nor a saint, nor did he drive any snakes out!. What he did do was change the course of the island’s history.

If not for Saint Patrick’s return it might have remained the pagan and inhospitable place the Romans deemed not worth conquering.

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The trail is a walk through the history he created and an area of beautiful landscapes. That’s an excuse to raise a glass to Saint Patrick on March 17, to be sure.

TRAVEL FACTS 

Macs Adventure (macsadventure.com). Five-day St Patrick’s Way includes B&B, maps and luggage transfer from £650 pp. Visit tourismni.com.

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Haiti gang leader vows to ‘fight’ prime minister as violence surges

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Haitian gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, also known as Barbecue, warned on Friday he would keep trying to oust Prime Minister Ariel Henry, and asked families to keep children from going to school to “avoid collateral damages” as violence surges in parts of the capital.

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Heavy gunfire and traffic disruptions were seen in some areas of Haiti’s capital, where more people fled homes close to the fighting as burnt buses lay on the streets and burning barricades filled the air with thick, gray smoke.

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“The battle will last as long as it needs to. We will keep fighting Ariel Henry. To avoid collateral damage, keep the kids at home,” the gang leader said at a press conference.

Cherizier is a former police officer who heads an alliance of gangs and disrupted the country when he blocked its biggest oil terminal in 2022. He has faced sanctions from both the United Nations and the United States Department of Treasury.

By late Friday, there were reports armed men had attempted to take control of the capital’s main container port, as gangs threatened to attack more of the city’s police stations. Reuters was unable to immediately verify these reports.

A video, meanwhile, went viral on social media appearing to show two murdered policemen, which SYNAPOHA police union leader Lionel Lazare told Reuters depicted the killing of some of the four officers who were slain on Thursday.

Members of another police union, the SPNH, gathered outside the force headquarters earlier in the day calling for the recovery of the bodies.

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In a statement, Prime Minister Henry’s office said it was “outraged by the acts of violence and terror orchestrated by armed bandits,” and expressed condolences to victims’ families, saying the government would continue to work to resolve the conflict.

Violence ramped up during Henry’s visit to Kenya this week. The two countries signed earlier in the day a security deal that Nairobi hopes will satisfy a domestic court’s objections to its plan to send 1,000 police officers to lead a UN-approved mission aimed at tackling gang violence in Haiti.

Henry had previously been in Guyana for a regional Caribbean summit, during which he told leaders he would hold elections by August 2025, after postponing an earlier pledge due to the insecurity.

Henry came to power after the 2021 assassination of the country’s last president. Haiti last held elections in 2016 and ensuring a transition of power is a goal of the international mission alongside securing routes for humanitarian aid.

The United Nations estimates some 300,000 people in Haiti have fled their homes.

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(Reuters)

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The daily supplement with ‘huge promise’ for an ageing population that can boost brain function in over 60s in just 12 weeks

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  • Pill-takers did better in a test which provides an early marker for Alzheimer’s

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Taking a daily fibre supplement can improve brain function in those aged over 60 in just 12 weeks, a study has found.

The pills can improve performance in memory tests associated with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers at King’s College London.

Dr Mary Ni Lochlainn said she is ‘excited to see these changes in just 12 weeks’, adding: ‘This holds huge promise for enhancing brain health and memory in our ageing population.

‘Unlocking the secrets of the gut-brain axis could offer new approaches for living more healthily for longer.’

The study, published in Nature Communications, tested two plant fibre supplements – inulin and FOS – which help healthy bacteria grow in the gut. The pills were given to one half of 36 pairs of twins, with the others given a placebo.

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Taking a daily fibre supplement can improve brain function in those aged over 60 in just 12 weeks, a study has found (Stock Photo)

Taking a daily fibre supplement can improve brain function in those aged over 60 in just 12 weeks, a study has found (Stock Photo)

Taking a daily fibre supplement can improve brain function in those aged over 60 in just 12 weeks, a study has found (Stock Photo)

Dr Mary Ni Lochlainn said she is 'excited to see these changes in just 12 weeks', adding: 'This holds huge promise for enhancing brain health and memory in our ageing population' (Stock Photo)

Dr Mary Ni Lochlainn said she is 'excited to see these changes in just 12 weeks', adding: 'This holds huge promise for enhancing brain health and memory in our ageing population' (Stock Photo)

Dr Mary Ni Lochlainn said she is ‘excited to see these changes in just 12 weeks’, adding: ‘This holds huge promise for enhancing brain health and memory in our ageing population’ (Stock Photo)

The pills can improve performance in memory tests associated with early signs of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at King's College London (Stock Photo)

The pills can improve performance in memory tests associated with early signs of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at King's College London (Stock Photo)

The pills can improve performance in memory tests associated with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers at King’s College London (Stock Photo)

Those taking the pills did better in a Paired Associates Learning test, an early marker for Alzheimer’s, and tests of reaction time and processing speed.

Professor Claire Steves said the pills, which are cheap and available over the counter, ‘could benefit a wide group of people in these cash-strapped times’.

Alzheimer’s DiseaseLondon

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Milei warns Argentinian lawmakers he will govern ‘with or without’ their support

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Argentina’s libertarian President Javier Milei, in his first policy speech to parliament Friday, said he would push his package of sweeping economic reforms whether or not legislators back it.

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“We are going to change the country for good… with or without the support of political leaders, with all the legal resources of the executive,” Milei told lawmakers, who have stalled his project of deregulation and budget cuts.

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“If you look for conflict, you will have conflict,” he told them.

Milei offered a recap of his first 82 days in office, in which he devalued the peso more than 50 percent, slashed state subsidies for fuel and transport, cut tens of thousands of public service jobs, and scrapped hundreds of rules in his bid to deregulate the economy.

“I ask for patience and trust,” Milei said. “It will be some time before we can perceive the fruit of the economic reorganization and the reforms we are implementing.”

Many of his planned reforms face challenges in court, with more than 60 lawsuits under way by labor unions, business chambers and NGOs, while Argentina has seen massive protests by citizens who fear Milei’s plans will leave them poorer.

“We have not yet seen all the effects of the disaster we inherited, but we are convinced that we are on the right path, because for the first time in history we are attacking the problem by its cause: the fiscal deficit, and not by its symptoms,” Milei said.

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In recent weeks, Milei has reached out to influential provincial governors, party leaders and former presidents to forge a “new social contract” for the country, based on ten principles, including a “non-negotiable” balanced budget, “inviolable” private property, and public spending reduced to the “historic” level of 25 percent of GDP.

Decades of mismanagement

Faced with parliamentary reticence, Milei scrapped almost half of the initial 664 articles in the sweeping deregulatory measure issued after he took office, then withdrew it altogether.

But the president has vowed to return his bill to parliament. And he has threatened to pass his reforms by presidential decree if lawmakers do not fall in line.

Argentina is grappling with severe economic struggles after decades of mismanagement that has driven poverty levels to nearly 60 percent and pushed inflation to an annual rate over 200 percent.

Milei, a 53-year-old political outsider, won a resounding election victory last year on a wave of fury over a financial crisis marked by rampant money printing and fiscal deficit.

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The government claims some of Milei’s changes are already bearing fruit: In January, Argentina reported its first monthly budget surplus in 12 years while boosting foreign currency reserves from $21 billion to $27 billion.

But as annual inflation continued to bite, the poor were hit hard as Milei also ripped away generous transport and energy subsidies and froze aid to 38,000 soup kitchens pending an audit.

Milei insists Argentina has to swallow a bitter pill to rescue the economy, and has warned the population to brace themselves for things getting worse before they get better.

(AFP)

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Frank Lampard insists that he is ‘keen to get working again’ as he eyes a managerial comeback 10 months after his miserable caretaker spell in charge of Chelsea

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  • Lampard was brought in to replace Graham Potter part way through last season
  • The 45-year-old managed to lead the team to one win in his 11 games in charge 
  • We never thought it would be ‘warrior’ Bruno Fernandes but where would Man United be without their captain? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast 

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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has teased a return to management, 10 months after his disastrous spell as caretaker boss of his old club. 

Lampard had headed back to the Stamford Bridge dugout part way through last season following the sackings of Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter. 

But it turned out to be a miserable period as the Blues won just one of his 11 games in charge. The 45-year-old has since appeared on TV on a pundit and often noted his delight in spending time with family. 

In fact, Lampard maintains that he is relishing the quality time with his children but stated that he is now keeping his eyes open for his next role. 

‘I’m enjoying being with the family and looking to get back at some point.’ He told talkSPORT. ‘Hopefully something comes up that feels right for me, I’m keen to get working again but as I reiterate, I’m enjoying family life.

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Frank Lampard teased a return to the dugout, having endured a miserable spell last time out

Frank Lampard teased a return to the dugout, having endured a miserable spell last time out

Frank Lampard teased a return to the dugout, having endured a miserable spell last time out

The former England international has managed Mason Mount three times, including a loan spell with Derby County

The former England international has managed Mason Mount three times, including a loan spell with Derby County

The former England international has managed Mason Mount three times, including a loan spell with Derby County

‘It’s an intense job so when you’re out of it, it’s nice to appreciate being around all my children.

‘You love the job. you understand the rigours of it in the modern day. I’ve enjoyed all the clubs I’ve worked with.

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‘They’ve all been big challenges for different reasons. I enjoy working with players, improve players and the team, so let’s see what comes.’

The former England international’s first managerial position came with Derby County, with whom he advanced to the Championship play-off final in 2018. 

Remarkably, that was enough for the Blues to come knocking a year later as they prepared to embark on a season with a transfer ban. 

There were wild scenes at Goodison Park in 2022 after Lampard led the side to Premier League safety

There were wild scenes at Goodison Park in 2022 after Lampard led the side to Premier League safety

There were wild scenes at Goodison Park in 2022 after Lampard led the side to Premier League safety

Lampard was key in facilitating the first team integration of youngsters such as Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Reece James, though he was ultimately dismissed just 18 months into the contract. 

In January 2022, he took the risky decision to manage relegation-threatened Everton but he led them to safety only to last a few more months in the job before he was sacked just a year later. 

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Iris Apfel dead at 102: Fashion icon and self-proclaimed ‘geriatric starlet’ passed at her home in Palm Beach, Florida

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Iris Apfel, fashion icon and self-proclaimed ‘geriatric starlet’, has passed away at the age of 102.

The news was announced on her Instagram page on Friday, with a beautiful photo of the famous fashionista in a regal black and gold gown and wearing her signature black glasses. 

‘Iris Barrel Apfel, August 29, 1921 – March 1, 2024,’ read the caption on the post. 

A spokesman for her estate confirmed the news to the New York Times and revealed that she died in her Palm Beach, Florida, home.

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The cause of death for the star — who was a New York style icon, known for her distinctive style — has not been provided at this time.

Iris Apfel, fashion icon and self-proclaimed 'geriatric starlet', has passed away at the age of 102. The news was announced on her Instagram page on Friday; seen in 2021

Iris Apfel, fashion icon and self-proclaimed 'geriatric starlet', has passed away at the age of 102. The news was announced on her Instagram page on Friday; seen in 2021

Iris Apfel, fashion icon and self-proclaimed ‘geriatric starlet’, has passed away at the age of 102. The news was announced on her Instagram page on Friday; seen in 2021

'Iris Barrel Apfel, August 29, 1921 – March 1, 2024,' read the caption on the post

'Iris Barrel Apfel, August 29, 1921 – March 1, 2024,' read the caption on the post

‘Iris Barrel Apfel, August 29, 1921 – March 1, 2024,’ read the caption on the post

Apfel’s signature style — chunky bracelets, layers of necklaces, plus those iconic heavy-framed glasses – helped propel her into late-in-life fashion icon, or a ‘geriatric starlet,’ as she frequently referred to herself.

She only came to worldwide attention in 2005 when the Metropolitan Museum of Art showed an exhibition focusing on her fashion sense titled Rara Avis (Rare Bird). 

She became a model at age 97, and modeled for Vogue Italia, Kate Spade and M.A.C.

She is also the oldest person to have had a Barbie doll made by Mattel in her image.

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Following the news of her death, fans rushed to her social media page to pay their respects. 

Maria Shriver wrote: ‘Wow! What a truly remarkable life #IrisApfel lived. She truly did it all: She was a businesswoman, she was a fashion model, she was a fashion icon, she was a college professor, she was a star of a documentary, she was a Barbie doll! Iris is truly proof that age is just a number.’

Rocker Lenny Kravitz wrote: ‘You mastered the art of living. Thank you for your energy and inspiration.’

Actress Hannah Waddingham also paid tribute, writing: ‘Ohhhhhh. Goodnight and God bless Ma’am. What joy and endless style you brought to so many.’ 

A spokesman for her estate confirmed the news to the New York Times and revealed that she died in her Palm Beach, Florida, home; seen with Linda Fargo in 2013

A spokesman for her estate confirmed the news to the New York Times and revealed that she died in her Palm Beach, Florida, home; seen with Linda Fargo in 2013

A spokesman for her estate confirmed the news to the New York Times and revealed that she died in her Palm Beach, Florida, home; seen with Linda Fargo in 2013

The cause of death has not been provided at this time; seen in 2015

The cause of death has not been provided at this time; seen in 2015

The cause of death has not been provided at this time; seen in 2015

Apfel's signature style — chunky bracelets, layers of necklaces, plus those iconic heavy-framed glasses – helped propel her into late-in-life fashion icon, or a 'geriatric starlet,' as she frequently referred to herself; seen with Christie Brinkley in 2022

Apfel's signature style — chunky bracelets, layers of necklaces, plus those iconic heavy-framed glasses – helped propel her into late-in-life fashion icon, or a 'geriatric starlet,' as she frequently referred to herself; seen with Christie Brinkley in 2022

Apfel’s signature style — chunky bracelets, layers of necklaces, plus those iconic heavy-framed glasses – helped propel her into late-in-life fashion icon, or a ‘geriatric starlet,’ as she frequently referred to herself; seen with Christie Brinkley in 2022

Apfel, who was a New York style icon for years, only came to worldwide attention in 2005 when the Metropolitan Museum of Art showed an exhibition focusing on her fashion sense titled Rara Avis (Rare Bird); seen with Christina Hendricks in 2016

Apfel, who was a New York style icon for years, only came to worldwide attention in 2005 when the Metropolitan Museum of Art showed an exhibition focusing on her fashion sense titled Rara Avis (Rare Bird); seen with Christina Hendricks in 2016

Apfel, who was a New York style icon for years, only came to worldwide attention in 2005 when the Metropolitan Museum of Art showed an exhibition focusing on her fashion sense titled Rara Avis (Rare Bird); seen with Christina Hendricks in 2016

‘Thank you for sharing your beautiful life,’ designer Jenna Lyons added. 

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‘RIP icon,’ one person wrote.

‘You will be missed,’ another added with a red-heart emoji.

‘An icon and true inspiration,’ yet another follower wrote.

‘Rest in beauty icon.’ 

Iris Apfel (born Iris Barrel) was born on August 29, 1921 in Astoria, Queens, New York City — the only child of Samuel Barrel and Russian-born wife, Sadye Barrel. 

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She started her career as a copywriter for Women’s Wear Daily and interior designer Elinor Johnson.

In 1948, she married husband Carl Apfel, and the duo owned a textile firm until they retired 44 years later. 

Over the years the pair worked on many restoration projects, including at the White House.

Carl died at the age of 100 in 2015. 

Iris continued to have unbelievable enthusiasm for life, and at 90, she began teaching at the University of Texas at Austin.

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At 94, she was the subject of a documentary by Albert Maysles, simply titled Iris.

In 2019, at 97-years-old, Iris landed a modeling contract with IMG - the same agency that has repped top stars like Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Miranda Kerr; seen in 2016

In 2019, at 97-years-old, Iris landed a modeling contract with IMG - the same agency that has repped top stars like Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Miranda Kerr; seen in 2016

In 2019, at 97-years-old, Iris landed a modeling contract with IMG – the same agency that has repped top stars like Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Miranda Kerr; seen in 2016

She's faced campaigns for Kate Spade, MAC Cosmetics, Alexis Bittar, Macy's INC, Blue Illusion, HSN, Le Bon Marché, and the German brand Aigner; seen with Christina Ricci and Zosia Mamet

She's faced campaigns for Kate Spade, MAC Cosmetics, Alexis Bittar, Macy's INC, Blue Illusion, HSN, Le Bon Marché, and the German brand Aigner; seen with Christina Ricci and Zosia Mamet

She’s faced campaigns for Kate Spade, MAC Cosmetics, Alexis Bittar, Macy’s INC, Blue Illusion, HSN, Le Bon Marché, and the German brand Aigner; seen with Christina Ricci and Zosia Mamet

She previously gave her opinion on style, telling Women's Wear Daily: 'I don't think style has any age. It's in your DNA and inherent. It's a matter of attitude'; seen with Katie Holmes in 2021

She previously gave her opinion on style, telling Women's Wear Daily: 'I don't think style has any age. It's in your DNA and inherent. It's a matter of attitude'; seen with Katie Holmes in 2021

She previously gave her opinion on style, telling Women’s Wear Daily: ‘I don’t think style has any age. It’s in your DNA and inherent. It’s a matter of attitude’; seen with Katie Holmes in 2021

In 2019, at 97-years-old, Iris landed a modeling contract with IMG – the same agency that has repped top stars like Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Miranda Kerr.

Even as she was pushing 100, Apfel showed no signs of slowing down, and told WWD she’s ‘very excited’ about her new deal.

Though the star drew the line at walking down the catwalk, telling the publication: ‘How can I compete on runway? That’s ridiculous,’ she said. 

‘We’ll be doing hopefully collaborations, or maybe I’ll be a spokesperson. I leave it to them. They know better than I.’

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‘I’ve had all kinds of interesting commissions in my limited career. Everything from vodka and automobiles to beauty products, and I’ve also had a number of interesting collaborations with big stores like Bon Marché in Paris, the Landmark Mall in Hong Kong, Macy’s and Bergdorf Goodman.’

Over the past decade Apfel has modeled for a seriously impressive roster of big-name fashion and beauty brands.

She’s faced campaigns for Kate Spade, MAC Cosmetics, Alexis Bittar, Macy’s INC, Blue Illusion, HSN, Le Bon Marché, and the German brand Aigner.

In each one, she’s showed off a facet of her style, including her signature oversized round glasses.

She started her career as a copywriter for Women’s Wear Daily and interior designer Elinor Johnson; seen in a throwback Instagram photo

She started her career as a copywriter for Women’s Wear Daily and interior designer Elinor Johnson; seen in a throwback Instagram photo

She started her career as a copywriter for Women’s Wear Daily and interior designer Elinor Johnson; seen in a throwback Instagram photo

In 1948, she married husband Carl Apfel, and the duo owned a textile firm until they retired 44 years later

In 1948, she married husband Carl Apfel, and the duo owned a textile firm until they retired 44 years later

In 1948, she married husband Carl Apfel, and the duo owned a textile firm until they retired 44 years later

Over the years the pair worked on many restoration projects, including at the White House; the pair seen in 2008

Over the years the pair worked on many restoration projects, including at the White House; the pair seen in 2008

Over the years the pair worked on many restoration projects, including at the White House; the pair seen in 2008

Carl died at the age of 100 in 2015; seen in 2008

Carl died at the age of 100 in 2015; seen in 2008

Carl died at the age of 100 in 2015; seen in 2008

For several, she’s posed right alongside models a quarter of her age, including Karlie, Toni Garnn, Tavi Gevinson, and Jourdan Dunn.

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She previously gave her opinion on style, telling Women’s Wear Daily: ‘I don’t think style has any age. It’s in your DNA and inherent. It’s a matter of attitude.’ 

No one was as surprised by her late-in-life modeling career than Apfel herself. Though she’s had a long career in fashion, it was owning her own textile company, Old World Weavers, from 1950 that kept her in the fashion world.

‘I never expected my life would take this turn so I never prepared for it. It all just happened so suddenly, and I thought at my tender age, I’m not going to set up offices and get involved with all kinds of things,’ she said.

‘I thought it was a flash in the pan, and it’s not going to last. Somehow, people found me. People would just call. Tommy Hilfiger said that was no way to do it, and he put us together. I’m very excited and very grateful.’

In addition to modeling, she also designed her own clothing and accessories line for HSN and published a book in 2018.

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‘My husband, until he passed on, we used to sit there and laugh and laugh, and I’d say I’m no different than I was 70 years ago, and all of a sudden, I’m cool, I’m a hot property. It’s ridiculous. People tell me it’s because I’m real… and say what I think,’ she added.

Following the news of her death, fans rushed to her social media page to pay their respects, including Maria Shriver

Following the news of her death, fans rushed to her social media page to pay their respects, including Maria Shriver

Following the news of her death, fans rushed to her social media page to pay their respects, including Maria Shriver 

Rocker Lenny Kravitz wrote: 'You mastered the art of living. Thank you for your energy and inspiration'

Rocker Lenny Kravitz wrote: 'You mastered the art of living. Thank you for your energy and inspiration'

Rocker Lenny Kravitz wrote: ‘You mastered the art of living. Thank you for your energy and inspiration’

Actress Hannah Waddingham also paid tribute, writing: 'Ohhhhhh. Goodnight and God bless Ma'am. What joy and endless style you brought to so many'

Actress Hannah Waddingham also paid tribute, writing: 'Ohhhhhh. Goodnight and God bless Ma'am. What joy and endless style you brought to so many'

Actress Hannah Waddingham also paid tribute, writing: ‘Ohhhhhh. Goodnight and God bless Ma’am. What joy and endless style you brought to so many’

'Thank you for sharing your beautiful life,' designer Jenna Lyons added

'Thank you for sharing your beautiful life,' designer Jenna Lyons added

‘Thank you for sharing your beautiful life,’ designer Jenna Lyons added

In 2016 she gave some advice for young female entrepreneurs at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day conference at the United Nations.

‘Taking opportunity and running is very important, because I never had a business plan in my life. Things just came along and I grabbed them,’ she told them.

‘I’m glad to see all these glass ceilings are being smashed and I know I feel that if women were a little more forceful and stuck to it there wouldn’t be so much of this feeling,’ she added.

‘I know when I started, the dinosaurs were roaming the Earth, I’m 95 and I’ve been working my whole life. It wasn’t easy but if you really want to do it, you can do it.’

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Asda billionaire Mohsin Issa insists there is no rift between him and his younger brother Zuber

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Relationship: Victoria Price and Mohsin Issa said they are building a life together

Relationship: Victoria Price and Mohsin Issa said they are building a life together

Relationship: Victoria Price and Mohsin Issa said they are building a life together

Mohsin Issa has insisted there is no rift between him and his younger brother Zuber.

The billionaire brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital took control of Asda in a debt-fuelled £6.8billion swoop in 2021.

But their relationship was understood to be under strain. Moving to quash the speculation yesterday, he told the BBC: ‘There is absolutely no rift between myself and Zuber – we get on exceptionally well. 

‘We talk to each other probably two or three times a day.’ 

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While Mohsin, 52, runs the supermarket, Zuber, 51, oversees forecourt giant EG Group, which is also part of the family empire.

The comments come just weeks after speculation that the brothers had fallen out over Mohsin’s relationship with Victoria Price, an accountant he met in 2018 when she presented him with an entrepreneur of the year award.

Mohsin has confirmed that he is in a relationship with Price, 41, after walking out on his wife of nearly 30 years Shamim. The entrepreneur also said he was carrying out a ‘reset’ at the grocer before appointing a chief executive to run the business.

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Nature’s the star at The Datai resort in Malaysia. But… beware the monkeys raiding the minibar!

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My wooden villa stands on stilts, surrounded by towering trees that obscure the view to the ocean 200 yards away. At night, giant squirrels thud onto the shingle roof.

By day, long-tailed macaques perch overhead, throwing jungle debris at each other. They are ever hopeful that I might leave my balcony door open.

‘Macaques appreciate creature comforts,’ warns my host, ‘and wouldn’t hesitate to raid your minibar and throw a party in your villa.’

I am on the Malaysian island of Langkawi, staying at The Datai, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary, having set the bar for luxury when it opened.

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The 65-acre site lies deep within a rainforest and mangrove swamp that creep up to a crescent of caramel sand on the Andaman Sea, home to more than 250 bird and 500 butterfly species.

Teresa Levonian Cole checks into The Datai on the Malaysian island of Langkawi. Above is the resort's two-bedroom Beach Villa

Teresa Levonian Cole checks into The Datai on the Malaysian island of Langkawi. Above is the resort's two-bedroom Beach Villa

Teresa Levonian Cole checks into The Datai on the Malaysian island of Langkawi. Above is the resort’s two-bedroom Beach Villa  

Like most guests, I barely venture beyond the hotel grounds, a pristine microcosm of an island that became a Unesco Global Geopark in 2007.

That Langkawi has not been overdeveloped is due in part to the legend of Mahsuri’s Curse.

‘In the late 1800s, a beautiful bride was wrongly accused of adultery by jealous villagers and put to death,’ explains Irshad Mobarak, Datai’s head naturalist, during a walk to a rockpool for an early-morning dip.

‘With her dying breath she cursed the island for seven generations.’

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The island of Langkawi (pictured) became a Unesco Global Geopark in 2007, reveals Teresa

The island of Langkawi (pictured) became a Unesco Global Geopark in 2007, reveals Teresa

The island of Langkawi (pictured) became a Unesco Global Geopark in 2007, reveals Teresa

Fearing the curse, people stayed away until it ‘expired’ in the mid-1980s – and then tourism took off.

Conservation of this environment is central to The Datai’s philosophy, with initiatives covering land, sea and local community.

So it is that one day I find myself with Dr Ravinder Kaur from Gaia, a social enterprise which has teamed up with The Datai for the protection of hornbills on the island.

The birds – known as nature’s gardeners for their habit of regurgitating seeds – are threatened by poachers and deforestation.

Prime spot: The Datai is tucked away on a crescent of sand on the Andaman Sea

Prime spot: The Datai is tucked away on a crescent of sand on the Andaman Sea

Prime spot: The Datai is tucked away on a crescent of sand on the Andaman Sea

We spot a male and wait for him to visit his nesting partner, bringing her the choicest fruit he can find. She has enclosed herself in the hollow of a tree, but the cautious bird, having spotted our presence, does not want to reveal its location.

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When I do see one it is by chance, over breakfast.

An oriental pied hornbill is making a flurry of trips to a keruing tree by the main pool.

It starts a rush for cameras among guests – and opens up opportunities for the thieving macaques.

Teresa tries the freshest catch – grouper, snapper, pomfret – for lunch at the Beach Club, pictured above

Teresa tries the freshest catch – grouper, snapper, pomfret – for lunch at the Beach Club, pictured above

Teresa tries the freshest catch – grouper, snapper, pomfret – for lunch at the Beach Club, pictured above

A walk through the ten million-year-old rainforest with nature centre manager Dev Dass reveals more wonders.

Trying not to trip over roots in the shaded forest floor, I see tiny orchids and hardwoods rising over 100 ft.

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Wedged in the cleft of one tree, a rare colugo – the only ‘flying’ primate – slumbers, his fur blending with the bark.

‘Poachers hunt for critically endangered animals and cut down precious agar trees as the wood fetches £2,500 per kilo,’ says Dev. ‘We employ 35 security guards to protect our rainforest.’

Cheeky: Teresa discovers that macaques (pictured) roam the resort, waiting to get into guest rooms and raid the minibar

Cheeky: Teresa discovers that macaques (pictured) roam the resort, waiting to get into guest rooms and raid the minibar

Cheeky: Teresa discovers that macaques (pictured) roam the resort, waiting to get into guest rooms and raid the minibar

Teresa spies an oriental pied hornbill, like the one pictured here, making a flurry of trips to a keruing tree by the main pool

Teresa spies an oriental pied hornbill, like the one pictured here, making a flurry of trips to a keruing tree by the main pool

Teresa spies an oriental pied hornbill, like the one pictured here, making a flurry of trips to a keruing tree by the main pool

It is midday now and I have an appointment to go kayaking in the mangroves.

Through a narrow channel I paddle into another world – sun-dappled and still but for the insistent whirr of cicadas and the squawk and trill of birds. I glide and duck under branches.

A collared kingfisher takes flight as a spectacled langur leaps through the canopy. Less cuddly are reticulated pythons, which also haunt the mangroves.

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The next day, I feel the call of the ocean. I have the freshest catch – grouper, snapper, pomfret – for lunch at the Beach Club.

As the tide ebbs, I watch tiny sand bubbler crabs set to work, creating their granular artworks, like a mantilla of lace.

‘Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads,’ proclaimed American naturalist Henry David Thoreau. I would agree with that.

TRAVEL FACTS 

Seven nights’ B&B at The Datai Langkawi from £2,249pp, including flights, transfers and lounge passes (elegantresorts.co.uk). Malaysia Airlines flies from London to Kuala Lumpur from £749 return (malaysiaairlines.com).

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Covid ‘pandemic babies’ show two ‘fascinating’ biological changes, study finds

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  • Babies born during pandemic-era lockdowns have an altered gut microbiome
  • Only 17% of infants born during lockdown needed antibiotics by one year of age
  • READ MORE:  DO YOU have tokophobia? Experts explain Helen Mirren’s fear

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Lockdowns during the Covid pandemic led to two ‘fascinating’ changes in babies bodies that may have protected them against disease and allergies, a study has found.

Researchers from University College Cork in Ireland found that children born while the world was locked down during Covid had an altered gut microbiome – the ecosystem of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in the gut that aid in digestion, destroys harmful bacteria and helps control the immune system.

The biome was found to be more beneficial in the infants.  

Researchers believe this led ‘Covid babies’ to have lower than expected rates of allergic conditions, such as food allergies, compared to pre-pandemic babies, the scientists found.

They also required fewer antibiotics to treat illnesses.  

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Babies born during a lockdown have an altered gut microbiome, researchers from University College Cork in Ireland found

Babies born during a lockdown have an altered gut microbiome, researchers from University College Cork in Ireland found

Babies born during a lockdown have an altered gut microbiome, researchers from University College Cork in Ireland found

Researchers analyzed fecal samples from 351 Irish babies born in the first three months of the pandemic, between March and May 2020, and compared them to samples from babies born before the pandemic.

Online questionnaires were used to collect information on diet, home environment and health to account for variables.

Stool samples were collected at six, 12 and 24 months and allergy testing was performed at 12 and 24 months. 

The Covid newborns were found to have more of the beneficial microbes gained from their mother after birth, which could act as a defense against allergic diseases.

If individuals have a disrupted gut microbiome, this may lead to the development of food allergies. 

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Babies born in the pandemic had lower allergy rates: About five percent of the Covid babies had developed a food allergy at age one, compared to 22.8 percent in the pre-Covid babies.

Researchers said that mothers had passed on the beneficial microbes to their babies while pregnant, and they gained additional ones from the environment after they were born.

The study also found that babies born during lockdowns had fewer infections because they were not exposed to germs and bacteria. 

This meant they needed fewer antibiotics – which kill good bacteria – leading to a better microbiome. 

The lockdown babies were also breastfed for longer, which provided additional benefits. 

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Of the Covid babies, only 17 percent of infants required an antibiotic by one year of age.

In the pre-pandemic cohort, meanwhile, 80 percent of babies had taken antibiotics by 12 months. 

This was ‘fascinating outcome,’ joint senior author Liam O’Mahony, professor of immunology at the  University College Cork, said, and ‘correlated with higher levels of beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacteria.’

Professor Jonathan Hourihane, consultant pediatrician at Children’s Health Ireland Temple Street and joint senior author of the study, said: ‘This study offers a new perspective on the impact of social isolation in early life on the gut microbiome. 

‘Notably, the lower allergy rates among newborns during the lockdown could highlight the impact of lifestyle and environmental factors, such as frequent antibiotic use, on the rise of allergic diseases.’

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The researchers hope to re-examine the children when they are five years old to see if there are any long-term impacts of the early changes in gut microbiome. 

The study was published in the journal Allergy. 

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