SIEM REAP: As dark clouds approached her village in northwestern Cambodia one afternoon in July, Set Sreylon prepared for the monsoon that threatened to flood her new family home. While the rains were a concern, the 37-year-old feared a bigger threat to her property – the daily visits from debt collectors demanding repayments on her microfinance loan and ensuing credit she had taken out to keep up with the repayments. With the coronavirus pandemic ending Sreylon and her husband's jobs in the tourism industry, the mother-of-two was at a loss as to how she would keep the lenders at bay, and clear a growing debt secured by the title to her family's land. Her debt – originally a single loan from a microfinance institution – had almost doubled in a year to US$8,000 and was pursued by various loan sharks charging up to 40 per cent interest. "You borrow from A to pay B, then you borrow from B to pay C," she said outside her home in Pouk district, a few miles from Cambodia's Angkor … [Read more...] about Land to lose: Coronavirus compounds debt crisis in Cambodia
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Paramount Plus is the subscription streaming-video service set to replace CBS All Access , costing $10 a month ad-free when it launches Thursday in the US and 18 Latin American countries. Paramount Plus will include live news and sports as well as on-demand shows and movies, including originals -- all of which leaning into parent company ViacomCBS ' brands like CBS , MTV , BET , Comedy Central , Nickelodeon and Paramount Network, plus movies from the Paramount Pictures studio. But Paramount Plus won't have the one show most associated with the Paramount name: Yellowstone . The first three seasons of the cowboy drama are streaming exclusively on rival service Peacock . Down the line, Paramount Plus will have exclusive Yellowstone spinoffs, like the prequel Y:1883 expected later this year. Paramount Plus will have a library of more than 30,000 episodes and 2,500 movies, plus 36 original series debuts this year. Among those originals will be a revival of … [Read more...] about Paramount Plus: Everything to know about CBS All Access’ streaming revamp
DELHI: In the past few weeks, Delhi has experienced what it has not breathed and seen in years: Cleaner air and blue skies. It is something that had “seemed impossible to achieve”, according to Tamseel Hussain, co-founder of Let Me Breathe, India’s largest online platform dedicated to pollution-related stories. He has the COVID-19 lockdown on the city to thank for his lungs feeling “lighter”. The reduced noise pollution from traffic also allows him to hear the chirping of birds. “Apart from this, many parts of India have reported witnessing mountain ranges that weren’t visible previously,” he told CNA Insider over WhatsApp. Before this lockdown began on March 23, he had spoken to CNA about his city’s toxic air instead, on the programme Undercover Asia. ( Watch the episode here. ) Just in November, the air in the world’s most polluted major city had turned deadly again: Air quality was in the hazardous range for nine days straight. But now, Delhi is having its … [Read more...] about Blue skies during lockdown, but can India’s respite from its pollution woes last?
Last year was when I was finally going to get a good night’s sleep. My youngest child was turning four, and so the post-midnight disruptions for blanket fixes and stuffed-animal retrieval had ebbed. My work and home life were in predictable rhythms. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, I did hot yoga. I had a firm mattress recommended by many respectable online-review websites. Instead, a pandemic killed over 2 million people and disrupted the patterns of our days and nights. “COVID insomnia” was a breakout Google search from March to today, as was “Why can’t I sleep during quarantine?” Studies from India to Italy indicate that sleep quality has been negatively impacted by COVID-related life changes. My biggest issue has always been falling asleep. On a good night, it takes me 45 minutes to drop off; on bad nights, it can be close to two hours. This is not my first ride on the insomnia tilt-a-whirl – pre-pandemic, I had struggles falling asleep that came and went during periods of stress – … [Read more...] about Can’t sleep? Treat yourself like a baby – try swaddling, white noise and more
Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) forces Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) to relive her tragic past in perhaps the darkest MCU entry. This penultimate WandaVision episode, "Previously On", explains the origins of the Hex and why Wanda came to Westview. Agatha is an ancient witch that destroyed her coven. She seeks the truth behind Wanda's incredible power. Agatha tortures Wanda in her basement with evil magic. Using Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne) as leverage, Agatha takes a strand of Wanda's hair to create doorways into her psyche. They explore the events that defined Wanda. Which leads Agatha to a stunning conclusion about Wanda's magic. "Previously On" begins with a recap of Wanda's childhood, Vision's (Paul Bettany) death at the hands of Thanos, and Agatha's introduction of her true self. The Marvel Studios intro runs, but turns to purple at the end and evaporates in black smoke. A caption reads "Salem, Massachusetts 1693", a cloaked figure with a torch walks in the … [Read more...] about WandaVision Episode 1.8 Recap: Rewind Into a Dark Past