Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there grew a magical fruit. This fruit could be squeezed to produce a very special kind of oil that made cookies more healthy, soap more bubbly and crisps more crispy. The oil could even make lipstick smoother and keep ice-cream from melting. Because of these wondrous qualities, people came from around the world to buy the fruit and its oil. In the places where the fruit came from, people burned down the forest so they could plant more trees that grew the fruit – making lots of nasty smoke and sending all of the creatures of the forest scurrying away. When the trees were burned, they emitted a gas that heated up the air. Then everybody was upset, because they loved the forest’s creatures and thought the temperature was warm enough already. A few people decided they shouldn’t use the oil any more, but mostly things went on as before, and the forest kept burning. This is a true story. Except that it is not magic. The fruit of … [Read more...] about How the world got hooked on palm oil
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The BBC has revealed its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2019. This year 100 Women is asking: What would the future look like if it were driven by women?From the architect planning to rebuild her destroyed city in Syria, to Nasa's project manager of the Mars helicopter, many on the list are at the cutting edge of their fields. They give us their vision of what life will look like in 2030. Others, such as the "ghost" politician defying the mafia, and the footballer battling misogyny, are using their extraordinary personal experiences to blaze a path for those who follow. The BBC's 100 women of 2019 You can filter the list using the categories below Precious Adams US Ballet dancer preciousagram Precious Adams spent so much time dancing round the living room at the age of eight, that her mum signed her up for dance lessons. By the age of 16, she had won places at three of the world's most prestigious ballet schools, including the … [Read more...] about BBC 100 Women 2019: Who is on the list this year?
Moves are finally afoot to get rid of much-maligned trains built from the body of a bus. But how did Britain's railways come to rely on the Pacer?There's the rattling, the shuddering, the bouncing and the occasional squealing. You don't have to be a trainspotter to know you're riding a Pacer.Essentially, each one is an old Leyland Motors bus frame mounted on train wheels and, thanks to the vehicle's rudimentary suspension, regular travellers are all too familiar with the distinctive sounds and sensations. "They're quite bumpy," says Emma Potter of Dawlish, Devon, as the Exeter-to-Exmouth service clatters around her. Then there's the white noise. "It's constantly like having a hairdryer blowing in your ear all the time." Pacers, built between 1980 and 1987, are one of the UK rail network's more enduring curiosities - a Heath Robinson-esque relic of the British Rail era.They were only intended as a temporary stopgap to make up for a shortage of rolling stock, with a maximum lifespan of … [Read more...] about Pacers: The train that the UK has struggled to get rid of
Tse Chi Lop (pictured), a Canadian national born in China, is suspected of leading a vast multinational drug trafficking syndicate 'Asia's El Chapo' is a 'Canadian born in China who once lost $66million in a night at a casino and is protected by Thai kickboxers'. Tse Chi Lop is suspected of leading a vast multinational drug trafficking syndicate - dubbed 'The Company' - formed out of an alliance of five of Asia´s triad groups, according to law enforcement officials. Police, in a nod to one of Tse´s nicknames, have called it Sam Gor, Cantonese for 'Brother Number Three.' The syndicate, law enforcers believe, is funnelling tonnes of methamphetamine, heroin and ketamine to at least a dozen countries from Japan in North Asia to New Zealand in the South Pacific. But meth - a highly addictive drug with devastating physical and mental effects on long-term users - is its main business, they say. In what it calls a conservative estimate, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime … [Read more...] about The hunt for Asia’s El Chapo: Leader of vast multi-national drug syndicate is ‘Canadian born in China who once lost $66m in a SINGLE NIGHT at a casino and is protected by Thai kickboxers’