Without India, you can forget about achieving a sustainable palm oil sector

In a food stall on a dusty New Delhi street corner, a woman in a bright orange sari drops samosas into a skillet of bubbling liquid, which crackles and pops as it laps up the potato­-filled dough.

She is cooking with palm oil, the ingredient often met with controversy in the west due to concerns about deforestation and habitat loss. In India, however, the world’s top importer of palm oil, its sustainability goes largely unquestioned.

India’s 1.2 billion citizens consume approximately 15% of

Echoes of Lesvos as migrants get stuck in limbo on Canary Islands

GRAN CANARIA, Spain — If any lessons were learned from Lesvos, there’s little to show for it in Europe’s latest migration hotspot.

The Canary Islands have experienced a surge in migrant arrivals over the past six months. Though numbers remain much lower than those seen on Greece’s easternmost islands at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis, an eightfold increase — from about 2,700 people in 2019 to more than 23,000 in 2020 — has left authorities on the Spanish archipelago struggling to cope.

How the myth of whiteness in classical sculpture was created – DW – 01/24/2023

The myth that the statues of ancient Greece and Rome were white was created over time and upheld in part to serve racist ideological purposes. But recent exhibitions have shed new light on the colorful ancient world.

In ancient times, when approaching the Temple of Aphaia on the Greek island of Aegina, one would have seen a sculpture of a young archer, painted in bright colors to look as lifelike as possible. "Run your eyes up towards the sky and take a look at the painted reliefs of the pedime

Lies, deceit and abduction staff Thailand’s fishing industry

One night nearly four years ago in Mahachai, a gritty port town near Bangkok, Akaradetch Seri was down on his luck. A fight with his girlfriend had left him out on the streets. Lacking funds, a job and now a home, the former factory worker pondered his next move, bedding down on a park bench, the smell of raw fish lingering in the air.

This would be among Seri’s last nights on Thai soil after becoming one of an unknown number of men trafficked onto boats in the country’s fishing industry.


Venice's 1,000-year-old tradition of glass-making sees an artistic revival

It is not easy to become a glass "maestro" on the Italian island of Murano

VENICE -- Nicola Causin was 17 years old when he started working with glass.

"It was like falling in love," he said.

That love hasn't faded after 34 years of honing his craft on Murano, a short boat ride from Venice – and the epicenter of the Venetian glass-making industry.

"It's always a challenge; you have to be very humble in front of this material. It's the glass that commands you" and not the other way around, he

No plans to give Parthenon Marbles back to Greece – DW – 03/14/2023

PM Rishi Sunak says UK will not change law to give Parthenon fragments back to Greece. The debate over their restitution continues.

For decades, Greek authorities have been arguing for the permanent return of the so-called Parthenon Marbles. About half of the surviving fragments of a 160-meter-long (520-foot) frieze of the Parthenon Temple are in the collection of the British Museum in London.

Athens wants them back permanently, but the UK's Conservative Party Prime Minister Rishi Sunakhas onc

Volunteers from the ship Iuventa saved thousands of migrant lives on the Mediterranean; now they could face prison

BERLIN and ROME -- When he was rescued in the Mediterranean by the Iuventa in 2016 -- a humanitarian vessel run by a German NGO -- Mohammed was convinced he would be sent back to Libya. He had already been imprisoned twice for his social media activity publicizing the violence he’d seen at the hands of local militias.

“A volunteer calmed me down. She said, ‘Don’t worry, you won’t go back to Libya,' but I didn’t believe her,’” the 25-year-old, whose name is being withheld because he fears for hi

How Bogota is combatting child begging

BOGOTA, Colombia -- On a sunny Monday in January, Bárbara Méndez arrived at daycare center El Centro Abrazar in Bogotá, Colombia, to drop off her 2-year-old son Michal before heading to work. She had only been in the country for a little over two weeks and was doing her best to make a life for herself. Like many of the 1.6 million Venezuelan migrants who have arrived in recent years, she saw few opportunities back home.

“In Colombia there are more opportunities and more ways to get ahead. It’s

PARĪLIO — Ala Champ

A stay at the Parīlio hotel on the Greek island of Paros in the Aegean Sea is akin to basking in an aura of serenity.

The 33-suite property was designed with great care by Athens’ based Interior Design Laboratorium and is touted as island’s first luxury property – an ideal place to avoid the crowds of popular islands like Santorini and Mykonos (in non-pandemic high-season times, of course).

It hasn’t been an easy year for the tourism industry. In Greece, the sector accounts for approximately 2

Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga acquitted – DW – 05/09/2023

After facing years of trial for attending an anti-government protest in her country in 2020, the acclaimed novelist has finally been acquitted. The Booker Prize nominee calls for justice for those mistreated by the law.

After years of court cases, author Tsitsi Dangarembga can finally breathe a sigh of relief: On May 8, Zimbabwe's High Court judges found the 64-year-old writer innocent of charges stemming from a peaceful anti-government protest she staged in July 2020 with her friend, the journ

30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, right-wing extremism is on the rise as the East lags behind

BERLIN -- In the evening hours of Nov. 9, 1989 the world watched as East Berliners climbed over the wall for the first time, celebrating a newfound hope and freedom.

The wall came down peacefully -- and in Germany, the date is celebrated as the Peaceful Revolution. British historian Timothy Garton Ash called 1989 "The best year in European history" in a podcast released with the German Marshall Fund last week. It was, as he said, "the almost entirely peaceful dissolution of a nuclear armed post

'ORFEAS2021' is dedicated to a LGTBQ activist – DW – 01/28/2022

The 2018 brutal beating and death of activist Zak Kostopoulos aka Zackie Oh in Athens brought homophobia in Greece into the spotlight. The opera film 'ORFEAS2021' examines a political struggle.

In 2018, 33-year-old Zak Kostopoulos, a Greek artist and political activist for HIV-positive people such as himself, was brutally beaten on a street in central Athens and died. Zak, who also went by his drag stage name Zackie Oh, has since become a symbol of the queer community's fight for recognition.

Protests in US shine light on Germany's struggle with racism and police violence

BERLIN -- Six years ago, Jeremy Osborne moved to Berlin to pursue a career as a professional opera singer. When he's not using his velvety baritone to perform in concerts and choirs, the black 33-year-old Arkansas native closely follows German and U.S. politics.

Along with 10,000 fellow protesters, Osborne attended the large demonstration in central Berlin on June 6 to protest racism and police brutality in the U.S. in the wake of the death of George Floyd. With an estimated 150,000 people atte

Turkey's weak lira affects the tourism industry – DW – 12/08/2022

Tourism in Turkey made a comeback in 2022. The low value of the Turkish lira has attracted tourists, yet citizens are struggling due to inflation.

In the Istanbul neighborhood of Kadikoy, even a tourist can't help but notice the price of a cappuccino has gone up 25% from one early November morning to the next due to the country's high inflation. But it's still affordable for many tourists from abroad, considering the Turkish lira has taken a nose dive in the last year. In September 2021, $1 was

How to avoid the crowds on Santorini – DW – 04/19/2023

As one of the most popular Greek islands, Santorini is known for being overcrowded and expensive. But is it any different during the off season? DW's Sarah Hucal reports.

"Sarah, I want to go to one of those islands with the white buildings," my dad told me as we pondered Greek destinations to visit with my Michigan-based parents a few weeks prior. Although I prefer Greece's lesser-known islands — there are 227 inhabited Greek islands, after all — we decided on Santorini.

Although many will sa

From slave to student: Myanmar migrants find abuse, opportunity in Thailand

This is the third piece in a three-part series on recruiting aboard Thai-run slave boats in the country’s fishing industry. Read the first two here and here.

As soon as he saw men wielding guns, he knew he was in trouble. Dressed in a stylish checkered shirt and speaking fluent English, a 29-year-old Burmese man who asked to be referred to as “John” for his safety, describes his arrival into Thailand nine years ago. “It was a nightmare,“ he said of his 10 months spent slaving with dozens of his

The Italians fighting against an 'invasion' of palm oil

Mozzarella, ciabatta, Parma ham … when considering Italy’s culinary landscape, palm oil is unlikely to feature high on the list – if at all. Yet the Mediterranean country is the EU’s second largest (pdf) importer of the oil, which some estimate is found in 90% of biscuits and baked goods in Italian supermarkets.

Not everyone in Italy is happy about this, with critics voicing concerns over the health impacts of an ingredient high in saturated fat as well as over the commodity’s links to deforest

Designart Tokyo, in second-annual event, shows promise

Like many of his peers in Japanese design, Baku Sakashita received his education abroad—at the prestigious Swiss design school ECAL. Shortly after graduating, he debuted his first pieces in Milan at SaloneSatellite—the annual design fair’s showcase for young designers. Yet, when it came to putting down his roots, returning to Japan was a must.

“For me, it’s very important to work in Japan because there are a lot of craftsman who are making things by hand like ceramics and glass,” the 33-year-ol

Berlin Film Festival Directs Lens Toward Hope

BERLIN — At a recent meeting with journalists to discuss this year's Berlin International Film Festival, Diester Kosslick pointed to "Django," a film about the persecution of Roma jazz guitarist Django Rheinhardt in Nazi-occupied Paris, as proof of how the festival resonates with today's political currents. Kosslick cited a rise today in anxiety over minorities, including refugees, in Europe and in the U.S. as arguments for the film's relevance.

Running Feb. 9-19, the Berlin International Film

Exploring the cultural side of Miami Beach – DW – 04/25/2022

Despite its reputation as a party city, the US resort town has something for everyone. Its historic buildings hold clues about its popularity even during the pandemic.

At the start of March each year, the neighborhood of Miami Beach known as South Beach is packed with bathing suit-clad college kids. Music blasts from speakers in seemingly every direction and long lines form outside popular hotel bars. Miami Beach has long been a popular destination for Spring Break. But spring breakers are just

Cooking up a long-term home in Berlin

I finally had it: the lease to a Berlin apartment. It was open-ended, and thus my oasis in a sea of swiftly rising rents and scarce housing. For a freelancer who considers homeownership basically unattainable, this was the golden ticket, the sign that the city could be home—maybe for good.

The first room I saw was the small, rectangular one immediately to the left of my new front door. It was supposed to be my kitchen, the heart of my home, the place I would cook basic meals for myself and occa

Turn off the heating and travel to Greece, Spain and Turkey – DW – 01/20/2023

Greece had a blockbuster summer tourism season, making a comeback after two pandemic years. The country in the Aegean remains one of the top summer vacation destinations for Europeans who are especially fond of its large islands such as Rhodes, Crete and Corfu. Tourism accounts for around a quarter of the Greek economy and about one in five people work in the sector.

Greek advertising campaigns focused on the country's low prices and abundance of sunny weather — and perhaps it worked. Spending

What I discovered at a Chicago Christmas market – DW – 12/23/2022

DW reporter Sarah Hucal finds out how one of the most authentic Christmas markets in the US, the Chicago Christkindlmarket, compares to its German counterparts.

After living in Germany for a decade, I can safely say I know a thing or two about Christmas markets. Although I'm no expert, I've sipped my fair share of mulled wine and purchased an artisan-made wooden figurine or two.

Could the Chicago Christkindlmarket on Daley Plaza live up to its reputation as one of the most authentic German-sty

Roald Dahl's works and the role of sensitivity readers – DW – 02/23/2023

Last week, Britain's The Telegraph reported that the publishing house Puffin had made hundreds of changes to the characters and language in British author Roald Dahl's famous children's books. This included making the diminutive Oompa-Loompas in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" gender neutral and calling Augustus Gloop "enormous" rather than "fat," after sensitivity readers were hired to read the books and flag any potential offensive content.

While a spokesman for the Roald Dahl company sai
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