12-16 August Weekly News


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Simone Biles makes more gymnastics history

U.S. gymnast Simone Biles has made history. She won her sixth U.S. Gymnastics Championships this week - the second woman to do this. The record was set 67 years ago. The victory was also her 20th consecutive, major tournament win, going back to 2013. However, it was her jaw-dropping performances that etched her name into the record books. She became the first gymnast to land a double twisting, double somersault beam dismount, delighting spectators. She topped that later by becoming the first woman to land a triple-double (three twists and two flips) on the floor.

Ms Biles, 22, showed her customary modesty with reporters. Rather than celebrate her records, she expressed frustration at her mistakes. She said: "I know...how well I can do, so I just want to do the best routine for the audience and for myself out here." Biles is a perfectionist and said she was disappointed after falling after her triple-double. She said she wanted to "scratch the meet" after she fell. The plaudits came flooding in following her routines. Former gymnast Nastia Liukin tweeted: "Simone's got enough gold medals at home, someone give this girl a crown."


United Kingdom could break up, warns ex-leader

A former prime minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, has warned that the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is "sleepwalking into oblivion". He also warned of a serious economic disaster ahead after the UK leaves the European Union. He wrote about the dangers of the UK leaving the EU after Brexit. The UK will leave the European Union on October 31st (which is also Halloween). Mr Brown believes that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the four nations of the UK could be in trouble. He is blaming nationalist thinking. He said many people in each country want their independence. He said the United Kingdom is no longer a totally united kingdom.

The United Kingdom consists of four countries - the three nations of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the fourth being Northern Ireland. The full title for all four countries is "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Gordon Brown believes that Brexit has made people in each country want independence. Most people in Scotland voted against Brexit. They want to stay in the EU. There are talks of a vote for independence for Scotland. There are also worries over a possible physical border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. People are talking about a possible reunited Ireland. Mr Brown said: "We must recognize that nationalism is now driving British politics."


Amateur butchers flood ERs in Qurban Bayram

More than 35,000 people were admitted to hospitals for injuries throughout four days of the Qurban Bayram (Eid al-Adha) when the Muslim faithful are obliged to slaughter sacrificial animals.

The Health Ministry said that 35,292 people were treated for cuts, bruises and other injuries stemming from their attempt to slaughter animals. The highest emergency room admissions were recorded on the first day of the holiday on Sunday at 29,582. Istanbul had the highest number of injured butchers at 2,948.

Every year, hundreds of people fill emergency wards across Turkey during Qurban Bayram for slaughter-related injuries. These "amateur butchers," as they are dubbed by the local media, suffer cuts to their hands and legs, especially when animals, sensing the impending threat, get out of control and kick and butt their cleaver-wielding owners. Apart from those incidents, would-be butchers spend their bayram pursuing flustered bulls and sheep seeking to escape their inevitable end.


Generosity goes a long way for charities in Qurban Bayram

A volunteer from Turkish charity Cansuyu delivers food aid to a woman in a village in Ethiophia's Hadiya, Aug. 12, 2019.

From Africa to Asia, Turkish charities delivered food aid to disadvantaged communities around the world on the occasion of the Islamic holiday of Qurban Bayram, a time for the faithful to reach out to the needy.

Qurban Bayram (Eid al-Adha), a Muslim holiday where sacrificial animals are slaughtered and their meat delivered to the poor as food aid, gave an opportunity for Turkish charities to mobilize the nation to help disadvantaged communities around the world. For four days, charities supplied meat to millions of households across the world, from Latin American countries to Africa.

The Turkish Red Crescent was active in 51 countries where it delivered aid to some 4.5 million people. The leading charity which traces its roots to the 19th century, set up delivery points and places to slaughter animals donated by donors in 100 locations covering the Balkans, Asia, Americas, Middle East and Africa. The charity, known for its year-round efforts for victims of natural disasters, conflicts and other emergencies, expanded its outreach this year in bayram aid and delivered aid on the occasion for the first time in Cote D'Ivoire, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Comoros, Rwanda, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Georgia, Tatarstan, Greece and Surinam.

The Turkish Diyanet Foundation (TDV), a charity associated with Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) was active in 149 countries where they delivered both meat and other humanitarian aid to the needy. Some 6,500 volunteers of the charity also handed out gifts to children in countries they visited, from candy to toys and clothes. The highlight of TDV aid was Bangsamoro where Muslims celebrate their first bayram as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) of the Philippines for the first time.

The TDV also delivered aid in Tanzania, where 28,000 people in 21 regions benefited from the meat aid.

The Istanbul-based Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH) delivered aid to more than 2 million in 93 countries. The charity officials said volunteers covered a distance of more than 333,000 kilometers in total to deliver aid around the world. Charity's aid focused on conflict-ridden zones, places where people are embattled with chronic hunger, refugee camps, orphanages, elderly citizens in need of aid and countries like Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, Yemen and Bangladesh. The İHH also delivered clothes to more than 27,000 orphans in 11 countries as part of their bayram charity work.


It's a miracle! Van cat gives birth to 10 kittens

Nazlı, one of the Van cats residing at Yüzüncü Yıl University's Van Cat Research Center, gave birth to 10 kittens, becoming the first Van cat to give birth to this many babies.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) after the birth of the kittens, professor Abdullah Kaya said that Van cats give birth to four kittens on average. "We are extremely happy to have 10 newborns at our center.

This birth is the biggest birth that we have ever recorded. Since there are too many babies, the mother cannot give them milk at the same time. We are looking after the mother and the babies with the utmost care," Kaya added.

The Van Cat Research Center was founded to keep the Van cat breed pure and help to increase the population of these unique animals. Known by their white silky fur, lion-like walk and mismatched eye colors, Van cats are friendly, water-loving animals. Famous for their swimming abilities, Van cats are taken care of at the center and are available for adoption by those who prove themselves worthy.


After recently building stake, Turkish tour operator now reported to acquire Thomas Cook

People walk-by a branch of Thomas Cook travel agent in Borehamwood, north London, Nov. 22, 2011.

Anex Tour Group, a major Turkish tour operator that built a stake in British tourism giant Thomas Cook last week, making a name for itself in the world media, is now reported to have been at the table to acquire the entire company.

The 178-year Thomas Cook is the second largest tourism company in Europe. The company, with 105 aircraft in its fleet, more than 2,900 offices and 33,000 employees, has been in serious financial trouble for a long time. The first move to overcome these challenges was made by the Chinese investment company Fosun International, the largest shareholder with 18%. The company introduced a $911 million financing package to Thomas Cook in July. However, Fosun's offer failed to prevent Thomas Cook's loss of value on the stock market.

The world's oldest holiday firm has lost 94% of its value since its most recent peak in May 2018, when it had a market capitalization of 2.2 billion pounds.

Anex Tour purchased a 6.7% share in Thomas Cook last week, increasing its share to 8% in the same week. Following these moves by Anex Tour, Thomas Cook shares gained 100% in value, rising to their highest level in the last month. Thomas Cook's per share value, which was 3.45 pence on Aug. 2, jumped nearly twice last week, closing Friday at 9.11 pence.

The largest shareholder in Thomas Cook is Chinese Fosun International, with an 18% share, while Anex Group has now become the second-largest shareholder.

Operating in 48 countries, Anex has offices in 18 countries. The company is tour operators in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Germany, providing tourism services to more than 4 million people a year. The company also has a leisure airline Azur Air, as well as 40 aircraft in its fleet. The company has more than 30 hotels, the majority of which are in Turkey.

Operating in the aviation, accommodation and tour operation sectors, Anex Tour has also stepped into the cruise tourism sector simultaneously with its investments in Thomas Cook. The company, which bought the 800-seat cruise ship Saga Sapphire, owned by Saga PLC, has invested $50 million in the sector. With this move, Anex has become the first Turkish company to own a cruise ship.

Anex Tour Chairman Neşet Koçkar said that they will take over the ship in 2020, adding that this was an investment in getting to know the cruise sector and they will continue to invest in the sector.

Explaining that the main departure port of the ship is the Mediterranean holiday resort of Antalya, Koçkar said that they will serve mostly Russian and Turkish travelers.


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