Chinatown’s venues are sharing recipes, tai chi tutorials and Mandarin lessons for free

London’s businesses are having an extremely tough time at the moment, none more so than those in Chinatown. The usually bustling tourist hub has suffered from a slump in trade since February with many restaurants in the area being forced to close weeks before the government’s lockdown was introduced. 

For anyone missing the vibrant, lantern-strewn spot, you’ll be pleased to hear you can now experience it from your living room. Chinatown’s venues have come together to create #BringingChinatownHome, a programme of online mindfulness workshops, language lessons and cook-alongs designed to transport the W1 enclave to you. 

The weekly activities will begin with Mindfulness Mondays, letting you join workshops including beginners’ tai chi with the Deyin Tai Chi Institute, meditation with Just Breathe and Chinese calligraphy. Throughout the week there’ll also be online lessons in basic Mandarin, a virtual tea house from vegan Chinese food champion Celestial Peach and weekend recipe inspiration, featuring home cook-alongs with some of the area’s top chefs.

‘MasterChef’ champion Ping Coombes and Dumplings’ Legend founder Geoff Leong are lined up to share recipes, and a number of Chinatown’s best restaurants will be recreating their signature dishes. If your local deli doesn’t have all the ingredients you need to join in, you can get them delivered to you by Chinatown’s supermarket, See Woo, as long as you live within a five-mile radius. 

Chinatown London said: ‘The aim of this campaign is to celebrate the wider Asian community and show support for Chinatown’s culinary scene in light of the recent downturn in business and unfortunate cases of prejudice. We hope to continue to cultivate the community spirit of Chinatown, whilst retaining positivity and engagement in this culture and cuisine.’

Join in with #BringingChinatownHome by visiting any of the @chinatownlondon social channels. 

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Study: French doctors find Covid-19 infection in December – CNN

Researchers in the US have also started finding evidence that the virus was infecting and killing people earlier than the country’s first reported cases.
The French team looked at people admitted to the hospital with flu-like illness between December 2 and January 16 who were not ultimately diagnosed with influenza. They tested frozen samples from those patients for coronavirus.
“One sample was positive taken from a 42 year old man born in Algeria, who lived in France for many years, and worked as a fishmonger,” the team wrote. “His last trip was in Algeria during August 2019.”
The man had not been to China, and one of his children had also been sick, the team reported.
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“Identifying the first infected patient is of great epidemiological interest as it changes dramatically our knowledge regarding SARS-COV-2 and its spreading in the country. Moreover, the absence of a link with China and the lack of recent travel suggest that the disease was already spreading among the French population at the end of December, 2019,” they wrote.
Europe did not start reporting cases of coronavirus until January. In Italy, the European country hit hardest by the virus, the first two cases were reported on Jan 31, in two Chinese tourists in Rome. The first known community transmission was recorded at the end of February in Codogno, northern Italy.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect when the study was published online.

This content was originally published here.


See MIKE PATTON Join S.O.D. Members To Perform ‘Speak Spanish Or Die’ While In Quarantine

A month after sharing “quarantine versions” of the STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH songs “March Of The S.O.D.” and “Chromatic Death”, recorded with each member separated in their own homes, Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX), Scott Ian (ANTHRAX) and Dan Lilker (NUCLEAR ASSAULT, ex-ANTHRAX) have returned with another S.O.D. track, “Speak English Or Die”, the lyrics of which have been switched up to “Speak Spanish Or Die”. Joining the trio on vocals is MR. BUNGLE and FAITH NO MORE singer Mike Patton, who previously performed the same track with Ian and ex-SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo at the MR. BUNGLE reunion shows in February. Patton makes an appearance in the accompanying video as “The Lonely Rager,” complete with cowboy hat and bandana mask.

STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH (a.k.a. S.O.D.) was a satirical 1980s metal band which consisted of Ian (guitar), Benante (drums), Lilker (bass) and M.O.D.‘s Billy Milano (vocals).

STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH are commonly credited as being among the first bands to fuse hardcore punk with thrash metal into a style sometimes called “crossover thrash.” The track “March Of The S.O.D.” from the group’s debut LP, “Speak English Or Die”, was the “Headbangers Ball” intro song for many years.

STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH was formed shortly after Ian finished his guitar tracks on the ANTHRAX album “Spreading The Disease”. He would draw pictures of the face of a character known as “Sargent D,” and the pictures would be accompanied by slogans such as “I’m not racist; I hate everyone” and “Speak English Or Die.” Ian would then wrote lyrics about this character. He decided to form a hardcore band based on Sargent D, so he recruited Benante, Lilker and Milano.

The 30th-anniversary edition of “Speak English Or Die” was made available in November 2015 via Megaforce. The set included the original album as well as the demo recordings from the pre-STROMTROOPERS OF DEATH project CRAB SOCIETY NORTH.

This content was originally published here.


Most European students learn English in school | Pew Research Center

Students in Europe learn foreign languages in school at a much higher rate than their American counterparts. They also tend to learn more languages throughout their education due to national mandates. Part of this linguistic imbalance may be because most European students are learning English in school, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

Across Europe, 91% of students in primary and secondary school were studying English in 2017 – more than all other foreign languages learned combined by a large margin, according to data from Eurostat, the statistics arm of the European Commission. The next-most studied languages in European schools are French, German and Spanish, each garnering no more than 15% of students participating in 2017. Russian, studied in a formal classroom by 2% of Europeans, is the only other foreign language that more than 1% of European students learn.

How we did this

To assess how many students learn English at school in European countries, Pew Research Center analyzed language learning data for 30 nations available via Eurostat, the statistics arm of the European Commission. The data in its raw form is separated within country by three education levels – primary, lower secondary and upper secondary. The analysis combines these levels to allow for analysis across the aggregate. While this post focuses primarily on students learning English in school, the same aggregation methods were used for each language studied in each country where data is available in 2017. The United Kingdom, Ireland and Serbia have incomplete or no data available and were therefore omitted from this analysis.

Data for the United States comes from “The National K-12 Foreign Language Enrollment Survey Report” from the American Councils for International Education, published in June 2017.

Far fewer K-12 students in the U.S. participate in foreign language education than in Europe. Throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 20% of K-12 students are enrolled in foreign language classes, according to a 2017 report from the nonprofit American Councils for International Education.

Many European countries mandate that students study more than one foreign language, so students learning something other than English may also study English simultaneously or at some point in their education.

While English is the most studied foreign language in Europe overall, this varies somewhat across countries. For example, 100% of students in primary and secondary school in Malta, Liechtenstein, Northern Macedonia and Austria studied English in the classroom as of 2017. In 25 out of 29 nations where data is available, about three-quarters or more of all students studied English.

It is important to remember that this data represents a snapshot of language learning in one year – 2017 – rather than a student’s language exposure over the full course of their academic career. For instance, while the Netherlands ranks toward the bottom in terms of all students learning English in 2017, this is driven in part by lower proportions of Dutch primary students enrolled in language classes. While only about four-in-ten primary students are enrolled in a language course, nearly all of those students in a language class are already learning English in the classroom. Foreign language classes are not mandated in the Netherlands for students until age 10, one of the later ages in the EU.

Linguistic diversity within a country sometimes affects which languages students learn in school. This is apparent in Belgium, a country where distinct regions are French-speaking while other areas predominantly speak Flemish or German. In the Flemish-speaking community, nearly all students learn French, which is considered a foreign language in that region, while most students in the French-speaking communities learn Dutch. A similar environment can be found in Luxembourg; Belgium and Luxembourg are the only countries where a majority of students are not learning English in school.

While English predominates across these 29 countries, there are some notable regional and country-level differences in who learns which languages in school. Russian is, for example, most often learned in countries that border the Russian Federation or are former members of the Soviet bloc, such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Bulgaria. French and German appear most often as non-English foreign languages studied in school, in 29 and 23 countries, respectively.

When it comes to three non-European languages measured by Eurostat, rates of learning in school drop precipitously. In no country do more than 2% of students study languages such as Chinese, Japanese or Arabic in the classroom in a given year, dating back to at least 2012. This holds true when looking at overall proportions as well as only among secondary students, where language learning rates tend to be higher.

Predominantly English-speaking countries – including the U.S. – have lower rates of foreign language learning, though the data is not comparable to the rest of Europe in some cases. In the U.S., only about 20% of K-12 students studied a foreign language in school, according to a 2017 report from the American Councils for International Education. This includes 14% who studied Spanish, 2% who learned French and 1% who were taking German courses.

Most students in Ireland learn English and Gaelic, but neither is considered a foreign language. Likewise, the National University of Ireland found 30% of Irish graduates complete their secondary education without a foreign language in their final qualification. And while the UK does mandate that students study at least one foreign language in school, they have the latest minimum starting age of all countries in Europe (11 years old). Studies from the BBC and the British Academy have shown steady decreases in the number of British secondary students taking exams in foreign languages, with noteworthy drop-offs in French and German language students since 2017.

This content was originally published here.