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Colin Woodard's Posts

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Japanese, Norwegians, and Icelanders spout off in favor of whaling

If you're into eating whales, Kouji Shingru's shop is the place for you. Located on a pedestrian-only street in Tokyo's bustling Asakusa neighborhood, Shingru's compact establishment has it all: deep red whale steaks and fillets in vacuum-sealed packages, cured whale on a stick, snack-sized bags of whale jerky, and a wide selection of canned whale morsels packed in brown sauce. A steady stream of customers -- most of them over 50 -- flows through the Yushi Special Shop in Whales, one of the capital's only retail outlets for whale products. Whale for sale in Shingru's shop. Photo: Colin Woodard. "Almost …

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As Albania gears up to join the E.U., toxic troubles get in the way

It's easy enough to find the dump in Tirana, the fast-growing capital of Albania: just follow the trail of noxious smoke. Overdeveloped and under-regulated, Albania faces a sea of troubles. Photo: albaniafoto.com For 11 years, this city of 700,000 has been dumping its waste in a suburban field five miles southwest of the center, forming great hills of rotting food, plastics, batteries, appliances, medical waste, and construction materials. Fires smolder throughout the dump, and more are set all the time by the 20 families who live here, eking out a precarious living by collecting metals and other valuables left in …

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