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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: NEWS AND VIEWS


Spotlight - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 4/2019 vom 20.03.2019
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The scarlet macaw: flying between heaven and earth in greater numbers


UNITED STATES : Paying for parrots : EASY US

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A strategy from US conservationists is changing how Hondurans value their beautiful national bird.

In the past, poachers would steal young guaras — brilliantly coloured scarlet macaws — from their nests. As The Economist reports, the thieves made a pretty packet on their illegal sale (one bird can go for up to $6,000) to places like China. Parrots began to disappear from the trees, no longer perched up where, or so the Mayans believed, they flew between heaven and earth.

The country’s east coast had one of the last big populations, about 500 birds. New York City-based One Earth Conservation, which protects parrots, sent representatives there in 2010 to convince villagers to stop the poachers. This strategy failed. Five years on, though, One Earth began paying locals $8 a day to guard the trees. Everything changed. In 2018, more than 100 nests and 150 young birds were saved and five more villages were brought into the program.

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INDIA: Old is gold: EASY

Rahibai Soma Popere, 54, a farmer in Maharashtra, western India, was laughed at by her family and neighbours when she began planting local seeds instead of the hybrids that other farmers were using.

In fact, Popere believed that the hybrid seeds and the chemical fertilizers needed to grow them were not suited to the local climate and were making children sick. She remembered a saying her father had used, “old is gold”, and started a seed bank for local plants that were slowly being lost.

Her experiments cultivating those plants convinced many other farmers in the region to grow traditional vegetables. Popere has now helped to preserve hundreds of native seeds.

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“The moment when the US Senate agreed unanimously to make lynching a federal crime for the first time: History.”


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— tweeted by US Senator Kamala Harris. Close to 5,000 Americans were lynched between 1882 and 1968. Nearly all perpetrators evaded punishment.

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SINGAPORE: New rules for Orchard Road: EASY

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For tourists, Orchard Road is a must: the high-end shopping and fine dining along 2.2 kilometres belong to Singapore’s top attractions. Visitors who like to smoke as they enjoy the stores and cafes will, however, find that life has just become a little more complicated.

As of 1 January, all of “Orchard” — including the public areas, such as open plazas and pedestrian walkways — is a smoke-free zone. For the first three months of the year, warnings were given to anyone smoking outside the 40 designated places (five of which are public; most of which are inside businesses, such as bars and lounges). As of April, reports The Independent, penalties for smoking anywhere but in a designated place are far more serious: a ticket and a fine of up to S$ 1,000 (about €650).

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THE NEWCOMER: Barbra Banda: EASY

Age: 19
From: Lusaka, Zambia
Background: Barbra Banda grew up playing football barefoot in the streets.
Famous because: She plays football for the Spanish club EDF Logrono, making her the first female Zambian to play in Europe.
Career: Banda is also a professional boxer. When asked which sport she likes best, she told the BBC: “I have to think about it because I love both sports. But mostly I can go for football because boxing is just a short career... I think football will take me somewhere else.”

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Fotos: X Westbury, Viorika Prikhodko, fotoVoyager/iStock.com; wikipedia; Jamie McDonald/FIFA/Getty Images; picture alliance-Reuters

WHO EXACTLY IS...: Liane Moriarty?: EASY

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What’s the husband’s secret? This is the type of question that keeps fans of Liane Moriarty’s books reading late into the night. The Australian author didn’t publish her first novel until she was in her mid 30s. Since then, she has written seven more — and has sold more than 14 million copies.

Born in Sydney, Moriarty, 52, published her first story in a local newspaper when she was ten years old. But as she got older, she told authorlink.com, she began to lose confidence in her fiction writing. She was working as an advertising writer when she got the phone call that changed her life: it was from her younger sister, Jaclyn, telling her that she was publishing her first novel. This inspired Moriarty to do the same.

Publishers rejected Moriarty’s first book, so she did a master’s in creative writing and tried again. She published her first novel, Three Wishes, in 2003, but it was her 2013 novel, The Husband’s Secret, that made her famous. It is now being made into a movie, and her 2014 book, Big Little Lies, is a popular TV series, produced by and starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. Moriarty has just published her eighth novel, Nine Perfect Strangers, and Kidman plans to produce and star in an adaptation of that, too.

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WALES: This old House: ADVANCED

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The experts arrived in 2007 to see what they could save. Sadly, the historic house, called Llwyn Celyn (“Holly Bush”), was a mess. Still, the restorers got to work renovating this rare example of a 600-year-old nobleman’s “hall house”.

“Even in that gloom and dereliction, there were things shining through that said, this is very special, in particular some decorative wooden door heads,” Caroline Stanford of the Landmark Trust told The Guardian.

The building type, which centres on a large open hall with a big fireplace, had all but disappeared from the Black Mountains on the Welsh-English border. Using a new technology that analyses the oxygen, hydrogen and carbon isotopes in the cellulose of timbers, restorers could say when exactly the house had been built: in 1420, following a rebellion against the English by the last Welsh prince, Owain Glyndŵr (in English, Owen Glendower). The house in Brecon Beacons National Park has since been returned to its 17th-century condition, and holidaymakers are welcome. See www.landmarktrust.org.uk

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AUSTRALIA: A taste of Tradition: MEDIUM

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Old-world recipes for cheesecake and chocolate kooglhoupf have made Monarch Cake Shop, a Jewish bakery, popular since the 1930s. That’s when Polish-born Pearl Lavine moved her shop from central Melbourne to the suburb of St Kilda. There, a growing number of Jews from Eastern Europe and Germany were starting new lives.

Monarch was taken over in the 1990s by a Polish Jew and does a brisk business today, reports the BBC: after all, Melbourne (population: 4.8 million) has the largest Jewish community in the country, estimated to be 50,000 strong.

Five minutes away by car is Glick’s, so successful that it has sister locations in Melbourne and Sydney. Mendel Glick, a Holocaust survivor, opened the bakery in 1960.

“My father was the first one in Australia to revive the old Eastern European recipe for boiled bagels,” Glick’s daughter, Penina Levitan, told the BBC. “They were an instant crowd-pleaser and began replacing other bread items in homes and cafes.”

Nearby are two more Jewish bakeries: Haymisha, opened in 1979, and Lichtenstein’s Bakehouse, which opened in 2002 and has responded to modern tastes by producing a variety of special (kosher) gluten-free breads.

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Fotos: ddp/INTERTOPICS; John MIller/The Landmark Trust; mauritius images / foodcollection / Eising Studio - Food Photo & Video

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