Tall scheme falls flat for coffee firm in Vietnam

Updated 14 December 2012
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Tall scheme falls flat for coffee firm in Vietnam

HANOI: Tall cappuccinos are stirring controversy in Vietnam after an Australian coffee company offered free drinks to women who meet a height requirement. The promotion earlier this month by Gloria Jean’s Coffees International offered a free second drink to women who measure at least 1.65 meters, or about 5 feet 6 inches, and was meant to echo a government campaign to increase the average national height, state media reported.
But critics said on the social networking site Facebook that the promotion was offensive to Vietnamese women, prompting the company to cancel it and apologize. “It’s really offensive because most of the population is less than that height,” said Do Phuong Lien, a woman who runs a fashion and art business in the capital, Hanoi.
Gloria Jean’s said in a brief statement yesterday that the promotion was “unauthorized.” “This promotion did not reflect the values of our brand, as we welcome everyone into our coffee houses around the world,” the statement said.
The company’s website says it launched in a small town near Chicago in 1979 and is now headquartered in Australia with more than 1,000 coffee houses in 39 countries.


Egypt hit by a deluge of rain, making rivers out of roads

Updated 21 min 11 sec ago
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Egypt hit by a deluge of rain, making rivers out of roads

  • Egypt's current deluge of rain is in stark contrast to the previous warmer weather
  • Streets, homes and even a popular shopping mall have been overwhelmed by the wet weather

CAIRO: Heavy rain has left parts of Egypt impassable after the deluge of water flooded streets and damaged property on Tuesday, and the poor weather conditions were expected to continue through the week.

The cold unstable windy conditions hit the north of the country, across Cairo, North Sinai and the upper Egyptian governorates, turning roads into rivers.

The current poor weather conditions follow warmer spells, but head of Egypt’s Meteorological Authority Ahmed Abdel-Aal told local papers the change in conditions was not unusual.

“This is natural change amid a transitional period in the spring season, which undergoes rapid and sharp changes in temperatures,” he said. 

Of course, with such dramatic scenes, people have reacted in the only way they know how and captured the floods, leaky ceilings and downpours on their mobile phones and posted the imagery on social media.

Footage includes scenes of water pouring through the ceiling of a mall in Cairo’s Fifth Settlement area. 

Other pictures from the same district showed parked cars almost completely submerged in the flood waters.