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food / travel

Grape Pulp And Snow Plows: Swiss Firm Clears Winter Roads With Winemaking Waste

Alcohol, apples and seashells… Swiss authorities have tried almost everything to clear snow off roads and sidewalks. This time, a Geneva-based startup claims it can cut down the use of salt by 70% by replacing it with 'Snowfree', a produ

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(graybee)

*NEWSBITES

Why does snow melt so much faster in vineyards than elsewhere? This remark got a Swiss perfumer thinking and ultimately led to the creation of Snowfree: small pellets made of grape "waste" – seeds and pulp remaining after the fruit has been pressed into wine — each containing a small quantity of salt.

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Russia

When Mom Believes Putin: A Russian Family Torn Apart Over Ukraine Invasion

Sisters Rante and Satu Vodich fled Russia because they could no longer bear to live under Putin — but their mother believes state propaganda about the war. Her daughters are building a new life for themselves in Georgia.

A mother and her daughter on a barricade in Kyiv

Steffi Unsleber

TBILISI — On a gloomy afternoon in May, Rante Vodich gets the keys to her new home. A week earlier, the 27-year-old found this wooden shed in Tbilisi, with a corrugated iron roof and ramshackle bathroom. The shed next door houses an old bed covered in dust. Vodich refers to the place as a “studio” and pays $300 per month in rent. She says finding the studio is the best thing that’s happened to her since she came to Georgia. It is her hope for the future.

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Her younger sister Satu Vodich is around 400 kilometers further west, in the city of Batumi on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, surrounded by Russian tourists, Ukrainian flags, skyscrapers with sea views and the run-down homes of local residents.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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