lockdowns

How I entered Hong Kong in the era of the pandemic and lockdowns

HONG KONG — A few dozen passengers, including me, disembarked slowly and orderly from a sparsely filled Japan Airlines Boeing 787-9 from Narita Airport on Monday afternoon.

We were greeted at Hong Kong International Airport by official-looking staff wearing masks, face protection shields and medical gowns. Among my numerous trips to this bustling hub, this may very well have been the first time I noticed that ground personnel outnumbered incoming passengers at the arrival gate and the airport’s corridors.

The airport is designed to be quite functional and normally allows travelers to squeeze in last-minute shopping before moving on to

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Shippers turn to Belt and Road trains to beat coronavirus lockdowns

HAMBURG, Germany — With few international flights operating and many cargo ships knocked off course by the coronavirus pandemic, businesses sending goods between Asia and Europe have turned in desperation to trains linked to China’s Belt and Road project.

“These days, many European customers are exploring rail freight on the New Silk Road as an alternative and attractive transport mode,” Tim Scharwath, chief executive of global freight forwarding at German logistics operator DHL, told the Nikkei Asian Review. “We are seeing a strong increase in volumes in both directions.”

Until recently, trains that arrived in Europe with nearly every freight

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Indian farmers fear for survival despite lockdown’s relaxation

BANGALORE/SOTAI/DARJEELING — India’s government on Monday partially relaxed its lockdown in rural areas, allowing farmers to return to fields neglected for almost four weeks and giving a wisp of hope to the world’s largest rural population, one that has suffered particular hardship under the stringent quarantine.

But the damage has been done. India’s agricultural supply-chain has been severed, and farmers will have difficulty finding extra hands, materials and, eventually, buyers.

In reality, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has placed another heavy burden on the vast country’s farmers: Revive the rural economy.

“Farmers will lose about 50% of their crop due to

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