Istanbul airport provides anxious travelers with paw-sitive experience by hiring 5 therapy dogs

Istanbul airport provides anxious travelers with paw-sitive experience by hiring 5 therapy dogs
Travellers pet the airport therapy dog Alita while walking with a handler through Istanbul Airport in Turkey, Wednesday, April 3, 2024. (AP)
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Updated 10 April 2024
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Istanbul airport provides anxious travelers with paw-sitive experience by hiring 5 therapy dogs

Istanbul airport provides anxious travelers with paw-sitive experience by hiring 5 therapy dogs
  • Meet Istanbul Airport’s therapy dogs — always ready to offer support with snuggles, belly rubs and sloppy kisses

ISTANBUL: Five new hires are selflessly roaming the halls of one of the world’s busiest transportation hubs, hoping to provide a paw-sitively stress-free travel experience for anxious passengers.
Meet Istanbul Airport’s therapy dogs — always ready to offer support with snuggles, belly rubs and sloppy kisses.
The Associated Press caught up with Kuki and Alita, two of the dogs taking part in the pet-friendly airport’s new pilot project aimed at easing stress and anxiety among travelers.
All four-legged members of the program are certified therapy dogs, professionally trained and conditioned to comfort humans.
The “Therapy Dog Team” has been on duty since late February following months of preparation and intensive training, learning desensitization to distracting stimuli, like sounds and people.
“We have to ensure that they are safe and they are 100 percent adapted to all environments,” said Kadir Demirtas, Istanbul Airport’s customer experience manager.
Kuki, a Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian retriever breed, is team captain. He works hard to please but likes his breaks and sometimes plays hooky.
That’s OK, however.
The team’s veterinarian said each dog’s temperament dictates their hours on the job each day.
“They walk around the airport led by their handlers who are also responsible for their care,” said Volkan Arslan.
The dogs, who are airport employees with official badges and uniforms, have a set schedule and work during peak travel hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Alita, a border collie, is Kuki’s teammate. Her intense gaze and dedication to her handler are striking, as is her ability to soothe and calm nerves.
“We are always surrounded by people who are constantly petting her,” said Volkan Gul, Alita’s dedicated handler, adding that she helps them relax.
Airport officials said they already have plans to expand the pilot project following initial positive feedback from travelers.


Justin Timberlake arrested, charged with drunk driving outside NYC

Justin Timberlake arrested, charged with drunk driving outside NYC
Updated 52 min 20 sec ago
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Justin Timberlake arrested, charged with drunk driving outside NYC

Justin Timberlake arrested, charged with drunk driving outside NYC
  • 43-year-old, known for such hits as “SexyBack” and “Cry Me a River,” taken into custody in Sag Harbor

NEW YORK: Pop star Justin Timberlake was arrested and arraigned Tuesday on charges of driving while intoxicated in a chic town east of New York City, local prosecutors said.
The 43-year-old Timberlake, known for such hits as “SexyBack” and “Cry Me a River,” was taken into custody in Sag Harbor, part of the affluent Hamptons community, in the early hours of Tuesday.
“Justin Timberlake was arrested in Sag Harbor for driving while intoxicated,” the prosecutor’s office in Suffolk County said in a statement emailed to AFP.
“He was arraigned in Sag Harbor Village Justice Court and released on his own recognizance,” the statement said, adding that Timberlake’s next court date would be a virtual appearance on July 26.
CBS, citing court documents, quoted a police officer as saying Timberlake was “in an intoxicated condition” when he was pulled over shortly after midnight after driving through a stop sign and failing to stay on the right side of the road.
Timberlake’s eyes were “bloodshot and glassy,” and he “performed poorly on all standard field sobriety tests,” CBS reported.
The singer-actor, who is currently on tour in support of his latest album, allegedly told police he “had one martini” and was following his friends home.
Timberlake shot to stardom as a member of the boy band NSYNC before launching a solo career and eventually making the transition to acting. He has won 10 Grammy awards and four Emmy awards.
He is married to actress Jessica Biel. The couple has two sons.


Actor Ian McKellen, 85, is in ‘good spirits’ and expected to recover from fall off stage in London

Actor Ian McKellen, 85, is in ‘good spirits’ and expected to recover from fall off stage in London
Updated 18 June 2024
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Actor Ian McKellen, 85, is in ‘good spirits’ and expected to recover from fall off stage in London

Actor Ian McKellen, 85, is in ‘good spirits’ and expected to recover from fall off stage in London
  • The theater was evacuated and the play was canceled as medics treated the actor

LONDON: Actor Ian McKellen is expected to make a full recovery after he toppled off a London stage Monday during a fight scene and was hospitalized, a spokesperson said.
McKellen, 85, was in “good spirits” after doctors said a scan showed he was expected to fully recover from the fall, a spokesperson for the Noel Coward Theatre said.
The stage and screen veteran known for playing Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” films and many stage roles over a six decade career cried out in pain after the fall, according to a BBC journalist at the theater.
McKellen was playing John Falstaff in “Player Kings,” a production of Henry IV, parts one and two, adapted and directed by Robert Icke, at the Noel Coward Theatre.
He lost his footing and fell off the stage in a scene with the Prince of Wales and Henry Percy. The tumble startled theatergoers.
“Sir Ian seemed to trip as he moved downstage to take a more active part in the scene,” audience member Paul Critchley told the PA news agency, saying it was a shock. “He picked up momentum as he moved downstage which resulted in him falling off the stage directly in front of the audience.”
Staff and two doctors in the audience helped the ailing actor, the spokesperson said.
The theater was evacuated and the play was canceled. The production for Tuesday was also canceled to give McKellen time to rest.
McKellen’s career includes playing Magneto in the X-Men films and several Shakespearean characters including Richard II, Macbeth and King Lear.
He has won a Tony Award for “Amadeus,” several Laurence Olivier Awards and has been nominated for two Oscars and several BAFTA awards.


Team ‘Melodi’ woos India as Meloni-Modi video goes viral

Team ‘Melodi’ woos India as Meloni-Modi video goes viral
Updated 17 June 2024
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Team ‘Melodi’ woos India as Meloni-Modi video goes viral

Team ‘Melodi’ woos India as Meloni-Modi video goes viral

NEW DELHI: When Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Italy for the G7 summit, it was not diplomatic meetings that dominated headlines back in India — but the relationship with his Italian counterpart.
“Hello from the ‘Melodi’ team,” Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said in a video posted to social media on Saturday, waving next to her fellow right-wing leader Modi, beaming a wide grin.
The duo have a close public friendship, seen during the G20 summit in India last year and the COP28 climate talks in Dubai.
Modi, who reposted Meloni’s video on X and praised ties between Rome and New Delhi in Italian, was in the resort of Borgo Egnazia on the sidelines of the G7 summit, which brings together Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.
He wrote he had meetings with Meloni to bolster ties “in areas like commerce, energy, defense, telecoms and more.”
But in India, it was the short Modi-Meloni video that grabbed attention on Sunday — fueling a flurry of memes and videos on social media dedicated to the fictional relationship between the two leaders.
In that make-believe world, the leaders have become central characters of an Internet love story that has betrayals and heartaches as well as happy moments.
AI-generated videos watched by millions show Modi crooning a love song every time Meloni appears with a political leader other than him.
But newspapers were also deeply critical and swift to cool temperatures down.
“Like other women in high offices, Meloni is being seen through a male prism — hot or not?” the Times of India’s editorial read.
“No matter how influential she is, no matter what she knows or becomes, a woman can always be subjected to such demeaning framing,” it added.
“As the Meloni discourse shows, old-fashioned misogyny dies hard.”
 


Officer removed from duty after ramming runaway cow: UK police

Officer removed from duty after ramming runaway cow: UK police
Updated 16 June 2024
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Officer removed from duty after ramming runaway cow: UK police

Officer removed from duty after ramming runaway cow: UK police
  • 10-month-old cow, christened “Beau Lucy,” was examined by a vet and reunited with its owner

LONDON: An officer who tried to intercept a fleeing cow by hitting it with a vehicle in England has been removed from duty, police said in a statement on Sunday.
The incident occurred on Friday evening after police were called to a sighting of a cow in a residential area of the small town of Staines-upon-Thames in southern England.
Surrey Police on Sunday said that the officer driving the car had been “removed from frontline duties pending the outcome of these investigations.”
Deputy Chief Constable Nev Kemp of Surrey Police said: “I fully appreciate the distress our handling of this incident has caused and will ensure that it is thoroughly and diligently investigated.”
Images published on social media and in the British press showed a police car hitting the animal twice. The cow ended up with its head and upper body trapped under the police car.
“I can think of no reasonable need for this action. I’ve asked for a full, urgent explanation for this. It appears to be unnecessarily heavy handed,” Home Secretary James Cleverly wrote on X, formally Twitter.
On Saturday, police said that after several unsuccessful attempts to recover the cow and taking public safety into account, a decision was made to intercept the cow using the police vehicle.
The 10-month-old cow, christened “Beau Lucy,” was examined by a vet and reunited with its owner who said the animal was “doing better.”


Young British royals say ‘We love you, Papa’ in Father’s Day message

Young British royals say ‘We love you, Papa’ in Father’s Day message
Updated 17 June 2024
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Young British royals say ‘We love you, Papa’ in Father’s Day message

Young British royals say ‘We love you, Papa’ in Father’s Day message
  • The photograph was released a day after Kate, Britain’s Princess of Wales, was seen in public for the first time

LONDON: The three young children of British heir-to-the-throne Prince William and his wife Kate released a Father’s Day message and photograph on Sunday, saying “We love you, Papa.”
The photo shows the three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 9, and Prince Louis, 6, hugging William on a beach, with the photograph taken from behind as they all look out to sea.

The caption says the photo was taken by Kate and reads: “We love you, Papa. Happy Father’s Day,” followed by two red hearts and G, C & L.
The photograph was released a day after Kate, Britain’s Princess of Wales, was seen in public for the first time since she revealed she was undergoing treatment for cancer.
Kate, William and the children joined King Charles and other members of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after watching a military parade to celebrate the monarch’s official birthday.
The princess, 42, spent two weeks in hospital in January after she underwent major abdominal surgery. Two months later she announced in a video message that tests had revealed the presence of cancer and she was receiving preventative chemotherapy.
She is still undergoing treatment, but she said in a statement on Friday that she was able to attend the “Trooping the Color” event because she was making good progress, although she noted that she was “not out of the woods” yet.
In a separate post on Sunday, the couple shared a photograph of William as a child playing football with his father, Charles.