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World in Brief August 9 2018

CHINA: Airbnb scrapped a competition offering the winners a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to stay the night on the Great Wall of China.

The app-based accommodation website invited entrants to write a 500-word essay on overcoming cultural boundaries, but it had not received permission from the authorities for the event.

The winners would have stayed in one of the ruined watchtowers, with a proper bed but no windows or roof. Airbnb said it “deeply respected the feedback.”

IRELAND: Gerry Adams is writing a cookery book that will contain “some of the best-kept secrets of the Irish peace process,” the former Sinn Fein leader has revealed.

The Negotiators’ Cook Book will be based on his experiences during the peace talks that produced the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

“The British never fed us. They never had any food,” Mr Adams said on Monday evening. “But as intrepid republicans and being blessed by one or two great cooks, these are the recipes that sustained the Irish negotiating team.”

COLOMBIA: Ivan Duque was sworn in as the country’s new president yesterday amid mass protests at threats to the peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

The rightwinger opposes the historic accord with the Marxist guerilla group that brought an end to half a century of conflict in which tens of thousands of people were killed.

In his inauguration speech, Mr Duque vowed to “make corrections” to the peace deal, promising tough action on crime, drug trafficking and armed organisations. “The moment has come for all of us to unite to fight against illegal groups,” he said.

GERMANY: Hundreds of Ryanair flights were cancelled yesterday after German pilots confirmed that they would walk out on Friday in a dispute over pay and conditions.

The Vereinigung Cockpit union said no improved offer had been received since they voted 96 per cent in favour of strike action in June.

Around 45,000 passengers were told that their flights were being axed as a result of the action. Ryanair claimed the strikes were “unnecessary.”

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