Russia sprays vanilla to repel World Cup gnats in Volgograd

England’s Harry Kane celebrates, in the company of a swarm of gnats, after England’s 2 — 1 win over Tunisia, in the Volgograd Arena. (Reuters)
Updated 22 June 2018
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Russia sprays vanilla to repel World Cup gnats in Volgograd

  • England and Tunisia players could be seen swatting away swarms of gnats during their opening World Cup game in the southern Russian city on Monday.
  • Russian authorities said on Thursday they hope that spraying the vanilla concentrate on trees and shrubs around the venue will keep the gnats away.

VOLGOGRAD, Russia: Russian authorities said on Thursday they were spraying the area outside the World Cup stadium with vanilla concentrate to prevent gnats from spoiling soccer matches there, TASS news agency reported.
England and Tunisia players could be seen swatting away swarms of gnats during their opening World Cup game in the southern Russian city on Monday.
Players covered themselves with bug spray before the game and at halftime, but that seemed to have little effect.
Russian authorities said on Thursday they hope that spraying the vanilla concentrate on trees and shrubs around the venue will keep the gnats away.
“The vanilla concentrate will not create inconveniences for fans, but it will be enough to repel the gnats,” TASS quoted Volgograd’s regional administration as saying.
The area around Volgograd is known for its swamps and wide rivers, the perfect breeding ground for insects during the hot and dry summer in the region.
It was unclear if the measures had already been taken, but a Reuters reporter in Volgograd said on Thursday there appeared to be significantly fewer gnats in the city than during Monday’s match.
Volgograd, which is set to host three more group stage matches, will host Iceland’s match against Nigeria on Friday.


Hugh Jackman reveals Global Teacher Prize finalists ahead of Dubai ceremony

Updated 21 February 2019
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Hugh Jackman reveals Global Teacher Prize finalists ahead of Dubai ceremony

  • The awards ceremony will take place on March 24
  • Out of 10,000 nominations from 39 countries, 10 finalists were chosen

DUBAI: Hollywood A-lister Hugh Jackman has lauded teachers as the “real superheroes” ahead of the  million-dollar Global Teacher Prize ceremony to be held in Dubai next month.

Speaking in a four-minute long video message, the actor revealed the 10 finalists who will be up for the prize on March 24.

Recalling his own experience, Wolverine star Jackman spoke of his “transformative” experience with his acting teacher.

Hugh Jackman and his acting teacher. (Supplied)

And he described the teaching profession as “the most important job in the world.”

“My favorite uncle was a teacher, my sister’s a teacher, my brother’s a teacher… My hope for every single person on the planet is that you have at least one,” he said.

“All of us go through insecurity and doubt, trepidation, along this journey of life, and those teachers that see the best in us and are patient enough to allow us to grow into that, they are like gold,” he added.

Out of 10,000 nominations from 39 countries, 10 finalists were chosen, including teachers from the UK, India, Japan, and Kenya.

The Dubai-based Global Teacher Prize was set up by global education charity Varkey Foundation to recognize one teacher “who made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.”

“I hope their stories will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day,” said Sunny Varkey, the founder of the Varkey Foundation.

The winner will be announced at the “Global Education & Skills Forum” on March 24.

On the eve of the forum, chart toppers Little Mix, Liam Payne, and Rita Ora will perform at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater in a tribute concert organized by the foundation.

Here's the video announcement: