BRIGHTON, Bristol, and London are among the top ten destinations in the UK for vegan food lovers - will Stroud be added to the list? A well-known restaurant review website shows that there are nearly 50 restaurants, cafes and bars in the Stroud district offering a tasty selection of meat and dairy-free menu choices. Additionally the top ten vegan restaurants in Gloucestershire feature three from the five valleys. According to The Vegan Society it’s estimated that as of June last year there are over half a million vegans in Great Britain, an impressive 360 per cent increase on the 150,000 people living meat-free a decade before. For all kinds of reasons - health, environmental, animal welfare - the number of people choosing veganism is growing. Locally, we have just had a vegan fair which drew over 1,500 people, and our own football team ground is a meat and diary free zone too. We already have the Fairtrade town of Nailsworth and Stroud is a Bee Guardian town, could … [Read more...] about Comment: A meat-free future for the Five Valleys?
The "Rheintalbahn," or Rhine Valley rail line, is composed of two tracks built side-by-side, to allow train traffic to flow in both directions at once. It's a crucial connector between the Rhine Valley towns of western Germany and Switzerland, and it carries a lot of freight as well as passenger traffic. Accordingly, it was a blow to the smooth flow of goods and people when on August 12, crews working a tunnel-boring machine working on ‘Tunnel Rastatt,' a new four-kilometer-long (2.48-mile-long) rail tunnel crossing underneath the town of Rastatt, witnessed a partial cave-in of the ground above — exactly at the location where the tunnel was meant to traverse underneath the Rheintalbahn's railway tracks. The result was that those tracks subsided by around 50 centimeters (19 inches) along around eight meters (26 feet) of their length. Earth and water entered into the segment of tunnel under construction, causing the boring machine to get stuck. The tunnel-boring … [Read more...] about Rhine Valley rail line repairs to finish on time
For Dortmund, the Ruhr Valley derby was a chance to underscore their status as Germany's second-best team as well as an always welcome opportunity to put the hurt on their hated local rivals. Schalke were looking to break a five-game winless stretch in all competitions that had seen the Royal Blues' fine season start grind to a halt. Forced to sit out the festivities were Dortmund's Marco Reus with a typical Reusian short-term injury, as well as suspended Schalke midfielder Johannes Geis and teammate Benny Höwedes, who had fallen ill. Breitenreiter had Schalke set up to protect their make-shift back four, and in the opening phase of the match the Royal Blues succeeded in holding the hosts at bay. Dortmund had 65 percent possession, but the first 20 minutes came and went without a single shot on either goal. As the match wore on, Dortmund gradually found the chinks in Schalke's armor. On the half hour, Matthias Ginter snuck away from Max Meyer and crossed the ball in from the … [Read more...] about Dortmund win five-goal derby against Schalke
Here’s a look at what governments say, versus how internet shutdowns truly affect people – put together by Deniz Duru Aydin, a former Policy Fellow at Access Now, an international organization defending digital rights around the world. 1. National securitystandard practice, cutting people off from the network during Islamic holidays such as the day of Ashura, while citing concern about terrorist attacks. Orders for the shutdowns are meant to cover a relatively small area but it usually becomes necessary to "shut down a wider area than specified, to ensure there is no 'spillover' of service," according to the Institute for Human Rights and Business. This means that the majority of mobile Internet users in Pakistan are often affected. State authorities have also cut off the Internet for "security" during a wrestling event and Independence Day celebrations. In Turkey, during the coup d'etat attempt in July 2016, social media sites were throttled. loved ones.2. … [Read more...] about Five excuses governments (ab)use to justify Internet shutdowns
Zug's mayor, Dolfi Müller, was surprised by the considerable media response. The city council was simply looking for a creative way to grease Zug's economy, "With Bitcoin, we're sending a message: We in Zug want to get out in front of future technologies," he told DW. The council only realized in hindsight that their decision would make history. Zug is the first locality in the world to accept the digital currency. It's a humble start; payments are limited to the equivalent of 200 Swiss francs. Müller wanted to keep risk low while Zug tests the waters, he's aware of the controversy surrounding Bitcoin. Some argue the digital currency isn't secure enough for civilian use. Bitcoin's market price is volatile and scammers are still all too common. To mitigate this insecurity, all Bitcoin payments in Zug are immediately converted into the Swiss currency. "That's what the stock exchange is for," says Müller, "it saves us from losing huge amounts in nanoseconds." Feline … [Read more...] about Alpine ‘Crypto Valley’ pays with Bitcoins
Late last month, 23-year-old Malini Murmu, a brilliant student from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore committed suicide after her boyfriend announced he was dumping her by updating his status on a social networking site. In another tragic incident, a 31-year-old software engineer, who had resigned from the global IT firm, Infosys, murdered his two-year-old daughter before killing himself. He had been facing health problems which had affected his ability to work. In August, a doctor and his son died by deliberately consuming insecticides at a holiday resort. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Bangalore is India’s number one suicide city. The suicide rate is 38.1 per 100,000 against a national average of 10.9. In 2009, 2,167 suicides were registered in Bangalore versus 1,051 in Mumbai. Adult males and teenagers seem to be increasingly prone to committing suicide or attempting to do so. Children accounted for 22 percent of suicides in the … [Read more...] about India’s ‘Silicon Valley’ is the country’s suicide capital
When 37-year-old Leonardo Leo Grand lost his job at an insurance company two years ago, he found himself out on the streets of New York. "I couldn't afford the rent where I was staying. They built these expensive condominiums and the rent just skyrocketed, and I got evicted," he says. He lived at a drop-in center for a while, but eventually left because he didn't like it there. But instead of giving way to despair, Grand saw his situation as an opportunity to do things he had never been able to do before. For one, he spent many of his days at a computer store to "do research on all the Macs." He also had time to reflect on another passion of his: How to protect the environment. "Global warming became an extremely important issue for me due to the severe drought in the mid-west and California," he explains. "There's obviously too much CO2 in the atmosphere. It's got to be modern living that's at least speeding up the process of global warming." Chance meeting It was plain luck … [Read more...] about Homeless man takes Silicon Valley lesson to the top
Fears are growing for the safety of five Czechs who went missing on Friday night in Lebanon. The group, who were traveling with a Lebanese driver, disappeared from Kefraya, a popular tourist village about 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital, Beirut. The driver is also missing. A military source said a search was underway of local hotels and tourist buildings after the visitors' abandoned car was found about a 300 meters (330 yards) away from a Lebanese army checkpoint with their cash and valuables still inside. "We don't know what happened to them but we assume they were kidnapped because we found their passports and documents and belongings in the car," the source told the AFP news agency. Lebanese media reported that the group had visited Lebanon twice over the past few months, entering the country on May 15 for six weeks. They returned to the country a week later. The father of the Lebanese taxi driver reported his son missing on Saturday. The Czech Foreign Ministry … [Read more...] about Five Czechs feared kidnapped in Lebanon
Democracy has remained a frail institution since the inception of the Pakistani state in 1947. In its 66 years of existence, Pakistan has been mostly ruled by military dictatorships - four, to be exact. Despite a number of controversies, the present Pakistani People's Party (PPP) government will be the first in Pakistan to complete its full term in office, which ends on March 16, 2013. Yousuf Raza Gilani took the oath as the 17th prime minister of Pakistan in 2008. He is the first prime minister in Pakistani history to see five budget proposals passed by the House. Pakistan's struggles Gilani's term in office began at a critical time in Pakistan's history. The country was in turmoil from within and without. Rising prices of basic commodities, power shortages and a worsening law and order situation were the main problems affecting both the lives of the common people and the economy. The party itself was in the middle of a leadership vacuum after the assassination of its leader, … [Read more...] about Are five years of democracy enough?
In the green hills of Pakistan's Swat Valley, it's the jirga that rules. Acting as the local council and court, this body's word is law here, and it has traditionally been completely composed of men. Not anymore. These days, 25 women sit on the floor of a small room and discuss child custody issues and other legal and judicial matters. Leading the group is Tabassum Adnan (photo above), a local woman who turned traditional Pakistani gender roles on their head in 2013 by forming the first female jirga in the region. Here the Taliban once held absolute sway and in 2012 shot then 15-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai in the head for being insistent on girls going to school. Adnan said she decided to set up a women's jirga after witnessing the failure of the system of informal justice to protect a local woman. "I have always supported the idea of clemency," Adnan told DW. "A young girl was attacked with acid. When her case was presented to a male jirga, they promised their full support, but … [Read more...] about Women defy local traditions in Pakistan’s Swat Valley