‘Rice ATM’ feeds Vietnam’s poor amid virus lockdown

HO CHI MINH CITY (Reuters) – A Vietnamese entrepreneur in Ho Chi Minh City has invented a 24/7 automatic dispensing machine providing free rice for people out of work following an ongoing nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Rice ATM' feeds Vietnam's poor amid virus lockdown By Reuters

Vietnam has reported 262 COVID-19 cases, and no deaths so far, but as a result of a 15-day social distancing programme that began on March 31 many small businesses have been shuttered and thousands of people temporarily laid off from work.

Nguyen Thi Ly’s husband was among those who have lost their job. Tiếp tục đọc “‘Rice ATM’ feeds Vietnam’s poor amid virus lockdown”

What’s Up in Coal Country: Alternative-Energy Jobs

NYtimes_From the mountain hollows of Appalachia to the vast open plains of Wyoming, the coal industry long offered the promise of a six-figure income without a four-year college degree, transforming sleepy farm towns into thriving commercial centers.

But today, as King Coal is being dethroned — by cheap natural gas, declining demand for electricity, and even green energy — what’s a former miner to do?

Nowhere has that question had more urgency than in Wyoming and West Virginia, two very different states whose economies lean heavily on fuel extraction. With energy prices falling or stagnant, both have lost population and had middling economic growth in recent years. In national rankings of economic vitality, you can find them near the bottom of the pile. Tiếp tục đọc “What’s Up in Coal Country: Alternative-Energy Jobs”

Germany’s Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World

Scientificamerican.org  
Germany's Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World
Credit: Krisztian Bocsi Getty Images

From Ensia (find the original story here), from an article commissioned by Courier; reprinted with permission.

August 1, 2017—Seventy-seven-year-old Heinz Spahn—whose blue eyes are both twinkling and stern—vividly recalls his younger days. The Zollverein coal mine, where he worked in the area of Essen, Germany, was so clogged with coal dust, he remembers, that people would stir up a black cloud whenever they moved. “It was no pony farm,” he says—using the sardonic German phrase to describe the harsh conditions: The roar of machines was at a constant 110 decibels, and the men were nicknamed waschbar, or “raccoons,” for the black smudges that permanently adorned their faces. Tiếp tục đọc “Germany’s Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World”