Russia

After Horrific Winter, Russian Farmers Worry About Climate Change

Snowy fields in Siberia
Snowy fields in Siberia
Kirill Zhurenkov

MOSCOW - The past month has brought record-breaking snowfall and cold snaps throughout central Russia. But the bad weather has done much more than spoil people’s moods and clog roads -- it has raised new alarms about global climate change.

First the data: March was one of the coldest in the past 50 years in Russia, with snowfall breaking a 40-year record. There was a total of 70 centimeters of snow in Moscow last month, while the Ministry of Emergency Occurrences cites extreme weather situations in 13 of the country’s central regions. The bad weather extended south to Kiev in Ukraine as well, where unusual snowfall closed down the city.

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Society

Face In The Mirror: Dutch Hairdressers Trained To Recognize Domestic Violence

Early detection and accessible help are essential in the fight against domestic violence. Hairdressers in the Dutch province of North Brabant are now being trained to identify when their customers are facing abuse at home.

Hair Salon Rob Peetoom in Rotterdam

Daphne van Paassen

TILBURG — The three hairdressers in the bare training room of the hairdressing company John Beerens Hair Studio are absolutely sure: they have never seen signs of domestic violence among their customers in this city in the Netherlands. "Or is that naïve?"

When, a moment later, statistics appear on the screen — one in 20 adults deals with domestic violence, as well as one or two children per class — they realize: this happens so often, they must have victims in their chairs.

All three have been in the business for years and have a loyal clientele. Sometimes they have customers crying in the chair because of a divorce. According to Irma Geraerts, 45, who has her own salon in Reusel, a village in the North Brabant region, they're part-time psychologists. "A therapist whose hair I cut explained to me that we have an advantage because we touch people. We are literally close. The fact that we stand behind people and make eye contact via the mirror also helps."

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