Egypt Independent: Living-Main news en Analysis: Why does Angela Merkel suddenly want to ban the veil? <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>German Chancellor Angela Merkel is not one for rabble-rousing. In 11 years as the leader of Germany, her speeches are usually sobering analyses of thorny political and economic dilemmas, using only her signature diamond-shaped hand gesture to punctuate her points.</p><div>But on Tuesday night, &quot;Mutti&quot; or &quot;Mom,&quot; as she is affectionately called, made an impassioned plea to her party: &quot;I have also asked you for a lot,&quot; she told the more than 1,000 members of her Christian Democratic Union gathered, &quot;because the times have asked us for a lot. I know that very well. And I cannot promise that the demands in the future will be any less because we have to do what the times demand from us.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Merkel is facing tremendous pressure from voters -- as well as from her own party -- for allowing more than 890,000 asylum seekers into the country last year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Initially, Germans opened their doors. Crowds came to train stations to applaud arriving asylum seekers, greeting them with flowers and chocolate. There is even a special word for it: &quot;willkommenskultur.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But the numbers began to strain social services. Local councils complained there wasn&#39;t enough space to house everyone. Last year, one mayor took CNN for a tour of facilities, where refugees were forced to sleep on mattresses in the hallways of the official&#39;s office.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Then came New Year&#39;s Eve in Cologne. Police said that mobs of &quot;North African and Middle Eastern men&quot; sexually assaulted hundreds of women in the fireworks chaos.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Earlier this week, on the eve of the CDU party conference, police announced that a 17-year old Afghan refugee was suspected of raping and killing a 19-year-old university student.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>National statistics show some crimes, such as burglaries and petty offenses, have gone up since the start of the year as Germany&#39;s population has grown, but that less than 1% of sex crimes and even fewer homicides are tied to immigrants or refugees.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Nonetheless, much of the public no longer welcomes refugees but views them with suspicion. Riots between local residents and refugees have broken out in eastern Germany. Arson attacks on refugee shelters have skyrocketed. Support for far-right parties has surged.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Merkel&#39;s party was defeated in her own constituency of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern by the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party. The latter campaigned on a promise to stop immigration and won 20% of the vote.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Within the CDU, party members have grumbled that Merkel was out of touch with the public mood.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This, perhaps, is why she has made a major political concession -- one that&#39;s been criticized by refugee rights groups: backing a ban by party members on full-face veils.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Merkel is staring down the barrel of arguably the most important vote of her life. The German federal election, taking place next year, will attract attention from the entire world, as many are depending on the Chancellor to fight back against the seemingly unstoppable march of populism. This task is daunting enough without pressure coming from your own party members.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Merkel told her party: &quot;We do not want any parallel societies and where they exist we have to tackle them.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>She said, &quot;Our laws have priority over honor codes, tribal and family rules, and over the Sharia. That has to be expressed very clearly. That also means that with interpersonal communication, which plays a fundamental role here, we show our face. This is why the full facial veil is inappropriate, and should be banded wherever it is legally possible. It does not belong in our country.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Less than 300 Muslim women in Germany are thought to wear the niqab or full-face veil. None are known to wear a burqa. But it is an easy way for Merkel to gain political capital within her own party and act tough on integration to the German public.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>At the end of her speech, Merkel received a standing ovation and sustained rounds of applause that lasted for 11 minutes. She was elected to lead the party with 89% of the vote, slightly less than she had hoped to gain.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Merkel has shown she can lead her party. Now she needs to show she can win back public confidence before next year&#39;s elections.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 08:49:00 +0000 CNN 2474733 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/03/484151/merkel.jpg Egyptian man grows 'Beard of Bees', hopes to promote apian benefits <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Mohamed Hagras stands barechested as dozens of honeybees congregate around his face, eventually forming what he calls the &quot;Beard of Bees&quot;. To attract the insects he has a box housing their queen&#39;s hormones strapped to his chin.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The 31-year-old engineer-turned-beekeeper has been doing this for years both competitively - he fondly recalls a Canadian model&#39;s &quot;Bikini of Bees&quot; at a beekeeping event - and as an effort to educate Egyptians on the usefulness of bees.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;The goal is to show that bees are not aggressive,&quot; he told Reuters at his farm in Shibin El Kom, the capital of the Nile Delta province of Menoufia.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;One the contrary, they are helpful and produce things that help humans and agriculture.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Hagras extracts hormones from queen bees after they die and uses them to attract bees from the same hive to perform his show. He uses the same technique to form new hives, he says.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He uses the &quot;Beard of Bees&quot; at contests and exhibitions where like-minded people try to break world records. The current holder is a Chinese beekeeper who in 2015 covered his entire body with over a million bees, a combined weight of almost 110 kg (242.5 lb).</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Other than honey and pollen, bees are also medicinal, Hagras says, adding that many people come to his farm to get stung in efforts to cure various diseases.</div> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 07:04:00 +0000 Reuters 2474605 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/12/03/505446/mohamed_hagras_31_performs_the_beard_of_bee_before_the_upcoming_egyptian_agricultural_carnival_of_beekeeping_in_his_farm_at_shebin_el_kom_city.jpg Haute cuisine? Santa serves up sleigh-borne dinner in the sky <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Not waiting at home for Santa Claus anymore, gourmets in Brussels are flying off aboard his sleigh to dine with him above the city&#39;s rooftops and twinkling Christmas lights.</p><p>&quot;Santa in the Sky&quot; is the new twist on the Belgian capital&#39;s &quot;Dinner in the Sky&quot; venture, where diners and chefs cooking for them are lifted high in the air on an open platform suspended from a construction crane.</p><p>Free to marvel at Brussels&#39; Flemish Renaissance grandeur and mediaeval churches, customers can savor haute cuisine from distinguished chefs, some with Michelin stars to their name.</p><p>This weekend on the city&#39;s chic Sablon square shopping district, a bell-ringing Santa Claus is welcoming people aboard the &quot;restaurant&quot; fitted out as a sleigh decked with lights and drawn through the air by four theater-prop reindeer.</p><p>Diners, who sit strapped to chairs to eat at a bar running around the open kitchen, can pay up to 250 euros (US$ 265) for a gastronomic four-course supper with wine.</p><p>Alternatively, they could go for options starting at 55 euros for tea -- of course, it&#39;s &quot;high tea&quot;.</p><p>On Friday evening, Maxime Mazier&#39;s menu included a lobster and artichoke starter; line-caught sea bass with shellfish; and coconut marshmallow with mango.</p><p>The trick, he said, was coping with the gusts of winter night air that whip around the sleigh. &quot;It&#39;s not that warm,&quot; he said. &quot;Just as you&#39;re serving, if the wind gets up, for the fish, which has to be served just right, it&#39;s the timing that&#39;s important.&quot;</p><p>Michael Chiche, who helps run the Brussels-based firm that over the past 10 years has brought the sky-dining experience to 58 countries, said he was confident the four-day Christmas event which ends on Sunday, would be repeated next year.</p><p>&quot;To be in the air, first, it&#39;s the view,&quot; he said. &quot;Secondly, you&#39;re blocked. It means that you are with your guests, you are with the chef and all the flavors, everything, you&#39;re going to experience it completely differently.&quot;</p><p>Helene Ziegler, 19, an art history student, said it had been worth a moment of panic: &quot;As we were on the way up, I got a bit scared. It was moving. But once on top, it became very quiet. It&#39;s great to see the entire city. The food is very good. The chefs prepare it right in front of us. It&#39;s wonderful!&quot;</p><p>The evening, said Ziegler, was a gift offered to her and her sister from their father -- though he managed to find a convenient excuse not to join them 100 feet (35 meters) above the cold cobbles of Sablon square.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:01:00 +0000 Reuters 2474589 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/12/01/39/download.jpg 'Exercise is the single best thing you can do': Dr. Andrew Murray <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>On the occasion of the Extreme Medical Expo in Scotland (November 18-21), Relaxnews spoke to one of the event&#39;s speakers, Dr. Andrew Murray a medical doctor and endurance runner. Dr. Murray offers his best professional and personal tips for improved health and happiness.</p><p><strong>As a doctor why would you recommend we all try to incorporate more exercise into our lives?</strong></p><p>I say this as a doctor and a father, exercise is the single best thing you can do for your own health, and that you can encourage your family to do for their health. Some might say you risk injury, and, yes, you might get a few blisters, but it&#39;s worth it.</p><p>Exercise gives you on average seven years of extra life, helps combat 40 different chronic diseases, cutting the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes by up to 40 percent, cardiovascular disease by up to 35 percent, depression and dementia by up to 30 perfect, and the risk of cancers such as colon and breast. It even helps improves kids&#39; school results!</p><p><strong>You&#39;re an endurance runner, but endurance training obviously isn&#39;t for everyone! How much exercise do you recommend people actually aim for each week?</strong></p><p>Aiming for 30 minutes a day will get you that extra 7 years I mentioned earlier. But the more you do, of course the bigger the benefits. To make it easier, though, it doesn&#39;t even have to be a 30-minute run or 30 minutes in the gym -- take the stairs, for instance, or walk instead of taking the car. The main thing is just to keep moving.</p><p><strong>Are there any sports or exercises that you particularly recommend for good health?</strong></p><p>Walking is great, so sit less and walk more, and then feel free to do more sports on top. Even just taking the stairs will get those happy hormones going. All sports are good so just choose which you like.</p><p><strong>What are you top tips for people to follow daily in order to improve health?</strong></p><p>Don&#39;t believe a lot of the stuff on the internet -- people are trying to sell you things. You don&#39;t need lots of fancy supplements, just eat real food. Vegetables, fruit, nuts, an occasional treat -- keep it balanced. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.</p><p><strong>Any big food no-nos, things you think people should avoid in their diet?&nbsp; </strong></p><p>There is never anything I would say you should never eat, but I would limit processed foods. Reasonable choices made consistently will offer good health and happiness.</p><p><strong>Other than diet and exercise, what other factors influence our health and how can we improve them?</strong></p><p>Alcohol, smoking, diet, exercise are the four main areas where you can make small changes that really make the difference, and I see it in my own patients who tell me &quot;I cut out soda and naturally lost weight&quot; or &quot;my mood feels better.&quot; As well as these four areas, fresh air, nature, laughter, water, sleep, and some relaxation time without electronic devices are all the best doctors you can have for improving physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.</p><p><strong>And finally, any other advice on what we can all do for better health and wellbeing?</strong></p><p>Change can be daunting, but try and get over the first few days and you&#39;ll not only start to feel better, but you&#39;ll also start to enjoy it. Find some excercise that you&#39;re happy to try and then do it with a friend for some extra support.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 21 Nov 2016 12:28:00 +0000 AFP 2474419 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/08/29/39/exercise.jpg