For guests at the "Dolce Hanoi Golden Lake" coffee comes in a gold cup and bath time is taken in gilded splendor. The world's first self-proclaimed gold-plated hotel is open for business -- and the Vietnamese owners insist they have the Midas touch despite the cramping of global travel during the coronavirus pandemic. The hotel cost $200 million to construct with a 24-carat plating across lobbies, an infinity pool and rooms with even cutlery, cups, shower heads and toilet seats receiving the golden treatment. While expensive for Vietnam, at $250 ...
Over 5.6 million people have fled Syria since 2011, seeking safety in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and beyond. Millions more are displaced inside Syria and, as the war continues, hope is fading fast. The pace of displacement remains relentless. The Syrian refugee crisis is the result of a March 2011 violent government crackdown on public demonstrations in support of a group of teenagers who were arrested for anti-government graffiti in the southern town of Daraa. Families have suffered under a brutal conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, torn ...
Splashing mud and drinking local rice beer, Nepali farmers this week celebrated National Paddy Day to mark the beginning of the rice-planting season, despite some coronavirus lockdown measures still in place. Traditional farming songs and laughter echoed in the air as farmers waded into waterlogged fields to sow green paddy. "It is an important day for us. Our family and friends all came together in the fields to plant and have fun," farmer Ramesh Dongol, 35, told AFP. Nepali farmers across the country mark the 15th of the Nepali month ...
The outbreak of COVID-19 forced countries to go into lockdown, closing down businesses, airports and borders and forcing strict measures and restrictions on travel. The aviation industry was one of the worst hit and impacted by the lockdown. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) for Africa and the Middle East region expected that global airlines’ loss will reach up to $400 billion in 2020, along with the 550 billion of debts, which they won’t be able to get rid of for many years to come. IATA also confirmed that the ...
Bakeries are easy to locate in Iran, just simply detect the irresistible scent of freshly baked flatbreads. Of the four main traditional types, sangak is the most popular and is seen as Iran’s national bread. It is made from wholewheat flour and topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and sometimes poppy seeds at the customer’s request. The baker moves and gesticulates constantly as he works in what resembles a dance in front of gas-fired ovens. Exclusively the job of men in the Islamic republic, bakers get up well before ...
Nearly 100 Rohingya from Myanmar, including 30 children, have been rescued from a rickety wooden boat off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, a maritime official said Wednesday. Images shot from Indonesian rescue boats showed dozens of children and adults, many weeping, after they had been plucked from their vessel by local fishermen, according to AFP. "The boat with Rohingya onboard was broken and floating in the middle of the sea when the fishermen found them," said Mr Muhammad Nasir, head of the maritime authority in Sumatra's northernmost Aceh province. ...
The 450,000 Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank hold often violent relations with the Palestinians. From July 1, the Israeli government aims to take its first steps toward implementing part of a US-proposed Middle East peace plan that paves the way for annexing key parts of the West Bank, including settlements long considered illegal by the majority of the international community. The controversial plan also envisions the creation of a Palestinian state, but on reduced territory and the Palestinians have rejected it outright. As for annexation, they are 'obviously ...
Columns of tanks and troops paraded through Moscow, Wednesday, as Russian President Vladimir Putin presided over grand World War II (WWII) commemorations to stir up patriotic fervour ahead of a vote on extending his rule. Putin was flanked on Red Square by elderly war veterans in uniforms laden with medals as thousands of troops carrying bright banners and Kalashnikov rifles marched in the blazing sun to mark the Soviet Union’s defeat of “Nazi” Germany, according to AFP. Forced to postpone the traditional May 9 Victory Day celebrations by the coronavirus ...
A car horn beeps and the horror begins: a bloody murder and rampaging zombies. But this drive-in haunted house in Japan protects against the most terrifying enemy of all -- coronavirus. Inside a car, guests can scream as loudly as they like, with no mask required, as hideous creatures daubed in blood swarm towards them. In fact, the new format might even be scarier than a traditional haunted house, producer Kenta Iwana, 25, told AFP. "At the drive-in haunted house, guests are confined in a car so they can't escape ...
Earlier this year, Lebanon defaulted on its debt and while the peg to the dollar remains unchanged, the Lira has since nosedived on the black market. In a country so heavily reliant on imports. Prices have soared almost as fast as the currency has plummeted. Lebanon's economic crisis has led to a collapse of the local currency and purchasing power, plunging whole segments of society into poverty as exemplified by near-empty fridges in many households. Photographers spent several days in June visiting people's homes in the main cities of Beirut, ...