Colors: Blue Color

As part of the international Quran and adhan competition presented by the Otr Elkalam show, one of the initiatives of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, the third episode of the show witnessed the rivalry between European Moroccans in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, with humbling recitations of the Holy Quran that reflect meanings and rely on extreme accuracy. In the recitation track, Ahmed Al-Hasnawi from France competed with Mohammed Al-Habti, who lives in Spain, where he leads the prayers in a mosque and teaches children the Holy Quran.

Jamaica's vibrant cultural capital, Kingston, beat out 152 entrants from 28 nations to be selected Best Creative Destination for 2023 by the jury of the 9th Creative Tourism Awards.

The award was recently presented to the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, by Caroline Couret, Director of the Creative Tourism Network®, on behalf of the International Committee, on the margins of ITB Berlin, the world's leading travel trade show, in Germany.

At least 12 people were injured and 30 houses damaged after a tornado hit the Bakenwala village in this Punjab district, officials said on Saturday. The tornado also damaged standing crops in the fields and kinnow orchards, they said.

Bakenwala resident Gurmukh Singh said: "Villagers saw the tornado around 4 pm on Friday." It caused damage in a 2-2.5-km area, he said. Deputy Commissioner Senu Duggal, who visited the affected village, said the administration shifted those villagers whose houses were damaged to the local government school.

Airbus has delivered the first A321neo aircraft assembled at its Final Assembly Line Asia (FAL Tianjin) to China’s Juneyao Air in Tianjin, China. The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines and features 207 comfortable seats, 8 in Business and 199 in Economy class. Its delivery flight is to use a ten percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel blend in support of the green aviation strategy in China.

“Since we announced the commissioning of the first A321 aircraft at FAL Tianjin last November, the relevant final assembly activities and tests went on smoothly, showcasing the maturity of FAL Tianjin to quickly adapt to new products,” said George Xu, Airbus Executive Vice President and Airbus China CEO.

A lawmaker in the US have introduced a bill to make caste discrimination illegal in the state's senate. If it's passed, California - home to some of the world's biggest tech companies - will become the first US state to outlaw discrimination based on caste.

The bill was authored and introduced by Senator Aisha Wahab, a lawmaker from the Democratic Party, who proposed to add caste as a protected category in California's anti-discrimination laws alongside gender, race and disability.

Americans, like people from other countries, revere their nation’s history. They study the men and women who helped found their country, performed acts of heroism in its service and led it in good times and bad.

They visit national monuments and parks. They read books about the United States to learn new stories. In recent years, growing numbers of Americans have come to understand that their history is richer and more complex, if less uniformly triumphant, than they once thought.

STL, a leading optical and digital solutions company, on the occasion of World Water Day, announced that it has replenished 1.4 billion litres (1.4 million m3) of water in 12 villages of Aurangabad, in the state of Maharashtra, India. The company has designed a water resilience program in partnership with the Village Social Transformation Foundation (VSTF) to improve water and sanitation management in the region.

With the local hotel room-stock set to grow by 20,000 new rooms over the next five to ten years, Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett has welcomed a resurgence of the villas sub-sector. Crediting the COVID-19 pandemic for bringing about a revival in villas for visitor accommodation, he said “Jamaica is now leading the way in providing new and exciting villa experiences for tourists across the region.”

In celebration of World Tattoo Day today (Tuesday 21 March), the teams behind two iconic Sydney brands - the Sydney Tower Eye and Bondi Ink are collaborating to host the 'The World's Highest Tattoo Studio,' 250m above Sydney.

Chris and Cristina, artists from the leading tattoo parlour, will give two lucky winners one of two Sydney-skyline-inspired tattoos, in a pop-up-parlour, at the Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck. Creative inspiration for the two unique semi-realistic designs came following a Bondi Ink team building SKYWALK experience, where the crew got to experience Sydney from the highest vantage point in the city, 268m up high.

A powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador today, with tremors felt as far away as Guayaquil, Machala, and neighbouring Peru, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) reported.

The quake was at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.21 miles). The earthquake, which struck at 12:12 p.m. local time on Saturday, was centred in Azuay Province, about 47 kilometres northwest of Cuenca and 77 kilometres southeast of Guayaquil.

Indian television actress Dalljiet Kaur tied the knot with businessman Nikhil Patel on March 18, 2023, in a beautiful day wedding in Mumbai, India.

The couple was dressed in ivory-coloured ensembles for the ceremony, which was attended by close friends and family. The wedding was shared on social media by celebrities Karishma Tanna and Ridhi Dogra, who shared pictures and videos from the ceremony.

Jamaica Tourism Minister announced that during the first 2 months of the year, 490 farmers earned approximately $108 million in revenue. This was accomplished via the Agri-Linkages Exchange (ALEX) platform, which was designed to connect small farmers directly with buyers within the tourism industry.

Africa’s biggest festival, FESTAC Africa 2023, sets stage in Tanzania’s Northern Tourist City of Arusha in May of this year, with expectations to draw key African big names from all corners of the world.

FESTAC is a celebration of Cultures and Heritage in the form of arts, fashion, music, storytelling, poetry, film, short stories, travel, tourism, hospitality, food and dance, through live performances from various countries of the continent and across the world, sharing and showcasing their richness in their culture.

March 20th, 2023, marks the 10th annual International Day of Happiness, a global reminder of the importance of promoting wellbeing. The day also sees the launch of the World Happiness Report, which ranks 137 countries by how happy they are, based on survey data from the Gallup World Poll.

Finland tops the list of happiest countries for the 6th year running. The UK has dropped from 17th place (scoring 6.94) in 2022 to 19th (scoring 6.80) in 2023. 

Unsurprisingly happiness has gone down in many countries during the pandemic years - a time of increased fear, illness, social distancing and lockdowns. At the same time, the report shows a notable increase in benevolent and pro-social behaviour which continues to remain higher than pre-pandemic levels. 

Dr Mark Williamson, CEO of Action for Happiness, said: “Our world has been facing major challenges, including pandemic, war and economic hardship, so it’s no surprise that global happiness has taken a hit. This report also shows the amazing resilience people have shown in the face of difficulties.

“Supporting people’s wellbeing should be our top priority - especially for leaders and policy makers - as we continue to rebuild and recover. The inspiring silver lining is that we continue to see higher levels of kindness and community spirit, even in the darkest of times. Kindness is the key to a happier world for all of us.”

The reported levels of three benevolent behaviours, ‘donating’, ‘volunteering’ and ‘helping a stranger’ increased significantly. The behaviours peaked in 2021 and all three remain above pre-pandemic levels (see chart below). 

This prosocial behaviour may have helped to cushion the experience of living through the pandemic and may explain why life satisfaction did not fall significantly during that time. This year’s report also notes the bi-directional benefit between altruism and wellbeing; higher wellbeing promotes altruism, and altruism promotes higher wellbeing.

The unhappiest countries are those affected by war; Afghanistan and Lebanon remain at the bottom of the table. Ukraine saw happiness fall by two-thirds of a point, partly due to high levels of worry. However, it also saw a galvanising of benevolence with significant increases in helping strangers, donations and trust in government, which may have mitigated the fall in life satisfaction.

The top ten countries:

1. Finland (7.80)

2. Denmark (7.59)

3. Iceland (7.53)

4. Israel (7.47)

5. Netherlands (7.40)

6. Sweden (7.39)

7. Norway (7.31)

8. Switzerland (7.24)

9. Luxembourg (7.23)

10. New Zealand (7.12)

Other countries of note:

15. United States (6.89)

19. United Kingdom (6.80)

64. China (5.82)

70. Russia (5.66)

92. Ukraine (5.07)

137. Afghanistan (1.86)