Tag Archives: Travel

Germany has restricted travel from French territory because of the virus variant | Instant News

BERLIN (AP) – Germany announced on Sunday that travelers from France’s northeastern Moselle region would face additional restrictions due to the high rate of coronavirus cases there.

Germany’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, said it would add Moselle to its list of “variants of concern” which already includes countries such as the Czech Republic, Portugal and Britain.

Travelers from the area must have tested negative for the novel coronavirus recently before entering Germany.

The Moselle region in northeast France includes the city of Metz and borders the German states of Saarland and the Rhineland-Palatinate.

Clement Beaune, France’s minister for European affairs, said France regretted the decision and was in negotiations with Germany to try to ease action for the 16,000 Moselle residents working across the border. In particular, he said France did not want them to face the daily PCR virus tests that Germany implements elsewhere for travelers along some borders.

“We don’t want that,” he said.

He said France encouraged the use of easier and faster testing methods and for testing every 2-3 days rather than every day. Further talks are expected later Sunday, he said.

The Robert Koch Institute recorded 7,890 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Germany over the past day, bringing the total to over 2.4 million cases. The death toll increased by 157 to 70,045.


Follow all AP pandemic coverage on https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak


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The clock stops here. | Deccan Herald | Instant News

To explore and enjoy new places, it is best to walk. I followed that advice in a busy city known for watches, chocolate, banking and business – Zurich. My little self-guided tour starts on pre-pandemic day in August, seeing many famous viewpoints, historical sites, trendy areas and art galleries.

At Bahnhofbrücke, I saw blue-and-white streetcars go by. Outside them, at the Zurich Hauptbahnhof, one of the world’s largest and busiest train terminals, crowds of dressed passengers appeared – many wheeled suitcases with airline labels. “From the airport,” explained an old woman who helped see my confused expression. Rail gates connect trains to airports, all of Switzerland and parts of Europe. Among those who came out were carrying brown paper bags with fresh vegetables, brochures.

“Buyers from the Farmers Market.” It is the woman again, waiting for a friend. The station, designed in 1871, was enormous. A series of beautiful sunlit curved glass windows adorn the world-class terminal. A large floating statue, the Guardian Angel, welcomes visitors. Interestingly, in this busy crowd, a well-organized weekly Farmers Market is taking place. Agricultural produce to bakeries and household necessities change hands in a long tradition where rural communities interact with urban consumers. Between the gastronome, the housewife checking out her products, I saw a Sikh with a T-shirt that said, ‘Keep Calm and Steam on’. In small talk, he said cities were many Desi restaurant, and it’s incredible chana bhatura can be found at the mall below. As I stepped out onto sunny BahnhofPlatz, I saw a huge bronze statue of Alfred Escher. Politicians, entrepreneurs, and early proponents of railways are credited with bringing Zurich into the modern age, out of its medieval remains and grips. An example of this accomplishment is right there, in front of me: Bahnhofstrasse. And Mr. Eicher keeps an eye on him. The tree-lined promenade elegantly represents the diversity and advancement of Alstadt. Inside are ancient architecture to innovative and futuristic designs – elegant homes, restaurants, luxury boutiques, department stores, watch and jewelery shops, Swiss banks and well-known international brands. Behind these places filled with vitality and economic activity are ancient, winding streets, cobbled alleys and narrow paths. Formerly a major thoroughfare in the Middle Ages, a manufacturing and industrial hub in the 1800s, it is now an upmarket district.

Switzerland may be small, but in terms of hours, it’s big. The country of cuckoo clocks and the ubiquitous watch brand is home to Europe’s largest church watch face. And there are four of them in Zurich’s oldest church, St Peter’s – each measuring 28.5 feet in circumference. There are medieval religious structures towering over this predominantly Protestant, German-speaking canton.

The Gothic Fraumunster (Church of Our Lady), recognizable by its sleek blue spire that looks up to the sky, has the famous stained glass windows by Marc Chagall. The third church I stopped by, on my way home via Quai Brucke, was a town landmark, the quiet, two-story 12th-century Grossmünster. Here, a female guide speaks to a group of tourists, “The Old Town is a cultural, social and historical meeting place with the highest concentration of pubs and clubs in Switzerland. It is in your 20 Minuten. “

News sites include information about dining, entertainment and cultural activities. It is said that James Joyce came here to write his masterpiece, Ulysses. Also guided by him, I went to the art museum, Kunsthaus to see Munch’s Screams… And also captures an exhibition of creative works by Switzerland, Monet, Picasso, Rothko, Warhol…

In the shade of Burkliplatz with trees, heavy traffic and on the other side, the lakeside is alive with the laughter of young children. Across the intersection is an Indian restaurant. And there are many in the city – from Mughlai to South India and even Sri Lanka. Before returning to the hotel, I stopped at the GPO Zurich in the Tuscan Renaissance style, a two-story bell-like building with a two o’clock face. This once busy post office has retained its old charm even though the internet has disrupted and eliminated its traditional businesses. This is where in 1997 five men came in – not to buy stamps and postal mail but with different agendas. Brandishing their guns and barking loudly, they burst in, looted around 53 million euros, and left without a trace. This incident goes down in Switzerland’s criminal record as the worst robbery in Zurich… partly because it happened with a toy gun! No wonder Lord Escher keeps a steady eye on the Old Town!


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$ 1 Bonanza in Italy: Find out why not everyone is happy | Instant News

(CNN) – Dozens of cities in Italy has sold abandoned dwellings for a song, sparking a new kind of gold rush as enthusiastic buyers from all over the world try to find bargains in picturesque remote villages.

The deals were seen as a win-win, with dying communities gaining a new influx of life and investment as dilapidated property came back to life and, more importantly, starting to contribute income.

But there are still losers.

Now the families of the original owners of several abandoned houses are starting to file their claims for this old stone structure, saying they should be contacted to find out about the sale.

Among those now questioning the potential selling of their family home is Josie Faccini of Niagara Falls, Canada.

Faccini’s grandmother, Consilia Scapillati, migrated to Canada in the 1950s, leaving behind a cute little stone house in the historic center of Castropignano in Italy’s southern Molise region that the family has visited regularly over the years.

After reading about Castropignano’s plans to divest his old housing stock, Faccini began to worry about “property grabs” and has spent months trying, remotely, to reaffirm his claim to the home that his nonna abandoned decades ago.

And he’s not the only one. Despite the local government’s efforts to contact the original owner’s family, others say they are also afraid of losing their ancestral home as they struggle to sue their claims due to distance, time and legal complications.

‘Angry and frustrated’

Josie Faccini said she was not informed of the sale of the house in Castropignano.

Courtesy of Josie Faccini

“I have heard about the sales plan and reach out in August,” said Faccini CNN Travel. “Then I saw an article that said the mayor had sent a notification overseas but no one in my family was told about this.”

Faccini said she has sent numerous emails and registered letters to Nicola Scapillati, the mayor of Castropignano, who has the same surname as her grandmother, but has not received a reply.

“Nothing,” he said. “I am very angry and frustrated. I want to see the city develop and help be a part of this, but please don’t steal our home from us.”

Faccini said she finally got a reply from the mayor after a painful eight month wait, but Scapillati told her she needed to provide the title deed and information to verify her claim.

This can be tricky. Asked by CNN In commenting on Faccini’s claims, Scapillati pointed out that over the years, the house could have moved to a new owner outside the family or to another heir or distant relative. Faccini has a cousin in Italy whom she has never met.

The sale or transfer of ownership is also not known informally in Italy, especially in rural locations, to avoid taxes, Scapillati said.

Castropignano does things differently compared to other places selling € 1 homes. The city has about 100 abandoned buildings, but the mayor says he wants to match interested parties with the right house for them.

He said he was moving along two parallel lines, reaching out to potential buyers and existing owners at the same time, step by step, to ensure demand meets supply.

After an interested buyer learned a detailed plan of what kind of house they wanted and why, the mayor said he tried to contact the original owner based on land registration data.

Fines and seizures

one euro granny-2

Josie’s grandmother is standing in front of her house in Castropginano.

Courtesy of Josie Faccini

After receiving thousands of emails from interested buyers, Scapillati says she identified the first stage of the house and sent about 20 letters to its original owners scattered around the world.

The mayor told CNN that he would confiscate the property and sell it to a new buyer if the original owners did not respond within a reasonable period of time detailing their intention to restore the building or hand it over to the authorities.

He said the property was dangerous and dilapidated.

Legally speaking, he was on fairly solid ground, according to one expert. Whoever owns property in Italy must take care of it so that his condition does not endanger anyone. Failure to do so can result in fines and seizures, even under extreme circumstances.

“Under Italian law, the owner or heir has an obligation to guarantee the maintenance of assets to prevent damage to third parties,” said Emiliano Russo, property attorney and assistant professor in real estate at Rome’s Luiss Business School.

“In the case of risk of damage, he may be subject to administrative sanctions from € 154 to € 929 ($ 186 to $ 1,122) and, in the case of actual damage, he may be subject to criminal arrest.”

Because this rule is intended to ensure public safety, the mayor can issue an order obliging owners to make repairs, Russo said.

He added local authorities could pursue their owners or heirs through the courts or use their own powers to recover maintenance costs or even confiscate property.

Mayor Castropignano said he had sent notice about projects for Italian diplomatic missions abroad. Josie Faccini said neither she nor anyone in her family had received the information published by the embassy in Canada.

The two sides are now trading arguments over what constitutes proper notification.

“I searched the Italian embassy in Canada but found no notification,” he said. “Most people from Castropignano migrate to Canada, we even have a club here, the Niagara Castropignano Club, which was started by the hundreds of immigrants who lived here.”

Confusion and Covid

Old photo of Faccini's sister at her grandmother's house c Josie Faccini copy-2

Faccini’s younger sisters are pictured in front of their grandmother’s old house.

Courtesy of Josie Faccini

Faccini said he wanted to know what needed to be done to restore the house and was willing to pay all taxes and renovation costs. He said he sent nonna’s full name to the city hall and mayor and said he had now identified the property address with the help of relatives in Italy.

Faccini believes that taking over a property, even if abandoned, without properly telling family members about steps to reclaim it and let other families own it, is unacceptable.

“Until 10 years ago, I used to live in my nonna’s house in Castropignano, located on a hilly road after the gate at the town’s entrance,” Faccini said.

“One of my aunts in Italy used the house for a while, then she died but I don’t know what happened to the house, whose it is now.

“It has been abandoned for five years. I would personally fly over to ask but Covid made it impossible.”

Scapillati added that heirs of two other emigrant families in Canada and Argentina have also been in touch to find out the fate of their ancestral homes.

“They didn’t claim anything, just asked for information about family property in Castropignano which they remember owning decades ago but don’t know the exact location,” he said.

“One key element emerges – the possibility that over time emigrants abroad sell their homes privately to other owners without notifying local authorities. Therefore we have no concrete data, just piling up unpaid taxes that will never be paid by. anyone. “

Other € 1 bonanza cities face a similar problem.

Shattered load


Mussomeli in Sicily also received inquiries from people wishing to reclaim their family home.

Salvatore Catalano, Mussolemi Municipality

The town of Mussomeli in Sicily set up an agency to connect old and new buyers and has so far managed to sell hundreds of cheap homes, according to Deputy Mayor Toti Nigrelli.

He said at least one family from Argentina, where many local residents have migrated in recent decades, got in touch to inquire about and claim potential old family homes.

“We have a large community of people living in South America who are native to Mussomeli whose interest in their roots arises when news spreads overseas about our alluring housing scheme,” Nigrelli said.

“Some of them remember owning a home here and asking what to do to reclaim their ancestral home.”

There was also communication from homeowners wanting to give up their destroyed family property to free themselves from the burden.

“We are very happy to dump our aunt’s house, we just gave it to the city authorities,” said Antonietta Lipani, an Italian-Swiss resident in Geneva whose family migrated from Mussomeli.

“My father inherited it but we never left, it’s been empty for years. What’s the point of keeping it?”

Some cities, such as Carrega Ligure in Piedmont and Lecce nei Marsi in Abruzzo, have tried but failed to launch € 1 schemes with old owners proving too elusive, perhaps fearing contact with local authorities asking for around € 400 a year tax refunds, said Scapillati.

Fighting relatives can also be a problem. In Italy, every surviving heir owns a share of the property and for sale, all must agree and sign, otherwise the abandoned property remains frozen, even if it collapses to the ground, according to Michele Giannini, mayor of Fabbriche in Vergemoli, another city that has sell the house.

Yet in nearly all cities that have managed to sell € 1 worth of property to new owners, descendants of emigrants have contacted to restore lost ties and rediscover their roots.

Mother’s memory

Troina: an Italian town that sells € 1 houses and pays you to remodel them

Troina, in Sicily, has received inquiries from descendants of emigrants who want to return.

Courtesy of the Comune Troina

The mayors of Bivona and Troina in Sicily have received dozens of purchase requests from people whose ancestors migrated to France, Argentina and the United States, all looking for vacant homes in their picturesque ancestral villages.

“This project has awakened second and third generations of migrants abroad, sparking new interest in our community. In the past, many families fled in search of a better future. Now, their sons and grandchildren want to return to their hometowns to revive the atmosphere. rural areas “, said Mayor Bivona Milko Cinà.

Returning to Castropignano, Mayor Scapillati said he is pleased to work with Faccini to resolve the issue if the details can be verified. He didn’t think it had been sold.

“We don’t take any property, we don’t want to take the house of any family, quite the opposite,” he said. “We are delighted that our project has created enthusiasm and put Castropignano in the spotlight, attracting people who want to join forces to restore our beautiful community.”

Faccini said if he could make a claim to his family’s old home, he would like to return to Castropiagno and volunteer to help promote the city.

“It’s the only thing left of my mother, I want to keep it,” he said. “I want to go and live in this house, show it to my nephew who has never seen it. I want to work with the mayor to help Castropignano develop again.

“I will be the biggest advocate for people who want to buy a house there.”


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Substitutes: The demand for foreign embryos, eggs, sperm is increasing in New Zealand | Instant News

The demand for embryos to be sent to New Zealand from abroad to bear children has increased due to Covid-19. Photo / 123rf

Demand for embryos, eggs and sperm to be shipped to New Zealand has increased as Kiwis are no longer able to travel for fertility treatment abroad due to Covid-19.

But getting valuable cargo into the countryside in an attempt to create babies has become much more difficult.

Finding surrogate mothers or egg or sperm donors in New Zealand can be difficult, partly because paying them is illegal here. Most of the surrogate is someone parents know, but there is an increasing trend of people turning to the internet to find someone.

Prior to Covid, many expectant parents went to specialized clinics abroad where commercial surrogacy was legal and where embryo transfers would take place.

Dr Mary Birdsall, group director of Fertility Associates, said parents should rethink the process.

“We are seeing more and more demand from all kinds of different fertility treatments involving offshore clinics. So, people who want to send eggs, sperm, embryos around the world … and to New Zealand. I think Covid has made it a very nice landscape. more challenging. “

Specialized companies that usually have staff accompanying goods on board cannot provide that service, which creates a risk.

“The options for transferring embryos around the world are becoming much more limited and more expensive.

“What used to happen before Covid was you basically paid a courier to personally carry your embryos in a small portable freezing device. You can’t do that right now, unless they’re ready for quarantine.”

It is also likely that the operator will not receive an exemption from the New Zealand Government from being allowed into the country.

Some companies do offer unaccompanied transport services, Birdsall said, but he warns: “When they are so valuable, it only adds to the element of risk.”

The director of the Fertility Association group, Dr. Mary Birdsall.  Photo / Provided
The director of the Fertility Association group, Dr. Mary Birdsall. Photo / Provided

Fertility Associates makes 80 percent of surrogate applications to the New Zealand Assisted Reproductive Technology Ethics Committee, the body that considers and approves them for fertility clinics.

An Ecart spokesperson said they were still counting the number of substitutes approved in 2020 but there were 15 in the year to June 2016 and 14 in the year to June 2019.

Fertility Associates said the company submitted 25 applications to Ecart for surrogacy last year. All are approved, and one is suspended.

Attorney Margaret Casey QC, who has acted for targeted parents involving the birth of more than 100 children born via surrogacy in recent years, at home and abroad, said the US had been popular with Kiwis for finding surrogacy and for transfers. embryo. Most of the states were called “surrogate friend states.”

Attorney Margaret Casey.  Photo / Provided
Attorney Margaret Casey. Photo / Provided

“This means that it is regulated in that state, usually resulting in the parent in question having the first US birth certificate. There are still a few states in the US that transfer parents by adoption. Canada, Ukraine, and Georgia are also countries where People parents in New Zealand are looking for. If New Zealanders have cultural links with a country where surrogacy is approved, I also look at cases of surrogacy in that country. For example, South Africa, Namibia and Vietnam. follow so that surrogacy occurs legally. “

Many countries do not recognize surrogate mothers. In some countries, such as New Zealand, parents must adopt a child born through a surrogate mother, even if it is their biological child.

But she said it was difficult to see trends in surrogacy over the past year because of Covid.

“Obviously it is difficult to travel to other countries to make embryos with your genetic material during this time of Covid. It is difficult for surrogate mothers to go to the clinic for transfer due to internal travel restrictions and it is a very stressful time trying to manage a pregnancy remotely. “

Producing birth certificates and passports in countries that have been covered by Covid is also “very stressful”.

“The irony is because Covid surrogacy is more attractive in some overseas countries simply because the pace of life is slowing down and it might be a good time to get pregnant if that is something you are considering.”

She is calling for changes around reimbursement of a woman who agrees to act as reimbursement for pregnancy expenses.

“It doesn’t commercialize the pregnancy – it just prevents a person from going backwards because of the contribution. It’s too difficult to meet these costs under the current rules and that has to change.”


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Australian Rugby offered to ‘cover the costs’ of relocating the Lions tour | Instant News

The chairman of the Agency said The Telegraph’s proposal would “return the profits” to the competing teams.

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  • The hosts’ decision to tour this summer is expected “within the next ten days,” according to The Telegraph
  • Other options include closed play in South Africa or draw in England and Ireland
  • Elsewhere, Mastercard is renewing Rugby World Cup support for 2023

Australian Rugby (RA) chairman Hamish McLennan has confirmed this Telegraph that the national governing body is offering the Lions of England and Ireland financial guarantees if they agree to relocate this summer’s tour of South Africa Down Under.

News of Australia’s bid to host a union side rugby tour series against the Springboks first emerged last month amid increasing uncertainty surrounding tour eligibility due to the coronavirus situation in South Africa.

Now, The Telegraph reports that the RA has put forward a government-backed minimum guarantee that it will ‘cover the costs’ of moving the three-game series to Australia, while also ensuring that the Lions and South Africa will benefit from the tour. .

The RA commercial team outlined their plans for the tour in a presentation to Lions officials earlier this week, according to The Telegraph, adding that the national regulatory agency is also discussing key financial issues, including the impact of a change of location on the main sponsor.

Australia has had more success with the coronavirus outbreak than any other country and has hosted a number of major fan sports events in the past year, including the Tri-Nations rugby union tournament, the recently concluded Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament and international cricket matches.

Other options touted as possible solutions for the Lions tour include keeping South Africa behind closed doors, postponing draws until 2022 or hosting matches in England and Ireland.

The Telegraph report added that a final decision on the host nation is expected “in the next ten days”, and McLennan told the UK-based newspaper that the RA was ready to carry out its plans should the Lions choose to tour Australia.

“The next thing we will work on is to provide a minimum guarantee to South Africa and the Lions to cover tour costs and return the profits and we are confident that we can help with replacement sponsors if the main partner does not want to. support the Lions in Australia, “he said.

“We will continue the ethos of the Lions tour that plays out in the Southern Hemisphere. If we are told ‘yes’, we will do everything to make it a captivating and memorable tour.

“There are hundreds of thousands of Lions fans already living here and while it won’t be quite the same as a traditional Lions tour, it will be very close.”

In other rugby union news, financial services firm Mastercard has renewed its support for the 2023 edition of the Rugby World Cup in France.

Mastercard has been a worldwide partner of the flagship national team event since 2008, and is now the card of choice for the 2023 tournament, which will be the tenth edition of the Rugby World Cup.


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