Atlanta, other U.S. cities make pitch for 2026 World Cup

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Level : Intermediate

By PAUL NEWBERRY AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) — After being slowed by the pandemic, the race among 17 U.S. cities to land a coveted spot hosting the 2026 World Cup is back on.

Two FIFA inspectors were in Atlanta Friday to get a look at 72,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of a record-setting Major League Soccer team and centerpiece of the city’s bid.

FIFA vice president Victor Montagliani, who also leads regional governing body CONCACAF, joked that Atlanta is now “a football city, as in the real football that is played globally.”
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What pairs with beetle? Startups seek to make bugs tasty

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Level : Advanced

By KELVIN CHAN AP Business Writer

LONDON (AP) — Tiziana Di Costanzo makes pizza dough from scratch, mixing together flour, yeast, a pinch of salt, a dash of olive oil and something a bit more unusual — ground acheta domesticus, better known as cricket powder.

Di Costanzo is an edible insect entrepreneur who holds cricket and mealworm cooking classes at her West London home, where she also raises the critters in a backyard shed with her husband, Tom Mohan.

Her startup, Horizon Insects, is part of Europe’s nascent edible insect scene, which features dozens of bug-based businesses offering cricket chips in the Czech Republic, bug burgers in Germany and Belgian beetle beer. The European Union headquarters in Brussels is also backing research into insect-based proteins as part of a broader sustainable food strategy.
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Fury cross the Mersey: Liverpool loses world heritage status

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Level : Intermediate

By JILL LAWLESS Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Civic leaders in Liverpool expressed outrage Wednesday after the English port city was stripped of its World Heritage status by the United Nations’ culture organization.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted in a secret ballot to remove the designation because of developments in the city center and on its historic River Mersey waterfront. The committee said the projects, including a planned new stadium for soccer team Everton, were “detrimental to the site’s authenticity and integrity” and had caused “irreversible loss of attributes.”

Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson called the decision “incomprehensible.”

“I’m hugely disappointed and concerned by this decision to delete Liverpool’s World Heritage status, which comes a decade after UNESCO last visited the city to see it with their own eyes,” she said.
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Habitat for Humanity struggles with high construction costs

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Level : Advanced

By HALELUYA HADERO AP Business Writer

Reeling from massive cutbacks in volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and grappling with high construction costs, Habitat for Humanity leaders would be the first to admit they’re struggling.

The past year has felt like one punch after the other, they say. First hit: Habitat’s local affiliates had to limit volunteers over virus concerns, forcing them to fork over more money to hire contractors. Second hit: Revenue was dented by temporary closures of ReStores, the reuse stores operated by local Habitat organizations. The third: Construction delays caused by pandemic-induced kinks in the supply chain, which make affiliates wait longer for supplies.
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50 years after his death, fans honor Jim Morrison in Paris

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Level : Intermediate

By DEBORAH GOUFFRAN and SYLVIE CORBET undefined

PARIS (AP) — Paris on Saturday was the only place to be for die-hard Jim Morrison fans.

Fifty years after his death at age 27, rock music lovers from France and across the world came to the Pere-Lachaise cemetery in eastern Paris where The Doors’ frontman is buried. Many brought candles and pictures, and some burned incense sticks near his grave as police watched nearby.

“Jim and The Doors have been heroes of ours since we were kids. It’s an honor to be here and celebrate the 50th anniversary of his death today,” said Dutuar Platzek.
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3D video replaces huge sets in Verona as full operas resume

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Level : Advanced

By COLLEEN BARRY Associated Press

VERONA, Italy (AP) — The Verona Arena amphitheater in northern Italy has returned to staging full operas for the first time since the pandemic — but with one big difference.

The monumental sets that normally fill the vast amphitheater stage have been replaced by dynamic, 3D images broadcast on huge LED screens, recreating a Sicilian village or a Fellini-esque film backlot.

Distancing rules meant that stagehands moving sets had to be limited in the cramped backstage in the open-air Roman-era amphitheater, setting in motion a reimagining of the 98th Verona Arena Opera Festival.

For this season, technology is standing in for the sets for which the Arena is famous, ones big enough to fill the vast stage and engage even audience members sitting far away in the uppermost seats.
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Lucky number: Biden is 13th US president set to meet queen

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Level : Intermediate

By DANICA KIRKA and DARLENE SUPERVILLE Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Imagine trying to make an impression on someone who’s met, well, almost everyone.

Such is the challenge for President Joe Biden, who is set to sip tea with Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday at Windsor Castle after a Group of Seven leaders’ summit in southwestern England.

Biden will be the 13th president to sit with the now-95-year-old monarch. The White House said he previously met the queen in 1982, when he was a U.S. senator.

Before the two meet again, the leaders are to attend a reception Friday with the queen, her son Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, and Charles’ son Prince William and his wife, Kate.
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Merkel, Macron back efforts to improve WHO as meeting opens

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Level : Intermediate

By JAMEY KEATEN Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday were among leaders rallying around efforts to strengthen the World Health Organization and the world’s ability to prepare for and defend against pandemics.

It came as the U.N. health agency opened its annual assembly, with a draft resolution in the works that acknowledges missteps in the response to COVID-19. The sweeping proposal would seek to boost pandemic response, stabilize WHO’s funding and ensure greater access to health care — including to vaccines, tests and treatments linked to the coronavirus.
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Renowned conservationist Jane Goodall wins Templeton Prize

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Level : Advanced

By DAVID CRARY AP National Writer

Jane Goodall, the conservationist renowned for her expertise on chimpanzees and her globe-spanning advocacy of environmental causes, was named Thursday as this year’s winner of the prestigious Templeton Prize, honoring individuals whose life’s work embodies a fusion of science and spirituality.

Goodall, born in London in 1934, traveled to Kenya in 1957 and met the famed anthropologist and paleontologist Louis Leakey. In 1960, at his invitation, she began her groundbreaking study of chimpanzees in what is now Tanzania.

Her field research revolutionized the field of primatology, helping transform how scientists and the public perceive the emotional and social complexity of animals. She was the first to observe that chimpanzees engage in activities previously believed to be exclusive to humans, such as creating tools, and she demonstrated that they have individual personalities.
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Italy’s Uffizi discovers lost frescoes during COVID shutdown

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Level : Intermediate

By COLLEEN BARRY Associated Press

MILAN (AP) — The Uffizi Gallery in Florence used the winter COVID shutdown to push ahead with renovations, discovering lost frescoes that will greet visitors when the leading repository of Italian Renaissance art reopens on May 4.

Uffizi director Eike Schmidt said the six months of closure were put to good use: renovating 14 new rooms that will open to the public next month, and discovering frescoes that would otherwise have remained hidden.

But he hopes that the most recent reopening — the third during the pandemic — will be the last.

“We very much hope that now we will be able to open stably and without further closures. We hope so for the museum, but we hope it also for the world and for human society,” Schmidt said.
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