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August 3 2019
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South Korea

Seoul Cycle


Eager to help lessen the city’s pollution, the mayor of Seoul has announced plans to build a network of bike-only lanes that will offer barrier-free routes across the city.

While cities such as Copenhagen have bike lanes that are set off from major streets by a slight curb, the ambition in South Korea’s capital is to build bike roads that are not just separate from cars but are to be used only by cyclists. There will also be bike-only overpasses that span congested city streets. Another route calls for tapping under-used space beneath elevated expressways by suspending large, enclosed, tube-like pathways below them.

If the plans pass feasibility studies and meet budget projections, construction would begin next year.

France

A French Dressing-Down


So much for encouraging immigrants to work.

French authorities rejected a nurse’s citizenship request, saying that she worked too much.

In addition to her position at a clinic outside of Paris, she also was working extra shifts at two other medical institutions. In a letter to the woman, the prefecture wrote, “You thus accumulate three jobs for a monthly duration of 271 working hours.”

French law forbids employees from working more than 48 hours in a week. The local officials who dinged the nurse’s application told her they would give her two years “to comply with the legislation.”

England World Cup win, London, July 14, 2019.
Russia

It’s Just Nyet Cricket


One day after England won this year’s World Cup in cricket, the Russian Sports Ministry officially declared that cricket⁠—the world’s second-most-popular sport, after soccer⁠—is in fact not a sport, and refuses to recognize it as one.

According to the Russian news outlet RT, the ministers denied the appeal from the Moscow Cricket Federation because the sport doesn’t have enough “regional affiliations” in the country.

The decision came as a surprise to many, not only because Russia recognizes lesser-known sports such as model-plane flying, but especially because cricket has a long history in the country. It was first played in Russia in the 1870s and built a following, but the 1917 Communist revolution halted its popularity as it was perceived as bourgeois.





China

Bruce Lee’s Home Gets Roundhouse Kick


In Hong Kong, the former mansion of movie star and kung fu legend Bruce Lee will be demolished and replaced with a Chinese-studies center.

Lee, who is depicted in the new Quentin Tarantino film, Once upon a Time … in Hollywood, moved from the U.S. to Hong Kong as a child and spent the last years of his life there with his family, before he died in 1973 at age 32.

The house, known as the Crane’s Nest, was bought by a local businessman in 1974 who hoped to preserve it, but repairs proved to be too expensive. Historians claimed that at one point the home was being used as a “love hotel.”

France

Mrs. Macron Faces the Summer


On Friday, Closer magazine revealed why Brigitte Macron, the 66-year-old wife of the 41-year-old French president, had been keeping a low profile. Shortly after the Bastille Day celebrations of July 14, Mrs. Macron slipped into the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a private clinic favored by celebrities, where she received some surgery that left her looking, shall we say, revitalized.

The Irish Independent, however, kindly offered a different theory for Mrs. Macron’s more-youthful-than-before glow. Putting a fresh face on a piece they had published two years ago, they re-surfaced it, saying, “Her secret? Ten kinds of fruits and vegetables every day, and a healthy right dose of cheese and wine when she fancies.”

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