Siblings, oceans apart, support each other as medics on the COVID-19 frontlines May 8, 2021 Today's best articles Daily business briefing Solving COVID newsletter Sonal Chandratre, 42, a pediatric endocrinologist, is part of a team that is rolling out vaccines in northcentral Wisconsin, and responsible for signing vaccine orders for the region. Meanwhile, half a world away, Sonal Chandratre's brother, Sameer Chandratre, 50, is a pulmonologist at his own clinic and also at Shatabdi Hospital in Nashik, in India's northwest Maharashtra state. As president of the India Medical Association, he works with doctors on the COVID-19 response, from vaccine guidelines to addressing challenges of oxygen shortages.
China's plastic straw ban faces backlash from bubble-tea fans Today's best articles Daily business briefing Solving COVID newsletter When the Chinese government banned the use of disposable plastic in restaurants this year as part of its newest five-year plan, it unwittingly attracted criticism from a very vocal group â bubble-tea drinkers. That's because when drinking bubble tea, the straw is essential. How else can you suck up all those chewy tapioca balls? Most restaurants and cafes in China were using conventional polypropylene straws before the ban, and they made the switch to paper straws en masse. But customers were having none of it.
Turkey's ancient practice of pigeon raising sees new life in quarantine March 14, 2021 Today's best articles Daily business briefing Solving COVID newsletter In most Turkish towns, it's not unusual to see older men climbing up to their pigeon coops after the evening commute. Most roosts are nestled into the eaves of an apartment building, or tucked in the back behind a family home. These bird enthusiasts like to open the coop doors at the end of the day and let their charges stretch their wings, flying together in a wide arc over the rooftops as the sun sets behind them. "You need to see them as a piece of yourself," said YalÃ§Ä±n KarcÄ±, who raises a brood of 150 pigeons in a quiet Istanbul suburb alongside his 7-year-old son, Kaman. "Especially during quarantine, we weren't able to go anywhere ... It's therapeutic."
French Polynesia's pearl farmers combat climate change with sustainable practices February 13, 2021 Today's best articles Daily business briefing Solving COVID newsletter Pearls cultured in the lagoons of the many islands and atolls that make up French Polynesia are world-renowned for their unique and illustrious colors. Tahitian pearls, as they are commonly known, are found in many different colors: black, pink, green, blue, and brown, with shades in between. Before the coronavirus pandemic set in, the gems accounted for a majority of the French Pacific island territory's exports â making pearls the second-biggest driver there, after tourism. But some pearl producers in French Polynesia are contributing in another major way: by implementing innovative sustainable farming practices that help ensure the oceans in which they work stay healthy and thriving.
Armenian winemakers work toward recovery after war January 2, 2021 Today's best articles Daily business briefing Solving COVID newsletter Conveyor belts rattle at the Stepanakert Brandy Factory while technicians in white coats peer into flasks and workers pack bottles into cases. It's the first day of business in Nagorno-Karabakh's de-facto capital since war erupted on Sept. 27, and operations director Vladik Alibabayan is seeing what can be salvaged. "We managed to collect 1,700 tons of grapes before the war and then everything shut down," Alibabayan explained. "Some of our fields near the frontlines where we grew grapes and pomegranates are now under the control of Azerbaijani forces, so we don't know what will happen next. The loss for the industry will be significant."