Corona Capital: Chuck E. Cheese, Pret A Manger | Reuters


Covid-19 certainly caused its fair share of problems. Other restaurants including Le Pain Quotidien have gone belly-up. But Chuck E. Cheese, which has the addictive wooden ball-rolling game skee-ball, is better known for hosting children’s parties than its pizza – and those can’t switch to take-out in pandemic lockdowns.

Still earlier this year, another blank-check deal to buy restaurant chain TGI Fridays’ parent company was terminated. That’s before these special-purpose acquisition vehicles were going gangbusters. CEC’s indigestion is a good reminder that exuberant investors can’t improve lousy tasting deals. (By Lauren Silva Laughlin)

Source: Breakingviews – Corona Capital: Chuck E. Cheese, Pret A Manger – Reuters

How Europe’s top food retailers are failing to disclose food waste-based emissions | EURACTIV.com


European food retailers need to widen the scope of their greenhouse gas reporting in order to account for emissions resulting from food waste and loss across their supply chains, writes Matthew McLuckie.

Food loss and waste (FLW) is a relatively well-publicized issue for the global food retail sector. But if you consider that, globally, 30% of total crop land and 23% of fresh water is used to grow food that is never eaten, the scale and severity of the problem becomes much starker.

Every year in the United States, US$218 billion is spent on growing, processing, transporting and disposing of food that is eventually lost or wasted. Together with FLW generated by other regions, the global direct economic cost for FLW currently stands at US$940 billion per year.

Critically for food retailers within the food supply chain, FLW does not only represent lost earnings potential and reduced operating profit margins, but also contributes significantly towards their greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions.

Source: How Europe’s top food retailers are failing to disclose food waste-based emissions – EURACTIV.com

UN’s Ocean Decade: A decade to reverse the decline of ocean health worldwide | Europa Media


The United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the Ocean.

Historically, the oceans have served humans as a source of culture, livelihood, expansion, trade, food and other resources enhancing both our health and well-being. In a broader scale, the ocean plays a key role in governing climate, weather, production of oxygen, the carbon cycle, water and nutrient cycles and overall planetary chemistry. However, we are affecting in unimaginable ways what once we thought was too big to affect, the big blue covering 70% of our planet.

Source: UN’s Ocean Decade: A decade to reverse the decline of ocean health worldwide – Europa Media

Corona Capital: Soccer, Shopping, Junk debt | Reuters


Marcus Rashford has arguably just become the most expensive soccer player in English history. The Manchester United forward on Tuesday forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson into a humbling reversal over providing food vouchers for schoolchildren during the summer holiday.

The government said it would provide a 120 million pound fund to ensure that eligible children can keep claiming free meals when schools are closed. The U-turn came a day after the 22-year-old launched a campaign urging ministers to change course.

Source: Breakingviews – Corona Capital: Soccer, Shopping, Junk debt – Reuters

From 10% to 30×30 – no time to waste for marine biodiversity | EURACTIV.com


The EU’s new Biodiversity Strategy will increase the EU’s network of marine protected areas, writes Virgilius Sinkevicius.

Being awarded with an international day very often means you are in some kind of trouble. So celebrating World Oceans Day today, 8 June, only a few weeks after World Earth Day, tells you something. Especially as 70% of Earth is, in fact, the ocean.

Despite the witty phrasing above, the message behind it is serious and supported by alarming scientific evidence. Last year, the IPBES – the United Nation’s intergovernmental platform for biodiversity and ecosystem services – showed that marine biodiversity is declining at unprecedented rates. A few weeks earlier, the IPCC – the UN’s climate body – released an alarming report about the impact of climate change on our oceans and the cryosphere.

The state of the ocean is dire, and this concerns us all.

Source: From 10% to 30×30 – no time to waste for marine biodiversity – EURACTIV.com

India: Fighting Coronavirus in an Informal Economy | Council on Foreign Relations


Many mandated precautions are still in place [PDF], including mask-wearing in public, social distancing, prohibitions on gatherings of more than five people, and a ban on spitting in public. These moves to flatten the curve of the virus have allowed states to carry out contact tracing, quarantines, and other health measures. The state of Kerala in particular has built on lessons of the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak to carry out a careful and effective response.

For India, the trade-off between stopping the transmission of the coronavirus and safeguarding the economy has been particularly dramatic.

Most of those employed in India work in the informal economy—more than 86 percent, according to the International Labor Organization.

These daily-wage earners generally lack employment certainty, protections, or safety nets.

Source: India: Fighting Coronavirus in an Informal Economy | Council on Foreign Relations

How the Western Diet Has Derailed Our Evolution


A group of Italian microbiologists had compared the intestinal microbes of young villagers in Burkina Faso with those of children in Florence, Italy. The villagers, who subsisted on a diet of mostly millet and sorghum, harbored far more microbial diversity than the Florentines, who ate a variant of the refined, Western diet.

Where the Florentine microbial community was adapted to protein, fats, and simple sugars, the Burkina Faso microbiome was oriented toward degrading the complex plant carbohydrates we call fiber.

Scientists suspect our intestinal community of microbes, the human microbiota, calibrates our immune and metabolic function, and that its corruption or depletion can increase the risk of chronic diseases, ranging from asthma to obesity.

Source: How the Western Diet Has Derailed Our Evolution

Designs for Living with COVID-19, from the Sublime to the Ridiculous | Design News


“When I saw proposals to place plexiglass dividers on restaurant tables [to prevent transmission of COVID-19], it gave me the impression of being in a prison visiting room,” said French interior design entrepreneur Christophe Gernigon. So, he came up with a more elegant alternative — the Plex’Eat protective bubble.

The plexiglass cupola allows diners freedom of movement along with unobstructed vision, and it is reportedly easy to disassemble and disinfect. The Plex’Eat is currently being marketed by France’s Sitour, which is specialized in point-of-sale marketing products.

Source: Designs for Living with COVID-19, from the Sublime to the Ridiculous | Design News

Virus, Heat Wave and Locusts Form Perfect Storm in India | Time


This triple disaster drew biblical comparisons and forced officials to try to balance the competing demands of simultaneous public health crises: encourage people to protect themselves from eviscerating heat but also practice social distancing in newly reopened parks and markets.

The heat wave threatens to compound the challenges of containing the virus, which has started spreading more quickly and broadly since the government began easing restrictions of one of the world’s most stringent lockdowns earlier this month.

Source: Virus, Heat Wave and Locusts Form Perfect Storm in India | Time

What Americans are doing online during COVID-19 | Pew Research Center


The internet and smartphones have long been embedded in Americans’ lives. But as the COVID-19 outbreak has led government officials to close nonessential businesses and schools and issue stay-at-home orders, many aspects of everyday life have migrated online.

Some Americans – particularly those who are younger or college educated – are finding virtual ways to connect, shop and be active during this time, according to a Pew Research Center survey that asked U.S. adults in early April about six types of online and mobile activities they may be engaging in due to the outbreak.

Source: What Americans are doing online during COVID-19 | Pew Research Center