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Britain’s first cat cafe has opened, and already has thousands of bookings!

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A staff member of 'Mog on the Tyne' cafe with one of their cats/Photo credit: mirror.co.uk
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Photo credit: mirror.co.uk
Photo credit: mirror.co.uk

London: Britain’s feline lovers must have heaved a collective purr of contentment, now that they have finally got the country’s first cat cafe, where they can savour cat-themed drinks while watching or playing with the in-house moggies.
‘Mog on the Tyne’ has opened for the public in the heart of Newcastle, around 400 km from here, and the potential patrons have opened their hearts to the new watering hole.

The cafe took more than 1,000 bookings within two days of launching their website.

And not only the customers are excited but also the entrepreneur behind the cafe, chroniclelive.co.uk reported on Saturday.

The main attraction for patrons at the cafe are – who else, but – the cats, which can be simply watched or played with. Patrons pay a cover fee, generally hourly. Thus, the cat cafe can be seen as a form of supervised indoor pet rental.

“It has been fantastic – nerve-wracking and exciting but brilliant to finally open after all this time,” cafe founder KatieMog-on-the-Tyne-cat-cafe (3)

Jane Glazier was quoted as saying.

“We might have been nervous but the cats are really calming and soothing – some of them even like to climb all over you when you are trying to work. They have settled in just brilliantly. Nothing seems to faze them and they are a proper little family now,” she added.

Mog on the Tyne’s menu – no prizes for guessing – has a kitty theme, with catte lattes, catacinos and pawninis as well as cakes made by Grainger Market-based Pet Lamb Patisserie to enjoy.

Cat cafes first appeared in Japan where they are massively popular, mainly because city dwellers do not have space to keep pets of their own.

(IANS)

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Facebook, Zuckerberg Criticized For Allegedly Undermining Democratic Institutions

Legal documents reviewed by Reuters show how the investigation by British lawmakers has led them to seize documents relating to Facebook.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. VOA

Facebook came under fire on Tuesday from lawmakers from several countries who accused the firm of undermining democratic institutions and lambasted chief executive Mark Zuckerberg for not answering questions on the matter.

Facebook is being investigated by lawmakers in Britain after consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, obtained the personal data of 87 million Facebook users from a researcher, drawing attention to the use of data analytics in politics.

Cambridge Analytica, zuckerberg
The nameplate of political consultancy, Cambridge Analytica, is seen in central London, Britain. VOA

Concerns over the social media giant’s practices, the role of political adverts and possible interference in the 2016 Brexit vote and U.S. elections are among the topics being investigated by British and European regulators.

While Facebook says it complies with EU data protection laws, a special hearing of lawmakers from several countries around the world in London criticized Zuckerberg for declining to appear himself to answer questions on the topic.

“We’ve never seen anything quite like Facebook, where, while we were playing on our phones and apps, our democratic institutions… seem to have been upended by frat-boy billionaires from California,” Canadian lawmaker Charlie Angus said.

“So Mr. Zuckerberg’s decision not to appear here at Westminster [Britain’s parliament] to me speaks volumes.”

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Avaaz campaigners hold a banner in front of 100 cardboard cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington. VOA

Documents

Richard Allan, the vice president of policy solutions at Facebook who appeared in Zuckerberg’s stead, admitted Facebook had made mistakes but said it had accepted the need to comply with data rules.

“I’m not going to disagree with you that we’ve damaged public trust through some of the actions we’ve taken,” Allan told the hearing.

Facebook has faced a barrage of criticism from users and lawmakers after it said last year that Russian agents used its platform to spread disinformation before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an accusation Moscow denies.

Allan repeatedly declined to give an example of a person or app banned from Facebook for misuse of data, aside from the GSR app which gathered data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Also Read: Social Media Laws Should Be Tightened: Germany

Legal documents reviewed by Reuters show how the investigation by British lawmakers has led them to seize documents relating to Facebook from app developer Six4Three, which is in a legal dispute with Facebook.

Damian Collins, chair of the culture committee which convened the hearing, said he would not release those documents on Tuesday as he was not in a position to do so, although he has said previously the committee has the legal power to. (VOA)