London’s new US embassy set to be the costliest in the world

The building looks like an impenetrable fortress immune to possible terrorist attacks. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 23 September 2017
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London’s new US embassy set to be the costliest in the world

JEDDAH: The US is building the most expensive embassy building in London at a cost of $1 billion, a British newspaper reported on Friday.
The building looks like an impenetrable fortress immune to possible terrorist attacks.
The embassy was due to open at the end of 2016, but the construction was not completed on schedule and so the date was postponed until the spring of 2017, the Daily Mail reported.
The photos published by the British newspaper show that the building still has a long way to go before construction work is fully completed.
At first glance, there was a 100-foot, half-moon moat placed in front of the building to withstand any terrorist attack, but US officials insisted it was just a “water feature.”
Photos of the under-construction building show that it was surrounded by a metal barrier that protects it in the case of a possible explosion from outside, while external barriers were placed to block any possible car attacks.
The new US Embassy is located on a street overlooking the River Thames in the Nine Elms area of ​​London.

High perimeter walls are being eschewed for “a welcoming urban amenity, a park for the city that fuses the new embassy to the city of London. Alternatives to perimeter walls and fences are achieved through landscape design,” the embassy was quoted as saying
The large development project called Embassy Gardens was approved by Wandsworth Council to be located in the same district with 2,000 apartments, retail businesses and restaurants, a 100-room hotel and playgrounds.
It is also reported that the US architect firm Kieran Timberlake is one of the contributors to the building’s design.
In 2008, the embassy announced the project, which was faced with criticism because of the high cost and design. The neighboring residents also voiced their concerns over the possibility of any damage caused by terror attacks.
The current London-based, old-fashioned embassy is located in Grosvenor Square and was built in the 1950s. The premises is very small compared to the new building and has been the target of terror threats in the past.


Marriage is (literally) good for the heart: study

Updated 19 June 2018
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Marriage is (literally) good for the heart: study

  • The risk of dying was likewise elevated for the non-married, by 42 percent from coronary heart disease and by 55 percent from stroke
  • The study examined ethnically varied populations in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia, adding weight to the results

PARIS: Even if marriage is sometimes more a bed of nails than roses, living into old age with a partner may help ward off heart disease and stroke, researchers said Tuesday.
A sweeping survey of research conducted over the last two decades covering more than two million people aged 42 to 77 found that being hitched significantly reduced the risk of both maladies, they reported in the medical journal Heart.
The study examined ethnically varied populations in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia, adding weight to the results.
Compared to people living in spousal union, the divorced, widowed or never married were 42 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 16 percent more likely to have coronary heart disease, the study found.
The risk of dying was likewise elevated for the non-married, by 42 percent from coronary heart disease and by 55 percent from stroke.
The results were nearly the same for men and women, except for stroke, to which men were more susceptible.
“These findings may suggest that marital status should be considered in the risk assessment for cardiovascular disease,” concluded a team led by Chun Wai Wong, a researcher at Royal Stoke Hospital’s department of cardiology, in Stoke-on-Trent in Britain.
Four-fifths of all cardiovascular disease can be attributed to a proven set of “risk factors“: advanced age, being a man, high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes.
Marriage, in other words, could be an important share of the missing 20 percent.
More precisely, living together — with or without a wedding band — is probably the operative factor, if indeed conjugal status has any impact at all.
But most of the 34 studies reviewed by Wong and colleagues did not identify couples out of wedlock or same-sex unions, so it was not possible to know whether, statistically, such arrangements were the equivalent of being wed.
Because the study was observational rather than based on a controlled experiment — something scientists can do with mice but not humans — no clear conclusions could be drawn as to cause-and-effect.
That leaves open the question of why marriages may be “protective.”
“There are various theories,” the researchers said in a statement.
Having someone around to take care of one’s health problems and keep track of one’s meds is probably a plus, as are two incomes or pensions instead of one.
More intangibly, not living alone is thought to be good for morale, and for neural stimulation. People living in couples, earlier research has shown, also have lower rates of dementia.