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The countdown to Christmas is always fun – but after the year we’ve all had, it seems more exciting than ever.

But forget chocolate, the best way to strike away days in the lead-up to the silly season is with a beauty advent calendar.

Filled with treats such as perfumes and serums, even cult makeup buys, these snazzy boxes will make any beauty lover squeal with delight.

But which one should you go for? And what offers the best value for money?

Here are the most popular beauty advent calendars available in Australia and everything you get inside.

Missed a column? Catch up on all The Beauty Diary action here

24 DAYS OF CLINIQUE ADVENT CALENDAR

Price: $175

This baby has 24 products that if you purchased individually would set you back $391 – meaning the advent calendar offers a saving of $216. Inside there is a mix of skincare and makeup too so you can have a good play around and find some new favourites for your regular collection.

Among the great value goodies is an array of items from the Moisture Surge skincare line, Clinique’s best-selling Chubby Stick lip colour (in Super Strawberry), a cult-favourite makeup remover and even a perfume. A very impressive line-up for the price.

CLARINS 24 DAY ADVENT CALENDAR

Price: $160

OK, I found another advent calendar that is also $216 cheaper than if you bought the products inside individually – so the best value advent calendar in 2020 is actually tied.

Worth $376, Clarins has jam-packed its advent calendar with all the essentials, setting someone up for a very good skin start to the New Year.

Inside you’ll find several Hydra-Essentiel items – including a face cream, lip balm and eye mask. The brand’s cult SOS Primer has also been hidden behind one door as well as a popular Joli Rouge lippie (in Soft Berry). The product I’d be holding out for among the assortment is the Lip Comfort Oil – which, trust me, is super hydrating and feels luxe on your lips. A real bargain for a skincare and beauty lover.

THE BODY SHOP ULTIMATE ADVENT CALENDAR

Price: $250

The iconic beauty brand has created a house and stuffed it with goodies. There’s 25 full-sized products inside which when purchased individually would cost $437 – which equates to a saving of $187.

It contains the popular skin-tingling Himalayan Charocal Purifying Glow Mask along with the cult Drops Of Youth Concentrate serum – and there’s a cute royal navy headband to hold your hair back while you apply.

It wouldn’t be The Body Shop without some classic bubble bath and juicy moisturiser, and this pack comes with both, one in berry and the other in British Rose. Other goodies include a banana shampoo and conditioner, the brand’s Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash, two lip butters, a mascara and a lippie.

AMAZON AUSTRALIA BEAUTY ADVENT CALENDAR

Price $85

Compared to other leading brands, the price of this advent calendar is very affordable. It contains a mix of 24 full-sized and mini products from beauty, skincare and haircare brands such as Natio, Bioderma and Rimmel and is worth over $290 – that’s a saving of $205.

Some of the treats you’ll find in full are a Revlon matte lipstick, the Swisse Manuka Honey Daily Glow Foaming Cleanser and a Rimmel London Lash Accellerator Endless Mascara. If you’ve been keen to try the uber popular Micellar Cleansing Gel by Bioderma or Maui Moisture’s Shea Butter shampoo and conditioner, you’ll find deluxe samples of those inside.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY’S BEJWELLED CHEST OF BEAUTY TREASURES

Price: $295

It’s perhaps one of the most coveted beauty advents every year thanks to its cult-status among makeup fans. This treasure chest contains 12 products which are a mix of full and travel sizes, to countdown those last two weeks before Christmas.

Among the treats hidden inside are Charlotte’s top-selling Magic Cream, the iconic Pillow Talk lipstick (which is a must-have in every makeup bag) and a Beauty Light Wand – a spectacular cream highlight that makes your cheekbones glisten.

There’s also a travel-sized mascara and a setting spray to test out. It’s definitely on the expensive side, but it’s perfect if you’ve been wanting to try some of the brand’s coveted products without the commitment of paying full price for them all.

MECCA MAX BEAUTY-FULL DAYS ADVENT CALENDAR

Price: $65

If you know someone who has never tried Mecca Max products, this is a great gift idea as it is stuffed with 12 mini versions of the makeup store’s bestsellers. I’m a huge fan of Mecca’s own brand lines – it offers some really great beauty products at prices your bank manager won’t weep at, which is what we all want in 2020.

This set contains everything you need for a glamorous Chrissy, including bronzer, cream blush and highlight powder. My pick among the treats is the illuminating primer as that will help your makeup stay put even on a scorcher of a day – the plumping lip oil is also a really fun take on one of this year’s biggest beauty trends.

SEPHORA COLLECTION WILD WISHES ADVENT CALENDAR

Price: $100

I love that this advent calendar follows the traditional number of 24, counting down to Christmas Eve with a number of iconic products from the beauty superstore.

Most of the products are minis which, when I’ve had this calendar in the past, I found really helpful for travelling and I ended up chucking most of them in my makeup bag whenever I was going away – but I realise in 2021, this is still unlikely to be happening a lot.

Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact there’s some great finds in here, including a full-sized lippie and coconut lip balm, both of which I highly rate. There’s also a selection of fun sheet masks and some bath bombs as well as a few hair ties (you can never have too many). My only critique of this would be that it’s very similar to previous years, so if you’ve had it before, you may want to go for something else as the contents won’t surprise you.

JO MALONE ADVENT CALENDAR

Price: $630

If you’re looking to go all out at the end of 2020, you can do it by spending big on your countdown to Christmas with this next-level advent calendar. This bougie Chrissy item is filled with the most extra items you’ll ever find in an advent calendar, including a host of popular Jo Malone fragrances and several miniature candles – it’s fair to say there’s definitely no cheap choccies in sight.

Is it expensive? Absolutely. But will it put a massive smile on the face of someone you love (or even yourself, no judgment here)? Most definitely. You may need to take out a mortgage to pay for it though.

This column is not advertorial content. Every review is independent, honest and ad free.

If you have a question about a beauty product or an item you’d like to see road tested in The Beauty Diary, jump into our official Facebook group where you can join like-minded beauty junkies. You can also catch me on Instagram or tweet me – don’t forget to hashtag #TheBeautyDiary.





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Every year, The Metropolitan Museum unveils its annual fashion exhibition with the most glamorous, star-studded event of the east coast, The Met Gala, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the New York museum to cancel the event and delay the exhibition. 

Now, six months later, the museum is unveiling About Time: Fashion and Duration, which is focused on 150 years of fashion, from 1870 to the present, in honor of the museum’s 150th anniversary. 

“Fashion is indelibly connected to time. It not only reflects and represents the spirit of the times, but it also changes and develops with the times, serving as an especially sensitive and accurate timepiece. Through a series of chronologies, the exhibition uses the concept of duration to analyze the temporal twists and turns of fashion history,” Andrew Bolton, the curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, said in a press release. 

The final piece in the exhibition is a Viktor & Rolf dress from the spring/summer 2020 haute couture collection.
The exhibition compares and contrasts styles, lines and figures with garments from the early days to the present. This expertly tailored and finely finished dinner dress of black silk satin was made by the Brooklyn dressmaker Mrs. Arnold in 1895.
In the exhibition, Mrs. Arnold's 19th century dress is compared to this 2004 Comme des Garçons ensemble. They both feature a leg-o-mutton sleeve, but here it is reimagined as a surreal, asymmetrical, misaligned and displaced sleeve.

The 2020 Costume Institute Benefit, also known as The Met Gala, was originally scheduled for last May, but did not take place due to the pandemic. The event serves as The Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding. 

The exhibition will be on display through Feb. 7, but the museum is also offering private virtual tours for $300. These can be booked online and includes up to 40 people per online tour.   

*

New in town: Designer Alvin Valley, also known as the “King of Pants,” is setting up shop in Via Bice this month. The designer has featured his pieces on the island before, but never in his own permanent store. The retail space will feature his perfectly tailored pants, blazers, dresses and tops, and the recent expansion into handbags and jewelry as seen in his spring 2021 collection. 

Ala von Auersperg's latest Plumage collection features a capsule with designs available only at her Palm Beach store. This blouse is one of those designs.
The birds featured in the print are inspired by Auersperg's frequent visitors to her Long Island home.
This silk kaftan from Ala von Auersperg's fall collection is exclusive to the Palm Beach store in Via Mario.

Across the street, another newcomer is celebrating its Palm Beach residence with an exclusive capsule available to locals only.

Ala von Auersperg, who opened a boutique at 312 Worth Ave. in May, has designed four exclusive pieces that will only be available in her Palm Beach store for purchase. The silk kaftan, cotton blouse and two button-up dresses will be released Nov. 14 during the store’s in-store book signing event featuring Danielle Rollins. The store also will feature Auersperg’s latest fall collection, Plumage, inspired by the birds who frequent her Long Island home.  

Rollins will be signing copies of her book, A Home for All Seasons: Gracious Living and Stylish Entertaining, from 3 to 5 p.m. next Saturday.  



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My, a Coimbatore-based start-up, has launched products in its efforts to make personal protection and safety a lifestyle.

Kavin Kumar Kandasamy, founder and CEO of My, and Raja Palanisamy, its co-founder and Chief Business Operator, said that the start-up has launched UV One, a pocket UV sanitiser, and anti-pollution masks.

It will soon launch UV Safe, a tabletop UV sanitiser, and masks with more safety features.

Working on the products for nearly four months, the company has involved consultants from India and abroad for technical inputs. It makes the products through manufacturers in Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Tiruppur and Pune. “Safety is woven in the product,” says Mr. Kandasamy.

It will launch “My Safe Place”, a service that ensures that a particular place is safe, in a couple of months.

“We are looking at safety in a very different way. Contamination of any kind should not be contagious,” Mr. Kandasamy said. The products and services aim to provide protection to the customers.

Launching the “My” brand and the products recently for online sales (myprotection.in), Mr. Kandasamy and Mr. Palanisamy said that they had already entered into agreements with several institutions for supply of masks.

They plan to sell 75,000 pieces of ‘UV Safe’ and about three lakh pieces of ‘UV One’ by the end of this financial year.

Apart from online sales, My is talking to Corporate companies for supplies and is appointing distributors across the country for retail sales, they added.



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Obituary: Sir Sean Connery



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Cotton socks, Nylon socks, Woollen sock, Others

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Woman, Man, Children

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As Halloween is here, Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan is celebrating it with her friends and shared pics of her celebration on social media.

Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira gives a glimpse of her spooky make up as she gears up for Halloween 2020; See Post


Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan is a true blue social media queen who never misses a chance to treat her Instagram followers with some beautiful pics. From her random clicks to workouts or even enjoying sunsets, Ira’s Instagram has been LIT. And while the young starlet enjoys a decent fan following, she makes sure to keep her Insta fam updated about what she is up to. Interestingly with Halloween fever taking up the entire world, Ira also decided to celebrate it with her folks.

The lady took to Instagram and shared a series of pictures from her Halloween party with her friends. In the pic, Ira also gave a glimpse of her spooky Halloween make up as she geared up for a house party. The young starlet looked stunning in all black outfit as she posed with her friends. Ira captioned the image as. “So what if Halloween isn”t a big thing in India? Any excuse to celebrate. And dress up. And get creative with whatever you have in your closet and Danielle’s closet and Zayn’s closet….I even considered trick or treating and scaring the kids in my building but.. Covid. So we dressed up and sat at home, eating McDonald’s. How scary. Happy Halloween.”

Take a look at Ira Khan’s Halloween celebration:

To recall, Ira Khan had recently made the headlines after she opened up about her battle with clinical depression in a video on social media. She stated that she was battling with it for over 4 years. In the video, Ira says, “Hi, I’m depressed. I have been for more than four years now. I’ve been to a doctor and I’m clinically depressed. I’m doing much better now. For over a year now, I wanted to do something for mental health, but I wasn’t sure what to do. So, I have decided to take you on a journey, my journey, and see what happens. Hopefully, we will get to know ourselves slightly better, understand mental illness better.”

Also Read: Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan reveals she has been battling clinical depression for over 4 years

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On Sept. 24, British fashion brand Fred Perry released a statement on its website and social channels, announcing that the company would no longer be selling its $95 polo shirts with a gold and black laurel design to the United States and Canada.

The reason: The shirt had been adapted as a uniform by far-right group the Proud Boys.

“That association is something we must do our best to end,” the statement read, vowing not to make the shirt available in North America again until the Proud Boys ceased using the clothing line “to their own ends.”

A detail of the Fred Perry logo from a full zip men's track jacket track top in blue nylon.
The Fred Perry logo has been co-opted by far-right group The Proud Boys.Alamy Stock Photo

The shirt’s appeal among right-wing extremists is partly to do with imagery. The laurel wreath logo on the Fred Perry polo is (unintentionally) similar to the yellow wreath used in some Nazi ceremonial flags. But according to Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a professor of education and sociology at American University’s School of Public Affairs, the fashion statement, when used by the Proud Boys, has a more nefarious purpose.

The co-opting of brands like Fred Perry has “helped make the far-right more palatable to a broader range of youth,” she tells The Post. “It helps them blend in, making it easier to ‘try on’ extremist ideas without fully committing in the way that shaving their heads required in the era of the racist skinhead aesthetic.”

"Fashwave" musicians Xurious' album "Revolt Against The Modern World
“Fashwave” musicians like Xurious use sinister lyrics.

It doesn’t end with polo shirts. As Miller-Idriss explains in her new book, “Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right” (Princeton University Press), out now, the market for hate is thriving.

“Today’s far-right consumers can choose from a wide array of high-quality products … from the way they cook to the clothes they wear,” Miller-Idriss writes. “There are dedicated YouTube talk shows, clothing brands, and music streaming services.”

It’s a shift that began in 2014, when German neo-Nazis began dressing like Brooklyn hipsters — a style that German media dubbed “Nipsters.” In a Rolling Stone profile of the Nipster movement, one of the co-founders claimed it helped Nazis “live within the mainstream” and present a “friendlier, hipper face” to the public.

This strategy soon made its way across the ocean to American far-right radicals. Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website, wrote a screed in 2017 calling on white nationalists to change their recruitment tactics.

“The core of marketing is aesthetic,” Anglin wrote. “We need to look appealing. We want to hit the average. We want normal people. We have to be hip and we have to be sexy.”

While today’s hate groups are anything but hip or sexy, they have gotten more sophisticated when it comes to presenting themselves as “normal.”

The so-called Boogaloo Boys, an extremist group that believes a second American civil war is imminent, took part in sometimes violent protests earlier this summer in states like Texas, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania, all while wearing floral Hawaiian shirts.

Sierra Rees, of Seattle, wears a Pepe the frog shirt hand-painted by her friend at a rally organized by the right-wing group Patriot Prayer in Vancouver, Washington, 2017.
Sierra Rees, of Seattle, wears a Pepe the Frog shirt at a rally organized by right-wing group Patriot Prayer in Vancouver, Washington, in 2017.REUTERS

The origins of the floral shirt trend involve Internet wordplay — it started with jokes about the 1984 movie “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo,” which evolved into shorthand like “big igloo” and “big luau.”

This use of mainstream aesthetics “can make far-right views seem less dangerous to the public,” Miller-Idriss said. “It’s harder to recognize ideas as extreme when they come in a package that looks more like the kid next door than the neo-Nazi of people’s imaginations.”

Food is a particularly rich domain for sharing subtle messages about identity and tradition, “as well as narratives of rebellion against an unjust state or liberal elites,” says Miller-Idriss.

A Wendy's restaurant sign in Florida
The Daily Stormer named Wendy’s “the official burger of the Neo-Nazi Alt-Right movement” after the chain used a Pepe the Frog image in its marketing.Alamy

Examples include Balaclava Küche, a vegan cooking channel hosted by German balaclava-wearing extremists, or The Blonde Butter Maker, a cooking vlog that “blends messaging about white European paganism with video instruction on how to make nut milk, dehydrate herbs, or preserve berries.”

Another way that hate is marketed in an appealing package is “Fashwave,” a mashup of fascism and the synthesizer-based synthwave genre of music. Synthwave has long been a favorite of extremist groups — white supremacist Richard Spencer once called synthwave rockers Depeche Mode “the official band of the alt-right,” a title the band members rejected — but in recent years, fashwave has emerged to provide an official soundtrack for hate. Popular fashwave artist Xurious have songs with titles like “Team White,” “Death to Traitors,” “The Caucasion Mind,” and with almost 100,000 streams on Spotify, “Revolt Against the Modern World.”

Doc Martens black boot with red laces
Doc Martens boots with red laces are often used by skinheads to demonstrate that they have “spilled blood” for the white supremacy cause.

As with Fred Perry, not all hate-group gateways are knowing collaborators. When fast-food franchise Wendy’s tweeted a meme of Pepe the Frog (a popular Internet comic that’s been appropriated by alt-right white supremacists) dressed as the company’s logo in 2017, the company quickly realized its error and pulled it down, but not before the Daily Stormer named Wendy’s “the official burger of the Neo-Nazi Alt-Right movement.” They also gave this dubious honor to Papa John’s Pizza (calling it the “Official Pizza of the Aryan Master Race”) and even singer Taylor Swift, who the Daily Stormer called an “Aryan goddess” and a “neo-Nazi sleeper agent.”

Some brands, like Dr. Martens, have garnered controversy for unwittingly endorsing their association with hate groups. In 2017, the English footwear company was widely criticized for a holiday billboard in Portland, Ore., that featured a black boot with red laces, a color combination often used by skinhead groups to demonstrate that they have “spilled blood” for the white supremacy cause.

These new aesthetics of modern extremism enable those with similar ideological views to identify each other, Miller-Idriss says.

“It signals political affiliation and attitudes toward others, allowing like-minded youth to find one another and strike up conversations in school, at stadiums, in bars, and at parties.”

As one young person influenced by these tactics explained to the author, when they see someone wearing a T-shirt from a brand known to market to the far right, it makes them think, ‘Maybe I’m not so alone after all.’

Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right by Cynthia Miller-Idriss
Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right by Cynthia Miller-Idriss

It also becomes a game, Miller-Idriss says. Because parents, teachers and other authority figures can’t always recognize the symbolism, it gives young people a sense of power and secrecy. “They’re hiding their ideological views in plain sight in ways that other insiders might recognize, but most outsiders would not,” Miller-Idriss says.

This could take the form of an alphanumeric sequence of numbers and letters like “2YT4U,” which translates as “too white for you,” or the slightly modified Detroit Red Wings hockey team logo, with the spokes replaced with the lightning bolts of Hitler’s Schutzstaffel, worn by members of a hate group called Detroit Right Wings.

Miller-Idriss warns that the problem will only get worse as far-right nationalists find new ways for young people to be two things at once — mainstream in their appearance and interests, but extreme in their ideas and positions.

“This makes for a softer, less committed, and more experimental entry,” writes Miller-Idriss. “A literal trying-on of extremism that also enables plausible deniability.”



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A scientific adviser to the British government warned Saturday that the pandemic is “running riot” in the UK, demonstrations against new Covid-19 measures have turned violent in Spain and Italy, while Germany has reported a record number of cases for the fourth day in a row.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson could announce a new lockdown for England at a Monday news conference, according to senior sources quoted by UK newspaper The Times. A UK government adviser, who asked not to be named, told CNN the reports were true.

The measures, which include closing everything except for essential shops and schools, would go in place as soon as Wednesday, The Times reported.

CNN contacted the Downing Street press office, which confirmed Monday’s news conference but said the national lockdown reports were speculation.

Johnson has previously said he wants to “avoid the misery of another lockdown,” but he hasn’t ruled it out.

Calum Semple, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and a consultant respiratory pediatrician, said tighter restrictions were needed to slow the spread of the virus.

“It’s a slightly slower growth than in the spring, but like a super tanker, it’s really moving now,” he told BBC Radio 4 on Saturday.

Semple said there were many more cases, particularly in younger women between the ages of 20 and 40, “because they’re exposed in retail, hospitality and some educational settings.”

“Unlike the first wave where we had a national lockdown which protected huge swathes of society, this outbreak is now running riot across all age groups.”

Top scientists have been warning for weeks that another lockdown would be needed in England instead of the current localized “tier” system.

“We’ve tried the softer approaches, and they’re not working as fast as we’d like them to,” University of Leicester virologist Julian Tang told CNN. “And now the virus has spread and seeded a lot more than expected, even in the worst-case scenarios.”

He said it was “not surprising” after the growth in case numbers seen following the relaxation of restrictions in Europe at the end of summer.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said on Twitter that the UK had “surpassed the ‘reasonable worst-case scenario,'” outlined by government scientists in September, with the country’s reproduction rate (R number) well above 1, indicating the virus is spreading. “The best time to act was a month ago but these are very tough decisions which we would all like to avoid. The second-best time is now,” he wrote.

The UK recorded 274 deaths Friday and 24,405 cases, bringing its total to 46,229 and 989,745 respectively.

Violence at anti-lockdown protests

Protests against new Covid-19 measures turned violent in Spain on Friday night as hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets, according to multiple Spanish media outlets.

At least 12 people, including two minors, were detained after “serious riots” erupted in the northeastern region of Catalonia in Spain, according to Catalonia’s Ministry of Interior.

“Tonight’s serious riots ended with 12 detainees [including two minors], 20 injured officers, at least two looted establishments… and several damaged police vehicles,” the Catalonian police said via Twitter early Saturday.

Police clash with anti-lockdown protesters in downtown Barcelona, Spain, on Friday.

On Friday, the Catalonia region became one of at least 10 regions to close its borders to help fight Spain’s second wave of Covid-19. The existing closure of bars and restaurants in Catalonia has been extended for another 15 days, with shopping centers, cinemas, theatres, and gyms now ordered to close as well.

There were disturbances in several other cities on Friday night, including Burgos and Santander.

Spanish health authorities reported on Friday a record-breaking 25,595 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number to 1,185,678. The death toll reached 35,878 with 239 new deaths, according to official data.

At least 12 people were detained in the northeastern region of Catalonia after "riots" erupted.
Violent protests also erupted in Italy this week as cases hit a new daily record of more than 31,000 in 24 hours, according to figures released by the country’s health ministry on Friday.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the historic center of Florence and clashed with the police on Friday night, the Florence police press office told CNN on Saturday.

Italian health official Gianni Rezza said that “there was no good news,” as the number of cases had reached 31,084, bringing the total to 647,674. The number of deaths increased by 199 to 38,321.

People light flares as they protest against measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, in Rome, Italy on Tuesday.

Numerous Italian regions are facing “critical risk,” according to a joint report by the Italian Health Ministry and Italian Health Institute released on Friday.

Lombardy — the worst hit during the pandemic — and Campania, the second most affected region, are among the 11 regions classified as at “high risk” of Covid-19 transmission.

Hospitals under pressure

Germany reported a record number of coronavirus cases for a fourth day in a row on Saturday with 19,059 new infections in 24 hours, according to the country’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

The number of new infections broke Friday’s record of 18,681 cases. Germany’s total case count now stands at 518,753 and the death toll rose by 103 to 10,452, according to RKI.

Germany will impose wide-ranging lockdown measures from Monday in an attempt to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, its government decided on Wednesday night. Bars, restaurants and cafes will remain shut except for takeout. Theaters and concert halls will be closed, as will amateur and recreational sports facilities.

An empty terrace in Berlin on Thursday as Germany prepares for wide-ranging lockdown measures from Monday.

Belgium, which is to send patients to Germany for treatment as hospital admissions soar, will impose sweeping new lockdown measures for six weeks starting Sunday night.

Belgium has the second highest number of infections per 100,000 people in the European Union and UK, after the Czech Republic.

“We are going back into a strict lockdown, which has only one purpose: to ensure that our healthcare system does not collapse,” said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo as he announced the restrictions on Friday.

The measures include the closure of non-essential stores, hair salons and restaurants; mandatory mask-wearing for outdoor gatherings of up to four people and a ban on mixing indoors except with a “cuddle contact,” or person in a support bubble. The rules will be place until December 13. Schools will remain on vacation until November 15.

Employees at the MontLegia hospital, in Liege, Belgium, as wards face a surge in admissions.

“We have to limit our physical contacts as much as possible,” said De Croo, adding that this was Belgium’s “last chance if we want to bring this curve down.”

France entered a second national lockdown on Friday that will last an initial four weeks, until December 1 at “minimum.” The rules will be more relaxed than during spring’s lockdown, with school and workplaces remaining open.

However, people will only be allowed outside “to work, to go to a medical appointment, to care for a relative, to shop for essential goods and to get some air,” said French President Emmanuel Macron.

“The virus is circulating at a speed that even the most pessimistic had not predicted,” Macron added.

A curfew that had been imposed in Paris and other cities had no impact on the spread of the virus, according to Macron.

Police officers walk across the empty Charles Bridge in Prague during the night-time curfew imposed by the Czech government on October 28.

Parks, gardens, and open-air markets will stay open but movement between regions will be forbidden.

Macron acknowledged the “huge effort” required by businesses forced to close, and said that “15 days from now, we will re-evaluate the situation” and “reopen some if the situation allows.”

Greece has also expanded its containment measures from high-risk areas to the whole country. In a televised address on Saturday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis outlined a series of measures for the whole country that will take effect on Tuesday November 3 and last for a month.

There will be a night-time curfew from midnight to 5 a.m., mask use will be mandatory everywhere, and more people will be encouraged to work from home.

The number of coronavirus cases in Europe since the beginning of the pandemic has exceeded the 10 million mark, with more than 1.5 million cases confirmed last week, World Health Organization’s Europe director Hans Kluge on Thursday.

During a meeting with European Health Ministers, Kluge said hospitalizations had risen to “levels unseen since the spring,” with deaths rising by 32% across the region last week.

“Europe is at the epicenter of this pandemic once again,” Kluge said.

“At the risk of sounding alarmist, I must express our very real concern and convey our steadfast commitment to stand beside you and support you as best we can.”

Kluge said lockdowns “need not mean what they meant in March or April” and that indirect economic impacts must be considered.

But for much of Europe, this new phase of lockdown looks set to be even harder than what came before.

CNN’s Chris Liakos, Simon Cullen, Hande Atay Alam, Fred Pleitgen and Tatiana Arias, Amy Cassidy, Gaelle Fournier, Tim Lister, Tatiana Arias, Valentina Di Donato and Zahid Mahmood contributed reporting.



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After dating Gautam Kitchlu for a while now, Kajal Aggarwal has finally married her main man in a lavish ceremony

Kajal Aggarwal ties the knot with beau Gautam Kitchlu; See their first wedding pic


Kajal Aggarwal’s wedding with Gautam Kitchlu has been the talk of the town for quite some time now. After creating a lot of buzz about their love affair and wedding, the Magadheera actress has finally tied the knot with her man. Yes! Kajal Aggarwal and Gautam Kitchlu are married now. While their wedding has been grabbing a lot of attention, pics from their wedding ceremonies have also been doing the rounds on social media. Amid this, we have got our hands on the pic of the newlywed couple wherein Gautam and Kajal were seen posing as man and wife.

In the pic, Kajal was seen donning a red bridal lehenga with heavy golden embroidery which she had paired with a golden dupatta. The Paris Partis actress had completed her bridal look with traditional red chooda, bridal jewellery including kaleere, necklace and maang tika. On the other hand, Gautam complimented her well in his white sherwani with light golden coloured print and had paired it with golden coloured turban. The newlyweds were seen wearing a garland of white roses.

Take a look at Kajal Aggarwal and Gautam Kitchlu’s wedding pics:

To note, Kajal and Gautam had announced their wedding early this month and left the fans surprised. The actress had mentioned that given the coronavirus outbreak, they will be having a small ceremony for their wedding in the presence of their respective family members. While there were speculations about Kajal quitting acting post wedding, she had clarified that she will continue to entertain the audience and even thanked her fans for their unconditional support.

Also Read: Kajal Aggarwal shares her first glimpse as a bride before she takes pheras with Gautam Kitchlu; See PHOTO

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The e-commerce giant is thinking big with affordable brands like River by JJ Valaya, Suneet Varma and others

Collaborations are one way to keep shoppers hooked to a brand, and for the festive season, Amazon Fashion has signed on four leading Indian designers to launch a new label, River. The e-commerce giant tied up with DBS Lifestyle LLP to create this multi-designer brand, together with JJ Valaya, Suneet Varma, Ashish Soni and Manish Arora. It appears that affordability is key for this initiative that includes pret and occasion wear for both men and women.

There are 270 styles, from dresses and saris to jackets and trousers, with references to the designers’ DNA. Varma’s saris, for instance, come with his trademark flounces and frills and pastels and are heavily discounted already (at 50% and available for ₹4,999 and ₹5,999). JJ Valaya’s scarves and contemporary separates (cotton shirt dresses at ₹1,749) showcased are very different from what you would see at his fashion shows or showrooms, but he has mentioned that they are Indian in spirit with some modern ‘royal sport’ inspiration. Meanwhile, Arora’s psychedelic print dresses and tops and Soni’s athleisure influence point to a much younger audience. That these garments are manufactured by a third party could account for the attractive pricing. Now if only they were easier to find on the platform!

Mayank Shivam, director, strategic initiatives, Amazon Fashion India  

“We have over 6,00,000 sellers, and hope an initiative like this will strengthen the backbone of the fashion fraternity, with its artisans, entrepreneurs, karigars and weavers,” begins Mayank Shivam, director, strategic initiatives, Amazon Fashion India, explaining how Amazon Fashion is looking at the larger picture with these projects. Sellers are listed from across the country, be it Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, Idukki in Kerala or Rajpipla In Gujarat.

Monitoring percentage growth week over week at 80%, he adds that two out of three customers are from tier 2 and tier 3 towns. With a price range of ₹999 to ₹9,999, “some originality in everyday wear, be it with trousers or kurtas” and designers creating scalable products, they expect to do well during the festive months, especially with buyers switching to categories like loungewear. “In 2019, we had 18,500 millionaire sellers on Amazon.in, and 3500+ crorepati sellers,” continues Shivam. Innovative sustainability measures are also encouraged among sellers, especially after Amazon India eliminated 100% single-use plastic in packaging originating from its 60+ fulfilment centres in India.



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