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News: MBNA analysis reveals growing UK interest in Central American travel

The face of travel is changing, with new research showing that Central American countries like Costa Rica and Argentina are becoming more popular with UK travellers. Credit card provider MBNA analysed more than four million transactions from UK customers around the world to build up a picture of how travel habits are changing, with Central America seeing the highest growth in transactions from travellers since 2014. Spend analysed included accommodation, restaurants, bars and retail outlets. Costa Rica, a country known for its stunning beaches, lush jungle and awe-inspiring volcanic landscape,…

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Young face growing mortgage debt burden

Young first-time buyers are increasing their overall mortgage debt in order to tackle short-term financial pressures. The average mortgage term is lengthening from the traditional 25 years, according to figures from broker L&C Mortgages. Its figures show the proportion of new buyers taking out 31 to 35-year mortgages has doubled in 10 years. That means lower monthly repayments, but a bigger overall bill owing to the extra interest incurred. The extra total cost can be tens of thousands of pounds. Where can I afford to live? Your results – Amount…

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News: AHIF 2017: Hotel development in Africa keeps on growing

Hotel development activity in Africa is still rising in the face of the continent’s economic problems, showing a 13 per cent increase in 2017, according to the annual survey by W Hospitality Group. The ninth edition of its Hotel Chain Development Pipelines in Africa has 36 international and regional contributors reporting almost 73,000 rooms in 417 hotels. The figures have grown each year, more than doubling since 2009. This year, bragging rights are shared; Marriott International, boosted by its merger with Starwood, comes top of the table in terms of…

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The Growing Influence of African Flavours

The vast African continent, with distinct cultural and religious practices from east to west, north to south, is finally being more widely recognized for its cuisine. As immigrants and cooks continue to travel across borders, mainstream food audiences in the West have increasingly embraced the incredible wealth of African ingredients and dishes. American chefs such as Grace Odogbili (who runs the catering service Dining with Grace) and Ethiopian-born, New York-based Marcus Samuelsson (who runs a string of restaurants, including Red Rooster in Harlem) have played a role in helping African cuisines to…

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UN warning on growing digital 'chasm'

The digital divide separating developed and developing nations is in danger of becoming a chasm, warns a UN report. The divide has grown thanks to accelerating net connection speeds in developed nations and static ones elsewhere, it said. And 52% of the world’s population still has no access to the internet, said the organisation’s Global Broadband Progress report. Improved net access was a key driver of other social goals, it said. No access The average global net access speed was now about 7.2 megabits per second (mbps), said the report…

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New limbs for growing bodies: Mutilated albinos get refitted

Baraka Cosmas, 7, is missing half his right arm. Mwigulu Matonange, 14, lost his left arm. Emmanuel Festo, 15, lost his right, plus the fingers of his left hand. Pendo Sengerema, 16, had an arm severed at the elbow. These youngsters from Tanzania are not limbless by accident or through some genetic glitch. Their amputations were the work of human hunters with machetes who believed children with albinism — born without pigment instead of the brown skin of their families — are ghosts who bring good luck if their body…

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