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Plastic bottles are bringing light to the poorest parts of world

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A project called ‘Liter of Light‘ is hoping to bring light to places that need it most, by using DIY lamps made from plastic bottles. Mashable caught up with the founder of the project to hear how it works and find out who can benefit.  

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One of the immediate impacts of a natural disaster, like the hurricane that recently wreaked havoc in Haiti, is that it’s often followed by darkness. It takes months for aid, and in this case light, to reach the most remote places.  

On a daily basis, more than 1.5 billion people face similar darkness, or at best the dim glow of candlelights or kerosene lamps, whose fumes are poisonous

Some of these communities are extremely remote and have no access to electricity. Others have access to electricity, but opt out of using it because it’s so expensive. 

The problem goes far beyond the lack of light. It extends to long-term issues about security, independence, health and access to education.

An open source project called ‘Liter of Light‘ is trying to change this by using plastic bottles to make simple solar-powered lights. 

The project started in the Philippines

The project started in the Philippines

Image: Liter of light

How it works 

Plastic bottles are filled with water and bleach, which eliminates algae from turning the water green. The bottles are then installed into roofs of houses and begin working as a mirror on the roof,…

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Myanmar

Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

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Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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Ecommerce

How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

Oxford Business Group

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

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A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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Tech

How the Rural-Urban Divide Plays Out on Digital Platforms

It is one thing for entrepreneurs, whether urban or rural, to create and operate an online store, as some digital platforms have made it relatively easy to manage an e-store – even by using just a smartphone.

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In the West, villages are emptying out due to the lack of economic opportunities. Consider Italy where, in a bid to attract newcomers, a handful of municipalities have turned to selling houses for €1.

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