Sweden’s austere nobel awards
With more than 1,200 guests and 40 chefs, Sweden holds its annual Nobel awards ceremony hoping a year of cost-cutting will not be noticed by the laureates or royals attending the lavish dinner.
The ceremony sees Sweden briefly enjoying extravagance but this year the prize money has been cut by a fifth and the number of chauffeur-driven cars for Nobel winners and their guests has been reduced.
The awards are now worth $1.2 million each, down from around $1.5 million in recent years. reuters
Uzbekistan puts ban on santa
Almaty: Uzbekistan is reportedly stealing Christmas by keeping the local version of Santa Claus off the airwaves.
UzMetronom reported that President Islam Karimov’s authoritarian government imposed the informal ban on Father Frost and his snow maiden sidekick.
The characters have been regular fixtures across the the country over the holiday season. The ban is similar to the semiofficial 2005 ban on celebrating New Year’s Eve. Uzbekistan has proven hostile to holidays deemed insufficiently native. ap
Exotic coffee to cost $50 per cup
Sydney: Coffee connoisseurs are rushing to Thailand to get a sip of a new brand of gourmet coffee made from beans hand-picked from Thai elephant dung, which cost $50 a cup.
Coffee made from pure arabica beans are being slow cooked in the stomachs of a herd of 30 elephants, plucked 30 hours later from their dung, then washed and roasted.
People who have tried Black Ivory Coffee say it tastes of “milk chocolate, nutty, earthy with a hint of spice and red berries”.
The coffee beans, hand-picked by villagers on hillsides, stew together with bananas, sugar cane and other ingredients in the elephants’ diet. ani
Indians biggest ethnic group in UK
London: Indians are expected to rank as thelargest ethnic minority group in the UK, in the latest results from the 2011 census, according to a media report.
The mixed-race population is among the fastest growing in Britain and is already the largest ethnic group among under-16s.
However, academics believe the true figure could double of this, because many of mixed-race are believed to define themselves as a single race on official forms.
The latest census results are also expected to show that one million Britons are mixed race, which equates to 1.6% of the population.
In the report, Islam will also be identified as the fastest-growing faith, with more than two million Muslims. pti