China: CCP’s 100th Anniversary

China: CCP's 100th Anniversary

Written by Ian Cross, edited by Kaz Bosali

China is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the summer of 1921. The party has been the sole governing party of the People’s Republic of China since its founding in 1949.

The party was founded in 1921 with the assistance of Russian Bolsheviks who came to power after the 1917 October Revolution.

From 1927 to 1950, the CCP fought a civil war against the Kuomintang’s Nationalist Government but it temporarily ceased its hostilities in order to form a short-lived alliance with the Nationalists to fight a war against Japan between 1937 and 1945.

In 1949, it emerged victorious when the CCP’s Chairman, Mao Zedong, proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China and the Nationalists Republic of China government retreated to Taiwan. Since then, the CCP has been the sole ruling party in the country.

To explore more about this period of Chinese history check out our Chinese study guides and our three part series Empire Builders China that explores Imperial China, China’s Century of Humiliation and the Modern World, Modern Emperors, an insightful documentary into the great country.

Under a Spotlight: Japan

Under a Spotlight: Japan

By Kaz Bosali

The current Emperor of Japan, Naruhito celebrated his 61st birthday on the 23rd of February. Legend says that Japan’s royal family is directly descended from Amaterasu, the Goddess of the Sun.

Generally, the Japanese emperor is the head of state but they do not have any political powers. They have duties to perform in public such as opening parliament and hosting foreign leaders during visits to the country.

Naruhito has been on the throne since 2019, and is the 126th monarch since it was founded, said to be more than 2,600 years ago. It’s monarchy is embedded in Japan’s rich history and culture.

To learn more about Japan’s history, their stunning landscapes, climate, geography, and what it’s like to travel there, click here.

During the month of February, we’re exploring Asia and showcasing Japan, as well as China, India and beyond. Check out the exclusive deals this month only here.

Chinese New Year: The Chinese Zodiac

Chinese New Year: The Chinese Zodiac

This month is Chinese New Year!

There’s a rich mythology surrounding the Chinese zodiak. To learn more, click here.

2021 is the Year of the Ox which is the second animal chronologically in the Chinese Zodiac. Positive characteristics of the Ox are its dependability, determination and honesty. Negative characteristics are stubbornness and difficulty in communication.

During the month of February, we’re exploring Asia. Discover China, as well as Japan, India and beyond. Check out the exclusive deals here.

Travel in the COVID-Zone

Travel in the COVID-Zone

China asks cabin crew to wear nappies

In a bizarre bid to reduce the risk of virus transmission, the Chinese aviation authorities have asked the cabin crew on certain Chinese charter flights to wear nappies!

The rule, as set out by China’s latest 49-page set of guidelines, applies to charter flights heading to and from destinations with infection rates of 500 per million.

Other advice put forward includes for cabin crew to wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, goggles and shoe covers.

The crew of flights on regular schedules don’t have to wear nappies, though multiple forms of protective gear are being employed by a variety of airlines, depending on their destinations.

Read: Phobic Traveller: The Next Chapter for Air Travel

Vaccines hit the ground running!

Healthcare providers in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States among others have ramped up efforts to vaccinate vulnerable people against the Coronavirus since a number of vaccines, each from different pharmaceutical companies and research teams, have been approved for use.

Meanwhile, the so-called COVAX initiative has set out to help provide poorer nations with a share of the global supply.

Run, Forrest! Run!

More Coronavirus News & Statistics

  • Europe tightens COVID restrictions ahead of Christmas. Germany will return to a national lockdown until January 10th, but with the restrictions relaxed slightly from 24 to 26 December, allowing a limited amount of festive household mixing.
  • Worldometers: Up to date Coronavirus statistics

Main image: B-18007 China Airlines with special Boeing livery Boeing 777-309(ER) coming in from Taipei (TPE) @ Frankfurt (FRA) / 01.06.2018, Oliver Holzbauer, Flickr Creative Commons

Where next? Travel beyond the COVID-Zone

Where next? Travel beyond the COVID-Zone

Leaving aside the all-consuming question of when, we’ve been thinking about all of the places that we just can’t wait to travel to.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

One of Europe’s most unique cities, Amsterdam is known for its relaxed, liberal atmosphere, beautiful historic canals and its love of cycling. With a wealth of diverse, rich museums, lush green parks and thriving nightlife, Amsterdam is one of the most tourist-friendly cities in the world, accommodating to a variety of different tastes. There really is something for everybody here.

Made it onto the world’s most welcoming cities list, and the top cities for millennials to live list

Top 10 Things To See & Do In Amsterdam

Beijing, China

China’s capital is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a rich, extensive history stretching back over three millennia. This history is exemplified by the plethora of physical relics, which convey a rich portrait of the city’s long, illustrious history. However, Beijing is not just a blast from China’s past but a thriving, massive modern city. The ancient and the ultra-modern sit side by side in one of the most world’s most culturally and historically rich cities.

The Top 10 Things to See & Do In Beijing

Watch: Pocket Guides – Beijing

Athens, Greece

One of the oldest cities in the world, Athens is also one of the most culturally and historically rich. The birthplace of democracy and by extension Western Civilization, Athen’s evolution has been critical to the culture of the world around it, and it remains a more vital destination than ever. In addition to the unparalleled wealth of ancient treasures it still houses, the city has emerged as one of Europe’s premier modern cultural destinations.

Study Guide: Ancient Greece

Read: Athenian Civilisation and Ancient Greece

Read: A Pocket Guide To Athens

Read: Top 10 Things To See & Do In Athens

Read: The Food of Greece

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City is the biggest and most densely populated city in the whole of the Americas, its vast size matched by its rich cultural and historical identity. A bustling cosmopolitan city, Mexico City is a thriving centre for contemporary culture and the site of several breathtaking historical sites.

Read: Top 10 Things To See & Do In Mexico City

Watch: Pocket Guides – Mexico City

Watch: Empire Builders – The Maya

Watch: Bazaar – Mexico City

Sumatra, Indonesia

One of Indonesia’s most beautiful islands, Sumatra is known for its jaw-dropping natural landscapes and diverse range of wildlife. With many of the endemic species under threat due to deforestation and natural disasters, the island is definitely worth a visit to glimpse some of the world’s rarest creatures while you still can.

Being the coffee obsessives that we are, we’re very keen to drink some of the highly sought after Sumatra speciality crop. In fact, the highest rated coffees in the whole of Indonesia come from northern Sumatra where the Gayo Mountain, Lintong, and Mandheling coffees take top prizes as among the best in the world.

Read: Top 5 Things To See & Do In Sumatra

Read: Southeast Asian Coffee

Study Guide: A Global Guide To Coffee Tasting

Watch: The Story of… Coffee

Cuzco, Peru

The historical capital of Peru and the Incan Empire, Cuzco is the country’s most historically and culturally rich city, which has cemented its status as one of the country’s premier tourist destinations. With both Incan and Spanish Colonial relics adorning the city, Cuzco is a must-see destination for those travelling to Peru.

Read: The Top 10 Things To See & Do In Cuzco

Study Guide: Inca Empire

DVD: Around The World – Conquistadors, Aztecs & Incas

Watch: Bazaar – Peru

Algeria

Algeria has blossomed, since its independence in 1962, into a must-see travel destination that is ripe with ancient culture, classical history and genial hospitality.

Series (coming soon): Hidden Algeria

Read: Visiting the Middle East: Customs & Culture

Read: North Africa’s Natives: The Berbers

Travel in the COVID-Zone

Travel in the COVID-Zone
September 30, 2020

Global deaths surpass 1 million

The report of the millionth death arrived on Tuesday, just short of 10 months since the first confirmed death in January. The current confirmed number of cases currently stands at over 33 million. Here are the top 5 nations with the highest number of deaths

PositionCountryTotal CasesTotal Deaths
1USA7,406,729210,797
2Brazil4,780,317143,010
3India6,229,47497,541
4Mexico738,16377,163
5UK446,15642,072
Source: Worldometers, midday (BST) 30 September

Disney to cut 28,000 jobs at theme parks

Walt Disney has announced that it will be cutting 28,000 jobs from its theme parks, mostly in the United States.

The decision comes in reaction to the new limited visitor capacity at the parks, and ongoing uncertainty about how long the coronavirus pandemic will last.

Disney lost $4.7bn (£3.6bn) in the three months to 27 June.

Disney’s parks in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris are not affected by the announcement. Josh D’Amaro, chairman of the parks unit, said the company’s problems in the US were “exacerbated in California by the state’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”

60 million Indians may have had the coronavirus, pandemic agency suggests

According to official data, India is the world’s second most infected nation, with more than 6.2 million cases. Officially, nearly 100,000 Indians have died due to COVID-19, though the country’s leading pandemic agency suggest that the real number is likely significantly higher.

Citing an antibody study which was run to determine the proportion of the population have had the virus, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) suggested that the figure is more likely closer to 1 in 15 Indians (aged over 10), placing the number at around 60 million, which is 10 times the official number.

Other Coronavirus News & Statistics

  • German Chancellor has urged Germans to “continue acting patiently” in the fight against the Coronavirus. She has this week begun to reimpose restrictions on the number of people who can meet following a number of outbreaks at larger gatherings.
  • Despite concerns for the future of office space across London, Morgan Stanley has decided to move to a new, bigger space in England’s capital. It is thought that currently only 1/3 of London’s workers are travelling to the office each day.
  • Worldometers: Up to date Coronavirus statistics

Main image: Disney, qin linlin, Flickr Creative Commons

Travel in the COVID-Zone

Travel in the COVID-Zone
25 August, 2020

First documented coronavirus reinfection reported in Hong Kong

A man in his 30’s is reported to have become reinfected with coronavirus more than 4 months after his first diagnosis.

Hong Kong scientists say that the two strains of the virus are “clearly different”, making it the world’s first proven case of reinfection

The World Health Organization warns it is important not to jump to conclusions based on the case of one patient, and experts say reinfections may be rare and not necessarily serious. It is fully expected that the virus will mutate over time.

Usain Bolt tested positive for COVID-19 following his birthday celebrations.

Usain Bolt, world sprinting superstar, has tested positive for COVID-19 just days following his “big, mask-free” birthday party.

The Jamaican 100m and 200m sprint world record holder is said to be isolating at his home in Jamaica, and has so far not displayed any symptoms of the illness.

Usain Bolt, Nick Webb, Flickr Creative Commons

Did these countries dodge the COVID bullet?

Read this BBC article about the 10 nations that managed to keep COVID at bay!

Latest Coronavirus News & Statistics


Main image: Hong Kong, November 2011, MojoBaron, Flickr Creative Commons

Travel in the COVID-Zone

Travel in the COVID-Zone
August 5, 2020

Come Fly With Me

Virgin has unveilled designs for a new supersonic plane capable of travelling three-times faster than the speed of sound. A flight leaving London could reach Sydney in just 5 hours, though the jet would remain very exclusive, carrying only a handful of passengers, and is obviously not on 2020’s list of priorities. Back in the real world, uncertainty in the industry is causing Virgin huge financial worries, leading them to file for chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the US this week, in the fear that cash reserves will dry up if a rescue deal isn’t struck on August 25th.

While demand for long haul flights looks very uncertain, short trips around Europe appear to be on the uptick, with budget airline Easy Jet laying on more flights to meet demand for holidays. This comes in spite of the extremely volatile and quick-changing travel guidance issued by governments. All this swivel-hips, flip-flop, u-turn madness has taken its toll on citizens, leading people to make their own decisions and take the risks into their own hands!

Departures and arrivals are still pretty much nonexistent in Australia, even for travel within its own shores, as lockdowns continue to intensify. In fact, our award for world’s strangest lockdown this week goes to Aussie state of Queensland which has banned People from travelling to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) where there are no cases

Go Quietly

According to Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s first cruise sailing of 2020 departed Juneau on Saturday, carrying 30 crew and 37 passengers, for a weeklong voyage in Southeast Alaska. The cruise operators are planning a handful of additional voyages for the remained of 2020.

Tag; you’re it!

Singapore has introduced a tagging system to help assist in enforcing quarantine, whereby foreign visitors must wear a tagging device to ensure that they do not break the rules. Current rules dictate that only business and official travel is permitted to the country, subject to testing. It is reported that 2,200 vistors entered Singapore in June, down from 1.6 million the same month last year.

Latest Coronavirus News & Statistics

  • According to a report by the World Health Organisation, COVID-19 has provided the perfect opportunity for Suriname to identify its health industry’s shortcomings, and to put a plan in place to address them.

  • The International Finance Corporation’s (World Bank Group) new $4 billion financing platform will help increase the supply to developing countries of health supplies needed to fight the pandemic.
  • After months gone by with no coronavirus deaths, Vietnam have reported a fresh outbreak of COVID-19.

Main image: Melbourne Airport Flight Information… Non-existent! Pilot Productions

Travel in the COVID-Zone

Travel in the COVID-Zone
June 24, 2020

Japan Launches Worlds Most Powerful Supercomputer To Find Cure

Japan’s new so-called ‘Fugaku’ supercomputer, which has this week been declared the most powerful in the world, is to be used to search for a potential cure for the coronavirus.

The machine is capable of performing 513 quadrillion complicated mathematical operations every second. Fugaku requires 28 megawatts to run – more than two Eurostar trains!

Although it won’t be fully operational until next year, the team leading the project have already used it to run simulations on how cough and sneeze droplets spread through office spaces and public transport.

The White House’s expert on infectious diseases has warned the US is experiencing a “disturbing surge” in coronavirus cases.

Infectious diseases specialist Dr Fauci has highlighted recent spikes in states such as Florida and Texas, which are largely reopening businesses despite reporting thousands of cases per day.

Dr Fauci’s comments come following President Trump’s apparent desire to slow testing in order to slow the reporting of new cases.

Speaking at a campaign rally on Saturday, the President remarked: “When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases,” the president said. “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.’ They test and they test.”

Latest Coronavirus News & Statistics

  • IMF expects global economic activity to decline by 5% in 2020, owing to the damage caused by large scale economic shut downs and the compromises that must be made by surviving businesses away from efficiency and in favour of heightened workplace safety and hygiene measures.
  • Pubs, cafes and restaurants in England will be allowed to reopen on 4 July.The government and the industry hope that gyms can reopen in mid-July, subject to health guidance.
  • A sharp increase in cases in Latin America in the second half of May led the World Health Organization (WHO) to warn that the Americas were the new centre of the pandemic. But there have also been new spikes in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
  • Worldometers: Up to date Coronavirus statistics

Main image: Discover Supercomputer 3, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Flickr Creative Commons

Travel in the COVID-Zone

Travel in the COVID-Zone
June 17, 2020

The Results Are In: Oxford Team Discover Existing Medication Capable of Helping COVID-19 Patients

In the quest to find a drug that can be used to treat the most unwell coronavirus patients, Oxford researchers have discovered that a cheap and widely available corticosteroid medicine called Dexamethasone cuts the risk of death by a third. Dexamethasone is used in the treatment of various illnesses involving inflammation in the body.

Chief investigator Prof Peter Horby said: “This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality and it reduces it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough.”

Brits Bring the Virus Back to New Zealand

Two travellers from the UK arrived in New Zealand and have subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. This follows a period of no-new-cases which last week meant that New Zealand could ease restrictions within their own borders. New Zealand’s Prime Minister has requested that the army keep a tighter control on the quarantine measures at the border.

Beijing Prepares to Contain Potential Second Outbreak

This week, Beijing has once again returned to a state of lockdown following 106 new cases which appear to have spread within the city’s largest wholesale market. City officials have contacted over 200,000 people in order to test them to help get the the bottom of how the virus has spiked again.

Latest Coronavirus News & Statistics

  • US Airlines have threatened to ban passengers who refuse to wear a face mask in a bid to encourage people to comply with government advice and to slow the spread of the virus. Figures suggest that more than a quarter of confirmed global cases have occurred in the USA.
  • France’s phased removal of lockdown restrictions was unexpectedly extended to Paris on Sunday, allowing cafes and restaurants in the capital to open their doors for trade so long as workers and patrons follow WHO guidelines of keeping a 1m distance from each other.
  • Worldometers: Up to date Coronavirus statistics

Main image: Close-up of a solution in a dropper, Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker, Flickr Creative Commons