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The Notre Dame Cathedral is heavily damaged by fire; Quebec proposes a new bill that bars public workers from wearing any religious symbols.
The burning of Notre Dame
- The Notre Dame Cathedral, one of Paris’s most famous landmarks, suffered significant damage from a fire today. [AP]
- About 400 firefighters are working to put out the fire, and the main structure has been “saved and preserved.” The cathedral has still experienced significant damage — including the fall of its famed spire and the loss of its roof. [Guardian / Mattha Busby]
- Police said they believe the fire started from construction as part of the restoration work on the building. [NYT / Adam Nossiter and Aurelien Breeden]
- The building, which has been damaged and renovated several times over its long history, was crumbling and its wooden frames were eroding from water leaks. A long-needed $180 million renovation on the building began with the spire — which collapsed Monday as the flames raged. [NYT / Aurelien Breeden]
- President Trump sent his condolences to the French and also recommended they should use “flying water tankers” to put out the fires. [Twitter / Donald Trump]
- Paris police, however, said the use of such tactics could damage the old and brittle building, potentially causing even more harm. The agency is using “all means” to handle the fire, which is being treated as a national emergency. [AP]
- The cathedral has been standing at the heart of Paris since the 12th century. The fire is a heartbreaking loss for Parisians and the world, and several prominent figures and religious groups sent their thoughts and prayers. [BBC]
- French President Emmanuel Macron declared his determination to rebuild Notre Dame and said an international fundraising campaign will be launched. [Independent / Andrew Griffin and Jon Stone]
A controversial proposal in Quebec
- Quebec has proposed a bill that bars public employees — including teachers, nurses, bus drivers, and lawyers — from wearing “religious symbols” while at work. [AP News / Tracey Lindeman]
- The government issued the proposal on Thursday, but it has been trying for years to restrict civil servants from wearing religious symbols like turbans, yarmulkes, and headscarves in what it says is an effort to preserve a secular society. [Al Jazeera]
- While some municipal leaders and school boards have said they will not enforce the ban if it becomes law, the mayor — who opposes the bill — said she would not stand in its way if it passed. [CBC / Isaac Olson]
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his disagreement with the bill before the text was released on Thursday. “It’s unthinkable to me that in a free society we would legitimize discrimination against citizens based on their religion,” he said. [Bloomberg / Sandrine Rastello]
- Similar bans have been proposed and passed in France and other European countries. While the laws sometimes apply to all religious symbols equally, the debate often focuses on headscarves and veils worn by Muslim women. [Guardian / Matthew Weaver]
- Tiger Woods just won his first Masters since 2005. Now Trump wants to give him a Presidential Medal of Freedom. [Fox News / Liam Quinn]
- Morehouse College, America’s only historically black all-male school, is making history by now accepting the admission of transgender men. [NYT / Sandra E. Garcia]
- Have you ever wanted to name your own planet? Now’s your chance, as scientists from NASA are asking the public to vote for one of three names –– Gonggong, Holle, and Vili –– for a minor planet. [Newsweek / Aristos Georgiou]
- A Florida man kept a cassowary, known as the world’s most dangerous bird, as a pet. That same animal killed him on Friday. [Washington Post / Kayla Epstein]
- There are just four Yangtze giant softshell turtles left in existence. On Saturday, the last known female died in a Chinese zoo. [USA Today / N’dea Yancey-Bragg]
“Like all our compatriots, I am sad tonight to see this part of us burning.” [President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter following the Notre Dame fire]
Watch this: The real reason Boeing’s new plane crashed twice
Two Boeing airplanes have fallen out of the air and crashed in the past six months. On the surface, this is a technical failure. But the real story is about a company’s desire to beat its rival. [YouTube / Alvin Chang, Dion Lee, and Kim Mas]
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12 Etiquette Habits We Don’t Realize Are Crucial for a Well-Mannered Person
The word “etiquette” seems to be so old-fashioned. Most of us probably think that it has disappeared into oblivion together with gentlemen who used to take their hats off in front of women, but in fact, it still exists. The thing is, the rules have changed, but we still should follow them in order to not feel awkward.
Bright Side thinks that all polite people want to know and observe etiquette rules, especially when some of them aren’t that obvious.
12. Public restrooms
Polite people know that after using the bathroom, we have to wash our hands. But there are some other rules:
- Don’t try to open the door of a closed stall. The door could open, and there could be a person in there. If that happened, you’ll both feel awkward.
- Men are recommended to keep some distance between each other and by skipping urinals.
- If you need to reapply makeup, don’t occupy the mirror next to the hand dryer. You will be making people who have already washed their hands wait.
11. Hold your cup correctly.
It may sound surprising, but a cup of tea and a cup of coffee should be held differently.
While holding a tea cup, you never loop your index finger into the handle. Instead, your index finger should meet your thumb through the handle as if you were pinching something, and your middle finger should support it by being placed under the handle.
The proper way to hold a coffee cup is totally different: you loop your index finger into the handle and keep your thumb on the top of the handle. Your remaining 3 fingers — middle, index, and pinkie — are tucked into the palm of your hand.
10. If you need to blow your nose
Etiquette experts recommend blowing your nose really quickly and quietly enough so that people won’t notice it. If you feel it’s going to be loud, it’s better to leave the public place and do it when you’re all alone.
The most strict rules are applied to blowing your nose during dinner. Don’t do it at the dining table, even if you’re really close to your relatives or friends. Go to the bathroom, blow your nose, wash your hands, and go back.
True ladies and gentlemen don’t use paper handkerchiefs, they prefer handkerchiefs made from fabrics. Of course it’s not a good decision when it comes to hygiene, but in this case, you should observe all the etiquette rules.
9. If your food is stuck in your teeth
It’s prohibited to use a toothpick at the table. If you realize that food is stuck in your teeth, try to rinse your mouth (and make sure no one notices it). Didn’t work? Go to the bathroom then.
But if this has happened to another person, and they don’t know it, there’s a trick you can do that is based on mirroring:
- Move your tongue over your teeth (keeping your mouth closed). Maybe then your tablemate will start to repeat the same movement and understand what’s going on.
But if the person doesn’t understand your hints, don’t stay silent. Tell the person about their problem (again, make sure no one else can hear you).
8. If someone’s fly is down
If you find out your fly is unzipped in public, go to the restroom and zip up your pants. If there’s no opportunity to leave this public place (or room), you can just turn to the wall so that no one can see you and zip up your fly.
If you notice someone else’s unzipped fly, experts say that you have to inform the person. You just have to make sure no one else can hear you.
The “fly rule” works for other clothing issues as well: for example, if you notice a price tag.
7. If your colleague smells bad
As a rule, big companies have rather strict hygiene rules, and foods or perfumes with strong smells are prohibited.
But if your colleague doesn’t want to follow even the simplest rules, you have to act as a good negotiator. Ask your colleague to listen to you and let them know that the conversation is going to be kind of unpleasant. Go ahead only after the person agrees to listen to you.
You’ll find a detailed conversation plan here.
6. If your food is too hot
If you suddenly realize that your food is too hot, don’t spit it out on a napkin. You also shouldn’t breathe with your mouth wide open. Just drink some cold water or any other beverage. By the way, it’s also prohibited to blow on your dish. Your only option is to sit and wait until it gets cooler.
5. Your boss pays too much attention to you
Both men and women suffer from sexual harassment at work. If you face this problem, don’t stay silent and don’t be afraid. Let your boss know that you find their compliments or remarks unpleasant. If it doesn’t work, inform their boss.
Sometimes it’s difficult to identify harassment. Here’s an example:
- “You look great in that dress!” — is a compliment.
- “Your booty looks great in that dress!” — is inappropriate behavior.
4. If you want to take a selfie
Yes, to take a selfie you should follow some etiquette rules. Always ask for permission, even if you want to take a pic with your friend. Let them prepare for the photo: we all want to look good in our pictures.
Don’t take selfies in the bathroom, in extreme or dangerous situations, or near accidents. These are signs of bad manners, carelessness, and even cruelty.
3. You need to split the bill with your friends, and they’ve eaten more than you
While it might be unfair to ask someone to pay for a whole meal they haven’t eaten — it might also be awkward to bring this up to your friends. Just add up the approximate sum of your dinner, round it up to a bigger sum, and leave that amount. And remember, if you’re spending time with your friends, it’s could be better to just split the bill evenly.
2. Tell the difference between a pregnant woman and an overweight woman
Offering a pregnant woman a seat is an important rule. But it’s really awkward if you confuse a pregnant and an overweight woman.
Here are some signs that can help you:
- For the most part, pregnant women don’t wear high heels and their ankles are usually swollen.
- Consider their position. If a woman’s holding their lower back or transferring her weight from one leg to another, she’s probably pregnant, and it’s better to offer her a seat.
If you’re still not sure, it’s recommended to stand up silently so that the woman can decide whether she wants to take a seat or not.
1. If you rip your pants
Internet users give different pieces of advice: staple along the inner seam, cover the hole with a sweater by wrapping it around your waist, or call someone and ask for help.
The methods are so different, but there’s one rule: you shouldn’t tell anyone that you’ve ripped your pants and you should avoid showing your underwear to the public.
Have you ever found yourself in these situations? How did you handle them?
Illustrated by Alena Sofronova for BrightSide.me
A Self-Taught Artist Creates Sensitive Watercolors That Show the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul
Russian artist. Anna Mayorova, who is 24 years old, has been into painting for 5 years. She learned to paint by herself and realized over a span of time that not only is it something that is entertaining, but also a way to reveal and convey the inner emotions of a woman, as well as the perceptions from her personal world.
She chose watercolor because with this medium both control and chance are possible. The artist herself says, “Paint and water make what they are meant to make, while I only help them with it.” Maybe that’s the reason why her women’s portraits come out so lively and vivid.
We at Bright Side were impressed with Anna’s watercolor magic and are eager to share it with you.
1. Thinking of you
2. The moment of bliss
3. “You can see it all in my eyes”
5. “Music heals my soul”
6. Under a veil of secrecy
8. This is the time of times
9. “I’ll blow everyone away with my beauty”
19. In the depths of thoughts
Which of Anna’s works amazed you the most? We would be glad to hear from you in the comments!
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