Yesterday numerous EU nationals living in the UK got a nasty surprise when they opened their mail: an official letter stating that they would be removed under immigration laws. While the Home Office quickly confirmed that these letters were sent by mistake and should be disregarded, it’s a sensitive matter – particularly considering that even though the rights of EU citizens living in the UK remain unchanged today, these rights now have an expiration date. It’s hard to say where exactly the UK stands on this issue – like most issues – as Brexit negotiations have been vague. So vague, in fact, that Brussels has asked the UK to produce a concrete proposal for how to calculate its EU exit bill or else risk next week’s Brexit talks coming to a standstill.
For readers of The Village Voice – the Manhattan weekly that made a name for itself as a beacon of liberalism in the 1960s – the rustle of paper and those ink-stained fingers from a thorough read are now consigned to the past. This week the publication announced that it will be online only, following in the footsteps of such papers as The Independent and the Buenos Aires Herald. The move comes in the wake of a tumultuous recent history for the country’s first alternative weekly, which was bought in 2015 by Peter Barbey, owner of the small-town Pennsylvania publication Reading Eagle. Barbey hopes to make the Pulitzer-prize-winning Voice appeal to a new generation online. Let’s hope it keeps its voice.
Ho Chi Minh City’s plans to ease road congestion and expand its public-transport networks – which meet a measly 10 per cent of demand – have faced choppy waters lately. Proposals for inner-city train lines to be built by 2020 have been derailed so many times that the launch of Saigon’s first river-bus service was big news. This week five yellow boats hit the water but it hasn’t been smooth sailing. The service is still undergoing trials and the initial 10.8km 12-stop route around the city won’t begin public operations until 1 October. Still, once they’re up and running, the river buses will provide a scenic alternative for commuters that tap into the city’s underutilised network of waterways.
Japanese workers are notoriously reluctant when it comes to taking their full holiday allowance but this is offset by Japan’s roster of public holidays. The most recent addition to the public holiday calendar was Mountain Day, which was introduced last year on 11 August. Now a cross-party group of politicians led by deputy prime minister Taro Aso is proposing a bill that would make 24 July 2020 – the opening day of the Tokyo Olympic Games – a public holiday. The thinking is that it would encourage support for the Olympics and help ease congestion in central Tokyo. To counter business arguments that there are already enough themed days off, the holiday would be a one-off, keeping the usual number of annual national holidays at 16.
If you think preparing the world’s favourite cinema snack is a simple process then you’re in for a shock. We pay a visit to Joe & Seph’s popcorn kitchen, where flavours such as gin and tonic, French goat’s cheese and black pepper, and caramel and Belgian chocolate come to life. Plus: we hear from ‘Lady Macbeth’ costume designer Holly Waddington and countdown our top-five favourite costumes.