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UK Terror Attack Hits London Eye Owner, Lifts Security Firm

Merlin Entertainments Plc[1] shares weakened and G4S Plc[2] rose as investors weigh a possible softening in London tourism and a likely increase in demand for private security after Wednesday s terror attack on the U.K. capital.

Shares of Merlin[3], the operator of attractions including the London Eye Ferris wheel and Madame Tussaud s waxworks, are down almost 3 percent since the incident in which five people were killed. Analysts at Peel Hunt on Thursday cut their target price to 450 pence from 510 pence, citing concern about weakening tourist visits.

We now believe there is a risk that tourism in London will fall, particularly visits from families, Peel Hunt analyst Ivor Jones wrote in a note. That could hurt profits, he said, adding that the U.K. accounts for about a third of group sales.

G4S Plc[4], which derives about 20 percent of sales from within the U.K., mainly employing security guards, traded as much as 3.3 percent higher in London. Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday restated a commitment to spend an additional 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) on building the U.K. s counter-terrorism and intelligence units.

Subdued Outlook

If tourism falls in response to the attack, it could also threaten U.K. spending on luxury goods and entertainment, which has been bolstered by rising visitor numbers as travelers took advantage of the Brexit-weakened pound and shifted from destinations like France in the wake of a series of incidents there. Handbag-maker Hermes International[5] SCA said this week that Chinese and other tourists were favoring the U.K. and Italy[6] for their European vacations, with spending at London and Rome boutiques compensating for continued softness in its domestic market of France. The most important business stories of the day.

Get Bloomberg’s daily newsletter. Trenchcoat maker Burberry Group Plc[7] and other luxury-goods providers have also benefited from tourists taking advantage of favorable exchange rates. Watchmaker Longines has seen crazy and very positive growth in the U.K., President Walter von Kaenel said this week, with sales up by double-digit percentages in the first two months of the year. The company, part of Swatch Group AG, said it saw room to raise prices further in the country.

Merlin[8] warned of the threat of terrorism this month when it issued a subdued financial outlook. Guests on the London Eye and other attractions in the immediate vicinity of the attack were held for a period of about two hours on Wednesday to ensure their safety, the company said in a statement. The safety and security of our staff and guests is always our number one priority, it said. Merlin also runs tourist attractions in recent targets Berlin, Istanbul and Munich.


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  6. ^ Tourists in U.K., Italy Boost Hermes as Luxury Goods Rebound (2) (
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Kim Zolciak-Biermann and Brielle Biermann Go on Expletive-Filled Rant Over German Airport Security

Kim Zolciak-Biermann And Brielle Biermann Go On Expletive-Filled Rant Over German Airport Security

247PAPS.TV/Splash News

Kim Zolciak-Biermann and her 20-year-old daughter Brielle Biermann won’t be traveling to Germany anytime soon.

The reality star mommy-daughter duo were on their way back from Italy with the rest of their family when they were stopped before boarding a flight back home in Germany.

Kim took to Twitter to (angrily) recap the entire situation[1]. “Crazy ass airport n Germany! So extra told me its my government thats why they r searching all my stuff! Throwing my wigs around & s–t,” she began.

“I went through security they searched my carry on, squeezing all my nutri grain bars, throwing my stuff around, obviously I didn’t have anything,” she continued, explaining how they had somehow missed the huge water bottle her other daughter, Ariana, had in her bag. “[They] said I needed further testing, swiped my hands & bag and said I tested positive for ‘explosives.'”

Kim said officers were yelling at her husband Kroy Biermann to “back up” before searching her again.

“Obviously I didn’t have anything,” she continued[2]. “I had to put all my [belongings] back together & we headed to our gate, upon arriving to our gate we are met with 3 security guards who said my hubby & producer had 2 go all the way back to security and be searched again! INSANE!”

Crazy ass airport n Germany! ?? So extra Told me its my government thats why they r searching all my stuff! Throwing my wigs around & shit ????

Kim ZolciakBiermann (@Kimzolciak) March 20, 2017[3]

When she expressed how “crazy” the whole situation was, Kim said one security guard responded, saying, “No it’s because of YOUR government.”

At that point, the Tardy for the Party star said they barely made it to their gate only for her producer’s ticket to be “rejected again.”

can’t wait to get back to america

brielle biermann (@BrielleZolciak) March 20, 2017[4]

Luckily, they eventually made it on their flight. “On my way to Atlanta thank God,” she tweeted. “Italy was amazing the ppl were too!! Never in all my years of traveling had I EVER experienced this!”

Brielle expressed her anger in a bit of a different way, telling Germany’s airport staff off all together.

“Germany airport every single person who works here can go f–k themselves,” she tweeted before adding, “Can’t wait to get back to america.”

The family had traveled to Italy over the last week, visiting major cities like Florence and Venice.


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Central African Republic: Five reasons to care about the closure of Mpoko camp

Central African Republic: Five Reasons To Care About The Closure Of Mpoko Camp

Sven Torfinn

Many people displaced by the conflict found refuge at Mpoko airport

The brutal crisis in the Central African Republic[1] has gone largely unnoticed internationally except, perhaps, for this one iconic image: a sea of displaced people huddled in the hulls of abandoned, rusty planes. This was Mpoko international airport, in the capital Bangui. At its peak, 100,000 people lived in this camp. Those who couldn’t shelter in the ruins of old aircraft piled into empty warehouses, or built a roof over their heads with whatever scraps they could gather. Three years on, however, the international flights that land in Bangui do so next to empty land. Bulldozers came and went, and most of the 20,000 people who were still living in Mpoko have now returned to where they came from. But this closure still matters. Here’s why :

It’s not over

The closure of Mpoko is good news. It is a sign that the Central African Republic is stabilising; a country where even the oldest citizens cannot remember more than very brief periods of relative stability. But this closure remains largely symbolic. The displaced people have little to return to: precarious safety, poor to non-existent infrastructure, destroyed houses still riddled with bullets, and 150 euros in cash for families of six to re-start their lives from scratch. Countrywide, one in four people are still displaced, either inside or outside national borders.

The camp’s closure had officially been a priority for nearly three years. For example in September 2015, after a year of relative calm in Bangui, the camp’s population had dwindled to 6,000 people and MSF was preparing to close its hospital and clinics. But just a few days before the scheduled reduction of MSF activities, the conflict flared up. Yet again, thousands ran to the relative safety of the airport, and the hospital was flooded with people: the number of consultations rose from 250 a day to 400. So whilst there is cause for cautious optimism, what the history of Mpoko camp tells us is that tomorrow is uncertain in the Central African Republic.

[embedded content]

It was not (all) doom and gloom

The Central African conflict that caused the camp to spring to life in the first place reached horrifying levels of violence, with atrocities committed by both sides. MSF’s teams, who started providing medical support in Mpoko just one day after the first families arrived, witnessed horrendous acts such as dismemberments. The living conditions in the camp were difficult for the thousands of traumatised people who sought refuge there. But like anywhere else in the world, life and death happened side by side. For three years, families did their utmost to maintain a minimum of dignity despite everything; 5,807 babies were born in MSF’s field hospital in Mpoko.

At the time of the camp s closure services were being provided to others apart from displaced people. Two thirds of the patients in MSF’s hospital in Mpoko were from outside the camp; some were walking for hours to reach the hospital because there were no other free and reliable medical services accessible to them. Now that the hospital closed they will need to rely on the weak public services in Bangui. The Central African Republic has not solved its deep-rooted problems.

It was an international matter (kind of)

The conflict in the Central African Republic started in 2012. On 4 December 2013, the UN Security Council and, a few hours later, France vowed to take action to stop what were already intolerable levels of violence. One day later, Bangui, where some fighting was already taking place, collapsed into all-out war and the first people fled to Mpoko, seeking protection from the UN and French troops based at the airport. International troops have been central to the recent history of the Central African Republic, for better and for worse: the still unresolved accusations of sexual abuse by French and UN troops in the country remain an ineffable stain on their reputation.

Central African Republic: Five Reasons To Care About The Closure Of Mpoko Camp

Luca Sola

People waiting to be seen at the MSF hospital in Mpoko camp, 2015

Aside from the mobilisation of military resources, however, the Central African Republic remains at the bottom of international priorities. Despite the huge, glaring needs of a population in distress, there is not much appetite to provide basic services in such a dangerous and tense environment. For three years, except for MSF’s permanent medical presence there were few services in the camp and Mpoko was mostly a squalid place to live. Mpoko and indeed the Central African Republic never saw a mobilisation of international aid at levels similar to other displaced people or refugee camps in the world.

It was, in a limited way, a trigger to action

Squalid, yes; forgotten, yes; but still Mpoko camp was the entry point for the coverage of the terrible humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic. The displaced people lived on the tarmac of the landlocked country’s international airport. It was, quite literally, the first thing you saw when you arrived. Travelling across the Central African Republic is difficult at the best of times as there are few decent roads, and these were highly dangerous during the crisis. So, for visiting reporters and their readers around the world, Mpoko became the image of this under-reported crisis that could otherwise have been completely ignored. Mpoko has now closed. What became a symbol of the huge needs of the Central African people has disappeared, but the country’s problems persist. Without this iconic image how can the goodwill of donors, public and private, continue to be mobilsed to help the half of the population that still rely on humanitarian aid to survive?

You did something good (if you’re an MSF donor)

Central African Republic: Five Reasons To Care About The Closure Of Mpoko Camp

Yann Libessart/MSF

MSF staff and patients at MSF health post in Mpoko camp, 2014

Mpoko was a special project for MSF. All teams still remember the extraordinary challenge of building a full 60-bed field hospital in a matter of a few days, on a piece land where there was nothing, and at the peak of an extraordinarily brutal conflict. Our teams worked there every day, for 1,000 days international professionals alongside courageous national staff. All our Central African colleagues suffered through the worst of the conflict with their loved ones, some of them even living in the displaced persons camp as they had lost everything. Together, our staff provided 440,000 medical consultations, 46,000 interventions in the emergency room, and hospitalised 11,000 people in a temporary structure made of wooden planks and tarpaulin. All this was possible thanks to the private donors from all over the world who support MSF.

On behalf of all those patients:

Thank you

The crisis in the Central African Republic is not yet over. MSF remains one of the main health actors in the country, with 17 medical projects across the country, including a surgical programme and a maternity project in Bangui.


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