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Ana Kova

Good afternoon.

Google's guessing game

Chinese tech under review

Dating on social

Musk eats the world

Hong Kong elections

Sequencing solutions

The way we work

The impact of conflict

Yemen is suffering the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet. A civil war raging since 2015 has placed most of its 30 million citizens in dire need. But workers trying to alleviate its humanitarian disaster have to somehow use optimism as a tool.

A humanitarian worker in Yemen provides a lesson on perspective

One of the things I love more about reporting internationally is that I think I am more open to learning lessons from the people I meet who aren't in positions of leadership, or renowned expertise. They are just humans going through life, sometimes the hardest aspects of it, with incredible wisdom and kindness.

Gurus gone bad

The future is female

Preparing for climate change

NYC subway entrances get flooded on purpose. “We’re doing this because climate change is real,” the MTA explained. As part of a preparedness program, they were testing a barrier that could seal off subway entrances in the event of a major flood.

New York City is flooding subway entrances to prepare for climate change

It’s great to see the creative approaches New York is taking to address storm surge and other risks from climate change.

Another very different example is the “oyster-tecture” project that’s been funded by the New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. This involves the creation of artificial offshore

It’s great to see the creative approaches New York is taking to address storm surge and other risks from climate change.

Another very different example is the “oyster-tecture” project that’s been funded by the New York Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. This involves the creation of artificial offshore breakwaters seeded with oysters, which will then grow into reefs. The reefs will act to break up dangerous storm waves, helping to protect the city. People forget that New York in a previous life was the epicentre of a massive oyster trade – killed by overfishing and pollution – with years of dredging destroying the natural barrier of the native oyster habitat which was once there.

I can recommend an excellent podcast episode on this topic from 99 Percent Invisible here: https://bit.ly/2qBis9x.

Ironing out fashion’s wrinkles

China’s fashion companies are finally globally competitive. Shoppers are warming to home-grown brands as the country's spending power rises, boosting Chinese labels into the ranks of the world's top fashion companies.

Two Chinese companies have joined the ranks of the fashion industry’s giants

I was asking for advice on shoes from a colleague the other day, who is also a marathon runner. "Buy from them" he dropped me a link, and the shoemaker was a name I had never heard of. "Who are them?" I asked. "One of Nike's OEM factories and now they are selling their own brand." My colleague said

I was asking for advice on shoes from a colleague the other day, who is also a marathon runner. "Buy from them" he dropped me a link, and the shoemaker was a name I had never heard of. "Who are them?" I asked. "One of Nike's OEM factories and now they are selling their own brand." My colleague said.

"Are they any good?" - Me

"Better than Nike." - My colleague

"Because it's much cheaper?" - Me

"Yes, but not only that. It's also much better quality and lasts longer. Ever since Nike manufactures its shoes in Vietnam, the product quality is dropping low." - My colleague

I eventually took the advice and brought a pair of running shoes from this unheard shoemaker, which cost me slightly over $100. Now 11 months and 2500 kilometers past, it is still satisfying. My last pair from Nike at $120 endured 9 months before a toe hole cracked.

The new "shifting attitudes in favor of local brands by Chinese consumers" is not only happening in sportswear and fashion wear but also home appliances, mobile devices, and cultural products such as movies and games.

Indeed, a more rational evaluation of "value for money, innovation in design and quality, and customer service" result in a preference for local brands, especially among China's millennium customers. Another factor in play here is that the new generation's needs for self-expression are no longer linear. In the past, a high social and wealthy status was tightly attached to one's usage of foreign brands. However, now their identity-expression needs are multi-dimensional, such as a need to appear "trendy," "green," "different," "cool," "original," or even "patriotic."

One brand not mentioned in this report that I’ve had my eye on lately is Li-Ning. They sponsor a few NBA players shoes - most notably Dwayne Wade - but their other sneakers are really wild and out there not for the faint of heart. The best part is they’re mostly under the $200 mark, which is a steal

One brand not mentioned in this report that I’ve had my eye on lately is Li-Ning. They sponsor a few NBA players shoes - most notably Dwayne Wade - but their other sneakers are really wild and out there not for the faint of heart. The best part is they’re mostly under the $200 mark, which is a steal in the world of fashion shoes where trendy Balenciagas can set you back 7 or 8 hundred bucks.

Go, do your thing on the runway

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