2021 Davos Summit Shifted To Lucerne In May


The World Economic Forum announced Wednesday that its postponed 2021 Davos summit, themed as “The Great Reset” in the coronavirus crisis, will take place in Lucerne, Switzerland from May 18 to 21.

The annual gathering of the world’s political, economic and business elite traditionally takes place in January against the idyllic snowy backdrop of the Swiss Alpine village of Davos.

But it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and, charged with remodelling the world economy in the wake of the crisis, will now be held 125 kilometres (75 miles) away in the plush Burgenstock resort overlooking Lake Lucerne.

“The meeting will take place as long as all conditions are in place to guarantee the health and safety of participants and the host community,” WEF spokesman Adrian Monck said in a statement.

“The meeting will focus on the solutions required to address the world’s most pressing challenges.

“Global leaders will come together to design a common recovery path, to shape ‘The Great Reset’ in the post-Covid-19 era and rebuild a more cohesive and sustainable society.”

The WEF announced in June that the 51st edition of its annual meeting would take place in a hybrid format, then in August said it

North Cyprus To Open Disputed ‘Ghost Town’ With Turkish Backing


Authorities in breakaway northern Cyprus are to open the coastal section of the long-fenced-off disputed town of Varosha, a Turkish Cypriot leader announced Tuesday ahead of elections at the weekend.

The internationally-recognised government of the divided Mediterranean island swiftly condemned the decision as a “pre-election stunt” and said it would lodge protests to the UN Security Council and European Union.

Speaking after a meeting in Ankara with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Cypriot premier Ersin Tatar told reporters that “the coast will open to the public from Thursday morning”.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc was “very concerned” about the announcement concerning Varosha — part of the wider Famagusta area — and stressed the “urgency of restoring confidence and not of creating greater divisions.”

The Turkish army has kept Varosha fenced off since its Greek Cypriot residents fled when it invaded northern Cyprus in 1974 in response to an Athens-engineered coup attempting to unite the island with Greece.

Backed by Ankara, right-winger Tatar is running in Sunday’s presidential election in northern Cyprus against the incumbent, Mustafa Akinci, seen as a pro-reunification moderate.

Turkey, the only country that recognises the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC),

Belgium’s Hidden Princess Regrets Father’s Cold Shoulder


When former king Albert II informed his hidden daughter and the Belgian people, through legal counsel, that he felt no connection with her it was “like a knife in the back,” she said Monday.

The former Delphine Boel had kept her silence for years about the king’s affair with her mother, like “a little soldier,” she told reporters in her first press conference since a court recognised her as princess Delphine de Saxe-Cobourg last week.

But when DNA tests finally revealed that she was his daughter after a long, drawn-out paternity battle, and he still coldly refused to welcome her into the royal family, she pressed on with legal action.

Now, a Belgian court has ruled: the 52-year-old artist can indeed adopt her father’s name and call herself a princess. It’s a victory of sorts, but she is sorry it came to this.

On Monday, on the verge of tears, she told reporters who gathered at the Free University of Brussels why she had gone the legal route to end the long battle for recognition.

Delphine was born in 1968 to a baroness, Sibylle de Selys Longchamps, and Albert, the then future king of the Belgians, early in an affair

Kenzo Takada, First Japanese Designer To Conquer Paris Fashion, Dies Aged 81


Japan’s most famous fashion designer Kenzo Takada, founder of the global Kenzo brand, died in Paris on Sunday aged 81 after contracting Covid-19, his spokesman said.

Takada, the first Japanese designer to decamp to Paris and known especially for his signature floral prints, died in the American Hospital of Paris, the spokesman said in a statement.

His death comes 50 years after he launched his first collection in the French capital which he adopted as his home. “Every wall, every sky and every passer-by helps me build my collections,” he once said of the city.

He retired from fashion in 1999, six years after selling his eponymous fashion brand to luxury conglomerate LVMH, and dedicated his time to one-off projects, including a design collection at the start of this year.

Takada presented his final summer collection in Paris in October 1999
 AFP / Frederick FLORIN

Born in 1939 into a family of hoteliers, he chose to study art not catering, becoming a star pupil at Toyko’s Bunka Gakuen college, where he carried off the top prize. He went on to work for Sanai, a major chain of fashion shops, but dreamed of Paris.

The 1964 Olympic Games finally gave him

Sudan, Rebel Groups Sign Historic Peace Deal


Sudan’s government and rebel groups on Saturday signed a landmark peace deal aimed at ending decades of war in which hundreds of thousands have died.

Cheers rang out as one by one, representatives from the transitional government and rebel groups signed the deal, a year after the peace talks began, at a ceremony in the South Sudanese capital Juba.

The deal covers a number of tricky issues, from land ownership, reparations and compensation to wealth and power sharing and the return of refugees and internally displaced people.

Ending Sudan’s internal conflicts has been a top priority of the transitional government, in power since longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir was ousted in a pro-democracy uprising.

“For us today it is a historic day… this will stop the war… we are very committed to the implementation of all the protocols agreed upon,” said the head of Sudan’s transitional sovereign council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

“This agreement will help Sudan to transform smoothly to a state of justice, citizenship, freedom and democracy.”

Both al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, as well as the European Union and United Nations, called on two powerful holdout rebel groups to join the peace process.

“We are waiting for

Canada Probes Alleged Use Of Its Tech In Armenia-Azerbaijan Clash


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday an investigation has been launched into the alleged use of Canadian military technologies in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

Local media reported that Canadian imaging and targeting systems on unmanned drones are being used by Azerbaijan in clashes with Armenia.

Arms-control advocates have documented the sale of the Wescam gear to Turkey, a close ally of Azerbaijan.

“In regards to the Canadian military equipment that may have been used in this situation, the minister of foreign affairs (Francois-Philippe Champagne) has launched an investigation into what exactly happened,” Trudeau told a news conference.

“It is extremely important that the terms of Canada’s expectations of non-violation of human rights is always respected and we will have more to say as more becomes clear.”

Ottawa announced in October 2019 a freeze on the issuing of export permits for military shipments to Turkey, after its incursions against Kurds in northern Syria.

But it was lifted in May.

A government official said if it is now determined that the military technologies have been misused, Ottawa will cancel export permits for related shipments.

Ankara is backing its longtime ally Baku in the fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian province that broke away

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