Tuesday, 7th February 2023
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Disappointment for Japanese artisans who hoped for Olympic showcase

Craftsman Kimiaki Kono was hoping the Tokyo Olympics would be a chance to win new fans for Japan's lute-like shamisen, but the pandemic has left things on a sour note.

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21 Oct 2021
In a square in central Fez, the steady beat of hammers on copper has returned - a welcome signal for the ancient Moroccan city's thousands of artisans that trade is slowly picking up after a brutal COVID-induced slump. Activity is still some way below pre-pandemic levels, and master coppersmith Mohammed Kobbi says the high cost of the metal has hit profit margins. "The situation is starting to improve," he told Reuters as he hurried past Seffarine Square to deliver an order of eight large pans to a local restaurant.
31 Oct 2021
A boat crew casts a net into the seemingly clean waters off Japan's Izu peninsula, but not to catch fish -- they are scooping up microplastics to learn more about the pollution's impact on marine life.
29 Oct 2021
Waning demand and the impacts of the COVID pandemic have pushed Kashmir pottery to the brink of extinction. But some artisan families are continuing the craft in exchange for rice just to survive.
15 Nov 2021
Somali artisan Muse Mohamud Olosow carefully sorts through a huge pile of camel bones, discarded by a slaughterhouse in Mogadishu, selecting pieces that he will carve into jewelry and ornate beads used by fellow Muslims while reciting prayers. To Olosow's knowledge, he is one of just four artisans in his country of 16 million people who work with the bones of camels.
26 Dec 2021
After Japan's 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the US forcibly displaced 120,000 people of Japanese origin into 10 internment camps in the western United States. Eight decades on, our correspondents went to meet survivors, who reflected on their ordeal.
11 Jan 2022
American speed skater Erin Jackson's dream of chasing gold in her signature 500 meters event at next month's Beijing Olympics is back on after a selfless act from a good friend and teammate who gave up her own spot on Sunday.
29 Jan 2022
Early visitors to the Main Press Centre at the Beijing Winter Olympics have been delighted to discover that ice cream is served to them by robots. To buy the ice cream, one must go to the cashier to pay first and get a receipt with a QR code, which you then scan on the machine and the robot will automatically kick into action.
3 Feb 2022
The Olympic torch relay began its second day on Thursday (February 3) atop the Great Wall, with Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan and Chinese Olympic medallists among those taking turns carrying the flame along a route shortened to three days because of COVID-19. The relay for the torch that will open the Feb. 4-20 Winter Games is much more modest than the globe-spanning relay for Beijing's 2008 Summer Games, a tour that was disrupted by protests.
4 Feb 2022
Japan's ageing society is forcing it to innovate in some unusual ways. Fifteen years ago, the western town of Hōki, where almost half the residents are aged over 65, started using recycled adult diapers to heat public baths and reduce energy bills. The project was highly successful and now the idea of turning diapers into fuel pellets has spread to other parts of Japan. Our correspondents report.
7 Feb 2022
China's decision to have a Uyghur athlete light the Olympic cauldron has drawn criticism from human rights groups, who saw it as cheap propaganda ploy to whitewash the oppression of the country's ethnic Uyghur minority.
9 Feb 2022
South Koreans expressed frustration on Wednesday (February 9) after seeing their traditional costume used in last week's Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing, but the Chinese Embassy in South Korea defended the use. A woman wearing what appeared to be a Korean hanbok dress was among those representing China's different ethnic groups during the ceremony. Some South Koreans have complained about recent Chinese assertions that various aspects of Korean culture are of Chinese origin.
18 Feb 2022
Jamaica has a four-man bobsled team in the Olympics for the first time since 1998. Too young to witness the famous 1988 team but big fans of "Cool Runnings," this year's team wants to add to Jamaica's bobsled legacy.