Edinburgh’s Christmas Market delivers and delights

by Noemi Distefano

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Edinburgh’s Christmas Market has opened to the public this weekend.

The market, one of the most popular Christmas celebrations in the UK, will run for six weeks until the 7th January.

Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens will be transformed into a veritable winter wonderland by a rich array fairground attractions, lights, buskers, artists and street-chefs.

The market has grown its reputation as one of Europe’s largest Christmas attractions.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said to Edinburgh Evening News, “Edinburgh’s Christmas promises to wow once again, and the Christmas Market alongside with the Street of Light is a spectacular and mesmerising addition to what is already a brilliant line-up.”

Around 900,000 unique visitors from all over Europe are expected to fill St. Andrews Square in the coming weeks.

Hundreds of chefs and artisans are expected to open their shutters, offering nibbles, trinkets and a more magical Christmas experience.

 

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

 

Shopkeeper Judies, owner of ChristmasWorld, sells traditional German wooden ornaments. She said, “Me and my brother have been here in Edinburgh for the Christmas markets even before they became a huge event.  This is our fifteenth year in this street, and I wouldn’t like to be anywhere else.”

Norwegian shopkeeper Kari Ittervel claims that she comes to Edinburgh just for the market. A resident of Amsterdam, she flies over for just two months a year to sell her handmade pottery.

“I’ve been here for two years now, I was in London’s Christmas Market before, but it’s not even a tenth as nice as in Edinburgh’s. One day I heard that there was a beautiful market here and I resolved: ‘let’s make Edinburgh’s ladies happy with my items!’”

“The markets are amazing. Beautiful people, beautiful city, it’s just fantastic!”

It’s not just the shopkeepers who love the atmosphere. Jasmine – a tourist from Newcastle – said, “I came a long way from Newcastle, just because I think the Christmas markets are great. They bring a bit of European culture to the cities in the UK.”

“I think it is really nice, the smell is nice in the air, the sites and there are really a lot of lights and we are looking forward to go around, it is a great thing.”

The experience is certainly rich – families peer into the Gardens from the terrace of the Scottish National Gallery as the smell of burned wood and the sound of buskers fill the air.

 

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

Photo credit: Noemi Distefano

 

The Edinburgh Christmas Market will stay vibrant with music, sounds, sights and smells until early 2017.

Tickets are right now available at www.edinburghschristmas.com

Potentially promising new cancer treatment and biomarker

There have been great breakthroughs in cancer research.

by Sonja Klein

A potential new additional treatment for patients with advanced lung cancer
has been found in a collaboration study in Europe.

Patients diagnosed with stage III or stage IV lung cancer who have little hope of survival may have renewed hope with a new treatment that is currently being tested at various clinics throughout Europe. Non-small-cell lung cancer, a common type that often does not respond well to chemotherapy, has been treated with a combination of chemotherapy and a virus strain called TG4010. Patients that have not yet received chemotherapy, but were treated with the TG4010, on average had a higher survival rate than patients treated with standard chemotherapy.

However, treatment was not effective for all patients. Patients expressing a high percentage of a specific type of receptor on their “natural killer cells”, a sub-type of white blood cells, generally had a reduced survival rate. This knowledge can potentially be used as a biomarker which is an indicator substance in the human body that can be used to find out if a patient will respond positively to a treatment or not. At the current stage of cancer research many patients have to be treated with different types of chemotherapy until the right treatment is found. Testing patients for this specific type of receptor on the “natural killer cells” can reduce the number of tests people have to go through before they find the right treatment. This not only increases their chances of survival but also improves their quality of life.

International news headlines

by Tina Charon and Patrick McPartlin

Middle East

Libya

For the moment the US, UK and France are continuing air strikes against the country. A second raid was lead early this morning and destroyed a building in Libya’s capital Tripoli. The building was one of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s command centres. US officials have said that Colonel Gaddafi himself was not a target of the air strikes.

The Arab League, Russia and China have condemned the attacks. Arab League General Secretary Amr Mussa said, “What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone. What we want is the protection of civilians.” He has also announced that an emergency meeting of the 22-member Arab league is about to be set up.

[Read more…]

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