>Messi tells Barca he wants to leave
Leo Messi has reportedly informed FC Barcelona that he wants to leave the club immediately despite having a 700 million euro release clause in his contract.
The news was broken on Tuesday by Argentinean TV channel TyC Sports and repeated in the Spanish media, explaining that Messi has sent a registered fax to the club highlighting a clause which allows him to unilaterally rescind his contract at the end of this season.
The Barcelona based "El Mundo Deportivo" newspaper reported that the club has indeed received a fax from Messi but that the clause allowing him to walk away for free expired on June 10.
However, the striker believes that this is irrelevant because Barca's campaign only ended on Aug 14 following their 8-2 elimination from the Champions League by Bayern Munich.
The striker reportedly expressed doubts over his future at the Camp Nou, where he has been since arriving as a 13 year-old, making 731 appearances and scoring 634 goals for the club, in a recent telephone conversation with new coach Ronald Koeman.
>World's 1st floating Apple Store
Apple's worldwide retail network may be struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn't stopped the company from indulging in its penchant for pricey-looking, unique, and outlandish exterior design.
The iPhone maker's newest retail location, located in Singapore on the city-state's waterfront and known officially as Apple Marina Bay Sands, can claim a world's first title: it's the only Apple retail shop on the planet that floats on water.
The location, part of the luxury hotel and resort of the same name, is Singapore's third Apple Store.
During the daytime, the new Marina Bay Sands store appears to look like an odd spacecraft of some sort or perhaps some form of futuristic theater.
But at nighttime, when Singapore's iconic skyline is lit in all its glory in the background, the store really comes alive and you can tell the company clearly designed it as an evening fixture best viewed in the dark.
The store is Apple's 512th retail shop globally, and it's opening sometime soon.
>Qixi Festival revives tourism
Qixi Festival, or Chinese Valentine's Day, which fell on Tuesday, turned out to be a boon for the country's tourism and hospitality sectors.
Statistics from online travel agency Ctrip showed people were more eager to travel to mark the festival this year than in 2019, pushing airfares to major cities up by 17% year-on-year since the weekend.
Chongqing was the most popular destination according to a report released by Tongcheng, an online travel platform, followed by Chengdu, Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.
Qunar, another online travel agency, said hotel reservations for Qixi Festival were up 40% across the country compared with last week, while Fliggy, Alibaba's online travel agency, reported a 34% year-on-year increase in hotel reservations.
>2B doses of vaccine by 2021
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday it hopes to deliver by the end of next year at least 2 billion doses of safe, effective vaccines through its vaccine initiative.
As of Monday, 172 countries were engaging with the initiative, which is known as the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility.
At present, nine potential vaccines are part of the dynamic portfolio, which is constantly being reviewed and optimized to ensure access to the best possible range of products.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said discussions are ongoing with four additional producers, and a further nine vaccines are currently under evaluation for the longer term.
The WHO is working with vaccine manufacturers to provide all countries that join the effort with timely and equitable access to all approved vaccines.
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