The Future of Resilience

Around the World: Dalai Lama Denied, Sleeper Trains Scrapped and a Bus Seat Backlog

Our weekly roundup of international urban, environmental and economic news.

Europe’s sleeper trains are losing ground to its budget airlines. (Photo by Ed Webster via Flickr)

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Our weekly roundup of urban, environmental and economic news from across the globe…

Scotland’s referendum on independence is still too close to call.

Air France pilots are on strike over the airline’s decision to transfer many of its jobs to a low-cost carrier, which it says it needs to do if it wants to stay competitive. Low-cost carriers are hugely successful in Europe — cut-rate Ryanair is the continent’s biggest airline — and they’re pushing Europe’s overnight sleeper trains out of existence.

Brazil has started construction on an enormous 1,000-foot tower in the Amazon rainforest that will monitor climate change.

To put its economy in sync with the rest of the world’s, the Muslim-majority country of Mauritania will shift to a Saturday-Sunday weekend.

India’s Supreme Court ruled that newly anointed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to clean up the Ganges, the country’s most important river, would take “200 years” to succeed.

South Africa, whose ties with China are increasingly critical to its own economic health, reportedly denied the Dalai Lama a travel visa to attend the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.

And finally, an elderly man in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou died on a city bus last week after a younger man refused to give up his seat. The incident has sparked a bout of national soul-searching as people question whether social etiquette, traditionally an important part of Chinese society, is falling by the wayside.

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