Environment

Slum Gets Michelin Meals From Thai Beauty Queen

Surrounded by children in a Bangkok slum, Miss Universe Thailand handed out lunch boxes prepared by Michelin-starred chefs on Monday – a project to help some of the capital's worst COVID-hit communities. The kingdom is currently battling a third wave of coronavirus – an outbreak that authorities traced in April to a nightlife district frequented by Bangkok's uber-rich and politically connected.The government slapped restrictions on businesses and public spaces – much to the

15 June 2021
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Pakistan Faces Mass HIV Outbreak

Since his son was diagnosed with HIV during a mass outbreak in Pakistan among babies and children, hard-up Shahzado Shar has often been forced to choose between food and medicine.His five-year-old was one of hundreds who tested positive in 2019 after a whistle blower doctor uncovered a scandal involving the re-use of needles in southern Sindh province.The number of patients quickly swelled and two years later the figure stands at more than 1,500, according to data from the provincial health m

14 June 2021
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Indonesia Study Offers Hope In Dengue Fever Battle

Dengue fever infections dropped dramatically in an Indonesian study where a type of bacteria was introduced into disease-carrying mosquitoes, offering hope in the battle against an illness that sickens millions annually around the world.Results of the three-year study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week, found that infecting dengue-carrying mosquitoes with a harmless bacteria called Wolbachia led to a 77 percent drop in human cases.Infections requiring hospitalisation

13 June 2021
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All Aboard The Cambodian Cafe Train To Nowhere

Train travel has largely ground to a halt in Cambodia due to the coronavirus but railway fans can still get their fix aboard a stationary carriage converted into a hipster cafe.The country has more than 600 kilometres of track extending from its northern border with Thailand to the southern coast, but decades of war and neglect have left vast stretches damaged and coronavirus has shut many remaining services.A new airport rail link was closed last year and passenger trains to the seaport of S

12 June 2021
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Escape From Myanmar: How A Reporter Fled To Safety

It was only when he boarded the plane that would fly him to Europe that Mratt Kyaw Thu finally felt safe for the first time since Myanmar's military coup on 1 February.It had been an arduous few months for the journalist who quickly found himself on the military junta's wanted list for his reporting of its deadly crackdown on anti-coup protesters."I felt safe when I was on the plane, after passing immigration in Thailand, that was the moment when I felt a little bit freer,&quot

10 June 2021
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Four Decades On, Where's The HIV Vaccine?

In the four decades since the first cases of what would come to be known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were documented, scientists have made huge strides in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment, transforming what was once a death sentence to a manageable condition.What we still don't have is a vaccine that would train human immune systems to ward off the infection before it ever takes root.Here's the state of play on some of these efforts, which experts see as

7 June 2021
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In-Person Summit Key To Addressing Climate Crisis

A global summit aimed at tackling pressing climate change concerns must go ahead in-person, the event's president said, as fears mount that delegates will pull out because of surging coronavirus cases.The 26th edition of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties – COP26 – marks the biggest climate summit since the 2015 Paris negotiation.COP26 will involve negotiators from 196 countries and the European Union (EU), along with businesses, experts and world leaders, and is scheduled t

7 June 2021
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Landmine Rat Retires After Famous Cambodian Career

A giant African pouched rat called Magawa who spent years sniffing out landmines in the Cambodian countryside has stopped working and will enjoy a well-earned retirement eating bananas and peanuts, his employers said. Magawa, originally from Tanzania, was trained by the Belgian charity APOPO which says the rodent helped clear mines from 225,000 square metres of land in his five-year career, the equivalent of 42 football pitches.But after detecting 71 landmines and 38 items of unexplo

6 June 2021
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VOB: Hijab-Clad Heavy Metal Girl Band

Indonesia's hijab-wearing, headbanging VOB count some of rock music's biggest stars among their fans, but the all-female heavy metal band faced a tougher battle in winning over their parents.The diminutive trio behind Voice of Baceprot ("Noisy Voice" in English) have spent years honing their skills at music festivals around the world's biggest Muslim majority nation after forming VOB as young teens in 2014. It is a long way from the conservative town in West

5 June 2021
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China's Disenchanted Youth

Ground down by the sapping realities of modern city life, China's youth are "lying flat", the latest buzzword for those tapping out of a culture of endless work with little reward.With growing inequality and rising costs of living nudging traditional markers of success out of reach, some young people are choosing to do the bare minimum at work, dialling back the go-getting aspirations their parents once harboured."Tang ping" – or "lying flat" – has emerged a

3 June 2021
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China Couples Allowed To Have Three Children

China has announced that it will allow each couple to have up to three children, marking the end of a strict two-child policy.The change was approved by President Xi Jinping in a politburo meeting, state media outlet Xinhua said.It comes after a census published every 10 years showed that China's population grew at its slowest pace in decades.This added pressure on Beijing to boost measures for couples to have more babies and avert a population decline.Shrinking populations are problemat

31 May 2021
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The Indian Children Orphaned By COVID-19

Five-year-old Pratham and his 10-month-old brother Ayush lost their father to COVID in April. Days later, at a different Delhi hospital, they lost their mother.Their world had changed and they didn't even know it. They couldn't understand why their parents were taking so long to come home. Relatives told Pratham that his mum and dad had gone out for work.

31 May 2021
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