The old excuse "I've left my wallet at home" will soon no longer hold when it's your round. A British nightclub is about to offer its regulars the option of having a microchip implanted in their arm that will obviate the need to carry cash or plastic. \nLining up for entry or a drink at the bar would also become a thing of the past when the "digital wallet" is introduced by Bar Soba in Glasgow. The chip is already proving popular with VIP members at two nightclubs in Barcelona and Rotterdam. \nAlthough the concept strikes critics as Orwellian, others believe it is only a matter of time before the chip becomes a method of fraud-proof common currency. \nBrad Stevens, owner of Bar Soba, said his motivation was to be cutting-edge and to reward loyal customers. He said he had received a surprisingly enthusiastic response from regulars. \n"There are a number of advantages from instant access to one of our many exclusive DJ and VIP nights and not having to carry money or credit cards to letting bar staff know a customer's name and favorite drink. By the time you walk through the door to the bar, your favorite drink is waiting for you and the bar staff can greet you by name," Stevens said. \nHe also recognized the risks. \n"There is a danger that if a person's not carrying cash, they could just keep on drinking. But we're looking at ways of setting a limit on how much can be spent," he said. \nThe VeriChip is the size of a grain of rice, does not set off airport scanners and contains no power supply. It is encased inside a glass and silicone cylinder and implanted by a medical professional, under local anaesthetic, between the layer of fat and skin on the upper arm. It has a life span of around 20 years, lies dormant until a scanner is passed over it, and sends out a low-range radio frequency. It responds to the signal and supplies the scanner with its unique ID number. How that number is used depends on the database the scanner is hooked up to. In the case of Soba, it will be the balance on a person's bar account.
Hospitals are overwhelmed, ventilators are difficult to find and there is no longer enough space at the main cemetery for COVID-19 victims in Mauritius. Barely three weeks before it fully opens its doors to international travelers at the start of the peak tourist season, the island nation is struggling with an alarming explosion in COVID-19 infections and deaths. In just two months, cases have jumped more than fivefold to more than 12,600 as of Friday, by far the largest increase across Africa during this period, data compiled by Agence France-Presse showed. Since the pandemic started, Mauritius has recorded 1,005 cases of COVID-19 per
Classrooms in the Philippines were silent yesterday as millions of school children hunkered down at home for a second year of remote lessons that experts fear could worsen an educational “crisis.” While nearly every country in the world has partially or fully reopened schools for in-person classes, the Philippines has kept them closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN says. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has so far rejected proposals for a pilot reopening of primary and secondary schools for fear that children could catch COVID-19 and infect elderly relatives. “I want to go to school,” seven-year-old Kylie Larrobis said,
FACING BEIJING: Fumio Kishida said if he became PM, he would not ‘blindly’ keep the defense budget below 1% of GDP and would monitor China’s treatment of Uighurs Japan needs to let its coast guard work smoothly with self-defense forces, in the face of assertiveness by giant neighbor China, former Japanese minister of foreign affairs Fumio Kishida, a contender to head the ruling party, and so become the next prime minister, said yesterday. Only lawmakers and grassroots members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are to vote for the party’s president in a Sept. 29 election, but candidates’ popularity with the public counts, as the winner would lead it into general elections this year. “The security environment around Japan is getting tougher,” Kishida told a news conference. “We need
Taliban fighters have taken over the glitzy Kabul mansion of one of their fiercest enemies — former Afghan vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum, a warlord and now fugitive. In the hands of rank-and-file Taliban fighters, the opulent villa has given the austere Islamists a peek into the lives of Afghanistan’s former rulers, and they say the luxury is the proceeds of years of endemic corruption. Along an endless corridor with a thick apple-green carpet, a young fighter sleeps slumped on a sofa, his Kalashnikov rifle resting against him, as exotic fish glide above him in one of seven giant tanks. The fighter is