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New York to Singapore; 5 Most Expensive Cities In The World

People come to big cities in search of better opportunities and with the idea of making life better. However, there is a cost one must be ready to pay in these big cities. And it could further up in near future. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living Index for 2022, the average cost of living will rise 8.1% due to Russia’s war in Ukraine and the pandemic’s lingering effects.

Here are the 5 most expensive cities in the world:

New York

Millions of tourists from around the world travel to New York each year. It is the most populated city in the US and is also referred to as “The Big Apple.” New York City is divided into five boroughs, each of which is associated with a different county in the state of New York: Brooklyn (Kings County), Manhattan (New York County), Queens (Queens County), the Bronx (Bronx County), and Staten Island (Richmond County).

Singapore

Singapore is a small but thriving island nation with a lot to offer in terms of lifestyle amenities and personal development. Despite being a little red dot on the globe map, the nation is ideal for growing families and children in a joyful and secure atmosphere. The city-state is on number two on the list of most expensive cities in the world

Tel Aviv

The third place belongs to Tel Aviv. The fifth-most visited city in the Middle East and Africa is situated on the Israeli Mediterranean coast. The city, which is well known for its culture, also has a lively nightlife.

Hong Kong and Los Angeles (tie)

Los Angeles and Hong Kong are the next two on the list. Los Angeles is a city in California, the United States, and is known for its iconic Hollywood sign and for being the official residence of many famous actors, whereas Hong Kong is a city and special administrative region of China, officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Additionally, it serves as the country’s hub for the film and television industries.

Zurich

Zurich is Switzerland’s financial capital and an upscale banking city. As a result, it’s no surprise that it’s frequently referred to as one of the world’s most expensive cities. Zurich is known for its opulent lifestyles, high-end shopping, and gourmet chocolates. Despite its high cost and extravagance, it is ranked as one of the best cities in the world to live in.

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Glee star Amber Riley struggled with trolls while on the series

Amber Riley struggled with social media comments about her body while on Glee (Picture: Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Black Experience on Xfinity)

Amber Riley has spoken about the vicious social media commentary about her weight while she was starring on Glee.

From 2009 until 2015 Amber, 36, played Mercedes Jones on the teen drama, but while the series was all about positivity, she found herself at the centre of significant online chatter about her body.

‘I suffered so much through my time on Glee with people always having an opinion about my body. Like, my body was always a topic of conversation,’ she said.

‘It was a war zone for such a long time for people to pick over online.’

However, it was after signing up to appear on Dancing with the Stars US in 2013 that things started to change and she managed to build up her confidence.

‘Dancing With the Stars, honestly, doing that show, really helped me with my confidence,’ she added to Page Six.

Amber played Mercedes over Glee’s six seasons (Picture: FOX Image Collection via Getty Images)

‘I will always be grateful for that time because I got to show myself in all my glory.’

Partnered with Derek Hough, Amber ended up winning the series and taking home the mirrorball trophy.

She was slightly nervous to join the show, though, because of the potential scrutiny she may once again face.

‘But me being me, the things that scare me and the things that challenge me, I have to do it,’ she said.

As her time on the show went on, Amber allowed the costume department to make her dance outfits ‘shorter’ and ‘body conscious’ as she embraced her figure.

Amber won The Masked Singer US earlier this week (Picture: FOX)

Continuing her successes, this week Amber also took out another reality series, winning The Masked Singer.

Dressing up as Harp she gave unforgettable renditions of Lady Gaga’s song The Edge Of Glory and Lizzo’s hit track About Damn Time.

Judges Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg and Ken Jeong were kept guessing until the final moment, with them believing the Harp could be Jordin Sparks or Jennifer Hudson.

When Amber was announced as the winner, she said that it had been an amazing experience to ‘let my talent speak for itself’.

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Pakistan v England: Tourists’ toil with the ball as important as batting records

England celebrating a Pakistan wicket
England are 158 runs ahead of Pakistan, who only have three first-innings wickets remaining

After the sledgehammer comes the scalpel.

England clobbered Pakistan with their run scoring, but it is the surgical way in which they picked their way through the home batting that may ultimately decide the first Test in Rawalpindi.

In Test cricket, runs are for show and wickets are for dough.

It is all very well slapping stacks and stacks of runs, breaking enough records to make Roy Castle proud (ask your parents, kids), but that counts for little if you don’t actually win the match.

On a sapping Saturday in Rawalpindi, with the sun high and the pitch sleeping, England’s tireless effort to take seven Pakistan wickets was just as important as the staggering 506-4 they piled up on day one.

“We’ve got a captain in Ben Stokes and coach in Brendon McCullum that don’t want draws. We’re not playing for draws,” said James Anderson before the Test.

“With the ball we’re trying to take wickets. The captain and coach have made that quite clear. Every time you run in to bowl it’s about taking wickets. It’s not about controlling the run-rate, it’s about how we’re going to get 20 wickets.”

Which is an admirable aim, but much harder to put into practice when you consider England picked a team with just three frontline bowlers in Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Jack Leach, and an all-rounder skipper Stokes who has only sent down seven of 136 overs.

They put their faith in the part-time spin of Joe Root, Liam Livingstone and Will Jacks, men with first-class bowling averages of 49, 36 and 53 respectively – and Livingstone couldn’t bowl because of a knee injury.

It is a plan England have tried before in the sub-continent, with barely any success. Ian Blackwell, Samit Patel and Zafar Ansari to name a few.

In the absence of deep reserves of spin, high pace could have been used to coax a response from the docile surface, but Mark Wood was injured and Jamie Overton overlooked.

On more than one occasion, Robinson had the pace, or lack of it, for reserve wicketkeeper Ollie Pope to stand up to the stumps.

And yet, in a country where England have drawn 18 of their previous 24 Tests, they took the wickets that have set them on course for another landmark win in the Stokes-McCullum era.

In March, an Australia attack of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and Cameron Green took only four wickets in a Rawalpindi Test – and one of those was a run out.

For England to take seven in a day is testament to their determination, perseverance and creativity.

“All the hard work we put in, we got our just rewards,” said Root. “We had to be quite creative, try to do things differently and think outside the box.”

The bowlers never tired nor erred. Stokes manipulated and manoeuvred his field. Batters were rarely short of company from catchers – five, six or even seven.

Robinson was held back until 90 minutes had passed in the morning session. Anderson was not seen for almost two hours. When the second new ball was available, it was shared by the spin of Leach and Root.

Late in the day, Anderson was rewarded for coming around the wicket by Mohammad Rizwan’s chip to mid-wicket.

At one stage, Root shined the ball on the bald head of Leach in the hope the sweat would produce any sort of movement in the air.

“You’ve got to get some moisture in it somehow, some weight to try to get it to move around on a placid wicket like that,” added Root.

“A nice sweaty, bald head like Jack’s is perfect for it. You can see it sat there on his head. He’s more than just a pretty face Jack, he is very useful in lots of ways.”

England’s ingenuity was summed up by the success of Jacks, the Surrey off-spinner who only found out he was making his Test debut two minutes before he was handed his cap, and started the match with just 21 first-class wickets to his name.

In the three Test wickets he took on Saturday, he got a first in Pakistan even before the great Anderson, removing a man with three hundreds from eight Tests in Abdullah Shafique, then got the big scalp of Babar Azam, the captain who Pakistan fans refer to as ‘the King’ and had made 136 off 168 balls.

“The message to me is to try to take wickets, no matter what the field is, to try to bowl my best ball as much as possible,” said Jacks.

The architect of it all was Stokes, who led with a smile that infected the rest of his team. Never has a day of hard yakka been made to seem so much fun.

Stokes and McCullum have worked hard to ensure playing for England is the most enjoyable experience it can possibly be.

The pre-series training camp in Abu Dhabi included a trip to the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the players are set for a holiday in Queenstown before two Tests in McCullum’s native New Zealand early next year.

“When you’re doing that with guys you know and who you’re friends with, it makes it easier,” added Jacks.

“That’s the environment Stokes and McCullum have been building. It’s a team you want to play for. On days like today, if you’re not tight as a unit, they could be 500-2.”

This new England side might have built its reputation on batting brilliance, but it is the shift in mentality in the field that is just as important.

Always hunting the next scalp through tactical trickery, fluid fields and a love of hard work.

Runs for show, wickets for dough.

England could be about to cash in.

Thousands protest in South Korea in support of truckers : NPR

Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions shout slogans during a rally against the government’s labor policy near the National Assembly in Seoul on Saturday.

Ahn Young-joon/AP


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Ahn Young-joon/AP


Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions shout slogans during a rally against the government’s labor policy near the National Assembly in Seoul on Saturday.

Ahn Young-joon/AP

SEOUL, South Korea — Thousands of demonstrators representing organized labor marched in South Korea’s capital on Saturday denouncing government attempts to force thousands of striking truckers back to work after they walked out in a dispute over the price of freight.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or major clashes from the protests near the National Assembly in Seoul. The marchers, mostly members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, accused President Yoon Suk Yeol’s conservative government of labor oppression and ignoring what they described as the truckers’ harsh work conditions and financial struggles, worsened further by rising fuel costs.

The government on Tuesday issued an order for some 2,500 drivers of cement trucks to return to work, saying that their walkout is rattling the national economy. It wasn’t immediately clear how many truckers returned to their jobs following the order as their union vowed to continue the strike.

Thousands of members of the Cargo Truckers Solidarity union have been striking since last week, calling for the government to make permanent a minimum freight rate system that is to expire at the end of 2022.

While the minimum fares are currently applied to shipping containers and cement, the strikers also call for the benefits to be expanded to other cargo. That would include oil and chemical tankers, steel and automobile carriers and package delivery trucks under the broader agreement.

Container traffic at ports recovered to 81% of normal levels as of Saturday morning after dropping to around just 20% earlier this week, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. It said more than 5,000 truckers were actively participating in the strike on Saturday.

The government is using controversial powers to force truckers back to work

Tuesday’s order marked the first time a South Korean government exercised its controversial powers under a law revised in 2004 to force truckers back to their jobs.

A failure to comply without “justifiable reason” is punishable by up to three years in jail or a maximum fine of 30 million won ($22,400). Critics say the law infringes on constitutional rights because it doesn’t clearly define what qualifies as acceptable conditions for a strike.

Officials say they issued the “work start order” to cement truckers first because the construction industry was hit hardest by shipment delays. They say they are considering expanding the order to drivers transporting fuel as a second step, citing concerns about possible shortages at gas stations.

The strike’s impact has so far been mostly limited to domestic industries and there has been no immediate reports of major disruptions to export industries such as semiconductors.

Yoon’s government has offered to temporarily extend the minimum freight fares for another three years but balked at the demand to widen the scope of such payments.

The truckers say the minimum-rate system is crucial for their finances and personal safety, saying that without it they are forced to increase their deliveries and drive dangerously to make ends meet.

DeepMind spin-off steps up effort to use AI to create new drugs

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Alphabet-owned Isomorphic Labs is ramping up its operations by poaching pharmaceutical talent and opening a new office, as the artificial intelligence drug discovery start-up moves closer to securing its first commercial deal.

The UK-registered group was spun out of its sister company DeepMind, Google’s AI unit, in November last year, to focus on using AI technology to create new drugs to treat and prevent diseases.

Isomorphic is currently in talks with major pharmaceutical companies and is expected to announce a deal in the next few months, according to two people familiar with the plans.

Its work capitalises on DeepMind’s scientific breakthrough of its AlphaFold2 technology, which can be used to predict the shape of every protein in the human body with almost perfect accuracy.

Colin Murdoch, chief business officer at DeepMind, has been put in charge of setting up Isomorphic Labs, working closely with Demis Hassabis, who is chief executive of both DeepMind and Isomorphic Labs.

“It takes about 10 years to take a drug [to market], and often most of them fail sadly, and so inspired by the work we did with AlphaFold, we took a deeper look . . . and basically built conviction that there was a real opportunity here to apply AI to reimagine drugs discovery,” said Murdoch in one of the company’s first interviews on Isomorphic.

Isomorphic’s expansion comes amid a surge in interest in start-ups promising to use AI to transform drug discovery, with funding in the UK and US in this area jumping to more than $1.6bn this year, up from $668.5mn in 2017, according to data from PitchBook.

Column chart of In the US and UK ($bn) showing Venture capital investment in AI drug discovery

When the AlphaFold breakthrough was announced in November 2020, DeepMind said it would try to use the technology to find treatments for Chagas disease and Leishmaniasis, two of the most deadly diseases in the world.

Murdoch said Isomorphic had not focused on a specific drug or disease. “The goal is actually to build an underlying platform which is . . . agnostic to those therapeutic areas,” he said.

There are a number of “almost AlphaFold-scale” AI advancements that the team are working on that would provide the underlying engine for the platform, he added.

To lead its work in drug discovery, Isomorphic has hired several executives and staff from both scientific and pharmaceutical backgrounds, as well as in machine learning, developing computer systems that can learn through data.

The company is also expanding beyond its headquarters in London to a second office in Lausanne, Switzerland, home to a host of leading pharma companies including Roche, Novartis and Bayer, and Isomorphic’s chief technology officer Sergei Yakneen.

Yakneen has previously worked at Amazon and Sophia Genetics, a company that uses machine learning to identify tumours and other health conditions.

Other executives at Isomorphic include Miles Congreve, chief scientific officer, who previously worked at Astex Pharmaceuticals and GSK. Several staff have joined from DeepMind, as well as from BenevolentAI, Google and AstraZeneca.

“The goal of Isomorphic is to produce drugs which we can then partner with pharma to get them out into the clinic and to people with clinical need,” Murdoch said.

He added that Isomorphic was “beginning to think about what the right commercial path is. We have an amazing leadership team up and running and making fantastic progress”.

The company said it is in discussions with “many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies” without providing further details. It expects to embark upon a number of partnerships as it scales.

Murdoch said Isomorphic would hire more staff next year. Its talent acquisition lead James Girling recently aimed a post on LinkedIn at tech workers fired by Twitter.

While the AI drug discovery market has experienced growing interest in recent years, investment in the sector is not immune to this year’s tech rout. Venture capitalist funding has fallen 15 per cent from $2bn last year, according to data from PitchBook.

Some in the medical sector are sceptical that AI drug discovery will fulfil its hype, pointing to the need to navigate strict regulations and integrate into dated healthcare systems.

A recent Morgan Stanley report noted that investors would need to see “solid evidence for real-world use cases for AI-enabled drug discovery”.

However, it added that this method of drug discovery could lead to an additional 50 novel therapies over the next 10 years, presenting a potential $50bn opportunity.

Isomorphic reported a £2.4mn loss for the 11 months to December 2021, according to filings from the UK’s Companies House. This includes £470,455 in receiving contract research and development services from DeepMind as the company was launching.

Additional reporting by Madhumita Murgia and Hannah Kuchler in London

You can now bring your dog for a spa day at one of the UK’s top hotels

Because you both deserve a treat (Picture: Naomi Vance Photography)

If you’ve got someone in your life who is absolutely obsessed with their dog (even if that person is yourself), consider their Christmas present sorted.

Thanks to Kimpton Blythswood Square in Glasgow, pampered pets can join their owners for a cross-species spa day, as the hotel offers guests and their furry family members an ‘Ultimutt Treat’.

The unique canine spa package, which will run for a limited time at the Scottish city’s only five-star hotel, allows dogs to wind down while their owners get the chance to wind down with some much-needed R&R.

Humans can choose to enjoy a 30-minute express facial or a 30-minute express massage, targeting key areas of stress or tension – perfect after a day spent chasing an energetic hound.

It’s tiring being universally loved and fussed over (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Then it’s the turn of man’s best friend to be pampered, as their owner is taught how to give the perfect doggy massage by the spa therapist.

Using Edinburgh-based Bark and Hare’s doggy paw balm – a super soothing infusion of natural beeswax, shea butter, sweet almond oil and apricot kernel – owners are shown how to rub the balm into tender paws and onto their dog’s nose, keeping them naturally moisturised and nourished to protect from everyday wear and tear.

After the treatment, guests will even be given a tub of the balm and a dog shampoo bar to take home with them, meaning the indulgence lasts long after pup jumps in its first post-spa puddle.

General Manager at Kimpton Blythswood Square Mafalda Albuquerque said: ‘We pride ourselves on being Glasgow’s most dog-friendly hotel so when we were thinking about the most dog-friendly Christmas gift for our furry friends this festive season, we knew we had to come up with something special.

‘I’m very proud to launch The Ultimutt Treat – which I think makes us the number one luxury destination for both dogs and their owners to unwind this winter.’

Available to both hotel residents and non-residents between January 3 and 31, bookings for the Ultimutt Treat are now live on the Kimpton Blythswood Square website until December 31.

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Conor Burns has whip restored after being cleared of misconduct

Conor Burns has described the last two months as a ‘nightmare’ (Picture: PA)

A former minister has had the Tory whip restored after being cleared of ‘serious misconduct’ but claims he was ‘stitched up’ by the party.

Conor Burns was sacked over inappropriate behaviour at the Conservative Party conference held in October.

A witness claimed to have seen him touching the thigh of a young man in a hotel bar.

In a statement, the party said after reviewing all the evidence it concluded there was ‘no basis on which to investigate further’ and the matter has been closed.

The MP for Bournemouth West said the past two months had been a ‘nightmare’ – especially for his elderly parents.

Mr Burns said: ‘I knew that I would come out the other side of this and my name would be clear because there was nothing to what had happened.

‘I knew I was innocent and the truth will out and it has.’

The politician believes he was ‘stitched up’ because of complimentary remarks he made about trade secretary Kemi Badenoch, who was one of Ms Truss’s rivals for the Tory leadership over the summer.

The politician believed he had fallen victim to a ‘stitch up’ (Picture: PA)

‘I think this all had become more to do with nice things I had said about the Trade Secretary than about being up late at the conference,’ he added.

‘It felt and smelt like a stitch up and that is what it was.’

In a statement, a Conservative Party spokesman said: ‘The party received a complaint and investigated in line with its code of conduct.

‘After undertaking appropriate inquiries and reviewing all of the evidence available to establish the facts, the party concluded that there was no basis on which to investigate further.

‘The matter is now closed and Mr Burns’s membership will be reinstated at the nearest possible opportunity.’

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London: Metropolitan Police release image in bus flasher investigation

Police want to speak to this man about two indecent exposure incidents (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Police want to speak to this man over two flashing incidents on London buses.

The image was released after investigators linked to separate incidents which happened seven months apart.

The first occurred at around 2.40pm on the X140 travelling towards Harrow.

A man was sitting on the bus and exposed himself through a hole in his trousers, a statement from the Metropolitan Police said.

On August 7 shortly after 6.30pm a man believed to have been involved in the first incident exposed himself ‘in the same manner’.

It happened on 282 near Moat Farm Road, Northolt.

Officers believed the man in the picture may have information about the incidents (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

No arrests have been made. Officers want to speak to the man in the picture over the two reports, which they believe are connected.

Matthew Brown of the Metropolitan Police said: ‘I am asking anyone who recognises the man in this image to come forward and speak to police. 

‘Exposure is treated as a serious offence and no one should be made to feel uncomfortable when simply using public transport.

‘If you know this man, or have any information which could assist this investigation, please get in contact immediately.’

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Get Instant Natural Glow With 4-Step Pomegranate Facial

Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants, fibre, unsaturated fats, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and magnesium. As they score high on the health quotient, people love to chomp on these tiny red jewels. But did you know, pomegranates have a good impact on your skin as well? They can give a natural glow and shine. Including a pomegranate facial into your skin care can do wonders. This winter, if you want to get rid of dryness and dullness, swear by this pomegranate facial.

Here is a step-by-step process to carry out the facial, take a look:

Step 1: Face Cleaning: Cleansing the face is the first step of the facial. For this, combine half a cup of pomegranate juice with 10 drops of rose water. Apply it to the face and massage in a circular motion for 3 to 5 mins. Now, wash it with clean water. This helps to remove the dirt from the face easily.

Step 2: Next, reach out for the pomegranate face scrub. All you need is 3 spoons of pomegranate juice, mix it with 4 spoons of rice flour to create a DIY pomegranate face scrub. Apply the paste on the face, rub it with light hands, and then wash it. Your skin will look radiant and it will help you to get rid of dead skin cells.

Step 3: A homemade pomegranate cream can rejuvenate soft and supple skin. For this, mix 1 teaspoon of pomegranate juice with 2 teaspoons of cream. It will help you to lock the moisture of the skin.

Step 4: Face Mask: Instead of purchasing face masks from the market, here is an easy DIY method to make it at home. To prepare a pomegranate face mask, mix 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder in pomegranate juice. Spread it evenly on the face, wait until it dries up, and wash with clean water. This hack will give you an instant glow to your face in winter.

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Exeter: Girl dies after taking drug with ‘unknown substance’ at club

A number of teenagers are thought to have taken tablets containing the substances (Picture: Getty)

A 16-year-old girl has died after taking a drug containing an unknown substance at a nightclub in Exeter.

Emergency services were called to the town’s Move nightclub at about 12.30am on Saturday after the alarm was raised.

The girl was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital before she died.

Devon and Cornwall Police said a number of teenagers are thought to have taken the tablets containing unknown substances.

A 16-year-old boy, from the Exmouth area, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a class A drug and taken into custody for questioning.

Detective Chef Inspector Lee Nattrass of said: ‘We have identified several teenagers already who reported that they had taken drugs, but we would urge anyone else who has felt unwell as a result to seek medical help and to contact us.

‘We have seen time and time again that these substances can kill, and we have another tragic case on our hands.

‘Talk To Frank is a website that has vital information for people about many types of drugs and we ask that parents have open and honest conversations with their children about the risks of drugs.

‘You don’t know what they contain and you don’t know the reaction you may have; it could be fatal. I urge anyone considering taking drugs to think twice and reconsider.’

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