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A Dogs Life In Beijings Forbidden City No Holiday For Canine Patrol

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BEIJING – As China ushers in the Lunar Year of the Dog, hundreds of millions of Chinese are traveling to their hometowns to spend the week-long national holiday with their families.

But for the 23-dog patrol that guards China’s famous Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing, there will be no break.

“There is no difference if it’s Chinese New Year or not. Burglars don’t have holidays, we don’t either,” said Chang Fumao, 59, the head of the canine patrol, who has trained the dogs for more than 30 years.

“We have to be on guard 24 hours a day.”

Built in the early 17th century, the Forbidden City and its fabled 9,999 rooms are surrounded by a moat and covers 74 hectares (183 acres) on a site to the north of Tiananmen Square.

The palace-turned-museum boasted 16.7 million ticket sales last year. Once home to China’s emperors, it is now a trove of national treasures, including a 3,000-year-old bronze vase covered in intricate carvings and a 12th century five-metre-long painting of daily life in the Song Dynasty.

There have been few reports of theft over the years, but the Communist Party leadership has been careful to preserve the palace, a national symbol of China.

Even during the Cultural Revolution, when fanatical Red Guards smashed and stole relics en masse, the Forbidden City was placed under special guard and escaped largely unscathed.

Chang started his career as a clerk in the museum when he was 20 and is set to retire next year. He has slept and worked next to the dogs’ kennels for years.

“We have a quite simple life. I feed the dogs in the morning, clean the kennel, train the dogs, feed them again, clean again, and train again,” said Chang, as the dogs carried out a training session, attacking a guard in a protective padded suit.

When the crowds depart, he gets the rare privilege of seeing the ancient palace halls and vast walkways devoid of people.

“At night I will bring (the dogs) out to patrol the Forbidden City when all the visitors are gone,” said Chang.

“Only the wind and birds in the trees are our companions, it feels quiet and lonely.”

Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Pei Li;

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Gregg’s Fan Spots ‘hidden’ Royal Connection Between Steak Bakes And Henry Viii

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WE all know that Greggs pastries are snacks fit for a king.

But one crust connoisseur has spotted an eerie Royal connection in an old painting, which links everyone’s favourite bakery to Henry VIII.

Hans Holbein’s iconic 1536 portrait of the oft married monarch

Greggs  has been a British staple since it first opened in 1939.

But now one fan may have evidence that the high street pasties date back as far as Tudor times.

A Twitter user contacted Greggs after spotting something familiar in an Hans Holbein’s iconic 1536 portrait of the lusty monarch.

Although not immediately obvious, Henry can be seen wearing the distinctive lattice pastries on his feet.

Luke wrote: “Why do Henry VIII’s shoes look like a Greggs steak bake?”

Luke messaged Greggs after noticing Henry’s footwear looked like a fan favourite baked good

Twitter/Greggs Greggs wasted no time in responding to the amazing discovery

The bakery wasted no time in responding, Tweeting back: “Losing our head over this.”

The cheeky quip was reference to Henry’s habit of beheading his divorced wives.

The King then got in on the action with a Tweet from his own parody account.

He posted: “Hey, I have to take plenty of snacks with me.

 

Twitter/Greggs

Greggs fans went mad for the time travelling treat

 

People were most put out that Henry was wearing cheese and onion bakes and NOT steak bakes

“I store them wherever I can. #steakbakeshoes.

“Damn tasty I have to say.”

However, not everyone was convinced by the discovery – with some Gregg’s fans pointing out the King’s shoes looked more like a Cheese and Onion Bake than a Steak Bake.

You can tell the treats apart by the lines in the pastry, with steak bakes having a diagonal pattern.

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Prada Brings Milan To Its Feet With A Collection Of Bold Lines And Colors

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MILAN – With Milan at her feet, designer Miuccia Prada unveiled her fluorescent and urban chic fall-winter collection on Thursday, in a high rise building towering over Italy’s fashion capital.

Prada, who is also co-chief executive of the eponymous luxury group, used Milan Fashion Week to continue her exploration of different facets of femininity, with designs that stood out with their bold colors and stark lines.

Clad in fluorescent pink, orange and green, Prada models danced on a shiny black floor to the rhythm of Blondie. Neon light installations of monkeys, dinosaurs, bananas and aliens playfully displayed outside the building could be seen from the floor to ceiling windows.

Prada hosted the show in the “Torre” building, a modern tower which will be the latest addition to the group’s “Fondazione Prada” art foundation project. The existing Fondazione buildings, once a gin distillery, were turned in the early 1990s into a space dedicated to contemporary art and culture.

“I wanted to have a little revenge on the artwork, occupying the space of the Fondazione with fashion,” Prada told reporters at the end of her show.

The new building will officially open during Milan’s design week, held annually in April, and will be used as an exhibition space.

Italian designer Miuccia Prada acknowledges the applause at the end of her Autumn/Winter 2018 women collection during Milan Fashion Week in Milan, Italy February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro GarofaloModels walked with the city skyline and train tracks as a backdrop, wearing oversize nylon and neoprene coats with wide shoulders from which delicate transparent dresses and tulle skirts peeped. All the models wore brightly colored tulle bows around their necks.

“The idea is the constant struggle women have – a duality, between strength and having to protect yourself and what you like as a woman, such as sweetness and femininity,” the designer said.

Slideshow (8 Images)She explained that the big sporty pieces wanted to symbolically defend the women wearing them while the light details were included for them to be able to express their womanhood.

Black technical material was juxtaposed with fuchsia, yellow and blue. Black stilettos and white boots were paired with fluorescent socks and gaiter-like legwarmers.

Transparent black tulle, decorated with sparkling beading or bright plastic flowers, gently covered tight sheath dresses, while plastic fringed mini-dresses in lime green and white glowed in the night-time setting.

“It’s about women being able to go out at night, even wearing super sexy clothes, without fear,” Prada said.

The collection was well-received by the public on Thursday evening, with the audience bursting into loud applause as the designer reached the runway at the end of the show.

But Prada also voiced concern about the high expectations set on fashion, which she said pushed designers “beyond their job” by the perceived need to engage in political and social issues through their clothes.

Reporting by Giulia Segreti,

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Steve Jobs Pre-apple Job Application Could Fetch 50000 At Auction

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LOS ANGELES – A job application filled out by Steve Jobs more than four decades ago that reflects the Apple (AAPL.O) founder’s aspirations to work in technology and design will go up for auction next month.

With an estimated value of about $50,000, the one-page application from 1973, complete with spelling and punctuation errors, lists his name as “Steven jobs” and address as “reed college,” the Oregon college he attended briefly, Boston auction house RR Auction said on Thursday.

Under a section titled “Special Abilities,” Jobs wrote “tech or design engineer. digital.—from Bay near Hewitt-Packard,” a reference to pioneering California technology company Hewlett-Packard.

The document but does not state what position Jobs was applying for. Jobs and friend Steve Wozniak founded Apple about three years later. Jobs died of cancer in 2011 at the age of 56.

Though Jobs responded on the form that he had a driver’s license, he said his access to transportation was “possible, but not probable.” Next to “Phone:” he wrote “none.”

The document will be part of a pop culture sale by RR Auction that will take place between March 8 and 15.

Two other Jobs items will appear in the same auction – a Mac OS X technical manual signed by Jobs in 2001, valued at $25,000, and a signed 2008 newspaper clipping, valued at $15,000, with a photo of Jobs and a headline that reads “New, faster iPhone will sell for $199.”

The auction will also feature an original fingerprint card from Jimi Hendrix’s 1969 arrest in Toronto on drug charges, signed by the late rock musician, which is valued at $15,000.

It will include a love letter from the late British singer Amy Winehouse to her husband Blake Fielder-Civil. In addition to the text, the one-page Winehouse letter features a sketch of a baby crocodile surrounded by hearts.

“Do nothing ‘til you hear from me handsome, I need your arms around me so I can inhale, open my eyes, breathe my heart’s breathe out,” the letter reads, in part. It is valued at about $4,000.

Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in London in 2011 at age of 27.

Reporting by Nichola Groom;

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