Wie weit würden Sie gehen, um einen Weltrekord aufzustellen? Treffen Sie den Mann aus Delhi, der seinen Körper mit 500 Tattoos gepflastert und alle seine Zähne entfernt hat (so passen 500 Strohhalme und mehr als 50 brennende Kerzen in seinen Mund), um ins Guinness Buch der Rekorde zu kommen. Har Parkash Rishi, der behauptet, mehr als 20 Weltrekorde aufgestellt zu haben und sich selbst Guinness Rishi nennt, erklärt, was um alles in der Welt ihn dazu gebracht hat.
How far would you go to break a world record? Meet the man from Delhi, India, who plastered his body with 500 tattoos and removed all his teeth (so he can fit 500 drinking straws and more than 50 burning candles in his mouth) to get in the Guinness Book of World Records. Har Parkash Rishi, who claims to have set more than 20 records and calls himself Guinness Rishi, explains why on Earth he does it.
Authorities in Columbia are struggling to tame an increase in farming of coca, the raw material used to make cocaine. In the Guyabero Region, where many people work on coca plantations, locals barter coca paste to buy groceries at the local shop. Many coca farmers, who earn an average of $1,000 a year, are well aware of the harmful uses of their crops but say they have no other choice – and have nothing else to live off.
On a busy street in San Jose, Costa Rica, a homeless man gets his beard trimmed by a volunteer barber from Friends of the World. The grassroots social work community sees around 30 volunteers regularly patrol the city, offering food, clothes, haircuts, shaves and health check-ups to homeless people they encounter along the way. Their small acts of kindness help to restore dignity and confidence to those they help. Reuters follows their efforts.
A makeshift cinema hall under an ancient bridge in Delhi is allowing poor rickshaw pullers and migrant labourers to escape daily hardship into a world of Bollywood song, dance and romance. Organisers pooled their savings to rent old equipment and charge 10 rupees (15 U.S cents) admission - a hundredth of the price of entry at Delhi's fanciest cinemas. Many say the opportunity to take part in such recreational activities helps keep them away from vices like drugs and gambling.
Mit dem Austausch von Verkäufern zum Verständnis zwischen Kulturen beitragen? Wir haben es ausprobiert: Ein ungewöhnliches HEMPELS-Projekt mit der griechischen Straßenzeitung „Shedia“ Die Vorfreude konnte man ihm schon Wochen vorher anmerken. Und ein wenig stolz war unser Verkäufer Joachim Eybe natürlich auch, im Rahmen eines ungewöhnlichen Austauschprojekts für HEMPELS in Athen den Alltag griechischer Straßenzeitungsverkäufer kennenzulernen. Anfang Mai war es nun soweit: Während Joachim fünf Tage lang in Athen den Verkaufsplatz seines griechischen Kollegen Lampros einnahm, bot dieser fast zeitgleich HEMPELS am Stammplatz unseres Verkäufers in Altenholz-Klausdorf vor famila an.
While treatment for HIV and AIDS has increased, key populations including LGBT communities continue to be left behind and even excluded altogether. The persistent exclusion of LGBT communities – particular transgender groups – in HIV responses globally has also recently resurfaced at the United Nations. A number of LGBT organisations have been blocked from attending a UN on Ending AIDS in New York in June. They explain what must be done to impact change and end the disregarding of communities most affected by HIV worldwide.
Although mega dams can have devastating impacts on ecosystems and indigenous communities, many poor countries still see them as a way to fill holes in their energy supplies. IPS takes the Inga III dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as an example. It will be the biggest dam project in the world once completed but there are already concerns that it will not benefit 90% of the DRC population. Could developing wind and solar technologies be viable alternatives to mega dams?
A 26-year-old former student activist has been hired by Ukraine’s President to shake up the country’s notoriously corrupt customs service. Yulia Marushevska claims her job as head of customs at the Black Sea port of Odessa used to be such a money-spinner that the going bribe for securing it was $5 million. Her account points to a delicate balance of power in Ukraine, the front line in a new cold war between Russia and the West. Marushevska’s mission to weed out corruption began by implementing strict reforms and firing fraudulent staff. But she faces an uphill battle, she tells Reuters.
It’s a real-life case of Indiana Jones in Israel as archaeologists race to uncover ancient artefacts, similar to the Dead Sea Scrolls, before they are snatched up by antiquity robbers. A largescale excavation of desert caves leads a national campaign to recover artefacts left behind by Jewish rebels 2,000 years ago, before they are destroyed or end up on the black market. Guy Fitoussi, a pistol-packing archaeologist with authority to arrest looters, describes the job as “a game, like cat and mouse.”
Following the 5 June vote to introduce an unconditional basic income of 2500 Swiss Francs (CHF), [€2265/ $2530/£1700] a month in Switzerland, Surprise examines how similar basic income initiatives have fared around the world; from a large scale experiment in a Canadian town during the 70s to a current raffle-style crowdfunding platform in Germany that gives winners $1000 a month for one year.
On 5 June, Switzerland became the first country in the world to vote on having a national wage of 2500 Swiss Francs (CHF), [€2265/ $2530/£1700] a month. Swiss sociologist Ueli Tecklenburg supports the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income but does not think that Switzerland is ready. Tecklenburg, who also sits on the board of Surprise, weighs up the pros and cons of the initiative and considers if the right call was made.
On 5 June, Switzerland became the first country in the world to vote on having a national wage of 2500 Swiss Francs (CHF), [€2265/ $2530/£1700] a month. The plan will potentially cost the government around CHF208 billion a year. It will see every adult earn a basic income, even if they are unemployed or homeless. But what will this mean for Swiss organizations that help those living in homeless and poverty, including the country’s street paper? Surprise will still be needed, vows Managing Director Paola Gallo, and her vendors.
Equal parts evangelist, Elvis impersonator and activist, Reverend Billy regularly preaches against consumerism, militarism and racism with the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir. Their hilarious and effective mix of performance art, political protest, gospel singing and religious service includes exorcising demons from cash registers in Starbucks. Reverend Billy speaks to Street Roots about his new book, The Earth Wants You, activism, demonology and being arrested over 70 times.
Argentinian street paper Hecho en Bs As (HBA) is helping its vendors relax and gain confidence through yoga. The regular classes are held at the paper’s office in Buenos Aires and are also available to readers and staff. Vendor Victoria says the classes have helped her walk tall and release tension, while reader Bea says she enjoys the chance to interact with vendors and learn more about the paper. HBA tell us about the classes, which mirror a similar yoga project run by Austrian street paper Apropos.
The importance of formerly acknowledging the land title rights of the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, including the Coast Salish peoples, and “unceded” territory in Canada –lands never signed away through a treaty or conquered by war – is being increasingly promoted in Vancouver and Victoria. But with disproportionate numbers of indigenous people still marginalized across British Columbia, is the current approach missing the mark? Megaphone’s Joshua Hergesheimer argues that while acknowledging unceded territory becomes popularized, the significance behind the words is still being missed.
Big Issue North’s Antonia Charlesworth loves reading to her two young daughters – and they love it too. But it was only when she found herself reading a bizarre tale about a grandma waxing her legs to receive a gentleman caller that she realised the 116 children’s books on their shelves were full of gender stereotypes, pink princesses and helpless girls. Only three represented women and girls positively. She calculates the damaging effect of gender stereotypes in children’s publishing – and discovers some inspiring alternatives.
From 14-16 June, delegates from the street paper network will gather in Athens for the INSP summit, co-hosted by Greek street paper Shedia. We caught up with the paper’s founder and editor Christos Alefantis to discover how Shedia has managed to keep hope afloat in Greece during the ongoing social-economic crisis, and what its support means to people like vendor Lefteris.
Südafrika hat im Februar eine Steuer auf zuckerhaltige Getränke angekündigt. Damit will die Regierung den ausufernden Übergewichtsraten in dem Land begegnen. Die drastische Maßnahme, die im April in Kraft treten sollte, ist eine Reaktion auf die Tatsache, dass die Südafrikaner die dickste Nation in Sub-Sahara-Afrika sind. Melanie Farrell recherchiert, wie Adipositas in Südafrika zu einem großen Problem wurde - und warum die, die in Armut leben, am meisten gefährdet sind.
While long-awaited new vaccines for malaria and dengue may finally be within reach, many of the world’s existing vaccines have remained unattainable for many of the people who need them most. With the vaccines market dominated by a handful of major pharmaceutical companies, many developing countries are concerned that high costs, particularly for newer vaccines, mean that their children will not be vaccinated. Children in conflict-affected areas are most at risk, IPS reports.