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Banksy confirms 7 new murals in war torn Ukraine

 - Art - Nov 15 SHARE ON:
Banksy confirms 7 new murals in war torn Ukraine

The anonymous graffiti artist Banksy confirmed that he completed 7 new works in Ukraine total, just three day after he dubbed his latest mural on Instagram. 

 

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The first artwork identified went viral over the weekend and shows a female gymnast balancing on a pile of rubble on the side of a building destroyed by Russian bombings. 

Banksy confirmed the news to ‘The Art Newspaper’ after a series of murals suspected to be his work started to appear in Borodianka. The city is located around 35 miles northwest of Kyiv. Other works are situated in the capital and other cities in the region.

Another work shows a little boy wearing a martial arts uniform flipping a much older man onto his back. The black belt worn by the boy in the painting was highlighted to some as being Vladimir Putin’s honorary black belt which was revoked earlier this year by World Taekwondo. 

Another image shows a woman in hair curlers wearing a gas mask and holding a fire extinguisher whereas another image shows two kids using a metal tank trap as a seesaw. 

 

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The town, which back into Ukrainian control on April 1st, was hit particularly hard by airstrikes in the early days of the invasion. It was home to 13,000 people, but most fled following the war’s beginning. 

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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos pledges giving away most of his $124bn fortune

 - Business - Nov 15 SHARE ON:
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos pledges giving away most of his $124bn fortune

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said he is planning on giving away most of his $124 billion fortune during his lifetime. 

The business tycoon told CNN that he would donate his wealth to aid in the fight against climate change as well as to reduce inequality. This comes following critiques of him not promising to dedicate his fortune to charity. 

Bezos revealed his plans after a donation of $100 million to the country music star and philanthropist Dolly Parton to use for charitable causes. 

Despite pledging to give away his wealth, he declined to provide details on where he would spend or donate the money. ‘The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way’ he said. 

The multi-billionaire previously pledged $10bn to the Bezos Earth Fund, which was launched inn 2020 to fight climate change. Bezos’ wealth was mainly accumulated through Amazon, the internet retailer he founded in 1994. 

Bezos stepped down as Amazon chief executive in 2021 but still remains chairman of its board. He also owns the Washington Post as well as space tourism company Blue Origin. 

Speaking about the more recent donation by Bezos, Parton expressed how she thinks that people in such positions should put their money where their heart is. Parton works on various philanthropic causes such as child literacy and has vowed to do good with the money. 

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World population officially hit the 8 billion mark today

 - International - Nov 15 SHARE ON:
World population officially hit the 8 billion mark today

According to World-O-Meter, the current world population has officially hit the 8 billion mark. The fated day of 15th November 2022 saw the world population reach a whopping new record. 

The United Nations projected the big milestone, stating that a baby born on this day somewhere around the world will transition the total number of humans on earth beyond the 8 billion mark. 

The UN has attributed the growth to human development as people are living longer thanks to improvements in public health, nutrition, medicine and hygiene. 

Population growth has however magnified the environmental impacts of economic development. Experts point to the overconsumption of resources, mostly by the globe’s wealthiest people, as a driving issue. 

However, United Nations Population Fund chief Natalia Kanem said that the ‘sheer number of human lives is not a cause for fear.’ Not to mention, despite the large amount of people, world population growth has decreased after the 1960s. 

Annual growth has fallen from a high of 2.1% between 1962 and 1965 to below 1% in 2020, Rachel Snow of the UN Population Fund told AFP. This could also drop to around 0.5% by 2050 due to decline in fertility rates. 

The UN projects population growth to continue to around 8.5 billion by 2030, then 9.7 billion in 2050 and peak at 10.4 billion by the 2080s. Other entities make different predictions however, with the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation saying that population would reach a peak by 2064 without touching 10 billion and start declining. 

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Increase in Maltese flying abroad: still below 2019 levels

 - COVID-19 - Nov 14 SHARE ON:
Increase in Maltese flying abroad: still below 2019 levels

According to the National Statistics Office (NSO), the total amount of outbound tourists for the third quarter in 2022 was estimated to be around 180,864. 

The total amount of nights spent amounted to 1,343,223. During the July to September 2022 quarter, a total of 125,101 outbound tourist trips were undertaken for holiday purposes.

Meanwhile, 34,456 were undertaken to visit friends and relatives. Most outbound tourists were aged between 25 and 44 years, amounting to 44% of the total.

Those within the 45 to 64 age bracket accounted for 27.9%. Italy retained the top spot as the most popular destination, with a share of 37.0% of total tourists trips. 

The largest share of guest nights was spent in rented accommodation establishments (56.3%). The average length of stay of total outbound tourists stood at 7.4 nights. 

The total expenditure by outbound tourists between July and September almost reached €169.2 million. This is equivalent to an average of €935 per person. 

Total outbound tourist trips between January and September 2022 totalled 408,143. The total nights spent by outbound tourists surpassed 2.9 million. When compared to 2019, which saw a total of 208,206 outbound tourists, 2022 still has a lot of catching up to do. 

This was mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing restrictions. Still, 2022 improved the total of outbound tourists over 2021, as the years saw 180,864 and 122,163 respectively. 2020 saw a measly 51,855. 

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