LAKA Manicure Express

LAKA Sin City Sparkle Review: The New Manicure Collection Exclusively for Las Vegas

Published On May 8, 2013 | By Christa Schueler | Fashion & Beauty, Shopping, Trends, Women

What Happens in Vegas.  Glitter Gulch.  All In.  Red Rock.  No, those aren’t just taglines and places to visit here in Las Vegas, they are also the names of the new nail lacquers from the Sin City Sparkle collection created by LAKA Manicure Express.  With three locations here in Southern Nevada, LAKA Manicure Express endeavors to stay on trend and look to local fashion and style for their latest collections.  Las Vegas was their latest inspiration since we’ve become a new mecca for fashion and innovation:

“The latest styles are always an inspiration when we create new lacquers, and these glittery hues are right on trend with the fashion in Las Vegas.” – Zohar Liran, CEO of LAKA USA, LLC.

LAKA provided Recess with the Sin City Sparkle collection. These pretty polishes, which includes all four shades plus an additional polish, retail for $35.  The trio package includes three Sin City Sparkle colors of your choice at the cost of $25 or purchase individually for $9 a bottle.

Produced in France, LAKA claims that all you need is one layer of polish as their lacquers are of the “highest quality in sealed colors”.  So with samples in hand, Recess beauty maven Mira put these sparkly nail polishes to the test.

Sin City Sparkle Collection

Lake Manicure nail polish

I have to say that I was a tad surprised how light the colors were when they were applied to the nail.  I was expecting the colors to be a bit more vibrant, especially since Las Vegas is ….well, vibrant.  However, the quality of the polish was outstanding.  I’ve often experienced “clumping” with polish, especially when it’s glittery and LAKA’s lacquer passed the test.  The polish went on smoothly and dried very quickly.  Had I wanted to keep the color light, I would have only needed one layer but I like my polish a tad darker so I used two coats.  So other than the unexpected lightness of the shades, I have to say I really like LAKA’s Sin City Sparkle.

LAKA Sin City Sparkle Collage

About LAKA Manicure Express

There are three locations here in Las Vegas: The Fashion Show Mall, Meadows Mall, and Premium Outlets (the South location).  Just look for their signature boutique-style kiosk and you’ll find a nice collection of their polishes.  You can also get the 15-minute manicure express which is nice if you’re in a hurry (hello, women with kids!).

The University of Nevada – Las Vegas Cheerleaders joined LAKA Manicure Express Managing Partner Zohar Liran; Franchisees Lior Nissim and Ilan Tausher; and Vice President of Franchise Marketing and Sales Richard Atkins at the grand opening celebration of LAKA Manicure Express inside Fashion Show mall on Thursday, Apr. 25.

The University of Nevada – Las Vegas Cheerleaders joined LAKA Manicure Express Managing Partner Zohar Liran; Franchisees Lior Nissim and Ilan Tausher; and Vice President of Franchise Marketing and Sales Richard Atkins at the grand opening celebration of LAKA Manicure Express inside Fashion Show mall on Thursday, Apr. 25.

For more information about LAKA Manicure Express, visit their website by clicking here.  You can also like their Facebook page and follow on Twitter and Instagram.

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About The Author

UNLV graduate, wife, mother of three, blogger and aspiring novelist, Christa Schueler brings her writing, editing and research skills to Recess. As an advocate for education and health reform and a 25 year Las Vegas resident, Christa understands the need for providing a platform and a "voice" for women in Southern Nevada. Despite Las Vegas being one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Christa has seen continual lack of community connection and strives to change that. Now, she's joined the sandbox revolution!

One Response to LAKA Sin City Sparkle Review: The New Manicure Collection Exclusively for Las Vegas

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    . There are no good statistics yet on how many people are moving from desk jobs to field work, but Kimberley Hart, Karen Sommerlad and Erik Jacobs have all made the transition. Ms Hart gave up making costumes for Broadway productions to grow vegetables on a modest rented farm in upstate New York, while Mr Jacobs left behind his career as a Boston-based freelance news photographer to study as an apprentice farmer. Meanwhile, Ms Sommerlad left a campus planning post at Harvard University to grow everything “from arugula [rocket] to zucchini [courgettes]”. The trend seems most noticeable in the north-eastern United States – where all three live – as well as in California, possibly because of the flourishing “eat local” movements and growth of farmers’ markets in both areas. ‘Viable career’ In the US, there are now 456,000 “beginning farmers”, defined by the government as those with less than a decade’s experience. According to the US Department of Agriculture, they are less likely than established farmers to receive government subsidies, and more likely to be college educated and have jobs off the farm. They also earn less from farming, and work smaller farms – though they aren’t necessarily younger than their more established peers. Although official statistics have yet to show an increase in the number of these novice farmers, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence. There are now more than 8,000 farmers’ markets across the US, a 38% increase in five years, and up from a few hundred a generation ago. At the Farm School in Athol, Massachusetts, demand for its year-long learn-to-farm programme has jumped from 15-20 applicants five years ago to nearly 50 this year, according to farm director Patrick Connors. He says the Farm School’s programme “grew out of this recognition that more and more people were looking to build these [farming] skills”. “This has become a viable career,” adds Mr Connors. “There’s lots of people in New England and California who run successful small businesses on their farms. As it’s become a more viable profession, I think more people are considering it.” Pupils on last year’s class at Farm School ranged in age from 19 to 53. Incoming students this autumn include a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher, and several business executives. Second jobs While no-one is getting rich running a small-scale farm, for Ms Sommerlad and her husband, David Cobb, it supplements their retirement earnings. “We really do it because we love growing food and connecting with the community,” says Ms Sommerlad. “The income is secondary.” For Ms Hart, her goal for this year is to make a modest $10,000 (?6,400) profit. “Even if we totally mess up, we should be able to make that,” she says. Yet virtually all small farmers – both the new and the experienced – supplement their crop earnings, sometimes with added-value products like making cheese from their cows’ milk. Often one partner will continue to have a non-farming job in the city, while the other manages the farm full-time. Ms Hart and her husband, Thad Simerly, have this arrangement. He still commutes to New York City for his job in plaster restoration, where he earns far more than they could ever make on the farm. At the Farm School, many graduates use their former careers as a way to supplement their agricultural earnings. Mr Jacobs will continue to take photos for editorial clients, as well as recording his farming experiences on his He plans to work as a salaried farmer this year, while his wife continues her job as a staff photographer at the Boston Globe. The two had their first child, a boy, in May. ‘Fickle market’ Another thing new farmers learn early – it often makes more sense to lease their acreage than fulfil their fantasy of owning the land themselves. Ms Hart leases her land, and Mr Jacobs is about to, now he has finished his programme at the Farm School. Mr Jacobs says renting instead of owning land will allow him to be free of burdensome debt that he worried would turn working the land into just another job. Ms Sommerlad and her husband own their land, but instead of buying an expensive field, they grow high-value vegetables for restaurants and farmers’ markets on just half an acre of their back yard in Sudbury, Vermont. “It’s kind of a fickle market, so we decided to stick with what we know we can grow,” says Ms Sommerlad. “We worked it out so that if we make money that’s terrific. If we don’t then we’re not going to go hungry. We’ll still have a roof over our head.” All three novices agree that the joy of farming vastly outweighs its low financial returns – at least so far. Ms Hart says her goal was to be self-sufficient and sustainable. And because she and her husband wanted an escape. “We wanted to make our living from farming to extricate ourselves from the city,” she says. Mr Jacobs says: “One of the ways I keep from despairing [about the world] is doing this farming thing. There’s a lot of peace in reducing my footprint and living my values.”Internet technology, especially mobile, allows us to monitor our resources like never before – in theory making sharing more possible.It is happening on both sides of the English Channel.The website , wants you to turn your kitchen into a restaurant, inviting guests to take part in your meal. The start-up has almost 3,000 users, almost half of whom are in France.The recent LeWeb conference, examined the sharing idea, which it called “Digital Hippydom” and it found that the French public and companies are particularly suited to the online, sharing economy.Meanwhile in Britain, uses apps to encourage people to share their experience of growing their own vegetables. It then allows users to trade their produce and create an online harvest for everyone to share.Video Journalist: Dougal ShawUp Next is a new series of video features for the BBC News website which examines the new developments that could affect all of our lives in the future.20 September 2012Last updated at 08:19 GMT The woman who lost all seven children By Robin BanerjiBBC World Service Sharon Bernardi lost all seven of her children to a rare genetic disease. It has driven her to support medical research that would allow defective genetic material to be replaced by DNA from another woman. Every time Sharon got pregnant she would pray that this time it would be different. She felt fine during pregnancy and the births went well, and then quickly something would start to go wrong. Each of her first three children died within hours of birth and no-one knew why. “It took us a long time to get over the first one and then it happened again. I was bewildered,” says Sharon, from Sunderland. “I was in shock.” After the third child died, doctors began to suspect that the deaths weren’t coincidental. But genetic investigation didn’t provide any definite answers. At the same time, her mother revealed that she’d had three stillbirths before Sharon had been born. Further investigations by doctors revealed that members of Sharon’s extended family had lost another eight children between them. “I didn’t know about my mum’s history,” says Sharon. “There was no need for me to know. I was my mother’s only child. And I think that in her era people didn’t really talk about things as they do now.” Then along came Edward, Sharon’s fourth child. This time the doctors were more prepared. For his first 48 hours, Edward received drugs and blood transfusions to prevent the lactic acidosis (a kind of blood poisoning) that had killed his siblings. Five weeks later Sharon and her husband Neil were allowed to take Edward to their home in Sunderland for Christmas. Edward lived. Although his health was often poor and Sharon had to care for him a lot of the time, he was a cheerful, active boy. At the age of four he started to have seizures. It was then that the doctors were finally able to diagnose Edward’s – and indeed Sharon’s – problem. Having gone through the history of Sharon’s babies, doctors diagnosed Edward with Leigh’s disease, a disorder that affects the central nervous system. The disease is caused by a defect in the mother’s mitochondria, often referred to as the power plant of the cell. “This is going to sound strange but I was relieved that, at last, I had an answer.” Not that the news made life much easier for Sharon. Her doctors told her that Edward could enjoy long periods of remission but that his health could also go down quite quickly. And meanwhile there was always the risk of Edward dying in one of his seizures, which could last for days. “It’s hard when you want to have a family, and you finally have a baby like Edward, and you think you’re finally getting somewhere with your hopes and your dreams, and then somebody tells you that at any moment your child is going to die.” Sharon and Neil Bernardi were told that Edward was going to die before he was five. “Obviously, you either go down or you start fighting,” says Sharon. Edward and his mother were fighters. In the end Edward survived into adulthood, dying last year at the age of 21. Sharon and Neil kept on trying for a healthy baby but without luck. Although three more children were born, none lived beyond the age of two. Each time one of their children died, they told themselves that “the death was a one-off”. After their last child had a heart attack and died in 2000 they stopped trying. “People ask, what was different about Edward? How come he survived as a baby when he had all the problems that would later build up? I don’t know but Edward had some fight in him. He was fighting to survive all his life. I think that was in his personality.” The death of all her children put strains on her marriage, and on the wider family. “It also affects the family, the grandparents, their hopes and dreams for their grandchildren.” People have accused Sharon and Neil of being selfish for wanting what they cannot have – their own family of healthy children. “I don’t think I am selfish,” says Sharon. “I wanted my child to be healthy.” “In the last year of his life Edward was in chronic pain. He had dystonic spasms caused by things going wrong in his brain. His muscles would go into spasm for up to six hours at a time. Drugs could not help him. Part of Edward’s body was beginning to fail.” The suffering of Sharon’s children has convinced her of the need to pursue the kind of genetic therapies that would allow mitochondrial defects to be remedied. “When you see somebody in pain you don’t want to see somebody else in pain. You don’t want to see a child who is born only to suffer and die before they’re two, or if they do survive to have devastating disabilities.” “It’s not about being selfish. It’s not about wanting designer babies. It’s not about doing injustice to people with disabilities. It’s about trying to create a healthy baby. It’s about trying to give a child a future.” Sharon Bernardi was talking to BBC World Service’s NewshourWatch the latest World Debates 2012 From Tokyo, Japan From Johannesburg, South Africa From Davos, Switzerland Recorded 27 January 2012 From Paris, France Recorded 6 July 2012 2011 From Mumbai, India Recorded 13 November 2011 From Rome, Italy Recorded 25 September 2011 From Washington, DC Recorded 22 September 2011 From Vienna, Austria Recorded 21 June 2011 From St Petersburg, Russia Recorded 17 June 2011 From Lusaka, Zambia Recorded 16 June 2011 From Jakarta, Indonesia Recorded 13 June 2011 From Washington DC Recorded 24 May 2011 From Nuuk, Greenland Recorded 12 May 2011 From Brussels, Belgium Recorded 26 March 2011 From Johannesburg, South Africa Recorded 12 March 2011 From Istanbul, Turkey Recorded 23 February 2011 From Davos, Switzerland Recorded 29 January 2011 2010 From Luxor, Egypt Recorded December 12 2010 From Dubai, UAE Recorded 30 November 2010 From Marrakech, Morocco Recorded 27 October 2010Discover a world of news in one place. From Monday 14 January 2013, the BBC gathers its news journalism under one roof. On screen, BBC World News looks sharper and more dynamic than ever before, with high definition and virtual reality studios and innovative multi-platform content helping to bring the news to life like never before. The BBC employs more journalists than any other international broadcaster and produces news in 28 languages. The World’s Newsroom is a melting pot for the best journalism in the world, using five custom-built studios with new sets and fresh creative graphics and cutting-edge cameras with virtual reality and 3D capabilities to create news that’s immersive, dynamic, and more engaging than ever. Watch BBC World News to experience a new era in news broadcasting, and see some photographs of the . You can also hear from fellow on the many languages in which we broadcast, find out more about our new and watch our . Read a about the changes by Andrew Roy, head of news for BBC World News. For the list of all programmes, go to23 June 2012Last updated at 10:51 GMT The world’s oldest clove tree By Simon WorrallTernate, Indonesia Indonesia’s “Spice Islands” produced more nutmeg, mace, pepper and cloves than anywhere else in the world and on the island of Ternate, one particular tree has an extraordinary history. “Bule, Bule,” shout the children excitedly, as our jeep threads its way up a steep road on the side of the volcano. “White man, White man.” I am on Ternate, one of Indonesia’s fabled Spice Islands. The midday call to prayer mingles with the mosquito-whine of motorcycles. Above us, smoke seeps from the side of Gamalama, the pyramid-shaped volcano that dominates the island. It had erupted only a month earlier, sending a tongue of molten lava pouring down the mountain into the sea. This part of the world is not called “The Ring of Fire” for nothing. I am searching for the world’s oldest clove tree. Why it is called Afo, no one knows. Neither is it exactly certain when Afo was planted. But estimates suggest it is between 350 and 400 years old. For millennia, Ternate and the neighbouring island of Tidore were the world’s only source of those fragrant, twig-like herbs that love to hide at the back of our kitchen cupboards. Cloves from Ternate were traded by Arab seafarers along the maritime Silk Route as far afield as the Middle East, Europe and China. A Han dynasty ruler from the 3rd Century BC insisted that anyone addressing him chew cloves to sweeten their breath. Their origin was a fiercely-guarded secret until the Portuguese and Spanish burst into the Java Sea in the 16th Century. Our hip, young Indonesian driver is clearly baffled as to why anyone should want to see an old tree. And he clearly has no idea where Afo is. At a roadside stall selling everything from basketballs to fruit, we stop to ask directions. The stallholder points back down the hill. With great difficulty, and reeking brake pads, we turn round and drive back down the volcano. After a few hundred yards, we spot a signboard pointing to some steps cut into the hillside. The path winds upwards through groves of clove trees and bamboo. We are at nearly 1,800m (6,000ft) above sea level. Below us, through the foliage, I can just make out the sea and, beyond it, the island of Tidore. Huffing and puffing up one last flight of steps I find myself under a tree that was probably here when Shakespeare was alive. Afo was once 40 metres tall and four metres round. Sadly, today, all that remains is a massive stump and some bare branches. A few years ago, villagers hungry for firewood even attacked Afo with machetes. A brick wall now surrounds it. If the Dutch had had their way, Afo would not have survived at all. The Netherlands United East India Company, or Voc, was the world’s first multinational corporation. And just as corporations today seek to monopolise plant genes in the developing world, the Voc set about seizing total control of spice production. In 1652, after displacing the Portuguese and Spanish, the Dutch introduced a policy known as extirpatie: extirpation. All clove trees not controlled by the Voc were uprooted and burned. Anyone caught growing, stealing or possessing clove plants without authorisation faced the death penalty. On the Banda Islands, to the south – the world’s only source of nutmeg – the Dutch used Japanese mercenaries to slaughter almost the entire male population. Like Opec today, the Voc also limited supply to keep prices high. Only 800-1,000 tonnes of cloves were exported per year. The rest of the harvest was burned or dumped in the sea. Somehow, Afo managed to slip through the net. A rogue clove. A guerrilla plant waging a secret war of resistance. Afo would eventually bring down the Dutch monopoly on cloves. In 1770, a Frenchman, appropriately named Poivre, stole some of Afo’s seedlings. This Monsieur Pepper took them to France, then the Seychelles Islands and, eventually, Zanzibar, which is today the world’s largest producer of cloves. As I stand looking up into its branches, I wonder who planted Afo – and kept its location secret all those years. Or did it just survive because of its remoteness high on the slopes of Gamalama? Either way, this ancient clove tree remains a symbol of the ultimate folly of empire – and the stubborn refusal of nature to be controlled. How to listen to From Our Own Correspondent: BBC Radio 4: A 30-minute programme on Saturdays, 11:30 BST. Second 30-minute programme on Thursdays, 11:00 BST (some weeks only). or BBC World Service: Hear daily 10-minute editions Monday to Friday, repeated through the day, also available to . Read more or at the .30 September 2013Last updated at 19:44 GMT Thief Yafet Askale caught out by ‘invisible’ dye A thief who broke into a decoy car was caught out due to an “anti-crime” dye that turned his face bright green. Yafet Askale, 28, was sprayed with the substance, which can only be seen under ultraviolet light, when he broke into a police “trap car” in Harlesden, north-west London. Askale denied the charge of theft from a motor vehicle, but was convicted at Hendon Magistrates’ Court. Police said that the dye proved Askale had been in the car. He was also found to have a number of stolen items, including a laptop. Askale, of Harlesden Gardens, Harlesden, was sentenced on Friday to 49 hours of community service and was ordered to pay ?400 costs. Brent Police said they had also been providing residents with invisible dye kits so they can mark their property to deter thieves.27 March 2013Last updated at 17:31 GMT This is BBC News BBC News reaches about 40 million adults in the UK every week – its international services are consumed by an additional 239 million adults around the world. The department is the largest in the BBC in terms of staff, with more than 8,500 people around the UK and the rest of the world. BBC News incorporates network news (the newsroom, news programmes such as Newsnight and Newsbeat, political programmes such as the Daily Politics, and the weather team), English Regions and Global News. Material is brought into the BBC by its newsgathering staff, one of the largest operations of its kind in the world, with more than 40 international bureaux and seven in the UK. It is transmitted to audiences on an increasingly diverse range of platforms including tablet computers and mobile phones. NETWORK NEWSROOM The 24-hour newsroom is responsible for the One, Six and Ten O’Clock bulletins, the BBC News channel, radio bulletins and summaries, BBC World, the World Service and the BBC News website. Since 2013, nearly all this output has been produced and transmitted from the new wing of Broadcasting House (NBH) at the north end of Regent Street in central London. It is tucked behind the original Art Deco building that was opened as the BBC’s first purpose-built headquarters in 1932. NBH is occupied by 3,000 journalists and production staff in the news division. At the heart of the building, occupying the basement and ground floors, is the multimedia newsroom, the biggest in Europe, which brings together all the BBC’s network and global news production for the first time. From here, BBC journalists, many of them specialists, deliver high-quality audio, visual and text accounts of breaking news and significant events with merged teams and shared content to meet the world’s appetite for on-demand news. NEWS IN SALFORD BBC Breakfast and Radio 5 live are broadcast from MediaCity UK, in Salford Quays, approximately two miles from Manchester city centre. Radio 5 live news employs about 130 journalists who produce some 75% of the network’s output, or about 130 hours a week. NEWS PROGRAMMES The department brings together all the major daily and weekly current affairs programmes, investigative journalism and major interview programmes, including Panorama, Today and Newsnight. The department also includes services focused on distinctive audiences, including BBC World Service news programmes such as Newshour and BBC Radio 1 news programmes such as Newsbeat. This is the home of much of the BBC’s original journalism and material is shared across news outlets to enrich content for as many audiences as possible. POLITICAL PROGRAMMES The political programmes department, based within a stone’s throw of the Palace of Westminster, reports on the decisions and activities of the UK government, MPs and peers. It makes and broadcasts programmes such as Today (and Yesterday) in Parliament on Radio 4, and BBC Two’s Daily and Sunday Politics as well as the BBC Parliament TV channel. It also provides a huge amount of material for BBC network TV and radio outlets, the BBC News website and regional TV and local radio. Elections – local, general and European – are covered by BBC Westminster. The political research unit provides background information and reliable statistics on parties, policies and polling, producing indispensable election guides which are studied and treasured by politics geeks and other staff across the corporation. NEWSGATHERING “Where do you get the news from?” is a question frequently asked by audiences and the answer is, for the most part, BBC newsgathering. Some news is scheduled and planners and staff, known as news organisers, are able to deploy in advance correspondents, producers, camera crews, and on occasion, the BBC helicopter. Even with advanced warning, meeting the demands of all the BBC outlets can present a challenge for reporters, who might face requests for a two-way – or live interview – in the first minutes of the Today programme just after 06:00, frequent appearances on the News Channel and network radio throughout the day, a piece for the website and a package for the Ten O’Clock TV bulletin, with an update for The World Tonight. Newsgathering, home and foreign, must also respond to unpredictable events such as murders, floods, transport crashes, earthquakes and wars and rumours of wars. It can be a dangerous calling. Foreign correspondents, producers, camera crews, fixers and translators frequently risk their lives to draw attention to the history of the world as it unfolds. GLOBAL NEWS BBC Global News includes the BBC World Service, BBC World News television, (the BBC’s international-facing news site) and BBC Monitoring. The BBC’s international news services attract a global audience of 239 million in more than 200 countries and territories. Together they represent the voice and face of the corporation to the rest of the world. Residents of Nairobi, for example, are likely to regard as the face of the BBC the Ghanaian journalist Komla Dumor, presenter of Focus on Africa, the daily news programme focusing on African stories. BBC Global is increasingly working with partners to build audiences across the United States, Asia and Africa. AROUND THE UK BBC English Regions, part of the BBC News Group, is made up of 3,000 staff based from the Channel Islands in the south to the border with Scotland in the north. It is split into 12 regions, each broadcasting regional news programmes throughout the day along with weekly politics, current affairs and sport shows from their regional centres. Each region has up to six local radio stations and up to six BBC local websites. There are also teams working in bureaux in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales to provide programming for their own national audiences as well as contributing to network news. The BBC’s 40 local radio stations reach more than seven million listeners across the UK. WEATHER The BBC weather centre produces forecasts for TV, radio, online, mobile and Red Button, in partnership with the Met Office. The BBC weather presenters are all trained broadcast meteorologists.15 September 2013Last updated at 23:09 GMT Thomas Flohr: The high-flying multi-millionaire By Will SmaleBusiness reporter, BBC News As international, multi-millionaire jetsetters go, Thomas Flohr certainly looks the part. With his tan, stubble, swept back hair, and jeans and jacket combination, he is the type of man you can picture stepping off a private plane after flying in from somewhere exotic. It is a pretty apt image because Mr Flohr owns a large fleet of private jets. The Swiss national is the founder, boss, and 100% owner of VistaJet, the world’s fastest-growing airline you have probably never heard of, and most probably can only dream of affording to use. Founded in 2004, VistaJet now has 35 planes, and is quickly adding to that number. Such is the demand for its services that earlier this year it signed the biggest deal in business aviation history – a $7.8bn (?4.9bn; 5.87bn euros) order for 56 jets, and options for 86 more, from Canada’s Bombardier. With claimed revenue growth of 26% a year, Mr Flohr highlights three underlying factors behind VistaJet’s success – it only uses the newest and most luxurious planes, it will fly to anywhere in the world no matter how remote, and it targets emerging economies such as China and India. “You have to trust your instincts,” he says. “I sensed that the [business jet] market was underserved, and I wanted to challenge the established players. I like a good David versus Goliath fight.” Long-distance jets For those of us unaccustomed to the rarefied world of private jets, the market is dominated by a handful of American providers who offer businesses the chance to invest in a fractional stake in a plane, which they then share. In addition, there are a great many smaller providers, who can rent you a plane per journey, with the deal most likely being done via a broker. Mr Flohr’s plan was to create a global brand that businesses, wealthy individuals, or even governments, could simply hire a plane directly from when they wanted it. There would be no complicated fractional deals or brokerages. “The fractional system only really operates in the US because that is the only country that offers tax breaks for it,” says Mr Flohr. “It makes no sense outside of America, and particularly in China. “Instead they just want to rent a plane, and they want the best possible quality. But if you do this via a broker, you often don’t know the level of quality, or otherwise, or age, of the plane that turns up.” So with VistaJet businesses go to it directly. And as its fleet contains Bombardier’s long range Global 6,000 planes, VistaJet can fly anywhere in the world. It also pledges to be able to fly to any airport with a sufficient runway, be it somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Siberia or Sub-Saharan Africa. “This really sets us apart,” says Mr Flohr. “We’ll go where our rivals don’t want to. If any oil executive needs to go to the back of beyond, we’ll get him there. “With the fractional guys, they don’t want their planes to do this because they want them to be readily available for the other part-owners.” ‘Risky move’ But as Mr Flohr continues with his ambitious growth plans for VistaJet, how does someone without an aviation background get into the private planes business? After studying business and politics at university in Munich, Germany, he made his fortune working in asset finance in his 20s and 30s. His job allowed him the use of private planes, and he started to question how the industry operated. So thinking he could do things better, he bought his first two planes. Mr Flohr says: “I had two jets and they were paying for themselves, so I went out in 2005 and took the biggest risk of my life – I bought three more aeroplanes. Thankfully I haven’t looked back from there.” VistaJet now has 170 pilots and carries out more than 10,000 flights per year, including flying to 136 different airports in Africa. “We have been greatly helped by the big growth in the emerging economies,” says Mr Flohr. “Even just five years ago, Indian businessmen didn’t use private planes, but now they do, the same in China. We are there to serve them, and business is very strong, in Russia too. The so called Bric nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have helped us greatly.” He adds that VistaJet is also benefiting from a resurgence in Western firms wishing to hire his planes again, as their economies recover. Constant traveller Despite Mr Flohr’s job seeing him almost constantly travelling the world on VistaJet planes, he does not believe he lives a jet-set life. “I see all the travel as a necessity – I want to meet with my clients in person,” he says. And so in one average fortnight he flew from his base in Switzerland to China, Russia, the US, Mozambique, the UK and Italy. When he does get spare time, he likes to race go-karts, spend time with his daughter, and cook meals for friends. But what advice would he give would-be entrepreneurs? “Stop looking at social media websites, and instead work out what contribution you can make to the world, and go and do it,” he says. “Find your niche, find what you are good at, and focus on that. And be a good person along the way – if you try to take shortcuts it will just come back and haunt you.”4 October 2013Last updated at 23:51 GMT Thousands get set for Great Scottish Run in Glasgow Drivers are facing diversions and delays as thousands of runners take to the streets of Glasgow this weekend for the Great Scottish Run. Some of the world’s top athletes will be joining 24,000 club, charity and fun runners for Sunday’s 10K and half marathon events. Four junior and family races are being held in the city centre on Saturday. The Great Scottish Run was first held in 1982 with the 2012 event reaching a record high of 24,089 runners. Runners will go along some of the city’s most famous landmarks, iconic buildings and Commonwealth Games venues. Both the 10K and half marathon will start at George Square in the city centre and cross the Clyde before heading back to Glasgow Green. Road closures Half marathon participants will cross the Kingston Bridge to the city’s southside and Bellahouston Park before crossing the Squinty Bridge and running along the Clydeside Expressway and the Broomielaw to Glasgow Green. Those running in the 10K will also run along the Clydeside Expressway before crossing the Clyde at the Squinty Bridge then heading to Glasgow Green via the same bridge and the Broomielaw. The 10K begins at 09:30 on Sunday with the half marathon following at 11:00. Four junior and family runs will be held around George Square and the Merchant City from 09:45 on Saturday. A number of road closures will be in place over the weekend and diversions set up.The Mexican military has airlifted hundreds of tourists stranded in the flooded resort of Acapulco, after deadly storms hit eastern Tamaulipas state and western Guerrero state.But thousands remain trapped in the city and elsewhere and there are fears the death toll may rise as rescue teams reach remote areas. Tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel swamped large swathes of the country over the weekend, sparking landslides and causing rivers to overflow in several states.Will Grant reports.28 September 2013Last updated at 15:41 GMT Thousands take part in Belfast UVF commemoration parade Thousands of people have taken part in a parade to mark the centenary of the formation of the UVF in west Belfast. A century ago at Fernhill House in the Glencairn area, unionist leader Edward Carson inspected members of the west Belfast section of the Ulster Volunteer Force. More than 10,000 people took part in the march to Fernhill, making it one of the biggest parades of the year. Many of them were dressed in period costume. The parade was a re-enactment of one of the key events of the Home Rule crisis. Some of the drums played are 100 years old and were used at the event the parade is commemorating. The Ulster Volunteer Force was formed to resist plans to make Ireland self-governing, but many members went on to fight in the First World War. The parade was led by a horse-drawn carriage and also featured a vintage car which was used by the IRA in the early 20th century. Progressive Unionist Party leader Billy Hutchinson read extracts of Carson’s speech as part of the event.24 September 2013Last updated at 08:48 GMT Thousands visit Gromit statue show in Bristol More than 25,000 people visited an exhibition of Gromit statues in Bristol, organisers said. The show featured all 81 of the models, which were on the streets of Bristol during the summer. It had originally been planned to last five days and close on Sunday but ran for an extra day to cope with the “extraordinary demand”. The Gromits are due to be auctioned on 3 October to raise money for Bristol’s Children’s Hospital. The auction will be hosted by Sotheby’s auctioneer and TV antiques presenter Tim Wonnacott, in The Mall pavilion at Cribbs Causeway shopping centre. Huge queues of Wallace and Gromit fans waited up to eight hours outside the venue for the show, in Queen’s Road at the weekend. The statues of Aardman Animation’s much-loved canine creation, decorated by well-known celebrities and artists, made up an arts trail across the city. The exhibition, which was originally intended to take place at the Royal West of England Academy in Clifton, Bristol, was moved to the nearby former Habitat store to cope with the expected numbers.18 December 2012Last updated at 01:10 GMT Three faces of the new Tunisia It is two years since protests began in Tunisia after Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire outside local government offices in the central town of Sidi Bouzid – the act that sparked the Arab Spring. His death prompted a nationwide uprising that led to the overthrow of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, and hopes of a fairer Tunisia. But two years later, unemployment is even higher than at the time of the uprising, and during recent demonstrations in the town of Siliana, police opened fire on protesters with birdshot. The BBC’s Imogen Foulkes has talked to three very different Tunisians about their hopes and fears. Mahjoub El Harbaoui, local government worker from Siliana It was a peaceful demonstration, a legal demonstration. We were making legitimate demands for jobs and better services. Our province has been neglected economically, and our local governor isn’t helping. We marched from the trade union offices to the governor’s house, but we weren’t asking to replace him. We wanted to ask for investment in our region, I mean, if we can’t speak to our own governor about that kind of thing, who can we speak to? But we were answered with “cartouches” (birdshot). I got shot in the eye, and I don’t know if I will keep the sight in this eye now. I have had an operation, the doctors here are doing their best, but I just don’t know. I can’t believe this happened, I’m not a “casseur” (hooligan). I was demonstrating peacefully. I am 46 and I have two very young daughters. If I lose my sight I might not be able to work. Siliana is a region that’s always been forgotten in Tunisia, and now the economic situation is even worse. There is a feeling that we are just not paid attention to, that no-one cares about our problems here, that no-one really respects us. It’s as if we just don’t count, as if we are not a factor in any one’s equation. And I think you can say that about a lot of Tunisia now. Sonia El Ghoul, police trainer in Tunis I trained originally as a lawyer, but then I took the police examinations as well. I won a competition to get into police officer training. Now I am a superintendent. I am very happy in my job right now, the fact that we are in transition makes it a real challenge. We know we are working to change things and that motivates us. Such things [the shootings in Siliana] can happen anywhere, but it should be a lesson to us and to the people too. It’s true that at the moment we don’t have a lot of trust from the people, but we are trying, every day, just with little things, to build up confidence. Just the way we talk to people, for example, can help to build up trust. After all, we are dealing with the public every day, so it is important that every police officer knows what human rights are. He or she needs to know that having the confidence of the public is a must – in that respect we do need to change mentalities, of our officers, and of the public. But police officers are people too. There are good ones and bad ones, just like everywhere else. There have been big changes in the last two years, but the biggest is that we have the freedom to say what we think. And there is more respect for the other person’s point of view. For the police, it means we discuss things a lot more than we did in the past. We talk about the law, how we must stay within the law, and we can question our superiors. I am an optimist, yes, I am positive about the future. Things are changing in Tunisia every day and, of course, there are difficulties, but I think we will succeed. Tarek Cheniti, UN human rights officer I’m Tunisian, but I was working and studying in the UK when the uprising first began. And I had a fellowship to the United States, but instead I went back and joined the uprising. So I took part in the events that led to the collapse of the Ben Ali regime, and that had a tremendous impact on me personally because I saw men and women getting together to claim their rights and do so in a peaceful way – that’s why I took the job I have now. We can make a difference. We can highlight the situation of particular groups of people who might be at risk, the situation of rural women for example, or religious minorities, or indeed any minority. You can talk about all these things in Tunisia now, some of these topics were taboo under the Ben Ali regime, which used to project the image of a progressive and modern political regime but it wasn’t the case. So this is a window of opportunity in Tunisia. With Siliana, in a way the events there almost make me hopeful for the future because it was a demonstration against decisions taken in unaccountable ways. People protested against the governor whom they thought did not represent them and that movement was extremely peaceful. At one point they even left the town, and left him alone in the governor’s residence, as a way of telling him he did not represent them properly. Things like this are very normal in democratic transitions, and they have to happen. I would be worried if there were no protests. But it’s important for the police to recognise that the kind of force they used in Siliana is never an option. So we are working on changing laws, and on changing attitudes. It will take time, but it will happen.20 March 2013Last updated at 15:34 GMT Three-person IVF moves closer in UK By James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News The UK has moved closer to becoming the first country to allow the creation of babies from three people. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised the government that there is no evidence the advanced forms of IVF were unsafe. The fertility regulator’s public consultation also showed “general support” for the idea as the benefits outweighed the risks. A final decision on whether to press ahead rests with ministers. If the techniques were approved it could help a handful of families each year. Around one in 6,500 children develop serious “mitochondrial disorders” which are debilitating and fatal. Research suggests that using mitochondria from a donor egg can prevent the diseases. However, it would result in babies having DNA from two parents and a tiny amount from a third donor. Concerns have been raised both about the safety and the ethics of creating such babies. The results of a public consultation at the end of 2012 showed there was support for the idea. Prof Neva Haites, who was on the expert panel supervising the consultation, said: “Broadly speaking the public was in favour of these novel techniques being translated into treatments. “They felt that any ethical concerns were outweighed by potential benefits.” One of the main issues raised was of a “slippery slope” which could lead to other forms of genetic modification. ‘Power stations’ Mitochondria are the tiny biological power stations that give energy to nearly every cell of the body. Defects can leave the body starved of energy, resulting in muscle weakness, blindness, heart failure and death in the most extreme cases. The cigar-shaped mitochondria are passed only from mother to child. A father does not pass on his mitochondria through his sperm. Scientists have devised two techniques that allow them to take the genetic information from the mother and place it into the egg of a donor with healthy mitochondria. It is like taking two fried eggs and switching the yolks. How would it work? The result is a baby with genetic information from three people, as mitochondria have their own genes in their own DNA. The implications are not just for the couple and the child. If the therapy was performed it would have ramifications through the generations as scientists would be altering human genetic inheritance. ‘Recommendations’ The HFEA has advised that any changes to the law should be only for the modification of mitochondria to overcome serious diseases and that there should still be a ban on changes to the main nuclear DNA, which contains the vast majority of a person’s genetic code. It also recommended continuing research and that any children born through these techniques, and possible the children’s children, be monitored closely. There was vigorous discussion at the HFEA Open Meeting, where the advice to ministers was agreed, around issues of identification. In sperm and egg donation the donor is identified. The meeting agreed to advise ministers that there should be no right for the child to know the identity of the donor, however, the HFEA will tell ministers that public opinion was mixed. Mr Hossam Abdalla, clinical director of the Lister Fertility Clinic in London, told the meeting: “If a child wants to know about that, why are we so restrictive… why are we telling them we they can’t have this access?” ‘Astounded’ Prof Lisa Jardine, chairwoman of the HFEA, said the UK was in one of the most advanced positions in the world. “Other countries are astounded that we’re this far on in the discussions,” she said. However, she pointed out the techniques would be used only for mitochondrial disorders: “This is not a Rubicon or a slippery slope.” One of the pioneers of the field, Prof Doug Turnbull, from Newcastle University, said: “The techniques we are working on could help hundreds of women have healthy children.” He said more research was required, but it was now “crucial” that the government approved the techniques in the UK. The Department of Health said mitochondrial diseases could have a “devastating impact” on families and it would consider the HFEA’s advice. Making three-person IVF legal would not require a new act of Parliament, but would require a vote in both the Commons and the Lords. Speaking after the meeting Dr David King, the director of Human Genetics Alert, said: “Historians of the future will point to this as the moment when technocrats crossed the crucial line, the decision that led inexorably to the disaster of genetically engineered babies and consumer eugenics. “This was the moment at which they casually tossed the bioethical consensus of the last 30 years into the trash. And for what? “Not so mothers could avoid having sick babies, because they could do that already, through egg donation. It was so that a few dozen mothers who insisted they must be genetically related to their child could be satisfied.”13 August 2013Last updated at 11:35 GMT Tibet profile Tibet, the remote and mainly-Buddhist territory known as the “roof of the world”, is governed as an autonomous region of China. Beijing claims a centuries-old sovereignty over the Himalayan region. But the allegiances of many Tibetans lie with the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, seen by his followers as a living god, but by China as a separatist threat. International attention was focused on the territory in 2008 during the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. Fatal clashes between anti-Chinese protesters and the authorities in Tibet were given wide publicity and the torch relay in London, Paris and San Francisco was dogged by pro-Tibet protests and stunts. Tibet has had a tumultuous history, during which it has spent some periods functioning as an independent entity and others ruled by powerful Chinese and Mongolian dynasties. China sent in thousands of troops to enforce its claim on the region in 1950. Some areas became the Tibetan Autonomous Region and others were incorporated into neighbouring Chinese provinces. In 1959, after a failed anti-Chinese uprising, the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet and set up a government in exile in India. Most of Tibet’s monasteries were destroyed in the 1960s and 1970s during China’s Cultural Revolution. Thousands of Tibetans are believed to have been killed during periods of repression and martial law. China accused of repression Under international pressure, China eased its grip on Tibet in the 1980s, introducing “Open Door” reforms and boosting investment. Beijing says Tibet has developed considerably under its rule. But rights groups say China continues to violate human rights, accusing Beijing of political and religious repression. Beijing denies any abuses. Tourism and the ongoing modernisation drive stand in contrast to Tibet’s former isolation. But Beijing’s critics say Tibetans have little say in building their future. China says a new railway link between Lhasa and the western Chinese province of Qinghai will boost economic expansion. The link is likely to increase the influx of Chinese migrants. ‘Reincarnation’ Buddhism reached Tibet in the seventh century. The Dalai Lama, or Ocean of Wisdom, is the leading spiritual figure; the Panchen Lama is the second most important figure. Both are seen as the reincarnations of their predecessors. The selection of a Dalai Lama and a Panchen Lama has traditionally followed a strict process. But the Dalai Lama and Beijing are at odds over the 11th incarnation of the Panchen Lama, having identified different youngsters for the role. The Dalai Lama’s choice, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, has not been seen since his detention by the Chinese authorities in 1995. There have been intermittent and indirect contacts between China and the Dalai Lama. The exiled spiritual leader advocates a non-violent, negotiated solution to the Tibet problem and accepts the notion of real autonomy for Tibet under Chinese sovereignty. China has questioned his claims that he does not seek independence. China has also accused the Dalai Lama of inciting the dozens of self-immolations that since 2009 have taken place among Tibetans opposed to Chinese rule. He rejects this and has questioned the effectiveness of such protests. Tibet’s economy depends largely on agriculture. Forests and grasslands occupy large parts of the country. The territory is rich in minerals, but poor transport links have limited their exploitation. Tourism is an important revenue earner.30 October 2012Last updated at 08:06 GMT Time to heal: The materials that repair themselves By Paul RinconScience editor, BBC News website At some point in the near future you’ll wear out those running shoes, break that squash racket, drop your smartphone and crack the screen. They will need to be replaced – at a cost. But what if we made things from materials that can heal themselves – like a plant or animal heals a wound? According to experts, the first products with truly self-healing properties may be just around the corner. Serious proposals for this technology go back at least as far as the 1960s, when Soviet researchers published theory papers on the topic. led by Scott White from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, that really helped to kick-start the field. The group infused a plastic-like polymer with microscopic capsules containing a liquid healing agent. Cracking open the material caused the capsules to rupture, releasing the healing agent. When the agent made contact with a catalyst embedded in the material, a chemical reaction bonded the two faces of the crack together. The polymer recovered some 75% of its original toughness. In the last decade, the team has developed and refined its capsule-based systems, recently demonstrating an electrical circuit that . Microcapsules in the gold circuit released liquid metal in response to damage, swiftly restoring electrical conductivity, and bringing self-repairing electronic chips a step closer. Co-author Dr Benjamin Blaiszik, now at Argonne National Laboratory, explained that the self-healing circuitry could find uses in a military setting where it would be exposed to extreme stresses or in long-term space applications. He adds: “Imagine if there is a mechanical failure of a microchip on the Curiosity rover, due to thermomechanical stresses, or if there had been an interconnect failure during the landing phase. There is obviously no way to manually repair nor replace the probe.” The Illinois group is already commercialising their work via a spin-out company, , which has raised about $4m (?2.4m) of investment. Its chief executive, Joe Giuliani, told me the first applications of microcapsule systems are likely to be in coatings, paints and adhesives for environments where corrosion poses a challenge. “Worldwide, corrosion costs over $500bn (?312bn) a year, so it’s a huge problem,” he told BBC News. Oil and gas is a key area. Re-healable products are likely to find uses on platforms – where the ability to heal drilling parts would be highly desirable – in pipelines and in refineries. They would potentially last several years longer than their conventional counterparts, lengthening the periods between maintenance. “Over the life of that asset, there would be huge savings,” says Giuliani. “It is out of commission for a lot less time too, which in the oil and gas business is huge. It can cost them $500,000 (?312,000) or $1m (?624,000) a day if an asset is out of service.” Military vehicles, cars and ships are other targets for self-healing coatings. The firm has about 30 products in testing and development and expects to fulfil its first commercial orders in the next six months. Some manufacturers might not welcome the idea of products that last years longer than usual. But paint and coatings producers “know they can get more per gallon of paint they’re selling,” says Mr Giuliani, “the customers have shown us they’re willing to pay the up-charge.” Scott White, from Illinois University’s Beckman Institute, says that healing structural damage in sports equipment or aircraft components, for example, represents a “mid-term target” for scientists. He told BBC News that the whole area of self-healing has seen an explosion of interest in the last decade, with some 200 academic papers published on the topic last year alone. And scientists are working on everything from re-healable polymers and composites (materials made from two or more different ones) to self-repairing metals and ceramics. Since 2001, two new approaches have joined microcapsules as approaches to self-repair. Taking the circulatory system as their inspiration, vascular methods rely on a network of channels (like capillaries, veins and arteries) within the material to deliver healing agent to the site of damage. Intrinsic systems, meanwhile, exploit the reversible nature of certain chemical bonds to incorporate healing abilities directly into the material. Each of the three approaches has advantages and limitations that come into play when considering applications. Microcapsules are finite: as they get used up, the material loses its healing properties. And intrinsic systems need a stimulus – such as heat or light – to trigger healing, which can be good or bad depending on the application. If the amount of damage is microscopic, capsule-based or intrinsic systems may be the best option. But, says Prof White, “if it’s a large damaged volume, then neither of those approaches are going to work and you have to go with a vascular-based system”. This is because they allow large amounts of healing agent to be transported to the breached area. But the sheer complexity of vascular networks presents a daunting challenge. Self-healing systems Prof Ian Bond and his colleague Dr Richard Trask at Bristol University are developing vascular networks based on hollow fibres that transmit healing agent through polymer composite materials. “A self-healing aeroplane is the idea,” Prof Bond tells me. The composite materials extensively used in the structural elements of aircraft “are inherently damage prone”, says Prof Bond, adding: “You often can’t see it even though it can have a serious knock-down effect on performance.” The Bristol team is targeting known areas of stress build-up inside the skin of a plane. “Self-healing in those sorts of areas is potentially very attractive because you know you’re going to get cracks there,” he explains. The challenge is likely to be in convincing aviation authorities of the technology’s value and safety. So Prof Bond is working to overcome some of the hurdles facing vascular systems. The step up from microcapsules to a network in two or three dimensions, for example, presents a significant manufacturing challenge. Fluid flow – getting the healing agent through the material – represents another problem. Then there is the issue of controlling when healing happens. “If you think of blood, it doesn’t clot until it’s outside the vessel,” he says. “You want something like that, because the danger with simple chemistries is that the whole network, once healing has been triggered, will just solidify.” Despite this, says Scott White, vascular networks offer exceptional healing efficiency and vast possibilities. “In some of the laboratory tests we’ve done, we’ve been able to show we could heal something 15, 20, 30 times in a row,” he says. Prof Stuart Rowan at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, has developed a polymer-based material that in response to an intense beam of ultraviolet light. He says: “What you can imagine is essentially a paint coating on your car that you can heal whenever someone has rubbed a key down the side of it.” Unlike conventional polymers, which are composed of long, chain-like molecules, this material (an example of an intrinsic system) is composed of smaller molecules. They are assembled into chains with metal ions acting as “glue” between them. UV light causes these bonds to weaken, turning the solid into a liquid. When the light is switched off, the material quickly solidifies. Prof Rowan told BBC News: “Having proved the concept, we are working on the next generation of films that utilise such concepts for photohealing but where the materials exhibit better properties better designed for a specific application.” Meanwhile, Henk Jonkers and Erik Schlangen at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands want to bring self-repair to the world’s most used building material: concrete. Concrete has a serious flaw: it is prone to cracks. Small cracks are a routine outcome of concrete hardening. But over time water and chemicals get inside the fractures and corrode the concrete. developed at TU Delft could improve the service life of the structure – promising considerable cost savings. Harmless calcite-producing bacteria, along with nutrients, are embedded in the concrete mixture. When water activates the dormant spores, the microbes feed on the nutrients to produce limestone, patching up cracks and small holes. Longer-term, Scott White envisages materials that respond in a more complex way to damage or wear, renewing themselves over their lifetimes, in much the way that bones do. Self-healing provides a case study in the way that biological systems can drive advances in materials, but Ian Bond says: “There’s a lot more we could do with what we have?? the way we currently make composites is with flat layers and fibres all pointing in the same direction – it’s that simple. “We’re only beginning to understand how nature does what it does with such basic materials.”17 August 2013Last updated at 14:57 GMT Timeline: Pro-Morsi protests Once again the Egyptian capital Cairo is seeing bloody clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters. This week’s bloodshed is the culmination of weeks of tension at the sites of two sit-in protests mounted by the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. Mr Morsi was deposed by the army on 3 July after mass protests against him. 16 August The Muslim Brotherhood calls for a “day of anger” following Friday prayers in response to the bloodshed two days earlier. The focal point for protests is Cairo’s Ramses Square. The demonstrations quickly turn violent, with fierce street battles between Morsi supporters and plainclothes police and armed neighbourhood vigilantes who support the military government. Many of the dead and injured are taken to al-Fath mosque, near Ramses Square, which becomes a makeshift field hospital. The Egyptian government says 173 people have died as a result of the day’s events. Over 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood members are arrested, and weapons confiscated, according to the interior ministry. 14 August Security forces move in in the early morning on the two sit-in protests where Morsi supporters had been camped out for six weeks. Tear gas is used and gunfire is heard. Armoured bulldozers are used to dismantle the camps. More than 600 people are killed in the operation, authorities say – the Muslim Brotherhood puts the death toll at more than 2,000. Clashes spread to other Egyptian cities, with reports of attacks on churches and against government buildings. The presidency announces a month-long state of emergency. Vice-President Mohamed ElBaradei announces his resignation from the interim government. 11 August Security forces threaten to clear sit-ins. A security official tells BBC Arabic the authorities had hoped the announcement to disperse them would encourage protesters to leave. However, the number of people at the sites increases and the operation is postponed. 27 July More bloody clashes between security forces and pro-Morsi protesters at the Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in. Doctors estimate that more than 100 people were killed, but the health ministry puts the death toll at 65. Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood blames the military for the deaths, accusing soldiers of shooting to kill. The government has denied this, insisting security forces only used tear gas, not live rounds. But a BBC correspondent in Cairo says the government claim appears to be untrue, given the severity and number of injuries. The Egyptian interior minister warns protesters they will “soon” be dispersed from Rabaa. 8 July At least 51 people die in clashes between pro-Morsi protesters and security forces near the Presidential Guard, where his supporters suspected he was being held. The Muslim Brotherhood said the army raided its sit-in at about 04:00 (02:00 GMT) as protesters were praying, and said that children were among the victims. 4 July Pro-Morsi protesters gather at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in the eastern suburb of Medinat Nasr and Nahda Square near Cairo University to the the west. Mr Morsi and several other high-profile Muslim Brotherhood leaders are arrested. 3 July President Mohammed Morsi is deposed by Egypt’s military after mass protests against him. The military suspends the constitution. A coalition of Islamist parties calls for mass demonstrations to denounce the army’s actions.14 January 2011Last updated at 13:05 GMT Timeline: Silvio Berlusconi’s political career Italy’s pugnacious Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has enjoyed a long political life marked by dazzling highs – and scandalous lows. He was born in 1936, and in the decades before entering politics established a successful business career – first in housing construction and then building an empire of media and corporate interests. Despite being dogged by corruption allegations, verbal gaffes and accusations of affairs with women decades younger than him, Mr Berlusconi has demonstrated remarkable political longevity in a country known for its fractured politics and short-lived governments. January 2011 The Constitutional Court rules that immunity from prosecution enjoyed by Mr Berlusconi as a serving prime minister is not automatic. After a 13 January meeting, the court says individual judges should be allowed to decide whether immunity can be invoked. In an unrelated move the following day, prosecutors announce they are investigating the prime minister for abuse of power over claims that he leaned on police to try to have a 17-year-old nightclub dancer freed from police custody. Reports say the allegations include one involving underage prostitution. Mr Berlusconi’s lawyers dismiss the claims as “absurd a

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