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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

JetBlue founder launches 'world's nicest airline'

(CNN Edition) — Twenty years after launching JetBlue from an office building in Queens, New York, its founder has filed plans to launch a new airline with flights starting by year's end.
Breeze Airways, which has applied for an airline operating certificate with the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, is actually founder David Neeleman's fifth airline start-up. Besides JetBlue, he's also launched Morris Air, WestJet and Azul.
This rendering shows the Breeze A220 aircraft that will serve mid-size markets.
This rendering shows the Breeze A220 aircraft that will serve mid-size markets.
Courtesy Breeze Airways
Initially, Breeze will target mid-sized US city pairs that don't currently have nonstop service. "Breeze will fly non-stop service between places currently without meaningful or affordable service," said Neeleman, Breeze's CEO and president, in a press release.
"We brought humanity back to the airline industry with JetBlue," Neeleman said. "Today, we're excited to introduce plans for 'the World's Nicest Airline.'"
Benét Wilson covered the start of JetBlue 20 years ago for an airline trade publication.
The airline's concept of an upgraded low-cost carrier "seemed crazy at the time, but 20 years later, here we are," said Wilson, who is now credit cards editor at The Points Guy travel website. "David Neeleman has a great track record when it comes to starting airlines, so I wouldn't bet against him on Breeze."
"Bringing low-cost, non-stop service to these mid-size cities will help not only the people living there by affording them better, more affordable, and more convenient service," said Janet Bednarek, aviation history professor at the University of Dayton in Ohio. "It will also help those cities compete in a market that now heavily favors cities with large hub airports."
"If [Neeleman] is successful maybe it will teach an important lesson to the majors about looking beyond the biggest and most profitable markets to find the many other opportunities in those parts of the country often referred to as the 'great flyover.'"
Breeze has leased 30 Embraer 195 aircraft to serve smaller markets. Those planes are slated for delivery starting in May.
The new airline has also ordered 60 new Airbus 220-300 airplanes to serve mid-sized markets, and those will start being delivered in April 2021.
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Escape the corset: How South Koreans are pushing back against beauty standards

    Like many women in South Korea, Bae Eun-jeong never left the house without makeup. She hated her natural face.
Bae's beauty regimen routinely took two hours, to the point that she'd give herself less time to sleep and eat in order to squeeze it all in before going to school. Even a simple trip to the supermarket by her home took plenty of preparation.
"If I went out without makeup, I didn't have much confidence. I felt embarrassed that someone would look at me. I hated my face," the 21-year-old said. "Even if I would only be out for an hour, I would put on makeup first."
Bae is better known as Lina Bae, a YouTube star who used to give beauty tutorials advising viewers on the perfect summer bronze makeup or green smokey eyes.
Bae Eun-jeong, also known as Bae Lina, is a YouTube star who used to give makeup tutorials.
Earlier this year, as she browsed comments on her videos, she saw young fans expressing that they felt "ashamed to go outside with a bare face."
"(Girls) around me all wear makeup," one commenter wrote, "I don't want to, but I feel like I should." Another said: "I don't have much confidence in how I look -- how do I get more confidence?"
Bae was shocked to see girls as young as 13 worrying about their appearance. The comments made her question her social responsibilities.
In response, she posted a video titled "I am not pretty," in which she applied and removed makeup while sharing hateful comments she had received in the past, such as, "A pig is wearing makeup" or "If I had her face, I'd commit suicide." At the end of the video, she smiles and tells viewers "it's OK not to be pretty."
The video has amassed more than 6.3 million views on YouTube.
"I posted the video because I wanted more women to be free from oppression," Bae said. "I wanted to share that you don't need to change yourself because of how other people see you."
Today, Bae is among a growing number of women challenging South Korean attitudes toward beauty as part of a feminist movement known as "escape the corset."
The movement's name evokes the time when feminists protested the 1968 Miss America beauty pageant by throwing away bras, hairspray, makeup, girdles, corsets, false eyelashes, high heels and other items they saw as symbols of oppression.
Fifty years later, young South Korean women have put their own spin on the movement by destroying expensive makeup and beauty products or cutting their hair short before posting pictures on social media and encouraging others to do the same.
A billboard advertises cosmetic jaw surgery at a subway station in Seoul.
A billboard advertises cosmetic jaw surgery at a subway station in Seoul. Credit: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
"Fundamentally, you can see the 'escape the corset' movement as a challenge to a male-dominated society," said Lee Na-young, a sociology professor at Seoul's Chung-Ang University. "(It) has elements of rejecting the existing standardized femininity and the myth of the beauty."
Women have also been taking action through a nationwide strike movement. On the first Sunday of every month, women are urged not to buy clothes or makeup, to cut their hair or do, according to Lee, "any acts that contribute to the beauty industry."

"Now, many women are choosing the 'escape the corset' movement to practice feminism in their daily lives," she added.

Beauty is big business in South Korea. The country is among the world's 10 biggest beauty markets, and was worth around $13 billion in 2017, according to market intelligence firm Mintel.
Skincare is the largest and most profitable sector of South Korea's beauty industry.
Skincare is the largest and most profitable sector of South Korea's beauty industry. Credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
It has also long been known as the "plastic surgery capital of the world," with about 22% of women saying they have gone under the knife, according to South Korea's National Youth Police Institute. Of those, about half agreed with the statement that they'd done so "because appearance is important in life."
"Women are investing time, efforts, energy and money to look good in front of men," Lee added.

Fight against patriarchy

In 2018, South Korea ranked 115th out of 149 countries in terms of the gender gap between men and women, according to a 2018 report from the World Economic Forum. It also has the highest gender pay disparity among all OECD countries. Only 3% of executives in the top 500 South Korean companies and 17% of National Assembly members are women, according to South Korea's Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

During a new year's press conference Thursday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in described his country's gender gap as "our shameful reality."
Lee So-Young, a member of K-pop group SixBomb, shows a photo of herself before her plastic surgery at a beauty parlour in Seoul.
Lee So-Young, a member of K-pop group SixBomb, shows a photo of herself before her plastic surgery at a beauty parlour in Seoul. Credit: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
In a society which remains deeply patriarchal, there can be consequences for South Korean women who don't conform to beauty standards set by men.
In November 2018, a branch of the coffee shop franchise Yogerpresso fired a woman on her first day after she showed up with short hair and no makeup. The company later apologized, and offered her compensation, which she received.
There has been growing disquiet about a range of other issues, culminating in anti-spy-camera protests that brought tens of thousands of women to the streets last year under the slogan "My Life is Not Your Porn."
South Korean women protest against sexism and hidden camera pornography on August 4, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea.
South Korean women protest against sexism and hidden camera pornography on August 4, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. Credit: Jean Chung/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
South Korea's National Police Agency found reported incidents of illegal filming grew from 1,300 in 2011 to more than 6,000 in 2017. "Upskirt" photos and covert videos of women in changing rooms -- or even their own homes -- can be found on many dedicated forums and websites.
Anger was also stoked by the killing of a woman near Seoul's Gangnam Station in 2016. The 23-year-old victim was stabbed to death by a male restaurant worker who, when questioned about his motives, reportedly said: "I did it because women have always ignored me."

The attacker Kim Sung-min, who suffered from severe schizophrenia, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Exploring Japan's 'genderless' subculture
"(The murder) served as a trigger for young women to realize that sexual violence is a problem that directly affects them," Lee said. "It became the decisive moment for South Korean feminists, who were online, to (speak) out offline."
Bae said her interest in feminism started after learning about the murder. "The thought that (it) is something that can happen to any woman sent a shiver down my spine," she wrote in her book "I Am Not Pretty."

Changing gender norms

The country's feminists still face significant resistance from the country's young men. According to a Realmeter survey conducted last month, 76% of South Korean men in their 20s and 66% of men in their 30s opposed the country's feminist movement.
"Women are realizing that a change in South Korean men's mindset is needed in order to solve this problem," Lee said.
But awareness is growing. South Korea's largest bookstore chain, Kyobo, reported a 19% increase in sales of feminist books last November compared with the same period the previous year.
Park Hye-ri, Kim Min-kyung and Oh Min-ji are members of the Sookmyung Women's University Feminist Association, which put up a declaration on a campus wall to show support for the 'escape the corset' movement on November 19, 2018.
Park Hye-ri, Kim Min-kyung and Oh Min-ji are members of the Sookmyung Women's University Feminist Association, which put up a declaration on a campus wall to show support for the 'escape the corset' movement on November 19, 2018. Credit: Sophie Jeong/CNN
Changes are also visible on college campuses. Last year, the Sookmyung Women's University Feminist Association wrote messages of support for the "escape the corset" movement on a poster using lipsticks and eyeliners. Supporters say female students then ditched their dresses and skirts as word spread across the campus.

"Makeup isn't my power," the declaration read. "Getting dolled up isn't a power. The lack of need to get dolled up is a power."
"Female students used to wear suits with skirts (for graduation photos), but this year, they dressed in suits with pants," said 22-year-old student Park Hye-ri. "I think this is the first time I saw girls dressed in pants for graduation pictures."
Another student, Oh Min-ji, said students were more careful when talking about people's looks.
"Before the 'escape the corset' movement was popular, people did not hesitate to say 'you're pretty.' They thought it was a compliment," said 20-year-old Oh. "But now people are starting to realize that it's not a compliment and that it's a language that limits people within the standards that they expect."
CNN's Kayoung Kim and Hyeri Kim contributed reporting.
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Pele has become depressed and reclusive, says his son

(CNN)Brazilian legend Pele has become depressed due to his poor health and inability to walk unaided, according to his son.
In an interview with Brazil's Globo Esporte, Pele's son Edinho says the 79-year-old is now reluctant to even leave the house following complications with his recovery from hip surgery.
"He is quite fragile," said Edinho. "He underwent a hip replacement and did not have adequate, ideal rehabilitation. So he has this mobility problem, which has caused a kind of depression."
    Pele is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time and won three World Cups during an illustrious career that spanned more than 20 years.
    "Imagine, he is the king, he was always such an imposing figure, and today he can no longer walk properly," added Edinho.
    In recent public appearances, Pele has used a wheelchair and walking frame, something Edinho says he cannot walk without.
    Pele at Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil on April 9, 2019.
    "He's embarrassed, he doesn't want to go out, be seen, or do practically anything that involves leaving the house. He is reclusive.
    "He can't walk normally, only with the walker. It improved a little compared to that recent time (when he appeared in a wheelchair), but he still has a lot of difficulty walking."
      The former forward spent all but two years of his career at Santos and scored more than 600 goals for the club, winning the Copa Libertadores twice and multiple domestic titles.
      This year marks the 50th anniversary of Brazil's 1970 World Cup final win, with that Brazilian team widely regarded to be the best of all time. With Pele pulling the strings Brazil outplayed Italy to win 4-1 in the final on June 21, 1970.
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      Monday, February 10, 2020

      Futuristic Her0 Zero airplane concept promises greener travel

      Futuristic idea: New York-based designer Joe Doucet has envisioned a futuristic electric airplane design that uses propellers

      (CNN) — Streamlined and elegant, with two long wings situated at the rear, this looks like a gas-guzzling super jet built for criss-crossing the planet with scant regard for environmental impact.
      In fact, it's the design for electric passenger airplane that strives for efficiency, sustainability and glamor.
      The concept aircraft is the work of New-York based designer Joe Doucet, who was inspired by his frequent business travel short-haul flights to produce something capable of making the journey without producing typical aviation engine emissions.
      Doucet's design, the Her0 Zero Emissions Airplane uses electric-powered propellers located at its rear to provide the thrust, while sweeping wings that end in large, upturned winglets, provide the lift.
      Her0 is one of several electric jet concepts that have premiered in recent years, as the aviation industry grapples with how to continue to grow while also trying to reduce its environmental impact.

      New era of flying?

      HERO-ZeroEmissionsPlane-JoeDoucet- .690
      The Her0 Zero Emissions Airplane was designed by an aviation newbie, Joe Doucet.
      Courtesy Joe Doucet
      This Her0 blueprint, Doucet tells CNN Travel, has both practical and aesthetic purpose.
      Propellers, he says, are reliable and efficient. The trade off is a slightly longer flight time -- about 20% -- but the designer reckons this wouldn't be an issue on short or medium haul flights.
      As for the swept-back wing design, this is to ensures the airplane's well balanced -- most of the weight will be in the back of the aircraft, as that's where the battery will be situated.
      HERO-ZeroEmissionsPlane-JoeDoucet- .615
      The airplane is both aesthetic and practical.
      Courtesy Joe Doucet
      Aesthetically speaking, Doucet says he wanted the plane to look "somewhat futuristic" but also be an attractive travel option for fliers.
      "If you can make this something that is desirable, something that makes people question why it's not there, you have a better chance of forcing the hand of industry to respond to consumer demand," he says.

      Move towards electric

      HERO-ZeroEmissionsPlane-JoeDoucet- .611
      Doucet hopes the design will catch the eye of the aviation industry.
      Courtesy Joe Doucet
      In December 2019, the first fully commercial electric plane completed a test flight in Canada.
      As well as new designs -- such as Airbus' dramatic "bird of prey" concept airplane -- some aviation companies are also looking into ways of converting existing aircraft into electric, or hybrid-electric vehicles, to minimize environmental impact of short-haul flights.
      UK-based Cranfield Aerospace Solution has set itself a mission to convert a nine-seat Britten-Norman airplane into the UK's first all-electric powered aircraft.
      HERO-ZeroEmissionsPlane-JoeDoucet- .607699
      The aircraft would work well for short and medium-haul flights.
      Courtesy Joe Doucet

      Doucet describes himself as a "designer, entrepreneur, inventor and creative director" -- but he's not an aeronautical engineer, and this his first foray into the world of aviation.
      The designer says he drew upon his years of frequent flying in an attempt to find a solution to an issue that he'd been considering for some time.
      "I really follow problems where they take me, and try to address the solutions elegantly," he says.
      Her0, Doucet acknowledges, may never see the light of day. But the designer's sole goal is to open up a conversation, if interest around his design encourages progress towards electric planes, he'll count it as a success.
      As it is, he's already been approached from aviation engineers, suggesting improvements and discussing potential collaboration.
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