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Bhutan — and its incredible cross-country trail — is open

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(CNN) — The central Asian nation of Bhutan reopens to guests right this moment for the primary time because the pandemic started.

Which means the nation’s breathtaking Trans-Bhutan Path is now accessible to vacationers. It reopened in March 2022 after 60 years, and now foreigners can expertise it for the primary time as flights to the Land of the Thunder Dragon restart.

In response to the Bhutan Canada Basis — the principal donor to the restoration mission — the 250-mile route connects 9 dzongkhags (districts), 28 gewogs (native governments), two municipalities, one nationwide park and 400 historic and cultural websites.

Vacationers who comply with your complete path route will cross 18 main bridges and climb 10,000 stairs. It’s also potential to stroll or mountain bike.

“This can be a community-based mission in each its constructing and operation which is able to restore an historical cultural icon and supply a sustainable, web carbon zero expertise within the nation for pilgrims and vacationers,” Sam Blyth, chair of the Bhutan Canada Basis, stated in an announcement.

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He added: “the Trans Bhutan Path additionally displays the nation’s philosophy of Gross Nationwide Happiness and can enable the youngsters of Bhutan to stroll within the footsteps of their ancestors.”

The path’s westernmost level is the city of Haa, which is close to the border with Tibet. The easternmost level is Trashigang, close to the border of India’s Arunachal Pradesh state.

Bhutan was the primary nation on this planet to attain carbon neutrality.

Trans Bhutan Path

In response to a consultant for the Bhutan Canada Basis, an formidable walker may cowl the entire path in a couple of month, however most vacationers will possible get pleasure from shorter segments of the path on three-, four-, or seven-day excursions.

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There are a number of lodging choices alongside the route, from rustic campsites to three-star motels.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Bhutan’s 41-year-old monarch, has been a driving drive behind restoring the path, which was previously a Buddhist pilgrimage route earlier than falling into disrepair as soon as Bhutan started constructing roads within the Sixties.

He formally inaugurated the path in a ceremony in Trongsa, a sacred metropolis in central Bhutan.

As a part of its intention to keep away from overtourism, the nation expenses a compulsory $250 per day payment, which incorporates land transport, lodging, meals and information service. The fee makes it considerably prohibitive for many individuals to go to.

This “Sustainable Improvement Charge” was $65 per day earlier than the pandemic.

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Because of the relative problem of visiting, many vacationers to Bhutan choose to hitch group itineraries or work with journey specialists.

“Covid-19 has allowed us to reset — to rethink how the sector could be finest structured and operated… whereas preserving carbon footprints low,” Tandi Dorji, the nation’s international minister, stated in an announcement earlier this yr defending the upper payment.

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A baby boy was born as the hurricane arrived in Florida. No, he won’t be named Ian.

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With the hurricane barreling towards their stretch of the Florida coast on Tuesday afternoon, Amanda Mahr and her husband, Matthew Mahr, obtained an pressing name from their physician: They needed to schedule an emergency C-section.

The newborn was 4 days overdue, and the ultrasound that morning had confirmed fluid ranges that had been too low for them to attend till after the storm for supply. Hurricane or not, the newborn was going to have to return.

They rushed to the hospital via a drizzle and underneath slate-gray skies, nervously eyeing neighbors in Cape Coral who had been placing up shutters in last-minute preparations. The storm was coming ashore farther south than beforehand projected. By the subsequent morning, with Hurricane Ian lapping on the coast, energy began reducing out throughout the area and wind gusts of greater than 60 miles per hour had been whipping their metropolis.

“We’re getting a direct hit. We need to schedule you proper now,” hospital workers informed the Mahrs, Ms. Mahr recalled.

Shortly earlier than 9 a.m., George was born — a strong 10 pound, 6 ounce child boy with a full head of black hair. Hospital workers informed the exhausted sufferers to not look out their second-floor window as a result of it will solely make them anxious.

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Round 2:30 p.m., with their almost-6-hour-old child, the Mahrs and different expectant moms and oldsters with newborns had been shuffled into the hallways to experience out the worst of the storm away from any home windows. Ian, after peaking at 155 m.p.h. wind speeds, was about to make landfall.

For hours, they listened via the closed doorways to pummeling rain, howling wind, thrashing timber. They questioned whether or not they would have a house to take George again to, and what could have turn into of the nursery they’d readied for him. They fretted about their year-old cat, Mazikeen, whom they’d no alternative however to go away behind.

By about 9 p.m., they had been allowed again of their birthing suite. The hospital appeared to have weathered the storm largely intact, and the couple and their new child had been in good spirits.

“He’s actually the discuss of the hospital as a result of he’s so chunky and so cute,” mentioned Ms. Mahr, 36, who runs a gourmand cupcake enterprise, in a telephone interview Thursday night from her hospital mattress. “He has essentially the most unbelievable hair.”

On Thursday afternoon, her husband, 37, ventured out of the hospital to discover a metropolis that appeared like a monster truck rally had gone via it, he mentioned. The streets had been affected by all method of particles — fallen electrical poles, items of roofing, synthetic grass turf. Each single avenue signal and billboard appeared to have been blown away.

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Their ground-floor condo was strewn with glass from two shattered home windows however with out a lot different injury, Mr. Mahr mentioned. Mazikeen was agitated however safely huddled contained in the nursery. That room was pristine, precisely as they’d left it, he mentioned.

Close by hospitals in the identical well being system had been having to evacuate sufferers Thursday due to issues with water and energy provide. The Mahrs’ hospital, Cape Coral, misplaced energy Thursday afternoon however was steady and operating on a generator, the couple mentioned.

All through, individuals have been asking whether or not they would add Ian to the boy’s title. They’re fortunately sticking with George Bentley, each household names, they mentioned.

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UK remains only G7 economy to languish below pre-pandemic levels

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Vital revisions to UK information point out that Britain is the one G7 financial system that is still smaller than it was earlier than the pandemic, regardless of an improved efficiency within the second quarter that diminished fears of recession.

Workplace for Nationwide Statistics figures launched on Friday confirmed that UK gross home product for the three months to June this 12 months remained 0.2 per cent under the extent it reached within the closing quarter of 2019.

Beforehand, official information had indicated that GDP had risen 0.6 per cent above pre-pandemic ranges by June.

Against this with the UK’s failure to return to pre-pandemic ranges, the eurozone financial system reached 1.8 per cent above 2019 ranges within the second quarter. The US had recovered to pre-pandemic ranges by the beginning of final 12 months.

Friday’s UK progress downgrade was largely as a result of a decrease ONS estimate of 2020 output. Nonetheless, progress for 2021 and this 12 months was revised greater.

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The ONS now says the financial system grew 0.2 per cent between the primary and the second quarters of 2022.

This compares with its earlier estimate of a 0.1 per cent contraction for the interval — an enchancment that can allay fears that the UK financial system is already sliding into recession. The change was pushed by a greater than anticipated efficiency {of professional} and monetary providers.

The information counsel the UK financial system entered the price of dwelling disaster earlier than it had managed to completely get well from the pandemic, laying naked the problem going through Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss.

In a reference to the tax reduce and borrowing plans of Kwasi Kwarteng, Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics, mentioned the information “makes the chancellor’s fiscal plans look much more untenable”.

Kwarteng’s announcement final week of £45bn of debt-funded tax cuts triggered turmoil within the sterling and gilts markets, pushing the Financial institution of England to take emergency motion to keep away from a meltdown within the UK pensions sector. With the federal government’s deliberate tax cuts forecast to maintain inflation greater for longer, markets at the moment are pricing in considerably greater rates of interest by mid-next 12 months.

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“The general image is that the financial system is in worse form than we beforehand thought even earlier than the total drag from the surge in inflation and leap in borrowing prices have been felt,” Dales mentioned.

Bar chart of UK, real GDP percentage change, Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019 to Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2022 showing The UK is the only G7 economy to not have yet recovered to pre-coronavirus levels of real GDP

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, mentioned the figures will compel the Workplace for Finances Duty, the UK fiscal watchdog, to revise down additional its estimates for future potential GDP. They might additionally imply that the tax-to-GDP ratio will probably be barely greater than beforehand estimated.

“The harm inflicted to the financial system’s provide aspect by Covid and Brexit is even bigger than beforehand thought,” Tombs mentioned.

Some particulars within the information launch additionally revealed that households have been damage by excessive inflation. Actual family disposable revenue fell 1.2 per cent within the second quarter, the biggest of the 4 successive drops as fast-rising costs diminished the worth of wages.

The family saving ratio fell to 7.6 per cent, from 8.3 per cent within the earlier quarter and from 26.8 per cent at its peak within the second quarter of 2020, when the nation was in a stringent lockdown. That is nonetheless above pre-pandemic ranges, suggesting households have scope to soak up some future revenue shocks.

Grant Fitzner, ONS chief economist, mentioned: “These new figures embrace extra correct estimates of the monetary sector and the way the prices going through the well being sector modified all through the pandemic.”

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Look of the Week: Kanye West is apparently team socks and sandals

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Written by Leah Dolan, CNN

That includes the great, the unhealthy and the ugly, ‘Look of the Week’ is a daily collection devoted to unpacking probably the most talked about outfit of the final seven days.

Trend ahead to some, and a fake pas to others, sporting socks with sandals has been a sartorial boundary that many celebrities have transgressed.

Not too long ago, fashions Kaia Gerber and Kendall Jenner had been noticed proudly owning the look working errands final yr, whereas earlier this summer season, Bella Hadid was seen sporting a pair of preppy white ankle socks and black strappy sandals whereas in New York Metropolis.
However Ye, previously often called Kanye West, took it to the following degree — with a louder take — sporting a pair of black socks with bejeweled flip-flops when he attended Burberry’s rescheduled London Trend Week present on Monday.

Kanye West debuted his bejeweled flip-flops at Burberry’s London Trend Week showcase. Credit score: Ricky Vigil M/GC Photographs/Getty Photographs

Ye’s diamanté-encrusted flip-flops look like a pre-release from Burberry’s Spring-Summer season 2023 assortment, the final to be overseen by outgoing chief artistic officer Riccardo Tisci. Impressed by the group spirit of the British seaside, all the label’s newest runway seems — even the black velvet night robes — embrace a pair of color-matched flip-flops.

Evidently, the look proved divisive on-line. “Kanye I really like you however socks with flip flops is just not it… ever,” wrote one Twitter person. One other added: “I do not care how a lot the flip flop value, {that a} hell no for me.”

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However others, together with self-professed sandal-and-sock wearers, mentioned they felt seen. “Yessss Kanye plzz make sandals with socks cool so i can cease being persecuted,” learn one Twitter remark. “I used to be doing this manner earlier than Kanye tho,” went one other. “I acquired receipts.”

After all, Ye is not any stranger to unconventional footwear. By choices just like the Yeezy Slides and the now-iconic webbed Foam Runner vary, the artist has used his partnership with Adidas to push the boundaries of shoe design. In 2020, the Yeezy Increase 350 was the second most traded sneaker on resale platform Inventory X, beating Nike’s Air Power 1.
Ye with Burberry's outgoing chief creative officer, Riccardo Tisci.

Ye with Burberry’s outgoing chief artistic officer, Riccardo Tisci. Credit score: David M. Benett/Getty Photographs

However his trend dangers do not all the time repay. In August, Yeezy’s collaboration with the Hole sparked criticism after Ye allegedly instructed shops to show the brand new assortment in containers resembling large trash luggage. “I really like Kanye,” one Twitter person wrote on the time, “however could not think about paying $200 for fundamental garments out of a bag on the ground.” In an interview with Fox Information, Ye defended the shows stating he was an “innovator,” who doesn’t “apologize for his concepts.”
Past his personal pink carpet moments, together with sporting head-to-toe Dickies workwear to the 2019 Met Gala, Ye’s eclectic model typically spills over into the wardrobe of his romantic companions. On an episode of Hulu’s actuality TV collection “The Kardashians,” his ex-wife Kim Kardashian mentioned, “Kanye has all the time dressed me, he is all the time styled me.” Earlier this yr, his former love curiosity Julia Fox advised Interview Journal that, on one in all their dates, Ye crammed a whole lodge suite with garments.
Ye pictured leaving the Burberry show.

Ye pictured leaving the Burberry present. Credit score: Neil Mockford/GC Photographs/Getty Photographs

Whether or not it is the face-covering “Donda” ski masks he wore to Paris Trend Week final yr or his bedazzled Burberry socks-and-sandals, Ye’s outfits are undeniably dialog starters. Whereas some may label him a harmful dresser, this newest instance is — by way of fall trend, not less than — fairly sensible.

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