In the UAE, Reading and Yoga Become Popular Beach-side Activities
Jan30

In the UAE, Reading and Yoga Become Popular Beach-side Activities

There are so many activities that people can enjoy while at the beach: building sandcastles, sun tanning, playing in the water, and jogging. But a few unlikely activities are becoming more and more popular. Nearly half of all beach goers — 48% to be exact — prefer reading over any other activity while at the beach. And according to The National, a new program in the United Arab Emirates is combining this love of reading at the beach with the curiosity of young children. “I liked the idea of reading at the beach,” said Tala Mohammed, a Palestinian fourth grader. “I am a reading lover as I read everyday before I go to sleep — two stories because it is beneficial, enjoyable, and entertaining.” A total of 50 kids, between the ages of five and 14 years old, participated in the event: A Story At The Beach. The program was held at the Umm Al Quwain (UAQ) Kite Beach Centre. The National Competencies Foundation organized the event, as part of their attempt at raising awareness about youth reading and promoting the importance of reading wherever they want to. “It aims to make them aware of how reading is important and to show them how to use reading practically through workshops and to let them know that reading is everywhere and all the time,” said Al Ali, one of the lead organizers of the event. Dina Mahmoud, a 9-year-old girl, is another youngster who was excited about taking to the beach with her books. “I liked the idea of holding a story book and reading it while sitting at the beach in front of the sea,” Mahmoud said. According to the Khaleej Times, in addition to reading, two other activities are becoming more popular. Like reading, yoga and meditation are both peaceful and beneficial and they are just as easy to be performed at the beach, as they are anywhere else. “We are generally trying to increase awareness that a simple change in life can bring about a massive difference in our lives,” said Harpreet Karla, a trainer at Kite Beach in Jumeirah. Hurtfulness UAE and Nirvana Yoga partnered up and conducted a 75-minute yoga and meditation session at the beach in order to improve the lives of all the participants. As reading has been shown to improve a person’s cognitive ability and memory, both yoga and meditation can do the...

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Following Woodmore Bus Tragedy, Victims’ Families Solicited For Legal Representation
Jan04

Following Woodmore Bus Tragedy, Victims’ Families Solicited For Legal Representation

It’s not surprising that salespeople who actively seek out and exploit their referrals earn four to five times more than those who don’t. This is common practice in sales, and is often admired. In other industries, however, such tactics are usually seen as unsavory. Lawyers, for example, are often judged based on the number of cases they handle, and high profile cases make for better paychecks. But actively seeking out clients, especially following a tragedy, can turn many off. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, lawyers are exploiting the victims of the Woodmore school bus tragedy, which killed six children on Nov. 21.                 Attorneys took no time to allow parents to grieve, either. Just four days after the accident, Misti Nash went to an area funeral home to start arrangements for her nine-year-old daughter Zoie. She picked out a pink and purple casket with Zoie’s face on the top. When she arrived with her family members, however, she met Alphonso McClendon, who claimed to be a lawyer with Witherspoon Law Group in Dallas. McClendon said that his firm could cover the funeral costs and help all victims’ families receive $3 million within five months in a joint lawsuit. But McClendon wasn’t even a lawyer. He’d been hired to seek the victims’ families out and solicit their services. Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III made his stance clear on the issue in a statement on Dec. 20. “It is sad that some attorneys attempt to exploit the grief of others and put profit above sincere assistance,” Slatery said. “This deceptive behavior is not representative of our state’s legal community and no credible attorney would act this way. Our office will pursue anyone attempting to take advantage of the families in Chattanooga.” The Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct requires all attorneys to wait at least 30 days before they are permitted to contact families or victims for litigation purposes following an accident. Word of mouth referrals are not banned; however, questionable tactics, like those used by Witherspoon Law Group via Alphonso McClendon, can result in the suspension of law licenses if the referral is traced back to the law firm. This is not the first time that Witherspoon Law Group has contacted families of those killed in auto accidents, either. Following the death of her 26-year-old son, Kimberly Craft of California boarded a plane to Chicago to make arrangements for his funeral. Upon arrival at the Heavenly Angels Funeral Home, the funeral director gave her the number of none other than Alphonso McClendon. “I was in tears when the [funeral] director came up and said, ‘Well,...

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The Best Cities in the U.S. for Local Shopping, According to Yelp
Jan03

The Best Cities in the U.S. for Local Shopping, According to Yelp

Want to know where to find the best local shopping in the country? Yelp has you covered. The crowd-sourced reviews site has compiled its third annual list of the top 20 cities for local gift-buying, just in time for the holidays. In order to compile their rankings, Yelp looked at reviews by local users for locally-owned businesses across the country that contained the word “gift.” The cities with the highest concentrations of highly-rated retailers earned the top spots in the rankings. San Diego, CA, was named the number-one city for local shopping. Next in line were Austin, TX; Denver, CO; Reno, NV; and Seattle, WA. “Yelp is really committed to supporting local businesses so we thought it would be really interesting to see the top cities for shopping locally,” Hannah Cheesman, a spokesperson for Yelp in San Francisco, said. “The whole idea is to look at all of the businesses that people shop at during the holidays, so we excluded some places like vape shops, mattress shops, a garage door store, guns and ammo, adult stores.” But new on the list of included shops this year were surf and skateboard outfitters, which may have helped boost San Diego’s ratings. Last year, the city did not even crack the top 20 — though other factors may be at play, too. “More and more, San Diego is becoming a city of walkable communities, so we can live in places like South Park and walk wherever we want without getting in our cars,” said Barbara Blake of the Greater San Diego Business Association. Other large cities known as shopping destinations for non-locals also made the top 20. Houston, number 12 on Yelp’s list, is home to the Galleria shopping center, which sees more than 35 million visitors every year from around the world. Yet smaller cities such as Louisville, KY, and Rochester, NY, also earned notable spots. According to Yelp and Harris Polls, 64% of American adults plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping locally this year, with an average budget of $324, a 26% increase over last...

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