Dundee named must-visit European destination for 2018 by Lonely Planet

Dundee has been included in a list of top European destinations for 2018.

The Scottish city is the only UK entry on the list from guide book publisher Lonely Planet, which also includes Italy’s foodie heartland Emilia-Romagna, the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, and Greece’s Small Cyclades islands. 

Dundee, the fourth largest city in Scotland after Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, was included for its growing cultural scene, at the heart of which is a new branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum. V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, is due to open on 15 September with Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, an exhibition that will explore the vessels that revolutionised travel in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as Scotland’s role in the design and development of ocean liners. 

The museum joins existing local attractions including the Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre, University of Dundee Museum Collections, McManus art gallery and museum, and Dundee Rep theatre. Annual music festivals such as Almost Blue blues festival and the Dundee Jazz Festival see gigs taking place across the city. 

Dundee was selected by Unesco as the UK’s first City of Design in 2014. It hosted a second design festival in 2017, with a programme of free events taking place at former print factory West Ward Works. 

Louise Murphy of local walking tour company Dark Dundee said: “This is a fantastic boon for the city as well as for Scotland’s Tay Country region.

“This level of global recognition is very special because Dundee is the sole representative of the UK on this list.

“The hard work and efforts of the city are really paying off and we are proud to be working with so many like minded people who have strived to give Dundee her rightfully deserved place as a world class destination.”

Topping the Lonely Planet list for 2018 is Emilia-Romagna, the northern Italian region that gave the world ragù (Bologna), balsamic vinegar (Modena), Parma ham and Parmesan cheese.

FICO, the world’s largest foodie theme park, opened in Bologna in 2017, and direct flights are available from the UK to a number of cities in Emilia-Romagna. 

The Spanish region of Cantabria, which borders the Basque Country on the Atlantic coast, was included for its wild, sandy beaches, mist-shrouded mountains and enchanting villages. The Renzo Piano-designed Centro Botín, which opened in the Cantabrian capital Santander in 2017, is helping to reinvent the port city as a cutting-edge culture destination. 

Other must-visit European destinations on the list include Friesland in the Netherlands, home to the beautiful West Frisian Islands, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and Slovenia’s wine-rich Vipava Valley.

The tiny Balkan nation of Kosovo appears, selected for its growing culture scene and Ottoman-era history while neighbouring Albania features too, its compact capital Tirana making a splash with its Mediterranean-influenced cuisine, fascinating Communist-era city planning and lively nightlife. 

Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, has been popular with stag dos for a while now, thanks to its good value accommodation and dining and wide range of local craft beers. But there’s much more going for it than that, from its eclectic architecture to its fascinating Jewish history. 

Other better known destinations on the list are Provence in France and the Small Cyclades, remote outposts of the island group that includes Mykonos and Santorini. 

Lonely Planet Best in Europe 2018

1. Emilia-Romagna, Italy

2. Cantabria, Spain

3. Friesland, the Netherlands

4. Kosovo

5. Provence, France

6. Dundee, Scotland

7. Small Cyclades, Greece

8. Vilnius, Lithuania

9. Vipava Valley, Slovenia

10. Tirana, Albania


منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/dundee-scotland-lonely-planet-best-destinations-2018-provence-vilnius-friesland-a8362251.html

Mowgli: First official trailer for Andy Serkis's Jungle Book movie is here

There are few stories as lasting as The Jungle Book, the tale of a boy raised by wolves having been adapted to multiple formats. 

Two years ago, Disney’s re-imagining of their own animated adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s book was released, grossing the company almost $1 billion at the box office.

Now comes Andy Serkis’s own version, Mowgli (formerly Jungle Book Origins), which will see the titular character engage with mankind once more.

Featuring an astounding voice cast – including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, and Tom Hollander – and directed by Serkis, the first trailer has been released online, teasing perhaps the darkest Jungle Book retelling yet. 

Mowgli has long been in development, principle photography having started back in March 2015. Serkis has previously put the long wait down to the ambitious CGI his studio, Imaginarium, has been working on. 

“The ambition for this project is huge,” the director, who will also star as Baloo, previously said. “What we are attempting is an unprecedented level of psychological and emotional nuance in morphing the phenomenal performances of our cast into the facial expressions of our animals.

“We are breaking new ground with realistic non-humanoid animal faces, such as a panther or wolf, ensuring that they convincingly communicate with human language and emotion via performance capture, and are able to stand up to real scrutiny in richly complex dramatic scenes.”


Serkis previously directed Breathe, which reached cinemas last year. Oddly enough, Mowgli filmed a year before Breathe.

Mowgli reaches cinemas 19 October 2018. 

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/mowgli-movie-trailer-andy-serkis-watch-jungle-book-2018-release-date-a8362751.html

Most-polluting wood burners could be banned in effort to improve UK air quality

The government is planning to bring in tougher regulations on household wood burners and fires in a bit to cut UK air pollution.

New legislation will mean that only cleaner fuels and stoves will be sold for domestic heating, under the proposals being put out for consultation.

Councils will also be given new powers to bring in “clean air zones” by limiting what people can burn or bringing in “no-burn days”.

The clean air strategy is intended to cut the cost of air pollution to society by £1bn a year by 2020, and by £2.5bn a year by 2030.

It also aims to halve the number of people living in areas where tiny particles known PM2.5 are above safe levels set by the World Health Organisation.

These tiny particles can be breathed into the lungs and get into the bloodstream, causing health problems including heart disease, strokes and lung cancer.

Officials say almost two-fifths of PM2.5 comes from domestic wood burners and open fires, which just 7.5 per cent of homes have.

The strategy also aims to tackle another part of the problem, ammonia from farming, by requiring farmers to invest in equipment and measures to reduce emissions from things such as slurry spread on fields.

Under the plans, farmers will get support to bring in the equipment through the new system of agricultural payments for delivering public benefits, which is being devised to replace European subsidies after Brexit.

But campaigners say more action is needed on other major sources of air pollution, in particular transport, to curb illegal levels of air pollution.

The government is being taken to court by the European Commission over its failure to meet legal limits for harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide, which should have been met by 2010, and has faced repeated legal action over the issue.

During a visit to Imperial College London to meet air quality researchers, environment secretary Michael Gove admitted the government had to “do better” on pollution and said it was important to tackle “all sources” of dirty air.

The latest strategy comes after government announcements on measures to tackle pollution from transport, including phasing out the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040.

Mr Gove said: “It’s critically important we make progress there, but it’s also important we deal with other sources of air pollution, whether that’s from slurry and manures spread on agricultural land or whether it’s from wood burning or other ways people generate domestic fuel and power.

“I don’t imagine many people will be aware of the way in which wood burning or the way in which agricultural pollution contributes to material in the air which doesn’t just cause health problems, but limits life expectancy.

“For that reason I think it’s important we act in all of these areas.”

He added: “I don’t think it’s an either or, I think we need to deal with both nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter in our air, which affects human health and we need to tackle if the next generation are going to grow up healthy and we’re going to have a healthy environment as well.”

He said he did not think the government would be subject to a middle-class backlash over curbing wood burners, as everyone wanted the best for their children.

Under the plans, the government will also provide a personal air quality messaging system to inform the public, particularly vulnerable to air pollution, about the air quality forecast.

Alison Cook, director of policy at the British Lung Foundation, welcomed better monitoring and alerts for people, but warned: “Most importantly we can’t lose focus on transport as a main culprit for air pollution.”

Meeting the WHO pollution limits will require further action including a diesel scrappage scheme and investment into cleaner travel alternatives such as walking, cycling and public transport, she said.


منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/wood-burners-ban-government-legislation-air-pollution-strategy-uk-a8362601.html

World Goth Day: An anatomy of melancholy from Goya and Edgar Allan Poe to Bauhaus and Tim Burton

World Goth Day takes place on 22 May, an occasion for the pale and morbidly-inclined to emerge squinting into the sunlight to celebrate their individuality.

Goths in black hoodies, band t-shirts, panda eye shadow and even Victorian funeral weeds and moderate fetish wear are a common sight in market town centres across the country these days. Most people now understand that the look is nothing to be intimidated by, not necessarily a symptom of depression and much more than “just a phase” that teenagers drawn to occultism and pagan symbols will grow out of. 

Wearing black is actually a clear indication of a melancholic personality type as old as the Elizabethan malcontent and Goth turns out to be a healthily inclusive tribal movement that shuns prescribed gender expectations and unrealistic physical ideals, placing an unfashionable premium on reading. All reasons its adherents, predominantly middle class and white, deserve respect rather than ridicule.

Primarily an offshoot of the punk era – although there were pre-1977 proto-Goths such as Screaming Lord Sutch and Alice Cooper and plenty of rockabilly groups toying with graveyard motifs – bands like The Damned, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Misfits all adopted Halloween dressing-up box aesthetics for shock effect.

The first Goth song proper is generally agreed to be “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus, a nine-minute ode to the Hungarian actor so famous for playing Dracula that he was buried in his costume cape in 1956. The piece is known to many from its ominous use at the beginning of The Hunger (1983), Tony Scott’s vampire movie starring Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie.


Subsequent bands took the style in different directions throughout the 1980s, from the scary antics of garage rockers The Birthday Party and The Cramps to the gloom pop of The Sisters of Mercy and The Cure. Killing Joke and Depeche Mode led matters in an industrial direction culminating in Nine Inch Nails and the cybergoth rave scene, while others pushed on into dark metal territory, hence Cradle of Filth and Marilyn Manson

Gliding swiftly past My Chemical Romance, Panic! At The Disco and the genuinely horrifying world of Emily the Strange merchandise, a track like Jenny Hval’s dreamy “Female Vampire” from 2016 shows what can still be achieved within the confines of the genre. 

Before the punks, cinema had long catered to the same taste for the macabre, from Universal’s monster pantheon of the 1930s to the atomic age American B-movies of the 1950s, Hammer Horror, Italian giallo and the suburban slasher films of the 1970s. Tracks like “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” by The Cramps or “Night of the Living Dead” by Misfits directly referenced the key films that informed these Goth taste-makers.


Tim Burton subsequently picked up the megaphone, himself hugely influenced by the shlock disasterpieces of Ed Wood and Roger Corman’s series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations starring Vincent Price. His early films, notably Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1991) and particularly The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), are all Goth favourites, their melancholy protagonists obsessed by their own outsider status, a mood he made the subject of two Batman features.

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (1989-96) and James O’Barr’s The Crow (1989-) graphic novels are required reading. The central characters of Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, in the former and undead avenger Eric Draven in the latter were both modelled on the gaunt figure and pronounced cheekbones of Peter Murphy, frontman of Bauhuas, AKA “the Godfather of Goth”.

There’s room for humour in all of this, incidentally. Goths are drawn to the morosely funny artwork of Edward Gorey and Charles Addams, the TV and film spin-offs of the latter’s New Yorker cartoons, re-runs of The Munsters (1964-66) and novelty records like Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “Monster Mash”. Even Nick Cave’s The Birthday Party, whose heroin-fuelled gigs earned notoriety at the turn of the 1980s, sent themselves up riotously on “Release the Bats”.

Or how about Jonathan Richman’s affectionate spoof “Vampire Girl”?: “Does she cook beans? Does she cook rice? Is she into ritual sacrifice?”


Prior to its late blooming in 20th-century pop culture, the Gothic really emerged as an aesthetic in the Romantic literature, architecture and painting of the 18th and 19th century.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) is, obviously, the ur-text of modern Goth but the subculture’s roots go back further to the stories of Robert Louis Stevenson, Poe and Sheridan LeFanu and the “haunted summer” of 1816 when Mary Shelley conceived the central idea for Frankenstein during an evening of ghost story recitals on Lake Geneva with her poet husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron and Dr John Polidari, whose own tale that stormy night, “The Vampyre”, would directly influence Stoker.

Even before this, there was Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764), Matthew Lewis’s The Monk (1775), William Beckford’s Vathek (1786) and the supernatural mystery novels of Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823), works satirised by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey (1817).

Walpole, an MP and the son of prime minister Sir Robert Walpole, was so enraptured with the Gothic that he had his own mansion built in order to live it, a lavish vanilla Viennetta of battlements and spires known as Strawberry Hill in Twickenham. His influence sparked a fashion that continued throughout the following century when many of London’s most recognisable landmarks, from the Palace of Westminster, London Bridge and St Pancras Station, were constructed.

Walpole’s taste was neo-Gothic, strictly speaking, drawing on an architectural movement that first flourished in continental Europe between the 12th and 16th centuries, characterised by cavernous masonry, rib vaults, pointed archways and stained glass. The Basilica of St Denis and Chartres Cathedral in Paris are two fine surviving examples.


None of this has anything much to do with the historical Goths, by the way. These were the East Germanic people, divided into Visigoths and Ostrogoths, who fought the might of the Roman Empire. The term “Gothic” has been applied to architecture retroactively, thought to be because of the melancholy connotations associated with these tribes as harbingers of darkness for the Romans, responsible for the sun setting on the early superpower’s dominance of Western Europe. 

There was no coherent Gothic movement in painting per se but the German landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), a specialist in misty ruins and lone figures adrift in the sublime, certainly fits the bill: “I have to stay alone in order to fully contemplate and feel nature.”


Other artists who exorcised their personal demons on canvas long before there was a name for it include Henry Fuseli (1741-1825), best known for his disturbing and erotic “The Nightmare” (1781), and Francisco Goya (1746-1828), whose etching “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” (1799) externalises the inner torment many feel but struggle to express.

A style as deathless as its heroes, Goth is an entirely positive movement because it enables its followers to find solace in the like-minded, who are clearly demarcated by their outfits, and because the genre is loaded with stone-cold bangers like “This Corrosion” by The Sisters of Mercy.

And everyone looks good in black. Or, as Dwight Pullen put it: “You really look sharp wearing sunglasses after dark.”

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/world-goth-day-2018-gothic-history-edgar-allan-poe-dracula-punks-bauhaus-siouxsie-cure-tim-burton-a8356986.html

Indonesia raises alert for Merapi volcano on densely populated island of Java

Indonesia has raised the alert level for its most active volcano and authorities have ordered villages living on its slopes to evacuate.

Mount Merapi, on the densely populated island of Java, has erupted four times since Monday, sending out a 3,500m (11,483ft) column of ash and smoke.

The authorities are taking no chances after a series of eruptions in 2010 killed more than 350 people.

Indonesia’s geological agency raised the alert level for Merapi from normal to “beware” due to its increased activity.


Around 660 people living within a 3km (2 miles) exclusion zone have evacuated since Tuesday, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a national disaster mitigation agency spokesman said.

Mr Nugroho told the Associated Press climbing and hiking on Merapi is banned and only disaster agency personnel or related researchers should enter the restricted area.

There have been no reports of casualties.

This month, the airport in Yogyakarta, the closest city to Merapi, was briefly shut down because of the eruptions.

Through the ages, Indonesians have tilled the fertile volcanic soil on the mountain’s slopes and more recently the volcano has become a tourist site.

The disaster agency described Merapi’s eruptions as phreatic, which means magma heats up ground water and vapour is released under pressure.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 250 million people, sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Indonesian government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes. 

Additional reporting by agencies

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indonesia-volcano-eruption-java-mount-merapi-latest-a8362711.html

Who is Unai Emery? Next Arsenal manager in profile ahead of official announcement

Unai Emery is the next manager of Arsenal – but what about the man behind the job title?.

The 46-year-old Spaniard is, like the man he is set to succeed at the Emirates Arsene Wenger, a football nut.

Former Spain winger Joaquin, who played under Emery at Valencia, said of his old boss: “Emery put on so many videos I ran out of popcorn!

“He’s obsessed with football – it’s practically an illness. He’s one of the best managers I’ve had. I worked with him for three years. I couldn’t handle a fourth!”

A near 22-year stint like Wenger’s may be out of the question then, but Arsenal fans would no doubt settle for a short reign were he to replicate some of the success he has had in his managerial career.

As a player, Emery, whose grandfather and father were both footballers, spent most of his career in the Spanish second tier prior to retiring at 32 due to a knee injury.

As a manager, Emery made a greater impact, guiding his first two clubs Lorca and Almeria to promotions prior to landing a job at Valencia.

There were three successive top-three finishes with Los Che before a short-lived, unsuccessful spell at Spartak Moscow. On Emery’s website there are a list of achievements next to each club he has taken charge of. For the Spartak entry, where he spent six months, there is nothing.

Back in Spain, Emery restored his reputation by leading Sevilla to a trio of Europa League titles, the most recent of which came in a final against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in 2016.

At Paris St Germain he would win one Ligue 1 championship and four domestic trophies across a two-year span, but there were also a pair of last-16 Champions League exits.


The most notable came against Barcelona last year when PSG threw away a 4-0 first-leg lead to crash out.

The video of that 6-1 second-leg loss at the Nou Camp would have made for grim viewing, as have some of Arsenal’s later performances of the Wenger era.

Emery posted a message on his Twitter account when Wenger’s departure was confirmed last month – a post which has now taken on greater significance

He said: “Impossible to talk about Arsenal, the premierleague and the profession of coach without mentioning Arsene Wenger, one of the references probably. Thank you Arsene!”


For a man so consumed by video analysis – he claimed he spends “12 hours” watching clips for each game – Wenger’s Gunners will now likely be his reference point over the coming weeks.

And though Emery has European pedigree and an impressive CV, Arsenal fans seem unsure if he can produce a team capable of compiling the highlight reels they want to see.

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منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/who-is-unai-emery-next-arsenal-manager-announcement-confirmed-career-record-mikel-arteta-a8362696.html