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Top 5 STUNNING Rail Journeys

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There is something to be said for a good train ride. But lets look beyond the daily commute to some of the most magnificent rail journeys the world has to offer! Here are Ticker’s top 5 journeys you can take by train!

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Tech

Facebook takes advertising to new dimensions with VR ad trials

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VR ads

Facebook is testing VR ads inside its Oculus Quest virtual reality headset system

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is breaking his previous promise that VR Oculus Quest apps will remain ad-free.

The company is describing the ad roll-out as an ‘experiment’. The ads are already appearing in a game called Balston, with other developers rolling out similar ads.

Facebook says it will listen to feedback before launching the virtual reality ads more widely, and will continue testing new ad formats “that are unique to VR”.

Oculus says “We’re exploring new ways for developers to generate revenue – this is a key part of ensuring we’re creating a self-sustaining platform”.

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Crypto

Bitcoin plummets as China continues to crack down on crypto mine closures

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China bitcoin mine

Bitcoin fell over the weekend, spurred by China closing a number of mines.

Bitcoin fell 5.5 percent on Sunday, as China closes in on Bitcoin mining practises.

This comes amid growing concerns over the energy usage required to mine cryptocurrencies.

This is the currency’s fourth decline in the past five sessions. Ether also tumbled.

The city of YA-AN promises to root out major crypto mining operations within 12 months

There are reports that the closure of the mines in this area has reduced the crypto’s mining capacity by 90 percent.

The crypto is currently priced at around half of what it was worth in April – with the market value falling from 2.6 trillion last month to 1.45 trillion today.

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Global Politics

Auckland crowned world’s most liveable city

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Asia-Pacific cities are the top performers in a major survey of the world’s most liveable cities.

The New Zealand city of Auckland has been named the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The Kiwi capital, Wellington, was ranked fourth in the 2021 Global Liveability Index, as cities with effective pandemic responses rose to the top of the rankings.

The EIU says New Zealand’s “tough lockdown” enabled many citizens to “enjoy a lifestyle that looked similar to pre-pandemic life.

Cities are ranked on more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Japan’s Osaka was ranked the second most liveable city, joined in the top five by the country’s capital Tokyo.

Australia has four cities in the top ten, with Adelaide the highest ranking at number three.

COVID-19’s “heavy toll on global liveability”

The EIU says there has been an “unprecedented level of change in the rankings”, with the pandemic causing liveability to decline.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on global liveability. Cities across the world are now much less liveable than they were before the pandemic began, and we’ve seen that regions such as Europe have been hit particularly hard,” Upasana Dutt from the Economist Intelligence Unit said.

“…the COVID-19 pandemic caused liveability to decline – as cities experienced lockdowns and significant strains on their healthcare systems.”

European and Canadian cities have fallen significantly in the rankings, due to the impact of lockdowns.

Austria’s capital was previously ranked the world’s most liveable city, but Vienna has dropped out of the top 10, falling to twelfth.

Hamburg had the biggest fall, falling 34 places to 47th.

Damascus, in Syria, continues to languish at the very bottom of the rankings, remaining the world’s least liveable city.

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