Never waste a good crisis – especially when it comes to green energy

by Rashmee

Posted on May 30, 2020 / The Focus


On 26 May, French president Emmanuel Macron launched an €8 billion plan to rescue the French car industry, even as he sought to turn his country into Europe’s biggest producer of electric and hybrid vehicles. It was a bold move to both invest in growth and intensify the fight against climate change via green energy. … Continue reading “Never waste a good crisis – especially when it comes to green energy”

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Qatar’s 2017 airlift of cows in the context of the coronavirus-induced backlash against globalisation

by Rashmee

Posted on May 26, 2020


When analysts write about a coronavirus-induced backlash against globalisation and its sprawling supply chains, I think of Qatar’s 2017 airlift of cows. It was a remarkable operation, often described as the largest airlift of cattle in history. And it sounded farfetched, this attempt to create a Wisconsin in the Arabian desert. But in July 2017, … Continue reading “Qatar’s 2017 airlift of cows in the context of the coronavirus-induced backlash against globalisation”

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Recipe for restaurant survival in a pandemic

by Rashmee

Posted on May 24, 2020


Tony Cecchini, who owns two bar-restaurants in Brooklyn, NY (and is incidentally credited with having invented the Cosmopolitan), says social distancing will be “a death sentence” to his business. “That would give me four lonely seats across the entire run of each of my bars, with guests dotted here and there slipping their masks down … Continue reading “Recipe for restaurant survival in a pandemic”

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Baklava, frites, wine, cannabis, guns. The pandemic classified them as essentials but they’re indulgences

by Rashmee

Posted on May 22, 2020


In Turkey, baklava-makers were deemed essential workers during the coronavirus lockdown because Turks like to eat the layered, flaky pastry, moistened with syrup and sprinkled with nuts at all times. Belgium allowed its friteries to stay open even as it closed down other commercial activities because it deemed the sidewalk stands that serve up French … Continue reading “Baklava, frites, wine, cannabis, guns. The pandemic classified them as essentials but they’re indulgences”

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More European Union? The ‘frugal four’ are pushing back against Franco-German largesse

by Rashmee

Posted on May 21, 2020


Some say there’s “18% more union”. That’s what Bloomberg opined anyway. It said that the decision by Germany’s Angela Merkel to join France’s Emmanuel Macron in backing a 500-billion euro European Commission lending facility is a very big deal. It doesn’t mean there will be a United States of Europe any time soon, but the fiscal union … Continue reading “More European Union? The ‘frugal four’ are pushing back against Franco-German largesse”

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Coronavirus: Is Angela Merkel’s solution to EU’s problems feasible?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 19, 2020 / The National


The coronavirus crisis has put the European Union under some stress. This is partly triggered by a single judgment delivered in a court in Karlsruhe in south-western Germany. The ruling has put the eurozone economy on an emergency drip-feed of positivity and promises from European officials even as it raised questions among some about the … Continue reading “Coronavirus: Is Angela Merkel’s solution to EU’s problems feasible?”

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German economy is sickened by more than the virus

by Rashmee

Posted on May 15, 2020


What does it mean that Germany, Europe’s biggest economy has plunged into a recession? That times are hard, to use the platitude doing the desperate rounds on email, in Twitter DMs and in conversations, as people lose their jobs in so many sectors, in so many parts of the world. Last month, German economy minister … Continue reading “German economy is sickened by more than the virus”

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‘Sell city, buy country’? The pandemic won’t empty London, NYC

by Rashmee

Posted on May 14, 2020


Some very clever people are writing off cities. Not altogether, but quite substantially. Consider a new piece in Politico magazine by Parag Khanna, bestselling author and managing partner of the data and scenario-based strategic global advisory firm FutureMap. The pandemic “may cause fundamental shifts in our human geography,” Mr Khanna writes. “Why choose to stay in a … Continue reading “‘Sell city, buy country’? The pandemic won’t empty London, NYC”

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New study says something deeper than the simple truth that hard physical labour is…well, hard

by Rashmee

Posted on May 12, 2020


  New findings on lower healthy life expectancy for workers in physically demanding jobs are out today (May 12) and they have serious implications for European governments seeking to raise retirement age. The large long-term study of Danish workers in hundreds of different types of jobs is published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine, one of … Continue reading “New study says something deeper than the simple truth that hard physical labour is…well, hard”

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How the bubble might be a healthful strategy in a pandemic

by Rashmee

Posted on May 11, 2020


With no vaccine or cure in sight for this coronavirus, the “bubble” is increasingly seen as a viable health strategy. New Zealand put it out as a model, with the single bubble comprising a single household. Parts of Canada are pioneering the double bubble, which allows a household to join with one other household in … Continue reading “How the bubble might be a healthful strategy in a pandemic”

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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