4 Things To See at Buckingham Palace

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

4 Things To See at Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the monarch of the United Kingdom, which has been Queen Elizabeth II since 1952. The building at the core of the palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. It was acquired in 1761 by King George III as a private residence for Queen Charlotte, and became Queen Victoria’s primary residence in 1837. The building’s principal façade was completed in 1850 and has seen various structural additions as recently as the early 20th century. Today, it’s also a tourist attraction. Here are four things to see at Buckingham Palace (other than possibly the queen).

The State Rooms

Credit: Junior Braz/Shutterstock

Each summer since 1993, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace have opened to visitors. The proceeds were initially used to restore Windsor Castle, parts of which had been damaged by fire in the previous year. Today, they’re a part of a tour that includes many pieces from the Royal Collection like paintings from Dyck and Canaletto, sculptures by the likes of Canova, as well as rare porcelain and fine period furniture.

Clarence House

Credit: Tony Baggett/Shutterstock

On the palace grounds is the Clarence House, the official London residence of the Prince of Wales, currently Prince Charles (since 1958). It’s also open for public tours, where visitors get to see the formal gardens and five ground-floor rooms used for official engagements: The Lancaster Room, The Morning Room, The Library, The Dining Room, and The Garden Room. The queen’s art collection is primarily housed here, including paintings from John Piper, Graham Sutherland, and Augustus John.

The Royal Mews

Credit: Pen_85/Shutterstock

In the Royal Mews, visitors are able to see a bunch of state coaches and carriages, some of which are still used by British monarchs on special state occasions. Perhaps the most impressive and elaborate is the Gold State Coach, built in 1762 for King George III and used for every coronation since 1821. The thing is so heavy that it takes eight horses to pull it. The horses, including the famous Windsor Greys, are stabled in the Mews. The collection also includes the Australian State Coach, which the monarch drives to the state opening of Parliament; the Glass Coach, used primarily for weddings since King George V acquired it in 1910; and Rolls Royce limousines, Bentleys, and Jaguars.

Changing of the Guard

Credit: longtaildog/Shutterstock

The Changing of the Queen’s Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace is an absolute must-do for history lovers visiting London. It’s been a treasured tradition since 1660; today, it starts daily at 11:30 a.m. from April to July. It begins when a troop of the Queen’s Life Guard rides from Hyde Park Barracks and past Buckingham Palace to change the guard at Horse Guards. The group of guards done with their shifts leave the palace in formation and head down the Mall toward Buckingham Palace, often led by a marching band. It’s all quite a spectacle – and one that you should see for yourself.

Saudi: BP Stopped Taking its Tankers through Hormuz since July 10

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

BP Stopped Taking its Tankers through Hormuz since July 10

Tuesday, 30 July, 2019 – 11:30
Traditional Omani boats known as dhows, and cargo ships are seen sailing towards the Strait of Hormuz, off the coast of Musandam province, Oman, July 21, 2018. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

BP has not taken any of its oil tankers through the Strait of Hormuz since a July 10 attempt by Iran to seize one of its vessels, the British company’s Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary said on Tuesday.

The oil and gas company has no current plans to take any of its own vessels through the strait, Gilvary said, adding that BP is shipping oil out of the region using chartered tankers.

“We will continue to make shipments through there but you won’t see any BP-flagged tankers going through in the short term,” he said, according to Reuters.

Gilvary was speaking as the company reported better than expected second-quarter earnings due to a strong increase in oil and gas production.

Tensions spiked between Iran and Britain this month when Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important waterway for oil shipments.

That came two weeks after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar suspected of violating European Union sanctions on Syria.

Earlier this month, three Iranian vessels tried to block the passage of a BP-operated tanker through the Strait of Hormuz but withdrew after warnings from a British warship.

Washington, which has by far the strongest Western naval contingent in the Gulf, on July 9 proposed stepping up efforts to safeguard the Strait of Hormuz.

 

10 Etiquette Rules to Know Before Visiting Europe

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

10 Etiquette Rules to Know Before Visiting Europe

As the majority of Americans are the descendants of European immigrants, you’d think there would be more cultural similarities between the two. But thanks to a few centuries of separation, there are certain differences that have cropped up that are always getting American tourists into trouble, as well as ruining our reputation abroad. Bone up on your European etiquette by following these 10 tips.

In General | Don’t Tip Like an American

Credit: Jan Mika/Shutterstock

Tipping culture in America is out of control. Put simply, we’re entrenching ourselves in a custom that shortchanges (pun intended) everyone. In contrast, most countries in Europe operate without tipping, so while staff are aware that Americans are prone to tipping, they’re neither expecting it nor depending on it. Instead, use tipping the way we say it works here at home, by which we mean throw a bartender or waiter a few extra euro only when the service is truly exceptional.

In General | Don’t Rush Your Meal

Credit: pcruciatti/Shutterstock

On a related note, since waitstaff isn’t working for tips, they’re not focused on turnover and won’t check in on your meal as often as someone might in America. That creates a certain amount of dissonance between the paces of American and European meals. We don’t mean to insult American waitstaff, but the emphasis on tips also emphasizes turnover, which can rush diners. European staff is more focused on doing a good job than a fast one, so relax and enjoy your meal.

In General | Dress Yourself Up a Bit

Credit: Willy Barton/Shutterstock

To the untrained eye, it might seem like most Europeans are on their way to some kind of meeting, with most people in pants that aren’t jeans and shirts that aren’t T. If you’re abroad in Europe, it’s best to take a cue from this and pack clothes that fit the setting. Button-downs, nicer pants and more formal footwear are a good idea. In fact, on that last point, Americans take a lot of flak overseas for our proclivity for sneakers. Unless you’re doing a lot of outdoorsy walking or playing a lot of sports, you might be best served leaving the Nikes at home.

Continental Europe | End Your Meal at 5:25

Credit: Lordn/Shutterstock

Apparently there’s an American dining style, which, for all the jokes we hear about Golden Corral and cheeseburgers, we think might just be Europeans making fun of us again. Instead, we think it’s safer to go with the Continental style. When you’ve finished your meal, place your utensils at the 5:25 position on your plate.  Traditionally, the fork’s tines would be facing down, but modern dining etiquette allows them to be left up as well. That will show your server you’ve eaten everything you want to and they can come to clear your place, all without interrupting the flow of your evening.

Portugal & Rome | It’s Not Rude to Refuse Extra Snacks

Credit: JM Travel Photography/Shutterstock

It’s not a guarantee that someone’s going to do it to you, but sometimes servers will bring unrequested snacks to the table in restaurants in Rome and Portugal. If that happens in America, in our experience at least, it’s on the house. Not so much overseas. You’ll probably find these on the bill at the end of your meal, which could potentially cause some problems, particularly if you’re traveling on a budget. Don’t feel too bad about refusing these dishes, since you’re going to be paying for them anyway. On the flip side, you could eat them too. But again, don’t feel bad saying no.

France | Put Your Bread Right on the Table

Credit: fotostorm/iStock

You might think going out to a French meal means you’re going to have more knives, forks, bowls, glasses and plates than you know what to do with. That might be true for all but the last, as you’ll at least be lacking a bread plate. The French place their bread right on the table next to their plates in all but the fanciest dining experiences. It’s weird at first, but by the end, you’ll probably be wondering why you were scared to do it in the first place.

Great Britain | Don’t Mess With the Tea

Credit: Michael Krantz/Shutterstock

While it might be the Irish who have the British beat on per capita tea consumption, the British are the sticklers for how people should take it. You’ll have it with milk and no sugar and be thankful for it, especially since it was a Brit who made it for you and offered it to you in the first place.

It’s also understandable if you want to ignore this particular piece of advice if you find yourself having tea in the U.K. Just know you could get some looks.

Norway | Don’t Talk to People You Don’t Know … Unless They’re Drunk

Credit: Olena Tur/Shutterstock

Norwegians are a surprisingly reserved nation. We say surprisingly because their major claim to fame is the Viking penchant for outgoing behavior. But a modern Norwegian has assured us it’s a bad idea to talk to people we don’t know in virtually every conceivable situation. Buses, trains, walking around, in shops, they’re pretty much all off limits for the kind of random amiability Americans are reasonably accustomed to. Though, they did clarify that all bets are off once alcohol’s entered the picture. Evidently the only thing standing between us and being friends with any random person in Norway is a few pints.

Ireland | Buy Your Round

Credit: pawopa3336/Shutterstock

Essentially, when a small group of friends or family goes out drinking and plans on staying out for some time, it falls to each person to buy everyone else’s drinks, but usually only once. To put a finer point on it, if you go out with five friends, each friend should expect to buy five drinks. If you try to skip one, or genuinely don’t know what’s happening, you’ll find some bad blood with people who are otherwise hard to upset.

Greece | Nodding Means No

Credit: spooh/Shutterstock

Nodding is such a common behavior for us that it almost feels like a human instinct instead of invented behavior. But the people of Greece basically switch our “yes” and “no” head movements, which we assume has led to many a misunderstanding between American tourists and Greek locals. We commend anyone for trying to adjust to the new head indicators, but it might be better to simply switch to verbal responses while you’re there.

Israel: Priti Patel previously ousted over Israeli meetings named new UK Home Secretary

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Priti Patel, previously ousted over Israel meetings, named UK home secretary

Dominic Raab to serve as new foreign secretary, Sajid Javid appointed chancellor of the exchequer, as Boris Johnson clears house on his first day as prime minister

Conservative lawmaker Priti Patel arrives at 10 Downing Street, London, July 24, 2019 (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Conservative lawmaker Priti Patel arrives at 10 Downing Street, London, July 24, 2019 (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Priti Patel, who resigned as UK aid minister in 2017 over unauthorized meetings with senior Israeli officials, was named as home secretary by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday.

Patel quit in November 2017 after it emerged that she held a series of meeting with Israeli leaders — including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — about allocating aid to the Israeli army’s Syrian relief efforts, without properly informing the government.

Patel had apologized for holding 12 separate meetings during a family holiday to Israel in August of that year without notifying the Foreign Office or Downing Street in advance.

The Jewish Chronicle reported at the time that Patel had informed 10 Downing Street of the meetings and had been advised to keep a sit-down with Israeli Foreign Ministry official Yuval Rotem in New York off the list of meetings she disclosed to save face for the Foreign Office. Downing Street denied the claims as “categorically untrue.”

Conservative lawmaker Dominic Raab arrives at 10 Downing Street, London, July 24, 2019 (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Dominic Raab, who was named by Johnson on Wednesday as the UK’s new foreign secretary — the country’s top diplomat — resigned as Brexit minister in Theresa May’s government last year, saying the divorce deal she struck with Brussels offered too many compromises.

A 45-year-old graduate of both Oxford and Cambridge and the son of a Jewish Czech father who fled the Nazis, Raab reportedly spent the summer of 1998 at a university near Ramallah and became involved early on in the Arab-Israeli conflict, working with a former Palestinian negotiator of the Oslo peace process in the West Bank.

Raab went viral on social media for admitting at a conference that he “hadn’t quite understood” the importance of the cross-Channel port in Dover to the UK economy. Dover handled 17 percent of Britain’s entire international trade last year, a figure that threatens to plummet under a no-deal Brexit scenario Raab had said he does not much fear. Making matters worse, Raab appeared to suggest that he had only recently discovered this “peculiar geographic economic entity” of his country.

Raab is replacing Jeremy Hunt, Johnson’s rival in the leadership race, who said he had “kindly” been offered a different cabinet role, Sky News reported, but decided to serve on the backbenches, from where the prime minister “will have my full support.”

Sajid Javid was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, responsible for spending and economic policy, vacating the home secretary role for Patel.

Javid made a three-day trip to Israel and the West Bank earlier this month, including a rare visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall and Temple Mount.

The minister, who comes from a Muslim family, donned a traditional Jewish skullcap as he toured the Western Wall holy site and placed a note between the stones of the ancient retaining wall.

Britain’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid, center, visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem, July 1, 2019. (Courtesy The Western Wall Heritage Foundations)

He recalled that his father believed deeply in Jewish-Muslim coexistence. “We love Jewish heritage very much and appreciate it,” the then-home secretary said during the private visit.

Javid also visited and prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, and the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

During his time as home secretary, Javid proscribed Hezbollah’s political wing as a terrorist organization, and slammed Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for photos of him holding a wreath during a 2014 visit to the graves of Palestinian terrorists.

Johnson fired several members of May’s cabinet on Wednesday, but Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay is keeping his job in the government shakeup.

Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London, July 24, 2019 (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Michael Gove, who ran the 2016 campaign to leave the EU alongside Johnson before the pair fell out, was named Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, a powerful cabinet post with no specific portfolio.

Ben Wallace, a former security minister, was appointed defense secretary.

May’s secretaries in defense, business, education, transport, local government and international trade have all announced they are leaving government. That came hours after Treasury chief Philip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart and May’s de facto deputy, David Lidington, resigned.

Some of those leaving had said they would rather go than serve under Johnson, who wants to leave the European Union even if no Brexit agreement is in place to ease the transition.

Johnson insists the country will leave the EU by Oct. 31 — “do or die.”

Agencies contributed to this report.

READ MORE:

5 Largest Libraries in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

Largest Libraries in the World

Collectively, the five largest libraries in the world hold a staggering 467.4 million items, according to World Atlas. That’s millions of books, magazines, journals, music records, maps and other artifacts, all available for the public’s consumption. From rare manuscripts to pancake recipes, these distinguished institutions hold treasures of every kind. Ranked in order of items cataloged, here are the five largest libraries in the world.

Russian State Library

Russian State Library

Credit: Roman Babakin/Shutterstock

44.4 Million Items

Founded in 1862, the Russian State Library has been through many iterations in the past 157 years. Originally founded as the Rumyantsev Museum, it began as a collection of rare books and manuscripts belonging to Count Nikolay Rumyantsev. After it was relocated from St. Petersburg to Moscow, the Rumyantsev Museum was housed in the Pashkov House, just outside of the Kremlin walls. Today, this building is home to the library’s impressive music section. It wasn’t until after 1917 that the museum transformed into a national archive and a new building was built to contain the country’s growing collection of books, journals and maps. In 1924, the library was renamed V.I. Lenin State Library of the U.S.S.R. and it is still called “Leninka” by locals today. In 1992, the library changed its name once more to the Russian State Library.

Library and Archives, Canada

Library and Archives, Canada

Credit: Bing Wen/Shutterstock

54 Million Items

Located in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, the country’s Library and Archives is a federal institution dedicated to preserving Canada’s heritage. The library’s archives are available to the public and are extremely thorough in their provision of national records. The library has a collection on Canadian census records from 1640 to 1926, immigration records from 1865 to 1935 and an entire section dedicated to genealogy and family history. The museum also works to preserve Indigenous cultures, with materials that represent First Nations, Inuit and Metis Nation experiences. Formed as recently as 2004, the library was created when the National Archives of Canada joined with the National Library of Canada.

New York Public Library

New York Public Library

Credit: travelview/Shutterstock

55 Million Items

The New York Public Library consists of 92 libraries located throughout the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. With four major research libraries and 88 branch libraries, the main branch is located on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan. Situated in Bryant Park, the building is a notable example of  Beaux-Arts architecture and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1965. Its impressive collection of items includes maps, music, books and periodicals. During World War II, the Allies used the museum’s map collection to study the coastlines of opposing countries. An incredible resource for New Yorkers, the public library went as far as providing free movie streaming to its members. Unfortunately, it was recently announced that this service will soon be canceled, as it is no longer part of the library’s budget.

British Library

British Library

Credit: Iain McGillivray/Shutterstock

150 Million Items

The national library of the United Kingdom, the British Library is an impressive modern building located in the heart of London. The library’s massive collection includes books, patents, stamps, newspapers, sound recordings, maps and musical scores. The main branch library has a basement that extends 80 feet into the ground, where the temperature-controlled environment is ideal for preserving historical books, manuscripts and maps. Not only is this library home to books that belonged to King George III, but it also has a first edition copy of “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer. Among its numerous original manuscripts are Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” and an illustrated version of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

Library of the U.S. Congress

Library of the U.S. Congress

Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

164 Million Items

The Library of the U.S. Congress is the largest library in the world. In 1800, when President John Adams approved a bill that moved the nation’s capital from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., he also consented to the creation of this library. The bill stipulated that $5,000 be set aside for books to be referenced by Congress, and thus, the Library of the U.S. Congress was born. As such, it is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and holds impressive items related to U.S. history, including a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence. Other unusual items include the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated and a recipe for Rosa Parks’s pancakes. The library is open to the public for tours, which includes a guided tour of the Thomas Jefferson Building and the library’s exhibitions.

England: Letter From Jerusalem: Boris the kibbutznik

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE LONDON TELEGRAPH)

 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Letter From Jerusalem 

Boris the kibbutznik

By Raf Sanchez Jerusalem Correspondent

Boris Johnson

Stefan Rousseau / PA

It was the summer of 1984 and in a kibbutz kitchen in the upper Galilee a sweaty Boris Johnson was washing dishes.

The future prime minister was 20 years old and his father had arranged for Boris and his sister Rachel to spend some time on Kibbutz Kfar HaNassi.

“He was so socially low on the pecking order,” Rachel told Haaretz that summer. “He was not a kibbutznik. He was not a soldier. And he was so pale he couldn’t even go in the sun.”

Notwithstanding his hardship posting, Johnson today describes himself as a “passionate Zionist” and an admirer of the Jewish state.

Does that mean he will shift UK policy when it comes to Israel?

The short answer is that Johnson’s views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are mainstream for UK politics and similar to those of his recent predecessors. (See Bicom’s briefing for a detailed breakdown.)

In a Telegraph article in October 2017, Johnson said he was committed to a Two-State Solution based on the 1967 borders.

“For Israel, the birth of a Palestinian state is the only way to secure its demographic future as a Jewish and democratic nation,” he wrote.

Like Theresa May, he doesn’t believe it is the right time to either move the UK embassy to Jerusalem or to recognise Palestine as a state.

Johnson criticised Israel for using disproportionate force in Gaza in 2014 but said Israel had a right to defend itself.

Like other British ministers, he is a supporter of the Iran nuclear deal but critical of Iran’s regional behaviour.

He said he was open to reimposing sanctions on Iran for breaching the nuclear agreement but would prefer to see them return to compliance with deal. War with Iran was not “a sensible option,” he said recently.

But the key question with Johnson is not what he believes now but what he might believe in the future if it is politically expedient.

It is possible that Johnson will try to flatter Donald Trump by shifting UK policy closer towards America’s position on Israel. You could see him supporting Jared Kushner’s peace plan if he thought it might help secure a US-UK free trade deal.

Similarly, you can see how he might use relations with Israel to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and exploit the anti-Semitism crisis shaking Labour.

Johnson may also be forced to take a harder line on Iran if the tit-for-tat tanker war between Iran and the UK escalates.

Those shifts may come in the future. For now, British policy in the Middle East is unlikely to change dramatically.

I welcome your feedback at [email protected] and @rafsanchez.

Iran: UK Denies Sending Any Mediators to Iran as Rouhani Says Ready to Negotiate

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

UK Denies Sending Any Mediators to Iran as Rouhani Says Ready to Negotiate

Wednesday, 24 July, 2019 – 10:30
FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Russia, 14 February 2019. Sergei Chirikov/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
Britain has not sent any representatives to Tehran, a British source said after Iranian media reported that a mediator had been sent to discuss the freeing of a British-flagged tanker seized by Iran.

“We are not aware of any representatives being sent as mediators to Iran,” a British diplomatic source said.

The UK is in a tense standoff with Tehran over British authorities’ seizure of an Iranian tanker in early July and Iran’s detention of a UK-flagged ship in the Gulf last week.

Wednesday’s denial came as Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran is ready for “just” negotiations but not if they mean surrender.

Rouhani seemed to be referring to possible negotiations with the United States.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year and reimposed sanctions on it, but has said he is willing to hold talks with Tehran.

“As long as I have the responsibility for the executive duties of the country, we are completely ready for just, legal and honest negotiations to solve the problems,” Rouhani said, according to his official website.

“But at the same time we are not ready to sit at the table of surrender under the name of negotiations.”

Amid soaring tensions in the region, Trump said in late June that he had called off strikes against Iran at the last minute in response to the destruction of a US drone.

A series of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf region, as well as Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker in retaliation for Britain impounding one of its own vessels in Gibraltar, have turned the area into a powder keg.

UK: Boris Johnson forms his new Cabinet

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE LONDON TELEGRAPH NEWS)

 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Front Page AM 

Good morning. As Boris Johnson prepares to be appointed prime minister today, Danny Boyle has The Telegraph‘s latest essential briefing
Johnson clears out Remainers for Cabinet with Brexit majority
Boris Johnson is preparing to enter Downing Street for the first time as prime minister. But even before his summons to Buckingham Palace to form a government, the new Conservative leader has begun to shape his top team. As Political Editor Gordon Rayner reports, Mr Johnson will begin assembling a majority Brexiteer Cabinet as he clears out Remainers to end “self-doubt” and get Britain ready for leaving the EU on Oct 31. These are the names already in the frame for the most ethnically diverse Cabinet in history. After Mr Johnson’s resounding victory, Camilla Tominey has the inside story on how he beat Jeremy Hunt. Theresa May holds her final PMQs today before leaving Number 10. Mr Johnson is then set to address the nation after being officially appointed by the Queen. Here is our hour-by-hour guide. And what about his girlfriend Carrie Symonds? These are the plans for her involvement in the historic day.

Europe gave Mr Johnson a lukewarm welcome yesterday. Here is how the world has reacted to his appointment – and what Telegraph readers think of the new Tory leader. A special edition of Chopper’s Brexit Podcast has been released this morning – listen to an interview with the man who knows Mr Johnson best.

Three meetings with Trump in crucial first 100 days of power
He has referred to him as “Britain’s Trump”. Boris Johnson is poised to meet the US president three times before the UK leaves the European Union in exactly 100 days’ time. Camilla Tominey and Gordon Rayner explain how the visits are intended to strengthen the special relationship. And US Editor Ben Riley-Smith examines which doors Mr Johnson’s charisma will open in Washington.
Theresa May leaves Number 10 with a trimmed-down legacy
How will history judge Theresa May’s period in Downing Street? She has sent a letter to Conservative MPs listing her achievements since announcing her resignation, as she attempts to salvage a legacy from her troubled premiership. But Harry Yorke reports that it was more notable for its omissions. As Mrs May leaves office, Senior Fashion Editor Caroline Leaper says farewell to her power dressing with this analysis of her nine most memorable signature styles.

The Most Populous Cities Throughout History

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

The Most Populous Cities Throughout History

Over the course of human history, the ranking of the most populous cities has changed many times over. Jericho was the most populous city back in 9000 BCE. Now it is Tokyo, thousands of miles away. Population growth, climate change, and political shifts are largely responsible for moving the world’s biggest urban centers, but there are truly countless reasons as to why populations move and fluctuate.

When evaluating the most populous cities throughout history, archaeologists look at the total estimated global population to determine the cultural hubs of the period. Before the widespread use of recorded history, many cultures relied on oral traditions to help keep their chronicles alive. Because of this, it is challenging to calculate how many people lived in cities before recorded history.

But historians have done their best to determine where populations converged throughout history. These cities were at one point considered to be the biggest in the world.

Jericho, West Bank

Credit: Gosiek-B / iStock

Population in 9000 BCE: 2,000; current population: 14,674

Most academics agree that Jericho is among the world’s oldest continuously inhabited places, as settlements have been uncovered dating back to 9000 BCE. Jericho is considered the oldest and most populous city throughout history. It is located near Mt. Nebo and the Dead Sea in what is now the West Bank. The plentiful natural irrigation from the Jordan River makes it an ideal ancient city for long-term habitation.

Uruk, Iraq

Credit: Marcus Cyron / Wikimedia

Population in 3500 BCE: 4,000; current population: Uninhabited

Uruk was once an agricultural hub that lay the foundation of Mesopotamia. However, Uruk is no longer inhabited. Nestled between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, Uruk was once a thriving trade center that specializes in local crafts, writing, and grain.

Mari, Syria

Credit: Heretiq / Wikimedia

Population in 2400 BCE: 50,000; current population: Uninhabited

Researchers discovered a large population migration from Uruk to Mari, indicating a flourishing trade and livelihood in that region of Mesopotamia. Estimates place the population of Mari, which is located in what is now Syria, at 50,000 people in 2400 BCE. It was the trade capital of the region and had a fully functioning government and recorded history.

Ur, Iraq

Credit: M.Lubinski / Wikimedia

Population in 2100 BCE: 100,000; current population: Uninhabited

Ur was a very rich city in 2100 BCE, with a huge amount of luxury items made from precious metal and semi precious stones. After 500 BCE, Ur was no longer inhabited due to drought and changing river patterns. Today, the Iraqi city of Tell el-Muqayyar is at the site of Ur.

Yinxu, China

Credit: tak.wing / flickr

Population in 1300 BCE: 120,000; current population: uninhabited

Eventually, the world’s biggest population centers shifted away from the Middle East. The earliest forms of Chinese writing can be found in the modern day ruins at Yinxu, sometimes written as two words (Yin Xu). At its height, this city was the academic center of the Chinese world.

Carthage, Tunisia

Credit: CJ_Romas / iStock

Population in 300 BCE: 500,000; current population: 20,715

Located in present-day Tunisia, Carthage was an enlightened civilization until drought and famine sped up the decline of this ancient city. It was not until 1985 that the mayors of Carthage and Rome officially ended their 2,000-year-old conflict.

Rome, Italy

Credit: mammuth / iStock

Population in 200 CE: 1,200,000; current population: 2,754,440

What started as a small village a thousand years ago is now a bustling metropolis. In 200 CE, Rome was the most populated city in the world. It is no secret that Rome has been one of the longest occupied settlements and for a good reason. As a center for government, politics, religion, fashion, ancient history, archaeological sites and culture, it is still a top travel destination for millions of people.

Beijing, China

Credit: Sean Pavone / iStock

Population in 1500: 1,000,000; current population: 22,000,000

Still one of the world’s most populous cities, Beijing broke out around 1500, when it relied on grain and monetary taxes from the population to feed and supply the city. However, that was not enough. The population was so large that commerce destroyed all of the forests in the region. This irrevocably changed the ecosystem in the area.

London, England

Credit: ZoltanGabor / iStock

Population in 1825: 1,335,000; current population: 13,945,000

During the pinnacle of the British Empire, crime and terror in London ran rampant. The city was considered unsafe. However, this did not stop people from finding their way in the Empire’s capital. Today, it remains a global capital that welcomes millions of visitors every year.

Tokyo, Japan

Credit: yongyuan / iStock

Population in 2000: 20,500,000; current population: 36,000,000

After this trip through history, we arrive at the present day. Tokyo is the most populous city in the modern world, home to an astounding 36 million people in its metropolitan area. There was a brief interlude following World War II until Tokyo recovered economically. Prosperity and a strong bond to Japanese tradition, family, and history maintain Tokyo’s high population today.

The draw and allure of cities continue to bring human civilization closer and closer together. Currently, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban centers, and this number is expected to climb. The current practice of census-taking will undoubtedly help future historians.

Make no excuses for Iran. This is pure piracy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TELEGRAPH.UK)

 

Make no excuses for Iran. This is pure piracy

This handout photo made available on July 20, 2019, by Jan Verhoog shows the Stena Impero, a British-flagged tanker, off the coast of Europoort in Rotterdam on April 3, 2018.
The Stena Impero, a British-flagged tanker, off the coast of Europoort in Rotterdam on April 3, 2018.CREDIT: JAN VERHOOG 

Nothing justifies Iran’s piracy in the Gulf. Jeremy Corbyn – as night follows day – suggested the United States is partly to blame for Iran seizing a British-flagged tanker because the Americans walked away from the Iran nuclear deal. But Britain has not. Whatever one thinks of the deal – and this newspaper believes it to be a terrible mistake – the UK government remains in favour and has been trying to rescue it, so the Iranians have turned on one of the Western powers most sympathetic to their cause. Tehran rages mightily about the British seizure of an Iranian vessel at Gibraltar, but the situations are not comparable. That vessel is accused of trying to break sanctions by providing oil to Syria. The Iranians have targeted ships going about perfectly legal business.

Mr Corbyn’s attempt to blame this on tensions raised by the US doesn’t hold water – and given the paid work he’s previously done for an Iranian broadcaster, his objectivity is in question. No: Iran is a bloodthirsty dictatorship that oppresses women and religious and sexual minorities. It has exported terrorism. It is threatening already to break the nuclear agreement and, say some analysts, has been developing rocket technology that means when the deal finally comes to an end, it might be in an even stronger position. The issue isn’t Iran’s absolute responsibility for this crisis but why Britain wasn’t able to respond more swiftly and decisively.

Questions need to be asked. Why wasn’t the UK prepared for this eventuality, especially given that Iran has menaced vessels previously and hardliners explicitly threatened to take control of a British tanker in retribution for the Gibraltar raid? Why has Britain downgraded its fleet from having 35 frigates in 1982 to just 13 today? Could it prove necessary to run a convoy system in and out of the Gulf, to protect shipping? This will all cost more money, which is why it’s essential that the next prime minister spends more on defence. He also needs to review British foreign policy, as it’s clear that trying to play nice on the nuclear deal isn’t working. The United States has given up on Iran and, considering what’s just happened in the Gulf, understandably so. This is a rogue state. It should be treated as such.