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Can Paris’s mutant bedbugs come to London this Autumn?

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A photo of a train platform in Kings Cross with two Eurostar trains parked
Eurostar, which runs over 30 trains per day travelling between Paris and London, will step up cleaning on its carriages | Photo: Frederic Köberl

It is the last day of the Paris Fashion week. But the latest trend in the city doesn’t seem to come off a catwalk show, as mutant bedbugs is the latest epidemic in the city of lights. From public transport seats to hotels, cinemas and AirBnbs, the blood-sucking insects are everywhere  in the French capital.

The deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Grégoire, told French TV recently: “No one is safe. You can catch them anywhere and bring them home, and not detect them in time until they have multiplied and spread.”

He said Paris authorities had received an increase in calls for help, and private companies had had an unusually high level of requests for fumigation in recent weeks.

With London being only two hours away from the bedbug-infested Paris, Eurostar, which runs over 30 trains per day travelling between the two cities, has announced that the company has stepped up cleaning on its trains. On Tuesday, it has been confirmed that Eurostar will be ramping up “preventative treatments” across its entire network to keep bedbugs away.

Bedbugs can be present in mattresses but also in clothes and luggage and come out at night to feed on human blood. The parasite had largely disappeared from daily life since the 1950s. However, recent data shows that bedbugs have increased in recent years have become significantly, with the French national health and sanitary body, Anses, highlighting that between 2017 and 2022, 11% of French homes had been infested.

The recent bedbugs outbreak in Paris haven’t stopped designers from showcasing their Spring/Summer 2024 since September 27th, when the latest fashion week started. However, with the Paris Olympics less than a year away, French authorities are running against the clock to make sure the bedbugs won’t scary way tourists.

Clement Beaune, the French minister of transport, has said that he will hold a meeting this week to “take additional measures” to safeguard the public from the alleged increase in the number of insects.

How to spot and prevent bringing bedbugs home

Bedbugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are notorious for causing itchy bites and can be challenging to eliminate once they infest your home. Here are some tips on how to spot bedbugs and prevent infestations:

Spotting Bedbugs

Check for bites: The first sign of a bedbug infestation is often the appearance of itchy, red welts on your skin, usually in a pattern of clustered bites.

Inspect your bed: Bedbugs are most commonly found in and around the bed, including the mattress seams, bed frame, headboard, and box spring. Look for live bugs, shed skins, fecal spots (small, dark, rust-colored stains), and tiny white eggs.

Search other furniture: Bedbugs can also hide in upholstered furniture, curtains, and even cracks in the walls or floors. Inspect these areas for signs of infestation.

Use a flashlight: Bedbugs are nocturnal and tend to hide in dark crevices during the day. A flashlight can help you spot them in hidden areas.

Preventing Bedbugs

Avoiding bringing bedbugs home from hotels requires vigilance and a few precautionary steps. Here is how to minimize the risk:

Research the hotel: Before booking a hotel, read reviews online and check if there have been any recent reports of bedbugs. Choose hotels with positive reviews and a good reputation for cleanliness.

Inspect the room: When you arrive at your hotel room, don’t unpack right away. Instead, take a few minutes to inspect the room thoroughly:

Check the bed: Start by inspecting the mattress, box spring, and headboard. Look for live bedbugs, shed skins, small reddish or brown stains (fecal spots), and tiny white eggs.

Furniture and wall: Inspect upholstered furniture, curtains, and nearby wall crevices.

Luggage rack: Place your luggage on a luggage rack, rather than on the bed or floor. Inspect the rack for any signs of bedbugs before using it.

Store luggage wisely: Keep your luggage elevated and away from potential hiding spots for bedbugs. Using a hard-sided suitcase can make it more difficult for bedbugs to infest your belongings.

Keep your clothing sealed: Store your clothing in sealed plastic bags or travel-sized vacuum-sealed bags. This prevents bedbugs from getting into your clothes.

Wash and dry clothes after travel: When you return home, wash your travel clothing in hot water and dry them on high heat. This can kill any bedbugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride.

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Mango teams up with Victoria Beckham for new capsule collection

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Mango teams up with Victoria Beckham for new capsule collection
The collaboration is part of Mango’s new 2024-26 Strategic Plan Elevate lever

Mango, one of Europe’s leading fashion industry groups, is teaming up with Victoria Beckham to launch a new capsule collection.

Victoria Beckham x Mango has been designed by the former Spice Girls member and reflects the essence of the designer’s eponymous label, considered the perfect blend of classic British luxury with a subtle contemporary twist, as well as the shared values of both fashion brands, such as quality and femininity.

The new collection, which coincides with Mango’s 40th anniversary, is the latest in a series of collaborations with other brands, artists and talents including French Writer and Influencer Camille Charrière, and influencer and stylist Pernille Teisbaek.

Mango’s collaboration with Victoria Beckham is part of the new Strategic Plan 2024-26, which aims to generate total turnover of more than 4 billion euros by 2026 through a differentiated value proposition, strong expansion drive, and improving sales in existing stores and online channels, as presented by the company last March. The new collection will go on sale internationally on April 23th, 2024.

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Official Selection of the 77th Festival de Cannes unveiled

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Actress Zoe Saldana who stars in ‘Emilia Perez’, directed by Jacques Audiard, inside a car
Actress Zoe Saldana stars in ‘Emilia Perez’, directed by Jacques Audiard, one of the films competing for a Palme d’Or in Cannes next month | Photo: Saint-Laurent Productions

The countdown for Cannes 2024 has started. The annual film festival is scheduled to open on May 14 with the out-of-competition world premiere of the French comedy ‘The Second Act,’ directed by Quentin Dupieux and starring Léa Seydoux.

Today, Iris Knobloch, who is now in her second year as president, and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the event, announced the official selection of films competing for a Palme d’Or at the 77th Festival de Cannes. The official lineup features 19 movies and includes some well-known filmmakers who have previously debuted productions in Cannes. Among them is British film director Andrea Arnold (‘American Honey’), who is debuting her sixth feature, ‘Bird,’ and Francis Ford Coppola, who won a Palme d’Or at Cannes 45 years ago for ‘Apocalypse Now.’ His new production, ‘Megalopolis,’ starring Adam Driver, is a $120 million self-funded sci-fi epic that has been in development since 1983, when Coppola wrote the first version of the screenplay.

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos will return to Cannes for the world premiere of ‘Kinds of Kindness,’ his latest collaboration with Emma Stone. Lanthimos is a familiar face at the festival, having won the Un Certain Regard prize at the Cannes Film Festival for the psychological drama film ‘Dogtooth’ (2009), and scooping a Best Screenplay prize after competing with his ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ at the 70th Festival de Cannes in 2017.

Ainouz: filmmaker directs Erotic Thriller ‘Motel Destino,’ shot in Northeast Brazil | Photo: reproduction Instagram/karimainouz

Brazilian filmmaker Karim Ainouz will bring his eighth fiction feature, ‘Motel Destino,’ to Cannes after shooting his first English-language production, ‘Firebrand,’ starring Alicia Vikander and Jude Law, which played in competition at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Aïnouz won the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes in 2019 for ‘Invisible Life.’

Among the other films playing in competition are new works by David Cronenberg, Paul Schrader, Jia Zhangke, Miguel Gomes, Paolo Sorrentino, and Coralie Fargeat.

Although last year marked a difficult one in Hollywood, with strikes by actors and writers forcing filming and post-production work to shut down for months – leaving significant gaps in 2024’s movie schedules and studios’ pockets – it will be a busy two weeks for the Festival de Cannes, with American filmmaker George Lucas set to receive an honorary Palme d’Or, and Sony’s Columbia Pictures also celebrating its 100th anniversary during the event.

The 77th Cannes Film Festival will run in the French Riviera from May 14-25, 2024. This year’s jury will be overseen by Barbie director and co-writer Greta Gerwig.

Official Selection 2024

Competition

  • The Apprentice, Ali Abbasi
  • Motel Destino, Karim Ainouz
  • Bird, Andrea Arnold
  • Emilia Perez, Jacques Audiard
  • Anora, Sean Baker
  • Megalopolis, Francis Ford Coppola
  • The Shrouds, David Cronenberg
  • The Substance, Coralie Fargeat
  • Grand Tour, Miguel Gomes
  • Marcello Mio, Christophe Honoré
  • Caught By The Tides, Jia Zhang-Ke
  • All We Imagine As Light, Payal Kapadia
  • Kinds Of Kindness, Yórgos Lánthimos
  • L’amour Ouf, Gilles Lellouche
  • Wild Diamond, Agathe Riedinger
  • Oh Canada, Paul Schrader
  • Limonov – The Ballad, Kirill Serebrennikov
  • Parthenope, Paolo Sorrentino
  • The Girl With The Needle, Magnus Von Horn

Out Of Competition

  • The Second Act, Quentin Dupieux (opening film)
  • Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, George Miller
  • Horizon, An American Saga, Kevin Costner
  • She’s Got No Name, Peter Chan
  • Rumours, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson, Guy Maddin

Midnight Screenings

  • Twilight Of The Warrior Walled In, Soi Cheang
  • I, The Executioner, Seung Wan Ryoo
  • The Surfer, Lorcan Finnegan
  • The Balconettes, Noémie Merlant

Cannes Premiere

  • Miséricorde, Alain Guiraudie
  • C’est Pas Moi, Leos Carax
  • Everybody Loves Touda, Nabil Ayouch
  • The Matching Bang, Emmanuel Courcol
  • Rendez-Vous Avec Pol Pot, Rithy Panh
  • Le Roman de Jim, Arnaud Larrieu, Jean-Marie Larrieu 

Special Screenings

  • Le Belle De Gaza, Yolande Zauberman
  • Apprendre, Claire Simon
  • The Invasion, Sergei Loznitsa
  • Ernest Cole, Lost And Found, Raoul Peck
  • Le Fil, Daniel Auteuil

Un Certain Regard

  • Norah, Tawfik Alzaidi
  • The Shameless, Konstantin Bojanov
  • Le Royaume, Julien Colonna
  • Vingt Dieux!, Louise Courvoisier
  • Who Let The Dog Bite?, Lætitia Dosch
  • Black Dog, Guan Hu
  • The Village Next To Paradise, Mo Harawe
  • September Says, Ariane Labed
  • L’histoire De Souleymane, Boris Lojkine
  • The Damned, Roberto Minervini
  • On Becoming A Guinea Fowl, Rungano Nyoni
  • My Sunshine, Hiroshi Okuyama
  • Santosh, Sandhya Suri
  • Viet And Nam, Truong Minh Quý
  • Armand, Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel

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Bus drivers and dogs strike a pose for National Pet Day in the UK

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Bus drivers and dogs strike a pose for National Pet Day in the UK
Bus stop: Christopher and Chester, Kim and Misty, and Mark and Pongo celebrating National Pet Day | Photo: Charlotte Graham

A bus operator in the UK is celebrating the National Pet Day on April 11th with snapshots capturing the bond between its bus drivers and their dogs.

The collection titled ‘A Bus Driver’s Best Friend’, released by Go North East, features six drivers from depots across the region, joined by pals: Pongo, Chester, Tasha, Misty, Milo, and Ella.

“Misty just wants everyone to love her. She’s not fazed by much either, we always say she’s totally fearless. Saying that she’s the softest dog at heart, we love spending chilled time together. When I’m watching TV of a night, she’ll jump up onto the back of the sofa and wrap her paws over my shoulders and snooze. That’s her favourite spot… and mine too,” says bus driver Kim Goodwin, from Crookgate.

Mark Gradon and his dalmatian Pongo, from Coxhoe, also had their image captured by award-winning photographer Charlotte Graham.

“Pongo’s just full of character, I call him my not-so-little shadow as he’s always there by my side. He’s getting on a bit now but I just love the fact he’s a puppy at heart. I’ll never forget the day I came home to find him sat down looking up at me all innocent with an empty dog food bag around his neck,” recalls Gradon.

The number of dogs in the UK continues to grow, with an estimated 13 million dogs living in UK households. During the lockdown, dog ownership in the United Kingdom increased from 23% in 2020 to 34% in 2022.

“It’s just such a pure friendship. I was ill a while back and Chester laid by my side until I was well again. I’m in no doubt having him there helped my recovery. It’s such a lift when I see that wagging tail when I get home from work. We’ve got a little ritual, he greets me, I hand him the paper that I buy every day for Amanda my wife, and he then fetches it to her. He’s my boy!,” says bus driver Christopher Walker, from Forest Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Carly and Tasha, from Washington: 11 years of friendship and trips to the beach | Photo: Charlotte Graham

For bus driver Carly Benson, from Washington, the beach has been the place to spend time together for over a decade.

“Tasha’s my best friend, she’s a very understanding dog with a gentle soul, always there when you need a cuddle. She’s 11 now and I treasure every moment we spend together. By far the best times are those spent down the beach when she becomes a puppy again bouncing across the sand,” says Benson.

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