Surgery ‘segregation’ as NHS patients made to sit on hard chairs while private patients get plush sofas

A surgery has been accused of “segregation” after it was revealed that NHS patients are made to sit on hard chairs while private patients get plush seats in the waiting room.

Chris Corcoran, a pensioner from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, made the discovery when he visited The Junction Surgery in Moldgreen.

The 66-year-old photographed a sign at the surgery which details where private clients of dermatology clinic Skyn Doctor and NHS eye screening patients should sit.

“I thought it was laughable at first,” said Mr Corcoran, a retired technician at Syngenta in Huddersfield.

“I was just looking at the sign and thinking this is ludicrous. I joked about it at first but it really is not funny. You get out of the lift and you see he posh seats for private patients in front of a television and a radiator, while the rest of the patients sit on stark wooden chairs and stare at a blank wall.

“The fact it says the word private patients only is blatant segregation. It is basically suggesting that we don’t want you riff raff mingling with the private patients. It just really got up my nose.”

Mr Corcoran, who was visiting for the first time, raised his concerns about the seating arrangements and claims even surgery staff seemed embarrassed when he brought up the sign.

The sign, situated in the waiting room, read: “Diabetic eye screening patients: Please take a seat on the wooden seats only. The coloured seats are for Skyn Doctor private patients only and are being used throughout the day. Thank you.”

Mr Corcoran, a father-of-one, added: “I am just glad I took a photo of the sign because I think no one would have believed me otherwise. I volunteer as a receptionist at a local hospice and was thinking to myself, I would never tell someone where it sit. I treat every person as equal and that is exactly the way it should be.

“I think the people who made the sign and the seating arrangements need to think about this more. I feel the sign is really unnecessary and I would like to see it removed.”

A spokesman for The Junction Surgery told The Huddersfield Examiner: “All patients are directed to our practice waiting areas.

“We welcome feedback from our patients so if anyone has any comments about the facilities at the practice, including the seating areas, then they are asked to please talk to a member of staff.”

More pain for banned Uber as arch-rival Lyft moves in on London market

Uber’s arch-rival Lyft has paved the way for a possible move into the UK that could see it directly challenge its US counterpart on London’s streets and pile more misery on the ride-hailing giant.

Lyft, the $7.5bn (£5.5bn) San Francisco start-up, has held a series of high-level talks with ­officials at Transport for London and City Hall in the last year, Freedom of Information records show.

The discussions do not explicitly state the San Francisco company is preparing to gatecrash the UK, but suggest it has taken a keen interest in the market and on transport policy.

The news comes after TfL stripped Uber of its licence in London, a huge blow for the company that will see its cars taken off the roads if an appeal against the ban fails.

Uber, which has 40,000 drivers and 3.5m customers in the capital, was told on Friday it is not “fit and proper” to operate and that its licence will not be renewed when it expires on Saturday.

Lyft executives including head of global strategy Mike Masserman and chief strategy officer Raj Kapoor have held three face-to-face meetings and two phone conferences with TfL officials in the last year, the records show. The conversations have centred on how Lyft’s business model works and around London mayor Sadiq Khan’s new transport strategy.

They include a meeting in London last December attended by Helen Chapman, in charge ofs TfL’s taxi and private hire division; Peter Blake, its director of service operations for surface transport; and three unnamed attendees from the Greater London Authority. The most recent meeting was held in New York in March between Mr Masserman, Mr Kapoor and TfL’s director of transport innovation Michael Hurwitz.

Lyft was founded in 2012 and has since spread to hundreds of US cities, where it competes directly against Uber and is now believed to be planning international expansion to maintain growth. Although it operates a similar business model, it has positioned itself as more socially-acceptable than its much bigger and more controversial competitor.

Mr Masserman, previously Lyft’s head of government relations, was given a new role in charge of global strategy this year, and job adverts detail how it is working on making its apps work in other countries and languages. The firm is reportedly considering entering other global markets including Canada and New Zealand.

Lyft does not have a registered company in the UK or a private hire licence, which it would need to receive to begin operating. Any attempt to launch in London could well face opposition from taxi groups and politicians who may fear a new car-hailing app adding to congestion in the city.

However, it will have been emboldened by Uber’s struggles in the capital. Uber, which arrived in London in 2012, faces a lengthy battle over its future in the city.

TfL said on Friday it had failed to ensure passenger safety, neglecting to report criminal offences and follow rules on background checks.

Although Uber will be allowed to continue operating as it appeals the decision, its struggles will be seen as an opportunity for any new entrant.

Unlike Uber, Lyft has stuck to the US so far, and has been grabbing market share in recent months as its main rival reels from a series of corporate crises. Although it operates a similar business model, it has positioned itself as more socially-acceptable than its much bigger and more controversial competitor.

Lyft declined to comment. Mr Hurwitz said: “We work closely with technology companies around the world to support innovation that could improve transport in London. We are very much open to new ideas and are engaging tech companies and innovators on some of the challenges facing the city.”

L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt dies at 94

Liliane Bettencourt

Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress to cosmetics firm L’Oreal, has died aged 94, her family has confirmed.

A statement said she had died at home “peacefully” overnight.

With an estimated 2017 net worth of 33bn euros (£30bn; $40bn), she was the world’s richest woman.

She left the company’s board in 2012 and was rarely seen in public afterwards, but remained in the news because of a high-profile exploitation case following her dementia diagnosis.

In a statement, the company’s chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Agon said: “We all had a deep admiration for Liliane Bettencourt who has always watched over L’Oreal, the company and its employees, and who was very attached to its success and development.

“She personally contributed a lot to its success for very many years. A great woman of beauty has left us and we will never forget her.”

The heiress became embroiled in a public feud with her estranged daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, in 2007.

Ms Bettencourt-Meyers filed a lawsuit over concerns that her mother was being exploited by members of her entourage amid declining health.

It was revealed in 2008 that a photographer who had befriended the heiress, François-Marie Banier, was gifted items worth hundreds of millions of dollars – including paintings by Picasso and a 670-acre island in the Seychelles.

Ms Bettencourt-Meyers said she took legal action against Mr Banier after learning from her mother’s household staff that she was allegedly considering adopting him.

The mother and daughter reconciled their relationship in 2010, and a French judge ordered Ms Bettencourt be put under the guardianship of her family a year later because of her failing health.

But the family exploitation case then escalated to a political scandal after it was claimed that Ms Bettencourt’s financial manager, Patrice de Maistre, had extracted money from her to go towards former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election bid.

The alleged illegal funding was investigated, although Mr Sarkozy consistently rejected all accusations of impropriety and French prosecutors dropped all charges relating to him in 2013.

The rest of the exploitation case was eventually resolved in May 2015 when eight people, including Mr Banier, were convicted and instructed to pay millions in damages to the family.

The L’Oreal empire

Ms Bettencourt’s assets, including her holding stake in the cosmetics company, were placed in a trust controlled by her daughter.

One of her two grandchildren, Jean-Victor Meyers, succeeded her on L’Oreal’s board as vice chairman, and was named to guard her personal affairs.

Her father, Eugène Schueller, founded a hair dye company in 1909, which then turned into the L’Oreal group.

It is now the world’s largest cosmetics company.

Is Packaged Entertainment Media Really on the Way Out?


As home video viewing patterns continue to evolve, one common prediction is that packaged media is on its last legs. Streaming services have been gaining market share at a steady pace.

In fact, streaming media sales eclipsed sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs for the first time in the last quarter of 2016 — with discs accounting for US$5.4 billion in annual U.S. sales compared to the $6.2 billion haul for SVOD (streaming video on demand) providers such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

However, to paraphrase Mark Twain, the death of packaged media has been greatly exaggerated.

Sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs still accounted for $18 billion in 2016, according to Futuresource Consulting. Yes, that was down from $21.6 billion worldwide in 2015, and sales are forecast to drop to $9.1 billion by 2020 — but that is still a lot of potential revenue for the content providers.

That $9.1 billion needs to be put into context too. It means packaged media will continue to sell, albeit at a reduced rate, and live alongside streaming media.

Streaming media actually arrived as Blu-ray began to replace DVDs, and one reason for Blu-ray’s early success was that it was truly an HD format, which DVD was not, and it took advantage of the transition to larger TV sets with higher resolution.

Today streaming can provide nearly as good a picture and sound as Blu-ray — but only if the bandwidth is available. At peak viewing times, and in areas where bandwidth is limited, streaming viewers have to settle for lower quality. However, as services now offer the ability to download for viewing at a later time, that is becoming less of an issue.

More Ways to Get Content

Packaged media’s decline has coincided with the arrival of new ways to view content — not only streaming, but also a growing lineup of on-demand offerings from pay-TV services.

Still, even though many cable/satellite subscribers add multiple premium channels like HBO and Showtime, the simple fact is that favorite movies are not always available.

In the early days of the home video era — which came about almost as an afterthought, despite Hollywood’s fierce anti-VCR resistance — you had to go to a rental store if there wasn’t something you wanted to see on TV.

The ability to purchase tapes, and later DVDs and Blu-ray discs, allowed consumers to build movie libraries.

Streaming has displaced video collections, but only to a point. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other services may add content each month — both new and archived programming — but they remove many films and TV series as well.

Disney’s films, including its Marvel superhero franchise movies, soon will leave Netflix for Disney’s own OTT (over-the-top) streaming service, scheduled to launch in 2019.

“Streaming has its limitations. It requires a connection, and the content library is typically limited,” said Greg Ireland, research director for consumer digital transformation and multiscreen video at IDC.

“Movies drift in and out of these subscription services,” noted Dan Cryan, senior director for digital media at IHS Markit.

“It is true that if you are going subscription-only you are going to miss some things, and all movies aren’t available at all times,” Cryan told TechNewsWorld. “Part of the reason is that there are windows, and this includes a set release strategy and viewers have to be patient.”

Bungled Play

The pay-TV model is built around bundled packages, which for cable and satellite TV subscribers has meant numerous movie channels, but streaming services provide more.

However, the value of archived content could be lost as packaged media declines in sales.

“The industry has handled it badly — they’ve bungled it, to be frank,” said Colin Dixon, principal analyst at nScreenMedia.

“One of the problems is how online content has been handled,” he told TechNewsWorld.

It seems as if someone hit repeat, and a format war broke out — similar to the one that raged between Betamax and VHS, and later simmered between HD-DVD and Blu-ray.

In this case, the controversy can be pinned on the lack of an accepted format or protocol for watching content that has been purchased via streaming.

“UltraViolet was supposed to be the answer for buying a movie via digital download, but Disney never got behind it,” noted Dixon.

“So you have islands now, and must question where you can play your films and on what devices,” he said.

Amazon and Comcast offer competing standards, for example.

“It is hard to play those films you buy as a Comcast subscriber if you leave Comcast. The whole thing has been bungled,” Dixon said.

Must-Own Films

One reason that packaged media may never go away completely is that there will be certain content that people will want to own in a physical format. Parents may want a library of children’s content, for example, including packaged media that can be viewed in a car, on an airplane, or in other places where streaming services aren’t available. Some consumers likely will want to own their own copies of modern epics and other “must see” films.

Anything with Star Wars in the title is likely to sell well. Many hardcore fans won’t be satisfied with a mere digital copy.

Some viewers will always regard ownership of a physical object as important, said IHS Markit’s Cryan.

There are lessons from the music industry’s handling of streaming media vs. packaged releases too.

“We are seeing that the right title will sell,” Cryan noted. “Taylor Swift sold a lot of copies of her album despite it being on Spotify.”

If an offline platform can be managed, video content could follow the success of online music downloads.

“Many OTT streaming services — both audio and video — allow downloads for offline listening and viewing,” IDC’s Ireland told TechNewsWorld. “Cable already showed us the model with VOD services that have rentals as well as subscription content.”

Studio Services

For movie studios, the streaming services could mean a decline in revenue, especially as many movie buffs once were happy to pay $20, on average, for a new DVD release.

Today, streaming services at $10 a month would offer much more value — but consumers might not be amenable to paying for multiple services.

Even with multiple subscriptions, some favorite movies might not always be available through streaming.

Instead, “electronic sell through (EST) and digital rentals could be the answer,” said Ireland.

“No single service offers a complete solution, just as cable TV doesn’t solve for all of today’s video needs,” he pointed out, “so consumers will need a combination of streaming services and EST/rental services such as iTunes.”

One possibility could be that studios utilize their vaults to launch their own respective services, and leverage their libraries the same way that they created a home video market in the first place.

That may seem like a workable idea, but “it isn’t supportable because it adds up for the consumer,” warned nScreen Media’s Dixon.

“If the movie industry does this, people might subscribe for a month and cancel — but another option might be a mega movie portal,” he suggested.

Although that would be a better deal for the consumer, Dixon said, it would not bring in the same money as packaged media brought in for the studios.

The Best Online Fashion Advice For Men And Women

Image result for strapless bra

You don’t have to be lost when it comes to fashion. Maybe you need a guiding hand, and there are plenty of resources available. Once you start to gain some solid information regarding fashion, you will be well on your way to expressing your individual interests when it comes to fashion in today’s society.

If you are overweight, you have to be very careful about wearing clothes that have stripes. Make sure you wear vertical stripes if you are going to wear any at all. Wearing stripes that run horizontally will only do the trick of making you look larger than you really are.

A great fashion tip is to start shopping at thrift stores for some of your clothing. You can often find really unique clothing at thrift stores and you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg either like you would if you bought new clothes at some big department store.

To add a touch a bit of “spring” to your wardrobe, go with mint green this season. This soft green looks great on its own or when paired with other colors like neutrals and other subdued hues. You can find it in various shades and in everything from dresses to shoes.

Embrace your imperfections. Although society says that we should all look a certain way, the truth is that our imperfections really make us beautiful. For instance, think of Cindy Crawford and her mole. She just would not look the same without the mole, and it actually makes her a beautiful, unique woman. Everyone has some type of imperfection, even if you can’t visibly see it.

Invest in the basics. Every wardrobe should have a few key pieces. The little black dress is a classic for good reason. A well-fitted white blouse is versatile and flattering. A tailored suit is perfect for serious business. These items are ones you shouldn’t be afraid to spend a little extra on, as they are timeless classics that last beyond the changing fashion trends.

Do not count on Hollywood to guide you in the right direction when it comes to fashion style. Due to competitive fashion, there are many mistakes made in an attempt to attract attention. So it to look to those around you for fashion tips so you do not stand too far out from the crowd.

Save your old clothes. Trends and fashions go in cycles, so whatever you are wearing now is likely to have a comeback in ten years or more. Even if you do not think you would ever wear it again then, you might can swap clothes with someone looking for something vintage.

Staying warm and fashionable in the wintertime is difficult, but possible. You just need to find a fine balance between the two. For instance, you could wear long, sleekly-fitted coats with a pair of high-heeled boots. If you decide to go with the look, be sure the fabric touches your calf.

One great fashion tip to consider is the fact that just something as small as a button can make a huge impact on your overall look. This is important because this approach can be used to spice up an old outfit and give you a whole new look for not much money.

When choosing sunglasses or glasses, let your face shape be your guide. If you have an oval shape, any shape will look good. But if you have a round face, opt for rectangular frames or square frames. Avoid round frames. You might choose round frames if you have an angular or heart-shaped face, to soften up your look.

One fashion tip to consider is to have at least one item that is leopard print. While this may seem odd, this design has been popular throughout the ages and could be just the thing to add some spice to your outfit. Sometimes just a belt or purse could do the trick.

Update your shoes. Shoes, more than anything else, need to be in fashion. You can get away with older clothes if you keep yourself in modern shoes. If you love shoes and buy them all the time, make sure they are in classic styles that you will be able to wear year after year.

A bulging tummy can make your fashion experience a horrible nightmare. If you fall into this category, you need to make sure that you do something to fix your problem, as wearing the right clothes will not fix the problem in the long run. Try a combination of a healthy diet and a good exercise routine.

One essential fashion guideline is knowing how to make the best accessory choices. Less is truly more when you’re talking about the different fashion accessories you can use to accent your outfit. Stick with only a couple of pieces that blend with your ensemble. The piece will get noticed, and you will look classy.

One great idea for hiding your waste line (if needed) is to wear a thick waistband. This is a great way to accentuate what looks good and to hide those areas that still need some work. This small trick can go a long way in your overall proportions and body line.

Go ahead and use your credit card a little bit to purchase some extra wardrobes for yourself. Charging a few classic, key pieces on your credit card will be worth it if you don’t go overboard and will be able to pay it off quickly.

Strapless Bra

Have yourself professionally fitted for a bra. An ill-fitting brassiere is not only unflattering, but it affects how your clothing fits. Once you know your true size, buy a few bras in different styles and cuts. A plunge or demi-cup bra, a strapless bra, and a convertible bra give you versatile options.

Now that you’ve read this article, you should have a better idea as to how to properly approach fashion in today’s world. There are many different roads, and you have your own unique road to pave as well. Remember the advice you’ve read in this article as you continue to research fashion.

With shoes this cool, back-to-school just got so much better

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Step up their style for the new term…

Where did summer go? It’s already time to pack away the beach gear and get set for a fresh new school year. Dispel the gloom with fun new pencil cases, backpacks, notebooks, and a fresh back-to-school wardrobe. Which has to include – best of all – a pair of shiny, brand new shoes.

Step forward, Primigi: our go-to brand of choice for fashion-forward children’s footwear that’s ideal for term time.

The top Italian fashion brand has specialised in quality and high performance children’s shoes for over forty years. Prepare yourself for serious shoe envy – the timeless designs and on-trend styling will have you wishing they made matching grown-up pairs.

Take these girls’ school shoes… the sleek strap and glossy leather detailing guarantee instant playground status, while the cushioned soles will keep her feet comfy and well protected all day long, whether teamed with long socks or black winter tights.

Boys also have a great range to choose from, like this sturdy pair in soft but durable leather, with loads of cushioning for breaktime footie, plus double-strap detailing for maximum support. We can see Prince George rocking these, teamed with his trademark long socks/shorts combo…
And it’s not just school shoes – Primigi’s fabulous new-season collection includes trainers, boots and sandals, too. Your Mini-Me’s weekend is sorted with these adorable glittery trainers – perfect for parties too.
The children’s shoe experts at Primigi also understand that shoe shopping isn’t always a dream outing. Pre-empt the tantrums by downloading a conversion chart from the Primigi website. That way you can select the right size for your child and browse online rather than schlepping round the shops. Yet another reason in-the-know mums love the brand.

Doctors warn Nerf guns can cause irrerversible eye damage

Doctors have issued on warning over a Christmas must-have toy, warning that Nerf guns can cause irreversible eye damage. Experts from the UK’s leading eye hospital said bullets from the guns and blasters could lead to internal bleeding around the eye as well as issues such as blurred vision.

And they warned that children were increasingly watching YouTube videos adising them how to ‘soup up’ the toys, showing them how to make them shoot even harder, faster and further.

Children and adults who play with the guns should wear protective eye goggles, they said, while calling for “reconsideration of the safe age limits for Nerf gun use in children.”

Nerf toys, which are manufactured by Hasbro, include a range of guns, blasters, and bows and arrows aimed at children aged eight and over.

Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), A&E medics from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London told how three patients suffered injury from the guns in separate incidents. All suffered internal bleeding.

Two of the cases were adults, who were shot at by children.

A 32-year-old man shot in the eye from eight metres away by a child with a Nerf gun, suffered blurred vision and a red eye, as did a 43-year-old woman shot from a distance of one metre.

An 11-year-old child also suffered a shot in his right eye from a distance of two metres, resulting in swelling of the cornea and retina, with pain and blurred vision.

In each case their sight returned. But the authors said the guns had the potential to cause long-term vision loss.

The authors also raised concern about the risks posed by non-branded, cheaper bullets that fit Nerf guns, which were found to be harder than the ones made by Hasbro. They said patients had told how children had wathced online videos in order to make their guns more powerful.

No safe distance for avoidance of significant eye trauma can be established from the cases seen, researchers said.

They added: “It is important to note that the risk of having an eye injury with the Nerf darts also comes from the fact that a projectile can harm when it travels fast enough.”

A spokesman for Hasbro said: “Product safety is of utmost concern at Hasbro. NERF products are designed based on years of consumer insights and research, and undergo rigorous reviews and testing to assure that they are safe and fun to play with, and meet or exceed global standards and regulations.

“NERF foam darts and foam rounds are not hazardous when used properly. Consumers must never aim NERF blasters at a person’s eyes or face, should only use the foam darts and foam rounds designed for specific NERF blasters, and never modify darts or blasters. There are darts available to buy claiming to be NERF compatible, however these darts are not NERF-branded and may not meet safety standards and regulations.

“Most of our NERF product line is age graded 8+, but we encourage parents and caregivers to read the packaging because some blasters are graded for older consumers.

“It’s important to note that the NERF brand encourages parents and caregivers to be involved in aspects of their children’s development, including play. Ultimately, a parent or caregiver knows his or her child best and is best equipped to make decisions on what forms of play and entertainment are most appropriate for his or her child.”

More pregnant women to get Group B Strep treatment

Rebecca Gunn and her two children

All pregnant women who go into labour too soon should be given antibiotics to protect their baby from a potentially deadly infection called Group B Strep (GBS), say new guidelines.

Hundreds of newborn babies a year in the UK catch it. With prompt treatment, most can make a full recovery.

Currently, two in every 20 infected babies develops a disability and one in every 20 dies.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists wants to change this.

It says any woman who goes into labour before 37 weeks should be offered antibiotics as a precaution, even if her waters have not broken and the protective amniotic sac surrounding the baby in the womb is still intact.

Group B Strep bacteria can live harmlessly in the lower vaginal tract – about one in four women has it – and it can be passed on to the baby during delivery.

Most women will not realise they are a carrier.

The updated guidelines from the RCOG say pregnant women should be given information about the condition to raise awareness.

They also say women who have tested positive for GBS in a previous pregnancy can be tested at 35 to 37 weeks in subsequent pregnancies to see if they also need antibiotics in labour.

But they do not go as far as recommending routine screening of mothers-to-be.

The RCOG says there is no clear evidence that this would be beneficial, as previously stated by the government’s National Screening Committee but campaigners disagree.

Group B Strep Support would like every pregnant woman to be offered the opportunity to be tested for the bacteria.

Chief executive Jane Plumb said: “The RCOG guideline is a significant improvement on previous editions, however, the UK National Screening Committee still recommends against offering GBS screening to all pregnant women, ignoring international evidence that shows such screening reduces GBS infection, disability and death in newborn babies.”

Rebecca Gunn, 32 and from Wakefield, had GBS during her second pregnancy.

“I had gone in to hospital after experiencing some bleeding at 17 weeks, and that is when they picked up that I was a GBS carrier.

“The diagnosis came out of the blue. I was really surprised, as GBS hadn’t even crossed my mind.”

Rebecca went into labour at 38 weeks and was given intravenous antibiotics after her waters broke.

She gave birth to her son, Alistair, who was fortunately unaffected by GBS.

“I knew nothing about GBS. I’m not saying this to scare people, but it’s important they are informed and aware of the risks,” she said.

Group B Strep facts

  • GBS is not a sexually transmitted disease. Treating a woman carrying GBS does not prevent these normal bacteria that many adults carry from returning
  • A woman who has it will not usually have symptoms or side-effects
  • Testing is the only way to know if you are carrying GBS
  • If you are pregnant and found to have it, steps can be taken to reduce the risk of GBS to your baby

Apple iPhone X: The internet reacts

New iPhones

When Apple chief Tim Cook declared the iPhone X “the biggest leap forward since the first iPhone” at his latest launch extravaganza, you couldn’t help but wonder if he was referring to its features or its price.

With the top-end model costing £1,149, customers are paying a premium to swap their fingerprint sensor for a facial scanner and the ability to make an animated monkey or poo emoji copy their bemused looks.

In opting to refer to the model as “ten” rather than “x”, the firm has also thrown its naming convention into a bit of confusion – will there ever be an iPhone 9 – or indeed IX?

Of course, that’s a problem for another day. And the internet has had plenty else to chew over in the meantime…


The two biggest questions for me focus on the iPhone X’s most daring design change, ditching the home button. Will it actually make the phone more convenient to use? And will using your face to unlock the phone benefit you, or is it just a workaround?

The Verge

The iPhone X may be the most powerful iPhone ever, but compared to almost any other Android flagships, it’s hard to pick out a category where it leads the pack – at least on paper when comparing raw specifications. But if Apple has shown one thing time and again with every iPhone generation, it’s that optimisation of hardware and software matter just as much – if not more.

Wall Street Journal

The iPhone X’s new design – a 5.8in, edge-to-edge display -has raised hopes that it can reverse Apple’s fortunes in China, where sales have fallen six straight quarters. Chinese consumers are more influenced by a phone’s appearance than consumers in other markets, and Apple had kept the same appearance for three years.


A $1,000 iPhone could add as much as 6% to Apple’s 2018 earnings per share… but that depends on the iPhone X being a hit, and there’s more competition from lower-cost Chinese competitors such as Huawei and Xiaomi, which timed the introduction of their new phones around Apple’s launch to attract customers who may be deterred by the iPhone X’s price.


Apple has crafted a stunning new flagship. In a time when existing iPhones were starting to look a little – dare I say – pedestrian in comparison to what Samsung, LG, and others were doing in hardware, the iPhone X has accelerated through and can spar with the best of them.


What did bother me a little more than expected were the bezels that run around the screen… Given that Apple’s competition has done an incredible job trimming the cruft from around their displays, I can’t help but feel that the iPhone X’s design doesn’t have the same kind of impact as, say, the Essential or Samsung’s recent Galaxys.


The very notion of using your face as the key to your digital secrets presents some fundamental problems… It’s very hard to hide your face from someone who wants to coerce you to unlock your phone, like a mugger, a customs agent, or a policeman who has just arrested you. In some cases, criminal suspects in the US can invoke the Fifth Amendment protections from self-incrimination to refuse to give up their phone’s passcode. That same protection doesn’t apply to your face.

Financial Times

All the focus today was on the innovations in the X.But it all made the new 8 look like a rather boring, “plain old” iPhone – and the price for that has just gone up $50 as well.


The X is the best iPhone, no questions, and it’s quickly jumped to the top of the best phones, period. Yeah, it’s going to cost you, but you already knew that.

On the Shores of Time: Mezquita-Catedral in Cordoba offers a multi-layered way of seeing the world

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History has often seen empires collide and dissipate, even as other kingdoms rush in to rebuild on the settling debris of legacy already past. Some legacies persist, however, as tenacious reminders of the many histories they’ve seen over time. Cordoba, the Andalusian city in southern Spain, is one such place and the Mezquita-Catedral de Cordoba, is one such site.

The Crusades had taken their toll on the Iberian peninsula. In 1492, Isabella and Ferdinand (Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon) completed the Reconquista (wars for controlling the Iberian Peninsula), which led to the Church regaining power and the elimination of Muslims and Jews. Isabella and Ferdinand had entered Granada  and promised religious freedoms. But all promises were broken. Traces of the purge that followed can still be found in contemporary Spain. Names, sights and even cuisine that emphasised pork (for instance, hanging pork outside homes, to prove that there was nothing Jewish or Muslim about you) have become signature themes about Spanish life. Often, the awareness of these trends is rooted in ignorance about the fear of persecution that started the practice of displaying one’s Christianity.

Spain was purged of its Arab-Islamic-Moor past, but Alhambra, the biggest mosque complex in Europe, survived in Granada. However, perhaps, of far greater interest is the more twisted testament to history — the Mezquita-Catedral de Cordoba.

A fully functioning cathedral since 1146, the Mezquita-Catedral started out as a Roman-Visgothic structure, then was made into a mosque in 786, seeing three broad extensions and also the addition of a minaret.

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul also alternated between being a church and a mosque and it has a haunting presence. But the sense of a confluence of cultures that seems bestowed in the Mezquita-Catedral renders it a class apart.

Abd al-Rahman-I, the ruler who got it built, thought of it as a horizontal space, and not a vertical wonder. Those familiar with mosques of its time say the distinction is important. Other structure such as the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem or the Mosque of Damascus are thought of as vertical tributes to the greatness of God. But this was thought of as reimagining the basic concept of a simple Islamic horizontal prayer space.

spain, cordoba, cordoba places to see, spain palces to see, Mezquita-Catedral, cordoba Mezquita-Catedral, travel news, sunday eye, eye magazine, eye 2017, indian expressCordoba, Spain view of the Roman Bridge and Mosque-Cathedral on the Guadalquivir River. (Source: Thinkstock images)

The gold and red-coloured columns and arches embellishing the insides open into the special place for Ummayads to pray, which wasn’t destroyed even as the mosque centre was turned into a chapel. The space where the Ummayads prayed has a breathtaking ceiling, with inscriptions in deep green that retain the splendour of the times they were crafted in.

The Mezquita-Catedral does not allow salat or namaz, but is a functioning church; though Spanish Muslims last appealed in 2014 to the Vatican to allow prayers, the request was turned down. It was declared a World Heritage site in 1984 and, in 2014, as a Site of Outstanding Universal Value.

The statue of renowned Andalusian polymath Ibn-Rushd or Averroes can be seen sitting contemplatively as you make your way out of the city of Cordoba — another understated nod to the contributions of thinkers of Arab origin in the region. As Greek philosophy disappeared in the so-called ‘dark ages’ shrouding Europe, Cordoba was astir with newer discourse on philosophy, discussions on medicine and much else. When the ‘Enlightenment’ opened up Europe again, a lot of the Greek ideas re-emerged only because of translations that were preserved by the Arab thinkers. However, what Europe got back was not just couriered packages from the past, but a much more advanced and elevated philosophical discourse.

The Mezquita-Catedral offers one such multi-layered way of seeing the world. Visigoth, Roman, Byzantine, Caliphate, Arab, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque, all under one roof.