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India

In India, A Cafe For Acid Attack Survivors Serves Pure Courage

Activists fighting the social plague of acid attacks against women in India have opened a new cafe in Agra staffed exclusively by survivors who have been disfigured in this way.

In India, A Cafe For Acid Attack Survivors Serves Pure Courage
Aletta Andre

AGRA — Geeta, along with her two baby daughters, was attacked by her husband, who was drunk and angry because they didn't have a son.

"We were sleeping. He threw it while we slept," Geeta says of the acid attack. "My youngest girl died. He threw it over the three of us."

Her daughter Neetu, now 23, survived, but she is almost blind and is illiterate. For his barbaric offense, her husband was jailed for just two months. And when he was released, Geeta says she had no other choice but to take back this abusive husband, who still drinks and hardly works.

"Nobody helped us," she says. "They laughed at us. People make jokes. I used to work as a sweeper, but we cannot get by on that."

But she now has new hope because Geeta is the kitchen manager at the new Sheroes Hangout café in Agra, India. "It's a new chance," she says. "If we work hard, we can move forward."

Hardika, a local volunteer, takes me on a tour of the café, which also houses a library and features some of the work of other survivors that clients can purchase. The walls are covered with colorful paintings, and the café is filled with trendy bamboo furniture. When the doors open later this month, Hardika says there will be lots to offer.

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Economy

The Bogus Concept Of "Carbon-Neutral" Oil

The Colombian president recently said that the country had exported one million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset oil. But in an unregulated carbon market, such a claim is pure greenwashing.

People walk in the streets of Bogotá

María Mónica Monsalve Sánchez

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ - In March this year, various national and corporate leaders met in Houston, Texas, for CERAWeek, an annual conference to discuss the world's energy challenges. Colombia's President Iván Duque took the opportunity to remind participants that his country produced just 0.6% of the world's carbon emissions even as it had raised crude production to one million barrels a day.

He said oil should not be seen as an enemy, since the fight was really against greenhouse gas emissions. He also revealed at the event that the country's national oil firm, Ecopetrol, had sold the Asian market its first million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset crude, consisting of the entire extraction, production and exportation chain.

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