Monday, July 1, 2013


“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
― Thomas Jefferson

Monday, June 17, 2013


“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
― Milton Berle

Mobile phones changing lives in Kenya

“They don’t believe music is something you can make money with so they can put food on your table. Or that music is something that can make you achieve anything.”

But first, we hear how mobile phones are changing lives in Kenya -- and not always for the better…

Food or Phone?
Mobile phones were once something only rich people used. But with prices falling, both rich and poor people now depend on them for both personal and professional needs.

The World Bank asked two groups -- iHub Research and Research Solutions Africa -- to study mobile phone use in Kenya. They examined mobile phone use among Kenyans earning less than...

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Two interesting items about life in Africa. The first one tells us about how mobile phones are impacting peoples lives in Kenya. The second one introduces a band from Nigeria that is hoping to teach people about local customs and traditions.

You can learn more about the Nigerian music group, Heroes Band International, here:

Afghan fashion designer creates dresses, jobs

Today we are discussing one of my favorite topics: wedding dresses.

“Last year I made a beautiful huge ball gown for a lady who was actually from Lebanon. We used more than a hundred yards of tulle just for the skirt.”

Roya Hashimi is a fashion designer from Afghanistan. She started a dressmaking business sixteen years ago. It is called Elegance by Roya, and it is Virginia, in the United States.

VOA went to her shop recently to visit. The store is one long room. It is lined on both sides with white dresses. Many touch the floor. Every half hour or so, the doorbell rings, and a woman comes in. Usually she is with...

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Roya Hashimi is an example of how the world is globalizing. She was born in Afghanistan, moved to Germany when she was a teenager, and now lives in the US. Her fashion designs also cross borders.

Tour de France marks 100th edition with 'FĂȘte du Tour'

Fans will have the opportunity to commemorate the 100th edition of the Tour de France this weekend by taking to the course of cycling's most famous stage race, two weeks ahead of the Grand Depart.

The Tour will celebrate the milestone on Saturday with a host of events organised throughout most of France as part of the "Fete du Tour".

The celebrations are scheduled to take place in all cities through which the race, which gets underway in Corsica on June 29, will pass with numerous activities and rides, ranging from the length of an entire stage to shorter formats of 10 to 50km, planned by tour organisers.

Even the 242.5km ride Givors to Mont Ventoux, which will serve as the Tour's 15th stage, will be open for cycling enthusiasts to tackle, although it will be staggered over two...

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One of the most famous bicycle races is celebrating its 100th year. Racers have traveled over the same roads, through the same landscapes since the early 1900s. Hard to imagine.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

School lunch important for health and education

Educators in low-income areas everywhere struggle with one of the most basic barriers to teaching children -- hungry students. The United Nations World Food Program says in its 2013 State of School Feeding Worldwide report that supplying meals and snacks to students has proven valuable. Researchers in Dakar, Senegal agree. They found that supplying free lunches to students in rural primary schools not only made them healthier, it raised their test scores. Avi Arditti has more.

During the 2009-2010 academic year, researchers in Senegal did an experiment. They selected 120 rural primary schools in four of the poorest areas of the country. Students at half the schools received free, daily lunches -- a local dish of rice with vegetables and either fish or meat, cooked in oil. Students at the other 60 schools did not receive meals.

Abdoulaye Diagne is the director of the Consortium for Social Economic Research in Dakar. He led the study.

 He says students who received school meals were better able to...

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Here is a reminder about the connection between eating well and learning. We learn more and better when we are well nourished. This is especially important for children to develop both mentally and physically.

To increase local food production, crowded Singapore grows up

A new super-efficient vertical farming system in Singapore is producing greens for the 5 million residents of the crowded city-state.

The system is helping increase Singapore’s food security, while also helping cut down on the climate impact of food production.

Every night around midnight hundreds of trucks enter Singapore from Malaysia and beyond to unload their cargoes of imported fruit and vegetables at the sprawling Pasir Panjang wholesale center. Buyers pick through bins of bok choy, chives and eggplant, then load their goods onto smaller trucks, and fan out before sunrise across this crowded city-state of more than five million people.

It’s a window into the complex daily supply chain of fresh food in a country that grows only seven percent of its produce. It’s also a window into the future. A recent report by the Potsdam Institute projects that over half of the world’s population could rely on food imports by 2050, a trend driven by more and...

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Similar to Japan, Singapore imports most of its food. An innovative individual has designed vertical gardens in order to grow more plants in a limited space.

Miss World axes bikinis

Contestants at this year's Miss World beauty pageant will not wear bikinis in the parade in a bid to avoid causing offence in Muslim-majority Indonesia, organisers confirmed Wednesday.

The 137 women taking part in the September contest will swap bikinis for more conservative attire, such as traditional sarongs, for the beach fashion section.

The contest is being held on the resort island of Bali, where foreign tourists flock in their millions and the beaches are packed with women sunbathing in skimpy swimwear.

But Miss World Organisation chairwoman Julia Morley insisted that none of the...

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An international beauty context shows one way to handle cultural differences in a globalizing world.

Monday, June 3, 2013


“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss