Football for Friendship, a sports programme for children and young people that was created in 2013, has achieved a new Guinness World Record for the highest number of simultaneous visitors to a virtual stadium. Worldwide users of the multiplayer simulator “Football for Friendship World”, an app launched last year, took part in this world record attempt on 29th May.
In the run-up to the record attempt, organisers of the programme worked with its Global Ambassador, the Brazilian footballer Roberto Carlos, to spread the word. There was also support from the Russian football players Yevgeni Aldonin and Dimitri Sennikov, the Russian footballer of the year (2004), Dmitri Sychev, and the ambassador for Russian women’s football, Elena Ryshkova. TikTok content creator twins, Katya and Nastya, together with football player Kirill Kolesnikov, also joined the live event.
This is not the first time that Football for Friendship has achieved a Guinness World Records title. In 2019, the annual program, which involves 32 teams of young players across the world, achieved its first title for the most nationalities at a football training session. And on 5th December 2020, a new Guinness World Record title was achieved, this time for an online training session with the most participants.
The program is organised by Gazprom, the Russian majority state-owned energy corporation headquartered in Saint Petersburg, and is supported by FIFA, UEFA and the United Nations It has taken place over eight seasons, with more than 15,000 children and young people from 211 countries and regions taking part in the programme.
To find out more, visit: www.footballforfriendship.com
EU awards Ukraine and Moldova candidate status
Earlier this month the European Commission has found that Ukraine overall is well advanced in reaching the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities and recommended the country to be granted candidate status on the understanding that steps are taken in a number of areas.
Also recently, the commission also revealed that Moldova has a solid foundation in place to reach the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy and recommended the country be given the perspective to become a member of the European Union based on a series of criteria, including political and economic criteria, as well as the ability of the country to assume the obligations of EU members.
This week both countries have been awarded candidate status.
The European Commission has presented its opinions on the application for EU membership submitted by Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, sharing its assessment in light of the three sets of criteria to join the EU agreed by the European
“Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU” – said Charles Michel, President of the European Council, describing the European Council’s decision as a “historic moment”.
Ukraine applied days after the Russian invasion in February, and the process moved at a record speed. However, candidate status is the first official step towards EU membership and it can still take several years for a country granted candidate status to effectively join the European Union – and at the current stage, there’s no guarantee of success.
North Macedonia and Albania are examples of how the process is a long one. Both countries were given candidate status in 2005 and 2014, respectively. They are still waiting for the opportunity to become members of the European Union.
A plan to revive imperial measurements in the UK divides the nation
People in the UK are, once again divided. And this time it is not about Brexit, the Royal family, nor political parties trying to undermine each other.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement on Friday, June 3, to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, about moving away from the current metric system.
And although the British government is understood to be preparing to open a consultation into how to further incorporate imperial measurements, after the controversial Brexit – with No 10 hoping for support even in Leave-voting areas – internet users have been, somewhat, less kind with the matter.
British political activist Femi Oluwole was fast to share his views on Twitter:
“Tories: “If we change food measurements to the imperial system and change our currency back to Shillings and Pence, people won’t be able to tell how much poorer we’ve made them through Austerity and Brexit! GENIUS!” – posted the co-founder of the pro-European Union advocacy group Our Future Our Choice.
Tories: “If we change food measurements to the imperial system and change our currency back to Shillings and Pence, people won’t be able to tell how much poorer we’ve made them through Austerity and Brexit! GENIUS!”
— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) May 30, 2022
“The government is switching to imperial measurements, this is like fixing a spelling mistake on the Titanic’s menu after it struck the iceberg while they’re setting fire to all the lifeboats. “ – says London-based chef Dave Ahern.
The government is switching to imperial measurements, this is like fixing a spelling mistake on the Titanic’s menu after it struck the iceberg while they’re setting fire to all the lifeboats. #ToryShambles #BrexitHasFailed
— Dave Ahern (@CorkGourmetGuy) May 29, 2022
“Politicians still don’t understand that every regulatory change brings with it a cost, certainly true of the imperial measures, but can also be true of ‘deregulatory’ measures or even the uncertainty that they may change.” – warns David Henig, UK director of the European Centre For International Political Economy.
Politicians still don’t understand that every regulatory change brings with it a cost, certainly true of the imperial measures, but can also be true of ‘deregulatory’ measures or even the uncertainty that they may change. https://t.co/3TdNf3ZH71
— David Henig 🇺🇦 (@DavidHenigUK) May 31, 2022
Johnson first hinted about bringing the imperial system back in the 2019 general election campaign, when he described it as an “ancient liberty”. However, not many countries in the world still use imperial measures anymore in the 21st century and, if re-introduced in the UK, it won’t make people change their habits in a hurry.
“I’m not the great imperial/metric expert but for me as a customer, using the example of milk, being able to buy a pint of milk helps me, and definitely my elderly relatives/friends who can’t fathom metric. Smaller stores I would imagine finding imperial easier for customers.” – defends musician Nick Wilson from Wicklow, Ireland.
I’m not the great imperial/metric expert but for me as a customer, using the example of milk, being able to buy a pint of milk helps me, and definitely my elderly relatives/friends who can’t fathom metric. Smaller stores I would imagine finding imperial easier for customers.
— NICK WILSON (@NICK_WILSON99) May 29, 2022
“So the UK Government wants to bring back imperial measurements? I know Metric better than imperial and don’t wanna be the old guy who says “oh back when ” was your age I used metric” drove me mad in retail” – protested freelancer web developer Glenn Marshall
so the UK Government wants to bring back imperial measurements? I know Metric better than imperial and don’t wanna be the old guy who says “oh back when ” was your age I used metric” drove me mad in retail #imperial vs #metric ?
— Glenn Marshall (@Addavenye) May 31, 2022
For clinical epidemiologist and statistical geneticist Deepti Gurdasani, the plan to revive imperial measurements in UK is a political tact:
“Imperial measurement headlines are just a distraction from the fact that we have a PM who has literally changed the rules to make it impossible to be held to account after breaking the law & lying. His power holds no bounds while his party enables him. That is the real story.” – shared Gurdasani, a senior lecturer in machine learning at the Queen Mary University of London.
Imperial measurement headlines are just a distraction from the fact that we have a PM who has literally changed the rules to make it impossible to be held to account after breaking the law & lying. His power holds no bounds while his party enables him. That is the real story.
— Dr. Deepti Gurdasani (@dgurdasani1) May 28, 2022
The British Imperial System was used officially in Great Britain from 1824 until the adoption of the metric system beginning in 1965. But it wasn’t until 2000 that traders have been legally required to use metric units like milligrams, grams and kilograms for sale by weight or measure of fresh produce. Certain measurements in Britain still use the imperial system, including sale of beer and milk, measured in pints, and speed limit, which in the UK is measured in miles per hour rather than kilometers.
Laid off workers in Greece to get €1.5 million from European Globalisation Fund
The European Commission has proposed, this week, to support 206 workers made redundant in businesses producing household appliances in Attica, Greece, with €1.5 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF). The funding aims to help them to find new jobs through tailored guidance and advice, training and support to start their own businesses.
The redundancies occurred from 1 April to 1 October 2021 as a result of a series of different factors, including domestic supply shortages of electrical components and high production costs, along with difficulties to adapt to the digital transformation and the automation of production processes. The support to the dismissed workers includes advisory services and individual job search assistance; training in digital skills and tailored vocational training, leading to a certification, where possible, or support to obtain higher education qualifications. Participants can also receive advice on how to start their own business coupled with a start-up grant of up to €22,000. The support includes allowances for the dismissed workers to participate in these measures.
The total estimated cost of these measures is about €1.8 million, of which the EGF will cover 85% (€1.5 million). The Public Investment Programme of the Greek Ministry of Economy and Development will finance the remaining 15%. Support to the eligible workers will start once the funding is approved by the European Parliament and the Council.
“EU is actively helping more than 200 workers who have lost their jobs in Attica, Greece. With €1.5 million of financial assistance from the European Globalisation Fund, we can help them find their way back into the labour market through training and education programmes, job search advice and support to set up their own business.” – Says Nicolas Schmit, commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights.
Member States can apply for EU funding when at least 200 workers lose their jobs within a specific reference period and, since 2007, the European Globalisation Fund has made available €668 million in 173 cases, offering help to more than 166,000 people in 20 Member States.
Over two days, this week, EU leaders have been discussing energy, defence and food security in a special meeting of the European Council in Brussels.
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