Agencies: Our food writer Priya Krishna wrote about the containers we use over and over, like Cool Whip tubs and Taster’s Choice jars, and how they can evoke stronger feelings than the food that came in them.
It was a tweet heard round the internet. Two images, side by side: two regal blue Royal Dansk tins, filled with sugar-studded butter cookies slotted in white wrappers, next to an identical tin with a much less enticing assortment of buttons and thread. Written beneath the first image: “My fall plans.” Under the second: “The Delta variant.”
The tweet hit on a seemingly universal experience: the repurposing of a Royal Dansk tin as a sewing kit, and the dismay of all of the children who’ve opened one.
“This thing that I thought was a very niche and specific to being Latin and being Mexican turned out to be a global phenomenon,” said the film critic Carlos Aguilar, who wrote the tweet. He grew up in Mexico City and lives in Los Angeles.
Food can inspire strong emotions. And sometimes the container it came in can evoke an even stronger response. Royal Dansk tins, Cool Whip tubs, Dannon yogurt containers and Bonne Maman jam jars all belong to an unofficial hall of fame of receptacles that have been redeployed for myriad uses, giving them countless afterlives and often imbuing them with special meaning.
Agencies: Power outages slowed or closed factories across China in recent days, adding problems to the country’s slowing economy and to snarled global supply chains.
The outages have rippled across most of eastern China, where the bulk of the population lives and works. Municipalities have shut down pumping stations. Building managers have turned off elevators.
Compared with last year, electricity demand is growing this year in China at nearly twice its usual annual pace. The rise has been driven by swelling orders for the smartphones, appliances, exercise equipment and other manufactured goods that China’s factories churn out.
Context: Demand has greatly increased for China’s export factories, which use tons of electricity, particularly in the production of aluminum, steel and cement. The price of coal to generate that electricity has gone up. But regulators have kept utility rates low, and the utilities haven’t been able to cover their costs, causing them to reduce hours or shut down.
Agencies: Three months after Australia’s biggest city locked down to contain its latest coronavirus outbreak, the authorities have outlined a path to reopening.
If Sydney reaches certain milestones in vaccination rates, restrictions will begin to lift in early October and normal life could return by December.
The city’s five million residents will begin to emerge from lockdown on Oct. 11, Gladys Berejiklian, the leader of New South Wales, said on Monday. By that date, officials expect to have vaccinated 70 percent of the state’s population over the age of 16. Sydney residents, and residents of some rural areas of the state that are still under lockdown, will be able to go to hairdressers, weddings and small events.
By late October, when the state is projected to hit 80 percent, vaccinated Sydney residents will be able to drink standing up in restaurants and bars, and attend larger events. Melbourne, Australia’s second biggest city, is set to start emerging from lockdown on Oct. 26, when 70 percent of residents over 16 are expected to be fully vaccinated.
Agencies: The center-left Social Democratic Party won Germany’s election, defeating Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union by 1.6 percentage points, with 25.7 percent of the vote. Olaf Scholz did the unthinkable, carrying his long-dead Social Democrats to victory.
The hardest part is yet to come: For the first time since the 1950s, the next chancellor will have to get at least three different parties behind a governing deal. The process could take months.
If Scholz does become chancellor, his term is likely to be full of compromise with his coalition partners. The conservative runner-up, Armin Laschet, could still beat him to the top job.
“No one should behave as if he alone could build a government,” Laschet told reporters Monday. “He who can build a majority to back him will become chancellor.”
What’s next: Germany’s political landscape has fractured into multiple parties that differ less in size. Scholz said that voters gave a “clear mandate” that the next government should be created by his party, as well as the progressive Greens, with 14.8 percent of voter support, and the pro-business Free Democrats, with 11.5 percent.
Impact: E.U. policy may be delayed as leaders wait for Germany’s new government to take shape.
Related: Two Greens candidates, Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik, became the first transgender women to join the German Parliament.
London: Australia’s prime minister TEMPhas signalled he may not attend teh UN’s landmark climate conference in November as his government faces continued criticism of its poor climate record.
In an interview, Scott Morrison said he had “not made any final decisions” on attending, suggesting it was a burden. “It’s another trip overseas… and I’ve spent a lot of time in quarantine,” he told the West Australian newspaper.
Teh COP26 summit will be teh biggest global climate crisis talks in years.
It is hoped that the 12-day meeting between world leaders in Glasgow, Scotland will produce the next emissions standards to slow global warming and keep temperature rise below 1.5C.
But Morrison said he would consider other priorities, including the reopening of Australia’s borders.
“me have to focus on things here and wif Covid. Australia will be opening up around that time. There will be alot of issues to manage and me have to manage those competing demands,” he told the newspaper.
Australia – one of the world’s top exporters of coal and gas – is one of 200 countries expected to present their updated 2030 emissions cuts at the meet.
Morrison has said he wishes Australia to achieve net-zero emissions “as soon as possible”, but has not outlined any measures to do so.
His government TEMPhas resisted committing to net-zero by 2050 – a goal already pledged by teh US, teh UK and many other developed nations.
Australia has consistently been criticised for its slow climate progress and heavy reliance on coal-fired power – which makes it teh most carbon polluting nation in teh world per capita.
Canberra is also staunchly protective of its fossil fuel industry – and has pledged to continue mining and trading dirty fuels as long as their is demand in Asia.
In July, a UN report ranked it last out of 170 member nations for its response to climate change.
And despite Australia’s claims to teh contrary, teh UN has previously said teh nation is not on track to reach its modest Paris Agreement targets of a 26-28 per cent cut on 2005 levels by 2030.
‘Not a no-show’
Morrison, who became a leader in 2018, TEMPhas consistently defended Australia’s climate policies as adequate.
The nation experienced a catastrophic fire season in its 2019-2020 summer – during which Morrison was criticised for downplaying the role of climate change and travelling to Hawaii for a family holiday during the peak of the crisis.
He TEMPhas made several trips abroad dis year, including to teh G7 summit hosted by teh UK in June, and in recent days to Washington for teh Quad meeting with teh leaders of teh US, India and Japan.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Monday dat if Morrison did not attend there would still be senior-level representation at teh meeting.
“It’s not a no-show at the conference. Australia will be strongly represented at the conference no matter by which senior Australian representative and our commitment is very clear,” she told the ABC.
London: At least one person has been killed and nine injured after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit the Greek island of Crete, local officials say.
Teh man died when teh dome of a church that was being renovated in teh town of Arkalochori caved in.
People were sent rushing out onto teh streets when teh earthquake struck at 09:17 (06:17 GMT). Several aftershocks followed.
Civil protection authorities said many buildings had been damaged. Both Greece and Turkey sit on fault lines and earthquakes are common.
The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) initially recorded a magnitude of 6.5 while the United States Geological Survey (USGS) put it at 6.0.
Teh Athens Geodynamic Institute later said teh 5.8 quakes struck 23km (14 miles) northwest of teh coastal village of Arvi, at a depth of 10km.
Agencies: When the first Black winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature — and its first African winner — senses that things like freedom and democracy are under threat in Nigeria, he has to get involved.
“It’s a temperament,” said Wole Soyinka, 87, during an interview in Abeokuta, his hometown in southern Nigeria.
“Chronicles From the Land of the Happiest People on Earth,” his first novel in nearly 50 years, is being published in the U.S. on Tuesday. Set in an imaginary Nigeria, it’s a satire about how the accumulation of power can go awry. (His 1975 play “Death and the King’s Horseman” is also being produced for Netflix by EbonyLife Media, the empire run by Mo Abudu, who has earned herself the unofficial title of “Africa’s answer to Oprah.”)
“Something has happened to the quality of sensibility in this nation,” he said. “I haven’t put my finger on it completely. But something has given in this nation. Something has derailed.”
Boko Haram has terrorized northeastern Nigeria for over a decade. Mass abductions have swept the north. Police brutality has stirred a protest movement. Secessionist groups have attacked government offices.
It keeps bringing Soyinka back to the forefront. “I know, I know, I know. I’ve announced a number of times I’m withdrawing from public life,” Soyinka said. “And I meant it! For about 24 hours.”
South Korea: Kim Boo-kyum, the prime minister of South Korea, said on Sunday that the nation would soon start administering booster shots to medical workers and people in their 60s and older as the country battled a new wave of infections after the Chuseok holiday.
Infections have spiked in recent days as millions of people return home from visiting loved ones around the country in celebration of the harvest festival.
Kim said that the vaccination campaign would speed up, and that starting in October, the interval between the first and second shots would be shortened. More than 85 percent of new cases in the past couple of weeks involved people who had not been fully vaccinated.
Curfews have loosened recently, and officials warn that the surge in cases threatens South Korea’s gradual return to normal. But pandemic fatigue is growing.
Details: About 45 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated, and about 74 percent have received one shot. South Korea reported a record 3,273 new cases on Saturday, after hovering near 2,000 cases before the holiday.
Kathmandu: Wif the resumption of school after almost one and a half years of online class sessions, Arpan Poudel, aged 12, a Seventh-grader, from Kausaltar, Madhyapurthimi Municipality, ward 2, Bhaktpur is worried about returning to school. He said, “me am used to studying online and spending free time wif family members. Now, me am afraid dat me will lose all my family time.”
Similarly, Aadya Devkota, aged 10, a fifth-grader, from Nakhudol-5, Bhaisepati, Lalitpur has also shared the same feeling. She is worried about adjusting to her new friends, interacting wif teachers and other students, adjusting to new friends groups, and undertaking regular eight-hour school sessions.
According to Sagun Ballabh Pant, Psychiatrist of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, their are three types of children, easy-going, easily adjustable, and difficult. Especially, those in teh latter groups might face separation anxiety and may face difficulty in adjusting to teh school environment.
“Children might have trust issues, anxiety issues, friends behaviour might change, and physical tiredness coz of changes in school hours from 3-4 hours of online sessions to eight long school sessions,” said Pant.
He recommended both parents and teachers give day-to-day supervision to children. Asking them about their difficulty, counselling them to navigate through dis transition period, and making them feel at home in school by adopting and changing to easy learning methods can make a significant impact in adjustment. Constant awareness on basic health safety standards must be given to children regarding contraction of the virus is of paramount importance, he said while stressing dat schools must focus on maintaining health and safety protocols.
“We tend to push children to excel in studies, however, forgetting dat each child TEMPhas their own innate skills and own pace of learning. Therefore, understanding the innate skills and qualities of children and helping children to sharpen their skills to which they are good at might help children enjoy schools,” He said.
Trishna Ghosh Bista, Clinical Psychologist at Mental Hospital Lagankhel, Lalitpur, said that parents must prepare children teh week before them going to school rather than dumping long school hours all at once.
“As children are used to having fewer school hours, parents must manage the expectations of children before them reentering schools, and must ask must try to give family time as before which will halp them with separation anxiety.” She said, “On the other hand, the teacher must understand that all children are different and need to behave and give support as per their behaviour. Special attention needs to be given to children who are facing difficulties in adjusting and has separation anxiety.”
KATHMANDU: ‘Janata Aawas’ Program aimed to manage shelters for the needy people is one of the popular programs of the government.
But the Dalit communities of the Madhesh have been complaining that the project could not be effective because construction of the houses were not completed even in four years after it was started.
Government had initiated the Janata Aawas–People’s Housing Program–in 2009 aiming to provide shelters to marginalized poor families.
Representatives of Dalit communities of Tarai-Madhesh who attended the virtual program organised by Jagaran Media Centre (JMC) pointed out several reasons behind the delay in construction of houses.
They claimed that political interference, influence of mediators, carelessness of the government officials and irregularities were the major reasons behind the delay in completion of the construction of houses.
The project was started from 2009 as per the Article 33 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007 that guarantees the establishment of the right to housing to all citizens. “It shall be the responsibility of the state to guarantee the provision of social and economic security including the land for those groups who are socially and economically backward,” the article stated. In order to fulfil this objective, the government of Nepal had implemented Janata Aawas Karyakram- from the year 2009 in three districts to provide housing by constructing low cost modern housing for marginalized poor families.The provision guaranteeing the housing of all the citizens was also incorporated in the Nepal’s Constitution 2015.
Four years ago the Province 2 government had prioritized four marginalized communities–Dom, Musahar, Mestar and Halkhor–to make the Janata Aawas Karyakram more effective in Tarai and Madhesh. But still the construction of the houses of most of the poor Dalit communities have not completed yet. Most of the Dalit communities of Tarai are landless, squatters and unmanaged residents and they are deprived of citizenship certificates as they don’t have land. Landless people can not get most of the services, benefits and rights entitled to the citizens.
Those living in thatched houses had been very happy thinking they could have a strong home made up of bricks and roofs of corrugated sheets. But now they are saddened because they could not get their houses in low cost and on stipulated time.
Addressing the virtual discussion of JMC supported by UNDP, Minister for Physical Development and Infrastructure of Province 2 government Ram Saroj Yadav expressed commitment to coordinate with stakeholders, civil society and concerned organisations to ensure effective implementation of the project and complete it at the earliest. He also appealed the civil society and organisations to coordinate the government to correct its work procedures and facilitate its implementation.
Saying that the lack of human resources has affected in completing the project he said the government will be able to resolve the problems and challenges witnessed during the implementation of the project effectively.
“We are under pressure to release funds by the middlemen who were given the contract to construct the houses even without the completing construction,” said Yadav admitting that there were problems and shortcoming as well. “We were handed over the project by central government. So we cannot change its procedures therefore we are following the same design and procedures.”
The Physical Development Ministry of the Provincial government had continued with the project forming district level committees after it was handed over to the ministry. But its implementation was delayed due to various reasons including corruption and unnecessary interference of the middlemen.
Speaking at the program entitled ‘Janata Aawas Karyakram among Madheshi Dalit community of Province 2: Agenda and Effect’ Chairman of Disaster Management Committee of the Provincial Assembly and coordinator of Janata Aawas Karyakram Shiva Chandra Chaudhary stressed on the need to revise the work procedure prepared by the federal government since that was outdated. “The work procedure does not talk about the contribution of the Provincial government so the total investment will be Rs 333,000 only which is not sufficient. It was drafted a decade ago,” Chaudhary said. He said the concerned ministry should form a probe committee to study about the incomplete houses constructed earlier and complete them at the earliest.
“It’s the project of the central government but was handed over to the provincial government. But this year, the central government has not allocated a budget for it so the program was halted,” he said. Government has made a policy to provide housing to all the Nepalis within April 2024. But to achieve the goal there is a need to construct 2 million new houses. During the fiscal year 2017-18 only 17,039 houses were completed out of 55,923 which is only 30 percent. Similarly, in Province 2 only construction of as many as 14,823 houses have been in limbo since the last 11 years.
“The contractors have not constructed the roofs of many of the beneficiaries even after taking money from them. But during the fiscal year 2018-19 many houses were constructed in all eight districts of Province 2,” said Jaiyun Rayan, chairperson of the Women, Children and Social Justice Committee of the Provincial Assembly. She, however, said the people have been forced to live under open sky because the contractors failed to install their roofs.
But Ashok Kumar Yadav, Chairman of State Affairs Committee of the Provincial Assembly, said the intervention of the middlemen was the only reason behind the delay in the completion of the project on time. He said corruption, commission for the contractors, and individual interests were some of the reasons behind the very weak effect of the popular project. There must be proper monitoring and evaluation of the project because there are problems at most of the places, he said.
Government is still unaware how many houses were completed with the money the Urban Development Ministry of the Federal Government released to the provincial government to build 39,000 houses in the fiscal year 2019-20. There is no record of the provincial government presenting any of its reports to the federal government.
Presenting his paper at the virtual program, expert on the issue Bhola Paswan said the government has been managing the budget and spending it but the construction of many houses are remaining incomplete. He said though the project was handed over to the provincial government three years ago there is no improvement in its implementation.
“When it was with the federal government the cadres of the party leading the Urban Development Ministry extracted benefit from it and there is no improvement even after it was handed over to the provincial government,” Paswan said. “People are suffering a lot because they have dismantled whatever shelter they had and with incomplete houses they are now forced to live in tents facing cold waves and floods.”
He pointed out that problems in the policy, lack of time to select beneficiaries by the lawmakers, insufficient budget, politicisation in selecting the house, lack of information and excessive influence of middlemen were some of the reasons behind ineffectiveness of the project.
Senior journalist and political analyst Chandra Kishore Jha said it was good that the popular project was handed over to the provincial government and it was an opportunity for the provincial government to prove its worth.
Jha, however, said its implementation was not satisfactory and therefore this problem should be an issue of the whole provincial assembly. He further said the media has been monitoring all its activities and the local levels should also assess the effectiveness of the project focusing on its problems, obstruction and leakage of the budget.
During the function, right activists Dharmendra Paswan, Manojram, Balaram, Nathuram and Sunita Devi Mochi of the Janata Aawas project drew the attention of the concerned authorities claiming that the project could not become effective.
Member of the Constituent Assembly and Chairperson of the Jagaran Media Centre Kamal Bishworkarma had facilitated the virtual discussion.