RamKaran Mishra is a Hindu priest who performs the last rites at the Ghazipur crematorium in east Delhi, on the frontline of India's Covid crisis. He's been cremating up to 150 bodies day after day, working long hours into the night. With no end in sight, and feeling abandoned by his government, Mishra must deal with traumatised families and an ever-present smell of burning bodies
Adelaida Sánchez is a member of the community police force in Cherán, a Purépecha indigenous town in Michoacán, Mexico, which declared itself autonomous in 2011. When the town was under siege from illegal logging, cartel criminals, and corrupt authorities and the men of the town stood by and did nothing, it was left to women to lead the fightback. On the tenth anniversary of the uprising, Adelaida patrols the town and its forests, providing an oasis amidst the murder, kidnap and extortion across the state
Belief in conspiracy theories is far more widespread than the stereotypes that dominate pop culture. Recently, QAnon, Covid-19 and 5G theories have gained traction and criticism while less controversial conspiracies like the faked moon landing have persisted for decades. We all share hardwired evolutionary traits that make us vulnerable to them, from the way we assign truth to new information to our tendency to find patterns in unrelated phenomena. But if we're all potentially susceptible to conspiracy theories, how can we manage these cognitive shortcuts?
Chess is enjoying something of a renaissance, thanks to the Netflix series The Queen's Gambit – along with it being a game well-suited to Covid lockdowns.
Yet many chess-lovers contend its lure is simultaneously being killed off by computers, which take the romance and mystery from the game in ever more accurate analysis. But this is an adaptable game of paradoxes, and technology has proven to both give and take. Will chess ever be 'solved'? And could it survive if it was?
Many robots are designed with a face - yet don't use their 'eyes' to see, or speak through their 'mouth'. Given that some of the more realistic humanoid robots are widely considered to be unnerving, and that humans have a propensity to anthropomorphize such designs, should robots have faces at all - or do these faces provide other important functions? And what should they actually look like anyway?
Listening to Richard Branson over the past 20 years, you'd be forgiven for assuming that space was by now being frequented by lots of tourists. However, despite the Virgin Galactic chief's optimism, the space tourism industry has yet to take off. Up to now there have been only seven self-funded citizens in space. And with billionaires such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk in the space race, why are there still no tourists in space?
When league football was paused in March 2020 due to coronavirus, the Tranmere Rovers chairman, Mark Palios, devised Project Malthus, his plan to keep the League One club alive. As he waits for fellow clubs to vote on the outcome of the season, which could mean their relegation, he explains why football needs to get serious about its messy economic situation, and why a club like Tranmere needs to look after its community in difficult times.
Almost as rare as the plants he protects, 24-year-old Josh Styles is not your average botanist. In 2017, he founded the North West Rare Plant Initiative, a conservation project in his local region. His aim is to resurrect 44 plant species that are extinct or threatened with extinction in the area, aiding biodiversity and battling the climate crisis in the process
Melanie Harwood is an education entrepreneur and self-styled 'disruptor', who has partnered with the United Nations to educate teachers about climate change. The Hlcarpenter.com's Richard Sprenger joined her on a trip to Dubai, to witness her unorthodox approach first hand
Emotional support animals, or ESAs, have exploded across the US in recent years, with rising numbers of pet owners getting their animals certified online. Unlike in the UK, ESAs have legal status in the US on a tier below traditional service animals – but the backlash has begun
After a marathon debate in Brussels, Theresa May emerged with a new October Brexit deadline. Jennifer Rankin and Daniel Boffey, in Brussels, saw it through to the bitter end and explain what happens now. Plus: Richard Sprenger on funeral poverty
The ancient Japanese sport of sumo is in well-documented crisis. Years of controversy and scandal have hurt the sport's ability to attract new talent. But new energy is brewing in Tokyo's Ryōgoku district, where the sport is slowly adapting to life in the 21st century, and where - despite being banned from the professional ring itself - women are flocking to watch it like never before. Will it be enough to save Japan's national sport in the 21st century?