The post-pandemic restaurant

by Rashmee

Posted on June 26, 2020 / The Focus


Robot cooks and servers. Mannequins to enforce social distancing. Two ideas for the post-pandemic restaurant nearly 6,000 miles apart. They go much further than more conventional takes on coronavirus-induced safety and sanitation procedures — hand sanitiser; individually wrapped cutlery; al fresco dining; permanent takeout windows and kerbside pick-ups. The robot-staffed café in Hong Kong has machines whipping … Continue reading “The post-pandemic restaurant”

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Trump and TikTokers: The Tulsa story doesn’t add up

by Rashmee

Posted on June 23, 2020 / The Focus


Donald Trump’s 20 June rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma was meant to signal the US president’s triumphant return to his re-election campaign after the coronavirus locked down retail politics. Instead, it has become a contentious and contested story about the political power (or otherwise) of TikTok-users and Trump’s popularity. The basic facts are clear enough. President … Continue reading “Trump and TikTokers: The Tulsa story doesn’t add up”

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The race for justice: will we see meaningful change after Black Lives Matter protests?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 21, 2020 / The Focus


All the activity — and angst — over racial injustice needs to be put in context. Nearly a month after the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a white police officer, protest marches are starting to peter out. But calls for broad structural change are growing louder, in the United States, … Continue reading “The race for justice: will we see meaningful change after Black Lives Matter protests?”

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India and China aren’t in a shooting war, just a savage one

by Rashmee

Posted on June 19, 2020 / The Focus


  Indians throwing away a Chinese TV followed by a foot-tapping dance by society uncles in Gujarat. pic.twitter.com/cDFjfcvPkb — Uzair Hasan Rizvi (@RizviUzair) June 17, 2020 The video posted on Twitter by a journalist in western India is astonishing in its savagery. A television set is flung over a balcony, then beaten severely with sticks … Continue reading “India and China aren’t in a shooting war, just a savage one”

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Corona-alliances, travel corridors and air bridges: taking a flight is no longer business as usual

by Rashmee

Posted on June 17, 2020 / The National


While there is neither vaccine for cure for Covid-19, international travel is tentatively resuming in a strange new world of bubbles large and small, air bridges, green lanes, negotiated corridors and colour-coded zones. The cartographical features of the new travel order are not yet set but it is safe to say they will be unique. … Continue reading “Corona-alliances, travel corridors and air bridges: taking a flight is no longer business as usual”

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Reading George Orwell can help us understand Boris Johnson

by Rashmee

Posted on June 16, 2020 / The Focus


In 1946, a year before the British were forced to grant India its independence, George Orwell bemoaned the decline of the English language. In an essay titled ‘ Politics and the English language ‘, Orwell called out the “sheer humbug” that passed for political speech and writing, the “pretentious, Latinized style” and deliberate use of … Continue reading “Reading George Orwell can help us understand Boris Johnson”

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We need to talk about empire: Britain is being forced to confront its ‘original sin’

by Rashmee

Posted on June 15, 2020 / The Focus


It all started with the death in Minneapolis on 25 May of an unarmed black man named George Floyd. Nearly three weeks later, with anti-racism protests spreading across the Atlantic, Britain is engaged in an animated, agonising and admittedly divisive discussion about racial justice, colonialism and national memory. It’s part of a tableau that’s playing … Continue reading “We need to talk about empire: Britain is being forced to confront its ‘original sin’”

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The pandemic has pushed Amsterdam to bite into the ‘doughnut’ model

by Rashmee

Posted on June 14, 2020 / The Focus


Amsterdam’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been simply extraordinary. It’s decided to officially embrace the so-called “Doughnut Model” of sustainable development. The framework, created by Oxford University economist Kate Raworth, tries to balance peoples’ needs with environmental awareness. So, Amsterdam will now be a petri dish of sorts. The Dutch capital is the first … Continue reading “The pandemic has pushed Amsterdam to bite into the ‘doughnut’ model”

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Tearing down Fawlty Towers won’t promote racial justice

by Rashmee

Posted on June 13, 2020 / The Focus


  What links the 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers and the statue of a 17th-century slave trader? Both have been forcibly removed from view as the UK gets caught up in an energised debate raging in the US and Europe on the representation of colonisation, enslavement and racial prejudice. Their treatment is debatable. On June 11, … Continue reading “Tearing down Fawlty Towers won’t promote racial justice”

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America’s most trusted dictionary will redefine racism

by Rashmee

Posted on June 12, 2020 / The Focus


Merriam-Webster has been in the business of word definitions for the better part of 200 years. Now, in a nod to the changing national and international discourse, America’s most trusted online dictionary  plans to revise its entry on racism . Merriam-Webster will now acknowledge that racism is systemic. One of the dictionary’s editors has admitted: “Omitting any … Continue reading “America’s most trusted dictionary will redefine racism”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK