Family News

Family News Credit: Daily Sabah
Star Trek’s Shatner to ‘boldly go’ with Blue Origin

Blue Origin has confirmed that William Shatner, who starred as Captain James T Kirk in the original Star Trek series, will fly aboard the company’s next crewed rocket on 12 October.

The company also announced the identity of the remaining passenger, Audrey Powers, the company’s vice president of mission and flight operations.

They will join Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer and co-founder of Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, a co-founder of clinical research platform Medidata Solutions, on the sub-orbital flight.


World tourism surges in July, but falls short of pre-Covid levels

World tourism surged in July, thanks to vaccination rollouts and fewer travel restrictions, but traveller numbers still fell far short of pre-pandemic levels, the UN’s tourism body said today.

About 54 million tourists crossed international borders in July, the highest figure since April 2020, in the early months of the Covid crisis, the World Tourism Organisation said.

That represented an increase of 58% compared with the level recorded in July 2020, but was still a drop of 67% from the 164 million recorded in July 2019.

“This improvement was underpinned by the reopening of many destinations to international travel, mostly in Europe and the Americas, coupled with progress made in the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines” which contributed to “gradually restoring safe mobility in Europe and other parts of the world,” it said.

In the first seven months of the year, Asia and the Pacific continued to see the steepest declines, with a drop of 95% in international arrivals.

This was followed by the Middle East where numbers were down 82%, Europe and Africa, which registered a fall of 77%, and the Americas which sustained a drop 68%.


Wandering dog brightens daily commute in Istanbul

Boji, a street dog, has become a regular sight on ferries, buses and metro trains in Istanbul. A devoted commuter, the dog enjoys long journeys on public transport, up to 30km on a regular week day.

Istanbul municipality officials who record the dog’s trips with a microchip say he drops by at least 29 metro stations a day and was even tracked at sea, taking a weekend break to the Princes’ Islands off the city’s coast.

“We noticed a dog using our metros and trains and he knows where to go. He knows where to get out,” said Aylin Erol, from Metro Istanbul. “It’s like he has a purpose.”

Data collected from his tracking device shows historic tramlines are Boji’s favourite but he is also a frequent subway commuter. Ms Erol says the dog respects public transport rules and waits for disembarking passengers before hopping on the train.