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A world isolated from life by 1400km

“Stay at least 200m away from the whaling station – it’s filled with asbestos and the roofs could literally blow off,” warned expedition leader Nate Small,
The displays inside contain some stark figures: 175,250 whales were processed on South Georgia between 1904 and 1965, when the industry collapsed due to over-hunting and developments in the petrochemicals industry.If you consider the Antarctic region as a whole and include the many factory ships’ that processed whales on board, almost 1.5 million whales were killed between 1904 and 1978, when hunting of the species eventually ended.Whale populations haven’t recovered. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) says blue whale numbers in the southern hemisphere have fallen from as many as 200,000 to the low thousands’; fin whales have undergone a similar decline.
There are an estimated 60,000 humpbacks in the southern hemisphere, but this is also far lower than the pre-whaling era. In September 2018, IWC plans for a South Atlantic whaling sanctuary were rejected by pro-whaling countries.Japan later announced it will resume commercial whaling for the first time in three decades, prompting global outrage. It’s a bittersweet irony in that it was a terrible, brutal industry, yet nature took its sweet revenge by reclaiming it The plight of the whales is undeniably bleak, but in other respects, South Georgia has become an improbable model of conservation.

One of the world’s largest marine reserves, the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area, was created here in 2012 to protect more than one million sq km of the surrounding waters, while seal numbers have bounced back: the island now has 98% of the world’s Antarctic fur seals and roughly 50% of its elephant seals.South Georgia also has 30 million breeding pairs of seabirds.

During my visit, I spent a morning at St Andrews Bay in the company of 400,000 king penguins one of four penguin species found on the island and an afternoon on Prion Island, an important breeding site for wandering albatrosses. Last year, South Georgia was declared rodent-free after a pioneering eradication programme, which the authorities hope will allow birds like the endemic South Georgia pipit and South Georgia pintail to flourish.

Despite the profusion of wildlife, it was the island’s whaling heritage that remained foremost in my mind as I sailed out of Grytviken. When you walk about these stations all you see are these rusting boilers, blubber cookers and bone saws, Coulthard said.It’s a bittersweet irony in that it was a terrible, brutal industry, yet nature took its sweet revenge by reclaiming it. It’s a reminder that nature doesn’t need human beings; we need nature.

This trip was made possible by Polar Latitudes. Trips to South Georgia are also available through Quark Expeditions, One Ocean Expeditionsand National Geographic Expeditions, among other operators.Join more than three million BBC Travel fans by liking us on , or follow us on and Instagram.If you liked this story, called “If You Only Read 6 Things This Week”.A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Capital and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

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UK fashion brands battle for China’s growing market

Over the next week Shanghai Fashion Week will fill the city with models, designers and buyers. “They are sophisticated, well-travelled and demanding in quality and newness.”Pricing is also a concern. While wealth is rising, hefty import taxes drive the cost of Western luxury labels beyond the reach of many.”British fashion designers are still at a slightly higher price point,” WWD’s Mr Zhang says. He says while spending power is rising, Chinese consumers are not yet as willing to spend on designer clothes as they are on shoes and accessories.
The competitive threat from local talent is also mounting. There are big names like Angel Chen and Shushu/Tong, along with emerging designers like Caroline Hu and 8on8, all set to gain plenty of attention in Shanghai.”There are more and more upcoming Chinese designers taking the international stage,” says Pedder Group’s Ms Yu. “They give a fresh perspective.”

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Tui travel firm warns Boeing grounding to hit earnings

Travel firm Tui has warned that the grounding of Boeing 737 Max planes could cost it up to €300m (£258m). Tui has a fleet of about 150 aircraft, including 15 of the grounded Boeing models.A further eight 737 Max planes are due for delivery by the end of May.The financial hit is due to the cost of aircraft replacements, higher fuel bills and other disruption costs.

Tui will use eight older Boeing 737s, plus spare and charter aircraft, to “guarantee” customer holidays.It said it would take a €200m hit should Boeing 737s resume flights at the latest by mid-July.However, if in the coming weeks it looks as though the planes will not be flying by mid-July, Tui said it would extend the measures it was taking until the end of September, costing the firm another €100m.Boeing grounded its entire global fleet of 737 Max aircraft earlier this month after one of the planes, operated by Ethiopian Airlines, crashed, killing all 157 passengers and crew.

This came five months after a fatal crash involving another 737 Max plane operated by Lion Air in Indonesia Analysis:By Theo Leggett, BBC business correspondent.The grounding of the 737 Max was inevitably going to prove costly for the airlines using it.To avoid cancelling services, they have had to look around for replacement aircraft.Tui says it has had to use spare planes in its fleet, extend leases that were due to expire – and hire in extra planes.This has largely been done by so-called wet-leasing, where an aircraft is provided ready to use, with a flight crew.

It’s not cheap. A wet lease can cost upwards of $3,000 per hour.Fuel is also an issue. The main selling point of the 737 Max was its low fuel consumption.Using older, thirstier aircraft is inevitably going to cost more.These losses are not covered by insurance – though Tui admits it will be holding talks with Boeing.So although safety is undoubtedly their first priority, companies using the 737 Max will be very keen to see the aircraft back in the skies as soon as possible. CompensationIn a statement, Tui said: “The group is utilising spare aircraft of its fleet, extending expiring leases for aircraft that were supposed to be replaced by 737 Max aircraft, as well as leasing in additional aircraft.”A spokesman said Tui could not get insurance to cover this type of eventuality.However, Tui has a good relationship with Boeing, and has new aircraft on order, so should be able to recoup the cost in some form.Tui said: “No dates have yet been announced for modifications of the existing aircraft model by the manufacturer, neither for approval of such modifications by the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.”Therefore, Tui has taken precautions, along with other airlines, covering the time until mid-July, in order to be prepared for Easter, Whitsun, and start of the summer holiday season and to secure holidays for its customers and their families.”

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BBC Culture

BBC Culture. 1366464 likes · 6124 talking about this. BBC Culture gives a global view of film, books, art and music from the BBC's unique perspective.

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Launching from YC, Eclipse Foods casts a long shadow over the $336 billion dairy industry

Eclipse Foods may be the company that finally takes milk out of the dairy business.Ever since the acquisition of WhiteWave Foods by the French dairy giant Danone for over $10 billion investors have been thirsting for a technology that would give consumers a better tasting, more milky (for lack of a better word), milk substitute than the highly valuable (but not very tasty) almond, soy, and other plant based dairy alternatives.
There are at least $37.5 billion worth of other reasons for investors interest in the milk alternative category.Thats how much money will be spent on dairy alternatives by 2025, according to a newly released study by the market research firm Global Market Insights.Enter Eclipse Foods.Founded by two veterans of the alternative sugars and proteins business, the company is going after the whole dairy industry, starting with a line of spreads and select additives for restaurants around San Francisco.We had an oh shit moment when we got our plant based milk to act just like the real thing, says Thomas Beaumon, Eclipse Foods co-founder and the former director of product development at Hampton Creek (now known as Just Foods).
We’re not pureeing nuts or seeds or legumes. We asked, What are the properties of milk? and built this dairy base of the exact amino acids and fat profile.Thomas Beaumon in the kitchen (Courtesy Eclipse Foods)Joining Beaumon on the journey to create the perfect milk substitute is Aylon Steinhart, a former specialist working with the Y Combinator aligned food technology incubator and think tank, the Good Food Institute.The two men met at the launch event for Just Egg, the fourth product to debut from Just after the release of the companys mayonnaise alternative, cookie dough, and porridge.
We started talking about ideas and landed on this dairy platform, recalls Steinhart. It’s a place where we can make a big change very fast given the technological breakthroughs that we solved for early on.The demand is certainly coming on strong. According to Steinhart about 80% of millennials are consuming dairy replacements at least once a week.Aylon Steinhart (Courtesy Eclipse Foods)Humans didnt start out drinking milk. Over the 300,000 odd years that some form of homo sapien has been stalking the planet, it has only been in the past 10,000 odd years that people decided to squirt the liquid out of a cows udders to consume it.At first, humans couldnt even consume the stuff without getting at least a little nauseous. They needed to develop a genetic mutation to even process the lactose sugars properly.
“The first time that we see the lactase persistence allele in Europe arising is around 5,000 years BP [before present] in southern Europe, and then it starts to kick in in central Europe around 3,000 years ago,” assistant professor Laure Ségurel of the Museum of Humankind in Paris, told the BBC earlier this year.Segurel speculates that the health benefits of consuming milk might have been related to the exposure (and potential inoculation) to various diseases that may have otherwise spread from the animals to the humans that were raising them.
If that was the rationale, its increasingly unnecessary for modern living, and may indeed be more of a hazard to human health.Global meat and dairy producers could count among the largest contributors to climate change if their growth remains unchecked, according to a report from the non-profit Grain.They estimate that meat and dairy consumption should be reduced by 81 percent in order to meet global emissions reduction targets.With the production of Eclipses dairy alternative, theres no animal required.We have an off-the-shelf platform right now. The only additive will be water, says Beaumon.
And unlike other alternative dairy products, Beaumon and Steinhart claim that theirs actually tastes good. And, as a Michelin starred chef, Beaumon should know.
The companys first line of products will be a line of cream cheeses, including one for the bagel-and-schmear loving crowd. However, the majority will be more millennial focused, according to Steinhart.There will be various unique flavors that are culinarily focused, he said.Expect the first products to debut in an exclusive pilot with Wise Sons and through the ice cream maker Humphry Slochombe, a leader in high end ice cream in SF.However companies decide to label their Eclipse-based products, they certainly shouldnt call them vegan, according to Beaumon.Vegan cheese is gross, he says.

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Indian LoC violation: UN chief reassures Pakistan of ‘complete support’

ISLAMABAD : Pakistan has continued its diplomatic efforts to highlight Indian aggression and took the international community into confidence following India’s violation of the country’s airspace early Tuesday morning.
Qureshi spoke to UN chief Antonio Guterres on the phone on Wednesday and discussed the regional situation following Indias violation of Pakistani airspace on Tuesday.
We had concerns that the Indian government would try to disrupt regional peace to achieve political gains, said FM Qureshi, adding that we have kept the international community informed about out reservations and concerns.Qureshi also gave reference of his two letters to the UN chief on the matter.Indias act of aggression is a violation of UN charter and international diplomatic laws.The UN chief has reassured Pakistan of its complete support and cooperation.
Earlier, FM Qureshi in a letter to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres invited his attention towards the deteriorating security situation in the region in the wake of violation of Pakistans airspace by India, Radio Pakistan reported.This aggressive act by India has severe repercussions for the regional peace and security, said Qureshi, and added that, The Indian government is issuing threatening statements in the aftermath of Pulwama incident on the pretext of terrorism, in order to divert the world opinion from its grave human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir.
FM Qureshi categorically stated that Pakistan reserves the right to take an appropriate action in self-defence.The foreign minister also briefed the members of the diplomatic corps about the Indian violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in Islamabad.He also informed the diplomatic corps that at approximately 0254 hours, 6-8 Indian Air Force (IAF) jets were effectively intercepted by Pakistani Air Force (PAF) Jets and forced to scuttle back. The IAF randomly releasing their ordnance which landed in an uninhabited remote area, the foreign minister informed.
FM Qureshi strongly refuted the Indian purported claims of having targeted a large terrorist camp and resultant causalities. Its completely absurd and is based on a false narrative designed to placate the Indian domestic audience.
FM Qureshi also wrote a letter to the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Countries Dr Yousuf bin Ahmed.Qureshi, referring to his letter from February 24, highlighted the Indian violation of the LoC and threat it posed to regional stability.IAF jets violated the Pakistani airspace by entering from the Muzaffarabad sector, they were faced by the Pakistani air force and were forced to return.The Indian act of aggression is a violation of international laws and is an act of misadventure.
Pakistan reserves the right to respond in order to defend itself, the foreign minister stated in the letter.Qureshi also highlighted the secretary general to reconsider the invitation given by the UAE to Indian minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to attend the OIC meeting on March 1 as a special guest, saying that Pakistan would have to reconsider its stance regarding the summit, and asked the secretary general to review this situation.Reactions on Indias LoC violationPakistani Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Maleeha Lodhi has also spread the countrys stance at the UN loud and clear, and said that, as a target of aggression, Pakistan will respond to India at a time and place of its choosing, Radio Pakistan reported.Ambassador Lodhi held a series of intense meetings with key diplomats and UN officials following Indias blatant violations of the Line of Control (LoC) by Indian war planes that worsened the already dangerous situation between the two countries.
She also gave interviews to representatives of international media.“We will not sit back,” she told BBC radio when asked whether Pakistan will respond to India’s attack.PAF chases away Indian jets after LoC airspace violationAmbassador Lodhi said that following the February 14 Pulwama attack in IoK, Prime Minister Imran Khan has offered investigation if actionable evidence was provided but none was forthcoming.The prime minister also proposed discussions and dialogue, but regrettably India responded by launching an attack on Pakistan in violation of UN Charter and international law, posing a threat to international peace and security.“This is not how countries act when responding to challenges,” the Pakistani envoy said.

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Indian govt must protect Kashmiris: SC

There have been several reports of Kashmiri students and businessmen being harassed or beaten up in recent days.
The Indian Supreme Court has also sought a response from the states where these alleged incidents happened. The attack has sparked anger and anti-Pakistan protests across India.
But in some cases the anger has been directed against Kashmiri people living in other parts of India.Hundreds of Kashmiri students, traders and businessmen have returned to Kashmir from various Indian cities out of fear that they could face harassment or attack.Many Indians have expressed sympathy towards the Kashmiri students on social media, with some offering shelter in their own homes.India has long had a volatile relationship with Muslim-majority Kashmir, where there has been a freedom struggle rule since the late 1980s.
The region has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan since independence. Both countries claim all of Kashmir but control only parts of it.They have fought two wars and a limited conflict over the territory.The court’s decision singled out the federal government as well as governments in 10 states which are home to a sizeable Kashmiri population.
It asked authorities to widely publicise the details of officials who Kashmiris can contact if they face threats or violence. The order was in response to a petition seeking protection for Kashmiris living across India.
Tehseen Poonawala, one of the petitioners, told BBC that he was moved to act because he was disturbed after reading reports of Kashmiris being attacked. It’s not about Kashmiris.
It’s about human beings. We cannot be a country that responds with mob violence, he said.In the days following the attack, isolated incidents of students from Kashmir being beaten up or evicted from their accommodation in northern Indian states were reported in local media. Kashmiri Muslims were warned to stay vigilant and India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) offered help to those in need, but also warned of false reports.
Twenty Kashmiri girls in the northern city of Dehradun were forced to lock themselves in their hostel after protesters gathered outside to demand their eviction, according to the Times of India. Two other colleges in the city issued public statements saying they would not admit Kashmiri students in the next academic year.
We did so to provide protection to the [Kashmiri] students, the college principal, Aslam Siddidqu, told BBC, adding that he had faced pressure from right-wing groups.Indian Union Education Minister Prakash Javadekar has denied that incidents have taken place involving Kashmiri students.
But a police official in Dehradun told BBC that 22 students had been arrested for protesting and demanding that Kashmiri students be expelled from colleges in the city.The attack has raised tensions between India and Pakistan, which have fought two wars and a limited conflict in the region and are both nuclear powers.India has moved to impose trade restrictions on Pakistan. It has also said it will build dams to reduce the flow of water to Pakistan from three rivers in India.
Similar plans were announced in 2016, after a deadly attack on an Indian base in Kashmir.The tensions between the neighbours may also have an impact on cricket, a national obsession in both India and Pakistan.Amid outrage over the attack, there have been calls for India to boycott its much anticipated match against Pakistan at the World Cup in June.SACK KASHMIRIS OR FACE CONSEQUENCESA farmers’ outfit in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar area has warned a sugar mill to throw out Kashmiri workers as soon as possible or face dire consequences.
According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), the warning came just a day after rightwing groups threatened Mansoorpur Sugar Mill management to sack Kashmiri workers, reported The Times of India.The report said a farmers’ outfit, Bharatiya Kisan Union Tomar, warned Khatauli-based Triveni Sugar Mill to do the same or face consequences.
The report said there are 74 Kashmiris working in the mill.The management has sought three days time to deal with the matter, it reported.Vishal Ahlawat, a member of the outfit, warned if the mill did not sack the workers, they would remove them.After the threats to Kashmiri workers, the security around the mill has been tightened, the report said.On the other hand, India’s National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the ministries of Home and Human Resource Development and the state governments of West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, seeking reports over attacks on Kashmiris in wake of the Pulwama incident

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Zuckerberg to meet with UK culture secretary

Mark Zuckerberg is to meet with the UK’s culture secretary at the company’s headquarters in California on Thursday. It follows 18 months in which,It follows 18 months in which the founder refused to address a parliamentary committee investigating accusations of significant failings at the social network.
The BBC understands Jeremy Wright will be given about 30 minutes of Mr Zuckerberg’s time. Mr Wright told the BBC he hoped to discuss ways to prevent online harm has been under intense scrutiny since the family of the British teenager Molly Russell claimed she took her own life after viewing material which glorified suicide on their photo sharing site, Instagram. Good reason to engage.The UK delegation, which includes minister for digital and culture Margot James, will also have spent time at Google, YouTube, , Pinterest, Apple, Snap and Tinder.
Mr Wright told the BBC he hoped the eventual proposal would become a model for other countries looking to temper ’s negative impacts. “So there’s good reason for these companies bit or any other to engage with us at this stage,” he said,No co-regulation Mr Zuckerberg did not, however, choose to engage with a DCMS committee during an 18-month investigation that . The report suggested the company knowingly violated data privacy and competition laws.One comment went as far as to describe the firm as being like a “digital gangster”. “The period of time that we’ve been through, where we’ve simply urged social media companies to do better and left them to regulate themselves, is a period that’s now coming to an end,” Mr Wright said,The BBC understands that former UK deputy prime minster Nick Clegg, recently appointed as ’s head of communications, will not be attending the meeting. In the past, Mr Clegg has spoken of his desire to produce “co-regulation” with governments, an approach Mr Wright said he did not plan to embrace.“It’s not a phrase I would use,” he said. “If regulation is what’s needed, only governments can produce it.”

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