Sources

The Dirtiest River In The World

Will the Citarum river ever be clean?
Will the Citarum river ever be clean?
Anne-Fleur Delaistre

JAKARTA - The color of the brackish water running down the drain across Pak Udis’ paddy field changes everyday: it goes from blue to green or red. One only needs to take a look around to understand why. A textile factory was built a few meters away from this Indonesian peasant’s parcel. Over the last decades, hundreds of factories have settled in the area. If the jeans manufactured in the factories are petrol blue, the water used to irrigate the fields is blue. If the fabrics are red, the water turns reddish.

Crop yields have largely decreased since factories have started to discharge wastewater in the neighboring canals. “This rice ear is empty, there is no grain”, says Deni Riswandi, showing a sample from Pak Udis’ field. “Harvests usually take place every six months. But with this polluted rice, it takes way longer. Even after six months, this ear will remain empty.”

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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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